Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) announced that Snoop Dogg, aka Snoop Lion, will headline its tenth annual Gran Turismo® Awards at the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show at Rain Nightclub in The Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas on November 1, 2012.

The Gran Turismo™ Awards celebrates continuing excellence and innovation in the automotive industry, and offers SEMA show exhibitors the opportunity to achieve automotive immortality with a feature spot in the world's best-selling racing franchise exclusive to PlayStation®, as selected by Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi.

The hottest rides at SEMA will compete for the opportunity to win GT Awards in five categories: Best Truck or SUV, Best Hot Rod, Best Domestic Automobile, Best European Import and Best Asian Import. The Best in Show Grand Prize Winner will be honored with a playable part in future Gran Turismo games – while all attendees at the Gran Turismo™ Awards will be treated to an unforgettable performance by the iconic Rapper.

"For the past ten years, the Gran Turismo Awards has recognized and rewarded automotive enthusiasts who demonstrate passion and enthusiasm for video games, and amazing car design and performance," said Kazunori Yamauchi, famed creator of the Gran Turismo franchise and President of Polyphony Digital. "This year we reward attendees with amazing prizes, as well as an award-worthy musical performance by Snoop Dogg."

"Gran Turismo is the most real-deal driving game I have ever experienced," said Snoop Dogg, aka Snoop Lion. "I have been a PlayStation fan for years, and am excited to help make this 10th year celebration for the Gran Turismo Awards into an 'off the hook' affair."

We caught up with one of the founding fathers of hip hop, Grandmaster Caz. He speaks on todays hip hop, gives his top 5 rappers, and dj's of all time, talks new projects and more..

Good to see you on Ice T's Something from Nothing movie, Did you have fun being involved with that project? How did you get involved with that?

"I got involved with The Art of Rap by Ice asking me to be a part of it. Our history goes back to early 80's and me being a forefather of the culture Ice felt that it was only right that my story be told among the many influential MC's of the Hip-Hop culture. I showed Ice in the early eighties that if you could write a rhyme or verse on your own, you didn't need a group and that he would be better off solo!!! So we have always had a mutual respect and kinship so it was only right that I stole his directorial debut into film!!!"

Wiz Khalifa has been added to the star-studded lineup of artists set to perform at the 2012 Bud Light Port Paradise Music Festival, a private, two-day concert event in the Bahamas. Khalifa will perform alongside headliner Pitbull, as well as Far East Movement and Flo Rida, during the festival's first night on Saturday, November 17 at the Atlantis Resort in Nassau. The full Port Paradise lineup includes:

Saturday, Nov. 17 – Pitbull will headline Saturday's concert with Far East Movement, Flo Rida, Wiz Khalifa and "Bud Light Battle of the Bands" winners McKenzies Mill, The Bergamot and Makayla Duvall at Atlantis in Nassau.

Sunday, Nov. 18 – Brad Paisley will headline Sunday's concert with Young the Giant and THE ALL-AMERICAN REJECTS at Coco Cay.

Also joining the star-studded lineup are world-renowned DJs Lil' Jon and DJ Scribble, with each performing on one of the two cruise ships during the "set sail" party the first night of the Bud Light Port Paradise Music Festival.

"The Bud Light Port Paradise Music Festival has evolved into a true entertainment experience with non-stop music at every turn, and we continue to build on the event with the addition of high-profile performers like Wiz Khalifa," said Mike Sundet, vice president, Bud Light. "The unparalleled lineups on land and incredible turntable talent at sea will keep the party going for days."

Sirius XM Radio Inc. (SIRI) Chief Executive Officer Mel Karmazin said he will leave on Feb. 1 after clashing with John Malone, the billionaire who plans to take control of the satellite-radio operator.

In a statement, Karmazin said, "SiriusXM is an extraordinary company with an incredible team. It is an honor to come to work here every day where we truly deliver the best radio on radio. I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished. Given where we started, it is amazing that SiriusXM has grown to become the largest radio company in the world. With a deep bench of corporate talent, a roster that includes the most in-demand on-air personalities and a wide-range of exclusive programming, SiriusXM has never been better positioned than it is today. We continue to grow our subscriber base to record levels and our financial position has never been stronger. Importantly, the commitment to delivering innovative new products and technologies is very strong. SiriusXM has a strong foundation to build on for the future and there is a great team in place to keep the company moving forward. I am confident that SiriusXM's best years are ahead."

Karmazin, 69, will also leave the board, according to a statement yesterday. Malone’s Liberty Media Corp., which owns almost 50 percent of New York-based Sirius, is awaiting U.S. Federal Communications Commission approval to take control.

The two sides have dueled verbally over Karmazin’s future, with Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei saying last month the former CBS and Viacom executive was replaceable. Karmazin, who clashed with Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone earlier in his career, has said he was probably too expensive for Liberty.

“You have two really big media moguls,” David Bank, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets, said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “Mel didn’t have a fantastic experience working for Sumner Redstone. Our sense was probably that he didn’t want to work for another big media mogul. He wanted to be the decision- maker himself, and the future of the company is going to be driven by Malone.”

A company spokesman said Karmazin declined to participate in an interview. He announced his impending resignation to Sirius employees in an e-mail last night, touting the company’s accomplishments in his eight years as CEO.

Sirius rose 0.7 percent to $2.89 at the close in New York. The shares have increased 59 percent this year.

Malone, 71, helped Sirius avoid bankruptcy in 2009, lending the company $530 million. That deal earned Liberty billions, gave it a 40 percent stake in Sirius and put Malone on a path to control.

Malone said in July he plans to spin off Sirius after gaining control. Liberty, based in Englewood, Colorado, plans to eventually execute a Reverse Morris Trust and distribute the shares to its investors while avoiding paying taxes on the separation.

Differences with Karmazin emerged in March, when Liberty sought FCC approval to exercise control of Sirius without majority ownership of the stock. The executive opposed that move, and it was denied. Liberty reapplied in August, saying it intended to raise its stake to more than 50 percent. It has been adding shares since and is awaiting the end of the public- comment period.

Bank, of RBC Capital Markets, said he expects Sirius under Liberty to take on more debt, increasing the leverage as Malone did with El Segundo, California-based DirecTV, the satellite television provider. Malone must evaluate the spinoff against other options such as taking direct control and buying back stock, he said.

“Those were decisions that Mel wanted to make, rather than decisions that Mel wanted to be told to make,” Bank said.

Karmazin, who joined CBS Radio in 1967 and rose to become one of the top U.S. media executives, moved to New York-based Sirius in 2004 after quitting as president of Viacom Inc. (VIAB) He had clashed with Redstone, the company’s controlling shareholder.

The investment “has been a hell of a run,” Maffei said at Liberty Media’s investor day this month. He praised Karmazin’s work leading Sirius, which projected adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization to be around $900 million this year.

“Mel is a superlative CEO and very few people in the world could have ever turned around the company the way he has,” David Pearlman, who worked with Karmazin for 4 1/2 years as former co-chief operating officer at CBS Radio, said in an interview. “The question for the future is, what is the real subscriber potential, long-term, for any form of pay radio.”

Karmazin earned more than $10.7 million last year in salary and bonus. Last week, he exercised 13.1 million in stock options, garnering a profit of about $31 million.

Sirius’s board has formed a search committee, led by Maffei, that includes James Mooney, chairman of Virgin Media Inc., and Sirius Chairman Eddy Hartenstein, who is CEO of bankrupt newspaper publisher Tribune Co. The panel will consider both internal and external candidates.

“We have the team, the talent and the financial standing to continue to grow and lead the industry by anyone’s measure,” Karmazin wrote in his letter to employees. “Our bench is deep, our drive is strong and our ability to deliver has been proven again and again.”
Sirius has 23.4 million subscribers and became a profitable company in 2010 after more than a decade of losses. It has satellite radios installed in about two-thirds of all new automobiles.

Karmazin began his career in radio ad sales. While chief executive of Infinity Broadcasting Corp. in 1996, he persuaded Westinghouse Electric Corp., later renamed CBS, to take over Infinity. He became president of Viacom after that company acquired CBS for $43.4 billion in 2000.

Earlier this year at Sirius’s annual shareholder meeting, Karmazin said he didn’t want to be responsible for reporting to anyone when making decisions.
“A new CEO may have a different skill set that can benefit the company going forward,” Jessica Reif Cohen, an analyst with Bank of America, said in a note to clients. The news “does not come as a complete shock.” Source: Bloomberg

will.i.am and The Coca-Cola Company announced last night at a private launch event that the Levi's® brand, MCM, RVCA and Case-Mate® will be joining anchor partners, Beats by Dr. Dre® and New Era® as the newest members of the EKOCYCLE™ social movement.

The EKOCYCLE brand initiative was developed to educate consumers about everyday recycling choices and empower their purchasing decisions as part of a social change movement. The initiative supports recycling by helping consumers recognize that items they consider waste today may be a part of a lifestyle product they can use tomorrow. With a dedication to supporting a more sustainable environment, the EKOCYCLE movement is committed to identifying products, such as assorted plastic bottles and aluminum cans that can be repurposed into recycled content for fashion-forward lifestyle products through the help of some of the industry's hottest trendsetters.

The following products will roll out to consumers from companies that answered the call to produce new goods made in part from recycled materials:
Limited edition Levi's® 501® Waste>Less™ jean - Made with an average of eight recycled assorted plastic bottles per pair of jeans, Levi's® Waste>Less™ 501® jeans will be available in April 2013 for $128 with global distribution via Levi's® retail doors and online.

Beats by Dr. Dre® EKOCYCLE™ headphones - Beats Studio TM headphones are precision engineered to reveal the full sonic range of music. Through EKOCYCLE™, Beats® delivers exceptional sound using materials that would have otherwise been wasted. Together EKOCYCLE™ and Beats® deliver an inspiring sound experience. The EKOCYCLE™ Studio Headphone contains 31 percent recycled material, using three assorted recycled PET plastic bottles and is now available online and global e-tailers. The headphones are priced at $349.95.

Case-Mate® Barely There Case - Now available at Best Buy stores in the United States, the EKOCYCLE™ Barely There case extends the life of plastic beyond the landfill. Molded from a 100 percent recycled PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate), a translucent, glossy finish showcases more of your smartphone. Its ultra-lightweight, minimalist design delivers a stylish profile, while the EKOCYCLE logo is debossed for a sleek and modern look. The case retails for $35.

New Era® caps - The EKOCYCLE™ Cap Collection features two caps -- a 59FIFTY® fitted and a 9FIFTY ™ Strapback. Both are made with a recycled fabric that consists of a traditional polyester fabric and recycled plastic. Caps retail for $30-45.

Additional collaborations will be announced next year with iconic brand products ranging from everyday pieces to luxury items. The EKOCYCLE brand identifies a growing line of sustainably-minded products for purchase that are specifically designed to take recycling awareness to the next level while responding to consumers' evolving lifestyle choices with aspirational, yet attainable products made in part from recycled materials.

"Waste is only waste if we waste it," said will.i.am. "We need to value the things we consume and become a more sustainable society that is moving towards a world with zero waste." Through EKOCYCLE, consumers can learn about everyday recycling choices and empower their purchasing decisions as part of a social change movement."

The Coca-Cola Company will make a minimum $1 million financial commitment over the next five years to support additional recycling and community improvement organizations. This donation is in addition to, and separate from, the charitable commitments of 1 percent of operating profits made through The Coca-Cola Foundation.

"Together with will.i.am, we are developing a brand centered around sustainability and creating a movement to get people engaged to be a part of something bigger than just what an individual can do," said Bea Perez, Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer, The Coca-Cola Company. "It's the 'me' and the 'we' coming together. That's EKOCYCLE."

On the evening of Oct. 24, will.i.am, The Coca-Cola Company and brand partner executives gathered in New York City to celebrate the EKOCYCLE brand launch. The event featured a build out that included sustainable materials throughout the space to offer an inside visual look at the EKOCYCLE story and process. In lieu of gift bags at the event, a donation was made to Keep New York City Beautiful. The funds will provide recycling bins for local parks.

In order to ensure the EKOCYCLE brand launch event ha d zero net greenhouse gas emissions, will.i.am and The Coca-Cola Company worked with The CarbonNeutral Company to offset the emissions produced from the event. The event was certified CarbonNeutral® in accordance with The CarbonNeutral Protocol and will utilize carbon credits from a Brazilian project which uses agricultural waste to generate energy.

Track Marketing Group is now representing visionary producer, Drumma Boy, in the matter of publicity and branded entertainment, the firm's president, Alex Frias, announced today.

"We are thrilled to be working with Drumma Boy, a highly sought after and talented producer expanding his growing empire into the area of artist management as well crossing over from the studio to the stage," Frias said.

With musical influences that range from German composers Ludwig van Beethoven and Johann Sebastian Bach to Jazz icons Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis, Drumma Boy's sonic creations have earned him the "Producer of the Year" award for three consecutive years at the 2009, 2010 and 2011 Southern Entertainment Awards. He also received a nomination for "Producer of the Year" at the 2010 BET Hip-Hop Awards. His contributions to both T.I.'s landmark Paper Trail album and the Young Jeezy/ Kanye West single "Put On" earned him two nominations at the 2009 Grammy Awards: Best Rap Album and Best Performance by a Rap Duo, respectively. "Put On" reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Billboard Hot Rap Tracks and Mainstream R&B/Hip Hop charts. The following year, Drumma Boy was hailed #2 Producer of the Year in Billboard Magazine while the New York Times named him one of the four hottest producers "driving the city" in Atlanta.

Look for his work on the buzzed about Machine Gun Kelly single, Lace Up, produced By Drumma Boy and featuring Lil Jon, Chris Brown - Oh Yeah (Prod By Drumma Boy, Drumma Boy featuring 2 Chainz – Can't Do It Like Me and on the highly anticipated projects Wiz Khalifa featuring 2 Chainz – It's Nothin and the upcoming Chris Brown re-release.

In 2003, Drumma Boy founded Drum Squad, an umbrella company that encompasses Drum Squad Productions, which represents producers and songwriters, as well as Drum Squad Records. Drum Squad Records is home to Yung Bleu, who currently has the #2 independent record in the country, titled Go Head.

SMS Audio,50 Cent'S audio headphone and accessories brand, today announces the Canadian availability of its full headphone collection consisting of wired and wireless on-ear, over-ear, DJ and in-ear styles. Distributed by Atlantia, a Canadian owned and operated distributor of leading technology products, the SMS Audio headphones are now available for purchase.

“I made it a priority to be heavily and completely involved in the entire creation process of my headphones, ensuring they provide the same kind of sound I hear in the studio,” said 50 Cent, CEO of SMS Audio. “I’m happy to announce that Canadian consumers will now have the headphones – and studio-quality sound – available at their fingertips.”

“We are excited to help bring SMS Audio to Canadian consumers,” said Trevor Robertson, Vice President of Business Development at Atlantia. “With professionally-tuned audio, a great selection of models and vibrant colors, unparalleled style and of course by working closely with 50 Cent, SMS Audio is an excellent choice to get behind, and poised to emerge as a major player in the Canadian market.”

Philly Freeway has revealed tracklisting for his upcoming album "Diamond in the Ruff" which was originally slated for a November 13th release date --- now set for a November 27th drop.

Diamond in the Ruff tracklist.
1. Right Back (featuring Marsha Ambrosius)
2. Greatness (featuring Vivian Green)
3. The Thirst
4. Wonder Tape
5. No Doubt
6. Dream Big (featuring Musiq Soulchild)
7. Early
8. Ghetto Streets
9. Numbers (featuring Neef Buck)
10. True (featuring Wale)
11. Sweet Temptations (featuring Nikki Jean)
12. All The Hoods (featuring Miss Daja Thomas & Alond Rich)
13. Hottest Akhi
14. Jungle
15. Money Is My Medicine
16. Lil' Mama

Philly freezer is currently on tour, if he's in your area, Don't forget to peep the show.

Gearing up to release their latest offering, The Rise of the Antihero, Hip-Hop duo Nefew have garnered support from energy drink giant, Red Bull. This union sees the double act made up of Polemikk and PA Double act as Ambassadors for the beverage, which is recognized as the world’s most popular energy drink.

“We’ve always been fans of the Red Bull products and I feel that we have similar values when it comes to our products,” Polemikk explains. “We are excited that they have offered us this opportunity as we are constantly looking for ways to separate ourselves from the norm.”

Nefew’s appreciation of Hip-Hop and the culture as well as their universal approach to creating music continues to be recognized by fans and media all around the world. This latest accolade inspires the duo to keep doing what they have successfully done for the last five years. With a slew of projects on deck that will see them well into 2013, the potential for this duo to increase their global presence is undeniable.

“Getting the acknowledgment from a renowned brand like Red Bull has been another sign of approval for our craft. It feels great to be appreciated by leaders of lifestyle and sports,” shares PA Double. “This is just another step bringing us closer to our goals and we are thankful for their support, “ he concludes.

A Boston event planning company has won a legal battle against Jay-Z and Beyonce over the the trademarked name of Blue Ivy.

Blue Ivy Events in Boston will keep the name that they have operated under since 2009.

"Blue Ivy" is the name Beyonce Knowles and Jay-Z gave to their firstborn child earlier this year. After the child's birth, the 31-year-old songstress tried to trademark the name, reportedly to begin a line of baby products. It wasn't long before Blue Ivy Events owner Veronica Alexandra was thrust into the spotlight as she tried to defend her company's name.

Last week, Alexandra won the battle and trademark protection for the name "Blue Ivy." The ruling means the Carters have no legal rights to keep the name to themselves.

There appears to be no hard feelings between the parties. In fact, the Blue Ivy Events website features a picture of hip hop's royal couple along with a message that reads "Congrats to our soul mate couple with baby Blue Ivy." Source: Fox News

Ice T isn't the only one in his family working hard and turning dreams into reality. From the debut showing of the Licious line during Fashion Week, to the new Club Spartacus business venture and the lead role in Peepshow in Las Vegas, Coco's star is rapidly on the rise. The loving, successful couple is back for a third season of their show, Ice Loves Coco.

This season the rapper/actor/filmmaker/motivational speaker and his model/entrepreneur wife continue to love and support each other while finding new passion in their professional and personal lives. Their undeniable connection to one another shows through, whether they're flexing their creative muscles, or completing the construction of their dream manse and contemplating filling it with children. Don't miss the joy and laughs that come along with being one of pop culture's most singular, yet traditional married couples.

In the premiere episode, construction continues on the loving couple's luxe new home, and Coco can't understand why Ice would want to delay the process by requesting a car elevator system in the garage. When Ice gently reminds his dear wife her shoe collection is just as important to her as his cars are to him, Coco contemplates relenting.

Over the course of the season, necessity becomes the mother of invention when Coco decides it's about time to stop walking her beloved bulldog Spartacus in the cold while she's with Ice on the New York set of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Coco comes up with the idea of opening Club Spartacus, an opulent indoor dog park where dogs and their owners can be pampered in a much more comfortable setting. However, finding the perfect spot for her new business isn't as easy as she'd hoped. With the success of her Licious clothing line growing steadily, Coco is excited to produce a fashion show featuring her apparel during Fashion Week in New York. Coco knows she'll be competing with heavy hitters in the fashion world, and worries her designs won't be taken seriously.

Also during the season, Ice goes back to music' when he works on new material in the recording studio. An ecstatic Coco gives the weather a whirl when a local news station asks her to present the forecast, and Ice continues to stretch his creative muscles by giving stand-up comedy a shot for the first time.

Ice Loves Coco is created and produced by Comcast Entertainment Studios. Jay James, Carmen Mitcho, Brad Spotto, Ice T, Coco and Jorge Hinojosa are Executive Producers, with Shawn Miles and Greg Nash as Co-Executive Producers.Â

The third season of Ice Loves Coco premieres at 10:30pm ET/PT on October 28 only on E!, and moves to its regular timeslot on Sunday, November 4 at 10:00pm ET/PT.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. joined with representatives from the Smithsonian-developed Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum have announced the launch of a Memphis Music Hall of Fame tribute to the city’s musical legends. Wharton said the event came at a great time, as he just returned from Berlin, where the Memphis Exhibition Berlin runs until Oct. 28. Located in Berlin’s Gibson Guitar Showroom, the show displays photographs, clothing, films and other Memphis memorabilia.

“It’s just so amazing about how the world around just treasures what sometimes we take for granted. What this event says here today is we ain’t going to take it for granted anymore,” Wharton said.

Presenting the guitar-inspired plaques for each of the 25 initial inductees were representatives from Memphis’ many music organizations and attractions, such as Sun Studio, Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Memphis Music Foundation, Center for Southern Folklore, Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc. and The Blues Foundation. A moment of silence was given for Memphis musician B. B. Cunningham Jr., who was killed in a shooting Sunday.

John Doyle, executive director of Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, said the Music Hall of Fame has been in the works for six or seven years.

“All of us apologize for being late. We should have started this 20 years ago, or maybe 40 years ago,” Doyle said. “We are announcing inaugural inductees, but this is not an inaugural class because we will continue this for years and years and years.”

While several states have music hall of fames, Doyle said Memphis is the first city to launch such an initiative.

“This is really the only city that can launch something like this because not only did we get on the musical map because of our musical legends, but these legends also changed the entire cultural complexion of the world,” Doyle said.

The 2012 inaugural inductees into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame were determined by a nominating committee consisting of national authors, historians and music industry representatives, who came together for deliberation in May. Hall of Fame Inductions will continue to be held annually.

“We’re beginning to announce 350 and more inductees that will go into this thing,” Doyle said. “And when we get to year five and year 10, we will still be inducting Grammy nominees, Grammy winners, chart toppers, legends as we continue on and on. The list is endless.”

The Memphis Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Memphis on Thursday, Nov. 29, at 7 p.m. Source: Memphis Daily News

The 25 initial inductees:
Estelle Axton and Jim Stewart
Bobby “Blue” Bland
Booker T. and The MG’s
Lucie Campbell
George Coleman
Jim Dickinson
Al Green
W.C. Handy
Isaac Hayes
Howlin’ Wolf
B.B. King
Jerry Lee Lewis
Jimmie Lunceford
Professor W.T. McDaniel
Memphis Minnie
Willie Mitchell
Dewey Phillips
Sam Phillips
Elvis Presley
Otis Reddin;
The Staple Singers
Rufus Thomas
Three 6 Mafia
Nat D. Williams
ZZ Top.

Flavor Flav is free on $23,000 bail and will appear in a Las Vegas court next week on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence battery, a court spokeswoman said on Thursday.

The charges stem from a report of a fight by the 53-year-old rapper's fiancé. Flavor Flav, whose given name is William Drayton Jr, was also said to have threatened the woman's teenage son with a knife, police said in a statement.

Flavor Flav was arrested after a call to police came in before dawn on Wednesday from a residence about 10 miles southwest of the Las Vegas Strip, police said. He is due to appear in court on Monday.

"The caller advised she had been involved in a physical altercation with her fiancé who was identified as William Drayton," the police statement said.

Flavor Flav has posted on his Twitter account a tweet by a follower that said, "Someone forgot to tell (Flavor Flav) not everything that happens in Vegas stays in Vegas."

The rap star faces a maximum six years in prison if convicted of assault with a deadly weapon and up to six months in jail if found guilty of domestic violence battery, said Tess Driver, a spokeswoman for the Clark County District Attorney's Office. Source: Reuters

JOURNALIST 103 ON DECK. APPEARANCES FROM FREEWAY, SAIGON, FASHAWN & ETERNIA WITH PRODUCTION FROM ODDISEE, SNOWGOONS, APOLLO BROWN & THE AUDIBLE DOCTOR Honing in on the modern man’s struggle, Journalist 103 uses his words to paint vivid pictures of peril, inspiration and overcoming hardship. As the lyricist behind The Left’s critically acclaimed 2010 opus, Gas Mask, Journalist maneuvered through obscurity and rose to infamy as one of Detroit’s most celebrated narrators. Throughout the years, he has shared the mic with legends such as Kool G Rap and even lent his voice to the opening track on Proof’s out-of-print Detroit classic and now collector’s item, Electric Coolaid Acid Testing.

Journalist 103 continues his investigative report on the human psyche and charters new territory on his solo debut, Reporting Live, to be released via Babygrande Records. “It is definitely a privilege and an honor to be putting this album out on Babygrande Records” remarks Journalist. “Sharing the Roster with the likes of Freeway and the legendary GZA makes everything up to this point all worth the while” he adds. Featuring guest appearances from Freeway, Saigon & Fashawn, and production from Snowgoons, Apollo Brown, Oddisee, The Audible Doctor, and more, Journalist 103 returns to boast lyrics straight from the headlines of an eye-opening periodical.

1. The Foundation (produced by Lex Luthorz)
2. Rockstarz (produced by: Snowgoons)
3. Where Is The Love featuring Vstylez & Eternia (produced by Apollo Brown)
4. Dreamer (produced by ATG)
5. Do What I Do featuring Jack Freeman (produced by Lex Luthorz)
6. Hear Me featuring Saigon & Fashawn (produced by The Audible Doctor)
7. Moving 2 Fast (produced by ATG)
8. Arson (produced by Traveling Merchant Productions)
9. 3 AM (produced by: Monkodelic)
10. United We Stand (produced by Monkodelic)
11. Danger featuring Freeway (produced by Marc Byrd)
12. Revolutions (produced by: Black Bethoven)
13. The System (produced by Lex Luthorz)
14. Urban Legend featuring Stryfe (produced by: Monkodelic)
15. Walk With Me (produced by Oddisee)

Gangsta Rap attorney to the stars, Bret D. Lewis, announces formation of new K-Pop label Gangnam Records, to capitalize on the K-Pop hype storming the world from South Korea and signing of K-Pop sensation, Rania, a seven-member K-pop girl group from Gangnam, South Korea to the label. Lewis, who has worked with all the great American artists from the Jacksons, Bob Dylan to Snoop Dogg stated: “Its time for South Korea to take over with the new Gangnam style sound. PSY has shown the way. But look out world here comes Rani.”

Rania will enter the US with a new TV Show “My Life” to be produced this fall with MTV and is slated to release their new album through Universal shortly followed by a world tour. The album will feature current billboard artists in the US along with Grammy winning producers Trak Starz (Ludacris, Chingy, Britney Spears).

In a recent interview in Paris, while promoting his SMS headphones, 50 said that the previously announced released date for Street King Immortal (November 13) has been pushed back to an unspecified date. Still, he said that the album is completed, and the only reason it's been pushed back is due to unrelated financial issues.

"It was scheduled to release November 13, but we had to move the date," he said. "For this album, it's already been a year late. It's usually two years in my cycle that I go between albums…this cycle was actually a lot longer because it's the final album requirement for Interscope and we went through an audit type of situation...So, now everybody's ready to work, so it's ready to come out... It's arguably as good if not better than my earlier stuff (Get Rich Die trying, etc.)"

Fif also spoke on Dre's Detox and said he doesn't think Dre is excited to release a full length project and might just do an EP.

"I don't know if Dr. Dre's even excited to do Detox now," he said. "He's successful with Jimmy Iovine with Beats Headphones, so I'm not sure if he's pressed to release it. I know that when I did see him last when I was in Los Angeles, he was actually in the studio working on something else. I'm not sure if he's going to actually release a full CD or if he wants to just release the music that he's comfortable with -- he might do an EP or something." PEEP THE INTERVIEW HERE

Jacob York Presents, one of the nation's premier nightlife brands, recently announced their celebrity line-up for the 2012 Howard University Homecoming festivities. Geared to be one of the biggest weekends to hit the DC area, guest appearances will include Diddy, T.I., Gucci Mane and Model/Actress Sheneka Adams.

Themed as "LEGENDARY: The Essence of Icons," the 2012 Howard University Homecoming nightlife events will not fall short of expectations. Jacob York Presents will kick-off the weekend with Gucci Mane's mixtape release party hosted by Model/Actress Sheneka Adams.

Superstar and Howard University graduate Diddy will return to celebrate his 20th anniversary by hosting the official yardfest after party on Friday, October 19 at Ibiza Nightclub. Grand Hustle's King, T.I., will close out the weekend on Saturday, October 20 with a special appearance at Fur Nightclub.

Jacob York , President and Founder of Jacob York Presents, states, "Howard University has proven over and over again to be one of the biggest and most anticipated homecoming events for the urban community. Everyone from Ludacris to Atlanta's own Mayor Kasim Reed frequent this event yearly." York continues, "As a premier nightlife brand, it was very important to us to continue the legacy by hosting three of hip-hop's chart-topping artists at this year's festivities ... one with whom got his start at Howard."

Jacob York Presents has successfully produced an endless array of celebrity-helm events over the past 10 years and includes regular festivities such as Memorial Day Weekend in Miami, FL and Cancun, Mexico and celebrity bashes with the likes of Jermaine Dupri , Nelly, Lil Wayne , Kim Kardashian , Snoop Dogg and more.

?uestlove will soon be adding another job to his exhaustive list of titles: professor. The Roots' drummer will be joining Universal Music Enterprises vice president of A&R and Grammy winning reissues producer Harry Weinger to co-teach a course titled 'Classic Albums' at the Clive Davis Institue for Recorded Music at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts this coming Spring semester.

The two credit class will focus on the concept of what it means for something to be called classic or seminal, as well as take a close look at the music, lyrics, production, business aspects -- such as promotion and marketing -- that informed the release and reception of the album, and try to provide a context as to why these albums have stood the test of time, according to Jason King, associate professor of recorded music and head of history and criticism at the Institute, who confirmed the course.

The class is expected to look at albums by Sly & The Family Stone ( Stand!, There's A Riot Goin' On), Aretha Franklin ( Lady Soul), Led Zeppelin ( IV), Prince ( Dirty Mind), Michael Jackson ( Off The Wall), and the Beastie Boys ( Paul's Boutique), among others.

"We wanted to bring ?uestlove in because we felt he should really be a professor; in a lot of ways he already is an informal, unofficial professor, not just in hip hop but in music in general," King told Billboard. "He's one of the smartest people in music, besides being a fantastic musician. We thought [this class] would speak to his strengths." Source: Billboard

Beats Electronics LLC, the leading audio brand co-founded by legendary artist and producer Dr. Dre and Interscope Geffen A&M Chairman Jimmy Iovine , today announced the expansion of the company's global product offering with the introduction of the Beats Pill, a portable wireless speaker with built-in patented Beats Audio, and the Executive premium headphones. Beats currently owns over 56% of the $100+ premium headphone market in North America according to data from NPD, and these two new products will continue to raise the bar across form, function, design and most importantly, sound quality.

"The introduction of the Beats Pill and the Executive is the perfect beginning to a truly autonomous Beats as we transform into a freestanding consumer electronics company this year," said Beats By Dr. Dre President & COO, Luke Wood . "These products demonstrate our total commitment to design, technological innovation and premium sound experience."

The Beats Pill is also the first wireless speaker to hit store shelves with tap-to-pair NFC and apt-X technology for easy and instant Bluetooth audio.

The Beats Pill will be available in the Beats by Dr. Dre signature colors black, white and red with additional color options coming soon. The Beats Pill retails for $199 and is available today at The Beats Store as well as authorized Beats resellers.

Led by Co-Founder & CEO Jimmy Iovine , Co-Founder Dr. Dre, and President & COO Luke Wood, Beats Electronics is based in Santa Monica, CA.

It's kind of hard to believe that it's already been well over eight long months since the untimely passing of, inarguably, the greatest vocalist of all time, Ms. Whitney Houston. And now, as a well-paid tribute to both the legendary Houston, and her only child, Bobbi Kristina, the family of her ex-husband Bobby Brown have lovingly compiled a musical expression of praise, the perfectly titledWHITNEY! We Will Always Love You..., for the woman known affectionately around the world as "Nippy."

Fueled by the heartfelt Ben Yatti and Kel Rock Vivid [Brown's nephews] delivered Hip-Hop eulogy, "iWALY," with its video debuting soon, WHITNEY! We Will Always Love You... will also contain other high profile contributions courtesy of New Edition alum; Ralph Tresvant & Bobby Brown, Bobby Brown Jr., Kastro (of The Outlawz), who also just so happens to be the nephew of the late, great Tupac Shakur, Flawless Thoroughdread (of Brick Squad Monopoly), as well as meMySELF&i (of IZM Incorporated), and production ranging from J Breeze and Kick Lee, to the Grammy Award nominated Nick Fury & Jared Gosselin. The entire collection is executive produced by Jerod "Ben Yatti" Brown, Kelsey "Kel Rock Vivid" Brown and Leolah Brown [Bobby's sister].

In addition, any and all proceeds from the subsequent WHITNEY! We Will Always Love You... Tour will be given to the Whitney Houston Foundation for Children, as well as the The Hereafter Foundation.

The project is being graciously offered free of charge to the public and will be unveiled in early 2013

Vinnie will release his sophomore solo album God of the Serengeti featuring production by DJ Premier, Havoc (Mobb Deep), Psycho Les (Beatnuts), Marco Polo, C-Lance and more with guest appearances by Scarface, Mobb Deep, Immortal Technique, La Coka Nostra, Army of the Pharaohs, Kool G. Rap, R.A. the Rugged Man and others. The 18-track album promises to add another chapter in the growing legacy of Vinnie Paz’s uncompromising brand of hardcore hip-hop.

Here’s a new video for, “The Oracle,” produced by non-other then DJ Premier from Vinnie Paz’s upcoming sophomore solo-album God of the Serengeti. WATCH HERE

Tracklisting and credits for Vinnie Paz’s God Of The Serengeti:
1.) “Shadow Of The Guillotine” f/ Q-Unique (produced by DJ Lethal)
2.) “Slum Chemist” (produced by C-Lance)
3.) “The Oracle” (produced by DJ Premier)
4.) “And Your Blood Will Blot Out The Sun” f/ Immortal Technique & Poison Pen (produced by Tony Kenyatta)
5.) “Last Breath” f/ Chris Rivers (aka Baby Pun) & Whispers (produced by C-Lance)
6.) “Crime Library” f/ Blaq Poet (produced by Marco Polo)
7. “Feign Submission” (Interlude) (produced by JBL the Titan)
8. “Duel To The Death” f/ Mobb Deep (produced by Stu Bangas)
9.) “Problem Solver” f/ Scarface (produced by The Arcitype)
10.) “Battle Hymn” f/ Apathy, King Syze, Crypt the Warchild, Jus Allah, Esoteric, Blacastan, Celph Titled & Planetary (produced by Mr. Green)
11.) “Geometry of Business” f/ La Coka Nostra (produced by Havoc)
12.) “Jake LaMotta” (produced by Illinformed)
13.) “7 Fires Of Prophecy” f/ Tragedy Khadafi (produced by Beatnick Dee)
14.) “Cheesesteaks” (produced by Psycho Les)
15.) “Cold, Dark, and Empty” f/ FT and Smoke (produced by Jack Of All Trades)
16. “Razor Gloves” f/ R.A. the Rugged Man (produced by MTK)
17.) “Wolves Amongst The Sheep” f/ Kool G. Rap & Block McCloud (produced by C-Lance)
18.) “You Can’t Be Neutral On A Moving Train” (produced by C-Lance & JBL the Titan)
19.) “Kingdom Crusher” f/ Block McCloud (produced by Paul Nice) *****BONUS TRACK

Last, but not least, you can catch Vinnie Paz and ILL BILL on tour together this fall. This is just the first round of confirmed dates. We’ll be announcing the European tour details and other dates as we go. Tickets for all shows on sale soon.

11/2/12 – Brooklyn, NY – Knitting Factory
11/3/12 – Philadelphia, PA – TBA
11/5/12 – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
11/6/12 – Albany, NY – Bogie’s
11/7/12 – Toronto, ON – The Opera House
11/8/12 – Grand Rapids, MI – Intersection
11/9/12 – Chicago, IL – Subterranean
11/14/12 – Las Vegas, NV – TBA
11/16/12 – Los Angeles, CA – Key Club
11/17/12 – Oakland, CA – The New Parish
11/18/12 – Denver, CO – Larimer Lounge
11/27/12 thru 12/16/12 – European Tour

sland Def Jam Music Group has announced that legendary producer/songwriter Dallas Austin has taken the post of senior vice president, A&R, Island Records.

“I am truly honored to be working with the most cutting-edge and creative artists in the business,” Austin said in a release. “I am inspired and excited every day by this amazing and diverse roster and by the leadership and vision of Barry Weiss, Steve Bartels and the IDJ team. I look forward to discovering new talent and continuing to build on Island Records’ storied history.”

Chairman & CEO of Universal Republic and Island Def Jam Motown, Barry Weiss, calls the 20 year vet, Austin, a “modern day music man. Island Records is fortunate that such a coveted creative force is working with the company and its artists, bringing his experience and expertise to Island at this exciting time in the company’s history,” Weiss added. “The work he has just done on new Island artist, Nikki Williams, is nothing short of stunning.”

Austin’s appointment comes just one week after the company named superstar singer/songwriter/producer The-Dream as executive vice president of A&R.

“I am committed as I have been previously to bringing the power of belief in the artist back to the forefront,” The-Dream said in a statement. “I share a unique view of an artist and as well as the business of music. I, with the help of many others, have ran a successful business for the last five years in the midst of the ‘digital change.’ My concentration and effort will be to the artist to succeed in their dreams and goals. I’ve been a part of watching and participating in the success of many great women and men including Beyonce, Rihanna, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion to name a few. Music means more than just a download; it’s life to the culture and also the people who listen. This is a new exciting yet critical time for music–‘You Meet Change with Change!’”

It's been nearly six long years since legendary Mount Vernon, by way of New Rochelle, New York, veteran emcee CL Smooth unleashed his critically lauded debut solo LP, American Me. However, the self-proclaimed "Mecca Don" has finally returned with the Kenny Ali II laced "Ask About Me," the lead offering from Smooth's highly anticipated, soon-to-be released sophomore collection, The Emancipation Of Corey Penn. LISTEN HERE

"Ask About Me," a jazzy, head nodder, sees the "Caramel King" waxing poetics, while firing off this warning shot to all those non-believers and naysasyers, while in typical CL fashion still showing and proving to always be "top fifty all-time dead or alive." It's undoubtedly another (future) classic for the record books.

This year also marks the 20th anniversary of, arguably, one of the greatest Hip-Hop albums in music history, Pete Rock & CL Smooth's Mecca and the Soul Brother. The since reunited hit-making Money Earnin' rap duo, who ended their fifteen plus years feud in 2010, have been touring the world together as of late, with a trio of international dates later this month taking place at the Jazz Cafe in London, England, and, even more spectacular than that, are currently working on their anxiously awaited, still untitled, "official" fourth studio opus. The Emancipation Of Corey Penn is slated to be unveiled in early 2013.

Gunplay pulled a firearm on his accountant during a meeting in April in an explosive fit of rage and the entire incident was captured by surveillance cameras. SEE THE FOOTAGE HERE

Gunplay allegedly stole a cell phone and a gold chain during the incident and was later charged with armed robbery. He turned himself in to Miami-Dade Police earlier this week.

Gunplay (real name Richard Morales Jr.) also faces a second charge of aggravated assault with a firearm. According to the rapper's attorney, Gunplay could face life in prison if convicted on both counts. Source: TMZ

It’s getting even hotter in the kitchen as Snoop Dogg today revealed the remix to his hit single “Drop It Like It’s Hot” with the humorous ode “Pocket Like It’s Hot” in tribute to his favorite late-night snack, HOT POCKETS® brand sandwiches.

The rapper, singer-songwriter, record producer, and actor has teamed with HOT POCKETS to create a new dance-floor (and kitchen floor!) classic that is sure to turn up the heat in kitchens across the world. The video parody also stars WWE® Superstar Brodus Clay™, comedian Andy Milonakis, YouTube rapper DeStorm and the larger-than-life character Herbie Hot Pockets® with HOT POCKETS dancers. SEE THE VIDEO HERE

“HOT POCKETS are IRRESISTIBLY HOT™,” said Snoop, explaining why he got involved, “and I thought this was a great digital campaign. HOT POCKETS have always been a favorite in my house, so this project was something that I felt I could really get behind. Plus, we had a great time coming up with the remix.”

Clay, Milonakis and DeStorm appear throughout the video with Snoop, and rap and dance to the catchy beat of “Pocket Like It’s Hot.” “It’s so great to be a part of the Hot Pocket ‘Pocket Like It’s Hot’ campaign with Snoop,” said WWE Superstar Brodus Clay. “My life has come full circle. I used to be in the background working as Snoop’s bodyguard and now I am a WWE Superstar appearing alongside him in a national campaign. Now that’s hot.”

This fall, HOT POCKETS is also partnering with the WWE to bring the IRRESISTIBLY HOT sandwich to WWE fans. Clay who previously worked with Snoop is known for his “Funkasaurus” dance moves, making him a natural choice to appear in the music video. In the video, set inside a larger-than-life microwave and HOT POCKETS box, and later in the sauna, night club, and even a pepperoni rain storm, all places where Snoop and crew enjoy their “H O double T” HOT POCKETS, Clay joins Snoop in demonstrating his crazy hot style as Herbie Hot Pockets shows off his dance moves.

“Everyone loves Snoop Dogg because he’s fun and IRRESISTIBLY HOT just like HOT POCKETS,” said brand manager Daniel Jhung of Nestlé USA. “Snoop Dogg brings the concept of IRRESISTIBLY HOT to life. No matter where Snoop is, he’s able to enjoy HOT POCKETS, no matter how outrageous or unconventional the setting. We hope the video makes our fans laugh (and get hungry!) when they watch it, and we hope they’ll share Snoop’s latest music video with friends.”

VH1 delves into the unlikely love story of double platinum selling rapper Jayceon Taylor better known as "The Game," and his straightlaced school teacher fiancé Tiffney Cambridge as they prepare to walk down the aisle in "Marrying The Game," premiering on Monday, November 19 at 9:30PM*.

It was anything but love at first sight when Tiffney Cambridge first met Jayceon Taylor. Tiffney, the 5th grade history teacher took to Jayceon, but wanted nothing to do with his alter ego, the young rapper known as The Game. Despite her reservations, love blossomed and after eight years and two children, King Justice (5 years old) and Cali Dream (1 year old), Tiffney agreed to marry him. Life is complicated enough for Tiffney as she juggles to balance her career, family, friends, and most of all, being in love with two men: Jayceon Taylor, and the rapper The Game.

For Tiffany, Jayceon's actions leave her in a constant struggle wondering if she will have to compromise for the rest of her life with his demanding, lavish and wild career as a rapper. Each episode of "Marrying The Game" shows the difference between the most unlikely of couples and the love that ultimately brings them together and also might tear them apart. When you're marrying Game, all bets are off, because it's no easy walk down the aisle. Find out if they exchange vows on this season of "Marrying The Game."

"Marrying The Game" is created and executive produced by 51 Minds' Cris Abrego, Christian Sarabia, Rabih Gholam and Ben Samek (CAPI). For VH1, the series is executive produced by Jill Holmes, Kristen Kelly and Jeff Olde.

Rihanna has once again ignited record charts around the world with "Diamonds," the fastest-rising single of her career to date, with first-week postings at #1 iTunes in 27 countries and Top 5 iTunes in 55 countries. Now, Rihanna announces the global release of her 7th studio album for Island Def Jam in just seven years: UNAPOLOGETIC arrives in stores worldwide on Monday, November 19th.

In the U.S., "Diamonds" debuted this week at #16-bullet on the Billboard Hot 100, tying Rihanna's previous highest debut, last year's worldwide #1 smash, "We Found Love" (featuring Calvin Harris). "Diamonds" amassed 41.5 million total audience, her biggest first-week audience ever on the Hot 100 Airplay Chart where it debuted at #28-bullet, tying her previous highest debut, last year's "You Da One."

Now, as Billboard unveils its new, updated methodology and tallying formulas, "Diamonds" leaps to the #1 spot on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, aided by strong multi-format airplay and digital downloads.

In the UK, "Diamonds" has earned Rihanna her 6th #1 single on both the iTunes and the national chart, topping a summit of 27 countries where the song has also reached #1 at iTunes including France, Spain, Australia and Germany. "Diamonds" is her fastest growing airplay hit in the UK, France and Germany.

The recipient of six Grammy Awards® and seven Billboard Music Awards, Rihanna has sold over 37 million albums and 146 million digital tracks worldwide, and currently holds the record as the top-selling digital artist of all time. Forbes named Rihanna the world's #1 social media star with over 2.8 billion views on YouTube/VEVO, the most ever for any female artist, over 61 million Facebook fans, and over 26 million Twitter followers. In addition to her 11 Hot 100 #1 singles and overall 22 Top 10 singles, she also has 18 #1 singles on the Billboard Dance Club Song Charts.

Swarm, a startup that helps retailers connect with in-store shoppers through their smartphones, has raised $1 million in seed funding from an eclectic list of investors.

Investors include Brian Lee (who founded or co-founded LegalZoom), Nasir "Nas"Jones , he also co-founded 12Society, VICE co-founder Gavin McGinnes, sneaker retailer FlightClub, and ad agency executives Saxon and Sebastian Eldridge.

Co-founder and CEO Rudd Davis says Swarm provides those retailers with data about their customers and what they’re actually doing, so the store can then reach out with personalized deals and rewards.

Davis, who was formerly a digital executive at USA Today (along with his co-founder Ryan Denehy), also says that the service has been rolling out slowly in order to work out the kinks, but he plans to be in 1,000 stores by the end of the year.

Swarm has actually been raising the seed round over the past year, Davis says, and only closed the round now because it’s preparing to raise a larger Series A. Source: Tech Crunch

Nicki Minaj and Rihanna both lead this year's American Music Awards® with four (4) nominations individually. While Drake and Usher follow with three (3) nominations each, and Chris Brown, J.Cole and Pitbull collected two (2) nominations respectively.

This year's 2012 Artist of the Year nominees are: Drake, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Maroon 5 and Katy Perry. This year also marks the creation of the new Electronic Dance Music Category. Nominees include David Guetta, Calvin Harris, and Skrillex.

For the sixth year, winners will be determined by online voting. Artists will be honored in the categories of Pop/Rock, Country, Rap/Hip-Hop, Soul/R&B, Alternative, Adult Contemporary, Latin, Contemporary Inspirational and for the first year ever, Electronic Dance

The 40th Anniversary American Music Awards" are produced by dick clark productions, inc. (DCP) Allen Shapiro and Orly Adelson will executive produce the show. Larry Klein will produce.

Def Jam Recordings, a division of Universal Music Group (UMG), expands its A&R senior management team with the appointment of multi Grammy Award®-winning Radio Killa/Def Jam recording artist The-Dream to the post of Executive Vice President of A&R, it was announced today by Barry Weiss, Chairman & CEO of Universal Republic and Island Def Jam Motown, and Karen Kwak, Executive Vice President/Head of A&R, Island Def Jam Music Group.

The-Dream will have a comprehensive, broad reaching A&R portfolio. Besides overseeing current and new artist projects, he will actively seek out, discover and sign new talent to the label, and will work closely as a producer for artists on the Def Jam roster and its affiliated labels across all musical genres. He is currently working with Rihanna in the studio on her upcoming Def Jam album and with Pusha T on his solo debut for G.O.O.D. Music. Additional resources will be devoted to The-Dream's Radio Killa label imprint as well, which is moving into high gear after his recent signing of August Alsina.

In carrying out his duties, The-Dream will work closely with Mr. Weiss, Ms. Kwak, Joie Manda, President, Def Jam Recordings, and Steve Bartels, President & COO, Island Def Jam Music Group.

"The-Dream is a gifted songwriter and producer who writes from a unique cultural point of view. This rare ability sets him apart from all other writers and producers out there," said Mr. Weiss.

Said The-Dream, "I am committed as I have been previously to bringing the power of belief in the artist back to the forefront. I share a unique view of an artist and as well as the business of music. I, with the help of many others, have ran a successful business for the last five years in the midst of the "Digital Change." My concentration and effort will be to the artist to succeed in their dreams and goals. I've been a part of watching and participating in the success of many great women and men including Beyonce, Rihanna, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion to name a few. Music means more than just a download, it's life to the culture and also the people who listen. This is a new exciting yet critical time for music – 'You Meet Change with Change!'"

Since the release of his RIAA gold Love Hate debut album on Radio Killa/Def Jam in 2007, The-Dream (Terius Nash) has experienced tremendous success as a songwriter and producer for a Who's Who of superstars across the pop and R&B/hip-hop spectrum. He made headlines in 2007-2008, with early hits for Rihanna ("Umbrella"), Mariah Carey ("Touch My Body"), and J. Holiday ("The Bed," "Suffocate"). The-Dream wrote several songs on Mary J. Blige's Growing Pains (2007) which won the Grammy® for Best Contemporary R&B Album. The-Dream won Best New Artist honors at the 2008 BET Awards – in addition to his Grammy Award® nomination for Song Of The Year for "Umbrella" (as songwriter), and American Music Award nomination for Breakthrough Artist of the Year.

The-Dream went on to help craft Rihanna's "Birthday Cake," Justin Bieber's triple-platinum worldwide smash, "Baby," "No Church In the Wild" from Kanye West and Jay-Z's opus Watch The Throne, and many more. The-Dream was a writer on "All Of The Lights" from Def Jam label-mate Kanye West's lauded 2010 album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. The song won Grammys for "Best Rap Song" and "Best Rap Sung Collaboration." In 2010, he shared in two Grammy Awards® as a songwriter on Beyonce's "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)," which won for Song of the Year and Best R&B Song.

According to Angela Yee of The Breakfast Club, the Maybach Music Group artist will turn himself in, following a warrant issued for armed robbery and assault charges. He’s expected to serve time, according to the report. LISTEN TO THE REPORT HERE

David Blaine hired Pharrell on as an assistant to help with his latest stunt.
The Magician performed the stunt Friday at NY’s Pier 54 by standing on a platform 20-feet-high for 3 days while 1 million volts of electricity surrounded him.

Pharrell shocked the magic man by playing the keyboard during the stunt “Electrified: One Million Volts Always On.” By hitting the keys on the keyboard, one million volts of electricity were zapped into David Blaine’s body.

David Blaine spent three days and nights standing in the middle of the electricity currents with only a chainmail bodysuit protecting him. “Now here’s something I never thought I could make a keyboard do…” tweeted The Neptunes producer.


Columbia co-Chairman Steve Barnett is reportedly on deck to be named Chairman of EMI's U.S. labels, which is now owned by Universal Music Group. Sources have told both The New York Times and The Hollywood Reporter that Barnett is in advanced negotiations to take over EMI-U.S., though these talks are still in progress.

At EMI, Barnett would likely have the title of Chairman/CEO of the Capitol Records Group and oversee EMI's labels in the States, including Capitol, Virgin and Astralwerks, among others. It is unknown if he would also have oversight over EMI's Jazz label Blue Note or Country Capitol Nashville.

Last weekend, DJs from all over the globe joined in London to compete in the Worlds #1 DJ Competition. The DMC World Finals. DJ IZOH from Japan won. Check out his set HERE

DMC World Champion 2012 : Izoh (Japan)
Runner Up: Precision (USA)
3rd Place: Ritchie Ruftone (UK)

He performed eight shows at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and now Jay-Z is giving his fans something to remember from it. Simply called Live in Brooklyn, the release will offer documentation of Jay-Z's recent concert series at Brooklyn's Barclays Center. There's no tracklisting available yet, but the release is described as an "optic EP" and will offer eight tracks along with eight videos. The EP will be available exclusively on iTunes on Tuesday, October 9, via Atlantic Records.

If you couldn’t make it to Brooklyn to see Jay-Z play the Barclays Center, Now you have a chance to witness the historic moment.

Jay-Z will close out his week-long residency with his eighth and final concert this weekend. The show will be live streamed on Saturday, October 6, at 9:30 p.m. EST on Jay-Z’s Life+Times YouTube channel.

Jay-Z's new channel is part of an original programming initiative by YouTube, owned by Mountain View, Calif.-based Google Inc. Life and Times promises a lineup of "in depth lifestyle pieces" based on the tastes and interests of Jay-Z. WATCH HERE

N.W.A and Public Enemy are among the names on the final nominees list for 2013 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which for the first time will be announced at a ceremony to be held next year in Los Angeles.

Inducting N.W.A or Public Enemy, or both, would bolster hip-hop’s representation at the Hall. To date, the Beastie Boys, Run D.M.C. and Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five are the only rap acts to be inducted. Compton's N.W.A is the first West Coast rap act to be nominated. Eligibility requirements state that an act’s first recording must have been at least 25 years ago, which puts the eligibity for consideration this year at 1987.

“The definition of ‘rock and roll’ means different things to different people, but as broad as the classifications may be, they all share a common love of the music,” commented Joel Peresman, President and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. “This year we again proudly put forth a fantastic array of groups and artists that span the entire genre that is ‘rock and roll’.”

To be eligible for nomination, an individual artist or band must have released its first single or album at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination. The 2013 Nominees had to release their first recording no later than 1987.

Ballots will be sent to an international voting body of more than 600 artists, historians and members of the music industry.

All inductees are ultimately represented in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, the nonprofit organization that exists to educate its audiences on the global impact of the rock and roll art form via the museum, as well as its education programs and library and archives.

The 28th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held in Los Angeles at the Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on Thursday, April 18, 2013. The show will be broadcast on HBO at a later date.

The nominees for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013 are:
· The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
· Chic
· Deep Purple
· Heart
· Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
· Albert King
· Kraftwerk
· The Marvelettes
· The Meters
· Randy Newman
· N.W.A
· Procol Harum
· Public Enemy
· Rush
· Donna Summer

N.W.A is one of the most important groups in hip-hop history. Their aggressive, boundary smashing, don’t-give-a-fuck perspective was made clear by their name, which stands for Niggaz Wit Attitude. Their most famous single was “Fuck The Police” which was a minimalist classic that described the frustration and anger young black men felt toward the LAPD, years before the Rodney King riots broke out. Some call them the Beatles of hip-hop because of their massive influence, sonic power and their place as a launching pad for several critical solo careers. Dr. Dre, the greatest producer in hip-hop history, created the G-Funk sound he would become known for while he was in N.W.A. The G-Funk sound, built on P-Funk samples, synthesizer-heavy, cinematic and ominous themes would shape a generation of hip-hop. Ice Cube, who would become one of the most important MCs in hip-hop history was also in the group as was Eazy-E, an unforgettable figure. The group also included MC Ren, a formidable MC and DJ Yella, an important producer. N.W.A is the prime influence for the sound, ideology, vibe and look of gangsta rap and the L.A. hip-hop sound. They attracted nationwide attention for their albums Straight Outta Compton and Niggaz4Life. Indeed, the FBI sent the group a warning letter that is on exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

“No one has been able to approach the political power that Public Enemy brought to hip-hop,” Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys told Rolling Stone in 2004, “I put them on a level with Bob Marley and a handful of other artists – the rare artist who can make great music and also deliver a message.” Public Enemy brought an explosion of sonic invention, rhyming virtuosity and social awareness to hip-hop in the 1980s and 1990s. The group’s high points – 1988’s It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back and 1990’s Fear Of A Black Planet, stand among the greatest politically-charged albums of all time. Powered by producer Hank Shocklee and his crew the Bomb Squad, Nation Of Millions was a layered masterpiece that took the ethic of the hip-hop breakbeat – using only the best parts of any given song – and advanced it geometrically, building new music out of a thicket of samples and beats: tracks like “Rebel Without A Pause,” “Night Of The Living Baseheads” and “Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos” are triumphs of funk, fury and collage. Chuck D. – routinely rated as one of the greatest rappers of all time – pushed the art of the MC forward with his inimitable, rapid-fire baritone as he connected the culture of hip-hop with Black Nationalism and the ideas of Malcolm X. His counterpart, Flavor Flav, brought humor (in the case of “911 Is A Joke,” pointed humor) and a madcap energy. Along the way, they brought a new level of conceptual sophistication to the hip-hop album, and a new level of intensity and power to live hip-hop, inspiring fans from Jay-Z to Rage Against the Machine to Kurt Cobain. After Public Enemy, hip-hop could never again be dismissed as kids’ music.

9th Wonder is set make November 13th a landmark day in his illustrious career, releasing collaborative albums with Murs and Buckshot simultaneously. The Final Adventure with Murs will serve as the last installment from the popular series that has spanned five projects. The Solutionis the third effort from New York legend Buckshot alongside 9th, who will continue to release more albums together in the future.

"9th Wonder & I have always had good chemistry together. This will be our third collaborative album together and it's fittingly entitled The Solution," explains Buckshot. The Solution is "you" because you are the solution to all your problems and to your success or failure...it lies within yourself."

Murs also provided insight on what the experience of working with 9th Wonder has been like, and why it was time to bring the ever popular series to a close.

"I am honored and blessed to have had the privilege of working with my brother 9th Wonder for five albums and nearly a decade. A type of consistency rarely seen in the music world. We are two very different and strong willed individuals whose love for music and hip hop culture creates a beautiful common ground. I think the fans can feel the love and respect we have for the game and for one another. And I feel that's why they in turn have continued to show us the same through the years. So why end it here and now? Why is this The Final Adventure? Well there are many individual reasons but overall we both just felt that it was time."

Known for his extensive work as part of Little Brother, as well as a collaborator with Jay-Z, Destiny's Child, Erykah Badu and many more, 9th Wonder spoke on releasing two different projects on the same day.

"I think this is the best way to take two separate brands, one I have built with Murs and one that I have built with Buckshot, and not only expose both audiences to each other, but to take those two audiences together with the sounds that I built with the artists, and expose that to the world," said 9th Wonder. "This is a great day for myself, Murs and Buckshot, because we make the music we believe in for the people who believe in it."

Murs & 9th Wonder 'The Final Adventure' via It's A Wonderful World Music Group/Traffic Entertainment/KGMG and 9th Wonder & Buckshot 'The Solution' via Duck Down Music, will both be released on November 13th.

Jim Jones has pleaded guilty to interfering with police in connection with a February brawl at a Connecticut casino. The Day newspaper reports Jones appeared in New London Superior Court on Tuesday and paid a $1,000 fine to resolve the criminal case.

Jones initially was charged with breach of peace, interfering with police and inciting to riot after the fight in the foyer of the MGM Grand at Foxwoods Resort Casino. The brawl followed a party hosted by Sean "Diddy" Combs in honor of the casino's 20th anniversary.

Nick Cannon was on Access Hollywood to give his two cents on the whole Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj blowout on the set of “American Idol”.

“My wife is the strongest and classiest woman that I’ve ever met, if you watch the video, she just maintains her composure,” he said. “I don’t think she’s moved by the theatrics and pageantry of it all. She signed up to do a job to help young people…this is like a sidebar. I hope that’s not what this show becomes, about the catfights.”

Nick says that his wife Mariah is not fazed at all by the fight and is more concerned with upholding the spirit of the show as well as focusing her efforts on important things like raising their two twin babies.

“If I’m producing a show about young people accomplishing their dreams, that’s what I want the show to be about, not all the side pageantry,” he explained. “My wife is strong, classy, and she maintains her strength.”


Interscope Geffen A&M announced today that John Janick has been named President and Chief Operating Officer. Janick joins the company after sixteen years spent running the highly regarded indie label, Fueled By Ramen he co-founded. Since 2009, Janick was simultaneously co-president of Elektra Records, which he relaunched with the success of artists Bruno Mars and Cee Lo Green.

Said Jimmy Iovine, Chairman and CEO of Interscope Geffen A&M, a unit of Universal Music Group, the global music leader: "I'm really excited to have John come on board as President and COO; he's exactly what we needed at this time. Everything he accomplished at Fueled By Ramen reminded me of the early days of Interscope. Combine that with John's experience running a bigger company at Elektra, and it makes him the perfect fit for us."

"I'm looking forward to what lies ahead for Interscope Geffen A&M, and I'm thrilled to be working with Jimmy Iovine," said Janick, who will report directly to Iovine. "Because he is here, I would not have gone anywhere else. I've been entrusted to help build this company for the future. Interscope Geffen A&M has great artists and great employees. It's fantastic to be joining a company that has been built on such exciting artists and music; that's something I intend on continuing."

Janick began his career when he co-founded Fueled By Ramen in his dorm room while an 18-year-old freshman at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Over the next few years, the small indie label grew even as Janick earned a B.A. in Finance and Business Management and then an M.B.A. at the University of South Florida. In 2003, the label broke through with the release of Fall Out Boy's Take This To Your Grave, FBR's first gold album. 2005 brought the platinum A Fever You Can't Sweat Out from Panic! at the Disco. Paramore's platinum Riot! followed in 2007, as did a move for the label from Florida to New York City. In 2010, Janick personally signed fun. The following year he was tasked with helping to relaunch the Elektra label for Atlantic Records in addition to his continuing role as head of Fueled By Ramen. While he was at Elektra, he reestablished the legendary imprint as Doo-Wops & Hooligans from Bruno Mars went platinum and Cee Lo Green became a star with the quintuple platinum single "F**k You/Forget You."

Janick has relocated to Los Angeles for his new position, where he will be working at the Interscope Geffen A&M offices in Santa Monica.

Motown record producer and songwriter Frank Wilson, who worked with the Supremes, the Temptations and Marvin Gaye, has died in Southern California at 71.

Daughter Tracey Stein tells the Los Angeles Times that Wilson died of lung infection complications on Sept. 27 in a hospital in Duarte.

Wilson, who later became a minister, wrote or co-wrote the hits "Love Child" for Diana Ross and the Supremes, "Chained" for Marvin Gaye and "All I Need" for the Temptations.

After Eddie Kendricks left the Temptations, Wilson produced his 1973 hit "Keep On Truckin' (Part 1)."

Wilson also helped write "You've Made Me So Very Happy," a 1967 Top 40 single for Motown's Brenda Holloway that soon became an even bigger hit for Blood, Sweat and Tears.

Gunplay called Hot 97's Cipha Sounds show with Peter Rosenberg to set the record straight on the whole fight thing @ the BET Hip Hop Awards last week. He said that he wasn't sure if 50 threw a punch during the fights.

"I saw the little guy with a bunch of big guys and no words were said. Once I saw him and he saw me, we knew what it was. I laced my boots up and got to it, that's it," he said. "I don't know, he's so small I didn't see him do nothing. He's a little guy. He's like 3'2. Everybody was over him, so I couldn't really see him. It's nothing. I've been through it before, and now I'm ready to hit y'all with this music."

Gunplay says he will never patch things up with 50 and says that once he has beef with someone, it's forever. "Ah nah, I don't shake hands. Never, never, never. I never shook hands with anybody. I got beef with kids in elementary school and if I see 'em now, I'ma jump 'em," he explained. "[Rick Ross] was laughing, like, 'Looking good out there little bro.'" WATCH HERE

Max Sound Corporation the HD Audio Company that is bringing life back to music, movies, audiobooks, video games, television and mobile devices, announced today that Pitbull (Armando Christian Perez) has become the International spokesman for MAX SOUND and the MAXD Technology Brand and soon to be released Mobile App.

Pitbull is planning to utilize and endorse the MAXD Technology on upcoming projects, including the soon to be released MAXD Mobile App, and a Pitbull branded Mobile App "Powered by MAXD" as well as utilization on future concert tours and recordings.

"I'm always honored to be a part of innovative deals and business that I feel will be very significant in the future," says Pitbull. "I'm looking forward to making history with Max Sound."

"Because MAXD is such a cutting edge technology, we felt we had to align our brand with today's coolest star in the music universe," said Max Sound CEO John Blaisure. "Pitbull embodies cool and therefore is such a perfect fit for us."

This morning, Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Grainge sent out an internal memo to staff regarding the company's recent acquisition of EMI's recorded music division, which was approved by both the European Commission and the FTC on September 21.

Today is about music.

It is about Universal Music's historic acquisition of EMI Recorded Music.

First and foremost, this is a day to recognize the artists and musicians whose creativity and imagination are our reason for being here. They trust us to nurture their development, help them build audiences globally, and enable them to earn the rewards which come with originality and talent.

Today is also about music fans. By bringing a greater diversity of music and more choice to more fans all over the world, we will win hearts and minds and fulfill our mission as the world's leading music company.

Our plan in acquiring EMI is to invest in the company, to remove the uncertainty of its recent history, and to reinvigorate its legacy.

In doing so, we are poised to deliver a historic opportunity to regain growth for our artists, employees, shareholders and the industry.

Now we can deliver.

Our multi-label architecture and commitment to invest in growth, no matter what the headwinds are, has enabled us to attract the best talent all around the world, and EMI fits perfectly into this. We will ensure that all of our labels and creative centres, across both our companies, will benefit from the resources and opportunities flowing from our new, strengthened group.

Music is at another transformational moment in its history, as digital, ancillary exploitation and e-commerce grows.
We are at the cusp of a new era in music. It needs more, not less, investment, commitment, innovation and experimentation.
That is what the EMI acquisition allows us to accelerate, the future growth of the industry itself. I have made a manifesto commitment to talent acquisition, musical and technological innovation, and broad, non-discriminatory licensing that is a call to action for the entire industry.

There will be more to tell you about our plans in the months ahead.

In the meantime, I want to thank all of you -- at both UMG and EMI -- for your professionalism and hard work during the last several months.

I know that it hasn't been easy, and I couldn't be more proud or more appreciative of how everyone rose to the challenge.
I'll say it again, today is about music.

For our new team members who don't know me yet, I've dedicated my entire professional career to working with people who have music in their blood.

Now we can move forward and empower a new generation of artists and entrepreneurs.

Our future together is going to be exciting."

Machine Gun Kelly (MGK) was hired to perform at Microsoft's Atlanta retail store on Friday, but the software giant got more than it bargained for. MGK performed 'Hold On (Shut up)' for the crowd at the Microsoft Store, where he appeared to mark The Source magazine’s release of their annual Power 30 issue. After rapping "fuck these computers..." the rapper started jumping between tables at the store that contained laptop and tablet computers.

Microsoft regularly books recording artists for performances at its retail stores, but this table top performance was clearly not what it expected.

Microsoft says that The Source held a private event at the Microsoft Lenox Square Store. "We offer our stores as a venue for the community to use, and this event was not sponsored by Microsoft," says a spokesperson. "While the artist’s behavior was appropriate for a concert, some of it was not appropriate in a store environment." SEE THE FOOTAGE HERE

ASCAP has announced the launch of ASCAP OnStage, a public-performance survey that gives members an opportunity to receive royalties when their music is performed live at venues throughout the U.S.

With ASCAP OnStage, writer members can notify ASCAP of live performances of their work via Member Access at the ASCAP website and, beginning in January, ASCAP Mobile. Members simply provide the basic details of the live performance and a list of the performed songs. A royalty, based upon venue license fees, is then distributed to the writers and publishers of the songs as part of their quarterly ASCAP distribution.

"ASCAP OnStage augments our already robust survey and distribution system," commented ASCAP Executive Vice President of Membership Randy Grimmett. "It offers our many active members an opportunity to be fairly compensated for their live performances, regardless of the size of the venue. The simplicity of the ASCAP OnStage user interface lets our members easily submit their setlists and concentrate on what they do best: writing the best music in the world."

The impressive platform provides members with a list of all ASCAP OnStage performances of their registered works, even those submitted by other ASCAP members. This helps members coordinate with each other and guarantees writers and publishers are compensated accurately and completely.

ASCAP OnStage is another great example of ASCAP's commitment to its members.

Bow Wow makes a new career move as the Cash Money Records rapper and actor officially signs on to co-host the highly influential "106 & Park" on BET Networks.

Boasting more appearances in the program's 12-year history than any other artist as well as guest hosting on multiple occasions, his history with "106 & Park" is so deep that he's been affectionately crowned, "Mr. 106 & Park".

As a powerhouse in both music and film, this is an extremely natural transition for Bow Wow. "I'm very excited to take on this new journey in my career,” exclaims Bow Wow. “I'm all about branding myself not just in music—but on TV and in movies. Everyone always wanted to compare me to the Fresh Prince, well now they can call me The Fresh Prince of 106 & Park. Get ready for a whole new world". Bow Wow will share co-hosting duties with Ms. Mykie, Paigon, and Shorty Da Prince.

Cash Money Records co-founder Bryan "Baby" Williams aka "Birdman" shares his excitement about this new world. "Bow has this in the bag! In addition to being a great rapper, he is a natural personality with great star power and style. His brings a new air to the network and my brother 'Slim' and I couldn't be more proud. This is another great example of YMCMB expanding our presence in the television and film world".

Bow Wow will also drop Underrated, his eighth studio album and first for Cash Money Records, very soon. The collection's latest single, "Right Now", will impact radio in the near future, and it's another example of his diverse talent and inimitable swagger.

Having sold more than 10 million albums and over 14 million digital assets, he's a multiplatinum hip-hop force, and his film output remains equally impressive. He became the first rapper of his generation to expand into stage and screen. He's starred in hit films such as Lottery Ticket and Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family as well as having a central recurring role on the HBO hit, Entourage. On the horizon, he'll star in a military film, Recalled, in theatres late 2012.

Bow Wow will only continue to evolve, and "106 & Park" opens up yet another chapter for this dynamic and diverse presence.

The Voice coach Will.i.am went head to head with mogul Simon, 52, last year in a massive TV talent show war. But the rapper revealed: “We’re working on a project called X Factor for Tech -- and it’s going to be out of this world.”

They aim to discover budding technology wizards who can follow in the wake of Microsoft billionaire Gates, 56, and late Apple genius Steve Jobs.

Will, 37, said: “Singing and performance create a couple of jobs. But this will create lots. “It’s about getting in touch with youth and giving them a platform to express themselves — whether that’s in science or mathematics.”

The Black Eyed Peas star added: “Simon’s cool. We had a wicked dinner a couple of weeks ago and it was very nice.”

Will revealed his collaboration with Cowell when he spoke at a technology conference in London. The news came after Cowell confirmed he has scrapped plans for a show hunting a top global DJ with Will Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith, 40. Source: The Sun

Reports have surfaced that during Saturday's (September 29) taping of BET's 2012 Hip-Hop Awards in Atlanta Rick Ross and Young Jeezy reportedly got into a shoving match backstage before the scuffle ended outside in the parking lot. SSome reports are saying there were alleged shots fired.

Multiple sources who witnessed the incident confirmed to MTV that Ross' protégé Gunplay was also involved in a brawl with members of 50 Cent's G-Unit camp. The rapper Gunplay was seen with visible wounds and a witness said that the Miami MC was put into handcuffs and detained, but a separate source close to Gunplay said he was not arrested.

Most of the crowd inside the Atlanta Civic Center, where the taping took place were unaware of the drama that went down around the same time that A Tribe Called Quest, Missy Elliott and Busta Rhymes paid tribute to fallen music mogul Chris Lighty. 50 Cent and Fat Joe, who have beefed in the past seemed to have put their differences aside for the moment as they too appeared on stage to honor Lighty. Both Rick Ross and Jeezy also performed different sets during the award show.

New York DJ Funkmaster Flex took to Twitter to broadcast his account. "Jeezy and Rick Ross just had words backstage!! Pushing and shoving," Flex wrote. "Shots fired in parking lot!!! Gunman arrested!!!"

Machine Gun Kelly also seemed to get caught up in the whirlwind as well. "Got mase in my eyes. That beef sh-- just got real," he tweeted.

A spokesperson for the Atlanta Police Department told TMZ, "Shortly after 7:15 pm Saturday, a fight broke out in the parking lot at the Atlanta Civic Center (where the awards were being taped) between two groups. Officers on scene responded to break up the fight and used OC spray [commonly known as pepper spray] in the process. Individuals fled the scene. There were no arrests or reports of serious injuries. Reports of shots fired appear to be untrue." Source: MTV

The newly built Barclays Center is the home of the Brooklyn Nets, and the team's co-owner, Jay-Z, christened the venue Friday night in uniform, sporting a Nets hat and jersey as he rapped two dozen jams onstage in front of thousands.

Jay-Z performed for an excited and rowdy crowd of 18,000, wearing a jersey that featured his last name, Carter, and the number four. It was his first of eight shows at the venue.

As he emerged onstage, a video highlighting some of Brooklyn's historical moments — like when it was named an official borough of New York City — played in the background. There were also pictures of famous faces who were born in Brooklyn, from Michael Jordan to Al Capone to Aaliyah to Adam Yauch of Beastie Boys.

Jay-Z opened the show with the hometown anthems "Where I'm From," a song about his upbringing in Brooklyn's Marcy projects complex, and "Brooklyn Go Hard." He followed that with a tribute to one of Brooklyn's icons: the late Notorious B.I.G. He performed some of the rap vet's hit "Juicy" as the crowd joined in.

"Sing loud so he can hear you in heaven," said Jay-Z, who also held a moment of silence for the rapper, who was shot to death in 1997.

Another Brooklynite, Big Daddy Kane made an appearance, performing songs like "Ain't No Half Steppin'" and "Warm It Up, Kane." He received a roaring cheer from the crowd when performing old-school dance moves with two dancers in all white.

Jay-Z said Friday's concert was incomparable to most of his other top-level performances, including the Grammys, Glastonbury or Coachella. "Nothing feels like tonight," he told the crowd multiple times.

The audience was excited and wild, cheering on Jay-Z as blue laser lights beamed across the venue. A seven-piece band was placed a level above Jay-Z, who paced from left to right while performing jams like "Empire State of Mind," ''I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)," ''Izzo (H.O.V.A.)," ''99 Problems" and many others. Videos played on screens behind and above Jay-Z, while screens for fans in the higher sections — though not large enough — showed the rapper's performance on the left and right sides of the stage.

"I want to thank you, Brooklyn, New York City, for making me the man I am today," he said. "Like I said, everybody's from Brooklyn tonight."

A fan in the front section held up Jackie Robinson's Brooklyn Dodgers jersey, immediately grabbing Jay-Z's attention. He asked the fan for it and said: "I promise I'll give it back."

"Brooklyn had their heart broken," he said as he held up the jersey and referred to the Dodgers leaving for Los Angeles after the 1957 baseball season. "We cried for so many years. ...Look how far we've come."

Jay-Z will perform at Barclays through Oct. 6 with the exception of Oct. 2.

AVN Media Network is pleased to announce Tyga will be performing at the 2013 AVN Awards in January. Sin City will be renamed Rack City after the chart topping rapper performs at the show's 30th anniversary celebration

This year has been a landmark one for the rapper as he's ascended to the top echelon of the hip-hop Industry. The 22-year-old Los Angeles native has racked up five tracks in the past year alone that have hit the Billboard Hot 100 chart including "Far Away," "Still Got It," "Rack City," "Faded" and "Make It Nasty." His biggest single, "Rack City," went double-platinum and became a Top 10 hit.

"It's going to be a lot of fun being in Vegas, going to the awards and performing on stage," Tyga said... "Once I saw it on TV I knew how big it was. It's the 30th anniversary, and I know it's a big night. I got a little taste of porn now through doing my movie and playing the awards is going to be something else. I'm really looking forward to it, and I plan on having a lot of fun."

The AVN Awards historically has supported hip-hop and some of the genre's biggest names have performed at the show including Flo Rida, Chingy, Lil' Jon, Baby Bash, and Too Short.

"This upcoming awards show is very special and is a big milestone in the company's history," AVN Media Network CEO Theo Sapoutzis said. "We're planning our biggest show yet to celebrate our 30th anniversary and we couldn't be happier that Tyga is coming to perform. It's going to be a blast."

Snoop Dogg advocates rollin dro with his eldest son Corde (nicknamed "Spank"), he’s helping the 18-year-old launch a rap career as Spanky Danky, whose songs have such titles as "Rollin, Rollin, Rollin … Stoned," "California Gs" and "Commemoration of Vaporization."

"What better way to learn than from the master?" Snoop tells The Hollywood Reporter in a new cover story. He’s referring specifically to photos posted on Twitter showing son lighting father’s 2-foot-bong. Before Spank pressed send, Snoop didn’t flinch.

“My kids can do whatever the hell they want," he explains of his parenting philosophy. "For me to say otherwise would be hypocritical. A lot of motherf---ers don't have a relationship with their kids, and that's when they get on drugs and have suicidal thoughts and drive drunk. Me and my son is mellow. I'm his father, so I wanna show him the proper way because he looks up to me.”

Like Bob Marley and Willie Nelson, Snoop is a stoner symbol who has long espoused marijuana's positive uses as they pertain to health, creativity and recreation, even on the heels of being busted -- eight times and counting, most recently in Norway in June (he's been banned from entering the country for two years) and, before that, in Sierra Blanca, Texas, the same spot where Fiona Apple was arrested for hashish possession Sept. 19.

His new project Reincarnated, a film and album due out in 2013, the hip-hop legend travels to the plant's adopted homeland and documents his life-changing experience out of which he emerged Snoop Lion. For the record, Snoop, a California resident, is a proud holder of what he calls "a platinum medical marijuana card" -- though, to be sure, most of his green is gifted. Still, he hopes to see the drug fully -- and federally -- legalized in his lifetime.

"What would America look like then? “There would be less high-speed chases, less robberies, less crime,” he says. “Go to Amsterdam or the Netherlands, where it is legal, and you see that the crime rate is nonexistent, the murder rate is probably under 10 percent, people learn to get along! There are people riding on bicycles being happy and it's because of the environment that's provided by the legalization of marijuana.”

Naturally, it felt proper for this reporter to remind the Doggfather that Amsterdam recently enacted a law prohibiting ease of access to tourists looking to smoke in the city’s coffeeshops. Says Snoop as only Snoop can: “That shit don't apply to me.”

Where the matter gets more complicated, however, is back home. Although more than 20 states have enacted laws permitting or decriminalizing the use of marijuana for medical reasons, President Obama has gotten plenty of heat from the so-called stoner contingent over his seesawing policies as they pertain to the federal statute (where marijuana, alongside heroin, is still classified as a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970 for having "no accepted medical use"). Further frustrating some supporters, while Obama hasn’t been able to publicly make a stand for pot’s legal use, medicinal or otherwise, the president seemed to have no trouble enlisting stoner icons Harold & Kumar (John Cho and Kal Penn) to star in an ad to promote his campaign.

How does Snoop see it? “What the f--- can he do?” asks the rapper, who has declared his support for Obama many times in interviews and his own YouTube clips. “At least the shit's been legalized in more states than when George W. Bush was in office, but nobody’s paying attention to that. When Bush was president, I had to fight 15 weed cases at the same time all over the world. … [Obama] loosened up screws in certain areas and opened up some eyes, but because he's a black man, his shit is gonna be microscoped, and it'll be what he didn't do as opposed to what he did do.”

Does that mean there’s hope for POTUS' second term? “It’s only been four years,” Snoop acknowledges, adding that history does tend to repeat itself. “Just like alcohol and Prohibition, it’s a business,” he says. “Alcohol was legalized so it could be taxed. And alcohol and tobacco kill. If you legalize marijuana, it'll save lives and will put more money in the financial side, so why not?”

To be sure, if the two iconic figures ever come face-to-face, there’s bound to be some interesting conversation. “I ain't met the president yet,” says Snoop, “but when we finally lock palms -- you know, give him the old soul shake, that bare vibe on the black man's side -- that'll be exciting." Source: Hollywood Reporter

DMX, Snoop Dogg and T.I. return to the BET HIP HOP AWARDS as 2012 cypher participants representing the East Coast, West Coast and Down South alongside Eve, A.$.A.P. Rocky, Cassidy, Mystikal, Talib Kweli, B.O.B and more. The BET HIP HOP AWARDS, filmed at Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center on Saturday, September 29, features six highly anticipated on-air.

Among the six cyphers unveiled at this year's exciting show, fans can look forward to another year of 16 tantalizing bars that cannot be seen nor heard anywhere else other than the BET HIP HOP AWARDS. As audiences at home anticipate the 2012 cyphers, BET takes a look back at some of your favorite moments from previous years on a two-part "Cypher Replay" special airing October 1 and 2 at 8:00 P.M.* "Cypher Replay" features memorable past Hip Hop Awards performances from top emcees including Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, KRS One, Juelz Santana and Eminem. With exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, the special includes insightful interviews provided by DJ Premiere, Pusha T, Jadakiss, Slaughterhouse, Big Sean and many more chronicling their journey into The Cypher.

Hosted By Comedian Mike Epps, "THE BET HIP HOP AWARDS" Premieres October 9, 2012 at 8:00 P.M.*

Hip Hop’s golden child A$AP ROCKY recently added new dates to his much anticipated Scion Presents LIVELOVEA$AP Tour, which now includes stops in Oakland, CA and Santa Ana, CA. The tour, which launched this past Friday at the Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel in Providence, RI , features special guests ScHoolboy Q, Danny Brown and hip-hop collective, A$AP Mob. Since the initial tour announcement earlier this summer, shows began to sell out, such as Vancouver’s The Vogue Theatre, the legendary Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles and the famed Roseland Ballroom, located in Rocky’s hometown, New York City.

On the strength of his self-released mixtape, LIVELOVEA$AP, and his Polo Ground Music/RCA Records debut single, the Hit-Boy produced, “Goldie,” the ever so stylish A$AP Rocky has made an impact globally with recent nominations from MTV Europe Music Awards (EMA) and BET Hip Hop Awards. Rocky earned a “Best Look” MTV EMA nomination for his impressive sense of fashion as highlighted in recent issues of Vogue, GQ, Complex and more. The Harlem native also received an impressive six BET Hip Hop Awards nominations including: “Rookie of the Year,” “Best Live Performer,” “Best Mixtape” (LiveLoveA$AP), “Made You Look Award” (Best Hip-Hop Style), and “Best Hip Hop Video” and “Video Director Of The Year” (with Samantha Lecca) for the mesmerizing, “Goldie.” The 2012 BET Hip Hop Awards will air on October 9th at 8p/ 7c and will be hosted by actor/comedian Mike Epps. The 2012 MTV EMA will be held in Frankfurt, Germany at Festhalle on November 11th.

The ambitious and charismatic A$AP Rocky is currently putting the final touches on his Polo Grounds/RCA Records eagerly anticipated debut, LONGLIVEA$AP. An official release date will be announced shortly.

LONGLIVEA$AP Tour dates are as follows:

09/21 Providence, RI – Lupos
09/22 Burlington, VT – UVM – Ballroom
09/23 New Haven, CT – Toads Place (Sold Out)
09/25 Norfolk, VA – Norva Theater
09/26 Silver Springs, MD – The Fillmore
09/27 New York, NY – Roseland Ballroom* (Sold Out)
09/28 Boston, MA – House of Blues
09/29 Springfield, MA – Massmutual Center
09/30 Montreal, QC – Le Métropolis*
10/02 Toronto, ON – Sound Academy* (Sold Out)
10/03 Detroit, MI – The Fillmore
10/04 Cincinnati, OH – Bogarts
10/05 Cleveland, OH – House of Blues
10/06 Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall
10/07 Grand Rapids, MI – Intersection
10/09 Indianapolis, IN – Murat Theater
10/11 Chicago, IL – Congress
10/12 Milwaukee, WI – The Rave
10/13 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
10/14 Kansas City, MO – Beaumont Club
10/15 Denver, CO – Ogden Theater
10/17 Salt Lake City, UT – Complex – Rockwell
10/19 Pullman, WA – Washington State U
10/20 Vancouver, BC – The Vogue (Sold Out)
10/21 Seattle, WA – Showbox Sodu
10/22 Portland, OR – Roseland Ballroom
10/24 Oakland, CA – Fox Theater*
10/26 Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Palladium (Sold Out)
10/27 Santa Ana, CA – The Observatory*
10/28 San Diego, CA – House of Blues (Sold Out)
10/29 Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues
10/30 Phoenix, AZ – Celebrity Theater
10/31 Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theater
11/02 Dallas, TX – House of Blues
11/03 Austin, TX – Fun Fun Fun Fest
11/04 Houston, TX – Verizon
11/06 New Orleans, LA – House of Blues
11/08 Miami, FL – Fillmore Miami
11/09 Orlando, FL – Beachium
11/10 Tampa, FL – The Ritz
11/11 Tallahassee, FL – Potbelly’s
11/13 Myrtle Beach, SC – House of Blues
11/14 Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle
11/15 Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore
11/16 Richmond, VA – National
11/18 Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory

The chairman and CEO of Warner Music Group’s recorded music division abruptly resigned on Monday, saying he would stay through the end of September and giving no insight about where he was headed.

A source close to Cohen says that the 52-year-old music mogul, who has worked with the Beastie Boys and Foxy Brown, has been secretly developing a talent management company for the past two years while working at Warner. Now he has “decided the time is right to move forward,” the source says.

“As WMG enters its next chapter, I’m ready to begin mine,” Tory Burch’s longtime beau mysteriously hinted in an internal memo to staffers. “I can’t yet announce what I’ll be doing next; I can only say that it will be something where I can work my entrepreneurial muscles and partner with artists.”

Cohen, who also worked with the Black Keys, Bruno Mars and Cee Lo Green during his eight-year tenure at Warner Music, is so private about his new business venture that the insider says he only refers to his new company by a “nonsensical” code name in emails and phone calls. (Our source declined to crack Cohen’s code for us.)
“He’s working to bridge the gap between label and management,” says a second source, indicating Cohen wants to help record companies and bands work together more cohesively. “He has for some time now.”

In his memo to staff, Cohen said he’s “always been an entrepreneur at heart.”
A Warner Music insider supports Cohen’s move, saying, “He’s never been a corporate guy and his role here was becoming more and more corporate.”

Cohen joined Warner in 2004 after its acquisition from AOL Time Warner, and was recruited by former CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. Prior to that, he was chief executive at Universal Music Group’s Island Def Jam and a co-founder of Rush Management, along with Russell Simmons. Source: NY Daily

Lil Wayne has broken a long-standing record that was held by Elvis Presley, as the artist with the most hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. As Wayne debuts as a featured artist on Game's "Celebration" track at #82 this week, the rapper now has 109 entries on the Hot 100 chart, surpassing Presley, who totaled 108 entries between the chart's 1958 launch and 2003. Though the Glee cast has totaled 204 entries on the Hot 100, Wayne holds the artist title, mostly thanks to his many, many features on other peoples' songs. In fact, only 42 of the rapper's solo hits account for his total, with the other 67 made up of his features on other people's songs. Presley, on the other hand, was listed as the lead artist on all 108 of his chart hits and he still holds the title for most Hot 100 entries by a lead solo artist, reports Billboard.

Mountain Dew and Lil Wayne hosted a VIP ceremony to officially cut the ribbon on a brand new skatepark in New Orleans' Ninth Ward district, a key component of the partnership known as the DEWeezy project which was announced in March 2012.

"We're very excited to be a part of the rejuvenation of the Ninth Ward community," said Brett O'Brien, Mountain Dew's VP of Marketing. "This is a great way for local residents to connect, challenge themselves and ultimately enjoy their surroundings even more - while celebrating skate culture. I'd personally like to thank Lil Wayne, California Skateparks and Make It Right Foundation for aiding in such a positive project for this community."

Built within the region most devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the skatepark will serve as a New Orleans destination for action sports lifestyle enthusiasts, providing residents and visitors with an opportunity to "DEW® you" on and off the multi-level skatepark features.

Designed and built by renowned skatepark developer California Skateparks and landscape architect Tim Duggan of Brad Pitt's Make It Right Foundation, under the direction of GLU Agency, the eco-friendly skatepark was designed to mirror the landscape of the Lower Ninth Ward.

The main floor of the indoor park represents a portion of the street grid around The Village, with a line down the center representing Caffin Avenue. Connecting bank and quarter pipe end pieces at either end of the park represent the Mississippi River and the Bayou Bienvenue.

The park's solar power array was designed and built by Make It Right Solar, and pervious concrete was installed to prevent flooding. Well-known New Orleans artist, Lionel Milton, was commissioned to paint a mural inside the park.

"The opening of this skatepark marks the culmination of what has been an incredible, multi-tiered campaign," said Cortez Bryant, co-CEO of Blueprint Group, Lil Wayne's longtime management firm. "The city of New Orleans and skateboarding are two of Lil Wayne's great passions. We are honored to be able to combine the two while giving back to the community that has supported us since day one."

Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, DEW and Lil Wayne were joined by the elite Mountain Dew Pro and Amateur skate teams, including Paul Rodriguez and Theotis Beasley, who rode the rails in the park during a one-hour skate demo.

In conjunction with the unveiling of the new skatepark, Mountain Dew has also partnered with Stoked, an organization that promotes personal development, academic achievement and healthy living to under-served youth through action sports culture. The partnership was launched to inspire creativity and a sense of community among fans of the DEWeezy project and to assist in the development of the next Mountain Dew commercial.

VH1 ends third quarter with a number of ratings accomplishments -- including a +33% increase in primetime ratings in the key adult 18-49 demo. The music and pop culture network averaged a .4 in primetime among adults 18-49, compared to a .3 in the same quarter in 2011. The quarter is also VH1's fifth consecutive quarter of primetime growth in the adult 18-49 demo. In addition, VH1 averaged 690,000 total viewers in primetime throughout the quarter – an increase of +19% over Q3 2011's average number of total viewers 579,000.

VH1 was the #1 cable network for women 18-49 on Monday nights for 13 consecutive weeks of this summer thanks to hit series such as "Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta" and "Single Ladies." For the quarter, VH1 averaged a .6 Women 18-49 L+SD rating in primetime, up +20% over 3Q 2011 levels, and 331,000 Women 18-49 viewers, up +29% over the same quarter a year ago.

VH1 also turned in a gold medal performance during the Olympics, finishing as one of only three ad-supported cable networks that were up in primetime vs. year-ago levels. VH1's overall year-to-date primetime ratings are up +33% thanks to these series as well as "Mob Wives," "Basketball Wives," "Behind The Music" and "La La's Full Court Life."

In addition, VH1 cemented its position as a leader in the social media sphere, generating substantial buzz resulting in multiple trending topics on Twitter and significant upticks in Facebook page likes. "Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta" was the #1 most social series non-sports series of the summer on all of television, cable and broadcast, according to Trendrr and SocialGuide. Part 2 of the series' reunion special on Monday September 3 generated 89 trending topics on Twitter that evening. "T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle" and "Single Ladies" consistently trended as one of cable's top programs during their premiere telecasts.

VH1's individual series highlights include:

"Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta"
"Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta" ranked as cable's TOP reality series of the summer among adult 18-49 impressions and women 18-49 throughout the 12 weeks since its premiere on June 18th. Overall the series averaged 5 million total viewers during premieres plus first encores. Through all of its premiere episodes, "Love & Hip Hop Atlanta" averaged a 2.1 P18-49 rating Live+SD rating.
Monday, September 3's 8:00PM* telecast of the season's Reunion Part Two scored a 2.9 in the key P18-49 demo, making it the highest rated episode in the series history. The episode attracted 6.6 million total viewers when combined with its 10PM* encore episode.

"Single Ladies"
"Single Ladies" finished its second season on Monday, August 27 as ad-supported cable's #1 regularly scheduled summer scripted series among women 18-49. The season finale on that evening at 9 PM, posted a series-high 2.0 in the adult 18-49 demo and delivered 2.9 million total viewers. When combined with its first encore, the finale was seen by 4 million viewers.
Overall the series averaged 3.2 million total viewers during premieres plus first encores -- up +10% from season 1. Through its first 12 premiere episodes, "Single Ladies" averaged a 1.4 P18-49 Live+SD rating -- up +17% from season 1.

"T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle"
The second season premiere of the first two episodes of "T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle" scored a series high as well on Monday, August 27. The 9PM* broadcast scored a 2.7 in the key P18-49 demo making it the highest rated premiere in franchise history. The 9:30PM* broadcast averaged a 2.5 in the same demo. "T.I. & Tiny's" two premieres averaged 4.1 million total viewers. When combined with its first repeats, the episodes averaged 5.5 million total viewers.

The R&B singer will start of the tour at Oslo, Norway's Oslo Spektrum on November 17th. The tour will cruise through Stockholm, Sweden, Katowice, Poland and Dublin, Ireland, among others. The two-week tour concludes at Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam on December 6th.

Tour dates:
Nov. 17 – Oslo Spektrum – Oslo, NO
Nov. 19 – Ericsson Globe – Stockholm, SE
Nov. 22 – O2 – Berlin, DE
Nov. 23 – Schleyerhalle – Stuttgart, DE
Nov. 25 – Spodek Arena – Katowice, PL
Nov. 27 – Westfalenhalle – Dortmund, DE
Nov. 29 – Festhalle – Frankfurt, DE
Nov. 30 – St. Jakobshalle – Basel, CH
Dec. 3 – O2 – Dublin, IE
Dec. 5 – Sportpaleis – Antwerp, BE
Dec. 6 – Ziggo Dome – Amsterdam, NE

BET Networks today announced that legendary MC, Rakim will be the recipient of the "I AM HIP HOP ICON" Award at this year's BET HIP HOP AWARDS filming at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center in Atlanta on Saturday, September 29, 2012. Rakim will be acknowledged and honored for his contribution to the music industry as being one of the greatest lyricists of all time.

Previous "I AM HIP HOP ICON" recipients include Grandmaster Flash (2006); KRS-One (2007); Russell Simmons (2008); Ice Cube (2009); Salt N Pepa (2010) and LL Cool J (2011).

Maybach Music's Rick Ross (Def Jam), and Meek Mill (Warner Bros. Records); G.O.O.D. Music's 2 Chainz (Def Jam); and Taylor Gang's Wiz Khalifa (Atlantic) are the first artists confirmed to perform on this year's BET HIP HOP AWARDS.

T-Pain has aligned with Phusion Projects, LLC to become a partner in the Moskato Life brand. As part of the relationship, T-Pain will drive awareness for the malt-based, progressive adult beverage via music, videos, product promotional materials and contests. The partnership will uniquely utilize social media platforms, including Mobli, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to activate the Moskato Life and T-Pain fan communities around special offerings.

"We are extremely excited to welcome T-Pain as a partner in our brand," said Chris Hunter, co-managing partner of Phusion Projects. "He perfectly embodies the Moskato Life and he is on-board as a full and active partner in the business."

T-Pain, who has nearly 50 top-10 songs, including 17 number one hits, and two Grammy Awards under his belt, is revered in the music community thanks to his background as a singer, songwriter, rapper, producer and actor. He has also partnered with top performers, such as Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Chris Brown and Britney Spears, to create some of the hottest songs of the last seven years.

"I'm very excited about partnering with Phusion to represent the brand," said T-Pain. "It's a perfect fit because I'm all about living life – now I'm living the Moskato Life and I'm ready to celebrate!"

Moskato Life, which comes in Moscato and Rose, is a combination of light carbonation and sweetness that is attractively packaged in a 750 mil bottle at 6 percent alcohol by volume.

On Friday, September 28, 2012 at 6 p.m.*, Terrence J. and Rocsi will bid farewell to "106 & PARK." Hosted by LaLa Anthony and Pooch Hall, Terrence and Rocsi will go through seven years of memories filled with fun, A-list talent, performances and phenomenal moments in a special show that will commemorate their time on "106 & PARK."

Every day, Terrence and Rocsi greeted televisions livest studio audience and millions of TV viewers touching lives with laughter and music. Interviewing some of today's biggest stars including Beyonce, Madonna, Jamie Foxx, Katie Holmes, Jay Z, Will Smith, Lady Gaga, Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Rick Ross, Drake and more. Whether delivering groundbreaking news, discussing politics with Barack Obama or educating viewers on social issues affecting us all, Terrence and Rocsi often opened up their personal lives to better relate to audiences, something that "106 & PARK," our live studio audience and viewers at home will forever miss.

"We're so proud of Terrence and Rocsi as they head into the next phases of their careers," said Stephen Hill, President of Music Programming and Specials, BET Networks. "They leave behind the legacies of being the longest running hosts of 106 & Park as well as the hosts that presided over the show's most successful season ever. I will miss their energy, wit, talent and professionalism on-the-job, but look forward to celebrating with them their successes that lie ahead."

Joining LaLa Anthony and Pooch Hall will be Jim Jones, French Montana, Julissa Bermudez, Tigger, along with special video packages from 2 Chainz, Ace Hood, Alicia Keys, Amar'e Stoudemire, Big Sean, B.O.B, Bobby V., Brandy, Busta Rhymes, Cassidy, Ciara, Common, Doug E. Fresh, DMX, Dwayne Wade, ElleVarner, E-40, Future, Jacob Latimore, Keke Palmer, Mary J Blige, MGK, Mike Epps, Ne-Yo, Shannon Brown & Monica, Stalley, Rick Ross, Robin Thicke, T.I, Wyclef and Mr. 106 & PARK himself Bow Wow.

Lyor Cohen, Chairman/CEO of Recorded Music for Warner Music Group, is stepping down from his spot effective September 30, the company announced today. He had been at Warner since 2004, beginning as Chairman and CEO, US Recorded Music in March of that year.

Former EMI CEO Roger Faxon who just stepped down from that role Friday, in the wake of Universal Music's acquisition of the company clearing the EU and FTC -- has long been rumored to take over the helm at Warner.

As Chairman/CEO of Recorded Music for WMG, Cohen's role included oversight of the company's U.S. label groups - The Atlantic Records Group and Warner Bros. Records -- WEA Corp., the company's sales, marketing and retail distribution company; and Rhino Entertainment, WMG's catalog-marketing division. He is also a member of WMG's Board of Directors. Cohen joined the company shortly after Time Warner's sale of WMG to an investor group led by Edgar Bronfman, Jr.

In a statement, Cohen said, "To all the artists and employees who live and die for the music every day, and who personally sacrifice for the good of the creative process: 'keep on keepin' on' in the tradition of a company that respects and honors the artistic community."

Len Blavatnik, Chairman and founder of Access Industries, said, "I personally want to thank Lyor for his dedication and contributions to Warner Music. He has been both a business partner and personal friend and I wish him only the best."

Stephen Cooper, WMG's CEO, said, "Lyor Cohen has built something very special here. While we understand his desire to move on to his next challenge, the enduring success of our recorded music division will serve as a great testament to the progress we've made during Lyor's time at WMG. We are grateful for Lyor's contributions, and we wish him the best. I'm confident that given the strength of our talented management team in Recorded Music, we'll be able to drive further success."

Warner Music senior label executives will now report directly to Cooper following Cohen's exit at the end of the month.

Rick Ross and his Maybach Music Group will cap off 2012 by treking on the first-ever “MMG Tour” with Wale and Meek Mill. Bad Boy’s Machine Gun Kelly will join the crew on the nationwide tour, which kicks off November 2 in Columbus, Ohio.

The 23 dates include stops in New Orleans, Houston, Nashville, and Cleveland, currently wrapping December 2 in San Diego, Calif.

Tour Dates
Nov. 2 – Columbus, OH – Schottenstein Center
Nov. 3 – Lexington, KY – Rupp Arena
Nov. 4 – State College, PA – Bryce Jordan Center
Nov. 5 – Champaign, IL – Assembly Hall
Nov. 8 – New Orleans, LA – UNO Lakefront Arena
Nov. 9 – Houston, TX – Reliant Arena
Nov. 10 – Arlington, TX – College Park Center at University of Texas
Nov. 11 – Austin, TX – Frank Erwin Center
Nov. 13 – Columbia, SC – Colonial Life Arena
Nov. 14 – Charlottesville, VA – John Paul Jones Arena
Nov. 15 – Providence, RI – Dunkin’ Donuts Center
Nov. 17 – Baltimore, MD – 1st Mariner Arena
Nov. 18 – Fairfax, VA – Patriot Center
Nov. 20 – Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena
Nov. 21 – Cleveland, OH – Wolstein Center at CSU
Nov. 23 – Oklahoma City, OK – Chesapeake Energy Arena
Nov. 24 – Albuquerque, NM – Tingley Coliseum
Nov. 25 – El Paso, TX – El Paso County Coliseum
Nov. 27 – Tucson, AZ – Tucson Arena
Nov. 29 – Fresno, CA – Save Mart Center
Nov. 30 – San Jose, CA – The Events Center at San Jose State University
Dec. 1 – Sacramento, CA – Power Balance Pavilion
Dec. 2 – San Diego, CA – Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl San Diego State University

At the request of Chris Lighty's grieving mother, superstar artist 50 Cent has brought in a high-powered team to investigate the hip hop mogul's death, sources confirmed.

Fox 5 News has obtained a copy of his will, which leaves everything to his wife. What is on page 3 is raising eyebrows. Except for a fund set aside for his children, the will says if he is survived by his wife, "I give my entire residuary estate, real and personal, to her."

One of the country's top attorneys, Arthur Aidala, said the will gives his wife a lot of power.

Lighty managed the careers of superstars like 50 Cent and Diddy and orchestrated multimillion-dollar deals. He died last month allegedly from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after an argument with his wife.

The will, drafted in 2007, provides a separate $1.6 million trust fund for his children. Aidala said establishing that trust shows great care and planning, especially for a man who at that time was only in his late thirties.

Lighty was laid to rest earlier this month after a star-studded sendoff. But many of those who knew him still can't it believe it was a suicide, as the New York City Medical Examiner ruled.

Dr. Michael Baden, a former New York City chief medical examiner, was called in by the family for a second autopsy. The results so far are inconclusive. Baden told Fox 5 that the cause of his death, by gunshot, is not in question, but he is waiting for other test results.

Sources also said Lighty was not deep in a bottomless financial hole and that he had just secured a world tour for 50 Cent for next year. Source: Fox news

The second annual iHeartRadio Music Festival closed a triumphant weekend, September 21 and 22, after more than 10 hours of back-to-back diverse performances by some of the biggest names in the music industry as well as a number of unprecedented collaborations by superstars across musical genres. Ryan Seacrest kicked off the festival Friday night at MGM Grand in Las Vegas with performances by artists No Doubt, Miranda Lambert, Bon Jovi, Jason Aldean, Lil Wayne, Swedish House Mafia, Usher, Green Day and Rihanna; the festivities continued Saturday evening with P!nk, Brad Paisley, Calvin Harris, Enrique Iglesias, Mary J. Blige, Taylor Swift, Linkin Park, deadmau5, Aerosmith and Pitbull.

The iHeartRadio Music Festival weekend was notable for the unparalleled number and diversity of incredible performances, thrilling collaborations and special guest appearances including Britney Spears, Ryan Lochte, Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, the Jonas Brothers and many others. Fans were also entertained by Korean and Internet pop sensation Psy, who performed his "Gangnam Style" viral song and dance onstage. #iHeartRadio was a trending topic on Twitter in the U.S. and worldwide throughout both nights of the festival with tweets and retweets from millions of fans as well as artists and festival presenters.

Highlights from Day 1 of the iHeartRadio Music Festival: September 21, 2012

No Doubt & P!nk performed a duet of “Just A Girl”: The two blonde megastars took center stage Friday evening during the Festival’s opening performance, singing No Doubt classic “I’m Just a Girl.” After the show, P!nk shared her experience with fans on Twitter, writing, “I just got off stage from the raddest surprise performance with No Doubt. She really is that cool. I’m just a girl.”

Lil Wayne – Friday’s “hip hop fix”: Lil Wayne began his performance by declaring to the crowd: “I am your hip hop fix for tonight, so excuse all the cuss words. My job is to turn this [expletive] upside down!” Lil Wayne also brought out recording artist Keyshia Cole to perform her hit single “Enough Of No Love.”

Usher & Swedish House Mafia debuted “Euphoria”: Usher took center stage on Friday night as Swedish House Mafia performed from a three-tiered spaceship-inspired DJ booth located in the middle of the MGM Grand Arena. The foursome joined to perform “Euphoria,” making it the song’s live debut.

Highlights from Day 2 of the iHeartRadio Music Festival: September 22, 2012

Mary J. Blige and Prince duet “Nothing Compares 2 U”: Mary J. Blige truly shocked and rocked Las Vegas when she stopped midway through her performance to announce a surprise guest performer – the iconic artist Prince. “I got a real good friend in the building. He’s one of the most amazing artists to ever walk the earth,” she said as she introduced Prince during her set Saturday night. Together the pair performed hits “Sweet Thing” and “Nothing Compares 2 U.”

Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance joined deadmau5 for live debut of “Professional Griefers”: deadmau5 lit up the night with an electronica inspired laser show from the Festival’s spectacular DJ booth. The audience flashed to the beats with specially programmed multicolored iHeartRadio LED wristbands as the producer/DJ showcased multiple mau5 heads throughout his electrifying set. The crowd’s attention shifted to the main stage where My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way joined the main stage to sing his collaboration with deadmau5, their new release “Professional Griefers.”

Pitbull and Ne-Yo closed the iHeartRadio Music Festival: To wrap up the 2012 iHeartRadio Festival Ne-Yo, who had completed his own set earlier in the evening, joined Pitbull for “Give Me Everything” while thousands of balloons rained down on concert-goers. This was the second collaboration of the show for both Pitbull and Ne-Yo; Pitbull joined Enrique Iglesias on stage for “Baby I Like It” earlier in the evening and Ne-Yo collaborated with Calvin Harris for hit song “Let’s Go.”

The Festival, which sold out in just eight minutes, also raised more than $500K for a number of national charities, including Alliance for Lupus Research, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Barefoot Foundation, Soaring Words and Rainforest Foundation US by offering tickets and unique packages to philanthropic supporters. In addition to fundraising, Clear Channel used its close relationships with artists and record companies to create memories for a number of critically ill children and their families by partnering with Make-a-Wish Foundation and Jack and Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation.

Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, with its 239 million monthly listeners in the U.S., has the largest reach of any radio or television outlet in America. With more than 115 million listening hours a month, nearly 50 million monthly digital uniques and more than 120 million downloads of iHeartRadio mobile apps, iHeartRadio continues to be the number one digital radio service. And in an indication of its consumer popularity, Clear Channel brands and personalities have more than 31 million fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter. iHeartRadio’s Facebook page alone has grown to 5 million fans in the year since it was introduced at the inaugural iHeartRadio Music Festival in 2011.

With 17 million registered users in the one year since its introduction, iHeartRadio continues to grow faster than all other popular digital entertainment and social platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Pandora, Spotify and Instagram. And registered users are only a percentage of iHeartRadio’s overall listeners, since registration is only required for the Custom Station feature which launched last September.

Universal Music Group Chairman/CEO Lucian Grainge has spoken about the results of the UMG acquisition of EMI's recorded music division, which was given approval last Friday by regulators in the U.S. and Europe.

Speaking to The Daily Mail in the UK, Grainge said, "Is this deal worth it? You bet. This deal has now been cleared in the three biggest music markets in the world – America, Japan and Germany. I am leading a business that now owns Capitol Music and the Abbey Road Studio as well as the EMI and Virgin labels."

He continued, "We intend to generate cost savings of £100 ?million. There will be job losses. I can only grow this business by making savings and investing in the product – the artists and the music. But we are creative people and we know how to work with creative people. We know what we’re doing."

Grainge says that Universal plans for the Capitol and Virgin labels to be the focus going forward. "There will be more music released on these two labels and we will sign domestic (meaning UK) artists to them," he told the paper.

The UMG Boss is optimistic about the music industry, following the merger, saying, "I refuse to accept the continual decline of the music industry. This deal is about creating growth, to stabilize the business and to make a courageous investment in our future. Legal digital music versus piracy five years ago is a different business from where it is now. The moves against Pirate Bay and Megaupload have had an effect. This is about the future of music, it is a bet on what the future will be – on how music collides with technology in markets and on platforms that have never existed before. We are the glutinous thing that runs through all the technology. Without music, there’s nothing."

A$AP Rocky kicked off his new LongLiveA$AP tour Friday (September 21). The tour, which will include Schoolboy Q, Danny Brown and his A$AP Mob crew, will hit 47 markets in just 60 days.

The Harlem-bred rapper, who is also nominated for six BET Hip-Hop Awards, recently explained his live show philosophy.

“I love the crowd,” he told CBS Local. “That’s what gets me going. That’s where I get all the energy from. I just have to get them in tune with what I’m doing.”

A$AP recently opened the VMA Awards along with Rihanna, for his guest verse on Ri-Ri’s “Cockiness (Love It).” He shocked the crowd when he openly grabbed the pop stars ass on stage. It was one of the more memorable moments of the night.

“It really wasn’t no idea,” he told CBS Local. “It just happened.”

He said there was no major blowback from it and he downplayed the notion that it was a “moment” at all.

‘”I thought it was just one of those moments,” he said. “I didn’t know everyone was really talking about it.”

While he was at the VMAs, he explained to Hot 93.7 how he has collected such a diverse crowd that comes to see him perform.

“I grew up with Asian friends, black friends, white friends and Latin friends,” he said. “It’s not one ethnic crowd. I am talking to an era, a generation. I am not just talking to one class of people.” Source: CBS local news.

Check out the complete list of the performances below to see where A$AP will be appearing next.

Sept. 21 Providence, RI Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel
Sept. 22 Burlington, VT UVM Ballroom
Sept. 23 New Haven, CT Toads Place
Sept. 25 Norfolk, VA Norva Theater Sept.
26 Silver Springs, MD The Fillmore
Sept. 27 New York, NY Roseland Ballroom
Sept. 28 Boston, MA House Of Blues
Sept. 29 Springfield, MA MassMutual Center
Sept. 30 Montreal, QC Le Métropolis
Oct. 02 Toronto, ON Sound Academy
Oct. 03 Detroit, MI St. Andrews
Oct. 04 Cincinnati, OH Bogarts
Oct. 05 Cleveland, OH House Of Blues
Oct. 06 Columbus, OH Newport Music Hall
Oct. 07 Grand Rapids, MI Intersection
Oct. 10 Indianapolis, IN Murat Theater
Oct. 11 Chicago, IL Congress
Oct. 12 Milwaukee, WI The Rave
Oct. 13 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue
Oct. 14 Kansas City, MO Beaumont Club
Oct. 15 Denver, CO Ogden Theater
Oct. 17 Salt Lake City, UT Complex’s Rockwell
Oct. 19 Pullman, WA Washington State U.

Oct. 20 Vancouver, BC The Vogue (SOLD OUT)
Oct. 21 Seattle, WA Showbox SoDo
Oct. 22 Portland, OR Roseland Ballroom
Oct. 24 Oakland, CA Fox Theater
Oct. 26 Los Angeles, CA Hollywood Palladium (SOLD OUT)
Oct. 27 Santa Ana, CA The Observatory
Oct. 28 San Diego, CA House Of Blues
Oct. 29 Las Vegas, NV House Of Blues
Oct. 30 Phoenix, AZ Celebrity Theater
Oct. 31 Albuquerque, NM Sunshine Theater
Nov. 02 Dallas, TX House Of Blues
Nov. 03 Austin, TX Fun Fun Fun Fest
Nov. 04 Houston, TX Bayou Music Center
Nov. 06 New Orleans, LA House Of Blues
Nov. 08 Miami, FL Fillmore Miami
Nov. 09 Orlando, FL The Beacham
Nov. 10 Tampa, FL The Ritz
Nov. 11 Tallahassee, FL Potbelly’s
Nov. 13 Myrtle Beach, SC House Of Blues
Nov. 14 Atlanta, GA Tabernacle
Nov. 15 Charlotte, NC The Fillmore
Nov. 16 Richmond, VA National
Nov. 18 Philadelphia, PA Electric Factory 

Reports have surfaced that a Kanye West sex tape with Kim Kardashian look-alike has leaked and is being shopped to outlets.

Reports say the tape is about 20 minutes long and appears to have been filmed in a hotel room. The woman in the tape is an 18-year-old "Kim Kardashian look-a-like," and she claims that she is married at the beginning of the tape. "My husband and I don't have sex anymore… that's why I'm here!" she says.

The video is believed to have been shot sometime before West began dating Kardashian in April, and according to an adult entertainment insider, he's "freaking out" over the likelihood the tape is going to leak. Kanye West already has had one sexy scandal. In 2010, he snapped pictures of his penis and sent them to multiple women -- who shopped the photos around to various media outlets. One company is already reported to be offering $1 million for the sex tape.

After releasing several singles in anticipation of his Mannie Fresh-hosted mixtape #TheFocusTape, set to be released on October 9th, and his upcoming 50-date tour with Macklemore, New Orleans rapper Dee-1 is releasing the debut video from the project, "Failure Ain't An Option." The video features Los Angeles Living Legend MURS and Washington, D.C. wordsmith Tabi Bonney. WATCH HERE

“This song is very high-energy, it’s the type of music an athlete would listen to before a game,” says Dee of "Failure Ain't An Option," his follow-up single to the Killer Mike-assisted "Never Clockin Out (Remix)." Directed by NOLA’s own Charley Mac, the video captures Dee, MURS and Tabi having a lyrical sparring match in the middle of the revered Los Angeles River. “I have to give a shout out to the police officer who came by and told us we needed a permit to shoot,” says Dee. “But once he heard the song, he became a fan and let us slide. That was dope.”

Tour Dates
SAT - Sep 22, 2012 Pittsburgh, PA The Shadow Lounge
TUE - Sep 25, 2012 Cincinnati, OH Elementz Hip-Hop
SAT - Oct 06, 2012 Philadelphia, PA City Hall
THU - Oct 11, 2012 Portland, OR The Crystal Ballroom
FRI - Oct 12, 2012 Seattle, WA WAMU Theatre
SAT - Oct 13, 2012 Vancouver, BC The Vogue
TUE - Oct 16, 2012 Spokane, WA The Knitting Factory
WED - Oct 17, 2012 Missoula, MT Wilma Theatre
THU - Oct 18, 2012 Boise, ID The Knitting Factory
FRI - Oct 19, 2012 Bend, OR Midtown Music Hall
SAT - Oct 20, 2012 Eugene, OR McDonald Theatre
SUN - Oct 21, 2012 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
TUE - Oct 23, 2012 Arcata, CA Humboldt State University
WED - Oct 24, 2012 Santa Cruz, CA The Catalyst
THU - Oct 25, 2012 San Diego, CA House of Blues
FRI - Oct 26, 2012 Santa Ana, CA The Observatory
SAT - Oct 27, 2012 Los Angeles, CA The Music Box
SUN - Oct 28, 2012 Tempe, AZ Club Red
TUE - Oct 30, 2012 Albuquerque, NM Launchpad
THU - Nov 01, 2012 Dallas, TX Cambridge Rm @ HOB
SAT - Nov 03, 2012 Houston, TX Bronze Peacock @ HOB
SUN - Nov 04, 2012 New Orleans, LA HOB Parish Room
TUE - Nov 06, 2012 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Culture Room
WED - Nov 07, 2012 Orlando, FL The Plaza Live
THU - Nov 08, 2012 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade
FRI - Nov 09, 2012 Carrboro, NC Cat's Cradle
SAT - Nov 10, 2012 Asheville, NC The Orange Peel
SUN - Nov 11, 2012 Charlottesville, VA Jefferson Theatre
TUE - Nov 13, 2012 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
WED - Nov 14, 2012 Philadelphia, PA TLA
THU - Nov 15, 2012 Boston, MA House of Blues
THU - Nov 15, 2012 Burlington, VT Higher Ground
SUN - Nov 18, 2012 New Haven, CT Toad's Place
TUE - Nov 20, 2012 New York, NY Irving Plaza
FRI - Nov 23, 2012 Toronto, ON Phoenix Concert Theatre
SAT - Nov 24, 2012 Detroit, MI St. Andrews Hall
SUN - Nov 25, 2012 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop
TUE - Nov 27, 2012 Lansing, MI The Loft
WED - Nov 28, 2012 Chicago, IL House of Blues
THU - Nov 29, 2012 Madison, WI Barrymore Theatre
SAT - Dec 01, 2012 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue Mainroom
SUN - Dec 02, 2012 Iowa City, IA Blue Moose TUE - Dec 04, 2012 Des Moines, IA People's Court
WED - Dec 05, 2012 Omaha, NE The Slowdown
FRI - Dec 07, 2012 Ft. Collins, CO Aggie Theatre
SAT - Dec 08, 2012 Salt Lake City, UT The Depot

50 Cent has yet another project in the pipeline. This time it's a workout book titled : Formula 50: A 6-Week Workout and Nutrition Plan That Will Transform Your Life. The book drops in January 2013.

“I am delighted to work with the Penguin Group USA again. I had a strong desire to write this book because is very important to me to help people make positive changes and take charge of their overall health. FORMULA 50 is a radical six week mind-body transformation plan geared to help readers develop mental toughness to achieve optimum results while offering a nutrition component,” 50 said.

Get fit like 50 Cent: The phenomenally fit superstar rapper reveals his strategic six-week workout plan for achieving a ripped body—and developing the mental toughness to stay in shape for a lifetime.

Survival is a recurring theme of 50 Cent’s lyrics, and his life. That’s why, with obesity rates soaring and fitness levels declining, he wants to give everyone an all-access pass to his premium plan for lifelong fitness. In Formula 50, the mega-successful entertainer and entrepreneur unleashes the power of metabolic resistance training (MRT), the key ingredient that has helped him achieve the famously buff physique that makes his music videos sizzle.

Through MRT, 50 Cent’s fitness plan breaks down the barriers between traditional weight training and cardio workouts, accelerating fat loss while building muscle and improving overall fitness. Designed for a six-week rollout for total mind-body transformation, the Formula 50 regimen builds willpower while it builds physical power. In addition to motivation, nutrition is another key element; readers will discover the unique dietary combinations that fuel 50 Cent’s workouts. Coauthored with Jeff O’Connell, health journalist and editor-in-chief at Bodybuilding.com (the world’s largest fitness website), the book delivers a payoff that goes beyond six-pack abs and flab-free pecs: This is a fitness plan that boosts energy, endurance, flexibility, and mobility. The result is a body you’ve always dreamed of—and the mindset to attain the rest of your dreams.

Jeff O’Connell authored Sugar Nation and coauthored the New York Times bestseller LL Cool J’s Platinum Workout.

Rap superstar Rick Ross' latest album, God Forgives and I Don't, has gone certified Gold status selling over 500,000 copies and the Miami native chose South Beach's newest hot-spot, Bamboo Miami Beach, to celebrate his latest accomplishment. Since its opening in the spring of 2012, Bamboo Miami Beach (formerly The Paris Theatre) has turned into one of Miami's most elite clubs and a regular hangout for celebrities on Sunday nights, so it's no wonder why Ross and label-mate Meek Mill partied it up until the wee hours of the Monday morning.

Prestige Sundays, Bamboo Miami Beach's Sunday night party, is the club's biggest draw with major celebrities frequently partying in the exclusive VIP areas next to the stage while the country's best DJs spin the hottest music. Since its opening, Prestige Sundays has hosted top celebrities like Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union, Kelly Rowland, Lebron James, T.I., Fat Joe, Flo Rida, Lou Williams, French Montana, Mack Maine, Rocko, Akon, Fabolous, Red Cafe, Young Jeezy, Jadakiss, Zach Randolph, Danny Granger, Richard Hamilton, Rudy Gay, Chris Bosh and the list goes on and on.

This past Sunday's party was no exception with one of music's hottest stars celebrating a major milestone. Rick Ross, Meek Mill, and a host of Miami Dolphins' players brought in a crowd of over 900 people. DJ Entice and DJ Epps kept the party going until 5:00 a.m. Monday morning, playing lots of new music from Ross' Gold album.

Randy Jackson, world renowned member of the Jackson family ended a bitter child support battle with Alejanda Jackson with a judgment in his favor in Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. CF027754 Alejandra Loaiza (Jackson) v. Steven R. Jackson.

Court papers revealed that Alejandra waited until after the children were adults and then tried to seek to enforce over a half a million dollars in purportedly unpaid child support and arrears arising from a judgment obtained in 1990. In denying the claim for support, the court found that Randy Jackson had never been served with the summons and complaint and set aside the default judgment and all arrears stemming therefrom.

Randy Jackson stated: “I love my children, and I have always loved my children. I will always take care of them and I have always taken care of them. I thank my attorney Bret D. Lewis for all his hard work in bringing about justice for me.”

R. Kelly is nominated for two awards at this year's Soul Train Awards, making him the most nominated act ever at the awards show. Kelly is up for the Ashford & Simpson songwriter's award and album of the year, bringing his career total to 21 nominations.

Usher leads this year's awards with five nominations. Estelle, Nas, Trey Songz and John Legend are also multiple nominees. Whitney Houston is nominated for best gospel inspirational performance and Amy Winehouse is nominated for best international performance. New Edition will receive a lifetime achievement award.

The Soul Train Awards, hosted by Cedric the Entertainer, will be taped Nov. 8 at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. The show will air Nov. 25 on BET and Centric.

Game premiere's his latest music video "Celebration," WATCH HERE from his forthcoming Interscope Record album Jesus Piece, to all digital retailers today. The song's music video, directed by Matt Alonzo and inspired by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg's "Nuthin But A G Thang," will simultaneously premiere on VEVO today at 12pm PST. Featured on "Celebration" are platinum selling artists Chris Brown, Tyga, Lil Wayne and Wiz Khalifa, a first time collaboration for these 5 artists.

Celebration," produced by Cool and Dre protégé SAP (Mac Miller, Meek Mill), takes its sample from the Bone Thugs-n-Harmony classic hit "1st of tha Month", and features verses from Game, Brown, Wayne, Tyga, a short verse by Khalifa and a chorus sung by Brown. With its feel good vibe, the end of summer anthem showcases the five artists effortlessly blending into one another.

"I'm a big Bone fan and been thinking about flipping "1st of tha Month" for a while. "Celebration" is that perfect song to close out the summer, says Game." "When Cool and Dre gave me the SAP beat, I started to call on my friends personally to lay verses on the song and make sure it came out the way I envisioned."

The music video, filmed in Los Angeles, draws its vibe from the song and styled as the ultimate L.A. summer barbecue. Old school cars, palm trees and beautiful women accompany Game as he brings his four featured friends to a West Coast party on a perfect summer day. Shot in a park, the video is a celebration in itself, toasting to the high life, but also displaying Game's long lasting and deep connection with the neighborhood.

"For my videos, I don't like them to be fake or feel like anybody gotta act, so we're really having a barbecue out here," Game told MTV News while on set. "It's real food, it ain't no prop food, it's real water guns - everything real."

Next up, Game will release the music video to his street anthem "I Remember" featuring Atlanta artists Young Jeezy and Future. More information coming soon on Game's upcoming 5th album Jesus Piece, featuring "Celebration," that aims to be his 5th consecutive chart-topping album debut.

When Lil Fame aka Fizzy Womack (of the world famous Brooklyn duo M.O.P.) and Termanology (of ST. Da Squad & 1982) first came together to make an album, it started out as a solo Termanology effort produced by Lil Fame, who has helmed the boards on songs for Cam’Ron, Cormega, AZ, and others in recent years. But halfway through recording the release, Fame ended up dropping verses and hooks on almost every song, so the two artists then decided to make the LP a true collaboration album. Fizzyology was born. The end result is 15 tracks deep of timeless music and a landmark recording for both musicians.

With Lil Fame handling the bulk of the production, the album has a hardcore feel that will be familiar to Mash Out Posse fans, while also showcasing Fizzy’s growing talent as a producer with some more soulful sounds. M.O.P. fans can look forward to a brand new M.O.P. album very soon, and Fizzyology will give Lil Fame a chance to really shine as a producer in the meanwhile. The album also features Term and Fame going in on the mic over production by the legendary DJ Premier, plus incredible offerings from beatsmiths The Alchemist, Statik Selektah and J Waxx.

They also hooked up with Busta Rhymes and Styles P (who both rock over the soon-to-be Primo classic), as well as long time cohorts Bun B and Freeway. “Fizzyology” drops on November 6th, 2012 on ST./Brick Records.

Google TV and the Comedy Shaq Network inked a deal with Asia’s K-pop seven member girl group “Rania” about a new TV show to be aired early next year on Major TV network in the US. Rania a girl group, well known throughout Asia for their sexy attire and dance, announced their plans to cross over into the US market with an album set for this fall, earlier this month. Kareem Davis a representative for Shaq TV and Looney Bin TV commented, “We look forward to working with the mega K-pop group Rania and plan to expand their brand in the states and give their fans a great inside look into the lives of these up and coming super stars”.

Rania the spice girls of Asia unleashes their debut single into American pop music market "Doctor Feel Good" produced by Teddy Riley. Rania recently inked a deal with Empire one of west coast’s largest labels for hip-hop/R&B. Bret Lewis attorney for the stars who facilitated the deal commented “These gangnam style girls are going to take over the US market”. The song and sexy video “Doctor feel good” was previously released in Asia over a year ago adding to a Huge online Kpop presence throughout the online community worldwide. Rania is slated to release their new album followed by a world tour this fall starting in the US and is in discussion with the Jacksons to open on tour. The album will feature current billboard artist in the US along with Grammy wining producers the Trak Starz (Britney Spears).

The 2012 MTV Europe Music Awards are set for this November., and it looks like Rihanna is the girl to beat, with six nods. Jay-Z and Kanye West landed three nominations each.

Jay-Z, Kanye West, Flo Rida and Pitbull will take on Justin Bieber for Best Male. Other nominees include Drake, Nas and Rick Ross who are up for Best Hip-Hop Act, as well as A$AP Rocky, who will battle Taylor Swift, Jack White, Rihanna and Nicki Minaj for Best Look.

Rihanna is also up for Best Video against M.I.A. ("Bad Girls"), Lady Gaga ("Marry the Night"), Katy Perry ("Wide Awake") and viral-video sensation PSY ("Gangnam Style").

Meanwhile, Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Lana Del Rey, Carly Rae Jepsen and Fun. will all see if they can take home one of the three awards they are each up for.

The show will air in the U.S. on MTV2 at 11 p.m. ET/PT on Sunday, November 11. It all goes down in Frankfurt, Germany, at the Festhalle.

Best Hip Hop
Jay Z and Kanye West
Rick Ross
Nicki Minaj

Best Male
Justin Bieber
Kanye West
Flo Rida
Jay Z

Best Female
Katy Perry
Taylor Swift
Nicki Minaj

Best Live
Taylor Swift
Lady Gaga
Jay Z and Kanye West
Green Day

Best Video
M.I.A., "Bad Girls"
Lady Gaga, "Marry the Night"
Katy Perry, "Wide Awake"
Rihanna (featuring Calvin Harris), "We Found Love"
PSY, "Gangnam Style"

Best Look
Nicki Minaj
Jack White
Taylor Swift
A$AP Rocky

The Fox network officially tapped both Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban with an announcement Sunday, confirming rumors surrounding them both just hours before the first round of auditions for next season was due to begin in New York.

The announcement also settled the status of Randy Jackson. He will stay put as the sole remaining original "Idol" judge, scotching rumors he might assume a different role on the popular talent competition.

This trio will join pop star Mariah Carey at a judges' panel now expanded to four members from its previous three.

Arriving at Lincoln Center, where the auditions would take place, Urban hailed "Idol" for its "great history of producing real stars."

As an "Idol" judge, he said he plans to be "authentic" but not cruel.

"I did similar shows when I was very young in Australia," he recalled, "and I was sort of crucified by one judge. So I don't know that I'll ever be THAT guy."

Minaj said during the auditions she'll be looking for "a superstar," which, she explained, is "something that can't be defined in words."

Jackson called this pair of hires a "fresh, fresh, fresh 'Idol' one-two!"

Minaj, he said, "brings a whole other cool vibe we've never had on the show, and Keith Urban? My God, he's unbelievably talented!"

When Carey was asked whether she had eagerly awaited news of who would join her as judges, she cracked that, no, she hadn't, "because all I really care about is me," but quickly added, "Only kidding."

Turning serious, she said she didn't know what kind of judge she would be.

"Am I the mean one? Am I the nice one? ... It's not about me, me, me, it's about them (the contestants) and what I can bring to them to help guide them in the right direction," said Carey.

"I am thrilled about this year's judges panel," said Mike Darnell, Fox president of Alternative Entertainment. "With an unparalleled star like Mariah, fan-favorite Randy, chart-toppers like Nicki and Keith and our incomparable host Ryan, we've put together one of the most exciting judging panels around."

"Idol" is looking for its famous new faces to supercharge a show that remains a ratings leader but has seen its viewership and pop-culture clout erode in recent seasons in an increasingly crowded talent show field. Besides Fox sibling "The X Factor," which recently added Britney Spears and Demi Lovato as judges, there's NBC's "The Voice," which boasts Christina Aguilera among its big names.

Minaj, 29, is known for her colorful hairstyles, wardrobe and antics. A native of Trinidad who grew up in New York, she has scored with hits like "Starships," ''Turn Me On," and "Super Bass," her seventh single, which has sold more than 4 million copies.

She is the first female solo artist to have seven singles simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. She released her second studio album, "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded," in April, and since then it has sold 1 million copies worldwide.

50 Cent, Manny Pacquiao and Manny's advisor, Michael Koncz, have announced that they will join forces to launch a promotional company.

During an interview with New York's radio station Power 105.1's The Breakfast Club, 50 Cent confirmed the venture and explained the reason behind this latest endeavor.

This comes as a shock to many since 50 Cent is a close friend to Floyd. However, there were rumors floating that 50 and Floyd's relationship were on the rocks. Fifty claims that there isn't any tension between himself and Floyd, this is strictly business.

“Yeah, well Floyd is a friend of mine. I look at Floyd like he’s my younger brother. He earns so much that he just spend. Run around and spend what he want. So, there’s no urgency, to anything. And when the communication breaks and it starts to not be –Look, my concept of TMT is ‘the fight you want to see’. It’s Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquio, the fight.”

Charlamagne Tha God asked Fifty if news of the business venture would upset Floyd.
“Well, I don’t think so. I think he’ll go ‘I wish him luck.’ … It’s not like I’m not in communication with him. I texted him and told him everything.” WATCH THE INTERVIEW HERE

Beyonce and Jay-Z will host a $40,000-a-plate Obama campaign fundraiser on Tuesday in New York, according to reports and an email sent out by the campaign Thursday morning. The power couple will host the event along with Mr. Obama at the rapper's 40/40 Club, which he opened in 2003.

While the fundraiser carries a hefty price tag, the campaign announced in an email Thursday that donors can donate as little as $5 to enter a drawing for a chance to attend.

According to a report in the New York Post, the event will be capped at 100 guests and attendees will have the chance to be photographed with president in exchange for an extra $12,500 contribution.

The Obama campaign announced Monday that it raised $114 million last month, eclipsing the $100 million mark for the first time this election cycle. The total edged out Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's $111 million haul, marking the first time since April that the president has raised more money than Mr. Romney.

BET Networks' flagship music variety program, "106 & PARK," officially announced the nominees for the BET HIP HOP AWARDS (#HIPHOPAWARDS). Actor and comedian Mike Epps (@THEREALMIKEEPPS) will once again host this year's festivities from the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center in Atlanta on Saturday, September 29, 2012 with the network premiere on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 8:00 pm*.

Mike Epps completely took-over "106 & PARK" today to mark the special occasion and revealed some of the notable nominees with help from A$AP Rocky, Ca$h Out, DJ Envy and DJ Drama. Hip Hop Awards nominated artists A$AP Rocky and Ca$h Out performed their hits "Goldie" and "Cashin Out" while nominated deejay's DJ Envy and DJ Drama spun for the crowd.

The BET HIP HOP AWARDS Voting Academy is comprised of a select assembly of music and entertainment executives, media and industry influencers. Celebrating the biggest names in the game, newcomers on the scene, and shining a light on the community, the BET HIP HOP AWARDS is ready to salute the very best in hip hop culture. Leading the pack of A-list talent this year is Kanye West with 17 Nominations for Best Hip Hop Video; Reese's Perfect Combo Award; Best Live Performer; Lyricist of the Year; Video Director of the Year; Producer of the Year; MVP of the Year; Track of the Year; Made-You-Look Award; Hustler of the Year; Impact Track; and 2 nominations for People's Champ Award Powered by Verizon for "Otis" and "Mercy" and 2 nominations Best Club Banger for "Ni**as in Paris" and "Mercy."

"This year as there's a vibrant, young energy in music that our BET Hip Hop Awards show is poised to capture both in dynamic cyphers and thrilling on-stage performances. The excitement will be coming to you at the speed of light!" stated Stephen G. Hill, President of Specials and Programming, BET Networks. "On another note, you can expect an all-star tribute to our friend Chris Lighty from those artists who loved him and worked with him...when it came to Chris, it was 'love' and 'work' in that order. This show, from front to back, is going to be special."

Following is the Full List of BET HIP HOP AWARDS '12 Nominees and Categories:

Best Hip Hop Video
2 Chainz f/ Drake – No Lie
A$AP Rocky – Goldie
Drake f/ Lil Wayne – HYFR
Wale f/ Miguel – Lotus Flower Bomb
Kanye West f/ Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz – Mercy

Reese's Perfect Combo Award (Best Collabo)
2 Chainz f/ Drake – No Lie
Drake f/ Lil Wayne & Tyga – The Motto (Remix)
J. Cole f/ Missy Elliott – Nobody's Perfect
Wale f/ Miguel – Lotus Flower Bomb
Kanye West f/ Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz – Mercy

Best Live Performer
A$AP Rocky
J. Cole
The Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West)
Kanye West

Lyricist of the Year
J. Cole
Kendrick Lamar
Kanye West

Video Director of the Year
A$AP Rocky & Sam Lecca
Benny Boom
Chris Robinson
Hype Williams
Kanye West

Producer of the Year
J. Cole
J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League
No I.D.
Kanye West

MVP of the Year
2 Chainz
J. Cole
Rick Ross
Kanye West

Track of the Year
Cashin' Out – Produced by DJ Spinz (Ca$h Out)
Ima Boss – Produced by Jahlil Beats (Meek Mill f/ Rick Ross)
Ni**as in Paris – Produced by Kanye West, Hit-Boy and Mike Dean (The Throne – Jay-Z & Kanye West)
No Lie – Produced by Mike Will Made-It and Co-Produced by Marz (2 Chainz f/ Drake)
The Motto (Remix) – Produced by T-Minus (Drake f/ Lil Wayne & Tyga)

CD of the Year
Common – The Dreamer, The Believer
Drake – Take Care
J. Cole – Cole World: The Sideline Story
The Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West) – Watch The Throne
Young Jeezy – TM: 103 Hustlerz Ambition

DJ of the Year
DJ Drama
DJ Enuff
DJ Envy
DJ Funkmaster Flex
DJ Khaled

Rookie of the Year
2 Chainz
A$AP Rocky
Ca$h Out
Meek Mill

Made-You-Look Award (Best Hip Hop Style)
2 Chainz
A$AP Rocky
Big Sean
Nicki Minaj
Kanye West

Best Club Banger
Ca$h Out – Cashin' Out (Produced by DJ Spinz)
Drake f/ Lil Wayne & Tyga – The Motto (Remix) (Produced by T-Minus)
Future – Same Damn Time (Produced by Sonny Digital)
The Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West) – Ni**as in Paris (Produced by Kanye West, Hit-Boy & Mike Dean)
Kanye West f/ Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz – Mercy (Produced by Lifted with additional production by Kanye West)

Best Mixtape
A$AP Rocky – LiveLoveA$AP
Joey BadA$$ - 1999
Meek Mill – Dreamchasers 2
Rick Ross – Rich Forever
Wiz Khalifa – Taylor Allderdice

Sweet 16: Best Featured Verse
2 Chainz – Mercy (Kanye West f/ Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz)
Diddy – Same Damn Time Remix (Future f/ Diddy & Ludacris)
Drake – Stay Schemin' (Rick Ross f/ Drake & French Montana)
Ludacris – Same Damn Time Remix (Future f/ Diddy & Ludacris)
T.I. – Magic Remix (Future f/ T.I.)

Hustler of the Year
2 Chainz
Lil Wayne
Rick Ross
Kanye West

Impact Track
Around My Way (Freedom Ain't Free) – Lupe Fiasco
Bitch Bad – Lupe Fiasco
Daughters – Nas
Murder to Excellence – The Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West)

People's Champ Award Presented by Verizon
2 Chainz f/ Drake – No Lie
Driicky Graham – Snapbacks & Tattoos
Meek Mill f/ Rick Ross – Ima Boss
The Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West) f/ Otis Redding – Otis
Kanye West f/ Big Sean, Pusha T & 2 Chainz – Mercy

Paul Wall, Ab-Soul, 9th Wonder, Freeway, Devin the Dude and more have been added to Atlanta’s annual A3C Hip Hop Festival.

In addition to headliner Twista, King Louie, GLC and Mikkey Halsted will represent the Midwest in the Taste of Chicago showcase presented by Xtreme Promo and Fake Shore Drive. Taste of Chicago also features YP, Mush Millions, Fresh, Squart and others.

Continuing to showcase regional Hip Hop sounds, A3C’s Texas showcase presented by Pushamania includes Paul Wall, Killa Kyleon, A.Dd+, The Niceguys, League of Extraordinary Gz, Doughbeezy, Kydd and Worldwide.

Long time A3C Partner, Fadia Kader returns to the festival with Perfect Attendance presented by LiveMixtapes all three nights at Little Five Point’s Five Spot. Saturday night, hosted by Dirty Glove Bastards, features Devin The Dude, Don Trip, Starlito, Young Scooter, SL Jones, Cory Mo, OG Ron C and DJ Burn One. Thursday Night will be hosted by GoodMusicAllDay and Friday will be hosted by The Smoking Section with artists still to be announced for both evenings.

A3C alumnus 9th Wonder also returns with his independent label Jamla Records and performances from artists Big Remo, Actual Proof, Rapsody and others.

Creative Revolution Union (CRUx) and EarMilk join forces to present Right Brain headlined by Ab-Soul. Sponsored by Rocksmith Clothing, the Right Brain showcase also features Ducko McFli, FKi, Zip, Kenney and Mach Five.

A3C is still accepting artists’ submissions through ReverbNation and Sonicbids until August 31. A3C staff listen to every submission and are looking for talented artists from across the country who can bring something unique to the festival. All artists that submit, regardless of selection, receive a 3-day festival pass through Sonicbids or a code to purchase discounted tickets through ReverbNation.

Tech N9ne, Freeway, Gunplay, CunninLynguists and Hopsin are just a few of other artists confirmed to perform at the 2012 event in addition to a special appearance by Ghet-O-Vision/Shady recording artist Yelawolf.

The A3C has not only become the largest Hip Hop festival in the southeastern United States, but is the premier gathering place for MCs, DJs and producers that create Hip Hop music as well as participants and fans of the culture. In addition to more than 200 live performances and showcases, the A3C Hip Hop Festival features turntable, emcee, producer and breakdance competitions as well as educational and community programming including panel discussions and workshops.

Specific showcase, panel, artists and event updates will continue to be announced through the A3C website through the start of the festival on October 11, 2012.


Tech N9ne
Devin the Dude
Paul Wall
9th Wonder
Phil Ade
Los Rakas
Curtis Williams
G Side
Toki Wright
Fat Trel
Chris Webby
Soul Khan
Jackie Chain
OCD: Moosh & Twist
Diamond District
Smoke (Field Mob)
Young Guru
Emilio Rojas
Apollo Brown
Jarren Benton
Gensu Dean
Special Appearance from Yelawolf
Mani Coolin’
The 1978ers (yU & Slimkat78)
Skoolie Escobar
Eric Biddines
Felony Fame
Nike Nando
Nova The Rebel
Diamond (Crime Mob)
Dizzy Wright
Boldy James
Big Page
Shawty Fatt
Jon Hope
Killer Mike
El Prez

Ne-Yo captures the #1 spot on the UK national chart with "Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself)," the latest single from his new album, R.E.D., arriving in-stores on November 6th. Ne-Yo is set to perform "Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself)" on the season finale of NBC's America's Got Talent this Thursday, September 13th.

With 90,000 first week UK sales, "Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself)," Ne-Yo's overall 5th #1 UK single, marks his first #1 UK hit as a Motown artist, since his move from Def Jam to Motown in January. It also marks Ne-Yo's biggest #1 UK sales week and is Motown's first #1 UK hit in 20 years, since Boyz II Men's "End of the Road" in 1992.

The success of "Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself)" is underscored by the fact that Ne-Yo is not only an artist on the newly revitalized Motown Records, but also serves as the label's Senior Vice President of A&R. In that post, he works closely alongside Barry Weiss, Chairman & CEO of Universal Republic and Island Def Jam Motown, and Ethiopia Habtemariam, Senior Vice President of Motown Records.

R.E.D. is Ne-Yo's first album for Motown after seven hugely successful years and four RIAA gold and platinum albums as a core member of IDJ since 2005. Ne-Yo has seen over 8 million albums and 23 million singles sold worldwide. In the U.S., his first three albums are all nearing RIAA double platinum for sales in excess of 2 million copies each; and he has amassed five platinum and one RIAA gold single.

Ne-Yo's arrival at Motown in 2012 caps an incredible run at sister label Def Jam, where his first three studio albums all debuted at #1 Soundscan and were all certified RIAA platinum: In My Own Words (2006), Because Of You (Grammy Award®-winning Best Contemporary R&B Album for 2007), and Year Of The Gentleman (2008).

Year Of The Gentleman spun off a trio of RIAA platinum hits: "Closer" (#1 U.S. Dance, #1 UK), "Miss Independent" (#1 U.S. R&B, #1 UK R&B), and "Mad" (#5 U.S. R&B, #3 UK R&B). "Miss Independent" went on to win Grammy Awards® for Best R&B Song (songwriters award) and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.

Year Of The Gentleman's success around the globe in 2008 jump-started Ne-Yo's career as an actor in 2009. He was cast in two big budget, major studio blockbusters: director Jonathan Liebesman's Battle: Los Angeles (Columbia Pictures), which opened in 2011; and George Lucas' World War II epic Red Tails (20th Century Fox), the chronicle of the Tuskegee Airmen, which opened in 2012.

Today, in addition to his successful careers as a recording artist, music executive, philanthropist, and actor, Ne-Yo heads the Compound Foundation, a 501 c-3 non-profit organization which is committed to increasing awareness about the status of children in the child welfare system, and supporting and partnering with residential care facilities and independent group homes through programs aimed at teaching entrepreneurship and life skills that will empower them to become productive, successful, independent adults.

F.A.M. Productions Inc and Singleton Entertainment Corp announced an upcoming mixtape “Sixty8 Comeback” from Frank Anthony. “Sixty8 Comeback”, is available for free HERE. This release highlights some classic vibes from 1968 and leading to the explosive energy heard in mainstream Hip Hop and R&B sounds of today.

According to the Toronto native, “I have been waiting for this day to release this Mix Tape to my fans for several weeks now. I am happy with the end result of Sixty8 Comeback and I’m looking forward to hearing the feedback from my fans. I really appreciate their patience and I hope they enjoy the music as much as I enjoyed making it for them,” says Frank Anthony.

“Sixty8 Comeback” is an amazingly soulful Mix Tape, blending the sounds and nostalgic feel of old school R&B with a fresh youthful take no prisoners Frank Anthony sound. The project features songs like the romantic “I Don’t Deserve You” to the raw club bangers like “Live in My Bed” featuring Kendrick Lamar. The Mix Tape is an introductory showcase of Frank Anthony the singer, songwriter and passionate artist who has a lot to say as he steps out on to the world stage.

According to Uche Lord Eme, A&R at Singleton Entertainment Corp, “You are going to want to rock out to Frank Anthony’s new Mix Tape.” Each of the songs on “Sixty8 Comeback” has been produced by stellar platinum producers like Poo Bear, The Audibles, The Underdogs, Scott Storch, Dwayne “D’Cat” Cornelius and Adam & Uche.

Digital Domain company (responsible for the "Tupac Hologram" at Coachella) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from its creditors this week.

According to CNN, Digital Domain's financials have long been a concern. Since the company was typically hired by Hollywood studios on a contract basis, its revenue stream was pretty small. Digital Domain expressed hope recently that expanding the virtual performer business beyond Tupac would be lucrative, as it would be able to get a cut of the ticket sales for such events.

Digital Domain wasn't able to get out of the hole quickly enough. As of June 30, the company had assets of $205 million and debts of $214 million. In August, it had hired Wells Fargo (WFC, Fortune 500) to advise on "strategic alternatives" for the business.
Last week, Digital Domain officially announced a major restructuring that included the resignation of CEO John Textor. The company also shuttered its Port St. Lucie, Fl., operations and fired most of the 320 employees based in that office.

The company had also planned to make its own movies based on its animation and effects. As part of that plan, Digital Domain partnered with studio giant Lionsgate (LGF) to make a film based on the popular sci-fi/fantasy novel "Ender's Game."

That movie is set to be released on November 1, 2013. "The postproduction work remains on schedule," a Lionsgate representative told CNNMoney. "We're confident that we will release the film as planned."

Private investment firm Searchlight Capital Partners will buy Digital Domain's core production business for $15 million, pending court approval.

It's an abrupt end for the nearly 20-year-old company, whose founders include director James Cameron. Before its IPO and Tupac tricks, Digital Domain worked on special effects for scores of big movies including "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Transformers" and Cameron's "Titanic." The company won an Oscar for its work on reverse-aging Brad Pitt's character in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." Source: Cnn

Bad Boy/Interscope Records artist Cassie returns with a brand-new single "Balcony," featuring Young Jeezy released today, September 11th. The track — a sultry, electro-R&B jam that was produced by Rico Love (Usher, Nelly, Beyoncé), Earl Hood, and Eric Goudy II — is the latest single from the singer's upcoming full-length second album. The first single, "King of Hearts," was released in February. A video for "Balcony" is on the way, as is a mixtape, entitled Rock A Bye Baby — both due later this month. Producers on the mixtape include Rob Holladay, Malay, Rico Love, Internz, and Knotch, as well as songwriter Stacy Barthe.

Cassie catapulted onto the scene at age 19 with her debut smash single "Me & U," which climbed to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. She also scored with a string of hit collaborations including "Official Girl" featuring Lil' Wayne, "Must Be Love," featuring Sean "Diddy" Combs, and "Let's Get Crazy" featuring Akon. In 2008, Cassie made her film debut in Step Up 2: The Streets and her song "Is It You" appeared on the film's soundtrack.

LATIN HIP HOP RAPPER RUNNING AS UNITED STATES VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE ON CALIFORNIA AND NATIONAL AIP TICKET At the August 11, 2012, Sacramento, California American Independent Party (AIP) Presidential Nominating Convention, Dr. Robert ‘Battle Ax’ Ornelas was overwhelmingly selected by the delegates of the American Independent Party of California as their United States Vice Presidential Candidate for the 2012 November Election. The newly revived American Independent Party Of These United States (AIPOTUS) in a joint Convention with their California state party affiliate, also picked Dr. Ornelas as their Vice Presidential nominee. The Presidential Candidate nominee for both State and national American Independent Parties is Tom Hoefling of Iowa.

Dr. Ornelas was selected by the delegates for his support of Israel and current activism throughout the country. This is the first time in the history of the United States that a hip hop artist and Latino with Mexican descent is running for the office of the U.S. Vice President. And it is the second time in history a person who has Native American ancestry has vied for this office. He is the second after Herbert Hoover’s Vice President, Charles Curtis, to have a Native American ancestry. Dr. Ornelas is the great-great-great-grandson of Chief Cristobal Osuna from a tribe in the San Diego Mountains circa the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo (1848).

The American Independent Party of California seeks to uphold the God given gifts asserted by the Declaration of Independence which include the rights to life and liberty for all people including the unborn. The Central Committee Chairperson is Mark Seidenberg and Executive Committee Chairperson is Markham Robinson.

Dr. Robert "Battle Ax" Ornelas is a member of the S.O.G Crew.

About The S.O.G. Crew
The S.O.G. Crew is a unique experience of modern Latin hip hop. The group is comprised of Dr. Robert Ornelas (Battle Ax); a Doctor of Divinity, ordained Evangelist, and Pastor, Corina Gonzalez (DJ Siren); a Cal State University Northridge Graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Consumer Affairs and Marketing, Krista Rocha (Luminous V); a two-year college student, and Robert Ornelas Jr. (Lil’ Battle Ax).

The S.O.G. Crew, based in Anaheim, California, has been trailblazing the hip hop scene since 1999. Touring the U.S., Mexico, Hawaii, and Alaska multiple times and dropping their first album ' We Rise to Get Down' in 2005. This fearless team has entered night clubs, coffee houses, colleges, universities, high schools, prisons, rehabs, and project housing, reservations, amongst places to take the influence of their music into places where none have dared to enter. Having performed before Mayors, worked with every Native American Indian Tribe in the U.S. and elite artists in the entertainment industry, been seen at multiple conferences, city- wide events and performed before Chambers of Commerce board members; their music is not the only highly desirable and sought after trait, but also, their exceptionally influential speaking and mentoring abilities to both children and families, and Hollywood entertainers, musicians, and actors.

Nas has announced he will ring in the New Year by performing at Radio City Music Hall in NY. Nas will headline the New Year's Eve showl. Elle Varner will be his opening act. Tickets go on sale on Friday, November 14th at noon, the same day that he will celebrate his 39th birthday. “There is no better place for me to spend New Year’s Eve than New York City, and there aren’t many better places to perform in this world than Radio City," said Nas in a press release.

Mos Def (Yasiin Bey) recently sat down with GQ to talk about his name change, his style and more...

A Mos by Any Other Name...
"I began to fear that Mos Def was being treated as a product, not a person, so I've been going by Yasiin since '99. At first it was just for friends and family, but now I'm declaring it openly."

Paying Homage
"When my paternal grandfather passed a few years back, I started to wear a shirt and tie every day, like he did. Michael Jackson's death had a big impact on me, too. Right before the Ecstatic tour in 2009, I began wearing loafers and high-waisted pants. And that's where my look started."

Honest Goods
"Hip-hop is the last true folk art. I got involved with Ale et Ange because it represents hip-hop in a way that isn't pandering. It's nice to see something that's elegant, skillful, and raw."

Power Suits
"With guys I revere, like Marcus Garvey or Malcolm X, their look is less about style than purpose and the expression of beauty. It wasn't just about being noticed, you know?"

"I like drawing connections between pieces and patterns that would make someone else think, 'Those two things would never go together.' Well, to me they do."

So Fresh, So Clean
"I don't have advice for people on how to dress. People should dress based on what they find beautiful. My best advice: Keep your clothes clean."
Source: GQ

Urban music’s premier songwriters, producers and music publishers came together September 7 during the BMI Urban Awards at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. The event toasts the teams behind the past year’s most-performed R&B, rap, pop and hip-hop songs in BMI’s deep repertoire.

Mariah Carey was named a BMI Icon. A jaw-dropping musical tribute paid homage to Carey, who joins a list of past honorees that includes The Jacksons, Snoop Dogg, James Brown, Isaac Hayes, Little Richard, Al Green, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton and more.

Drake and Lil Wayne shared the Songwriter of the Year crown by each writing seven songs that rank among the year’s most-performed. The win marks the second consecutive Songwriter of the Year title for Drake.

Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass” earned Song of the Year honors for its writers Minaj, Ester Dean and Kane Beatz.

Pop Wansel earned the Producer of the Year crystal. In addition to Wansel, BMI also recognized Top Producers Warren “Oak” Felder, Jim Jonsin, R. Kelly, Lexus “Lex Luger” Lewis, Polow Da Don, Troy Taylor, Kanye West, and Tyler “T-Minus” Williams.

With 17 songs among the most-performed, EMI Music Publishing clinched the Publisher of the Year crown.

Mac Miller won the first-ever BMI Social Star Award, presented by Spotify. The award salutes the BMI urban songwriter who has best demonstrated the power of social media to showcase their songwriting talents.

BMI President & CEO Del Bryant and Catherine Brewton, Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, Atlanta, hosted the 2012 BMI Urban Awards.

Ciara's won Grammy Awards, BET Awards, and MTV Awards, and she was named Billboard's Woman Of The Year. She's sold more than seven million albums, scored eight Top Ten singles, toured with Jay-Z, Britney Spears, and T.I., and collaborated with artists such as Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown, R. Kelly, Usher and Missy Elliott. At 26, singer/songwriter/actress Ciara's already had an extraordinary musical career, and with the release of "Sorry," the first single from her fifth album, One Woman Army, Ciara's soaring again.

One Woman Army is a deeply personal record; it exposes a softer side of Ciara. While she continued to flex her considerable strength, Ciara allowed herself to be emotionally open and honest in writing and recording the songs for One Woman Army. "I can sometimes be afraid of my own vulnerability," she said. "But this time I let myself face it. I let myself feel. I let myself be real. I let myself hurt and be healed."

There are songs that are trademark Ciara in their undeniable beats and fierce vocal work, including "Got Me Good," but Ciara's extended far beyond her comfort zone with the material on One Woman Army. Working with The Underdogs, Rodney Jerkins, Soundz, Jasper Cameron, Josh Abraham and Jermaine Dupri, Ciara's created an album that's authentic, emotionally honest, and easily her most ambitious to date.

The passion for Ciara has remained steady with her legions of fans since her 2004 debut, reaching fever-pitch this summer when the news broke that she'd reunited with her former mentor and early champion, LA Reid, who signed Ciara to LaFace when she was only 16. When LA took the helm at Epic last year, Ciara was one of the first artists he signed, and One Woman Army is the much-anticipated product of their reignited partnership.

"Sorry," the album's first single, became a topic of conversation in the blogosphere after Ciara tweeted a hand-written excerpt of the song's lyrics. "You said all the right things/But the one thing you didn't understand/was that all you had to say was... 'I'm sorry.'" She didn't identify the subject of the song, but it wasn't just the mystery that got people talking – it was the promise of new music from Ciara, who released her last record in 2010.

Ciara's talent is amplified by her beauty and her magnetic screen presence. An accomplished actress, the video for "Sorry" is her first on-film endeavor since she co-starred in this summer's comedy, "That's My Boy," featuring Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg. Much like One Woman Army, the "Sorry" video reflects Ciara's evolution as an artist; it showcases a surprisingly gentle Ciara. "Sorry" will premiere on BET's 106 and Park on September 13th. (A video for "Got Me Good" will be available concurrent with the single's release on October 8.)

With "Sorry" about to be released, and "Got Me Good" on the horizon, Ciara's once again in the spotlight. One Woman Army may be a bold departure for her, but she's headed for a familiar destination: the top of the charts.

Nicki Minaj announces the launch of her first fragrance, Pink Friday, in partnership with Elizabeth Arden, a global prestige beauty products company. The fragrance will debut in department stores nationwide this month (September 2012).

"We are very pleased to partner with Nikki Minaj as she introduces her debut fragrance, Pink Friday," said Kathy Widmer, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Elizabeth Arden. "We believe this fragrance beautifully reflects her innovative and creative spirit, and we look forward to a long and rewarding partnership with her."

Nicki Minaj has uniquely mastered a revolutionary mix of Hip Hop and Pop, currently ranking as one of Pop's highest selling artists. Her recently released, worldwide platinum, second consecutive #1 album is entitled Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, and continues to impress her growing audience, as evidenced by its record-breaking appeal. The album has garnered tremendous reaction and has quickly climbed to the top, debuting at #1 in the US, Canada, Japan, UK, Australia and New Zealand. The first single, 'Starships,' has sold over 3.2 million downloads to date, holding the record for spending the most consecutive weeks in the Billboard US Top Ten. Her previous album, Pink Friday, debuted in 2010 and quickly broadened her appeal from a performer with a coveted and loyal fan base into a huge commercial sensation. Her growing social community, now consisting of 21 million Facebook fans and 14 million Twitter followers, continually interact with her each other as they energetically voice their opinions- especially with regard to her ingenious performances, outrageous and cutting-edge style, and current Pink Friday world tour.

"Pink Friday is a celebration of my life at this moment; it is a reflection of me as a creator, and an expression of me as a woman. I know my Barbz will connect with and appreciate each aspect – from the name, to the outrageous bottle design, to the vibrant colors that create their own song. Pink Friday shows off my personality and style; it's exciting to express my voice through another dimension," says Nicki Minaj. "I was involved in every aspect of the decision-making process – it seems easy because I always get this feeling inside: I know if something is right or wrong. Each detail needs to 'wow' me or it is not an option; that's my way of composing perfection."

A natural progression in her blossoming beauty empire, Pink Friday is Nicki Minaj's first and signature scent. Pink Friday captures her vivacious personality and effervescence in both its intoxicating notes and thrilling presentation. The fragrance mixes complementary playful and sultry notes of juicy fruits, creamy vanilla and sensual musks to create an exhilarating scent that ignites beyond the senses.

"It has truly been a privilege to work with Nicki throughout the evolution of Pink Friday," said Noreen Dodge, Global Marketing & Creative Development. "She is a 'creative' in every sense of the word and brings a level of passion to the project that inspires us with every detail. She is an amazing woman: a high achiever who holds herself to a standard that will allow the brand to make its own brilliant mark in the beauty category. There have been no boundaries in making the decisions surrounding the launch of Pink Friday, and that impact will prove phenomenal for the brand."

Today it was officially announced by Live Nation, the tour's international promoter that the RIHANNA DIAMONDS WORLD TOUR begins March 8th 2013 in Buffalo, New York. The tour is scheduled to stop in more than 27 cities across North America with additional dates to be announced. North American on-sales begin Friday, September 14th at LiveNation.com.

The Rihanna Diamonds North American leg includes performances at arenas in Los Angeles, Toronto, Boston, Brooklyn, Chicago, and more. A complete itinerary follows this release.

Rihanna's previous tour, the extremely successful "LOUD" Tour solidified Rihanna's status as one of the top female solo artists of this century. The LOUD tour grossed 90 million worldwide to become the 7th highest grossing tour of 2011 and included a historic 10 Sold Out concerts at London's O2 Arena – a first by a female solo artist.

The announcement of Rihanna's Diamonds World Tour follows an epic headlining performance at last night's MTV Video Music Awards.

As the recipient of a phenomenal 6 Grammy Awards, Rihanna has sold over 37 million albums and 146 million digital tracks worldwide, and currently holds the record for top-selling digital artist of all time. In 2012, Forbes crowned Rihanna as the #1 social networking superstar with more than 60 million fans on Facebook and 25 million followers on Twitter in addition to owning over 2.7 billion views on YouTube/VEVO – the most for any female artist. Rihanna's impressive catalogue of hits includes 11 #1 singles, including "We Found Love" which spent 10 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, 18 #1 singles on the Billboard Dance Club Song Charts, and 22 top 10 singles.

RIHANNA DIAMONDS WORLD TOUR North American Itinerary 2013:
Mar. 8 Buffalo, NY First Niagara Center
Mar. 10 Boston, MA TD Garden
Mar. 12 Baltimore, MD 1st Mariner Arena
Mar. 14 Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center
Mar. 15 Hartford, CT XL Center
Mar. 17 Montreal, QC Bell Centre
Mar. 18 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
Mar. 21 Detroit, MI Joe Louis Arena
Mar. 22 Chicago, IL United Center
Mar. 24 St. Paul, MN Xcel Energy Center
Mar. 25 Winnipeg, MB MTS Centre
Mar. 27 Edmonton, AB Rexall Place
Mar. 30 Calgary, AB Scotiabank Saddledome
Apr. 1 Vancouver, BC Rogers Arena
Apr. 3 Seattle, WA Key Arena
Apr. 6 San Jose, CA HP Pavilion
Apr. 8 Los Angeles, CA Staples Center
Apr. 11 San Diego, CA Valley View Casino Center
Apr. 12 Las Vegas, NV Mandalay Bay
Apr. 15 Houston, TX Toyota Center
Apr. 16 Dallas, TX American Airlines Center
Apr. 19 Tampa, FL Tampa Bay Times Forum
Apr. 20 Ft. Lauderdale, FL BankAtlantic Center
Apr. 22 Atlanta, GA Philips Arena
Apr. 29 Washington, D.C Verizon Center
May 2 Ottawa, ON Scotiabank Place
May 4 Brooklyn, NY Barclays Center

The "2012 MTV Video Music Awards," broadcast live from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, was a night of musical firsts with the debut TV performances of new songs by Taylor Swift, Alicia Keys, Lil Wayne, P!nk, Green Day and more. First-time host Kevin Hart set the lively tone for the evening the moment he emerged with his own unique security detail, while One Direction, Frank Ocean, 2 Chainz and Calvin Harris marked their first-ever VMA performances.

Rihanna, who took home the biggest prize of the night, "Video of the Year," for "We Found Love," opened the show with a sultry performance of "Cockiness (Love It)" featuring A$AP Rocky. She then turned the arena into a huge dance party, performing her VMA award-winning song, "We Found Love," with mega-hit producer and "2012 VMA house D.J." Calvin Harris, who won a VMA of his own for "Best Electronic Dance Music Video."

Chris Brown won two VMA Moonmen for "Best Male Video" and "Best Choreography" for "Turn up the Music." Tying Brown with two wins for the night was M.I.A., who took home "Best Direction" and "Best Cinematography" for "Bad Girls." The Young Money crew also had a night of successes, as Nicki Minaj won "Best Female Video," and Drake featuring Lil Wayne scored "Best Hip Hop Video." Coldplay garnered "Best Rock Video," and VMA pre-show performer Demi Lovato took home "Best Video with a Message."

2 Chainz took to the VMA stage for the first time ever, and together with Lil Wayne, ignited the audience with a performance of "Yuck," followed by Lil Wayne's new single "No Worries," from his highly anticipated mix tape, "D4." In a pulsating performance from the center of a writhing human mosh pit, Green Day rocked out to their new song "Let Yourself Go." Alicia Keys' electrifying performance of new single "Girl on Fire" featured a surprise appearance by Nicki Minaj, and was accompanied by U.S. Olympian Gabby Douglas, who performed her gold medal-winning moves on stage.

Rihanna f/ Calvin Harris
Title: "We Found Love"

Chris Brown
Title: "Turn Up the Music"

Nicki Minaj
Title: "Starships"

Drake featuring Lil Wayne
Title: "HYFR"

Chris Brown
Title: "Turn Up the Music"
Choreography by Anwar "Flii" Burton

On Tuesday, September 18, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. ET*, BET Networks will premiere BET PRESENTS: BAD25 – THE SHORT FILMS OF MICHAEL JACKSON, a two-hour tribute to the industry-redefining short films emanating from the landmark Michael Jackson album, BAD, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The TV special airs the same day as the release of BAD25, available in multiple formats, which will include CDs of the original album plus rare and previously unreleased audio as well as the first ever authorized DVD and CD release of a concert from the record breaking BAD World Tour.

Partnering with Sony Music and The Estate of Michael Jackson, BET has created a unique and spectacular televised tribute to the short films from Michael Jackson's BAD. Through photos, visuals and interviews with celebrity fans, cultural critics and contemporary artists who have been influenced by Michael, the special will take viewers on a fascinating journey celebrating the everlasting influence on the music video artform by one of the most historically significant works of modern music, BAD. The special will include interviews with Ne-Yo, Ashanti, Michael Eric Dyson, A$AP Rocky, Beverly Johnson, Affion Crockett, Al Sharpton, MC Lyte and others.

BAD is not only a multi-platinum album; it is a cultural phenomenon. The album was #1 around the world, made history with five consecutive #1 singles on the Billboard chart, and produced nine chart-topping singles, and nine groundbreaking and iconic short films, including Smooth Criminal, The Way You Make Me Feel and Bad. To date, the BAD album has generated over 45 million units in sales. The BAD World Tour was Michael's first concert tour as a solo artist, and his only North American tour, and included 123 concerts attended by more than 4.4 million fans over sixteen months. When it concluded, the tour had shattered all previous touring records for attendance and total gross revenue.

The project is produced by Ducret Media for BET Networks with executive producer Tony Ducret and producer Amita Patel.

The rapper Capone was arrested yesterday on a child-support evasion charge after allegedly failing to pay more than $160,000 in support dating back to 2004.
Capone, 36, whose real name is Kiam Holley, was released on a $10,000 personal-recognizance bond. He is supposed to pay $1,500 a month until his 12-year-old daughter turns 21.

Prosecutors said Capone has made only three payments in eight years totalling just over $144. “It is what it is,” the rapper said outside court. “I know it looks bad on paper, but I take care of my daughter.” Capone was arrested in his Jersey home. Judge Joan Azrack said his travel will be restricted to New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Source: NY Post

CEO/Founder MC Lyte, Advisory Board Members Russell Simmons, Melanie Fiona, and Salt, University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Damon A. Williams, and HHSF President Lynn Richardson are pleased to announce a new $100,000 hip-hop scholarship partnership that will enable one college-bound student to pursue a bachelor's degree from one of the world's top academic institutions – the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A press conference and reception will take place at Rush Communications on Thursday September 6th 2012 at Noon EST to announce the scholarship. The recipient will hold a slot in the country's only higher education program to incorporate hip-hop artistry at the college level. Freshman who plan to enroll in college in the Fall of 2013 are invited to apply for the MC Lyte / UW Madison $100,000 First Wave Scholarship Presented by Hip Hop Sisters Foundation. The application deadline is October 1, 2012 and the winner will be announced by MC Lyte and HHSF in collaboration with this year's Soul Train Music Awards.

"For years I've dreamed of having the ability to help our community and now finally the day has arrived," said MC Lyte. "HHSF is about changing lives and truly encouraging several generations that have been and are influenced by hip-hop culture. It is my life's mission to see those who believe, actually see their dreams come to fruition. Helping the younger generation see their strengths and potential is what my goals are for this foundation. This scholarship partnership with UW-Madison is just the beginning for what HHSF has in store."

Russell Simmons, Global Grind founder, HHSF advisory board member and co-founder of the Hip Hop Summit Action Network praised the Hip Hop Sisters Foundation for its strong legacy of being a national voice that reverberates with the truest heartbeat and pulse of the global hip-hop community. "This partnership signals an opportunity to help young people influenced by hip hop culture think of education as an achievable goal rather than a phantom wish reserved only for the lucky," said Simmons.

Dr. Dre took the top slot for this year's Forbes magazine’s “Hip-Hop Cash Kings” Dre raked in $110 million through his various ventures-- the lucrative sale of his Beats By Dr. Dre headphones to handset maker HTC, which paid $300 million for a 51 percent stake in the company last year. Diddy landed at number two on the list, as the Bad Boy Entertainment CEO earned $45 million mostly due to profits from Diageo's Ciroc vodka. Jay Z raked in $38 million dollars through his sponsorship deals, including Duracell and Budweiser and investment in the Brooklyn Nets.

The top 20:
1. Dr. Dre — $110 million
2. Diddy — $45 million
3. Jay-Z — $38 million
4. Kanye West — $35 million
5. Lil Wayne — $27 million
6. Drake — $20.5 million
7. Bryan “Birdman” Williams — $20 million
8. Nicki Minaj — $15.5 million
9. Eminem — $15 million
10. Ludacris — $12 million
11. Pitbull — $9.5 million
12. Rick Ross — $9 million (tie)
12. Wiz Khalifa — $9 million (tie)
14. Snoop Lion — $8.5 million
15. 50 Cent — $7.5 million
16. Swizz Beatz — $7 million (tie)
16. Pharrell Williams — $7 million (tie)
16. Young Jeezy — $7 million (tie)
19. Mac Miller — $6.5 million
20. Akon — $6 million (tie)
20. Timbaland — $6 million (tie)
20. Tech N9ne — $6 million (tie)

For more than a decade and a half, Vinnie Paz has been a mainstay at the top of the independent hip-hop scene. He is the frontman of both Jedi Mind Tricks and Army of the Pharaohs and one half of the Heavy Metal Kings duo with ILL BILL. In 2010, he stepped out as a solo artist with his album, Season of the Assassin, which featured the popular track, “End of Days.”

On October 22, 2012, Vinnie will release his sophomore solo album God of the Serengeti featuring production by DJ Premier, Havoc (Mobb Deep), Psycho Les (Beatnuts), Marco Polo, C-Lance and more with guest appearances by Scarface, Mobb Deep, Immortal Technique, La Coka Nostra, Army of the Pharaohs, Kool G. Rap, R.A. the Rugged Man and others. The 18-track album promises to add another chapter in the growing legacy of Vinnie Paz’s uncompromising brand of hardcore hip-hop.

Vinnie Paz says, “I got the chance to work with a lot of legends this time around, which was an honor. To be able to work with people that I came up listening to like DJ Premier, Scarface, Mobb Deep, The Beatnuts, Tragedy, and Kool G. Rap is a blessing and a humbling reminder of how far I’ve come since I first started recording demos twenty years ago,” Paz continues, “to make records for a living isn’t something I take for granted and hopefully that passion I have for this comes across in all of the music I make whether that’s with Jedi Mind Tricks, Army of the Pharaohs, Heavy Metal Kings, or my solo stuff.”

Vinnie Paz’s new solo album, God of the Serengeti, available October 22, 2012 on Vinnie’s own imprint, Enemy Soil.

1.) “Shadow Of The Guillotine” f/ Q-Unique (produced by DJ Lethal)
2.) “Slum Chemist” (produced by C-Lance)
3.) “The Oracle” (produced by DJ Premier)
4.) “And Your Blood Will Blot Out The Sun” f/ Immortal Technique & Poison Pen (produced by Tony Kenyatta)
5.) “Last Breath” f/ Chris Rivers (aka Baby Pun) & Whispers (produced by C-Lance)
6.) “Crime Library” f/ Blaq Poet (produced by Marco Polo)
7. “Feign Submission” (Interlude) (produced by JBL the Titan)
8. “Duel To The Death” f/ Mobb Deep (produced by Stu Bangas)
9.) “Problem Solver” f/ Scarface (produced by The Arcitype)
10.) “Battle Hymn” f/ Apathy, King Syze, Crypt the Warchild, Jus Allah, Esoteric, Blacastan, Celph Titled & Planetary (produced by Mr. Green)
11.) “Geometry of Business” f/ La Coka Nostra (produced by Havoc)
12.) “Jake LaMotta” (produced by Illinformed)
13.) “7 Fires Of Prophecy” f/ Tragedy Khadafi (produced by Beatnick Dee) LISTEN HERE
14.) “Cheesesteaks” (produced by Psycho Les)
15.) “Cold, Dark, and Empty” f/ FT and Smoke (produced by Jack Of All Trades)
16. “Razor Gloves” f/ R.A. the Rugged Man (produced by MTK)
17.) “Wolves Amongst The Sheep” f/ Kool G. Rap & Block McCloud (produced by C-Lance)
18.) “You Can’t Be Neutral On A Moving Train” (produced by C-Lance & JBL the Titan)
19.) “Kingdom Crusher” f/ Block McCloud (produced by Paul Nice) *****BONUS TRACK

50 Cent (Curtis Jackson) has sued Sleek Audio LLC for a $285,000 promissory note he lent the company in April 2010, which remains unpaid, court records show. The partnership originally resulted in the "Sleek by 50" wireless headphones that were announced at the 2011 CES convention in Las Vegas.

Sleek Audio issued a press release last May terminating its licensing agreement with the 37-year-old rapper, whose real name is Curtis Jackson.

Legal representatives from Jackson and Sleek Audio both declined to comment Thursday due to confidentiality obligations.

In addition to having his advance money returned, Jackson requested $61,429 in back interest, an additional 15 percent for any debt that remains unpaid going forward, and for Sleek Audio to pay legal fees tied to the issue.

In litigation filed with the Manatee Clerk of Court in April, Jackson claims Sleek Audio agreed to begin payments on the loan once the company notched $750,000 in sales revenue, a mark allegedly eclipsed in February 2011.

Jackson, who is still listed as a managing partner with Sleek Audio, has since teamed with SMS Audio LLC of Delray Beach, Fla., on his headphone venture. SMS Audio could not be reached Thursday. Litigation surrounding the technology also is pending in West Palm Beach County and New York.

Sleek Audio argues the loan became void when Jackson took their idea to a competitor. The company also claims Jackson purposely omitted and misstated information during their negotiations with intent of fraud, according to the lawsuit.

"Sleek would have never borrowed money from Jackson or allowed him to invest in its company had it known that Jackson would ultimately use this tactic (of misusing the money) to steal its design, technology and headphones," the company said in an un-sworn court statement.

Correspondence from Jackson in March 2011 demanded the company mediate the issue. The latest court documents filed by Jackson's attorneys indicate Sleek Audio essentially refused by providing no reasonable availability to meet.

Because the arbitration was binding, the $285,000 will most likely be awarded pending court confirmation, said Joseph Lehn, a Sarasota foreclosure attorney who reviewed the documents at the request of the Bradenton Herald.

Sleek Audio can still appeal or discharge the debt through bankruptcy.

"Celebrities get involved in these all of the time, and they have been known to make bad investments," Lehn said. "Anybody who makes an investment takes a risk. In this case, it was smart by 50 Cent to make some of the clauses written in."

Founded in 2006, Sleek Audio specializes in "wireless hybrid earphones" that "offer unparalleled sound quality, comfort and flexibility," according to the company's website.

Sleek Audio's products have been featured in publications such as Wired magazine and Popular Science. It received the 2009 Innovation Award from the Manatee County Economic Development Corp.

Sleek Audio is registered to Mark Krywko. The company employs four at its Bradenton location. It has introduced more than 20 patented products to the world marketplace, according to Herald records. Sleek Audio's noise reduction headphones have been used by more than 300 professional athletes, including members of the Tampa Bay Rays. Source: Miami Herald

Hip-hop mogul Chris Lighty (Founder of Violator) died Thursday morning after he shot himself during an argument with his ex-wife inside his Bronx apartment, sources told the Ny Daily News.

Lighty, 44 — a longtime manager of 50 Cent, Diddy, Ja Rule and Mariah Carey — put a gun to his head and fired after a spat with his former wife, Veronica, inside the South Riverdale apartment about 11:30 a.m., police sources said.

Law enforcement sources said Lighty — who divorced his wife last year — may have been dealing with financial struggles, including owing about $5 million to the IRS.
Lighty, founder of Violator Management, merged with another talent company to form Primary Violator around the time his divorce.

Chris Lighty had a profound influence on the development of hip-hop and its rise to commercial prominence. His Violator Management represented hitmakers 50 Cent, Mariah Carey, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliot and others. Lighty also featured in the development of the hip-hop underground: he was a champion of De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest, and handled lead rapper Q-Tip’s career even after Quest had called it quits. (He was interviewed prominently in “Beats, Rhymes, and Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest,” a 2011 documentary about the group.)

Violator was more than a management company. The New York outfit was also a record label, putting out several compilations of hip-hop featuring rappers and producers on Lighty’s roster. Violator Entertainment released new music by Mobb Deep, the Beatnuts, Fat Joe, LL Cool J, and other Empire State rap voices. Through Violator, Lighty also tried its hand, if less successfully, at film production.

Lighty began his career working for DJ Red Alert. He became a road manager for Boogie Down Productions and managed groups like The Jungle Brothers and A Tribe Called Quest. He was given the nickname “Baby Chris” for his good looks and to distinguish himself from his older friend Chris Ali.

Kendrick Lamar has added additional dates to his upcoming headlining tour, which is in support of his debut album good kid, m.A.A.d city, which drops this October.

9/7 Norfolk, VA - The Norva
9/8 Richmond, VA - The National
9/11 Charlotte, NC - The Fillmore
9/12 Baltimore, MD - Rams Head
9/13 Philadelphia, PA - TLA
9/14 Washington, DC - Howard Theater
9/15 New York, NY - Terminal 5
9/16 Boston, MA - The Wilbur Theater
9/19 Toronto, ON - Sound Academy
9/20 Detroit, MI - Royal Oak
9/21 Minneapolis, MN - Epic
9/22 Milwaukee, WI - The Rave
9/23 Chicago, IL - The Congress
9/25 Tallahasee, FL - The Moon
9/26 Tampa, FL - The Ritz Ybor
9/27 Miami, FL - The Fillmore
9/28 Orlando, FL - Plaza Live
9/29 Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle
9/30 New Orleans, LA - House of Blues
10/1 Baton Rouge, LA - Varsity Theater
10/6 Fresno, CA - Big Fresno Fair
10/7 Pozo, CA - Pozo Saloon
10/8 Denver, CO - The Ogden Theater
10/9 Blacksburg, VA - Burruss Auditorium - Virginia Polytech University
10/10 San Diego, CA - SOMA
10/11 Phoenix, AZ - Celebrity Theater
10/13 Portland, OR - Roseland Theatre
10/14 Seattle, WA - The Neptune
10/16 San Francisco, CA - Regency Ballroom
10/17 Los Angeles, CA - Club Nokia
10/18 Pomona, CA - Fox Theater
10/19 Las Vegas, NV - Hard Rock Cafe
10/20 Salt Lake City, UT - The Depot
10/26 Morgantown, WV - WVU Coliseum - West Virginia University

Rapper Tito Lopez and fellow Mississippian emcee Big K.R.I T. are extending their Live from the Underground Tour through the Fall. Following a successful run in the previous 26-cities over the summer, the tour will kick off its second leg in Asheville, NC on Wednesday September 12th and will wrap up Friday October 12th in Austin, TX.

Extended dates for Lopez’s tour with Big K.R.I.T.
Wed -Sept -12- Asheville,NC - The Orange Peel
Thur-Sept -13- Carrboro,NC - Cat’s Cradle
Fri-Sept-14 - Charlotte, NC - Tremont Music Hall
Sat-Sept-15 - Virginia Beach, VA - The Jewish Mother
Sun-Sept-16 - West Springfield, VA - Empire
Tues-Sept-18 - Washington, DC - The Howard Theater
Wed-Sept-19 - Baltimore, MD - Baltimore Soundstage
Thur-Sept-20 - New York, NY - Irving Plaza
Fri-Sept-21 - Philadelphia, PA - The Blockley Pourhouse
Sat-Sept-22 - Montreal, Quebec - Club Soda
Sun-Sept-23 - Ottawa, Ontario - Ritual Nightclub
Mon-Sept-24 - Toronto, Ontario - The Phoenix
Wed-Sept-26 - Pittsburgh, PA - Altar Bar
Thur-Sept-27 - Cleveland, OH - House of Blues
Fri-Sept-28 - Grand Rapids, MI - The Intersection
Tues-Oct-2 - Columbia, MO -The Blue Note
Wed-Oct-3 - St. Louis, MO - Plush
Thur-Oct-4 - Oklahoma City - Farmer’s Market
Sat-Oct-6 - Houston, TX - House of Blues
Sun-Oct-7 - Dallas, TX - House of Blues
Tue-Oct-9 - Baton Rouge, LA - Varsity Theater
Wed-Oct-10 - Starksville, MS - Rick’s Café Americain
Tue-Oct-11 - Little Rock, AR - Juanita’s Cantina Ballroom
Fri-Oct-12 - Austin, TX - Beauty Ballroom

Trey Songz grabs his first #1 album on the sales chart this week with his debut Chapter V selling 135,000 units according to Nielsen SoundScan. This is his fifth studio album. His debut set, 2005's I Gotta Make It, topped out at #20, followed by 2007's Trey Day, which hit #11. Then Ready reached #3 in 2009 and 2010's Passion, Pain & Pleasure reached the #2 spot. 2 Chainz' Based on a T.R.U. Story took the #2 spot selling 48,000 units (195,000 total). DJ Khaled's Kiss the Ring debuted at #4 selling 41,000 copies. Rick Ross' God Forgives, I Don't took #8 selling 28,000 copies (350,000 total).

With her Pink Friday Tour behind her, Nicki Minaj is now gearng up for the international leg of her tour starting October 21 in Nottingham, United Kingdom.

tour dates:
Oct 21 – UK Nottingham @ Arena
Oct 22 – UK Manchester @ MEN Arena
Oct 24 – UK Liverpool @ Arena
Oct 25 – UK Newcastle @ Arena
Oct 27 – UK Birmingham @ NIA Arena
Oct 28 – UK Newcastle @ Arena
Oct 30 – UK London @ O2 Arena
Nov 2 – UK Manchester @ MEN Arena
Nov 3 – UK Sheffield @ Arena
Nov 5 – Ireland Dublin @ O2 Arena
Nov 7 – UK Cardiff @ Arena
Nov 24 – NZ, Auckland @ Vector Arena
Nov 27 – AUS, Adeliaide @ Ent Centre
Nov 30 – AUS, Sydney @ Ent Centre
Dec 3 – AUS, Brisbane @Ent Centre
Dec 5 – AUS Melbourne @ Rod Laver Arena
Dec 8 – AUS Perth @ Arena

Dr. Dre was the only Hip Hop artist to make this year's Highest-Paid Celebrities list, according to Forbes.

Dre grabbed #5 on the list pulling in $110 million in earnings. Dre netted most of that income from the beats by Dre HTC deal-- which paid $300 million for a 51 percent stake in his Beats by Dr. Dre company last August.

Oprah Winfrey came in at #1 ($165 million), Producer Jerry Bruckheimer took #4 ($115 million), Steven spielberg took #3 ($130 million) and Michael Bay took #2 ($160 million). SEE THE VISUALS HERE

Imagine Entertainment partners, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, have announced that they are filming Jay-Z's Budweiser Made in America music festival, September 1-2 in Philadelphia.

Steve Stoute, founder and CEO of Translation will be co-producing alongside Grazer and @radical.media, with the legendary Howard directing. Along with headlining and curating the festival, Jay-Z is also taking on an executive producer role in the film along with Paul Chibe, Anheuser–Busch's U.S. Marketing vice president.

"This will not be a concert film; it's a reflection of the fabric of what it means to be Made in America – what the festival represents, why Jay is doing it and how he relates to each artist," said Howard.

The two-day festival will feature artists such as Pearl Jam, Run-DMC, Drake, Skrillex, Rick Ross, Miike Snow, Odd Future, and Janelle Monae, all who speak to a new generation of fans.

"The film is going to be born through Jay-Z's perspective…how he puts the event together and creates this musical event that defies all genres. We will hone in on the meaning of the festival and how Jay-Z has become a voice and icon for this generation," said Grazer.

Grazer has had previous success with merging music into film with hits such as 8 Mile (in collaboration with Stoute) and with his TV series Friday Night Lights in which music was a central focus. Producer @radical.media has had a long track record of producing award-winning music films including the Grammy-winning, Concert for George, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, Jay-Z's Fade to Black and the recent Emmy-nominated Paul Simon documentary, Under African Skies.

"Made in America is the soundtrack to pursuing your passion, excelling at your craft, being authentic and embracing cultural diversity. It's the tapestry that ignites new ideas and brings us all closer together. That's what we're setting out to accomplish with this festival and film and we're proud to have an iconic American brand like Budweiser as our partner who truly stands for what it means to be Made in America," said producer Steve Stoute.

"Budweiser has a long tradition of being an influencer and enabler in music and pop culture", said Paul Chibe of Anheuser-Busch, "We are proud that the Budweiser Made in America Festival is a vibrant platform for creative expression in both music and film."
The film is set to be released in 2013.

The Man With The Iron Fists soundtrack and score will be released on October 23 via Soul Temple Records/STAX/RED Distribution. In addition to making his debut as a big-screen director, co-writer and leading man for the action-adventure, RZA also acted as executive producer for the soundtrack and score albums along with Quentin Tarantino and others. RZA enlisted The Wu-Tang Clan, Kanye West, The Black Keys, Corrine Bailey Rae, Pusha T and more for the soundtrack. The first single, "Built For This," by Method Man, Freddie Gibbs & StreetLife will be serviced to mixshow radio today LISTEN HERE

RZA recently discussed the making of the film's unique score at Comic-Con 2012, explaining: "We went and got some of The Wu-Tang original songs...we took out a lot of stuff that was in it, and we re-orchestrated it." "STAX also came on board to help us out, and they gave me about 10 of their famous STAX cues, songs from William Bell, from Isaac Hayes, from Mable John." "So you're going to have a great time listening to this movie as a soundtrack." RZA chose to launch the soundtrack and score albums via his latest music industry venture, Soul Temple Records. Soul Temple releases will reflect independence, authenticity and artistry, engaging all elements of the creative community.

Track Listing -(subject to change)
1. The Black Keys / RZA "The Baddest Man Alive"
2. Ghostface Killah / M.O.P / Pharoahe Monch "Black Out"
3. Kanye West "White Dress"
4. The Revelations feat. Tre Williams "I Forgot To Be Your Lover"
5. Talib Kweli / RES "Get Your Way (Sex as a Weapon)"
6. Raekwon / Ghostface Killah / Kool G. Rap "Rivers of Blood"
7. Method Man / Freddie Gibbs / StreetLife "Built for This"
8. 24 Carat Black "Poverty's Paradise"
9. Killa Sin "The Archer"
10. RZA / Flatbush Zombies "Just Blowin' In The Wind"
12. Corrine Bailey Rae "Chains"
13. Pusha T / Raekwon "Tick Tock"
14. Frances Yip "Green is the Mountain"
15. The Wu-Tang Clan "Six Directions of Boxing"
16. Mabel John "Your Good Thing Is About To End"

Big Boi says he's about 90 percent done with his second solo record, Vicious Lies And Dangerous Rumors. The new album will feature appearances from Kid Cudi, A$AP Rocky, Little Dragon, Theophilus London and Sleepy Brown, but Big Boi says he really hit it off with indie electro-rock duo Phantogram. He told Billboard, "Recording with them was one of the best studio sessions we've had. It was really good. We have a little side project that we're thinking about working on right now too, called Big Grams. [It's] a collaboration with me and Phantogram. I think we'll put out a little EP or something after they drop the next record. Me and T.I. just did a song as well. I have a couple tricks up my sleeve but that's enough for now.

He added that while Vicious Lies is "almost finished," he doesn't have to turn the record over to his label until the end of September. Big Boi describes the new material as "electro-funk. Before, I thought I'd be going traditional funk but now I think it's that soulful, soothing, sultry grooveshark. We just really had fun with it and making sure that the production is top notch and the lyrical content is there."

Yelawolf and Travis Barker have formed the group Psycho White. They are celebrating this new partnership with the release of their self-titled EP, Psycho White. “We didn’t even know if the music was going to come out,” Barker says. “We were just gettin’ in the lab and making music together.”

1. “Push ‘Em” (Ft. Skinhead Rob, Tim Armstrong)
2. 6 Feet Underground (Ft. Tim Armstrong)
3. Funky Sh*t
4. Whistle Dixie
5. Directors Cut (Ft. Michael Myers, Superman)

Record Industry Executive, Shawn Prez of Bad Boy/Power Moves Inc, announces the inauguration of the Global Spin Awards, November 19, 2012 at the New York Times Center – Manhattan. The GLOBAL SPIN AWARDS (GSAs) has been established to honor DJs from across the globe for their contribution to the music and entertainment industries.

The GSA’s will recognize and honor those who have impacted the DJ culture and beyond. DJ’s provide the avenue and means by which the music industry introduces new music to the masses. It is only fitting that they have their own awards and celebration to acknowledge those who have excelled in their craft.

“In the changing climate of the music industry there has been one constant... the DJ, who has yet to be recognized for their contribution to entertainment…” - Shawn Prez says.

The voting committee known as “The Bureau” is comprised of leading industry professionals that are fully entrenched in the DJ Culture “The Bureau” has been established to select nominees and preserve the integrity of the voting process for each award. All nominees will be announced on September 20, 2012 and voting will commence.

Journalist 103 continues his investigative report on the human psyche and charters new territory on his solo debut, “Reporting Live,” to be released via Babygrande Records. “It is definitely a privilege and an honor to be putting this album out on Babygrande Records” remarks Journalist. “Sharing the Roster with the likes of Freeway and the legendary GZA makes everything up to this point all worth the while” he adds.

Featuring guest appearances from Freeway, Saigon & Fashawn, and production from Snowgoons, Apollo Brown, Oddisee, The Audible Doctor, and more, Journalist 103 returns to boast lyrics straight from the headlines of an eye-opening periodical. The album’s first single, “Danger” is produced by the notorious Detroit beat battler Marc Byrd and features Philadelphia legend, Freeway. “Danger” is a room-filling banger that showcases Journalist and Freeway trading verses, heeding a warning of the severity of street life.

Honing in on the modern man’s struggle, Journalist 103 uses his words to paint vivid pictures of peril, inspiration and overcoming hardship. As the lyricist behind The Left’s critically acclaimed 2010 opus, “Gas Mask,” Journalist maneuvered through obscurity and rose to infamy as one of Detroit’s most celebrated narrators. Throughout the years, he has shared the mic with legends such as Kool G Rap and even lent his voice to the opening track on Proof’s out-of-print Detroit classic and now collector’s item, “Electric Coolaid Acid Testing.”
Journalist 103’s solo debut, “Reporting Live,” will hit stores worldwide on October 30, 2012 via Babygrande Records.

Cinematic Music Group and RED, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, are proud to announce a newly-signed partnership, planting the seed for a long and fruitful union between the two companies.

Cinematic Music Group, an independent label which now counts Joey Bada$$, Pro Era, Big K.R.I.T., Smoke DZA, Fat Trel, and Cashius Green on its roster, has been operating for over a decade in almost every aspect of the urban music industry. Its C.E.O. Jonny Shipes is one of the leading voices and minds of the redesigned business model for independent music distribution and delivery. His artist development and management work- which has now covered a who's who of certifiably unique stars- has caught the ear and heart of the music industry, and his reputation as an incubator of new talent in the urban sector is nearly unparallelled.

By entering this collaboration with RED, Cinematic Music Group marks a glorious chapter in its history with one of the most innovative partnerships in today's musical landscape which will include label services, management, touring and merchandising. By retaining complete creative freedom of its operations and vision while working closely with the industry leader in music distribution and marketing outreach, Cinematic Music Group is once again leading the pack and paving the way for others to follow.

Fans and music lovers can look forward to upcoming releases from Joey Bada$$, Pro Era, Big K.R.I.T., Smoke DZA, Fat Trel, and Cashius Green in the coming months.

Elementality Productions is set to release the highly anticipated follow-up to DJ K.O.’s Picture This as EMPBeTheTeam will be released on September 18, 2012.

Back in 2008, ­DJ K.O. recruited some of Hip-Hop's finest emcees and producers to craft his debut offering. Picture This had track after track of dream collaborations between the likes of Royce da 5'9", Talib Kweli, Elzhi, Phonte, Masta Ace, O.C., Skyzoo, Emilio Rojas and Silent Knight and delivered exactly what the fans wanted...real hip-hop. Simple formula - raw beats, raw rhymes. To take the record to another level, the album featured additional production from the likes of 9th Wonder, Analogic, Ayatollah, Black Milk, Buckwild, !LLMIND, Khrysis, M-Phazes & Marco Polo.

While EMPBeTheTeam may lack the blockbuster names of its predecessor, it certainly does not fall short of the level of quality established by Picture This. "Again, I tried to approach this album as a hip-hop fan," says New Jersey native, DJ K.O. "I wanted to provide my team with opportunities to showcase what makes them unique as artists, yet still give fans a sound they’ll find familiar" he says. The result is an album that offers both style and substance. Most of the songs are good, old-fashioned hip-hop,” he explains. “There’s a raw, angry gutter sound mixed with more smooth, soulful tracks.” EMP veterans like Silent Knight, East and K-Hill continue to put their lyrical prowess on display, while newcomers like MadKem, Jered Sanders and Justin Bates set the bar for what's to come.

EMPBeTheTeam will be available on iTunes and fine music retailers nationwide on September 18.

Life Illustrated Will Be Released On Ncendiary/Universal Records & Includes Guest Appearances From Inspektah Deck, Bronze Nazareth

Dezert Eez (consisting of members O’Nill, 5-Star & Nivek) took shape at Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo, MI) and all three members have known each other for close to a decade now. The name Dezert Eez (Desert Eagle) is symbolic of a weapon created in Israel and then later brought to the states to be manufactured; much like the “Original Man.” The group’s first recording together was "Declaration of War,” a rugged, up-close look at street and global affairs, which set the tone for much of their early material.

The trio cut their teeth performing on the local hip-hop circuit for a year and developed a following that enabled Dezert Eez to start performing live outside the area and as there music spread, so did the buzz, as Dezert Eez eventually earned opening duties for artists such as KRS-One, Cappadonna, Dead Prez, Slum Village and Inspectah Deck.

In early 2005, Dezert Eez released its first mixtape, The Realness, which won widespread critical praise that focused especially on the group’s lyrics. The buzz leapt to a bigger stage in 2008 when 5-Star teamed up with C-Rayz Walz, Killah Priest (Wu-Tang) and Bronze Nazareth (Wu-Tang) to form The Almighty, which was released on Babygrande Records and featured collaborations with Canibus, Keith Murray, and Planet Asia.

In late 2010, Dezert Eez released their debut LP, Ghettobox, (Dezert Eez released a ‘Deluxe Edition’ of Ghettobox in early 2012)which featured appearances from Game and Killah Priest and production from Bronze Nazareth. Since then, the group has released two mixtapes: First, "Call of Duty: The Black Ops" which featured the likes of Nas, Raekwon, Killah Priest, La the Darkman, Bronze Nazareth among others; it also found the group rocking beats from the likes of One Be Lo, Krohme and fellow member of the Almighty Bronze Nazareth. That was followed up by, "We Own The Summer," which featured appearances One Be Lo, Mike Posner, Mos Def and a remix of the 2011 summer jam by Miguel "Sure Thing".

Both mixtapes continued to receive positive press and as a result Dezert Eez signed with Universal Records to release their forthcoming sophomore LP (and major label debut), Life Illustrated, which is scheduled to be released in September 2012. Dezert Eez will be touring heavily to promote the LP and will be opening up for artists such as Black Milk, Elzhi, Talib Kweli and INS Deck throughout the fall of 2012.

Megan Nicole, the 18 year old singing sensation who has earned more than 1,000,000 YouTube subscribers thanks to 250,000,000-plus views of her covers of pop songs such as "Call Me Maybe" and "The Lazy Song", and her own original "B-e-a-utiful," has been signed to Bad Boy Records, it was announced today by Bad Boy founder Sean "Diddy" Combs and President Harve Pierre. The Texas native is currently recording new songs for what promises to be a highly anticipated debut album on Bad Boy/Interscope.

"Megan is a great person, amazing artist and an enormous talent all around," said Pierre. "She has done an incredible job on building a solid fan base and we are here to enhance that and ensure her dreams come true. Welcome home Megan Nicole."

"Megan Nicole is a complete package that I am extremely excited to add to the Bad Boy roster. She is a talented singer, songwriter, musician and entertainer," said Diddy. "Megan Nicole is a perfect fit for the new future at Bad Boy."

Born in Houston and raised in Katy, TX, Megan sang and played piano for her church's youth group before adding guitar to her repertoire. In December 2009, the high school student debuted by posting on YouTube a cover of the Kings of Leon's "Use Somebody" featuring her singing and playing acoustic guitar. Since then, her cover of Bruno Mars' "The Lazy Song" has attracted more than 31 million views, Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" 7 million-plus, Maroon 5's "Payphone" 5 million-plus, One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful" 4 million-plus and many more. Most significantly, when Megan released her debut original song "B-e-a-utiful" in 2011, the Kurt Schneider directed video scored more than 17 million views.

Killer Mike is proud to debut the Benjamin Dickinson directed music video for "Untitled ft. Scar" SEE HERE from his critically acclaimed album R.A.P. Music. Killer Mike is currently finishing up his last run of shows with El-P before embarking on a new national tour with GZA, Sweet Valley, and Bear Hands. Scroll down to view all of the tour dates.

This fall Killer Mike takes his linguistic talents on the road in support of R.A.P. Music. He has a few more tour dates left with album collaborator El-P. Then he hits the road with GZA, Sweet Valley, and Bear Hands. Check below to see when Killer Mike comes to your city.

Tour Dates
8/23 - Miami, FL - Grand Central #
8/24 - Orlando, FL - Beacham Theater #
8/25 - Tallahassee, FL - Union Green #
9/14 - Buffalo, NY - Town Ballroom !
9/15 - Toronto, ON - Sound Academy !
9/16 - Detroit, MI - St. Andrews Hall !
9/17 - Pittsburgh, PA - Altar Bar !
9/18 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop !
9/19 - Chicago, IL - Metro !
9/20 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue !
9/22 - Denver, CO - Summit Music Hall !
9/25 - San Francisco, CA - Filmore !
9/26 - Sacramento, CA - Ace of Spades !
9/28 - Santa Ana, CA - Observatory !
9/29 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey !
9/30 - Solana Beach, CA - Belly Up !
10/2 - Phoenix, AZ - Marquee !
10/18 - New York, NY - Irving Plaza !

# = w/ El-P
! = w/ Bear Hands, Sweet Valley & GZA

2 Chainz came in at #1 with his debut studio album, Based on a T.R.U. Story selling 147,000 units according to SoundScan.
Other notables: Rick Ross' God Forgives comes in at #3 selling 43,000 copies (322,000 Total). Insane Clown Posse's Mighty Death Pop debuts on the charts taking the #4 slot selling 41,000 copies and matching their highest rank on the charts to date. Nas' Life Is Good comes in at #22 moving 15,000 units ((260,000 Total). Frank Ocean's Channel Orange grabbed #32 selling 11,000 units (262,000 Total).

Legendary music crew The Hieroglyphics (Del the Funk Homosapien, Souls of Mischief, Casual, Pep Love, and Domino), in conjunction with Parish Entertainment Group, are pleased to announce the first annual Hiero Day music festival on Monday, September 3rd from 11am-6pm to celebrate the roots of hip hop music and the city of their hometown, Oakland, California. The event will feature Oakland vendors, food trucks, a family area, a skate area, and performances from The Hieroglyphics, Blackalicious, Planet Asia, Moe Green, and many more.

This inaugural event will become an annual celebration showcasing a diversity of innovative, multicultural, and local music. The festival will host Bay Area-based acts on the main stage, which will be located at the intersection of San Pablo and 17th Street, two blocks away from City Hall in the heart of downtown Oakland. The block party is designed to celebrate Oakland and support local businesses, the community and independent hip hop culture. The all-ages, environmentally conscious, free festival is committed to showcasing independent and emerging artists who live and work in the community. Long recognized for fostering a unifying atmosphere while maintaining a commitment to groundbreaking music, this Hiero Day festival is an extension of the wide appeal the Hieroglyphics crew has maintained on a friendship level for 30 years and as an official crew since 1991. The festival will remain free and accessible to all, regardless of income, thanks to generous sponsors who will be announced soon.

The Hiero Day idea was brought to fruition by Casual, who was notified by a fan on the Hiero Hoopla message boards that 9/3 is a great day to commemorate Hiero’s rise to prominence, building off Souls of Mischief’s seminal hit, “’93 Til Infinity.” Says Souls member and Hiero Imperium CEO Tajai Massey, “After looking at our influence and worldwide fan base, we wanted to give back in some way with an event that’s a mix of 4:20, X Games, and Lollapalooza. And since we’re from a city that has spawned several progressive movement and style, we want to show our pride and recognize these accomplishments as well as look towards the future by embracing the youth and engaging them with positivity. We started this as kids and have been buoyed and championed by youth worldwide. It’s time to give back.” Going forward, 9/3 will be the official worldwide holiday where fans and artists who have inspired The Hieroglyphics can participate and celebrate by rocking Hiero gear, introducing new people to the Hiero legacy, and celebrate the legacies of indie music, street skating, and youth empowerment in their respective hometowns.

Hiero Day Line-Up (More To Be Announced):
Planet Asia
DJ DSharp
Kev Choice
Honor Roll
Moe Green

Guest DJs
And More...

Busta Rhymes'latest album "Year Of The Dragon" is out now for free on Google Play. The album has guest spots including Rick Ross, Cam’ron, Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane, Reek Da Villain, and J Doe. GRAB IT HERE

“I just wanted to give the people some shit that feels like it’s supposed to feel, like the hip-hop I grew up on and the hip-hop I love, with a little bit of that now on it,” Busta told XXL about Year Of The Dragon. “This is my ninth studio album and my thank-you-to-the- fans album. I want people to walk away with it, saying this shit is stupid.”

“What makes it so dope to me is it’s new, smart and refreshing,” said Busta about the digital platform. “They never sold no musical shit, no content and it’s the most powerful search engine in existence. The two primary ways of getting music out was independent and major labels, but nobody knew how to start monetizing intellectual property digitally. This just made sense to me.”

Nicki Minaj has unveiled her first fragrance. She has introduced the title and bottle design. “Pink Friday” borrows its name from her 2010 debut album. The bottle features a bust of the “Starships” rapper wearing a pink wig and “Nicki Minaj” chain.

She has teamed up with Give Back Brands LLC, the same company behind Justin Bieber’s successful “Someday” fragrance, to launch the perfume in department stores at the end of September.

“I am so excited about my fragrance debut, and am proud to partner with Give Back Brands for such a personal project,” said Nicki. “I have always been a huge fan of great fragrances; this is yet another extension of my creative expression and I can’t wait to share it with the world. I designed this scent and bottle with my Barbz in mind; I know they will love it!”

She is involved in all aspects of the brand, including product development, packaging, and advertising. “Signing Nicki Minaj was a simple decision; her talent and extensive reach present a platform with tremendous global opportunity,” added Paul West, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Give Back Brands.

In other related news/ Nicki Minaj may well become a judge on "American Idol," but it will be at the expense of Mariah Carey, who we're told hung up the phone when she was told Nicki was the top candidate.Sources connected with "Idol" told TMZ ... Mariah was led to believe she would be the only woman on the judge's panel. Choosing Nicki would not only crush that expectation, it would add insult to injury because Nicki (29) is a lot younger than Mariah (42).As for the composition of the judge's panel, we're told by no means is it a done deal. There are 2 scenarios being played out. First, it's unclear if Randy Jackson will come back as a judge or a mentor. If he leaves the judge's panel, there will be another spot to fill.The second scenario ... we're told some of the honchos believe it's a mistake to have 2 women and a man on the panel, and a 4th male judge would be necessary.As for who's still in the running, we're told Brad Paisley, Keith Urban and Enrique Iglesias are leading the pack.And there's one other thing ... Sources connected with the show say they're worried ... if the judges end up being Mariah, Nicki and Randy ... middle America might not welcome the blackout. Source: Tmz

Skyzoo is set to release his new album, 'A Dream Deferred' on October 2nd through The Faculty / Duck Down Music. The album has stand out production from the likes of !llmind, Jahlil Beats, 9th Wonder, Eric G, Focus, Black Milk, DJ Khalil, Best Kept Secret & Tall Black Guy. The new album -- 'A Dream Deferred' features songs with Jill Scott, Talib Kweli, Freeway, Raheem Devaughn, Jared Evan, DJ Prince, and Jessy Wilson.

Skyzoo describes the cover, drawn by Chilean artist Fabian Ciraolo as a perfect representation to what the album sounds like. Skyzoo goes on to explain that "the idea was to demonstrate the feel of being in a dream and I wanted the album to represent that visually as well. Fabian's work contains his signature star speckled background on all of his designs, so it made sense to use him with the stars representing a dreamy atmosphere. He's an incredible artist and did an excellent job of bringing the theme of the album to life."

Track Listing:
1) Dreams In A Basement featuring Jill Scott (produced by !llmind)
2) Jansport Strings (One Time for Chi-Ali) (produced by 9th Wonder)
3) Pockets Full feat. Freeway (produced by !llmind)
4) Give It Up feat. DJ Prince (produced by !llmind)
5) Glass Ceilings (produced by !llmind)
6) Range Rover Rhythm (produced by Jahlil Beats)
7) The Knowing feat. Jessy Wilson (produced by Eric G)
8) Drew & Derwin feat. Raheem Devaughn (produced by Focus)
9) Realization feat. Jared Evan (produced by DJ Khalil)
10) The Rage of Roemello (produced by DJ Khalil)
11) How to Make it Through Hysteria (produced by Best Kept Secret)
12) Steel's Apartment (produced by Black Milk)
13) Spike Lee Was My Hero feat. Talib Kweli (produced by Tall Black Guy)
14) The Cost of Sleep (produced by Tall Black Guy)

Odd Future's first annual Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival and show, presented in association with Incase, will take place on September 30th at Club Nokia in downtown Los Angeles. The carnival will feature games, rides, prizes, and food hand-picked by Odd Future. There will be performances by Odd Future, The Internet, Trash Talk and other special guests still to be announced.

Mellowhype's Numbers is set for release on October 2nd. Trash Talk's new album 119 is set to be released on October 9th. Domo Genesis' No Idols mixtape with Alchemist is out now.

8/31 Norfolk, VA
9/01 Baltimore, MD
9/02 Philadelphia, PA
9/04 Huntington, NY
9/05 Portland, ME
9/07 Providence, RI
9/08 Wallingford, CT
9/09 Buffalo, NY
9/11 Cleveland, OH
9/12 Columbus, OH
9/14 Saint Louis, MO
9/15 Milwaukee, WI
9/16 Chicago, IL
9/18 Columbia, MO
9/19 Lawrence, KS
9/21 Boulder, CO
9/22 Boulder, CO
9/25 Vancouver, BC
9/26 Portland, OR
9/28 Santa Cruz, CA
9/29 Ventura, CA
9/30 Los Angeles, CA (Odd Future Carnival)

Bizzy Bone has authored his autobiography entitled Inside A Bizzy Mind available in stores and online September 27, 2012.

Born Bryon Anthony McCane, Bizzy Bone begins his story by recalling the very moment he chose which body he would actually inhabit before his birth. Prior to the spotlights, awards, drugs and groupies, which eventually found their way to the rapper, he overcame an arduous childhood that included being kidnapped at the age of five along with his two older sisters. Living in cars and random motels, the children were finally rescued after a year plus on the run when a neighbor saw a missing photo of young Bizzy on the TV show America s Most Wanted.

"Bizzy's story tells his inspirational journey and shows just how easy it is to fall, and how tough it is to pick yourself back up, says "America's Most Wanted" host John Walsh. His chronicle reinforces that what you see on the surface isn't always what lies beneath."

After a successful reunion of Bone thugs-n-harmony, Bizzy, who has sold more than 50 million records worldwide with the band and as a solo artist is eager for fans to hear his story in his own words.

"I want this book to be about the spiritual war that has been a part of my life, about the music industry, business in general, the past and the future", Bizzy explains.

Freeway has inked a deal with Babygrande Records. He will drop his highly-anticipated solo album, Diamond In The Ruff. Serving as his first official full-length album since teaming up with Jake One for the critically acclaimed 2010 project, The Stimulus Package, Diamond In The Ruff has been years in the making and is truly Freeway’s most illustrious album yet.

Ruddy Rock states, "Freeway is a legend. Philadelphia Freeway is easily one of my favorite albums of all time. From his time working with Jay-Z and Roc-A-Fella to his independent releases, Freeway remains one of the most consistent artists. We're excited to partner with him and Amir for Diamond In The Ruff."

Diamond In The Ruff is a truly remarkable album, with a diverse selection of songs ranging from uplifting anthems to gritty street tales. Featuring production by frequent collaborators, Jake One, Needlez and Bink!, and guest appearances from Wale, Styles P, Marsha Ambrosius, Musiq Soulchild, and more, Diamond In The Ruff is certainly Freeway’s most cohesive album to date. Diamond In The Ruff will hit retailers worldwide on November 13, 2012 via Babygrande Records.

Too Short and Clyde Carson will take the stage during Saturday’s XO Ball. They will both perform their hit songs at the XO Ball & Expo this September 21 and 22. The XO Ball & Expo is the largest lifestyle event in the country. The sexy lyrics of Too Short and Carson, popular Bay Area natives, are the perfect complement to XO’s exciting entertainment lineup.

"We are extremely excited to add local favorites Too Short and Clyde Carson to our Ball Saturday night,” says XO Ball & Expo Entertainment Director Cindy Cheer. “They round out a diverse lineup, which includes burlesque dancing, aerial acrobatics, and more. We are committed to throwing San Francisco’s sexiest event of the year!”

Adult female entertainers expected to show are our own Ask a Pornstar columnists Chanel Preston, Tori Black, Melina Mason, Jayden Lee, Christie Stevens, Aleksa Nicole, Sunny Leone, Charmane StaR, Stoya, Courtney Cruz, Olivia Bellafontaine, and more.

On September 12th Hopsin will hit the road with his labelmates, SwizZz, Dizzy Wright, Jarren Benton, and DJ Hoppa for the Funk Volume 2012 Tour. 44 US cities in 50 days followed by another stretch of shows in Europe and Australia.


Wednesday, August 22.
Jacksonville, Florida • United States

Thursday, August 23, 2012
State Theatre
St. Petersburg, Florida • United States

Friday, August 24, 2012
Levelz Nightclub
Melbourne, Florida • United States

Saturday, August 25, 2012
Club 57 West
Orlando, Florida • United States

Sunday, August 26, 2012
Revolution Live
Fort Lauderdale, Florida • United States

Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Velvet Jones
Santa Barbara, California • United States

Thursday, September 13, 2012
UCSD's Porter's Pub
La Jolla, California • United States

Friday, September 14, 2012
Club Red
Tempe, Arizona • United States

Saturday, September 15, 2012
Albuquerque, New Mexico • United States

Sunday, September 16, 2012
Jake's Backroom
Lubbock, Texas • United States

Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Green Elephant
Dallas, Texas • United States

Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Stubb's BBQ
Austin, Texas • United States

Thursday, September 20, 2012
Bronze Peacock
Houston, Texas • United States

Friday, September 21, 2012
Varsity Theatre
Baton Rouge, Louisiana • United States

Saturday, September 22, 2012
12th & Porter
Nashville, Tennessee • United States

Sunday, September 23, 2012
Greene Street Club
Greensboro, North Carolina • United States

Tuesday, September 25, 2012
SoapBox Laundro Lounge
Wilmington, North Carolina • United States

Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Baltimore, Maryland • United States

Thursday, September 27, 2012
Virginia Beach, Virginia • United States

Friday, September 28, 2012
Richmond, Virginia • United States

Saturday, September 29, 2012
Springfield, Virginia • United States

Sunday, September 30, 2012
The Blockley
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania • United States
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Virgin Mobile Mod Club
Toronto • Canada

Wednesday, October 03, 2012
The Club
Rochester, New York • United States

Thursday, October 04, 2012
Highline Ballroom
New York City, New York • United States

Friday, October 05, 2012
Peabody's Concert Club
Cleveland, Ohio • United States

Saturday, October 06, 2012
Alrosa Villa
Columbus, Ohio • United States

Sunday, October 07, 2012
Another Hole In The Wall
Steger, Illinois • United States

Monday, October 08, 2012
The Vernon Club
Louisville, Kentucky • United States

Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Detroit, Michigan • United States

Thursday, October 11, 2012
People's Court
Des Moines, Iowa • United States

Friday, October 12, 2012
Blue Moose Tap House
Iowa City, Iowa • United States

Saturday, October 13, 2012
Atlanta, Georgia • United States

Thursday, November 08, 2012
London • United Kingdom TICKETS

Friday, November 09, 2012
Sound Control
Manchester • United Kingdom

Saturday, November 10, 2012
O2 Academy
Birmingham • United Kingdom

Sunday, October 14, 2012
The Cabooze
Minneapolis, Minnesota • United States

Tuesday, October 16, 2012
The Bourbon Theatre
Lincoln, Nebraska • United States

Wednesday, October 17, 2012
The Granada
Lawrence, Kansas • United States

Thursday, October 18, 2012
Cervantes' Theatre
Denver, Colorado • United States

Friday, October 19, 2012
Aggie Theatre
Fort Collins, Colorado • United States

Saturday, October 20, 2012
The Blacksheep
Colorado Springs, Colorado • United States

Monday, October 22, 2012
In the Venue
Salt Lake City, Utah • United States

Tuesday, October 23, 2012
The Venue
Boise, Idaho • United States

Wednesday, October 24, 2012
The A-Club
Spokane, Washington • United States

Thursday, October 25, 2012
The Vera Project
Seattle, Washington • United States

Friday, October 26, 2012
W.O.W Hall
Eugene, Oregon • United States

Sunday, October 28, 2012
Hawthorne Theatre
Portland, Oregon • United States

Monday, October 29, 2012
The New Parish
Oakland, California • United States

Tuesday, October 30, 2012
The Catalyst
Santa Cruz, California • United States

Thursday, November 01, 2012
The Observatory
Santa Ana, California • United States

Friday, November 02, 2012
Key Club
West Hollywood, California • United States

Jay-Z enlists Ron Howard and Brian Glazer for a movie. The Oscar-winning duo are filming Jay’s “Made in America” music festival in Philadelphia. The lineup Sept. 1 and 2 includes Drake, Pearl Jam, Run-DMC, Skrillex, Rick Ross, Miike Snow, Odd Future and Janelle Monáe. Grazer says, “The festival showcases 20 pre-eminent artists that speak to the new generation. I am producing the film with Steve Stoute and Jay. Ron is directing. It is going to be born through Jay-Z’s perspective . . . how he puts the event together.” Grazer added, “Jay stayed the king for a very long time . . . I can’t even begin to explain how he is capable of remaining relevant. He is a phenom, like a musical Michael Jordan.” Source: NY Times

Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization, welcomes music mogul and entrepreneur, 50 Cent, to its Entertainment Council as the newest celebrity supporter. Building on the existing partnership with his audio brand, SMS Audio, 50 Cent joins Entertainment Council celebrities from across the entertainment industry, including Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Jennifer Aniston.Entertainment Council members help raise awareness about the serious issue of hunger in America through public support via media relations, cause-marketing programs, and public policy initiatives. Additionally, each member demonstrates sincere concern for domestic hunger by participating in volunteer opportunities at Feeding America member food banks.

Growing up in the South Jamaica neighborhood of Queens, NY, and raised by his grandparents after the death of his mother, 50 Cent encountered many obstacles as a child. He has seen the effects of poverty firsthand, similar to the nearly 49 million Americans facing hunger in the United States.

"I'm blessed to have the ability to easily help people in need through my successes, and the Feeding America Entertainment Council is the perfect outlet for me to continue to do so," said 50 Cent, CEO of SMS Audio. "I knew linking up SMS Audio with Feeding America was the way to go when it came to tackling the growing hunger crisis here at home, and I've been right."

In an existing partnership with SMS Audio, each online purchase of SYNC by 50 or STREET by 50 in the United States helps provide 250 meals to those facing hunger. To date, the partnership with Feeding America has provided more than 215,000 meals to Americans struggling to put food on the table.

In May 2012, 50 Cent volunteered at City Harvest to help repack 15,000 pounds of sweet potatoes for those facing hunger in New York. Additionally, in June 2012, SMS Audio staff members helped pack boxes of food at Feeding South Florida, the Feeding America member food bank near the company's Delray Beach, FL offices.

Action Bronson announced via Twitter that he has inked a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records via media company, VICE (also home to Snoop Lion). He’s currently prepping two new projects: Rare Chandeliers with Alchemist and Saab Stories with Harry Fraud. Here's the tweets he posted:

I really signed to Warner Bros/Vice. Time to get serious... Vice/Warner Bros.is the label. I promise to never make candy cane bullshit music as long as I live!!!!!!!

Def wasn't for 1.5.. I just want to say thank u to everyone for all the love and support. I'm gonna make it count. Im able to feed my kids thank god....It's over get GAGA on the phone it's time to get rich.... Ok we joked wit you Its not through OF it's strictly Warner bros/Vice. My own imprint. I'm a leader no coat rider. OF is fam forever iDGAF.

Eminem, who battled an addiction to prescription drugs, thanked his fans at a New York concert for helping him get through dark times.

The 39-year-old told hundreds Thursday night(Aug. 9) that he "wouldn't have gotten out of that dark place without y'all" before he performed the Grammy-winning song "Not Afraid." He said the performance was "dedicated to anybody tonight who's been through personal struggles."

Eminem's addiction and climb to sobriety is detailed in his 2010 album "Recovery." It was 2010's best-selling album.

At the Hammerstein Ballroom the rapper performed more than a dozen songs at an event for the watch brand G-Shock, including the hits "Lose Yourself," ''Love the Way You Lie" and "The Real Slim Shady." Hip-hop foursome Slaughterhouse opened for the Detroit-born rapper.

Eminem has also finally finished the new album from his Rap supergroup Slaughterhouse, and now he will turn his attention to crafting the follow up to Recovery. Em told SiriusXM Shade 45 radio host Sway Calloway that he is back in album mode.

"I've actually kinda just started. I've been on the move a little bit too, so I've in between things, sneak songs in here and there," he said during the satellite radio interview. "We actually just finished the [Slaughterhouse] album last week... Now I've got time to be able to start doing things for my own project."

As for his project with Royce da 5'9", Joell Ortiz, Joe Budden and Crooked I, Em said "I feel like hip-hop needs" the Slaughterhouse album right now. Their new effort, Welcome to: Our House, will drop on August 28, and Slim Shady stated that he was very hands-on with every track, sometimes spending weeks mixing one song.

"All of Dre's little tricks, I've stolen over the years," Em said of his mentor/producer. The Slaughterhouse guys also added during the interview that though they pride themselves on their verbal abilities, they opted to focus on making the best possible songs for the album, even if it meant sacrificing individual time in the spotlight. "Nobody's in there trying to compete," said Budden. "It's about making songs now, trying to take that next step," Em added.

Beastie Boys filed suit against Monster Energy Corp. yesterday, claiming the energy drink company tried to create "an association" with the Beastie Boys by using several of their hit tunes in a promotional campaign without properly licensing them.

According to the complaint, the video is "comprised substantially of excerpts from the Beastie Boys Sound Recordings and the Beastie Boys Musical Compositions totaling more than three minutes in duration."
The tunes in question include "Sabotage," "So Whatcha Want" and "Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun."

"The text accompanying Monster's internet postings, video and MP3 conveyed to consumers the impression that Beastie Boys permitted the use of their name and intellectual property, and participated in connection with Monster's promotion of its products and events," the suit argues.

The Beastie Boys are seeking unspecified damages for alleged copyright infringement and various other intellectual property violations.

On October 9th, MGK will release his highly anticipated debut album, Lace Up. MGK's debut is led by the 1st single, "Invincible" featuring acclaimed songwriter, Ester Dean. The inspiring single, which MGK performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in July, was also selected as a theme song for WWE's WrestleMania 28. The debut LP will feature appearances from such artists as hip-hop legend Bun B, Young Jeezy and DMX among others. Standout tracks include "Stereo", "Hold On (Shut Up)" and the title track "Lace Up" featuring Lil Jon. In addition, the album will provide an eclectic mix of hip-hop, rock and punk genres, which will surely surprise as well as please fans.

Lace Up follows MGK's debut EP, Half Naked & Almost Famous, which included the popular and ever so rowdy club anthem, "Wild Boy" featuring Waka Flocka Flame; which also surfaces on the debut LP. Immediately following the release of the EP, MGK went on the road to support the project as a member of the 2012 Hostile Takeover Tour along with Strange Music artist, Tech N9ne. The tour which made 90 stops in 99 days shattered the record for the longest consecutive running tour in rap history. Immediately following the Hostile Takeover Tour, MGK joined the 2012 Vans Warped Tour, where he was praised for both his great performances as well as being one of the few rappers on the mainly punk rock and extreme sports touring festival.

This August, the spitfire rapper will grace the stage at the 2012 Rock The Bells tour stop in San Bernardino, CA on August 19, 2012 along with Nas, Ice Cube and Wiz Khalifa. Lastly, this fall will also see MGK embark on his first headlining tour in the United States in support of Lace Up.

Reports have surfaced that Young Jeezy has been named senior vice president of A&R at Atlantic Records, and this morning those reports were confirmed by the rapper himself.

Taking to his Twitter page today (Aug. 9), Jeezy acknowledged his new position -- in a message that was also retweeted by Atlantic -- by saying "From the streets to the Boardroom. SVP of A&R at Atlantic Records I am. Let's Get it!"

The news was reportedly broken by DJ Greg Street of V103 out of Atlanta, and was confirmed by Jeezy's production coordinator DJ Folk last night.

Today IBC announces that international recording artist, technologist, entrepreneur, will.i.am, has chosen the IBC2012 Conference as a key platform to inspire the world's electronic media professionals. Co-hosted by Intel Corporation's Johan Jervoe, will.i.a.m will lead the IBC2012 Convention keynote.

Titled 'Creativity and Technology Forces Combine - Transcend the Barriers of Convention and Rethink What Can Be Achieved', this thought-provoking session will examine the role of technology in the creative process. Illustrated with personal stories and illustrations from their careers, it will show how the application of new technology can be a catalyst for new thinking and positive change and be key to surmounting barriers.

"We want people to rethink what they believe is possible," says seven-time Grammy Award winner, will.i.am. "I'm always thinking about tomorrow. What are the new beats? What is the new music? What will people like? What will we be capable of doing? Technology allows us to amplify our ideas, amplify our creativity, and find new ways of solving our problems and genuinely start living in those future tomorrows, and that's what I want to share at IBC."

Engaging his fans via social media while on tour, or starring in top-rated television programs, will.i.am is an adept user of social media tools. In today's multi-screen viewing environment, broadcasters need to embrace current and evolving communications and community building tools to build, connect with and retain audiences.

As a musician, producer, director and advocate for STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education, will.i.am is an enthusiastic user of technologies in both his professional and personal lives. In recognition of his ability to harness technology to enhance entertainment, creativity and communication, Intel Corporation appointed will as Director of Creative Innovation in January, 2011. In this unique role, he collaborates with Intel scientists, programmers and marketing team members on a company-wide basis to innovate and promote inspiring content, technology and hardware strategies.

Co-host Johan Jervoe is vice president of the Sales and Marketing Group and director of Partner Marketing for Intel Corporation. The Partner Marketing team at Intel is responsible for innovative co-marketing relationships and programs such as the links with will and other people and organisations (such as The Creators Project partnership with Vice Magazine). Partner Marketing also engages with a series of major brands and media partners like Facebook, Google, and DreamWorks Animation. Jervoe is also co-author of the Manual of International Marketing.

"We're enormously pleased that will.i.am and Johan Jervoe will be speaking at the IBC Conference," says Michael Lumley, IBC's Conference Chair. "It's a true testament to the strength and breadth of the Conference that it can attract speakers of their international calibre, and we are fascinated to see how their thoughts on technology and creativity will contribute to the global debate about fostering innovation."

This keynote promises to provoke and challenge while offering a unique and fascinating insight into the creative process that inspires one of today's best known and most successful artists.

Ranking Trevor, a pioneer of rap reggae during the 1970s, has died in a traffic accident in Jamaica. He was 60. The musician's brother, Robert Grant, says he was crushed by a car Tuesday after being knocked off his motorcycle. Police did not respond to calls about the fatality.

Born Maxwell Grant, Ranking Trevor was one of the leading "toasters" in Jamaica during the 1970s, recording mainly for the Channel One studio. Toasting is a form of Jamaican rapping that directly inspired hip-hop.

Songs like "Caveman Skank" and "Three Piece Chicken and Chips" made the charts in England, where he lived more than 20 years. His career declined in the 1980s and he returned to Jamaica a decade later. He is survived by his mother, eight siblings and 15 children.

Rick Ross scored his fourth #1 album on the sales chart. His latest work, God Forgives, I Don't, took the #1 slot with 218,000 units sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. This gives Rick Ross his best sales week yet, topping the 198,000 that Trilla sold in its first week in 2008. It also gives him more #1 albums than some other rappers with longer histories, like Lil Wayne and Snoop Dogg, who both have three #1s on their resumes, according to Billboard.

Other Notables on the charts: Nas' Life Is Good took #6 this week with just under 32,000 copies sold (226,000 total). Frank Ocean's Channel Orange took #13 selling 20,000 units (238,000 total).

Continuing the historical legacy of the famed Apollo Theater to give a stage to future stars, CENTRIC announced today the debut of the new original series APOLLO LIVE. Hosted by funny man Tony Rock, the six-episode series premieres Saturday, December 1 at 8:00 PM* – with a special sneak preview simulcast on BET and CENTRIC on Sunday, November 25 at 11:00 PM* following the SOUL TRAIN AWARDS. The show's expert talent advisers legendary songstress and Grammy Award winner Gladys Knight, hip-hop pioneer Doug E. Fresh and R&B hit maker Michael Bivins will give guidance to each hopeful contestant as they aspire to jumpstart their careers. The winning contestant from each episode, chosen by the electric live audience, will be rewarded with a cash prize.

Executive produced by Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx along with Marcus King and Don Weiner, the series put a fresh spin on the classic variety show "Amateur Night" at Harlem's iconic venue, including a talent showcase and a singing competition and promises a bevy of special guest appearances and star performances.

As one-half of the Inglewood, California, based rap duo Allfrumtha I, Binky Mack, whose first appearance, alongside longtime partner-n-rhyme Squeak Ru, K-Dee and The Comrads, on wax came courtesy of the Westside Connection's '96 LP, Bow Down ["Hoo-Bangin' (WSCG Style)"], has been a musical force to be reckoned with for the past (nearly) sixteen long years.

The first order of brand new business at hand is Binky Mack's forthcoming solo mix-tape, the appropriately titled, The Black Republican. "As far as the name, I always listen to conservative radio. Disagreeing with some, but agreeing with some of it as well," Binky answers diplomatically, when asked as to what actually prompted him to title the project this. Elaboraing, he re-iterates, "I felt I was already rolling with the Democrats, so let me listen to the enemy...*He chuckles* But, Republicans make a lot of sense. One example, they believe in getting out there and making it happen, instead of depending on the government to do it for you. I'm rollin'. But, overall, I am independent. I think for myself -- God first."

On the overall creative direction he took on The Black Republican, Mack describes in great detail, "Well, the music is a few new pieces with some of the dope stuff I've had sitting around. I am still listening back and forth to see which songs will actually make it. Things are coming together well though. But, I am coming with 10 songs that I feel are bangin'. I want to get back to the Slick Rick days...Big Daddy Kane, Whodini. Where I put in all the work. I produced the whole thing, besides one that DonDoe did. But, there will be a few guest spot surprises (as well)." The Black Republican is a precursor of sorts to Binky Mack's upcoming, still untitled EP release, scheduled for release before year's end .

In other Allfrumtha I related news, also be on the look-out for more future projects from the group itself. "Yes, we got two projects coming. Maybe a(n) overseas tour. Working on all that right now," Binky projects. Continuing, he specifies, "But, we have like a greatest hits called Greatest Bangin' Hits coming real soon. Old stuff off of our CDs, plus two new songs. And, then a new CD!"

FX has closed a script development deal with Dr. Dre and writer Sidney Quashie for a one-hour drama pilot that will explore present-day Los Angeles through "the music business and the crime business," the network announced. Quashie is the creator and executive producer and Dre the executive producer. Daniel Schnider is a co-executive producers for Dre's Crucial TV. Brad Bertner is also a co-executive producer.

Dre started Crucial Films in 2007 with a first-look deal at New Line. Quashie wrote the screenplay for the upcoming "The Boston College Fix."

Rapsody is the protégé of Grammy-Award winning producer 9th Wonder and the first lady of North Carolina super-crew Kooley High and one of the first artists signed to 9th Wonder’s Jamla Records/It’s A Wonderful World Music Group. As the brainchild of 9th Wonder’s true school resurgence, Rapsody consistently sets the bar high for all emcees; male and female alike.

Paying homage to her Hip-Hop godmothers (MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, Lauryn Hill), this Snow Hill, North Carolina native represents much more then the female side of Hip-Hop Culture beyond the lines of gender, proving that anything the boys can do, Rapsody can do too; and better!

After proving her impeccable craftsmanship with features on 9th Wonder’s Dream Merchant 2, (“20 Feet Tall” f/ Erykah Badu)and her numerous Kooley High performances, Rapsody released her debut mixtape, Return Of The B-Girl, in late 2010 and it was a 20-track project boasting production from 9th Wonder, DJ Premier and features from Big Daddy Kane, Mac Miller, Skyzoo, Rah Digga and more. Her sophomore mixtape, Thank H.E.R. Now, was released in 2011 and featured collaborations with Jean Grae, MURS, Raekwon, Estelle, Marsha Ambrosius and Big K.R.I.T. and her most recent mixtape, For Everything, which included guest spots from Kendrick Lamar & Freeway.

While she is currently on tour with 9th Wonder and Phonte, Rapsody has captivated audiences at sold-out performances at dozens of venues on ‘The Incredibly Dope’ tour with Mac Miller, the ‘L-R-Generation’ tour with Freddie Gibbs and the ‘Mic Fest’ tour with 9th Wonder and her fellow Jamla Record label mates and after sharing the stage with Hip-Hop legends and rising stars alike (Raekwon, Big Daddy Kane, J. Cole, Wale, Colin Munroe, The Clipse, Blu & Exile) Rapsody is ready to join those esteemed colleagues and become the star she was destined to be.

Rapsody’s debut LP, The Idea Of Beautiful, takes a deeper look at the many connotations that the word “beautiful” evokes in our society and the lengths we go to embody those traits. Rapsody wastes little time delivering her message, as her style is both polished and distinct and her wordplay and flow exceed anyone’s definition of “beautiful” in both delivery and execution. As Rapsody continues to strive too contend with her pedigreed predecessors, she proves with The Idea Of Beautiful that she is well on her way to becoming one of the most promising artists in today’s Hip-Hop culture.

The first leak, “Non-Fiction” f/Ab-Soul & Raheem Devaughn (produced by 9th Wonder) from Rapsody’s The Idea Of Beautiful can be heard here: LISTEN

As beach bags and bathing suits are put into storage and backpacks are filled with textbooks, class is back in session at VH1 with premieres all September long. VH1 has a full Monday night schedule with the series premiere of "Basketball Wives" spin-off "Ev & Ocho," the return of "T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle" and the second season premiere of "Basketball Wives: LA." VH1 also celebrates the rise of rap music in VH1's Emmy Award-winning franchise VH1 Rock Docs presentation of "Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap," directed by Ice-T.

After proving that he still holds the throne, T.I., "The King of the South," continues to take on Hollywood with a recurring role on the Starz hit television series "Boss" and a new movie role starring alongside Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy in the upcoming "Identity Theft." Tip is also preparing to release Trouble & Triumph: A Novel of Power & Beauty, the follow-up to his successful book debut Power and Beauty, and his highly anticipated ninth studio album. Wife Tameka "Tiny" Harris is also making moves of her own this season by expanding her Pretty Hustle brand and working to take her group the OMG Girlz to a whole new level, all while designing a new lingerie line. All six kids will be back this season, including music hopefuls son Domani and daughter Niq Niq. While Domani works on his rap game as a solo artist, Niq Niq will be making more hit music with the OMG Girlz. After a successful run on the "Scream Tour" and their first single "Gucci This (Gucci That)" blowing up on the charts, the girls are quickly taking the music world by storm. With two successful parents and a group of kids equally hungry to make it in the game, the Harris family is ready to take on season two on "T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle" premiering on VH1 Monday, September 3 at 9PM.* "T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle" is created and executive produced by 51 Minds' Cris Abrego, Christian Sarabia, Rabih Gholam and Ben Samek (CAPI), as well as Category 5 Entertainment's Brian Sher and Stella Bulochnikov ("T.I.'S Road to Redemption"). For VH1, the series is executive produced by Jill Holmes, Kristen Kelly and Jeff Olde.

VH1 has followed Evelyn's story through four seasons of "Basketball Wives." Now "Ev & Ocho" presents a behind-the­-scenes look at Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson and Evelyn Lozada's journey to "I Do." Through an eleven-part series, including a two-part season finale, audiences will get a glimpse inside of Evelyn and Chad's relationship. Between Evelyn promoting her new book Inner Circle and going through marriage counseling with Chad, Evelyn is forced to put all past issues on the back-burner as she deals with tough family decisions and the ever important question, "Who will walk me down the aisle?" Viewers will watch Evelyn and Chad work together through the tough times to reach the goal of their dream wedding with celebrity wedding planner Diann Valentine. From deciding on the perfect cake and designer dress, to Evelyn dealing with Ocho's unconventional wedding demands, this ceremony will definitely go down in the history books. Preparation isn't easy, and the couple's timing is tight as Evelyn rushes to make sure her ill brother-in-law can be a part of her very special day. With two overflowing social calendars and two different personalities to match, these two realize planning "happily ever after" won't be a smooth course. "Ev & Ocho" is produced by Shed Media and JUMA Entertainment. Executive producing for Shed Media is Nick Emmerson, Alex Demyanenko and Sean Rankine. Executive producing for JUMA Entertainment is Bob Horowitz and Lewis Fenton. Executive producing for VH1 are Jill Holmes, Tom Huffman and Jeff Olde.

Taking the screen for a second season, VH1's "Basketball Wives LA" rebounds with new friendships and fresh additions to the team. Familiar faces returning are Jackie Christie, Gloria and Laura Govan, Malaysia Pargo and Draya Michele. Other friends also join in to make season two even spicier than the first. Sisters Laura and Gloria try to mend their strained relationship, which has been tenuous due to the pressures of their chaotic lives. Gloria faces a turning point in her acting career and finds herself at the brink of her first big role, but will this push her relationship with Laura to the edge? Laura has a hot new figure and is set on making big life changes. Jackie attempts at making amends with the group, but has too much damage already been done? Malaysia makes good on her promise to step out of her comfort zone and pushes herself to hang-glide, skydive and more. Draya juggles a booming modeling career and the launch of her own swimwear line. And of course, another year means another vow renewal for Jackie and Doug Christie with the theme sure to blow the other 16 celebrations out of the water. "Basketball Wives LA" premieres Monday, September 10 at 8:00 PM.* Shed Media is producing the series. Executive producers for Shed Media are Nick Emmerson, Alex Demyanenko, Jennifer O'Connell and Sean Rankine. Shaunie O'Neal is an executive producer. Executive producers for VH1 are Jeff Olde, Jill Holmes and Tom Huffman.

Directed by Ice-T, "Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap" goes deep into the heart of rap and hip hop music, featuring masters of the game including: AfrikaBambaataa, BigDaddyKane, B-Real, BunB, ChinoXL, ChuckD, Common, DJPremier, DMC, DougE. Fresh, Dr. Dre, Eminem, GrandmasterCaz, IceCube, Ice-T, ImmortalTechnique, JoeBudden, KanyeWest, KoolKeith, KRSOne, LordFinesse, LordJamar, MarleyMarl, MCLyte, MelleMel, Nas, Puerto Rico, Q-Tip, Raekwon, Rakim, RasKass, Redman, RoyceDa5'9", Run, Salt, SnoopDogg, WC, Xzibit, Yasiin (fka Mos Def) and others. More than a performance documentary, "Art of Rap" gets up close and personal with these legends of the game to share insightful, deep and often hilarious revelations as well as classic raps, new rhymes and a cappellas. "Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap" is directed by Ice-T and co-directed by Andy Baybutt. Executive producers are Paul Toogood, Jorge Hinojosa, Simon D. Pearce, David Kaplan, Alison Toogood and Jelena Nikolic.

Snoop Dogg (aka Snoop Lion) suggested in an interview with Huffington Post that he's interested in filling a seat on next season's American Idol judging panel.

At a New York press volley introducing himself to the media in his new incarnation as Snoop Lion, he said that after learning of Mariah Carey's reported $18-million payday to join the judging panel, he wanted to bring a little irie to "Idol." "I'll clean my act up, but I'm still Rastafari," he said.

Louisiana rapper Mystikal, whose real name is Michael Tyler, is once again a free man after serving over two months in jail on a probation violation. A judge sentenced him to 90 days on a domestic abuse arrest. He spent 81 days in the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. The charge was a violation of his probation from a previous sexual batter and extortion conviction.

Beyonce is teaming with the United Nations and humanitarian aid organizations on a global campaign to encourage people around the world to get involved. The international pop star and songwriter Diane Warren will donate a video of "I Was Here" that will be filmed in the UN General Assembly Hall in New York in front of a live audience. The video will premiere Aug. 19 on World Humanitarian Day and the UN hopes it will help the campaign reach 1 billion people. A news release says the campaign website launched Thursday and allows people to share individual acts of good. Beyonce says in the statement that World Humanitarian Day is a chance to work together and "this is our time to leave our mark on the world."

Nobody works harder than Ruste Juxx. Just six months after his last album Hardbodie Hip Hop, the gritty Brooklyn MC and longtime Boot Camp Clik collaborator has teamed up with acclaimed Boston hip hop producer The Arcitype to release V.I.C. on September 25th, 2012 through AR Classic Records / Duck Down Music Inc.
Look for appearances by Guilty Simpson, RA the Rugged Man, Sadat X, Termanology, Planet Asia, Craig G, amongst others

On the surface, the title V.I.C. stands for “Victorious Impervious Champions.” Digging deeper, though, it’s a reference to Juxx’s real name, Victor Evans. Thus, V.I.C. serves as an introduction to some and a proclamation to all.

Building off nearly two decades of underground buzz, V.I.C. stands as Juxx’s strongest work to date. He proudly declares, “It’s a fresh new sound, no sampling on the album, no cursing…I’m really proud of it.” With no cursing, Juxx hopes to direct listeners’ main focus to his lyrics and his message. The album is for all ages, and the lack of profanity allows both young and old to indulge in this infectious 15-track offering.

The Arcitype provides the necessary backdrop to Juxx’s aggressive cadence & well-timed punchlines. The Boston producer uses his training as a blues guitarist to create funk-infused, sample free head-nodders He has been cosigned by laudable producers Jake One and Vitamin D. The album was completely recorded and produced in The Arcitype’s studio in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Several tracks on the album stand out. “Right There With Me,” featuring Sadat X, is a recollected rest-in-peace tribute to Juxx’s late sister. “Rock to the Rhythm” and “The Life I Live” showcase Juxx’s lyrical prowess over The Arcitype’s hard-hitting drums and melded instrumentation.

In the past, Ruste has toured with Wu-Tang alumni Ghostface Killah, Sean Price and Jedi Mind Tricks. Fans can look forward to videos for “Rock To The Rhythm” & “GGTC.”

Coming on the heels of a prolific 2011, where he dropped three solo mixtapes (The Rocks Report, Premier Politics, Premier Politics 1.5), and a 45-city tour with Mac Miller in the first half of 2012, Rocks displays an advanced and mature sound throughout Lap of Lux. Producers on the collection include Cardo (Taylor Gang), Hit-Boy and J.Hill (Chief Keef) as well as his partner in The Cool Kids, Chuck Inglish while features include Casey Veggies, Mac Miller and more.

One of the standouts on the 15 track offering is “You Know What” produced by the in demand Hit-Boy (G.O.O.D. Music). The song features a playful beat with Rocks rhyming differently than fans might be used to. He explains, “I feel like I couldn’t have done this on one of my group projects, or even my earlier solo projects because it’s a new sound that I’ve never really dealt with. I’ve got a real rapid-fire flow on there. This is something new that I’ve just stepped into.”

Another banger on Lap Of Lux is “Reservations.” Produced by Cardo (Taylor Gang), Rocks reminds fans of his rap skills and his easy delivery and story telling ability is showcased on this mid-tempo song. Not forgetting where he came from, Rocks teams up with his partner Chuck Inglish for “Good Sushi,” a Cool Kids sound with a 2012 spin on it.

Murs and Fashawn’s relationship sprouted from a deep mutual admiration. They didn’t know each other personally, but both prolific west coast MCs had watched the others’ career from a distance. Growing up, Fashawn saw Murs release numerous successful solo projects and collaboration albums with both 9th Wonder and Slug of Atmosphere. When he wasn’t recording, Murs founded the Paid Dues Festival in San Bernadino, California, one of the largest independent music festivals in the country with over 15,000 people in attendance last year. In the meantime, Murs looked on as Fashawn grew from Evidence’s (Dilated Peoples) protégé into his own on his debut album Boy Meets World, eventually being recognized nationally as a 2010 XXL Freshman. Finally, the mutual admiration resulted in a collaborative effort. The two will release This Generation on September 25th 2012 through Duck Down Music Inc.

The title This Generation represents “an amalgamation of all the different styles and eras,” says Murs. The two feel that it’s their job as “praised, skilled wordsmiths” to document the ever-changing times we live in. The duo is jointly composed of youth and experience, and Fashawn felt that they could “add two separate accounts and bridge the gap.” Everyone has a voice in this generation, but few have stepped into the forefront to synthesize the rambling of millions of conversations. Videos will be filmed for tracks “This Generation” and “Slash Gordon.” The satiric video for “Slash Gordon” features the two MCs in a rocket ship, acting as “hip hop angels trying to save the world,” comments Murs.

The album was entirely produced by duo Beatnick and K-Salaam, who, in the past, have worked with artists Lil Wayne, Freddie Gibbs and Mos Def among others. Fashawn comments, “They bring a brand new sound. We couldn’t picture any other producers. They could do an instrumental solo as a third verse and you wouldn’t be mad.” The producers chose to forgo the traditional sampling route in favor of original compositions. The production contains an array of sounds, blending the smooth, laidback vibes of 90s west coast g-funk with the aggressiveness of overdrive guitars and other exotic instruments. There are no features on the album, as both MCs “had a lot to say. It would be like overseasoning a perfect dish.”

To promote the album, Murs and Fashawn will tour cross-country as members of the Rock the Bells lineup in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles this summer. Proud to be a part of such a prestigious event, Fashawn exclaims, “It will be a great stage show. You have two MCs that love performing. It will definitely be a very spontaneous set.”

Their live shows will cement the fact that there is no generational gap on This Generation. Despite their varying ages and life perspectives, Murs and Fashawn have come together to create an energetic, passionate, and thoughtful work that is sure to please music fans worldwide.

Just days after the earth-shaking announcement that she will join the judges' panel of FOX's American Idol when the series returns in 2013, Mariah Carey announces the release of her first new single in more than two years, as "Triumphant (Get 'Em)" featuring fellow Island Def Jam artist Rick Ross and Meek Mill goes to radio today Thursday, August 2nd, and goes up for sale at iTunes next Tuesday, August 7th.

As tweeted from @MariahCarey: "I wrote TRIUMPHANT when I was going through a difficult time & it helped me get through it. When u hear it, pay attention 2 the lyrics #WIN."

Mariah, who boasts an unparalleled music catalog with #1 hits in multiple formats on the Billboard charts, will follow the original version of "Triumphant" with a set of exclusive, re-sung dance remixes produced by some of the hottest names in the dance world. Mariah, who continues a long-time tradition of re-inventing her songs in the format, said: "I've always had so much fun re-singing my songs for the club/dance mixes. It gives me the freedom to sing as powerfully as I want and to rewrite the songs specifically for the genre." Mariah has 15 #1 hits on Billboard's Dance Music/Club Play chart, including "Dreamlover," "Fantasy" and "Obsessed."
Her upcoming new album follows up Mariah's worldwide multi-million-selling Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel (released September 2009), her multi-platinum E=MC² (2008), and worldwide 10 million selling The Emancipation Of Mimi (2005).

The Emancipation Of Mimi generated three Grammy awards (including Best Contemporary R&B Album), two #1 singles, and countless more honors during its 18-month chart stay. Soundscan's biggest-selling album of 2005, Mimi featured "We Belong Together" (Grammy winner for Best Female R&B Vocal and Best R&B Song) and "Don't Forget About Us," Mariah's 16th and 17th #1 career singles respectively. They tied one of the most enduring chart records in Billboard Hot 100 history, Elvis Presley's 17 #1's.

Three years later, Mariah surpassed Elvis when "Touch My Body" (from E=MC²) became her 18th #1 Hot 100 hit. "Touch My Body" spent two weeks at the top, Mariah's 78th and 79th cumulative career weeks at #1, which tied Elvis' long-standing all-time high of 79 weeks at #1, as calculated by Billboard. Mariah is now positioned as the only active recording artist in the 50 years of the Hot 100 (which began in 1958) with the potential to surpass the Beatles' all-time high of 20 #1 hits. The success of E=MC² brought total sales of Mariah's albums, singles and videos to more than 200 million worldwide, distancing her even further from the pack as the top-selling female recording artist in history.

With a distinct five-octave vocal range, prolific songwriting and producing talent, Mariah has defined the modern pop performance. As a singer/songwriter/producer, she has been honored with five Grammy Awards®, nine American Music Awards, Billboard's Artist of the Decade Award, the World Music Award for World's Best Selling Female Artist of the Millennium, and BMI's Icon Award, to name a few.
She has two consecutive and unparalleled Billboard Song of the Decade titles: "One Sweet Day" (with Boyz II Men, 1995); and "We Belong Together" (2005), further marking her massive presence on the charts since her 1990 song debut "Vision of Love." Mariah's original holiday classic, "All I Want For Christmas is You," redefined its place in pop culture as one of the greatest holiday hits of all time when it reached #1 on the Billboard charts in 2011, 17 years after its debut. Mariah's influential and stellar contribution to music spans multiple genres and is showcased through her multifaceted hit catalog and a long list of diverse collaborations.

Mariah's ongoing impact transcends the music industry and has left an indelible imprint upon the world at large. In 2009, she made a substantial mark in film with her critically acclaimed role as a social worker in Precious, based on the novel Push by Sapphire. A Congressional Award recipient, Mariah has generously donated time and energy to a range of domestic and international philanthropic causes near to her heart, including the Fresh Air Fund/Camp Mariah (a retreat where inner-city children explore career development), Save the Music Foundation, and Make-a-Wish Foundation, among several others

Rick Ross’s God Forgives, I Don’t is on track to sell around 200,000 copies by the end of its first week on August 5, according to reports. This could be Ross' fifth studio album to become his fourth #1 LP on the Billboard 200.

If the projection is accurate, God Forgives, I Don’t will be Rozay’s best first-week sales numbers since Trilla (2008) entered the charts with 198,000 units moved, according to Nielsen SoundScan. God Forgives, I Don’t features Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, Andre 3000, Meek Mill, Wale, Stalley and Omarion.


sland Def Jam Motown and Universal Republic have promoted Matt Voss to Executive Vice President of International, East Coast Labels, it was announced today by Ivan Gavin, Chief Operating Officer of East Coast Labels, to whom he reports. UMG's East Coast Labels include Island Def Jam Motown and Universal Republic. Formerly, Mr. Voss served as Senior Vice President for UMG's East Coast Labels. He is based in New York City.

In this expanded role, Mr. Voss will oversee the international exploitation of all artists under UMG's East Coast Labels umbrella, including the marketing, publicity and promotion functions for Island Def Jam Motown and Universal Republic overseas. He has worked closely on global campaigns for Rihanna, Bon Jovi, Justin Bieber, Ne-Yo, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Of Monsters and Men, The Killers, Lil Wayne and Jessie J, among others.

"Matt's leadership and real track record of success has proved indispensable when it comes to developing artists globally," stated Mr. Gavin. "Given the company's continued expansion, there is no one better suited to lead our international efforts."

"I am grateful to Barry Weiss (Chairman and CEO, Island Def Jam Motown and Universal Republic Label Group) and Ivan for this opportunity," added Mr. Voss. "The senior management teams at the New York labels are truly exceptional and I am privileged to work with them and their phenomenal artists. I look forward to my continued relationships with the Universal companies around the world and the opportunity to find new ways to spend my frequent flier points."

Mr. Voss has a long history with UMG and its labels. Prior to joining East Coast Labels last year, Mr. Voss was Senior Vice President, International of Island Def Jam for six years. Formerly, he served as Vice President, Marketing for Universal Music Group International (UMGI), based in London. His background also includes serving as General Manager of MCA Records in the UK, and ten years at Virgin Records in London and New York City.

Reports are surfacing that Pharrell Williams is close to signing on as a judge on American Idol. The rapper/producer could become a judge, joining recently announced Mariah Carey as another judge. Sources say Pharrell is currently negotiating the terms of his contract and that “everything is looking good, but they’re still working out details.”

Drake and Rihanna lead the pack with five nominations each. The two will each compete with Chris Brown in different categories, Rihanna in choreography and Drake for male video. M.I.A., Jay-Z and Kanye's Watch the Throne and newcomer Frank Ocean scored three nominations apiece.

Video of the year
Katy Perry, "Wide Awake"
Gotye, "Somebody That I Used to Know"
Rihanna, "We Found Love"
Drake feat. Rihanna, "Take Care"
M.I.A., "Bad Girls"

New artist
Fun. feat. Janelle Monae, "We Are Young"
Carly Rae Jepsen, "Call Me Maybe"
Frank Ocean, "Swim Good"
One Direction, "What Makes You Beautiful"
The Wanted, "Glad You Came"

Hip-hop video
Childish Gambino, "Heartbeat"
Drake feat. Lil Wayne, "HYFR"
Kanye West feat. Pusha T, Big Sean & 2 Chainz, "Mercy"
Watch the Throne, "Paris"
Nicki Minaj feat. 2 Chainz, "Beez in the Trap"

Male video
Justin Bieber, "Boyfriend"
Frank Ocean, "Swim Good"
Drake feat. Rihanna, "Take Care"
Chris Brown, "Turn Up the Music"
Usher, "Climax"

Female video
Rihanna, "We Found Love"
Katy Perry, "Part of Me"
Beyoncé, "Love on Top"
Nicki Minaj, "Starships"
Selena Gomez & the Scene, "Love You Like a Love Song"

Pop video
One Direction, "What Makes You Beautiful"
Fun. feat. Janelle Monae, "We Are Young"
Rihanna, "We Found Love"
Justin Bieber, "Boyfriend"
Maroon 5 feat. Wiz Khalifa, "Payphone"

Rock video
Coldplay, "Paradise"
The Black Keys, "Lonely Boy"
Linkin Park, "Burn It Down"
Jack White, "Sixteen Saltines"
Imagine Dragons, "It's Time"

Electronic dance music video
Duck Sauce, "Big Bad Wolf"
Calvin Harris, "Feel So Close"
Skrillex, "First of the Year (Equinox)"
Martin Solveig, "The Night Out"
Avicii, "Le7els"

Video with a message
Demi Lovato, "Skyscraper"
Rise Against, "Ballad of Hollis Brown"
Kelly Clarkson, "Dark Side"
Gym Class Heroes, "The Fighter"
K'Naan feat. Nelly Furtado, "Is Anybody Out There?"
Lil Wayne, "How to Love"

Art direction
Katy Perry, "Wide Awake"
Drake feat. Rihanna, "Take Care"
Lana Del Rey, "Born to Die"
Regina Spektor, "All the Rowboats"
Of Monsters & Men, "Little Talks"

Chris Brown, "Turn Up the Music"
Rihanna, "Where Have You Been"
Beyoncé, "Countdown"
Avicii, "Le7els"
Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull, "Dance Again"

M.I.A., "Bad Girls"
Adele, "Someone Like You"
Drake feat. Rihanna, "Take Care"
Coldplay feat. Rihanna, "Princess of China"
Lana Del Rey, "Born to Die"

M.I.A., "Bad Girls"
Duck Sauce, "Big Bad Wolf"
Coldplay feat. Rihanna, "Princess of China"
Frank Ocean, "Swim Good"
Watch the Throne, "Otis"

Beyoncé, "Countdown"
A$AP Rocky, "Goldie"
Gotye, "Somebody That I Used to Know"
Watch the Throne, "Paris"
Kanye West feat. Pusha T, Big Sean and 2 Chainz, "Mercy"

Visual Effects
Katy Perry, "Wide Awake"
Rihanna, "Where Have You Been"
David Guetta feat. Nicki Minaj, "Turn Me On"
Linkin Park, "Burn It Down"

Bud Light today announced it has renewed its partnership with Pitbull. As part of the partnership, Bud Light plans to highlight Pitbull on bilingual print, TV, radio, outdoor, digital and point-of-sale materials. Bud Light will also sponsor Pitbull's new music video "Get It Started" with international superstar Shakira, which is the first single from his upcoming fall album, Global Warming.

Pitbull has taken the world by storm since the release of his critically acclaimed album Planet Pit. The album sold over 1.3 million albums and 18 million singles worldwide and includes the worldwide #1 smash "Give Me Everything," plus "Rain Over Me" featuring Marc Anthony, "International Love" with Chris Brown and T-Pain feature "Hey Baby." Following the path of hits is Pitbull's 2 million selling single "Back In Time," the chart-topping anthem from the action adventure comedy Men In Black 3. Pitbull embarked on the U.S. leg of his Planet Pit World Tour on July 26th in Chicago at the Charter One Pavilion with dates confirmed through August 12th at the Bill Graham Civic Center in San Francisco before bringing the party to Japan and Australia later this year.

"Bud Light's partnership with Pitbull is an ideal fit that combines one of today's most exciting recording artists with the beer that's always at the center of good times, and we look forward to continuing it throughout 2012 and beyond," said Mike Sundet, vice president, Bud Light. "Pitbull's energetic performances embody the fun, spirited personality of Bud Light, and our sponsorship of his new music video provides us the opportunity to connect with his passionate, diverse fan base."  

"It's exciting to be involved in a second run with Bud Light," says Pitbull. "Goes to show how two global brands understand each other and have fun being creative – the public loves our partnership - Look forward to having more fun this year. DALE!"

Additionally, Bud Light and the Anheuser-Busch Foundation will partner with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) to donate a university scholarship in at least 26 cities during Pitbull's U.S. leg of his Planet Pit World Tour. The recipient will appear onstage to accept the scholarship before the show and will have an opportunity to go backstage to meet Pitbull. In total, Anheuser-Busch will donate $100,000 this year to the HSF, the nation's leading non-profit organization that supports Hispanic higher education, as part of the scholarship program.

50 Cent released his single “New Day” featuring Alicia Keys and Dr. Dre. The track, produced by Dr. Dre, is the lead single from his fifth studio album, Street King Immortal which will be released on Shady/Aftermath/Interscope on November 13th.

Pitbull has announced the purchase of an equity ownership in Florida's largest and most iconic sub and grill chain, The New Miami Subs Grill. CEO Richard Chwatt, along with President Bob Vogel and Miami Subs Executive Partners Bruce Galloway and Dieuveny Louis celebrated the announcement at a private reception held at Shelborne South Beach in Miami.

"Since childhood Miami Subs has been one of my favorite Miami spots – It's an incredible feeling to take ownership in a brand that's so close to home," says Pitbull. "When you think about music, it's the universal language. When you think about food, it brings everyone together in the same way – that's powerful and now we're bringing The New Miami Subs Grill franchise worldwide."

"We are excited to welcome Armando, 'Pitbull,' to The New Miami Subs Grill family," says CEO Richard Chwatt. "His introduction as a key member of our executive team and Board of Directors is an important step forward for the franchise." President Bob Vogel adds, "Not only will his astute business acumen and American Dream success story inspire prospective franchisees, consumers can expect influences of Mr. Worldwide incorporated into various aspects of existing and planned restaurants, as well as our upcoming Latin Fusion menu."

"As one of the top global artists of our time, with a powerful viral fan base, Pitbull will certainly make The New Miami Subs Grill the franchise brand to watch in 2012 and 2013," remarks Executive Partner Dieuveny Louis.

"I am extremely excited to see this relationship take hold and see Miami Subs reach its full potential, with the inclusion of Pitbull on the team," states Bruce Galloway, current board member of The New Miami Subs Grill.

Heralded by fans worldwide for their famous Philly cheese steaks, wings, and gyros-- The New Miami Subs Grill has been on the cusp of an active brand revival. Descending upon the marketplace in the late 80s, the brand was considered one of the hottest industry success stories of the 90s, pioneering the term 'fast casual' for their dedication to "great food served fast." Customers raved over their late night dining, drive-thrus and the ability to purchase beer, wine or Dom Perignon champagne, which the brand is planning on re-launching at select locations, to complement the quick serve offerings.

Recently, the Fort Lauderdale-based chain announced aggressive expansion efforts, including new locations planned for the US and Latin America in 2012 and 2013. The brand recently achieved record-breaking sales comparisons store by store, year over year, for 72 out of 74 weeks respectively, which CEO Richard Chwatt attributes to the franchise's focus on revitalizing the brand through renovation, relocation and a commitment to downsizing existing locations that simply don't fall in line with projected growth plans. New product introductions include Fresh Angus Steak Burgers which have positioned the chain to compete for added market share in the fast casual sector and include quality statements such as freshly baked brioche rolls and multigrain buns.

Bone Thugs-n-Harmony rapper Krayzie Bone was arrested for drunk driving in L.A early this morning. Law enforcement say the 39-year-old rapper was pulled over around 12:30 AM on a routine traffic stop when officers suspected Krayzie had been drinking. He was then asked to perform the field sobriety tests. He blew over .10 on the breathalyzer well above the legal limit in California, .08. Cops arrested Krayzie on suspicion of DUI and he was booked at a nearby jail. he was cooperative during the arrest.

Nas earns his sixth #1 album on the sales chart this week as Life Is Good debuts atop the list with 149,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Nas' previous chart-topping albums were: It Was Written (1996), the collaboration set The Firm (1997; with Foxy Brown, AZ and Nature), I Am (1999), Hip-Hop Is Dead (2007) and Untitled (2008).

Meanwhile, Frank Ocean's Channel Orange slips two spots to #4 this week with 54,000 units sold. (185,000 TOTAL). Chris Brown's Fortune comes in at #11 with 27,000 units sold (206,000 TOTAL).

Nate Dogg has posthumously left $200,000 in real estate to his six children. According to TMZ, Nate Dogg did not write a will before he passed, and lawyers are currently dividing up his assets. In documents filed at L.A. County Superior Court, his home in Pomona, California is valued at $350,000 but he still owed $150,000. His four daughters and two sons will inherit the estate, which may include more cash on top of the real estate. Additional earnings from his music will go to his children as well.

MTV JAMS & REEBOK PRESENTS THE 2012 CLOSER TO MY DREAMS TOUR WITH HEADLINER TYGA FEATURING KIRKO BANGZ, IGGY AZALEA, AND STERLING SIMMS. Several of the hottest young music stars in the industry today are once again hitting the road together this summer as MTV Jams, MTV's premiere 24–hour digital music channel for hip hop music and artists and Reebok present the 2012 CLOSER TO MY DREAMS TOUR.

Now in its second year, the CLOSER TO MY DREAMS TOUR has quickly established itself as a highly anticipated and exciting live music event spotlighting the next generation of young superstars. Tyga, who is headlining the tour for the second consecutive year, dominated the 2012 music charts with "Rack City" and "Faded" featuring Lil Wayne. Tyga is also a 2011 Grammy nominee for "Best Rap/Sung Collaboration" as a feature on Chris Brown's "Deuces" track.

With these young stars making an impact on the music charts and MTV's successful history of introducing the hottest new talent, the 2012 Closer To My Dreams Tour is one of the most sizzling bills of the summer concert season, and a must-attend live experience not to be missed.


-Tue 9/4 Los Angeles, CA Club Nokia
-Wed 9/5 TBA
-Fri 9/7 Corpus Christi, TX Concrete Street Amphitheatre
-Sat 9/8 Houston, TX Bayou Music Center
-Sun 9/9 Dallas, TX Palladium Ballroom
-Tue 9/11 Fargo, ND The Venue
-Wed 9/12 Milwaukee, WI Eagles Ballroom
-Thu 9/13 Des Moines, IA Val Air Ballroom
-Fri 9/14 Minneapolis, MN Epic
-Sun 9/16 Chicago, IL Congress Theatre
-Mon 9/17 Detroit, MI The Fillmore
-Tue 9/18 Columbus, OH LC Pavilion
-Wed 9/19 Washington DC The Fillmore
-Thu 9/20 New York, NY Best Buy Theatre
-Fri 9/21 Philadelphia, PA Electric Factory
-Sun 9/23 Boston, MA House of Blues

Rapper, videographer, and artist Kreayshawn revealed the first official single and music video for the song "Go Hard" from her forthcoming debut album, Somethin 'Bout Kreay. SEE THE VIDEO HERE The song personifies Kreayshawn's modus operandi to a tee; stay true to yourself and go hard at chasing your dreams.

Since announcing Somethin 'Bout Kreay earlier this summer, Kreayshawn has toured Europe, performing at the Hove Festival in Norway, the Rock Werchter Festival in Belgium, the Main Square Festival in France, the Pitch Festival in Holland and the Wireless Festival in the UK. While in the UK, Kreayshawn also celebrated the release of her new collaborative t-shirt with clothing brand A Bathing Ape.

Now back stateside, Kreayshawn is excited to release her new single "Go Hard." "With this track, I wanted to inspire people to just do their own thing," says Kreayshawn. Complete with breakdancing furries, fun outfits, and wild animation effects, "Go Hard" makes for a visual feast. "My favorite part about the video is that I always notice something different every single time I watch it. It's like going on a visual adventure." The "Go Hard" video is the brainchild of Kreayshawn in collaboration with design based collective Syndrome, who have created stunning videos for the likes of Eminem, Ke$ha and the Black Eyed Peas.

Kreayshawn's wild child lyricism is brought to life thanks to a full-bodied beat from Boys Noize, who produced a pair of songs on Somethin 'Bout Kreay. "Working with him was cool, because he's got a different style than what I'm typically drawn to," explains Kreayshawn. "He turned out this poppy, 90s-inspired beat with heavy bass and breakdowns, and I'm really into that."

Majesco Entertainment Company today announced the full set list of songs and artists for NBA Baller Beats, the first ever full-body motion-based NBA video game that lets players use a real ball to gain real skills. Players of all skill levels – from rookie to pro – will dribble to the beat of popular and chart-topping music tracks, across various genres including hip-hop, rock, and old school favorites from artists like Kanye West, Common, Queen, Skrillex, Wiz Khalifa, Rise Against, Santigold, and many more.

“The music is your guide as you bounce the ball to the beats of some of your favorite baller tracks,” said Jesse Sutton, Chief Executive Officer, Majesco Entertainment. “NBA Baller Beats is a beats driven experience that lets you learn crossovers, pump fakes, behind-the-back and other ball-handling skills. Follow the rhythm to help you master the skills.”

NBA Baller Beats will come packaged with an official Spalding® NBA game ball replica and will make its debut exclusively on Kinect™ for Xbox 360® on September 11, 2012.

NBA Baller Beats full on-disc track list:
“Access Hollywood” – Consequence
“Autobiotics” – Calling All Cars
“Canon” – Justice
“Championship Fever” – Najee
“Disparate Youth” – Santigold
“Don’t Sweat the Technique” – Eric B. and Rakim
“Get Ur Freak On” – Missy Elliott
“It’s Ok” – Cee-Lo Green
“Music Makes Me Feel So Good” – Static Revenger
“Night By Night” – Chromeo
“O.N.E.” – Yeasayer
“Roll Up” – Wiz Khalifa
“Satellite” – Rise Against
“So Good” – B.o.B.
“Surf Hell” – Little Barrie
Previously announced tracks:
“Amazing” – Kanye West ft. Young Jeezy
“Another One Bites the Dust” – Queen
“Bangarang” – Skrillex ft. Sirah
“Blue Sky” – Common
“Bust A Move” – Young MC
“Chillin” – Wale ft. Lady Gaga
“C’Mon Catch ‘Em By Surprise” – Tiesto vs. Diplo ft. Busta Rhymes
“It’s Tricky” – Run DMC
“Let It (Edit Remix)” – Machine Drum ft. Melo X
“New Fang” – Them Crooked Vultures
“Obstacle 1” - Interpol
“Party Rock Anthem” – LMFAO ft. Lauren Bennett and GoonRock
“Slam” – Onyx
“Stylo” – Gorillaz
“Tightrope” – Janelle Monae

Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp's shares fell as much as 4 percent on Monday after the sale of half of its holding in audio technology firm Beats Electronics back to Beats' founders raised concern over its strategy.

HTC bought 50.1 percent of Beats Electronics, which was founded by Dr. Dre and Beats' current CEO Jimmy Iovine, for $309 million in August last year, as part of its efforts to differentiate its phones and enhance branding amid rising competition.

But it said in a weekend statement that it sold 25 percent back to Beats' founders for $150 million. It will continue to work closely with the maker of high-end headphones and speakers.

"We find HTC's announcement of cutting back its investment in Beats puzzling," said Morgan Stanley in a research report, adding that the structure of the whole deal from acquisition to disposal does not make much strategic and financial sense to HTC shareholders without disclosure of more details.

"Reducing its holding to 25.57 percent signals HTC's separation from Beats' operations. Possibly it implies that there was not much synergy between the two companies from the beginning."

HTC will remain Beats' largest shareholder with 25.1 percent, with Beats' founders holding the remainder. It will hold a 25.57 percent voting right. Some models in its latest One series of phones use Beats audio technology.

The share sale "provides Beats with more flexibility for global expansion while maintaining HTC's major stake and commercial exclusivity in mobile," HTC's statement said.

By 0212 GMT, shares of HTC has lost 3.83 percent, versus broader market's 2.11 percent fall.

Fierce competition from Samsung's Galaxy phones could be pushing HTC towards a more conservative operation and centralized business, according to KBC Concord Asset Management Investment and Research Manager Henry Chen.

In a separate statement, HTC said it had agreed to lend Beats T$6.74 billion ($224.85 million) for one year with an interest rate of LIBOR+1.5 percent to LIBOR+7.5 percent. HTC's profit more than halved in the second quarter, with the company struggling to regain market share lost to Samsung and Apple Inc. ($1 = 29.9755 Taiwan dollars) Source: Yahoo finance

Chris Brown will return to the big screen flexing his dance moves in a new movie called ‘Battle of the Year.’ Brown hasn’t been in a flick since his cameo in ‘Think Like a Man’ and the 2010 heist thriller ‘Takers.’ The dance film explores the International world of competitive breakdancing.

‘Battle of the Year’ is the Olympics of break dancing, a tournament held every year that attracts all the best teams from around the world, but the Americans haven’t won in fifteen years. Los Angeles hip-hop mogul and former B-Boy Dante (Laz Alonso) wants to put the country that started the sport back on top.

He enlists his hard-luck friend Blake (Josh Holloway), who was a championship basketball coach, to coach his team. Armed with the theory that the right coach can make any team champions, they assemble a Dream Team of all the best b-boys across the country. With only three months until Battle of the Year, Blake has to use every tactic he knows to get twelve talented individuals to come together as a team if they’re going to bring the Trophy back to America where it started. Inspired by the actual World championship held yearly in France.” The movie is expected to hit theaters on Jan. 25, 2013 and also stars Josh Beck and Josh Holloway.

Sports Illustrated is reporting that 50 Cent is getting into the boxing promoting business. Curtis Jackson (50 CENT) has founded TMT Promotions — short for The Money Team — which has been licensed in New York and, according to Nevada state athletic commissioner Keith Kizer, is in the process of applying for a license in Nevada.

In addition to working with longtime friend and pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather, industry sources say TMT Promotions is expected to sign former featherweight title holder Yuri Gamboa and super middleweight contender Andre Dirrell. A call to Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe was not immediately returned.

Last April, Mayweather hinted during a conference call to promote his fight against Miguel Cotto that Jackson would be getting involved in boxing.

“I think he’s going to be involved on the promotion side,” Mayweather said. “We may even put him out there, let him fight on pay-per-view one time. So we don’t really know what the future holds, but he is getting involved with boxing.” Source: Sports Illustrated

Funkmaster Flex talked to Rick Ross on New York City’s Hot 97 last night and asked Rozay if he was surprised on the recent court motion.

“Really I was surprised because dudes that really supposed to come from the street, we could have met and spoke face to face and maybe did this another way, but homie wanted to go through the courts and say that I was rapping in all of my songs about his life and in my songs I’m talking about his life and it’s just not true,” Ross told Flex.

“Shout out to my team,” Rozay said. “We done batted down the first two and we gonna bat down this last one and hopefully homie could have him some peace.”

Earlier this week, multiple reports surfaced that a California state judge rejected Warner Bros. Records’ motion to dismiss “Freeway” Ricky Ross’ lawsuit against rapper Ricky Ross. The suit alleging that Rozay had misappropriated the name and identity of “Freeway” Ricky Ross ruling that the statute of limitations hadn’t expired. So this keeps the lawsuit stil open?

LISTEN TO Rick Ross - "3 Kings" (Ft. Dr. Dre & Jay Z)

Sources have confirmed that rapper Ms. Melodie, (born Ramona Parker) has died at the age of 43. The cause of death hasn’t been made known to the public yet. However, we do know Ms. Melodie died in her sleep. Ms. Melodie was the ex-wife of rapper KRS-ONE and was a member of Boogie Down Productions.

Ms. Melodie released her first single in 1988 called “Hype According to Ms. Melodie” and one album, Diva in 1989 on Jive Records. Her video “Live On Stage” was one of her biggest hits and she made a memorable appearance on the 1989 single “Self Destruction” and has a cameo in Queen Latifah’s video “Ladies First.”

DJ D-Nice of Boogie Down Productions and singer Monifah both expressed their condolences on Twitter:

DJ D-Nice: Rest in paradise Ramona. #MsMelodie #BDP

Monifah: RIP Miss Melody. Please keep her children, family & loved ones in ur prayers. #HipHopRoyalty

D-Nice also added, “I had a pleasant conversation w/ Ms. Melodie a month ago. The last thing she said me to me was “I’m proud of you.” The love we all had for each other was genuine. Along the way, some of us lost focus. The love in my heart remained. Scott La Rock, KRS-One, D-Nice, Ms Melodie, & the rest of the BDP crew will always be a part of hip-hip history.”

A 31-year-old local rapper who gained international acclaim for his gritty songs detailing drug dealing, violence and a no-snitch mantra was sentenced Wednesday to 14 years in federal prison for gun possession and witness tampering. Christopher Dorsey, better known as B.G. or Baby Gangsta, was an original member of the 1990s rap super group the Hot Boys. His most recent album, "Too Hood 2 Be Hollywood," came out in 2009 on Atlantic Records.

Christopher Dorsey, who raps under the moniker B.G. or Baby Gangsta, was sentenced Wednesday to 14 years in federal prison.

The New Orleans-born rap artist toured the world, but a 2009 traffic stop in eastern New Orleans -- combined with a lengthy criminal history -- marked the end of his freedom.

In federal court Wednesday, the hefty Dorsey wore a jail jumpsuit, and for unknown reasons, sat in a wheelchair. His demeanor was a far cry from the grinning, on-top-of-the-world hip-hop hero who drove fancy cars and cavorted with scantily-clad women in music videos.

Dorsey had previously pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm during a 2009 traffic stop in eastern New Orleans. But later, he obstructed justice by pushing one of his two associates to falsely claim ownership of the gun.

Dorsey confessed to the crimes but prosecutors made clear that he was not cooperating, staying in line with the "no-snitch" philosophy he so often espoused in his songs. In "I Ain't Tellin", he raps: "I won't snitch, never tell, if the law comes and get me, I'm gonna sit my ass in jail."

And in one his recent videos, Dorsey makes an apparent reference to his own case, proclaiming "This f--king ratting s--t, man, this s--t here is getting out of hand," he says. "Man, it's call T-Y-C. Take Your Charge."

Dorsey was arrested with Demounde Pollard, 20, and Jerod Fedison, 30. Police found three guns, along with loaded magazines. Two of the guns had been reported stolen and the car itself had been stolen from an Alamo rental car parking lot.
Pollard confessed to ownership of the guns, though it was later revealed to be at the behest of Dorsey.

The state criminal case was eventually moved to federal court and both Pollard and Fedison pleaded guilty, paving the way for the charges against Dorsey. Pollard reached a plea agreement with prosecutors and was sentenced to 30 months in prison; Fedison, with an extensive criminal record, received a 20-year sentence.

Prosecutors have linked Dorsey in court filings to two of the city's most high-profile alleged murderers, Telly Hankton and Walter Porter. Dorsey name-checks both men in videos posted online.

Hankton, recently convicted in one murder and serving a life sentence, has been called Public Enemy No. 1 by local police and prosecutors, who have alleged that he ran a sprawling drug empire whose markets were enforced with violence. He is currently awaiting trial on another murder. Porter is currently in jail, charged with killing the brother of a witness in a killing perpetrated by Hankton.

These videos became a much-debated topic in the courtroom. Prosecutors seeking a 25-year prison sentence pointed to them as evidence of Dorsey's wide-ranging criminal activity.

"These videos are horrendous, especially in this city right now," Assistant U.S. Attorney Maurice Landrieu told the judge Wednesday. He talked of the city's "cycle of violence," and argued that Dorsey was "profiting off it."

Dorsey's attorney, J.C. Lawrence, said Dorsey's appearance in the videos is posturing and marketing. "Though many people would frown upon his art," Lawrence said of Dorsey's work, "it is art."

U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan expressed her disdain for the videos, but declined to use them as a basis for the lengthier sentence sought by Landrieu.

She said she believed that Dorsey's songs and videos "may have contributed to the murders of young people" in New Orleans, noting that he extolled retaliation and fostered an atmosphere of violence. "His career has just been deplorable and sad," she added.

Dorsey grew up in Uptown and was signed with Cash Money Records at the age of 13. He was a member of the Hot Boys, a late 1990s group that boasted a roster of big-name rappers including Lil Wayne, Juvenile and Young Turk. He battled heroin addiction and released countless albums and mix tapes throughout his 15-year career.

The New Orleans Police Department and the federal of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives bureau investigated the case. Source: Nolo

This fall Odd Future Records is coming with a full slate of new releases and tours. Starting on August 1st, Domo Genesis will kick things off when No Idols, his collaborative mixtape with the legendary Alchemist drops. Listen to the first taste from the project, "Elimination Chamber feat. Earl Sweatshirt, Vince Staples and Action Bronson" LISTEN HERE

Following the release of No Idols, The Internet will link with friend and Purple Naked Ladies collaborator Kilo Kish for a run of East Coast dates starting August 4th, the full itinerary is included below.

October will see the release of two long-awaited projects. On October 2nd, Mellowhype's new album Numbers will be available in stores, featuring all new material from Hodgy Beats and Left Brain. Hear the brand new track "La Bonita" HERE . Trash Talk will release their new album 119, their first full-length since 2010's Eyes & Nines, on October 9th.

Tyler, the Creator's Wolf, the much-anticipated followup to last year's Goblin, is due in November. More info on this release to be revealed in the coming weeks.

Mike G's debut LP is also set for a 2012 release. Stay tuned for more details on this one in the near future.

To celebrate all of these releases, Odd Future will embark on the Camp Flog Gnaw National Tour this fall. The tour, set to feature the Odd Future crew, will happen in September, coming to a close in Los Angeles at the first ever Odd Future Carnival. The carnival is set to feature rides, games, a performance by Odd Future and very special guests. Tickets for the tour will be on sale this Friday.

8/4 Washington, D.C. - U Street Music Hall
8/5 New York City - Bowery Ballroom
8/7 Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
8/8 Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
8/10 Toronto, ON - Mod Club

7/18 Santa Barbara, CA - Velvet Jones *
7/19 Anaheim, CA - Chain Reaction *
7/21 Portland, OR - Branx *
7/22 Seattle, WA - Neumo's (Capitol Hill Block Party Afterparty) *
7/23 Seattle, WA - Vera Project *

* = w/ SpaceGhostPurrp

8/31 Norfolk, VA
9/01 Philadelphia, PA
9/02 Baltimore, MD
9/04 Huntington, NY
9/05 Portland, ME
9/07 Providence, RI
9/08 Wallingford, CT
9/09 Buffalo, NY
9/11 Cleveland, OH
9/12 Columbus, OH
9/14 Saint Louis, MO
9/15 Milwaukee, WI
9/16 Chicago, IL
9/18 Columbia, MO
9/19 Lawrence, KS
9/21 Boulder, CO
9/22 Boulder, CO
9/25 Vancouver, BC
9/26 Portland, OR
9/28 Santa Cruz, CA
9/29 Ventura, CA
9/30 Los Angeles, CA

Goldenvoice, producers of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, is pleased to announce the inaugural voyage of S.S. COACHELLA – two separate sailings with the same great line up.

S.S. COACHELLA is a rare opportunity to see Coachella artists in an intimate setting. Passengers can choose from two exotic itineraries on the luxury cruise ship Celebrity Silhouette; Fort Lauderdale to the Bahamas, December 16-19, 2012 or Fort Lauderdale to Jamaica, December 19-23, 2012.

Pulp will headline with performances by Hot Chip, Yeasayer, Girl Talk, James Murphy (DJ Set), Sleigh Bells, Simian Mobile Disco, Z-Trip, !!!, Warpaint, DJ Harvey, El-P, Killer Mike and more (complete line-up below). Additional planned activities and surprises will unfold during the journey.

"We're thrilled to be providing the setting for S.S. COACHELLA," said Dondra Ritzenthaler, Senior Vice President, Sales, Celebrity Cruises. "Just as the Celebrity Cruises name is synonymous with modern style, service and cuisine, the Coachella name is synonymous with cutting-edge, of-the-moment music trends."

Both sailings will take place aboard the breathtakingly elegant Celebrity Silhouette; one of the most stylish, luxurious ships at sea. As the newest ship in the world-renowned Solstice class, Celebrity Silhouette offers 12 dining venues, 9 bars, multiple live music settings, spa and an impressive pool deck, making it the ideal backdrop for the inaugural S.S. COACHELLA. Reservations for S.S. COACHELLA can be made beginning Saturday, July 21st at 10:00am PDT with prices starting at $500 per person.

The much buzzed-about R&B singer/songwriter Frank Ocean's debut studio effort, "Channel Orange" comes in at #2 on the Billboard 200. The set sold 131,000 in its first week, mostly from the iTunes Store. However, about 3,000 of that sum were physical CDs.

Album Sales: The Week Ending 7/15/2012
#2. Frank Ocean - Channel Orange - 131,000 (131,000)
#4. Chris Brown - Fortune - 45,000 (180,000)
#13. Maybach Music Group Presents: - Self Made, Volume 2 - 21,000 (154,000)
#20. Aesop Rock - Skelethon - 14,000 (14,000)
#23. Flo Rida - Wild Ones - 13,000 (44,000)
#40. Nicki Minaj - Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded - 9,600 (578,000)
#54. Drake - Take Care - 7,000 (1,817,000)
#84. Waka Flocka Flame - Triple F Life: Fans, Friends & Family - 4,900 (67,000)

Remy Ma recently called in to Hot 97 to speak with Funkmaster Flex. She revealed she will be getting out early. Remy Ma expects to be released from Rikers Island in 2014.

"About twenty-two-and-a-half months," revealed Remy, which would place the emcee in the general public in June 2014. "Yeah, been a little minute. Been almost five years that I've been gone. People had a lot of time to chill. It's almost over. I'm gonna be back like I never left."

In 2008, Remy Ma was issued an eight-year prison sentence after she was found guilty of shooting an associate in the abdomen in Midtown Manhattan in 2007.

Remy also discussed what she does day-to-day in Rikers Island Prison. "About 7:00 I get up, sometimes 7:20. I go to a program, they got a program that prepares me to go home...I come back around 11:00, then they count to make sure nobody's left unannounced."

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson has expressed his interest in a potential bid for the Virgin Records label he founded.

Vivendi's Universal Music Group is meeting with European regulators in Brussels this week to discuss possible concessions to win approval for its proposed $1.9 billion bid for EMI's recorded music business. As reported, a sale of some labels, including Virgin Records, could be among the concessions.

Richard Branson and Virgin have been assessing how to get back into the recorded music business for many years," a Branson spokesman said. "The potential disposal of Virgin Records by Universal Music offers a wonderful opportunity to recreate a dynamic independent label in the market."

The Financial Times first reported that Branson has made a general expression of interest, but talks are at a preliminary stage. If the British serial entrepreneur does indeed make a bid for the music label, Branson would do so with French music executive Patrick Zelnik, who owns independent label Naive Records in Paris, the paper said. Zelnik is also the co-president of Impala, the trade group representing independent music labels. If and what UMG may offer for sale is far from clear at this stage, as Virgin in the U.S. is part of EMI's Capitol Records. A spokesman for UMG declined to comment.

Branson sold Virgin Records to EMI in 1992. He continued to own the Virgin Megastores music retail chain until 2007. He has since focused on his various other ventures that also all carry the Virgin brand name. Source: Billboard

Public Enemy will release 2 albums.. The 1st titled "Most Of My Heroes STILL Don't Appear on NO Stamp" which drops today July 13th.

Its companion, "The Evil Empire Of Everything", will follow in September and represents the artistic and technological crossroads that Public Enemy yet again find themselves at. Digital distribution, a virtual recording studio and a lot on the band’s collective mind made dual albums not only a bold move, but a necessary one since their last album five years ago. No longer confined to the traditional “one album every 18 months” industry standard, issuing albums in rapid succession should comes as little surprise from one of the first acts to release music on MP3 in 1999, embrace the inevitability of Napster, start a blog before the word was even coined, utilize interactive recording (inviting fans worldwide to remix tracks virtually for their 2002 album, Revolverlution) and becoming the highest-profile band to join crowd funding site SellaBand.

“The album format is long gone as a market preference regardless of age,” Chuck D explains. “In my opinion, we have been in a predominately single song world since the first download,” noting that rap music in particular led the way when, “the emphasis had shifted from long recording to short and scattered” (in ringtones and mixtapes). Soon after Public Enemy announced the albums in January, both rapper E40 and Green Day revealed their plans to release multiple albums as well. “This is a chance to make a powerful artistic statement that reflects on the release method as much as the music within,” Chuck observed. “No charts, no counts, no pressure, just create, bomb and step back.” The result has already drawn early raves from fans and media, with RollingStone.com declaring the first single, “I Shall Not Be Moved,” “…one of PE’s toughest, leanest, weirdest tracks in years, live drums and pure-funk guitar leaning into fuzzy synth wobble worthy of Skrillex or Throbbing Gristle…The Hard Rhymer would like you to get off his lawn and also pay attention. It is welcome.”

The two albums were created in the same space and time, with Chuck referring to them as twins, not identical but fraternal. “They come from the same ParEnts,” he explains. “These projects will talk to each other in the language of PEace, PowEr, Love and resPEct.” The dual projects also launch Chuck D and Gary G-Wiz’s digital distributor and aggregator of content through their new www.SPITdigital.com. As rap music’s first aggregator, Chuck D and Gary G-Wiz hope to inspire other independent artists to form and become their own record labels, distributing their music online through SPITdigital channels.

Most Of My Heroes STILL Don’t Appear on No Stamp and The Evil Empire Of Everything also update the Bomb Squad’s production concept that was first introduced to PE 25 years ago. “We are no longer 4-5 cats at a board in one studio in one city together creating new arrangements from world sounds,” Chuck explains. “These albums were spawned from the virtual studios of 14 production lab experts in sync from 8 different states in the USA. The sum of these parts reflect the sonic adventure with special guided cohesion of Public Enemy’s legacy, outlook and direction. “People ask me constantly 'Are you in the studio?'” he continues. “With studio quality recording accessible in a simple iphone application, that question is about outdated as a typewriter. Today’s musician has the studio in themselves. In fact, today’s artist IS a studio. But a studio base is essential for this virtual undertaking to have a natural organic feel and effect.” The team assembled for the twin albums is formidable, with the second The Evil Empire of Everything featuring more collaborations than Public Enemy has worked with in some time, possibly ever. Guest artists and producer information will be announced in the coming weeks.

Public Enemy continue to tour worldwide and year-round, and mark the 25th anniversary of their first single this year.

Guerilla Black was arrested on a 22-count indictment at his Los Angeles home Thursday (July 12) for buying stolen credit card numbers in bulk. An investigation into a hacking scheme that’s already seen two other charged has now resulted in the arrest of a California rapper. Federal prosecutors in Seattle contend Charles Tony Williamson – a 33-year-old Los Angeles man better known as “Guerilla Black” – bought and used credit card information stolen by two other men. The credit cards had been used at Seattle-area businesses.

Williamson’s alleged conspirators David Benjamin Schrooten, 22, of the Netherlands, and Christopher A. Schroebel, 21, of Keedysville, Md., were indicted previously; Schroebel has since pleaded guilty. Prosecutors contend the young men stole and sold the credit card information, which Williamson put to use within hours of the thefts.

Prosecutors claim Williamson received at least 27,257 stolen credit card numbers and stole at least $150,000. Williamson is alleged to have emailed instructions to Schroebel and Schrooten, telling them that he wanted to purchase “dumps” of stolen credit card numbers in lots of 100, 500 or more. SOURCE: Seattle PI

LeBron James Bringin' the Heat from Las Vegas" will premiere Friday, July 13 at 3:00 pm ET on The Heat, channel 47. The special will feature James offering listeners a play by play of his favorite music, including Miami's DJ Khaled as well as Jay-Z, Kanye West, Ca$h Out, 2 Chainz and Future.

"Music has always been a big part of my life, and this was a fun way that I could share that passion with my fans," said LeBron James.

SiriusXM listeners will also hear James talk about his search for "uncontainable" amateur basketball superstars in Las Vegas, training for the upcoming Olympic Games in London, and his feelings about next year's NBA season.

"Sports and music fans will enjoy LeBron getting behind the mic and playing the music that motivates him when he plays and when he relaxes," said Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer, SiriusXM.

"This is a first for LeBron and we know our listeners will hear a different side to the NBA champion and the man leading USA's quest for Gold at the Olympics."

James will serve as a coach in the Sprite Uncontainable Game, which will bring some of the best amateur players from around the world together for an once-in-a-lifetime game at NBA All-Star 2013 in Houston. James' team, called Team Sudden, will face off against Team Intense, which will be coached by Kobe Bryant.

A New York City clothing designer says Jay-Z and his former Roc-A-Fella record label partners owe him $7 million in unpaid royalties for designing their label logo. Dwayne Walker said in a lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court on Thursday that he created the Roc-A-Fella design. The lawsuit says the Bronx designer came up with the logo in 1995 when Roc-A-Fella was just starting out. The label is now a subsidiary of Universal Music Group. The logo features the letter R, a record and a Champagne bottle. Source: NY Daily

Yesterday morning, Chicago artist Rockie Fresh announced that he signed to Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group (MMG) distributed through Warner Music. The 21-year-old will join Rick Ross' team that includes Meek Mill, Wale and Omarion.

"This is a monumental moment for me, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to be a part of Maybach Music Group" exclaims Rockie. "It feels great joining such a strong lineup of artists that I respect, and I'm ready to make history. God Is Great. MMG!"

In August, Rockie will embark on his first headlining tour the Electric Highway Tour. The nationwide tour starts August 30TH in Annapolis, MD and hits over 20 major cities across the US with stops in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, and Detroit. Before starting the Electric Highway Tour, Rockie will support his new labelmate Meek Mill for a handful of tour dates on the Dreamchasers tour in August which includes a date in New York at Irving Plaza on August 27TH. Electric Highway Tour tickets are on sale at www.RockieFresh.com and dates and cities for both tours are listed below.

Rockie started his rap career in 2009 when he finished his debut mixtape Rockie's Modern Life at a small recording studio close to his hometown in the South Side of Chicago. He followed with 2010's The Otherside mixtape that was voted 4.6 out of 5 stars by visitors on mixtape site DJBooth.net. Earlier this year, Rockie released his latest mixtape project Driving 88 that received tremendous critical acclaim from media outlets including Complex Magazine, that said "Driving 88 is sure to establish Rockie as a force to be reckoned with" and XXL Magazine praises "From its first song to its last, the project [Driving 88] has a smooth energy" and VIBE Magazine declared "[Rockie] Fresh's career is accelerating at high speeds and he has no intention of slowing down."

Rockie approaches his music with an alternative rock mentality that's been noticed by both major labels and recording artists including Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy. After seeing Rockie perform at the 2011 Bamboozle Festival in New Jersey, Stump asked Rockie to support as the opening act on a 40-plus city national tour. After being introduced to multi-platinum selling Benji and Joel Madden of Good Charlotte, the Madden brothers began working with Rockie and featured him on their mixtape project released October 2011 called Before The Fame: The Madden Brothers.

Rockie announced on MTV earlier this month that he's finishing work on his next mixtape project, Electric Highway, that will contain all original music. He's aiming to release Electric Highway while on his national tour this Fall.

Moet & Chandon, the champagne of success and glamour since 1743, announced today the launch of their 2012 Moet Rose Lounge Series. The celebrity-hosted, supper club-style tour will commence in New York City on July 16, 2012 with hosts Nasir "Nas" Jones and Q-Tip before making stops in Miami and Los Angeles.

Reserved for local tastemakers and media, the Moet Rose Lounge translates the extravagance of Moet Nectar Imperial Rose into a tangible, celebratory occasion. Each year the Moet Rose Lounge Series embodies a different celebratory theme for its attendees. In 2011, the Moet Rose Lounge Series was a penthouse tour with a night-lounge atmosphere. This year the event series will feature a private intimate sit-down dinner followed by a private party in a supper club environment.

"As the ultimate champagne of celebration, Moet & Chandon is very proud to be hosting and toasting Nas' Life is Good album release," said Keith Howard, Moet & Chandon Brand Director. "The Moet Rose Lounge events are always about acknowledging success and accomplishment and we are so pleased to be hosting a dinner and after-party this year for honoree and hip-hop icon Nasir 'Nas' Jones."

Moet & Chandon and hip-hop icon Nasir "Nas" Jones will host on the eve of Nas' highly anticipated Life is Good album release to initiate the series in his native city of New York. Fellow hip-hop heavyweight, Q-Tip, will serve as the evening's resident DJ, in addition to DJ Wonder.

"I'm excited to serve as the inaugural host of Moet & Chandon's Moet Rose Lounge 2012 series," says Nas. "It's an honor to celebrate the next chapter of my career with the support of a sophisticated brand like Moet."

To celebrate the upcoming event series, Moet & Chandon has also partnered with the luxury brand Mosley Tribes for the Moet Rose Lounge series for a second year to create custom limited edition "Rose" sunglasses in celebration of the private three-city celebrity supper club-style tour. The oversized, acetate sunglasses are retro inspired with a double bridge style, matte and gloss plastic frame front, and rose-colored mirrored lenses.

The Moet Rose Lounge debuted in June 2010 with influential singer-songwriter The Dream in Detroit. Previous Moet Rose Lounge celebrity hosts included: Kelly Rowland, Ne-Yo, Trey Songz, Common and Keri Hilson in markets such as: New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington DC, Miami, Baltimore and Cleveland. Hosts and dates for the Miami and Los Angeles 2012 Moet Rose Lounge tour stops will be announced at a later date.

UNIVERSAL REPUBLIC RECORDS has promoted Myisha Brooks to the position of VP, Publicity. She will devise, implement, and supervise all-encompassing media campaigns for an expansive roster of acts.

As the label's Director of Publicity since 2009, Brooks has proven to be a forward-thinking, charismatic, and diligent leader. Securing massive exposure on television, the Internet, and in print publications, she helped architect crucial publicity initiatives for artists including Jessie J, Amy Winehouse, Kelly Rowland, Melanie Fiona, Nas & Damian Marley, Mayer Hawthorne, James Blake, Kid Cudi, Nelly, and more.

Reporting to Jay Wilson SVP and head of publicity at UNIVERSAL REPUBLIC RECORDS, she'll continue to spearhead the development and execution of numerous public relations campaigns.

About her promotion, she comments, "Working with Jay Wilson has been a great experience. When I first joined the team, our department consisted of only three publicists handling a roster of mostly new artists. Crafting and implementing strategies for these acts proved to be one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my career. Under Jay's tutelage, we collectively lived up to the label's motto of 'we break new artists', and I look forward to breaking many more together in the future!"

Meanwhile, Wilson adds, "Myisha's hard work and dedication make her an essential asset to the company. Her tireless efforts and unique perspective are both impressive and inspiring. She's elevated the department to a new level, and I'm thrilled to work with her on all of the great projects we have on the horizon."

After graduating from California State University Long Beach with a B.A. in Electronic Theater Arts and Minor in Speech Communication, Brooks began her career as an intern at Arista Records. She was quickly promoted to executive assistant and eventually Coordinator of West Coast Publicity. While at Arista, she worked with Cee-Lo Green, T.I., Outkast, The Neptunes, Kelis, Usher, and more. In 2008, she served as a marketing/PR associate at Warner Bros. Records, working with Wiz Khalifa, E-40, and Lil' Jon. Immediately prior to REPUBLIC, she was a Senior Account Executive at Simone Smalls PR, handling media for the likes of Usher, Grammy Award-nominated songwriter Claude Kelly, and The View co-host and actress Sherri Shepherd.

Rockie Fresh, a 21-year-old Homewood-Flossmoor native, signed a deal with Rick Ross' Maybach Music Group today, a division of Warner Brothers Music. The deal was announced via Ross' Twitter account early Thursday morning, along with pictures of the official signing. Rockie Fresh wrote: "Salute to @ rickyrozay for seeing my vision. We #RichForever #MMG

Rick Ross wrote: Everyone Welcome @ rockiefresh to the @ MaybachMusicGrp Family!!!!

Chris Brown earns his second #1 album this week as Fortune debuts on the charts selling 134,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Brown's fifth album also bowed at #1 in the U.K. and Netherlands, marking his first ever #1 in those countries. Fortune also ushers in Brown's career-best chart debuts in Ireland and France at #4, Japan at #5, Canada at #6, Switzerland at #10 and Germany at #13.

A celebrity playground since the days when Frank Sinatra and Jackie Gleason glided across its signature bowtie floor, Fontainebleau Miami Beach will host one of this generation's most iconic music sensations, Timbaland, from August 30 to September 3 during the next installment of the resort's BleauLive performance series. The weekend festivities will kick-off the launch of Timbaland's new brand to the spirits market - LeSutra, an innovative ultra-premium combination of sparkling liqueurs infused with premium vodka, inspired by the Kama Sutra.

"What better way to celebrate the one-year anniversary of BleauLive than with a performance by Timbaland and the launch of his new product, LeSutra, over Labor Day weekend," notes Philip Goldfarb, President & COO, Fontainebleau Miami Beach. "Since the inception of the BleauLive entertainment platform, we have sought to create exceptionally unique, intimate experiences that no other resort offers. BleauLive continues to deliver an eclectic mix of today's top performers on an ongoing basis."

"My infectious style has helped produce career-defining hits for artists worldwide, and now I'm guaranteeing another hit with the launch of LeSutra during BleauLive Labor Day weekend," states Timbaland, LeSutra co-owner and partner.

Game and 40 Glocc called into Philadelphia radio station Power 99FM (July 10), to discuss their recent altercation. They were featured on Cosmic Kev’s “Celebrity Tuesdays” segment of his long-running, popular, nightly radio show. Game called in from France, where he gave his opinion on the fight. (which took place during a mansion party in the Hollywood Hills over the weekend)

“This is the guy who ran up on Weezy Lil Wayne with 40 guys pulling out guns, you know? This is the guy who ran up on Plies at Jamie Foxx’s video shoot with 40 guys you know? This is the same guy with five or 10 guys with him at the pool party, I don’t know,” Game said. “They all disappeared, he ended up by himself. That’s how it happens when you’re rolling with suckers.”

Game denied reports that he was at the party with dozens of gang members, and stated that 40 Glocc had more people in his entourage than he did. Game described the altercation for Cosmic Kev. “He’s walking down the driveway and he’s looking behind himself, trying to see if anybody’s coming because he’s terrified,” Game said.

Game claimed the rapper attempted to flee and tripped running while running downhill.
“I gave him a left to the rib cage, a right to the rib cage and then he hit this wooden piece, I guess somebody was cementing their driveway,” Game said. “He hit that with his face. He got up, I punched him [again] and knocked him down.”

Game explained that during the altercation, he managed to unlock his iPhone himself, pull up his video recorder and videotape a portion of the incident. Game said that after his camera stop rolling, he left the scene, but a member of his entourage also assaulted 40 Glocc, which was also videotaped and will be released shortly as “the directors cut.”

40 Glocc called in shortly after Game’s interview and discussed his side of the altercation. “I got jumped three, four times. I say three, cause the other one was him trying to pistol whip me and him missing,” 40 Glocc told Cosmic Kev. “Any footage you see of me with my hat off, it’s all edited. All of it started with guns drawn on me from the back. I had to dip and run and they had to chase me down with the pistols.”

40 Glocc claimed that Game pulled his pistol and put it to his head during the altercation, but that footage was edited to make it look like 40 Glocc was simply running away. “At the car, I was already jumped. I wasn’t just jumped once, I was jumped three times. The whole thing started when they ran behind me with the guns, they chased me with down with the guns,” 40 Glocc said.

40 Glocc said a possible resolution to his issue with Game was a one-on-one fist fight, live in front of the cameras.

Big Hutch (Cold 187um),said he received a phone call on Friday night where he learned that KMG had collapsed in the shower of an apparent heart attack. The cause of death is unknown--they are waiting on results from an autopsy report. KMG passed away at 43 years old.

"I would like to thank everyone for their condolences during this unexpected difficult time for myself, the group Above The Law, as well as our families and close friends. I had received a phone call Friday night, July 6th, that KMG had collapsed in the shower from an apparent heart attack, but that fact is to be determined after we get the autopsy report. There was no foul play involved and my dear friend KMG's death was simply by natural cause. It is shocking and tragic to all of us because he showed no symptoms that he was suffering from any type of heart disease or any type of other illnesses. Plus, I was just on the phone with him and Total K-OSS a few days prior discussing the new Above The Law album and my upcoming solo release with Psychopathic Records. We were further discussing, as Above The Law, it was time to move on the with the project and were coordinating plans to do so; then this had happened. I also would like to thank everyone for their patience in me responding to media and other close online publications. KMG and I, as you all know, go way back since the best years of Ruthless Records and prior. He has been my right hand man along with Total K-OSS and his abrupt passing was just totally unexpected and shocking to all of us. I personally have been in a daze since receiving the news and I just needed some time to myself and to put things back into perspective so I can re-focuse on the commitments and obligations I have to music and Hip-Hop. If I hear anything else that our fans need to know, I will indeed inform the powers to be and get that information out to everyone. Once again, thank you everyone for your caring concerns and the love you still have for KMG, myself, and Above The Law after all these years. And as with Eazy, we will continue to keep his memory and legacy alive through music." - Big Hutch

Fun Fun Fun Fest has announced that Run-D.M.C. will perform at the 7th annual festival which takes place November 2-4th in Austin, TX for the first time since disbanding in 2002. Surviving members Joseph "Run" Simmons and Darryl "D.M.C." McDaniels will headline the main stage.

Run-D.M.C. retired the moniker in 2002 following the untimely death of legendary DJ and producer, Jason "Jam-Master Jay" Mizell. In honor of Jay's life, FFF festival promoters are working with the band to donate a portion of proceeds to his foundation the JMJ Foundation for Music which is dedicated to providing access to the arts, regardless of socio-economic status, for children and young adults.

Run-D.M.C. formed in Hollis Queens, NY in the early '80s and are considered by many to be the true pioneers of hip-hop, in terms of beats, lyrics, fashion, and impact. Both their self-titled debut as well as the much-lauded Raising Hell in 1986 influenced the youth of a generation and eventually paved the way for many of today's rap's superstars.

Clear Channel today announced the artist line-up for the return of the biggest live concert festival in radio history, the iHeartRadio Music Festival 2012 set for September 21 and 22. This year’s extraordinary line-up includes Taylor Swift, Aerosmith, Rihanna, Usher, Bon Jovi, Lil Wayne, Green Day, Swedish House Mafia, No Doubt, Brad Paisley, Pitbull, deadmau5, Miranda Lambert, Enrique Iglesias, Linkin Park, Jason Aldean, P!nk, Mary J. Blige, Calvin Harris and Shakira with more to be announced in the weeks prior to the event.

For the second year, a diverse array of some of the greatest names in music will appear on one stage over two nights at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas; Ryan Seacrest will kick off the two-day iHeartRadio Music Festival on the evening of Friday, September 21.

The inaugural iHeartRadio Music Festival in September 2011 marked the official launch of the New iHeartRadio, Clear Channel’s free, industry-leading digital music service, and in 2012, the festival will celebrate its success. iHeartRadio delivers everything listeners want in one free, fully-integrated service: instant access to more than 1,000 of the nation’s most popular live broadcast and digital-only radio stations from 150 cities, plus user-created Custom Stations inspired by favorite artists and songs.

“Music is the lifeblood of so much of what we do at Clear Channel, and our listeners are the reason for everything we do. We’re focused on making the iHeartRadio Music Festival an experience that excites and electrifies music fans nationwide — and with a line-up like this, we believe we’ll exceed all of their expectations," said Bob Pittman, CEO of Clear Channel. "The iHeartRadio Music Festival is an indication of Clear Channel’s ongoing commitment to music and artist development — maximizing artists’ exposure to fans and audiences nationwide. With our broadcast brands, live events and the iHeartRadio digital platform, in combination with our relationships with artists, labels and most importantly our listeners, we continue to reinvent the music experience in a way that no other company can.”

“The iHeartRadio Music Festival 2011 was such an amazing experience for our listeners, and just like the iHeartRadio digital radio service, really showcased top artists across all genres of music,” said John Hogan, Chairman and CEO of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. “The bar was set high this year given the overwhelming success of last year’s inaugural event and we are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to again deliver a diverse, extraordinary line-up of incredible talent to our listeners for year two of the iHeartRadio Music Festival.”

"The iHeartRadio Music Festival is the ultimate celebration of what’s hot in all genres of music, from rock, pop and country to electronic dance music, R&B and hip hop," said Tom Poleman, President of Clear Channel National Programming and Executive Producer of the Festival. "For the first time, fans from across the country will get to see today’s megastars like Rihanna, Taylor Swift and Usher on the same stage as legends like Aerosmith, Mary J. Blige and Bon Jovi. I’m sure we’ll have hundreds of memorable moments throughout the festival. It’s the concert line-up of the year for both fans and artists."

“The iHeartRadio Music Festival is a unique celebration of music — it’s the biggest names in the industry coming together for an impressive weekend of live entertainment,” said Ryan Seacrest. “The momentum, energy and music experience around the inaugural iHeartRadio Music Festival was incredible, and I’m excited to be a part of this must-see event.”

Fresh off the heels of signing a deal with New York based Blazetrak, Shade Sheist returned online this month to release several leaks from his upcoming solo album, to the surprise of his music fans across the globe. It was just a year ago that Shade released the single "Queen" featuring R&B songstress LaToiya Williams and in the meantime he has remained active by penning several upcoming singles for other popular international artists in many different genres.

Earlier this month, Shade took to Twitter and Facebook to leak a sample of a new song titled "CPTxLBCxING," also referred to as "Clippin." The sample features familiar collaborator N.U.N.E. while the full-length version also includes Techniec, whom is the 'LBC' referenced in the song's title. In just weeks, the Dr. Dre hook-inspired sample registered over twenty thousand free downloads. Prior to this early preview, Shade also treated his fans to another G-Funk inspired sample titled "I Still Luv Her" which can be found on YouTube.

Shade Sheist is widely regarded for his work with Nate Dogg, Dr. Dre, DJ Quik, Mariah Carey and Bone Thugs n Harmony. He was also one of the only western solo artists whose debut single went #1 on several Billboard charts in mutiple countries. His most popular single, "Where I Wanna Be," was an instant #1 hit in the Summer of 2000 and remained perched at the top of the charts for a record 20+ weeks. The following year, the single resurfaced and found it's way to the Top 20 on the UK Billboard charts before doing the same in other continents. His debut album, "Informal Introduction," would go on to produce several more Top 10 Billboard singles while his 2nd solo effort, 2005's "Before The Waitin Before The Hatin" produced a Top 20 single featuring Mariah Carey and the late Nate Dogg. In 2010, Shade returned with a group lp, "Movin Units" co-starring N.U.N.E.

Longevity holds a unique value and Shade Sheist plans to cash out on it when he releases 2 upcoming projects: "P.N.L.A: The Exit Strategy," his full-length solo LP and "Black Operations," a free EP that he plans to release in the near future but won't indulge any information about. While fans continue to wait in anticipation, Shade Sheist promises the wait will be worth it.

Zuri Beatz, founder of Zuri Music Group, will make her national debut in an episode of TNT's popular show, Rizolli & Isles (airdate July 10th). The 14 yrs. old beat maker, started producing music at the age of 12. She has been mentored by some of the industry's leading producers including Atlanta-based Da Honorable C N.O.T.E (Flo Rida, B.O.B.), DJ Silk & Mr. Choc (Dr. Dre's In-House Production Team). In addition to Rizolli & Isles, Zuri Beatz's music will also be featured in the upcoming BET cop drama, Gun Hill, which stars Lorenz Tate and is directed by Reggie Bythewood.

The young producer, who is managed by Paragon Management, is ecstatic about her upcoming musical debuts. "Having my beats on projects in a national spotlight is very honorable. I know there are not too many females, especially young women, who have this opportunity. I'm very grateful and blessed," says Zuri Beatz.

Zuri Beatz is currently working with artists Freddy Hefner, Phats Boss, Ariel Heirz and Glasses Malone. Zuri Beatz is also a registered member with ASCAP as Z.U.R.I. Musiq Publishing. Zuri Beatz became interested in music at age 10 and started playing the trumpet. When she isn't making beats, she plays basketball and plays percussion in her school band. "I want to bring a different and unique style to being a producer and show my peers that you can be feminine, and do what you love at the same time. I see myself building a community that supports young girls who believe they can do whatever they love as their career."

Big Bad 40 confirmed that he will not be pressing charges against Game for the recent brawl they got in.. SEE HERE. "Me, I don't give a fuck; I ain't pressin' no charges...that shit ain't nothin'." He added, "You gotta take an L in certain situations."

40 says he was scratched from the fight, and had a bloodied eye. The rapper denies reports that he was knocked unconscious in the fight before continuing, "My motto is 'If you don't got a gun and they got some, you better run...

40 Glocc also added that he will likely retaliate on Game and company when the odds are even. "You gotta get ready for the repeat." Before closing, 40 said, "Thank God the nigga didn't have a tad bit of me in him...I'd be dead right now."

Universal Music Group (UMG) has appointed Jens Kessler to Chief Information Officer, it was announced today by Boyd Muir, UMG's Executive Vice President and CFO, to whom he reports. Based in Los Angeles, Mr. Kessler will be responsible for all aspects of UMG's Global Information Technology (IT) division, managing the strategy, development and implementation of all country and regional IT systems.

"Throughout his tenure at UMG, Jens has proven himself to be an innovative and pragmatic executive with the essential hands-on-experience and skill set to oversee this key area of our global business," stated Mr. Muir. "We're delighted to recognize his achievement with this well-deserved promotion."

Mr. Kessler began his career at UMG as Vice President of IT at Universal Music Germany. He was later promoted to Vice President of IT, Supply Chain and Sourcing at Universal Music Group International's London headquarters.

D’Angelo and Mary J. Blige have announced tour dates for their upcoming 20-city "The Liberation Tour."

07/08 – Rotterdam, NL @ Ahoy
07/10 – Cologne, DE @ E-Werk
07/12 – Antibes, FR @ La Pinede Antibest
07/15 – Vienne, FR @ Theatre Antique Vienne
07/17 – Copenhagen, DK @ Vegas
07/18 – Gothenburg, SE @ Tradgarn
08/18 – Virgina Beach, VA @ Farm Bureau Live *
08/19 – Wantagh, NY @ Nikon Theatre at Jones Beach *
08/21 – Boston, MA @ Bank of America Pavilion *
08/23 – Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center *
09/01-02 – Philadelphia, PA @ Made in America

On July 21 in Chicago, North America's top b-boys will face off during the Red Bull BC One North American qualifier at the historic Aragon Entertainment Center. Throughout four rounds of 1-on-1 battles, the competition will feature b-boys that have paved their way to the highest platform of breakdancing: Red Bull BC One. 16 b-boys will fight for the chance to represent North America in the ultimate battle at the world finals later this year in Rio.

B-boys will display their styles reflecting their regional backgrounds. With West Coast power moves meeting the freezing styles of the East, Chicago fans of this complex dance style will not be disappointed. At the end, only one of the 16 competitors will emerge with the right to call himself the best b-boy in North America. In addition to bragging rights, the victor will earn the chance to represent North America at the Red Bull BC One World Finals in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this December. The qualifier in Chicago will be held at the Aragon Entertainment Center on Saturday, July 21 at 7:00 p.m.

B-boy Ronnie, the Las Vegas breaker who won the 2007 Red Bull BC One Finals in South Africa, knows something about the importance of the United States qualifiers. He will join b-boys Float and Machine to judge the Chicago event. Looking ahead, Ronnie said, "To win something this big in America will mean so much. All the b-boys are training for this like it's the Red Bull BC One Finals. Whoever wins this, it's going to be a big deal."

As one of the four elements of hip-hop—along with MCing, DJing and graffiti—b-boying has thrived in Chicago, a city with undisputed hip-hop cred. The ballroom inside of the Aragon Entertainment Center is one of the Windy City's most storied cultural landmarks and a legendary dance venue, will serve as the arena for a day of battles that will help shape the future of b-boying. Skeme Richards, who serves as the DJ for the legendary Rock Steady Crew, will provide music for the night and hosting the event is RAKAA, representing the Dilated Peoples, the Rock Steady Crew, and UZN.

The 16 competing b-boys include: Ken Fury (New York City), Domkey (Philadelphia), Ronnie Ruen (Los Angeles), Villn (Sacramento), Tata (Brooklyn), Evol (Chicago), Nasty Nate (Houston), Fleau (Canada), Mijo (Milwaukee), MN Joe (St. Paul), Bebo (Brockton), Prada G (Los Angeles), Mig 187 (Las Vegas), Omen (Homestead), Stripes (Tampa), and Kid Cruz (Denver)

G.Huff & Vice Souletric release their New EP “Are We There Yet?”
Tracklisting and credits for G.Huff & Vice Souletric’s Are We There Yet EP: GRAB IT HERE

1.) Pete Rock & Scarface Intro
2.) “Are We There Yet?”
3.) “Practice My Aim”
4.) “Try Love” f/ Netousha Monroe
5.) “Feelzogood” (Jheri Curl Theme Music)
6.) “Adios” f/ City Da God & Hi Jinks
7.) “Tears In A Bucket” f/ JTronius & Alison Carney
8.) “Infatuated” f/ J Trip
9.) “Martin Garvey X” (Yellow Brick Road)
(All tracks produced by Vice Souletric)

G. Huff and Vice Souletric have quickly become two of the most respected new hip-hop artists to emerge out the Midwest. The Ohio MC/Producer duo made waves in 2011 with their debut album, "Where Do We Go From Here?" which featured a who's who of talent such as Guilty Simpson, REKS, Termanology, and Ruste Juxx.

G. Huff is a ferocious emcee who hales from the gritty city of Youngstown, Ohio. A unique combination of musical talent, versatility and real life experience has G.Huff on the verge of being one of the greatest writers of his time! After years of perfecting his craft, former Bad Boy recording artist “G-Dep” took a liking to Huff’s in your face rhyme style and labeled him the future of hip-hop. G.Huff has worked with recording artists such as G-Dep, Nature, Reks, Termanology, Guilty Simpson and others. Huff will also be featured on Moss’ upcoming production album.

Vice has been producing full-time for the last four-years and in a very short time has built a very impressive resume of production credits. In the just the last few months alone, Vice has worked with some of the best artists in the hip-hop scene. After landing a placement on Busta Rhyme’s protégé’ Reek Da Villain’s mixtape, “The Gift”, Vice hit the studio hard, and met G. Huff, which led to the release of "Where Do We Go From Here?.” In 2012, Vice will have production on upcoming albums from Scarface, Reek Da Villian, Slim Thug, Mysonne, KRS-One, and many more. While Vice has been in the lab with some of hip-hop’s most esteemed lyricists, he is quick to point out that his partner brings out the best in him “Huff is the hungriest MC I have heard in a minute. It will only take you a couple bars to hear the passion from this cat. Press play and buckle up.”

As a duo, G.Huff and Vice are now set to follow up their debut with a new EP, "Are We There Yet?” a carefully crafted masterpiece packed with lyricism, soul, and energy. It’s a recipe the duo is already well versed in! Not only do Huff and Vice receive the co-signs of hip hop legends Pete Rock and Scarface, they create their own lane with an original sound that is unique yet universal enough for all to enjoy! To receive the co-signs of two of hip-hop’s most lasting and endearing artists is not an honor that is lost on G.Huff and Vice as Huff exclaims "Even though we are writing our own history, the support of Pete Rock and Scarface makes this project that much more special to us.”

G.Huff & Vice Souletric’s “Are We There Yet?” finds the duo in a very comfortable place and ready to take the next step in their careers and let their music do the talking as they assert “You can tell when artists really put there all into etching out a real masterpiece. I hope listeners will appreciate music being made the right way. From concepts to lyrics, to production, we didn’t overlook anything. The game is too competitive to only bring 99% to table. These days it’s all or nothing.”

The group’s single, “Feelzogood (Jheri Curl Theme Music),” is currently in rotation on Shade 45 after being featured on Sway Calloway’s “Get In The Game” segment on the morning show. CHECK OUT THEIR LATEST VIDEO

Clear Channel Media and Entertainment today announced that Rick Song will join the company as its Executive Vice President of Digital Sales for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. Song, a 20-year media sales and management veteran, joins Clear Channel from Microsoft and will report to Tim Castelli, President of National Sales, Marketing and Partnerships.

This appointment follows on the heels of Clear Channel’s recent unified national marketing, partnership and sales force alignment that will allow the media and entertainment company to pursue national multi-platform marketing initiatives that meet advertisers’ need to reach – and engage – consumers in powerful new ways. This new sales force alignment, led by Castelli, ensures the close integration of the national sales, marketing and partnership operations for the key Clear Channel National Platform divisions, including Digital, Strategic Partnerships, Clear Channel Connections, Clear Channel Radio sales and Premiere Radio Networks sales.

Song will oversee Clear Channel’s digital sales initiatives working closely with the company’s national divisions including Strategic Partnerships, National Programming Platforms and National Advertising Platforms and iHeartRadio, Clear Channel’s industry-leading digital radio service as well as with local markets to ensure that they continue to utilize the company’s centralized resources and opportunities. He will leverage Clear Channel’s unique digital assets and massive reach to create innovative national and local advertising campaigns and programs with key advertising and marketing partners.

“Rick is an innovator and he will be an integral part of our team as we continue to further capitalize on our company’s digital assets,” said Castelli. “His tenure and contributions in the digital sales industry will be instrumental in helping to establish cutting-edge ways for advertisers to reach their audience.”

“Over the past year, I’ve watched Clear Channel undertake some really exciting initiatives and I’m impressed with how quickly they evolved into a fully realized media and entertainment company,” said Song. “This is a unique opportunity to leverage my experience in digital advertising with a company that has such an unprecedented reach, scale and promotional power. We have the ability to offer a platform to marketing and advertising partners like no other company.”

Song has spent the last 15 years focused on digital media sales and management. In 2006 he joined Microsoft where he led sales efforts for Microsoft Advertising, working with Fortune 500 marketers and leading advertising agencies to drive profitable engagement with audiences across Microsoft’s digital portfolio. Song also led sales initiatives with Microsoft’s network of partner sites including MSN, Xbox, Skype, FoxSports and MSNBC, as well as the company’s digital platforms including Display, Video, Branded Content, Gaming and Mobile. He founded Microsoft Digital Showcase, the company’s first video Upfront, and led Microsoft’s advancement in multi-screen marketing solutions, launching the first 3-screen advertising campaign for the Discovery Channel. Song previously held various sales leadership roles at Yahoo! and Forbes.com and began his media career in print at Ziff-Davis Publishing. Song is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University.

Universal Music Group has appointed Joseph Schmidt as Chief Financial Officer, East Coast Labels. He will report to Ivan Gavin, Chief Operating Officer, East Coast Labels. UMG’s East Coast Labels include The Island Def Jam Music Group and Universal Republic Records. Schmidt previously served as VP of Finance for RCA Records and had been with Sony Music for over 15 years. He is based in New York City.
Schmidt will oversee financial functions, including planning, forecasting, reporting and deal analysis as well as marketing administration. He will manage the finance staffs of Island Def Jam and Universal Republic which will report to him.

"Joe is a consummate professional who possesses the financial skills necessary to expertly navigate today’s rapidly changing marketplace," commented Gavin. "And as we continue to expand the East Coast Labels, he’s the ideal executive to oversee both Island Def Jam and Universal Republic finance staffs."

"It’s great to be joining UMG’s East Coast Labels at such an exciting time, while we are repositioning the group to maximize all opportunities on both the creative and financial sides of the business," stated Schmidt. "Rarely do you have the kind of creative and business leadership that the East Coast Labels enjoy. I’m happy to be a part of it and look forward to contributing."

It’s been rumored for months, but today Beats Electronics officially announced that the company best known for its Beats By Dr. Dre headphones, is acquiring the online music service MOG. The parties did not disclose the terms of the acquisition, the first for the company co-founded by rapper and producer Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, chairman of Interscope Geffen and A&M Records.

"Beats was created as a response to the complete erosion of the music experience," says Beats' President and COO Luke Wood. "Our whole reason for starting Beats was to try to bring emotion back into that experience. We believe music services is a vital part of that ecosystem."

MOG, founded in 2005, offers more than 16 million songs available for free online including its Facebook App and by subscription on portable devices, LG and Samsung Smart TVs and other devices.

"Beats is a company as obsessed with sound quality as we are, and we share a common goal of creating a more premium sound experience and emotional connection with music in the digital era," said MOG founder and CEO David Hyman in an e-mail exchange. "The addition of MOG's music service to the Beats portfolio will provide a truly end-to-end music experience."

Neither Wood nor Hyman would venture examples of how the companies' products might be cross-promoted. But extended trials of MOG's portable features for Beats By Dr. Dre customers would make obvious sense. You can listen to MOG for free on MOG.com and on Facebook; unlimited ad-free listening is $4.99 monthly and unlimited portable downloads is $9.99.

"Time will tell exactly how we integrate our products and services," Hyman said. "MOG and Beats have a shared vision of providing a premium sound experience to listeners and increasing the emotional connection they have with music so building on the solid foundation we've created, the possibilities around future innovation are endless."

The Beats team tried many music services, but MOG's commitment to music fidelity sold them, Woods says. "They were the first service to offer their entire catalog in the 320-kilobit format. I also think they were the most progressive and the first service to be really committed to multiple access points in the deals they did with LG and Samsung for the TV and BMW for the car (and) they were very quick to push music to the smartphone," he says. "They understand that the consumer wants ubiquity. They have an extremely talented management team and engineering staff. So it's really about the product, the service and the talent at the service we are buying."

A music delivery service connected with Beats products completes an audio connection, Wood says. "This really gets us back to the beginning of the music experience, which is actually the discovery and the environment to consume the content."

The BET Awards took place in Los Angeles on Sunday, and the big winners included Kanye West, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Chris Brown and Nicki Minaj. The show kicked off with Kanye joined by 2 Chainz and Big Sean ripping “Mercy”. Kanye, who brought Kim Kardashian as his date to the awards, also performed “Theraflu”. Other performances at the event were Usher, Nicki Minaj and 2 Chainz, Melanie Fiona, D’angelo, Rick Ross and Maybach Music Group, and Chris Brown.

The night also featured a Whitney Houston tribute, which brought out Monica, Brandy (who sang “I’m Your Baby Tonight” and “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”), Whitney’s mother Cissy Houston (singing “Bridge Over Troubled Water”), and Chaka Khan, who sang “I’m Every Woman.”

Centric Award

Youngstars Award

Best Group
The Throne (Jay-Z and Kanye West)

Best Actor
Kevin Hart, "Think Like a Man"

Best New Artist
Big Sean

Best Male R&B Artist
Chris Brown

Best Collaboration
Wale (featuring Miguel), "Lotus Flower Bomb"

Best Gospel
Yolanda Adams

Best Female R&B Artist

Best Female Hip-Hop Artist
Nicki Minaj

Lifetime Achievement Award
Maze, featuring Frankie Beverly

Video of the Year
The Throne (Jay-Z and Kanye West), featuring Otis Redding, "Otis"

Humanitarian Award
The Reverend Al Sharpton

Viewers' Choice Award
Mindless Behavior

Video Director of the Year
Beyoncé and Alan Ferguson

Entertainer of the Year
Chris Brown

What separates the largest event in the USA dedicated to love and sex from imitators is the diverse collection of acts that appear on the Entertainment stage. EXXXOTICA Chicago, taking place at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center July 13-15, not only has burlesque shows, male dancers, aerial acts and star-studded panels and contests on stage, but now hip hop legends, American Music and Grammy Award winners Tone Loc and Young M.C. will be headlining the stage on Saturday night.

Representing the "Golden Era" of hip hop, these industry pioneers / hip hop legends feature resumes of Grammy and American Music Award trophies, chart topping singles, hit movie and TV credits, and combined sales in the millions around the world are a welcomed addition to an event that promises to be even bigger and better than last years record breaking show. Tone Loc is best known for his hit tracks "Wild Thing" and "Funky Cold Medina," and Young M.C.'s hit track "Bust a Move" is one of the most well known singles in hip hop history. They will be headlining EXXXOTICA on Saturday, July 14th starting at 9:00 pm.

EXXXOTICA's stage line up for the three-day love and sex expo includes a varied group of talented performers who will be showcasing their unique skills to the tens of thousands of expected attendees. Adult superstar Belladonna will be performing her acclaimed silks routine, Cirque de Bella; AVN's 2009 Best New Starlet Stoya, will be performing on the aerial ring, as well as longtime EXXXOTICA fan favorite Rubberdoll, whose fetish performance always leaves the crowd wanting more, are just a few of the featured entertainers.

No EXXXOTICA would be complete without the show's infamous Ms. EXXXOTICA competition. Previously making headlines around the country, some of its alumni have gone on to become stars in the adult world and beyond. The first round featuring entrants from all around the world begins on Friday night, with the finals and crowning of the fifteenth Ms. EXXXOTICA on Saturday night.

Music video Director, David Rousseau will kick-off the Center of Cinematography Arts and Television's (CCAT) distinguished lecture series on Thursday, July 12, 2012 at 6 p.m.

Rousseau has built a reputation as a futurist who is always ahead of the curve. It is his use of high-tech video production technology, innovative graphics and his creativity that makes him the most sought after video director of our time.

"David's portfolio is impressive," said Sound Engineer Professor and record producer, Immanuel Ramirez. "I'm positive his presentation will inspire our students. He is a Miami native who is in tune with local trends and an innovator who has blown away the music video business."

In 2008, Rousseau launched CreativeSeen, a production company devoted to music video and commercial production. In a short timeframe, he’s managed to work with some of the biggest names in music – Pitbull, Lil Wayne, Birdman, Enrique Iglesias, Lil Jon, Ne-Yo, Akon, Fat Joe, T-Pain, LMFAO, and Jadakiss – directing videos that have appeared on all major video networks, including MTV, BET and FUSE.

His credit list includes worldwide smash, “I Know You Want Me (Calle 8)” for Pitbull, an international hit video which garnered over 180 million hits on You Tube, making it one of the site’s most popular clips of all time. He’s directed virtually all music videos for Pitbull, including the video for his latest hit single with Ne-Yo, “Give Me Everything” and club-bangers “Bon Bon” and “Hey Baby” featuring T-Pain; a video that premiered on the 40-foot tall Kodak Screen in New York City’s famed Times Square. David also directed “Hotel Room Service” and “Shut it Down,” a mini-movie with Pitbull and Akon, which became a global sensation and played throughout the MTV networks.

With the fast-paced and ever-changing face of the media and entertainment business, the Center of Cinematography Arts and Television (CCAT), has made a commitment to provide our students with the latest tools and knowledge to succeed. Our focus is on providing students with a solid understanding of entertainment and media principles coupled with hands on experiences. Our academic environment is focused on teaching industry principles and then applying those principles in practical classroom exercises.

Customs officers busted Snoop Dogg after they discovered weed on him. Snoop Dogg was fined for marijuana possession at the Kjevic Airport in Kristiansand, Norway earlier this morning.
According to TMZ, Snoop was stopped at customs where officers discovered eight grams of weed. Cops state that anything less than 15 grams of marijuana is punishable by fine. Snoop was ordered to hand over 12,000 Norwegian Krone, which equates roughly to $1,980.13 in U.S. dollars. Snoop was reportedly "cooperative" and took care of the fine. He is scheduled to perform tonight at the Hove Festival.

Shortly after the bust, the 40-year-old rapper posted a photo on Twitter that appeared to show him passing a joint. "Smoking crip n. cuzns. Hahahahagahhaha,” read the caption.

The airport incident was the rapper’s second drug bust this year alone. He was cited for possession of marijuana possession in Sierra Blanca, Texas, in January after authorities said they found several joints on his bus.

Slaughterhouse has announced a new release date, August 28th, for welcome to: Our House, the rap supergroup's first album on Shady Records/Interscope. Meanwhile, the video for the album's "My Life" featuring Cee Lo Green and produced by StreetRunner and Sarom, debuted last week on BET's "106 & Park."

Welcome to: Our House, executive produced by Eminem, is the second album from the creative collaboration of Crooked I, Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz and Royce da 5'9".

Slaughterhouse issued a self-titled EP last year and was featured on "Loud Noises" on the gold-certified, #1-charting Hell: The Sequel from Bad Meets Evil, the collaboration between Royce and Eminem. The group was previously heard on "Session One," a bonus track on Eminem's 2010 blockbuster Recovery, following their debut, indie-issued album in 2009. Widely acclaimed as individual artists, the group formed in late 2008 after Crooked I from Long Beach, CA, Joell Ortiz from Brooklyn, NY and Royce da 5'9" from Detroit appeared on "Slaughterhouse" on the Halfway House album from Harlem-born, New Jersey-raised Joe Budden. They then named the collective after the song.

The next offering from welcome to: Our House is the Mr. Porter produced "Throw It Away" featuring Swizz Beatz. The track will debut on mix-shows nationwide this weekend and will be available Monday, July 2nd exclusively at iTunes.

Joell Ortiz told MTV that the album has both upbeat and introspective records. “It's a really personal album, but there are records like 'My Life' which are celebratory," he said. “There are records were those core Slaughterhouse fans will get their 'Ohs and ahs' like 'OK, the pen is pushing. It's themed, but we take you on a ride through this album. Y'all gonna enjoy it."

Today, CONVERSE UK announces the launch of REPRESENT, a free summer music series that invites fans and artists to represent their music and celebrate musical diversity at London's legendary 100 Club, the longest running popular music venue in the world.

From July 30th to August 10th, Converse will bring REPRESENT to life through the ultimate live music experience at the iconic 100 Club. With headline acts to include Plan B, Nas, Paul Weller, Spiritualized, Toots and The Maytals, SBTRKT, UK Subs, Santigold, Overkill, Kano, John Talabot, Django Django, Best Coast and other special guests, the free concert series will present nine gigs, featuring a total of 45 notable artists who have helped shape the global music landscape of the past, present and future. Since its inception in 1942, the 100 Club has been famed for its democratic celebration of music of all genres. Following in this spirit, REPRESENT curates its widest roster of artists to date, giving UK fans a unique chance to see their favorite acts in an intimate setting.

"This month, Converse celebrates its one year anniversary of collaborating with the 100 Club and bringing the best in established and emerging music to UK fans," said Cheryl Calegari, Senior Marketing Director, Converse UK. "REPRESENT takes our collective commitment to music to the next level by showcasing such a wide spectrum of musical talent and offering fans a chance to get behind the music that matters most to them."

REPRESENT follows in the footsteps of the successful 'Converse Gigs @ 100 Club' monthly music series, which kicked off a year ago in June 2011. The MusicWeek Award winning program has featured leading acts such as The Rapture, Gorillaz Sound System, James Murphy, Ghostpoet and Graham Coxon and continues to champion new and established artists from a variety of genres to fans and their communities.

Nas' upcoming album Life Is Good will feature the late Amy Winehouse on the track "Cherry Wine." Nas has revealed the complete track list for Life Is Good, due out July 17. Mary J. Blige will appear on the song "Reach Out," Rick Ross makes an appearance on "Accident Murderers" and Anthony Hamilton guests on "World's An Addiction." Life Is Good features 14 tracks, with four additional songs on the deluxe edition. Another bonus cut, "Trust," will be an iTunes-only extra track, while a remix of "The Don" will be only available on the Japanese edition.

Digital Domain Media Group announced that “Virtual 2Pac at Coachella,” the virtual performance of the late rap star Tupac Shakur, was recognized with a Cannes Lions Titanium Award at the 59th annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity on June 23 in Cannes France. Cannes Lions is the world's most prestigious annual awards show for professionals in the creative communications industry.

The Cannes Lion Titanium Award recognizes the most groundbreaking work in the creative communications field. “Virtual 2Pac” was chosen by an elite jury of experts from 10 of the world’s top advertising agencies as one of the year’s most innovative, breakthrough ideas, from an initial field of 500+ entrants and a shortlist of 45.

“We were thrilled to be part of this project, this completely new idea in entertainment,” said Ed Ulbrich, Chief Creative Officer of Digital Domain.

“When Dr. Dre came to us with his vision we knew that the world had never seen anything like this and that the response was going to be huge. Having “virtual 2Pac” and the idea of virtual performers recognized with a Cannes Lion Titanium Award is beyond exciting.”

Dr. Dre envisioned “Virtual 2Pac” as a way to bring fans a performance that was beyond the scope of imagination – an original performance of the late rap star. Working with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, Digital Domain, Philip Atwell and Dylan Brown produced “Virtual 2Pac,” the performance of a completely believable, computer-generated likeness of Shakur projected onstage to create the illusion that he was performing live alongside Snoop Dogg.

The impact of the performance spread worldwide. Following the two shows at the Coachella music festival, each playing to an estimated 90,000 fans, YouTube videos of the performance amassed 15 million views. Google search results for Tupac hologram exceeded 50 million. 2Pac album sales increased 500% and downloads of his song “Hail Mary” rose 1,500%. There were thousands of media stories, assessing “virtual 2Pac’s” impact on everything from music to entertainment, ethics, technology and intellectual property.

For nearly 60 years, the Cannes Lions Awards have set the benchmark for excellence in creative communications. More than 11,000 delegates attended this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Snoop Dogg’s son Cordell Broadus has been offered a scholarship by UCLA to play football.

Broadus will enter his sophomore year at Diamond Bar High School this fall. He has played wide receiver and defensive back for the freshman team this past school year.

The 6-2, 185-pound Class of 2015 product played on the school's freshman team in 2011, seeing time at both wide receiver and defensive back.

“We’re expecting him to really lead us the next three years,” Diamond Bar High School football coach Ryan Maine told ESPN. “Hopefully our athletes get bigger, stronger and keep leading this team.”

Last month, Diddy’s son Justin Combs was offered a football scolorship to UCLA and was criticized, as some believed that the money should be allocated towards a student who came from a lower tax bracket.

“Unlike need-based scholarships, athletic scholarships are awarded to students strictly on the basis of their athletic and academic ability, and not on a student’s financial need,” UCLA spokesperson Ricardo Vazquez said in a statement. “Athletic scholarships, such as those awarded to football or basketball players, do not rely on state funds.”

Wendy Goldstein, Senior Vice President of A&R for Universal Republic Records announces the expansion of its Urban A&R department with the addition of Tab Nkhereanye as Vice President, A&R and Naim Ali McNair as Vice President, A&R.

The label has always maintained a strong foothold in hip hop, and Nkhereanye and McNair stand poised to strengthen that foundation even further. Not only has Nkhereanye seen success at RedZone Entertainment, as Vice President of Creative at Sony/ATV, and consulting for Geffen Records, he's an accomplished songwriter himself, having penned songs for everyone from Justin Bieber and Mary J. Blige to Madonna and Britney Spears.

Meanwhile, McNair has held positions in A&R at MCA Records and Warner Bros., working with the likes of The Roots, Talib Kweli, and Mike Jones to name a few. Most recently, he consulted for both Top Dawg Ent. (TDE) and Epic Records.

Both of these individuals bring diverse experience, clever insight, and invigorating energy to the table and will undoubtedly beef up the label's roster with exciting new talent and perspective.

About their 2012 hiring, Goldstein comments, "Tab and Naim are going to help usher in the next generation of hip hop artists at Republic. They're extremely dynamic, devout, and diligent, and it's an honor to be working with the both of them."

Nkheanye echoes her excitement. "I love what Monte and Avery Lipman did. This label is their blood, sweat, and tears. That passion drew me to Republic. I'm looking forward to helping develop a roster of unique artists that will end up in the mainstream. I enjoy building careers, and Republic specializes in that. I hope to create history with this team."

For McNair, the prospect of fostering and expanding the label's esteemed roster is equally thrilling. "I hope to help further grow the artist roster from a hip hop standpoint as well as help build the label's legacy. It's a groundbreaking company that's not afraid to take chances, and it's one of the most diverse labels out there."

Nkheanye began his career by helping to found Atlanta-based music production entity RedZone. He worked as a songwriter, writing Justin Bieber's first single, "One time", Mary J. Blige's "Take Me As I Am", Fantasia's "Truth Is", and "Me Against the Music" for Britney Spears and Madonna, as well as many others. As Vice President of Creative at Sony/ATV, he signed both Mike Caren and Frank Ocean. He also worked as a consultant for Geffen Records.

McNair started in the music business at producer Dallas Austin's Rowdy Records in Atlanta, GA. From there, he served as A&R for both MCA Records working under Goldstein and Warner Bros. Records as well as consulting for Top Dawg Ent. (TDE) and Epic Records.

Universal Republic is home to an all-star roster of multi-platinum, award-winning legends and superstar artists. It is comprised of innovative imprints and digital business ventures including Republic Nashville (The Band Perry), Cash Money (Lil Wayne, Drake, Nicki Minaj), Indie Pop (Dev, The Cataracs), Lava Records (Jessie J, Black Veil Brides), SRC (Akon, Melanie Fiona), Aware Records (Mat Kearney), Brushfire (Jack Johnson, G. Love), Tuff Gong (Damian Marley), Downtown (Miike Snow), among others.

The BET AWARDS 12 performance stage line-up is getting hotter and definitely "Too Big To Miss." Added to the roster is platinum musician D'Angelo, who will make his long-awaited return to the television stage after twelve years. His highly anticipated performance can be seen at the BET AWARDS 12, only on BET Networks, July 1, 2012 at 8 p.m.*

"Usually, we love to keep surprises…but this year we want EVERYONE watching when D'Angelo takes the stage at the BET Awards!," stated Stephen G. Hill, BET's President of Music Programming and Specials. "His talents have been away from us for far too long and we're excited and honored that he's decided to make his American re-entry at this year's BET Awards."

BET AWARDS 12 will be hosted by Samuel L. Jackson, and will include performances by Usher, Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj, G.O.O.D. MUSIC, Pusha T, Big Sean, Rick Ross, Meek Mill, Wale and 2 Chainz. This year's Humanitarian Award, presented by State Farm, will go to Reverend Dr. Al Sharpton and Maze featuring Frankie Beverly will receive the coveted Cadillac Lifetime Achievement Award. Taraji P. Henson, Meagan Good, Kevin Hart and Cedric the Entertainer will grace the Shrine Auditorium stage, as presenters, on Sunday, July 1st at 8:00 p.m.* on BET Networks.

B.o.B is heading overseas this September. After announcing his U.S. tour with Cee Lo Green and Flo Rida, B.o.B has now announced a European tour.
The eight-date trek starts on September 15th at Newcastle's University. Stops on the tour include London, England, Manchester, UK and Dublin, Ireland. Bobby Ray will wrap up his short venture at Birmingham's HMV Library on September 24th.

September 15 - Newcastle - University
September 16 - Glasgow - ABC
September 18 - Dublin - Olympia
September 19 - Manchester - The Ritz
September 20 - Sheffield - Leadmill
September 21 - London - Indigo2
September 22 - Norwich - Waterfront
September 24 - Birmingham - HMV Library

Flo Rida, Cee Lo Green, and B.o.B. are partnering up for the R YOU On The List summer tour. The tour starts in Miami on July 3. The nine-city arena tour will also feature Houston MC, Kirko Bangz.
The tour will touch down in cities such as Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Dallas and Washington D.C.

7/3 – Coral Gables, FL @ Bank United Center
7/5 – Duluth, GA @ Gwinnett Center
7/7 – Las Vegas, NV @ Mandalay Bay
7/8 – Los Angeles, CA @ Sports Arena
7/20 – Houston, TX @ Toyota Center
7/21 – Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center
7/25 – Washington, DC @ Verizon Center
7/27 – Atlantic City, NJ @ Boardwalk Hall
7/28 – East Rutherford, NJ @ Izod Center

Rihanna is set to play the lead voice in DreamWorks Animation's Happy Smekday!, an adaptation of the award-winning book The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex.

Co-starring voice in the flick will be Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons in a story that centers on a friendly alien race that invades Earth and uses it as a hideout from their mortal enemy. When one lowly alien accidentally notifies the enemies of his whereabouts, he is forced to go on the run with a teenage girl, embarking on a comical road-trip across a post-apocalyptic America and learning what it really means to be human.

Rihanna will also star in Seth Rogen's end of world comedy titled The End of the World, and she's rumored to be connected to The Fast and the Furious 6.

Fully recharged and inspired by his eye-opening first trip to Mecca, the 2011 uprisings in the Middle East, and the world wide Occupy movements, Brother Ali is prepared to unveil his fourth full-length offering Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color. Created during a self-imposed two-month exile in Seattle and helmed by platinum-selling producer Jake One (50 Cent, T.I., Wiz Khalifa), the album presents a scathing yet honest critique of America and its many flaws while simultaneously presenting a hopeful outlook of its possibilities. Preceded by the release of free music downloads with accompanying music videos such as “Shine On," "Writer’s Block,” and “Not A Day Goes By," Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color is the pièce de résistance.

In an age of hip-hop where the paradigm of swag over substance reigns supreme, few emcees are willing to use their platform to tackle the hot-button topics and pressing social maladies of our time - but it’s apparent that Minneapolis-based hip-hop artist Brother Ali is one of those few. Over the course of 14 tracks with assists from esteemed author/ professor Dr. Cornel West, revered Southern hip-hop icon Bun B, and Def Poetry Jam poet Amir Sulaiman, the album brazenly holds a mirror to the idiosyncrasies of American life while simultaneously painting a vibrant portrait of its wondrous potential. Actualizing hip-hop’s full range of motion as a gage for the times, Mourning In America and Dreaming In Color asserts itself as the definitive soundtrack of a disenchanted, disenfranchised, and wildly optimistic citizenry during a landmark period in American history. In a moment of artistic preemptive strike, Brother Ali recognized this prime opportunity to examine and address the underpinnings of the burgeoning stance of mass opposition:

“This is not just a new album, but a new chapter. There’s a kind of democratic reawakening in people at this point in time. I was really looking to take these topics and really hit them hard. To try to open ears and hearts and invite people to take some action and feel empowered. To be engaged and take some agency and responsibility for what’s going on in the world.”

Melding the zeitgeist of classic works such as Ice Cube’s critical 1991 album Death Certificate and Marvin Gaye’s 1971 sociopolitical opus What’s Goin’ On with his keen observations on topics such as race, the Occupy movement, and the hypocrisy of war, Brother Ali has crafted a fresh lyrical approach and dynamic new sound - the result is a stunning collection of hard-hitting lyrics and beats.

The state of the union address commences with “Letter To My Countrymen,” a spirited appeal to fellow Americans with a tailor made guest vocal from Cornel West. Brother Ali speaks on the institution of poverty on “Only Life I Know” while the quasi-autobiographical “Stop The Press” addresses his albinism, the death of his father, and his remarkable yet challenging journey through hip-hop. “Mourning In America,” in part the album’s title track, offers a brutally honest look at America’s convoluted and hypocritical relationship to murder. Featuring a searing verse from poet Amir Sulaiman, “Gather Round” is a battle cry to the masses to take an ardent interest in the social ills plaguing society. Brother Ali puts underemployment and hyper consumerism in the face of socioeconomic turmoil on blast on “Work Everyday.” “Need A Knot,” featuring the voice of Bun B, finds Brother Ali skillfully veiling a series of odd jobs in analogies of illegal hustles. “Namesake” is the seldom-told tale of a pre-fame Muhammad Ali – one of America’s most dynamic personas whom Brother Ali is also named after. The set ends with the outro “Singing This Song,” a track that showcases another one of Brother Ali’s passions – speaking engagements. The song features highlights of Ali's riveting public address at a mass demonstration demanding justice for Trayvon Martin.

Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color, in all its sonic and lyrical glory, promises to be both the voice of a burgeoning new critical American consciousness and the beacon of hope for those that hold fast to its ideals and potential.

There’s a reason they call boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. “Money.” He fought twice during the past 12 months, knocking out Victor Ortiz in September and winning a unanimous decision in May against Miguel Cotto. He spent less than one hour in the ring to dispatch his two foes. His combined payday for the bouts: $85 million.

That helped make Mayweather the world’s highest-paid athlete over the past year, unseating Tiger Woods, who has been the top-earner since 2001. Woods ranks third this year with earnings of $59.4 million.

Mayweather maximizes his earnings by also acting as his own fight promoter through his company Mayweather Promotions. He collects all of the revenue from tickets, pay-per-view and sponsorships and covers the costs, including the purse for his opponent. His take home per fight is typically at least 50% higher than what his rival Manny Pacquiao earns.

Pacquiao ranks second with earnings of $62 million. Over the past 12 months he fought Juan Manuel Marquez and Tim Bradley. The bouts netted him $56 million, including money he gets from their broadcast in the Philippines. He also made an estimated $6 million over the past year outside the ring through endorsements with Nike, Hewlett-Packard, Monster Energy and Hennessy.

Woods’ total earnings dropped $16 million from last year to $59.4 million and have been sliced in half since their peak in 2009. Despite his collapse in this year’s U.S. Open, Woods is playing much better on the course and his prize money doubled from the prior 12 months. But the $2 million bump in prize money does not offset the loss of sponsors like Tag Heuer and Gillette.

Woods’ golf course design business has also struggled. Development of his Dubai course was shut down last year and the developer of his North Carolina course, Cliffs Club & Hospitality, filed for bankruptcy in 2012.

LeBron James leads the 13 basketball players that made the cut. James ranks fourth overall with earnings of $53 million. James, like all NBA players, had his salary sliced 20% by the NBA lockout, but he continues to make a mint off the court from sponsors like Nike, Coca-Cola, State Farm and McDonald’s. James’ income also got a boost when he received cash as part of his marketing partnership with Fenway Sports Group last year, through which James received a stake in the soccer club Liverpool.

Thirty football players rank among the 100 highest-paid athletes, which is more than any other sport. Many NFL players had bonuses delayed until the summer of 2011 that normally would have been paid in March due to the NFL lockout. Several players, like No. 30 Eli Manning, had their 2012 salaries converted into signing bonuses and paid out in March to alleviate team’s salary cap issues, which further goosed the number of NFL players in the top 100.

Peyton Manning is the NFL’s highest-paid player with earnings of $42.4 million, which ranks 10th overall. The Indianapolis Colts paid Manning $26.4 million in 2011 even though he missed the season recovering from neck surgery. Manning joined the Denver Broncos as a free agent in March, when he inked a five-year, $96 million contract that paid him a $6 million advance on his 2012 Broncos’ salary. Manning continues to be the NFL’s top pitchman, earning $10 million annually off the field from Reebok, Gatorade, Sony, DirecTV, Wheaties and Papa John’s.

Athletes from 11 different sports qualified for the top 100, including two cricket legends (Mahendra Singh Dhoni at No. 31 and Sachin Tendulkar at No. 78), as well as track star Usain Bolt, who ranks No. 63 with earnings of $20.3 million. The 100 highest earners made $2.6 billion collectively during the past 12 months.

The earnings figures include salaries, bonuses, prize money, appearance fees, as well as licensing and endorsement income for the 12 months between June 2011 and June 2012. We do not deduct for taxes or agents’ fees.

Two women made the top 100 (the cut-off was $16.6 million). Maria Sharapova ranks No. 26 with earnings of $27.9 million. She has long had a coveted portfolio of sponsors that now includes Nike, Head, Samsung, Tag Heuer and Evian. Sales for the Maria Sharapova Collection, her line of products at Nike subsidiary Cole Haan, doubled last year. Her ballet flat is the best selling female shoe for Cole Haan. Sharapova has stepped up her play on the court over the past year and is now the No. 1 ranked tennis player in the world. She completed a career Grand Slam with her French Open title and earned $5.9 million in prize money over the past 12 months.

Li Na ranks No. 81 overall with earnings of $18.4 million. She was a mildly successful pro with three career WTA victories before 2011, when she reached two Grand Slam finals and won the French Open title. The win in Paris made her the first Asian-born player ever to win a singles Grand Slam event. She signed seven multimillion-dollar endorsement deals after the historic win, in spite of the sluggish overall sponsorship market. Li shills for Babolat, Haagan-Daaz, Nike, Samsung and Mercedes, as well as multiple Chinese companies. Source: Forbes

During the weekend's Hot 107.9 Bday Bash, Chief Keef told MTV he’s just inked a deal with Interscope.
Just hours before he took the stage at the Birthday Bash with T.I. the Chicago upstart inked a deal with Jimmy Iovine's label.

"I've been talkin' to a lot of labels, but I just noticed that Interscope got people like 50, Eminem," Keef told us after he got off stage performing his breakout track, "I Don't Like."

Keef also revealed that he signed a publishing deal with Dr. Dre. Keef was recruited by a few labels including Cash Money and T.I.'s Grand Hustle. "I like him, he kinda remind me of us," Baby told MTV News back in May. "He's out the streets, I think he swagged up and I'm definitely talkin' to his peopleand i'd like to see if we could get it to pop, see if I can get him to be down with the team."

During that same month Kanye West remixed Keef's "I Don't Like" along with Pusha T, Jadakiss and Big Sean. Bad Boy and Def Jam were also rumored to have approached the young rapper. With all of the interest he drew in the end chose the Scope. "They was talkin' good to me," he said of Interscope. "They was talkin' like I was talkin' and I liked that. All these other labels, I was talkin' to 'em, but it's time anyway for me and I'm goin' with Interscope." Source: Mtv

REKS took the underground scene by storm with his debut LP, Along Came The Chosen (2001). The album featured production from a then eighteen year old Statik Selektah and the critically acclaimed LP was featured in the Source, XXL, Vibe, and REKS was named to URB Magazine’s “Next 100”. The album’s single “Skills 101” reached #45 on the Billboard Singles chart, and put him on tours and doing shows with huge national acts. REKS released his highly anticipated sophomore LP, Grey Hairs, in 2008 and the momentous album featured production from DJ Premier, Large Professor and ten-tracks from Statik Selektah and featured collaborations with Lil Fame of MOP, Consequence, Skyzoo, Termanology & Jon Hope. Grey Hairs lead to REKS being profiled by XXL Magazine in their “Show & Prove” section. REKS’ profile was imminently raised with the release of R.E.K.S. (2011) which included production from DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Alchemist, Sean C & LV, Nottz, Sha Money XL, Hi-Tek & Statik Selektah and guest appearances from Styles P, Freeway, Lil Fame & Termanology which was culminated by REKS winning the “Underground Music Award” for “Best Album” in 2011.

Still basking in the praise that his collaborative LP, Straight No Chaser, with Statik Selektah generated upon its release less then two-months ago, REKS returns to make his presence felt in two consecutive quarters with his latest full-length project Rebelutionary. Though he collaborated with Statik Selektah on Straight, No Chaser, REKS linked up with emerging producer Numonics for Rebelutionary.

While Rebelutionary is being released on the heels of the critically acclaimed Straight, No Chaser, there was never a second thought given to delaying it, as REKS explains “Numonics is such a talent that I wasn't concerned about following up Straight, No Chaser so quickly because the recording process was so smooth and I knew it was necessary now. It was crazy that we could link up together on a project we both felt so passionate about; and one that is essential for today’s climate.”

REKS continues to grow exponentially with each project and that growth is again apparent on Rebelutionary, as he tackles social and political issues “REKS and I made Rebelutionary to express the strong social and political views we both share. Inspired by great leaders like Fred Hampton and Malcolm X, the album sheds light on issues that need to be touched on at this time. Whether it's institutionalized racism, or pointing out the hypocrisy of the establishment, REKS paints a vivid picture of the world we live in with this project. I feel blessed to have worked with such a strong and emerging voice in Hip-Hop and his immense talent shines throughout this project” opines Numonics. Likewise, REKS also laments “The flow of the album is superb in my opinion. The idea was to give today’s youth an intelligent piece of work that didn't come off preachy or dated. I know we succeeded in doing so.”

Check out the first leak from REKS’ Rebelutionary “Shotgun” f/ Jon Connor & Vanessa Renee: LISTEN HERE

G. Huff and Vice Souletric have quickly become two of the most respected new hip-hop artists to emerge out the Midwest. The Ohio MC/Producer duo made waves in 2011 with their debut album, "Where Do We Go From Here?" which featured a who's who of talent such as Guilty Simpson, REKS, Termanology, and Ruste Juxx.

G. Huff is a ferocious emcee who hales from the gritty city of Youngstown, Ohio. A unique combination of musical talent, versatility and real life experience has G.Huff on the verge of being one of the greatest writers of his time! After years of perfecting his craft, former Bad Boy recording artist “G-Dep” took a liking to Huff’s in your face rhyme style and labeled him the future of hip-hop. G.Huff has worked with recording artists such as G-Dep, Nature, Reks, Termanology, Guilty Simpson and others and will also be featured on Moss’ upcoming compilation project.

Vice has been producing full-time for the last four-years and in a very short time has built a very impressive resume of production credits. In the just the last few months alone, Vice has worked with some of the best artists in the hip-hop scene. After landing a placement on Busta Rhyme’s protégé’ Reek Da Villain’s mixtape, “The Gift”, Vice hit the studio hard, and met G. Huff, which led to the release of "Where Do We Go From Here?.” In 2012, Vice will have production on upcoming albums from Scarface, Reek Da Villian, Slim Thug, KRS-One, Mysonne and many more. While Vice has been in the lab with some of hip-hop’s most esteemed lyricists, he is quick to point out that his partner brings out the best in him “Huff is the hungriest emcee I have heard in a minute. It will only take you a couple bars to hear the passion from this cat. Press play and buckle up.”

As a duo, G.Huff and Vice are now set to follow up their debut with a new EP, "Are We There Yet?” a carefully crafted masterpiece packed with lyricism, soul, and energy. It’s a recipe the duo is already well versed in! Not only do Huff and Vice receive the co-signs of hip hop legends Pete Rock and Scarface, they create their own lane with an original sound that is unique yet universal enough for all to enjoy! To receive the co-signs of two of hip-hop’s most lasting and endearing artists is not an honor that is lost on G.Huff and Vice as Huff exclaims "Even though we are writing our own history, the support of Pete Rock and Scarface makes this project that much more special to us.”

G.Huff & Vice Souletric’s “Are We There Yet?” finds the duo in a very comfortable place and ready to take the next step in their careers and let their music do the talking as they assert “You can tell when artists really put there all into etching out a real masterpiece. I hope listeners will appreciate music being made the right way. From concepts to lyrics, to production, we didn’t overlook anything. The game is too competitive to only bring 99% to table. These days it’s all or nothing.”

DJ Greg Street has signed to Cash Money Records and Cash Money Content.

According to reports, Street will curate albums, utilize previously unreleased material from Young Money artists as well as new cuts for Cash Money Records. As part of Cash Money Content, he will collaborate on book related content, author his own books and collaborate with his Greg Street Scholarship Fund Program, We Need 2 Read.

“I have never once doubted the power of Birdman and Slim, and the Cash Money empire as a whole,” said Street. “My goal is to add in making Cash Money Records the first billion dollar independent label by putting major plays together for the brand, in and outside of selling records. I'm honored to have worked with and supported the YMCMB family since the early 1990s and look forward to expanding the relationship."

“Greg Street is a much valued and respected colleague of the YMCMB family,” said Bryan “Birdman” Williams. “Slim and I collaborated with him so often, we decided the next step would be to extend a deal to him that would allow him to bring his unique voice and perspective to both our label and publishing company.”

AIDS Healthcare Foundation has announced that Wyclef Jean will join the “Keep the Promise” March on Washington as the headliner. Wyclef will join civil rights leader Ambassador Andrew Young on stage at the Washington Monument grounds to perform and rally the crowd of more than 10,000 people before the start of the March on Sunday, July 22, 2012—just prior to the opening ceremonies of the XIX International AIDS Conference.

Wyclef joins 2,219 individuals and 1,373 organizations from 98 countries in supporting the “Keep the Promise” Declaration and March.

The ‘Keep the Promise’ rally and march will serve as a clarion call for universal access to AIDS care and treatment; for more efficient use of the limited funding from sources including the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR); for big world economies and the G20 to fully fund the Global Fund as well as for the lowering of AIDS drug prices by pharmaceutical companies to allow for the treatment of more patients with the same amount of money.

“We are so excited to welcome Wyclef Jean to the ‘Keep the Promise’ March on Washington,” said Terri Ford, AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s Senior Director of Global Policy and Advocacy. “His passion and activist spirit, along with his inspirational music, is absolutely the right fit to highlight the crisis that HIV/AIDS remains around the world.”

Wyclef’s music has always been tied to his charitable and advocacy work in his native Haiti and around the world. Following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Wyclef and Yéle Haiti Foundation—which he founded in 2005—helped mobilize international support for humanitarian aid and assistance to the country. In 2009, he shared the BET Humanitarian of the Year award with Alicia Keys and also performed at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo. In 2006, Wyclef performed at the UNAIDS-organized Evening of Remembrance and Hope: Uniting the World Against AIDS in New York City, commemorating 25 years of AIDS.

“For the first time in over twenty years, the International AIDS Conference takes place in the United States—in Washington—and just a few months before the 2012 presidential election,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “The ‘Keep the Promise on HIV/AIDS’ March presents an ideal opportunity for AIDS advocates and organizations the world over to join together and have our collective voices heard to press US and world leaders to do the right thing on AIDS funding, care and treatment.”

Jay-Z can now call himself "Director of the Arena." He’s listed under his real name of Shawn Carter as a "director" for the Brooklyn Arena LLC, the company that runs Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
The new title emerged in papers filed by arena developer Forest City Ratner Cos. in its bid to secure a liquor license for the future home of the Brooklyn Nets.

As one of seven drectors, the rapper and music mogul will attend board meetings and help direct arena senior staff on daily operations, Barclays Center officials confirmed today. He’s already helped the Nets design the team’s Brooklyn logos and its yet-to-be-released jerseys. And he was especially hands-on in designing 11 luxury arena suites called "The Vault."

Jay-Z in a minority investor in the Brooklyn Nets, the former New Jersey franchise that’s set to play its first games in the 718 this fall. Jay-Z is listed as an arena director along with Forest City CEO Bruce Ratner, David Berliner, Mary Anne Gilmartin, Christophe Charlier, Irina Pavlova and David Carlock. Pavlova is Nets majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov’s right-hand woman in the United States and president of his Onexim Sports and Entertainment Holding USA, Inc. She was the team’s rep at the recent NBA draft lottery. Berliner and Gilmartin are top officials in Ratner’s development company, while Charlier and Carlock are top officials with Onexim. The Russian oligarch Prokhorov owns 80 percent of the Nets and also has a 45 percent share in the arena.

The news of Jay-Z's new title emerged as arena officials confirmed that they would extend drinking hours at the Barclays for their big spenders. Patrons splurging big bucks for luxury suites and other prime seating at the house that Jay-Z built will get the added bonus of being served booze up to an hour after arena events end — or as late as 2 a.m., arena officials confirmed last week. The arena-drinking plan still needs to be approved by the State Liquor Authority. Source: NY Post

Last night, Drake and Chris Brown reportedly engaged in a fight at W.i.P. at Greenhouse in New York City, New York over a heated argument about Rihanna. Drake punched Brown in the face and hit him in the face with a bottle. No arrests were made.

Chris Brown took to twitter saying:

“How u party wit a rich nigga that hate? Lol…. Throwing bottles like girls #shameonya!” Breezy tweeted, seemingly unfazed by the entire incident. “Niggas is pussy! Bottles? It’s nothing! Lol Niggas throwing bottles! Y’all niggaz weak!

“And I’m the singer?” Brown continued in a Twitter rant he later deleted. “Niggas hiding in the bathroom bitch ass niggas! Ok! Niggas standing behind security!!!! Ok! U don’t pay them enough! Niggas throwing bottles! Y’all niggaz weak!”

Rappers 2 Chainz and Big Sean will take the stage at The Shrine Auditorium on July 1 in Los Angeles for the 2012 BET awards. Usher has also agreed to perform at the show. Big Sean is no stranger to the BET Awards stage after performing last year with Chris Brown. The 24-year-old Detroit MC is nominated for three BET Awards this year — Best New Artist, Best Male Hip Hop Artist and Best Collaboration for his song "Marvin & Chardonnay" with Kanye West and Roscoe Dash.

They join previously announced performers Nicki Minaj and Chris Brown. Comedians Kevin Hart and Cedric the Entertainer will present awards. Samuel L. Jackson will host.

Kanye West has the most nominations with seven. Beyonce follows with six, and her husband Jay-Z, is up for five. Usher's competition for the top award includes two collaborative songs by Jay-Z and West, and two songs by Beyonce. Lil Wayne, Drake and J. Cole also have multiple nominations. The show airs at 8 p.m. EST on BET.

Rich Boy has inked with eOne Music. He plans to release his sophomore album in late 2012.
He is currently recording in Miami, Florida and New York City. "My upcoming album is a real natural. No records were forced, and I was just recording and having fun, just catching the moment," he said.

Rich Boy's manager Delaney McGill said, "We are proud and excited to officially be a part of the eOne family. Rich Boy is a talented and creative visionary who despite his surroundings in Mobile AL, was able rise above the negativity to have a platinum hit record. With continual drive determination and management direction Rich boy's new music will be consistent with what all his fans have been waiting for."

To prep for the new release of his second studio LP, Rich Boy will drop a mixtape titled First Day of Summer on June 21st. "This mixtape represents summertime heat," he explained.

News we brought you back in January about Jay-Z linking with Powermat technology is now making its rounds as the “Wireless Power Nation” campaign.

Duracell and Powermat are creating what they call a Wireless Power Nation. Jay-Z signed on in January to be an investor and spokesperson.

“I believe in the future of wireless energy and I believe that Duracell Powermat is the company to bring on the revolution,” Jay-Z said in a statement. “I’m partnering with Duracell Powermat because they’re providing the solutions for the future.”

Jay- Z has his NY 40/40 club outfitted with Powermat charging stations through the resin-top bar area, VIP lounges and the stadium style seating with a view of the 165-inch state-of-the-art video walls.

According to Mashable, The 40/40 Club is just the first stop in Duracell Powermat’s goal to bring wireless charging hot spots to all the places you frequent throughout the day.

Ron Rabinowitz, Duracell Powermat CEO told Mashable it’s working to solve the “running out of juice” issue by partnering with the businesses where you regularly stop throughout your busy day; the gym, the coffee shop, even the airport.

Rabinowitz says Wireless Power Nation will make it even easier to rely on your smartphone for everything, without worrying about your battery life.

“People will be able to charge wirelessly on embedded ‘wireless power hot spots’ in public venues where they travel and interact throughout their day,” he said. “All they will need to do is put their phone on the table, same thing they normally do. The only difference is that now, their smartphones will get charged from the table.”

The company says more partners are being brought on so soon your list of places to get a charge will include restaurants, coffee shops and even the gym.

Rabinowitz says once the program is rolled out beyond New York later next year, a Google app will display a map of all the hotspots near you. As you go about your busy day, you’ll see where you can stop and get a quick top off. Caffeine for you and a charge for your phone. Source: Mashable

Young Life Entertainment CEO Will Landrum and Big C Style launch their new foundation, No Man Left Behind - NMLB. The foundation aims to employ the arts to educate, heal, and help give the community opportunities that were once lost. Members of the No Man Left Behind movement held their first show in January in Atlanta. Through education of music and entertainment, communities will be provided tools that will give direction and guidance for youth. Landrum is driven by an intense desire to help those left behind, fueled by his love of people, especially disadvantaged youth. No Man Left Behind is making Hip Hop history by unifying all West Coast artists!

Will Landrum has had an illustrious musical career, known as Young Lyfe, with his successful rap album, "REAL LYFE." Landrum knows the streets, hailing from Snoop Dogg’s town, Long Beach, California (who supports NMLB), and how hard it is to change up a young man’s game. Recently Young Life’s successful release, “Welcome to the Fight,” has received over 100,000 YouTube views and trended 4 times in 30+ cities on Twitter. Will wants to give back and be of service by supporting all ideas of getting today’s youth back on track. His 30-year wealth of knowledge, expertise in the music business, and established celebrity is guaranteed to help today’s underprivileged youth. Proceeds from the upcoming shows will be used towards the foundation’s initial needs.

Young Life Entertainment is an umbrella of sorts, housing Young Life Records and Management. YLE’s up-and-coming artist, De’Ran, already has a single available on iTunes, Amazon, and YouTube. Young Life will be releasing a new mix tape in July that will feature FET, Goldy Locc for Tha East Sidaz, LiL C Style, The Realist, and Co T (nominated for a Grammy), with Latoya Williams, Crooked I, Cognac from Doggy Angels, Bad Azz for Tha LBC Crew, and Bo Rock from Dove Shack. Young Lyfe fans eagerly await the mix tape’s release.

The No Man Left Behind movement consists of the following artists: Young Life, Crooked I, Goldie Loc, Coniyac, Lil C Style, Tha Realest, Bo Roc, Co-T, D.3, Big C Style Jr., Compton AV, The Dove Shack, The LBC Crew & Bad Azz.

The foundation’s focus is keeping kids off the streets and helping those with criminal backgrounds find jobs. This includes single parents, prostitutes, drug addicts, bullies, and gang members. Jodi Jackson of JJ Entertainment, Will Landrum's publicist, says, "This is such a great way of showing the community that any kind of music can change lives." The foundation will be seeking help from well-known celebrities for their public power. Will says, “I can finally give back to a community that is in need of help, if I can just help one deserving kid, that will be worth my plight.” Many will be helped because the foundations name says it all, NO MAN LEFT BEHIND.

The 11th annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival kicked off Thursday. Kendrick Lamar spoke with The Associated Press in his dressing room minutes before his highly anticipated set that capped what amounted to a new faces of rap segment at Bonnaroo. Detroit's Danny Brown started the run, followed by Alabama's Yelawolf, who paid tribute to The Beastie Boys' Adam "MCA" Yauch, who died of cancer last month, with a medley of hits, including "Brass Monkey" and "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)." Brown returned to the stage to join Lamar for an encore at the end of the night.

That run of some of hip-hop's most hyped newcomers fit with Lamar's message of acceptance, one he's been spreading since the start and perfected with his last album, "Section.80."

"It definitely is a goal to have as many people listen to the music as possible, not just my own backyard cause I'm from Compton," Lamar said. "I want to have people over in Amsterdam to be able to relate to where I come from. I want the world to be listening to this music because I feel like it's the best music has to offer in the business. As much people as possible. When I say '(expletive) your ethnicity' in the intro to 'Section.80,' I really mean that. I don't care where you from, your creed or your color, you're going to enjoy this music and you're going to relate to it."

Lamar on working with Dre: "Ah man, crazy," Lamar said. "I'm a firm believer when you throw something in the universe, it comes back full circle depending on how much you think about it. I used to always think about these legends in the game, so when it finally hit to reality, I can always just imagine all them times I said I want to be amongst the elite and be acknowledged by the elite. Because once they acknowledge you then you know for sure they like you." Source: AP

Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) and its Grindstone Entertainment Group and Emmett/Furla Films, a prolific producer of filmed entertainment featuring some of the leading actors and filmmakers in the industry today, have renewed their slate deal for another 10 films and expanded their overall relationship, the companies announced today.

The Grindstone collaboration with Emmett/Furla and Cheetah Vision has generated a string of successful features starring notable A list actors, including: the thriller SET UP, starring Bruce Willis, Ryan Phillippe and Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson; the crime drama FREELANCERS, starring Robert DeNiro and Forrest Whitaker; the high octane FIRE WITH FIRE, starring Willis, Josh Duhamel, Rosario Dawson and Vincent D'Onofrio; and the serial killer thriller THE FROZEN GROUND, starring Nicolas Cage and John Cusack. The next film slated for release from Grindstone's partnership with Emmett/Furla is the crime thriller EMPIRE STATE, starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, THE HUNGER GAMES' Liam Hemsworth and Emma Roberts.

"Grindstone has been an important supplier of content for our filmed entertainment business in recent years, and their pipeline of commercially exciting, quality films from Emmett/Furla has been a key element of their success," said Lionsgate Co-Chief Operating Officer and Motion Picture Group President Steve Beeks. "Grindstone's partnership with Emmett/Furla is based on successful film distribution models that have achieved a consistent level of profitability and established Grindstone as an important brand in filmed entertainment."

"Our partnership with Emmett/Furla is on a roll, and we're delighted to extend our agreement for another 10 films," said Grindstone President Barry Brooker. "Randall Emmett and George Furla are among the most prolific producers of films in the world today, and they combine a strong financial sensibility and a natural eye for great filmmaking. The Emmett/Furla name is recognizable among audiences worldwide as a reliable source of exciting and entertaining films and is trusted by our distribution partners as a brand that consistently meets expectations and delivers results."

"We have partnered with the Lionsgate family on films for more than 10 years, and we're thrilled to see our partnership continue to grow with their success," said Emmett/Furla's Randall Emmett and George Furla. "Lionsgate is one of the most exciting, innovative and entrepreneurial entertainment companies in the world, and we're delighted to bring our longstanding relationship with Steve Beeks, Barry Brooker and the rest of the Lionsgate team to the next level."

Emmett/Furla has partnered with Lionsgate on such theatrical films as RAMBO, WONDERLAND, NARC and A LOVE SONG FOR BOBBY LONG, and they are producing the action thriller THE TOMB, starring Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, for nationwide theatrical release by the Lionsgate family next year.

The deal was negotiated by Beeks for Lionsgate, Brooker and Stan Wertlieb for Grindstone and Emmett for Emmett/Furla.

50 Cent founded Cheetah Vision in 2009 with Randall Emmett. In the first round, 50 landed a $200 million, 10-picture deal with Grindstone and Lionsgate. The first collaboration between Grindstone, Emmett/Furla and Cheetah Vision produced a variety of successful feature films.

Shaquille O’Neal and Jeff Clanagan, through their company, Shaq Entertainment, in partnership with AEG Live, announce dates for the ALL STAR COMEDY JAM tour 2012. The tour will kick-off on Friday, June 15 in Chicago, IL, and will end with a bang on New Year’s Eve in Atlanta, GA. Tickets will go on sale Friday, June 1 beginning at 10am at

Last year, Shaquille O’Neal took ALL STAR COMEDY JAM on the road after his NBA All-star Weekend show in Los Angeles became such a hit. Playing to sold out crowds across the country, covering over 30 markets, proved that the ALL STAR COMEDY JAM tour was just what audiences wanted. Industry buzz and audience feedback is a solid indication that Shaquille O’Neal’s ALL STAR COMEDY JAM is becoming today’s top comedy brand, much like “The Original Kings of Comedy” and “Def Comedy Jam” were in the ‘90s.

This year, C by Courvoisier, the newest marque from legendary cognac maker Courvoisier, partnered with Shaq Entertainment and will be the presenting sponsor of the ALL STAR COMEDY JAM.

With the beautiful and legendary DJ Spinderella as the featured DJ on tour, there is a fresh new ‘spin’ to the show. The ALL STAR COMEDY JAM tour line-up will include: tour Host Gary Owen, fresh off his co-starring role in the blockbuster hit “Think Like A Man” as well as Capone, known as “The Gangsta of Comedy,” Tony Roberts, known as “The Comedians Comedian,” and Michael Blackson, “The African King of Comedy.” There will also be special surprise guests on select tour dates.

ALL STAR COMEDY JAM was Shaq’s first new venture following his retirement from the NBA. With Codeblack Enterprises as the producing and distribution partner for the filmed projects, and AEG Live producing the live shows, the ALL STAR COMEDY JAM brand has showcased many of the top urban comedians in the country and has spawned highly popular 1-hour television specials. These specials have aired annually since 2009 and has become one the highest-rated comedy specials on cable. The first three television specials have been seen by over 3 million viewers and one very special event, taped during the 2011 NBA All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles, Kevin Hart’s “Laugh At My Pain,” was filmed for theatrical release that same year and opened #1 at the box office.

On the heels of three sensational shows, E & J Brandy is proud to announce the expansion of its summer concert series with three more hip-hop and R&B radio stations across the U.S.

The success of the 97.9 The Beat Concert and Custom Car Show held May 20, in Dallas, Texas, the Jam’n 94.5 Summer Jam held June 2 in Boston, Massachusetts and the Hot 97 Summer Jam held June 3 in the New York Tri-state area, led to E & J Brandy’s decision to expand their sponsorship to three more cities.

Now, E & J Brandy has partnered with hit radio stations in the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area, Los Angeles and Philadelphia to develop an interactive consumer program that connects with hip-hop and R&B fans. Major recording artists, including Snoop Dogg, T.I., Wale, Rick Ross, Big Sean, Young Jeezy, Tyga and J. Cole, will perform their top tracks in select events this summer:

Concert Dates:
San Francisco/Oakland June 10 106 KMEL | Summer Jam 2012 | Oracle Arena
Los Angeles June 23 Power 106 | Powerhouse 2012 | Honda Center
Philadelphia Oct. 26 Power 99 | Powerhouse 2012 | Wells Fargo Center

Up-to-the-minute Facebook updates and on-air radio promotions in all five cities will add to the concert buzz that is already building among E & J Brandy and hip-hop fans nationwide.

“Following the extraordinary success of our first three events, we’re excited to bring the smooth, authentic taste of E & J Brandy to fans at three additional concerts around the country in 2012,” said Gerard Thoukis, Director of Marketing for E & J Brandy. “At each event, our VSOP and XO brandies will be available for E & J and hip-hop music fans to enjoy.”

E & J Brandy will offer signature brandy beverages in designated bar areas during each concert.
E & J Brandy is America’s most award-winning brandy. With over three decades of experience, E & J’s master distiller Scott Di Salvo has created three distinct styles of E & J Brandy: VS, VSOP and XO. For more than 30 years, every bottle of E & J Brandy has been crafted using traditional methods and aged in oak barrels for at least two years. The result is a collection of smooth brandies for enjoying straight or mixing into a variety of cocktails.

50 Cent has always been pretty public about his feelings over the years about Oprah Winfrey.
Well, now he has agreed to have a sit-down with the talk show diva on “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” which airs this Sunday on the OWN cable network.

It appears that 50 Cent has had a change of heart and says he loves Oprah now that he’s finally met her. The interview discusses topics on love, the rap culture, fatherhood, spirituality, Jackson’s upbringing, and even love. The interview took place at the home of “Fiddy’s” grandmother.

The two-hour interview has two parts, the first airing this upcoming Sunday. Oprah writes on her website blog that she really liked 50 Cent and she was really glad that she did the interview. Oprah also writes about the five things that she came away with from her interview with Fiddy
According to Oprah:
1. He meditates regularly.
2. Received his mantra from Deepak Chopra, whose book he’s currently reading.
3. He was not allowed to use curse words in his grandmother’s house and still follows that rule.
4. A recent conversation with philanthropist Ray Chambers was life changing for him.
And my favorite….
5. He believes either pray or worry…no need for both.

"So today my grand mother said you on oprah now boy you made it :0),” 50 tweeted.

“Just leaving Fiddy’s house ..what a great conversation,” Oprah tweeted. “Lots of surprises, he MEDITATES. Can you believe Fiddy meditates? He was so calm. And charming!”

NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. has joined Snoop Dogg to create original content for TEKKEN TAG TOURNAMENT™ 2, the next installment in the award-winning fighting game franchise coming this September for PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. Snoop Dogg puts his inimitable gangster touch on TEKKEN TAG TOURNAMENT™ 2 with an original song created exclusively for the game, titled KNOCC ‘EM DOWN. The Doggfather will also make a special appearance in the game as a non-playable character in The Snoop Dogg Stage as a special pre-order bonus to be made available in addition to the previously announced pre-order DLC that bolsters the largest roster in TEKKEN history.

“We are big fans of Snoop Dogg and are proud to welcome him to the TEKKEN franchise,” said Katsuhiro Harada, TEKKEN Project Director at NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc. “The content we created with Snoop Dogg and the song he made for the game allow TEKKEN fans to experience the legendary hip-hop star in a unique way and blend both Eastern and Western cultures like never before.”

“I've been a fan of TEKKEN since the 90's so I’m excited to have made KNOCC ‘EM DOWN for the game’s soundtrack. The game's got a special stage featuring yours truly sittin’ high above and watching the action take place,” says Hip-Hop icon Snoop Dogg. “All you TEKKEN TAG TOURNAMENT 2 fans better get ready to experience kickin' ass on Tha Boss Dogg's stage with my new song KNOCC ‘EM DOWN banging in the background. What more could you ask for?”

With his new song KNOCC ‘EM DOWN, Snoop Dogg prepares players for the next battle in TEKKEN TAG TOURNAMENT 2’s legendary King of Iron Fist tournament. Featured in the game and on the original soundtrack, KNOCC ‘EM DOWN blends Snoop’s smooth style with the lethal power of TEKKEN. The music video releasing in the next week will feature Snoop squaring off against the TEKKEN community’s most highly respected competitive fighters and model Adrianne Curry, herself a fighting game aficionado.

“NAMCO BANDAI Games America is making it a priority to bring fighting game fans a truly original experience in TEKKEN TAG TOURNAMENT 2,” said Carlson Choi, Vice President of Marketing, NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. “This is our first time partnering with Snoop Dogg and we couldn’t be happier with the results. He brings something completely unique to the TEKKEN franchise.”

Gamers looking to connect with their favorite rapper can pre-order TEKKEN TAG TOURNAMENT 2 to gain access to The Snoop Dogg Stage, which continues a tradition of iconic stage backgrounds in TEKKEN games with the Doggfather making an appearance along with a bevy of beautiful women. The stage will be free as part of all pre-order bonuses available through retailers worldwide. Fans who pre-order through Amazon®.com and Best Buy® also gain early access to the first DLC characters, Michelle Chang & Angel. Players who pre-order through GameStop® will have exclusive early access to The Snoop Dogg Stage plus DLC fighters Kunimitsu and Ancient Ogre, in addition to Michelle Chang and Angel.

TEKKEN TAG TOURNAMENT 2 improves upon the tag-based combat of the original, with the latest installment introducing one-on-one fighting and solo fighter vs. tag-team battles. These new modes introduce a new style of play in the TEKKEN series and provide an easier point of access to new players, while keeping the game fresh for longtime fans of the franchise.

TEKKEN TAG TOURNAMENT 2 will be available worldwide for the PlayStation 3 system and Xbox 360 the week of September 10, 2012, and hits stores across North America on 09.11.12 and in Europe on 09.14.12. CHECK OUT THE TRAILER HERE

The jury verdict was reached Tuesday at the Brooklyn trial of James “Jimmy Henchman” Rosemond.

A jury found Rosemond guilty of all 13 charges levied against him, for allegedly heading up the “Rosemond Organization.”

Federal prosecutors claim the organization shipped hundreds of kilograms on a weekly basis from the West Coast, using various overnight courier services.

The head of New York-based Czar Entertainment was charged last year with running a coast-to-coast drug ring that used music equipment cases to transport cocaine and drug money. The 47-year-old Rosemond had claimed he was framed. Rosemond is facing life in prison.

Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, will release the original motion picture soundtrack from Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap as a digital-only album dropping next week, Tuesday, June 12.

A hip-hop icon and insider, director Ice-T was granted unprecedented access to rap’s greatest artists. In his film, Ice-T takes his audience deep into the heart and soul of rap music in a revelatory documentary featuring the direct participation of a mind-blowing roster including Dr. Dre, Run-DMC, Kanye West, Chuck D (Public Enemy), Eminem, Nas, Ice Cube, Rakim (Eric B & Rakim), Snoop Dogg, B-Real (Cypress Hill), KRS-One (Boogie Down Productions), Redman, Doug E Fresh, Salt (Salt-N-Pepa), Afrika Bambaataa, Big Daddy Kane, Bun B (UKG), Chino XL, Common, DJ Premier (Gang Starr), Immortal Technique, Kool Keith (Ultramagnetic MCs), Marley Marl, Dana Dane, Joe Budden, MC Lyte, Lord Jamar (Brand Nubian), Grandmaster Caz (Cold Crush Brothers), Kool Moe Dee, Lord Finesse, Melle Mel, Q-Tip (A Tribe Called Quest), Raekwon (Wu-Tang Clan), Ras Kass, Royce Da 5’9? (Bad Meets Evil), Treach (Naughty By Nature), WC (WC & The Maad Circle), Yasiin (formerly known as Mos Def) & Xzibit.

A groundbreaking musical film weaving together interviews and performances, Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap offers insightful, touching, and often funny revelations alongside classic raps, freestyle rhymes, and never before heard a cappella straight from the creators. Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap edifies and celebrates an original American artform that dances alongside rock & roll as the music of a generation and the authentic sound of the zeitgeist.

1. Ice – T - Freestyle (Live Acapella)
2. N.W.A - Straight Outta Compton
3. RUN-DMC - Sucker M.C.'s (Krush-Groove 1)
4. Eric B. & Rakim - Follow The Leader
5. KRS One - Freestyle (Live Acapella)
6. Big Daddy Kane - Raw
7. Nas - The World Is Yours (Explicit Album Version) - Explicit Content
8. Gang Starr - Full Clip
9. Immortal Technique - New Jack Hustler (Live Acapella)
10. Wu-Tang Clan - As High As Wu-Tang Get (Explicit Version) - Explicit Content
11. Das EFX - Real Hip-Hop
12. Melle Mel - Freestyle (Live Acapella)
13. Schoolly D - P.S.K. 'What Does It Mean'?
14. Ultramagnetic MC’s - Ego Trippin'
15. Ras Kass - Bentleys & Bitches (Live Acapella)
16. Mantronix - King Of The Beats
17. Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock - It Takes Two - Explicit Content
18. Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force - Don't Stop... Planet Rock (LP Version)
19. Lord Jamar - The Kid Magic (Live Acapella)
20. Q-Tip - Vivrant Thing (Club Mix)
21. MC Lyte - Cold Rock A Party
22. Public Enemy - Harder Than You Think...Just Like That
23. Grandmaster Caz - The Art of Rap (Live Acapella)

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is back with a new installment of Content Collection. Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® 3 Content Collection #2 offers seven all-new pieces of content that includes:

Getaway: This former white-sand vacation spot, boasting exotic aquaria and surfside infinity pools, is now a Face Off map and a haven for ruthless run-and-gun violence.

Lookout: A perilous warren of chokepoints and tight corridors, the second Face Off map drops your one- or two-man teams into a forward observation base carved into a war-torn mountainside.
Sanctuary: Destroy the opposition-and the ornate relics of an ancient monastic order-in the towering sandstone cloister of central Greece's Sanctuary. SMGs, assault rifles and shotguns will make short work of both.

Foundation: Choose your rules of engagement in this decommissioned cement factory in the heart of South Korea, perfectly constructed for both sniping and run-and-gun combat.

Oasis: Once a postcard-worthy holiday spot, now a paradise for a different sort of traveler-the ones who've traded fanny packs for combat fatigues. Pick your combat lanes carefully atop this ancient stone fortress turned five star resort.

Kill Switch: Armed with an EMP, you and a squad mate must neutralize a Russian carrier deep within enemy territory. This Special Ops Mission tasks one team member on the ground, fighting through hostiles on your way to the detonation site, while the other must maintain vital cover from behind a sniper scope.

Iron Clad: For the first time, take the wheel of an Abrams-class tank with full escort. Breach and clear and exfiltrate from behind enemy lines in Hamburg in this all-new Special Ops mission.

To celebrate the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Content Collection #2, Activision is putting basketball superstars Brandon Jennings of the Milwaukee Bucks against Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz head to head in a Face Off Challenge, a special edition of the Call of Duty Grudge Match for ultimate bragging rights. Jennings and Hayward will captain teams featuring development studio members, online personalities and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 fans in an intense battle before settling the final score in the all new Face Off.

Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® 3 Content Collection #2 is available first on Xbox LIVE Marketplace for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft for 1,200 Microsoft Points, or $14.99. The Collection is open to all; a premium Call of Duty® Elite membership is not required. The DLC pack will be available on other platforms at a later date.

Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), West Hall, Booth #5200 —Majesco Entertainment Company (NASDAQ: COOL), an innovative provider of video games for the mass market, took center court today to debut NBA Baller Beats, the first ever full body motion-based NBA video game that lets you perform like a pro using a real basketball. Live courtside game demos will run June 5-7 during E3 show floor hours at the Majesco Entertainment booth. Playable demo stations are also available. The fun, high energy and first-of-its kind participative basketball video game will be available in stores exclusively on Kinect™ for Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft on September 11, 2012. View the official gameplay trailer here.

A number of guest stars across the world of basketball will support the debut of NBA Baller Beats including premier NBA point guard and three-time NBA All-Star Deron Williams who will be at E3 on Wednesday to show off his skills playing NBA Baller Beats. Famed Streetballer ‘The Professor’ will demo the game for the E3 crowds on Tuesday and master emcee across all three days of E3 will be world-renowned DJ, radio personality, video producer and television host DJ Skee.

NBA Baller Beats challenges players using a real basketball to master ball-handling skills by dribbling and performing moves to the beats of an eclectic soundtrack. Train alongside your favorite NBA franchise unlocking songs, difficulty levels, environment accessories, and over 100 posters and Panini’s 2012 NBA HOOPS trading cards that showcase NBA players’ greatest moves. The music is your guide as the Kinect motion sensor captures every movement of both player and ball to create an entirely new basketball gaming experience. Master crossovers, pump fakes, behind-the-back, around-the-world and more as you bounce the ball to the beat of 30 licensed tracks that span across decades and genres including hip-hop, rock and old school classics. Today Majesco Entertainment officially announced 15 of the 30 songs featured in-game.

Confirmed NBA Baller Beats In-Game Tracks (15 of 30):
“Amazing” – Kanye West*
“Another One Bites the Dust” – Queen*
“Bangarang” – Skrillex
“Blue Sky” – Common*
“Bust A Move” – Young MC
“Chillin” – Wale ft. Lady Gaga
“C’Mon Catch ‘Em By Surprise” – Tiesto vs. Diplo ft. Busta Rhymes*
“It’s Tricky” – Run DMC*
“Let It (Edit Remix)” – Machine Drum ft. Melo X
“New Fang” – Them Crooked Vultures*
“Obstacle 1” - Interpol
“Party Rock Anthem” – LMFAO*
“Slam” – Onyx*
“Stylo” – Gorillaz*
“Tightrope” – Janelle Monae*

NBA Baller Beats, which will come packaged with an official NBA game ball replica from Spalding, challenges players to time their dribble to the beat of each song and perform a variety of skill moves displayed on-screen to score points, earn achievements and unlock assets and additional gameplay. Perfect 20 different baller moves and increase your stamina in single player mode, break it down and practice different skills in Move School mode or show-off in multiplayer mode and go head-to-head against up to 8 players – the highest score wins bragging rights. To maximize your performance, visit the extensive in-game tutorial where two-time NBA champion and Emmy Award-winning TNT NBA analyst Kenny Smith dishes tips for success. From novice to pro, every baller can raise their game with three difficulty levels available on every song: Rookie, Pro, and Baller.

Wale, Maybach Music Group artist and Co-founder of "The Board Administration"(BOA) Management and Marketing group "brought out" his newest BOA artist, Fatz "Da Big Fella" June 1st. Da Big Fella's lead single from this all-original project "Heart of a King" is entitled "Spill" and features Wale opening the song with his signature DMV sound.

After a successful run with Wale on his 2011 "Ambition" tour, Da Big Fella is the newest addition to Washington, D.C.'s dynamic company BOA, a joint venture between rapper Wale, entertainment entrepreneur Le'Greg Harrison and singer Tre from the go-go band UCB. Da Big Fella joins future Hip Hop icon Wale, the stellar Black Cobain and Tierra Thomas on their mission to impact the Hip Hop movement.

"I wanted to do something for the local community and reach out to DMV artist that had put in the work to get to the next level, including some artist that started before me, including our artist Da Big Fella" said Wale in a taped segment for the "WALE - "600 BENZ" DC mix in studio TRAILER [part 2]" which opens with an introduction by Da Big Fella.

Fatz's first solo album, "Boss of My Power", includes hits like "Built Like That", "In My City" and "Dice-Gaterz". His freshman album received 4 out of 5 stars in a review by 2 Sicc Reviews and pushed heavy units throughout the D.C. area. His second album, "Key to the City", was released in late 2006, receiving rave reviews and outselling his previous album.

2012 brings Fatz into a new dimension of his music career, his first all original mixtape "Heart of a King" includes exclusive features by Wale and Black Cobain. Fatz is no stranger in his hometown of D.C. nor to the big stage, he featured prominently in Wale's Ambition tour.

The Board Administration and partner company Overdose Entertainment have created an organization where artists are encouraged to extend their talents and are given free reign over their creativity, which proved to be a perfect fit for the versatile Fatz. Team Big Fella has adopted the motto "No Days Off" meaning they are always working toward the next level of creativity and achievement.

Michael K. Williams who was cast as Ol' Dirty Bastard for the film "Dirty White Boy", says he's ready to join the Wu-Tang Clan. The intense actor, who turned heads as Omar in “The Wire,” tells the NY Daily that he’s preparing for his first lead role as the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard in an upcoming biopic about the troubled rapper, but adds that the producers of the movie, tentatively titled “Dirty White Boy,” “have no desire to cast any actors as the Wu-Tang.” So expect to see the RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah and the other members of the groundbreaking hip-hop crew in the film. “We need all hands on deck,” Williams says. Including Inspectah Deck, we hope. In the meantime, Williams is getting the word out about an independent movie for which he’s serving as an executive producer. The film, “Snow on tha Bluff,” chronicles the life of an Atlanta drug dealer. Thanks to the amateur-style video quality, Williams describes it as “the ’hood meets ‘The Blair Witch Project.’”

The film will tell the story of ODB through the eyes of Jarred Weisfeld, a VH1 intern who became the rapper's manager (the writer Hoff befriended them both when he too worked at VH1.

Nas has announced tour dates for his upcoming international tour, which includes stops in Frankfurt, Germany, Novalja, Croatia and Frauenfeld, Switzerland. He will be back in the States for a few dates at the end of the summer in Cali, Utah and New Jersey.

Tour Dates:
June 9 - Detroit, MI - Chene Riverfront Park Amphitheater
June 25 - Manchester, UK - Manchester Academy
June 26 - Edinburgh - Picturehouse
June 28 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Melkweg
June 29 - Brussels, Belgium - Couleur Café Festival
June 30 - Frankfurt, Germany - 100 Yards Bloc Party
July 1 - Koln, Germany - Essigfabrik
July 3 - Paris, France - Bataclan
July 4 - Munchen, Germany - Backstage Werk
July 5 - Novalja, Croatia - Fresh Island Festival
July 6 - Grafenhainichen - Splash Festival
July 7 - Frauenfeld, Switzerland - Openair Frauenfeld
July 19 - Salt Lake City, Utah - Twilight
August 19 - San Bernardino, California - National Orange Show Complex
August 25 - Somerset, Wisconsin - Somerset Amphitheatre
August 26 - Mountain View, California - Shoreline Amphitheatre
September 2 - Holmdel, New Jersey - PNC Bank Arts Center

DMX will hit the road this summer to support his upcoming comeback album Undisputed, releasing this fall on Seven Arts/Bloodline Records. The first leg of the tour will kick off June 1st in Cincinnati, OH with additional tour legs to be announced soon. The promo tour will mark X's return to most markets after several years and the dog is anxious to get back into these regions and in front of his fans.

"It's been a long time since I've had the chance to go out and touch the fans. They've consistently supported through the ups and downs," exclaims DMX. "I'm anxious to get back in front of them and return the favor, keeping the focus on incredible music and memorable live shows."

"We are excited to get back on the road with the "Undisputed: Weigh In" promo tour this summer," adds DMX manager Jason Fowler. "With X getting the chance to be in front of his fans day in and day out, this project has been a long time coming and the DOG is definitely back. We're looking at 30-40 cities across the US on the promo run with a full US tour planned in the fall to coincide with the Undisputed album release."

The first release from the Undisputed album is the club-ready, adrenaline-fueled "I Don't Dance," produced by JR Rotem and featuring Cleveland spit-fire rapper and longtime DMX admirer MGK. "I Don't Dance" will be serviced to radio in the coming weeks and a music video directed by John Colombo will soon follow. DMX is working closely with longtime friends and collaborators Swizz Beats and Dame Grease on the full-length album.

June 1 Cincinnati, OH Inner Circle
June 2 Minneapolis,MN Epic Event Center
June 8 Albany, NY Northern Lights
June 9 Detroit, MI Date With Nas
June 10 Philadelphia, PA Theatre Of Living Arts
June 14 Norfolk, VA The Norva
June 15 Raleigh, NC Starbar
June 16 Jamaica, NY Amazura
June 21 Hyannis, MA Pufferbellies
June 22 Rochester, NY Water Street Music Hall
June 24 Allentown, PA Croc Rock
June 30 Honolulu, HI Blaisdell Hall
July 6 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Revolution Live
July 8 Orlando, FL Firestone
July 10 Pensacola, FL Vinyl Music Hall

TMZ reports Gucci Mane lost a $270,000 battle in court after a jewelry company in Georgia sued the rapper for stealing a bunch of diamonds and won.

A&A Diamonds retained attorney Vivian Uchitel (no relation) to file the lawsuit earlier this year in Henry County, claiming it loaned Gucci a $130,000 diamond pinky ring ... in addition to a diamond necklace and bracelet worth $110,000.

According to the lawsuit, Gucci had 15 days to pay for the goods or return them and he did neither coughing up only $40,000.

A&A sued for a total of $274,523.34 (the $200,000 jewelry balance plus interest and attorneys' fees).

Gucci never showed up in court, so a default judgment was entered against the rapper in April. A lien was then placed on the rapper's property. Gucci still hasn't responded to the action.

Odd Future Records has signed the hardcore punk bank Trash Talk. Their new album 119 will be released this fall in a partnership with the band's Trash Talk Collective label.

Odd Future’s “spokesman” L-Boy said in a statement: "So them muthafu***** ova at Odd Future records done signed a fu***** group of crackas and ni**** in a hardcore punk band called Trash Talk. I mean it makes sense since Odd Future fans is them white ni**** anyway. Trash Talk is supposed to be releasing they album called “119? or some sh** thru they Trash Talk Collective Label in the fall.. don’t ask me what the f*** that means cuz I don’t fu***** kno. I asked Tyler’s trick ass what he thought about that sh** and I really didn’t give a f*** so I’m not gone put that sh** on here. Them Trash Talk ni**** is currently over in Europe with them musty muthaf******. If you give a f*** about they sh**t then listen to them ni**** EP on iTunes called Awake or watch the fuckin video ni*** ."

Pete rock responded to Lupe’s words on Shade 45’s “Sway in the Morning” where he said that the situation wasn’t remedied, even though they had publicly announced a truce.

"At that point, my emotions were working — I'm still thinking about Heavy D and Troy is a dear friend to me, and my emotions got the best of me, and I expressed myself on Twitter. It wasn’t my intention to hurt Lupe’s career or his producer’s career," he said, explaining that he agreed to let the beat be reused as long as he was involved with his project. “I thought from that point I would be involved with Lupe and being in the studio, tweaking the beat, but I never heard from the record label, and then I turn on the radio, and hear it on the radio.”

The disagreement started over Lupe Fiasco's remake of Pete Rock's "T.R.O.Y.".

Pete Rock issued statements regarding the matter,

"It’s true that Lupe Fiasco’s representative from Atlantic Records contacted me last fall and he did so while I was in mourning over the sudden death of my cousin Heavy D. I gave the representative a conditional “yes” to use T.R.O.Y. for Lupe’s album but only based on the condition that I be involved on the project. It’s what I always say when approached by people who want to use that particular song. I was never contacted again. At no point was there any follow up from Atlantic Records. Now, the story gets twisted and it’s being said that I said “yes.” The part about my conditions has been left out to make me seem like I’m a hypocrite. When I heard about the song again, it was done, completed, and playing on the radio…and that was Monday night.

It’s true that people have made T.R.O.Y. over. I can’t control what’s done with my work after it’s already out there but I can control who gets my blessings. Those who involve me and respect me in the process, get my blessings. Those who work behind my back – but all the while putting up a front like I’m down with it – don’t.

I’m flattered that they wanted to remake my song and that they respect it for the classic that it is. I just think they should have talked to Atlantic Records to make sure things were done right. The biggest violation is from Atlantic Records but what can you expect? Labels are corporations and their whole point is to sell records. If they respect the artist in the process that would be nice, but they’re not required. For as political as Lupe as, I expected him to know that and to have hopefully made them more accountable. I’m surprised that he’s siding with the corporation on this. Technically, there was no crime committed with the release of Lupe’s version of my song.

Technically, the song can be out there but I’m not talking about legalities. I’m asking: Where’s the respect for the code among artists? No ego, but I know my place in this game. I’m recognized as a legend and I accept that. But most of all, I’m a grown man. The love and admiration that people have for me as a producer and as a man of honor has been non-stop, consistent for over 20 years. That’s based on something that can’t be touched. My music and my character stands for itself. T.R.O.Y was a career-defining song has gotten me invited to the White House. It’s not just because people think the production is dope. It’s also because of what the song stands for. I want my music to touch people but I don’t want to be walked over or lied on in the process.

I admit that my outburst on Monday night on Twitter was based on my reminiscing about Heav and Troy. I think about them every day. I apologize for being emotional about this. I had no intentions of hurting Lupe’s career. That’s not me. I’m known for building up not breaking down careers. Moving forward, I’m 100% in control and focused on what’s good."

Cash Money Records Co-C.E.O. and rap titan Birdman—aka Bryan "Baby" Williams—hit radio hard with his latest single "Born Stunna" featuring Rick Ross, immediately becoming the #1 Most Added at Rhythmic Radio and the #2 Most Added & Greatest Gainer at Urban Radio. Major markets across the United States embraced the song without hesitation and have begun spinning it constantly.

The single's title couldn't be more appropriate. Every time Birdman cuts a track, it's bigger and better than the last. It's a true baller's anthem, and that's why "Born Stunna" instantly caught fire at multiple formats.

Nevertheless, the track simply serves as an introduction to his anxiously awaited fifth album, Bigga Than Life, which once again will take everything to another level when it releases later this year.

In addition, Birdman went on BET's 106 & Park to debut the music video for another song from the record, "Dark Shades" featuring Lil Wayne and Mack Maine. The clip sees him tearing up an underground skate park and massive beat alongside Lil Wayne and Mack Maine. It's a monster collaboration and video, showcasing the YMCMB family doing their thang.

Today, CONVERSE Inc. announced it will bring the Converse Rubber Tracks experience, based in Brooklyn, NY to Toronto, Canada from June 12-16 during North by Northeast (NXNE), Canada's most anticipated summer music event. For the first time outside of the U.S., Converse will provide local Canadian artists the opportunity to record at its "Converse Rubber Tracks in Toronto" pop-up studio at no cost and also present several music and skate events as part of "City Carnage: Toronto", a three-day free event celebrating music and skateboarding.

"We're extremely excited to bring Converse Rubber Tracks' unique studio experience to Canada for the first time," said Geoff Cottrill, Converse Chief Marketing Officer. "One of our goals as a brand is to give back and help inspire a new generation of musicians. Converse Rubber Tracks in Toronto is a way for us to say thank you to Canadian musicians who have helped us become the brand we are today and to rally behind NXNE's incredible music scene."

Since the studio opened in Brooklyn in July 2011, Converse Rubber Tracks has provided emerging musicians the opportunity to record in a state-of-the art studio at no cost. Converse created the studio as a means to support and facilitate an artist's self-expression.

On June 14-16, Converse "City Carnage: Toronto" takes over The Wrongbar as part of NXNE for three nights of music showcases, highlighting emerging artists, as well as artists who have already recorded at Converse Rubber Tracks in Brooklyn, NY. The official NXNE festival showcases will feature artists such as Purity Ring, Killer Mike, Rival Schools, The Men, as well as Converse Rubber Tracks recording artists First You Get The Sugar. On June 16, Converse will co-partner to host a free, all ages skate day party at The Bait Shop. Set to appear and skate are Converse Skateboarding Ambassadors Nick Trapasso, Kenny Anderson and Tom Remillard.

Eminem told New York’s Hot 97 host Peter Rosenberg that he's working on a new album. “Well, right now, I’m finishing everything up on the Slaughterhouse album and I’m kind of getting into my next record a little bit, .. I’m starting to toy with the next album, yes.”

Mike Diamond and Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz both spoke on the recent death of MCA in a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine.

"I'm totally numb," Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys said bluntly, .. My wife is like, 'I want to make sure you're getting it out.' But then I'm walking the dog and I'll start crying on the street." Horovitz shook his head wearily. "It's pretty fucking crazy."

He said, "I'm gonna be okay." He's been right about most shit so far. So I believe him. You would get swept up in his excitement and positivity. We recorded a few months ago. It wasn't any different from before. We spent more time making fart jokes and ordering food, which was true to form. That's why it always took so long for us to put records out."

Mike D added in his interview that MCA "had us fooled in the most beautiful way," because he had everyone believing that he would overcome the disease. "I wouldn't trade that optimism for anything," Mike D said, "Because the other option is no fun.... He had this tenacity and faith before he discovered Buddhism. His mom said that was already there. No matter how straight-up nuts an idea was, he had the ability to follow through on things he believed in. Like the cover of Paul's Boutique: "A 360-degree photo? You can't have a camera spin around." He researched it and found one. It was an innate thing for him."

This year the BET AWARDS 12 (#BETAWARDS) will be 'Too Big To Miss.' Yesterday at a press conference held in BET's New York studios, it was announced that actor Samuel L. Jackson, declared the highest grossing movie actor of all time according to the Guinness Book of World Records, will be this year's BET AWARDS host. In addition, the members of Maze featuring Frankie Beverly were announced to be the prestigious recipients of the 'Cadillac Lifetime Achievement Award;' and Chris Brown and Nicki Minaj were revealed as the first confirmed performers.

Respectfully labeled as one of the hardest working actors in Hollywood, Samuel L. Jackson is an undisputed star as demonstrated in the fact that his films have grossed the most money in box office sales than any other actor in the history of filmmaking. Currently, the Oscar-nominated actor is on screen in "The Avengers," which is part of his 9-picture deal with Marvel Studios. The highly anticipated film opened on May 4, 2012 to a record shattering $200 million opening weekend.

"We are massively excited about having Sam Jackson, the world's biggest box office star, host The BET Awards 12," said Stephen G. Hill, President of Music Programming and Specials, BET Networks. "His wit, presence and gigantic personality are the perfect match for our show."

On hand from BET's NYC studios to announce the nominees for the BET AWARDS 12 were Mindless Behavior, Big Sean, Melanie Fiona, DJ Khaled, Astro, A$AP Rocky and Diggy, along with the Cadillac Lifetime Achievement Award honorees Maze featuring Frankie Beverly.

The BET AWARDS is one of the most watched award shows on cable television according to the Nielsen Company. The BET AWARDS franchise remains as the #1 program in cable TV history among African-Americans, and it is BET's #1 telecast every year. It recognizes the triumphs and successes of artists, entertainers and athletes in 20 categories. Leading the pack of A-list talent this year is Kanye West with an impressive 7 Nominations: Best Collaboration, Video Director of the Year, and 5 notable nominations for 'The Throne' with Jay-Z. 'The Throne' received nominations for Best Group, Best Collaboration ft. Otis Redding, Coca-Cola Viewer's Choice and 2 nods for Video of the Year for "N*ggas in Paris" and "Otis." Close behind is Beyonce with 6 Nominations: Best Female R&B Artist, Best Collaboration, Video Director of the Year, Coca-Cola Viewer's Choice and 2 nods for Video of the Year for "Countdown" and "Love on Top."

"We have many more acts to come," added Hill, "but we're proud to have the dynamic Chris Brown and Nicki Minaj as our first-announced performers. The Shrine Auditorium will be shaking for the R&B stalwarts Maze featuring Frankie Beverly as they receive the Cadillac Lifetime Achievement Award. We're just getting started and already the show is living up to its slogan: it's too big to miss."

Budweiser and United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey today announced the first line-up of award-winning artists who will perform at “Budweiser Made in America,” the two-day music festival in Philadelphia this Labor Day produced by Live Nation.

JAY Z is curating and headlining the exciting roster of talent, which will include Pearl Jam, Skrillex, Miike Snow and Afrojack among the 28 artists embodying the American spirit who will perform across three stages on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park on Saturday, Sept. 1, and Sunday, Sept. 2.

The exciting slate of talent cultivated by JAY Z will include an eclectic mix of acts ranging from rock, hip-hop, R&B, Latin and dance. Musical acts confirmed to perform in addition to JAY Z are: Pearl Jam, Skrillex, Miike Snow, Afrojack, Maybach Music (featuring Rick Ross, Wale, & Meek Mill), Odd Future, Calvin Harris, D’Angelo, Passion Pit Santigold, Dirty Projectors, X, Janelle Monae, Prince Royce, Rita Ora, Savoy (DJ set), The Knocks, Additional artists will be announced at a later date.

The festival in Philadelphia will culminate a summer of music parties in cities all across America, when Budweiser will invite its Facebook fans to experience talented local bands and artists. Budweiser, brewed across America, has a decades-long history of celebrating great American music.

“‘Budweiser Made in America’ is built around a legendary performer in JAY Z, but what sets this festival apart is having him curate and invite renowned musical talent across several popular genres to share the stage,” said Rob McCarthy, vice president of Budweiser for Anheuser-Busch. “Fans at this festival are going to be treated to a once-in-a-lifetime musical experience.”

This concert will benefit United Ways in Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, Lancaster County, PA. A primary goal of this music festival is to have a positive impact on the communities involved. As a result of this concert, the money invested into these communities will positively impact the education, income and health of the most vulnerable and most needy citizens in these regions.

“Budweiser Made in America” also will be available for consumers around the country to watch via live-streaming. Details will be announced at a later date.

The event is the latest chapter in Budweiser’s long association with music, which includes memorable Rolling Stones tours and Budweiser SuperFest, which was headlined by Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and other music legends.

According to TMZ, Young Buck has agreed and accepted a plea to serve 18 months in prison for gun possession, which was discovered upon a huge IRS raid on his Nashville home in 2010. The judge signed off on the plea deal already, but won’t officially sentence the rapper until July 13.

Buck agreed to plead guilty to possessing firearms and ammunition as a convicted felon. Feds found a .40 caliber Glock 22 in Buck’s home, loaded with ammunition.

Legal documents obtained by TMZ show that federal agents recovered firearms in Buck’s house during a 2010 raid, where the feds busted into Young Buck’s home and repossessed his belongings to settle a $300,000 tax debt.

Keep your head up Young Buck.

Following a year full of shows, travel, press, photo shoots and personal projects, Kreayshawn will release her debut album Somethin 'Bout Kreay on August 14, 2012 via Columbia Records. Drawing inspiration from a myriad of genres, including everything from sissy bounce to juke to 80's rap, to pop and beyond, Kreayshawn's album is a reflection of her vast musical taste.

This past year has been a flurry of excitement and new experiences for the 22 year-old Oakland, CA native, who abruptly gained the attention of millions when the video for her undeniably catchy anti-materialism anthem, "Gucci Gucci," became an instant viral hit. "Gucci Gucci" garnered over 200,000 views within its first 48 hours last May and reached over 2 million views in just two weeks, with over 34 million views to date. Kreayshawn worked on her debut album in between performances around the world, including shows in Japan, the UK, France, Canada and US major festivals like Voodoo, Popped!, Bamboozle and The Vice Noisey tour (which she co-headlined with Neon Indian).

Says Kreayshawn, "I feel so accomplished, having finished my album; I got to travel the world, perform for crowds of tens of thousands, be on covers of magazines all over the world, and finish a whole album in less than a year."

The video for her new single, "Breakfast," directed and produced by Kreayshawn, was shot in Atlanta and features 2 Chainz. "My favorite part about the video shoot was the breakfast party in the kitchen. It was so colorful and just how I envisioned it when I wrote the treatment." With the album release date now on the horizon, Kreayshawn's excited to share her eclectic style with the public. Says Kreayshawn, "I just want everyone to be ready for a mystical musical journey through genre and sound. There's just somethin 'bout Kreay..."

The Billboard Music Awards, hosted by "Modern Family" co-stars Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell, aired live on ABC from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas

Adele had another huge night taking home twelve awards including Top Artist and Top Billboard 200 Album during an evening of hot performances by the likes of Usher, Chris Brown, Alicia keys, C-Lo and Goodie Mob, among others. Wiz Khalifa won Top New Artist.

Lil Wayne had a big night as well, earning four awards (Top Male Artist, Top Rap Artist, Top Rap Album: Lil Wayne "Tha Carter IV", Top R&B Song: Kelly Rowland Feat. Lil Wayne "Motivation")

The show honored Three of music's most influential figures who recently passed away in recent months. Early in the show, hosts Julie and Ty took a moment to recognize Bee Gee Barry Gibb, who passed away earlier in the day. Later, Natasha Bedingfield stepped in to pay tribute to Donna Summer, who died Thursday (May 17) following a battle with cancer. To honor Beastie Boy Adam "MCA" Yauch, who lost his battle with cancer May 4, the show did a bit of creative addition by having CeeLo Green and Goodie Mob added "Fight for Your Right" to their current single "Fight to Win."

To honor Whitney Houston, producers brought in a full orchestra to accompany John Legend in a performance of "The Greatest Love of All," and Jordin Sparks, Houston's co-star in "Sparkle," sang the anthem "I Will Always Love You." Houston's daughter, Bobbi Kristina, accepted the Millennium Award for her mother.

The evening ended on an epic note, with a multi-tiered tribute to honor this year's Billboard Icon Award, Stevie Wonder. Presented and aided with the help of Alicia Keys, the performance that included "Higher Ground," "Overjoyed" and an a cappella version of Keys' "Empire State of Mind." Source: Billboard

Shazam® has announced that this Sunday’s Billboard Music Awards will be Shazam-enabled to let fans experience more of their favorite artists. When fans use Shazam during the broadcast, they can keep track of the artists performing, instantly buy the music they like and follow the conversation live as it happens on social media. The Billboard Music Awards will be presented Sunday, May 20 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC, live from The MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Viewers will periodically see an on-air prompt reminding them that they can use Shazam anytime during the live broadcast of the awards ceremony, to: Get instant access to the list of nominees in all the major categories – complete with links to iTunes and Amazon, to easily purchase and add to their music library; Keep track of the artists performing live ensuring they don’t miss a minute of the action; Access an exclusive free remix of Usher’s No. 1 charting lead single, “Climax,” the “Climax (Diplo Remix),” from his highly-anticipated new album “Looking 4 Myself” set for release June 12 on RCA Records. The download is available courtesy of the Sony Tablet. Get in the conversation with live social media feeds from Billboard insiders and other celebrities as well as the general public.

”This Sunday’s Billboard Music Awards is another exciting milestone for Shazam and we are thrilled to work with Billboard and ABC on one of their most popular music programs of the year,” said David Jones, Shazam’s EVP Marketing. “This gives music fans a fantastic opportunity to truly have a deeper, more meaningful engagement with the event as well as the artists they love and share their experience in a live social environment.”

Shazam recently announced the industry’s fastest unlimited tagging for iOS and Android devices. The Shazam App also includes other unique features such as LyricPlay streaming lyrics in time with the music as well as Shazam Friends social sharing and artist information.

Centric commemorates June's Black Music Month by honoring the legendary history of African-American music with a series of specials and documentaries including an original documentary celebrating the life and legacy of Soul Train creator Don Cornelius, an in-depth look into the coming of age story of Hip Hop in HIP HOP CULTURAL ODYSSEY: KNOW YOUR HISTORY, new episodes of BEING featuring Earth, Wind & Fire, Gladys Knight, Teena Marie, R.Kelly and Mary J. Blige and four music centered TAKEOVER WEEKENDS showcasing artists from the past and present who have greatly influenced music in America.

EARTH, WIND & FIRE TAKEOVER commemorates the 40th anniversary of Earth, Wind & Fire in never before seen interviews and superstars of today share memories of an old-school sound. EARTH, WIND & FIRE TAKEOVER also includes two concerts -- EARTH WIND & FIRE: LIVE FROM OAKLAND 1981 and SHINING STAR which re-visit some of the highest points in the band's career and an episode of BEING will debut a first-person narrative of the band's span of work, as they look forward to what's still to come.

HIP-HOP TAKEOVER kicks off the second TAKEOVER weekend with a one-hour special, HIP HOP CULTURAL ODYSSEY: KNOW YOUR HISTORY which will take a look at the history of the genre, through in-depth interviews, images and the music that defined a generation; a HOT 10 hosted by the iconic Chuck D celebrating original MCs with videos from Public Enemy, Eric B. & Rakim, Big Daddy Kane; CENTRIC HITS HIP HOP, a two-hour video block of the genre's latest and greatest with videos from Q-Tip, Common, Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Busta Rhymes and an encore presentation of LIFE OF HEAVY-D, the late great Heavy-D is memorialized by colleagues, artists, friends and family.

R.KELLY TAKEOVER kick starts with BEING: R.KELLY, a one-hour special commemorating the longevity and talent of legendary artist R. Kelly; a two-hour video block spanning from hits 12 Play to Love Letter; R. KELLY HOT 10 which will showcase a playlist of the Grammy-award winning artist's top hits, along with two live concert specials R. KELLY SINGS SAM COOKE and THE LOVE LETTER TOUR.

SOUL TRAIN TAKEOVER begins with the DON CORNELIUS: VISIONARY, TRAILBLAZER, & CULTURAL ICON, which tells the story of iconic Soul Train creator whose voice and soulful presence redefined television. And in the legend's own words, he will tell his own story, with the history, the music, the images, and the social change that was heralded in by the monumental series. And the party train continues with the HIPPEST TRIP IN AMERICA, which follows the story of Soul Train, a movement that brought an entire culture into homes across America; encores of the 2011 SOUL TRAIN AWARDS and some of the most classic Soul Train episodes of the past four decades featuring some of the most influential artists to grace the stage.

The Queen of Disco is dead. Donna Summer died Thursday morning after succumbing to a long battle with cancer. She was 63.

Born in Boston on New Year's Eve 1948, Summer came to define the sound of late '70s and early '80s radio with hits including "Last Dance", "Bad Girls" and "She Works Hard for The Money".

The five-time Grammy winner leaves behind two grown daughters, Brooklyn and Amanda, with her husband, songwriter Bruce Charles Sudano, as well as another daughter, Mimi, from a previous marriage.

Sources told TMZ that the singer was trying to complete an album at the time of her death. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends,

The heat will be on a day earlier at the ESSENCE Music Festival in New Orleans. Organizers announced today that the traditionally held three-day festival is now expanding to four days, kicking off Thursday, July 5th, with an all day youth empowerment experience at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, then culminating with the first ever youth empowerment concert on the New & Next stage that night at the Louisiana Superdome.

Featuring a roster of new millennium generation artists in the music scene, the performers will include Diggy Simmons, R&B pop group The OMG Girlz and New Orleans' marching band The Roots of Music. These bright young stars will share the spotlight with some of the world's top performers in music and entertainment such as Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige, D'Angelo, Charlie Wilson, Kevin Hart, Steve Harvey, Trey Songz and more during the 18th annual ESSENCE Music Festival that will now take place July 5-8. The New and Next stage is sponsored by Verizon, Wal-Mart and community partner Capital One.

"The ESSENCE music festival has always been more than just music. It's a forum to transform lives by the power of our voice to celebrate our community through music, entertainment and empowerment," states Michelle Ebanks, President, ESSENCE Communications Inc. "We are deepening our youth empowerment day to the festival to focus on the matters that are most critical to our next generation and we are celebrating their voice with our first ever youth empowerment concert at the Superdome. We heard consistent feedback from our audience that they wanted more and we're delivering in our Festival expansion."

Sponsored by Coca-Cola, My Black Is Beautiful, McDonald's, Wal-Mart, Verizon, Capital One and the Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation, the Youth Empowerment Experience will invite youth groups from the New Orleans area to participate in this year's two programs: the Saving our Sons mentoring initiative spearheaded by Mayor of New Orleans Mitch Landrieu and the Girl Up NOLA initiative led by First Lady Cheryl Landrieu. Saving Our Sons is a call to action for the community to invest in the lives of young men to prevent violence and stop the murder epidemic and high crime rate in New Orleans as well as every city across the nation. The program recruits and trains mentors to help over 100 young males and their needs through partnerships with community organizations.

Girl Up NOLA furthers the personal growth of our young girls by generating inspiration, creating new experiences, building connections with positive role models and increasing access to resources available within their communities. Girl Up NOLA asks all female caregivers—mothers, aunts, grandmothers, sister, friends—to take care of their young girls and cultivate their aspirations. More activities, events and speakers will be announced soon.

Now in its 18th year, the ultimate destination for entertainment and inspiration hosted over 422,000 attendees last year. What began in 1995 as a one-time event to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of ESSENCE magazine has now grown into one of the country's "Top 10 Leading Brand Events" by Advertising Age. The ESSENCE Music Festival is the nation's largest annual gathering of African-American music and culture. Throughout its history, the Festival has featured an array of performers including Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys, Al Green, Beyonce, Chaka Khan, Destiny's Child, Earth, Wind & Fire, Gladys Knight, LL Cool J, Jamie Foxx, John Legend, The Isley Brothers, Lionel Richie, Luther Vandross, Maxwell, The O'Jays, Prince, Rihanna, Stevie Wonder, Toni Braxton, Patti LaBelle and Yolanda Adams, among others.

Global music rights leader Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) honored the songwriters and music publishers behind the year’s most-performed songs at the organization’s 60th annual Pop Awards, held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Carole King received the BMI Icon Award recognizing her “unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers.”

Ester Dean, Benny Blanco and Pitbull all earned the coveted BMI Pop Songwriter of the Year title by contributing five songs each to the year’s most performed list.

“Firework” clinched BMI Pop Song of the Year honors for Dean and co-writer Sandy Vee, as well as publishers Dat Damn Dean Music and peermusic III, Ltd.

Universal Music Publishing Group claimed the prestigious BMI Pop Publisher of the Year crystal.

The tribute to King featured Haley Reinhart, who delivered an inspiring performance of “Beautiful”; Colbie Caillat offering a soulful rendition of “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”; and Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits capping off the tribute with “I’m into Something Good.”

As a BMI Icon, King joins an elite list that includes David Foster, John Fogerty, Kris Kristofferson, the Jacksons, the Bee Gees, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Paul Simon, Merle Haggard, Brian Wilson, Willie Nelson, James Brown, Carlos Santana, Dolly Parton, and others.

The 60th annual BMI Pop Awards were hosted by BMI President & CEO Del Bryant, along with Barbara Cane, BMI Vice President/General Manager, Los Angeles, and Phil Graham, BMI Senior Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations.

DMX says that he's focused on music and no longer wants any trouble with the law.
In an interview with MTV, X, who just released The Weigh In EP, says his return to music signifies that he's more professional than ever.

"It's a good thing. I wish it was always like that but you can't really worry about what people think, what they say. I just gotta do me," said X. "The focus is on taking the music seriously, as a job, and less trouble."

He also explained why he released The Weigh In EP, "Everywhere I go people are like, 'When's the album droppin? When's the album droppin'?' So I was just like, lemme hit 'em with something, let them know, give them a little appetizer of what it's gonna be like," he said. "Not the same songs, because I'm sitting on like three albums right now, but ya know, just what it's gonna be like." WATCH THE INTERVIEW HERE

L.A. journalist Chuck Philips was kicked out of court yesterday as he covered the New York trial of alleged drug dealer and longtime rap industry manager James "Jimmy Henchman" Rosemond.

Rosemond was indicted on federal drug charges in what authorities alleged was a New York-to-L.A. cocaine ring worth $10 million a year. He was also known for his onetime management of the The Game and connections to Sean Combs, Wyclef Jean and Akon.

After Philips reported that Rosemond allegedly ordered the 1994 attack on Tupac Shakur that set off the East Coast-West Coast rap wars, the journalist and the hip-hop figure became mortal enemies:

The Los Angeles Times retracted Philips' 2008 story on Rosemond after finding out that phony court documents were used as part of the backbone of the story.

However, Philips says that he had the story without the FBI docs, which were found in federal court file, and that his editors insisted they be used as a tent pole for the piece.

In any case, the reporter was pushed out of the Times that year, shortly after the retraction, and he maintains that the paper paid Rosemond $200,000 for what it felt was its false implication of him.

The reporter said the episode ruined his career. Despite winning a Pulitzer for his coverage of the music business at the Times, Philips couldn't get arrested. And his book proposal on the East Coast-West Coast rap wars went nowhere, despite his unparalleled reporting and access to sources.

However, a year ago, one of Philips' main sources for the story, Dexter Isaac, in prison for murder, admitted that, yes, he was in on the 1994 New York studio attack on Tupac and that, allegedly, Rosemond was behind it because he had been miffed that Shakur passed on his offer to manage him.

Told ya so, Philips said. He demanded that the Times' retract his retraction. Really.

Fast forward nearly a year.

Rosemond has been indicted for the coke trade. And Philips is in New York this week to cover the trial for his own book research.

Lo and behold, Philips becomes the focus.

On Tuesday he was kicked out of the courtroom. Why? Well, on Monday he was handed a subpoena: Rosemond's lawyers wanted the journalist to testify!

On Tuesday they argued that Philips couldn't just hang around and watch the trial if he was going to be a part of it. The judge agreed and kicked him out. Source: LA Weekly

Prosecutors say James Rosemond is a drug kingpin, and he went on trial Monday in federal court in Brooklyn on charges that he led a criminal enterprise that sold millions of dollars worth of cocaine, laundered money and tampered with witnesses.

But it is accusations for which he has not been charged that have made Mr. Rosemond a notorious figure in the hip-hop community. For years, he has denied allegations that he was involved in a feud that led to the murders of the rappers Tupac Shakur and Christopher Wallace, known as Biggie Smalls.

Mr. Rosemond’s lawyer, Gerald L. Shargel, said in his opening statement that his client was nothing more than “a perfect scapegoat for accusation.”

“James Rosemond never touched a kilo of cocaine,” Mr. Shargel said. “He is not that kingpin that the government says he was.”

Widely known as Jimmy Henchman, Mr. Rosemond has long kept connections with some of hip-hop’s biggest stars, including Sean Combs, Wyclef Jean, Akon, the Game and 50 Cent, as well as Mike Tyson and the boxing promoter Don King. Mr. Shargel said some celebrity witnesses might testify in Mr. Rosemond’s defense.

In February, federal prosecutors said they were trying to put together evidence to charge Mr. Rosemond in connection with the 2009 Bronx murder of Lowell Flecher, an associate of 50 Cent. As of Monday, Mr. Rosemond, 47, had not been charged in any killings, court officials said.

In a 13-count indictment handed up last year, the prosecution said that since 2007, Mr. Rosemond’s operation made over $10 million shipping drugs coast to coast, often in musical instrument cases.

On Monday afternoon, Carlos Giraldo, a special agent with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, testified that he used UPS shipping labels in August 2009 to track down several kilograms of cocaine believed to be connected to Mr. Rosemond’s organization. Some of the packages, he said, were wrapped in plastic bags covered in “dressing.” Court documents identified the substance as mustard, used to camouflage the contraband from drug-sniffing dogs.

As a prosecutor, Soumya Dayananda, showed the jury the cocaine that Mr. Giraldo seized — some of it in plastic bags the size of five-pound packages of rice — Mr. Rosemond rocked in his chair with his hands clasped together touching his lips.

He wore a dark purple suit with multicolored pinstripes and occasionally waved and smiled to friends and family who filled the courthouse benches. One man who appeared to be a supporter wore a jacket with an image of the drug kingpin Tony Montana from the movie “Scarface” on the back.

Mr. Rosemond’s arrest on the drug charges in 2011 came days after Dexter Isaac, who is serving a life sentence for murder in New York, claimed that Mr. Rosemond paid him to assault Mr. Shakur in a Times Square studio in 1994. Though Mr. Shakur survived that attack, in which he was shot, the feud escalated to the murders of both Mr. Shakur in Las Vegas in 1996 and Mr. Wallace in Los Angeles in early 1997.

Mr. Shargel said in court on Monday that Mr. Isaac’s accusation, as well as a retracted article from The Los Angeles Times that also implicated Mr. Rosemond in Mr. Shakur’s shooting, set the stage for people to make other false accusations about him, particularly with regard to drugs, money laundering and witness tampering.

Mr. Shargel told the court that Mr. Rosemond even lied about himself when he confessed to crimes during interviews with the police. He did so, Mr. Shargel said, because he believed that the police were using him only to gain information about hip-hop celebrities.

“James Rosemond went in and made false confessions and false accusations,” Mr. Shargel said. “If they liked it, it was the truth. If they didn’t like it, it wasn’t the truth.”

The trial is expected to take weeks. At one point on Monday, Judge John Gleeson turned to the jury and said: “Like you, I don’t really know what’s coming.” Source: NY Times

Shawn “JAY Z” Carter, Budweiser and United Way today announced “Budweiser Made in America,” an exciting, two-day music festival in Philadelphia this Labor Day weekend to benefit United Way and produced by Live Nation.

JAY Z will curate and headline the blockbuster roster of talent, which will include nearly 30 artists that embody the American spirit performing across three stages on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park on Saturday, Sept. 1, and Sunday, Sept. 2.

The eclectic roster of talent cultivated by JAY Z will be announced on May 21 and include acts ranging from rock, hip-hop, R&B, Latin and dance.

Tickets for “Budweiser Made in America” music festival go on sale Wednesday, May 23, through Ticketmaster and Livenation.

“This Labor Day, we will not only make history but we’re benefiting a great organization. ‘Budweiser Made in America’ will encompass every genre of music, creating and showcasing the only genre that matters, ‘great music.’ Budweiser and Live Nation are going to produce an amazing two days of performances, and it’s great to partner with United Way again to support all of the positive work they do in the community,” said Shawn “JAY Z” Carter.

The festival in Philadelphia will culminate following a summer of music parties in cities all across America, when Budweiser will invite its Facebook fans to experience talented local bands and artists. Budweiser, brewed across America, has a decades-long history of celebrating great American music.

“This festival will offer music fans from across the U.S. and beyond the biggest names in hip-hop, rock, dance and other popular genres this Labor Day,” said Rob McCarthy, vice president of Budweiser for Anheuser-Busch.

"Philadelphia is delighted to welcome visitors from around the country for a national music festival," said Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter. "United Way has brought JAY Z and Budweiser together to host this national event in the birthplace of America. We are excited to invite the musicians, sponsors, guests and festivals goers for a memorable weekend."

A primary goal of this music festival is to have a positive impact on the communities involved. This concert will benefit United Ways in Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, Lancaster County, PA and New York City, enabling them to invest more dollars into their regions, strengthening local communities and improving lives. As a result of this concert, the money invested into these communities will positively impact the education, income and health of the most vulnerable and most needy citizens in these regions.

Budweiser Made in America also will be available for consumers around the country to watch via live-streaming. Details will be announced at a later date.

The event is the latest chapter in Budweiser’s long association with music, which includes memorable Rolling Stones tours and Budweiser SuperFest, which was headlined by Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and other music legends.

When you think of west coast funk in general, there is one person that comes to mind, and that is the Legendary "Kokane". He is considered to be the most featured artist in World, with a impressive catalog that's unmatched to any other recording artist in the music industry.

Kokane has started a brand new label BudEBoy Records through IODA/SONY, and has just released a new album entitled "The Legend Continues", which has a major buzz in the streets. The first single off this epic album is "Doja" produced by Squeeze, which features KMG from ABOVE THE LAW. WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

With the recent passing of legendary Nate Dogg, Kokane seems to be the last man standing as the King of Hooks/King of G-Funk.

In addition, be on the look out for Kokane's brand new mixtape "Dr Kokastien", hosted by DJ King Assassin, coming soon in the weeks to come. Stay tuned for more details on "Kokane" aka JBL.

Mike Scala, a NY Emcee is running for Congress in New York's 5th Congressional district which covers most of Southeast Queens including Jamaica, all of the Rockaways and parts of Nassau. This district was the hardest hit by the foreclosure crises in the state of New York. "Our primary date is June 26th. We are going up against a 14 year incumbent who has never been challenged and doesn't represent the people.".. He voted for Medi-care and education cuts and is looking to cut government jobs in the area in the future. "We are fighting to stop this from happening. We have already done what hasn't been done before and officially made it on to the ballot through grassroots efforts," The rapper continued.. "I think Hip Hop needs to be aware of what we are doing. This is really a first in Hip Hop. I think our community, cultural size, global influence and contribution to society deserves to be recognized, represented and have a hand in determining what governs us."

"This is not a community that can afford much more. This is not a wait and see election. We must move towards a more progressive change. For this change to happen we need everyone we can get to stand up for that change. If people are afraid or unwilling, then more of the same is guaranteed.".. he continued.

"I believe we need stronger leaders fighting for everyday Americans. I support President Obama and recognize that he needs more support from his own party. When Republicans are unwilling to budge, we as Democrats cannot come to the table with compromised positions. I believe in compromise, but not for its own sake. I believe in compromise, but not when the other side gets everything they want and the American public suffers. There’s too much at stake. We deserve better from our legislators. We deserve representatives with the passion and conviction of our counterparts, but whose ideals are more in line with our needs."

"I fell in love with Hip Hop and eventually began recording music. That journey took me around the country, where I witnessed how the power of words can bring people together. One of my projects was released by Rawkus Records, the label that also released classics like Mos Def’s Black on Both Sides and the Lyricist Lounge series."

Mike Scala was born and raised in Rosedale, Queens. Mr. Scala graduated cum laude from Polytechnic University (now Polytechnic Institute of NYU), and is currently in his final year of study at Brooklyn Law School. He has worked for the legal department of New York State United Teachers, where he helped defend educators facing discrimination. He additionally spent time at the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, which advocates for improving end of life care and is the largest nonprofit membership organization of its kind in the United States. During the 2008 presidential election, Mr. Scala worked with the Obama campaign to help college students vote early via in-person absentee ballot. Scala is a Hip Hop artist who has released music through the storied Rawkus Records. He recently founded the Solid Ground movement, which promotes governmental focus on everyday Americans and has garnered national support.

Before the main 2012 Grammy Award broadcast even started, Kanye West had already won three awards.
During the non-televised pre-show, West won Best Rap Song and Best Rap Collaboration with "All Of The Lights" (with Rihanna, Fergie, Elly Jackson, Elton John and more). He also won Best Rap Album for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy . Kanye and Jay-Z also won Best Rap Performance for "Otis," their track off Watch The Throne, bringing West's total for the evening to four awards. He also beat out Lil Wayne, Lupe Fiasco and Nicki Minaj for Best Rap Album.

The Grammy Awards has confirmed that 2011 was the year of Adele. The 23 year-old singer was honored with 6 Grammy Awards, including "Record of the Year," "Album of the Year" and "Song of the Year," tying the record held by Beyoncé for most Grammy Awards won by a female artist in a single year. This brings Adele's career Grammy total to 8. Viewers who tuned into the live ceremony, which took place from the Staples Center in Los Angeles earlier this evening, witnessed Adele deliver a breathtaking rendition of "Rolling in the Deep," her first public performance since she underwent vocal surgery in November. Adele took home honors in the following categories:
Record of the Year ("Rolling in the Deep")
Album of the Year ("21")
Song of the Year ("Rolling in the Deep")
Best Pop Solo Performance ("Someone Like You")
Best Pop Vocal Album ("21")
Best Short Form Music Video ("Rolling in the Deep")

Adele's sophomore album 21 was the biggest selling album of 2011 with over 18 million units sold worldwide. Entertainment Weekly declared it "that rarest pop commodity: timeless," and the Associated Press affirmed that Adele "created more than just an album with good songs: she's crafted a masterpiece." In addition to being named Billboard's "Artist of the Year," Adele had the best-selling US single of the year, "Rolling in the Deep," certified 6x Platinum, as well as the best-selling music DVD of the year, "Live at The Royal Albert Hall," certified 7x Platinum. She has broken countless records – including becoming the first-ever artist to lead the Billboard 200 while concurrently having 3 Billboard Hot 100 #1 singles from the same parent album ("Rolling in the Deep," "Someone Like You," and "Set Fire to the Rain"). 21 has spent 19 nonconsecutive weeks, to date, at #1 on the Billboard Top 100, surpassing records held by Billy Ray Cyrus' "Some Gave All" and 1998's "Titanic" soundtrack.

Sony Music Entertainment today issued the following statement regarding Whitney Houston: "Whitney Houston was an icon and a once-in-a-lifetime talent who inspired a generation of singers and brought joy to millions of fans around the world. She had a voice of unmatched beauty and power that changed music forever, and she leaves behind an indelible legacy of timeless songs that will never be forgotten. She also was an important member of the Sony Music family who spent her storied recording career with Arista Records. She will be greatly missed. Our deepest condolences go out to her daughter and her entire family."

"The loss of Whitney Houston is painful. I remember meeting Whitney for the first time when I was 15. She was the ultimate legend. The ultimate woman. Not only was she confident, poised, stunningly beautiful and intelligent, but she was sincere and kind. She took the time to make everyone feel like they were very important to her. I, like every singer, always wanted to be just like her. Her voice was perfect. Strong but soothing. Soulful and classic. Her vibrato, her cadence, her control. So many of my life's memories are attached to a Whitney Houston song. She is our queen and she opened doors and provided a blueprint for all of us.
God bless her. - Beyoncé"

The Los Angeles County Coroner's Office said Sunday afternoon that an autopsy on pop icon Whitney Houston's body has been completed, but official results have been placed on hold, pending toxicology tests.

Los Angeles Deputy Coroner Ed Winter said at a press conference that the tests could take six to eight weeks to process. Winter added that the Beverly Hills Police Department had requested a "security hold" on the results of the coroner's investigation, meaning no further details will be made available until the inquiry is complete. He confirmed earlier comments made by police that "no foul play is suspected." He also confirmed that Houston was found Saturday afternoon in a bath tub in her room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Prescription drugs had been found in the Beverly Hills Hilton hotel room where Houston's lifeless body was discovered Saturday afternoon just hours before a huge Grammy party she was to attend.

Police discovered a half dozen bottles of medication in Houston's room, TMZ reported, adding that family members said Houston had been taking the prescription drug Xanax, which is often used to treat anxiety.

When combined with alcohol, Xanax can cause drowsiness. Houston was reportedly found in her bathtub -- TMZ says her head was underwater -- and could not be revived by paramedics after being removed from the tub.

No alcohol was found in the preliminary sweep of Houston's room, TMZ reports, but there were multiple reports that Houston had been drinking with friends the night before at the hotel.

Houston had also attended rehearsals for the Grammys on Thursday, coaching singers Brandy and Monica, according to a person who was at the event but was not authorized to speak publicly about it. The person said Houston looked disheveled, was sweating profusely and liquor and cigarettes could be smelled on her breath.

She was also observed behaving "erratically" earlier in the week at a Los Angeles club, according to multiple reports.

Houston's body was removed from the hotel early Sunday morning, hours after the Grammy awards party she was there to attend had taken place four floors below her room. Houston was 48. Source: Fox

Whitney Houston has died. She was 48. Details on the cause and location of her death are still unknown, Houston's publicist Kristen Foster has confirmed her death.
Whitney Houston has sold over 200 million records world-wide. We will report more details as they become available.

Today, CONVERSE Inc. unveiled four distinct design concepts for the newest footwear collaboration with the world-famous virtual band, Gorillaz. Launching in February 2012, the styles from the Spring 2012 collection combine the iconic Chuck Taylor All Star silhouette with the band's legendary graphic images. Award-winning designer and Gorillaz co-creator Jamie Hewlett has designed exclusive prints incorporating elements from their ground breaking artwork. Each design melds their diverse backgrounds and unique influences to create a revolutionary collection. The partnership with Gorillaz will also include a Converse "Three Artists. One Song" original track titled "DoYaThing" featuring Gorillaz, James Murphy and Andre 3000 of OutKast.

Gorillaz are widely recognized for not only creating a new genre of music but redefining the concept of a band. With a unique sound that brought together alternative rock, hip hop, electronic and pop music, the band implemented fresh ideas from their limitless fictional universe and have sold over 15 million records worldwide to date. In 2006, the band won a GRAMMY® Award for "Best Pop
Collaboration with Vocals", for "Feel Good Inc" with De La Soul. Last November, they released the long-awaited "Singles Collection: 2001-2011," a celebration of a decade together.

To celebrate the collection and impending release of "DoYaThing", Gorillaz Sound System will return to play their second date at the legendary 100 Club in London on Wednesday, February 15, 2011. The Converse & Gorillaz collection will be available beginning February 23, 2012.

In continuation with Converse's dedication to the global music community, the design partnership with Gorillaz will include Converse's latest installation of their signature "Three Artists. One Song" collaboration featuring Gorillaz, James Murphy and Andre 3000. "Three Artists. One Song" was created as an opportunity for three distinct artists to come together from different backgrounds to create an original new song. "Three Artists. One Song" has recently seen pop duo MATT & KIM, rapper and producer Soulja Boy and
singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist ANDREW W.K, among others, come together to create an original song made available for fans for free. Gorillaz will serve as the latest artist to anchor "Three Artists. One Song" and will debut their track on February 23. Additional details on the track will be
announced at a later date.

Mary J Blige will be performing at a private pre-Grammy event on February, 9th 2012 to celebrate the partnership of Belvedere, the world's first super premium vodka and (RED)™.

The exclusive performance will be followed by a private party at Bardot, Los Angeles to help raise awareness around HIV/AIDS and emphasize the need for consumers to unite in support of programs that help eliminate HIV and AIDS in Africa.

In winter 2011, BELVEDERE (PRODUCT)[RED™] Special Edition bottle launched to raise proceeds for the Global Fund™ to fight HIV/AIDS. The (RED) inspired packaging will contain the same unadulterated and naturally smooth® Belvedere vodka enthusiasts have always enjoyed. 50% of Belvedere's profits from the global sale of (BELVEDERE)[RED] will contribute to the Global Fund.

Mary J Blige said: "I'm delighted to be supporting (Belvedere) RED in their fight against HIV & AIDS in Africa. It is one of the most devastating issues faced by millions in Africa and if we can raise awareness with this event and encourage people to buy (PRODUCT) RED, we'll be one step closer to an HIV / AIDS free generation in 2015."

Island Def Jam Music Group (IDJMG) has strengthened its executive management team with the promotion of Gabrielle Peluso to General Manager, Def Jam Recordings, it was announced today by Steve Bartels, President & COO, Island Def Jam Music Group.

Based in New York, Ms. Peluso will be responsible for Def Jam's day-to-day activities, scheduling, and organization on behalf of its artists. She will report directly to Mr. Bartels.
"Gabby is a seasoned veteran at IDJ," said Mr. Bartels, "whose experience in Video Promotion put her in daily contact with the entire artist roster, as well as the key media who play such important roles in exposing our music to the public. For more than a decade, Gabby's energy and creativity have helped keep Island Def Jam in the forefront of the industry, and we know that she will bring all her talent to bear in her new role as GM."

"I have spent my entire career at Def Jam, and it is undeniably the most important brand in urban music," said Ms. Peluso. "The goal for this label is, and always has been, to uphold the culture of hip-hop music by breaking new artists and supporting the vision of our superstars. With the leadership of Barry Weiss and Steve Bartels, and the hard work of our passionate and committed staff, I am confident we will continue to push this great brand forward."

Ms. Peluso has served as Senior Vice President, Video Promotions, Island Def Jam Music Group, since 2006, where she was responsible for securing video airplay on MTV, BET, VH1, The Fuse, and MTV2 for all Island Def Jam Artists and their respective ventures. In addition, she booked all programs available on each music video channel including various awards shows. Her duties also included overseeing all local video outlets as well as college video outlets. Prior to that, she spent two years as Vice President, Video Promotions, since 2004, following a three year stint as Director in the department.

Ms. Peluso began her music career in 1996, as assistant to the former president of Def Jam Recordings. The next year she moved to the Publicity Department, where she served as Director until 2000. Ms. Peluso graduated from Syracuse University in 1994, with the Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Communications.

NIKON® AND WARNER MUSIC GROUP TEAM UP TO ROCK SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST® (SXSW) WITH STAR-STUDDED THREE-DAY MUSIC RESIDENCY Nikon Inc. and Warner Music Group are uniting to host a star-studded residency at the upcoming South by Southwest® Music & Media Conference (SXSW®) in Austin, Texas. “The Warner Sound Captured by Nikon” will make its home at Austin’s famed La Zona Rosa, with two days and three nights of showcase performances slated for March 13th through 15th.

Artists from Atlantic Records, Warner Bros. Records and other WMG labels will appear live at these official SXSW showcases; all SXSW badge-holders are welcome. Among the artists will be such acclaimed acts as Santigold, B.o.B Wale & Meek Mill, fun., and Gary Clark, Jr. – a full line-up will be announced shortly.

World Wrestling Entertainment (aka WWE) has awarded Machine Gun Kelly's "Invincible" as main event wrestler John Cena's theme song at pop-extravaganza Wrestlemania XXVIII taking place April 1, 2012 at the Sun Life Stadium in Miami, FL. "Invincible" is running in WWE Wrestlemania XXVIII promotional advertisements and will serve as John Cena's song of the evening when he enters the ring for the main bout.

"The reaction to 'Invincible' has been amazing. First, Verizon picked it to run in their campaign and now it's an official Wrestlemania song. It's crazy," states MGK. "John Cena and myself are both underdogs and the song is about struggle, I think it's so cool they chose it."

After previewing its big game ad last week, Suzuki upgraded the music in its television spot with a music track by 50 Cent. The artist's song "Movin' On Up" is fitting for Suzuki's "Sled" advertisement, which illustrates the exhilaration one can receive from upgrading their ordinary daily driver with a more entertaining mode of transportation. In the ad, an Eskimo trades in his dog-powered snow sled for an all-wheel-drive 2012 Kizashi sport sedan. WATCH IT HERE

"We are thrilled to show off the Kizashi's fun-to-drive capabilities during the most-watched sporting event of the year," said Jeff Holland, director of social media, American Suzuki. "We feel that 50 Cent's upbeat music brings the Kizashi to life in a way that viewers will relate to."

Developed by El Segundo, Calif.-based advertising agency Siltanen & Partners Advertising, Suzuki's "Sled" television spot is set in an isolated mountain location. "Sled" opens with an early morning scene where an Eskimo and his dog sled team ride off into the horizon. As the landscape changes from morning to evening, the quiet still of the frozen tundra gives way to vibrations and a hint of something new in the distance. A Kizashi – accompanied by 50 Cent's "Movin' On Up" – comes driving into view with one of the Huskies' heads sticking out of the front passenger window enjoying its owner's new mode of transport. The spot then cuts to the interior of the vehicle, revealing the other sled dogs buckled into the back seat and the Eskimo behind the wheel of the Kizashi – all of whom are digging the lavish accommodations and warm interior of the car, while bumping their heads and tapping their paws to the song's beat. The Eskimo pulls up to his igloo and his wife comes out to greet him. With a puzzled look on her face, and in her native Inuit tongue, she asks, "Where's the sled?" The man replies, "I traded it in," (the conversation is subtitled in English).

Suzuki's 2012 Super Bowl spot will air both in 60-second and 30-second formats in the company's top retail locations across the U.S. "Sled" will continue to run following the Super Bowl in conjunction with a new Suzuki advertising campaign scheduled to debut in March.

A day after announcing its new CEO/President Kazuo Hirai, Sony reported its fiscal Q3 results, with the electronics giant taking a loss of over $2 billion. The loss was attributed to declines in its television business as well as the impact of flooding in Thailand and the value of the yen. Revenue dropped in Sony's fiscal Q3 (which ended December 31) to $23.92 billion, a 17 percent decline.

Despite Sony Music releasing Adele's 21, which is still the hottest-selling album in the country, the label saw its sales fall 11.7 percent in Q3 to $1.582 million. Profits of $196 million were down 21.7 percent from a year ago. Sony attributed the decline to fewer major new releases in the third quarter, plus the value of the yen. Adele's 21 and Live At The Royal Hall, Susan Boyle's Someone To Watch Over Me and music from Glee were among the best selling releases of the quarter.

On a U.S. investor call, Sony Corp. of America EVP/CFO Rob Wiesenthal said that Sony Music's leadership has been "fortified" under Doug Morris, adding the company expects "great financial results from that group in the months to come," Source: Billboard

Minaj, who scored three noms for this year's Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist, Best Rap Performance ("Moment 4 Life" featuring Drake) and Best Rap Album (Pink Friday) gave her thoughts in a recent interview with Pandora.

"When I was at the Grammys last year, it was like I didn’t even exist. And then to now be performing and nominated, it’s a big deal. I’m not going to be nervous about winning because I really don’t think I’m going to win anything," she said. "The way I look at it is, I know eventually, in my career, I’m going to have Grammys. This year is just about being nominated and feeling grateful, feeling like my fans and I have come a very long way and we’re just going to celebrate this moment. Nothing else matters - winning, not winning, it doesn’t matter. It just matters that they get to see a girl from the hood take these steps and continue to take these steps, just with hard work."

"At the end of the day, everyone wants to be recognized and everyone wants to at least feel like you recognize that this is hard work. People think that they can become an artist overnight. People think that a cute face or a nice car makes them a rapper. But a musician is so much more than that. But in terms of me and my career, the Grammys is everything. It’s the only thing to a music artist. It’s what you live for. This is what you work for."

Don Cornelius, who with the creation of “Soul Train” helped break down racial barriers and broaden the reach of black culture with funky music, groovy dance steps and cutting edge style, died early Wednesday of an apparent suicide. He was 75.

Los Angeles Police Department officers responding to a report of a shooting found Cornelius at his Mulholland Drive home at around 4 a.m. He was pronounced dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound about an hour later at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, said Los Angeles County Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter.

A police cruiser sat parked in the entryway of Cornelius’ home on a two-lane stretch of Mulholland Drive in the hills above Los Angeles. News cameras camped outside as drivers on their morning commute drove by.

“He was a transformer,” the Rev. Jesse Jackson told KNX-Los Angeles. “’Soul Train’ became the outlet for African-Americans.”

Jackson said he talked to Cornelius a few days ago and there were no signs Cornelius was upset.

Others also expressed their grief.

“I am shocked and deeply saddened at the sudden passing of my friend, colleague, and business partner Don Cornelius,” said Quincy Jones. “Don was a visionary pioneer and a giant in our business. Before MTV there was ‘Soul Train,’ that will be the great legacy of Don Cornelius. His contributions to television, music and our culture as a whole will never be matched. My heart goes out to Don’s family and loved ones.”

“I have known him since I was19-years-old and James Brown had me speak on Soul Train,” the Rev. Al Sharpton said in a statement from New York. “He brought soul music and dance to the world in a way that it had never been shown and he was a cultural game changer on a global level.”

“Don Cornelius’ legacy to music, especially black music, will be forever cemented in history,” said Clarence Avant, former chairman of Motown Records. “’Soul Train’ was the first and only television show to showcase and put a spotlight on black artists at a time when there were few African-Americans on television at all, and that was the great vision of Don.”

“Soul Train” began in 1970 in Chicago on WCIU-TV as a local program and aired nationally from 1971 to 2006.

It showcased such legendary artists as Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and Barry White and brought the best R&B, soul and later hip-hop acts to TV and had teenagers dance to them. It was one of the first shows to showcase African-Americans prominently, although the dance group was racially mixed. Cornelius was the first host and executive producer.

“There was not programming that targeted any particular ethnicity,” he said in 2006, then added: “I’m trying to use euphemisms here, trying to avoid saying there was no television for black folks, which they knew was for them.”

“Soul Train,” with its trademark opening of an animated chugging train, was not, however, an immediate success for Cornelius, an ex-disc jockey with a baritone rumble and cool manner.

Only a handful of stations initially were receptive. Source: Washington Post

Pitbull will receive the BMI President’s Award at the 19th annual BMI Latin Awards slated for March 30 at the Encore Wynn Las Vegas. The private ceremony salutes the songwriters and publishers of the past year’s most-performed Latin songs on American radio and television in the U.S.

The BMI President’s Award is presented on unique occasions when an individual songwriter or executive has distinctly and profoundly influenced the entertainment industry. In receiving the BMI President’s Award, Pitbull joins a list of past honorees that includes Juanes, Kike Santander, Taylor Swift, Emilio and Gloria Estefan, and Willie Nelson.

Pitbull is defining a new brand of superstardom. His digital sales figures number in the millions, fueled by international hits such as “Hey Baby,” “Krazy,” “Hotel Room Service” “I Like It” (with Enrique Iglesias), “Rain Over Me” (featuring Marc Anthony) and “Bon Bon,” current chart-climber “International Love” and double-platinum smash “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho).” Pitbull’s collection of BMI songwriting awards reflects his genre-jumping sound, spanning urban, Latin, pop and European categories. His list of collaborators – from Iglesias and Marc Anthony, to Shakira, Chris Brown, T-Pain, Jennifer Lopez, Janet Jackson and Usher – points to his versatility. Pitbull released his fourth full-length album, Planet Pit, in the summer of 2011, and his official bio paints a vivid picture of a man on a mission: “I’m not suggesting I run the world, I just feel like I’ve built my own planet.”

Hosted by BMI President & CEO Del Bryant and Delia Orjuela, BMI Vice President, Latin Music, the BMI Latin Awards will also celebrate the Latin Song, Songwriter and Publisher of the Year.

First they brought you ‘The Goon Time Mixtape’ blasting from a late-night house party in a Parisian suburb. Then we saw our heroes getting endless grief from Deen’s overbearing mother in the Mrs. Whitter skit. That was all just a taste of things to come from De La Soul’s Plug 1 & Plug 2 present ‘First Serve’; a dynamic hip-hop group, an album, a concept, the soundtrack to a movie that has yet to be made and a fable for our times.

‘First Serve’ is many things, but at its heart it is the story of two young boys from Queens, New York with big dreams and larger rhymes. Two friends, Deen Whitter (aka Plug 2 / Dave) and Jacob ‘Pop Life’ Barrow (aka Plug 1/ Pos), friends from seventh grade, are by their own admission, “different, but the differences seem to complement everything we do.” Their name ‘First Serve’ comes from their motto, “First come, First Serve, get what you deserve.”

After years of laying down demos and mixtapes on the hustle in the hip-hop game, we get the next instalment from their world in the form of the ‘We Made It’ skit. All the hard work has finally paid off – Jacob and Deen have hit the big time signing to Goon Time Records to become the next new thing to hit the airwaves.

Due to hit the streets worldwide on April 2nd, through Duck Down Music in North America & Pias in all other territories, the ‘First Serve’ album tells the story of two dreamers in a basement struggling to start their musical career, the battles they face, through to the point that they eventually release their debut single, ‘make it big’ and their hard work and persistence finally pays off. As we know that is rarely where the story ends and the story of ‘First Serve’ is no different. Taking place in an animated world that could have been imagined by Hawley Pratt on Magic Mushrooms, the high spirited and often hilarious journey is pure old school hip-hop; skits, disco, beats, funk, quips, burns and hustlin’ all included. Ain’t nothing gonna stop us now... PEEP IT HERE

A story about faith, family, and the power of love, MAMA, I WANT TO SING smashes onto DVD February 14 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Adapted from the hit off-Broadway musical, MAMA, I WANT TO SING brings down the house with electrifying performances by R&B and gospel music legends.

Talented but naive, Amara Winter (multi-platinum selling artist Ciara) is a young gospel singer who dreams of pop stardom. Raised in a tight-knit community, Amara is discovered by agents who quickly propel her to the top with recording sessions and television appearances. Soured by the sudden media attention, Amara's preacher mother (Emmy Award®-winner Lynn Whitfield, Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story) implores her to stay grounded. Amara faithfully pursues her music career even in the face of creating a strained relationship with her mother, and turns to her father (Grammy Award®-winner Marvin Winans, I Can Do Bad All By Myself) and Sister Carrie (Grammy Award®-winner Patti LaBelle, "A Different World") for support. On her way to the limelight, Amara must learn to navigate the often-treacherous world of celebrity and find a way to remain true to herself and to her family.

MAMA, I WANT TO SING features a star-studded cast, including Billy Zane (Titanic), Broadway legend Ben Vereen (All That Jazz), Hill Harper (For Colored Girls), and Kevin Phillips (Notorious).

This Black History Month, BET and CENTRIC will showcase the range, richness and diversity of the African-American experience with an exciting lineup of programming highlighting the cultural contributions of black America.

BET's Black History Month lineup will encompass an array of culturally dynamic films, original series and specials including: the fifth annual BET HONORS; the Network movie premiere of The Express (Rob Brown, Charles Dutton), Dreamgirls (Jamie Foxx, Beyonce, Jennifer Hudson), Ali (Will Smith), John Q (Denzel Washington, Kimberly Elise) and 35 & Ticking (Nicole Ari Parker, Kevin Hart); and the BET News special SOUL MATES: DR. MAYA ANGELOU AND COMMON.

Additionally, BET will premiere brand-new episodes of hit series THE GAME and LET'S STAY TOGETHER as well as its first Oscar special, BET TAKES HOLLYWOOD.

On CENTRIC—BET's adult-focused channel—programming will include: BE INSPIRED: THE LIFE OF HEAVY D, a documentary chronicling the life of Dwight "Heavy D" Myers; HIP HOP: A CULTURE ODYSSEY, a documentary tracing the origins, evolution and spirit of hip hop; the Network movie premiere of Soul Power (James Brown) and Having Our Say: The Delaney Sisters (Diahann Carroll, Ruby Dee); and, concert specials from award-winning musicians R. Kelly and Mary J. Blige

Grammy-Award winner Spinderella and spin veteran Disc Jockeys DJ Irie, DJ Skribble and reigning Flavor Battle champ DJ JayCeeOh will join iconic rapper and "human beat boxer" Doug E. Fresh and singer/actress/rapper Teyana Taylor in Miami Beach as three of America's hottest DJs scratch, mix and battle for the McDonald's 2012 Flavor Battle Championship title. McDonald's Flavor Battle is a national DJ competition celebrating artistic mix-masters who spin their creative blend of hip-hop music in nightclubs across America. McDonald's 2012 Flavor Battle will take place on February 9.

Three DJ finalists from across the U.S. – each representing a McDonald's Big Burger – the Angus Third Pounder, Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese and Big Mac, will take to the turntables before a packed house in an epic, best-in-booth battle to earn bragging rights as the nation's top mix-master. Doug E. Fresh will emcee Flavor Battle as Spinderella, DJ Irie, DJ Skribble and DJ JayCeeOh judge the competition based on mixing skills, technique, performance flow and crowd appeal. Teyana Taylor will take Flavor Battle global by hosting the Twitter conversations and sharing photos generated from the live event.

"Flavor Battle has attracted the attention of hip-hop legends because it's a dynamic competition that lets up and coming DJs step into the national spotlight and show off their unique talent," said Rob Jackson, McDonald's U.S. marketing director. "McDonald's strives to connect with the community inside and outside of our restaurants and this is just one example of how we can inspire creativity within communities across the nation."

McDonald's launched Flavor Battle 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.

VH1's "Basketball Wives" are back for a fourth season. The ladies open up a new chapter in their lives in New York City as they recover from last season's fall-outs and welcome two new cast members, Kenya Bell and Kesha Nichols, who also know that being in a relationship with a pro-basketball player isn't as glamorous as one might think.

In season four of "Basketball Wives" the two new ladies alter the ever-changing landscape and dynamic among these women. Newcomer Kesha Nichols survived every girl's worst nightmare, having her engagement broken off by her ball-playing fiance via email shortly before their wedding. Kenya Bell is in the process of finalizing a divorce from a basketball star and is one of the most notorious and controversial wives in the league, whose infamous reputation is well-known by the other wives. Shaunie O'Neal is on the path to establishing herself as a business mogul. Evelyn Lozada and Jennifer Williams' 12-year friendship is in a precarious position. Will it recover from last season's fracture? Strong-willed Tami Roman continues to be a force to be reckoned with both socially and now in business. Royce Reed and Suzie Ketcham attempt to navigate uncharted waters as new chapters open in their lives.

These powerful women aren't going to let ex-husbands, challenged friendships or public scrutiny get them down. Having a relationship with a pro basketball player isn't always easy but we've watched as these women have shown viewers time and time again how they persevere through difficult times. Tune-in to VH1 on Monday, February 20th at 8PM* as the excitement and fireworks continue.

Shed Media is producing the series. Executive producing for Shed Media are Nick Emmerson, Alex Demyanenko and Sean Rankine. Shaunie O'Neal is an executive producer. Executive producing for VH1 are Jeff Olde, Jill Holmes and Tom Huffman.

In his most intimate performances in years, Shawn "JAY Z" Carter will headline at Carnegie Hall, in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, raising money for United Way of New York City and the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation on February 6, 2012

Poverty has the strongest correlation to dropout rates. New York City has the largest income gap in the U.S., and thirty percent of children in New York City live in poverty. Because of statistics like these, coupled with the fact that thirty-nine percent of New York City students who enter high school will not graduate on time, United Way of New York City, The Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation and Shawn "JAY Z" Carter are coming together to get children and youth the education they deserve and to put higher education within reach.

The Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation was conceived of in 2002 and officially established as a 501(c)3 public charity in 2003 by Shawn & Gloria Carter. With an original vision and mission to help individuals facing socio-economic hardships further his or her education at institutions of higher learning, Shawn and Gloria Carter kicked off the Foundation's efforts by awarding one student with full college tuition in 2002. From 2003 to 2005, each year the Foundation provided 50 scholarships to students in 50 different states. In 2006, in addition to providing scholarship awards to a growing number of students in need, the Foundation launched the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation College Tours. Since the Since Foundation's inception, over 750 students have received awards totaling over $1.3 million dollars. The Foundation is currently on the precipice of growth and is reviewing its current grant-making priorities as it plans for expansion as the Shawn Carter Foundation.

This concert is presented by the United Way of New York City and The Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation.

Cartoon Network today announced musical performers, all-star pro sports appearances, and three new voting categories for the second annual Cartoon Network Hall of Game Awards, premiering Monday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. (ET, PT). Hosted by basketball legend and TNT NBA analyst Shaquille O’Neal, the Cartoon Network Hall of Game Awards is a high-energy, off-the-wall, multi-platform experience that lets viewers vote and honor their favorite sports stars and sports moments of the year.

Grammy Award-nominated rapper and song writer of the top 5 hit “Good Feeling”— Flo Rida, and American Music Awards “Favorite New Artist” winners Hot Chelle Rae, whose massive hit singles “Tonight, Tonight,” and, “I Like It Like That,” are featured on their recently released album WHATEVER, are set to light up the stage with their energy pumping musical performances during this first-of-its-kind sports award and entertainment event for kids.

Some of the athletes set to appear at this year’s Hall of Game Awards include:
VICTOR CRUZ (New York Giants wide receiver)
ROB GRONKOWSKI (New England Patriots tight end)
HOPE SOLO (Pro and World Cup soccer goalie)
DAVID FREESE (St. Louis Cardinals third baseman 2011 World Series MVP)
CLAYTON KERSHAW (Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher)
MATTHEW STAFFORD (Detroit Lions quarterback)
MAYA GABEIRA (Pro surfer)
TONY GONZALEZ (Atlanta Falcons tight end)
DESEAN JACKSON (Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver)
BEANIE WELLS (Arizona Cardinals running back)
TORII HUNTER (Los Angeles Angels right fielder)

Slaughterhouse announced today the details of the group's new tour as well as confirmed that the title of their forthcoming Shady Records/Interscope album debut will be welcome to: OUR HOUSE. Executive produced by Eminem, welcome to: OUR HOUSE, to be released May 15, 2012, will be the second album from the creative collaboration of Crooked I, Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz and Royce da 5'9". New music will be made available next week for fans to get their first taste of what promises to be one of the most anticipated and explosive albums of the year.

Brash and outspoken, bringing together the East Coast, West Coast and Detroit in the middle, Slaughterhouse issued a self-titled EP last year and was featured on "Loud Noises" on the gold-certified, #1-charting Billboard album Hell: The Sequel from Bad Meets Evil, the collaboration between Royce and Eminem. During the past year, the quartet has also been featured with Ludacris, Yelawolf, Travis Barker and T.I., among others.

Slaughterhouse was previously heard on "Session One," a bonus track on Eminem's 2010 blockbuster Recovery album, following their debut, indie-issued album in 2009. Widely acclaimed as individual artists, the group formed in late 2008 after Crooked I from Long Beach, CA, Joell Ortiz from Brooklyn, NY and Royce da 5'9" from Detroit appeared on "Slaughterhouse" on the Halfway House album from Harlem-born, New Jersey-raised Joe Budden. They then named the collective after the song.

March 8, 2012—Trees/Southside Dallas, TX
March 9, 2012—Warehouse/House of Blues Houston, TX
March 10, 2012—Beauty Ballroom Austin, TX
March 11, 2012 - White Rabbit San Antonio, TX
March 16, 2012—House of Blues Myrtle Beach, SC
March 17, 2012—Beachem Theater Orlando, FL
March 18, 2012—Revolution Miami, FL
March 22, 2012—Masquerade Atlanta, GA
March 23, 2012—The Cannery Nashville, TN
March 24, 2012—The Fillmore Charlotte, NC
March 25, 2012—SoundStage Baltimore, MD
March 26, 2012—Wilbur Theatre Boston, MA
March 27, 2012—Trocadero Theatre Philadelphia, PA
March 28, 2012—9:30 Club Washington D.C.
March 29, 2012—Best Buy Theater New York, NY
March 31, 2012—Lava Lounge (West KY Univ) Bowling Green, KY
April 1, 2012—Metro Chicago, IL
April 2, 2012—Royal Oak Music Theatre Detroit, MI
April 5, 2012—The Clubhouse Tempe, AZ
April 6, 2012—Music Box Los Angeles, CA
April 7, 2012—The Regency Ballroom San Francisco, CA

April 8, 2012—Hard Rock Cafe Las Vegas, NV
April 9, 2012—The Galaxy Santa Ana, CA
April 10, 2012—Porters Pub/4th and B San Diego, CA
April 11, 2012—Velvet Jones Santa Barbara, CA
April 14, 2012—Showbox at the Market Seattle, WA
April 16, 2012—Harry O's Salt Lake City, UT
April 17, 2012 - Sunshine Theatre Albuquerque, NM
April 18, 2012—Cervantes/Bluebird Denver, CO
April 19, 2012—Fox Theatre Boulder, CO
April 20, 2012— TBD
April 21, 2012—Granada Lawrence, KS
April 22, 2012—Epic Minneapolis, MN
April 24, 2012—Rave Milwaukee, WI
April 25, 2012—Kalamazoo Theatre Kalamazoo, WI
April 26, 2012—The Vogue Indianapolis, IN
April 27, 2012— TBD
April 28, 2012—House of Blues/Grogshop Cleveland, OH
April 29, 2012—Omni Toledo, OH
April 30, 2012—Headliners Louisville, KY
May 1, 2012—Toad's Place New Haven, CT
May 2, 2012—Lupos Providence, RI
May 3, 2012—Wilbur Theater Boston, MA

“I’m up 500,000 off the last one. f*ck it ill bet it back Ill put a 1,000,000 on my G MEN. STUNNER you got the # hit me if you want it. I just check the spread Hold up the M casino in vegas said patriots-3 I’m have to bet over there unless STUNNER giving up points. Get at me,” 50 Cent posted on his Twitter account on Wednesday.


In the latest step to strengthen the new Motown Records, a division of Universal Music Group (UMG), acclaimed artist Ne-Yo will move from Def Jam Recordings to Motown along with his label imprint Compound Entertainment, and will also take on a creative role at Motown as the new Senior Vice President of A&R, it was announced today by Barry Weiss, Chairman & CEO of Universal Republic and Island Def Jam Motown, and Ethiopia Habtemariam, Senior Vice President, Motown Records.

Based in New York, the multi-platinum, three-time Grammy Award-winning recording artist Ne-Yo will continue to work on his eagerly awaited fifth studio album, expected for summer release as his Motown debut. At the same time, Ne-Yo will take on A&R duties at Motown, serving as a producer and mentor to the label's artists, as well as seeking out and signing new talent to the label. Ne-Yo, who has a co-starring role in Red Tails, the new George Lucas WWII movie about the U.S. Army Air Corps' Tuskegee Airmen fighter pilots, will also be seen on NBC television's upcoming season of The Voice, as a mentor for Cee-Lo Green's team.

"Ne-Yo is an enormously talented artist, songwriter, and producer," said Mr. Weiss, "In fact, he's one of the greatest songwriters of our times. His track record of success at Def Jam will always be a benchmark. But this move to Motown will provide new and inspiring challenges for Ne-Yo, as both an artist and a key member of the new senior management team that is taking form at the label in 2012."

"We are honored and humbled to have Ne-Yo as a part of the Motown family, as both a recording artist and in an A&R role," said Ms. Habtemariam, who has recently taken the reins at the historic label. "We are committed to discovering, developing and nurturing R&B/Soul superstars here at Motown and in Ne-Yo we have both a global superstar and arguably one of the best songwriters in music. His presence on the executive team only strengthens our commitment to the very best in R&B."

"I'm a combination of excited, honored and terrified all at once!" said Ne-Yo. "Excited about a new beginning here at Motown, honored that I've been given such a prestigious title and trusted with such responsibility, TERRIFIED because I know that playing this role, in the fashion of one of my idols and career role models Mr. Smokey Robinson, these are big shoes to fill.....but trust, I can handle it."

Epic Records Chairman/CEO L.A. Reid has appointed Lynn Hazan as GM/CFO for the label. Hazan was previously EVP/GM of RED Distribution and the Independent Online Distribution Alliance. Hazan will report to Epic's recently-named COO Mark Shimmel.

"Lynn has proven herself to be a first class executive for many years. Both her creative expertise and her ability to look at the entire spectrum of the music industry will serve Epic Records well," Shimmel said in a statement. "I couldn't be happier than us moving forward with her on board."

Hazan added, "It's an exciting opportunity to be a part of building the new Epic team with a seasoned executive like Mark Shimmel. Under the extraordinary leadership and creativity of Mr. Reid, I can think of no better place to take this next step in my career."

Birdman announced on Twitter that he's ridin with Tom Brady and The Patriots to beat the New York Giants in the rematch of Super Bowl XLII.

Birdman, @BIRDMAN5STAR, tweeted, “I like New ENGLaNd.my nephew play RB# 42.I’m Bet 5million 2 any niggaaa.like tha Giants YMCMB.BabyMoney anybody kan Getit.”

Last year Birdman bet $1 million on the Green Bay Packers over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl.

Sean "Diddy" Combs is hosting the 'one' party that everyone will be vying to attend right after the Grammy's, Sunday February 12, 2012. This event serves as a charity fundraiser for Angelwish(dot)org and will be held on the grounds of the prestigious PLAYBOY MANSION in Los Angeles starting at 8:00PM. The event is produced by iDonate Charity, a Los Angeles based company that coordinates events for charities.

Guests will be welcomed with a cocktail reception when they arrive onto the grounds of the Mansion. Attendees will be treated to an open bar and dinner all night long. Entertainment will include a live performance by a Grammy nominated artist (tba), DJ Award, fashion show, and many surprise guest celebrity appearances. Several Playmates will be on hand to hostess the event and give tours of the grounds of the Playboy Mansion including the Grotto, Game Room, Tennis Courts, Zoo, & Aviary to those special guests that have contributed VIP admission. On music's biggest night, the biggest stars will be out in force, and a great number of celebrities will join the guest list at Hollywood's most lavish party!

Angelwish, the beneficiary of the event, is most pleased to be included in the largest event ever offered to help raise funds for their cause. Created in 1999, the organization is dedicated to providing the public with an easy way to grant wishes to millions of children living with chronic illnesses such as Asthma, Diabetes, and HIV/AIDS around the world. The charity works on 6 continents with over 110 Hospitals and Care Centers in the United States and an additional 15 Care Centers in 9 other countries.

In appreciation of his exemplary support to Angelwish and many other charitable organizations in his lifetime, Angelwish will be presenting Hugh Hefner with their "Humanitarian of the Year" award at the event.

Island Def Jam Music Group (IDJMG) has expanded its media and artist relations team with the promotion of respected industry veteran Gabe Tesoriero to Senior Vice President, Media and Artist Relations, it was announced today by Laura Swanson, Executive Vice President, Media and Artist Relations, Island Def Jam Music Group.

Based in New York, Mr. Tesoriero will lead Media, Publicity and Artist Relations initiatives for IDJMG's all-star roster of multi-platinum, award-winning legends and superstar artists including Kanye West, Rihanna, Nas, Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, The-Dream, The Roots, Big Boi, Big Sean, Fabolous, Pusha-T and others. Mr. Tesoriero will work closely with the East Coast and West Coast staffs on behalf of the artists and executives of Island Records, Def Jam Recordings and their affiliate labels. These duties include exposure on television, the Internet, and in print media. Most recently, Mr. Tesoriero has served as Vice President, Media and Artist Relations for IDJMG since 2008, having started at the company in 2005, as Senior Director, Media and Artist Relations.

"I first learned of Gabe's media skills," said Ms. Swanson, "when I began seeing all of the amazing press he was getting as an indie publicist for Kanye and so many others. Long before either of us had arrived at IDJ, I knew I had to work with him. Not only is he an amazing media strategist, but I can't think of anyone else I'd rather have by my side for this wild ride. Working alongside Gabe has been a pleasure as well as an education that I know will continue for years to come."

"It has been an incredible honor and privilege to work alongside, and under the tutelage of, an executive like Laura Swanson," said Mr. Tesoriero. "Her passion, patience, humor and grace provides an excellent and much needed balance to my, shall we say, more idiosyncratic approach. With the dynamic leadership of Barry Weiss, Steve Bartels and the rest of the amazing IDJ team, I look forward to continued growth and success for this historic label and its unmatched roster of artists. I also look forward to a world at peace and a fair showing for the Boston Red Sox next season."

Prior to IDJ, Mr. Tesoriero served as Senior Account Executive with JLM Public Relations in New York, starting in 1998. His early client roster included VP Records, for whom he broke Sean Paul, Beenie Man, Buju Banton, and others. In 2002, he began handling publicity for Roc-A-Fella Records, for whom he has been representing Kanye West for the entirety of his career; he also represented Ol' Dirty Bastard, Beanie Sigel, Freeway, NORE, Cam'Ron, Juelz Santana and more. Other clients included Mark Ronson & Allido Records, Tuff Gong Records (Damien & Stephen Marley), Warren G, Tha Dogg Pound (Daz & Kurupt), The D.O.C. and many others. Mr. Tesoriero attended New York University, where he graduated in 1993 with the Bachelor of Arts degree in American Literature & Creative Writing.

The rap group that created controversy in the early 1990s with songs like "Me So Horny" is reuniting and hitting the road. Luther Campbell said Saturday that 2 Live Crew is back together and will tour this summer.

The rapper and producer made the announcement at the Sundance Film Festival, where he is promoting his appearance in the short film "The Life and Freaky Times of Uncle Luke."

The 51-year-old entertainer describes the offbeat film as "an art piece" that he did to help young filmmakers who were inspired by his hip-hop work. But his mind was on getting back with the old crew.

"I just can't wait to just start practicing," he said. "That's going to be a blast."
So will they be "As Nasty As They Wanna Be" (the title of the group's 1989 album that a judge deemed obscene, a ruling later overturned by the United States Court of Appeals)?

Not really, Campbell said.
"We're going to perform the songs and everybody's going to be excited," he said. "Some of the older people of our generation will be able to tell their kids, 'You're staying home tonight, we're going to see 2 Live Crew and shake our booty!'" Source: AP

Stampede Management, a premiere talent and brand management company, has announced the signing of hip-hop star, Mystikal, and rising artist, YG, to their artist roster. Stampede Management will be overseeing all brand partnerships, artist relations and music development for Mystikal and YG.

Mystikal also recently announced he signed with Brian "Birdman" Williams and Ronald "Slim" Williams' Cash Money Records for a record deal. He joins label mates Nicki Minaj, Drake, Lil' Wayne, Busta Rhymes, Tyga and more. Recently, Mystikal premiered his first song with the Cash Money team, Original, featuring Birdman and Lil' Wayne on Hot 97 in NY on Funkmaster Flex and his hometown station, Q93 in New Orleans.

Mystikal is currently in the studio working on his upcoming album with the new label set to drop Spring 2012. He also just wrapped on Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa's upcoming movie, Mac and Devin Go To High School, where he was the voice of "Slow Burn", a special friend of Mac and Devin's.

Mystikal is a hometown hero in New Orleans, and says to his fans "I'm proud to be part of a team with a legacy that began in the south and is now a world movement. The music we're making is crazy!"

"We are very excited to represent Mystikal & YG's dynamic artistry and creative visions," said Russell Redeaux, Senior Partner of Stampede Management. "We plan to utilize our unique brand building techniques to support the YMCMB team and the Def Jam team to take Mystikal & YG's career to global success."

Rising star, YG, has gained national recognition with his hit records, "Toot It and Boot It," "B*tches Ain't Shit," and Up". He has transitioned from a popular street rapper from Compton, CA to becoming a certified hit maker and a leader of his movement "Pushaz Ink" with an aura and a sound reminiscent of the 1900's label, Death Row. YG is currently signed to Def Jam and is focused on building out his own brand and label, Pushaz Ink. He is working on his next album, set to come out Spring 2012.

As YG gears up for a big 2012, he says "This is going to be a big year for me, so I'm glad I have a solid team around me."

Stampede Management is a Los Angeles based company, responsible for managing and building the brands of their diverse client roster, which includes: Snoop Dogg; The Far East Movement; and DJ Quik. In addition to the established artists, Stampede also cultivates a roster of emerging talent, including hip-hop duo The Airplane Boys; sultry vocalist Shvona Lavette; prolific producer Kanobby; and Wild Animals, a talented team of producers and songwriters that have produced and written music for Frank Ocean, Nikki Minaj, Snoop Dogg, Diane Warren, Far East Movement, John Legend, X Factor's Astro and many more.

Soulful singing legend Etta James, known for hits such as "The Wallflower," "Something's Got a Hold on Me" and "At Last," has passed away at the age of 73. James died due to complications from leukemia, according to her longtime friend and manager, Lupe De Leon. She was diagnosed with leukemia in 2010, and also suffered from dementia and hepatitis C. James reportedly died at a hospital in Riverside, CA with her husband and her sons by her side. In her declining health, the singer announced that she was formally retiring from music just before the October 25, 2011 release of her final studio album, The Dreamer.

"This is a tremendous loss for the family, her friends and fans around the world," De Leon stated, according to CNN.com. "She was a true original who could sing it all -- her music defied category. I worked with Etta for over 30 years. She was my friend and I will miss her always."

Etta James was born Jamesetta Hawkins in Los Angeles in 1938 to a teen mother and unknown father. Her birth mother initially took little responsibility for her, and James was raised by a series of people, notably a pair of boardinghouse owners. However, she began showing off her booming voice at age 5 by singing in a South Central Los Angeles church. In 1950 at age 12, her mother moved her to San Francisco, where James formed a group called The Peaches. She first hit the charts as a teenager in 1955, taking "The Wallflower (Roll With Me, Henry)" to #1 on the R&B charts. Soon after that, James signed with Chess Records and had a string of R&B and Pop hits such as "All I Could Do is Cry" and "My Dearest Darling." Her signature hit, 1962's "At Last," was the idea of Chess co-founder Leonard Chess, who felt that James' voice was best suited for a ballad.

Etta James ultimately won six Grammy Awards, nine Soul/Blues Female Artist of the Year awards from the Blues Foundation, and was voted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. She also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003 and she has been cited as a huge influence among many of today's artists.

The US government dropped a nuclear bomb on "cyberlocker" site Megaupload yesterday, seizing its domain names, grabbing $50 million in assets, and getting New Zealand police to arrest four of the site's key employees, including enigmatic founder Kim Dotcom. In a 72-page indictment unsealed in a Virginia federal court, prosecutors charged that the site earned more than $175 million since its founding in 2005, most of it based on copyright infringement.

As for the site's employees, they were paid lavishly and they spent lavishly. Even the graphic designer, 35-year-old Slovakian resident Julius Bencko, made more than $1 million in 2010 alone.

The indictment goes after six individuals, who between them owned 14 Mercedes-Benz automobiles with license plates such as "POLICE," "MAFIA," "V," "STONED," "CEO," "HACKER," GOOD," "EVIL," and—perhaps presciently—"GUILTY." The group also had a 2010 Maserati, a 2008 Rolls-Royce, and a 1989 Lamborghini. They had not one but three Samsung 83" TVs, and two Sharp 108" TVs. Someone owned a "Predator statue." Motor bikes, jet skis, artwork, and even 60 Dell servers could all be forfeit to the government if it can prove its case against the members of the "Mega Conspiracy."

The case is a major one, involving international cooperation between the US, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, the UK, Germany, Canada, and the Philippines. In addition to the arrests, 20 search warrants were executed today in multiple countries. Source: Arstechnica.

Contrary to some of the reports floating around online, Swizz Beatz was not among any of the owners that were indicted nor does he own a stake in the company, according to documents filed by the D.O.J.

Swizz Beatz, whose real name is Kasseem Dean, was revealed as Megaupload’s chief executive shortly after the viral debut of a star-studded video he helped produce for the company. In the clip, celebrities from Kanye West to Floyd Mayweather extol the website’s virtues, with will.i.am providing the hook. Universal Music Group, home to many of the artists involved in the production, was none too pleased–and sued Swizz and Mega (who are reportedly counter-suing).

But Swizz Beatz wasn’t among the seven Megaupload shareholders singled out by the U.S. Department of Justice; in fact, his name didn’t appear anywhere in the entire 72-page indictment. According to the document, ringleader Kim Dotcom owns 68% of Mega’s holding company, and six other investors–none of them celebrities–own smaller stakes adding up to 32%. If Swizz was given a piece of the company, it’s not on the books.

Though the Hip-Hop Cash King didn’t likely promote Megaupload simply out of the goodness of his heart (Swizz also has partnerships with Lotus and Reebok), it seems he was too late to the party to receive any equity, perhaps lured unwittingly to serve as a reputable figurehead for a company whose leaders could already see the storm clouds on the horizon. Source: Forbes.

SMIRNOFF® announced DJ P from Springfield, Missouri as Season Two winner of the brand's reality television show, Master of the Mix. After making the cut and surviving the cross-country open casting tour with Kid Capri and previous Season 1 contestants, DJ P battled the best of underground talent and preserved 10-weeks of grilling from revered producer and host, Just Blaze, world famous DJ, Kid Capri, model and socialite Amber Rose, and Master of the Mix Season 1 runner-up and noted DJ, Vikter Duplaix, to take home the grand prize of a $250,000 contract with SMIRNOFF and joining DJ Scratch as the "Master of the Mix".

"I'm so proud of everything we accomplished with Season Two and am honored that we'll have the opportunity to responsibly raise a glass and celebrate our success with DJ P, a true old school deejay and vinyl purist," said David Tapscott, Brand Director, SMIRNOFF. "Season Two was everything we wanted and more – from the inspiring contestants to the unique challenges to the fans who helped to consistently make us a global trending topic on Twitter. SMIRNOFF really could not have asked for a better follow-up season!"

Admired and applauded weekly by the judges for his dedication to spinning vinyl, his fellow contestants for his mixes, and the crowds for his skills behind the turntables, DJ P was judged on his technical ability, track selection, originality, and crowd response. As the Season 2 winner of Master of the Mix, DJ P has earned serious bragging rights in the deejay community and is the winner of $250,000 in cash and prizes.

After the casting kick-off, viewers followed DJ P along with 10 other Master of the Mix hopefuls from Los Angeles to New York on a Master of the Mix tour bus, where the chosen DJs were put into unique deejay experiences – from Go-Go in D.C. to House in Chicago and everything in between. In the show's final episode, DJ M-Squared, DJ Yonny, and DJ P battled it out for the judges to prove their worthiness of the Master of the Mix title.

"It feels so surreal – I can't believe I'm the Season Two winner of Master of the Mix," said DJ P, Master of the Mix Season 2 Winner. "I was up against some serious competition and really didn't know how it would all work out because it was up to the fans to decide. I'm just thankful to everyone who supported me and can't wait to spin for you all this year!"

SMIRNOFF has been at the heart of nightlife culture for generations and continues to be a staple for responsible celebration everywhere. As the Season 2 winner, DJ P will serve as the face of Master of the Mix, making appearances at SMIRNOFF events throughout 2012.

In the past few weeks, musical legends Nas, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Kanye West, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Quincy Jones, LL Cool J, Ziggy Marley, and Smokey Robinson have led standing ovations at FELA!, which is now thrilling audiences at Los Angeles' Ahmanson Theatre through January 22nd. FELA! - a celebration of the life of music pioneer Fela Kuti - won three Tony Awards last year for its Broadway adaptation and has been touring the World, with its most recent runs in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

With the blessings of the Kuti family, the show opened in 2009 at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre. With Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter and Will & Jada Pinkett-Smith coming on board as Producers and Ahmir

?uestlove Thompson of The Roots as Associate Producer, over the next 15 months, FELA! played host to half a million people. Celebrities kept coming; Madonna, Hugh Jackman, Denzel Washington, Ben Stiller, Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Harry Belafonte, Spike Lee, Alicia Keys, Beyoncé Knowles, Kofi Annan and First Lady Michelle Obama, to name a handful. The show received 11 Tony nominations and three Tony Awards for Best Choreography, Best Costumes and Best Sound. In 2010, prior to leaving Broadway, FELA! saw a sold-out season of performances at London's prestigious Royal National Theatre and was nominated for scores of Olivier Awards. The original Broadway cast spent two weeks in Lagos, Nigeria in April with the opening performance at the Kuti family's New Africa Shrine, and was the centerpiece of this year's Holland Festival in Amsterdam.

Talib Kweli and Mos Def recently shared the stage with members of the cast of FELA! in San Francisco.

Nas called the musical "very important work," and Kanye West found the production to be "inspiring" (he also invited the entire cast to a Watch The Throne show). The legendary Stevie Wonder was spotted during opening night of FELA! in Los Angeles, where he harmonized with FELA! dancer Jacqui Dubois on an acapella ditty. The tour, now in Los Angeles until January 22, is headed next to Washington, DC for six shows at the Warner Theatre from January 26 - 29, then to Detroit.

Grammy Award-winning producer and songwriter Christopher "Tricky" Stewart has been named President of A&R for Epic Records. In this newly created position, he will be responsible for identifying, developing and nurturing new talent for the label in conjunction with the A&R team. Stewart is based in Los Angeles and Atlanta and will report directly to Chairman/CEO L.A. Reid.

Reid commented, "Tricky has been an extremely talented and consistent hit maker for many years. I have enormous respect for him and couldn’t imagine building Epic’s roster of talent without him."
Stewart said, "My goal has always been to help create music with artists who will be doing this until the day they die. L.A. Reid has played an important role in key moments in my career and has been a mentor to me, so I know we share in the same vision. Being in partnership with Epic Records is an amazing vehicle for me to help artists find their voice, be creative and get great music out to the world."

As an accomplished musician, writer, and producer, Stewart has been responsible for the sales of over 25 million records and worked on hits such as Justin Bieber’s "Baby," Beyonce’s "Single Ladies," Rihanna’s "Umbrella" and Mariah Carey's "Touch My Body" and "Obsessed."

Epic Records is pleased to announce the signing of The X Factor contestants Astro, Chris Rene, and Marcus Canty.

About his signing Astro says, "I'm excited to continue my journey with L.A. Reid and his staff at the new Epic Records. The first time L.A. saw me he said I'd be a star, and I can't wait to get to work and prove him right. 2011 was Dope, but 2012 is gonna be Epic!"

These recording deals place Chris, Marcus and Astro back under the leadership of the legendary music executive, Epic Records Chairman/CEO and reunites them with The X Factor winner and now Epic Recording artist Melanie Amaro.

Brooklyn bred 15-year old hip-hop phenomenon, Astro (Brian Bradley) rose to mainstream stardom following an impressive 10 week run on The X Factor. As the only contestant to consistently write new material each week – which has never been attempted before -Astro took Grammy-nominated Eminem's "Lose Yourself," (a track that had previously never been covered) and made it his own. Honing his craft since the age of 10, Astro first burst onto the scene a few years back with his original composition, "Stop Looking At My Mom," which became an instant viral sensation.

Jay-Z hosted the grand re-opening of 40/40, his NYC club on Wednesday night. In his first public appearance since wife Beyonce gave birth to daughter Blue Ivy on Jan. 7, Hovy Hov was greeted by reporters, photographers and friends on the red carpet.

"Hi everybody!" he said amongst the crowd. When the crowd congratulated him on Blue Ivy's birth, he replied with a "thank you" and a huge smile. Still recuperating from delivering Blue at an "executive suite" at Lenox Hill Hospital, his wife of three years Beyonce, 30, skipped the night out.

Once inside the club, Jay-Z mingled with friends and fans wishing him well: Ashanti, Russell Simmons, Swizz Beatz, Selita Ebanks, billionaire Warren Buffett, among others.

The rapper celebrated with shots of Patron and flutes of Ace of Spades champagne; throughout the night, he pulled out his phone and happily showed photos, presumably of his brand-new baby girl, to friends, who gave him and hugs and high-fives.

After leaving 40/40 just past 1 a.m., the new dad continued the party at hotspot 1Oak in Manhattan's Meatpacking district. "He wasn't doing anything crazy," a source reports. "Just chilling, laughing, and talking."

Two-time GRAMMY® winner LL COOL J is set to host the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards, marking the first time in seven years that the music industry's premier event will have an official host. Music's Biggest Night® takes place live on Sunday, Feb. 12, at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and will be broadcast on the CBS Television Network from 8 – 11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

"I'm thrilled to be part of Music's Biggest Night," said LL COOL J. "I will always have fond memories of my first GRAMMY Awards and to now be hosting the GRAMMY show, in the company of so many other incredible artists, is a dream come true. Great performances and great music — it's gonna be a great night!"

LL COOL J has hosted "The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!! — Countdown To Music's Biggest Night" since its inception in December 2008, and this will be his first time hosting the annual GRAMMY Awards telecast. Recent past hosts include Queen Latifah at the 47th GRAMMY Awards and Jon Stewart for the 43rd and 44th GRAMMY telecasts. Over the years, additional GRAMMY hosts include Billy Crystal, Ellen DeGeneres and Rosie O'Donnell, among others.

LL COOL J joins previously announced performers and current GRAMMY nominees Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson, Foo Fighters, Bruno Mars, Nicki Minaj, and Taylor Swift. Aldean and Minaj will perform on the GRAMMY telecast for the first time, while Clarkson, Foo Fighters, Mars, and Swift are returning to the GRAMMY stage.

The 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards are produced by John Cossette Productions and AEG Ehrlich Ventures for The Recording Academy. Ken Ehrlich is executive producer, Louis J. Horvitz is director, and David Wild and Ken Ehrlich are the writers.

This February, Bud Light – the official beer sponsor of the NFL – is taking up residence in downtown Indianapolis for Super Bowl XLVI with the return of the Bud Light Hotel.

Beginning Thursday, Feb. 2, Bud Light will transform a 180-room downtown Indianapolis hotel (105 S. Meridian Street) into the premier destination for Super Bowl week entertainment. In addition to hosting exclusive parties from EA SPORTS and Playboy, the Bud Light Hotel will host a special concert featuring 50 Cent, Lil Jon and Bud Light-sponsored artist Pitbull the night before the Super Bowl and a special afternoon concert featuring the Barenaked Ladies before the game. Tickets for the Saturday and Sunday concerts are available throughout the Indianapolis metropolitan area.

"Bud Light Hotel has steadily become the epicenter of the entertainment during Super Bowl week, and we don't know of any place in Indy where people can find a better, more diverse line-up of good times," said Mike Sundet, senior director, Bud Light. "And through our partnership with Yahoo!, we'll liven up the Saturday night of music fans everywhere with the concert event of Super Bowl week."

"The Bud Light Hotel concert has already become a signature Super Bowl week event that fans look forward to and now can experience this incredible line-up on Yahoo!," said Ken Fuchs, VP, Yahoo! Media Network. "We are thrilled to be bringing this fantastic event exclusively to our 80 million music and sports fans around the country."

Odd Future Records announces March 20th as the release date for The OF Tape Vol. 2 LP featuring all new music from Tyler, the Creator, Hodgy Beats, Frank Ocean, Leftbrain, Domo Genesis, Mike G, Syd the Kyd and The Internet.

The group will soon announce a 10 city national tour for the month of March that will include both a show and OF pop up retail store in each city. Each show will also open with an exclusive viewing of "Loiter Squad" prior to its March 25th Adult Swim premiere.

p.s. Tyler, the Creator's follow up to Goblin, Wolf, will drop later in the Spring and Mellowhype's Numbers will drop this summer. OFWGKTA.

VH1 will give viewers a chance to relive all the excitement of the screaming fans, unforgettable moments and music-loving Times Square takeover that was mandatory daily viewing for so many with VH1 Rock Docs Presents: "The TRL Decade," premiering January 29 at 9:30PM ET/PT.

This hour-long special features extensive clips and interviews with creators, fans and artists who appeared on the show, including Nas, Method Man, Lil Jon, Kid Rock among some other surprises.. Former MTV VJs Carson Daly, Damien Fahey, Hilarie Burton, Vanessa Minnillo and La La Anthony also give in-depth interviews and share uncensored moments from the show.

"The TRL Decade" is the newest installment in the Emmy Award-winning VH1 Rock Doc franchise. VH1 Rock Docs are feature-length documentaries that tell unique stories of artists and music from a wide range of genres, styles and musical perspectives.

"The TRL Decade" is a production of VH1, in association with. Brad Abramson, Stephen Mintz, Shelly Tatro and Jeff Olde are executive producers for VH1. "The TRL Decade" is directed and produced by Academy Award and Emmy Award nominee Lauren Lazin.

The battles back and forth between Drake and Common have been pretty heated as of late. The most recently released dis track over Rick Ross’ “Stay Schemin”.

Last night, Common appeared on Sirius Hip-Hop Nation radio show. He explained the battle between him and Drake (that it's not because of Serena Williams), instead, “I got in this because it’s hip-hop,” he explained.

“I was speaking up on the song ‘Sweet’ about, over and over we’re hearing a lot of singing,” he continued. “I listen to R&B, I listen to good R&B and soul music, so I’m not opposed to singing. I’ma be frank about that. But I just spoke up for the art of hip-hop and what I feel about it. Once he said something back, that’s when I said, ‘aight, I guess you want to get in a battle with me. And if that’s what you want, then I’ll battle.’”

Common also says that despite the battle, he didn’t intentionally mean to dis Drake on “Sweet.”

“I was like, ‘well, I wasn’t trying to address you specifically, but if you feel like you are that person and if you’re addressing this to me, then I have to address you back.’” WATCH HIM PERFORM LIVE HERE

In a Las Vegas hotel a few days before the start of the Consumer Electronics Show on Jan. 10, Interscope Geffen A&M Chairman Jimmy Iovine takes out an iPad and swipes through photos of celebrities wearing headphones from Beats Electronics, the company he co-owns with rapper Dr. Dre. There’s Nicole Kidman, the late Steve Jobs listening to his iPod, and Kobe Bryant sporting a pair in L.A. Lakers purple. Before Beats, “Guys were making headphones that looked like medical equipment,” says Iovine.

Nowhere to be found among the photos is Noel Lee, the chief executive of Monster Cable Products, which has manufactured the headphones under exclusive license since their debut in 2009. The partnership between Beats and Monster, an electronics company best known for expensive stereo cables, has been an unmitigated success. Its products captured 53 percent of the $1 billion annual headphone market last year, according to researcher NPD Group. Now the partnership is coming to an end. Beats has opted not to renew its five-year contract with Monster when it ends late this year.

Though both companies publicly say the separation is amicable, the relationship turned sour over financial terms, with divergent views on which side deserves the most credit for the line’s success and Beats balking at its share of the revenue, according to two people who asked not to be identified because the talks were private. While Monster manufactures and helped design the headphones, and even takes credit for the idea (“They wanted to do speakers and I said, ‘The new speaker is the headphone,’” says Lee), Iovine and Dr. Dre are the partnership’s frontmen. The pair marshaled their celebrity friends to successfully position Beats headphones as something more than run-of-the-mill audio gear. “Now a big part of what you’re paying for is the brand and fashion,” says Ben Arnold, director of industry analysis for NPD.

At CES, Lee was busy preparing his company for a Beats-free future. Audio gear sales, most of which came from the Beats partnership, last year accounted for nearly 60 percent of privately held Monster’s revenues and profit, says Lee, who gets around conferences like CES on a Segway scooter that’s gold-plated, just like some of the company’s pricey HDMI cables. After the split, Beats will retain the rights to the bass-thumping sound technology, the prominent circular design, and the brand. So last year Lee asked nearly half his 650 employees to come up with Monster-branded headphones. “We’re competing with ourselves,” Lee says of the Beats products he’s trying to outdo. “We can be the Apple (AAPL) of the headphones space, with or without Beats.”

With Beats already dominant among hip twentysomethings, Lee is targeting athletes, women, business professionals, and others who haven’t yet been persuaded to spend hundreds of dollars on headphones. He showed off the company’s offerings, which became available for preorder to distributors on Jan. 9. One $200 pair of in-ear headphones bears the name of the ’70s soul act Earth, Wind & Fire. A Miles Davis line has earbuds shaped like trumpets and a volume controller that looks like piston valves. In all, there are eight new lines in 50 different styles. “We hope people will recognize what we’ve done in terms of sound with the Beats products,” Lee says.

Meanwhile, Beats is moving on. The company’s sound technology is already in many computers made by Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), the Chrysler 300 S sedan, and smartphones created by HTC, which took a 51 percent stake in Beats last year for $300 million. Beats also wants to expand into TVs and specialized audio gear for athletes. “We have very big ambitions for Beats beyond headphones,” says Iovine. “Music has got to succeed on the phone or else the record industry will never thrive.” He’s not particularly worried about the competition from other high-end headphone makers, such as Philips Electronics (PHG) and Bose, or his former partner. “You never get anywhere if you’re always looking left and right,” he says. “They’re doing their thing, and we’re doing ours.”

The bottom line: Monster is rolling out eight lines of headphones to compete with its former partner, Beats, in the $1 billion market. Source: Business Week

Fontana (Universal Music Group's award-winning independent marketing, sales and distribution company) has signed an exclusive agreement with Golden Era Records for the US release of the new Hilltop Hoods album Drinking From The Sun, as well as key back catalog titles. The announcement was made today by Ron Spaulding, President of Fontana.

Hilltop Hoods have been at the center of the Australian hip hop scene for over a decade. They are renowned for their live shows and have toured extensively in Australia as well as overseas. The band's innovative and fearless sound has made new fans for the band throughout the world. Drinking From The Sun will be their sixth full-length studio album, with their last two records hitting #1 in their native Australia. The first single from the new album will be "I Love It" featuring Sia. The US release date will be January 17th and the single is already gold in Australia.

"When I was in Australia, I was introduced to The Hilltop Hoods by Dylan and was blown away by the sheer quality of music they were producing; coupled with their success in their native country, we are excited to introduce them to the United States," stated Mr. Spaulding. "Golden Era is a great partner and we look forward to working with them."

"In the last few years, Hilltop Hoods have been successfully touring and releasing material in Canada, Germany, Switzerland and the UK," commented Dylan Liddy (Manager of Hilltop Hoods). "Fontana has a proven track record of success in hip hop and we know they are the winning team to partner with to tackle the US market."

Golden Era Records was formed in 2009 and is based in Adelaide, Australia.

Current GRAMMY® nominees Nicki Minaj, Bruno Mars, Jason Aldean, Kelly Clarkson, Foo Fighters and Taylor Swift are the first performers announced for the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards® telecast. Aldean and Minaj will perform on the GRAMMY telecast for the first time, while Clarkson, Foo Fighters, Mars, and Swift are returning to the GRAMMY stage.

The music industry's premier event will take place live on Sunday, Feb. 12, at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and will be broadcast in high definition and 5.1 surround sound on the CBS Television Network from 8 – 11:30 p.m. (ET/PT). The show also will be supported on radio worldwide via Westwood One/Dial Global, and covered online. Additional performers, presenters and special segments will be announced soon.

Nicki Minaj has four nods: Best New Artist, Best Rap Performance for "Moment 4 Life" (with Drake), Best Rap Album for Pink Friday, and Album Of The Year (as a featured artist on Rihanna's Loud).

GRAMMY winner Mars is up for Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Best Pop Solo Performance for "Grenade"; Album Of The Year and Best Pop Vocal Album for Doo-Wops & Hooligans; and Producer Of The Year, Non Classical (as a member of the Smeezingtons, along with Philip Lawrence and Ari Levine).

The 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards are produced by John Cossette Productions and AEG Ehrlich Ventures for The Recording Academy. Ken Ehrlich is executive producer, Louis J. Horvitz is director, and David Wild and Ken Ehrlich are the writers.

Winners for PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS 2012 were announced during a live broadcast hosted by Kaley Cuoco at the Nokia Theater L.A. Live on Wednesday, January 11th on the CBS Television Network. To determine the winners, fans cast a record-breaking 230+ million votes. Now in its 38th year, the People’s Choice Awards continues to be the only major awards show voted on entirely by the public for fan favorites in music, movies and television. Katy Perry was the fan-favorite winning five trophies at the event (including Favorite Female Artist, Best Video, Favorite Tour Headliner, Favorite Song of the Year, Favorite TV Guest Star). Here are just a few of the other winners:

Favorite Hip Hop Artist: Eminem
Favorite R&B Artist: Rihanna
Favorite Male Artist: Bruno Mars
Favorite CelebReality Star: Kim Kardashian

The 2012 ESSENCE Musical Festival celebrates "The Power of Our Voice" during its 18th anniversary held in New Orleans July 6, 7 and 8. This year's theme reflects the audiences' turn to powerful voices—whether through song, the political arena or community organizing—for strength and inspiration during challenging times. The annual Festival promises to deliver a stellar line-up of musical artists as well as leading thinkers, authors, innovators and influencers who will empower and motivate the audience to make a difference in each of their communities. The annual weekend of entertainment and empowerment will feature an unprecedented three days of cultural celebrations over the festive Fourth of July holiday weekend in the Crescent City. With a combination of iconic musical performances and thought-provoking dialogue, the 2012 ESSENCE Music Festival will be an unforgettable experience.

"The theme of this year's Essence Music Festival celebrates our most powerful voices. Whether it's Aretha Franklin, The Queen of Soul commanding respect or Rep. Maxine Waters demanding better conditions for our community, these powerful voices resonate with our audience like no other," said Michelle Ebanks, president, Essence Communications Inc. "As we all face a new reality in these critical times, we want to inspire our Festival-goers to leave this year's Festival even more resilient and motivated so that they can be empowered to create change in their own communities."

After another record-breaking year in 2011, this year's line-up promises to be a weekend to remember. Stellar acts leading the list of artists set to perform at the legendary Louisiana Superdome include: Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige, Fantasia, Stephanie Mills, Charlie Wilson, Keyshia Cole, Ledisi, SWV, Dru Hill, Raheem DeVaughn, Estelle, Goapele, Vivian Green, Kindred the Family Soul, Luke James, Eric Roberson, The Stylistics, Big Sam's Funky Nation, Bridget Kelly, The Original Pinettes Brass Band, The Stooges Brass Band and Khris Royal & Dark Matter.

In addition, ESSENCE will honor iconic singer Aretha Franklin with "The Power Award." The Queen of Soul previously performed at the Festival in 1995 and 2005.

In addition to the colossal music line-up, the audience can look forward to the annual ESSENCE Empowerment Experience, which is free and open to the public at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Festival-goers will experience three full days of socio-political dialogue, health and wellness discussions and spiritual inspiration led by dynamic motivational speakers. The initial roster of leading authors, speakers and leaders include: Steve Harvey, Rev. Al Sharpton, Rep. Maxine Waters and Dr. Steve Perry. The weekend will culminate on Sunday with a rousing All-star Gospel tribute honoring gospel mega-stars Fred Hammond and Mary Mary.

In an effort to continue to give back to the New Orleans community, ESSENCE will also partner with the City of New Orleans to benefit their initiatives focused on saving our youth.

Now in its 18th year, the ultimate destination for entertainment and inspiration hosted over 422,000 attendees last year. What began in 1995 as a one-time event to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of ESSENCE magazine has now grown into one of the country's "Top 10 Leading Brand Events" by Advertising Age. The ESSENCE Music Festival is the nation's largest annual gathering of African-American music and culture. Throughout its history, the Festival has featured an array of performers including Alicia Keys, Al Green, Aretha Franklin, Beyonce, Chaka Khan, Destiny's Child, Earth, Wind & Fire, Gladys Knight, LL Cool J, Jamie Foxx, John Legend, The Isley Brothers, Lionel Richie, Luther Vandross, Maxwell, The O'Jays, Prince, Rihanna, Stevie Wonder, Toni Braxton, Patti LaBelle and Yolanda Adams, among others.

Planet Asia helped jump-start the West Coast independent hip-hop movement, releasing a slew of popular 12-inch singles on upstarts like Stones Throw and ABB Records in the late 90s that established him as one of the leaders of a crop of talent that included the likes of Dilated Peoples, Madlib, Murs, and Jurassic 5. Now a 15-year veteran, the Cali-based MC (born in Fresno, he's spent most of his career living in Los Angeles and San Francisco) shows no signs of slowing down. The first decade of the new millennium saw Asia briefly sign with major label Interscope, go independent again for his debut album The Grand Opening, release full-length collaborative projects with both Evidence of Dilated Peoples (The Medicine) and DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill (Pain Language), form his own label (Gold Chain Music), and work with everyone from Linkin Park to Bun B to Ghostface Killah. Now, Planet Asia is back with his first retail album in four years, the star-studded Black Belt Theatre, which hits stores everywhere via Daddy Real/Wandering Worx/Greenstreets on February 28th, 2012.

Named after a 1980s Saturday-afternoon TV show and inspired by Planet Asia's favorite films, Black Belt Theatre combines the violent precision of classic kung-fu flicks with the calculated cool of classic blaxploitation movies. "I wanted to make the album like a movie, something you would see in a theater," says Asia. "That's why it has so many features. All the guests feel like different characters in the movie." These guests include veterans like Raekwon, Talib Kweli, Paul Wall, Ras Kass, Camp Lo, and Strong Arm Steady, as well as newcomers like Fashawn, Willie The Kid, Torae, and Nio Tha Gift. "They're basically just all people I thought were dope," says Asia. "Both young cats I'm feeling and veterans I've always admired." Unlike on his albums with Evidence and DJ Muggs, Asia also got to determine the sonic direction on Black Belt Theatre, resulting in a soul-heavy, blaxploitation-influenced sound. "It was fun because I got to reach out to guys like Oh No and Khrysis for beats, find the best tracks and put together a masterpiece," explains Asia. "It's some esoteric gangster shit…a full plate for the listener."

Black Theatre Workshop (BTW) will honour Actress Tonya Lee Williams at their 26th annual Vision Celebration Gala, to be held Saturday, January 28th, 2012 in Montreal, Canada. The prestigious Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award is given to a person who has a measure of distinction in Canada and has made significant contributions to the development of Black performing arts. For over thirty-five years Tonya Lee Williams has been such an individual. Nominated for two Emmy Awards and winner of two NAACP Image Awards, an ACTRA Award of Excellence, a Harry Jermone Award, an African Canadian Achievement Award, a Planet Africa Award for Media and Entertainment, Ms. Williams has been instrumental in reflecting positive images from the Black communities and reaching millions of viewers through her roles as, Olivia Winters for the past twenty-three years on The Young and The Restless; as Maxine on Vision TV's She's The Mayor; as Karen in Lifetimes Double Wedding, as Ruth in Clement Virgo's film Poor Boys Game, and other film and tv shows. We remember Tonya in her early years in Canada on the Wear A Moustache milk commercial campaigns, Polka Dot Door, dancing on Boogie, hosting the Miss Teen Canada Pageant, hosting Welcome to My World and starring as Belinda on Check It Out. Also her early years in Hollywood on Hill St. Bues, Falcon Crest, What's Happening Now, Gimme A Break to mention a few.

In 2001 Ms. Williams brought much needed attention to artists of colour when she Founded ReelWorld Film Festival. Based in Toronto, ReelWorld screens films from the Aboriginal, Asian, Black, Latino, Middle Eastern, South Asian and other multi-racial communities. The festival now in its 12th year has given a voice to many artists in Canada and around the world.

Modern Warfare® 3 blazes into 2012 with the debut of all-new multiplayer maps Liberation and Piazza, the front line of theModern Warfare® 3 Content Season for Call of Duty® Elite, nine consecutive months of epic downloadable content that commences January 24th for Xbox Live users.

Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc.'s (Nasdaq: ATVI), revealed today that the content will be available first for Call of Duty® Elite's premium members on Xbox LIVE, followed by additional platforms at a later time. From January through September, Call of Duty Elitepremium members on Xbox LIVE will receive regular updates of all new content totaling at least 20 content drops.

The Modern Warfare 3 Content Season for Call of Duty Elite will include a broader variety than ever, with brand new multiplayer maps, Special Ops Missions, new game modes and more. While Call of Duty Elite premium subscribers get the new content first, as promised, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 fans who want to buy the content a la carte as they have in the past, will be able to purchase the content via Modern Warfare 3 Content Collections.

"The mammoth launch of Modern Warfare 3 and the breakout success of Call of Duty Elite were just the beginning. Call of Duty Elite provides an "always-on" connection to our fanbase, and the MW3 Content Season is the ultimate way to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to the Call of Duty community and provide tremendous value to Call of Duty Elite premium members," said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing. "With the Call of Duty®: MW3 Content Season for Call of Duty Elite we are delivering on our promise of more new content, more often, and with more variety than ever. With three studios collaborating on the first season, the breadth and depth of material on tap is truly extraordinary. It's rare you can successfully execute both quantity and quality, but thanks to the expertise of our developers, the reach of Call of Duty Elite and the passion of our fans, we intend to deliver."

All content drops for Call of Duty Elite premium members will occur once a month, starting in January for Xbox Live users and will continue through the year, ending in September. During the first three months of 2012, Activision will release five different content drops on three occasions in January, February and March, first on Xbox Live, followed by additional platforms at a later time.

The first two Content Drops will be multiplayer maps--also playable in Modern Warfare 3 Survival Mode-that throw combatants into a war-torn Central Park and an Italian seaside village. Liberation is a vast, militarized landscape, ripe for long-range sniper and LMG fire, with mounted turrets on either end that lend power to anyone brave enough to expose themselves in exchange for deadly firepower. Piazza is the idyllic Italian getaway that is anything but, where tight corners and branching pathways pose great risk at every turn. Close-range combat dominates in Piazza, where attacks from behind, above and below are an ever-constant threat.

The third Content Drop will be available for download in mid-February and two additional Content Drops will go live in March, as premium Call of Duty Elitemembers will receive new content once a month through September. Also in March, the first Modern Warfare 3 Content Collection will be available for purchase by the entire Call of Duty: MW3 player community on Xbox Live.

To celebrate the launch of each new content drop, Call of Duty Elite will run specialized events for real-world prizes throughout the nine-month Season. Additional details about the Modern Warfare 3 Content Season for Call of Duty Elite and Collection series will be announced throughout the year.

The Modern Warfare 3 Content Season is co-developed by Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games and Raven Software.

Duracell Powermat, LLC, the joint venture formed in September 2011 by Procter & Gamble's PG -0.41% Duracell brand and Powermat Technologies announced today that entrepreneur and 13 time Grammy award winning cultural icon Shawn "JAY Z" Carter has signed a multi-year global agreement with the company as an investment partner. He will also be the face and voice of the Duracell Powermat JV.

As a well-known trend-setter that helped redefine the music industry, JAY Z is uniquely positioned to bring wireless power to the people. His proven capability to mobilize and speak to a technology-savvy generation that lives and dies by their smartphones will enable Duracell Powermat to deliver the message that consumers need not forgo their richly mobile lifestyles because of insufficient battery power.

"I believe in the future of wireless energy and I believe that Duracell Powermat is the company to bring on the revolution," said Mr. Carter. "I'm partnering with Duracell Powermat because they're providing the solutions for the future."

"The Duracell Powermat joint venture merges Procter &Gamble's core expertise in consumer understanding, brand-building and go-to-market capability with Powermat's technological innovation and ability to create a best-in-class wireless charging experience," said Stassi Anastassov, President Duracell, P&G. "When we thought about bringing together representatives from best-in-class categories, JAY Z was the natural choice to be the new face and voice of Duracell Powermat."

"JAY Z is power personified. He inspires millions of people all over the world on a daily basis with his music and his story," said Ran Poliakine, CEO of Powermat Technologies. "There is no better face or voice that can move people to adopt a new paradigm in power delivery."

'We are proud to work with such an inspiring icon, whose music and success speaks to an entire generation all over the world. Our common vision and voice will pave the way for the upcoming wireless power revolution," said Ron Rabinowitz, CEO of Duracell Powermat, LLC.

COACHELLA 2012 LINEUP ANNOUNCED. ( Snoop, Dre, Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino & more..)
Coachella has announced the lineup for the ever-popular destination festival, and the 2012 edition will be topped by the Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg, Black Keys, and Radiohead. The 13th year of the festival, which takes place in the Indio, CA desert some 130 miles east of Los Angeles, will expand to two weekends for the first time, taking place April 13-15 and April 20-22.

The eclectic lineup, which will be the same on both weekends, also features acts such as Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, Swedish House Mafia, Pulp, reunited punk rockers Refused, Arctic Monkeys, Mazzy Star, M83, Madness and Jimmy Cliff on Friday night - the night which the Black Keys will headline.

Saturday will bring the headlining set from Radiohead, along with Bon Iver, A$aap Rocky, Childish Gambino, The Shins, David Guetta, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel, Feist, Kasabian, AWOLNATION, Squeeze and many more.

Sunday boasts the collaborative set from Dre and Snoop, Araab Musik, plus the reunited At The Drive-In, Florence + The Machine, Justice, La Roux, Beirut, The Weeknd, Girl Talk, The Hives, DJ Shadow, Calvin Harris, Santigold and dozens of other acts.

Earlier today Young Money announced the signing of Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter, PJ Morton (son of Bishop Paul S. Morton) to the roster. The New Orleans native most recently comes from the group, Maroon 5 and has released about five independent albums to date.

“I’m very happy to be a part of such a force in the music industry. Not only that, but a label that promotes being creative and being who you are,” an ecstatic Morton stated about the signing. “I couldn’t have asked for more.”

Universal Republic Records has expanded its marketing team with the appointment of respected industry veteran Jim Roppo to Executive Vice President of Marketing, it was announced today by the company's Monte Lipman, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Avery Lipman, Co-President and Chief Operating Officer, to whom he reports.

Based in New York, Mr. Roppo will lead marketing, digital, video and artist development initiatives for Universal Republic's all-star roster of multi-platinum, award-winning legends and superstar artists such as 3 Doors Down, Amy Winehouse, Black Sabbath, Colbie Caillat, Eddie Vedder, Enrique Iglesias, Florence + the Machine, Godsmack, Owl City, The Rolling Stones, The Voice (NBC-TV), Gotye, Of Monsters & Men, Mayer Hawthorne, among many others. As part of his duties as head of marketing, Mr. Roppo will also work closely with Universal Republic's innovative imprints and digital business ventures including Big Machine (Taylor Swift), Republic Nashville (The Band Perry), Cash Money (Lil Wayne, Drake, Nicki Minaj), Indie Pop (Dev, The Cataracs), Lava Records (Jessie J, Black Veil Brides), SRC (Akon, Melanie Fiona), Aware Records (Mat Kearney), Brushfire (Jack Johnson, G. Love), Tuff Gong (Damian Marley, Stephen Marley) and Downtown (Miike Snow), among others. Most recently, Mr. Roppo was Senior Vice President, Sales, Island Def Jam Music Group (IDJMG), since October, 2006, having moved to New York in 2005 as Vice President of Sales for IDJMG.

"As we continue to expand the suite of services that we offer our artists and business partners, Jim is a perfect fit to lead our marketing efforts," stated Monte Lipman. "He possesses a track record of success that is second to none, and is a valued leader who has worked closely with key brand and retail partners throughout his career. I'm confident that his extensive sales and operations background will be a great asset to our talented marketing team as they continue to strengthen our artists' brands in the marketplace."

"Universal Republic has one of the hottest rosters in the industry right now, and I'm excited to work with such a talented group of artists and executives," added Mr. Roppo. "I'd like to thank Monte and Avery for this opportunity and also express my gratitude to my former team at IDJMG for all of their support over the years."

Mr. Roppo had been with IDJMG for 13 years, beginning in 1999 as Regional Sales Director, based in Minneapolis. During that time, he was named Label Sales Rep of the year, UMVD Central Division, for 2001. Prior to IDJ, he spent two years as National Account Manager, PolyGram Group Distribution, starting in 1997. He began his career in music in 1988 at Aron's Records in Los Angeles.

Iron Solomon is a born and bred New York City rapper/producer who made his name in the battle circuits, stomping competition coast-to-coast and racking up millions of YouTube views along the way.

Fresh off the heels of Redrum Radio, a Halloween inspired Mix CD released October 31st of last year, the MC is ready to release his debut album Monster on March 27th through Royal/3D. Set to appear on the record are established artists such as Talib Kweli, Jean Grae, Paul Wall, and Novel, as well as the legendary DMC of Run-DMC fame and more.

According to Solomon, the album will be a “personal offering that gives listeners a window into the life and mind of a kid growing up in New York City’s schizophrenic landscape. Monster touches on everything from my personal come-up and the stress of pursuing one’s dreams to the struggle of young relationships, family drama and youthful arrogance-plus a healthy dose of party and bullshit.”

Solomon’s work ethic and talent are being recognized by powerhouse names in the music industry: “Iron Solomon is nasty…it gets me excited in the studio, to watch [him]…I get very inspired by that…”-Drake

“Solomon has a very commanding presence about himself. I wanted him to take the beginning of my record and make it something special.”-Travis McCoy, Gym Class Heroes

'Monster' is produced entirely by Iron Solomon and his in-house team of producers and musicians. The album will mesh trunk-rattling 808’s with hard-hitting drums, soaring strings, lush synths and soulful horns, while remaining strongly rooted in the aggressive, witty lyricism Solomon is known for.

Sonomax Technologies, Inc. welcomes new Creative Director K. R. Nazel, a.k.a. Arabian Prince, West Coast music pioneer, DJ, producer and founding member of the groundbreaking rap group N.W.A. and Stones Throw label to their technology family. With a career spanning 30 thirty years in the music industry and over 15 fifteen years in 3D animation, film and video game production, Arabian Prince has joined Sonomax Technologies to help create, design, and market Sonomax's custom-fitted earphones, eers™, and the accompanying SonoFit™ technology.

"We are very fortunate to have been able to attract a talented and hard-working individual like Arabian, who brings his wealth of experience and contacts to not only our line of eers™ custom earphones, but also our SonoFit™ fitting technology which remains the company's core focus,” said Nick Laperle, President and CEO of Sonomax Technologies.

“The Source, a 700 store Canadian National Retailer, has enthusiastically endorsed our product by launching Sculpted eers in their stores across the country during the holiday season. This acknowledgement by The Source of the demand for in ear applications by consumers further validates SonoFit as the premier fitting platform for any of the 300 million earphones sold globally under various brands; the opportunity upon which Sonomax will be leveraging it’s licensing model. It was therefore time to conclude a deal with an experienced marketer such as Arabian Prince.”

Mr. Laperle continued, “I'm very happy to report that Arabian's involvement will greatly enhance the success of these two initiatives.”

Arabian has already commenced work with the Sonomax® team to redesign the eers™ product look and sound. “I listen and work on music everyday, so I wanted the sound and fit that I use on stage, and when I DJ to carry over to eers™. I have used custom in-ear monitors for years, but there has never been a cost effective solution for the general public until now,” said Nazel. “Custom in-ear monitors can take weeks to make and cost a thousand dollars or more, but with the SonoFit™ system and eers™ custom earbuds, the general public can get a one-of-a-kind custom fit in just 5 minutes right out of the box for less than 25% of the price.”

Currently, Arabian is working with gaming companies to create new gaming custom fitted earphones for the hundreds of millions of players who game for extended hours thus requiring a more comfortable, advanced listening experience. "The SonoFit™ system opens up the door for new technology partnerships. We are also working on applications for military, racing, and hearing protection, as well as selling the fitting systems to other earphone manufacturers. I am pleased to be a part of such an amazing product, and company,” added Nazel.

Congrats on the birth of Beyonce and Jay-Z's daughter, Blue Ivy Carter. The little girl was born late on Saturday night at a New York hospital where the couple reportedly rented out an entire floor for privacy.

Beyonce apparently had the baby via c-section and all the family members are doing well. The couple chose the name "Ivy" because of the significance of the number 4 or IV -- Beyonce and Jay-Z were born on September 4 and December 4, respectively, were married on April 4, 2008, and Beyonce's latest album is entitled 4.

A source at Lenox Hill Hospital also told Us Weekly that Jay-Z was spotted walking the hospital halls on Saturday looking "happy," and that Beyonce's family members -- sister Solange and parents Tina and Mathew Knowles -- were all in attendance carrying "flowers with pink balloons and silver and black ribbons."

The complete SoundScan industry report for 2011 (52-week period January 3, 2011 through January 1, 2012) has just been released, showing that overall music unit sales grew by 6.9 percent last year, crossing 1.6 billion units for the first time (2010 saw 1.5 billion).

Total album sales were up 1.3 percent in 2011, to 330.6 million from 326.2 million in 2010. Digital sales continued to set new records, as 2011 saw a new record of 1.271 billion songs sold digitally, an 8.5 percent increase from the year before. Digital album sales grew by 19.5 percent in 2011 to reach 103.1 million, a jump from 86.3 million in 2010.

CD sales continued to drop, with a 5.7 percent decline in 2011 to 223.5 million sold. vinyl sales grew again in 2011, with a 36.3 percent increase from 2.8 million to 3.9 million.

Nielsen/SoundScan also broke down sales by market in 2011, with New York City and Los Angeles the top two sales markets, followed by Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. In New York, 13.7 million physical albums were sold last year, with 8.6 million digital albums sold as well.

Looking at the breakdown of sales by genre, Jazz music saw the biggest growth in 2011, with a 26.2 percent increase over 2010, followed by a 16.2 percent increase for New Age and 15 percent growth for Electronic music. Soundtracks saw the biggest decline in 2011, with a 19.4 percent drop in sales, following by a 4.3 percent decline for Latin music and a 4.2 percent drop in R&B sales.

Universal Music Group remains the #1 label across all categories, with the biggest market share of both physical and digital releases. UMG had a 29.85 percent share of the overall album sales in 2011, a slight decline from 2010, followed by Sony Music, which increased its share to 29.29 percent, closing the gap between the two largest labels. Warner Music Group had a 19.13 percent share of total albums, followed by EMI with 9.62 percent. All other labels combined for a 12.11 percent share of the market, increasing their share just over one percent compared to 2010.

Adele's 21 was the best-selling album of 2011 with 5.824 million copies sold, followed by Michael Buble's Christmas, Born This Way from Lady Gaga, Lil Wayne's Tha Carter IV and My Kinda Party by Jason Aldean. Adele was also the best selling artist overall in 2011 with 6.744 million albums sold in total. Justin Bieber was second with 3.393 million albums sold (his Under The Mistletoe was the #8 seller in 2011). Buble, Gaga and Lil Wayne round out the top five. Adele also dominated the digital categories with the best-selling digital song and album of 2011.

TOP TEN SELLING DIGITAL ARTISTS (Based on digital track sales from 7/4/2004-1/1/2012)
1 Rihanna 47,571,000 Units Sold
2 Black Eyed Peas 42,405,000
Units Sold
3 Eminem 42,290,000
Units Sold
4 Lady Gaga 42,078,000
Units Sold
5 Taylor Swift 41,821,000
Units Sold
6 Katy Perry 37,620,000
Units Sold
7 Lil’ Wayne 36,788,000
Units Sold
8 Beyonce 30,439,000
Units Sold
9 Kanye West 30,242,000
Units Sold
10. Britney Spears 28,665,000
Units Sold

For the first time, total music purchases reached the 1.6 Billion mark for the year.

During 2011 there were 76,875 new albums released that sold at least one copy, that’s up slightly from 2010 when there were just over 75,000 new albums released.

Total Album sales were up for the first time since 2004 (1.3%) with sales totaling 330.6 million, compared to 326.2 million in 2010.

Similar to a year ago, there were 11 albums that sold 1 million or more copies and 35 albums that sold 500,000 – 999,999 copies.

For the fourth consecutive year, more vinyl albums were purchased than any other year in the history of Nielsen SoundScan.

Note that 67% of all vinyl albums were purchased at an independent music store during 2011.

Vinyl album sales in 2011 were up 36% compared to 2010 and accounted for 1.2% of all album sales.

Rap and Electronic digital album sales -> up 42%

Country and R&B digital album sales -> up 27%

Latin digital album sales -> up 23%

For the first time, digital music sales are larger than physical sales; accounting for 50.3% of all music purchases in 2011.

Digital track sales set a new record with 1.27 billion sales in 2011; an increase of 100 million sales (8.4%) over 2010.

Digital album sales exceeded 100 million for the first time with a new all-time high of 103.1 million sales (up from 86.3 million in 2010); an increase of nearly 20%.

Nearly all digital album genres had a positive year in 2011; except for Soundtracks which were down just over 2% compared to 2010.

For the last week of 2011 (week ending 1/1/2012), digital album sales set a new high with sales of 3.5 million.

Digital track sales for Pop, Rock, R&B/Hip Hop and Country genres all had double digital growth in 2011; 24%, 23%, 20% and 11% respectively.

For the first time, more than 100 Digital Songs (112) exceeded the 1 million sales mark for the year.

In 2011 there were 38 different digital songs with sales that exceeded two million (compared to 37 in 2010, 31 in 2009, 19 in 2008 and nine in 2007).
In 2011, eight different artists broke the 10 million digital track sales mark.

Rihanna takes over the top spot as the biggest selling digital artist of all time with digital track sales totaling more than 47.5 million.

Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass” was the most streamed song and music video in 2011 with 84.9 million audio streams and 71 million video streams.

The Columbia label group ends the year with the largest album market share among all label groups with a 9.34 share.

Heavy is the head that wears the crown! Over the course of his now decade long-career, Copywrite has been a lightning rod of controversy, engaged in numerous beefs (some of which have lived out in real time and not just on the microphone). Yet, in life, lessons are learned, you grow and mature; and above all else life has a way of imparting upon you what’s truly important. For Copywrite, the devastation he felt from the loss of close friends and family members has heavily impacted his view of the world and his place in it. Leaders are bestowed a great deal of responsibility and they can influence those around them to do the right things, or they can lead them astray; Copywrite has chosen the former as his path.

Following the successes of his debut LP (“The High Exhaulted”) and his most recent sophomore album (“The Life and Times of Peter Nelson”), Copywrite found himself at a crossroad. He had first become popular in the underground scene for his battle raps and witty punch lines. With the release of “Life and Times of Peter Nelson” Copywrite found critical success by being more honest and candid about his life. Some fans yearned for the Copywrite who ripped other rappers to shreds; while critics and newer fans appreciated the deeper more introspective side of Copywrite. Mix all of that in along with the deaths of a few close friends and family members that have taken place since “The Life and Times of Peter Nelson” was released a year ago emboldened Copywrite to strengthen himself in his faith to change his content moving forward. What this offers the listener is a true look into the artist, who like many of us, starts something one way, but finishes it in a different manner.

With “God Save the King” Copywrite delivers another brutally honest record that reaches for new creative heights. “God Save The King” will be released this February.

The Estate of Michael Jackson announced today that Michael Jackson will be immortalized in a hand and foot print ceremony at Hollywood's legendary Grauman's Chinese Theatre on January 26, 2012, starting at 11:00am, in a giant celebration of the legacy of the King of Pop and the Los Angeles debut of Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour, the critically acclaimed Cirque du Soleil production and top grossing tour in the United States, according to Pollstar.

The Estate will be joined by Michael Jackson's three children, Prince, Paris and "Blanket" who will use their father's sequined glove and shoes to make impressions in the cement in the famous forecourt of the theatre as family, friends and fans celebrate the legacy of the King of Pop. The event is produced by the executors of the Estate of Michael Jackson, John McClain and John Branca. A special live presentation from the cast of THE IMMORTAL World Tour will be performed, and the event will be M.C.'d by Access Hollywood and Access Hollywood Live's anchor Billy Bush. The entire event will be streamed live via Twitter @michaeljackson

Kanye took to his twitter account last night possibly on full blown tilt posting close to 70 messages within three hours! He covered topics ranging from fashion to the educational system to award shows, but he started out by addressing the situation with his former agent and said he is currently without representation.

"I have no agency representing me currently... William Morris was fired after Cara Lewis quit. I love Cara Lewis," West wrote about his former agent. "I love being back at my fashion office learning and creating. It's so challenging and fun and I'm surrounded by amazing people. They say you only live once but every time I come to work I feel like I'm starting a second life."

He then posted a series of tweets about his life-long fascination with fashion and learning to design, which suddenly segued into: "I appreciate having the most nominations at the Grammies but I feel so conflicted by the fact that award shows sometimes are completely... illogical. I wouldn't have the prestige I have if it wasn't partially for the Grammies validation and I honor that."

Kanye then said he has started a new design company called Donda (named after his mother), which will "galvanize amazing thinkers and put them in a creative space to bounce there dreams and ideas." West said he is assembling a team of architects, graphic designers, directors, musicians, producers, writers, publicists, social media experts and more to "aesthetically improve everything we see hear, touch, taste and feel." He added that Donda will be comprised of over 22 divisions "with a goal to make products and experiences that people want and can afford."

Then, after going on a rant about the school system, Kanye finished with a quote from Nobel Prize-winning playwright George Bernard Shaw. "If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple," he tweeted. "But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas."

The fifth annual BET HONORS gears up for a highly anticipated show, celebrating the outstanding achievements of extraordinary legends in music, literature, entertainment, media, service and education. Acclaimed actress Gabrielle Union hosts the show for a fourth year, honoring renowned poet/author Maya Angelou (Literary Arts), internationally acclaimed musician Stevie Wonder (Musical Arts), Grammy-Award winning songstress Mariah Carey (Entertainer), influential filmmaker Spike Lee (Media), the heroic Tuskegee Airmen (Service) and inspirational coach and mentor Beverly Kearney (Education). The BET HONORS premieres during Black History Month, on Monday, February 13 at 9:00 p.m.

The BET HONORS, star-studded lineup includes performances by Aretha Franklin, Patti Labelle, Cicely Tyson and Common, with appearances by Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard and Willow Smith. The show tapes at the historic Warner Theatre on Saturday, January 14 in Washington, D.C.
Stephen Hill, President of Music Programming and Specials, BET Networks, and Lynne Harris Taylor, Vice President of Specials, BET Networks, are executive producers, along with Cossette Productions. Lexus is this year's returning sponsor for the BET HONORS red carpet and VIP reception.

Proceeds from this year's BET HONORS private ticket sales will be given to Metro TeenAIDS. Metro TeenAIDS, a longtime partner of BET, is a community health organization dedicated to supporting young people in the fight against HIV/AIDS, through education, support, and advocacy.

TV personality Nick Cannon has been hospitalized with kidney failure, according to his wife Mariah Carey. She tweeted a picture of her and Cannon in the hospital early this morning, saying, "Please pray for Nick as he's fighting to recover from a mild kidney failure." Carey posted a longer message about Cannon's health on her website, which can be read here:

This is us in the hospital - role reversal; Last year it was me attached to the machines (after having dembabies) and Nick was there with me through it, and now here we are.

We're trying to be as festive as possible under the circumstances but please keep Nick in your thoughts because this is very painful. They tried to kick me out of the hospital but here I am pon de bed with Mr. C.

We're doing OK but we're "straaaaaanded in Aspen". #DramaticDivaPlace (I know, we could be in a lot worse places) but the truth is as long as we're together, we're OK. I'm not trying to make light out of the situation because it's a serious moment that's very tough on all of us so please keep us and our family in your prayers. LYM.

Announced today, Epic Records signs Melanie Amaro to a recording contract following her triumphant win on season one of "The X Factor." Her new home with Epic Records places her under the leadership of legendary music executive, Epic Records Chairman/CEO and The X Factor judge, Mr. Antonio "L.A." Reid. As part of holding the coveted title, Amaro wins $5 million, the largest prize in television history, and is set to star in an iconic Pepsi commercial. Season one of Fox's highly successful talent competition crowned powerhouse vocalist Amaro its winner under the mentorship of Simon Cowell during its nail-biting season finale.

"I joined The X Factor to be able to discover undeniable talent such as Melanie," comments Mr. Reid. "I am pleased that she is now signed to Epic Records because I believe we have only scratched the surface on uncovering her talent and her inevitable journey to super-stardom."

Simon Cowell adds, "We all agreed that Epic would be the right fit for Melanie. L.A. made it clear that he wanted the opportunity to work with her and with his track record, you can't say no to that."
"I am so excited to start recording my debut album for Epic under the guidance of L.A. Reid and Simon Cowell," says Amaro. "This is a dream come true for me."

After an impressive battle for America's vote, Amaro defeated runners-up Josh Krajcik and Chris Renee for the title, with a dominating performance of Beyonce's "Listen." Although it was not an easy road to victory, Amaro was sent home prematurely by her mentor during the "judges homes" competition, however, Simon Cowell quickly realized his mistake and brought Amaro back in which she claimed her rightful place in the live shows.

Amaro entered The X Factor competition after persuasion from her mother whom earlier in her childhood had sent her off to live with her grandparents in the British Virgin Islands. With her family struggling for financial stability, Amaro used music as an escape from her pain and singing in church as her outlet. Now 19 years old, Amaro resides back in Sunrise, Fl. with her family.

The X Factor was created by Syco Television and is produced by Syco Television and FremantleMedia North America. Rob Wade and Siobhan Greene are executive producers for Syco Television. Cecile Frot-Coutaz, Richard Holloway and Andrew Llinares serve as executive producers for FremantleMedia North America.

Snoop Dogg won big during his appearance on the game show ‘The Price Is Right. The guest spot, which aired Monday morning (Jan. 2), was part of the show’s Celebrity Charity Week.

He also modeled prizes like a refurbished ’60's Cadillac and read off the Showcase Showdown, which included a VIP package to see him perform live at the 2012 Voodoo Music Experience festival in New Orleans.

The real win for Snoop was for the Snoop Youth Football League. Snoop took home $72,585 for his non-profit after helping five out of six contestants win on games like Plinko and the Range Game, where the contestant came within $150 dollars of the correct price of a Harley Davidson motorcycle to win it thanks to Snoop’s advice. SEE THE FOOTAGE HERE

Snoop Dogg was the main headliner at the Summafieldayze music festival on the Gold Coast last night.
Thousands of delirious fans, and even some of the festival's performers, tried to sneak a peek at the headline act as he was smuggled into Doug Jennings Park on The Spit under heavy security.

"You've never seen a crowd go as wild as they did for Snoop Dogg," Summafieldayze promoter Billy Cross said. "That guy must be bigger than (US President) Barack Obama.

"We have awesome acts like Pendulum, Moby, Calvin Harris ... but everything stopped for Snoop." Cross said total attendance at the festival was just under 35,000, with 20,000 of those from NSW and Victoria. He said it represented a peak in the event's popularity, from humble beginnings 10 years ago with crowds of just 4000. He also said there had been just 16 arrests, which compared favourably with interstate events and "says a lot for the Gold Coast".

"It's surprising how many artists want to come and play at our event," Cross said.

Snoop fans who missed out on festival tickets saw him earlier in the day at an autograph session in Pacific Fair's City Beach surf store.

Thousands turned up at the shopping centre for his brief appearance, where he signed autographs atop a throne in front of the shop while his family shopped up a storm inside.

Police arrested 56 people for drugs at the music festival. Those charged were aged 23-32 and will face court on drug possession charges. Fifty-three people were put on diversion programs because they were first-time offenders. Police seized ecstasy, cannabis and cocaine during searches.

Only one music fan was taken to hospital as the festival rocked Melbourne in scorching weather.

Ambulance Victoria officials said they were pleased at the single hospital admission and the low numbers of others needing treatment.

The man taken to The Alfred, in his 20s, was suspected of being overcome by a combination of heat, alcohol and drugs.

Paramedics treated 10 people at the festival, held at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl.

The Bamboozle 2012 has announced it's festival lineup with the addition of Skrillex as a headliner alongside Bon Jovi and the Foo Fighters, as well as adding Incubus and Mac Miller to the main stage alongside previously announced Blink-182.

The Asbury Park, NJ-based fest is celebrating its 10th anniversary this summer with three nights May 18-20, and will be announcing more artists in the new year.

The Los Angeles County Coroner's Office has revealed why rapper Heavy D. died suddenly at age 44 on Nov. 8.
According to preliminary results from an autopsy performed on the "Now That We Found Love" rapper, the star (real name: Dwight Myers) was the victim of a fatal pulmonary embolism.

He suffered a deep vein thrombosis, in which a blood clot in the leg moves to the lung and blocks a main artery. Shortly before his untimely passing, Heavy D is said to have visited the doctor to complain of a persistent cough; his final performance was at a Michael Jackson tribute show Oct. 8 in Cardiff, Wales. He also suffered from heart disease and thickened artery walls due to high cholesterol.

Heavy D's death was ruled as "natural," the report added, with prescription drugs playing no role. Final autopsy results are expected in about two weeks.

The Federal Trade Commission is taking the lead in reviewing the sale of Citigroup-owned record label EMI, The New York Post has learned.

Citi has agreed to break up EMI, selling its music division to Vivendi’s Universal Music and its publishing assets to Sony Corp. for a total of $4.1 billion.

Universal has already committed to selling some $500 million in noncore assets to help fund the sale, but the FTC will be scrutinizing Universal’s position as the world’s biggest music company.

One source suggested the FTC had taken the EMI case, rather than the Justice Department, because the latter was busy reviewing AT&T’s now-scuttled merger with T-Mobile.

Reports are coming in that Shawty Lo was hospitalized, It's been confirmed that the Atlanta rapper was admitted in a hospital due to his diabetes.
“He suffers from diabetes and had to seek immediate medical attention, although he is now resting and doing well,” his manager Johnnie Cabbell said. “He will be able to fulfill his scheduled upcoming performances and appearances.”

Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka Flame have offered to cover the funeral costs for rapper Slim Dunkin who was shot and killed last week. Slim Dunkin (Mario Hamilton), was murdered following a heated argument in a recording studio in Atlanta, Georgia. A remembrance service is due to take place this Friday and Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka Flame have vowed to pay for the services for the memorial to give their late Brick Squad crew member the send-off he deserves.
According to reports, the funeral will include a white horse-drawn carriage and the release of white doves.

Meanwhile, police are investigating claims Slim Dunkin was killed in a dispute over a piece of candy. Homicide detective David Quinn says, “Slim Dunkin was inside this particular room, when according to witnesses someone came in struck him and a fight ensued.

“The information we are getting – and it’s unconfirmed – but this whole thing was over a piece of candy. The fight spilled out into this area where he was attacked and beat, and based on the evidence we have, whoever he was fighting with secured a weapon and shot him, whereby he fell on this table.”

Pitbull has joined The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU) to build an outdoor, creative performance and playground space in Miami, Fl. this past Dec.17, during the Western Union® World of Betters event, one component of many that aligns under the company’s new worldwide brand platform, “Moving Money for Better.”

Local artists and performers joined Pitbull to reinvent the space, located at Henderson Park and give it a facelift. Pitbull’s Western Union World of Betters event was the last of five celebrity Better acts. Pitbull joins international recording artists Alicia Keys, Sunidhi Chauhan, K’naan, John Legend and Ayo to complete the Western Union World of Betters, a global contest which asked consumers how they would make the world a better place.

“It’s exciting that Western Union World of Betters created this great community center in Miami where everyone can perform and make music together,” says Pitbull. “Now my hometown fans will have a chance to express themselves, have fun and show the world what it is to be creative 305 style! Dale!!!”

Victoria López-Negrete, senior vice president and general manager, North America, Western Union, says, “The final Western Union World of Betters act has capped off a great worldwide program that launched Nov. 1 and demonstrated how Moving Money for Better to improve someone’s day, for the holidays and for any occasion can have an outstanding impact on a community.”

Throughout the Western Union World of Betters contest, Alicia Keys, Sunidhi Chauhan, K’naan, John Legend and Ayo joined forces to broaden the campaign’s reach. Consumers can view the live streamed event with Pitbull, as well as coverage of the other Better acts, at www.worldofbetters.com. The celebrity team also activated social media throughout the campaign to engage their global fan base.

Western Union World of Betters and Western Union® Singing Telegram, a new interactive online platform that allows consumers to create a personalized music video and virtual duet with international recording artists, recently launched as two programs of many that align under “Moving Money for Better” branding concepts, focused on Western Union® products and services as solutions to create ‘moments of better.’ While sustaining the company’s 160-year history of innovation and helping people improve lives, the new branding elements depict visual timelines that invite consumers to be a part of the worldwide campaign.

CIROC Ultra Premium Vodka and Sean "Diddy" Combs roll big and hit the jackpot with a fresh new ad campaign that takes audiences on a first-person journey into a special night out in 'Sin City' to the tune of Frank Sinatra's iconic 'Luck Be a Lady.'

"Frank Sinatra made some of the most iconic records of our time; it is truly an honor to use his music again for this campaign," said Combs. "The Rat Pack defined the art of celebrating in style. I cannot imagine a Spirit more suitable for commemorating life with family and friends than CIROC; a brand that has become synonymous with celebratory occasions."

Shot in Las Vegas in late October, the ad also stars Chad Michael Murray of One Tree Hill, Michael K. Williams of Boardwalk Empire, Jesse Williams of Grey's Anatomy, Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul, Vegas headliner Matt Goss, super model Lisa Seiffert, and other notable stars.

Tupac Shakur's 1991 sex tape is officially off the market -- TMZ has learned, the XXX footage has been sold to a private collector.

Sources connected to the deal say the former tape owner decided not to sell to a big company out of principle -- claiming the corporate porn fat cats were "parasites."

No word on what it sold for ... but as previously reported, bids for the background music alone -- an original, unreleased Tupac track -- had reached $1,000,000. Source: TMZ

A jury has found rapper Plies and his brother, Ronell Lavette, civilly liable for a shooting half a decade ago, in a lawsuit stemming from an incident at a Gainesville, Florida, performance in 2006 that ended with five injuries.

It wasn’t until March of last year that the suit was filed against the rapper and then dismissed later that same year because Plies allegedly didn’t fire a weapon. The suit was then brought again, this time seeking $10 million, as the plaintiffs claimed that the rapper fiscally benefitted from the incident.

The Florida bred rhymer recently took the stand and said he was not involved in the incident in which his brother and two other men allegedly fired shots in the air. His brother has already served time in prison for the incident.

Rapper Flo Rida has entered into a deal for first time offenders on his DUI arrest on Miami Beach.

His attorney told the Miami Herald Wednesday the singer will enroll in the "Back on Track" program which requires him to perform community service and take DUI classes.

If completed, Flo Rida will have his DUI charge amended to reckless driving.

His arrest report says officers spotted his car driving erratically about 3:45 a.m. on June 6. The report says the rapper, whose real name is Tramar Dillard, failed a field sobriety test. It also says he blew twice the legal limit to drive into a device to measure his blood-alcohol level, had bloodshot, watery eyes, and slurred speech.

Drake takes the #7 slot with his Take Care Album selling 73,000 units (968,000 total). Rihanna's Talk That Talk grabs #12 selling 52,000 units (318,000 total). The Roots' undun debuts at #16 selling 48,000 copies. Mary J. Blige's My Life II: The Journey Continues takes the #20 spot selling 42,000 copies (270,000 total). Robin Thicke's Love After War grabs #21 moving just 41,000 copies for 1st week sales. T-Pain's rEVOLVEr debuts @ #25 moving 34,000 units. Jay-Z and Kanye West's Watch The Throne take #45 selling 20,000 copies (1,144,000 total). Wale's Ambition scoops up #74 selling 11,000 units (281,000 total). Yelawolf's Radioactive comes in at #97 selling 8,400 copies (62,000 total).

Sydney MacDonald President and CEO of Everi Exposure Entertainment is proud to announce a groundbreaking partnership that will bridge the world of boxing and entertainment. Sydney will partner with five time Heavy-Weight Champion of the World Evander Holyfield and TV & Music Star Ray J to present a continuing series of events that will bring to the world a new way of experiencing entertainment and sports. Looking to capitalize on this opportunity, he has established an unprecedented way to "Bring Boxing Back", by incorporating the music industry with major sporting events. This merger will tap into an untouched market of music consumers on an international scale. These unique "Super Bowl" type events will be televised acoss the U.S.A. and on international television.

"I'm very excited about this new business venture with KnockOut and Everi Exposure. This ia great opportunity to bring television and music to fight events around the world." - Ray J.

"This is great for boxing and I am happy to be apart of it" - Evander Holyfield

Evander plays a key role to this new success as new doors are organically opening, ensuring that the business dealings in the boxing world are secure and continuing to flow freely. This ground breaking merger is a dynamic step in the right direction for better entertainment in boxing. Ray J. is equally important to this partnership, bringing the hottest celebrities, music performances, and fashion to these televised fights. This partnership includes exclusive ownership rights and licensing to our future slated projects for all upcoming reality television, films and music projects between Everi Exposure Entertainment & Knock Out Entertainment". - Sydney MacDonald

After releasing a trio of critically lauded solo outings; Good Girl Gone Bad in 1995, '97's gold selling Unlady Like and her most successful effort-to-date, Mama Drama, that following year, veteran New Orleans, Louisiana, rap-stress Mia X, nee' Young, quietly stepped away from the rap game. Now, over thirteen long years later, and the former No Limit Records' femcee has triumphantly returned, only this time around the self professed "Mama Mia" is, pardon the pun, cooking up quite a few different things ... Check the menu!

She's ontributed a few of her very delicious recipes, many of which were adopted from her beloved granny, "Mamaw," to select national magazines, most notably Complex and Glam.

In addition, the Unladylike Diva is currently prepping for the launch of her first cookbook/memoir, appropriately titled, Things My Grandma Told Me, Things My Grandma Showed Me, which will be released as a CD/DVD companion project, with its soundtrack serving as her long overdue musical comeback. The lead single is slated to be the title track of her debut literary work. Mia X is also in the midst of shopping around her own reality show vehicle, In The Kitchen With Mama Mia, which will cover all topics at hand; food, life, and, of course, music.

Things My Grandma Told Me, Things My Grandma Showed Me is scheduled to be unveiled in early 2012.

Bad Boy Records has announced the signing of hip-hop street sensation French Montana. After much speculation and buzz about where the Bronx rapper would call home, Montana has officially joined the Bad Boy/Interscope Records family. The highly anticipated announcement came during Bad Boy Records' takeover of BET's "106 & Park" where French appeared with his new label mates: Red Cafe, Cassie, and MGK.

In addition, Montana premiered the powerful video for "Shot Caller" featuring Charlie Rock, which was directed by French Montana and Morocco Vaughn. The single, which has been exploding on radio across the country, was produced by Harry Fraud and co-produced by Montana.

Said Montana: "Signing with Bad Boy was more than just taking the best deal. I wanted to do this for New York rap, and who better than Diddy to help me bring New York rap back."

"When I saw what French Montana was doing, I knew we had to sign him. He is a gifted and special artist that continues to push the New York sound that I started Bad Boy on. It was only right we made the deal happen here," said Diddy.

"Being a great Artist is one thing, but being a great person is priceless," says the President of Bad Boy, Harve Pierre. "It wasn't just about the music and movement; it was about French Montana the person. I signed French to Bad Boy/Interscope because I believe in him as an Artist and want to help him achieve his dream."

Steadily supplying the streets with mix tapes since 2007 (as well as singles such as "Choppa Choppa Down" featuring Rick Ross), Montana will continue to feed his growing legion of fans with groundbreaking new music--including club bangin' collaborations with Three 6 Mafia and Waka Flocka. French is currently in the studio working on a new mix tape and finishing work on his upcoming Bad Boy/Interscope album debut, Excuse My French, scheduled for release in summer 2012.

Karryl "Special One" Smith of the Bay Area hip-hop duo Conscious Daughters was reportedly found dead in her home Saturday.
Smith's group member Carla "CMG" Green reacted to Smith's death in a status update on her Facebook page. "Thank you to everyone for your prayers I need them," she wrote. "I am sick over the loss of my sister. The cause of death is still unknown but I will try to share info when I get it. Pray for me and Karryls other sisters Jessica and Tonya. We are all together trying to get through this."

Respected hip-hop historian Dave "Davey D" Cook expressed his condolences via Twitter Sunday. "To those of us who knew Special One and to her family and her partner CMG who found her in her apt.. Hugs, prayers & support," he wrote.

The Conscious Daughters exploded on the hip-hop scene in 1993 with their hit "Somethin' To Ride (Fonky Expedition)" from their debut album "Ear To The Street" on Scarface Records/Priority. They were the protégés of political hip-hop artist Paris, and additionally released "Gamers" in 1996 and "The Nutcracker Suite" in 2009.

50 Cent is set to release a new fitness and nutrition guide, Formula 50: A 6-Week Total Body Transformation Plan.

The book claims to help readers develop "mental toughness and motivation" as they embark on a plan structured around metabolic resistance training, which combines cardio and muscle building techniques.

"I had a strong desire to write this book because is very important to me to help people make positive changes and take charge of their overall health," 50 said in a press release, "FORMULA 50 is a radical six week mind-body transformation plan geared to help readers develop mental toughness to achieve optimum results while offering a nutrition component."

Pharrell Williams will serve as musical consultant alongside Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer for the 2012 Academy Awards.
Pharrell Williams has written songs for a number of films, including "Bringing Down the House," 50 First Dates," "Knocked Up," "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," "Rush Hour 2" (from the show's former producer, Brett Ratner) and last year's "Despicable Me." He has yet to receive an Oscar nomination.

"Hans is one of the most accomplished and creative film composers of our time, and Pharrell is a phenomenal songwriter with an amazing list of credits," said Grazer and Mischer in an AMPAS statement. "This is an exciting and prestigious collaboration that promises to take the audience on a musical journey."

The 84th Academy Awards will take place on February 26, 2012 at the Kodak Theater at Hollywood & Highland Center.

Jigga man told MTV that he might release a solo album or another Watch the Throne album.

“It depends on how this thing finishes up,” he said. “We — I say ‘we’ because I’m in Throne mode — we’re in a great place creatively. You might see a Jay, then Kanye and a Throne album next year. You know, we’re really in a great place creatively. We really found our zone.”

George Clinton continues to record and tour tirelessly at 70 and yet he still finds time to fight in court to right a "ton of wrongs" (Case # CV11-10062; Central District of California); plus he recently partnered with DC NetCast Media Group to reignite his music and publishing catalogue through the exploitation of new media.

In an aggressive litigation filed in the central district of California, legendary recording artist has taken action to recover damages for alleged copyright & trademark infringement of valuable rights related to his act Funkadelic, and a bevy of intellectual properties that were allegedly pilfered early in his career, and will serve to complete a decade long struggle to recover that which was allegedly stolen long ago from the iconic artist.

According to his claim, Clinton asks for "damages, declaratory relief, permanent injunctive relief, and equitable relief … for the unauthorized use, sale, and other commercial exploitation of the sound recordings owned by Clinton under the artist name Funkadelic…" Clinton charges that a worldwide group of corrupt companies allegedly assumed "...unauthorized use of the Funkadelic trademark and Clinton's name, likeness and image for the unauthorized use, sale and commercial exploitation of these infringing products."

Lawyers for Clinton say the action covers decades of allegedly corrupt business practices and fraudulent copyright filings, and will serve to expose a massive international web of conspirators and perpetrators.

"I worked my entire career to make music, and I trusted that established companies and some top level industry executives would not lie, steal or cheat… Most lawsuits are just about money, this one's about what's FUNKIN' right!" said Clinton. "I have been working with congressmen, elected officials and quality lawyers in order to right a ton of wrongs, not just for me, but for songwriters, composers and copyright holders everywhere."

Jay-Z will be performing two concerts at NYC’s historic Carnegie Hall next year in conjunction with United Way Of New York City and The Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation. During a press conference held earlier today at NYC’s Carnegie Hall’s Rohatyn Room, Hov revealed plans to headline the first ever hip-hop focused series at the historic venue.