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VH1'S BEHIND THE MUSIC RETURNS
VH1's music documentary series "Behind The Music" returns. The five-time Emmy® Award-nominated series gives viewers a front row seat to the most exclusive and intimate interviews with the artists as well as their families, friends and colleagues. Featured this season are Missy Elliott, Ice Cube, and Mary J. Blige. Beginning on Wednesday, June 29 with "Behind The Music: Missy Elliott," the series will bring viewers never-before-seen footage of these talented musicians and the people who know them best.

"Behind The Music: Missy Elliott" Premieres Wednesday, June 29 Becoming the most successful female writer-producer-artist the hip hop world has ever seen was not easy for Missy Elliott. Born in Virginia, Missy was faced with the hardships of poverty at the age of eight. Surrounded by abuse and horror, Missy used her passion for music to escape from it all, landing a record deal at the age of 19 with DeVante Swing of Jodeci. For the first time, Missy breaks her silence about why she had to walk away from DeVante and her first group "Da Bassment." Not letting her past bring her down, Missy surpassed her demons and rose to fame with her groundbreaking debut album "Supa Dupa Fly." Working with some of the biggest names in the music industry, from Diddy to Mariah Carey to Janet Jackson and with her daring lyrics, Missy Elliott was able to take over the hip hop world and become a millionaire by the age of 25. After years away from the spotlight, Missy Elliott is opening up publicly for the first time in this "Behind The Music." Viewers will watch as Missy talks about her near-fatal battle with Graves disease, address rumors about her weight and opens up about being sexually molested as a young child, a subject she rarely discusses. Catch interviews with Timbaland, Ciara and Mary J. Blige as they contribute personal stories about the gifted Missy Elliott who changed the face of hip hop music forever.

"Behind The Music: Ice Cube" Premieres Wednesday, July 6 This episode of "Behind the Music" follows the three-decade-long career of legendary rapper Ice Cube from his journey as a founding member of the notorious rap group NWA to a blockbuster movie star. The extraordinary career of Ice Cube begins with his upbringing in South Central Los Angeles where he faced gang violence and drug dealers on a daily basis. Finding refuge in music, Ice Cube and his neighborhood friends formed NWA to speak out about the harsh reality of growing up in the ghetto. Years and many hits later, the group dismantled sparking a bitter feud between Ice Cube and his former band members and manager Jerry Heller, which lead to Ice Cube's decision to embark on a solo career. In an unexpected move, Ice Cube took a movie role in John Singleton's critically-acclaimed movie "Boyz N The Hood." The role of Darrin "Doughboy" Baker would give Ice Cube not only the credibility in the movie industry but the confidence to continue to pursue acting roles as well writing and directing jobs. Since then, Ice Cube has produced and starred in a slew of blockbuster movies and TV shows such as "Friday," "Barbershop," "Three Kings" and "Are We There Yet?" At home, Ice Cube is the father of four children with long-time wife Kim and explains how he now shares the stage with two of his sons, Doughboy and OMG, who hope to follow in his rapping footsteps. Viewers will watch as friends Snoop Dogg, DJ Yella from NWA and actress Nia Long discuss how Ice Cube has become a modern day Renaissance man, transforming from a South Central street kid to a major force in music, movies and television today.

"Behind The Music: Mary J. Blige" Premieres Wednesday, July 27 This episode of "Behind The Music" will take a look inside the life and outstanding career of Mary J. Blige, the reigning Queen of R&B. Watch as VH1 captures the story of how faith, courage and a never-ending search for love and contentment helped one of the world's most talented musicians survive a tumultuous past. After her soulful remake of Anita Baker's "Caught Up In A Rapture" was heard by Uptown Records President Andre Harrell, Mary was signed instantly, changing her life forever. She then joined forces with soon-to-be music legend, Sean "Diddy" Combs and together they changed the music world with her honest and heartfelt debut album "What's The 411?" Although Mary's professional life was flourishing, at home she was dealing with a volatile relationship and hit her lowest moment. Mary needed to make a change and she did. She was ready to better herself. Mary lifted herself out of her hole by praying and keeping the faith that things would change, and they soon did. Mary's prayers were answered and she fell in love with Kendu Isaacs, who would later become her very supportive husband, friend, and manager. He helped and encouraged her on her road to greatness. With Kendu's love, help and guidance, Mary found a new happiness which was reflected in her top selling albums such as "No More Drama" and "The Breakthrough" which won three Grammy Awards. By the time Mary sang for President Obama at the Inauguration Day ceremony in 2009, her world had taken a 180 degree turn and she describes the experience as one of the most meaningful moments of her career. Now, Mary is set to release "My Life Too, The Journey Continues" on September 20 where she continues to deliver timeless hits while discussing her never ending journey. Catch candid interviews with husband Kendu Isaacs, sister LaTonya Blige Dacosta, Diddy, Nas, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis and Mary J. Blige herself.

PRESIDENT OF UNIVERSAL MOTOWN OFFICIALLY STEPS DOWN.
Sylvia Rhone has stepped down from her post as President of Universal Motown, though she is expected to remain in the Universal Music Group family in a new position. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Rhone is expected to be offered a new position and a new label within UMG. Once the details are in place, she will decided whether or not to take the offer and stay with UMG. Rhone was named President of Universal Motown in 2004. GM Pat Monaco will take over the day-to-day operations of Universal Motown while UMG looks for a new executive to run the label. Executives will report to Barry Weiss, Chairman & CEO of Island Def Jam and Universal Motown Republic Group. One source says the label is looking for someone for a "senior creative role" who may end up with a title other than President, depending on the person's qualifications. UMG said in a statement that it remains "committed to Universal Motown as a strong presence in the contemporary music scene. We will soon announce important additions to the staff and will further invest in building its artist roster so Motown can continue to bring to market the highest quality music that is best positioned to succeed artistically and commercially." The statement added, "We're thankful to Sylvia for her contributions. We continue to be in discussions with her on how and where she can best utilize her skills and relationships in the multiple rights arena in which UMG continues to expand."

EMINEM WAS THE TOP WINNER AT 2011 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS.
Eminem was one of the top winners at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday night, as he took home six trophies. He won the awards for Top Artist, Top Male Artist, Top Billboard 200 Album, Top Rap Artist, Top Rap Song and Top Rap Album. Meanwhile, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Usher, Taylor Swift, Mumford & Sons and Taio Cruz also were multiple award winners, as they each earned three trophies. Winning two Billboard Music Awards each were Katy Perry, Shakira, Chris Tomlin and Train.

HIP HOP ON DECK AT 25TH ANNUAL UCLA JAZZREGGAE FESTIVAL.
After a quarter century of entertaining Southern California, the JazzReggae Festival announces its full lineup, which celebrates its illustrious history while providing a platform for upcoming new artists. As headliners Steel Pulse and Lupe Fiasco enthusiastically come to UCLA's Intramural field, the 25th Annual JazzReggae Festival at UCLA boasts an innovative and eclectic lineup that will guarantee this year's festival-goers a truly unique experience.

This year's festival is excitedly redefining the Jam Day experience on May 29. The festival is proud to announce the debut of The JazzReggae 25 Revue with The 12-piece Miguel Atwood-Ferguson Ensemble Featuring Special Guests Talib Kweli, Bilal, Pharoahe Monch, Me'Shell Ndegeocello, Quadron, Karriem Riggins and More TBA. One of Los Angeles' most ingenious and experimental young composers, producers, and musicians, Miguel is well-known for composing the Suite for Ma Dukes, a musical tribute inspired by the work of late producer J. Dilla. He has worked with artists such as Stevie Wonder, John Legend, and Wayne Shorter. After two sold out shows in Los Angeles early this year, Swedish sensation Little Dragon is returning to bring their electric soul style to Jam Day. Funk and Soul veterans Lee Fields and the Expressions are sure to please crowds with their classic sound. Recently signed with Stones Throw Records, The Stepkids will be performing for Jam Day audiences, as well as Le J Trio Collective, a UCLA-based jazz group.

Jamaica native Gyptian will be following headliner Steel Pulse on Reggae Day, May 30. Tanya Stephens, accompanied by Detour Posse, will be bringing her socially conscious and influential dancehall music to UCLA's Intramural field. Also performing on Reggae Day, Panamanian duo Los Rakas combines bilingual lyricism with a mixture of reggae, hip hop, and dancehall sounds. Also performing on Reggae Day are The Wailing Souls, whose classic reggae roots sound is sure to add to the upbeat vibes of this beautiful Memorial Day spectacle. Southern Californian locals The Expanders and Samoan reggae crooner J-Boog will be performing as well.


TINIE TEMPAH GOES PLATINUM
London-born rapper Tinie Tempah, already a double BRIT Award-winning U.K. superstar with 2010's top-selling debut album by a British artist, goes platinum in the U.S. this week with his first stateside single, "Written In The Stars" exceeding sales of over one million. With his shiny new platinum status, Tinie is experiencing an undeniable major breakthrough in America, where his infectious, message-driven single "Written in the Stars" from his debut album, Disc-Overy was recently hailed by Entertainment Weekly as one of the "next big hits of 2011." The song is currently Top 10 on the Top 40 chart and number 15 and climbing on Billboard's Hot 100, making him the highest ranking new artist in the Top 10 at Top 40 radio with his platinum selling single. As the first British rapper to achieve platinum status with their debut U.S. single, it is clear that Tinie Tempah is well on his way to achieving major stardom in the U.S.

Disc-Overy was released yesterday to American listeners with the addition of three all-new tracks recorded in the U.S. earlier this year with producers Stargate (Wiz Khalifa, Beyonce, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Ne-Yo) and Boi 1Da (Eminem, Drake). One of the new songs, "Till I'm Gone," featuring Wiz Khalifa and produced by Stargate, will be Disc-Overy's next U.S. single. Stargate also produced "Love Suicide," featuring special guest Esther Dean. The third new track, "So Addicted," was produced by Boi 1Da and features Bei Maejor.

The charismatic 22-year-old is already a phenomenon in the U.K., where Disc-Overy debuted at number one and produced four Top Five singles, including two number ones, and is currently double platinum.


USHER ADDED TO ESSENCE LINE-UP
ESSENCE is proud to announce that multi-platinum selling, chart- topping, Grammy award-winning powerhouse USHER will headline the 2011 ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL being held July 1, 2, and 3 in New Orleans. Joining an already stellar, best-in-class line-up that includes Chaka Kahn, Jennifer Hudson, Jill Scott, Kanye West, Mary J. Blige and New Edition, Usher will headline the main stage of the Superdome on opening night, Friday, July 1.

Although Usher has a long standing relationship with ESSENCE, this year marks the first time Usher will grace the stage as a headliner at the ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL, the largest African-American music and culture event in the U.S. Attracting an estimated 400,000 attendees, the 17th annual event continues to be the only music and empowerment festival in the U.S., in addition to a hallmark of New Orleans tourism.

"We are honored to bring the incredible USHER to the ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL to headline opening night," says ESSENCE Communications President Michelle Ebanks. "Fans can look forward to an incredible line-up this 4th of July weekend-- with more than 40 of the world's best performers on 5 stages – as a once in a lifetime experience!"

KEVIN HART TO HOST THIS YEAR'S BET AWARDS.
BET Networks has announced that actor/comedian Kevin Hart has been tapped to host this year's BET AWARDS. The show will broadcast LIVE from the historic Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Sunday, June 26, 2011 at 8:00 p.m.* on BET For over a decade the BET AWARDS has reigned as the biggest family event rivaling all top awards shows. Having escalated each year in industry influence with A-list celebrity nominations, star-studded appearances and one-of-a-kind performances, the BET AWARDS has undoubtedly established itself as the hottest ticket on television.

The brightest stars in music, acting and sports will appear and perform at this year's BET AWARDS which recognizes the achievements of artists, entertainers and athletes in 20 categories. Leading the pack this year is Chris Brown with an impressive 6 nominations across multiple categories: Best Male R&B Artist, Best Collaboration (for which he holds two nominations), Video of the Year, Best Actor and Coca-Cola Viewers' Choice. Closely behind him is Lil Wayne with 5 nominations: Best Male Hip Hop Artist, Best Collaboration (with fellow nominee Chris Brown), Video of the Year and Coca-Cola Viewers' Choice for his collaborations with Chris Brown and Cory Gunz. Rounding out the list and tied with 4 nominations each are Kanye West, Rihanna and Drake.

"When we asked folks who should host this year's BET AWARDS online, in the streets, among other celebs and throughout social media, one name came back to us loud and clear: Kevin Hart," said Stephen Hill, BET's president of music programming and specials. "He is blue flame right now and we are looking forward to working with him on the show," stated Hill. "His energy, wit and the always fantastic performances will make for yet another must see event—and the 'Chocolate Droppa' might even get a verse in the show," he added.

Kevin Hart burst onto the scene as one of the most versatile comedy actors in film and television. Hart is currently touring the nation on his "Laugh at My Pain" tour. He is the number one comedian on Ticketmaster and in February 2011, Hart sold out the Nokia Theater two nights in a row to break a record previously set by Eddie Murphy. Hart will spend the summer of 2011 filming lead roles in two new movies. In July, he will start working on Screen Gem's "Think Like A Man," the comedy is based on Steve Harvey's bestselling 2009 book Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man. Hart will then start work on the Nick Stoller comedy "Five Year Engagement" with producer Judd Apatow and Universal.

Sponsors for this year's BET AWARDS telecast include Coca-Cola Viewers' Choice Award, Subway Sportsman of the Year and Subway Sportswoman of the Year.

KANYE, NAS, & CEE LO ON DECK FOR AUSTIN CITY LIMITS.
The lineup for the 10th Anniversary of the Austin City Limits Festival has been revealed, and artists such as Kanye West, Nas & Damian Marley, Cee Lo Green, Stevie Wonder, Coldplay, among others, will top the bill of the over 130 bands. Bright Eyes, Social Distortion, Empire of the Sun, Santigold, Pretty Lights, TV On The Radio, Skrillex, Big Boi, Randy Newman, Cold War Kids, The Airbourne Toxic Event, Elbow, Fitz & The Tantrums, The Walkmen and Chiddy Bang are also on deck for the event. The Austin City Limits Festival will take place from September 16-18 in the city's Zilker Park.

"The essence of ACL has always been eclectic," says C3 partner and head Talent Buyer Charles Attal. "We're incredibly proud to offer something for every kind of music lover, and bring so many people together on stage, as well as in the park."

"What started out as a great show has turned into a truly special, quintessentially Austin experience," added Charlie Jones, Partner at C3 Presents. "The city, the people and the park, have all helped shape the festival, and in turn, we see the festival helping to shape the city. Together, we've created something to be proud of."

CASSIDY VIOLATES PROBATION - MURDER SUSPECT?
Philadelphia-based rapper Cassidy was arrested this weekend in New Jersey on a probation violation, but is also a suspect in a murder case. Cassidy, born Barry Reese, was taken into custody with incident on Saturday in Hackensack on a warrant issued for Philadelphia police, reports one source. The warrant was for violating probation, Hackensack police said. In 2006, Cassidy was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in a West Oak Lane shooting case, and he was sentenced to 11 and a half to 23 months in jail. It was unclear why police felt Cassidy violated his probation.

CALI SWAG MEMBER SHOT AND KILLED.
Cali Swag District's M-Bone (real name: Montae Talbert) was shot and killed Sunday night. The 22-year-old rapper -- whose group is famous for its song "Teach Me How to Dougie" -- was a victim of a random drive-by shooting, TMZ reports, citing law enforcement sources. Tweeted Talbert's partner Smoove: "Ma life changed drastically in the. Blink of an eye rip mbone." Police have not yet confirmed the victim's name, but have said a young man was shot and killed in front of a liquor store in Inglewood, Calif. on La Brea Avenue at 11:32 p.m. Sunday. Other reports says two shots were fired at close range. He was taken the UCLA Medical Center shortly after and pronounced dead.

BIG BOI ADDED TO CROWN ROYAL'S CROWN LIFE.
At an evening event in New York City, Crown Royal™ announced the launch of "The Crown Life," a multi-layered campaign created to mark and celebrate life's crowning moments. On the heels of the launch of new variant, Crown Royal Black™ whisky, Crown Royal has gathered influential designers, filmmakers, and the legendary producer and artist Big Boi to release exclusive, limited-edition products and content. All artists and designers will be tasked with using their craft to create something that celebrates what "The Crown Life" means to them -- finding royalty in everyday experiences.

Big Boi has partnered with Crown Royal to develop unique content and put his own spin on the iconic Crown Royal bag. Cameras went behind the scenes to document Big Boi in compelling moments of his life and career that showcase his definition of "The Crown Life." The short film will let audiences into Big Boi's life as he performed at the 2011 Grammy Awards; inside his studio, Stankonia, as he prepares for his latest projects; and an evening out on the town in his hometown of Atlanta with stops at his favorite spots to unwind.

"Crown Royal is my drink of choice, and I'm proud to be the first to put my own spin on The Crown Life," said Big Boi. "The design of the iconic pouch, the film we've created, and the products these incredible designers produced were all inspired by how we like to commemorate life. It's about celebrating the moments that make up our everyday lives, and doing so respectfully and responsibly."

Because of his long time affection for the brand he was able to put his distinctive touch on the Crown Royal Black packaging for its Artist Signature Series. Available at retail stores June 2011, this limited-edition packaging is accented with Big Boi's signature engraved on a black velvet bag with gold lining. Additional announcements and events that further highlight "The Crown Life" initiative and showcase the importance of enjoying Crown Royal responsibly will be announced soon.

"The Crown Life is a wonderful way to mark the important moments that reflect true accomplishments in life," said Roderick Blaylock, Crown Royal Senior Brand Manager. "We've partnered with incredibly talented artists who have the ability to transform a reflection of what 'The Crown Life' means to them into the craft they are most known for. They're a perfect fit for Crown Royal and we're delighted to share their contributions to 'The Crown Life' with the world."

The Crown Life is also launching limited edition custom pieces of apparel including a Crown Royal Black exclusive Varsity Jacket by UNDRCRWN; Rocksmith sunglasses; a Pocketwatch designed by Complete Technique; and the Weekend Traveler Bag designed by Brian Wood.

Inspired by the iconic purple bag, the UNDRCRWN Varsity Jacket is made from 100% satin. The jacket displays an embroidered left chest Crown Royal Black logo and felt patches. The weekend traveler bag was made in New York and designed by Brian Wood. The overnight duffle, made of a water repellant blend bonded neoprene imported from Italy with herringbone twill straps, features a flap pocket with magnetic snaps, and includes 100% purple silk lining with gold chain print, echoing the design of the Crown Royal purple bag and gold rope. The Rocksmith sunglasses are designed in a matte black acetate unisex frame for a subtle winter shades look. The arms of the sunglasses were designed in an amber brown grain to match the shade of whisky, with a gold engraved Crown Royal panel. The Rocksmith Crown Royal sunglasses case is designed as a unique accessory bag, and when flipped inside out is a standard sunglasses cleaning fabric. Designer Complete Technique has created a limited quantity of Crown Royal Black pocket watches, Swiss-made in 10 carat yellow gold, accented with 1.8 carat black diamonds. All products have been produced in limited-edition quantities, and will be distributed exclusively to select media and industry influencers.

MOBB DEEP TO REUNITE ONSTAGE IN NEW YORK.
Mobb Deep haven't performed together in over three years, but they'll reunite onstage tonight, (May 12) in New York. "It's like riding a bike, man: Get up on it, and it's still there," Prodigy told MTV News. "It's just natural for us 'cause we do this for real. We've been doing this for a long time. "We're real dedicated to our music and dedicated to Mobb Deep and to the supporters — all our fans out there. To be gone for three years and come back, we just hop right back into it like it's nothing. We know what we got to do."

Thursday night (May 12), the Queens duo will be headlining the Best Buy Theater in Times Square, sharing the bill with the Wu-Tang Clan's Ghostface Killah and Raekwon and The Roots' Black Thought. The occasion will mark Mobb Deep's first show since Prodigy was released from prison this past March. The rapper served three years on gun charges stemming from a 2006 traffic stop.

While the time apart did affect the group, Havoc insists that everything will run smoothly. "Basically the songs is like part of our DNA; we can't forget it," he said. "It's like three years haven't even passed. As soon as we get up there, it's like we just had a show yesterday." Prodigy revealed, "Being away from Hav that long, that sh-- hurt me. So, to come back home and just start going again, it just feels great, man. It feels great to just work again." Source: Mtv

BEYONCE TO RECEIVE 2011 BILLBOARD MILLENNIUM AWARD
Beyoncé will be honored with Billboard Millennium Award at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards. The iconic performer and international star will receive the honor at the May 22 show, which will air on ABC at 8-11pm ET/PT from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. According to Billboard, the Billboard Millennium Award will recognize Beyoncé's career achievements and influence in the music industry, from her role as the frontwoman of Destiny's Child to her three-chart-topping solo albums, which have collectively earned her 16 Grammy awards and ASCAP's Pop Songwriter of the Year award. Previously, Billboard named Beyoncé its Woman of the Year in October 2009, and Top Female Artist of the Decade in December 2009.

SMIRNOFF ON DECK FOR MASTERS OF THE MIX SEASON 2
SMIRNOFF®, the world's best-selling vodka, is kicking off round two of the successful reality television show, Master of the Mix. This time, deejays in six select cities will get the chance to audition for their place in music history. Returning for Season 2, Grammy awarded producer/DJ, Just Blaze, and world famous DJ, Kid Capri are turning up the competition as they search the nation for the next Master of the Mix.

"SMIRNOFF's first endeavor into reality television was extremely rewarding, so coming back for Season 2 of Master of the Mix was a no brainer," said David Tapscott, Brand Director, SMIRNOFF. "SMIRNOFF is always looking to elevate the night while drinking responsibly and working with deejays who share that same passion is a natural fit for our brand."

Smirnoff will take it to the streets in six cities across the nation, holding open casting calls for the cast for Season 2 and giving deejays who think they have what it takes the chance to prove their skills. Auditions will begin Thursday, May 19 – Saturday, May 21 in Los Angeles, CA and continue in Houston, TX on May 25 – 27; Miami, FL on May 28 – May 30; Atlanta, GA on May 30 – June 1; New York, NY on June 1 – 3; and Detroit, MI on June 4 – 6.

The top deejays will board the tour bus and while traveling through seven cities be judged on their technical ability, track selection, originality, and crowd response. The ultimate DJ will be named the Master of the Mix and receive $250,000 in cash and prizes. Kid Capri, who deejayed for Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam and has produced sessions for Heavy D, Boogie Down Productions, and Quincy Jones, will anchor the judging booth, while the hottest musicians and notable veterans will make guest appearances throughout the season.

SNOOP DOGG AND CHARLIE SHEEN LINK UP ‘WINNING’ SINGLE TO RADIO
Charlie Sheen touched on his time in the studio with Snoop Dogg for their new joint "Winning". The former "Two and a Half Men" star caught up with E! News this week and discussed the inspiration behind the song. Sheen says the track is about more than just being successful, describing the tune as "everything in life." The actor adds that Snoop did a great job of "encapsulating" the "whole vibe" of the "winning" movement. The video for "Winning" made its debut during Charlie's recent "Violent Torpedo of Truth Tour," but the track will finally be made available for purchase via iTunes. Sheen will be donating part of the proceeds to his foundation "Torpedos Against Tornados," which is helping the victims of the recent tornadoes that have hit the South.

L.A. NOIRE REMIX EP - ROCK STAR GAMES AND VERVE RECORDS
The future meets the past not only in the groundbreaking new videogame L.A. Noire developed by Rockstar Games (Grand Theft Auto IV, Red Dead Redemption) and Team Bondi, but also in the EP spin-off, that brings together the soundtrack’s classic jazz with some of today’s hottest and most acclaimed DJs, producers and remixers.

L.A. Noire Remixed will be released digitally May 17, 2011, and features six ‘30s-‘40s gems from jazz greats Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Jordan, Dinah Washington, Gene Krupa and Lionel Hampton, remixed by Dave Sitek (TV on the Radio), DJ Premier (Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Kanye West), Truth & Soul (Amy Winehouse, Aloe Blacc, Adele), Ticklah (Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings), Midnight Sun (production duo of Midnight Magic and Jessica 6) and Detroit techno/house innovator Moodymann.

The latest installment in the Verve Remixed series, the EP was inspired by the timeless songs in the game. L.A. Noire is a crime thriller that follows a young detective in 1947 Los Angeles as solves cases and rises through the ranks of the LAPD in one of the most violent and corrupt years in the city’s history. L.A. Noire will be released on May 17 for PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft.


ILL BILL VS VINNIE PAZ TOUR ON DECK
The Heavy Metal Kings Tour is a unique opportunity to catch ILL Bill (La Coka Nostra) and Vinnie Paz (Jedi Mind Tricks) performing live together in the UK with a set list that will feature songs spanning more than a decade's worth of indie hip hop classics from their combined catalogs, including songs from their solo albums as well as tracks from Jedi Mind Tricks, Non-Phixion, La Coka Nostra, Army of the Pharaohs, and their new Heavy Metal Kings album.

In two strikingly similar careers that seem to parallel each other at every turn, these charismatic rappers have forged bodies of work that are some of the most respected in hip hop. Bloody tracks, devastated mics and shattered perceptions have all been left in the wake of these two dynamic MCs. Bill and Paz are well known for a penchant for heavy beats and viciously rugged rhymes; both are known for their incendiary live performances, and this was an inevitable collision.

Both MCs have followed similar, unrelenting paths to their current destinations; each having garnered heavy respect throughout the '90s during a prolific period of independent Hip Hop. Bill with Uncle Howie Records and Paz with his home-grown Enemy Soil Records. From the '90s into the new millennium, Ill Bill and Paz produced a string of underground classics with Paz's memorable work as the long-time leader of Philadelphia's Jedi Mind Tricks and Bill's Brooklyn-bred powerhouse Non Phixion. Both groups were responsible for creating music that has since been described as classic: Non Phixion's The Future is Now and JMT's Violent By Design. Paz and Bill have also launched successful solo careers and have put in work with supergroups such as Paz's battle-tested outfit Army of the Pharaohs, and Ill Bill's collective of legendary MCs: La Coka Nostra.

Like their name, The Heavy Metal Kings display all the slick, rhythmical timings of Hip Hop while incorporating the adrenaline and utter desecration of Metal. Together their vision and sound are allowed the full breadth of expression and the sound result is a collection of music that lives up to its name with the kind of blood-curdling sonic bombast that is only found in genres like Heavy Metal and Hardcore.

London
Dates: Wednesday 11th May 2011 Times: 19:00 - 23:00
Venue: The Underworld, 174 Camden High Street, NW1 0NE
Support: Rhyme Asylum, Grit Grammar & Phoenix DaIcefire
Tickets: £17 in advance - SeeTickets, Ticketline, Stargreen, TicketWeb, Skiddle, & The Underworld


Manchester
Dates: Thursday 12th May 2011 Times: 19:00 - 23:00
Venue: Moho Live, Tib Street, M4 1SH
Support: Rhyme Asylum, D'Lyfa Reilly & United Blood
Tickets: £16 in advance -Ticketline, Skiddle, Picadilly Records, Eastern Bloc

BIG WILL REPPIN ASIAN HIP HOP
Will "Big Will" Zhong, born November 5, 1984 is an Asian American entrepreneur, entertainment producer and music artist. The name "Big Will" was a name given by his close friends.

In April of 2011, Big Will released his biggest single up to date, "Anything You Like," through Rude Boy (his record label), the first single from his new upcoming album. A music video was also released as a follow up to the song which is creating international buzz. For more information on Rude Boy, please visit www.rudeboyforever.com.

Big Will not a new name in the music department. With the release of his debut album Man In The Mirror in 2010, he has definitely made his mark as a pioneer and top selling Asian American entertainer. Along with the album, his first radio single, "So Hot In Here" was released prior in 2008.

In 2010, his fourth commercial hit "I Can Tell," released under WWS Music Group reached great success world wide including Asia and Europe; with a heavy radio impact in the U.S. and overseas

DRAKE FILLS IN FOR KANYE WEST - TAKES PAY CUT.
Former NBC honcho Jeff Zucker threw a lavish bar mitzvah at the Four Seasons over the weekend for his son Andrew. Sources said the Zucker family at first wanted Kanye West to perform at the party -- but West demanded $1 million for the gig. Sources said organizers balked at West's price and briefly considered offering him $800,000, but instead went with the more reasonably priced Drake. So instead, Drake filled in for alot less..

The bash, cost well over an estimated $250,000, included a performance by rapper Drake, "tremendous" food and fine wines -- and customized Converse sneakers handed out as gifts to guests.

Fifty of Andrew's friends dined on sushi, smoked salmon, macaroni and cheese and a raw bar in the restaurant's Grill Room, usually filled with titans of business during normal lunch hours. (We're assuming Andrew got one of the power banquettes along the wall reserved for the Four Seasons' top VIPs.) Grown-up guests, including Katie Couric, dined on rack of lamb, roast chicken, steak, asparagus and "every type of pasta you could think of," during the rocking event. The kids also enjoyed a photo booth, an iPad station where they could, say, update their Facebook statuses, a bracelet-making lounge and a customized-phone-cover station. Source: NY post

LUPE FIASCO PERFORMED INTIMATE SHOW.
Lupe Fiasco performed an intimate, half-hour show the other night at the P.C. Richard & Son Theater in TriBeCa as part of Clear Channel's iHeartRadio Live series. "People know me to be the backpack rapper, the skateboard dude," Fiasco said. "They know me to be, like, the weird dude, the Muslim rapper, whatever. But they also know me as the political rapper, spin that social commentary we need that at times like these." Fiasco knows about politics . . . he very publicly groused about Atlantic Records' interference in advance of his latest release, "Lasers."

WARNER MUSIC SELLS FOR 3.3 BILLION!
Warner Music has been bought by an industrial group whose holdings range from oil and aluminium firms to the UK's Top Up TV. Access Industries, run by Russian born billionaire Len Blavatnik, paid $3.3bn in cash for the world's third largest music firm. The purchase includes WMG's entire recorded music and music publishing businesses. Blavatnik beat out more than a dozen other suitors including Sony Music Group, supermarket magnate Ron Burkle, Platinum Equity, Live Nation Entertainment and investment firm Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, whose unsolicited offer late last year kicked off the auction process. KKR's partner in the bidding was German music company Bertelsmann. The deal calls for Warner to receive $8.25 per share, a 34% premium over the company's average stock price over the last six weeks, the company said. It's also 75% higher than Warner's closing price on Jan. 20, the day before the New York Times published news of the bidding. Warner's share closed at $7.90 on Thursday.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, WMG's stockholders will receive $8.25 per share in cash at the closing of the transaction. WMG's Board of Directors approved the transaction and recommended that WMG's stockholders approve the transaction. In addition to stockholder approval, the transaction is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. It is anticipated that the transaction will be completed in the third calendar quarter of this year.

WMG Chairman/CEO Edgar Bronfman, Jr. said, "We believe this transaction is an exceptional value-maximizing opportunity that serves the best interests of stockholders as well as the best interests of music fans, our recording artists and songwriters, and the wonderful people of this company. We are delighted that Access will be the new steward of this outstanding business. They are supportive of the company's vision, growth strategy and artists, while bringing a fresh entrepreneurial perspective and expertise in technology and media. Most importantly, Access supports Warner Music's commitment to our recording artists and songwriters who are the foundation of our current and future success."

Len Blavatnik, Chairman and founder of Access Industries, said, "I am excited to extend my longstanding involvement with Warner Music. It is a great company with a strong heritage and home to many exceptional artists. I look forward to working closely with the many talented people within the company."

Jorg Mohaupt, Head of Media at Access Industries, added, "The music industry is at an inflection point where digital adoption is rapidly gaining momentum. Warner Music, as one of the most progressive forces in the music business, is well positioned to capture this opportunity for music creation and distribution."

Scott Sperling, Presiding Director of WMG, said, "It has been our great pleasure working with the extraordinary team at Warner Music over these past seven years. The company has managed to significantly increase market share and profitability during our ownership period and consistently outperformed even during a challenging period for the industry. Len Blavatnik and Access are likewise deeply committed to the music business and we know that we will be leaving the company in good hands."

Following the closing of the transaction, WMG will become a privately held company and its stock will no longer be traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The company will retain the Warner Music Group name and will continue to operate out of its current facilities. Thomas H. Lee Partners L.P. and its affiliates, Bain Capital Partners, LLC and its affiliates, and Edgar Bronfman, Jr., who together hold approximately 56 percent of the company's outstanding shares, have entered into a voting agreement with Access under which those stockholders have agreed to vote their shares in favor of the merger.

MTV CHAIRMAN STEPS DOWN.
Viacom announced that Judy McGrath is resigning from her position as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of its MTV Networks division. No successor will be named. McGrath, who began her career with the company as a copywriter at MTV in 1981, was named Chairman and CEO of MTV Networks in July 2004.

"The people of MTV Networks have always been singularly important to me. Together we have built world-class brands that connect with fans from kid to adulthood, from SpongeBob to Hot In Cleveland, from Unplugged to The Daily Show. We have attracted and nurtured the best talent in the world, and I know that will always be a hallmark of the company. Creatively, financially, all the brands and businesses are in wonderful shape today. I leave with pride, joy and gratitude for the ride of a lifetime. I especially thank my friends and colleagues on the senior team, who will continue to lead a kick-ass organization. They have my respect and affection, always," McGrath said in a statement.

With the departure of McGrath, the executives in charge of MTV Networks' operating units: Doug Herzog, President, MTVN Entertainment Group; Van Toffler, President, MTVN Music & Logo Group; and Cyma Zarghami, President, Nickelodeon & MTVN Kids & Family Group, will report directly to Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman.

KURUPT, JAYO FELONY, SIR JINX, MC EIHT, THA CHILL, GANGSTA, KING T, AND DJ BATTLECAT ALIGN FOR NEW GROUP - 1ST GENERATION -
Los Angeles radio station KDAY hosted the West Coast old school reunion show, Krush Groove, last week at the Gibson Amphitheater marking the official introductory performance of the West coast powerhouse group 1st Generation. Comprised of West coast legends Kurupt, Jayo Felony, MC Eiht, Chill, Gangsta, King T, Sir Jinx and DJ Battlecat, 1st Generation is an amalgamation of some of the most critically acclaimed emcee's and producers in West coast history.

The new indie label, Uneek Music is setting the standard of excellence with 1st Generation as the lead project coming from the label. The group is the brainchild of members Tha Chill (Compton's Most Wanted) and Gangsta, (Tha Comrads) who began reaching out to their circle of friends about reuniting the West and once the word had spread the "Magnificent 7," as Chill describes them, answered the call. "We wanted to do something massive for the coast." says Chill, "So we had to figure out which attitudes and talent could mix and make the group work, and once we got off the phone with the homies, we met at Kurupt's house and made the first song, and all the professional creative ideas meshed and we knew we were on the right track."

With dynamic producer/DJ Battlecat on board bringing the sound of the West and the art of djing from the infamous KDAY Mixmasters and Uncle Jams Army days, 1st Generation is reflective of the entire culture. The first single "Killing Me Softly" delivers bar after bar of ether as each artist shows how they gained a place in West coast's multi platinum catalogue of hits.

"When you feel like something is right then it feels natural." explains Jayo Felony of his involvement in the group. "The streets have been wanting this for a long time for us all to come together and regardless of where we're all from or what our backgrounds are, we're all on a positive note and we're trying to push the line and stop some this bullsh** that's going on in these streets. I'm a little older now and a lot more mature than I was when I came in the game but I know that all of us coming together as one, helps to makes us as individuals bigger by being a part of a group like this."

Currently represented by Uneek Music, the group is fielding deal offers but until they find a permanent home they plan to keep feeding the people what they want with that good classic music. Everyone in this group is going to drop something so spectacular every time it drops that its ridiculous" says Kurupt, "Everyone on this team has perfected their craft and that's what makes us the first generation of this game.We all have made an imprint on this game and helped to make the west coast rap scene what it is today."

Uneek Music was founded by industry vet and community activist Eugene “Big U” Henley. The label houses an arsenal of new and upcoming talent from across the country and is currently looking for acts in all genres to join the fold. Notable releases coming soon from Uneek Music include R&B Singer Sydney Arcane, and rappers Spiffie, Paccman, Sandman Neguse, Short Stop and Blu Sky, Rezee The Boss of Watts, Buc Adam, and Krita-Cali Acclaimed.

B.O.M.B. FEST GOIN DOWN.
Artists on Deck: Snoop Dogg Wiz Khalifa Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Weezer, Coheed And Cambria, Neon Trees, State Radio, George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic, The New Pornographers, Shpongle presents The Shpongletron Experience, Against Me!, Best Coast, HEALTH, RJD2, Titus Andronicus, The Cool Kids, Wavves, EOTO, Portugal. The Man, Man Man, Dum Dum Girls, The Felice Brothers, Dam-Funk, Freelance Whales, Holy F**k, and tons more...

Taking place on May 28-29 at the Comcast Theatre in Hartford, CT, B.O.M.B. Fest will unite local bands across the East Coast in one place for festival patrons. Featuring a diverse group of bands that range from alternative hip-hop to angular post punk, B.O.M.B. Fest’s local stage will bring together bands from across the musical spectrum. With local acts performing side-by-side with likes of Weezer, Snoop Dogg, and Wiz Khalifa throughout the festival, this robust local talent will give the East Coast a musical experience unlike any other to come before it.

Returning for it’s third year to Connecticut, B.O.M.B. Fest is the brainchild of Frank Bombaci, Sr. and Frank Bombaci, Jr., who have dedicated themselves to providing the East Coast with a premiere music festival that focuses not only on the best national talent, but also on the budding stars that will eventually follow in their footsteps. Long-time supporters of local music, the Bombacis have followed this vision since the festival’s beginning in 2008. " Live local music is a very focused part of the overall non-profit mission of Bring Our Music Back Inc!” Frank Bombaci Sr. said. “There are amazing talented young musicians that need to be heard and we take pride in incorporating that mission into B.O.M.B. Fest.”

In addition to national and local talent, festival guests will also experience delicious food vendors, unique craft stations, and one-of a kind art installations, all complemented by Comcast Theatre’s professional amenities — clean bathrooms, spacious parking lots and state-of-the-art sound systems. And all proceeds from this year’s festival will got towards providing music scholarships, music enrichment and education programs, music and healing initiatives and community support and outreach. Last year’s festival raised money for The Hole in the Wall Gang Camps, Connecticut Children's Hospital, YPI Camp, and The Lyman Allyn Museum.

WAKA FLOCKA CLEARED ON DRUG CHARGES
A grand jury has reportedly cleared rapper Waka Flocka Flame of all drug charges stemming from a raid on his Georgia home late last year due to a lack of evidence. Atlanta police went to the rapper's home on Dec. 16, 2010, according to TMZ, and after confiscating a number of illegal items, issued an arrest warrant for him.

The rapper, whose real name is Juaquin Malphurs, faced charges of possessing marijuana and a controlled substance, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possessing a firearm during a crime. The rapper was also charged with breaking the state's anti-gang laws and violating probation for driving on a suspended license. The non-drug charges were dropped before the case went before the grand jury, according to TMZ. He was on probation for a charge of possession of a sawed-off shotgun.

HALLE BERRY AND FERGIE TO RECEIVE PRESTIGIOUS PERFUME AWARDS.
The Fragrance Foundation hosts VIP's from the fragrance industry as well as superstars from stage, screen and TV at annual FiFi® Awards Celebration. Over 800 guests mix and mingle with the outstanding talents being honored on May 25th at Lincoln Center. 38 coveted crystal statuettes will be awarded, recognizing their inspirational contributions to the fragrance industry. Attending this year's celebration and receiving FiFi® Awards are:

Halle Berry, WHO IS NAMED 2011 FiFi® Fragrance Celebrity of the Year Award

This award, presented by the Foundation's Board of Directors is to honor a celebrity who has embraced and promoted the world of fragrance over a period of time. It celebrates the ongoing success and support given by the celebrity to the industry and therefore attracting consumers to the category. Academy Award winning actress, beauty and fashion icon, Halle Berry has created a collection of fragrances that have all been infused with her unique vision and favorite ingredients. "For years I have created my own personal scents by mixing and layering fragrances, trying to come up with something unique and different. It's a wonderful form of self-expression and I am thrilled to share these fragrances with consumers worldwide," said Ms. Berry. "I am very honored to receive this FiFi® award. I truly believe that fragrance makes women feel beautiful and confident."

Fergie, WHO IS NAMED 2011 FiFi® New Fragrance Celebrity of the Year Award

Selected by the Foundation's Board of Directors, this award recognizes a celebrity whose very first fragrance has enjoyed instant success with the consumer and brought recognition to the fragrance category. Inspired by the multi-talented star's spontaneous attitude and belief in herself, "It feels unbelievable for me to have the biggest launch in Avon's history," explains Fergie. "I am extremely passionate about my projects and put a lot of energy into the development and execution-- Outspoken was no exception. I'm so excited to be receiving the FiFi® "New Fragrance Celebrity of the Year" award, and it feels amazing to be honored by the industry."

FREE BLACK EYED PEAS CONCERT ON DECK.
Chase Presents The Black Eyed Peas in a Free Ticketed Concert at Central Park to Benefit the Robin Hood Foundation on June 9. This is a ticketed event – all concertgoers must have a ticket to enter and backpacks and other carry alongs are not permitted. 54,000 free tickets will be available only through random giveaway beginning on May 11. A small number of VIP tickets will be available for sale. Tickets are limited to ensure the safety of all fans attending the event.

"We are thrilled to follow in the footsteps of icons such as Simon & Garfunkel and Diana Ross by performing a free concert for our fans in Central Park," said Fergie. "But more importantly, we are performing to benefit Robin Hood's efforts to help those living in poverty in New York City and to help disadvantaged youth in New York with the launch of our Peapod Academy."

The concert will raise funds and awareness for Robin Hood, a public charity targeting poverty in New York City by funding and partnering with the best and most effective programs. Robin Hood's grants and guidance support food pantries, homeless shelters, health clinics and provide work-force training for impoverished New Yorkers in the five boroughs. As part of the partnership with The Black Eyed Peas, Robin Hood will fund the opening of three Peapod Academies in New York City over the coming years, which will support disadvantaged youth in New York City by providing music and artistic education, such as music engineering and mixing and video editing, among other opportunities.

"Robin Hood is humbled by the commitment of The Black Eyed Peas and Chase to help the 1.8 million people in New York City that fall below the poverty line," said David Saltzman, Executive Director of Robin Hood. "As six-time Grammy Award winners and 30+ million album sellers, The Peas are superstars in the global music industry and Central Park provides the perfect stage for them to help us raise awareness and funds for our neighbors in need."

"Live music has a rich tradition in Central Park and we are pleased to add the Black Eyed Peas to a list that already includes Barbra Streisand, Elton John and Sting, among many others," said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. "This free concert on the historic Great Lawn celebrates the best of New York City and will help Robin Hood continue its work to fight poverty."

As the exclusive radio partner, Clear Channel will promote the concert on-air through ticket giveaways and public service announcements across five of Clear Channel's New York City Stations: Z100, 103.5 KTU, Q104.3, 106.7 Lite FM and Power 105.1. The Concert 4 NYC is being produced by Robin Hood in association with William Derella and David Sonenberg of DAS Communications, Ltd., the management company for The Black Eyed Peas.

WARNER MUSIC DEAL TO CLOSE THIS WEEK?
Final buyout bids for Warner Music Group are due today, Monday May 2 and the company could be sold by the end of this week in a deal valued at over $3 billion, according to Industry Insiders.. The third round of bids is led by two competing financial groups Len Blavatnik's Access Industry and a joint bid by Tom and Alec Gores' Platinum Equity and Gores Group, according to sources. The Warner Music sale process is taking place against a backdrop of ongoing declines in music sales as executives struggle to figure out new business models to guarantee the future of the industry. While Warner Music continues to generate reasonable levels of cash on its balance sheet -- a key metric for investors -- it will still be seen as a risky investment in a very tough market.

Two weeks ago the second-round bids came in around $3 billion according to three people who asked not to be named as the process is confidential. Ron Burkle's Yucaipa Co, dropped out of the bidding late last week, the first person said. Matching bids from two major music names fell short of what Warner's board was looking for from strategic buyers in the second round but there is still a chance that rival music companies will be involved at a later stage in picking over some of Warner Music assets.

While the final round bids are due early this week, there is no certainty a deal will get done, the first person said. All of the parties declined to comment.

Warner Music's board effectively put itself up for sale in January when it appointed Goldman Sachs and AGM Partners to assess interest from external parties. Since then its shares have risen nearly 60 percent to $7.47 at the end last week. One reason why the Warner Music board is open to moving ahead with financial bidders is because it fears an expensive delay in the process by regulators if the company is bought by another music company, the first source said.

Regulators have denied music deals in the past including at least one of several attempts to combine Warner Music and EMI over the last decade. Warner's board, led by Chief Executive Edgar Bronfman, had demanded a premium from the music companies for their second-round bids. BMG Music Rights, a joint music venture between German media giant Bertelsmann and private equity firm KKR, gave up on staying in the bidding process early last week declining to raise its bid any higher.

BMG Music could still be involved in the process said a third person, but it is now likely to wait till the end to see who wins out and then try to see what publishing assets it might be able to buy from the new owners. Sony Corp is also still on the sidelines of the process, according to another source. But it faces the same high hurdles from Warner's board. "The key issues for Warner Music's board are price and simplicity of the transaction process," said one of the people familiar with the talks.

RICK ROSS TO WALK PACMAN IN THE RING.

Rick Ross is set to walk Manny Pacquiao to the ring for his May 7 fight with Shane Mosley. "I'm walking homie to the ring..MAYBACH7TH!! PACQUIAO SELFMADE!!" Ross tweeted. Ross has engaged in feuds with both Floyd Mayweather, Pacquiao’s main rival, and Mayweather’s close friend 50 Cent in the past. This will be the first time Pacquiao has done a ring walk with a rapper. At press time, neiher Pacquiao or Ross has said what music will be used.

BONE-THUG-N-HARMONY HIT WITH A 27 MILLION DOLLAR LAWSUIT.
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony are facing a $27 million lawsuit from a former associate (Roland Brown) who alleges he is owed royalties. The suit was filed last week, Thursday (April 28), in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, and in it, the group is being accused of breach of contract over unpaid songwriting royalties from the 1996 Bone spin-off Mo Thugs album, ‘Mo Thugs Family Scriptures.’ Brown claims that he was never paid for two songs on the platinum-selling album, “Take Your Time” and “Here With Me,” both of which were performed by disbanded female R&B group Tre. While it is unclear exactly what the plaintiff’s contribution was, Brown is listed in the May 31, 1997 issue of Billboard Magazine as a songwriter on an extremely varied list of tracks, including ‘In My Bed’ by Dru Hill, ‘Nothin’ but the Cavi Hit’ by Mack 10 & Tha Dogg Pound, and ‘The Ultimate’ by Artifacts.

2011 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS ON DECK WITH NICKI MINAJ, CEE LO, RIHANNA, J-LO, AND BEP.
Nicki Minaj and Cee Lo have been added to the lineup of performers scheduled to take the stage at the upcoming Billboard Music Awards. Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez and the Black Eyed Peas, along with Miami rapper Pitbull were booked earlier this month to take the stage for the 2011 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas on May 22.

The 2011 Billboard Music Awards will air on ABC live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, in partnership with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. The announcement was made by Richard D. Beckman, CEO of Prometheus Global Media, which owns Billboard. The show is scheduled to air on Sunday, May 22nd, 2011 and will become one of the most important music forums for artists on television. The live broadcast will be co-executive produced by Mr. Beckman and Don Mischer of Don Mischer Productions. "This show marks the first of several broadcast platforms we plan to build around the Billboard franchise," said Beckman. "We have an incredible network partner and with Don Mischer, one of the finest producers in the world. We look forward to entertaining music fans with Billboard's own rendition of a televised celebration of music."

The Billboard Music Awards will take a holistic look at artist performance based on key fan interactions with music, including album, single and digital sales, touring, streaming and social interactions on MySpace, Facebook and many of the other most popular online destinations for music. These measurements are tracked year-round by Billboard and it's data partners.

The awards will be based on the reporting period of February 28, 2010 through March 1, 2011. Top artists will be recognized in a variety of genres, for example R&B, Rap, Pop, Country, Rock, Latin and Alternative. Such recognition will be determined and authenticated by Billboard.

"We're thrilled to partner with Billboard on the Billboard Music Awards. ABC is already the destination for such prestigious music events as The American Music Awards and The CMA Awards, and we're proud the Billboard Music Awards will now be calling us their home," said Vicki Dummer, SVP, Alternative Series, Specials and Late Night, ABC Entertainment Group. "We see this marquee event as a valuable asset and perfect opportunity for us to launch in May."

"Las Vegas is a world-class destination known for hosting special events," said Rossi Ralenkotter, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. "Millions of visitors enjoy our entertainment offerings every year and having the Billboard Music Awards return to Las Vegas gives them one more reason to visit."

GUINESS BOOK FREESTYLE RECORD GETS BROKE.
Guiness Book of World Records have opened the books for Chidera “Chiddy” Anamege of the hip-hop group Chiddy Bang. He broke the Guinness World Record for the longest freestyle. Chiddy freestyled non-stop for nine hours 18 minutes and 22 seconds. Before it all went down, He said, "I just gotta get a good night's rest, eat a healthy breakfast," he said. "The rest should just be history. We're just gonna try to make it and break it at the same time." The current record was for nine hours, 15 minutes and 15 seconds and was held by a rapper named M-Eighty out of Indianapolis. PEEP THE FREESTYLE HERE

PRODIGY GIVES JAY-Z A BEATDOWN?
Prodigy of Mobb Deep revealed to the audience during a book signing in Washington D.C. with author/professor Michael Eric Dyson, that he once almost gave Jay-Z a beat down outside of Justin’s Restaurant in New York City. “We surrounded the front door so he couldn’t get out without seeing us. So I’m standing there waiting to see him and finally he comes from back somewhere,” said Prodigy. “Him and Jermaine Dupri come walking. Jermaine sees us and he was out. Jay’s standing there with two bodyguards approaching us… SEE THE FOOTAGE HERE

ASCAP NAMES SONGWRITERS OF THE YEAR.
Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald and Max Martin were named songwriters of the year at the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers' 28th annual Pop Music Awards on Wednesday night. The duo tied for writing five of the most performed songs of 2010, including "California Gurls" (Katy Perry with Snoop Dogg), "Dynamite" (Taio Cruz) and "Teenage Dream" (Perry). Dr. Luke also won for Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA" and "Tik Tok" by Ke$ha, who presented his award. Martin also won for "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" by Usher with Pitbull and "Whataya Want From Me" by Adam Lambert. Lambert presented to Martin, who made a rare appearance to accept the award. Dr. Luke has had 20 No. 1 songs in the past five years and has received 17 ASCAP Awards, including songwriter of the year last year, while Martin previously won the award in 1999, 2000 and 2001. The ceremony took place at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel.

BEYONCE SLAPPED WITH $100 MILLION LAWSUIT
Beyonce was slapped with a $100 million lawsuit this week accusing her of being the “diva grinch” who ruined Christmas. The singer was sued in Manhattan Supreme Court by video game company Gate Five, which teamed up with her for a dance game called “Starpower: Beyoncé.” The game was due out this November, the suit says, but went belly-up when Beyonce asked for more money last December. The suit calls it “a bad faith breach of contract so callous that, she destroyed Gate Five’s business, and drove 70 people into unemployment, the week before Christmas.” Gate Five CEO told The Post’s Dareh Gregorian, “It was a very shocking and disappointing turn of events that no one saw coming, and now we’re all trying to pick up the pieces.” The suit claims that Beyoncé had “already negotiated lavish compen sation” for the game, made an “extortionate de mand for entirely new compensation” at a “crucial moment in the project’s develop ment,” causing the main financier to back out. Reps for Beyoncé did not get back to us.

EMI’S FAMILY RAISE $940,000 TO SUPPORT JAPANESE RED CROSS DISASTER RELIEF EFFORTS
An auction of exclusive personal items and memorabilia donated by EMI’s family of artists and songwriters has raised $940,000 in funds to help the Red Cross support people affected by last month’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The charity auction, which launched on eBay’s worldwide sites on April 5, attracted bids totaling $470,000 from music fans around the world. All the money from winning bidders will be doubled through a donation by EMI.

EMI Group CEO Roger Faxon commented: “What a wonderful result!! It was made possible by the extraordinary generosity of so many members of the EMI family, artists, songwriters, friends and staff alike. It has been a privilege for all of us at EMI to have participated in this effort to raise money to help the people of Japan who have suffered so much.”

An original Birkin handbag, donated by Jane Birkin and used by the actress and singer for many years, raised more than $163,000 at the auction. A 1987 Ferrari, owned by Daft Punk and used in their movie ‘Electroma’ raised almost $42,000, while a diamante costume head used by DJ and producer Deadmau5 was won with a bid of more than $19,000. Much sought-after items sold at the auction also included a Steinway grand piano used by artists including Bono and Eric Clapton ($14,878), a jacket worn by Chris Martin onstage during Coldplay’s Viva La Vida world tour ($14,060), a private dinner with Herbert Grönemeyer ($10,792), signed copies of David Bowie’s entire catalogue ($10,138), handwritten lyrics by Brian Wilson to ‘God Only Knows’ and a platinum album for the Beach Boys’ ‘Pet Sounds’ ($7,643), a day on tour with Simple Minds ($6,891), an original handmade "ZERO" shirt worn by the Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan ($6,744), an original painting from Iron Maiden ($6,466), a cupcake trampoline used onstage on Katy Perry’s current ‘California Dreams’ tour ($5,075), and a signed guitar offered by Japanese musician Miyavi ($8,992).

The auction was supported by more than 200 artists including 30 Seconds To Mars, Aaron Neville, Alice In Chains, Angela Gheorghiu, Anne Murray, Arcade Fire, B-52s, Bat For Lashes, Beastie Boys, The Beatles, Billy Idol, Bret Michaels, Celtic Woman, The Chemical Brothers, Chris Tomlin, Corinne Bailey Rae, Darius Rucker, David Crowder Band, David Gilmour, David Guetta, Dean Martin, Depeche Mode, Dierks Bentley, Duffy, Duran Duran, Eric Church, Family Force 5, A Fine Frenzy, Good Charlotte, Gorillaz, Hot Chip, Helene Fischer, Huey Lewis & The News, Immodesty Blaize, Jeff Bridges, JLS, Jonas Brothers, Juan Luis Guerra, Julien Clerc, Keith Urban, Keren Ann, The Kooks, Kylie Minogue, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan, Lykke Li, Marisa Monte, Megadeth, Melanie C, Michael Franti, Norah Jones, Pat Benatar, Pet Shop Boys, Philippe Jaroussky, Priscilla Ahn, The Prodigy, Professor Green, Raphael, Rosanne Cash, Scouting For Girls, Selena, Sick Puppies, Simply Red, Slash, Sting, Tinie Tempah, Tiziano Ferro, Vasco Rossi, VV Brown and Willie Nelson.

EMINEM ON DECK FOR LOLLAPALOOZA.
Perry Farrell has pulled out all the stops for the 20th anniversary of his Lollapalooza festival, and has booked Eminem as one of the headliners. The big event, takes place at Chicago's Grant Park from August 5 to 7, also will feature Cee Lo Green, Deadmau5, Damian Marley & Nas, Big Audio Dynamite, Deftones, and many, many more. This year will mark the first ever Lollapalooza appearance for Eminem. Speaking about Eminem, Farrell told MTV, "He's always put together great productions for his shows, and this is something that we look for at Lollapalooza — not just to go out there and perform, but to really give a show." As for the Foos, Farrell said he expects to see "blood, sweat, guts and hair."

"I'd say the biggest evolution, shall we say, in Grant Park this year is going to be the 'Perry's Area.' I kind of smile, because they have previously called it 'Perry's Lounge.' I don't know where they got this 'lounge' tag to it," he explained. "It's the dance tent, and it will house 15,000 people. So 15,000 fist-pumping people in a lounge there to see people like Steve Angello and Joachim Garraud — that's a place you're going to want to hang out throughout the weekend."

EMINEM GOES DOUBLE DIAMOND! MAKES HISTORY.
The Marshall Mathers LP, Eminem’s sophomore album, released on Aftermath/Interscope Records, has officially received the diamond certification from the RIAA. Released in May 2000, and selling 1.7 million units in the first week of sales alone, the certification means that the LP sold more than 10 million units in the U.S. alone. The Eminem Show, (Em's third album for Aftermath/Interscope), also went diamond. This recent certification makes Eminem the only artist in rap history with two diamond plaques.

ELZHI RIDES NAS’ “ILLMATIC” INTO A CLASSIC OF HIS VERY OWN WITH “ELMATIC”
To say that Elzhi’s “ELmatic” has been a labor of love would be an understatement. The idea was first broached years ago by DJ House Shoes and discussed and bandied about incessantly since. Though the concept was unrealized for what seemed like ages; years went by, life got in the way, recording and touring with Slum Village got in the way and as more time passed, desperate fans continued to wait (albeit impatiently) for news and updates on the project.

Well, at last, the long wait is over, as Elzhi has finally completed “ELmatic” and the long-wait fans endured will prove to be well-worth it, as Elzhi will release the project for free on 5-10-2011; the LP is being released for free by Elzhi as a dedication to his fans for their patience.

Nas tributes have been done before, but it’s safe to say, never in the manner in which Elzhi attacks it. “ELmatic” is a game-changing effort on a few different levels, not only is it genre-defying, but it finds Elzhi in his lyrical prime and rather then expressing himself over Nas’ original instrumentals, Elzhi enlisted the famous Detroit ensemble Will Sessions (a six-piece band who has cultivated a reputation in the Detroit area for being able to meticulously replay Nas’ instrumentals from scratch and who produced the endeavor) and recorded the entire project with only live-instrumentation, which gives the project an undeniably plush and unique sound and dare we say even adds an updated flair to the original’s hall-of-fame lineup of producers. These new flourishes can be heard as Will Sessions add even more instrumental interludes (sometimes mid-track) and over special drops from artists such as Pete Rock and DJ House Shoes. While guest features are sparse, Royce 5’9 and Mint Condition’s Stokely both grace “Life’s A Bitch” and Amp Fiddler plays keyboards on “The World is Yours”.

While immersing himself into the recording of “ELmatic,” Elzhi underwent a series of professional and personal struggles that have made this project even more gratifying for him. After a nearly decade long stint as a member of the beloved group Slum Village and numerous hit singles (including “Selfish” f/Kanye West and John Legend and “Tainted” f/Dwele ) in July of 2010 Elzhi was forced to re-start his solo career after discovering a variety of unfair business practices by Slum Village’s record label and T3. These professional and personal trails and tribulations are certainly an audible under-current on “ELmatic,” as it gives the project that much more urgency and edge; and undisputable air of rebirth.

With the support of his new management by music executive and artist manager Jae Barber of The JAE.B Group and Will Sessions “ELmatic” is finally completed. Fans can anticipate a newly reinvigorated Elzhi and one who is anxious to share his talents with the world. PEEP DETROIT STATE OF MIND HERE

EMINEM AND ROYCE 5'9" RETURN TOGETHER FOR NEW PROJECT.
The Bad Meets Evil teaming in the late '90s of underground Detroit MC's Eminem and Royce da 5'9" became a rap legend of unfulfilled promise. Now, a decade after they last recorded together, Eminem and Royce da 5'9" have revived their Bad Meets Evil project, today officially announcing that an EP on Shady/Interscope Records will be released June 14th.

"Royce and I started hanging out again and inevitably that led us back into the studio," said Eminem. "At first we were just seeing where it went without any real goal in mind, but the songs started to come together crazy, so here we are."

Added Royce, "I'm excited to see this project come to fruition considering the long lapse in time between when we worked before and now. We had a blast doing it and we just hope everyone enjoys it while we're working on the 'Monster' that will be the Slaughterhouse album. #TeamShady."

The two first met in 1997 at a concert in Detroit and soon formed Bad Meets Evil (Royce as Bad and Eminem as Evil). But they released just a few recordings, including the song "Bad Meets Evil" on Eminem's major label debut, The Slim Shady LP and a heralded independent Bad Meets Evil 12" featuring the now underground classic, "Scary Movies." The pair went their separate ways in their solo careers only to be separated by a reluctant feud, thus making it the last time they would be heard together for several years. Sadness over the tragic shooting death of mutual friend Proof in 2006 led to mended fences with Eminem's group D12, which prompted an eventual reconciliation between the two rappers. Eminem and Royce were finally once again on speaking terms after Royce was featured on D12's 2008 mixtape Return Of The Dozen and later went on tour with the group.

Since then, Royce has continued his acclaimed solo career (three of his four officially released albums, most recently 2009's Street Hop, have cracked the Top 40 R&B/Hip-hop chart). With rap stalwarts Joe Budden, Crooked I and Joell Ortiz, he has also formed Slaughterhouse, recently signed to Eminem's Shady Records. In addition, Slaughterhouse contributed a bonus track to the digital deluxe edition of Eminem's blockbuster 2010 Recovery album.

The bulk of the EP's production was helmed by longtime collaborator and D12 member, Mr. Porter (a/k/a Kon Artis) and also features contributions from Mobb Deep's Havoc, DJ Khalil and Bangladesh among others.

KID CUDI LAUNCHES HIS OWN RECORD LABEL
As Kid Cudi prepares the release of his rock-influenced third album, ‘Wizard,’ the rapper has split with his management, squashed beef with recent Maybach Music signee Wale, quit smoking weed and has now announced that he is changing the name of his new band. During his performance at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City last week, Cudi told the crowd that, while he has changed the name of his band with producer Dot da Genius from Wizard to 2 Be Continuum, the wizardry will not be affected. “I needed something more original, something different, but it’s still wizardry at its finest,” he told MTV. “It’s science. Basically it’s just me and Dot, we been really working hard on this project. I’m really f–king excited for y’all to hear it too. It’s incredible!” He then went on to say that the album will be released on his new imprint, Wicked Awesome Records, and will be “epic, epic.” “I’ve only been playing guitar for nine months but the records have been coming out f—king epic, epic, I’m really excited,” Cudi continued. “We gonna have that first single for y’all soon. This summer.” Kid Cudi’s rock record ‘Wizard’ will be in stores some time this year.

50 CENT HUNTS DOWN ANCESTORS' SLAVE OWNERS
50 Cent travels to the tiny town of Edgefield, SC, in search of his family's past and comes face to face with the brutality of slavery in the original VH1 Rock Doc "50 Cent: The Origin of Me," premiering Monday, May 23 on VH1. During an empowering and emotional voyage, 50 Cent crosses state lines to tell a story of pain, bloodshed, and survival. Like all African Americans, he is the product of a greater journey, one that began thousands of miles away and hundreds of years ago – in slavery. The birthplace of noted segregationist Strom Thurmond, "Bloody Edgefield," as the town was known, bears the scars of a violent and racist past. This is the town where 50 Cent – born Curtis Jackson III – sets out to track his roots. With help from local genealogists and census data, 50 manages to find his great-great-great grandmother Jane Jenkins, who lived and worked as a slave in the mid-1800's.

Along the way, 50 also learns that in the years following the Civil War, his ancestors faced the infamous 'REDSHIRTS', the precursors to the KKK, giving him a new perspective on the violence he encountered as a young man in Queens. As America commemorates the 150th anniversary of that war this spring, the film provides a moving testament to the lines that still divide us.

"50 Cent: The Origin of Me" is the newest film 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.

"50 Cent: The Origin of Me" is a production of VH1, in association with Roadside Entertainment. Brad Abramson, Shelly Tatro and Jeff Olde were executive producers for VH1. Mark Anstendig was a supervising producer for VH1. Ron Yassen directed and executive produced for Roadside Entertainment. Sacha Jenkins executive produced for Roadside Entertainment. David Kamp is a writer and consulting producer on the documentary.

BEATS BY DRE AND CHRYSLER PARTNER UP.
The Chrysler Group and Beats By Dr. Dre have announced a new partnership that will bring Dre's studio quality sound technology into the all-new Chrysler 300S vehicle. The exclusive partnership was announced during Chrysler’s press conference at the 2011 New York Auto Show this week. Dre and Interscope chairman Jimmy Iovine worked side-by-side with an engineering team at Chrysler to create the 10-speaker audio system. “Our partnership with the Chrysler Group will set the bar for the way music should be heard in cars”, said Iovine. This alliance comes after the vehicle giant recently teamed up with Eminem’s Marshall Mathers Foundation, a few months back for the “Imported from Detroit T-Shirts” which geared towards local communities. “Beats By Dr. Dre has always been about restoring the emotional music connection between an artist and the listener, and Chrysler vehicles beginning with the Chrysler 300S will let drivers hear music the way the artists intended,” said Oliver Francois, president and CEO, Chrysler Brand The 2012 Chrysler 300S powered with the Beats By Dr. Dre audio system will arrive nationwide during the fall.

RIHANNA MAKES HISTORY.. AGAIN.
Rihanna's latest single, "S&M," has taken the #1 slot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, giving RiRi her tenth #1 hit single. She makes history as the youngest artist ever to rack up ten #1 hits at just over 23-years-old. Mariah Carey held the previous record when she was 25. Rihanna is also the ninth artist in history to have ten #1 hits, and she is the fifth solo female artist to do so, following Carey (18), Madonna (12), Whitney Houston (11) and Janet Jackson (10). The "S&M" joint also set another record also. Having first reigned atop the Hot 100 in the week of May 13, 2006 with "SOS," the singer now holds the shortest span between a solo artist's first and 10th #1 songs in the chart's 52-year history with a time-line of just four years, 11 months and two weeks. Rihanna trails only The Beatles and The Supremes for the fastest accumulation of 10 Hot 100 #1s, according to Billboard.

BLACK EYED PEAS TO OPEN MUSIC SCHOOL.
The Black Eyed Peas are opening a school which will allow New York City teens to be able to learn video and music production using professional-quality equipment. The six-time Grammy winners announced that their Peapod Foundation together with the Adobe Foundation will open a new Peapod Adobe Youth Voices music and multimedia academy in lower Manhattan. The two foundations already run three Youth Voices academies in California — in Los Angeles, Oakland and Redwood City. The New York academy will offer classes to youth ages 13 to 19 starting this July. Black Eyed Peas star will.i.am explains, "Our passion for music and media was fuelled by many generous people on our road to success. Expanding the network of Peapod Adobe Youth Voices academies enables us to pay it forward, giving more youth the skills and encouragement they need to realize their dreams."

DR. DRE WINS BATTLE AGAINST DEATHROW.
Dr. Dre took label executives to court last year (10), alleging they were improperly selling his 1992 debut online and using his hits in compilations without his authorisation. U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder ruled on Tuesday (April 19) that Death Row Records' bosses do not have the rights to sell the album online and that Dr. Dre has received far less cash than he is due from web sales. The ruling allows Dre to receive 100% of the proceeds, according to Dr. Dre's attorney Howard King. In a statement to the Associated Press, King explains, "For years, Death Row Records forgot about Dre when they continued to distribute his music digitally and combined his hits with weaker Death Row tracks in an attempt to elevate the stature of their other artists. "We are gratified that the federal court has unambiguously declared that Death Row has no right to engage in such tactics, and must hold all proceeds from these illicit distributions in trust for our client."

FRESH NEW TRACKS SPIN ONTO DJ HERO® 2
Three exclusive additions have been added to DJ Hero® 2’s award-winning mix list, Activision Publishing, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) have announced. Available now and featuring remixes of hits from electronic music phenomenon Deadmau5, massive dance party favorite Benny Benassi and international club sensation Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP, the Ultra Mix Pack will get feet moving, have fans up out of their seats and keep the music going until the break of dawn. The Ultra Mix Pack is available on Xbox LIVE® Marketplace for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft for 640 Microsoft Points and on the PlayStation®Store for PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system for $7.99. All tracks are also available as downloadable singles for Wii™ for 300 Wii Points™ each.

CHRIS BROWN GOES GOLD.
Chris Brown's fourth studio album F.A.M.E. (Jive Records) has just been certified gold by the R.I.A.A. just three weeks after its release. The singer/songwriter earned his first chart-topping album debut when F.A.M.E. secured the No. 1 position on the Billboard 200 and the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts with total album sales of over 271K. F.A.M.E. spawned three consecutive No. 1 singles and is the third highest-selling debut album of the year. Brown reached his third successive No. 1 Urban Mainstream with his single "Look At Me Now" featuring Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes. This is the single's 5th consecutive week at No. 1 on the chart and its first week at No. 1 at Rhythmic radio. The video is in rotation on MTV and MTV2 and in the Top 5 on BET's 106 and Park countdown. It was preceded by "Deuces" featuring Tyga and Kevin McCall (which spent 10 weeks at the top of the chart) and "No BS". "Yeah 3X," another track from F.A.M.E., rose to Top 5 at Rhythmic radio. Collectively, the four singles represent combined cumulative digital and mobile sales of over five million. On the heels of the gold certification, Brown just released his new mid-tempo single "She Ain't You" which is already showing early signs of success. The track was # 1 most added at Urban Mainstream and for two weeks in a row a Top 5 greatest gainer at the format. The single will impact at the Rhythmic radio format this week. Brown co-wrote the majority of F.A.M.E., the follow-up to his 2X Grammy-nominated 2009 album, Graffiti. Collaborations on the album include Justin Bieber, Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, and Ludacris, among others.

KANYE SHUTS DOWN COACHELLA.
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival took over the desert in Indio, CA over the weekend, offering three days of star-studded performances with more than 100 acts. The event started on Friday with sets from The Black Keys and Cold War Kids. Cee-Lo Green and Lauryn Hill. Saturday included Erykah Badu, the band featuring Rage Against the Machine's Zach De La Rocha and former Mars Volta drummer Jon Theodore. Sunday included PJ Harvey and the duo of Nas & Damian Marley, who played songs from their collaboration album, Distant Relatives, as well as their solo catalogs. Kanye West stole the show on Sunday with a classic performances. The set began with a troop of tribal dancers who bowed down to a carved stone backdrop before West appeared on top of a crane that stretched over the crowd as he asked, "Can we get much higher?" Kanye performed a number of new joints like "Dark Fantasy" and "Hell Of A Life" from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, as well as "Power," which was lead by fireworks. West continued to roll out the classics like "Jesus Walks," "Monster," "Touch the Sky," "All Falls Down" and "Gold Digger." "All of the Lights" and "Stronger" followed as midnight rolled around, and then the screen announced that "Act 3" was still to come. When 'Ye returned for the encore, he was wearing a red suit for the epic track "Runaway," before he finally poured out his heart for "Hey Mama" as he declared, "This show is dedicated to you, Mama." At the end of it all, 'Ye and his dancers lined the stage and held hands for a triumphant bow, bringing another sweaty and sold-out Coachella festival to a close. SEE THE SHOW HERE

GAME SPEAKS ON ALBUM DELAY.
The Game speaks on delayed “R.E.D.” album and why he feels that Dr. Dre’s highly-anticipated “Detox” album is the reason he can’t get his project released. He told Mtv,“The release date is probably late July or early August, man. I’ll let producer Jimmy Iovine put that red paint on the calendar and give us a specific date,” the Game said. “All I know is that the album is almost finished. Dre is finishing up Detox and then he going to help me finish up mine. I’m like 90, 95 percent done. Just waiting on Dre to finish his project and then come on over and lend his ear and probably mix a couple of songs, especially the ones that he did, and we’re going to see it in stores.”

DJ PAULY D TO SIGN TO G-UNIT?
TMZ is reporting that Pauly D (Jersey Shore) is close to joining forces with G-Unit, that 50 Cent wants to sign him to his record label --a 3-album deal is already on the table. Sources close to negotiations say, the "Jersey Shore" DJ met with 50 and his people in NYC last week -- where they discussed the lucrative record deal ... and also tossed around the idea of a Pauly D merchandise line, specifically Pauly D-brand headphones. Nothing's signed yet -- but according to sources, 50 wants to hammer out the deal ASAP ... before Pauly jets off to Italy to shoot "Jersey Shore" Season 4.

SNOOP GOES ON TILT OVER NAME CHANGE
Snoop Dogg has been told to change the title of his bachelor party anthem dedicated to royal fan Prince William in order to get the joint played on U.S. radio stations. Snoop came up with "Wet" in honor of the British royal's upcoming nuptials to Kate Middleton, insisting he hoped the tune would help the Prince celebrate his final days as a single man. He faced some criticism from radio bosses who refused to play the song on air unless he renamed the track to make it more family-friendly, but the backlash has stunned Snoop - because another single he created with Dr. Dre is all about their love of marijuana. He told Vibe magazine, "I did a song called 'Wet', and these motherf****rs at radio made me change the title to 'Sweat'. I didn't change one line on Kush. I hear that motherf****r on the radio every day, and we're talking about straight smoking dope. I can't be sexy, but I can be drug oriented."

L.A. REID GIVES INSIGHT ON GOING BACK TO LABEL BIZ.
After leaving his post at Island Def Jam last month and inking a deal as a judge for Simon Cowell's X Factor, L.A. Reid says that his hiatus from the record business is only temporary and he'll be announcing another label gig soon. Reid was interviewed by Angie Martinez on Hot 97/New York on Tuesday night, where he confirmed the news. "Listen, I'm nobody's fool, I didn't give up my day job," he said. "I just left, I had to leave Universal Music Group and try my hat on someplace else, that we'll announce, well… we'll announce that in a little while." He said that he did not leave the label because of the job on X Factor, and it is simply "a little bit of a shift." "You're not done with me yet," Reid added. "I'm telling you the truth: I have not been shipped off to TV land. I am a record executive and I shall be right there in your face with my records."

RIHANNA, EMINEM AND GAGA TOP NOMS FOR 2011 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS.
Nominees for the 2011 Billboard Music Awards have been announced during a press conference at the Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Rihanna, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars and Justin Bieber have scooped up the most nominatations. Rihanna was the most-nominated artist overall, with nods in 18 categories, including Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Female Artist, Top R&B Artist and Top Dance/Electronic Artist.. Her smash hit with Eminem, "Love The Way You Lie," is up for six awards. Eminem has been nominated in 16 categories (also thanks to "Love The Way You Lie"), including Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Artist, Top Male Artist and Top Rap Artist. Lady Gaga was nominated in a dozen categories. In the Top Dance/Electronic Album category, Gaga is competing against herself three times over, with The Fame, The Fame Monster and The Remix all nominated. Bruno Mars and Justin Bieber were tied with nominations in 11 categories, including Top New Artist, where they battle against Ke$ha, Nicki Minaj and Taio Cruz.

FBI RELEASES TUPAC FILES TO PUBLIC.

A week after the FBI released a 600-page document about the investigation of Notorious BIG's murder, the FBI has now released a document about Tupac Shakur's death. This document (102 pages) mostly centers on Shakur's relationship with the Jewish Defense League, an organization that was known to shakedown hip-hop artists in the 1990s by claiming that their lives were endangered. The scheme reportedly involved an anonymous subject making death threats against well-known rap artists such as Shakur and Eazy-E by telephone, at which point the JDL would step in and offer protection services to the targeted superstars for a “fee.”
CHECK OUT THE REPORT HERE


MATT ALONZO DIRECTS WORLD'S 1ST MUSIC VIDEOS PRODUCED EXCLUSIVELY FOR A PRODUCTION MUSIC LIBRARY
EXTREME MUSIC, the production music arm of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, releases Urban Ammo 2, it was announced today by Russell Emanuel, CEO and President of Extreme Music. The release is produced, composed and performed by Westcoast Vet, Xzibit, multi-platinum heavyweight of the MTV generation. Xzibit is renowned as a frontline artist and, although this project is aimed primarily at professional music users, two of the forty tracks - "Man on the Moon" and "What It Is" - are currently available to the public via iTunes. Additionally, in an Industry first, two promotional videos will support a Production Music Library release.

The chart-worthy videos for "Man on the Moon" and "What It Is" are directed by street legend Matt Alonzo and feature Xzibit and protege Young De. Alonzo has been in the directing chair for such artists as Soulja Boy, Far East Movement, The Game, Chris Cornell, Ice Cube, Xzibit, Cypress Hill and others and has collectively racked up over 80 million views for his work. Peep out The world premiere of both "Man on the Moon" and "What It Is" -- WATCH HERE

"Working with Extreme has been a wonderful experience. The music created for Urban Ammo 2 has been collaboration with artists whom I feel are the next generation of stars in Hip Hop, R&B and Rock," said Xzibit. "Unleashing these tracks is gonna wreak some havoc!"

"For those in-the-know Xzibit always delivers. This arsenal of killa beats 'n' hooks are a tough as nails Hip Hop Hitzkrieg," said Emanuel. "My advice: You better take cover; it's a full on sonic drive by."

About Extreme Music: World-renowned as the "Bad Boys of the Industry," Extreme, the Production Music Library arm of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, have made it their duty to change the face of library music. Since exploding onto the scene in 1997 these production music zeitgeists have consistently delivered an industry-quaking catalogue that leaves their competition sleeping with the lights on and establishes them as the undisputed masters in their field. Their unrivalled A-list packed roster famously boasts names such as Quincy Jones, Hans Zimmer, Snoop Dogg, Rodney Jerkins, Robbie Nevil, Junkie XL, Paul Oakenfold, Mark Mothersbaugh and Vince Clarke to name a few.

WHO WANTS TO SEE TONI BRAXTON'S TITS N' ASS? WE DO!!
The forty-three-year-old singer and mother of two, Toni Braxton says she is still considering Playboy’s offer to pose nude for the magazine. She was offered a reported $100,000 to appear in Playboy, a proposition which she initially shot down, tweeting, “Who started this rumor that I’d do Playboy for 100,000? No way! If I considered Playboy it would be for an undisclosed amount or for charity.” However, in a recent interview on ‘The Wendy Williams Show,’ Toni explained that she’s still weighing her decision regarding the spread, which she said would just be “a little T and A.” “They asked me. I was really flattered, and they’ve asked me a few times in the past,” Braxton said. “But one of the reasons I was more excited was because it was after I’d been sick, and I just didn’t feel sexy and I thought I’d lost my mojo. And when they asked me, I’m like, ‘Oh, they think I’m sexy? My boobies hang down to here a little bit!’ I was really flattered.” Despite Wendy’s argument that she’s “come too far” to pose naked, Braxton went on to say that the deciding factor for her will be her young boys, Denim and Diezel. “I haven’t decided,” she revealed. “One of the reasons I’m hesitant is because of my boys. I don’t want their friends to come to school and say, ‘I saw your mommy’s boobies!’”

CITIGROUP WON'T PIECE OUT EMI AS A PURCHASE?
We all know that Citigroup is expected to put EMI up for sale later this year, but unlike Warner Music Group, the label most likely won't be pieced out to buyers. Industry sources tell the New York Post that Citi will likely seek a buyer for the entire company. Reportedly, EMI CEO Roger Faxon had argued that selling off EMI in pieces would hurt the company, while Citigroup thought it would be a better way to recoup its investment in the label. Looks like Citi and Faxon are on the same page now and will offer EMI as a whole.

NICKI MINAJ TO TOUR WITH BRITNEY SPEARS
UPDATE: Nicki Minaj has been confirmed as the replacement for Enrique Iglesias on Britney Spears' upcoming Femme Fatale tour. "This is the Femme Fatale tour, and I'm thrilled to have the hot Nicki Minaj join me and Jessie and the Toy Boys and Nervo will get everyone on the dance floor," Spears said on her website. "Can't wait to take the Femme Fatales on the road." Minaj will join Spears after she wraps up touring with Lil Wayne on his I Am Still Music tour, which finishes up May 1 in New Jersey.
Nicki Minaj says that she has been approached by Britney Spears to be her opening act in "Femme Fatale" tour. Minaj says, "I am in talks of joining Britney Spears, yeah." She confirmed the news about the negotiation when attending Casio's TRYX OUT: NYC 2011 Launch Party at the Best Buy Theater. She said, "I'm in talks about a lot of things, ya know. I don't know - oops, I did it again." Nicki would fill the empty slot left when Enrique Iglesias bailed out at the last minute due to his ego-- he could not take being an opening act for Britney Spears. Minaj is currently on the road with Lil Wayne on his "I Am Still Music" tour. Spears' tour begins June 17 in Sacramento.

BIG PUN TO GET STREET NAMED AFTER HIM?
Family members of the late rapper Big Pun (Christopher Rios), are once again trying to have a street renamed after him in the Bronx, the borough that Pun grew up in. Pun’s sister, Nicole Rodriguez, is spearheading the project to have the cross streets of E. 163rd St. and Rogers Place in the Bronx’s Longwood neighborhood renamed “Big Pun Place.”.. “I feel I owe this to my brother,” Rodriguez told the NY Daily News. “He was not only my brother, he was a father figure. He stepped in when my parents couldn’t. So I want to push for this. He deserves it. It would become a visual cemetery for everyone. My brother was cremated, so there’s nowhere to visit him,” she said. “This way, his legacy will live on close to home.”

KANYE WEST SONG CROWNED GREATEST WORKOUT SONG OF ALL TIME.
Gold's Gym, the world's leading authority in health and fitness, announced today that Kanye West can officially lay claim to the strongest song in the gym. After an intense nationwide vote, his popular track, nominated by Super Bowl XLII champion Michael Strahan, survived a star-studded bracket of 64 iPod all-stars to be named the greatest workout song of all time. "Stronger," West's 2007 hit from his "Graduation" album, was voted the winner in Gold's Gym's first ever March Music Madness competition. The competition was designed to put an end to the age old debate about what song really is the best for working out. Whether it's music from "Rocky," hip hop, hair bands, pop or metal, people have always had strong opinions. Gold's Gym's March Music Madness answered the question once and for all... or at least until next year.

Hundred of song nominations from celebrities, fans of music and gym members alike were submitted from around the country. Sixty-four of the most popular nominations were chosen by Gold's Gym celebrity trainers and fitness experts to go head-to-head in the bracket-style competition. With more than 20,000 votes logged during the event, West's "Stronger"... nominated for the competition by FOX NFL Sunday Analyst and former New York Giant Michael Strahan... emerged from a "Final Four" that included Eminem's "Lose Yourself," Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow" and Guns N Roses "Welcome to The Jungle."

As part of the competition, Gold's Gym offered to donate $5,000 to the charity of choice of the person who nominated the winning song. The charities represented by each of the 64 songs spanned the gamut and added an extra layer of passion to the competition. For nominating the winning song, Gold's Gym will make a donation on behalf of Strahan to the Health & Humanitarian Aid Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing medical and humanitarian aid to those whose lives have been affected by famine, war, poverty or natural disaster.

"Music is such a huge part of the workout experience," said Lisa Zoellner, Chief Marketing Officer for Gold's Gym International. "We wanted to pay tribute to the artists and songs that play such a big role in inspiring people to exercise... and that keep them motivated every day. With this fun competition, we were able to find out what our members are listening to, motivate them and give back to a great cause, all at the same time."

"I was thrilled to hear that 'Stronger' won the March Music Madness Bracket Challenge," said Michael Strahan. "The song brings back great memories of Super Bowl XLII (The New York Giants came out to 'Stronger' before beating the New England Patriots 17-14) and is still on my iPod everyday in the gym. What's even more special is that I get to share this win with my friend Sammy Arthur, with the proceeds going to his charity, The Health & Humanitarian Aid Foundation."

Other celebrities who took part in the charity-focused initiative included Will Ferrell, who nominated "Pump Up the Jam" by Technotronic; Mario Lopez, who nominated "Gonna Fly Now (AKA theme from Rocky)" by Bill Conti; Brooke Shields, who nominated "Hot Blooded" by Foreigner; Gabrielle Reece, who nominated "B.O.B." by Outkast and Ryan Sheckler, who nominated "KickStart my Heart" by Motley Crue.

50 CENT CHIMES IN ON MISTER CEE SCANDEL.
50 Cent spoke out to defend Mister Cee after he was charged with public lewdness following an arrest in New York on Friday, April 1. Mister Cee, real name Calvin Lebrun, was caught performing a sex act with a 20-year-old male in a car in Manhattan. The scandal has turned many fans against the producer, but 50 Cent insists he's still a fan. 50 told Hot 97 radio personality Miss Info, "I'd make him my DJ any day... It's only entertaining because he (Mister Cee) means that much to hip-hop culture." .. "I recognize Mister Cee as the guy who offered us Biggie, so he means that much to the culture. And a lot of the kids that hear the radio don't see him the same way."

FBI RELEASES DOCUMENTS ON NOTORIOUS B.I.G. MURDER
New information about Notorious B.I.G.'s murder has been released from the FBI. Last week, the FBI revealed an online reading room called The Vault that allows for a search of the bureau's documents as part of the Freedom of Information Act and B.I.G. murder documents reveal new data on the case. Records of the unsolved case appear in The Vault including information about the the way Biggie was killed in Los Angeles. The documents say he was shot with a German-made Gecko 9mm gun, one that is not commonly found in the United States. The documents also provide information about some Los Angeles Police Department officers involved with the case that had gang ties. The reports also reveals details about how they were able to hinder the process of the investigation by not properly documenting or following up on witness statements related to the killing of Christopher Wallace. SEE THE DOCUMENTS HERE

MTV APPOINTS NEW PRESIDENT.
Stephen K. Friedman has been promoted to President of MTV after serving as GM of the network since fall of 2008. The announcement was made today by Van Toffler, President of MTV Networks Music & Logo Group. In his new role, Friedman will oversee MTV, MTV2, mtvU, MTV Hits and MTV Jams. Previously, Friedman also was GM of mtvU, which he helped launch in 2004, before becoming GM of MTV. "Since Stephen took over the helm at MTV two-and-a-half years ago, he has done an incredible job helping spearhead the reinvention of the MTV brand for millenials," Toffler said in a statement. "He has always placed the audience first, whether it’s creating a new pro-social campaign or leading the charge at mtvU and now MTV, his instincts and thinking have always led us to tap into exactly what the audience is looking for, resulting in great creative and business success." He'll be based at Viacom's New York City office, and report to Toffler.

WIZ KHALIFA DEBUTS HIGH ON THE CHARTS.
Wiz Khalifa’s Rolling Papers, sold 198,200 copies, debuting at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart, according to the Nielsen SoundScan report. Also debuting on the charts this week was Snoop's Doggumentary. The album sold 50,500 copies in its first week- landing at #8. Lupe Fiasco’s Lasers took the #16 slot selling 23,400 units (303,200 total). Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday sold 19,900 units grabbing #20. (1,281,300 total). E-40 debuted both of his new albums-- Revenue Retrievin’: Graveyard Shift took #40 and Revenue Retrievin’: Overtime Shift grabbed #42. Graveyard Shift sold 13,600 copies and Overtime sold just 13,400.

SNOOP TURNS DOWN X FACTOR GIG.
Snoop Dogg confirms reports he was in the running to judge Simon Cowell's new "The X Factor (US)" TV show. Snoop was approached to join the judging panel of the new series, alongside music mogul Antonio "L.A." Reid, but Snoop says he didn't want to make such a big commitment to the series. He said, "They asked me to do that, but I don't think that's for me. I wouldn't mind going on the show as a mentor, but not as far as a judge."

LIL JON STARRING AND HOSTING IN NEW PORN FLIK.
Lil Jon has partnered with adult film company Vivid Video to release a new porn film entitled ‘Club Lil Jon.’ Lil Jon is star, on-screen host and creative force behind "Club Lil Jon," a super-hot adult film from Vivid Entertainment that hit shelves across the country April 11th. The King of Crunk has never been more in the spotlight as he leads his team with Nene Leakes on NBC's fourth season of "Celebrity Apprentice." He claims it's also one of the most difficult projects he's ever taken on. "Club Lil Jon" is the performer's second movie for Vivid, the world's leading adult studio. His first, "Lil Jon's Vivid Vegas Party," was a smash hit for the studio and his new effort has all the ingredients for another best-seller. As with the first film, he was involved in every detail of production from coaching the actresses on how to achieve maximum sensuality to writing a sexy score to keep the action sizzling. "He's truly an artist in his approach to all aspects of production and his enthusiasm was contagious. We all got on board with his vision," said director C-Mizzle. The cast of "Club Lil Jon" includes Monique Alexander, Tawny Roberts, Jenaveve Jolie, Jada Fire, Olivia O'lovel, Ayana ASngel, Shy Love, Finesse Navaro, Byron Long and Tyler Knight.

FONTANA APPOINTS NEW DIRECTOR OF MARKETING,
Expanding further their commitment to urban music and its thriving community, Fontana, the independent distribution arm of Universal Music Group, the world's leading music company, has appointed Ray Arceneaux, Jr. to Director of Marketing, it was announced today by Bryan Mead, SVP of Marketing and Label Operations, to whom Mr. Arceneaux reports. In this new role, Mr. Arceneaux will oversee many areas of Fontana's urban music business, including urban sales planning with retail, artist product management, and acting as the label manager for such indies as Strange Music, Hoo Bangin, Mad Science, Melee and more.

"As we continue to expand the services we provide our urban music partners, there is no one better to lead the charge for us than Ray," stated Mr. Mead. "He's a savvy, well experienced executive who possesses a real track record of success. We're thrilled to welcome him to the Fontana family."

Mr. Arceneaux most recently served as the VP of Urban Sales & Marketing at the WEA Corp. Formerly, he held senior sales & marketing positions at Priority/Capitol and PolyGram Group Distribution. He began his retail career working at Handleman and The Wherehouse. Throughout his career, Mr. Arceneaux has worked closely with such critically-acclaimed artists as T.I., Trey Songz, Lupe Fiasco, Fabolous, Mike Jones, B.O.B., Jaheim, Snoop Dog, Ice Cube, Scarface, Twista, Fat Joe, Janelle Monae and Talib Kweli, among many others.

Fontana Distribution is the independent sales and marketing division of Universal Music Group. Their partners include many of the world's leading independent labels, including Eagle Rock, Downtown, Rap-A-Lot Records, Vagrant Records, WaterTower Music, American Gramophone, Kedar Entertainment, Dangerbird, Last Gang, Savoy Label Group, ESL, Music World, Delicious Vinyl, Ipecac, Six Degrees, SMC, VP Records and Notifi.

UNCLE SAM BITCH SLAPS WEEZY AND FLOYD MAYWEATHER.
Lil Wayne has reportedly been bitch slapped with another IRS bill, this time for a total of $5,610,034.00. According to the new lien, Wayne owes $3,335,077.95 for revenue earned in the year 2008, and $2,258,956.04 for 2009. The address listed on the lien is Weezy’s $12.9 million, 15,101 square foot mansion, on a private Miami island, which is supposedly for sale. Floyd "Money May" Mayweather, JR. is also allegedly facing a massive $3.4 million tax bill, according to a U.S. report. The boxer is said to owe income taxes from 2009 – the same year he came out of retirement to fight Juan Manuel Marquez in a reported $25 million deal. Officials at America’s Internal Revenue Service filed a lien against Mayweather Jr. in Clark County, Nevada on January 21, 2011 according to The Detroit News. The lien was filed just weeks after "Money May" was arrested on suspicion of beating his ex-girlfriend and stealing her cell phone during an argument in front of their children.

LIVE NATION WANTS TO SCOOP UP WARNER MUSIC.
Music powerhouse Live Nation Entertainment Inc. is bidding to buy part of Warner Music Group Corp., according to people familiar with the matter, a move that could combine under one roof the world's third-largest recorded-music company with the biggest concert promoter, artist-management firm and events-ticketing operation. Live Nation is interested in Warner's recorded-music operation, not its music publishing division, according to the people familiar with the matter. It's not clear how much Live Nation offered, or how aggressively it may participate in further rounds of bidding. Warner Music and Live Nation declined to comment.

Live Nation's Front Line Management Group represents hundreds of major acts, such as Christina Aguilera and Kings of Leon, and its performers could benefit from a direct affiliation with a major-label company. A single company that handled virtually every facet of an artist's career would be able to undertake across-the-board marketing and promotion efforts. That in turn could save money by eliminating redundant marketing and promotion departments.

The combination also could create opportunities to combine corporate sponsorships with sales of concert tickets, recorded music, and merchandise. But a Live Nation-Warner Music tie-up would likely draw regulatory scrutiny even more intense than Live Nation underwent for approval to acquire Ticketmaster last year. The Justice Department wrested some concessions from the two companies to safeguard industry competition but critics howled and warned that ticket prices might rise.

Live Nation has advanced to the second round of bidding, but the people familiar with the matter cautioned that any deal could still fall apart for any number of reasons that may arise, including financing and regulatory issues. The auction of Warner Music Group has become a wide-ranging one, with private-equity groups, media companies and others participating. A spokesman for Warner Music declined to comment.

Warner's bankers, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and AGM Partners LLC, have received bids for Warner in its entirety, as well as bids for its two major components: its record-music operation and its music publisher, known as Warner/Chappell, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company's private-equity owners, including Thomas H. Lee Partners haven't expressed a preference for the configuration of a sale. Warner's record labels include Atlantic, Warner Bros., Elektra and Nonesuch. If Live Nation were to succeed in buying Warner's record labels it's unclear what would happen to Warner/Chappell, which controls the copyrights to melodies and lyrics of songs.

Among the bidders emerging for part or all of Warner are Sony Corp.; Los Angeles billionaire Ron Burkle; Guggenheim Partners LLC; Access Industries Inc., a holding company controlled by Russian-born billionaire Len Blavatnik, a former Warner Music director who left the board in 2008; and BMG Rights, a joint venture of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. LP and Bertelsmann AG.

BMG Rights submitted a bid for the entire company, but has been told by Warner's bankers that it needs to raise it to remain in contention, according to people familiar with the matter, They added that BMG's managers and backers in recent weeks have been considering whether to do so. As recently as February, Irving Azoff, now Live Nation's chairman, publicly denied that Live Nation is interested in owning Warner Music or its competitor, EMI Group Ltd. EMI's owner, Citigroup Inc., is expected to begin shopping the company later this year. Warner Music briefly held a large stake in Mr. Azoff's Front Line Management, but sold it to Ticketmaster in 2008

Live Nation has made a handful of deals with high-profile artists, including Madonna and Jay-Z, giving the company the rights to distribute their recordings. But in the past, the company has indicated that it was not interested in delving deeper into the record business. However, conditions for Live Nation have changed in the past year, despite completing the merger with Ticketmaster.

From Live Nation's perspective, merging with Ticketmaster was supposed to provide a more-profitable backstop to concert promotion, which even in good times is a minimally profitable business, with cash-flow margins typically around 4% or less.

Last year was rough for the company, with slow ticket sales and concert-tour cancellations eating deeply into the combined company's margins. The recorded music business, of course, has deep problems of its own, thanks to CD sales that have eroded rapidly under the pressure of online piracy and other problems, and digital-download sales that appear to have levelled off too early to make up for the declines in CDs. Even with the decline in sales of recorded music, adding a major record label group could provide valuable cash flow, and would further diversify Live Nation's revenue streams. Though Warner Music generates around $300 million a year in cash from operations, it generally reports losses because of amortization costs associated with its 2004 acquisition from Time Warner Inc. Source: Wallstreet Journal

LUPE FIASCO AND SEAN PAUL ON DECK FOR 25TH ANNUAL JAZZREGGAE FEST.
The 25th Annual JazzReggae Festival at UCLA is proud to announce that the artists headlining its 2011 festival will be Lupe Fiasco on Jam Day (May 29th) and Sean Paul on Reggae Day (May 30th). With his third studio album LASERS debuted at the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200, Lupe Fiasco emits powerfully evocative hip hop charged with politics, infused with his taste for poetry. The son of a Black Panther, the Muslim MC grew up in Chicago's projects listening to rock and jazz, and began rapping in the eighth grade. Under the wing of Jay-Z, Lupe Fiasco emerged onto the rap scene in 2006, instantaneously achieving both critical and commercial acclaim. Since then, the three-time Grammy nominee has worked alongside artists such as Kanye West, Pharrell Williams and John Legend. On May 29th, the renowned rap philosopher will showcase his razor-sharp rhymes for JazzReggae Festival's Jam Day, only intensifying the fervor for its 25th year. Kingston-born Sean Paul has become an international superstar, taking dancehall music to new heights. A diverse fusion of reggae, rap and dance, the music of Sean Paul features work from the most cutting-edge producers in Jamaica. Since his rise to fame in 2002, Sean Paul's impressive track record includes four Billboard Music Award nominations, as well as a Grammy-winning album. With over ten million albums sold worldwide, Sean Paul has cemented his status as the most successful Jamaican artist of all time on the U.S. charts. Bringing the latest sounds of his native Kingston to the JazzReggae Festival at UCLA, Sean Paul is sure to captivate audiences on Reggae Day, May 30th. The 25th Annual JazzReggae Festival welcomes as sponsors Scion and S.O. Terik, an L.A. based company fusing art, fashion and entertainment. With the release of their full lineup quickly approaching and through the support of their sponsors, the 25th Annual JazzReggae Festival is an event not to be missed.

JAY Z AND BIG PAPI REACH SETTLEMENT OVER 40/40.
Red Sox star Big Papi has buried the hatchet with rapper Jay-Z in a dispute over the name of their dueling nightclubs, court papers filed Monday say. The two were set to square off Tuesday in Manhattan Federal Court over use of the name 40/40, but the conference was cancelled at the last minute, the hip-hop giant's lawyer said. "The case has been settled in principle," said attorney Peter Raymond. "We have agreed on the outlines of a settlement and need to reduce it to writing." The dispute began last April when Jay-Z, a die-hard Yankee fan, sued the Red Sox star for $5 million, claiming he stole the name of his 40/40 Club sport bar. After visiting the Flatiron District club, Ortiz allegedly started his own "Forty-Forty" club in his native Dominican Republic. Federal District Judge Richard Berman had urged a settlement and said both superstars would have to appear in court Tuesday. He seemed pleased with the settlement. "Sounds like a sensible outcome," Berman wrote in a memo filed in Manhattan District Court. The lawsuit will be dismissed within 30 days after it's put in writing. Source: New York Post

SOUNDSCAN #'S/STATS.
Chris Brown and Jennifer Hudson took the top two slots on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart according to the Nielsen SoundScan Report. Lupe’s Lasers dipped from #3 to the #10 slot on the charts. The album moved 28,900 units (279,900 Total). Rihanna's Loud ranked #17 selling 25,000 units (1,115,000 Total). Gucci Mane debuted Return of Mr. Zone 6 at #18. seling 24,500 units. Nicki Minaj scooped up the #20 slot selling 22,400 copies (1,261,400 Total). Em’s Recovery took #27 selling 18,700 copies (3,775,600 Total). Pharoahe Monch’s album W.A.R.(We Are Renegades) debuted at #55 moving 9,622 units. Raekwon's Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang moved 6,500 units taking the #83 slot (45,000 Total).

CHRIS BROWN IS #1 WITH F.A.M.E.
Chris Brown's fourth studio album F.A.M.E. (Jive Records) debuts this week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts with total album sales of over 271K. The album has spawned three consecutive No. 1 singles and marks the multi-platinum singer's first No. 1 album on the Top 200 chart. F.A.M.E. is the second highest-selling album of the year. The success of F.A.M.E. follows Brown reaching the No. 1 position on both the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and the Urban Mainstream radio charts with current single "Look At Me Now" featuring Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes. This is the second consecutive week at No. 1 at Urban Mainstream and the video is in rotation on MTV and MTV2 and in the Top 5 on BET's 106 and Park countdown. Look At Me Now" is Brown's third successive No. 1 Urban Mainstream single from the new album. It was preceded by "Deuces" featuring Tyga and Kevin McCall (which spent 10 weeks at the top of the chart) and "No BS". "Yeah 3X," (Click to listen) another track from F.A.M.E., rose to Top 5 at Urban Mainstream. Collectively, the four singles represent combined cumulative digital and mobile sales of five million. Brown co-wrote the majority of F.A.M.E., the follow-up to his 2X Grammy-nominated 2009 album, Graffiti. Sporting collaborations with Justin Bieber, Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, and Ludacris, among others, F.A.M.E. has drawn various critical accolades. People Magazine gave the album a 4 out of 4 stars album review and boasts, "This is the kind of R&B-pop blockbuster that Michael Jackson might have made if he were 21 in 2011." USA Today adds Brown "has delivered the strongest album of his career."

LIL B INKS WITH LIVE NATION
According to SF Weekly, Lil B recently inked a deal with tour giant Live Nation for a string of shows around the East Coast and the Midwest. He also lined up a headlining show at Mezzanine here in San Francisco, set for April 21. "It's for sure the first Bay Area show of this new era of people being aware of Lil B," his manager, Sebastian Demian, tells SF Weekly. It might also be a sign of what's in the future for Brandon McCartney, a 21-year-old member of East Bay rap collective - The Pack. The Live Nation deal is only four shows and two festival appearances, but Demian says he's hoping to expand that to a larger tour. And the fact that Live Nation made a deal with Lil B -- an independent artist who isn't signed to any label -- is surprising on its own. Demian says the people he worked with Live Nation couldn't remember making such an agreement before. -- Demian says he's heard from multiple major labels interested in signing Lil B. We're in talks with some labels," Demian says. "We're very much excited about bossing up."

BIG BOI, SLAUGHTERHOUSE, AND MORE ANNOUNCED FOR SOUNDSET 2011.
Rhymesayers Entertainment and Rose Presents bring you the fourth annual Soundset Festival: the official Midwest kick-off of the summer with nine hours of the best independent Hip Hop music in one day. It all goes down at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, MN (rain or shine). Last year's event, Rhymesayers and Rose Presents produced the third year of Soundset to an outdoor festival setting at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, MN with over 18,000 people in attendance, including: two stages with over 40 artists performing, B-Boy battles, MC battle, live DJs, live artists painting, skateboard demos and a custom car show. Soundset 2011 is expected to be even bigger this year! Confirmed artists for Soundset 2011 include: Big Boi, De La Soul, Slaughterhouse (Joell Ortiz, Joe Budden, Royce da 5'9", Crooked I), Brother Ali, Doomtree (P.O.S, Dessa, Sims, Cecil Otter, Atmosphere, Mike Mictlan, Lazerbeak, Papertiger), Evidence x Rakaa-Iriscience x DJ Babu, Mac Miller, Curren$y, Blueprint, Grieves & Budo, Zion I & The Grouch, Sab The Artist, DJ Abilities, Face Candy, Edan with special guest Paten Locke, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Looptroop Rockers, Rubberoom, Soulcrate Music, 2Mex, Mr. Gene Poole, Qwazaar, Longshot, MaLLy, Desdamona, Duenday, Midwest Konnect, Rocky Diamonds, Stage One, Shortkut, Noam The Drummer, Exile, Maseo, Skeme Richards, Kid Cut Up and Espada. Hosted by Toki Wright, Carnage and Kevin Beacham.

JADAKISS ON DECK FOR BENEFIT CONCERT IN SOUTH AFRICA
New York rapper Jadakiss will head to South Africa in April to headline a fundraising concert to benefit local, disadvantaged children. Kiss is set to perform at the Prince Lindani Foundation benefit concert, which will raise funds to aid impoverished child in the country of Swaziland. Along with Jada, several local artists will also take the stage, including Teargas, T-bo Touch, DJ Tira, Jozi, Velemseni Lando Dlamini, Zaza, Papz, Crooks, Izzy and Stitch. The benefit performance will be held at the Mavuso Trade Centre, as part of the charity’s new re-launch efforts and it will be aired live on the South African Channel O.

DJ MEGATRON SHOT AND KILLED IN NYC.
Radio and TV personality DJ Megatron was shot to death in Staten Island, New York early Sunday morning, his manager Justin Kirkland, aka J. Smoove, told the Associated Press. Police found the 32-year-old What's Good host dead with a gunshot wound to the chest, reports AP; no arrests have been made. Megatron had been heading to a store near his home around 2.a.m, said Kirkland. The Wall Street Journal reported that a person has told detectives she saw four to five men wearing hoodies fleeing toward Vanderbilt Avenue. It was unclear if the deejay was robbed since his cellphone was recovered at the scene. He probably had one of the best personalities around, super-positive, happy all the time," Kirkland said, adding he had no idea who committed the crime. Born Corey McGriff, Megatron began his radio career at New York's Kiss FM. He appeared in movies including State Property 2. He is survived by his three children. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. R.I.P.

50 AND DENIRO TEAM UP AGAIN?
50 Cent is scoopin up more great actors in his cinematic wave of destruction. We’ve seen the trailer for the trying-too-hard drama Things Fall Apart; the trailer for Setup showed the likes of Bruce Willis and Ryan Phillippe somehow drawn into its cast. Nola reports that Curtis Jackson's next movie, Freelancers, locked in Robert De Niro; Deadline adds that Forest Whitaker is in negotiations to join the cast. Jessy Terrero (who brought us the forgettable Soul Plane) will helm Freelancers, the story of the son of a murdered NYPD cop who joins the police academy, graduates, and gets recruited by a group of rogue cops led by his father’s old partner (De Niro). Freelancers is scheduled to shoot four weeks in New Orleans starting in April.

THOUSANDS TURNED UP TO LAY NATE DOGG TO REST.
Thousands of family, friends and fans turned out to pay their respect to Nate Dogg, who was laid to rest in his hometown of Long Beach, Saturday morning (March 26). Inside the Long Beach Cruise Terminal, lights shined down on the wooden coffin adorned with red and white flowers. Two jumbo screens on opposite sides of his casket flashed six different photos of the singer from a childhood boy, when he was known to family as "Buddy," to the platinum singer known to the world as Nate Dogg. West Coast rap artists including Dr. Dre, Game, DJ Quik, Mack-10 and WC, DJ Pooh, Battlecat and others were on hand to pay their respects to the singer with platinum vocal chords. "1986, Poly High School, that's where we connected for the first time," an emotionally distraught Snoop reflected on his friend. "We didn't know each other, but the music connected us. We built a brotherhood, a friendship." Snoop first met Nate along with his best friend Warren G at the school where they would go on to form the rap trio 213. Warren G spoke briefly, reminding mourners in attendance what a great man the music world has lost. "It hurts me so much to see this," Warren G said somberly while looking down at the casket. "We been through a whole lot and that was my dog. He stayed down with me from the bottom to the top. I didn't ever think I would have to sit at a funeral for one of my dogs. All I can say is that was my friend, me him and Snoop was 213 from the balls to the walls. The music industry lost an incredible artist." Several of Nate's closest friends, relatives and colleagues including Xzibit, Daz and Kurupt, Butch Cassidy, Los Angeles radio station personality Big Boy from Power 106, and producer FredWreck all shared memorable stories of their friend, who they said made an important impact on their lives. Xzibit recalled a time during the Up in Smoke Tour when Nate was arrested, but hours later somehow magically appeared at the show's next date. A teary-eyed Kurupt said Nate was the father figure who raised him. Manager Rod McGrew acted as Nate's manager throughout his professional music career and was with him up until his last days. "He fought a hard fight," McGrew said. He also thanked Dr. Dre and Eminem, in addition to Snoop, Warren G and Xzibit, for assisting the family in getting through the past several days. "The last three years were unbelievable. He didn't give up. He just had a talk with God and gave up. Two hours before that he was fine." McGrew said that with Nate's passing, the singer's three wishes will now be granted. "He wanted to go to heaven and hang with his boys," McGrew said. "He loved Tupac. He recorded with him. He wanted to hang with Biggie. But the most important thing is that he can walk around heaven with his favorite artist of all time, Michael Jackson." "He was a loving caring individual," said Snoop. "If you listen to his music, he took church melodies and flipped it with hip-hop. I'm so honored, so happy that you gave me the opportunity, God, to know Nate Dogg. I want to stand here and cry, but I have to have the strength for you Nate Dogg. It's 213, DPG for life." Source: Mtv

DETROIT'S NEXT UP: Clear Soul Forces.
Detroit, Michigan has, for at least the past decade, been one of the hottest breeding grounds for hip-hop talent. And following in the footsteps of those that came before them is Clear Soul Forces, a four-person group comprised of Ilajide, Wimpy, E-Fav, and J-Roc. Clear Soul Forces first hit the scene in early 2010 with the release of their free mixtape, Clear Soul Radio. This past fall, CSF released The Departure EP, and while the project has already amassed over 10,000 downloads, the Motor City upstarts aren't slowing down and are now prepping the release of a handful of videos from the project. The first video released is for the EP's lead single, "Gon' Get 'Em." Directed by Gerard Victor, whose previous work includes videos with Black Milk, Royce Da 5'9, eLZhi, Ro Spit, and more, the video places CSF into the world of comic books, with each scene incorporating washed and pixelated images as special effects graphics surround the guys throughout. "Before we had even talked, Gerard actually came to us with the comic book idea not knowing we had the same type of vision for the video," explains J-Roc. With the song," says E-Fav, "we just wanted to showcase everyone in the group's lyrical abilities. We want you to know for certain that we can rap." And those lyrical flourishes are on display early and often with lines from Wimpy like, "I'm the Scottie Pippen of the verb/ Put in the same amount of work, don't get the credit I deserve." And as is par for the course with Clear Soul Forces, the line, in addition to the witty wordplay, holds a deeper meaning for the group. "That's a really strong line, because we feel like that applies to us a little bit," explains E-Fav, adding, "But we're out here making a name for ourselves and it seems to be working." Indeed. PEEP THE VIDEO HERE

DRAKE TO RECEIVE SONGWRITER AWARD.
Drake is on deck to receive the prestigious Hal David Starlight Award at the 42nd Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame (SHOF) Induction and Awards Dinner, to be held June 16 at New York’s Marriott Marquis Hotel. "Drake shines as a talented songwriter with a unique vision," said SHOF chairman Jimmy Webb in announcing the award. “We are pleased to honor him with the prestigious Hal David Starlight Award." His platinum-selling album debut Thank Me Later topped the alblum chart with nearly 450,000 sold during its first week of release. It led to four Grammy nominations for Drake this year, for Best New Artist, Best Rap Album, Best Rap Solo Performance ("Over"), and Best Rap Performance By a Duo or Group ("Fancy" featuring T.I. and Swizz Beatz). The Hal David Starlight Award, named in honor of the former SHOF chairman for his longtime support of young songwriters, goes to gifted songwriters who are making a significant impact in the music industry via their original songs. Previous recipients include Rob Thomas, Alicia Keys, John Mayer, John Legend, John Rzeznik, Jason Mraz and Taylor Swift. The Songwriters Hall of Fame celebrates songwriters, educates the public with regard to their achievements, and produces various professional programs devoted to the development of new songwriting talent through workshops, showcases and scholarships.

SOULJA BOY'S BROTHER DIES IN FATAL CAR CRASH
Soulja Boy Tell Em recently broke the news on his Twitter account to his fans that his little brother (Deion Jenkins, 14) passed away after a fatal car crash took place in Charleston, Mississippi last night. “at home crying my eyes out I can’t believe my Lil bro is gone… today is so not my day.. RIP lil brother love you always.”

CITI BANK QUIETLY SHOPPING EMI
We know that Warner Music Group's sale has been hogging all the headlines in the recent weeks. Insider sources have suggested that Citi bank is now quietly soliciting interested parties and sitting down to discuss what parts of EMI they'd want to bid on and how rapidly they could close a deal in the hopes of not being left at the altar. "They're sorting the goats from the sheep, rather than entertaining all comers," said a source. Among those holding discussions are Universal Music Group and Sony, along with Ron Burkle's Yucaipa Co., private-equity firm Apollo and Len Blavatnik's Access Industries. Blavatnik holds a 2 percent stake in Warner Music. Add Warner Music boss Edgar Bronfman, to the list too. He's long wanted to scoop up EMI, which houses everyone from Katy Perry to The Beatles. Citi declined comment. Citi's latest move sets up more direct competition with Warner Music, which is a few weeks away from wrapping its sale process and is currently waiting to hear how bidders will finance their plans. There are many questions that are weighing on people's minds, but paramount for buyers must be who's got the better business. Both are valued at roughly the same amount, around the $3 billion mark, with the publishing divisions likely to go for $1.8 billion. Lisbeth Barron, managing director at boutique investment bank Berenson & Co., said: "The old way of thinking was that recorded music and music publishing should be separated, given their different growth prospects. Today, the thinking has changed to now believing strongly that the two divisions should stay under one roof to be most competitive with artists, advertisers, studios etc." As far as Warner's bid process is going, sources say that Burkle's bid will likely be the most aggressive. "He's very serious about it. He thinks it's a sexy asset and that's why he looked at Miramax and did the deal for Vibe with Magic Johnson." Others reportedly circling Warner include Tom Gores' Platinum Equity, Permira, Sony Corp. and Access Industries. Source New York Post

DR. DRE WINS COPS LAWSUIT.
Detroit officials who were backstage at a concert featuring Dr. Dre and Eminem had no right to privacy when they confronted organizers in a videotaped exchange that turned up in a DVD, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled in a decision released Saturday. The ruling dismisses a lawsuit against Dr. Dre (Andre Young), that was filed by City Councilman Gary Brown and other Detroit officials after the 2000 show. Brown was a high-ranking police official at the time, and warned concert organizers that power would be turned off if they showed a sexually explicit video at the Joe Louis Arena. The conversation was taped and later used in behind-the-scenes tracks on a popular DVD highlighting the "Up in Smoke" national concert tour that also featured Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube. Brown had argued that his privacy was violated by the video, but Dr. Dre's lawyer Herschel Fink said there was no privacy when police were doing their job. Fink said Saturday that the court's decision was more narrow than he expected, with the ruling dealing only with the event instead of broader privacy issues, but "as I said in an e-mail to Dre, 'We'll take it.'" Brown said Saturday that he was disappointed but respects the court's decision. He sid he understood that the case hinged on his expectation of privacy, but he said he asked for a private discussion and to have the cameras turned off. "I would think I would have my rights protected, but that's not the way the court ruled," he said. The Supreme Court's 6-1 decision overturns an appeals court ruling. Fink had successfully sued the city over its demand that the sexually explicit video not be played at the concert. Detroit's mayor at the time, Dennis Archer, wrote a letter of apology. Source: Huffington post

BARRY WEISS NAMED NEW CEO OF ISLAND DEF JAM / UNIVERSAL MOTOWN.
Barry Weiss has been named Chairman & CEO of Island Def Jam and Universal Motown Republic Group according the the LA Times. The news comes just one day after Antonio "L.A." Reid's resigned his post at the Island Def Jam Music group. As reported yesterday, Reid is reportedly headed to Simon Cowell's new Fox show, The X-Factor, where he will serve as a judge. Weiss joins the label after several years as chairman and CEO of Jive Records. Lucian Grange, chairman of the Universal Music Group, says, "Throughout his career, Barry achieved that rare and delicate balance between managing artistic needs and the realities of the business. He is a multidimensional executive and entrepreneur, who possesses a deep love of music and an incredibly successful track record in building the careers of premiere artists. He has the talent and commitment to help take these two great companies to new heights." Weiss will be based in New York and oversee labels including Island Def Jam, Universal Motown, Universal Republic, Mercury Records and Universal Motown. The Times also notes that Interscope Geffen A&M, which is based in Los Angeles, will not see its management structure affected with Jimmy Iovine remaining as Chairman of IGA.

AMBER ROSE TALKS STRIPPING AND RELATIONSHIPS.
Kanye's ex-girlfriend Amber Rose was recently on Jamie Foxx’s Foxxhole Radio on Sirius Satellite and talked about her past as an underage stripper. “I was a stripper since I was 15 years old,” said Rose. “I was a South Philly hood rat my whole life.” On whether her and Kanye would get back together: "No, I don’t think so. You know in every relationship you have problems and you try to work through and then sometimes things don’t work out. But it was very real for me. I was very much in love. I was with him for two years. We lived together, we traveled the world together, we had a lot of fun together. A lot of really cool moments…I was the ill bitch to a rock star." On her relationships with women: “I had two three-year relationships with women. So, I was with women for six years before I met Kanye,” Rose told Foxx, before dispelling rumors of a sex tape. “There ain’t gonna be no sex tape. I’m not into that...I’ve been offered a lot of money but I chose not to do it. I chose to take the high road.”

UNCLE LUKE MIAMI'S NEXT MAYOR?
A recall vote has kicked Miami mayor Carlos Alvarez out of office as of yesterday, 2 Live Crew leader Luther “Uncle Luke” Campbell has become a favorite to win the mayor slot in the upcoming election. Luke has a chance after Norman Braman, a billionaire businessman, pulled off the first successful recall in the history of Dade County. More than 88 percent of voters wanted Alvarez out.

“When I take Mr. Alvarez’s job, I’ll review the county budget with a fine-toothed comb,” wrote Luke in the Miami New Times, where he’s been publishing columns over the past year. “When I ran my record company, every year we would first go over what was making revenue for us and beef that side up. Then we would cut the areas where we were not generating revenue. The first place we looked was payroll. I’ll do the same with the county budget.”

When asked why he is running, he said: "I am mad frustrated. I have always been involved in politics, going back to my battles in the city of Miami Beach, dealing with the city commissioners and the mayor. I ran my own nightclub, and I believed African-Americans were treated badly during Memorial Day weekend... I've thought about running for public office before, but someone would always end up talking me out of it, saying, "We have this good person here, he will do good for the community," so I always backed out. But I'd end up frustrated because they didn't do anything. I'd give them ideas and they would just tell me what they wanted to hear... I get in my car, ride around Liberty City, and everything looks the same as when I was in the neighborhood growing up. I see the same crimes in the same areas. Officers and residents are still getting killed in the community I grew up in. I go to a city like Atlanta that has sensible affordable housing, and no one is being murdered. I go to Miami International Airport and see the same construction that has been going on for like a hundred years. All of that frustrates the hell out of me. Why aren't we getting it right in Miami-Dade? Why is our government only serving one set of people? That's what is pushing me to run."

TRU LIFE SENTENCED TO 8 YEARS IN PRISON.
Tru Life (real name Roberto Rosado, Jr.), who was once signed to Jay-Z's Roc-A-Fella Records has been sentenced to eight years in prison for his part in a fatal 2009 stabbing in New York. Tru Life pleaded guilty to gang assault following the death of Christopher Guerrero, who was killed in an attack at a Manhattan apartment building. A second man was left seriously injured. The rapper's brother Marcus Rosado pleaded guilty to manslaughter and got his brother off a possible murder charge after admitting it was him, and not his sibling, who had stabbed both men. During sentencing in New York on Wednesday March 16, the judge handed Tru Life eight years in jail and his brother 10. The rapper's lawyer, Alan Abramson, said following sentencing, "Robert is extremely saddened by what happened. Mr. Guerrero did not deserve what happened to him."

PETEY PABLO PLEADS GUILTY. FACING 10 YEARS IN PRISON,
Petey Pablo has pleaded guilty to possession of a stolen firearm. The rapper, whose real name is Moses Barrett III, appeared in federal court Wednesday to enter his guilty plea. Federal prosecutors agreed to drop two other charges in a plea agreement. Petey Pablo was arrested last year while attempting to clear security at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Authorities found a loaded gun in a bag that had passed through an X-ray machine. He faces up to 10 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced in June.

L.A. REID JOINS THE X FACTOR.
Island Def Jam chairman Antonio "L.A." Reid is on deck to become a judge on Simon Cowell's upcoming show The X Factor. Sources say it's a done deal. Reid, whose contract with Universal Music is up in December, will get an early release and join the Fox network show, which awards a Sony Music recording contract worth $5 million to the winner. Simon Cowell previously told Access Hollywood that his former American Idol colleague Paula Abdul, George Michael, former Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger and Mariah Carey also are being considered for the panel of four judges.

NATE DOGG DIES AT 41 - R.I.P.
Long Beach-born rapper Nathaniel Hale (Nate Dogg) dies at 41. Nathaniel D. Hale, known in the music industry as Nate Dogg, died Tuesday, his family has announced. The Cause of death has not yet been released. However, Hale had suffered two strokes, one in 2007 and another in 2008. Details will be available as they develop. Our prayers go out to his family and loved ones. NATE DOGG WAS A WEST COAST VET AND WILL TERRIBLY BE MISSED. CELEBRATE HIS MUSIC HERE!

"We lost a true legend n hip hop n rnb," Snoop tweeted. "One of my best friends n a brother to me since 1986 when I was a sophomore at poly high where we met. I love u buddy luv. U will always b wit me 4ever n a day u put the g n g funk u put the 1 n 213 n u put yo stamp on evrybdy u ever didit wit ... I miss u cuzz I am so sad but so happy I got to grow up wit u and I will c u again n heaven cuz u know d slogan. ... All doggs go to heaven yo homie n baby brotha bigg snoopdogg!!"

"R.I.P. TO MY HOMEBOY NATE DOGG DPGC DOGG POUND GANGSTA 4 LIFE," Daz tweeted.

"S/o [shout out] ta my bigg bro. Nate mothafuccin dogg," Kurupt tweeted. "There's only 1 ambassador of tha west coast. Ya hea me. I luv u cuzz."

"I lost a friend," an emotional Game wrote on his Twitter account. "Been here before. Tears. Memories. One day someone will lose 'US' as well. LIVING until that day comes is our only option. R.I.P. Nate Dogg. Why does it take Death to remind us about the importance of life ??? Cherish every moment cuz tomorrow he mite call your #."

"I just landed, nate dog is dead damn. GOD BLESS HIM R.I.P he meant a lot to west coast hiphop. I've always been a fan of it," 50 Cent tweeted. "I wrote the chorus to 21 questions I needed nate to sing it for me. He had a way of making everything feel hard."

"There is a certain void in hip hop's heart that can never be filled. Glad we got to make history together. RT @SnoopDogg: RIP NATE DOGG," Ludacris tweeted.

"RIP Nate dogg, this is f**king terrible!! my prayers go out to the Pound and his family," Jermaine Dupri stated.

"We love you Nate Dogg, it's never going to be the same..We lost a solider, a father, a legend, a homie. My condolences go out to Ms. Ruth and the entire family. Celebrate #NateDogg," Xzibit tweeted.

“Nate’s voice in music will never be replaced. He helped create the blueprint for West Coast hip-hop, and I was one of the lucky people who had the privilege to work with him and the honour to have him as a friend. Nate will be sorely missed. My condolences and prayers go out to his family and loved ones.”.. Eminem

SLAUGHTERHOUSE HYPED AND READY FOR SHADY PROJECT.
Recent Shady/Aftermath signees' Slaughterhouse is currently working on the new LP. In an interview with billboard, Royce Da 5’9” says that the group has finished “about six songs” so far, for the as-yet-untitled disc, laying down most of them while out in L.A. for the Grammy Awards. Royce said group mates, Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz and Crooked I, have been emailing song ideas ever since. But just because they have already began the recording process don’t expect the disc to drop anytime soon. “The first album [2009’s self titled disc for eOne] we were kind of behind the eight ball,” Royce said. “We had to complete the album in a matter of six days. With this album there’s no time constraints. We’ve got a good budget. I don’t think we’ve carved out a direction yet, but it’s coming along.” Royce says Eminem is playing a big role in the LP. “He’s very excited,” Royce added, “and I’m always excited when I see his level of excitement, because he doesn’t get excited about a lot. I love seeing him happy, and this project definitely makes him happy.” Crooked I also chimed in on a recent interview as well, “Right now, [Eminem’s] probably somewhere adding some crazy shit to a Slaughterhouse song. A lot of people may know it, but I don’t know if a lot of these new generation dudes in the game know, how much of a producer Em is. He’ll take a song to another level and he’s passionate about it. He might be doing that right now, because that’s how much he works.”... Crook added, “I’m just excited, man. We’ve been shooting some ideas around with each other, man. We’ve touched bases on a couple of songs and we’ve got a few songs that’s going to be conceptual and real personal. I think the fans are going to love it.“ Crooked I continued, “Now, people are giving us life music. I guess it’s what they want to hear us on or something because we’re not requesting it. But, when it comes our way, they’re pulling out stories, personal feelings and a lot of shit out of us. I’m loving it. This Slaughterhouse album is going to have a mark in the history of Rap. There’s going to be a lot of lyrics on there, man. Just having Em in the building, you’ve got to step your game up. So, it might have the most quotables ever, on one album.”

LUPE FIASCO HAS THE TOP SELLING ALBUM IN THE COUNTRY THIS WEEK.

Lupe Fiasco's Lasers was the top-selling album in the country this week as it took the #1 slot on the sales chart with 204,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It marks the first #1 and best sales week yet for the rapper, after his second effort, The Cool, started at #15 with 143,000 sold in 2007.

HIP HOP ATTORNEY TO BE CHARLIE SHEEN'S INTERN?
Veteran Hip Hop attorney Bret D Lewis, whose clientele includes numerous Grammy winning artists and producers like hip hop legend Tha Dogg Pound and the Jacksons, announced today that he made it to the next round for the Charlie Sheen Intern job. In his initial application which was limited to 75 characters or less he stated to Rapindustry.com : "I’d be a good social media intern because… "I have Tigerblood, a Winning attitude and 20+ years as an entertainment attorney." Lewis continued: “Charlie Sheen is a talented artist who realizes his love and his lust is living in his crotch and who and what his creator is and that those bastards who don’t F—and suck and masturbate will never be Poets and Prophets and Kings.” Lewis told Rapindustry.com he is looking forward to the next round where he can provide more background and is dead serious about being Charlie’s Intern. In the next round he gets to provide his educational background and gpa and specify two of his most valuable job experiences. He says: It's kind of hard to remember his gpa from college and law school over 25-30 years ago but he remembers that he graduated Phi Betta Kappa from Oberlin and that he was on a law review at Northwestern University School of Law.". Lewis says: "As to his two work experiences, he says he is counting on my experience as the lawyager (lawyer/manager) of Tha Dogg Pound touring with Ice Cube and time on Snoop’s tour bus as well as his legal entertainment experience to clinch the job. “I think I will make a great intern for Charlie, and I have a lot of great ideas for him. After years of working with artists and handling their every need from child support issues to litigation, I think I will be the perfect Intern for Charlie. Plus, with me, everything will be attorney client privileged so he won’t have to worry about me going to the Tabloids. Also, I’m not worried about leaving my job for a couple of months. There were a couple of attorneys who were partners at Omelveny & Myers who left to do the Amazing Race--and won--so I know I can do it". Bret Lewis

BIRDMAN PUBLISHES BOOK ON CRIMINAL SYSTEM?
Cash Money Records‘ Baby recently sat down to talk about getting into the book publishing business and its first retail release, Raw Law. Telling the director, Baby says he wants peple to understand the criminal system. Speaking to director Derick G, Baby opened up about his motivation for launching his Cash Money Content company with a book about understanding the criminal system. “I just want to introduce y’all to CMC, our Cash Money Content, which is our book company,” Baby said in an interview. “The first book we put out, [came] out 2/15, which is called Raw Law and it really speaks to the realities of our legal system. I think this is a book you should read especially if you in and out [of jail]. One of my brother’s doing life. One of my partner’s fighting a life charge. One of my brothers just came home from doing 20 years. And that was one of my inspirations on this book. [It's about] trying to help them get in and out, finding the right legal system to help them get in and out of jail.”

DJ HERO 2 DROPS 3 NEW DOWNLOADABLE HIP HOP MIXES.
St. Patrick’s Day is on the horizon, So All you beat chemists, singing sensations who have picked up DJ Hero® 2 are in luck. Activision Publishing, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) today announced the release of Indie Hip Hop Mix Pack. Available now, and featuring the biggest names in independent underground hip hop such as Atmosphere, Jaylib, Peanut Butter Wolf, The Perceptionists and RJD2, virtual DJs can spin, scratch and remix to the following three new mixes: Indie Hip Hop Mix Pack
· “My World Premiere” by Charizma & Peanut Butter Wolf Mixed With “The Red (Instrumental)” by Jaylib
· “Party Hard” by The Perceptionists ft. Guru & Camu Tao Mixed With “Ghostwriter” by RJD2
· “The Best Day” by Atmosphere (Remix by FSG)

The Indie Hip Hop Mix Pack will be available on Xbox LIVE® Marketplace for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft for 640 Microsoft Points and on the PlayStation®Store for PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system for $7.99. All tracks will be released as downloadable singles for Wii™ for 300 Wii Points™ each.

EMINEM = MOST POPULAR PERSON ON FACEBOOK
First the President of the United States Barack Obama, then Michael Jackson took over for the past 20 months. Now rapper Eminem is the most popular person living or dead on Facebook. He is expected to soon be the first person to reach 30,000,000 "likes" on the site. The phenomenal success of his most recent album Recovery and the #1 hit single "Love the Way You Lie" are seen as primary contributors to his success. Lady Gaga is not far behind in popularity level. Listed below are, as of today, the 10 most popular people, or groups of people, on Facebook.

Eminem
Michael Jackson
Lady Gaga
Rihanna
Linkin Park
Shakira
Justin Bieber
Megan Fox
Vin Diesel
Cristiano Ronaldo

EMINEM WRITES AN OPEN LETTER TO THE CITY OF DETROIT
Eminem has been reppin his hometown of Detroit from day one, no matter what.. He just released a video clip that he’s calling “an open letter” that serves to honor the Motor City’s working class residents. The video features narration from Em and a lot of pictures that show Detroit citizens hard at work amongst the city’s more well-known landmarks and locales. “You took our country from its infancy into industry,” says Mathers in the clip. “Your name still carries with it the idea of a nation built on steel, muscle and sweat. You became the city to carry the country. The city, like the sport, is built on dreams, people who arrived here driven to excel who know that nothing is accomplished without hard work and sacrifice. When you hurt, we hurt.” WATCH HERE

2010 DMC US FINALS DJ BATTLE DVD IS A MUST HAVE FOR ALL YOU DJ HEADS.
The 2010 DMC US Finals includes winning sets from 2010 DMC US Champion: DJ Etronik from Pico Rivera CA, The 1st to rep the US at the DMC World Finals in all 3 DMC battle categories! A powerful set from 2010 DMC US Vice-Champ: DJ Steel from Lakewood, NJ, 3rd: Grandmaster Supreme: former DJ for Ms. Lauren Hill + NMS DJ Champion Plus Concept (FL), DJ Image (CA), Juyadek (CA) and DJ Swift (SC). Colorado DJs made up almost 1/2 of the DJs battling in the 2010 DMC US Finals! (Cysko Rokwel, Skip Ripkin, DJ Notch, Jeff C and B*Money) Kool DJ Red Alert directs the festivities with his classic voice and humor!DJ Showcases include the phenomenal Excess alongside the elusive Toadstyle. DMC World Champion Showcase by DJ Shiftee - wait til you hear what he did with Red Alert's Intro!! Actually, you know what? You don't have to wait.

CASIO & NICKI MINAJ TEAM UP.
Casio America, Inc. today announced that Nicki Minaj will help kickoff and celebrate the launch of the Casio TRYX™ by performing at TRYX OUT: NYC 2011 - Casio's official launch party for the camera. Taking place on April 7th at the Best Buy Theater in New York City, TRYX OUT: NYC 2011 will also feature a performance by the legendary Roots. "Casio is thrilled to have Nicki Minaj help us launch TRYX here in the U.S.," said Toshi Iguchi, Senior General Manager, Digital Imaging Division, Casio America Inc. "Just as Nicki brings a unique, exciting and fresh perspective to the world of hip-hop, Casio looks to do the same with TRYX and the digital imaging industry. Nicki's enthusiasm adds tremendous value to TRYX OUT: NYC 2011, and the unquestionable 'wow' factor of her performance will help make this the ultimate launch event befitting such a game changing product." "Casio sure knows how to design a camera," said Nicki Minaj. "I'm excited to be part of the TRYX OUT: NYC 2011 launch party and look forward to working together with Casio to make sure this camera gets the party it deserves! With a TRYX in my hand, there's no doubt that I'll be able to take incredible images and video on tour and beyond.".. "We are excited to perform at the launch event for the Casio TRYX," said Questlove. "From what I hear, the camera has a state-of-the-art, innovative design, and I'm eager to get a chance to see it myself."



COPS CRASH PETE ROCK AND SMIF-N-WESSUN RELEASE PARTY. (POLICE BRUTALITY)
Last night at a release party in Manhattan’s Lower East Side neighborhood for Pete Rock and Smif N Wessun’s album, “Monumental,” police got into several physical altercations with fans, family members and supporters of the artists. Six people were arrested and five NYPD officers were injured at the party last night (June 28). According to reports, NYPD arrived shortly after midnight, responding to a call from security, who reported trouble from unruly patrons during the show. Upon arrival, the officers found a large crowd outside the club, and arrested one person for disorderly conduct. Six people were arrested and charged with several offenses, including disorderly conduct, assaulting an officer and inciting a riot. The five officers suffered injuries such as a broken nose and cuts. Pete Rock posted on Twitter: “IT WAS LIKE 10 COPS BEATING ON 1 MAN, BILLIE CLUBS AND ALL THAT!” [sic] and “I THINK THEY DON’T WANT US IN THAT AREA PARTYING!! Black is not da favorable color in da t area I guess!!”[sic] referring to the location in the Lower East Side’s Tammany Hall. Tek of Smif-n-Wessun also posted on Twitter, writing “Fuk the police! They fuck my my man @LOUIESKAGGS up 4noffin 2night! Can we all say #LAWSUIT!! Newyork pricks & dicks!!”

CHECK OUT THE FOOTAGE FOR YOURSELF- WATCH HERE

TWO UNRELEASED DISS RECORDS FROM THE LATE TUPAC SHAKUR LEAKED.
Two unreleased joints ("Watch Yo Mouth" and "NY 87") have been leaked. Both songs appear to have been recorded around 1996, when 'Pac was in a feud with Diddy's Bad Boy label and other New York artists. Here are some of the lyrics from both joints..
LISTEN BELOW.


"We untouchable now that we shook Doc Dre," Pac raps. "He ain't made a beat in six years, swear he the sh*t/Don't get no record sales suckin' Nas d*ck -- I heard Nas got beef 'cause I'm dissing his clique/Cool, come bring your a** n*gga you can get dissed -- De La got a problem with this hard sh*t, ever since 'Me, Myself & I' y'all been garbage/I'ma keep this real, show y'all how it feels to ride/y'all went three feet high and stopped rising/ Wendy Williams is a fat b*tch, that's the truth/I got a job full of n*ggas nuts, that's for you/Let the West Side, East Side drama cease, I'll come alone to your own streets, Outlaw -- Cream Puff never had no heart to start, so how the h*ll Biggie Smalls get the part? Watch yo mouth!" ("Watch Yo Mouth")

"Calling all cars and phony rap stars that think they got me," Pac raps. "I'm on some Superman sh*t now, they shouldn't have shot me/'Cause I'm convinced that my squad is real/And God has blessed me with the power to be hard to kill/I got a mind that's full of murderous thoughts when unleashed/I make them n*ggas pound, fell me now or be deceased/I ain't choosing sides, h*ll nah, f*ck everybody/It's Westside when I ride so watch for dead bodies." ("NY 87")

JILL SCOTT TAKES #1
Three time Grammy-winning singer/actress Jill Scott tops the sales chart this week after a four-year musical hiatus. She has earned her first #1 album with The Light Of The Sun, moving 135,000 units this week for a #1 debut, according to Nielsen SoundScan. This marks her first album since 2007's The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3 and her fourth studio album overall. Adele's "21" holds down the #3 slot with 101,000 units sold. Eminem and Nickle Nine's Bad Meets Evil took #6 with Hell: The Sequel, moving 62,500 units in its second week.

CALL OF DUTY BLACK OPS' "ANNIHILATION" IS AVAILABLE NOW.
Call of Duty®: Black Ops, the best selling game ever on the Xbox 360®, has unleashed yet another MAP PACK, a new onslaught of combat with a fresh delivery of downloadable content, Call of Duty®: Black Ops Annihilation. Available now worldwide on Xbox LIVE, Annihilation delivers four new multiplayer maps and a mind-blowing Zombies experience for the ultimate online showdown.

Annihilation is the third downloadable content pack release from Activision and Treyarch in support of the worldwide phenomenon and record-setting Call of Duty: Black Ops. Fueled by the breakthrough Call of Duty®: Black Ops First Strike and Call of Duty®: Black OpsEscalation content packs, the blockbuster title is recognized for having the highest selling add-on content in Xbox LIVE history, according to Microsoft.

"Our commitment to delivering great new content for Black Ops continues with Annihilation," said Treyarch Studio Head, Mark Lamia. "Annihilation offers four of the best Black Opsmultiplayer maps to date, and a stunning new Zombies experience laden with deadly traps and dark secrets buried deep within the shifting walls of the infested temple."

SWAY GETS SHADE 45 GIG.
Sirius XM Radio announces that Sway Calloway will host mornings on Eminem's Shade 45 channel. "Sway in the Morning" launches Monday, July 18 at 8:00 am ET on Shade 45, channel 45. The show will air Monday – Friday from 8:00 am – 12:00 pm ET. Sway has been a constant presence in Hip-Hop culture as a co-host of the syndicated World Famous Wake Up Show with his partner DJ King Tech and as a staple correspondent on MTV. He will host his Sirius XM Radio show every weekday live from the Sirius XM studios in New York City. The new show says to offer special guest celebrities and newsmakers, for in-studio interviews, present song premieres, report on music news and more.

"I’m constantly striving to be a part of winning teams and movements, and Shade 45 on SiriusXM embodies this spirit," said Sway. "We plan to tap into hip-hop and pop culture, global and domestic news and classic and groundbreaking new music. This is truly a labor of passion for me with two of the best at what they do, Eminem and Paul Rosenberg. We plan to make more history!"

"I got my start on radio with Sway and so it only makes sense for things to come full-circle and have him join the family at Shade 45," said Eminem. "I'm looking forward to the honor of Sway making mornings better on Shade 45 for a long time to come."

"Sway’s voice brings a level of experience in and knowledge of the hip-hop culture that provides a perfect fit with our channel," said Paul Rosenberg, Eminem’s manager and Executive Producer of Shade 45. "We have had a great relationship with Sway for many years and having him join the team is an exciting opportunity for us and the Shade 45 listeners."

MARY J. BLIGE TOPS LIST OF ALL STAR HONOREES TO RECEIVE MCDONALDS 365BLACK AWARDS
Continuing its long-standing support and connection to the African-American community, McDonald's® will recognize a distinguished list of five prominent African-Americans who influence and inspire greatness through outstanding community service at the 2011 365Black® Awards. This year's 365Black Awards will be co-hosted by nationally syndicated radio personality Tom Joyner and Academy Award® nominated actress Angela Bassett and will be held Friday, July 1, 2011 at 12:30 p.m. in New Orleans, La., at the start of the Essence Music Festival weekend.

The 2011 365Black Awards honorees are multi-platinum recording artist Mary J. Blige, Oscar® nominated and Grammy Award winning actress Ruby Dee, Radio One network founder Cathy Hughes, NAACP® president and CEO Benjamin Jealous, and civil rights activist and McDonald's owner/operator Henry "Hank" Thomas.

This year's honorees join an elite group of past award recipients, including Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Marian Wright Edelman, ESSENCE Magazine president Michelle Ebanks, educator Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, CNN's Soledad O'Brien and NBA legend Alonzo Mourning. Awards show co-host Tom Joyner was one of the first recipients of the 365Black Awards, which exemplify outstanding community service.

"Our 365Black Awards honorees define true leadership in our community, from Ruby Dee's trail blazing career as an actress to the civil rights crusades led by Hank Thomas; from the media empire created by Cathy Hughes to the leadership that Benjamin Jealous brings to the NAACP, our honorees inspire all Americans to give back in some unique way," said Neil Golden, Chief Marketing Officer, McDonald's USA.

"Through her organization FFAWN, the Foundation for Advancement of Women Now, Mary J. Blige continues to invest in the future of young women and gives them the confidence they need to succeed," Golden added, noting that McDonald's is also supporting FFAWN through a charitable contribution.

The 365Black Awards were launched in 2003 and are an extension of McDonald's 365Black initiative, created to celebrate the pride, heritage and achievements of African-Americans year round.

"At this year's 365Black Awards, we celebrate not only our distinguished honorees but all that makes the Crescent City truly amazing -- such as the culture, the cuisine and the courage it has taken to rebuild New Orleans," said Rob Jackson, Director of U.S. Marketing, McDonald's USA. "The Fleur De Lis has become a popular, multi-cultural symbol of the rich history of New Orleans, just as McDonald's 365Black Awards symbolize our long-standing support and commitment to the African-American community."

24TH ANNUAL ASCAP RYTHYM & SOUL RECAP. ALICIA KEYS, LUDACRIS, KERRY "KRUCIAL" BROTHERS, THE SMEEZINGTONS, MATTHEW "BOI-1DA" SAMUELS, NOAH "40" SHEBIB, ERICKA WARREN AND EMI MUSIC PUBLISHING RECEIVE TOP HONORS.

Sean "Diddy" Combs, Dr. Dre, Drake, Mary Mary and Other Top Names in Music Attend ASCAP's Rhythm & Soul Music Awards

ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) hosted its 24th Annual Rhythm & Soul Music Awards tonight at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, CA. The star-studded event, which was attended by hundreds of songwriters, recording artists and music industry leaders, paid special tribute to Sean "Diddy" Combs and Mary Mary, and honored the songwriters and publishers of the most performed ASCAP songs on the 2010 R&B/Hip-Hop, Rap and Gospel charts.

The evening featured performances by R&B artist Miguel and rapper Pusha T, R&B singer/songwriter Andrea Martin and gospel music duo Mary Mary, and was attended by some of the top names in the music and entertainment industry, including Sean "Diddy" Combs, Dr. Dre, Drake, Matthew "Boi-1da" Samuels, Noah "40" Shebib, Kerry "Krucial" Brothers, Foxy Brown, Lyor Cohen, DJ Clark Kent, DJ Frank E., Drumma Boy, James Fortune, Jimmy Iovine, MC Lyte, Ne-Yo, No I.D., Kelly Rowland, Stargate, The Legendary Traxster, Terence Vaughn, Nate Walka, Deniece Williams, Mario Winans, New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony, La La Vasquez, Gossip Girl’s Tika Sumpter and American Idol’s Naima Adedapo and Jacob Lusk among others.

Top awards were handed out to:

Songwriters of the Year (tie): Ludacris, Matthew "Boi-1da" Samuels and Noah "40" Shebib

Publisher of the Year: EMI Music Publishing

Top R&B/Hip-Hop Song: "Un-Thinkable (I’m Ready)” written by Kerry "Krucial" Brothers, Alicia Keys and Noah "40" Shebib

Top Rap Song: "Nothin' On You" written by Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine and Bruno Mars

Top Gospel Song: "They That Wait" written by Ericka R. Warren

One of the evening's highlights was a special tribute to Sean "Diddy" Combs, who was honored with ASCAP's Founders Award in recognition of "his achievements as a producer, artist, entrepreneur, actor and icon whose creative genius continues to shape the course of music." To celebrate the legendary music mogul, Clark Kent performed a DJ set chronicling his career, and surprise guest Dr. Dre shared some personal remarks andco-presented the award with ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams.

The ASCAP Founders Award is among the most prestigious honors that ASCAP gives to songwriters and composers who have made pioneering contributions to music by inspiring and influencing their fellow music creators. Each recipient is a musical innovator who possesses a unique style of creative genius that will enrich generations to come. Past recipients include Garth Brooks, Dr. Dre, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Smokey Robinson, Paul McCartney, Ashford & Simpson, Rod Stewart and Berry Gordy Jr. & Motown Industries to name a few.

Siblings Erica Campbell and Tina Campbell, who together form the multiple Grammy Award-winning gospel music duo Mary Mary, were presented with ASCAP’s Golden Note Award, which is given to songwriters, composers and artists who have achieved extraordinary career milestones. Past recipients include Sean "Diddy" Combs, Jermaine Dupri, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Quincy Jones, LL Cool J, New Edition and Lionel Richie.

The Songwriter of the Year award resulted in a three-way tie between Ludacris, Matthew "Boi-1da" Samuels and Noah "40" Shebib who each penned four of the most performed songs of the past year.

Multi-talented rapper and actor Ludacris was honored for “How Low” (by Ludacris), “My Chick Bad” (by Ludacris featuring Nicki Minaj), “Ride” (by Ciara featuring Ludacris) and “Sex Room” (by Ludacris featuring Trey Songz).

Canadian producers Matthew "Boi-1da" Samuels and Noah "40" Shebib were honored for three songs they co-wrote with rapper Drake: "Fancy" (by Drake featuring T.I. and Swizz Beatz), "Miss Me" (by Drake featuring Lil Wayne) and "Over" (by Drake). Boi-1da was also honored for Drake's "Forever" (featuring Kanye West, Lil Wayne and Eminem) and 40 was honoredfor Alicia Keys"Un-Thinkable (I'm Ready)." D rake made a surprise appearance and presented his longtime collaborators with their first-ever Songwriter of the Year awards.

ASCAP Publisher of the Year honors went to EMI Music Publishing who was honored for 21 award-winning songs. This is the 17th consecutive win for EMI and the 19 th time in the 24-year history of the awards show that they have received this honor. ASCAP CEO John A. LoFrumento and ASCAP Vice President of Membership, Rhythm & Soul Nicole George presented the award to EMI’s President of North American Creative Jon Platt and his creative team.

Top Song Awards went to Alicia Keys' "Un-Thinkable (I'm Ready)" written by Kerry "Krucial” Brothers, Alicia Keys and Noah “40” Shebib, which was named Top R&B/Hip-Hop Song, "Nothin' On You" by B.o.B. featuring Bruno Mars, which earned writers Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine and Bruno Mars the Top Rap Song award, and Fred Hammond's "They That Wait" featuring John P. Kee, written by Ericka R. Warren, which was named Top Gospel Song.

KANYE INKS LABEL DEAL FOR G.O.O.D MUSIC
14-time Grammy-winner (and 30-time Grammy nominee) Kanye West's independent record label G.O.O.D. Music, has been signed to an exclusive long-term worldwide label agreement with the Island Def Jam Music Group (IDJMG). The announcement was made today by Kanye West, Barry Weiss, Chairman & CEO of Universal Motown Republic Group (UMRG) and Island Def Jam Music Group (IDJMG) and Steve Bartels, President & COO, Island Def Jam Music Group.

The first release under terms of the new agreement will be FINALLY FAMOUS, the official debut by Detroit rapper Big Sean, arriving in stores June 28th. The album, executive produced by Kanye West, has already spun off G.O.O.D.'s first bonafide hit single, "My Last" featuring Chris Brown. The track is #1 on the Billboard Rap Songs chart, and #4 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

A protege of Kanye West, 22-year-old Big Sean (Sean Anderson) was signed when he was still a teenager. Big Sean is now the flagship artist on the G.O.O.D. Music roster. Kanye West will continue to serve as a core recording artist at Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam Recordings.

"G.O.O.D. Music is an exciting new chapter in the long and successful association of Kanye West and Island Def Jam," said Mr. Weiss. "As a recording artist and a producer over the past eight years, there is no one who has made a greater impression on the game than Kanye. We look forward to working closely with the new and established artists that he will be bringing to G.O.O.D. Music, which is already off to an impressive start with Big Sean."

"Kanye's genius has been proven time and time again on records and onstage," said Mr. Bartels. "He not only pours it out for himself, but he has made the difference with his presence on innumerable projects with other artists who are indebted to him. Kanye is an integral core member of the IDJ family, and G.O.O.D. Music continues his unselfish tradition of bringing along great new artists to the forefront."

Kanye West is a cornerstone artist on the Def Jam roster. His combined albums and singles have sold in excess of 20 million copies worldwide, starting with his RIAA double-platinum debut of 2004, The College Dropout, and triple-platinum follow-up of 2005, Late Registration. The two albums spun off multiple hit singles, and generated five Grammy Awards, including consecutive wins for Best Rap Album of 2004 and 2005, as well as Best Rap Song (songwriters' award) of 2004 ("Jesus Walks") and 2005 ("Diamonds From Sierra Leone"), and Best Rap Solo Performance for 2005 ("Gold Digger"). Kanye's next album, Graduation generated another three Grammy Awards, including Best Rap Song for 2007 ("Good Life"), and (in 2008) Best Rap Album and Best Rap Solo Performance ("Stronger"). 808's & Heartbreak (2008) was Kanye's fourth consecutive RIAA multi-platinum-selling album. It was followed by My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010), his fifth consecutive #1 Soundscan debut, named the best album of the year by a majority of critics in the U.S. and UK. In addition to his own records, Kanye West has been featured as a guest on countless tracks over the years, and has shared in at least six Grammy Awards for his work with other artists.

BET AWARDS 2011 RECAP.
The BET AWARDS '11 Belonged to Chris Brown With His Mind Blowing Performances, Collaborations, and Wins for Best Male Artist, Coca-Cola Viewer's Choice, Best Collaboration, and Video of the Year Awards.

The hilarious Kevin Hart kept the crowd laughing out loud as a Hollywood House Husband during the BET AWARDS '11 opening act with Bobby Brown, Jermaine Dupri, Anthony Anderson, Nelly, and Nick Cannon. Chris Brown's powerful performance medley of "She Ain't You," "Look at Me Now," and "Paper Scissor Rock" illustrated just why he was named the 2011 Best Male R&B Artist, Video of the Year, Best Collaboration, and Coca-Cola Viewer's Choice Award winner when he took to the stage in two performances collaborating with Busta Rhymes and Big Sean. Later, a precocious Justin Bieber propositioned Nicki Minaj on stage when he said, "I'm all grown up now. I turn 18 next year so...what's up?"

Legendary songstress and diva extraordinaire Patti LaBelle was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award and her tribute was a performance unlike anything ever seen before. Beginning with a special introduction from another musical icon, Gladys Knight, Cee Lo Green took to the stage in a throwback Patti LaBelle costume performing "Somebody Loves You Baby," while Marsha Ambrosius jazzed up the room with her spot on rendition of "If Only You Knew," before the great Shirley Caesar took the crowd—and Patti LaBelle—to tears singing "You Are My Friend." But it was Patti herself that brought the house down performing two of her greatest hits, "Love, Need and Want You" and "Lady Marmalade." Steve Harvey uplifted the audience in his acceptance speech for his Humanitarian Award.

The cast of the Five Heartbeats movie surprised the audience with a reunited performance with R&B crooners After 7 with the famous hit, "Nights Like This," for the 20-year anniversary of the film. The beautiful Kerry Washington graced the stage for BET's Shine A Light moment to honor individuals who make the world a better place for young people.

Celebrating the 10-year Anniversary of her first album, Songs In A Minor, Alicia Keys graced the BET AWARDS '11 stage for a medley of her hits with Bruno Mars and Rick Ross as well as for the world premiere her latest song, "Typewriter."

Additional highlights of the 14 performances include: Trey Songz sexy, shirt-ripping rendition of "Making Love Faces" and "Unusual," and was later joined by Kelly Rowland to perform her smash hit, "Motivation," Donnie McClurkin, Deitrick Haddon and Mary Mary uplifted the audience with their rendition of the gospel hit, "Thank You Lord," in tribute to the late Walter Hawkins; Mary J. Blige, Anita Baker, DJ Khaled, and Jadakiss kicked off the show with a monumental mix of hits "All Night Long," "Joy," "Happy," Dreams," "Real Love," "Rapture," and "Over Til It's Over"; Jill Scott performed a soulful rendition of "Rolling Hills" with actor and DJ Idris Elba; DJ Khaled, Rick Ross, Drake and Lil' Wayne amped the crowd performing "I'm the One"; and Beyonce closed the show singing "Best Thing I Never Had" and "End of Time" via live telecast from Britain's Glastonbury Festival.

This year's In Memoriam tribute celebrated the lives of Cali Swag District member M-Bone, Clarence Clemons, Teena Marie, Gil Scott Heron and Nate Dogg with performances and appearances by Doug E. Fresh and Cali Swag District, Queen Latifah, Ledisi, Scott Mayo, Snoop Dogg and Warren G.

In continuing the good that BET's S.O.S.: Saving Ourselves initiative has made over the years, the BET AWARDS '11 contained a special moment to show support for the victims of the tornadoes in the Southeast through a special message from Rev. Al Sharpton.

The full list of BET AWARDS '11 winners are:
Best Female R&B Artist: Rihanna
Best Male R&B Artist: Chris Brown
Best Group: Diddy-Dirty Money
Best Gospel Artist: Mary Mary
Best Female Hip Hop Artist: Nicki Minaj
Best Male Hip Hop Artist: Kanye West
Best New Artist: Wiz Khalifa
Best Collaboration: Chris Brown f/ Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes "Look At Me Now"
Video of the Year: Chris Brown f/ Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes "Look At Me Now"
Video Director of the Year: Chris Robinson
Best Actress: Taraji P. Henson
Best Actor: Idris Elba
Young Stars Award: Jaden Smith and Willow Smith
Best Movie: For Colored Girls
Subway Sportswoman of the Year: Serena Williams
Subway Sportsman of the Year: Michael Vick
Centric Award: Marsha Ambrosius "Far Away"
Best International Act: 2Face Idibia (Nigeria) and D'Banj (Nigeria)
Coca-Cola Viewer's Choice Award: Chris Brown f/ Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes - "Look at me Now"
Humanitarian Award: Steve Harvey
Lifetime Achievement Award: Patti LaBelle

KOKANE (JERRY B.) ON DECK WITH NEW PROJECTS.
Multi-platinum selling recording artist, Jerry B. Long b.k.a. Kokane, is back with a brand new single "Who Iz You”, taken from his forthcoming set, ‘In The Middle of The Road’, one of three full-length albums Kokane is gearing up to release later this year.

The Pomona, California rapper/singer will release three singles, from each of the upcoming albums. The first single from each will be; "Loving A Pimp" from an album entitled ‘Back To The Future’, "The Inspiration 4 Elevation" from an album entitled ‘The Legend Continues’, and "Who Iz You” produced by Caviar, from ‘In The Middle of The Road’, which is an all-singing album, to be released under his real name Jerry B. Long. Cee-Lo Green and Big Gipp of Goodie Mob make an appearance on the remix of “Who Iz You”.

Kokane will release a slew of music videos form ‘The Legend Continues’ WATCH HERE, an album released on his own label Bud E. Boy Entertainment in conjunction with Stan Sheppard/Tonestruck. He recently dropped the video for "The Inspiration 4 Elevation", produced by Squeeze and J.B.L. aka Kokane.

The first single from the album ‘Back to The Future’, via H.P. Entertainment, titled "Loving A Pimp" features Too Short, and is set be released in July.

The son of Motown composer Jerry Long, Sr, former Ruthless Records recording artist and long-time collaborator with Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, has a catalogue of classic material and has worked with the industry’s greatest. From singing the Pariliament Funkadelic interpolations on Dr. Dre's The Chronic, to more recent collaborations with the likes of Diddy, Young Buck and Snoop Dogg.

SNOOP TO BE HONORED AT BMI URBAN AWARDS
Snoop Dogg will be saluted as a BMI Icon at the BMI Urban Awards, slated for Friday, August 26 at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. BMI President & CEO Del Bryant will share hosting duties with Catherine Brewton, Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, Atlanta, as the entertainment community gathers to celebrate the most-performed urban songs, songwriters and producers of the previous year. The evening will include an all-star musical tribute to Snoop Dogg, as well as the presentation of the Urban Songwriter, Song, Producer and Publisher of the Year crystals.

BMI Icons are selected because of their “unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers.” As a BMI Icon, Snoop Dogg will join ranks that include George Clinton, The Jacksons, James Brown, Isaac Hayes, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, The Bee Gees, Willie Nelson and Carlos Santana, to name a few.

As Snoop Dogg approaches his 20th year in the entertainment industry, he remains a visionary mc with sharp instinct and velvet delivery. Twelve BMI Awards spanning urban and pop point to his prominent role in hip-hop’s seduction of the mainstream. Songs including “Next Episode,” “Gin and Juice,” “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” “Beautiful,” “Sexual Eruption,” “Nuthin' But a "G" Thang,” and so many more created the soundtrack of a generation. He has been honored by the American Music Awards, Source Awards, BET Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, and many others, and has also garnered innumerable Grammy nominations. Snoop Dogg has also appeared in films and TV series, including Training Day, Old School, Starsky & Hutch, Brüno, Futurama, Weeds, and more.

BET INKS NEW EXECUTIVE VP OF MARKETING.
BET Networks has named industry veteran Vicky Free as the company's new Executive Vice President of Marketing. Free, who has most recently led strategic marketing efforts at Turner Broadcasting Systems, will be responsible for the marketing strategy and execution for BET, BET mobile and CENTRIC. She will report directly to Debra Lee, Chairman and CEO of BET Networks and will be based in New York.

Free comes to BET Networks with nearly two decades of brand marketing and media management experience, most recently from Turner Broadcasting System. At Turner, she led the newly created 360 consumer marketing department designed to build effective consumer engagement campaigns for both Cartoon Network and Adult Swim entertainment properties. In this role she was responsible for building consumer-centric, integrated, strategic and metric-driven marketing campaigns for priority series and events.

"We are thrilled to have Vicky join BET Networks given her strong experience in the cable industry and keen understanding in creating thoughtful brands and engaging the consumer it serves," said Debra Lee, Chairman and CEO of BET Networks. "As we continue in our company's evolution, we couldn't be more thrilled to have someone as talented as Vicky lead our marketing team and elevate our multi-platform and digital marketing strategies."

"I am honored to join BET Networks and build on the iconic brand of this company," said Vicky Free, Executive Vice President of Marketing at BET Networks. "I am confident that my experience and passion, coupled with the BET's incredibly creative and thoughtful team, will take the relationship between our consumer and our content to the next level."

During Free's tenure at Turner, she led the entertainment marketing team for TNT, TBS and TCM. Among her many accomplishments, she launched Emerging Markets and Promotions Group that created breakout campaigns for Tyler Perry's House of Payne and The Closer. Free also spent over eight years at McDonald's, where she worked as Director of Women's Initiatives in the United States and headed multicultural brand management. Free received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Carolina and her MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.

DIDDY SETTLES UP WITH VICTIMS FROM CLUB SHOOTING IN '99.
MTV reports Sean "Diddy" Combs has settled all civil actions against him stemming from the 1999 shooting at Club New York, the New York Post reported Thursday (June 23). Citing court records, the Post revealed that Diddy, his former protégé Jamal "Shyne" Barrow and the now-shuttered club struck a deal earlier this year with three people shot by Barrow during the incident. The exact terms of the settlements were unknown because of confidentiality agreements between the parties.

But former Club New York owner Michael Bergos, who did not sign the agreement, told the paper that the most seriously injured victim, Natania Reuben, was paid $1.8 million, while two other victims received settlements of $500,000 and $50,000. Bergos said he didn't know who paid what amount in the deal, but Barrow's and the club's shares were covered by insurance companies, while Diddy was forced to pay himself, since his insurance company has since gone out of business.

Reuben's lawyer, Debra Reiser, declined to comment on the settlement, telling the Post, "My client wanted the confidentiality agreement because she didn't want any further publicity. She's been victimized enough."

The hip-hop mogul, who was with then-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez at the club, was acquitted of all charges in May 2001. Shyne was convicted on two counts of assault, as well as reckless endangerment and gun possession (he was, however, cleared of the most serious charge: attempted murder.)

The following month, Shyne was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He was released in October 2009 — and subsequently deported to his native Belize — but has always maintained his innocence in the shooting, telling MTV News in 2004 that he fired his gun in the air in an act of self defense.

"I'm a regular guy, man," he said. "I'm not tougher than nobody. I'm not better than nobody. I know real killers. I know people that really snatch bodies. I'm not that. I just did what I had to do. Somebody pulled out a .40 caliber and I had to pull mine our or I was gonna die."

MISSY ELLIOTT DIAGNOSED WITH GRAVES DISEASE.
Missy Elliott has reportedly revealed to People magazine that she has been suffering from the autoimmune disorder Graves' disease since 2008. The disease, which affects the thyroid and causes mood swings and weight loss, may be part of the reason why the rapper and producer has not released a new album in six years.

According to Billboard, Elliott told People that she knew something was wrong when she had trouble controlling her body while driving. "I was [driving and] trying to put my foot on the brake, but my leg was jumping," she said. "I couldn't keep the brake down and almost crashed. I couldn't write because my nervous system was so bad – I couldn't even use a pen."

Elliott is presently in good shape following the intervention of her doctors, who gave her radiation treatments and encouraged her to work out. "I'm 30 pounds lighter because I've been exercising. My thyroid is functioning, so I haven't had to take medication in about nine months," she says.

The rapper will discuss her battle with Graves' disease, as well as her lengthy absence from the spotlight, in an episode of VH1's Behind the Music that will air at 10 p.m. on June 29th.

GEFFEN RECORDS INKS NEW CHAIRMAN.
Gee Roberson, co-CEO of Hip-Hop Since 1978, the management firm that handles Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Drake, Nicki Minaj and others has been named chairman of Geffen Record. He will report to Interscope Geffen A&M chairman Jimmy Iovine. Based in New York, Roberson will oversee the creative direction and operations of Geffen Records, with a special focus on discovering and nurturing new artists. He will also be charged with expanding the reach of the label into numerous areas, including digital direct-to-consumer, merchandising, touring and management, according to a press release. "Gee has a unique combination of talents that the music industry really needs running a record company today," Iovine said in a statement.

Roberson began his music industry career under the tutelage of Jay-Z at Roc-A-Fella Records, where he rose to senior VP of A&R. He later moved to Atlantic Records as senior VP of A&R, heading up the label's urban music division. It was unclear at press time whether Roberson will continue in his role at Hip Hop since 1978. Source: Billboard


BAD MEETS EVIL TOPS THE CHARTS.
Bad Meets Evil’s Hell: The Sequel debuts at #1 with approximately 171,135 units sold. This will be Eminem’s eighth number one and Royce’s first.

JIMMY HENCHMAN FINALLY ARRESTED BY DEA AFTER BEING ON THE RUN.
James "Jimmy Henchman" Rosemond was arrested by DEA agents and charged today with heading a cocaine trafficking ring that operated on both the West and East coasts, authorities said. Rosemond, who was a wanted fugitive, was hunted down by US Marshals and agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration after a long investigation, officials said. Rosemond, owner of Czar Entertainment, is expected to be arraigned later this afternoon in Brooklyn Federal Court.

Rosemond, 46, who manages singers Brandy and Akon, was accused this past May of being involved in a cocaine distribution ring. The hip-hop mogul spotted the agents at about noon as he walked out of the W Hotel in Union Square, sources said.

Once on the street, Rosemond walked north and tried to outrun the agents until he was finally arrested on 21st Street and Park Avenue South. The US Attorney's Office in Brooklyn charged Rosemond in a complaint today with orchestrating the delivery of multiple kilos of cocaine from Los Angeles to the New York City metropolitan area. Millions of dollars in drug proceeds went from New York back to California, the complaint charged.

Rosemond is expected to be arraigned this afternoon in Brooklyn federal court.

The DEA probe was aided by two informants who were high-ranking members of Rosemond's organization, the feds said. Hundreds of kilos of cocaine was shipped to New York -- sometimes encased in plastic that was covered with mustard in an effort to throw off drug-sniffing dogs. The gang used commercial shipping companies to send some of the coke, but later devised a more ingenious scheme, the feds charge. Rosemond began to ship cocaine inside "road cases," large containers normally used to carry music equipment. Using his Czar Entertainment business as a cover, Rosemond shipped cocaine east and money back west in these "road cases," disguising them as legitimate music equipment cargo and utilizing freight transporters, the feds said.

Federal agents found nearly $800,000 in one such case inside a New York recording studio this last winter, the feds say.

To evade law enforcement, Rosemond avoided using cell phones and used pay phones instead, officials said.

He also used encrypted e-mail programs to send messages via a BlackBerry and the gang used a car with a hidden compartment to transport contraband. Source: New York Daily

DMX PRISON RELEASE DELAYED.
DMX was originally expecting to be released from Arizona’s Maricopa County Jail on July 1, the date has now been pushed back to July 6, at which point he will be under supervised watch until Aug. 12. DMX has said he has plans to release a new album and appear in a reality show chronicling his life with fiancée Yadira Borrego. He is also attempting to reunite with his mother and 10 children. “He is an amazing father and man,” Borrego said of her future husband. “The media has never shown who he really is.”

CALL OF DUTY®: BLACK OPS ANNIHILATION ON DECK
Call of Duty®: Black Ops, the best selling game ever on the Xbox 360, is ready to blow fans away withthe worldwide release of its third content pack on June 28th,: Call of Duty®: Black Ops Annihilation. Black Ops continues to draw millions of gamers online globally, logging billions of gameplay hours since its launch in November. Fueled by the breakthrough First Strike and Escalation content packs, the blockbuster title is also already the highest selling add-on content in Xbox LIVE history, according to Microsoft. In fact, more gamers play Call of Duty on Xbox LIVE than on any other platform. The newest offering,Annihilation, will launch first on Xbox LIVE and features four new multiplayer maps and a Zombie experience that's sure to keep gamers coming back for more.

"With Annihilation, Black Ops fans will get four exciting and unique multiplayer settings with Hangar 18, Drive-In, Silo and Hazard," said Treyarch Studio Head, Mark Lamia. "Players will also enjoy an all-new Zombies experience, Shangri-La, an exotic and mysterious map filled with deadly traps, dark secrets and innovative gameplay that will challenge even the most daring Zombie hunters."

Developed by Treyarch and published by Activision Publishing, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI), Call of Duty: Black Ops is rated "M" (Mature) by the ESRB for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence and Strong Language. For additional Call of Duty® updates, visitwww.callofduty.com/blackops and also via Twitter @Treyarch.

Additionally, to celebrate the upcoming release of Call of Duty®: Black Ops Annihilation, Treyarch will host a Double XP weekend beginning Friday, July 1st.

LIL KIM JOINING G-UNIT?
Shawty Lo brought out a surprise guest at Hot 107.9’s Birthday Bash 16 in Atlanta on Saturday (June 18). “I brought the queen, Lil’ Kim,” said Shawty Lo while introducing her to the stage. Queen Bee made an announcement when she took the stage at the Philips Arena after performing “It’s All About the Benjamins.”

“If ya’ll don’t know, this my boy right here. G-Unit South, that’s where it’s at,” said Kim, saying that Shawty Lo is now part of the G-Unit roster and she may be following suit. “And I’m family too, down with the G-Unit camp. We got surprises for ya’ll.”

ODD FUTURE SAYS CHRIS BROWN IS A BITCH.
Following Friday’s Twitter feud between Odd Future and Chris Brown, the hip-hop group played the House of Blues in their hometown of Los Angeles over the weekend (Saturday night). Before performing “She” with Frank Ocean, frontman Tyler, the Creator lamented about MTV banning the song’s video while sharing his dream to one day win a VMA. The crowd started chanting, “F**k Chris Brown!” OFWGKTA members responded (“He’s a loser”) at the blond singer and Tyler responded, saying, “He beats up women, he’s a bitch.” SEE THE FOOTAGE HERE

FORMER UNIVERSAL MUSIC EXEC GETS NEW TITLE.
Former Universal Music Enterprises executive Mike Davis has been named president of Alliance Entertainment, filling a void at the company that has existed since Alan Tuchman resigned as CEO in April. Billboard mag reports Davis had previously been executive VP/GM of UME, and before that had held the same title with Universal Music Group Distribution, one of Alliance's main suppliers. Prior to working for record labels, Davis had been a music retailer and had worked at a one-stop wholesaler, which means that his position with Alliance brings his career full circle. Billboard estimates that Alliance Entertainment has annual revenues of about $750 million, mainly selling CDs and DVDs to retailers such as Barnes & Noble and Kmart, independent music retailers, and to online CD stores. Alliance was acquired last September by Platinum Equity and the Gores Group, two private equity firms. "Alliance is currently providing a valuable service to the entertainment industry, both content providers and retailers, in a very challenging marketplace," David said in a statement. said Mr. Davis. "Alliance is uniquely positioned to provide vital solutions for retailers, studios, labels, artists, and managers as the industry builds their business models of tomorrow."

SEAN KINGSTON GIVES US AN UPDATE ON HIS RECOVERY.
Sean Kingston took to Twitter to give fans an update on his recovery since his jet ski accident that left him in critical condition. “Feeling alot better! GOD IS GREAT! Thanks for all the prayers and support! Love you ALL!”

TONE LOC ARRESTED.
Tone Loc (famous for his 80s hits "Wild Thing" and "Funky Cold Medina"), was arrested around 2:45 P.M. on Saturday afternoon, June 18 at an apartment complex in Burbank, California, TMZ reported. According to Burbank Police Sgt. Tracy Sanchez, the West Coast rap star was taken into custody following an incident described as "a physical altercation with the mother of his child." He was reportedly taken in without incident and was booked into jail in a few hours. Later that evening, he was released on $50,000 bail. Back in January, the four-time Grammy nominee was arrested for driving under the influence after he was spotted driving erratically. He was later released on bail because of a medical condition. Tone Loc has in the past, collapsed on-stage in seizure.

SNOOP ON DECK TO HEADLINE OC FESTIVAL.
The 2nd Annual Summer Festival is set to be Southern California's premiere event this summer With such a strong lineup, the renowned KCRW and both LA/OC Weekly have recently jumped on board as official media sponsors for the festival. This year's event will be offering entertainment from over 50 live acts and DJs from around the world. Artists scheduled to appear include: SNOOP DOGG, CUT COPY, STEVE AOKI, CALVIN HARRIS, GHOSTLAND OBSERVATORY, !!! (CHK CHK CHK), PHANTOGRAM, TORO Y MOI, BAG RAIDERS, ZEDS DEAD, THE TWELVES, CLASSIXX, FRED FALKE, AFROMAN, ZOOT WOMAN, THE GROWLERS, HANNI EL KHATIB, JACQUES RENAULT, BIRD PETERSON, SUPERHUMANOIDS, POOLSIDE, AUTOEROTIQUE, ALI LOVE, DANGEROUS DAN & GUS DA HOODRAT (BANG GANG DEEJAYS), MR. WHITE, THE C90S, JUSTIN MILLER, COSMIC KIDS, THEM JEANS, POSSO, DAN SENA, AMERICAN ROYALTY, FIFINASTY, KEDD COOK, WISHENGRAD, FRANKIE WILDE, BONES, G.L.O.V.E.S., GUNS IN THE SUN DEEJAYS, STEFFI GRAF, BRADY MILLER, MORGAN COLLETT, CASSETTE, BRAZZABELLE, ISAIAH MARTIN, TROPICOOL & MO: ROCKIN with more to be announced each week.

The event has been designed as a music festival for a wide range of genres. Both VIP and VIP Hosted Bar tickets will be available for guests looking for a first class experience. For those participating in the VIP Hosted Bar, hospitality and cabana services courtesy of Voyeur Nightclub and Chosen Hospitality Group will be available. To add to the all around experience, Pacific Festival: OC has paired with the Hyatt Regency Irvine located only minutes away from all the festival action.

Pacific Festival: OC has specifically been curated to entertain attendees from morning to night and with Red Bull on board as an official sponsor, the festival is sure to keep the energy level high. Co-hosted by STEVE AOKI and world-renowned celebrity photographer, THE COBRA SNAKE, Pacific Festival: OC will also be catering to your visual senses with art installations, which will include the legendary Shagadelica double decker bus from Burning Man. In addition, Pacific Festival: OC believes it is important to give back to the community and has paired with Surfrider to donate one dollar from every ticket sold to help protect California's coastline.

"The idea was to produce an event that connects culture with community; art with music; and entertainment with philanthropy in our backyard of Orange County," says Steve Aoki, one of the festival's founding partners. "We wanted to establish a premium music and arts festival, and have organized a large collective of seasoned event producers, artists, friends and musicians."

SNOOP ON DECK TO STAR IN/SCORE ‘FREEWAY’ RICKY ROSS BIOPIC
Legendary Los Angeles drug kingpin “Freeway” Ricky Ross has inked Snoop Dogg to portray him and score the soundtrack for his upcoming biopic. While in the studio with Freeway Ricky Ross, Snoop explained how he wants to carve the soundtrack for the drug kingpin's biopic.

Ricky Ross confirmed that Tha Doggfather will be steering the ship for the soundtrack, while Snoop echoed his sentiments. “Y’all heard what the Dogg said. The Dogg want to run that soundtrack. Y’all didn’t think it was gonna happen,” said Ross.

Snoop says that he wanted to come on board the project long before Ross was released from prison. “Man, I told my O.G. before he got home, I wanted to get down with him and I love him to death and everything he stand for and I’m part of telling his story,” said Snoop. “I said look, when it’s time to play you, it’s gotta be me and nobody one else. I’m the only who could put that thing on it.”

The film, written by Blow director Nick Cassavetes, takes place in the late ‘70s, a time that Snoop hopes to capture through the music.

“I also want to be a part of the soundtrack to make the scope of the music right, to make sure the scoring right, to represent the era and the time period where we were going through on the West,” he continued. “Because it’s central that the story’s told from his eyes, so I want to make sure the music represents what we were listening to out here and what we were going through. And when it gets to those certain time periods, I want to be the one who makes sure that the music feels good while you’re watching the movie.”

CLASSIC TUPAC ALBUMS TO GO DIGITAL IN HONOR OF HIS 40TH B-DAY.
Tupac Amaru Shakur aka 2Pac, the biggest selling rap/hip-hop artist in history with more than 75 million albums sold worldwide (more than 38 million in the U.S.), would have celebrated his 40th birthday today, June 16, 2011 . On July 5, five 2Pac albums (Interscope/UMe), including his first three solo albums, will be issued in the digital format for the first time:

--2Pacalypse Now, his 1991 debut album which will mark its 20th anniversary on November 12, 2011, includes "Brenda's Got A Baby," "Trapped" and "If My Homie Calls."

--Strictly For My N.I.G.G.A.Z., his 1993 platinum album featuring "Holler If You Hear Me," "I Get Around," "Keep Ya Head Up" and "Papa'z Song."

--Thug Life - Volume 1, originally released in 1994 from his group that also included Big Syke, Macadoshis, Mopreme and The Rated R, with "Bury Me A G," "Cradle To The Grave," "Pour Out A Little Liquor," "How Long Will They Mourn Me?" and "Str8 Ballin'."

--Me Against The World, the triple platinum 1995 smash that debuted #1 and was Grammy nominated for Best Rap Album, with "Dear Mama" (also Grammy nominated), "So Many Tears" and "Temptations."

--R U Still Down?, the posthumous, two-disc, quadruple platinum 1997 album (in its explicit version), featuring "Do For Love" and "I Wonder If Heaven Got A Ghetto."

Sal Manna, a journalist, interviewed 2Pac and wrote the press biographies for many of his albums during his lifetime. Sal penned the following tribute which until today was unpublished:

"Tupac never strayed from one message: Be somebody. No matter the obstacles, be somebody, and be proud. It was a message that 2Pac represented for everyone, no matter their race, creed or color ... In the end, too much has been made of his dying, and not enough of his living. His death was the tragedy, not his life. Today, it is in his work, in his art, that 2Pac still lives."

Since 2pac's passing on September 13, 1996, at the age of 25, his music has continued to inspire and motivate millions across the globe. 2Pac leaves a legacy of honesty and passion in his songs. Respected by many, 2Pac has become an inspiration for artists and a standard in rap music. Universal Music Enterprises proudly announces the release of these digital albums on this, the 40th anniversary of Tupac Shakur's birth celebrating the life and music of a great artist

ANY VALIDITY TO THE TUPAC/SHOOTER STORY OR JUST A STAGED STORY TO CREATE HYPE?
New York’s Daily News spoke to Rosemond’s lawyer Jeffrey Lichtman, who questioned the validity of Issac’s statements. “It’s a flat out lie,” Lichtman said. “Dexter Isaac is not claiming this 17-years later to clear his conscience. He’s doing it because he’s told anybody who will listen he doesn’t want to die in prison. He has kids and wants to work off his sentence. He can’t be trusted.” Rosemond (who famously serves as The Game’s manager among other artists) could not be reached, as he is currently on the run from the law. He was issued a federal arrest warrant back in May for his alleged role in a cocaine distribution ring and has been missing ever since. Outlawz Member, E.D.I. gave his reaction to Issac’s confession to XXL Mag, “Shit, Makaveli sold well over four, five million records,” he said. “Everybody heard how Pac felt about it. It’s on the last song – ‘Against All Odds.’ We thought it was always going to come to life. You always got to take all this kind of information with a grain of salt because you’re dealing with alleged snitches and government informants. These are the type of people that tell on their own mama, so it’s hard to say what’s real and what’s not real, but at the same time, what’s done in the dark is always going to come to the light. I was sort of amused by homeboy’s timing. I thought it was perfect timing, which also happens to be the name of our album dropping September 13 (the 15th anniversary of ’Pac’s death. I thought it was perfect timing.” New York City police have begun an investigation into the "supposed" confession from the convicted felon who claims to have shot and robbed slain rapper Tupac Shakur. Police spokesman Paul Browne said Wednesday if police determine the post is legitimate they will seek to interview the prisoner.

L.A. REID TO CALL SHOTS AT EPIC RECORDS.
Former Island Def Jam Chairman L.A. Reid is expected to join Sony Music as Chairman of a restructured Epic Records, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Mr. Reid will take over the new label, which will include Jive Records, some time in early July. Sources tell THR that Reid will start at Epic soon after the Fourth of July holiday, just after Doug Morris takes over as CEO at Sony on July 1. Reid will be the first head of Epic Records since songwriter Amanda Ghost exited after a year on the job. It's expected that Reid will push the label in more of an Urban direction, while absorbing some of the Jive roster, including Usher and P!nk, who were originally signed to Reid's LaFace Records.

RIHANNA INKS 3-YEAR TOURISM DEAL FOR HER HOMETOWN.
One of the best-selling artists of all time with more than 30 million records and 100 million singles sold, Rihanna has signed a multi-year deal with The Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA) to exclusively promote her hometown island of Barbados as a tourist destination. The three-year partnership officially kicks off in Bridgetown, Barbados on August 5, 2011 with a full-length concert of her current "Loud" tour produced by the BTA and Roc Nation.

"Barbados is a place like no other and one of the reasons for this is the spirit and national pride of our people," said Rihanna. "I want each and every visitor to this beautiful island to experience what makes this destination different from all others and that is the spirit and warmth of my fellow Barbadians."

As an ambassador for the island of Barbados, over the next three years, Rihanna will exclusively promote the destination through advertising campaigns, promotional appearances and via her social media presence. In addition to her concert in Barbados this summer, Rihanna will promote travel to the island from Brazil during her appearance on tour in September.

"In the hearts of every Barbadian, Rihanna is known as the girl down the road, but to the world she has become a musical sensation and social phenomenon," said Barbados' Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Richard L. Sealy. "She is a great source of national pride to Barbados and we are thrilled to enter into this formal partnership to promote Barbados as a leading tourist destination."

WMG CHAIRMAN SET TO MAKE $21 MILLION.
Warner Music Group Chairman Edgar Bronfman Jr. is set to make up to $21.7 million from the impending sale of the company, according to today's New York Post. The paper reports that Bronfman is due a $16.8 million "golden parachute," subject to shareholder approval, consisting of unvested stock options and restricted stock valued at $3.3 million and $13.6 million, respectively, that will vest as a result of the sale. Bronfman is also expected to receive $4.88 million in vested stock options. On July 6, shareholders will vote on Bronfman's $16.8 million parachute and a similar $10 million payout to Lyor Cohen, vice chairman and CEO of recorded music. Bronfman owes a special thanks to the Warner board for the $13 million in restricted stock, which he was only able to cash in because of the board's well-timed decision earlier this year to lower the price hurdle for the stock to vest.

Under the original deal, Bronfman's restricted stock vested at prices at $10 and higher. That was well above Warner's stock price of $4.90 on Jan. 19, when the board reduced the vesting price to as low as $7. The next day, on Jan. 20, news broke that Warner Music had put itself up for sale, sending the shares up 27 percent. In May, Blavatnik struck a deal to acquire the company for $8.25 a share. The result is that Bronfman will be able to cash in 1.65 million restricted shares worth $13.6 million.

Paul Hodgson, a compensation expert with Governance Metrics International, said the timing of the board's decision to lower the vesting price was "extremely unusual and something we look out for carefully."

In general, corporate governance experts take a dim view of companies altering pay plans in advance of market-moving events like a sale. Hodgson added that Warner's board lowered the price knowing that Bronfman would meet the lower hurdle -- not through a turnaround of the company, but through an acquisition. "It was tied to performance, and he didn't achieve the performance," he said.

In addition, Bronfman's family trusts have benefited from the recent sale of 2.1 million shares, totaling $18 million, at prices ranging from $8.17 to $8.22 a share. Bronfman owns 6.5 percent of the company directly and through family trusts.

While Bronfman is set to reap a windfall as a savvy dealmaker, the shareholders haven't been nearly as fortunate. With the music business suffering from declining CD sales and rising piracy, Warner has lost money in five of its six years as a publicly traded company. The stock, which made its debut at $17 in May 2005, hit a high of $29.08 in July 2006. Since then, it has been on pretty much a downward slide. Warner, which bottomed out at $1.68 in March 2009, barely budged last year. Bronfman and a trio of private-equity firms acquired Warner Music Group from Time Warner for $2.6 billion in 2004.

JIMMY HENCHMAN ASSOCIATE COMES CLEAN ON SHOOTING TUPAC!
According to Allhiphop, A man has admitted to shooting rap star Tupac Shakur in 1994 after allegedly being paid $2,500 dollars by James "Jimmy Henchman" Rosemond inside Manhattan's Quad Studios in November of 1994. Dexter Isaac, a former friend of Rosemond, is an inmate currently serving life in prison for murder, robbery and other offenses. He says Henchman paid him $2,500 for the hit. Initial reports stated that two men dressed in army fatigues robbed Pac at gunpoint for his jewelry. Up until his death in 1996, Pac accused B.I.G. and Bad Boy for setting him up. On the song “Against All Odds”, Pac even pointed fingers at Henchman. Due to statue of limitations, Issac will not be prosecuted for the crime. He also admits to possessing Pac’s jewelery. Henchman is currently on the lam from Federal agents. "I want to apologize to his family [Tupac Shakur] and for the mistake I did for that sucker [Jimmy Henchman]," Dexter said from prison. "I am trying to clean it up to give Tupac and Biggie's mothers some closure." Dexter Isaac said that he decided to confess to the robberies to prove Jimmy Henchman's involvement, in addition to clearing his conscious for the shooting.

FORBES RELEASES ANNUAL WELL-PAID CELEBRITIES "UNDER 30" LIST.
Forbes has released their annual list of the most well-paid celebrities under the age of 30. According to Forbes, these 20 young celebrities collectively took in over $690 million in the past year.

The entire list is as follows:
1. Lady Gaga, $90 million
2. Justin Bieber, $53 million
3. LeBron James, $48 million
4. Roger Federer, $47 million
5. Taylor Swift, $45 million
6. Katy Perry, $44 million
7. Cristiano Ronaldo, $38 million
8. Beyonce Knowles, $35 million
9. Lionel Messi, $32 million
10. Rafael Nadal, $31 million
11. Rihanna, $29 million
12. Dwight Howard, $28 million
13. Dwyane Wade, $26 million
14. Carmelo Anthony, $25 million
15. Maria Sharapova, $24 million
16 - 17. Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, $20 million
18 - 20. Carrie Underwood, Miley Cyrus, Lil Wayne, $15 million

BILL O'REILLY CALLS LUPE FIASCO A PINHEAD.
Bill O’Reilly targets the hip-hop community again. O’Reilly called Lupe Fiasco, a “pinhead,” according to statements made on his show, The O’Reilly Factor on Tuesday, June 14 . O’Reilly responded to comments made by Lupe Fiasco last week during an interview with CBS, where Lupe called President Barack Obama “the biggest terrorist.” O’Reilly said “Mr. Fiasco has been invited on The Factor but has declined, possibly because he could not possibly defend that remark, which makes him a pinhead.”

In response, Lupe Fiasco took to Twitter saying “Whoa! I got invited to the O’reilly factor and turned it down??? Thats news to me… would NEVER turn down the opp to push billys buttons!”

A3C ANNOUNCES FIRST ROUND OF ARTISTS.
The best of hip-hop is coming to Atlanta as the 3-day A3C Hip Hop Festival announces the first round of artists for the 2011 event at The Masquerade. Random Axe (Sean Price, Black Milk and Guilty Simpson), Freeway, Aleon Craft, Laws, J-Live, Percee P, Ras Kass, Boog Brown, Ultra Beast (Senor Kaos and 4-Ize), Dillon and Paten Locke are just a few of the exemplary artists that will take the stage October 6-8, 2011. Several hundred more artists are still to be announced. Performers will be released on a continual basis until the start of the festival.

A3C is also proud to announce the return of the Perfect Attendance showcase in partnership with The Smoking Section. The 3-day Perfect Attendance stage features the best up and coming artists from all regions of the country. Each night is dedicated to artists from a different region including East, West and Midwest, performing alongside southern artists. In other words, the best of the best from the East, West and Midwest brought to you by the South.

Now in its 7th year, the A3C Hip Hop Festival is a 2-day, 3-night event held annually in Atlanta, GA and features live performances from a wide variety of approximately 200 artists. The live performance schedule is enhanced by day and evening content showcasing some of the most exciting breakdance, graphic art, fashion, film, equipment demonstrations and panels relating to Hip Hop culture.

Since 2005, the event has featured over 600 of the most elite artists in Hip Hop including: Rakim, Buckshot, Black Sheep, DJ Premier, The Juice Crew, Biz Markie, Del the Funky Homosapien, The Clipse, Souls of Mischief, Little Brother, Wale and B.o.B. In 2010, the A3C was attended by over 20,000 fans and featured partnerships and co-sponsored events with Red Bull, Fadia Kader's Perfect Attendance, 2DopeBoyz, TheSmokingSection, iStandard, Kevin Nottingham, Unique Squared, DJBooth, SESAC and more. The A3C will take place October 6 - 8, 2011 in Atlanta, GA with its hub at the Masquerade located at 695 North Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia 30308.

LIL WAYNE AND DRAKE ADDED TO BET AWARDS LINEUP.
Lil Wayne and Drake join Chris Brown, Jill Scott and Alicia Keys as performers for this year's BET AWARDS '11. Lil Wayne, who is set to release his ninth album "Tha Carter IV" this August, received five nominations this year in the "Best Collaboration," "Best Male Hip Hop Artist," "Video of the Year," categories as well as two nods in the "Coca-Cola Viewers' Choice" category. Also taking center stage at the BET AWARDS '11, breakout talent Drake will go head-to-head with friend and mentor Lil Wayne in the "Best Collaboration," "Best Male Hip Hop Artist and "Coca-Cola Viewers' Choice" categories.

ICE CUBE, XZIBIT, E-40 AND BUSTA RHYMES ON DECK FOR 2011 JUGGALOS EVENT.
That’s right - the small town of Cave-In-Rock, IL definitely has not had enough of the Gathering. 2011 marks the fourth year that Juggalo Gathering has been setting up its temporary, Juggalo metropolis in the open fields and dense forests on the Hog Rock campgrounds, better known as “Hatchet Landings” to the concert attendees. In fact, the community embraces the massive amount of Juggalos that come each year, which is evident when driving through the area en route to the event. One can not miss the multiple greeting messages on store fronts and gas station signs, street side stands selling Faygo, and, of course, the infamous Hatchetman logo scattered about the roads and winding dirt pathways. This welcoming drive sets the “family vacation” mood for what waits for the Juggalos at the entrance to the only music event that’s active 24 hours a day. It's goin down August 11th - 14th.

Main Performing Artists:
Busta Rhymes, Ice Cube, Insane Clown Posse, Xzibit, George Clinton, Vanilla Ice, Saliva, Dope, MC Hammer, CKY, Paris, E-40, Tech N9ne, Kittie, Mystikal, Juvenile, Lil Wyte, Kottonmouth Kings, DJ Quick, Twiztid, ABK, Dark Lotus, Blaze, Boondox, DJ Clay, The Dayton Family, and Psychopathic Rydas.

Events/Activities/Other Acts:
**JCW events such as Bloodymania 4, Flashlight Wrestling, Oddball Wrestling, JCW Tryouts, and many wrestlers including Chyna, Xpac, “Cowboy” Bob Orton, Koko B. Ware, Rob Conway, Honky Tonk Man, Terry Funk, Scott Hall, and Rowdy Roddy Piper;

**Scott Tepperman from the SyFy Channel’s “Ghost Hunter’s International”;

**Stand-up comedy from Jimmy “JJ” Walker, Brian Posehn, Harland Williams, and “Wrestler Night”; and Ladies Oil Wrestling, Psychopathic Karaoke, Ms Juggalette Contest, Helicopter Rides, Camping, Faygo Wet T Shirt Contest, Violent J’s BBQ, Late Night Parties, Carnival Rides, Midway Games, Inflatable Moon Bounces, Open Mic, Seminars, Autograph Signings, Sideshow Attractions, tons of underground bands, plus many more amazingly unusual things to be a part of.

FAT JOE DROPS MAJOR WEIGHT.
Fat Joe ain't playing. He has recently droppped a bunch of weight and insists he is on track to be fit. He recently told the daily news that he decided to drop the weight after watching seven of his friends have heart attacks in their 30s. So, he got a trainer and changed his diet in hope of living a long, healthy life, mainly for his five-year-old daughter Azaryah. “I can’t leave my daughter behind,” he said. “I want to be here for her; I don’t want to die on her.”.. "I always loved being fat, obviously. I'm Fat Joe. If I could gain 1,000 pounds and be healthy, I would love to do that," Joe explained, without a hint of humor. "The biggest killer of people is food. .. WATCH THE REST HERE

E3 RECAP
An estimated 46,800 attendees were at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo along with celebrities including Kobe Bryant, Ice-T, Snoop Dogg, The Game and more.. The Electronic Entertainment Association estimates that the 46,800 attendees to this year's E3 video game convention generated more than $25 million in revenue to the city. Kobe Bryant took the stage to play NBA 2K12during Sony's press conference. Ice-T, who provides voice work for Epic Games' Gears of War 3, played the game on stage during Microsoft's press conference. Hulk Hogan Main Event Wrestling Kinect for Xbox 360 game. Rampage Jackson attended Microsoft's Forza 4party at L.A. Live, where Travis Barker and Beastie Boys DJ Mix Master Mike performed. And Snoop Dogg visited Yoostar Entertainment's booth to check out Yoostar on MTV, a new game that allows players to put themselves into MTV TV shows.

BEHIND THE SCENES: Alicia Keys
The documentary is an up-close and behind the scenes account on the making of Alicia Keys’ first album specifically created for this release with brand new interviews with Keys and other album collaborators. Alicia Keys recently revealed a preview of her 10th Anniversary "songs in A Minor" documentary. Now only weeks away until the June 28th release of her special 10th Anniversary Deluxe and Collector’s edition of her groundbreaking debut album songs in A minor, the international superstar unveils a peek.. WATCH HERE

FLO RIDA ARRESTED FOR DUI AND MORE.
Flo Rida was arrested for DUI in Miami Beach on Thursday monring,(June 9). After the police ran a computer check on him, it was found out that his driving license was suspended last month for failing to pay a traffic fine. He was driving in his 2008 red and black Bugatti, (worth around $1.7 million), when the police pulled him over. According to police report which was acquired by TMZ, a large crowd was on the scene when Flo was pulled over. These bystanders tried to help the rapper escape an arrest. They were "trying to get officers to let [Flo Rida] go. Some individuals were offering to drive Flo home."

The arresting officer told Flo to walk a single line but the rapper told the cop,"Officer I can't do this. I don't feel I can't walk a straight line. I had a few drinks. Let's try another test." Flo also made an attempt to convince the officer that he was alert enough to drive again, saying "I can make it home". But the cops didn't let him try. Flo took a breathalyzer test and his blood alcohol level was .185, more than twice the legal limit. He was taken into custody in a nearby station shortly before 4:00 A.M. ET and charged with both DUI and driving under suspended driver's license.

BEYONCE RESPONDS TO ALBUM LEAK.
Beyonce responded to the leak of her upcoming fourth studio album ’4'. The album leaked onto the Internet yesterday (June 7), two weeks before its scheduled July 28 release date. “My music was leaked and while this is not how I wanted to present my new songs, I appreciate the positive response from my fans,” she writes.

“When I record music I always think about my fans singing every note and dancing to every beat. I make music to make people happy and I appreciate that everyone has been so anxious to hear my new songs,” B adds. Looks like Queen B is taking to the leak surprising well - unlike disgruntled musicians like David Guetta, who hired a Pentagon investigator to get to the bottom of the leak of his latest single.

KREAYSHAWN INKS WITH COLUMBIA RECORDS
East Oakland native, visual artist, swag assassin, and undercat Kreayshawn (Kray-shawn) has officially signed with Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment. The 21 year-old will release "Gucci Gucci" via digital retailers on Tuesday, June 14th and prepare her forthcoming full-length debut album, due later this year.

Kreayshawn says of the new partnership, "I'm excited to work with my new Columbia family. They understand my vision and are going to let me continue everything I've been doing. My hope is to inspire others to be young, wild, and free."

Released in mid-May, Kreayshawn's song "Gucci Gucci" became an instant viral hit, garnering over 200,000 views within the first 48 hours and over 2 million views just two weeks later. Kreayshawn declares, "Gucci Gucci, Louis Louis, Fendi Fendi, Prada / the basic bitches wear that shit so I don't even bother."

Kreayshawn first made a name for herself directing videos for fellow Bay Area native Lil B, DB The General and Soulja Boy. While Kreayshawn hopes to lead the future generation of girl gang, she's currently prepping her forthcoming album, as "Gucci Gucci" makes its way to video and radio rotations and digital retailers worldwide.

RAPINDUSTRY.COM MODEL OF THE MONTH JUNE/JULY - NIKKI BENZ
Arguably the most famous Canadian adult film star ever, Nikki Benz has parlayed her good looks, stunning curves, natural talent, work ethic and keen business sense into a highly successful career. Rapindustry.com recently caught up with the blond bombshell who's captivated fans this 2011. "I love Hip Hop! To be honest, probably 75% or 80 % of my iPod selection is hip hop. I’d have it at 100%, but I have to have other genres of music for feature dancing. I listen to Lil Wayne, Eminem, T.I., Ludacris, Jay-Z, Tupac, Kanye, Too $hort, Nicki Minaj, Drake, Dr. Dre, Notorious BIG.. I could go on and on".... CHECK HER OUT


CHRIS BROWN AND JILL SCOTT ON DECK.
Chris Brown and Jill Scott join Alicia Keys as performers for this year's BET AWARDS '11. Brown, whose "F.A.M.E." album is #3 on the R&B Billboard charts, leads the nominations race with nods in six categories. His top nominations include "Best Male R&B Artist," "Video of the Year," and "Coca-Cola Viewers' Choice" for his collaboration with Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne on "Look at Me Now." R&B superstar, poet, and actress Jill Scott, who is set to release her fifth studio album "Light of the Sun" this month, will also take to the BET AWARDS '11 stage with what promises to be a captivating performance. Also on the roster, Alicia Keys returns to the stage to commemorate the re-release of her multi-platinum album "Songs in A Minor" and celebrate her decade-long contributions to the music industry. Keeping with the tradition of celebrating the best in entertainment, the BET AWARDS '11 will once again be a must-see, electrifying night of television.

Hosted by Kevin Hart, the BET AWARDS '11 will pay tribute to the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient legendary musician and "Godmother of Soul" Patti LaBelle, as well as honor this year's Humanitarian Award recipient Steve Harvey.

For over a decade the BET AWARDS has reigned as the biggest family event rivaling all top awards shows. Having escalated each year in industry influence with A-list celebrity nominations, star-studded appearances and one-of-a-kind performances, the BET AWARDS has undoubtedly established itself as the gold standard in creating memorable moments year after year. The highly-anticipated event airs live, Sunday, June 26 at 8 p.m.* from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA.

SEAN KINGSTON UPDATE: HE'S NOW WALKING ON HIS OWN
A rep for Kingston reports, “Sean is breathing on his own and walked for the first time this morning.”.. “Sean Kingston continues to be hospitalized at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. His condition has been upgraded to serious.” Kingston was critically injured in a jet ski accident last weekend — and had been attached to a breathing tube. Kingston’s rep adds, “Sean thanks his friends, family and fans for their outpouring of prayers and well wishes.”

CALI SWAG DISTRICT TO RELEASE DEBUT ALBUM THE KICKBACK
Inglewood rappers Cali Swag District set a July 12th release date for their debut album The Kickback on Sphinx Music Entertainment/319 Music Group distributed by Sony RED. "Burn Out (Drive Fast),"' will be the next official single off the album and a music video will follow soon after. Cali Swag District, nominated for Best Group at the upcoming 2011 BET Music Awards, exploded onto the music scene last year with the platinum selling first single "Teach Me How To Dougie." The Dougie dance sensation has swept the nation captivating American Idol's Ryan Seacrest and Jennifer Lopez while the first lady Michelle Obama did her own version during her "Let's Move!" initiative. Altogether the Dougie movement has taken over YouTube with over 100 million video streams. Their new single "Burn Out (Drive Fast)" is an adrenaline pumping car and street anthem produced by Sanchez and Disco. "This is one of my favorite songs on the album. I hope the fans have as much fun rockin' out to it as we did making it," states Smoove. "This is the type of song that I blast in my car to get amped up for the clubs." adds JayAre. The group will be releasing their debut album in memory of fallen member M-Bone who was tragically murdered on May 15, 2011. "We're sure that M Bone is doin' the Dougie at the gates of heaven and we know he would want us to keep the movement goin' here," says Yung.

AUDI RESPONDS TO EMINEM'S PUBLISHER'S LAWSUIT.
Audi has responded to a lawsuit filed by Eminem's publishing company, Eight Mile Style LLC. According to representatives for the rapper, Audi used an unauthorized sample of Eminem's "Lose Yourself" in a commercial for its new 2012 Audi A6 Avant. Chrysler had used the same song in its "Imported from Detroit" Super Bowl campaign for the Chrysler 200, which Eminem starred in. However, a U.S. spokesperson for Audi insists that the video is not a commercial. "The video referred to is not an advertisement," he said in an email to Yahoo! Music. "Also, this does not involve Audi of America. The video was not shown here in the U.S." Source: Billboard

PRODUCER ALEX DA KID SIGNS WITH INTERSCOPE.
Grammy winner and multi platinum music producer, Alex Da Kid has created his own label via Interscope Records, it was announced today by Interscope Geffen A&M Records, a unit of Universal Music Group, the global music leader. Alex's new label, KIDinaKORNER, will debut with a solo album from singer-songwriter Skylar Grey, who has been featured on three other recent Alex Da Kid hit productions: "Coming Home" from Diddy-Dirty Money, "I Need A Doctor" from Dr. Dre featuring Eminem and "Words I Never Said" from Lupe Fiasco.

"Developing artists that influence and shape popular culture in an authentic way has always been a huge goal of mine," said Alex Da Kid. "Jimmy Iovine understands that and has been a true mentor to me over the past year. I look forward to continuing all the success we have already had together."

Commented Jimmy Iovine, Chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M: "Interscope has always been committed to great producers, and I think in Alex we found one that will be around for a long time."

London-born Alex Da Kid won a Grammy this year for Best Rap Album for Eminem's Recovery and earned four other nominations--Album of the Year for Recovery and Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Best Rap Song for "Love The Way You Lie." In addition, he produced B.o.B.'s nominated "Airplanes and Airplanes Part II" featuring Paramore's Hayley Williams.

Earlier this month, he was nominated for an extraordinary eight Billboard Awards--Top 100 Song, Top Digital Song, Top Radio Song, Top Streaming Song (Audio), Top Streaming Song (Video) and Top Rap Song for "Love The Way You Lie" (which spent seven consecutive weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and sold more than 8 million copies worldwide) plus Top Digital Song and Top Rap Song for "Airplanes" (which peaked at #2 and sold 6 million-plus copies). In one year Alex has been the musical force behind the sale of over 20 million singles and he was the first producer/songwriter to have his songs reach half a billion views on YouTube. Most recently, he was asked by Bono and The Edge to produce, "RISE ABOVE 1" the first single from the album, Music from SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK

RODNEY O AND JOE COOLEY ARE BACK!
Hip hop legends Rodney O and DJ Joe Cooley will reunite to release their first studio album in twelve years. Titled ‘Joe and Me,’ the upcoming album’s first single “That Supa Radio” began receiving coveted airplay in Los Angeles on 103.3 KKBT immediately after its release. PEEP THE FULL REPORT AND THEIR NEW JOINT HERE

ACTIVISION TO LAUNCH ELITE SERVICE FOR CALL OF DUTY FANS.
The world's most passionate online gaming community can now connect, compete and improve their Call of Duty® multiplayer experience through Activision's (Nasdaq: ATVI) innovative new online service, Call of Duty Elite.

Developed from the ground up by Activision's new Beachhead studio, Call of Duty Elite offers cutting-edge features that significantly enhance the franchises' multiplayer experience and deliver a new level of social engagement that will unite more than 30 million players worldwide. Additionally, the service will offer exclusive, high-production value, original entertainment programming designed exclusively for the Call of Duty community.

"The average Call of Duty player spends 58 minutes per day playing multiplayer. That is more than the average Facebook user spends per day on Facebook. And yet, right now, there are very few tools to unite and super charge that social community," said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of ActivisionPublishing. "Whether it's allowing you to connect with your friends, or people of a similar skill level, people who live in your city, people who share your favorite passions, join competitive clans or social groups, or upload, view and comment on the incredible mass of player-generated content, or watch and comment on exclusive created content, Call of Duty Elite will give people more ways to connect with fellow players than ever before. Elite will also allow players of every level to improve their game with an intuitive suite of tools, and compete in tournaments for both real and virtual prizes."

Call of Duty Elite will include several industry-first innovations, and is designed to reset the bar for what players can expect from a multiplayer experience for this year's most anticipated game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Elite will offer two-way communication between the service and the game, so that the choices and decisions that players make in Elite through the mobile and web interfaces will affect their in-game experience. The service will be fully integrated into Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and will launch alongside the game on November 8, 2011.

LYOR COHEN SPEAKS ON MUSIC BIZ.
Warner Music Group Chief of Recorded Music Lyor Cohen sat down with Forbes' Zack O'Malley Greenburg for a new interview about the current state of the music industry. He says the CD had incredible results for the industry, but "made us sleepy." Cohen said the CD model essentially made "the consumer buy a $19 product ... if they only wanted the hit" and that digital music "has completely rotated the power" to the consumer. Cohen also discusses 360 deals and the advantages of a "skinnier, more focused" release schedule and artist roster in the interview, WATCH IT HERE.

SEAN KINGSTON IN STABLE CONDITION AFTER JET SKI CRASH.
Sean Kingston is in stable condition at a Miami hospital after suffering a jet ski crash on Sunday. Kingston, 21, was driving the personal watercraft with a female friend on board when they crashed into the Palm Island Bridge around 6 p.m., according to the Miami Herald. Both Kingston and the passenger were thrown into the water, and a passing boater saw the accident and took the two on board his vessel. Both Kingston and the passenger were then taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital by Miami Fire Rescue crews. "Sean Kingston is now stabilized and has moved from the trauma unit to ICU," said his spokesman, Joseph Carozza, according to the Herald. "Sean's family thanks everyone for their prayers and support during this time."

BUMPY KNUCKES AND KRS-ONE OFFER ROYALTY CHECK
Bumpy Knuckles (aka Freddie Foxxx) and KRS-One announce that their anticipated project, Royalty Check will be in stores and available at digital retailers Tuesday, May 31, 2011. Royalty Check, distributed by Canada-based 682 Records, combines classic hip-hop sound with rock elements through the use of live instruments and edgy drum patterns.

The album's first single, Street Poison (Stressed Out), has already been well received. Produced entirely by Bumpy Knuckles (with the exception of Stand Up, produced by Minneapolis-native King Karnov), Royalty Check is looking to be a hip-hop favorite for hip hop heads. "My style has always been centered around how everyone one in my circle can get a fair shake," said Bumpy Knuckles. "So that's what I started writing about – how we can we all get a piece of the pie."

The project was born out of a chance opportunity for Bumpy Knuckles and KRS-One to work face to face in the studio again. In the technology age, where artists primarily collaborate via digital channels, it's not often that two MCs of this caliber have a chance to work closely together and feed off of each others creative energy. "Rarely do artists get in the studio together to do albums anymore," said Bumpy Knuckles of working on the project with KRS-One. "And the music can't be wrong if KRS [-One] is picking the songs he wants to rhyme to."

FLAVOR FLAV MAKES OFFICIAL STATEMENT:
"To all of my fams (I've taken the 'n' out of fans and replaced it with an 'm,' because a fan doesn't do anything for me but cool me off when I'm hot and a 'fam' is one that supports me), I thank you all for making me who I am today. Without y'all, I would just be an ordinary person in the street, no different and no better than anyone else - the only thing that makes me different is my job description.

My life has taught me that nothing is really easy. Everything in life you want can come to you, but you really, really have to earn it and deserve it. You only get to live physically once in this lifetime, so while we are living this one time - we need to make the best of it. When we die, we become nothing but memories to other people and we want to leave them the best memories ever.

If I could influence and mentor today's youth, based on my past experience, I would tell them that I made some very serious mistakes in my life. I would like for everyone in the world to read my book about the mistakes I've made, so hopefully they won't make the same ones.

I have always been told I have a lot of interesting things to say and stories to tell. I've often thought about doing my own talk show. If I did, I would probably use the style of Arsenio Hall, but a Jerry Springer or Maury Povich style show should be a lot of fun. I have been asked if I would ever do Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice Show and my reply to that is it would be a pleasure to once again see and talk to Donald Trump. If I do come out with my own show some time, all I can say is... 'Once again, Flavor Flav has reinvented himself.'

Anyway, I decided to write a book. My new book is called Flavor Flav: The Icon The Memoir (Farrah Gray Publishing). My book is edgy, compassionate and often hilarious! My book is a thrill ride from the heights of my stardom to the depths of my despair and Yo! I'm still here to tell it. I've been down some pretty dark holes - but somehow I always found the strength to climb back out of them.

I get asked about regrets but I have no regrets in my life and I would change nothing. The reason is because it took the past to bring the future, and if I was to change something in my past then today I might not be able to teach what I've learned.

I want to add that I think Ascot/Aston's In My Own Words (IMOW) is a great idea for celebrities to say in their own words how they feel about their life and what's going on in it. That's why we, Public Enemy, made a record called Don't Believe The Hype, which means... don't believe everything you read or hear. The best source for the true information is 'from the horse's mouth!'

God bless you all with your life, your future, your goals, and your families. And once again, I thank you for making me who I am today - Flavor Flav: The Icon.

God bless and peace to all. See y'all on my book tour!"

Flavor Flav

DIDDY TO BE HONORED AT ANNUAL ASCAP RYTHYM & SOUL AWARDS.
ASCAP will honor Sean “Diddy” Combs in an invite-only affair during ASCAP’s 24th Annual Rhythm & Soul Music Awards. At the awards ceremony, Diddy will be presented with the ASCAP Founders Award. The honor, named as the “most prestigious” by the organization, is given to songwriters and composers who have made pioneering contributions to the music industry by inspiring their peers. The likes of Stevie Wonder, Dr. Dre, Smokey Robinson and Berry Gordy, Jr. are a few of the past recipients to have been presented with the award. “To be recognized for my contributions to music by ASCAP, an organization that represents music creators, is a true honor,” said Diddy. “All I wanted to do was make people dance and hopefully inspire others to never settle for anything but their best.”

VH1 GREENLIGHTS NEW FALL SEASONS.
VH1 has given the greenlight for new fall seasons of three series that appeal to young adults' music, pop culture and nostalgia sensibilities, including the return of beloved series "Pop Up Video." The channel has also handed second season pick-ups to its two newest hit series "Mob Wives," which averaged 1.3 million total viewers for its premiere episodes during its first five weeks on the air, and "Love & Hip Hop," which has averaged over 1 million viewers per premiere episode.

"'Pop Up Video' has stood the test of time, ranking as one of the most iconic series in recent television history. For years, people have practically begged, 'Please bring back Pop Up Video!' It's a show and format that now evokes nostalgia for VH1's young adult audience," said Tom Calderone, President, VH1.

"Both 'Mob Wives' and 'Love & Hip Hop' are smash hits for VH1, generating strong buzz and viewership for months now. Our viewers have connected passionately with these women and their unique, authentic stories in the realms of pop culture and music. We're very happy to be able continue those storylines," said Jeff Olde, Executive Vice President of Original Programming & Production, VH1.

VH1's hit docu-series "Love & Hip Hop," which has averaged over 1 million total viewers per premiere episode, has been picked up for a second season. The premiere of the series reunion special on Monday, May 16 drew 1.3 million total viewers. The series follows four dynamic women who are connected to the world of hip hop, whether it's through the men they love or their struggle to be heard as artists. In the premiere season "Love & Hip Hop" showed the world what life is really like without the fans and the paparazzi. Through their successes and failures both professionally and personally, Chrissy, Olivia, Emily, and Somaya gave it their all for love and hip hop. Season two is set to premiere in the fall and will consist of 10 one-hour episodes.

CEE-LO, JANELLE MONAE, AND JAY ELECTRONICA ON DECK FOR AFRO PUNK.
The Afro-punk Festival is returning to Brooklyn’s Commodore Barry Park for the 7th Annual Afro-punk Festival on August 27-28. The 2011 festival has the most stellar line up yet with Cee-Lo Green, Santigold, Janelle Monae, Fishbone, Jay Electronica, Toro Y Moi, Toshi Reagon, Ninjasonik, Cerebral Ballzy, Gordon Voidwell, Reggie Watts, Res, Joi, Rocky Business, Straight Line Stitch and more to be added! In addition, the NikeBattle For the Streets Skate and BMX Competition, the largest street skate and BMX competition in NYC will return this year with the nation's top amateur skaters and BMX riders in a competition to be judged by top professionals in both sports including Nigel Sylvester.

Afro-punk has invited Harley-Davidson and Brooklyn Black bike scene documentarians, Denim and Chrome, to collaborate on a custom bike show featuring dozens of exotic custom bikes created by black riders in the NYC area. The custom bike show will also serve as the backdrop for the Harley-Davidson/Denim and Chrome 2012 Calendar, photographed by Darius Vick, which will featureexquisite tattooed beauties each month for bike fans across the country. In addition, the festival has commissioned an artist to paint over 300 skateboards as part of one large mural aka The Skate Artwall. The boards will be contested to Afro-punk fans at the Festival and Afro-punk will follow the life of the boards over the next year whether on the wall, the street or the half-pipe.

Described by the New York Timesas putting “rock and rebellion squarely in the category of African-American music,” the Afro-punk Festival has become a Brooklyn intuition, the focal point for the burgeoning Afro-punk movement. Over the past seven years, the festival has presented new artists before they hit it big, such as Grammy-nominated Santigold, The Noisettes and Janelle Monae. Afro-punk mainstays like Saul Williams, The Dirtbombs, and Dallas Austin have also graced Afro-punk’s stages.

Afro-Punk 2011 Band Lineup
Cee-Lo Green
Santigold
Janelle Monae
Fishbone
Jay Electronica
Toro Y Moi
Toshi Reagon
Ninjasonik
Cerebral Ballzy
Gordon Voidwell
Reggie Watts
Res
Joi
Rocky Business
Straight Line Stitch


THE 5FOOTAZ BACK FROM THE DEAD.
The all-female West Coast sextet, The 5Footaz, comprised of Jah Skillz, NebLuv, Knehi, Cobra (Red), Ka-Bar and I-AME, are back from the dead. The 5Footaz have valiantly returned with a brand new mix-tape release, Rewired, to serve as a precursor of sorts to their eagerly awaited, forthcoming third full-length collection, Ride of your Life. A still in development reality show and documentary, as well as both a domestic and world tour, are also in the planning stages to coincide with their musical comeback.

"We are very excited about how much positive feedback we have been getting about our project. We are definitely more seasoned and mature when it comes to the type of music we are making," Skillz, who is currently working towards her bachelor's degree with future plans to attend law school, announces, sounding extremely elated about their new material. Re-iterating, she further relays, "Many have grown into producing, playing instruments, singing (and) things of that nature, so you'll see more of those attributes. This album will be fun, informative and a lyrical 411 on what it is to be a 'B-Girl,' and how Hip-Hop really should be represented." In addition, all six members continue to be involved in various individual endeavors; including, solo records, literary works, outside business ventures, but all the while continuing to build and re-establish their own unique 5Footaz brand.

"We are all working on solo releases as well, and we are all collabin' with one another on those projects. Being there are so many of us, you will also get to know us individually as well as artists. All of us have our own ideas and creativity that we want to share with the world," I-AME [pronounced I AM ME], the latest edition to The 5Footaz family, emphasizes, making her point quite clear. Interjecting, Ka-Bar, who, herself, possesses a bachelor's degree in mass communications from California State University at Fullerton, summarizes their entire career run beginning with their whole inception, "We were very young when we got started, it was such a different game back then. We didn't have Myspace, Facebook , Twitter , Ustream or any other digitial social networking media tools back then. It was street teams, live release parties, stickers and billboards everywhere. The industry changed so much...Biggie and Pac got killed, 9-11 happened. We came up in an era of change before Obama...Mase became a pastor..." she pauses for a moment, and then concludes with a sigh relief, "Being a woman the stakes are so high, and when you are beautiful, young and creative it makes it a lot more difficult in this male dominated industry. The life is so fast, and you can easily get mislead by the materialism in front of you that is all just a distraction and illusion to distract from your true purpose in this buisness. I am glad (we) took time out to preserve (ourselves) and reflect on how (we) wanted (our) music to affect and influence the audience. It takes so much more than a hot sixteen, or being swagged out. Now, we have all the creative control, power, wisdom and knowledge, to run our business like Oprah -- We OWN our network!"

VH1'S BEHIND THE MUSIC RETURNS
VH1's music documentary series "Behind The Music" returns. The five-time Emmy® Award-nominated series gives viewers a front row seat to the most exclusive and intimate interviews with the artists as well as their families, friends and colleagues. Featured this season are Missy Elliott, Ice Cube, and Mary J. Blige. Beginning on Wednesday, June 29 with "Behind The Music: Missy Elliott," the series will bring viewers never-before-seen footage of these talented musicians and the people who know them best.

"Behind The Music: Missy Elliott" Premieres Wednesday, June 29 Becoming the most successful female writer-producer-artist the hip hop world has ever seen was not easy for Missy Elliott. Born in Virginia, Missy was faced with the hardships of poverty at the age of eight. Surrounded by abuse and horror, Missy used her passion for music to escape from it all, landing a record deal at the age of 19 with DeVante Swing of Jodeci. For the first time, Missy breaks her silence about why she had to walk away from DeVante and her first group "Da Bassment." Not letting her past bring her down, Missy surpassed her demons and rose to fame with her groundbreaking debut album "Supa Dupa Fly." Working with some of the biggest names in the music industry, from Diddy to Mariah Carey to Janet Jackson and with her daring lyrics, Missy Elliott was able to take over the hip hop world and become a millionaire by the age of 25. After years away from the spotlight, Missy Elliott is opening up publicly for the first time in this "Behind The Music." Viewers will watch as Missy talks about her near-fatal battle with Graves disease, address rumors about her weight and opens up about being sexually molested as a young child, a subject she rarely discusses. Catch interviews with Timbaland, Ciara and Mary J. Blige as they contribute personal stories about the gifted Missy Elliott who changed the face of hip hop music forever.

"Behind The Music: Ice Cube" Premieres Wednesday, July 6 This episode of "Behind the Music" follows the three-decade-long career of legendary rapper Ice Cube from his journey as a founding member of the notorious rap group NWA to a blockbuster movie star. The extraordinary career of Ice Cube begins with his upbringing in South Central Los Angeles where he faced gang violence and drug dealers on a daily basis. Finding refuge in music, Ice Cube and his neighborhood friends formed NWA to speak out about the harsh reality of growing up in the ghetto. Years and many hits later, the group dismantled sparking a bitter feud between Ice Cube and his former band members and manager Jerry Heller, which lead to Ice Cube's decision to embark on a solo career. In an unexpected move, Ice Cube took a movie role in John Singleton's critically-acclaimed movie "Boyz N The Hood." The role of Darrin "Doughboy" Baker would give Ice Cube not only the credibility in the movie industry but the confidence to continue to pursue acting roles as well writing and directing jobs. Since then, Ice Cube has produced and starred in a slew of blockbuster movies and TV shows such as "Friday," "Barbershop," "Three Kings" and "Are We There Yet?" At home, Ice Cube is the father of four children with long-time wife Kim and explains how he now shares the stage with two of his sons, Doughboy and OMG, who hope to follow in his rapping footsteps. Viewers will watch as friends Snoop Dogg, DJ Yella from NWA and actress Nia Long discuss how Ice Cube has become a modern day Renaissance man, transforming from a South Central street kid to a major force in music, movies and television today.

"Behind The Music: Mary J. Blige" Premieres Wednesday, July 27 This episode of "Behind The Music" will take a look inside the life and outstanding career of Mary J. Blige, the reigning Queen of R&B. Watch as VH1 captures the story of how faith, courage and a never-ending search for love and contentment helped one of the world's most talented musicians survive a tumultuous past. After her soulful remake of Anita Baker's "Caught Up In A Rapture" was heard by Uptown Records President Andre Harrell, Mary was signed instantly, changing her life forever. She then joined forces with soon-to-be music legend, Sean "Diddy" Combs and together they changed the music world with her honest and heartfelt debut album "What's The 411?" Although Mary's professional life was flourishing, at home she was dealing with a volatile relationship and hit her lowest moment. Mary needed to make a change and she did. She was ready to better herself. Mary lifted herself out of her hole by praying and keeping the faith that things would change, and they soon did. Mary's prayers were answered and she fell in love with Kendu Isaacs, who would later become her very supportive husband, friend, and manager. He helped and encouraged her on her road to greatness. With Kendu's love, help and guidance, Mary found a new happiness which was reflected in her top selling albums such as "No More Drama" and "The Breakthrough" which won three Grammy Awards. By the time Mary sang for President Obama at the Inauguration Day ceremony in 2009, her world had taken a 180 degree turn and she describes the experience as one of the most meaningful moments of her career. Now, Mary is set to release "My Life Too, The Journey Continues" on September 20 where she continues to deliver timeless hits while discussing her never ending journey. Catch candid interviews with husband Kendu Isaacs, sister LaTonya Blige Dacosta, Diddy, Nas, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis and Mary J. Blige herself.

PRESIDENT OF UNIVERSAL MOTOWN OFFICIALLY STEPS DOWN.
Sylvia Rhone has stepped down from her post as President of Universal Motown, though she is expected to remain in the Universal Music Group family in a new position. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Rhone is expected to be offered a new position and a new label within UMG. Once the details are in place, she will decided whether or not to take the offer and stay with UMG. Rhone was named President of Universal Motown in 2004. GM Pat Monaco will take over the day-to-day operations of Universal Motown while UMG looks for a new executive to run the label. Executives will report to Barry Weiss, Chairman & CEO of Island Def Jam and Universal Motown Republic Group. One source says the label is looking for someone for a "senior creative role" who may end up with a title other than President, depending on the person's qualifications. UMG said in a statement that it remains "committed to Universal Motown as a strong presence in the contemporary music scene. We will soon announce important additions to the staff and will further invest in building its artist roster so Motown can continue to bring to market the highest quality music that is best positioned to succeed artistically and commercially." The statement added, "We're thankful to Sylvia for her contributions. We continue to be in discussions with her on how and where she can best utilize her skills and relationships in the multiple rights arena in which UMG continues to expand."

EMINEM WAS THE TOP WINNER AT 2011 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS.
Eminem was one of the top winners at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday night, as he took home six trophies. He won the awards for Top Artist, Top Male Artist, Top Billboard 200 Album, Top Rap Artist, Top Rap Song and Top Rap Album. Meanwhile, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Usher, Taylor Swift, Mumford & Sons and Taio Cruz also were multiple award winners, as they each earned three trophies. Winning two Billboard Music Awards each were Katy Perry, Shakira, Chris Tomlin and Train.

HIP HOP ON DECK AT 25TH ANNUAL UCLA JAZZREGGAE FESTIVAL.
After a quarter century of entertaining Southern California, the JazzReggae Festival announces its full lineup, which celebrates its illustrious history while providing a platform for upcoming new artists. As headliners Steel Pulse and Lupe Fiasco enthusiastically come to UCLA's Intramural field, the 25th Annual JazzReggae Festival at UCLA boasts an innovative and eclectic lineup that will guarantee this year's festival-goers a truly unique experience.

This year's festival is excitedly redefining the Jam Day experience on May 29. The festival is proud to announce the debut of The JazzReggae 25 Revue with The 12-piece Miguel Atwood-Ferguson Ensemble Featuring Special Guests Talib Kweli, Bilal, Pharoahe Monch, Me'Shell Ndegeocello, Quadron, Karriem Riggins and More TBA. One of Los Angeles' most ingenious and experimental young composers, producers, and musicians, Miguel is well-known for composing the Suite for Ma Dukes, a musical tribute inspired by the work of late producer J. Dilla. He has worked with artists such as Stevie Wonder, John Legend, and Wayne Shorter. After two sold out shows in Los Angeles early this year, Swedish sensation Little Dragon is returning to bring their electric soul style to Jam Day. Funk and Soul veterans Lee Fields and the Expressions are sure to please crowds with their classic sound. Recently signed with Stones Throw Records, The Stepkids will be performing for Jam Day audiences, as well as Le J Trio Collective, a UCLA-based jazz group.

Jamaica native Gyptian will be following headliner Steel Pulse on Reggae Day, May 30. Tanya Stephens, accompanied by Detour Posse, will be bringing her socially conscious and influential dancehall music to UCLA's Intramural field. Also performing on Reggae Day, Panamanian duo Los Rakas combines bilingual lyricism with a mixture of reggae, hip hop, and dancehall sounds. Also performing on Reggae Day are The Wailing Souls, whose classic reggae roots sound is sure to add to the upbeat vibes of this beautiful Memorial Day spectacle. Southern Californian locals The Expanders and Samoan reggae crooner J-Boog will be performing as well.


TINIE TEMPAH GOES PLATINUM
London-born rapper Tinie Tempah, already a double BRIT Award-winning U.K. superstar with 2010's top-selling debut album by a British artist, goes platinum in the U.S. this week with his first stateside single, "Written In The Stars" exceeding sales of over one million. With his shiny new platinum status, Tinie is experiencing an undeniable major breakthrough in America, where his infectious, message-driven single "Written in the Stars" from his debut album, Disc-Overy was recently hailed by Entertainment Weekly as one of the "next big hits of 2011." The song is currently Top 10 on the Top 40 chart and number 15 and climbing on Billboard's Hot 100, making him the highest ranking new artist in the Top 10 at Top 40 radio with his platinum selling single. As the first British rapper to achieve platinum status with their debut U.S. single, it is clear that Tinie Tempah is well on his way to achieving major stardom in the U.S.

Disc-Overy was released yesterday to American listeners with the addition of three all-new tracks recorded in the U.S. earlier this year with producers Stargate (Wiz Khalifa, Beyonce, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Ne-Yo) and Boi 1Da (Eminem, Drake). One of the new songs, "Till I'm Gone," featuring Wiz Khalifa and produced by Stargate, will be Disc-Overy's next U.S. single. Stargate also produced "Love Suicide," featuring special guest Esther Dean. The third new track, "So Addicted," was produced by Boi 1Da and features Bei Maejor.

The charismatic 22-year-old is already a phenomenon in the U.K., where Disc-Overy debuted at number one and produced four Top Five singles, including two number ones, and is currently double platinum.


USHER ADDED TO ESSENCE LINE-UP
ESSENCE is proud to announce that multi-platinum selling, chart- topping, Grammy award-winning powerhouse USHER will headline the 2011 ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL being held July 1, 2, and 3 in New Orleans. Joining an already stellar, best-in-class line-up that includes Chaka Kahn, Jennifer Hudson, Jill Scott, Kanye West, Mary J. Blige and New Edition, Usher will headline the main stage of the Superdome on opening night, Friday, July 1.

Although Usher has a long standing relationship with ESSENCE, this year marks the first time Usher will grace the stage as a headliner at the ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL, the largest African-American music and culture event in the U.S. Attracting an estimated 400,000 attendees, the 17th annual event continues to be the only music and empowerment festival in the U.S., in addition to a hallmark of New Orleans tourism.

"We are honored to bring the incredible USHER to the ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL to headline opening night," says ESSENCE Communications President Michelle Ebanks. "Fans can look forward to an incredible line-up this 4th of July weekend-- with more than 40 of the world's best performers on 5 stages – as a once in a lifetime experience!"

KEVIN HART TO HOST THIS YEAR'S BET AWARDS.
BET Networks has announced that actor/comedian Kevin Hart has been tapped to host this year's BET AWARDS. The show will broadcast LIVE from the historic Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Sunday, June 26, 2011 at 8:00 p.m.* on BET For over a decade the BET AWARDS has reigned as the biggest family event rivaling all top awards shows. Having escalated each year in industry influence with A-list celebrity nominations, star-studded appearances and one-of-a-kind performances, the BET AWARDS has undoubtedly established itself as the hottest ticket on television.

The brightest stars in music, acting and sports will appear and perform at this year's BET AWARDS which recognizes the achievements of artists, entertainers and athletes in 20 categories. Leading the pack this year is Chris Brown with an impressive 6 nominations across multiple categories: Best Male R&B Artist, Best Collaboration (for which he holds two nominations), Video of the Year, Best Actor and Coca-Cola Viewers' Choice. Closely behind him is Lil Wayne with 5 nominations: Best Male Hip Hop Artist, Best Collaboration (with fellow nominee Chris Brown), Video of the Year and Coca-Cola Viewers' Choice for his collaborations with Chris Brown and Cory Gunz. Rounding out the list and tied with 4 nominations each are Kanye West, Rihanna and Drake.

"When we asked folks who should host this year's BET AWARDS online, in the streets, among other celebs and throughout social media, one name came back to us loud and clear: Kevin Hart," said Stephen Hill, BET's president of music programming and specials. "He is blue flame right now and we are looking forward to working with him on the show," stated Hill. "His energy, wit and the always fantastic performances will make for yet another must see event—and the 'Chocolate Droppa' might even get a verse in the show," he added.

Kevin Hart burst onto the scene as one of the most versatile comedy actors in film and television. Hart is currently touring the nation on his "Laugh at My Pain" tour. He is the number one comedian on Ticketmaster and in February 2011, Hart sold out the Nokia Theater two nights in a row to break a record previously set by Eddie Murphy. Hart will spend the summer of 2011 filming lead roles in two new movies. In July, he will start working on Screen Gem's "Think Like A Man," the comedy is based on Steve Harvey's bestselling 2009 book Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man. Hart will then start work on the Nick Stoller comedy "Five Year Engagement" with producer Judd Apatow and Universal.

Sponsors for this year's BET AWARDS telecast include Coca-Cola Viewers' Choice Award, Subway Sportsman of the Year and Subway Sportswoman of the Year.

KANYE, NAS, & CEE LO ON DECK FOR AUSTIN CITY LIMITS.
The lineup for the 10th Anniversary of the Austin City Limits Festival has been revealed, and artists such as Kanye West, Nas & Damian Marley, Cee Lo Green, Stevie Wonder, Coldplay, among others, will top the bill of the over 130 bands. Bright Eyes, Social Distortion, Empire of the Sun, Santigold, Pretty Lights, TV On The Radio, Skrillex, Big Boi, Randy Newman, Cold War Kids, The Airbourne Toxic Event, Elbow, Fitz & The Tantrums, The Walkmen and Chiddy Bang are also on deck for the event. The Austin City Limits Festival will take place from September 16-18 in the city's Zilker Park.

"The essence of ACL has always been eclectic," says C3 partner and head Talent Buyer Charles Attal. "We're incredibly proud to offer something for every kind of music lover, and bring so many people together on stage, as well as in the park."

"What started out as a great show has turned into a truly special, quintessentially Austin experience," added Charlie Jones, Partner at C3 Presents. "The city, the people and the park, have all helped shape the festival, and in turn, we see the festival helping to shape the city. Together, we've created something to be proud of."

CASSIDY VIOLATES PROBATION - MURDER SUSPECT?
Philadelphia-based rapper Cassidy was arrested this weekend in New Jersey on a probation violation, but is also a suspect in a murder case. Cassidy, born Barry Reese, was taken into custody with incident on Saturday in Hackensack on a warrant issued for Philadelphia police, reports one source. The warrant was for violating probation, Hackensack police said. In 2006, Cassidy was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in a West Oak Lane shooting case, and he was sentenced to 11 and a half to 23 months in jail. It was unclear why police felt Cassidy violated his probation.

CALI SWAG MEMBER SHOT AND KILLED.
Cali Swag District's M-Bone (real name: Montae Talbert) was shot and killed Sunday night. The 22-year-old rapper -- whose group is famous for its song "Teach Me How to Dougie" -- was a victim of a random drive-by shooting, TMZ reports, citing law enforcement sources. Tweeted Talbert's partner Smoove: "Ma life changed drastically in the. Blink of an eye rip mbone." Police have not yet confirmed the victim's name, but have said a young man was shot and killed in front of a liquor store in Inglewood, Calif. on La Brea Avenue at 11:32 p.m. Sunday. Other reports says two shots were fired at close range. He was taken the UCLA Medical Center shortly after and pronounced dead.

BIG BOI ADDED TO CROWN ROYAL'S CROWN LIFE.
At an evening event in New York City, Crown Royal™ announced the launch of "The Crown Life," a multi-layered campaign created to mark and celebrate life's crowning moments. On the heels of the launch of new variant, Crown Royal Black™ whisky, Crown Royal has gathered influential designers, filmmakers, and the legendary producer and artist Big Boi to release exclusive, limited-edition products and content. All artists and designers will be tasked with using their craft to create something that celebrates what "The Crown Life" means to them -- finding royalty in everyday experiences.

Big Boi has partnered with Crown Royal to develop unique content and put his own spin on the iconic Crown Royal bag. Cameras went behind the scenes to document Big Boi in compelling moments of his life and career that showcase his definition of "The Crown Life." The short film will let audiences into Big Boi's life as he performed at the 2011 Grammy Awards; inside his studio, Stankonia, as he prepares for his latest projects; and an evening out on the town in his hometown of Atlanta with stops at his favorite spots to unwind.

"Crown Royal is my drink of choice, and I'm proud to be the first to put my own spin on The Crown Life," said Big Boi. "The design of the iconic pouch, the film we've created, and the products these incredible designers produced were all inspired by how we like to commemorate life. It's about celebrating the moments that make up our everyday lives, and doing so respectfully and responsibly."

Because of his long time affection for the brand he was able to put his distinctive touch on the Crown Royal Black packaging for its Artist Signature Series. Available at retail stores June 2011, this limited-edition packaging is accented with Big Boi's signature engraved on a black velvet bag with gold lining. Additional announcements and events that further highlight "The Crown Life" initiative and showcase the importance of enjoying Crown Royal responsibly will be announced soon.

"The Crown Life is a wonderful way to mark the important moments that reflect true accomplishments in life," said Roderick Blaylock, Crown Royal Senior Brand Manager. "We've partnered with incredibly talented artists who have the ability to transform a reflection of what 'The Crown Life' means to them into the craft they are most known for. They're a perfect fit for Crown Royal and we're delighted to share their contributions to 'The Crown Life' with the world."

The Crown Life is also launching limited edition custom pieces of apparel including a Crown Royal Black exclusive Varsity Jacket by UNDRCRWN; Rocksmith sunglasses; a Pocketwatch designed by Complete Technique; and the Weekend Traveler Bag designed by Brian Wood.

Inspired by the iconic purple bag, the UNDRCRWN Varsity Jacket is made from 100% satin. The jacket displays an embroidered left chest Crown Royal Black logo and felt patches. The weekend traveler bag was made in New York and designed by Brian Wood. The overnight duffle, made of a water repellant blend bonded neoprene imported from Italy with herringbone twill straps, features a flap pocket with magnetic snaps, and includes 100% purple silk lining with gold chain print, echoing the design of the Crown Royal purple bag and gold rope. The Rocksmith sunglasses are designed in a matte black acetate unisex frame for a subtle winter shades look. The arms of the sunglasses were designed in an amber brown grain to match the shade of whisky, with a gold engraved Crown Royal panel. The Rocksmith Crown Royal sunglasses case is designed as a unique accessory bag, and when flipped inside out is a standard sunglasses cleaning fabric. Designer Complete Technique has created a limited quantity of Crown Royal Black pocket watches, Swiss-made in 10 carat yellow gold, accented with 1.8 carat black diamonds. All products have been produced in limited-edition quantities, and will be distributed exclusively to select media and industry influencers.

MOBB DEEP TO REUNITE ONSTAGE IN NEW YORK.
Mobb Deep haven't performed together in over three years, but they'll reunite onstage tonight, (May 12) in New York. "It's like riding a bike, man: Get up on it, and it's still there," Prodigy told MTV News. "It's just natural for us 'cause we do this for real. We've been doing this for a long time. "We're real dedicated to our music and dedicated to Mobb Deep and to the supporters — all our fans out there. To be gone for three years and come back, we just hop right back into it like it's nothing. We know what we got to do."

Thursday night (May 12), the Queens duo will be headlining the Best Buy Theater in Times Square, sharing the bill with the Wu-Tang Clan's Ghostface Killah and Raekwon and The Roots' Black Thought. The occasion will mark Mobb Deep's first show since Prodigy was released from prison this past March. The rapper served three years on gun charges stemming from a 2006 traffic stop.

While the time apart did affect the group, Havoc insists that everything will run smoothly. "Basically the songs is like part of our DNA; we can't forget it," he said. "It's like three years haven't even passed. As soon as we get up there, it's like we just had a show yesterday." Prodigy revealed, "Being away from Hav that long, that sh-- hurt me. So, to come back home and just start going again, it just feels great, man. It feels great to just work again." Source: Mtv

BEYONCE TO RECEIVE 2011 BILLBOARD MILLENNIUM AWARD
Beyoncé will be honored with Billboard Millennium Award at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards. The iconic performer and international star will receive the honor at the May 22 show, which will air on ABC at 8-11pm ET/PT from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. According to Billboard, the Billboard Millennium Award will recognize Beyoncé's career achievements and influence in the music industry, from her role as the frontwoman of Destiny's Child to her three-chart-topping solo albums, which have collectively earned her 16 Grammy awards and ASCAP's Pop Songwriter of the Year award. Previously, Billboard named Beyoncé its Woman of the Year in October 2009, and Top Female Artist of the Decade in December 2009.

SMIRNOFF ON DECK FOR MASTERS OF THE MIX SEASON 2
SMIRNOFF®, the world's best-selling vodka, is kicking off round two of the successful reality television show, Master of the Mix. This time, deejays in six select cities will get the chance to audition for their place in music history. Returning for Season 2, Grammy awarded producer/DJ, Just Blaze, and world famous DJ, Kid Capri are turning up the competition as they search the nation for the next Master of the Mix.

"SMIRNOFF's first endeavor into reality television was extremely rewarding, so coming back for Season 2 of Master of the Mix was a no brainer," said David Tapscott, Brand Director, SMIRNOFF. "SMIRNOFF is always looking to elevate the night while drinking responsibly and working with deejays who share that same passion is a natural fit for our brand."

Smirnoff will take it to the streets in six cities across the nation, holding open casting calls for the cast for Season 2 and giving deejays who think they have what it takes the chance to prove their skills. Auditions will begin Thursday, May 19 – Saturday, May 21 in Los Angeles, CA and continue in Houston, TX on May 25 – 27; Miami, FL on May 28 – May 30; Atlanta, GA on May 30 – June 1; New York, NY on June 1 – 3; and Detroit, MI on June 4 – 6.

The top deejays will board the tour bus and while traveling through seven cities be judged on their technical ability, track selection, originality, and crowd response. The ultimate DJ will be named the Master of the Mix and receive $250,000 in cash and prizes. Kid Capri, who deejayed for Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam and has produced sessions for Heavy D, Boogie Down Productions, and Quincy Jones, will anchor the judging booth, while the hottest musicians and notable veterans will make guest appearances throughout the season.

SNOOP DOGG AND CHARLIE SHEEN LINK UP ‘WINNING’ SINGLE TO RADIO
Charlie Sheen touched on his time in the studio with Snoop Dogg for their new joint "Winning". The former "Two and a Half Men" star caught up with E! News this week and discussed the inspiration behind the song. Sheen says the track is about more than just being successful, describing the tune as "everything in life." The actor adds that Snoop did a great job of "encapsulating" the "whole vibe" of the "winning" movement. The video for "Winning" made its debut during Charlie's recent "Violent Torpedo of Truth Tour," but the track will finally be made available for purchase via iTunes. Sheen will be donating part of the proceeds to his foundation "Torpedos Against Tornados," which is helping the victims of the recent tornadoes that have hit the South.

L.A. NOIRE REMIX EP - ROCK STAR GAMES AND VERVE RECORDS
The future meets the past not only in the groundbreaking new videogame L.A. Noire developed by Rockstar Games (Grand Theft Auto IV, Red Dead Redemption) and Team Bondi, but also in the EP spin-off, that brings together the soundtrack’s classic jazz with some of today’s hottest and most acclaimed DJs, producers and remixers.

L.A. Noire Remixed will be released digitally May 17, 2011, and features six ‘30s-‘40s gems from jazz greats Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Jordan, Dinah Washington, Gene Krupa and Lionel Hampton, remixed by Dave Sitek (TV on the Radio), DJ Premier (Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Kanye West), Truth & Soul (Amy Winehouse, Aloe Blacc, Adele), Ticklah (Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings), Midnight Sun (production duo of Midnight Magic and Jessica 6) and Detroit techno/house innovator Moodymann.

The latest installment in the Verve Remixed series, the EP was inspired by the timeless songs in the game. L.A. Noire is a crime thriller that follows a young detective in 1947 Los Angeles as solves cases and rises through the ranks of the LAPD in one of the most violent and corrupt years in the city’s history. L.A. Noire will be released on May 17 for PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft.


ILL BILL VS VINNIE PAZ TOUR ON DECK
The Heavy Metal Kings Tour is a unique opportunity to catch ILL Bill (La Coka Nostra) and Vinnie Paz (Jedi Mind Tricks) performing live together in the UK with a set list that will feature songs spanning more than a decade's worth of indie hip hop classics from their combined catalogs, including songs from their solo albums as well as tracks from Jedi Mind Tricks, Non-Phixion, La Coka Nostra, Army of the Pharaohs, and their new Heavy Metal Kings album.

In two strikingly similar careers that seem to parallel each other at every turn, these charismatic rappers have forged bodies of work that are some of the most respected in hip hop. Bloody tracks, devastated mics and shattered perceptions have all been left in the wake of these two dynamic MCs. Bill and Paz are well known for a penchant for heavy beats and viciously rugged rhymes; both are known for their incendiary live performances, and this was an inevitable collision.

Both MCs have followed similar, unrelenting paths to their current destinations; each having garnered heavy respect throughout the '90s during a prolific period of independent Hip Hop. Bill with Uncle Howie Records and Paz with his home-grown Enemy Soil Records. From the '90s into the new millennium, Ill Bill and Paz produced a string of underground classics with Paz's memorable work as the long-time leader of Philadelphia's Jedi Mind Tricks and Bill's Brooklyn-bred powerhouse Non Phixion. Both groups were responsible for creating music that has since been described as classic: Non Phixion's The Future is Now and JMT's Violent By Design. Paz and Bill have also launched successful solo careers and have put in work with supergroups such as Paz's battle-tested outfit Army of the Pharaohs, and Ill Bill's collective of legendary MCs: La Coka Nostra.

Like their name, The Heavy Metal Kings display all the slick, rhythmical timings of Hip Hop while incorporating the adrenaline and utter desecration of Metal. Together their vision and sound are allowed the full breadth of expression and the sound result is a collection of music that lives up to its name with the kind of blood-curdling sonic bombast that is only found in genres like Heavy Metal and Hardcore.

London
Dates: Wednesday 11th May 2011 Times: 19:00 - 23:00
Venue: The Underworld, 174 Camden High Street, NW1 0NE
Support: Rhyme Asylum, Grit Grammar & Phoenix DaIcefire
Tickets: £17 in advance - SeeTickets, Ticketline, Stargreen, TicketWeb, Skiddle, & The Underworld


Manchester
Dates: Thursday 12th May 2011 Times: 19:00 - 23:00
Venue: Moho Live, Tib Street, M4 1SH
Support: Rhyme Asylum, D'Lyfa Reilly & United Blood
Tickets: £16 in advance -Ticketline, Skiddle, Picadilly Records, Eastern Bloc

BIG WILL REPPIN ASIAN HIP HOP
Will "Big Will" Zhong, born November 5, 1984 is an Asian American entrepreneur, entertainment producer and music artist. The name "Big Will" was a name given by his close friends.

In April of 2011, Big Will released his biggest single up to date, "Anything You Like," through Rude Boy (his record label), the first single from his new upcoming album. A music video was also released as a follow up to the song which is creating international buzz. For more information on Rude Boy, please visit www.rudeboyforever.com.

Big Will not a new name in the music department. With the release of his debut album Man In The Mirror in 2010, he has definitely made his mark as a pioneer and top selling Asian American entertainer. Along with the album, his first radio single, "So Hot In Here" was released prior in 2008.

In 2010, his fourth commercial hit "I Can Tell," released under WWS Music Group reached great success world wide including Asia and Europe; with a heavy radio impact in the U.S. and overseas

DRAKE FILLS IN FOR KANYE WEST - TAKES PAY CUT.
Former NBC honcho Jeff Zucker threw a lavish bar mitzvah at the Four Seasons over the weekend for his son Andrew. Sources said the Zucker family at first wanted Kanye West to perform at the party -- but West demanded $1 million for the gig. Sources said organizers balked at West's price and briefly considered offering him $800,000, but instead went with the more reasonably priced Drake. So instead, Drake filled in for alot less..

The bash, cost well over an estimated $250,000, included a performance by rapper Drake, "tremendous" food and fine wines -- and customized Converse sneakers handed out as gifts to guests.

Fifty of Andrew's friends dined on sushi, smoked salmon, macaroni and cheese and a raw bar in the restaurant's Grill Room, usually filled with titans of business during normal lunch hours. (We're assuming Andrew got one of the power banquettes along the wall reserved for the Four Seasons' top VIPs.) Grown-up guests, including Katie Couric, dined on rack of lamb, roast chicken, steak, asparagus and "every type of pasta you could think of," during the rocking event. The kids also enjoyed a photo booth, an iPad station where they could, say, update their Facebook statuses, a bracelet-making lounge and a customized-phone-cover station. Source: NY post

LUPE FIASCO PERFORMED INTIMATE SHOW.
Lupe Fiasco performed an intimate, half-hour show the other night at the P.C. Richard & Son Theater in TriBeCa as part of Clear Channel's iHeartRadio Live series. "People know me to be the backpack rapper, the skateboard dude," Fiasco said. "They know me to be, like, the weird dude, the Muslim rapper, whatever. But they also know me as the political rapper, spin that social commentary we need that at times like these." Fiasco knows about politics . . . he very publicly groused about Atlantic Records' interference in advance of his latest release, "Lasers."

WARNER MUSIC SELLS FOR 3.3 BILLION!
Warner Music has been bought by an industrial group whose holdings range from oil and aluminium firms to the UK's Top Up TV. Access Industries, run by Russian born billionaire Len Blavatnik, paid $3.3bn in cash for the world's third largest music firm. The purchase includes WMG's entire recorded music and music publishing businesses. Blavatnik beat out more than a dozen other suitors including Sony Music Group, supermarket magnate Ron Burkle, Platinum Equity, Live Nation Entertainment and investment firm Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, whose unsolicited offer late last year kicked off the auction process. KKR's partner in the bidding was German music company Bertelsmann. The deal calls for Warner to receive $8.25 per share, a 34% premium over the company's average stock price over the last six weeks, the company said. It's also 75% higher than Warner's closing price on Jan. 20, the day before the New York Times published news of the bidding. Warner's share closed at $7.90 on Thursday.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, WMG's stockholders will receive $8.25 per share in cash at the closing of the transaction. WMG's Board of Directors approved the transaction and recommended that WMG's stockholders approve the transaction. In addition to stockholder approval, the transaction is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. It is anticipated that the transaction will be completed in the third calendar quarter of this year.

WMG Chairman/CEO Edgar Bronfman, Jr. said, "We believe this transaction is an exceptional value-maximizing opportunity that serves the best interests of stockholders as well as the best interests of music fans, our recording artists and songwriters, and the wonderful people of this company. We are delighted that Access will be the new steward of this outstanding business. They are supportive of the company's vision, growth strategy and artists, while bringing a fresh entrepreneurial perspective and expertise in technology and media. Most importantly, Access supports Warner Music's commitment to our recording artists and songwriters who are the foundation of our current and future success."

Len Blavatnik, Chairman and founder of Access Industries, said, "I am excited to extend my longstanding involvement with Warner Music. It is a great company with a strong heritage and home to many exceptional artists. I look forward to working closely with the many talented people within the company."

Jorg Mohaupt, Head of Media at Access Industries, added, "The music industry is at an inflection point where digital adoption is rapidly gaining momentum. Warner Music, as one of the most progressive forces in the music business, is well positioned to capture this opportunity for music creation and distribution."

Scott Sperling, Presiding Director of WMG, said, "It has been our great pleasure working with the extraordinary team at Warner Music over these past seven years. The company has managed to significantly increase market share and profitability during our ownership period and consistently outperformed even during a challenging period for the industry. Len Blavatnik and Access are likewise deeply committed to the music business and we know that we will be leaving the company in good hands."

Following the closing of the transaction, WMG will become a privately held company and its stock will no longer be traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The company will retain the Warner Music Group name and will continue to operate out of its current facilities. Thomas H. Lee Partners L.P. and its affiliates, Bain Capital Partners, LLC and its affiliates, and Edgar Bronfman, Jr., who together hold approximately 56 percent of the company's outstanding shares, have entered into a voting agreement with Access under which those stockholders have agreed to vote their shares in favor of the merger.

MTV CHAIRMAN STEPS DOWN.
Viacom announced that Judy McGrath is resigning from her position as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of its MTV Networks division. No successor will be named. McGrath, who began her career with the company as a copywriter at MTV in 1981, was named Chairman and CEO of MTV Networks in July 2004.

"The people of MTV Networks have always been singularly important to me. Together we have built world-class brands that connect with fans from kid to adulthood, from SpongeBob to Hot In Cleveland, from Unplugged to The Daily Show. We have attracted and nurtured the best talent in the world, and I know that will always be a hallmark of the company. Creatively, financially, all the brands and businesses are in wonderful shape today. I leave with pride, joy and gratitude for the ride of a lifetime. I especially thank my friends and colleagues on the senior team, who will continue to lead a kick-ass organization. They have my respect and affection, always," McGrath said in a statement.

With the departure of McGrath, the executives in charge of MTV Networks' operating units: Doug Herzog, President, MTVN Entertainment Group; Van Toffler, President, MTVN Music & Logo Group; and Cyma Zarghami, President, Nickelodeon & MTVN Kids & Family Group, will report directly to Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman.

KURUPT, JAYO FELONY, SIR JINX, MC EIHT, THA CHILL, GANGSTA, KING T, AND DJ BATTLECAT ALIGN FOR NEW GROUP - 1ST GENERATION -
Los Angeles radio station KDAY hosted the West Coast old school reunion show, Krush Groove, last week at the Gibson Amphitheater marking the official introductory performance of the West coast powerhouse group 1st Generation. Comprised of West coast legends Kurupt, Jayo Felony, MC Eiht, Chill, Gangsta, King T, Sir Jinx and DJ Battlecat, 1st Generation is an amalgamation of some of the most critically acclaimed emcee's and producers in West coast history.

The new indie label, Uneek Music is setting the standard of excellence with 1st Generation as the lead project coming from the label. The group is the brainchild of members Tha Chill (Compton's Most Wanted) and Gangsta, (Tha Comrads) who began reaching out to their circle of friends about reuniting the West and once the word had spread the "Magnificent 7," as Chill describes them, answered the call. "We wanted to do something massive for the coast." says Chill, "So we had to figure out which attitudes and talent could mix and make the group work, and once we got off the phone with the homies, we met at Kurupt's house and made the first song, and all the professional creative ideas meshed and we knew we were on the right track."

With dynamic producer/DJ Battlecat on board bringing the sound of the West and the art of djing from the infamous KDAY Mixmasters and Uncle Jams Army days, 1st Generation is reflective of the entire culture. The first single "Killing Me Softly" delivers bar after bar of ether as each artist shows how they gained a place in West coast's multi platinum catalogue of hits.

"When you feel like something is right then it feels natural." explains Jayo Felony of his involvement in the group. "The streets have been wanting this for a long time for us all to come together and regardless of where we're all from or what our backgrounds are, we're all on a positive note and we're trying to push the line and stop some this bullsh** that's going on in these streets. I'm a little older now and a lot more mature than I was when I came in the game but I know that all of us coming together as one, helps to makes us as individuals bigger by being a part of a group like this."

Currently represented by Uneek Music, the group is fielding deal offers but until they find a permanent home they plan to keep feeding the people what they want with that good classic music. Everyone in this group is going to drop something so spectacular every time it drops that its ridiculous" says Kurupt, "Everyone on this team has perfected their craft and that's what makes us the first generation of this game.We all have made an imprint on this game and helped to make the west coast rap scene what it is today."

Uneek Music was founded by industry vet and community activist Eugene “Big U” Henley. The label houses an arsenal of new and upcoming talent from across the country and is currently looking for acts in all genres to join the fold. Notable releases coming soon from Uneek Music include R&B Singer Sydney Arcane, and rappers Spiffie, Paccman, Sandman Neguse, Short Stop and Blu Sky, Rezee The Boss of Watts, Buc Adam, and Krita-Cali Acclaimed.

B.O.M.B. FEST GOIN DOWN.
Artists on Deck: Snoop Dogg Wiz Khalifa Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Weezer, Coheed And Cambria, Neon Trees, State Radio, George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic, The New Pornographers, Shpongle presents The Shpongletron Experience, Against Me!, Best Coast, HEALTH, RJD2, Titus Andronicus, The Cool Kids, Wavves, EOTO, Portugal. The Man, Man Man, Dum Dum Girls, The Felice Brothers, Dam-Funk, Freelance Whales, Holy F**k, and tons more...

Taking place on May 28-29 at the Comcast Theatre in Hartford, CT, B.O.M.B. Fest will unite local bands across the East Coast in one place for festival patrons. Featuring a diverse group of bands that range from alternative hip-hop to angular post punk, B.O.M.B. Fest’s local stage will bring together bands from across the musical spectrum. With local acts performing side-by-side with likes of Weezer, Snoop Dogg, and Wiz Khalifa throughout the festival, this robust local talent will give the East Coast a musical experience unlike any other to come before it.

Returning for it’s third year to Connecticut, B.O.M.B. Fest is the brainchild of Frank Bombaci, Sr. and Frank Bombaci, Jr., who have dedicated themselves to providing the East Coast with a premiere music festival that focuses not only on the best national talent, but also on the budding stars that will eventually follow in their footsteps. Long-time supporters of local music, the Bombacis have followed this vision since the festival’s beginning in 2008. " Live local music is a very focused part of the overall non-profit mission of Bring Our Music Back Inc!” Frank Bombaci Sr. said. “There are amazing talented young musicians that need to be heard and we take pride in incorporating that mission into B.O.M.B. Fest.”

In addition to national and local talent, festival guests will also experience delicious food vendors, unique craft stations, and one-of a kind art installations, all complemented by Comcast Theatre’s professional amenities — clean bathrooms, spacious parking lots and state-of-the-art sound systems. And all proceeds from this year’s festival will got towards providing music scholarships, music enrichment and education programs, music and healing initiatives and community support and outreach. Last year’s festival raised money for The Hole in the Wall Gang Camps, Connecticut Children's Hospital, YPI Camp, and The Lyman Allyn Museum.

WAKA FLOCKA CLEARED ON DRUG CHARGES
A grand jury has reportedly cleared rapper Waka Flocka Flame of all drug charges stemming from a raid on his Georgia home late last year due to a lack of evidence. Atlanta police went to the rapper's home on Dec. 16, 2010, according to TMZ, and after confiscating a number of illegal items, issued an arrest warrant for him.

The rapper, whose real name is Juaquin Malphurs, faced charges of possessing marijuana and a controlled substance, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possessing a firearm during a crime. The rapper was also charged with breaking the state's anti-gang laws and violating probation for driving on a suspended license. The non-drug charges were dropped before the case went before the grand jury, according to TMZ. He was on probation for a charge of possession of a sawed-off shotgun.

HALLE BERRY AND FERGIE TO RECEIVE PRESTIGIOUS PERFUME AWARDS.
The Fragrance Foundation hosts VIP's from the fragrance industry as well as superstars from stage, screen and TV at annual FiFi® Awards Celebration. Over 800 guests mix and mingle with the outstanding talents being honored on May 25th at Lincoln Center. 38 coveted crystal statuettes will be awarded, recognizing their inspirational contributions to the fragrance industry. Attending this year's celebration and receiving FiFi® Awards are:

Halle Berry, WHO IS NAMED 2011 FiFi® Fragrance Celebrity of the Year Award

This award, presented by the Foundation's Board of Directors is to honor a celebrity who has embraced and promoted the world of fragrance over a period of time. It celebrates the ongoing success and support given by the celebrity to the industry and therefore attracting consumers to the category. Academy Award winning actress, beauty and fashion icon, Halle Berry has created a collection of fragrances that have all been infused with her unique vision and favorite ingredients. "For years I have created my own personal scents by mixing and layering fragrances, trying to come up with something unique and different. It's a wonderful form of self-expression and I am thrilled to share these fragrances with consumers worldwide," said Ms. Berry. "I am very honored to receive this FiFi® award. I truly believe that fragrance makes women feel beautiful and confident."

Fergie, WHO IS NAMED 2011 FiFi® New Fragrance Celebrity of the Year Award

Selected by the Foundation's Board of Directors, this award recognizes a celebrity whose very first fragrance has enjoyed instant success with the consumer and brought recognition to the fragrance category. Inspired by the multi-talented star's spontaneous attitude and belief in herself, "It feels unbelievable for me to have the biggest launch in Avon's history," explains Fergie. "I am extremely passionate about my projects and put a lot of energy into the development and execution-- Outspoken was no exception. I'm so excited to be receiving the FiFi® "New Fragrance Celebrity of the Year" award, and it feels amazing to be honored by the industry."

FREE BLACK EYED PEAS CONCERT ON DECK.
Chase Presents The Black Eyed Peas in a Free Ticketed Concert at Central Park to Benefit the Robin Hood Foundation on June 9. This is a ticketed event – all concertgoers must have a ticket to enter and backpacks and other carry alongs are not permitted. 54,000 free tickets will be available only through random giveaway beginning on May 11. A small number of VIP tickets will be available for sale. Tickets are limited to ensure the safety of all fans attending the event.

"We are thrilled to follow in the footsteps of icons such as Simon & Garfunkel and Diana Ross by performing a free concert for our fans in Central Park," said Fergie. "But more importantly, we are performing to benefit Robin Hood's efforts to help those living in poverty in New York City and to help disadvantaged youth in New York with the launch of our Peapod Academy."

The concert will raise funds and awareness for Robin Hood, a public charity targeting poverty in New York City by funding and partnering with the best and most effective programs. Robin Hood's grants and guidance support food pantries, homeless shelters, health clinics and provide work-force training for impoverished New Yorkers in the five boroughs. As part of the partnership with The Black Eyed Peas, Robin Hood will fund the opening of three Peapod Academies in New York City over the coming years, which will support disadvantaged youth in New York City by providing music and artistic education, such as music engineering and mixing and video editing, among other opportunities.

"Robin Hood is humbled by the commitment of The Black Eyed Peas and Chase to help the 1.8 million people in New York City that fall below the poverty line," said David Saltzman, Executive Director of Robin Hood. "As six-time Grammy Award winners and 30+ million album sellers, The Peas are superstars in the global music industry and Central Park provides the perfect stage for them to help us raise awareness and funds for our neighbors in need."

"Live music has a rich tradition in Central Park and we are pleased to add the Black Eyed Peas to a list that already includes Barbra Streisand, Elton John and Sting, among many others," said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. "This free concert on the historic Great Lawn celebrates the best of New York City and will help Robin Hood continue its work to fight poverty."

As the exclusive radio partner, Clear Channel will promote the concert on-air through ticket giveaways and public service announcements across five of Clear Channel's New York City Stations: Z100, 103.5 KTU, Q104.3, 106.7 Lite FM and Power 105.1. The Concert 4 NYC is being produced by Robin Hood in association with William Derella and David Sonenberg of DAS Communications, Ltd., the management company for The Black Eyed Peas.

WARNER MUSIC DEAL TO CLOSE THIS WEEK?
Final buyout bids for Warner Music Group are due today, Monday May 2 and the company could be sold by the end of this week in a deal valued at over $3 billion, according to Industry Insiders.. The third round of bids is led by two competing financial groups Len Blavatnik's Access Industry and a joint bid by Tom and Alec Gores' Platinum Equity and Gores Group, according to sources. The Warner Music sale process is taking place against a backdrop of ongoing declines in music sales as executives struggle to figure out new business models to guarantee the future of the industry. While Warner Music continues to generate reasonable levels of cash on its balance sheet -- a key metric for investors -- it will still be seen as a risky investment in a very tough market.

Two weeks ago the second-round bids came in around $3 billion according to three people who asked not to be named as the process is confidential. Ron Burkle's Yucaipa Co, dropped out of the bidding late last week, the first person said. Matching bids from two major music names fell short of what Warner's board was looking for from strategic buyers in the second round but there is still a chance that rival music companies will be involved at a later stage in picking over some of Warner Music assets.

While the final round bids are due early this week, there is no certainty a deal will get done, the first person said. All of the parties declined to comment.

Warner Music's board effectively put itself up for sale in January when it appointed Goldman Sachs and AGM Partners to assess interest from external parties. Since then its shares have risen nearly 60 percent to $7.47 at the end last week. One reason why the Warner Music board is open to moving ahead with financial bidders is because it fears an expensive delay in the process by regulators if the company is bought by another music company, the first source said.

Regulators have denied music deals in the past including at least one of several attempts to combine Warner Music and EMI over the last decade. Warner's board, led by Chief Executive Edgar Bronfman, had demanded a premium from the music companies for their second-round bids. BMG Music Rights, a joint music venture between German media giant Bertelsmann and private equity firm KKR, gave up on staying in the bidding process early last week declining to raise its bid any higher.

BMG Music could still be involved in the process said a third person, but it is now likely to wait till the end to see who wins out and then try to see what publishing assets it might be able to buy from the new owners. Sony Corp is also still on the sidelines of the process, according to another source. But it faces the same high hurdles from Warner's board. "The key issues for Warner Music's board are price and simplicity of the transaction process," said one of the people familiar with the talks.

RICK ROSS TO WALK PACMAN IN THE RING.

Rick Ross is set to walk Manny Pacquiao to the ring for his May 7 fight with Shane Mosley. "I'm walking homie to the ring..MAYBACH7TH!! PACQUIAO SELFMADE!!" Ross tweeted. Ross has engaged in feuds with both Floyd Mayweather, Pacquiao’s main rival, and Mayweather’s close friend 50 Cent in the past. This will be the first time Pacquiao has done a ring walk with a rapper. At press time, neiher Pacquiao or Ross has said what music will be used.

BONE-THUG-N-HARMONY HIT WITH A 27 MILLION DOLLAR LAWSUIT.
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony are facing a $27 million lawsuit from a former associate (Roland Brown) who alleges he is owed royalties. The suit was filed last week, Thursday (April 28), in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, and in it, the group is being accused of breach of contract over unpaid songwriting royalties from the 1996 Bone spin-off Mo Thugs album, ‘Mo Thugs Family Scriptures.’ Brown claims that he was never paid for two songs on the platinum-selling album, “Take Your Time” and “Here With Me,” both of which were performed by disbanded female R&B group Tre. While it is unclear exactly what the plaintiff’s contribution was, Brown is listed in the May 31, 1997 issue of Billboard Magazine as a songwriter on an extremely varied list of tracks, including ‘In My Bed’ by Dru Hill, ‘Nothin’ but the Cavi Hit’ by Mack 10 & Tha Dogg Pound, and ‘The Ultimate’ by Artifacts.

2011 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS ON DECK WITH NICKI MINAJ, CEE LO, RIHANNA, J-LO, AND BEP.
Nicki Minaj and Cee Lo have been added to the lineup of performers scheduled to take the stage at the upcoming Billboard Music Awards. Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez and the Black Eyed Peas, along with Miami rapper Pitbull were booked earlier this month to take the stage for the 2011 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas on May 22.

The 2011 Billboard Music Awards will air on ABC live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, in partnership with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. The announcement was made by Richard D. Beckman, CEO of Prometheus Global Media, which owns Billboard. The show is scheduled to air on Sunday, May 22nd, 2011 and will become one of the most important music forums for artists on television. The live broadcast will be co-executive produced by Mr. Beckman and Don Mischer of Don Mischer Productions. "This show marks the first of several broadcast platforms we plan to build around the Billboard franchise," said Beckman. "We have an incredible network partner and with Don Mischer, one of the finest producers in the world. We look forward to entertaining music fans with Billboard's own rendition of a televised celebration of music."

The Billboard Music Awards will take a holistic look at artist performance based on key fan interactions with music, including album, single and digital sales, touring, streaming and social interactions on MySpace, Facebook and many of the other most popular online destinations for music. These measurements are tracked year-round by Billboard and it's data partners.

The awards will be based on the reporting period of February 28, 2010 through March 1, 2011. Top artists will be recognized in a variety of genres, for example R&B, Rap, Pop, Country, Rock, Latin and Alternative. Such recognition will be determined and authenticated by Billboard.

"We're thrilled to partner with Billboard on the Billboard Music Awards. ABC is already the destination for such prestigious music events as The American Music Awards and The CMA Awards, and we're proud the Billboard Music Awards will now be calling us their home," said Vicki Dummer, SVP, Alternative Series, Specials and Late Night, ABC Entertainment Group. "We see this marquee event as a valuable asset and perfect opportunity for us to launch in May."

"Las Vegas is a world-class destination known for hosting special events," said Rossi Ralenkotter, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. "Millions of visitors enjoy our entertainment offerings every year and having the Billboard Music Awards return to Las Vegas gives them one more reason to visit."

GUINESS BOOK FREESTYLE RECORD GETS BROKE.
Guiness Book of World Records have opened the books for Chidera “Chiddy” Anamege of the hip-hop group Chiddy Bang. He broke the Guinness World Record for the longest freestyle. Chiddy freestyled non-stop for nine hours 18 minutes and 22 seconds. Before it all went down, He said, "I just gotta get a good night's rest, eat a healthy breakfast," he said. "The rest should just be history. We're just gonna try to make it and break it at the same time." The current record was for nine hours, 15 minutes and 15 seconds and was held by a rapper named M-Eighty out of Indianapolis. PEEP THE FREESTYLE HERE

PRODIGY GIVES JAY-Z A BEATDOWN?
Prodigy of Mobb Deep revealed to the audience during a book signing in Washington D.C. with author/professor Michael Eric Dyson, that he once almost gave Jay-Z a beat down outside of Justin’s Restaurant in New York City. “We surrounded the front door so he couldn’t get out without seeing us. So I’m standing there waiting to see him and finally he comes from back somewhere,” said Prodigy. “Him and Jermaine Dupri come walking. Jermaine sees us and he was out. Jay’s standing there with two bodyguards approaching us… SEE THE FOOTAGE HERE

ASCAP NAMES SONGWRITERS OF THE YEAR.
Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald and Max Martin were named songwriters of the year at the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers' 28th annual Pop Music Awards on Wednesday night. The duo tied for writing five of the most performed songs of 2010, including "California Gurls" (Katy Perry with Snoop Dogg), "Dynamite" (Taio Cruz) and "Teenage Dream" (Perry). Dr. Luke also won for Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA" and "Tik Tok" by Ke$ha, who presented his award. Martin also won for "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" by Usher with Pitbull and "Whataya Want From Me" by Adam Lambert. Lambert presented to Martin, who made a rare appearance to accept the award. Dr. Luke has had 20 No. 1 songs in the past five years and has received 17 ASCAP Awards, including songwriter of the year last year, while Martin previously won the award in 1999, 2000 and 2001. The ceremony took place at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel.

BEYONCE SLAPPED WITH $100 MILLION LAWSUIT
Beyonce was slapped with a $100 million lawsuit this week accusing her of being the “diva grinch” who ruined Christmas. The singer was sued in Manhattan Supreme Court by video game company Gate Five, which teamed up with her for a dance game called “Starpower: Beyoncé.” The game was due out this November, the suit says, but went belly-up when Beyonce asked for more money last December. The suit calls it “a bad faith breach of contract so callous that, she destroyed Gate Five’s business, and drove 70 people into unemployment, the week before Christmas.” Gate Five CEO told The Post’s Dareh Gregorian, “It was a very shocking and disappointing turn of events that no one saw coming, and now we’re all trying to pick up the pieces.” The suit claims that Beyoncé had “already negotiated lavish compen sation” for the game, made an “extortionate de mand for entirely new compensation” at a “crucial moment in the project’s develop ment,” causing the main financier to back out. Reps for Beyoncé did not get back to us.

EMI’S FAMILY RAISE $940,000 TO SUPPORT JAPANESE RED CROSS DISASTER RELIEF EFFORTS
An auction of exclusive personal items and memorabilia donated by EMI’s family of artists and songwriters has raised $940,000 in funds to help the Red Cross support people affected by last month’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The charity auction, which launched on eBay’s worldwide sites on April 5, attracted bids totaling $470,000 from music fans around the world. All the money from winning bidders will be doubled through a donation by EMI.

EMI Group CEO Roger Faxon commented: “What a wonderful result!! It was made possible by the extraordinary generosity of so many members of the EMI family, artists, songwriters, friends and staff alike. It has been a privilege for all of us at EMI to have participated in this effort to raise money to help the people of Japan who have suffered so much.”

An original Birkin handbag, donated by Jane Birkin and used by the actress and singer for many years, raised more than $163,000 at the auction. A 1987 Ferrari, owned by Daft Punk and used in their movie ‘Electroma’ raised almost $42,000, while a diamante costume head used by DJ and producer Deadmau5 was won with a bid of more than $19,000. Much sought-after items sold at the auction also included a Steinway grand piano used by artists including Bono and Eric Clapton ($14,878), a jacket worn by Chris Martin onstage during Coldplay’s Viva La Vida world tour ($14,060), a private dinner with Herbert Grönemeyer ($10,792), signed copies of David Bowie’s entire catalogue ($10,138), handwritten lyrics by Brian Wilson to ‘God Only Knows’ and a platinum album for the Beach Boys’ ‘Pet Sounds’ ($7,643), a day on tour with Simple Minds ($6,891), an original handmade "ZERO" shirt worn by the Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan ($6,744), an original painting from Iron Maiden ($6,466), a cupcake trampoline used onstage on Katy Perry’s current ‘California Dreams’ tour ($5,075), and a signed guitar offered by Japanese musician Miyavi ($8,992).

The auction was supported by more than 200 artists including 30 Seconds To Mars, Aaron Neville, Alice In Chains, Angela Gheorghiu, Anne Murray, Arcade Fire, B-52s, Bat For Lashes, Beastie Boys, The Beatles, Billy Idol, Bret Michaels, Celtic Woman, The Chemical Brothers, Chris Tomlin, Corinne Bailey Rae, Darius Rucker, David Crowder Band, David Gilmour, David Guetta, Dean Martin, Depeche Mode, Dierks Bentley, Duffy, Duran Duran, Eric Church, Family Force 5, A Fine Frenzy, Good Charlotte, Gorillaz, Hot Chip, Helene Fischer, Huey Lewis & The News, Immodesty Blaize, Jeff Bridges, JLS, Jonas Brothers, Juan Luis Guerra, Julien Clerc, Keith Urban, Keren Ann, The Kooks, Kylie Minogue, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan, Lykke Li, Marisa Monte, Megadeth, Melanie C, Michael Franti, Norah Jones, Pat Benatar, Pet Shop Boys, Philippe Jaroussky, Priscilla Ahn, The Prodigy, Professor Green, Raphael, Rosanne Cash, Scouting For Girls, Selena, Sick Puppies, Simply Red, Slash, Sting, Tinie Tempah, Tiziano Ferro, Vasco Rossi, VV Brown and Willie Nelson.

EMINEM ON DECK FOR LOLLAPALOOZA.
Perry Farrell has pulled out all the stops for the 20th anniversary of his Lollapalooza festival, and has booked Eminem as one of the headliners. The big event, takes place at Chicago's Grant Park from August 5 to 7, also will feature Cee Lo Green, Deadmau5, Damian Marley & Nas, Big Audio Dynamite, Deftones, and many, many more. This year will mark the first ever Lollapalooza appearance for Eminem. Speaking about Eminem, Farrell told MTV, "He's always put together great productions for his shows, and this is something that we look for at Lollapalooza — not just to go out there and perform, but to really give a show." As for the Foos, Farrell said he expects to see "blood, sweat, guts and hair."

"I'd say the biggest evolution, shall we say, in Grant Park this year is going to be the 'Perry's Area.' I kind of smile, because they have previously called it 'Perry's Lounge.' I don't know where they got this 'lounge' tag to it," he explained. "It's the dance tent, and it will house 15,000 people. So 15,000 fist-pumping people in a lounge there to see people like Steve Angello and Joachim Garraud — that's a place you're going to want to hang out throughout the weekend."

EMINEM GOES DOUBLE DIAMOND! MAKES HISTORY.
The Marshall Mathers LP, Eminem’s sophomore album, released on Aftermath/Interscope Records, has officially received the diamond certification from the RIAA. Released in May 2000, and selling 1.7 million units in the first week of sales alone, the certification means that the LP sold more than 10 million units in the U.S. alone. The Eminem Show, (Em's third album for Aftermath/Interscope), also went diamond. This recent certification makes Eminem the only artist in rap history with two diamond plaques.

ELZHI RIDES NAS’ “ILLMATIC” INTO A CLASSIC OF HIS VERY OWN WITH “ELMATIC”
To say that Elzhi’s “ELmatic” has been a labor of love would be an understatement. The idea was first broached years ago by DJ House Shoes and discussed and bandied about incessantly since. Though the concept was unrealized for what seemed like ages; years went by, life got in the way, recording and touring with Slum Village got in the way and as more time passed, desperate fans continued to wait (albeit impatiently) for news and updates on the project.

Well, at last, the long wait is over, as Elzhi has finally completed “ELmatic” and the long-wait fans endured will prove to be well-worth it, as Elzhi will release the project for free on 5-10-2011; the LP is being released for free by Elzhi as a dedication to his fans for their patience.

Nas tributes have been done before, but it’s safe to say, never in the manner in which Elzhi attacks it. “ELmatic” is a game-changing effort on a few different levels, not only is it genre-defying, but it finds Elzhi in his lyrical prime and rather then expressing himself over Nas’ original instrumentals, Elzhi enlisted the famous Detroit ensemble Will Sessions (a six-piece band who has cultivated a reputation in the Detroit area for being able to meticulously replay Nas’ instrumentals from scratch and who produced the endeavor) and recorded the entire project with only live-instrumentation, which gives the project an undeniably plush and unique sound and dare we say even adds an updated flair to the original’s hall-of-fame lineup of producers. These new flourishes can be heard as Will Sessions add even more instrumental interludes (sometimes mid-track) and over special drops from artists such as Pete Rock and DJ House Shoes. While guest features are sparse, Royce 5’9 and Mint Condition’s Stokely both grace “Life’s A Bitch” and Amp Fiddler plays keyboards on “The World is Yours”.

While immersing himself into the recording of “ELmatic,” Elzhi underwent a series of professional and personal struggles that have made this project even more gratifying for him. After a nearly decade long stint as a member of the beloved group Slum Village and numerous hit singles (including “Selfish” f/Kanye West and John Legend and “Tainted” f/Dwele ) in July of 2010 Elzhi was forced to re-start his solo career after discovering a variety of unfair business practices by Slum Village’s record label and T3. These professional and personal trails and tribulations are certainly an audible under-current on “ELmatic,” as it gives the project that much more urgency and edge; and undisputable air of rebirth.

With the support of his new management by music executive and artist manager Jae Barber of The JAE.B Group and Will Sessions “ELmatic” is finally completed. Fans can anticipate a newly reinvigorated Elzhi and one who is anxious to share his talents with the world. PEEP DETROIT STATE OF MIND HERE

EMINEM AND ROYCE 5'9" RETURN TOGETHER FOR NEW PROJECT.
The Bad Meets Evil teaming in the late '90s of underground Detroit MC's Eminem and Royce da 5'9" became a rap legend of unfulfilled promise. Now, a decade after they last recorded together, Eminem and Royce da 5'9" have revived their Bad Meets Evil project, today officially announcing that an EP on Shady/Interscope Records will be released June 14th.

"Royce and I started hanging out again and inevitably that led us back into the studio," said Eminem. "At first we were just seeing where it went without any real goal in mind, but the songs started to come together crazy, so here we are."

Added Royce, "I'm excited to see this project come to fruition considering the long lapse in time between when we worked before and now. We had a blast doing it and we just hope everyone enjoys it while we're working on the 'Monster' that will be the Slaughterhouse album. #TeamShady."

The two first met in 1997 at a concert in Detroit and soon formed Bad Meets Evil (Royce as Bad and Eminem as Evil). But they released just a few recordings, including the song "Bad Meets Evil" on Eminem's major label debut, The Slim Shady LP and a heralded independent Bad Meets Evil 12" featuring the now underground classic, "Scary Movies." The pair went their separate ways in their solo careers only to be separated by a reluctant feud, thus making it the last time they would be heard together for several years. Sadness over the tragic shooting death of mutual friend Proof in 2006 led to mended fences with Eminem's group D12, which prompted an eventual reconciliation between the two rappers. Eminem and Royce were finally once again on speaking terms after Royce was featured on D12's 2008 mixtape Return Of The Dozen and later went on tour with the group.

Since then, Royce has continued his acclaimed solo career (three of his four officially released albums, most recently 2009's Street Hop, have cracked the Top 40 R&B/Hip-hop chart). With rap stalwarts Joe Budden, Crooked I and Joell Ortiz, he has also formed Slaughterhouse, recently signed to Eminem's Shady Records. In addition, Slaughterhouse contributed a bonus track to the digital deluxe edition of Eminem's blockbuster 2010 Recovery album.

The bulk of the EP's production was helmed by longtime collaborator and D12 member, Mr. Porter (a/k/a Kon Artis) and also features contributions from Mobb Deep's Havoc, DJ Khalil and Bangladesh among others.

KID CUDI LAUNCHES HIS OWN RECORD LABEL
As Kid Cudi prepares the release of his rock-influenced third album, ‘Wizard,’ the rapper has split with his management, squashed beef with recent Maybach Music signee Wale, quit smoking weed and has now announced that he is changing the name of his new band. During his performance at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City last week, Cudi told the crowd that, while he has changed the name of his band with producer Dot da Genius from Wizard to 2 Be Continuum, the wizardry will not be affected. “I needed something more original, something different, but it’s still wizardry at its finest,” he told MTV. “It’s science. Basically it’s just me and Dot, we been really working hard on this project. I’m really f–king excited for y’all to hear it too. It’s incredible!” He then went on to say that the album will be released on his new imprint, Wicked Awesome Records, and will be “epic, epic.” “I’ve only been playing guitar for nine months but the records have been coming out f—king epic, epic, I’m really excited,” Cudi continued. “We gonna have that first single for y’all soon. This summer.” Kid Cudi’s rock record ‘Wizard’ will be in stores some time this year.

50 CENT HUNTS DOWN ANCESTORS' SLAVE OWNERS
50 Cent travels to the tiny town of Edgefield, SC, in search of his family's past and comes face to face with the brutality of slavery in the original VH1 Rock Doc "50 Cent: The Origin of Me," premiering Monday, May 23 on VH1. During an empowering and emotional voyage, 50 Cent crosses state lines to tell a story of pain, bloodshed, and survival. Like all African Americans, he is the product of a greater journey, one that began thousands of miles away and hundreds of years ago – in slavery. The birthplace of noted segregationist Strom Thurmond, "Bloody Edgefield," as the town was known, bears the scars of a violent and racist past. This is the town where 50 Cent – born Curtis Jackson III – sets out to track his roots. With help from local genealogists and census data, 50 manages to find his great-great-great grandmother Jane Jenkins, who lived and worked as a slave in the mid-1800's.

Along the way, 50 also learns that in the years following the Civil War, his ancestors faced the infamous 'REDSHIRTS', the precursors to the KKK, giving him a new perspective on the violence he encountered as a young man in Queens. As America commemorates the 150th anniversary of that war this spring, the film provides a moving testament to the lines that still divide us.

"50 Cent: The Origin of Me" is the newest film 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.

"50 Cent: The Origin of Me" is a production of VH1, in association with Roadside Entertainment. Brad Abramson, Shelly Tatro and Jeff Olde were executive producers for VH1. Mark Anstendig was a supervising producer for VH1. Ron Yassen directed and executive produced for Roadside Entertainment. Sacha Jenkins executive produced for Roadside Entertainment. David Kamp is a writer and consulting producer on the documentary.

BEATS BY DRE AND CHRYSLER PARTNER UP.
The Chrysler Group and Beats By Dr. Dre have announced a new partnership that will bring Dre's studio quality sound technology into the all-new Chrysler 300S vehicle. The exclusive partnership was announced during Chrysler’s press conference at the 2011 New York Auto Show this week. Dre and Interscope chairman Jimmy Iovine worked side-by-side with an engineering team at Chrysler to create the 10-speaker audio system. “Our partnership with the Chrysler Group will set the bar for the way music should be heard in cars”, said Iovine. This alliance comes after the vehicle giant recently teamed up with Eminem’s Marshall Mathers Foundation, a few months back for the “Imported from Detroit T-Shirts” which geared towards local communities. “Beats By Dr. Dre has always been about restoring the emotional music connection between an artist and the listener, and Chrysler vehicles beginning with the Chrysler 300S will let drivers hear music the way the artists intended,” said Oliver Francois, president and CEO, Chrysler Brand The 2012 Chrysler 300S powered with the Beats By Dr. Dre audio system will arrive nationwide during the fall.

RIHANNA MAKES HISTORY.. AGAIN.
Rihanna's latest single, "S&M," has taken the #1 slot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, giving RiRi her tenth #1 hit single. She makes history as the youngest artist ever to rack up ten #1 hits at just over 23-years-old. Mariah Carey held the previous record when she was 25. Rihanna is also the ninth artist in history to have ten #1 hits, and she is the fifth solo female artist to do so, following Carey (18), Madonna (12), Whitney Houston (11) and Janet Jackson (10). The "S&M" joint also set another record also. Having first reigned atop the Hot 100 in the week of May 13, 2006 with "SOS," the singer now holds the shortest span between a solo artist's first and 10th #1 songs in the chart's 52-year history with a time-line of just four years, 11 months and two weeks. Rihanna trails only The Beatles and The Supremes for the fastest accumulation of 10 Hot 100 #1s, according to Billboard.

BLACK EYED PEAS TO OPEN MUSIC SCHOOL.
The Black Eyed Peas are opening a school which will allow New York City teens to be able to learn video and music production using professional-quality equipment. The six-time Grammy winners announced that their Peapod Foundation together with the Adobe Foundation will open a new Peapod Adobe Youth Voices music and multimedia academy in lower Manhattan. The two foundations already run three Youth Voices academies in California — in Los Angeles, Oakland and Redwood City. The New York academy will offer classes to youth ages 13 to 19 starting this July. Black Eyed Peas star will.i.am explains, "Our passion for music and media was fuelled by many generous people on our road to success. Expanding the network of Peapod Adobe Youth Voices academies enables us to pay it forward, giving more youth the skills and encouragement they need to realize their dreams."

DR. DRE WINS BATTLE AGAINST DEATHROW.
Dr. Dre took label executives to court last year (10), alleging they were improperly selling his 1992 debut online and using his hits in compilations without his authorisation. U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder ruled on Tuesday (April 19) that Death Row Records' bosses do not have the rights to sell the album online and that Dr. Dre has received far less cash than he is due from web sales. The ruling allows Dre to receive 100% of the proceeds, according to Dr. Dre's attorney Howard King. In a statement to the Associated Press, King explains, "For years, Death Row Records forgot about Dre when they continued to distribute his music digitally and combined his hits with weaker Death Row tracks in an attempt to elevate the stature of their other artists. "We are gratified that the federal court has unambiguously declared that Death Row has no right to engage in such tactics, and must hold all proceeds from these illicit distributions in trust for our client."

FRESH NEW TRACKS SPIN ONTO DJ HERO® 2
Three exclusive additions have been added to DJ Hero® 2’s award-winning mix list, Activision Publishing, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) have announced. Available now and featuring remixes of hits from electronic music phenomenon Deadmau5, massive dance party favorite Benny Benassi and international club sensation Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP, the Ultra Mix Pack will get feet moving, have fans up out of their seats and keep the music going until the break of dawn. The Ultra Mix Pack is available on Xbox LIVE® Marketplace for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft for 640 Microsoft Points and on the PlayStation®Store for PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system for $7.99. All tracks are also available as downloadable singles for Wii™ for 300 Wii Points™ each.

CHRIS BROWN GOES GOLD.
Chris Brown's fourth studio album F.A.M.E. (Jive Records) has just been certified gold by the R.I.A.A. just three weeks after its release. The singer/songwriter earned his first chart-topping album debut when F.A.M.E. secured the No. 1 position on the Billboard 200 and the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts with total album sales of over 271K. F.A.M.E. spawned three consecutive No. 1 singles and is the third highest-selling debut album of the year. Brown reached his third successive No. 1 Urban Mainstream with his single "Look At Me Now" featuring Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes. This is the single's 5th consecutive week at No. 1 on the chart and its first week at No. 1 at Rhythmic radio. The video is in rotation on MTV and MTV2 and in the Top 5 on BET's 106 and Park countdown. It was preceded by "Deuces" featuring Tyga and Kevin McCall (which spent 10 weeks at the top of the chart) and "No BS". "Yeah 3X," another track from F.A.M.E., rose to Top 5 at Rhythmic radio. Collectively, the four singles represent combined cumulative digital and mobile sales of over five million. On the heels of the gold certification, Brown just released his new mid-tempo single "She Ain't You" which is already showing early signs of success. The track was # 1 most added at Urban Mainstream and for two weeks in a row a Top 5 greatest gainer at the format. The single will impact at the Rhythmic radio format this week. Brown co-wrote the majority of F.A.M.E., the follow-up to his 2X Grammy-nominated 2009 album, Graffiti. Collaborations on the album include Justin Bieber, Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, and Ludacris, among others.

KANYE SHUTS DOWN COACHELLA.
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival took over the desert in Indio, CA over the weekend, offering three days of star-studded performances with more than 100 acts. The event started on Friday with sets from The Black Keys and Cold War Kids. Cee-Lo Green and Lauryn Hill. Saturday included Erykah Badu, the band featuring Rage Against the Machine's Zach De La Rocha and former Mars Volta drummer Jon Theodore. Sunday included PJ Harvey and the duo of Nas & Damian Marley, who played songs from their collaboration album, Distant Relatives, as well as their solo catalogs. Kanye West stole the show on Sunday with a classic performances. The set began with a troop of tribal dancers who bowed down to a carved stone backdrop before West appeared on top of a crane that stretched over the crowd as he asked, "Can we get much higher?" Kanye performed a number of new joints like "Dark Fantasy" and "Hell Of A Life" from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, as well as "Power," which was lead by fireworks. West continued to roll out the classics like "Jesus Walks," "Monster," "Touch the Sky," "All Falls Down" and "Gold Digger." "All of the Lights" and "Stronger" followed as midnight rolled around, and then the screen announced that "Act 3" was still to come. When 'Ye returned for the encore, he was wearing a red suit for the epic track "Runaway," before he finally poured out his heart for "Hey Mama" as he declared, "This show is dedicated to you, Mama." At the end of it all, 'Ye and his dancers lined the stage and held hands for a triumphant bow, bringing another sweaty and sold-out Coachella festival to a close. SEE THE SHOW HERE

GAME SPEAKS ON ALBUM DELAY.
The Game speaks on delayed “R.E.D.” album and why he feels that Dr. Dre’s highly-anticipated “Detox” album is the reason he can’t get his project released. He told Mtv,“The release date is probably late July or early August, man. I’ll let producer Jimmy Iovine put that red paint on the calendar and give us a specific date,” the Game said. “All I know is that the album is almost finished. Dre is finishing up Detox and then he going to help me finish up mine. I’m like 90, 95 percent done. Just waiting on Dre to finish his project and then come on over and lend his ear and probably mix a couple of songs, especially the ones that he did, and we’re going to see it in stores.”

DJ PAULY D TO SIGN TO G-UNIT?
TMZ is reporting that Pauly D (Jersey Shore) is close to joining forces with G-Unit, that 50 Cent wants to sign him to his record label --a 3-album deal is already on the table. Sources close to negotiations say, the "Jersey Shore" DJ met with 50 and his people in NYC last week -- where they discussed the lucrative record deal ... and also tossed around the idea of a Pauly D merchandise line, specifically Pauly D-brand headphones. Nothing's signed yet -- but according to sources, 50 wants to hammer out the deal ASAP ... before Pauly jets off to Italy to shoot "Jersey Shore" Season 4.

SNOOP GOES ON TILT OVER NAME CHANGE
Snoop Dogg has been told to change the title of his bachelor party anthem dedicated to royal fan Prince William in order to get the joint played on U.S. radio stations. Snoop came up with "Wet" in honor of the British royal's upcoming nuptials to Kate Middleton, insisting he hoped the tune would help the Prince celebrate his final days as a single man. He faced some criticism from radio bosses who refused to play the song on air unless he renamed the track to make it more family-friendly, but the backlash has stunned Snoop - because another single he created with Dr. Dre is all about their love of marijuana. He told Vibe magazine, "I did a song called 'Wet', and these motherf****rs at radio made me change the title to 'Sweat'. I didn't change one line on Kush. I hear that motherf****r on the radio every day, and we're talking about straight smoking dope. I can't be sexy, but I can be drug oriented."

L.A. REID GIVES INSIGHT ON GOING BACK TO LABEL BIZ.
After leaving his post at Island Def Jam last month and inking a deal as a judge for Simon Cowell's X Factor, L.A. Reid says that his hiatus from the record business is only temporary and he'll be announcing another label gig soon. Reid was interviewed by Angie Martinez on Hot 97/New York on Tuesday night, where he confirmed the news. "Listen, I'm nobody's fool, I didn't give up my day job," he said. "I just left, I had to leave Universal Music Group and try my hat on someplace else, that we'll announce, well… we'll announce that in a little while." He said that he did not leave the label because of the job on X Factor, and it is simply "a little bit of a shift." "You're not done with me yet," Reid added. "I'm telling you the truth: I have not been shipped off to TV land. I am a record executive and I shall be right there in your face with my records."

RIHANNA, EMINEM AND GAGA TOP NOMS FOR 2011 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS.
Nominees for the 2011 Billboard Music Awards have been announced during a press conference at the Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Rihanna, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars and Justin Bieber have scooped up the most nominatations. Rihanna was the most-nominated artist overall, with nods in 18 categories, including Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Female Artist, Top R&B Artist and Top Dance/Electronic Artist.. Her smash hit with Eminem, "Love The Way You Lie," is up for six awards. Eminem has been nominated in 16 categories (also thanks to "Love The Way You Lie"), including Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Artist, Top Male Artist and Top Rap Artist. Lady Gaga was nominated in a dozen categories. In the Top Dance/Electronic Album category, Gaga is competing against herself three times over, with The Fame, The Fame Monster and The Remix all nominated. Bruno Mars and Justin Bieber were tied with nominations in 11 categories, including Top New Artist, where they battle against Ke$ha, Nicki Minaj and Taio Cruz.

FBI RELEASES TUPAC FILES TO PUBLIC.

A week after the FBI released a 600-page document about the investigation of Notorious BIG's murder, the FBI has now released a document about Tupac Shakur's death. This document (102 pages) mostly centers on Shakur's relationship with the Jewish Defense League, an organization that was known to shakedown hip-hop artists in the 1990s by claiming that their lives were endangered. The scheme reportedly involved an anonymous subject making death threats against well-known rap artists such as Shakur and Eazy-E by telephone, at which point the JDL would step in and offer protection services to the targeted superstars for a “fee.”
CHECK OUT THE REPORT HERE


MATT ALONZO DIRECTS WORLD'S 1ST MUSIC VIDEOS PRODUCED EXCLUSIVELY FOR A PRODUCTION MUSIC LIBRARY
EXTREME MUSIC, the production music arm of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, releases Urban Ammo 2, it was announced today by Russell Emanuel, CEO and President of Extreme Music. The release is produced, composed and performed by Westcoast Vet, Xzibit, multi-platinum heavyweight of the MTV generation. Xzibit is renowned as a frontline artist and, although this project is aimed primarily at professional music users, two of the forty tracks - "Man on the Moon" and "What It Is" - are currently available to the public via iTunes. Additionally, in an Industry first, two promotional videos will support a Production Music Library release.

The chart-worthy videos for "Man on the Moon" and "What It Is" are directed by street legend Matt Alonzo and feature Xzibit and protege Young De. Alonzo has been in the directing chair for such artists as Soulja Boy, Far East Movement, The Game, Chris Cornell, Ice Cube, Xzibit, Cypress Hill and others and has collectively racked up over 80 million views for his work. Peep out The world premiere of both "Man on the Moon" and "What It Is" -- WATCH HERE

"Working with Extreme has been a wonderful experience. The music created for Urban Ammo 2 has been collaboration with artists whom I feel are the next generation of stars in Hip Hop, R&B and Rock," said Xzibit. "Unleashing these tracks is gonna wreak some havoc!"

"For those in-the-know Xzibit always delivers. This arsenal of killa beats 'n' hooks are a tough as nails Hip Hop Hitzkrieg," said Emanuel. "My advice: You better take cover; it's a full on sonic drive by."

About Extreme Music: World-renowned as the "Bad Boys of the Industry," Extreme, the Production Music Library arm of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, have made it their duty to change the face of library music. Since exploding onto the scene in 1997 these production music zeitgeists have consistently delivered an industry-quaking catalogue that leaves their competition sleeping with the lights on and establishes them as the undisputed masters in their field. Their unrivalled A-list packed roster famously boasts names such as Quincy Jones, Hans Zimmer, Snoop Dogg, Rodney Jerkins, Robbie Nevil, Junkie XL, Paul Oakenfold, Mark Mothersbaugh and Vince Clarke to name a few.

WHO WANTS TO SEE TONI BRAXTON'S TITS N' ASS? WE DO!!
The forty-three-year-old singer and mother of two, Toni Braxton says she is still considering Playboy’s offer to pose nude for the magazine. She was offered a reported $100,000 to appear in Playboy, a proposition which she initially shot down, tweeting, “Who started this rumor that I’d do Playboy for 100,000? No way! If I considered Playboy it would be for an undisclosed amount or for charity.” However, in a recent interview on ‘The Wendy Williams Show,’ Toni explained that she’s still weighing her decision regarding the spread, which she said would just be “a little T and A.” “They asked me. I was really flattered, and they’ve asked me a few times in the past,” Braxton said. “But one of the reasons I was more excited was because it was after I’d been sick, and I just didn’t feel sexy and I thought I’d lost my mojo. And when they asked me, I’m like, ‘Oh, they think I’m sexy? My boobies hang down to here a little bit!’ I was really flattered.” Despite Wendy’s argument that she’s “come too far” to pose naked, Braxton went on to say that the deciding factor for her will be her young boys, Denim and Diezel. “I haven’t decided,” she revealed. “One of the reasons I’m hesitant is because of my boys. I don’t want their friends to come to school and say, ‘I saw your mommy’s boobies!’”

CITIGROUP WON'T PIECE OUT EMI AS A PURCHASE?
We all know that Citigroup is expected to put EMI up for sale later this year, but unlike Warner Music Group, the label most likely won't be pieced out to buyers. Industry sources tell the New York Post that Citi will likely seek a buyer for the entire company. Reportedly, EMI CEO Roger Faxon had argued that selling off EMI in pieces would hurt the company, while Citigroup thought it would be a better way to recoup its investment in the label. Looks like Citi and Faxon are on the same page now and will offer EMI as a whole.

NICKI MINAJ TO TOUR WITH BRITNEY SPEARS
UPDATE: Nicki Minaj has been confirmed as the replacement for Enrique Iglesias on Britney Spears' upcoming Femme Fatale tour. "This is the Femme Fatale tour, and I'm thrilled to have the hot Nicki Minaj join me and Jessie and the Toy Boys and Nervo will get everyone on the dance floor," Spears said on her website. "Can't wait to take the Femme Fatales on the road." Minaj will join Spears after she wraps up touring with Lil Wayne on his I Am Still Music tour, which finishes up May 1 in New Jersey.
Nicki Minaj says that she has been approached by Britney Spears to be her opening act in "Femme Fatale" tour. Minaj says, "I am in talks of joining Britney Spears, yeah." She confirmed the news about the negotiation when attending Casio's TRYX OUT: NYC 2011 Launch Party at the Best Buy Theater. She said, "I'm in talks about a lot of things, ya know. I don't know - oops, I did it again." Nicki would fill the empty slot left when Enrique Iglesias bailed out at the last minute due to his ego-- he could not take being an opening act for Britney Spears. Minaj is currently on the road with Lil Wayne on his "I Am Still Music" tour. Spears' tour begins June 17 in Sacramento.

BIG PUN TO GET STREET NAMED AFTER HIM?
Family members of the late rapper Big Pun (Christopher Rios), are once again trying to have a street renamed after him in the Bronx, the borough that Pun grew up in. Pun’s sister, Nicole Rodriguez, is spearheading the project to have the cross streets of E. 163rd St. and Rogers Place in the Bronx’s Longwood neighborhood renamed “Big Pun Place.”.. “I feel I owe this to my brother,” Rodriguez told the NY Daily News. “He was not only my brother, he was a father figure. He stepped in when my parents couldn’t. So I want to push for this. He deserves it. It would become a visual cemetery for everyone. My brother was cremated, so there’s nowhere to visit him,” she said. “This way, his legacy will live on close to home.”

KANYE WEST SONG CROWNED GREATEST WORKOUT SONG OF ALL TIME.
Gold's Gym, the world's leading authority in health and fitness, announced today that Kanye West can officially lay claim to the strongest song in the gym. After an intense nationwide vote, his popular track, nominated by Super Bowl XLII champion Michael Strahan, survived a star-studded bracket of 64 iPod all-stars to be named the greatest workout song of all time. "Stronger," West's 2007 hit from his "Graduation" album, was voted the winner in Gold's Gym's first ever March Music Madness competition. The competition was designed to put an end to the age old debate about what song really is the best for working out. Whether it's music from "Rocky," hip hop, hair bands, pop or metal, people have always had strong opinions. Gold's Gym's March Music Madness answered the question once and for all... or at least until next year.

Hundred of song nominations from celebrities, fans of music and gym members alike were submitted from around the country. Sixty-four of the most popular nominations were chosen by Gold's Gym celebrity trainers and fitness experts to go head-to-head in the bracket-style competition. With more than 20,000 votes logged during the event, West's "Stronger"... nominated for the competition by FOX NFL Sunday Analyst and former New York Giant Michael Strahan... emerged from a "Final Four" that included Eminem's "Lose Yourself," Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow" and Guns N Roses "Welcome to The Jungle."

As part of the competition, Gold's Gym offered to donate $5,000 to the charity of choice of the person who nominated the winning song. The charities represented by each of the 64 songs spanned the gamut and added an extra layer of passion to the competition. For nominating the winning song, Gold's Gym will make a donation on behalf of Strahan to the Health & Humanitarian Aid Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing medical and humanitarian aid to those whose lives have been affected by famine, war, poverty or natural disaster.

"Music is such a huge part of the workout experience," said Lisa Zoellner, Chief Marketing Officer for Gold's Gym International. "We wanted to pay tribute to the artists and songs that play such a big role in inspiring people to exercise... and that keep them motivated every day. With this fun competition, we were able to find out what our members are listening to, motivate them and give back to a great cause, all at the same time."

"I was thrilled to hear that 'Stronger' won the March Music Madness Bracket Challenge," said Michael Strahan. "The song brings back great memories of Super Bowl XLII (The New York Giants came out to 'Stronger' before beating the New England Patriots 17-14) and is still on my iPod everyday in the gym. What's even more special is that I get to share this win with my friend Sammy Arthur, with the proceeds going to his charity, The Health & Humanitarian Aid Foundation."

Other celebrities who took part in the charity-focused initiative included Will Ferrell, who nominated "Pump Up the Jam" by Technotronic; Mario Lopez, who nominated "Gonna Fly Now (AKA theme from Rocky)" by Bill Conti; Brooke Shields, who nominated "Hot Blooded" by Foreigner; Gabrielle Reece, who nominated "B.O.B." by Outkast and Ryan Sheckler, who nominated "KickStart my Heart" by Motley Crue.

50 CENT CHIMES IN ON MISTER CEE SCANDEL.
50 Cent spoke out to defend Mister Cee after he was charged with public lewdness following an arrest in New York on Friday, April 1. Mister Cee, real name Calvin Lebrun, was caught performing a sex act with a 20-year-old male in a car in Manhattan. The scandal has turned many fans against the producer, but 50 Cent insists he's still a fan. 50 told Hot 97 radio personality Miss Info, "I'd make him my DJ any day... It's only entertaining because he (Mister Cee) means that much to hip-hop culture." .. "I recognize Mister Cee as the guy who offered us Biggie, so he means that much to the culture. And a lot of the kids that hear the radio don't see him the same way."

FBI RELEASES DOCUMENTS ON NOTORIOUS B.I.G. MURDER
New information about Notorious B.I.G.'s murder has been released from the FBI. Last week, the FBI revealed an online reading room called The Vault that allows for a search of the bureau's documents as part of the Freedom of Information Act and B.I.G. murder documents reveal new data on the case. Records of the unsolved case appear in The Vault including information about the the way Biggie was killed in Los Angeles. The documents say he was shot with a German-made Gecko 9mm gun, one that is not commonly found in the United States. The documents also provide information about some Los Angeles Police Department officers involved with the case that had gang ties. The reports also reveals details about how they were able to hinder the process of the investigation by not properly documenting or following up on witness statements related to the killing of Christopher Wallace. SEE THE DOCUMENTS HERE

MTV APPOINTS NEW PRESIDENT.
Stephen K. Friedman has been promoted to President of MTV after serving as GM of the network since fall of 2008. The announcement was made today by Van Toffler, President of MTV Networks Music & Logo Group. In his new role, Friedman will oversee MTV, MTV2, mtvU, MTV Hits and MTV Jams. Previously, Friedman also was GM of mtvU, which he helped launch in 2004, before becoming GM of MTV. "Since Stephen took over the helm at MTV two-and-a-half years ago, he has done an incredible job helping spearhead the reinvention of the MTV brand for millenials," Toffler said in a statement. "He has always placed the audience first, whether it’s creating a new pro-social campaign or leading the charge at mtvU and now MTV, his instincts and thinking have always led us to tap into exactly what the audience is looking for, resulting in great creative and business success." He'll be based at Viacom's New York City office, and report to Toffler.

WIZ KHALIFA DEBUTS HIGH ON THE CHARTS.
Wiz Khalifa’s Rolling Papers, sold 198,200 copies, debuting at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart, according to the Nielsen SoundScan report. Also debuting on the charts this week was Snoop's Doggumentary. The album sold 50,500 copies in its first week- landing at #8. Lupe Fiasco’s Lasers took the #16 slot selling 23,400 units (303,200 total). Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday sold 19,900 units grabbing #20. (1,281,300 total). E-40 debuted both of his new albums-- Revenue Retrievin’: Graveyard Shift took #40 and Revenue Retrievin’: Overtime Shift grabbed #42. Graveyard Shift sold 13,600 copies and Overtime sold just 13,400.

SNOOP TURNS DOWN X FACTOR GIG.
Snoop Dogg confirms reports he was in the running to judge Simon Cowell's new "The X Factor (US)" TV show. Snoop was approached to join the judging panel of the new series, alongside music mogul Antonio "L.A." Reid, but Snoop says he didn't want to make such a big commitment to the series. He said, "They asked me to do that, but I don't think that's for me. I wouldn't mind going on the show as a mentor, but not as far as a judge."

LIL JON STARRING AND HOSTING IN NEW PORN FLIK.
Lil Jon has partnered with adult film company Vivid Video to release a new porn film entitled ‘Club Lil Jon.’ Lil Jon is star, on-screen host and creative force behind "Club Lil Jon," a super-hot adult film from Vivid Entertainment that hit shelves across the country April 11th. The King of Crunk has never been more in the spotlight as he leads his team with Nene Leakes on NBC's fourth season of "Celebrity Apprentice." He claims it's also one of the most difficult projects he's ever taken on. "Club Lil Jon" is the performer's second movie for Vivid, the world's leading adult studio. His first, "Lil Jon's Vivid Vegas Party," was a smash hit for the studio and his new effort has all the ingredients for another best-seller. As with the first film, he was involved in every detail of production from coaching the actresses on how to achieve maximum sensuality to writing a sexy score to keep the action sizzling. "He's truly an artist in his approach to all aspects of production and his enthusiasm was contagious. We all got on board with his vision," said director C-Mizzle. The cast of "Club Lil Jon" includes Monique Alexander, Tawny Roberts, Jenaveve Jolie, Jada Fire, Olivia O'lovel, Ayana ASngel, Shy Love, Finesse Navaro, Byron Long and Tyler Knight.

FONTANA APPOINTS NEW DIRECTOR OF MARKETING,
Expanding further their commitment to urban music and its thriving community, Fontana, the independent distribution arm of Universal Music Group, the world's leading music company, has appointed Ray Arceneaux, Jr. to Director of Marketing, it was announced today by Bryan Mead, SVP of Marketing and Label Operations, to whom Mr. Arceneaux reports. In this new role, Mr. Arceneaux will oversee many areas of Fontana's urban music business, including urban sales planning with retail, artist product management, and acting as the label manager for such indies as Strange Music, Hoo Bangin, Mad Science, Melee and more.

"As we continue to expand the services we provide our urban music partners, there is no one better to lead the charge for us than Ray," stated Mr. Mead. "He's a savvy, well experienced executive who possesses a real track record of success. We're thrilled to welcome him to the Fontana family."

Mr. Arceneaux most recently served as the VP of Urban Sales & Marketing at the WEA Corp. Formerly, he held senior sales & marketing positions at Priority/Capitol and PolyGram Group Distribution. He began his retail career working at Handleman and The Wherehouse. Throughout his career, Mr. Arceneaux has worked closely with such critically-acclaimed artists as T.I., Trey Songz, Lupe Fiasco, Fabolous, Mike Jones, B.O.B., Jaheim, Snoop Dog, Ice Cube, Scarface, Twista, Fat Joe, Janelle Monae and Talib Kweli, among many others.

Fontana Distribution is the independent sales and marketing division of Universal Music Group. Their partners include many of the world's leading independent labels, including Eagle Rock, Downtown, Rap-A-Lot Records, Vagrant Records, WaterTower Music, American Gramophone, Kedar Entertainment, Dangerbird, Last Gang, Savoy Label Group, ESL, Music World, Delicious Vinyl, Ipecac, Six Degrees, SMC, VP Records and Notifi.

UNCLE SAM BITCH SLAPS WEEZY AND FLOYD MAYWEATHER.
Lil Wayne has reportedly been bitch slapped with another IRS bill, this time for a total of $5,610,034.00. According to the new lien, Wayne owes $3,335,077.95 for revenue earned in the year 2008, and $2,258,956.04 for 2009. The address listed on the lien is Weezy’s $12.9 million, 15,101 square foot mansion, on a private Miami island, which is supposedly for sale. Floyd "Money May" Mayweather, JR. is also allegedly facing a massive $3.4 million tax bill, according to a U.S. report. The boxer is said to owe income taxes from 2009 – the same year he came out of retirement to fight Juan Manuel Marquez in a reported $25 million deal. Officials at America’s Internal Revenue Service filed a lien against Mayweather Jr. in Clark County, Nevada on January 21, 2011 according to The Detroit News. The lien was filed just weeks after "Money May" was arrested on suspicion of beating his ex-girlfriend and stealing her cell phone during an argument in front of their children.

LIVE NATION WANTS TO SCOOP UP WARNER MUSIC.
Music powerhouse Live Nation Entertainment Inc. is bidding to buy part of Warner Music Group Corp., according to people familiar with the matter, a move that could combine under one roof the world's third-largest recorded-music company with the biggest concert promoter, artist-management firm and events-ticketing operation. Live Nation is interested in Warner's recorded-music operation, not its music publishing division, according to the people familiar with the matter. It's not clear how much Live Nation offered, or how aggressively it may participate in further rounds of bidding. Warner Music and Live Nation declined to comment.

Live Nation's Front Line Management Group represents hundreds of major acts, such as Christina Aguilera and Kings of Leon, and its performers could benefit from a direct affiliation with a major-label company. A single company that handled virtually every facet of an artist's career would be able to undertake across-the-board marketing and promotion efforts. That in turn could save money by eliminating redundant marketing and promotion departments.

The combination also could create opportunities to combine corporate sponsorships with sales of concert tickets, recorded music, and merchandise. But a Live Nation-Warner Music tie-up would likely draw regulatory scrutiny even more intense than Live Nation underwent for approval to acquire Ticketmaster last year. The Justice Department wrested some concessions from the two companies to safeguard industry competition but critics howled and warned that ticket prices might rise.

Live Nation has advanced to the second round of bidding, but the people familiar with the matter cautioned that any deal could still fall apart for any number of reasons that may arise, including financing and regulatory issues. The auction of Warner Music Group has become a wide-ranging one, with private-equity groups, media companies and others participating. A spokesman for Warner Music declined to comment.

Warner's bankers, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and AGM Partners LLC, have received bids for Warner in its entirety, as well as bids for its two major components: its record-music operation and its music publisher, known as Warner/Chappell, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company's private-equity owners, including Thomas H. Lee Partners haven't expressed a preference for the configuration of a sale. Warner's record labels include Atlantic, Warner Bros., Elektra and Nonesuch. If Live Nation were to succeed in buying Warner's record labels it's unclear what would happen to Warner/Chappell, which controls the copyrights to melodies and lyrics of songs.

Among the bidders emerging for part or all of Warner are Sony Corp.; Los Angeles billionaire Ron Burkle; Guggenheim Partners LLC; Access Industries Inc., a holding company controlled by Russian-born billionaire Len Blavatnik, a former Warner Music director who left the board in 2008; and BMG Rights, a joint venture of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. LP and Bertelsmann AG.

BMG Rights submitted a bid for the entire company, but has been told by Warner's bankers that it needs to raise it to remain in contention, according to people familiar with the matter, They added that BMG's managers and backers in recent weeks have been considering whether to do so. As recently as February, Irving Azoff, now Live Nation's chairman, publicly denied that Live Nation is interested in owning Warner Music or its competitor, EMI Group Ltd. EMI's owner, Citigroup Inc., is expected to begin shopping the company later this year. Warner Music briefly held a large stake in Mr. Azoff's Front Line Management, but sold it to Ticketmaster in 2008

Live Nation has made a handful of deals with high-profile artists, including Madonna and Jay-Z, giving the company the rights to distribute their recordings. But in the past, the company has indicated that it was not interested in delving deeper into the record business. However, conditions for Live Nation have changed in the past year, despite completing the merger with Ticketmaster.

From Live Nation's perspective, merging with Ticketmaster was supposed to provide a more-profitable backstop to concert promotion, which even in good times is a minimally profitable business, with cash-flow margins typically around 4% or less.

Last year was rough for the company, with slow ticket sales and concert-tour cancellations eating deeply into the combined company's margins. The recorded music business, of course, has deep problems of its own, thanks to CD sales that have eroded rapidly under the pressure of online piracy and other problems, and digital-download sales that appear to have levelled off too early to make up for the declines in CDs. Even with the decline in sales of recorded music, adding a major record label group could provide valuable cash flow, and would further diversify Live Nation's revenue streams. Though Warner Music generates around $300 million a year in cash from operations, it generally reports losses because of amortization costs associated with its 2004 acquisition from Time Warner Inc. Source: Wallstreet Journal

LUPE FIASCO AND SEAN PAUL ON DECK FOR 25TH ANNUAL JAZZREGGAE FEST.
The 25th Annual JazzReggae Festival at UCLA is proud to announce that the artists headlining its 2011 festival will be Lupe Fiasco on Jam Day (May 29th) and Sean Paul on Reggae Day (May 30th). With his third studio album LASERS debuted at the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200, Lupe Fiasco emits powerfully evocative hip hop charged with politics, infused with his taste for poetry. The son of a Black Panther, the Muslim MC grew up in Chicago's projects listening to rock and jazz, and began rapping in the eighth grade. Under the wing of Jay-Z, Lupe Fiasco emerged onto the rap scene in 2006, instantaneously achieving both critical and commercial acclaim. Since then, the three-time Grammy nominee has worked alongside artists such as Kanye West, Pharrell Williams and John Legend. On May 29th, the renowned rap philosopher will showcase his razor-sharp rhymes for JazzReggae Festival's Jam Day, only intensifying the fervor for its 25th year. Kingston-born Sean Paul has become an international superstar, taking dancehall music to new heights. A diverse fusion of reggae, rap and dance, the music of Sean Paul features work from the most cutting-edge producers in Jamaica. Since his rise to fame in 2002, Sean Paul's impressive track record includes four Billboard Music Award nominations, as well as a Grammy-winning album. With over ten million albums sold worldwide, Sean Paul has cemented his status as the most successful Jamaican artist of all time on the U.S. charts. Bringing the latest sounds of his native Kingston to the JazzReggae Festival at UCLA, Sean Paul is sure to captivate audiences on Reggae Day, May 30th. The 25th Annual JazzReggae Festival welcomes as sponsors Scion and S.O. Terik, an L.A. based company fusing art, fashion and entertainment. With the release of their full lineup quickly approaching and through the support of their sponsors, the 25th Annual JazzReggae Festival is an event not to be missed.

JAY Z AND BIG PAPI REACH SETTLEMENT OVER 40/40.
Red Sox star Big Papi has buried the hatchet with rapper Jay-Z in a dispute over the name of their dueling nightclubs, court papers filed Monday say. The two were set to square off Tuesday in Manhattan Federal Court over use of the name 40/40, but the conference was cancelled at the last minute, the hip-hop giant's lawyer said. "The case has been settled in principle," said attorney Peter Raymond. "We have agreed on the outlines of a settlement and need to reduce it to writing." The dispute began last April when Jay-Z, a die-hard Yankee fan, sued the Red Sox star for $5 million, claiming he stole the name of his 40/40 Club sport bar. After visiting the Flatiron District club, Ortiz allegedly started his own "Forty-Forty" club in his native Dominican Republic. Federal District Judge Richard Berman had urged a settlement and said both superstars would have to appear in court Tuesday. He seemed pleased with the settlement. "Sounds like a sensible outcome," Berman wrote in a memo filed in Manhattan District Court. The lawsuit will be dismissed within 30 days after it's put in writing. Source: New York Post

SOUNDSCAN #'S/STATS.
Chris Brown and Jennifer Hudson took the top two slots on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart according to the Nielsen SoundScan Report. Lupe’s Lasers dipped from #3 to the #10 slot on the charts. The album moved 28,900 units (279,900 Total). Rihanna's Loud ranked #17 selling 25,000 units (1,115,000 Total). Gucci Mane debuted Return of Mr. Zone 6 at #18. seling 24,500 units. Nicki Minaj scooped up the #20 slot selling 22,400 copies (1,261,400 Total). Em’s Recovery took #27 selling 18,700 copies (3,775,600 Total). Pharoahe Monch’s album W.A.R.(We Are Renegades) debuted at #55 moving 9,622 units. Raekwon's Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang moved 6,500 units taking the #83 slot (45,000 Total).

CHRIS BROWN IS #1 WITH F.A.M.E.
Chris Brown's fourth studio album F.A.M.E. (Jive Records) debuts this week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts with total album sales of over 271K. The album has spawned three consecutive No. 1 singles and marks the multi-platinum singer's first No. 1 album on the Top 200 chart. F.A.M.E. is the second highest-selling album of the year. The success of F.A.M.E. follows Brown reaching the No. 1 position on both the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and the Urban Mainstream radio charts with current single "Look At Me Now" featuring Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes. This is the second consecutive week at No. 1 at Urban Mainstream and the video is in rotation on MTV and MTV2 and in the Top 5 on BET's 106 and Park countdown. Look At Me Now" is Brown's third successive No. 1 Urban Mainstream single from the new album. It was preceded by "Deuces" featuring Tyga and Kevin McCall (which spent 10 weeks at the top of the chart) and "No BS". "Yeah 3X," (Click to listen) another track from F.A.M.E., rose to Top 5 at Urban Mainstream. Collectively, the four singles represent combined cumulative digital and mobile sales of five million. Brown co-wrote the majority of F.A.M.E., the follow-up to his 2X Grammy-nominated 2009 album, Graffiti. Sporting collaborations with Justin Bieber, Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, and Ludacris, among others, F.A.M.E. has drawn various critical accolades. People Magazine gave the album a 4 out of 4 stars album review and boasts, "This is the kind of R&B-pop blockbuster that Michael Jackson might have made if he were 21 in 2011." USA Today adds Brown "has delivered the strongest album of his career."

LIL B INKS WITH LIVE NATION
According to SF Weekly, Lil B recently inked a deal with tour giant Live Nation for a string of shows around the East Coast and the Midwest. He also lined up a headlining show at Mezzanine here in San Francisco, set for April 21. "It's for sure the first Bay Area show of this new era of people being aware of Lil B," his manager, Sebastian Demian, tells SF Weekly. It might also be a sign of what's in the future for Brandon McCartney, a 21-year-old member of East Bay rap collective - The Pack. The Live Nation deal is only four shows and two festival appearances, but Demian says he's hoping to expand that to a larger tour. And the fact that Live Nation made a deal with Lil B -- an independent artist who isn't signed to any label -- is surprising on its own. Demian says the people he worked with Live Nation couldn't remember making such an agreement before. -- Demian says he's heard from multiple major labels interested in signing Lil B. We're in talks with some labels," Demian says. "We're very much excited about bossing up."

BIG BOI, SLAUGHTERHOUSE, AND MORE ANNOUNCED FOR SOUNDSET 2011.
Rhymesayers Entertainment and Rose Presents bring you the fourth annual Soundset Festival: the official Midwest kick-off of the summer with nine hours of the best independent Hip Hop music in one day. It all goes down at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, MN (rain or shine). Last year's event, Rhymesayers and Rose Presents produced the third year of Soundset to an outdoor festival setting at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, MN with over 18,000 people in attendance, including: two stages with over 40 artists performing, B-Boy battles, MC battle, live DJs, live artists painting, skateboard demos and a custom car show. Soundset 2011 is expected to be even bigger this year! Confirmed artists for Soundset 2011 include: Big Boi, De La Soul, Slaughterhouse (Joell Ortiz, Joe Budden, Royce da 5'9", Crooked I), Brother Ali, Doomtree (P.O.S, Dessa, Sims, Cecil Otter, Atmosphere, Mike Mictlan, Lazerbeak, Papertiger), Evidence x Rakaa-Iriscience x DJ Babu, Mac Miller, Curren$y, Blueprint, Grieves & Budo, Zion I & The Grouch, Sab The Artist, DJ Abilities, Face Candy, Edan with special guest Paten Locke, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Looptroop Rockers, Rubberoom, Soulcrate Music, 2Mex, Mr. Gene Poole, Qwazaar, Longshot, MaLLy, Desdamona, Duenday, Midwest Konnect, Rocky Diamonds, Stage One, Shortkut, Noam The Drummer, Exile, Maseo, Skeme Richards, Kid Cut Up and Espada. Hosted by Toki Wright, Carnage and Kevin Beacham.

JADAKISS ON DECK FOR BENEFIT CONCERT IN SOUTH AFRICA
New York rapper Jadakiss will head to South Africa in April to headline a fundraising concert to benefit local, disadvantaged children. Kiss is set to perform at the Prince Lindani Foundation benefit concert, which will raise funds to aid impoverished child in the country of Swaziland. Along with Jada, several local artists will also take the stage, including Teargas, T-bo Touch, DJ Tira, Jozi, Velemseni Lando Dlamini, Zaza, Papz, Crooks, Izzy and Stitch. The benefit performance will be held at the Mavuso Trade Centre, as part of the charity’s new re-launch efforts and it will be aired live on the South African Channel O.

DJ MEGATRON SHOT AND KILLED IN NYC.
Radio and TV personality DJ Megatron was shot to death in Staten Island, New York early Sunday morning, his manager Justin Kirkland, aka J. Smoove, told the Associated Press. Police found the 32-year-old What's Good host dead with a gunshot wound to the chest, reports AP; no arrests have been made. Megatron had been heading to a store near his home around 2.a.m, said Kirkland. The Wall Street Journal reported that a person has told detectives she saw four to five men wearing hoodies fleeing toward Vanderbilt Avenue. It was unclear if the deejay was robbed since his cellphone was recovered at the scene. He probably had one of the best personalities around, super-positive, happy all the time," Kirkland said, adding he had no idea who committed the crime. Born Corey McGriff, Megatron began his radio career at New York's Kiss FM. He appeared in movies including State Property 2. He is survived by his three children. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. R.I.P.

50 AND DENIRO TEAM UP AGAIN?
50 Cent is scoopin up more great actors in his cinematic wave of destruction. We’ve seen the trailer for the trying-too-hard drama Things Fall Apart; the trailer for Setup showed the likes of Bruce Willis and Ryan Phillippe somehow drawn into its cast. Nola reports that Curtis Jackson's next movie, Freelancers, locked in Robert De Niro; Deadline adds that Forest Whitaker is in negotiations to join the cast. Jessy Terrero (who brought us the forgettable Soul Plane) will helm Freelancers, the story of the son of a murdered NYPD cop who joins the police academy, graduates, and gets recruited by a group of rogue cops led by his father’s old partner (De Niro). Freelancers is scheduled to shoot four weeks in New Orleans starting in April.

THOUSANDS TURNED UP TO LAY NATE DOGG TO REST.
Thousands of family, friends and fans turned out to pay their respect to Nate Dogg, who was laid to rest in his hometown of Long Beach, Saturday morning (March 26). Inside the Long Beach Cruise Terminal, lights shined down on the wooden coffin adorned with red and white flowers. Two jumbo screens on opposite sides of his casket flashed six different photos of the singer from a childhood boy, when he was known to family as "Buddy," to the platinum singer known to the world as Nate Dogg. West Coast rap artists including Dr. Dre, Game, DJ Quik, Mack-10 and WC, DJ Pooh, Battlecat and others were on hand to pay their respects to the singer with platinum vocal chords. "1986, Poly High School, that's where we connected for the first time," an emotionally distraught Snoop reflected on his friend. "We didn't know each other, but the music connected us. We built a brotherhood, a friendship." Snoop first met Nate along with his best friend Warren G at the school where they would go on to form the rap trio 213. Warren G spoke briefly, reminding mourners in attendance what a great man the music world has lost. "It hurts me so much to see this," Warren G said somberly while looking down at the casket. "We been through a whole lot and that was my dog. He stayed down with me from the bottom to the top. I didn't ever think I would have to sit at a funeral for one of my dogs. All I can say is that was my friend, me him and Snoop was 213 from the balls to the walls. The music industry lost an incredible artist." Several of Nate's closest friends, relatives and colleagues including Xzibit, Daz and Kurupt, Butch Cassidy, Los Angeles radio station personality Big Boy from Power 106, and producer FredWreck all shared memorable stories of their friend, who they said made an important impact on their lives. Xzibit recalled a time during the Up in Smoke Tour when Nate was arrested, but hours later somehow magically appeared at the show's next date. A teary-eyed Kurupt said Nate was the father figure who raised him. Manager Rod McGrew acted as Nate's manager throughout his professional music career and was with him up until his last days. "He fought a hard fight," McGrew said. He also thanked Dr. Dre and Eminem, in addition to Snoop, Warren G and Xzibit, for assisting the family in getting through the past several days. "The last three years were unbelievable. He didn't give up. He just had a talk with God and gave up. Two hours before that he was fine." McGrew said that with Nate's passing, the singer's three wishes will now be granted. "He wanted to go to heaven and hang with his boys," McGrew said. "He loved Tupac. He recorded with him. He wanted to hang with Biggie. But the most important thing is that he can walk around heaven with his favorite artist of all time, Michael Jackson." "He was a loving caring individual," said Snoop. "If you listen to his music, he took church melodies and flipped it with hip-hop. I'm so honored, so happy that you gave me the opportunity, God, to know Nate Dogg. I want to stand here and cry, but I have to have the strength for you Nate Dogg. It's 213, DPG for life." Source: Mtv

DETROIT'S NEXT UP: Clear Soul Forces.
Detroit, Michigan has, for at least the past decade, been one of the hottest breeding grounds for hip-hop talent. And following in the footsteps of those that came before them is Clear Soul Forces, a four-person group comprised of Ilajide, Wimpy, E-Fav, and J-Roc. Clear Soul Forces first hit the scene in early 2010 with the release of their free mixtape, Clear Soul Radio. This past fall, CSF released The Departure EP, and while the project has already amassed over 10,000 downloads, the Motor City upstarts aren't slowing down and are now prepping the release of a handful of videos from the project. The first video released is for the EP's lead single, "Gon' Get 'Em." Directed by Gerard Victor, whose previous work includes videos with Black Milk, Royce Da 5'9, eLZhi, Ro Spit, and more, the video places CSF into the world of comic books, with each scene incorporating washed and pixelated images as special effects graphics surround the guys throughout. "Before we had even talked, Gerard actually came to us with the comic book idea not knowing we had the same type of vision for the video," explains J-Roc. With the song," says E-Fav, "we just wanted to showcase everyone in the group's lyrical abilities. We want you to know for certain that we can rap." And those lyrical flourishes are on display early and often with lines from Wimpy like, "I'm the Scottie Pippen of the verb/ Put in the same amount of work, don't get the credit I deserve." And as is par for the course with Clear Soul Forces, the line, in addition to the witty wordplay, holds a deeper meaning for the group. "That's a really strong line, because we feel like that applies to us a little bit," explains E-Fav, adding, "But we're out here making a name for ourselves and it seems to be working." Indeed. PEEP THE VIDEO HERE

DRAKE TO RECEIVE SONGWRITER AWARD.
Drake is on deck to receive the prestigious Hal David Starlight Award at the 42nd Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame (SHOF) Induction and Awards Dinner, to be held June 16 at New York’s Marriott Marquis Hotel. "Drake shines as a talented songwriter with a unique vision," said SHOF chairman Jimmy Webb in announcing the award. “We are pleased to honor him with the prestigious Hal David Starlight Award." His platinum-selling album debut Thank Me Later topped the alblum chart with nearly 450,000 sold during its first week of release. It led to four Grammy nominations for Drake this year, for Best New Artist, Best Rap Album, Best Rap Solo Performance ("Over"), and Best Rap Performance By a Duo or Group ("Fancy" featuring T.I. and Swizz Beatz). The Hal David Starlight Award, named in honor of the former SHOF chairman for his longtime support of young songwriters, goes to gifted songwriters who are making a significant impact in the music industry via their original songs. Previous recipients include Rob Thomas, Alicia Keys, John Mayer, John Legend, John Rzeznik, Jason Mraz and Taylor Swift. The Songwriters Hall of Fame celebrates songwriters, educates the public with regard to their achievements, and produces various professional programs devoted to the development of new songwriting talent through workshops, showcases and scholarships.

SOULJA BOY'S BROTHER DIES IN FATAL CAR CRASH
Soulja Boy Tell Em recently broke the news on his Twitter account to his fans that his little brother (Deion Jenkins, 14) passed away after a fatal car crash took place in Charleston, Mississippi last night. “at home crying my eyes out I can’t believe my Lil bro is gone… today is so not my day.. RIP lil brother love you always.”

CITI BANK QUIETLY SHOPPING EMI
We know that Warner Music Group's sale has been hogging all the headlines in the recent weeks. Insider sources have suggested that Citi bank is now quietly soliciting interested parties and sitting down to discuss what parts of EMI they'd want to bid on and how rapidly they could close a deal in the hopes of not being left at the altar. "They're sorting the goats from the sheep, rather than entertaining all comers," said a source. Among those holding discussions are Universal Music Group and Sony, along with Ron Burkle's Yucaipa Co., private-equity firm Apollo and Len Blavatnik's Access Industries. Blavatnik holds a 2 percent stake in Warner Music. Add Warner Music boss Edgar Bronfman, to the list too. He's long wanted to scoop up EMI, which houses everyone from Katy Perry to The Beatles. Citi declined comment. Citi's latest move sets up more direct competition with Warner Music, which is a few weeks away from wrapping its sale process and is currently waiting to hear how bidders will finance their plans. There are many questions that are weighing on people's minds, but paramount for buyers must be who's got the better business. Both are valued at roughly the same amount, around the $3 billion mark, with the publishing divisions likely to go for $1.8 billion. Lisbeth Barron, managing director at boutique investment bank Berenson & Co., said: "The old way of thinking was that recorded music and music publishing should be separated, given their different growth prospects. Today, the thinking has changed to now believing strongly that the two divisions should stay under one roof to be most competitive with artists, advertisers, studios etc." As far as Warner's bid process is going, sources say that Burkle's bid will likely be the most aggressive. "He's very serious about it. He thinks it's a sexy asset and that's why he looked at Miramax and did the deal for Vibe with Magic Johnson." Others reportedly circling Warner include Tom Gores' Platinum Equity, Permira, Sony Corp. and Access Industries. Source New York Post

DR. DRE WINS COPS LAWSUIT.
Detroit officials who were backstage at a concert featuring Dr. Dre and Eminem had no right to privacy when they confronted organizers in a videotaped exchange that turned up in a DVD, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled in a decision released Saturday. The ruling dismisses a lawsuit against Dr. Dre (Andre Young), that was filed by City Councilman Gary Brown and other Detroit officials after the 2000 show. Brown was a high-ranking police official at the time, and warned concert organizers that power would be turned off if they showed a sexually explicit video at the Joe Louis Arena. The conversation was taped and later used in behind-the-scenes tracks on a popular DVD highlighting the "Up in Smoke" national concert tour that also featured Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube. Brown had argued that his privacy was violated by the video, but Dr. Dre's lawyer Herschel Fink said there was no privacy when police were doing their job. Fink said Saturday that the court's decision was more narrow than he expected, with the ruling dealing only with the event instead of broader privacy issues, but "as I said in an e-mail to Dre, 'We'll take it.'" Brown said Saturday that he was disappointed but respects the court's decision. He sid he understood that the case hinged on his expectation of privacy, but he said he asked for a private discussion and to have the cameras turned off. "I would think I would have my rights protected, but that's not the way the court ruled," he said. The Supreme Court's 6-1 decision overturns an appeals court ruling. Fink had successfully sued the city over its demand that the sexually explicit video not be played at the concert. Detroit's mayor at the time, Dennis Archer, wrote a letter of apology. Source: Huffington post

BARRY WEISS NAMED NEW CEO OF ISLAND DEF JAM / UNIVERSAL MOTOWN.
Barry Weiss has been named Chairman & CEO of Island Def Jam and Universal Motown Republic Group according the the LA Times. The news comes just one day after Antonio "L.A." Reid's resigned his post at the Island Def Jam Music group. As reported yesterday, Reid is reportedly headed to Simon Cowell's new Fox show, The X-Factor, where he will serve as a judge. Weiss joins the label after several years as chairman and CEO of Jive Records. Lucian Grange, chairman of the Universal Music Group, says, "Throughout his career, Barry achieved that rare and delicate balance between managing artistic needs and the realities of the business. He is a multidimensional executive and entrepreneur, who possesses a deep love of music and an incredibly successful track record in building the careers of premiere artists. He has the talent and commitment to help take these two great companies to new heights." Weiss will be based in New York and oversee labels including Island Def Jam, Universal Motown, Universal Republic, Mercury Records and Universal Motown. The Times also notes that Interscope Geffen A&M, which is based in Los Angeles, will not see its management structure affected with Jimmy Iovine remaining as Chairman of IGA.

AMBER ROSE TALKS STRIPPING AND RELATIONSHIPS.
Kanye's ex-girlfriend Amber Rose was recently on Jamie Foxx’s Foxxhole Radio on Sirius Satellite and talked about her past as an underage stripper. “I was a stripper since I was 15 years old,” said Rose. “I was a South Philly hood rat my whole life.” On whether her and Kanye would get back together: "No, I don’t think so. You know in every relationship you have problems and you try to work through and then sometimes things don’t work out. But it was very real for me. I was very much in love. I was with him for two years. We lived together, we traveled the world together, we had a lot of fun together. A lot of really cool moments…I was the ill bitch to a rock star." On her relationships with women: “I had two three-year relationships with women. So, I was with women for six years before I met Kanye,” Rose told Foxx, before dispelling rumors of a sex tape. “There ain’t gonna be no sex tape. I’m not into that...I’ve been offered a lot of money but I chose not to do it. I chose to take the high road.”

UNCLE LUKE MIAMI'S NEXT MAYOR?
A recall vote has kicked Miami mayor Carlos Alvarez out of office as of yesterday, 2 Live Crew leader Luther “Uncle Luke” Campbell has become a favorite to win the mayor slot in the upcoming election. Luke has a chance after Norman Braman, a billionaire businessman, pulled off the first successful recall in the history of Dade County. More than 88 percent of voters wanted Alvarez out.

“When I take Mr. Alvarez’s job, I’ll review the county budget with a fine-toothed comb,” wrote Luke in the Miami New Times, where he’s been publishing columns over the past year. “When I ran my record company, every year we would first go over what was making revenue for us and beef that side up. Then we would cut the areas where we were not generating revenue. The first place we looked was payroll. I’ll do the same with the county budget.”

When asked why he is running, he said: "I am mad frustrated. I have always been involved in politics, going back to my battles in the city of Miami Beach, dealing with the city commissioners and the mayor. I ran my own nightclub, and I believed African-Americans were treated badly during Memorial Day weekend... I've thought about running for public office before, but someone would always end up talking me out of it, saying, "We have this good person here, he will do good for the community," so I always backed out. But I'd end up frustrated because they didn't do anything. I'd give them ideas and they would just tell me what they wanted to hear... I get in my car, ride around Liberty City, and everything looks the same as when I was in the neighborhood growing up. I see the same crimes in the same areas. Officers and residents are still getting killed in the community I grew up in. I go to a city like Atlanta that has sensible affordable housing, and no one is being murdered. I go to Miami International Airport and see the same construction that has been going on for like a hundred years. All of that frustrates the hell out of me. Why aren't we getting it right in Miami-Dade? Why is our government only serving one set of people? That's what is pushing me to run."

TRU LIFE SENTENCED TO 8 YEARS IN PRISON.
Tru Life (real name Roberto Rosado, Jr.), who was once signed to Jay-Z's Roc-A-Fella Records has been sentenced to eight years in prison for his part in a fatal 2009 stabbing in New York. Tru Life pleaded guilty to gang assault following the death of Christopher Guerrero, who was killed in an attack at a Manhattan apartment building. A second man was left seriously injured. The rapper's brother Marcus Rosado pleaded guilty to manslaughter and got his brother off a possible murder charge after admitting it was him, and not his sibling, who had stabbed both men. During sentencing in New York on Wednesday March 16, the judge handed Tru Life eight years in jail and his brother 10. The rapper's lawyer, Alan Abramson, said following sentencing, "Robert is extremely saddened by what happened. Mr. Guerrero did not deserve what happened to him."

PETEY PABLO PLEADS GUILTY. FACING 10 YEARS IN PRISON,
Petey Pablo has pleaded guilty to possession of a stolen firearm. The rapper, whose real name is Moses Barrett III, appeared in federal court Wednesday to enter his guilty plea. Federal prosecutors agreed to drop two other charges in a plea agreement. Petey Pablo was arrested last year while attempting to clear security at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Authorities found a loaded gun in a bag that had passed through an X-ray machine. He faces up to 10 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced in June.

L.A. REID JOINS THE X FACTOR.
Island Def Jam chairman Antonio "L.A." Reid is on deck to become a judge on Simon Cowell's upcoming show The X Factor. Sources say it's a done deal. Reid, whose contract with Universal Music is up in December, will get an early release and join the Fox network show, which awards a Sony Music recording contract worth $5 million to the winner. Simon Cowell previously told Access Hollywood that his former American Idol colleague Paula Abdul, George Michael, former Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger and Mariah Carey also are being considered for the panel of four judges.

NATE DOGG DIES AT 41 - R.I.P.
Long Beach-born rapper Nathaniel Hale (Nate Dogg) dies at 41. Nathaniel D. Hale, known in the music industry as Nate Dogg, died Tuesday, his family has announced. The Cause of death has not yet been released. However, Hale had suffered two strokes, one in 2007 and another in 2008. Details will be available as they develop. Our prayers go out to his family and loved ones. NATE DOGG WAS A WEST COAST VET AND WILL TERRIBLY BE MISSED. CELEBRATE HIS MUSIC HERE!

"We lost a true legend n hip hop n rnb," Snoop tweeted. "One of my best friends n a brother to me since 1986 when I was a sophomore at poly high where we met. I love u buddy luv. U will always b wit me 4ever n a day u put the g n g funk u put the 1 n 213 n u put yo stamp on evrybdy u ever didit wit ... I miss u cuzz I am so sad but so happy I got to grow up wit u and I will c u again n heaven cuz u know d slogan. ... All doggs go to heaven yo homie n baby brotha bigg snoopdogg!!"

"R.I.P. TO MY HOMEBOY NATE DOGG DPGC DOGG POUND GANGSTA 4 LIFE," Daz tweeted.

"S/o [shout out] ta my bigg bro. Nate mothafuccin dogg," Kurupt tweeted. "There's only 1 ambassador of tha west coast. Ya hea me. I luv u cuzz."

"I lost a friend," an emotional Game wrote on his Twitter account. "Been here before. Tears. Memories. One day someone will lose 'US' as well. LIVING until that day comes is our only option. R.I.P. Nate Dogg. Why does it take Death to remind us about the importance of life ??? Cherish every moment cuz tomorrow he mite call your #."

"I just landed, nate dog is dead damn. GOD BLESS HIM R.I.P he meant a lot to west coast hiphop. I've always been a fan of it," 50 Cent tweeted. "I wrote the chorus to 21 questions I needed nate to sing it for me. He had a way of making everything feel hard."

"There is a certain void in hip hop's heart that can never be filled. Glad we got to make history together. RT @SnoopDogg: RIP NATE DOGG," Ludacris tweeted.

"RIP Nate dogg, this is f**king terrible!! my prayers go out to the Pound and his family," Jermaine Dupri stated.

"We love you Nate Dogg, it's never going to be the same..We lost a solider, a father, a legend, a homie. My condolences go out to Ms. Ruth and the entire family. Celebrate #NateDogg," Xzibit tweeted.

“Nate’s voice in music will never be replaced. He helped create the blueprint for West Coast hip-hop, and I was one of the lucky people who had the privilege to work with him and the honour to have him as a friend. Nate will be sorely missed. My condolences and prayers go out to his family and loved ones.”.. Eminem

SLAUGHTERHOUSE HYPED AND READY FOR SHADY PROJECT.
Recent Shady/Aftermath signees' Slaughterhouse is currently working on the new LP. In an interview with billboard, Royce Da 5’9” says that the group has finished “about six songs” so far, for the as-yet-untitled disc, laying down most of them while out in L.A. for the Grammy Awards. Royce said group mates, Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz and Crooked I, have been emailing song ideas ever since. But just because they have already began the recording process don’t expect the disc to drop anytime soon. “The first album [2009’s self titled disc for eOne] we were kind of behind the eight ball,” Royce said. “We had to complete the album in a matter of six days. With this album there’s no time constraints. We’ve got a good budget. I don’t think we’ve carved out a direction yet, but it’s coming along.” Royce says Eminem is playing a big role in the LP. “He’s very excited,” Royce added, “and I’m always excited when I see his level of excitement, because he doesn’t get excited about a lot. I love seeing him happy, and this project definitely makes him happy.” Crooked I also chimed in on a recent interview as well, “Right now, [Eminem’s] probably somewhere adding some crazy shit to a Slaughterhouse song. A lot of people may know it, but I don’t know if a lot of these new generation dudes in the game know, how much of a producer Em is. He’ll take a song to another level and he’s passionate about it. He might be doing that right now, because that’s how much he works.”... Crook added, “I’m just excited, man. We’ve been shooting some ideas around with each other, man. We’ve touched bases on a couple of songs and we’ve got a few songs that’s going to be conceptual and real personal. I think the fans are going to love it.“ Crooked I continued, “Now, people are giving us life music. I guess it’s what they want to hear us on or something because we’re not requesting it. But, when it comes our way, they’re pulling out stories, personal feelings and a lot of shit out of us. I’m loving it. This Slaughterhouse album is going to have a mark in the history of Rap. There’s going to be a lot of lyrics on there, man. Just having Em in the building, you’ve got to step your game up. So, it might have the most quotables ever, on one album.”

LUPE FIASCO HAS THE TOP SELLING ALBUM IN THE COUNTRY THIS WEEK.

Lupe Fiasco's Lasers was the top-selling album in the country this week as it took the #1 slot on the sales chart with 204,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It marks the first #1 and best sales week yet for the rapper, after his second effort, The Cool, started at #15 with 143,000 sold in 2007.

HIP HOP ATTORNEY TO BE CHARLIE SHEEN'S INTERN?
Veteran Hip Hop attorney Bret D Lewis, whose clientele includes numerous Grammy winning artists and producers like hip hop legend Tha Dogg Pound and the Jacksons, announced today that he made it to the next round for the Charlie Sheen Intern job. In his initial application which was limited to 75 characters or less he stated to Rapindustry.com : "I’d be a good social media intern because… "I have Tigerblood, a Winning attitude and 20+ years as an entertainment attorney." Lewis continued: “Charlie Sheen is a talented artist who realizes his love and his lust is living in his crotch and who and what his creator is and that those bastards who don’t F—and suck and masturbate will never be Poets and Prophets and Kings.” Lewis told Rapindustry.com he is looking forward to the next round where he can provide more background and is dead serious about being Charlie’s Intern. In the next round he gets to provide his educational background and gpa and specify two of his most valuable job experiences. He says: It's kind of hard to remember his gpa from college and law school over 25-30 years ago but he remembers that he graduated Phi Betta Kappa from Oberlin and that he was on a law review at Northwestern University School of Law.". Lewis says: "As to his two work experiences, he says he is counting on my experience as the lawyager (lawyer/manager) of Tha Dogg Pound touring with Ice Cube and time on Snoop’s tour bus as well as his legal entertainment experience to clinch the job. “I think I will make a great intern for Charlie, and I have a lot of great ideas for him. After years of working with artists and handling their every need from child support issues to litigation, I think I will be the perfect Intern for Charlie. Plus, with me, everything will be attorney client privileged so he won’t have to worry about me going to the Tabloids. Also, I’m not worried about leaving my job for a couple of months. There were a couple of attorneys who were partners at Omelveny & Myers who left to do the Amazing Race--and won--so I know I can do it". Bret Lewis

BIRDMAN PUBLISHES BOOK ON CRIMINAL SYSTEM?
Cash Money Records‘ Baby recently sat down to talk about getting into the book publishing business and its first retail release, Raw Law. Telling the director, Baby says he wants peple to understand the criminal system. Speaking to director Derick G, Baby opened up about his motivation for launching his Cash Money Content company with a book about understanding the criminal system. “I just want to introduce y’all to CMC, our Cash Money Content, which is our book company,” Baby said in an interview. “The first book we put out, [came] out 2/15, which is called Raw Law and it really speaks to the realities of our legal system. I think this is a book you should read especially if you in and out [of jail]. One of my brother’s doing life. One of my partner’s fighting a life charge. One of my brothers just came home from doing 20 years. And that was one of my inspirations on this book. [It's about] trying to help them get in and out, finding the right legal system to help them get in and out of jail.”

DJ HERO 2 DROPS 3 NEW DOWNLOADABLE HIP HOP MIXES.
St. Patrick’s Day is on the horizon, So All you beat chemists, singing sensations who have picked up DJ Hero® 2 are in luck. Activision Publishing, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) today announced the release of Indie Hip Hop Mix Pack. Available now, and featuring the biggest names in independent underground hip hop such as Atmosphere, Jaylib, Peanut Butter Wolf, The Perceptionists and RJD2, virtual DJs can spin, scratch and remix to the following three new mixes: Indie Hip Hop Mix Pack
· “My World Premiere” by Charizma & Peanut Butter Wolf Mixed With “The Red (Instrumental)” by Jaylib
· “Party Hard” by The Perceptionists ft. Guru & Camu Tao Mixed With “Ghostwriter” by RJD2
· “The Best Day” by Atmosphere (Remix by FSG)

The Indie Hip Hop Mix Pack will be available on Xbox LIVE® Marketplace for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft for 640 Microsoft Points and on the PlayStation®Store for PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system for $7.99. All tracks will be released as downloadable singles for Wii™ for 300 Wii Points™ each.

EMINEM = MOST POPULAR PERSON ON FACEBOOK
First the President of the United States Barack Obama, then Michael Jackson took over for the past 20 months. Now rapper Eminem is the most popular person living or dead on Facebook. He is expected to soon be the first person to reach 30,000,000 "likes" on the site. The phenomenal success of his most recent album Recovery and the #1 hit single "Love the Way You Lie" are seen as primary contributors to his success. Lady Gaga is not far behind in popularity level. Listed below are, as of today, the 10 most popular people, or groups of people, on Facebook.

Eminem
Michael Jackson
Lady Gaga
Rihanna
Linkin Park
Shakira
Justin Bieber
Megan Fox
Vin Diesel
Cristiano Ronaldo

EMINEM WRITES AN OPEN LETTER TO THE CITY OF DETROIT
Eminem has been reppin his hometown of Detroit from day one, no matter what.. He just released a video clip that he’s calling “an open letter” that serves to honor the Motor City’s working class residents. The video features narration from Em and a lot of pictures that show Detroit citizens hard at work amongst the city’s more well-known landmarks and locales. “You took our country from its infancy into industry,” says Mathers in the clip. “Your name still carries with it the idea of a nation built on steel, muscle and sweat. You became the city to carry the country. The city, like the sport, is built on dreams, people who arrived here driven to excel who know that nothing is accomplished without hard work and sacrifice. When you hurt, we hurt.” WATCH HERE

2010 DMC US FINALS DJ BATTLE DVD IS A MUST HAVE FOR ALL YOU DJ HEADS.
The 2010 DMC US Finals includes winning sets from 2010 DMC US Champion: DJ Etronik from Pico Rivera CA, The 1st to rep the US at the DMC World Finals in all 3 DMC battle categories! A powerful set from 2010 DMC US Vice-Champ: DJ Steel from Lakewood, NJ, 3rd: Grandmaster Supreme: former DJ for Ms. Lauren Hill + NMS DJ Champion Plus Concept (FL), DJ Image (CA), Juyadek (CA) and DJ Swift (SC). Colorado DJs made up almost 1/2 of the DJs battling in the 2010 DMC US Finals! (Cysko Rokwel, Skip Ripkin, DJ Notch, Jeff C and B*Money) Kool DJ Red Alert directs the festivities with his classic voice and humor!DJ Showcases include the phenomenal Excess alongside the elusive Toadstyle. DMC World Champion Showcase by DJ Shiftee - wait til you hear what he did with Red Alert's Intro!! Actually, you know what? You don't have to wait.

CASIO & NICKI MINAJ TEAM UP.
Casio America, Inc. today announced that Nicki Minaj will help kickoff and celebrate the launch of the Casio TRYX™ by performing at TRYX OUT: NYC 2011 - Casio's official launch party for the camera. Taking place on April 7th at the Best Buy Theater in New York City, TRYX OUT: NYC 2011 will also feature a performance by the legendary Roots. "Casio is thrilled to have Nicki Minaj help us launch TRYX here in the U.S.," said Toshi Iguchi, Senior General Manager, Digital Imaging Division, Casio America Inc. "Just as Nicki brings a unique, exciting and fresh perspective to the world of hip-hop, Casio looks to do the same with TRYX and the digital imaging industry. Nicki's enthusiasm adds tremendous value to TRYX OUT: NYC 2011, and the unquestionable 'wow' factor of her performance will help make this the ultimate launch event befitting such a game changing product." "Casio sure knows how to design a camera," said Nicki Minaj. "I'm excited to be part of the TRYX OUT: NYC 2011 launch party and look forward to working together with Casio to make sure this camera gets the party it deserves! With a TRYX in my hand, there's no doubt that I'll be able to take incredible images and video on tour and beyond.".. "We are excited to perform at the launch event for the Casio TRYX," said Questlove. "From what I hear, the camera has a state-of-the-art, innovative design, and I'm eager to get a chance to see it myself."



KANYE NUDE PHOTOS LEAK?
Explicit photos of rapper Kanye West showing off his genital are reportedly being shopped around. One source reports that the alleged images were snapped by the rapper himself as he allegedly showed his genitals and later sent them to a number of women. The reported X-rated photos are now being shopped to various media outlets. The source mentioned that they have seen two of them. One image allegedly shows Kanye completely nude from the chest up while putting on sunglasses and a gold chain. Another pic allegedly shows the rapper's private part exposed from his boxer briefs. "These pics have been floating around since he hit so many girls up on MySpace," a source of the images said as quoted by the site. The source further said that Kanye "probably sent them to many, many women." Coincidentally, Kanye's new song "Runaway" dishes out his alleged habit of sending females he was pursuing pictures of him and his junior. The song's lyrics say, "She find pictures in my email/ I sent this girl a picture of my d**k." Keep in mind this is strictly rumors at this point..and He does have a new album on the way. Promo stunt? You be the judge.

LIVE NATION APPOINTS INTERIM CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD.
Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE: LYV) announced today that its Board of Directors has named Dr. John C. Malone as Interim Chairman of the Board effective immediately. Barry Diller made his resignation official at a Board meeting yesterday afternoon, and Dr. Malone agreed to serve in an interim capacity to permit the Board adequate time to select a new Chairman. Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE: LYV) is the largest live entertainment company in the world, consisting of five businesses: concert promotion and venue operations, sponsorship, ticketing solutions, e-commerce and artist management. Live Nation seeks to innovate and enhance the live entertainment experience for artists and fans: before, during and after the show. In 2009, Live Nation sold 140 million tickets, and promoted 21,000 concerts.

ROC-A-FELLA CO-FOUNDER ARRESTED IN FED DRUG BUST.
A rap mogul who helped launch Jay-Z's career was busted Friday (Oct. 15) with 42 other people when the feds rolled up a drug ring that controlled the marijuana market in New York City. Dubbed operation "Green Venom," the feds rousted Kareem "Biggs" Burke - co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records with Shawn (Jay-Z) Carter and Damon Dash - from his home in North Bergen, N.J. They also arrested the fearsome head of the narcotics network, Geovanny (Manny) Rodriguez Perez, and Matthew Stang, an ad executive for pot-promoting High Times magazine, and seized $1 million in drug profits and 177 pounds of pot. "This isn't just a group that controlled one block, one neighborhood," said Jim Hayes special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "They dominated the wholesale marijuana market in New York for 20 years." Burke has been part of the ring since 1992 and was spotted loading a bag of pot into his Toyota SUV, court papers state. Hayes said the feds have had their eyes on Perez, aka "Shorty," for years and that he had a simple business model. "They grow the pot, they ship it up north, they sell pot, and send the money back to South Florida," Hayes said. And Perez was also not afraid to use muscle. "He has either wiped out or threatened to wipe out competitors," said Hayes. Perez trucked the pot up from Florida "in tractor trailers with cover loads of legitimate merchandize," the criminal complaint states. They also trucked the drug money back south or used couriers who took "commercial flights with large amounts of cash hidden in their luggage." Stang was also a long-time member of the ring, according to the criminal complaint, which revealed that he was called "Magazine Guy" and that his middle name is Woodstock. High Times editor Dan Skye said "he was an ad guy" for the magazine and has not heard from him since his arrest. During an 18-month operation, investigators used 20 wire taps to gather evidence against the drug suspects, Hayes said. "Rodriguez was intercepted over the wiretaps discussing violent acts, including his threat to "hunt" a customer who was late paying for marijuana," according to court records. Seven other suspected drug ring members were still being sought, Hayes said. The suspects face 10 years to life in prison if convicted of conspiracy to distribute 1,000 kilos of marijuana. Source: New York Daily

SONY TO NAME NEW CEO NEXT WEEK?
Sony Music executives will reportedly hold a management summit next week, where the label is expected to determine who will be the company's next CEO. Among the candidates vying for the top job are: RCA Music Group Chief, Barry Weiss; Rob Stringer, who runs Columbia/Epic; and Martin Bandier, who oversees Sony/ATV, Sony's music-publishing unit, according to sources. Bandier, who joined the company in 2007 after running EMI Music Publishing for 16 years, is gaining support within Sony's ranks. He wouldn't be the first publishing boss to take the reins of a major music label. Roger Faxon ran rival EMI's publishing arm until recently, when he was upped to CEO of the company. Source: New York Post.

QUEEN LATIFAH SPEAKS ABOUT HER NEW VENTURE INTO THE VITAMIN WATER INDUSTRY.
Today, Queen Latifah issues her first executive statement on behalf of her new company New York Spring Water. This is the first time the Cover Girl speaks out about her new investment venture. Queen Latifah says..."Favor Unit is thrilled to announce our partnership with New York Spring Water. New York Spring Water is a great company that has creative and exciting ideas regarding product development, which is exactly why they are a great fit for us and our brand. "

New York based beverage company New York Spring Water Inc, revealed details on their new partnership with Flavor Unit Entertainment and reported plans to expand globally this fall. According to executives at New York Spring Water, Flavor Unit Entertainment is now part owners in the business and will be an integral part of the company’s strategic mission to expand internationally. Flavor Unit is ran by Grammy Award winning artist and Oscar nominated actress, Queen Latifah, and her business counterpart Shakim Compere. Details on the amount of Flavor Unit’s capital investment are still undisclosed. At press time, Shakim Compere states, “Latifah and I are really excited about this partnership. New York Spring Water is an innovative company and is definitely at the forefront of new product developments in the industry.” Other sources have also revealed that the marketing company United Entertainment Group is also a part of the investment team. Industry insiders forecast the brands most popular product, VBlast, will become a market leader in the Vitamin Water industry due to the innovative packaging. Unlike competitive brands, VBlast stores liquid vitamins in the cap of each bottle that are released when opened by the consumer. Therefore, VBlast vitamins are not diluted in the water where they can lose potency over time. In coming weeks, 7-Eleven convenience stores will be the first national retail chain to house New York Spring Water products on their shelves. Management also reports plans of working with high profile entertainers on marketing and global philanthropic initiatives in coming months. New York Spring Water will showcase its products in booth number 5648 October 5th - 8th at the NACS Conference held in Atlanta, Georgia.

FAR EAST MOVEMENT UP TO BAT.
Far East Movement has released their debut album Free Wired via Cherrytree Records/Interscope. The LA based group who have been dominating the charts with their smash single "Like A G6" are ready to unleash their full album on the world featuring appearances by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder, Snoop Dogg, Lil Jon, Keri Hilson and more. The guys are currently on the "Up In The Air" tour with Mike Posner and are giving fans an inside look at their tour bus. Check out a new behind the scenes video to learn more about their "free wired" life on the road. WATCH HERE

BLACK ROB INKS WITH DUCK DOWN.
Black Rob is the newest affiliate of Duck Down Music. The former Bad Boy, Harlem rapper is poised to release his first studio album in over five years. This past May, Black Rob was released from prison after serving four years for failing to show up to a previous sentence hearing for a grand larceny charge. Over the past seven months Black Rob has returned to the studio where he's always felt most comfortable. Black Rob explains the LP is a "testimony of what I stand for and how I feel. The people have been asking for true hip hop music, and that's what I'm giving them. I stayed away from features. I've been away for 4 joints, so I feel the people deserve to hear me. When I came home, I went right to work, and didn't have time to reach out to cats. On my next project you will get that. As for producers, I have some up-and-coming cats on there. I believe in giving cats a chance. As far as named producers you may hear a joint or two from Buckwild, Self Service, Bishop, Scram Jones and Pete Rock." On his decision to work with Duck Down Music, Black Rob reveals that he "always respected their movement and also been a fan of their music. If I'm going independent why not go with a team I respect, and they have always had a true family setting & environment." During the course of his career, Black Rob has recorded several successful projects. In 2000, he released 'Life Story,' which has sold over 1 million units & featured the well-known single, "WHOA!" Five years later, he returned with 'The Black Rob Report,' which surpassed sales of 100,000 units. Again, five years later, Black Rob is readying a new album entitled 'Game Tested & Street Approved.'

2010 AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS' NOMS ANNOUNCED.
The 2010 American Music Awards® (AMAs) nominees were announced from the JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE. P!nk and Usher were also announced as performers for the 38th annual AMAs. Additional acts and presenters will be announced in the coming weeks. Eminem and Lady Antebellum lead the nominations race this year with five (5) total nominations each, Justin Bieber follows with four (4) nominations and B.o.B., Katy Perry, Ke$ha and Usher collected three (3) nominations respectively. Justin Bieber, Eminem, Ke$ha, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry make up the highly talented roster of 2010 Artist of the Year nominees. Orly Adelson, executive producer of the show and Larry Klein, AMA producer jointly stated, "We are happy to congratulate all of the nominees for their accomplishments in 2010. We look forward to an exciting night of music and celebration on November 21st." The live broadcast will take place at the NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE on SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 21st (8:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT) on ABC.

PETEY PABLO SET TO SURRENDER TO AUTHORITIES.
Petey Pablo is set to surrender to authorities on Wednesday, October 13 morning after cops issued a warrant for his arrest over gun charges. The rapper (real name Moses Barrett III) was detained at Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina last month after security officers allegedly found a pistol in his carry-on luggage. He was later released on $50,000 bail. Pablo's representative claims the pistol does not belong to the star and he forgot the firearm was in his bag after taking it from a pal. A federal judge has now issued an arrest warrant for Pablo after government officials claimed the star was fully aware he was in possession of "a concealed dangerous weapon that was and would have been accessible to him in flight". Pablo is charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of a stolen firearm and attempting to take the gun onto an airplane, reports TMZ. A spokesperson for Pablo says he was unaware of the warrant but now plans to surrender to authorities early on Wednesday.

AKON ANNOUNCED AS MUSIC GUEST FOR VICTORIA SECRET FASHION SHOW.
Akon will be the musical guest on THE VICTORIA'S SECRET FASHION SHOW, taped in New York, to be broadcast Tuesday, Nov. 30 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Supermodels Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, Rosie-Huntington-Whiteley, Candice Swanepoel, Chanel Iman, Erin Heatherton, Lily Aldridge, Behati Prinsloo and a bevy of other Victoria's Secret Angels will star in this lingerie runway show, which will also include red carpet interviews, model profiles and a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the world's most celebrated fashion show. The runway show will also feature the $2 million Bombshell Fantasy Bra designed by renowned Italian jeweler Damiani and worn by Supermodel Adriana Lima. Akon is the first solo artist to twice hold both the #1 and #2 spots simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. He has since founded two record labels, KonLive and Konvict, that are home to talents including Lady Gaga and T-Pain, as well as his own youth-focused charity, Konfidence Foundation. With over 40 Billboard Hot 100 songs and 300 guest appearances with a diverse mix of artists from icons Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Quincy Jones to Gwen Stefani, R. Kelly and Leona Lewis, Akon is one of the most popular artists in music today. Akon will perform "Angel," the first single off his upcoming album, Stadium, at the fashion show.

JAY-Z WINS BIG AT U.K. MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS.
Jay-Z was among the big winners at the U.K. Music Video Awards in London on Tuesday, October 12. The hip-hop star landed two trophies for the Best Urban Video and Best Editing in a Video for his "On to the Next One" music promo. Meanwhile, British rapper Plan B, real name Benjamin Drew, was the night's big winner at the ceremony, picking up a total of four prizes - he was handed honors for Best Pop Video and Best Art Direction in a Video for his track "Prayin' ", and Best Cinematography in a Video and Best Styling in a Video for "Stay Too Long". OK Go were awarded Best Video of the Year and Best Rock Video for their track "This Too Shall Pass".

50 CENT LANDS $200 MILLION FOR FILM COMPANY.
50 Cent has secured $200 million in funding for his film company Cheetah Vision. Rapper and producer Randall Emmett, who launched the venture with 50 Cent in 2009, negotiated the multi-million dollar sum for a 10-picture deal, backed by George Furla's Hedge Fund Film Partners. The cash injection will enable Cheetah Vision bosses to produce roughly five films a year, with a budget of about $20 million, reports Variety. And the "In Da Club" hitmaker, real name Curtis Jackson, has already begun production on his first film as part of the deal - he's set to start shooting heist movie "Set Up" in November. His producing partner Emmett tells Variety, "The thing about 50 Cent is that, just like in his music career, he isn't someone who sits around and waits for things to get done. He came to me and said, 'How do we move quicker on projects?' With this new fund, we are able to do that." 50 Cent's previous acting credits include 2008's "Righteous Kill" and "Get Rich or Die Tryin' " in 2005.

JIVE ARTISTS MATISSE JOINS FORCES WITH KONVICT MUSIC.
New York based singer/songwriter Matisse joins forces with Konvict Music, international pop star Akon's label, to remix her No. 1 dance hit "Better Than Her." The remix features Akon and is currently exploding at Top 40 radio. "I'm extremely excited about working with Matisse!" says Akon. "Konvict Music has played a major role in breaking a number of artists over the past couple of years including Lady GaGa and T-Pain. I think Matisse has the potential to be America's next pop darling and a global superstar," professes Akon. Other top writers and producers on her forthcoming debut album include Dallas Austin (TLC, Pink, Gwen Stefani), Tricky Stewart (Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Beyonce) and breakout pop singer/songwriter Bruno Mars. Kevin Rudolf (Lil' Wayne, Jesse McCartney), who produced "Better Than Her," says, "Matisse is one of my favorite new artists. She brings a playful energy back to pop music that's reminiscent of early Madonna." Last month, Matisse embarked on a radio tour that included stops in Denver, Dallas, Miami, San Antonio and other select markets in support of "Better Than Her" and the single is becoming a breakout viral hit with over 1 million collective online plays on YouTube alone.

EMINEM'S PUBLISHER TO ENFORCE SETTLEMENT IN APPLE LAWSUIT.
Eminem’s music publisher has asked a U.S. District Court judge in Detroit to enforce a settlement reached in a lawsuit against Apple Computer Inc. totaling more than $2.2 million. The request by Ferndale-based Eight Mile Style LLC, filed under seal last Tuesday, asked the court to enforce a settlement stemming from a lawsuit over downloads of the hip-hop star’s music on iTunes. The settlement — never previously disclosed — has grown to more than $2.2 million, including attorney fees, according to court records. It was unclear which company was responsible for paying the settlement, but the only defendants in the case are Apple and Aftermath Records. The motion was filed less than a month after a federal appeals court in California found Eminem’s former production company is entitled to more money from downloads of the rapper’s songs and ringtones. A federal jury last year had ruled against F.B.T. Productions LLC in its suit against Universal Music Group seeking a greater share of revenue from downloads made between 2003 and 2008. But the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found last month that F.B.T.’s contract entitled Eminem and his producers to a 50-50 split with Universal for recordings licensed to digital distributors such as iTunes. The record label had paid F.B.T. and Eminem 12 percent of sales, the agreed-upon rate for physical albums. In the Detroit case, Eight Mile Style and Apple reached a settlement in early October 2009 following a brief trial. The central issue was whether a record deal between Aftermath Records and an Eminem representative gave copyright licenses to the hip-hop artist’s musical compositions that allowed digital downloads through Apple’s iTunes store. Eminem was not a party to the lawsuit. Source: Detroit News.

BIRDMAN TRYING TO BUY-IN MIAMI DOLPHINS OR NOT?
Cash Money Records co-founder Bryan “Baby” Williams is seeking to join Venus and Serena Williams, Gloria Estefan, Fergie, Jennifer Lopez and her husband Marc Anthony to become a shareholder in the Miami Dolphins football team. Birdman is in negotiations with billionaire real estate developer Stephen M. Ross, who owns the majority stake in the sports team. “It’s in the works,” he told Angela Yee on the Morning After Show on Sirius Radio. “You have to get clearance from the NFL and we’re waiting for clearance. Once we get clearance, we good....“You got Venus and all them other people involved. We wanted to be part owners in the Dolphins.” Birdman is a savvy businessman who recently set up his own oil and gas company, Bronald Oil & Gas, with his brother Ronald 'Slim' Williams. Miami Herald Reporter Armando Salguero denies the accuaracy of this story and says not to believe Birdman's story. The Miami Herald writer says he called the NFL to ask what is the deal with Birdman and a spokesman told him the league has no knowledge of any approval process for Birdman. The reporter continued Birdman apparently isn't at all involved in the approval process he said he was, according to Dolphins owner Stephen Ross... "I have NEVER spoken to him or any representative," Ross said in a statement released by the team. "Not considering or looking for any celebrity limited partners."

REPORTLINKER ADDS GLOBAL DIGITAL MUSIC FORECAST FOR ONLINE, MOBILE, AND SUBSCRIPTION CHANNELS, 2010-2014.
Global Digital Music Markets will see Retail Revenues increase to $32 billion by the end of 2014. This Digital Music Forecast provides a comprehensive forecast of global, regional, and country-specific digital music markets. There are now 823 million paid users of digital music worldwide and that number is expected to almost double to 1.55 billion in 2014. While there has been much debate about the impacts of the global recession on consumer discretionary spending, IEMR is forecasting a significant increase in the number of users who will be accessing their music through various digital channels, including online downloads, mobile downloads, and subscription downloads of online portals. The report estimates that the total number of paid users of digital music worldwide will reach 823 million in 2010, and this number is going to increase to 1.55 billion by the end of 2014, for a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17.0%. While the number of music users downloading their music through their mobile handsets will increase from 483.8 million in 2009 to over 1 billion in 2014, the greatest growth in the global digital music industry will happen through subscriptions to both online and mobile music channels While the mobile channel will continue to account for a large share of music downloads (its current market share is 70% of all users), The report predicts that both the online single download users and online subscription users will see a higher growth rate over our forecast period. Online digital retail spending (which includes digital downloads of full tracks, albums, music video and streams over the fixed network) was $3.5 billion in 2009. This particular market segment will see retail revenues grow by a CAGR of 32.7% to $13.4 billion in 2014. Digital Music Revenues at Record Companies to reach $21.1 billion at the end of 2014. IEMR is forecasting Record company revenues from downloads of full tracks, albums, music video and streams over the fixed and wireless network will reach $21.1 billion in 2014, from the current estimated $4.8 billion in 2009. The report predicts that over the next five years, record companies will do a better job of increasing their subscription customers (subscription revenues will increase to $1.8 billion for record companies) and they have also seen the writing on the wall in terms of online access and will begin exploiting this channel more thoroughly over the forecast period. This will result in increased online revenues from digital music downloads of $8.1 billion in 2014 (for a CAGR of 30.6%).

North America
There are now 105 million paid users of digital music in North America and that number is expected to grow to 227.4 million in 2014. Despite the global economic slowdown, the North American digital music market remains strong. The report predicts that digital music paid download users in the United States and Canada will increase from 105 million to 227.4 million over the forecast period, 2010 – 2014 (Compound Annual Growth Rate is 17.0%. This is higher than our previous forecast of a CAGR of 12.9%).

Online music download users in North America will increase dramatically from 50.4 million in 2009 to 135.0 million in 2014. The report predicts that music users downloading their music through their mobile handsets in North America will increase significantly from 52.9 million in 2009 to 83.3 million in 2014 (CAGR of 8.6%, previously 4.5%). However, the greatest growth will happen through online and mobile subscription users. We forecast that digital music download subscription users will increase from 1.9 million in 2009 to 9.1 million in 2014 (CAGR of 44.6%). Digital music retail revenues in North America to reach $11.87 billion in 2014. The forecast predicts that digital music retail revenues in the United States and Canada will increase from $4 billion in 2009 to $11.87 billion in 2014, for a CAGR of 26.8% (previously 33.4%).

In particular, revenues from online single download users of digital music will increase from $2.4 billion in 2009 to $8.3 billion in 2014, for a CAGR of 30.9% (previously 44.0%). The strong growth in the use of the online channel is caused by high broadband penetration in North America. Revenue will continue to grow as illegal file sharing becomes more difficult with various legislation and enforcement.

Digital music revenues at Record Companies in North America to reach $7.3 billion in 2014.
Forecasting that record company revenues from downloads of full tracks, albums, music video and streams over the fixed and mobile networks in North America will reach $7.3 billion in 2014, from $2.53 billion in 2009.

Record companies will be gaining more subscription customers over the next five years. Forecasting that subscription wholesale revenues (received by record companies) will increase from $108 million in 2009 to $528 million in 2014, for a CAGR of 45.8%. Source: Report linker

NAS' EMAIL TO DEF JAM LEAKS?
Earlier this morning (October 7) an email allegedly written by Nas to the execs over at Def Jam was circulated on the Internet. In the letter, Nas vents to the record label for refusing to release a sequel to his 2002 compilation, The Lost Tapes. (See Below) Sources say the email was not to become public.

From: Nas
To: LA Reid, Steve Bartels, Steve Gawley, Michael Seltzer, Joseph Borrino, Chris Hicks Subject: PUT MY SHIT OUT!

Peace to all,
With all do respect to you all, Nas is NOBODY’s slave. This is not the 1800's, respect me and I will respect you.
I won’t even tap dance around in an email, I will get right into it. People connect to the Artist @ the end of the day, they don’t connect with the executives. Honestly, nobody even cares what label puts out a great record, they care about who recorded it. Yet time and time again its the executives who always stand in the way of a creative artist’s dream and aspirations. You don’t help draw the truth from my deepest and most inner soul, you don’t even do a great job @ selling it. The #1 problem with DEF JAM is pretty simple and obvious, the executives think they are the stars. You aren’t…. not even close. As a matter of fact, you wish you were, but it didn’t work out so you took a desk job. To the consumer, I COME FIRST. Stop trying to deprive them! I have a fan base that dies for my music and a RAP label that doesn’t understand RAP. Pretty fucked up situation

This isn’t the 90's though. Beefing with record labels is so 15 years ago. @ this point I just need you all to be very clear where I stand and how I feel about “my label.” I could go on twitter or hot 97 tomorrow and get 100,000 protesters @ your building but I choose to walk my own path my own way because since day one I have been my own man. I did business with Tommy Mottola and Donnie Einer, two of the most psycho dudes this business ever created. I worked well with them for one major reason……. they believed in me. The didn’t give a fuck about what any radio station or magazine said….those dudes had me.

Lost Tapes is a movement and a very important set up piece for my career as it stands. I started this over 5 years ago @ Columbia and nobody knew what it was or what it did but the label put it out as an LP and the fans went crazy for it and I single handlely built a new brand of rap albums. It’s smart and after 5 years it’s still a head of the game. This feels great and you not feeling what I’m feeling is disturbing. Don’t get in the way of my creativity. We are aligned with the stars here, this is a movement. There is a thing called KARMA that comes to haunt you when you tamper with the aligning stars. WE ARE GIVING THE PEOPLE EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT. Stop throwing dog shit on a MAGICAL moment.

You don’t get another Nas recording that doesn’t count against my deal….PERIOD! Keep your bullshit $200,000.00 fund. Open the REAL budget. This is a New York pioneers ALBUM, there ain’t many of us. I am ready to drop in the 4th quarter. You don’t even have shit coming out! Stop being your own worst enemy.

Let’s get money!

-N.Jones

EMINEM UP FOR 4 NOMS AT MTV INTERNATIONAL AWARDS.
Eva Longoria will host the 2010 MTV EMAs, the music web's international awards. Taking place in Madrid, the kudocast will be aired live on Nov. 7. Artist performing will include Kings of Leon, Ke$ha and Kid Rock, alongside the previously announced Katy Perry and Linkin Park. Katy Perry and Lady Gaga lead the chase for kudos with five noms each, while Eminem has four noms, and Rihanna, Muse, Justin Bieber, Thirty Seconds to Mars and Usher all have three noms apiece. Winners in all categories -- including song, live act and new act, and for the different genres, as well as best male and female artists -- will be decided by public vote.

SMIRNOFF ON DECK WITH NEW REALITY SHOW GEARED TOWARDS DJ'S.
SMIRNOFF®, the world's best-selling vodka, is launching a new reality television show, Master of the Mix. In a quest to crown the hottest DJ in the world, Master of the Mix is hosting multiple DJs in cities throughout the world to determine the ultimate mix master. Hosted by Grammy nominated producer/DJ, Just Blaze, and world famous DJ, Kid Capri, the show will pit the world's most prominent DJs against each other in head-to-head competition. The show is produced by GTM and Ben Silverman's next generation studio, Electus. "Master of the Mix marks the brand's first venture into reality television and we couldn't be more thrilled at the opportunity to work with some of the most influential leaders in the music industry," said David Tapscott, Brand Director, SMIRNOFF. "SMIRNOFF has always been a part of the nightlife culture, encouraging responsible partying for years and since we're working with some of the most influential DJs who control the night, the partnership between the two spaces feels natural to us." The competition kicks off at the DJ's base camp for the show, a luxurious home in the Hollywood Hills, and quickly moves to Sin City where the DJs spin at The People's Challenge, a massive vodka tasting event for SMIRNOFF at Tao Nightclub in Las Vegas. From there, the show follows the DJ's from city to city - and party to party - including Miami, Los Angeles, New York and London, where contestants will put their skills to the test in a series of challenges. Judged on their technical ability, track selection, originality, and crowd response, DJ's will be competing for the title of Master of the Mix, as well as $250,000 in cash and prizes, including a personalized SMIRNOFF bottle. Kid Capri will anchor the judging booth, while notable industry veterans such as Biz Markie will make guest appearances throughout the season. The Master of the Mix cast competing for the ultimate DJ title includes:

-- DJ Jazzy Joyce, hip hop legend, the only female in Funkmaster Flex's DJ crew and NYC's Hot 97 DJ
-- DJ Mars, the DJ for Keri Hilson, Monica, Kelis, and Ne-Yo and founder of World Famous Super Friends
-- DJ Rap, also known as the Queen of the Turntables and first lady of Drum n: Bass, who has over three million in cumulative    worldwide sales to her name, voted top female DJ in the world 7 years in a row
-- DJ Revolution, Los Angeles-based resident DJ for The Wakeup Show with Sway and King Tech. Widely known for his
   scratching ability, he has released several critically acclaimed self-produced solo albums and shared the stage with many   legendary artists.
-- Rich Medina Founder of Jump N Funk (2001), the original Fela Kuti Tribute Party, Little Ricky's Rib Shack at APT (one of    NYC's longest running weekly residencies ever), and Rock Steady Crew DJ. Rich also produced "Watchin' Me" for Jill Scott.
-- DJ Scratch, New Music Seminar DJ World Champion, three-time Grammy nominated producer, third member of the    legendary group EPMD. Scratch has produced for Busta Rhymes and Flipmode Squad, 50 Cent, LL Cool J, DMX, and Q-Tip.
-- DJ Vikter Duplaix, Grammy nominated DJ, producer & recording artist, who has released several solo albums in addition to    producing for Erykah Badu, Earth, Wind and Fire, Eric Benet, Bilal and many others.

2010 BET HIP HOP AWARDS RECAP.
The 2010 BET Hip-Hop Awards went down in Atlanta on Saturday night. Jay-Z and Nicki Minaj took home three trophies each and were the night's biggest winners. Hov won for Perfect Combo for "Empire State of Mind" with Alicia Keys, CD of the Year for The Blueprint 3 and Best Live Performer, while Nicki Minaj earned Rookie of the Year, People's Champ and the Made You Look award. Other winners on the night included Rick Ross, who took home two awards for the song "B.M.F. (Blowin' Money Fast)" for Club Banger of the Year and Track of the Year (for producer Lex Luger). Salt-N-Pepa were honored with the I Am Hip-Hop award, while Diddy won the Hustler award, Swizz Beatz was named Producer of the Year, and DJ Khaled won for Best DJ. Rick Ross opened the show as he, Diddy and DJ Khaled showered the crowd with pyrotechnics during "B.M.F." and B.o.B brought his hometown crowd to its feet with a rendition of his next single, "Don't Let Me Fall." Big Boi, Soulja Boy Tell'em, J. Cole, Cali Swag District with Digital Underground, Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka Flame were among the evening's other performers. The BET Hip-Hop Awards, hosted by Mike Epps, will air on the network on October 12 at 8 p.m

PITBULL TO OPEN HISPANIC ADVERTISING INDUSTRY CONFERENCE.
Ruben Leyva, President of Sony Music U.S. Latin, Joins Pitbull to Discuss the Evolution of Music and Entertainment with the Cultural Transformation of Society Singer, songwriter and host of his own Spanish-language program La Esquina on Mun2, Pitbull will share his experience and success story with advertising professionals at the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA) Annual Conference. The hip-hop rapper will be joined by Ruben Leyva, president of Sony Music U.S. Latin, and together they will address the challenges, opportunities and compromises, both personally and professionally, involved with creating stellar performers in today's changing entertainment marketplace. "Music and entertainment are at the forefront of the Hispanization of America. Pitbull epitomizes the success Latino entertainers have had not only in the music industry but in the Hispanic consumer market as well," says Gisela Girard, AHAA chair and president/COO of San-Antonio based Creative Civilization. "The stories of Pitbull and Leyva are similar to the challenges we overcome daily in our fight to establish Hispanic marketing within the advertising industry and within our client organizations. As entrepreneurs, we can learn a lot from the experiences, adversity and ultimate achievements of these entertainment icons. Like our advertising agencies, they are thinking critically about culture and the rapid transformation of our society, as well as the cultural breadth and diversity within the U.S. Hispanic population. It will be a dynamic opening to a high-energy AHAA Conference unlike anything you have experienced at other industry conferences." The session kicks off the AHAA Conference October 6-8 at the HyattRegency in Miami. The conference is designed to tackle tough issues facing Hispanic-specialized advertising agencies, and prepare advertisers and marketers for the next phase of growth and change in the industry. The theme of the conference, Natural Selection, is in essence what is happening in American culture and the advertising industry: Hispanic culture and traits are becoming more common over generations, and Hispanics are surviving and thriving with more influence than ever before.

MTV PRESIDENT IS OUT.
After more than 20 years at the network, MTV President Tony DiSanto and longtime lieutenant Liz Gateley are teaming to form a production shingle dubbed DiGa. With DiSanto exiting, it's believed that David Janollari, who joined MTV in January, will step in as MTV's new programming topper, but no deal has been made yet (and it's unclear what his title may be or whether he'll assume all of DiSanto's old duties). DiGa -- the first two letters of both producers' last names -- has set up shop at Ben Silverman's Electus production entity. MTV Networks Music/Film/Logo Group prexy Van Toffler told Variety that planning for DiSanto's turn to producing has been ongoing for a year. "The plan was always to build a great team around Tony, and we knew, and expected, all along that his real strength was as a producer of programs," Toffler said. Toffler declined to comment on who may replace DiSanto but said an official announcement would come within the next few weeks. DiSanto and Gateley leave MTV in a blaze of glory: Thanks to the success of Snooki, the Situation and company at "Jersey Shore," as well as other entries like "Teen Mom," MTV's ratings are up. DiGa will focus on producing reality and scripted series for primetime cable and network outlets and also plans to enter the feature film and digital domains. Under the deal, Electus will hold on to exclusive distribution rights for all content created by DiGa. Electus will also work with DiGa on bringing marketing and advertising partners to the duo, and Electus Distribution will handle DiGa programming internationally. DiSanto and Gateley aren't severing ties with MTV. They'll remain at the network through the end of the year to tie up loose ends and assist with the transition. The duo are also now expected to serve as exec producers on four upcoming series. DiGa has also secured a commitment from MTV to produce two more scripted projects. DiSanto and Gateley will also serve as consultants for the channel. As for Janollari, the move to assume much of DiSanto's job would make sense, as the exec took a bit of a title cut -- to exec VP of scripted development -- when he first joined MTV. It's believed that MTV topper Van Toffler has been specifically grooming Janollari to take over once DiSanto exited to pursue his producing ambitions. Janollari has both production and executive chops, having served as WB Entertainment president and a Warner Bros. TV exec, as well as a producer with Bob Greenblatt at their now-defunct Greenblatt/Janollari Studio label. Since hopping to MTV in January, Janollari has moved quickly to ramp up MTV's scripted output. As for DiSanto, rumors of his exit have swirled for some time, and he was believed to have been pursued by several entities. At different periods of time, he's been chatted up for broadcast network gigs; at one point he was rumored for a job at the CW, but he ultimately wanted to try his hand at being an independent producer. "He's a producer at heart," said one insider. "It's good for him and good for MTV." Most recently, when "Jersey Shore" launched, the show opened to mountains of criticism and so-so ratings. But DiSanto stood by the show, and it soon blossomed into a cultural phenomenon. DiSanto first joined MTV in 1989 as an intern. He worked his way up through production, eventually co-creating "Total Request Live" with Bob Kusbit and overseeing production for MTV's Times Square studio, music specials and series, special events and video programming. He later headed up MTV's East Coast development and programming for MTV2. DiSanto was named president of programming in 2007 and given the challenge of reinventing the MTV brand. Source: Variety

T.I. AND WIFEY LINK UP FOR ALZHEIMER'S EVENT.
T.I. and his wife, Tameka “Tiny” Harris will get together this weekend to fight against Alzheimer’s.
The late Clifford Smith, Sr., father of T.I. battled with the elderly disease, while Charles Pope, Tiny’s dad continues to battle the disease. In honor of both their parents struggle a private lunch will be held on Sunday, October 3 at Luckie Lounge. Reservations are $100, which serves as a pledge to fight Alzheimer’s. Amongst those expected to attend are: Community Alzheimer’s Advocate, Tena Walker, Dr. Patrick Griffith, the Division of Neurology Chief at the Morehouse School of Medicine and Jamie Foster, Founder of Sister 2 Sister magazine. There will also be performances by the OMG Girlz and QT Jazz.


106 & PARK CELEBRATES 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY.
This Fall marks the 10-year anniversary of BET Network's wildly-successful music countdown show, 106 & PARK. "Who would have thought that this little show that began September 11, 2000, with nervous producers and even more nervous first time hosts would turn into this highly successful, influential, game-changing daily energetic program about, from and to youth culture?" said Stephen G. Hill, President of Music Programming and Specials. "We are proud to reflect and represent every day for our incredible audience that still, after over 2500 episodes, still fuels the show....for this show was built and still rests on the BET audience." 106 & PARK is the #1 Music Variety Show on cable for 13 consecutive quarters among Adults 18-49, according to Nielsen and has been integral in launching the careers of numerous hip-hop and R&B artists. Music executive Kevin Liles once told EW, ''There are five things you need to do to be successful -- Sign a superstar with a great image, have a great first single, get great word of mouth, get them on the radio and get them on '106 & Park.' Those things start projects.''

PLAY N SKILLZ GETTING MT REALITY GIG.
Hot off shooting the video for Bun B''s new single "Ridin Slow", which they produced and are featured on, Dallas natives and 2X Grammy Award winning producers Play-N-Skillz are getting their own Reality Show on MTV. The show will be based on their lives as top producers living in Dallas. They are looking for a talented female to co-star with them on the show and will be holding auditions at their Downtown Dallas studio (2822 Commerce Street) on FRIDAY, OCTOBER 1ST from 7PM-9PM. MTV camera's will be shooting them throughout the process for their new show. ABOUT THE PRODUCERS: Two-time Grammy Award winning producers and rap duo, Play-N-Skillz consist of brothers, Juan "Play" and Oscar "Skillz" Salinas who hail from Dallas, Texas. These super producers have worked with some of the top names in music including Lil’ Wayne, Nelly, Pitbull, Bun B, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and Slim Thug to name a few. Play-N-Skillz recently signed a record label deal with SRC/Universal Records for their own label imprint, G4 Muzik. The deal has allowed the dynamic duo the opportunity to sign, develop and market artists with distribution through SRC/Universal Records. Their first signee rap phenom “Inertia,” has been burning up the charts with his hit song “Beddy Crocker” produced by Play-N-Skillz. Play-N-Skillz are currently working on their sophomore album entitled G.I.R.L.S., an acronym for Guys in Real Life Situations. Play-N-Skillz also teamed up with rap legend Too $hort and Kendra Wilkinson from E!’s The Girl’s Next Door to record the theme song for her E! reality show, “Kendra”.

NE-YO LINK WITH ISLAND DEF JAM FOR NEW JOINT VENTURE.
Ne-Yo has entered into a joint venture agreement that will bring Compound Entertainment to the Island Def Jam Music Group, it was announced today by Antonio 'L.A.' Reid, Chairman, Island Def Jam Music Group. The first artist signed to the Compound Entertainment joint venture is Loren Allred, an accomplished pianist, singer and songwriter based in Salt Lake City, whose debut album will be released early next year. Under terms of the agreement, Ne-Yo - whose first three studio albums debuted at #1 on the Soundscan chart, Year Of The Gentleman (2008), Because Of You (2007), and In My Own Words (2006) - will continue as a core artist on the roster of Def Jam Recordings. His brand new fourth studio album, LIBRA SCALE is scheduled for November 23rd release. "Ne-Yo is truly one of the greats, and it has been a privilege to work closely with him, from the early stages of his songwriting career through his extremely successful recording career," said Mr. Reid. "He is a unique artist, not only crafting his own series of brilliantly produced albums, but also providing big songs and hit duets for many of today's biggest stars. We fully anticipate this to be a very successful partnership." Ne-Yo founded The Compound Foundation which is committed to service at-risk and disadvantaged youth. The Compound Foundation sponsors performances, motivational speakers and mentorship opportunities with leaders and business people within the community.

LL COOL J AND BEASTIE BOYS UP FOR ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME.
Nominees for the 2011 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have been announced. This year's candidates for the Cleveland hall include R&B and soul performers Chuck Willis, Darlene Love and Joe Tex; singer-songwriters Donovan, Neil Diamond, Laura Nyro and Tom Waits; disco goddess Donna Summer; and '70s dance group Chic. Also in the running are rap acts LL Cool J and the Beastie Boys, New Orleans singer-pianist Dr. John, shock-rocker Alice Cooper, blues-rock unit the J. Geils Band, and '80s headbangers Bon Jovi. Inductees will be selected by 500 Hall of Fame voters and will be announced in December. The 2011 induction ceremony will be held March 14 in New York.

NICK CANNON TO FIGHT EMINEM?
Nick Cannon has challenged Eminem to a boxing match. "I'm on some Harlem Nights type sh*t I'm putting my money on @Eminem to win!! LOL," Cannon tweeted (September 27). "One things for d*mn sure @Eminem has way more fans than I do! They go hard! I don't want it with #Teamshady LOL. It will be all for charity! Like when Screech fought Horshack on celebrity boxing!" Cannon has even gone so far as to create a website to promote the 'fight.' The blurb reads "The time has come! Boys talk the talk, but men walk the walk. Nick has laid down the challenge to meet Eminem in the ring," reads a post on Cannon's official site. "Nick and the rest of the crew on Rollin' With Nick Cannon think it's time for the feud to be over once and for all. And to draw Slim Shady out of hiding, Nick has decided to do it all for charity." Cannon has even set up a Facebook page to hype the unlikely event.

THOUGHT PROCESS: Game Over For The Grand Hustle King
So is it safe to say T.I has not learned his lesson? How many more times must he get arrested before he realize he needs to make some serious life changing decisions? He can't be a father and a husband behind bars. Without going on tours and interviewing to promote his album, no money can be made, and the record sales alone is not enough. On top of that you can't expect the youth to listen to you, when you are doing the same thing you've encouraged them not to do. Just out of curiosity, how does T.I think the high school students he spoke to, look at him, now that he has gotten himself in trouble again? GRAB THE FULL REPORT HERE

LLOYD BANKS CELEBRATES GOLD.
G-Unit's first independent release with multi-platinum recording star LLOYD BANKS' hit single, "Beamer, Benz Or Bentley," has recently been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association In America, with over 500,000 copies sold. The Prime produced "Beamer, Benz Or Bentley" is the first official song to be released off BANKS third studio album, H.F.M. 2 (Hunger For More 2), which is slated for release on November 23rd, 2010 on G-Unit Records. The single reached Top 5 (#5) on Billboard's Rap Songs chart and Top 20 (#19) Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart and internationally reached Top 5 (#4) on the German Black Chart. "Climate wise, as far as the economy goes, it's a beautiful thing man. When you are coming from an independent standpoint, an independent gold record is really a platinum record and a platinum record is a double platinum record. This record was recorded in my home, mixed and mastered out the pocket. G-Unit as a record label worked it, and here we are: 500,000 copies sold a few months later," Banks says.

RADIO ONE ANNOUNCES NEW VP.
Radio One, Inc. (Nasdaq: ROIAK; ROIA) announced that Christopher Wegmann has been named Vice President/General Manager and Alan Leinwand has been named Director of Sales for Radio One's five-station cluster in Washington, DC. Mr. Wegmann, a broadcasting veteran of 30+ years, joined Radio One in March 2009 as Vice President/General Manager of St. Louis and Regional Vice President over Dallas. He continues to hold these positions. "I am excited to have Chris assume the position of General Manager of our five-station cluster in DC," said Barry Mayo, President, Radio Division. "His ability to increase revenue and market share is amply evident in the results that our St. Louis and Dallas markets have posted in 2009 and 2010, and I anticipate the same outcome in DC.".. "I am fortunate that after only a short time with Radio One I have been given the opportunity to oversee the Company's heritage market," said Mr. Wegmann. "I look forward to working with the dedicated staff of the DC market to achieve our collective goals of increased ratings, revenue and market share." Alan Leinwand stated that, "I am thrilled to be joining Radio One and excited about returning to the DC radio market where I spent over 20 years. The Radio One DC cluster is loaded with heritage brands that consistently deliver, and I feel fortunate to have been afforded this wonderful opportunity. I can't wait to start working with our team as well as with our advertising partners on building great programs together... all while helping Radio One develop the best sales effort in DC radio."

R&B SOUL SINGER LYFE JENNINGS SENTENCED TO SERVE 3 1/2 YEARS IN JAIL
On September 22, 2010, just a few weeks after releasing what he has called his "final" studio album, I Still Believe, platinum-R&B-soul-crooner Lyfe Jennings was sentenced by Cobb County Superior Court Judge, Lark Ingram, in Marietta, Georgia to serve 3 1/2 years in jail for his role in a 2008 domestic dispute. In court, Lyfe spoke to the judge, accepting full responsibility for his actions and apologized for what he had done. After serving a 10 year prison sentence for arson from 1992-2002, Lyfe has not had any trouble with the law except on this one occasion. Lyfe is eligible for parole and according to his attorney, Don Samuel, will most likely serve about one-third of his 3 1/2 year sentence. Mr. Samuel also stated that "Although it had been reported otherwise, there were no allegations of physical abuse or violence whatsoever against my client in this case". He also added, "Lyfe wants his family, friends and fans to know that he is a changed man, but all it takes is one mistake and one bad day to lose your freedom." He is currently in the Cobb County jail, where he will remain for approximately 30 days. Then will be moved to what is known as the Diagnostic Center where he will serve about two months, and then he will be designated to a minimum security prison for the remainder of his sentence. After being handed down his sentence, Lyfe sent this message via Twitter: "This will be my last post. To everyone who gave me a chance I am forever in your debt. I have had a fabulous career because of you. All I can say in parting is that I have been honest with [y'all]. I didn't sugarcoat a word didn't hold back a single [syllable] of my life from [y'all]. I've lived a hundred lives in these 6 [years] so I not only won't, [I] don't have the right to complain. I would like to think that I've changed lives by changing my own, [though] I can't be sure. But one thing I am sure of is God gives and takes away in measure. He is fair, just and forever. Amen from [a man]... Smile, its [contagious]:)" As a result of this news, all remaining shows left on Lyfe's current National tour have all been canceled. On his latest LP, Lyfe touches on the incident that has now sent him to jail in the song "If Tomorrow Never Comes". Lyfe addresses his mother, his aunt, his ex-girlfriend and his kids singing, "If tomorrow never comes/ And you never see me again/ I don’t want your last memories of me/ To be filled with negativity."

RICK ROSS, WAKA FLOCKA, AND GUCCI MANE CONFIRMED.
The fifth annual BET HIP HOP AWARDS '10 is charged and ready to deliver the most electrifying show yet. Rick Ross, Waka Flocka Flame, Gucci Mane and Swizz Beatz are the first acts confirmed to perform during this year's event on Saturday, October 2 with the network premiere on Tuesday, October 12 at 8:00 p.m.* Oscar-award winning actress, comedian and BET late-night host Mo'Nique and R&B sensation Keri Hilson are confirmed presenters with special appearances by breakout female rap star Nicki Minaj, rapper and actor Common, Oscar-nominated actress Taraji P. Henson, actor and comedian Martin Lawrence and multi-platinum selling artist Missy Elliot. Hosted by actor and funny man Mike Epps, the BET HIP HOP AWARDS '10 is ready to salute the best of the best in hip hop culture from the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Legendary female rap trio Salt (Cheryl James), Pepa (Sandra Denton) and Spinderella (Deidra "Dee Dee" Roper) of Salt-n-Pepa will be honored as this year's I AM HIP HOP AWARDS ICONS.

ANTONIO (L.A.) REID TO BE FIRED?
Rumors surfaced yesterday that Reid had been fired from his job as chairman of Island Def Jam Records, which was speculated to be tied to Reid's discussions with producers of both "American Idol" and "The X Factor" about becoming a judge on one of the shows. A source close to the situation says that if "X Factor," which is produced by rival Sony, makes Reid a firm offer, he'll have to leave Universal to take it. Initially, music industry insiders said that Reid's desire for a TV closeup had angered other UMG label executives because of Island Def Jam's recent poor performance. As critics are happy to point out, Reid lost Jay-Z to Warner Music Group last year, Mariah Carey's most recent album tanked, and Rihanna's second release underwhelmed. Those execs, we're told, couldn't understand why Reid should be allowed to moonlight on TV - for the competition, no less - when his day job isn't going well. But a source close to the scene says, "There's no plan to fire Reid or move him out of Universal Music Group." Indeed, the source says, it was the company's new CEO, Lucian Grainge, who suggested that Reid might be a good fit as an "Idol" judge now that UMG has become the series' music partner. Since then, the source says, Reid has had talks with the producers of "American Idol" about being that show's fourth judge - though it's unlikely such a post will materialize. (The show Wednesday named Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler as judges, and also announced that UMG-owned Interscope starmaker Jimmy Iovine will work as a mentor to "Idol" contestants.) After Reid talked to "American Idol," the source said, Simon Cowell, who departed the show to launch a U.S. version of "The X Factor," also spoke to Reid about becoming a judge. At this point, Reid does not appear to have a firm offer from either show. But a source says the Island Def Jam chairman would not be able to take "The X Factor" gig and remain with Universal. Should that happen, Reid would be leaving of his own accord and not with Grainge's footprint on the seat of his pants. "At the end of the day, it's going to be what Reid wants to do," the source says. A spokesman for Reid referred to a UMG corporate spokesman, who declined to comment. Source: NY Daily news

DJ HERO® 2 UNVEILS SOUNDTRACK.
In an all-new, unparalleled music experience featuring 83 original, exclusive mixes that spin together 105 speaker-blaring tracks and club-shaking anthems from over 100 of the biggest artists in hip hop, pop and dance, Activision Publishing, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) has dropped the needle on DJ Hero® 2’s full mix list that will transform living rooms into nightclubs with the best soundtrack in entertainment. Taking the soundtrack to “the most innovative and immersive music experience of 2009”* to the next level, when the party starts on October 19, budding beat chemists, singing sensations and all their friends will join together and experience these original, exclusive mixes such as Lady Gaga Mixed With Deadmau5, Iyaz Mixed With Rihanna, Eminem Mixed With Lil’ Wayne, Kanye West Mixed With Metallica and a host of others magical musical creations. With in-game appearances, music and mixes from DJs keeping the speakers thumping in the world’s hottest clubs, Deadmau5, David Guetta, DJ Qbert, DJ Shadow, DJ Z-Trip, RZA, and Tiësto among many others will start the DJ Hero 2 party off right. “Whether it’s Pussycat Dolls Mixed With Pitbull, 2Pac Mixed With B.o.B., or a all-new remix of a Daft Punk anthem, in DJ Hero 2 we have created 83 mixes that are not only incredibly fun to play, but will allow everyone to experience the music they know and love in an all-new way,” said Dan Neil, Music Director, FreeStyleGames. “The amazing soundtrack, coupled with the new social gameplay modes and all-new levels of creative freedom, make DJ Hero 2 the ultimate interactive music experience.” With the highly skilled DJs and music producers at FreeStyleGames – joined by Deadmau5, David Guetta, DJ Qbert, RZA, Tiësto and a crew of world renowned mixologists – dropping the beats, everyone will have a chance to experience their favorite music like never before. The DJ Hero 2 soundtrack mixes together some of the biggest hits currently dominating airwaves including Eminem’s ‘Not Afraid’ Mixed With Lil’ Wayne’s ‘Lollipop,’ Rihanna’s ‘Rude Boy’ Mixed With Iyaz’s ‘Replay,’ and an exclusive remix of David Guetta’s hit ‘Memories’ featuring Kid Cudi, among a host of others and delivers new musical content only available in our game,” said Tim Riley, Vice President of Music Affairs, Activision. “Individually these songs create a massive soundtrack in its own right, but with the biggest DJs in the world mixing and mashing them exclusively for DJ Hero 2 we’re delivering an all-new spin on this music in what promises to be the best soundtrack in entertainment.” SEE THE TRAILER

BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT BUYS PAC, MC HAMMER COPYRIGHTS?
BMG Rights Management (”BMG”) announced today (Monday Sept 20) the signing of a Purchase Agreement with funds managed by Trilantic Capital Partners and other sellers under which BMG has agreed to acquire Evergreen Copyright Acquisitions LLC. Evergreen Copyrights is a US-based full service independent music company. Founded by Richard Perna (former COO of Hamstein Music), David Schulhof (former Motion Picture Music Executive at Miramax and Dimension Films), and Joel Katz (Chair Global Media and Entertainment Practice, Greenberg Traurig), the firm has grown to become a sector leader in the US with over 65,000 titles across diverse genres. “We are excited to add another highly-regarded rights catalogue to our portfolio. Evergreen is known for its successful rights acquisition track record. With this acquisition BMG continues its growth path to become one of the leading global music rights players”, said Hartwig Masuch, CEO of BMG Rights Management. Schulhof and Perna, Co-CEOs of Evergreen, stated: “We are proud of the company we have built and thank all of the great songwriters and artists we’ve had the opportunity to work with. We wish to thank Trilantic Capital Partners for their unwavering support as we built Evergreen into the well-established global music publisher it is today. Most of all, we would like to thank all of our exceptional employees, without whom we could not have built this great company. We wish BMG continued success. We are very honored that they have selected Evergreen to join their growing family.” Evergreen Copyrights holds the rights to a variety of compositions performed by MC Hammer, Eric Clapton, Teddy Riley, Nick Drake, Bill Monroe and 2Pac. It also includes interests in compositions written by Emmy-nominated TV writer and producer Scott Schreer. Acquired music rights include well-known pieces such as “U Can’t Touch This”, “Cocaine”, “Kiss Me’”, John Waite’s “Missing You”, Joe Cocker’s “You Are So Beautiful” and Michael Jackson’s “Remember The Time”. Following the acquisition of Cherry Lane and the Adage IV catalogue in the US and more recently of UK headquartered Stage Three Music, this is the fourth acquisition of significant size in 2010 for BMG, which now controls and administers more than 200,000 songrights and masterrights. The closing of the Evergreen transaction is expected to be completed at the beginning of October. Following this transaction, Trilantic Capital Partners will reinvest part of its proceeds to acquire a single-digit stake in BMG. This move does not affect the operational business and the partnership structure of the joint venture. The investment ratio of the lead partners Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR) and Bertelsmann AG will remain unchanged. “Trilantic’s co-investment in BMG validates the attractiveness of our joint venture. We are pleased that we have found another partner who shares our view of the opportunities in the evolving music industry”, said Thomas Rabe, BMG Chairman. “We are extremely pleased with the accomplishments of the Evergreen management team, who have done an outstanding job in growing the business,” said Charlie Ayres, founding partner and chairman of Trilantic Capital Partners. “We are thrilled to embark on a new joint venture partnership with KKR and Bertelsmann as we look for new opportunities for growth in the global music rights business.”

SOUL TRAIN AWARDS SET FOR NOVEMBER.
CENTRIC announces the return of the SOUL TRAIN AWARDS, the classic music awards show that highlights R&B music's finest and bridges the gap between the soulful sounds of yesterday, today and tomorrow. Academy Award-nominated actors Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson will return to co-host the music special, which will tape at the Cobb Energy Center in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia on Wednesday, November 10 and will premiere on both CENTRIC and BET in a special simulcast at 9:00 PM* ET on Sunday, November 28. The SOUL TRAIN AWARDS special will honor the longstanding careers and musical influences of legendary artists Anita Baker and Ron Isley. The special will also celebrate soul music's legacy and the hottest stars who have helped pave the way for today's crop of performers. "We are excited to welcome the return of the SOUL TRAIN AWARDS to CENTRIC," stated Paxton Baker, CENTRIC's General Manager and Executive Vice President. "Last year's show was a stellar success and we're charged to be better this year. The Soul Train brand is part of the very fabric of American Culture, and has played a vital role in shaping the cultural framework and musical tastes of CENTRIC's 25- to 54- year old audience. It is our goal for this show to become a staple among television viewers." .. "As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Soul Train, we are excited to have the opportunity to partner with CENTRIC again to present the iconic Soul Train Awards," said Kenard Gibbs, CEO of Soul Train Holdings. "The team at Centric clearly respects the legacy of the brand and we are eager to return this year with an even stronger show. This year's Soul Train Awards will embody the same energy, passion, and excitement that became the hallmark of the brand throughout its rich history." The SOUL TRAIN AWARDS is produced by Sunseeker Media and directed by Jonathan X, in collaboration with BET Event Productions. Paxton Baker, CENTRIC Executive Vice President and General Manager, Tami Willis-Arasli, CENTRIC Vice President of Special and Music Programming; Bart Phillips, Sunseeker Media; and Soul Train Holdings' Kenard Gibbs, and Anthony Maddox will all be the executive producers of the network telecast. Tickets for the SOUL TRAIN AWARDS show are by invite only and not available for purchase.

JAY-Z, MJ, AND OTHERS TOP LIST OF CELEBRITY RECORD BREAKERS.
Who is the world's highest earning celebrity? Which power couple dominates the entertainment world? What pop star commands the most searches on the Internet? The new Guinness World Records 2011 edition out now reveals all this and more in its celebrity-filled pages. As one of the most talked about pop stars in recent memory, it should come as no surprise that Lady Gaga earned two records for the new book - "Most Searched-For Female" on Google and "Most Weeks On UK Chart In Any Year" with an astounding 154 weeks. Gaga shares her place in the new book alongside two of music's superstars - Jay-Z and Beyonce. Named the year's biggest "Power Couple", Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter and Beyonce Knowles earned an astounding $122 million through June 2009. Two celebrities this year making headlines for their high profile personal lives also made the book. Lindsey Lohan, takes the dubious honor as "Most Infamous Female Celebrity" thanks to her run-ins with the law and the unfortunate performances of her latest movies and Tiger Woods, who ruled the tabloids for his extramarital affairs, didn't see an impact on his earnings yet as he assumes his place as the "Most Powerful Sports Star". The golf phenom raked in an impressive $103 million and topped the 2010 BusinessWeek Sports Power 100 list. In tribute to the "King of Pop", the new Guinness World Records book features a special page devoted to Michael Jackson. The untimely death of MJ made the entertainer the "Most Searched-For Male" on the web and earned him several posthumous records reinforcing his spot at the top of the entertainment world. MJ, a fan of the Guinness World Records book, is a multiple record holder receiving eight over his lifetime for his chart achievements, album sales, earnings and charity donations.

MJ'S MOTHER SUES AEG LIVE.
Michael Jackson's mother has sued the promoters of her late son's planned concert tour, saying they did not live up to a promises to provide him proper physical care and negligently hired Dr. Conrad Murray as his personal physician. The Jackson family matriarch filed the suit against AEG Live in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of herself and her son's three children. She is seeking unspecified damages. The suit alleges AEG is responsible for the medical decisions made by Murray, who has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter in Jackson's death. AEG spokesman Michael Roth said company officials had not seen the lawsuit and had no immediate comment. The London concert tour was canceled after Jackson's June 25, 2009, death at age 50. The suit portrays the singer as being "confused, easily frightened, unable to remember, obsessive and disoriented" in the months before his death. "He was cold and shivering during the summer rehearsals for his show, and as shown in photographs of him, he uncharacteristically wore heavy clothing during the rehearsals, while other dancers wore scant clothing and were perspiring from the heat," the suit states. Rather than cut back on the rehearsal schedule so that Jackson could recuperate, AEG "insisted that he attend every rehearsal in a grueling schedule, threatening that if he missed even one more they would cancel the tour ...," his mother alleges. AEG, "so that it could reap staggering profits from the tour," instructed Jackson to stop taking medication and that he be treated only by Murray, according to the complaint. One of Jackson's sons, Michael Jr., "witnessed his father suffering and accordingly has suffered great trauma and severe emotional distress," the suit says.

WARNER BROS. RECORDS DOES A REVAMP
Warner Bros. Music Group announced today a new senior management team for Warner Bros. Records. The Warner Bros. Records label group includes the Warner Bros., Asylum, Nonesuch, Reprise and Sire imprints. Composed of some of the industry's most accomplished creative executives and label operators, the new executive team at Warner Bros. will be Rob Cavallo (currently WMG's Chief Creative Officer), who will serve as Chairman, Todd Moscowitz (currently Executive Vice President of Warner Bros., CEO of WMG's Independent Label Group and President of Asylum Records) who will serve as Co-President and CEO and Livia Tortella (currently Executive Vice President and General Manager of WMG's Atlantic Records) who will serve as Co-President and Chief Operating Officer. Tom Whalley, who has served as Chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. Records since 2001, has decided to leave the company. In addition, given that the new executive structure substantially alters management responsibilities, Diarmuid Quinn has decided that he will be stepping down from his position as Chief Operating Officer of Warner Bros. Records and President of Reprise Records. In making the announcement, Lyor Cohen, WMG's Vice Chairman and Chairman and CEO, Recorded Music - Americas and the U.K. said, "The new Warner Bros. executive team represents the ideal combination of skills to operate a successful music company in today's radically evolving industry environment. With Rob's creative brilliance, Todd's proven ability to develop and execute new business models and revenue streams and Livia's established track record of building lasting artist careers, we have in place a group of executives who are uniquely positioned to continue to strengthen the reputation of Warner Bros. as an artist-friendly haven with a visionary approach to discovering and nurturing new talent." ... "Tom Whalley is one of this industry's most accomplished executives and his contributions to WMG are enormous, having restored Warner Bros. to its leadership position," said Cohen. "Just consider his near-decade of creative and operational success at Warner Bros., including ranking as one of the country's top three labels every year since 2003 and as the country's top label in two of the last five years. Tom embodies a rare combination of great creative instincts with a deep understanding of the music business, and we are privileged to have had him lead Warner Bros." Cohen stated, "Since joining Warner Bros. in 2001, Diarmuid Quinn has successfully guided the development and marketing of the company's roster, resulting in numerous global artist successes. We wish both Tom and Diarmuid all success." ... "I leave here extremely proud of what we've accomplished," said Tom Whalley. "I don't know a more talented group of professionals than the WBR team. After working with them for almost a decade, I'm awed by what they've done and by the roster we've built together. I'll miss them and our amazing artists, and wish them all the best. I'd like to thank both Edgar and Lyor for their leadership and their acceptance of my decision. I also want to thank all of the men and women whom I've had the great privilege to work with at WBR through the years." Cavallo said, "It is truly an honor to be named Chairman of a company that I've grown up in, that has played such an important role in shaping my career and embodies what it means to be an artist-oriented organization. The team at Warner Bros. has never lost sight of its core mission of serving artists and supporting the creative process. I'm so incredibly proud to have the opportunity to continue the legacy of the many great leaders of this company, from Mo Ostin to Tom Whalley, who exemplify this artist-centric mission in every aspect of their work. With Todd and Livia, and all of the great executives at the company, I'm confident that we can further enhance Warner Bros.' position as the preeminent home for artists, not just with respect to their work in the recording studio, but in all facets of their careers.".. Moscowitz said, "Warner Bros. is one of the most respected brands in music, and with that comes a profound responsibility to insure that this company continues to be progressive and innovative in its approach to artist development, and treats its artists as true partners. There's a great entrepreneurial spirit which lies at the foundation of this company, one that is more critical in today's industry environment than ever before. I look forward to enhancing that sense of entrepreneurship and to creating the most effective platform possible to translate Rob's creative vision into global artist successes. I want to thank Tom for his leadership and for helping to make Warner Bros. the remarkable organization that it is today." .. Tortella said, "Working at Warner Bros., with its legendary artist roster and its talented employees, is truly a dream come true for me. The Warner Bros. logo stands for the finest music, regardless of genre, and most importantly for a commitment to building artist careers. By supporting Rob's amazing skills as one of our industry's most consistent discoverers and nurturers of talent, I'm confident we can achieve new levels of growth by continuing to focus on long-term artist development. I can't think of a better, more passionate, talented and hardworking group of people to carry out that mission than the team at Warner Bros. Records."

FAT BEATS SCHEDULES LAST WEEK INTORE PERFORMANCES IN L.A.
Fat Beats is excited to present yet another send-off worthy of their hip-hop legacy. Following the recent close of their New York location and a successful string of in-store performances from such artists as Just Blaze, DJ A-Trak, Pete Rock, and DJ Premier, Fat Beats is planning a week long series of in-store performances and music industry panels for to close out the Los Angeles location. These in-stores will provide an opportunity for fans to celebrate the legacy of one of the strongest music brands in the company of their favorite artists, while learning about the history of Fat Beats and what the future holds for the music industry. Everyone is welcome to come and all events are free. Today marks the official start of the week and a half long in-store series for the Los Angeles location. This location will host artist performances every day starting this weekend until it closes its doors for the final time on Saturday, September 18th, 2010. Additionally, the Los Angeles Fat Beats location will be selling limited edition commemorative t-shirts, as well as discounted music and merchandise. Says owner, Joseph Abajian aka DJ Jab, "California has supported us since day one and we're looking forward to putting on great shows for our final week."

The schedule for the Los Angeles location is as follows:

Tuesday, September 14th: Trek Life, Percee P & Mellow Man Ace & others
Wednesday, September 15th: Tiron, Ayomari, Bambu, Tunji, & others
Thursday, September 16th: Producer Showcase - Exile, Rhettmatic, HouseShoes, Shafiyq, & others
Friday, September 17th: Kurupt, Bishop Lamont, Dilated Peoples, EM Eiht, Ras Kass, Planet Asia, Affion Crockett, Funkdoobiest, Strong Arm Steady, & others
Saturday, September 18th: Special guest DJ's and performers all day
*FINAL DAY* Sunday, September 19th: DJ's Showcase - DJ Revolution, Rhettmatic, J Rocc,& others

BMI CROWNS LIL WAYNE URBAN SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR
Lil Wayne was crowned BMI's urban songwriter of the year at the performing rights org's 2010 Urban Awards ceremony Sept. 10 at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. Honored as urban song of the year was the Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow," written by will.i.am, apl.de.ap and Taboo and published by Cherry River Music Co., Jeepney Music Inc., Tab Magnetic Publishing and will.i.am music. Industry leader EMI Music Publisher scored urban publisher of the year. Polow Da Don (Polow-Freache Jamal Fincher Jones), architect of recent hits by Robin Thicke, Christina Aguilera, Usher and 50 Cent, was named producer of the year. Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas received the BMI President's Award for his artistic and humanitarian efforts. Lil Wayne repeated as songwriter of the year with six of the most-performed songs of the year: Drake's "Best I Ever Had," "Every Girl," "Forever" and "Successful," the Game's "My Life" and Keri Hilson's "Turnin' Me On." He has been jailed at Rikers Island in New York since March. The event was hosted by BMI President/Chief Operating Officer Del Bryant and VP of writer/publisher relations Catherine Brewton with performer Ray J.

EMINEM TO OPEN UP VMA'S
MTV general manager Stephen Friedman said Wednesday that the rapper, who's nominated for eight trophies and continues to sit atop sales charts with "Recovery," will open Sunday's ceremony at the Nokia Theatre, which has been transformed with a sprawling white set reminiscent of the out-of-this-world Theme Building at the Los Angeles International Airport. "We thought that there's no better way to kick off the show than a performance from Eminem," said Friedman. The enveloping stage design includes a giant rotating billboard, curvy catwalk, circular performance space and two massive video screens that will serve as curtains. VMA executive producer Jesse Ignjatovic said the undulating space, created by German designer Florian Wieder, required about 2,000 orchestra seats to be removed from the Nokia Theatre. "Every year, we try to have a theme and purpose beyond just giving awards away," said Ignjatovic. "This year, being back in Los Angeles, we really gravitated toward mid-century modern architecture and the pop culture of the '50s, like the youth-oriented rebellion films 'Rebel Without a Cause' and 'Wild Ones.' It's a very L.A. kind of a set." Other performers on the show include Linkin Park, Usher, Eminem, Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Drake, Paramore, B.o.B, Florence + The Machine, along with Travie McCoy, Jason Derulo and Robyn who will perform with this year’s VMA house artist, deadmau5.

JAY-Z SIGNS WILL SMITH'S DAUGHTER TO ROC NATION.
Jay-Z has confirmed reports and rumors that he has signed actor Will Smith’s 9-year-old daughter Willow to his new Roc Nation label. “First off, I heard the record first, before I knew that it was recorded by a nine year-old,” Hov said in an interview with radio host Ryan Seacrest. “I was like, ‘Man, that record is a smash.’ — I went to Japan to do some stuff and they were out there and I met Willow and she walked in and the first thing she said was, ‘I’m really nervous,’ and I thought that maturity, explaining exactly how she was feeling as she was walking in the room, I knew right there she was a star. I believe in super stars and I believe in big records on super stars…Yes, I signed her and we plan on helping her facilitate all her ideas. As you’re going to learn today, if you sit with her for a half hour, you’ll see, she’s just a wealth of information and ideas…She’s a child, she has child innocence but she has a refreshing clear vision of what she wants to be…And I imagine that’s how Mike Jackson was as a kid.”

BET AWARDS 2010 ARE AMONG US.
The fifth annual BET HIP HOP AWARDS '10 returns and the chemistry will be explosive. Celebrating the biggest names in the game, newcomers on the scene, and shining a light on the community, THE BET HIP HOP AWARDS '10 is ready to salute the best of the best in hip hop culture. Back for a second round of show stopping tributes and fiery performances; host, actor and comedian Mike Epps is ready to lead hip hop's main event from the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center in Atlanta on Saturday, October 2 with the network premiere on Tuesday, October 12. Released yesterday on on 106 & PARK, hip hop heavy weight, Jay Z leads the 2010 nominations list with 10 nominations and breaks the BET HIP HOP AWARDS record for highest number of nominations in the history of the five year old awards show. This year, Young Money's Drake follows behind with eight nominations, and Rick Ross and Nicki Minaj tie with seven nominations each. This year, BET once again teams up with Cossette Productions, the famed producers of the GRAMMY Awards® and the record-setting BET AWARDS shows, to handle production of the telecast. Stephen G. Hill, BET President, Music and Programming, along with Lynne Harris-Taylor, BET Vice President of Specials, are executive producers of the telecast.

MORE DEATHROW DRAMA?
There has been a surprising change in the weather in the ongoing Death Row Records owner dispute between the company’s former CEO/President Laura Lavi and Canadian banker, Ron Ovenden who is also the Chairman of New Solutions Capital, the private lending company that loaned part of the money to purchase the Death Row Records and Suge Knight Publishing Assets in a California Bankruptcy Proceeding in January 2009. On August 31, 2010 by electronic filing Laura Lavi filed a lawsuit against Wideawake Deathrow Entertainment LLC (“Deathrow”) to “compel inspection of books and records to investigate potential self-dealing and breaches of fiduciary duty by Ronald Ovenden, a member and manager of the Death Row LLC.” Today, the registered agent for Deathrow was served with the complaint. This new lawsuit comes after a succession of favorable court results for Ms. Lavi starting with the Canadian Court’s ruling on February 17, 2010 where Mr. Ovenden did not win confirmation that he has control of the Delaware LLC and instead Justice Campbell has sent the case to trial at the end of this year to determine if Mr. Ovenden rightfully removed Ms. Lavi. Then in June 2010, Mr. Ovenden lost his onerous sanctions motion against Ms. Lavi when Judge Barbara Kapnick ruled that Ms. Lavi did not lie to the New York court. What is at stake here is control of one of the worlds greatest urban music catalogs. Death Row Records and Suge Knight Publishing which includes the music of multi platinum artists Dr. Dre, Snoop Doggy Dogg and Tupac Shakur. Despite being the “David” to Ron Ovenden/New Solutions Capital’s “Goliath”, Ms. Lavi appears to be tenaciously holding on to what seems to still be her desire to keep her promise to all the former Death Row artists when she publically stated last January 2009 that acquiring the Death Row Assets from bankruptcy would bring a “new day” for the artists and producers that made Death Row great. These artists are all still waiting for that “new day.” Death Row is distributed by E-1 Entertainment in North America and the lawsuit references E-1 as another possible source of the company’s books and records. Explains Ms. Lavi’s Delaware Counsel David L. Finger of Finger & Slanina, “The Delaware lawsuit is the first step towards getting to the truth about what Mr. Ovenden and his company New Solutions Capital did with the $5million in advances Ms. Lavi raised to capitalize the Death Row LLC. Only the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware has jurisdiction over a complaint to compel inspection of a Delaware LLC’s books and records. Ms. Lavi has every right to these documents as she is an owner and a managing member.” Death Row’s President John Payne and New Solutions’ Managing Director, Robert Thompson-So continue to run the day to day operations for Death Row but neither could be reached for this story. Ms. Lavi was not available for comment either.

UMG LOSES LAWSUIT VS EMINEM.
A federal appeals court in California has ruled in favor of Eminem and his producers in a court battle against Universal Music Group (UMG). The decision, which one Eminem attorney calls an “earthquake” for the music industry, could transform the online song business and boost the fortunes of untold numbers of artists. Reversing a lower-court jury decision from last year, the court ruled that Eminem and his production company are entitled to nearly triple the royalties they've been receiving for track sales and ringtones on online services such as iTunes. For Eminem, who has sold more than 6 million downloads this year alone, that could mean tens of millions of dollars in new income. Universal Music Group, the defendant in the case, said that it will petition for a rehearing. The suit was filed by Ferndale's FBT Productions, which administered Eminem's record deal with Universal. The ruling could have fallout in the evolving world of digital music, experts said, pushing other artists to negotiate with their labels for higher online royalty rates. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously reversed a 2009 federal jury decision in a lawsuit filed by Ferndale’s FBT Productions, Eminem’s former production company, against his label, Aftermath Records. The jury had ruled in favor of Aftermath and its parent company, Universal Music Group. Eminem was not a direct party in the suit, but he benefits through FBT, which shares his contract with Universal. “This potentially readjusts the economics between the artist and the record company, and that’s been long overdue,” said FBT’s Joel Martin. “It puts Eminem in a position he should have been in to begin with, which is to receive a larger portion of the download royalties.” The suit sought damages for songs and ringtones sold via iTunes and other online services, claiming that Universal had applied an improper royalties scheme. Eminem is one of the era’s top-selling digital artists. Song download sales from this year’s “Recovery” album top 6.3 million, according to Nielsen Soundscan. Universal argued that Eminem should be paid a standard 18% royalty rate for those sales, as he is for physical copies. FBT contended that providing a song to iTunes was actually a third-party licensing situation, similar to film and television deals, which calls for a 50% royalty rate. The appeals court has agreed with FBT, reversing the jury’s decision and sending the case back to the lower court for a damages trial. It also vacated the lower court’s order that FBT pay $2.4 million in attorneys fees to Aftermath. Universal said it will petition for a rehearing. “In the meantime, it should be noted that this ruling sets no legal precedent as it only concerns the language of one specific recording agreement,” Universal spokesman Peter Lofrumento wrote in a statement. But Gary Stiffelman, a Los Angeles attorney who has represented Michael Jackson, Eminem and other acts, said the ruling could nevertheless have practical consequences. “If downloads are the way of the future, this is going to have massive implications,” said Stiffelman. “It changes the playing field.” Though the suit centered on details in Eminem’s contract, the basic principles involved could be relevant for other acts, especially those with deals made prior to the advent of digital downloading. Stiffelman and other experts said most newer artists have contracts that specify compensation for downloads. The central question: When a label provides a track to an online distributor such as iTunes, is it licensing the song rather than selling retail copies? In Eminem’s case, the appeals court wrote in its ruling that yes, “the transaction is a license,” a conclusion it said is supported by federal copyright law. Source: Detroit Free Press

EMINEM AND JAY Z MAKE MILESTONE IN DETROIT.
Hip-hop history was made as Jay-Z and Eminem co-headlined the Motor City's Comerica Park on Thursday night (September 2), the first of two shows on consecutive nights. Guests that came out were D12, Dr. Dre, 50 Cent and G-Unit, and Young Jeezy. Em and Jay-Z had been building to a breakthrough like this for many years, securing their place in the larger pop culture and pulling hip-hop to a transcendent new level. Jay-Z, recognizing the magnitude of the moment, paused his set and urged the show's directors to bring up the house lights. He took in the roaring crowd. "This is hip-hop music," he said, "and this is how far we've come." He'd begun his set at 8:40 p.m. to a blast of lights and squalling rock, alone at center stage to rap the intro from his album "The Dynasty." From there it was a fast-paced, at times poignant, set of hits and medleys that led to a closing climax of "Empire State of Mind" and "Numb." Backed by a tight live band, Jay welcomed guests Young Jeezy and Memphis Bleek and paid tribute to fallen stars, including Detroit's Proof and Aaliyah. It would be Eminem's hometown crowd to own a half-hour later. Tightly gripping his mic and tensely pacing the stage in his Tigers hoodie, he launched into a fierce performance of "Won't Back Down," instantly converting Jay-Z's warm vibe into a sharper, darker tone. Before him in Comerica Park was a predominantly white crowd composed of Eminem's original crop of fans -- now in their 30s and 40s -- and many who were just toddlers when he was working Detroit clubs down the street. They'd come armed with ample enthusiasm. Some had waited in line since early morning, rushing to the field when gates opened at 6 p.m. It was an eclectic, career-spanning set: Em quickly dipped back in time, ripping through 1999's "Kill You" with slinky backing from the live band behind him. He jumped through the years, placing older tunes ("Cleaning Out My Closet") next to songs from his new "Recovery." For all the nostalgia of the older material, it still came with a bite. Em's new live band brought organic textures to vintage fare like "Without Me," "Stan" and "The Way I Am," the last as potent Thursday night as it was 11 years ago. Tens of thousands of fists pumped in unison for the anthem "Not Afraid," the song proclaiming Eminem's recent rebirth. As he gazed out from the stage, you sensed it was an emotionally powerful personal moment. "Got dammit, Detroit, I'm back," Em said early on in the night. "Did you miss me?"

T.I. AND WIFE ARRESTED ON METH CHARGES?
Rapper T.I. was arrested along with his wife on suspicion of possessing methamphetamines, five months after the hip-hop star finished a prison stint on weapons charges. The 29-year-old rapper and his wife, Tameka Cottle, were arrested Wednesday night in West Hollywood after deputies smelled marijuana and pulled the couple over, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said. They were released from jail at about 4 a.m. Thursday after posting $10,000 bail each, sheriff's Deputy Luis Castro said. T.I.'s publicist declined to comment. Patrick Crosby, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney in Atlanta, had no immediate comment Thursday on whether the rapper, whose real name is Clifford Harris, Jr., violated the terms of the judge's order.

SNOOP AND 7-ELEVEN LINK UP.
7-Eleven, Inc. has scored Snoop Dogg as the fourth designer in their charitable "Coffee Cup With A Cause" program. Proceeds from Snoop's cup will benefit the Snoop Youth Football League (SYFL), a Los Angeles-based football club founded by the entertainer himself 6 years ago to help inner-city kids spend their free time in a healthy, safe environment. Snoop fans who want to support the SYFL can head into any participating 7-Eleven store across the U.S. to purchase his signature cup, on sale from Sept. 1 through Oct. 18 or while supplies last. 7-Eleven guarantees a $250,000 minimum donation to SYFL, but the support could increase depending on the number of cups sold. Consumers can increase the contribution by purchasing the cup. To celebrate 7-Eleven's donation and the launch of his cup, Snoop will make a special announcement at the beginning of his SYFL team's practice. The kids of the SYFL program - the true beneficiaries of the donation - will learn firsthand about the program and associated donation, as well as get to be one of the first to get their hands on one of the Snoop-designed 7-Eleven cups. "We've been running this league for 6 years now with more than 3,500 kids participating in that time, but our partnership with 7-Eleven's 'Coffee Cup with A Cause' program is huge for us," Snoop said. "It means many good things are in store for the players, and the league can reach out to more kids and touch more lives." Snoop has recently seen the seeds of his namesake league come to fruition as four of the former players have gone on to play football at NCAA Division I colleges. "The Snoop Youth Football League serves an important role in the community by helping kids focus their energy on something positive," says Rita Bargerhuff, 7-Eleven's vice president and chief marketing officer. "We believe our customers will want to help make a difference in the lives of these youth by supporting Snoop's football league through his 'Cup With A Cause.'"... "I'm just so proud of my league and my players right now, and designing a 'Cup With A Cause' is really an exciting opportunity for us," Snoop added. The entertainer plans to expand his youth football program to other cities across the country, beginning in Chicago this fall.

UNIVERSAL REVENUE UP?
Universal Music Group's revenues for the first half of 2010 declined to $2.4 billion, down 5.4% on a year earlier. The decline was 7.9% on a constant currency basis. In parent company Vivendi's first half results, it said that UMG benefited from strong growth in merchandising sales and increased digital sales, but that overall results were hit by fewer major local and international releases and reduced demand for physical product. UMG's EBITA was $203.6 million, a 24.6% decline compared to the first six months of 2009. The performance was better in Q2, with UMG's revenue up 2.8% on the prior year quarter to $1.3 billion. It was down 3% on a constant currency measure. Titles by Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas, Eminem, Justin Bieber, Florence and the Machine, Drake and Coeur de Pirate were identified as the big sellers in the first half of the year. The Vivendi statement looked forward to UMG releases from Black Eyed Peas, Kanye West, Mariah Carey, Michel Sardou, Florent Pagny, Akon, Zazie, Maroon 5 and Duffy in the second half of 2010. It also noted that UMG has agreed mobile music service deals with telcos such as Singapore's SingTel and India's Reliance Communications this year. "Vivendi is investing and innovating in content and platforms to accelerate its growth," said Jean-Bernard Lévy, CEO of Vivendi, in a statement. Source: Billboard

DRAKE OFFICIALLY PLATINUM
Two months since the release of his debut album, Thank Me Later, Drake has finally earned his first platinum plaque. (selling 1 million copies).

TWISTA ON DECK FOR DOCUMENTARY.
Chicago rapper Twista will be the subject of a new documentary produced by the Vladar Co., slated for an October release in conjunction with the musician's new album. EMI Label Group will handle physical and digital distribution. EMI will also handle the the licensing, retail marketing, licensing and synchronization. “EMI is excited to continue working with Twista and are excited to be involved with Vladar’s film".. "We think Vladar’s documentary will truly capture what a unique and creative artist Twista is,” said Mike Harris, Executive Vice President and General Manager, EMI Label Services and Caroline Distribution. “We’re looking forward to all the exciting possibilities of working Twista’s next music project and Vladar’s film.” The Doc was shot in the Windy City, New York, Los Angeles and Miami. The filmmakers accompanied Twista to his old West Side stomping grounds and explored how the neighborhoods have changed during his 20-year career. Vladar principal Vlad Yudin said, "The objective of this film is to cover various social topics such as the city's history of violence and also to explore Chicago's influence in music and culture." In 2009, Vladar released "Big Pun: The Legacy," an homage to the late rapper Christopher "Big Punisher" Rios. Pic was released by Vivendi Universal; Vladar co-produced the soundtrack with Sony Music's Legacy Recordings.Yudin is producing (with Ed Mejia) and directing the feature "Last Day of Summer" for release via E1 Entertainment. Cast includes DJ Qualls ("Hustle & Flow").

JOELL ORTIZ STILL A FREE AGENT?
Rumors and various reports surfaced that Joell Ortiz is working a deal with Steve Rifkind, founder of SRC Records. Looks like the deal isnt a lock just yet.. earlier this morning (August 30), Steve Rifkind, founder of SRC Records, tweeted at Joell, “great read hope to have this deal done soon”— implying that the two would soon be working together.... “We’ve just been talking to people, and Steve has been a good friend and a huge supporter of Joell from the very beginning,” explained Ortiz’s manager, Mike Heron. “It’s very informal with Steve. We’ve been talking to him, but when we talk to Steve it’s not as if we’re talking to a record label head, it’s more like talking to a friend—so we kick ideas around. It’s never been anything on paper or anything like that; it’s very, very informal with Steve. We’re having conversations with people. If I told you who we’ve talked to about possibly doing a deal with Joell, you’d be shocked.” Heron also commented on rumors that Ortiz’s label obligations are holding back a deal that would bring the Slaughterhouse group to Shady Records. “There’s a lot of rumors going around about how we’re jammed up, or we’re jamming up the Slaughterhouse deal,” he continued. “I think this story helps clear that up, as well. Joell is 100% free to sign with Slaughterhouse at Shady. We are 100% free to do whatever we want as far as Slaughterhouse is concerned.”

THOUGHT PROCESS: 50 CENT THE KING OF BEEF?
It is obvious 50 is unhappy with the success of his rap career because why else would he create so much tension between himself and other hip hop artists? All he has done was cause controversy between himself and other rappers, for unknown reasons. It makes you wonder is he in it for the love of hip hop or for the fame! GRAB THE REPORT HERE

BIG BOI SETS DATES FOR SON OF CHICO DUSTY U.S TOUR
One half of Grammy Award winning Diamond selling hip-hop duo Outkast, Big Boi, sets dates for the Son Of Chico Dusty U.S nationwide tour in support of his critically acclaimed debut album Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty. Starting August 26th Atlanta, Big Boi(Antwan Patton) will be performing hits from his debut solo album along with Outkast classics in select cities across the US (see dates below). Recently headlining Pitchfork Festival act, Big Boi also performed with HP & Myspace Music stopping in Miami (Aug.18th) for the most viewed hip-hop show in Ustream history. Drawing in 1.5 million total streams during the live show and the rebroadcast running immediately following, the show ranks as the #3 most viewed music performance ever on Ustream, only behind Kiss (2 million in Nov. 2009) and Bon Jovi (1.5 million in March 2010). In total, the live stream and immediate rebroadcast garnered 2.6 million tune-ins in 30 hours. Recently, Big headlined the Pitchfork Music Festival and will be making more festival appearances during the tour at Epicenter, MoogFest, and TCT9. Also, Big Boi collaborated with Converse to create a limited edition pair of sneakers paying tribute to his debut album.
Remaining Tour Dates

08-26 Atlanta, GA - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
09-02 Iowa City, IA - University of Iowa
09-04 Atlanta, GA - Heineken Red Star Soul
09-05 Atlantic City, NJ - Casbah
09-06 New York, NY - Brooklyn Bowl
09-17 Chicago, IL - Congress Theater
09-18 Providence, RI - Brown University
09-22 Arcata, CA - Arcata Community Center
09-24 Las Vegas, NV - The Palms Casino
09-25 Fontana, CA - Epicenter
09-28 Atlanta, GA - The Tabernacle
10-01 Bloomington, IN - Indiana University
10-08 Columbia, SC - University of South Carolina
10-15 San Diego, CA - UC of San Diego
10-23 Seattle, WA - Showbox Sodo
10-28 Charleston, SC - Charleston Visitors Center
10-29 Asheville, NC - Asheville Civic Center (Moogfest)
10-30 Houston, TX - Tom Bass Park Amphitheater
11-12 Chattanooga, TN - University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
11-18 Sydney, Australia - Fox Studios

EMINEM STILL TIPPIN @ #1
Eminem's Recovery album is still the country's best seller and holds on to the #1 spot on the charts with another 116,000 units sold (2.3 mill total), according to Nielsen SoundScan. This is Recovery's seventh non-consecutive week at #1 -- the most weeks atop the list since Taylor Swift's Fearless spent 11 non-consecutive weeks there in late '08 and early '09. Recovery also grabs the most weeks at #1 for a male artist since Usher's Confessions earned nine weeks at the top in '04.

PRODUCER RedOne INKS DEAL WITH UNIVERSAL.
Universal Music is honored to announce their joint venture with super producer RedOne and his new record label 2101 Records. The international Grammy winning hitmaker, who was recently honored as Billboard Producer of the Year and BMI Songwriter of the Year, is famed for his work with Michael Jackson, Sean Kingston, Enrique Iglesias, Akon and Lady Gaga. The venture is with Universal Music International and each artist signing to 2101/Universal will be released by a label within the UMG Group. RedOne will A&R, executive produce and produce all artists signed to 2101 Records. "I am so privileged to be in business with the Universal Family in this new venture. We already have had so much success together; I know that this is the best home for my music and for my artists. Lucian (Grainge) and I share a common vision for creating sounds and platforms for new artists, not only writing hit songs, but building brands. We are incredibly fortunate to be launching with an artist like Mohombi, who has so much potential. He is a powerhouse talent ... writing, singing, performing, and dancing ... a true entertainer. Mohombi lifts my spirits and I believe he will elevate the world with his music. DANCE ON :-)" - RedOne

KANYE SAYS NEW SONGS EVERY WEEK UNTIL XMAS?
Kanye West recently posted on his Twitter how busy he's been in the studio, recording with Nicki Minaj, John Legend, Mos Def, Swizz Beatz, as well as doing his upcoming Justin Bieber remix with Raekwon. After tweeting that "I might have to put out 5 albums this year... People want new music... I can't hold it back," looks like he's doing something with all this material.. West tweeted on Sunday that he plans to release a new song online every single week until Christmas. He wrote, "I know y'all need the music so I'm dropping 1 new song every weekend until Xmas. It may be my song it may be a new Jay-Z song etc..." He said that he's calling it "G.O.O.D. Fridays," after his G.O.O.D. Music label. West said, "Y'all know every Friday y'all gone have a new joint from our family. We look at the game completely different now. It's about the fans. No more holding back. That's why I dropped 'See Me Now'... It wasn't about me it was about the Summer the BBQs etc..."

JAY Z LINKS UP WITH U2 ON TOUR THIS FALL.
Multiple reports confirm Jigga is joining U2 on tour hitting five cities in Australia and New Zealand. Starting November 25, they will team up to take over the “land down under,” beginning at Auckland’s Mount Smart Stadium. They will then take their combined 32 Grammys to Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Perth’s Subiaco Oval.

EMINEM RULES THE CHARTS, THE HIP-HOP UNIVERSE AND NEXT... THE STAGE AT THE “2010 MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS”:
The biggest night in music just got even hotter as MTV confirms Eminem will perform LIVE at the “2010 MTV Video Music Awards.” Known for his fiery live performances and captivating lyrics, Eminem is sure to ignite a twitter storm at this year’s show. With a #1 album on the Billboard charts, his #1 single “Love The Way You Lie” and 8 VMA nominations, Eminem remains unstoppable as he joins an incredible line-up of performers including Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Drake, B.o.B and Florence + The Machine. Ke$ha, Nicki Minaj, Emma Stone, Penn Badgley, Trey Songz, Ashley Greene, Selena Gomez and Ne-Yo are confirmed to present. As previously announced, comedienne Chelsea Handler will host the show. The “2010 MTV Video Music Awards” will air live from Nokia Theater L.A. Live in Los Angeles on Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 9PM (Live ET/Tape delayed PT.) MTV will announce additional performers and presenters on a later date.

BRANDY SUED FOR $6 MILL.
Marc Mysterio and his Stockholm-Based management Joia Records, are seeking up to $6,000,000 for "Breach of Contract" from Brandy Norwood for breaching a deal to feature on 'Shout It Out', the lead single from Marc's forthcoming album 'Redemption'. Papers were filed this morning at The Central District of the Los Angeles Superior Court. For over 10 years, Joia Records, has been the pre-eminent name in house music attracting elite talent, including: Eric Prydz, Steve Angello, Axwell, and Sebastian Ingrosso. Top 10 Hits to their credit including 'Feel The Vibe' by Axwell, while their global label-partner network includes: Universal, Ministry of Sound, Cloud9Dance and more. Brandy was next. "After Sam Fox, Timbaland's people told me to take a look at Brandy, and gave me her contact info." said Mysterio. "Hey Marc, I'm really excited about this project, and look forward to meeting you." said Brandy in an August 3rd phone call taped by VH1 Cameras. However, despite invoicing, receiving and confirming a $10,000 side-artist fee; Brandy's manager/cousin Ryan Ramsey reneged on the deal, refusing to send over the vocals for her verses. Mysterio's Attorney Laurence Clarke is very confident his clients will come out on the winning end of their case: "They had a contract, it's quite clear what the arrangement and terms were -- they were supposed to provide (vocals.) Marc and his colleagues are very established globally, and already made arrangements for international commercialization with Major Label Partners like Cloud9Dance (NL) whom also release music from Cascada, Agnes and Lil Wayne." "We are presently at a revolutionary stage with House music and DJ culture cementing itself in the mainstream, similar to the Urban Revolution of the early 90s. It's depressing that Brandy apparently doesn't wish be a part of history and embrace this new revolution in the pro-active way will.i.am has." says Mysterio noting will.i.am's current DJ Tour and
embracement of house music.


DJ ETRONIK WINS THE 2010 DMC US FINALS
Congratulations to DJ Etronik from Pico Rivera CA the first DJ in the USA
to represent in the DMC World Finals in all 3 Battle Categories!
- 2006 DMC US Supremacy Champion (head to head battle)
- 2008 DMC US Team co-Champion (The Angry Exs)
- 2010 DMC US Champion (showcase battle)

On Oct. 18th, he will battle in London against DMC National Champions from all across the Globe at KOKO in London England.

The DMC DJ Battles are the longest running most prestigious DJ Battles in the world. From DMC battles, legends are made. Being a DMC World or National Champion continues to be one of the most sought after titles for turntablists worldwide!

WYCLEF JEAN REPORTEDLY DENIED HAITIAN PRESIDENTIAL BID.

According to a Reuters report, a member of the provisional electoral council in Haiti revealed that Jean does not meet the legal requirements to run in a presidential election on November 28. This was most likely due to the fact that Haitian candidates must have lived in the country for at least five consecutive years leading up to the election. However, the reason why Jean was rejected has not yet been confirmed.

FAT BEATS CLOSES ITS DOORS AFTER 16 YEARS.
After 16 years, Fat Beats has announced the closing of the legendary label's two remaining retail locations in New York and Los Angeles. Fat Beats will celebrate the legacies of the stores, which are scheduled to close in early September (New York: September 4th, Los Angeles: September 18th) by throwing a series of blow-out sales and tribute parties open to the public during their last weeks. Fat Beats’ longest running and most famed location is at 406 Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan. Since the 1994 opening of Fat Beats' flagship retail location, hip-hop fans have traveled far and wide to visit the iconic store. With locations soon following in Los Angeles (7600 Melrose Ave.), Atlanta, Amsterdam, and Tokyo, the record stores were a place to experience hip-hop culture and its legacy, which became a global phenomenon. “The closing of Fat Beats is just like one of my friends passing away. They promoted vinyl at its highest degree for the culture of good music and that makes it more difficult to say goodbye," says DJ Premier. The announcement of the closings is a reflection of the woes that have been plaguing the industry for years. Global chain HMV closed their last US location in 2004. Tower Records shuttered in 2006. Last year saw the close of the last Virgin Megastore, and the story is no different in 2010. For Fat Beats, maintaining two stores well into 2010 is a testament to the stores' importance to the music and to fans and consumers continuing to support independent hip-hop. While news of the stores' closing marks the end of an era, the future is not doom and gloom. Digital sales continue to increase industry-wide; for Fat Beats, currently operating a profitable and growing online retail store, this has provided a boon to business as fans continue to order mp3s, vinyl, and CDs. Although digital sales continue to grow, executives at Fat Beats understand the importance of independent retail stores and are planning to re-open a brick and mortar hip-hop lifestyle location sometime in the near future. The future looks just as bright for Fat Beats Distribution and the label. Fat Beats Distribution, which has been renamed FB Distribution, continues to strike noteworthy distribution deals with independent and major labels worldwide and is now working with different genres of alternative music. Fat Beats Records will continue to release notable albums from their own impressive roster of artists including ILL BILL, TruMaster/KRS-One, Black Milk, Trinity, Sha Stimuli, Q-Unique, and more. Fat Beats owner and President Joe Abajian says, “This is the start of a new era for Fat Beats. We’re adapting to meet the needs of our demographic by revamping and improving our existing systems... we’re still exploring our options for alternate retail locations in the future. We’re proud of our legacy and will continue to re-invent ourselves.”

EM HITS DOUBLE PLATINUM.
According to Nielsen SoundScan report, released this morning, Eminem moved an additional 132,600 units over the last seven days, making his overall total 2,113,00. In addition, Shady secured the #1 spot on The Billboard 200 sales chart, after slipping to No. 2 last week.

Q-TIP ON BOARD WITH HENNESSY.
Hennessy will bring cities around the U.S. a truly unique experience that blends the world's best music, culture and art through Hennessy Artistry 2010. Hosted exclusively by Hennessy, the
five-city, invite-only tour will be co-curated by Grammy Award-winning group, The Roots and multi-faceted artist Q-Tip. Making stops in Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, Detroit, and New York City, each show will feature special emcees and musical guests and friends of the curators. Now in its fifth year, Hennessy Artistry promises to be an innovative musical platform that brings together emerging performers and the most popular music artists of today, giving fans a once in a lifetime experience. To keep the energy going from city to city, feature performances will vary at each show with several iconic artists and surprise guests slated to appear including Big Krit, Daniel Merriweather, DJ Irie, Jay Electronica, Kat DeLuna, Kid Sister, Marsha Ambrosious, Mike
Posner, Travie McCoy, YahZarah, and more.
"I am thrilled to be curating this electrifying tour," said Q-Tip. "Hennessy and the Hennessy Artistry series is all about the experience of blending together cultural, musical and artistic talents - and as a curator for this tour, this is what I'm going to bring to life in each city for the fans.".... "For us, it's not just about curating at the events. Our bond with Hennessy grew stronger with our trip to Cognac, France in July where we experienced first-hand, and really learned to appreciate, the art of how Hennessy is created," said members of The Roots. "The process of blending Hennessy cognac is similar to the process of putting together a new song or album - it takes the right amount of each element to reach perfection." This year's Artistry Series builds on the successes of previous years with a new component called Artistry GIVES. This charitable partnership with Americans for the Arts recognizes and fosters arts education. It also supports local emerging artists and art organizations, and creates an opportunity for them to display their works at Hennessy Artistry events. "Hennessy's art of blending goes far beyond the talent of the cellar master to include Hennessy Artistry - unforgettable experiences of world-class music, art and culture," said Andy Glaser, senior vice president Hennessy Business. "Working with this year's curators, Q-Tip and The Roots, Hennessy Artistry and Artistry GIVES is all about the understanding of how these unexpected blends help bring more to life." These not to be missed events kick off at the Blackhawk Building in Chicago on September 18 followed by performances at the Ice Palace in Miami on September 25, Bert's Warehouse in Detroit on October 2, and conclude at Cipriani Wall Street in New York on October 14.

JAY-Z TOPS FORBES HIP HOP LIST.
Forbes magazine released their annual Hip Hop Cash Kings list today highlighting hip hop’s top 20 earners. Jay-Z tops that list, earning an estimated $63 million. Other hip hop heavyweights with New York ties made the list, including Diddy (2nd, $30 million), Swizz Beatz (12th, $9 million) and 50 Cent (14th, $8 million). Forbes credits artists who have diversified their monetary holdings “beyond musical recordings” for the rap stars ability to weather rough economic times, both overall and in the music business specifically. The top 20 earners on this year's Cash Kings list racked up about $300 million in earnings, an average of $15 million per artist. Remarkably, the total is roughly the same as last year, despite a troubled economy and a music industry thrown into flux by new technology. "There aren't many artists selling 250,000 albums in the opening week, and that used to happen all the time," says entertainment attorney Donald David. "The rise of iTunes means people don't have to buy whole album ... and that has changed the business dramatically." Jay-Z and Diddy are two artists who've taken the changes in stride. In addition to releasing an album and launching a worldwide tour (average gross: more than $1 million per show), Jay-Z co-owns the 40/40 nightclub chain and has a stake in the NBA's New Jersey Nets. Diddy continues to cash in on Diageo ( DEO - news - people ) vodka, Ciroc and roles in television and film, including this year's Get Him to The Greek. He also hawks Diddybeats ear-buds, part of the headphone line established by Dr. Dre, who ranks fifth on our list with $17 million. Akon ranks third with $21 million, thanks to his Konvict Clothing label, a lucrative World Cup soccer ad campaign for Pepsi ( PEP - news - people ) and Kon Live, his Interscope-backed imprint that's home to Lady Gaga and others. Fourth on the list is Lil Wayne, who managed to pull in $20 million from his new album, Rebirth, and heavy touring before the start of his one-year jail stint in March for weapons charges. Ludacris ranks sixth with $16 million, a total fueled by movie roles and a new cognac line, Conjure. "There's a lot of cross-branding and cross-marketing that's going on these days," notes Troy Marshall, vice president of promotions at Interscope Records. Along with touring, he says, "those are very important components for artists as far as spreading the message of their music and spreading the message of their brand." Kanye West's earnings fell from $25 million last year to $12 million this year in the wake of his highly publicized outburst during Taylor Swift's acceptance speech at the 2009 Video Music Awards. With a new album and world tour in the offing, he should be back toward the top of next year's list along with 50 Cent, who took a break from touring and recording to concentrate on film roles over the past year, earning $8 million, a relatively paltry total for the 2008 Cash King. Source: Forbes

T.I. PERFORMS SECRET SHOW.
AXE, the iconic men’s care brand, launched its “One Night Only” concert series last night with acclaimed rapper T.I., who took the stage for an intimate secret show performing in front of lucky fans and tastemakers at New York City hot spot Capitale in China Town. Marking T.I.’s highly anticipated return to the stage, the show was filled with surprise appearances from artists B.o.B., Keri Hilson and Swizz Beatz, and T.I. debuted tracks from his soon to be released album, “King Uncaged.” Building on the launch show’s success, the AXE Music “One Night Only” concert series will hit the road with additional secret shows across the country. "AXE is known for delivering unexpected and memorable experiences that help bring guys and girls together,” said Mike Dwyer, AXE marketing director. “The ‘One Night Only’ concert series delivers in signature style by partnering with some of today’s top artists to headline secret, exclusive shows that promise to be unforgettable.”

SNOOP AND QUAZEDELIC LINK UP.
While producer and all-around artist Quazedelic has played a crucial role in the Snoop Dogg's music behind the scenes, a full on collaboration between the fonk monk and Doggfather was destiny waiting to be fulfilled – until now. “Hold On,” [ LISTEN HERE ] off Quazedelic’s upcoming debut LP Stan Sly: AnuthaWorld, has the artists combining their smooth, similar styles from separate genres for the album's first single. Similar to Snoop Dog’s appearance on of The Gorillaz’s Plastic Beach, the result is soothing combination of funk and hip-hop that takes listeners to another place; in this case, Anuthaworld. About his own style for the upcoming album, Quazedelic says, “I bridge the gap between serious real life songs with fantasy funk tracks.” That is exactly what he does with “Hold On.” The track opens with a deep, sensual voice, “Looking back in my conscious mind, digging back and searching to find...” The lyrics set up a mystic atmosphere where anything can happen. However, many of Quazedelic’s lyric’s are grounded in reality: “I’m Working hard, praying night and day, that something good might come my way.” Snoop Dog’s lyrics serve as an alternative reality, the id of the song, so to speak. He raps, “So raise up off of me, and let me dip up the streets in my 73/ Grey on black interior, black like me, chandeliers hanging with the ass swinging,” while Quazedelic harmonizes in the background. The spectacular dream-world that snoop dog raps about plays against the pain-filled sound of Quazedelic’s harmonies. “Hold On,” helps explain the purpose of funk, and how it can be used as a vehicle to escape from reality. Quazedelic's Stan Sly: Anuthaworld drops this October.

G-UNIT INKS DEAL WITH EMI
G-Unit Records has entered into an exclusive agreement with EMI Label Services in which EMI will distribute and promote releases on the G-Unit roster in North America. EMI will release the Grammy nominated multi-platinum rapper Lloyd Banks' third solo album "H.F.M. 2" (Hunger For More 2) on November 23rd, 2010, and Tony Yayo's as yet untitled sophomore album, which is scheduled for early 2011. G-Unit, formerly with Interscope Records, is joining a growing number of third party labels and artists to ink deals with EMI Label Services. EMI Label Services' unique approach gives independent artists and labels creative freedom along with access to the expertise, marketing and promotional muscle of a major label. The release Banks' "H.F.M. 2" (Hunger For More 2), which will include the smash single "Beamer, Benz, or Bentley," featuring Juelz Santana. The single has generated sales of more than 500,000 downloads, making it one of the biggest tracks of the year. EMI Label Services team will begin promoting a second track, "Any Girl," at Urban and Rhythmic radio formats this month. A Tony Yayo album, which will include the single, "Pass the Patron" (featuring 50-Cent) is slated for release in early 2011. "We are delighted to join forces with G-Unit and artists who aretruly marquee names in hip-hop," said Mike Harris, executive Vice President/General Manager for EMI Label Services and Caroline Distribution. "G-Unit is a huge force. Lloyd Banks knows how to deliver a lyrical punch and his single has already generated huge anticipation for the album.. Tony Yayo is a totally unique talent, and 'Pass the Patron' already has the hip hop world buzzing about his album coming out next year." According to Lloyd Banks, "It's refreshing to see the EMI staff excited about my project, they have the passion and energy I haven't seen in while". Per Tony Yayo, "the EMI staff is creative and willing to think outside the box. They are fans of my music and career. I'm looking forward to marketing and promoting my upcoming album with them." Banks solidified his star power with the release of his double platinum solo debut, "Hunger For More" in 2004, selling more than 450,000 copies its first week of sales making it the #1 album in the country. The album garnered Banks a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Solo Performance for "On Fire," and included singles "Karma" featuring Avant and "I'm So Fly." Tony Yayo was catapulted onto the music scene in 2005 with the release of his debut album "Thoughts of a Predicate Felon" which went certified gold, and his smash hit single "So Seductive."

KANYE TALKS NEW ALBUM AND MORE.
Kanye West visited Hot 97 radio station in New York on Wednesday. West debuted a brand new song, "See Me Now," featuring Beyoncé and Charlie Wilson, saying that B just finished recording her vocals for the track that morning. "See Me Now" was co-produced by West, No ID and Lex Luger (a producer, not the wrestler). He spoke on the still as-yet-untitled new album..saying that the new album will be out November 16 and also features appearances from Nicki Minaj and Kid Cudi. He praised Minaj's skills to the Hot 97 host Angie Martinez, saying, ""This is gonna be such a big statement, and such a big thing to fill: The scariest artist right now is definitely Nicki Minaj. I think she has the most potential to be the number-two rapper of all time. Nobody's gonna be bigger than Eminem." He also discussed his controversial appearance last year at the MTV Video Music Awards with Taylor Swift. West said, "I needed that. I have to have humility. I had truth and confidence, but I had to add humility and empathy. I added those after I got beat up. It is what it is, and I grew from it." MTV has confirmed recent reports that West will indeed perform at the 2010 VMAs on September 12. Drake was also added to the lineup today as a performer. West also explained his recent, prolific use of Twitter. "I got to the point where I didn't even wanna do interviews anymore because I would have the interview and we'd be laughing, me and the reporter, and that's funny, and then you read it and they completely just demolished all of my jokes," he told Martinez. "I couldn't communicate and now I can communicate just in a sound bite and give people a glimpse of everything. It's good."

THOUGHT PROCESS:
No Competition for Nicki Minaj
At this year’s Bet Awards Nicki Minaj had the honor of winning an award for best female hip hop artist. The other nominees were Ester Dean, Rasheeda, Lil Kim and Trina. Now, let’s be realistic, who else would have won that award other than Nicki Minaj if there’s no competition?
GRAB THE REPORT HERE

SHYNE RESPONDS TO 50'S PRANK CALL
Shyne comments on 50 Cent's Prank call that went down during a press invited conference call: “Wow. That’s like an all-time low,” Shyne said. “I didn’t know he was so desperate. He’s gone from confidential informant, witness-protection program dude, getting order [of protection] on muthaf—as. Now he’s a stalker. I was in shock. He called up saying he was ‘Jamal from Harlem.’ He didn’t call up saying he’s Curtis Jackson, Hawaii 5-0. He’s a busta. I can’t believe it. I can’t believe he would stoop to that low. Then again, a guy in the witness-protection program, he has no shame.”

KILLAH PRIEST - "THE DESTROYER", THE MAKING.
"The Destroyer" Production Notes: From the Making of Killah Priest's "The 3 Day Theory": The song "The Destroyer" came about in weird way. Both Kount Fif and I are big fans of Onyx and we were having a discussion about how dope and slept on Sonny Seeza was. At that time we were working on "The Swashbuckler" and had been looking for another artist for the song "Return of the Duck Alert" with RA The Rugged Man. I contacted Sonny and he told me he was available to come down in the next week or so. Plan was Sonny would come down for a couple of days and we would lay down a couple of verses. I got a call about a week later and Sonny was on his way. During the phone conversation he mentioned Killah Priest was coming with him. Sonny and Priest had been friends for years but had never done a song together. Also in the car was Steven King, an MC that Sonny had been working with. Sonny got in to town and went right to work. During the whole time Sonny was writing for the tracks, Steven was also writing, we hadn't asked him to record any verses or even made any mention of it. After Sonny would deliver his verses, Steven would then do his in the control room. We had not heard of Steven before then, but he quickly impressed us with his fast pen and clever punch-lines. Priest would record next and would deliver an aggressive, violent verse that was penned on the back of a UPS Envelope. Steven then shared with us his brutal punch-line riddled offering which we then recorded. In the course of everything going on I had spoken with Philly and now internationally known MC, iCON The Mic King. Mic was in or around town and came through the studio. We played him what we were currently working on for "The Destroyer" track and in a matter of minutes he came up with the hook. Lastly Empuls laid down his unforgettable verse were he states he wishes "Pocahontas would've killed John Smith" this line alone melts most of modern MC's whole verses. Kount Fif and I picked out a boxing sample and the track was done. To us it is a major stand out on "The 3 Day Theory."

JAY-Z JOINS NIKE, INC. AND USA BASKETBALL
On Thursday, August 12, NIKE, Inc. (NYSE: NKE) will bring together the world of sport and entertainment in an unprecedented way as one of basketball's most prestigious teams shares the stage with one of the world's greatest entertainers. Music mogul and multi-platinum selling recording artist JAY-Z will take the stage at New York's Radio City Music Hall for an electrifying musical performance following a one-of-a-kind, on-court showcase featuring finalists for the 2010 USA Basketball World Championship Team as part of the inaugural World Basketball Festival - brought together by Converse, the Jordan Brand and Nike Basketball. "We're excited to bring together the international prestige of JAY-Z and the USA Team on stage at famed Radio City Music Hall to open the first World Basketball Festival. This will be a historic night," said Trevor Edwards, Nike VP Global Brand and Category Management. "We're also honored to collaborate with JAY-Z on limited edition Air Force 1s that celebrate the countries participating in this inaugural event." Nike has distributed tickets for the Radio City Music Hall events to a number of New York area community groups and charitable organizations, as well as youth clubs and youth basketball leagues. Distribution to the general public has been driven through on-going promotions with radio station Hot 97 and through retailers. In addition to his performance at Radio City Music Hall, JAY-Z has joined forces with Nike to create an iconic collection of Air Force Ones - the All Black Everything collection inspired by the World Basketball Festival. Nike has donated the shoes to the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation who in turn have linked up with eBay on a charity auction where the five unique pairs will raise funds for its mission to provide financial assistance to promising individuals upon acceptance into any accredited institution of higher learning. One hundred percent of the funds raised will support the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation. After the tip-off event at Radio City Music Hall on August 12, the action moves uptown to New York City's legendary basketball courts at Rucker Park in Harlem, Friday and Saturday, August 13 and 14. The World Basketball Festival concludes Sunday, August 15 with an exciting exhibition double-header featuring the United States taking on France (1 p.m. EDT) and China meeting Puerto Rico (3:30 p.m. EDT) at famed Madison Square Garden. Tickets for the exhibition doubleheader, which start at $15, are available @ Ticketmaster and at the box office at Madison Square Garden. The exhibition games are being utilized as part of the teams' preparation for the 2010 FIBA World Basketball Championship in Turkey, August 28 to September 12.

HOUSE OF PAIN AND EMINEM LINK UP?
Epicenter 2010 has announced House of Pain, along with Against Me and Crash Kings to the already eclectic line up of EPICENTER Twenty Ten. This will be House of Pain's first show in a decade and the group's only Southern California appearance of 2010. They will join Eminem (only 1 of 3 performances in the US this year), Blink-182 (their only 2010 concert in North America), KISS (their only 2010 California appearance), the reunited Bush (their first show in 9 years), Rise Against (their only concert in California this year) and many more acclaimed artists. The two-day event will be held on Saturday, September 25th and Sunday, September 26 at Auto Speedway in Fontana, CA.

TECH N9NE & CO. ARE TAKING OVER
This fall, TECH N9NE hits the road with the some of the biggest names in independent Hip Hop. Starting Sept. 15 for six weeks, the Kansas City star brings audiences that West Coast rap and the hottest Midwest Hip Hop. “TECH N9NE’s Independent Grind Tour 2010” melds a wide range of audiences into a single, unified Hip Hop crowd. TECH N9NE has earned the title of hardest working Hip Hop artist. He recently wrapped his “Strange Days Tour,” went into the studio to complete his latest collabos album, The Gates Mixed Plate, and then hit the road for a five-week European tour. His hustle and flow has paid off: He’s racked up over 80.8 million song plays on MySpace, ranking him #1 on the list of Top 10 Indie Artists. The Gates Mixed Plate – featuring Jay Rock, Glasses Malone as well as familiar Strange Music cohorts Krizz Kaliko, Kutt Calhoun and Big Scoob – provides the basis for “TECH N9NE’s Independent Grind Tour.” Each of the featured artists has gained popularity through their own sweat and skills. E-40 needs no introduction as the Rap Ambassador of the Bay Area, while Cash Money’s Glasses Malone and Jay Rock rule the streets and airwaves of L.A. Long known for sharing the stage with TECH N9NE, Strange Music’s Krizz Kaliko, Kutt Calhoun and Big Scoob will again treat fans to the high-energy, crowd-hyping, hit-delivering performances they expect.

Independent Grind Tour 2010 Dates:

15-Sep Pershing Center Lincoln, NE
16-Sep Hawkeye Downs Cedar Rapids, IA
17-Sep The Rave Milwaukee, WI
18-Sep Capital Theatre Madison, WI
19-Sep Epic Concert Center Minneapolis, MN
21-Sep Clyde Iron Works Duluth, MN
22-Sep Dublin Rapid City, SD
23-Sep Shrine Auditorium Billings, MT
24-Sep The Fillmore Denver, CO
25-Sep Mesa Theatre Grand Junction, CO
26-Sep Great Salt Air Salt Lake City, UT
27-Sep Wilma Theatre Missoula, MT
28-Sep Knitting Factory Spokane, WA
29-Sep Toyota Center Kennewick, WA
30-Sep Wild Buffalo Bellingham, WA
1-Oct SoDo Seattle, WA
2-Oct Roseland Theatre Portland, OR
3-Oct McDonald Theatre Eugene, OR
4-Oct Senator Chico, CA
5-Oct Rainbow Ballroom Bakersfield, CA
6-Oct Phoenix Petaluma, CA
7-Oct Catalyst Santa Cruz, CA
8-Oct The Grove Anaheim, CA
9-Oct House Of Blues San Diego, CA
10-Oct House Of Blues Las Vegas, NV
11-Oct Marquee Theatre Tempe, AZ
12-Oct Rialto Theatre Tucson, AZ
13-Oct Sunshine Theatre Albuquerque, NM
14-Oct Trees Dallas, TX
15-Oct Cain’s Ballroom Tulsa, OK
16-Oct The Shrine Springfield, MO
17-Oct Pop’s Nightclub Sauget (East St. Louis), IL
19-Oct Headliners Louisville, KY
20-Oct Peabody’s Cleveland, OH
21-Oct Diesel Pittsburgh, PA
22-Oct The Palladium Worcester, MA
23-Oct Webster Theatre Hartford, CT
24-Oct Bourbon Street Baltimore, MD
25-Oct The NorVa Norfolk, VA
26-Oct The Loft Atlanta, GA
27-Oct Culture Room Ft. Lauderdale, FL
28-Oct Club Firestone Orlando, FL
30-Oct Uptown Kansas City, MO

BMI HONORS will.i.am.
The Black Eyed Peas' will receive BMI's President's Award at the performance rights group's Sept. 10 Urban Awards, to be held at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood. Kudo, presented only on unique occasions, honors the musician's work as artist, producer and humanitarian. Previous honorees include Jaunes, Taylor Swift, Willie Nelson and Brian Wilson. The Black Eyed Peas' Interscope album "The E.N.D." is one of the biggest sellers in recent memory; it stands at No. 14 on the U.S. album chart this week, 60 weeks after its release, and has sold 2.7 million copies domestically, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Songwriter-producer will.i.am has won seven Grammys and countless BMI awards. He co-wrote the Peas' hits "Boom Boom Pow," "Don't Phunk With My Heart," "Where Is the Love," "I Gotta Feeling," "My Humps" and "Let's Get Started," and wrote or co-authored solo hits for bandmate Fergie and for Usher. He has produced such top acts as John Legend, Carlos Santana, U2, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake and Mary J. Blige. His charitable Peapod Foundation is active in such children's issues as housing, hunger, health care, education, poverty and music and arts education. The Urban Awards ceremony will honor writers and publishers of the most-performed urban songs of the previous year. Source: Variety

MARY J SHATTERS NEW RECORD.
HSN, a leading multichannel retailer, has announced that its exclusive launch of Mary J. Blige's My Life fragrance on July 31 drove the sale of more than 60,000 units with about 6 hours of air time, shattering fragrance records at HSN for units sold and placing the launch amongst the most successful in the prestige fragrance market. "I am thrilled with the success of My Life, the experience on HSN with Carol's Daughter and the overwhelming donations to FFAWN," said nine-time Grammy Award winner Mary J. Blige. "I can't wait to share another touch of my heart. Thank you to all my fans - new and old - for being there for me." The launch of My Life helped support the Foundation of the Advancement of Women Now (FFAWN), a non-profit created by Ms. Blige and Chairman & Lead Investor of Carol's Daughter Steve Stoute to assist women in need. For every unit of My Life fragrance sold, HSN Cares, the corporate social responsibility arm of HSN, will donate $1 to FFAWN. "The groundbreaking success of My Life on HSN changes the existing business model for a prestige fragrance launch and reinforces our role as a retail innovator," said HSNi CEO Mindy Grossman. "We were thrilled that Mary's inspiring story, her character, and, ultimately, her fragrance drew such an enthusiastic response.".. "The fragrance industry is excited to explore the opportunities of new channels of distribution with supportive, creative and innovative partners like HSN," said Rochelle Bloom, President of The Fragrance Foundation. "The success of Mary J. Blige's fragrance and her personal message proves their power to reach out and entice a vast, broad consumer who loves and wants fragrance. Bravo HSN and Mary J.!"

FOR THE 3RD TIME IN A ROW, TECH N9NE HAS #1 INDEPENDENT ALBUM IN THE COUNTRY It’s official: TECH N9NE has the Hip Hop Midas Touch. Every CD he has touched for his past three releases has reached # 1. And once again, the first week Billboard Chart results for Tech N9ne Collabos: The Gates Mixed Plate are in – #1 Indie Album, #4 Rap Album, #13 on Billboard’s Top 200. After the release of last year’s K.O.D., TECH N9NE made it clear that he was done with the darkness and ready to party – a mission that definitely comes through loud and clear on Tech N9ne Collabos: The Gates Mixed Plate. With a list of features that reads like a rap menu, including Devin The Dude, Watts’ Jay Rock and Glasses Malone, Yukmouth and Stevie Stone, as well as Strange Music label mates Krizz Kaliko, Kutt Calhoun and Big Scoob, The Gates Mixed Plate also pays tribute to local KC barbecue and promotes TECH N9NE’s latest beverage concoction, KC Tea (Hennessey, Sprite and lemon juice). When Lil’ Wayne called in to New York’s Hot 97 radio station this week from Rikers Island, he shared some thoughts about dream collaborations upon his release from prison. Funkmaster Flex asked Weezy who he was most looking forward to working with and he said, “I've been saying to myself that I really want to do a song with either Andre 3000 or TECH N9NE.”

WYCLEF CONFIRMS HAITIAN PRESIDENTIAL RUN.
Wyclef Jean confirmed he will attempt to become the next president of his native Haiti. The confirmation ends weeks of speculation, as Jean is expected to make another announcement during an appearance on CNN's "Larry King Live" Thursday, August 5. "If not for the earthquake, I probably would have waited another 10 years before doing this," Jean said Tuesday night. "The quake drove home to me that Haiti can't wait another 10 years for us to bring it into the 21st century," Wyclef told Time magazine. Haiti's former Chamber of Deputies leader Pierre Eric Jean-Jacques also recently told the Associated Press that his Ansanm Nou Fo party has an agreement with Wyclef Jean regarding his presidential run. "If I can't take five years out to serve my country as president, then everything I've been singing about, like equal rights, doesn't mean anything," Wyclef added. "My decision is a draft...I've been drafted by the youth."

LADY GAGA AND EMINEM LEAD 2010 MTV VMA NOMINEES.

Eminem is behind Gaga with eight VMA nominations. Florence and the Machine and B.o.B. each received five VMA nods, with Ke$ha receiving three. "Apparently MTV doesn't care that I have two massive stadium shows on the other side of the country the day after the VMA's. F me, right?!?!," said Eminem. "I mean, I'll be there but don't expect me to be nice about it."

STIK FIGA & D/WILL - Alive & Well
As a follow up to their previous EP, HelloGoodbye, Stik Figa & D/WILL bring us their latest project, Alive & Well. With their last release being themed as a suicide note to Stik Figa's son, Alive and Well provides a much different perspective on life, yet equally thought provoking. The EP is filled with substantial lyrics, and serving as a true concept-related project, each song is significant to the overall message: Stik Figa & D/WILL are alive and well. Entirely produced by D/WILL, the beats on the EP show expansive variety, equipped with unique flips on soul samples and steady loops as a soundtrack to Stik Figa's thoughts. "Alive and Well picks up right where the last one left off," says D/WILL, continuing, "then it leads into a blast of soulful feel goodness!" The project leads off with "Alive", a song with chronological rhymes of Stik Figa's own birth, followed by the birth of his son. As the album continues, Stik Figa keeps it personal, addressing everything from his native Topeka, Kansas in "Be Like That", to his female encounters in "Fone Tag". "I'm very well-rounded for being a square," says Stik Figa on his versatility as a lyricist and songwriter. While he demonstrates his ability to rhyme about anything and everything, D/WILL demonstrates similar dynamics on the boards, providing an array of mood-altering beats. The combination brings listeners deep into the hearts of both Stik Figa & D/WILL.

MESSY MARV USHERS IN A NEW ERA OF SAN FRANCISCO RAP WITH THIZZ CITY

After 2 years of developing the buzzing Town Thizzness imprint for Oakland, San Francisco gets it shot with the launch of Thizz City. Thizz City's debut release is Messy Marv introduces Thizz City. A compilation focusing on the promising crop of talent signed to Thizz City. The 18-track album features all new material from Marv alongside Thizz City newcomers Roach Gigz, Hustle Boys, Killa Kiese, Cam City, Pac B and other SF giants. TC, who played a key role in RBL Posse & 11/5, Dre Dog & Cold World Hustlers classic albums, was brought in to Executive Produce the project and ensure that the young roster had all the necessary guidance for their proper debut. The combination of brilliant new city talent and the grandiose legend of past San Francisco hip-hop greats, marks a milestone which has helped to bridge the gap between the new trends of current rap music and the forever immortalized classics. "Thizz City's sole purpose is to discover and develop the next stars of San Francisco," reveals TC. "The City is so diverse and has so much texture and it really needs its own label to focus solely on it. We've been working on this launch for two years and have finally aligned all the pieces we need for Thizz City to be successful. To say we're excited is an understatement"

NEW MJ ALBUM IN NOVEMBER?
A new Michael Jackson album of 10 unreleased songs will be released in November, according to a news report from Rolling Stone. Jackson's manager, Frank DiLeo says he estimates that Jackson's vaults contain more than 100 completed and unreleased songs, including old tracks as well as more recent collaborations with Akon, Will.i.am and Ne-Yo. "There are a couple of songs we recorded for the Bad album that we had to cut that are just sensational," DiLeo said. Earlier this week, producer Rodney Jerkins also promised that unreleased material from the King of Pop was definitely on the way. "I'm about to work on an unreleased project that we're talking about doing right now. It's definitely going to come, but it takes time," he said. "You got to do a lot of the red tape but there's definitely going to be an unreleased Michael Jackson album. There's definitely going to be stuff to come and hopefully I'll be a part of that."

SWIZZ BEATZ AND ALICIA KEYS TIE THE KNOT.
Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys were married in Corsica, France. Keys walked down the aisle on Saturday in front of family, friends and A-list stars including U2 rocker Bono and Queen Latifah. Congrats to the two. Keys and Swizzy are expecting their first child later this year.

BLACK EYED PEAS MAKE HISTORY.
For six-time Grammy Award winning multi-platinum megastar group The Black Eyed Peas - will.i.am, apl.de.ap, Taboo and Fergie - it has been a year to remember. This week, as the Peas' worldwide 7.33 million-selling #1 album The E.N.D. moves into its 59th week on the Billboard 200 albums chart (still bulleted inside the Top 20 after more than 13 months out), its landmark single "I Gotta Feeling" (released June 2009) becomes the first digital download ever to pass the 6 million threshold. "It's incredible to have the Black Eyed Peas put their first album out 12 years ago and evolve into what they are today; it's a sign of true greatness," commented Jimmy Iovine, chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M. "I just want to take this opportunity to congratulate some people I really care about.".. "I am so proud to be leading our industry with 6 million digital sales," said will.i.am. "It means so much for the future of the music industry.".. "This is an incredible accomplishment for us," said Taboo. "Of all the exciting news that has happened to us over the past year, reaching this 6 million mark with 'I Gotta Feeling' stands out as one of our proudest achievements." "Congratulations to all the people behind the scenes who made this happen, and most of all the fans - they are the best!" added Fergie. At the same time this week, The Black Eyed Peas move into the final month of North American concerts on their sold-out 100-date tour: BlackBerry® Presents "The E.N.D. World Tour 2010," supported by BACARDI® Rum, the official spirit of the tour, and Outspoken by Fergie, the exclusive fragrance by Avon. The tour is already ranked as one of the most successful - if not the most successful - of the year, having grossed $47.7 million (as of the end of June) and drawn 740,000 fans to 54 shows,
including 53 sellouts, according to Billboard Boxscore. The tour ends on August 23rd at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta (Canada).
Released June 2009, the Grammy-winning Best Pop Vocal Album The E.N.D. debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart with the highest first-week sales of the group's career (over 300,000). At the time of the album release, "Boom Boom Pow" (which also received a Grammy) was starting its 12-week reign at #1 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Top Digital Tracks chart, while also topping the UK national chart. "I Gotta Feeling" (also a Grammy winner) debuted at #2 on the Hot 100 in June 2009, marking the first time in five years that any act held the #1-#2 spots with songs from their #1 album, which feat has only occurred less than a dozen times in Billboard history. "Boom Boom Pow" was supplanted by "I Gotta Feeling," which then spent a record-breaking 14 weeks at #1. Target launched the single "I Gotta Feeling" in a nationwide television campaign and subsequently CBS used the song to promote their fall 2009 lineup. The Peas' 26 consecutive weeks at #1 was the longest stay for any act in 51 years of Billboard chart history. Both tracks also held the #1 spot at Top 40 radio for 6 weeks each, and each was eventually certified RIAA 5x-platinum. The streak was extended with the November release of the third single, "Meet Me Halfway," RIAA double-platinum and the Peas' next #1 UK hit. Into early 2010, the fourth single "Imma Be" returned the Black Eyed Peas to #1 on the Hot 100 with a new triple-platinum seller, making them the first group or duo in nearly 20 years to place three #1's on the Hot 100 from one album. The E.N.D. also became the first album in 23 years to chart three #1's in the U.S. and three #1's in the UK (since Madonna's True Blue in 1986-87). When "Rock That Body," the fifth single, reached the Top 10, The E.N.D. became the first album by a group or duo in 20 years to spin off a quintet of Top 10 hits. To date, as the YouTube video numbers continue to pile on, "Boom Boom Pow" has over 64.7 million views, "I Gotta Feeling" over 36.6 million, "Meet Me Halfway" over 31.6 million, and "Imma Be/Rocking That Body" over 22.4 million. The Black Eyed Peas have sold over 27 million combined units worldwide, led by sales of The E.N.D. - double-platinum in the U.S., France and Australia; platinum in the UK; triple platinum in Canada; and gold in more than 15 other countries. Total digital single sales in the U.S. alone are over 18 million.

EM #1-- 5 WEEKS IN A ROW!
Eminem's Recovery is still the top seller in the country for the fifth straight week. The album sold another 187,000 this week, down only four percent from the week before, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It has sold more than 1.6 million copies so far. Rapper Rick Ross' Teflon Don took #2 with 176,000 sold. Ross' last three studio albums all debuted at #1, however, the opening sales number for Teflon Don is Ross' best week since 2008's Trilla arrived with 198,000. Drake's Thank Me Later grabbed #4 with 49,000 unit sold (880,500 total). Big Boi's Sir Luscious Left Foot took #17 selling 18,400 copies sold (107,000 total). The Roots' How I Got Over grabbed #47 selling 8,700 copies (106,000 total). Damian Marley & Nas' Distant Relatives grabbed #72 selling 5,800 copies ( 159,00 total). Paul Wall's Heart of A Champion took #124 selling 3,800 copies (11,000 total).

THE LEGENDARY COLD CRUSH BROTHERS - 32nd Anniversary Concert + Party
Featuring KOOL DJ RED ALERT kicking off the party from 9pm-10pm, followed by one pioneer DJ every hour, rockin the wheels, until the Cold Crush Brothers & Friends performance! Just added GRANDWIZZARD THEODORE and JAZZY JAY! The COLD CRUSH BROTHERS (DJ Tony Tone, DJ Charlie Chase, Almighty Kay Gee, Easy A.D., J.D.L. & GrandMaster Caz) will perform ALL of their classic routines and have invited some very special guests perform routines with them, including:DMC, BIG DADDY KANE and more to be announced. At the Hip Hop Culture Center (at the Magic Johnson Theater) in New York, Friday July 30.

RIHANNA TO MAKE FILM DEBUT.
Rihanna will make her feature film debut in Universal's "Battleship" alongside Alexander Skarsgard and Taylor Kitsch. The deal was announced Monday. Variety reports that Director Peter Berg is expected to soon begin shooting the project based on Hasbro's naval combat board game. Universal has set a May 25, 2012, release date for "Battleship," which takes place across the seas, over the skies and land in a battle for planet survival against a superior force. Kitsch, who also works with Berg in the NBC series "Friday Night Lights," stars as a naval officer who leads the fight. Skarsgard will play his brother. Berg is producing along with Sarah Aubrey of Film 44; Brian Goldner and Bennett Schneir of Hasbro and Scott Stuber of Stuber Pictures. Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber wrote the screenplay, with revisions by Brian Koppelman and David Levien. Rihanna has charted seven No. 1 singles since debuting in 2005. She's repped by WME. In other Rihanna news, she recently sat down with Access Hollywood to talk about her collaboration with Eminem on the song "Love The Way You Lie." The song addresses domestic violence. "It's something that Eminem and I have both experienced, you know, on different sides, different ends of the table," she explained. "It just was authentic. It was real. It was believable for us to do a record like that, but it was also something that needed to be done and the way he did it was so clever. He pretty much just broke down the cycle of domestic violence and it's something that a lot people don't have a lot of insight on, so this song is a really, really powerful song and it touches a lot of people."

MYSPACE "LIVE" AND HP PRESENT FREE B.o.B CONCERT
MySpace Music and HP today announced a special performance by B.o.B on Saturday, July 31 at Center Stage in Atlanta, GA. The performance is part of HP's Summer Music Campaign to promote better sounding music. B.o.B will take the stage in his hometown to perform tracks from his recently released debut album titled B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray (Grand Hustle/Atlantic Records), an album MySpace Music recently named one of its "Best of 2010 (so far)."

DIDDY BOPPIN WITH THE NEW YORK FINANCE COMMISIONER.
Diddy's Bad Boy Entertainment, is facing legal action. According to the New York Daily News, Finance Commissioner David Frankel is attempting to collect more than $1.9 billion in debts owed to the city and has accused the firm of failing to pay a fly-papering fine... "We are going to find these people. We're going to turn them upside down by their ankles and we're going to shake them until the money comes out of their pockets." A spokesman for Combs’ company has dismissed the bill as a “bureaucratic error,” insisting the fine was paid by a partner firm three years ago and claiming city officials must have failed to update their records.

THOUGHT PROCESS: Bring That Group Back!
Over the past decade many hip hop artists who started out in groups have either gone solo or just aren’t making music anymore. As a solo artist you either quickly rise to the top or slowly fall to the bottom. Some artists are smart enough to learn the game and do what it takes to stay in it, while there are others who are in the game for the love of hip hop rather than for just the money and fame. However not all rappers who started out in a group have bad luck as a solo artist. Rapper Lil Wayne who began rapping with the group Hot Boys presented by Cash Money became a huge success when.. GRAB THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

DJ QBERT ADDED TO DJ HERO 2
legendary turntablist DJ Qbert has been added to DJ Hero® 2. A defining member of DJ culture, having been crowned the best in his craft in multiple world championship competitions and revolutionized turntablism, DJ Qbert joins the distinguished rank of playable characters that will appear in-game, including Deadmau5, David Guetta and others, and will deliver two scratch intensive mixes to the best soundtrack in entertainment. "I'm excited about finally getting to bring the art of turntablism's defining skills, as well as two exclusive mixes, to DJ Hero 2," said DJ Qbert. "It's been a dream of mine as a gamer to battle myself on the turntables and now millions of fans around the world and their friends will get their chance to also." ..."As a pioneer of his craft, DJ Qbert's one-of-a-kind scratch and battle skills made him an amazing partner and prefect representative of DJ Hero 2's new multiplayer modes, especially the unique DJ vs. DJ battle mixes," said Tim Riley, Vice President of Music Affairs, Activision. "We're bringing together the biggest and best DJ's from around the globe, having already announced Deadmau5 and David Guetta as part of our incredibly talented crew, and having DJ Qbert cut up records in his signature style will help us put an indelible stamp on the DJ Hero 2 soundtrack."

EMINEM #1 4 WEEKS IN A ROW.
Eminem's "Recovery" held onto the #1 chart slot for a fourth straight week. The album sold 195,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan figures for the week ending July 18. While title dipped 15%, it was still the only album to move more than 100,000 units last week. Total units - 1.5 million. Rapper Drake's "Thank Me Later" (Young Money) dips to #3 in its fifth week, declining 32% with sales of 50,000. M.I.A.'s "Maya" (XL) makes debut at #9, moving 28,000 units. Big Boi's Sir Luscious Left Foot took #15 moving 24,081 units. Rick Ross' Teflon Don is on track to sell around 170,000 to 180,000 units in his first week on shelves.

JAY Z AND BEYONCE TOP FORBES MUSICIANS LIST.
Beyonce, Jay-Z and the Black Eyed Peas all made the top 10 on a new Forbes 2010 list of top earning musicians. Beyonce was the list’s highest-earning female at #3. She made $87 million through major endorsement deals with Nintendo and L’Oreal, as well as her House of Dereon fashion line and world tour. Jay-Z came in at #6, earning $63 million from his stake in NBA team the New Jersey Nets, his 40/40 nightclub chain, “The Blueprint 3" album sales, and his investment in the Broadway musical, “Fela!” Britney Spears took #5 scoopin up $64 million earned through endorsements, particularly her Elizabeth Arden fragrance and spokesperson deal with Candies. A three-way tie between Black Eyed Peas, Coldplay, and Toby Keith rounds out the top 10. Each earned an estimated $48 million thanks to various tours, endorsement deals, merchandise sales, and publishing royalties.
Here's the list
1. U2 ($130 million)
2. AC/DC ($114 million)
3. Beyoncé ($87 million)
4. Bruce Springsteen ($70 million)
5. Britney Spears ($64 million)
6. Jay-Z ($63 million)
7. Lady Gaga ($62 million)
8. Madonna ($58 million)
9. Kenny Chesney ($50 million)
10. Black Eyed Peas, Coldplay and Toby Keith ($48 million)

SNOOP DOIN' THE SUPERDRAFT.
BIG Entertainment & Media Group ("BIG") have announced that Snoop Dogg will be the headline musical performer at its second-annual Fantasy Football SUPERDRAFT(TM) at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. Snoop Dogg will perform at the outdoor SUPERDRAFT Tailgate Party on Friday, August 27, and the concert will be exclusively available for SUPERDRAFT attendees only. "This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity in a very unique setting," said Eric Simon, CEO of BIG. "Imagine going to a great tailgate party at the hottest hotel in Las Vegas with Snoop Dogg performing 30 feet away from you and your friends. It's the perfect way to kick off football season." The Tailgate Party and concert is just one part of the Fantasy Football SUPERDRAFT, which is being hosted at the Palms after a successful debut in 2009. SUPERDRAFT is the premier live entertainment celebration to kick off the 2010 football season for fantasy football participants and casual football fans alike. SUPERDRAFT attracts fantasy leagues from around the country to conduct their drafts in an affordable, one-of-a-kind party environment. SUPERDRAFT also provides an unmatched atmosphere of music, events hosted by Stacy Keibler and other celebrities, and VIP access for all football fans to enjoy. will also include celebrity-hosted VIP parties at Vegas' top nightclubs, poolside festivities throughout the weekend and a live webcast of the Katalyst-produced show "Fantasy Football Live!", hosted by Ashton Kutcher and fantasy expert Nathan Zegura.

GRAB YOUR FAVORITE FOOTBALL JERSEY


THE DREAM RELEASES STATEMENT.
Everyone knows that The Dream confirmed that he had officially broken up from Christina Milian. The-Dream has released a statement explaining the breakup. "First I want to thank God for the trials of life, without them we can’t know purpose! I would love to tell the truth as to why my relationship wasn’t successful, but today that is between me and Christina. Its easy to say that it’s because of another woman or a new relationship but truthfully, IT’S NOT. I take FULL RESPONSIBILITY for misleading everyone into thinking everything was fine and okay when we knew problems existed for awhile! I wanted to speak up but we decided it wasn’t for anyone to know. I would NEVER intentionally hurt a soul and everyone around me knows that! There was so much going on in me and Christina’s personal world that I tried to deal with it as delicately as I could and tried to regain my footing. Instead of being direct in order not to cause even more hurt or hurt someone’s feelings, I carried the weight in secret! I am Human and people fall in and out of Love all the time… This is Life. Nothing’s promised or perfect, neither am I. I am not proud that I lost something we once had…LOVE! I’ve always been a Loving Father, Hard Worker, Generous, Stern and Eager to prove myself. My faults are I can be irresponsible and an ass sometimes, but I HAVE NEVER and WILL NEVER be a malicious person or wish harm to anyone, especially those I love or the mother of my child. I’m sorry for the embarrassment to everyone involved! If there’s anyone to blame and you can’t fathom this happening, please blame me and me alone for not being upfront! Even though we were trying to overcome personal things between us, I was just simply scared and embarrassed to let everyone know we WERE FAILING and HAVE NOW FAILED! This is not to justify anything, it’s true emotion! It’s a real thing that involves real people! I’ve cried about this for months, after interviews, after prayer and I’ve tried to take my own life at a point because of the failure that was looming. But I was reminded by my MOTHER that I am not “Superman” and its okay to lose sometimes… This too shall pass! And everything will be fine!" ~ Terius Nash ~

DJ HERO® 2 TO MIX HITS FROM OVER 100 TOP-SELLING ARTISTS
When the party starts this October, budding beat chemists, singing sensations and all of their friends will fire up two turntable controllers and a microphone and experience hits from the biggest names in music as they’ve never heard them before in Activision Publishing Inc.’s (Nasdaq: ATVI) DJ Hero® 2. Taking the soundtrack to “the most innovative and immersive music experience of 2009”* and recipient of over 20 “Best Music Game” awards to the next level, DJ Hero 2 spins together tracks from over 100 of the biggest artists from around the world – who have combined U.S. full albums sales alone in excess of 375 million. Featuring the hottest hits from artists such as B.o.B., Pitbull, David Guetta, Rihanna, Lady Gaga and classic anthems from legendary artists including 2Pac, Eminem, 50 Cent, Dr. Dre, Kanye West, Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder and LL Cool J, the DJ Hero 2 soundtrack mixes the perfect blend of pop, dance and hip hop music. “With DJ Hero 2, we wanted to create the ultimate party experience of 2010, and that meant not only revamping and adding social and multiplayer game modes, including full microphone support, and all-new levels of creative freedom, but also mixing and mashing hits from over 100 of the biggest and most popular artists on the planet,” said Dan Neil, Music Director, FreeStyleGames. “We can’t wait to drop details on which of these artists’ hottest tracks, as well as how we’ve mixed them together exclusively for the game, later this year.” ..“With the success of DJ Hero and overwhelming response to its soundtrack, we are excited to be working even more closely with our label partners, including Interscope Geffen A&M, on DJ Hero 2 to hand-pick the best music from the most recognizable artists in the world,” said Tim Riley, Vice President of Music Affairs, Activision....“We’re excited to bring the hottest hits from our biggest artists to DJ Hero 2 including Eminem, Lady Gaga, Soulja Boy, 50 Cent, M.I.A., Timbaland, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and many more,” said Steve Berman, Vice Chairman, Interscope Geffen A&M. “The blockbuster lineup of music we’ve contributed, when mixed by world renowned DJs exclusively for the game, will help deliver one of the best soundtracks in all of entertainment.”

WARREN G SAYS REGULATE 2 IS COMING.
Warren G, has announced that he will be releasing “Regulate… G Funk Era: Part. 2”, an E.P. to be made available at digital retailers later this year. Multi-platinum recording artist Warren G, has announced that he will be releasing “Regulate… G Funk Era: Part. 2”, an E.P. to be made available at digital retailers later this year. “Regulate... G Funk Era”, was the debut album from Warren G, in 1994 on Def Jam. The album went triple platinum stateside, selling over 4.5 million units worldwide, and debuted at Number 2 on the Billboard 200 after selling 176,000 in its release week. The lead single "Regulate" w/ Nate Dogg, was certified platinum, reached Number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, and received a Grammy Award Nomination in 1995, for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. The album also birthed the hit singles “Do You See”, and “This D.J.”, which reached Number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, being certified gold. It is noted that in the early 1990’s, Def Jam created "Rush Associated Labels," a larger moniker under which Def Jam and its various auxiliary labels would operate as subsidiaries under the PolyGram umbrella. By 1992, despite recent multi-platinum selling releases from LL Cool J., Public Enemy, and EPMD, Def Jam ran into severe financial troubles and was faced with folding. Salvation came in 1994, however, when PolyGram purchased Sony's 50% stake in Def Jam Recordings — subsequently bringing the label into their fold. Following PolyGram’s acquisition of the company, Def Jam released Warren G's "Regulate... G Funk Era", which went triple platinum and effectively revived the label. With seven LP’s (his reunion disc with Snoop and Nate Dogg 213' "The Hard Way" was released in 2004 and quickly went Gold) already under his belt, Warren G is expected to release the new set sometime this year. “Regulate… G Funk Era: Part. 2”, coming soon.

EMINEM STILL TIPPIN AT #1
Eminem’s Recovery moved 229,300 units after going platinum last Wednesday (1,287,000 total). The Relapse album has now reached double platinum. Drake’s Thank Me Later grabbed #2 with 73,900 copies sold (782,800 Total). Big Boi’s Sir Luscious Left Foot…The Son of Chico Dusty grabbed #3. The album debuted with 62,400 copies sold. The Black Eyed Peas take #24 after moving 14,300 copies of The E.N.D.(2,654,500 Total). The Roots’ ninth studio album, grabbed #25 selling 13,800 units (86,000 Total). B.o.B.'s The Adventures of Bobby Ray took #28 selling 12,900 units (296,000 Total). Juvenile’s new album, Beast Mode, debuted at #58 with 6,400 in sales.

TREK LIFE ON DECK.
California bred emcee Trek Life is excited to announce the release of his latest album, Everything Changed Nothing. Produced entirely by Oddisee, the album will be released July 27th via Mello Music Group. The album is the culmination of years of collaboration between Trek and producer Oddisee that began with the remixes of Price I've Paid, Trek's debut LP. Undaunted by the thousands of miles separating them, the pair have crafted yet another example of how a producer and an artist with the right chemistry can maintain a winning streak. "We both knew exactly what we were trying to do from the beginning," explains Trek. "Oddisee is a producer in every sense of the world. He had a direction and it was my job to manifest it lyrically." Oddisee's sonic backdrop invoked a verbal assault from Trek that remains raw, and unapologetic throughout the album as Trek sheds light on the "ugly nature of the world" with his gritty but poignant lyricism. "So Supreme", the album's lead single has generated a powerful buzz. The track was featured on ESPN recently for the network's coverage of the Stanley Cup and NBA Playoffs. The track was a perfect fit for video clips that thrive on ideas of competition and perseverance; with a hard-hitting beat and aggressive rhymes complimenting the action on screen. In regards to Trek's original intent of the track, he says, "This song is really just re-establishing my footing as an emcee. Strictly raw rhymes." Certainly having the lead single of your new album catch the attention of the world's premier sports broadcasting network is a good early indication of the album's merit. The album's title stems from the emcee's role as a father. Speaking affectionately of his daughter, Trek says, "I was thinking how much she means to me and how she's literally everything I ever wanted, but the reality is life, in general, goes on." The album speaks to the real life of nearly everyone. The personal struggles, trials and tribulations quite simply don't act as roadblocks to the freight train that is life. It’s a sobering fact that Trek seems to have a good handle on. On tracks like "So LA" and the soul-scorching "Jump Out There" Trek makes clear his reality-to-fantasy ratio is stacked well in favor of the former. Gritty tracks of urban reality cross-pollinate with songs that deal with romantic desire such as the Bootsy Collins inspired "I'd Rather Be". Trek Life has worked with several known artist from Bishop Lamont to Kev Brown and rocked over production from DJ Khalil, DJ Babu, Evidence, Oddisee and many more. With a growing global fan-base that has resulted from consistently touring the United States, the UK, and Europe, Trek Life is planning on releasing 3 projects in 2010 with J.Bizness (Rhymes Within Reason EP), Oddisee (Everything Changed Nothing), and Babu (Fire Outside), all through Mello Music Group.

KEVIN LILES RECEIVES HIGHEST HONOR IN PARIS.
Kevin Liles, President and CEO of KWL/Def Jam Enterprises received the Medaille de la Ville de Paris, the highest honor an individual can receive for their contributions to Parisian culture. Liles was recognized for his role in helping to globalize the cultural phenomenon of hip hop to Paris. He joins the ranks of past winners that include fashion designers Valentino and Gianni Versace, actress Jane Fonda, and Nobel Prize winning scientist Linus Pauling. Liles was presented the Medaille de la Ville de Paris by Christophe Girard, Paris' Vice Mayor, at an intimate ceremony at City Hall. In addition to the extraordinary distinction associated with the award, Liles is now an honorary Parisian citizen. He is the first of the award's many prestigious winners to have been chosen specifically for his influence on hip hop culture in Paris. "Kevin Liles represents for me hope and talent, energy and commitment. He never gave up his battle for hip hop and today hip hop is a fully recognized art," said Christophe Gerard, Vice-Mayor of Paris. "He is an example for the new generations and now he is my friend and a friend of Paris." "I am profoundly honored to receive the Medaille de la Ville de Paris, especially for my role in helping to make hip hop a mainstream art form globally," said Liles. "Spreading the message of hip hop and what it can mean to anyone has long been a personal passion of mine. To be given such a special honor in one of the world's best cities for just that purpose is genuinely overwhelming." Kevin Liles is an entrepreneur and former president of Def Jam Recordings. He was the executive vice president of the Island Def Jam Music Group from 1999 to 2004. He served as executive vice president for Warner Music Group before stepping down to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors in September 2009, founding his own company, KWL Enterprises. Liles recently orchestrated a new partnership with 4mm games, launched by former Rockstar Games founders Jamie King and Gary Foreman. 4mm's first release, the highly anticipated Def Jam Rapstar is scheduled for October 5, 2010. Liles also hosted a VIP event at Palais de Tokyo in the heart of Paris to jumpstart European excitement for the upcoming videogame release of Def Jam Rapstar. Local celebrities, athletes, hip hop tastemakers and socialites alike attended to get a sneak peak of the game, the first music console game to allow players to rap along with the hottest hits from the history of hip hop music. Liles received the award during his visit where he served as Honorary President of Paris Hip Hop 2010, appointed by CEO of Generations FM, and Founder and President of Paris Hip Hop, Bruno LaForestrie, and Generations FM Vice Chairman, Francois LaForestrie. Paris Hip Hop 2010 marked the fifth year of the cultural celebration and took place from June 22nd through July 4th. Over 50,000 fans attended 10 different venues in Paris, including the Centquatre, the Zenith and the Elysee Montmartre, to celebrate this versatile culture through dance, painting and photography. Highlights of the festival included the Nas and Damian Marley concert at the Zenith, French artist Roce at the Point Ephemere as well as a DJ Day that featured 9th Wonder. While in Paris, Liles also attended a prestigious panel discussion about hip hop and its evolution both in Paris and around the world. United States Ambassador to France, Charles Rivkin, hosted the discussion and was joined by the President of La Villette among other intellectual and cultural luminaries.

DIGITAL ALBUMS ON THE RISE?
Physical album sales continued to decline and digital album sales grew during the first six months of 2010, according to data released Wednesday by Nielsen SoundScan. Through the end of June, album sales (physical and digital) were down 11% overall, with 154 million units sold. Physical albums declined 17.7% (112 million sold), while digital albums rose 13.7% (42 million sold). Digital track sales were flat during the first half, with 597 million sold. CD sales dropped 17.9% during the first six months, with more than 110 million units sold. Current CDs were off 14.7%, while catalog CDs plunged 22.1%. However, the vinyl LP continued to gain, rising 9.1% (1.3 million units sold). Digital albums now account for 27.4% of all album purchases, up from 21.5% at the same point last year. Universal Music Group was the market share leader in album sales for the first six months of the year, with 29.41% (vs. 30.7% for the same period last year). Sony Music Entertainment was second with 28.28% (vs. 26.46 in '09), followed by Warner Music Group with 15.5% (vs. 16.4% in '09) and EMI Music with 10.79% (vs. 8.84% in '09). Up nearly 2%, last-place EMI showed the biggest album market share gain. Nielsen Entertainment senior vp of analytics David Bakula noted, "Strong releases in 2010 have helped to slow the decline of new album sales. Albums by Eminem, Justin Bieber, Lady Antebellum, Lady Gaga and Sade have each sold more than a million copies so far this year, and Lady A's 'Need You Now' has sold more than 2.3 million albums, surpassing last year's best seller of this time period by a million units."

EM PLATINUM IN 2 WEEKS, DRAKE RIGHT BEHIND.
For the second week in a row, Eminem's Recovery and Drake's Thank Me Later are the two best selling albums in the U.S. Recovery remained at #1 this week with 313,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan, for a total of 1.1 million sold in two weeks. It's the first release to sell in excess of 300,000 for multiple weeks since Susan Boyle's I Dreamed a Dream did it for five weeks last December. Drake's Thank Me Later was the runner-up again this week, moving another 105,000 units for a total of 709,000.

LIL KIM AND RIHANNA TO WORK TOGETHER?
Lil Kim recently spoke about her relationship with Riahnna… “I’m a huge Rihanna fan, and she’s a friend of mine, so if I had to guess, I’m 90 percent sure that song is probably in the works,” she said. “I look at it this way: if it happens, it happens. And it should be a surprise. It shouldn’t be something that people are anticipating, or have their own personal opinions on it before it even comes out. So I probably won’t ever mention that again…I just love Rihanna, I think she’s great. Lil Kim also spoke on changing with the times and continuing to remain relevant as a hip hop vet. “I’m constantly growing, my album came out in ‘97 but I started doing music in the early ’90s. One reason that I’m still here and I’m still relevant to this day – probably even more relevant than a lot of new people who come into the industry – is because I know how to reinvent myself, I know how to change with the times. I think that, no matter who you are these days – you could be young, you could be old, you could be new, you could be an artist that’s been in the industry for a minute – I think it’s all about a hot record these days, it’s different. I think that’s the only difference I could point out – you know, you could have a hot song back in the day but it may not break through. But now if you have a hot song – it doesn’t have to have a lot of thought behind it, it doesn’t have to be a deep record, you don’t even have to be very talented as long as you come up with something that’s catchy and, you know, something that is now.”

JABBAWOCKEEZ TO APPEAR AT ULTIMATE B-BOY CHAMPIONSHIP.
UBC International announced today that the world-famous dance crew, The Jabbawockeez, will make a special guest appearance at the Ultimate B-Boy Championship being held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Friday, August 6 and Saturday, August 7. As the original champions of Randy Jackson Presents: America's Best Dance Crew, the Jabbawockeez were the first crew to leave the ABDC stage victorious. With sold-out runs of their inspirational show "Jabbawockeez presents MUS.I.C" already completed in May and June, they will return to MGM Grand's Hollywood Theatre after UBC for a third run from August 19 to 25. As the Jabbawockeez continue to bring hip-hop dance into a wider mainstream audience, UBC is honored to feature a dance crew of their caliber. The Ultimate B-Boy Championship will feature the best break-dancers from around the world as they battle for the UBC title and more than $80,000. The eight competing crews will be judged on electrifying dance moves, freestyle flavor, and athletic power stunts. This B-Boy event will be the first of its kind, recognizing and promoting break-dancing on a mainstream, international scale. This first-ever UBC event will now showcase an appearance by the Jabbawockeez at the hip-hop competition.

HIP HOP HEADING 3D?
Director James Cameron is reportedly gearing up for another 3D movie: the Black Eyed Peas concert film. The documentary-style movie will focus on the Peas' latest world touring, etc. The project is scheduled to hit theaters early next year. "We have the biggest director, because we are the biggest group on the planet," Will.I.Am told Vibe magazine. "The Peas are filming it in South America. People will be able to see us in the theater with the 3D glasses and everything. It's a full-length film, and it's based around our tour activities. We've toured from America and Europe, to the Middle East, South America, Asia and Africa. It's not like we go, 'Yo, we are international, you know what I'm saying? London and Paris!' Nah, that's just two cities. We want to go across the planet." Will.I.Am also says that Fergie wants to do a second solo album, and "We have material ready for that. But right now, we are focused on the Peas — our world tour and the movie." There have been numerous rumors lately that Fergie would be exiting the group, but Will says that is just not true. "Don't believe gossip about Fergie leaving the group," he wrote on Twitter. "We are never breaking up – it's all lies!"

LIL WAYNE JUST GETS PROBATION IN AZ CHARGE.
Lil Wayne, already serving one year in a New York jail for a gun-related crime, was sentenced on Wednesday to three years probation in Arizona on a drug possession charge. Weezy was spared time in an Arizona jail under a plea deal stemming from his January 2008 arrest at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint in the state. Under the deal, the 30-year-old Grammy winner pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a dangerous drug. Three other drug and weapons charges were dismissed. Wayne appeared in court via a video hookup from New York, where he has been jailed since March after pleading guilty to attempted criminal possession of a weapon. James Tilson, Carter's Arizona attorney, said he was pleased with the court's action. "We're quite glad that we were able to wrap everything up," Tilson told Reuters. "It's a favorable plea agreement that will allow Mr. Carter to pursue his career." Carter will begin his Arizona probation following his New York sentence, Tilson said. The rapper's tour bus, carrying 11 others, was stopped and searched by Border Patrol authorities after they said they were alerted by a drug-sniffing dog. Agents found nearly four ounces of marijuana, an ounce of cocaine, 41 grams of Ecstasy and a .40-caliber pistol registered to Carter.

EMINEM IS #1
Eminem, the Nielsen SoundScan Artist of the Decade for 2000-2009, is already kicking off the new decade with more of the same. His latest album, Recovery (Aftermath Entertainment /Interscope Records), makes its debut atop the charts this week with sales of 741,000 copies; easily outpacing any other release for this year, and setting a bar that no other album has reached for first week sales in almost two years. The album's first single, "I'm Not Afraid," debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May. The song was only the 16th in the 52-year history of the Hot 100 to debut at the top spot, and the first rap song to do so in 13 years. The second single from the album, "Love The Way You Lie" (featuring Rihanna), is already showing tremendous growth at radio, and debuts at #1 on the Singles chart this week, with sales of 337,000. "It's been 12 years since Eminem signed to Aftermath and Interscope," remarked Jimmy Iovine, Chairman, Interscope Geffen A&M Records. "This is a real watershed moment in his career. In my opinion, with this album Eminem's impact on popular culture, and as a lyricist and writer, puts him on course to be mentioned in the same sentence as Dylan, Springsteen, and Bono." Eminem performed "Not Afraid" on the roof of the Ed Sullivan Theater for an appearance on "The Late Show with David Letterman" that aired Friday night, as well as at Sunday night's "2010 BET Awards." He heads to Europe next week for headlining slots at Switzerland's Freuenfeld festival (July 9), T In The Park in Scotland (July 10), and wraps up in Ireland at Oxegen (July 11). Eminem and Jay-Z also will perform co-headlining dates at Comerica Park in Detroit (September 2 and 3) and New York's Yankee Stadium (September 13 and 14). Tickets for the four shows went on sale late last week and quickly sold out.

RÉMY MARTIN COGNAC AND T.I. ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP
Rémy Martin Cognac and Grand Hustle/Atlantic recording artist T.I. announced they have formed a partnership to collaborate on creative projects and further the work of T.I.’s K.I.N.G. Foundation. T.I. has been named Global Creative Consultant to the iconic Rémy Martin brand. Rémy Martin and T.I. will work together on several events and personal appearances in conjunction with T.I.’s August 17th release of his highly anticipated album, KING UNCAGED. “T.I. is a powerful voice in the entertainment world as a recording artist, actor and producer. And Rémy Martin recognizes the similarities between the art of producing fine cognacs and blending music and words to create hit songs. Both crafts demand skill and attention,” says Lamar Johnson, Director of Marketing and Branded Entertainment, Rémy Cointreau USA, Inc. “We are very pleased to partner with T.I. to build upon our successful ‘Things are Getting Interesting’ marketing campaign.” Rémy Martin will also help raise awareness and funds to support the mission of the K.I.N.G. Foundation. T.I. started the Foundation to help low income families with an emphasis on mentoring, positive intervention and community outreach. T.I. will work across the range of Rémy Martin cognac marques and will offer creative thinking on marketing initiatives including promotions, merchandising and digital media. T.I. has long been a fan of the brand and recently visited Rémy Martin headquarters in Cognac, France where he learned about the brand’s heritage and production process. “I’ve been a fan of Rémy Martin for many years so I’m honored to be working with them as creative consultant. And now after my trip to Cognac, I admire the brand’s genius even more. I’m excited about all the possibilities of this partnership,” said T.I. He offered Chelsea Handler a magnum of Rémy Martin V.S.O.P and teased his upcoming signature blend of the premium cognac when he visited the E! talk show host last night on Chelsea Lately.

ASCAP HONORS DR DRE AT ASCAP AWARDS.
Eminem, T.I. and Big Boi Joined in to Celebrate Dr. Dre, Janelle Monáe and Other Top Names at ASCAP’s Rhythm & Soul Music Awards. Ne-Yo, C. "Tricky" Stewart, The-Dream, Jermaine Dupri, Johntá Austin and Manuel Seal Receive Top Honors. Celebrity attendees included Prince, Jimmy Jam, Gucci Mane, DJ Kid Capri, LA Lakers’ Ron Artest and actor Ryan Phillippe. On June 25, 2010: ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers hosted its 23rd annual Rhythm & Soul Music Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, CA. The star-studded event, which was attended by over 650 leading songwriters, recording artists and music industry notables, paid special tribute to Dr. Dre and Janelle Monáe, and honored the songwriters and publishers of the most performed ASCAP songs on the 2009 R&B/Hip-Hop, Rap and Gospel charts. The evening featured performances by rapper Gucci Mane, R&B singer/songwriter Dondria and R&B artist Miguel, and was attended by some of the top names in music, including Dr. Dre, Eminem, Prince, Janelle Monáe, Big Boi, Ne-Yo, T.I. Flo Rida, Gucci Mane, DJ Kid Capri, Jermaine Dupri, Johntá Austin, Manuel Seal, C. "Tricky" Stewart, The-Dream, Jimmy Jam, Bruno Mars, Jeremih, Twista, Keyshia Cole, Kandi Burruss, Warryn Campbell, Dorrough, Dre & Vidal, James Fortune, Chuck Harmony, Thaddis “Kuk” Harrell, Rob Knox, Matthew “Boi-1da” Samuels, and Terence Vaughn among many others.

Top awards were handed out to:
• Songwriters of the Year (tie): Ne-Yo, C. "Tricky" Stewart and The-Dream
• Song of the Decade: "We Belong Together" written by Jermaine Dupri, Johntá Austin and    Manuel Seal
• Top Rap Song: "Best I Ever Had" written by Matthew “Boi-1da” Samuels
• Top R&B/Hip-Hop Song: "Blame It" written by Christopher Henderson, Brandon “Note”    Melancon, The-Dream, C. “Tricky” Stewart     and Nate Walka
• Top Gospel Song: "Souled Out" written by Ernest Estee Bullock
• Publisher of the Year: EMI Music Publishing

One of the evening's highlights was a special tribute to hip-hop pioneer Dr. Dre, who was honored with ASCAP's Founders Award in recognition of "his achievements as a producer, rapper, entrepreneur and icon whose creative genius continues to shape the course of music." To celebrate the legendary producer, Kid Capri performed a DJ set chronicling his career, and surprise guest Eminem shared some personal remarks and co-presented the award with ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams. The ASCAP Founders Award is among the most prestigious honors that ASCAP gives to songwriters and composers who have made pioneering contributions to music by inspiring and influencing their fellow music creators. Each recipient is a musical innovator who possesses a unique style of creative genius that will enrich generations to come. Past recipients include Garth Brooks, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Smokey Robinson, Paul McCartney, Ashford & Simpson, Patti Smith, and Berry Gordy Jr. and Motown Industries. Singer, songwriter, producer, and performer Janelle Monáe was presented with ASCAP’s Vanguard Award, which recognizes the impact of musical genres that help shape the future of American music. Big Boi, one half of the famed duo OutKast, spoke fondly about the success of his good friend and co-presented the award with ASCAP Vice President of Membership, Rhythm & Soul Nicole George. Past ASCAP Vanguard Award honorees include The Killers, Santigold, Sara Bareilles, The All-American Rejects, The Strokes, and the Beastie Boys. Jimmy Jam presented ASCAP's coveted Songwriter of the Year award to R&B superstar Ne-Yo and songwriting/ production duo C. "Tricky" Stewart & The-Dream, who tied with six award-winning songs each. Ne-Yo was honored for “Mad,” “Miss Independent” and the bonus track “She Got Her Own” from his platinum-selling album Year of the Gentleman, as well as for three songs that he penned for other artists -- “Epiphany (I’m Leaving)” by Chrisette Michelle, “Knock You Down” by Kerri Hilson featuring Kanye West and Ne-Yo, and “Spotlight” by Jennifer Hudson. This is Ne-Yo’s first time being named Songwriter of the Year. C. "Tricky" Stewart & The-Dream were honored for “Blame It” by Jamie Foxx featuring T-Pain, “Just Like Me” by Jamie Foxx featuring T.I., “Rockin’ That Thang” by The-Dream, “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” by Beyoncé, “Throw It In The Bag” by Fabolous featuring The-Dream and “Trading Places” by Usher. Atlanta rapper T.I. presented the Song of the Decade Award to fellow Atlantans Johntá Austin, Jermaine Dupri and Manuel Seal for their work on Mariah Carey’s massive hit, “We Belong Together.” The song topped the Billboard charts, won two Grammy Awards for Best R&B Song and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, and was named ASCAP Pop Song of the Year in 2006. Top Song Awards went to Drake’s “Best I Ever Had” written by Matthew “Boi-1da” Samuels, which was named Top Rap Song and also claimed an award in the R&B/Hip-Hop category; “Blame It” by Jamie Foxx featuring T-Pain, which earned writers Christopher Henderson, Brandon “Note” Melancon, The-Dream, C. “Tricky” Stewart and Nate Walka the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Song award; and Hezekiah Walker’s “Souled Out” written by Ernest Estee Bullock, which was named Top Gospel Song. ASCAP Publisher of the Year honors went to EMI Music Publishing who was honored for 22 award-winning songs. This is the 16th consecutive win for EMI and the 18th time in the 23-year history of the awards show that they have received this honor. ASCAP CEO John A. LoFrumento presented the award to EMI’s President of North American Creative Jon Platt and his creative team.
** SEE PHOTOS AND FOOTAGE FROM THE EVENT **

BET AWARDS 2010 RECAP
There was not a dry-eye in the house at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Sunday, June 27, 2010 when Chris Brown took to the BET AWARDS '10 stage to honor the late Michael Jackson. Kanye West opened the show with a monumental performance of "Power" atop a smoky crag of rocks marking his return to the Awards show spotlight and circuit. King of the South T.I., backed by Travis Barker on drums and flaming pyrotechnics, tore the house down with his first national TV performance since being released from prison. Brown, West and T.I.'s show-stopping performances at this year's tenth anniversary BET AWARDS '10 provide platform for these three artists to re-emerge from the ashes for the negative publicity they recently faced to reclaim their status as superstars. Just two days after the one-year anniversary of the death of Michael Jackson, Jermaine Jackson introduced Chris Brown who channeled the legendary Michael Jackson while dancing to classics like "The Way You Make Me Feel," "Remember The Time," "Billie Jean" and an out-of-this-world silhouetted-in-white-lights version of "Smooth Criminal." But it wasn't until Chris Brown fell to his knees visibly broken down in tears, tortured with what could only be described as self-reflection during his own rendition of "Man In The Mirror," did the audience come to his rescue and help him finish the song in an ominous choir of song that would have truly made Michael Jackson proud. Later in the show, when accepting his 2010 Fandemonium Award, Chris Brown said, "I just want to say, I let you all down before and I won't do it again." Trey Songz's soulful performance of "Yo Side of the Bed" illustrated just why he was named the 2010 Best Male R&B Artist before transitioning into Prince's classic "Purple Rain," which led into one of the undeniable standout performances of the night. Legendary musician Prince was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award and his tribute was a performance of a lifetime. Beginning with a remote video message from a legend himself Stevie Wonder, Janelle Monae dazzled with her signature feminine tomboy threads and eccentric dance moves on "Let's Go Crazy." Esperanza Spalding jazzed up the room with her electric upright bass and Afro while singing "If I Was Your Girlfriend" before Alicia Keys crawled barefoot on her piano bringing Prince to his feet with "Adore." But it was Patti LaBelle who literally kicked off her heels, which Prince caught, to honor the pop culture icon with his classic "Purple Rain." Chaka Khan was also on hand to help pay respects. Additional highlights of the 10+ performances include: El DeBarge bringing the audience to their feet to dance in the aisles during his medley of his classics like "All My Love" and "Rhythm of the Night;" Usher, dressed in all white levitating high above, commanding the BET Awards '10 stage with a sizzingly sultry performance of "There Goes My Baby" backed by a 12-piece string section; Alicia Keys, poised at a black piano adorned with blue lights, opening up her medley of hits with "No One" followed by "Try Sleeping" before being joined onstage by Kim Burrell on "If I Ain't Got You;" 10-year-old Gabby Wilson singing a shockingly spot-on rendition of Alicia Keys' "Fallin'" on her 10th birthday to help Queen Latifah introduce Keys' performance; Monica dressed in a gravity-defying black ensemble dueting with Deniece Williams. Ludacris and DJ Khaled closed the show with a high-energy performance of "My Chick Bad" followed by beats from an asylum-straight-jacket-bound Nicki Minaj. Bringing a rock-fueled edge to the final song of the night with Rick Ross, Busta Rhymes, T-Pain and Diddy on "All I Do Is Win" was Motley Crue's Tommy Lee backed by a drumline. This year's in memoriam tribute was led by Todd Bridges paying respects to his former co-star Gary Coleman followed by a photo montage of those who passed this year and a Teddy Pendergrass tribute performance by Tyrese who sang "Come Go With Me" and "Close The Door." In continuing the good that BET's S.O.S.: Saving Ourselves telethon started back in February 2010, which raised over $1 Million for Haitian relief efforts, the BET AWARDS '10's contained a special Haiti memorial performance of "Are You Listening" from gospel greats Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, Yolanda Adams, Marvin Sapp, Kim Burrell and Karen Clark Sheard.

TUPAC NAMED TO NATIONAL RECORDING REGISTRY.
2pac’s “Dear Mama” will be amongst 25 recordings to be inducted into the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry. In this moving and eloquent homage to both his own mother and all mothers struggling to maintain a family in the face of addiction, poverty and societal indifference, Tupac Shakur unflinchingly forgives his mother who, despite a cocaine habit, "never kept a secret, always stayed real." The song displays further evidence of hip hop as a musically sophisticated and varied genre that can artfully encompass a wide variety of themes and musical influences. Pac joins a prestigious group of only 300 songs that have been inducted into National Recording Registry in history. "It is time to once again celebrate the nation’s rich sonic history and the importance of sound recordings in our lives," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. "This latest list of selections showcases the diverse beauty, humanity and artistry found in the American soundscape. The Library’s Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation will partner with many individuals and organizations to preserve and sustain these significant examples of our creative spirit so that they can inform and enrich the lives of modern and future generations." Nominations were gathered from online submissions from the public and from the NRPB, which comprises leaders in the fields of music, recorded sound and preservation. Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions.


EMINEM ON TRACK TO SELL OVER 600K 1ST WEEK.
Eminem is once again on track tp take the highest first week sales record as his latest,“Recovery” album is currently on pace to sell over 615,000 copies in it’s first week. Based on one-day sales number estimates it looks like the rapper will grab Gold in just 7 days.

LAWSUIT SEEKS TO STOP GAME'S RED ALBUM.
A company claiming to have discovered GAME has sued Aftermath Records, Interscope, Universal Music Group and Dr. Dre's company ARY, Inc. alleging it has been pushed aside and stiffed on royalties. As a result, it wants a court to halt the upcoming release of "The R.E.D. Album," currently scheduled for August. The Hollywood Reporter reports that Desperado Entertainment, which claims it found Jayceon Taylor and helped turn him into mega-selling rap star The Game, says in a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court that a series of agreements entitle it to share in licensing and publishing income from the former G-Unit member's records. The lawsuit doesn't reveal who is behind Desperado or whether Game himself is involved (that seems unlikely considering a letter attached to the lawsuit complains that certain monies have been paid directly to Game and his reps instead of Desperado). Desperado claims that despite efforts to work with the UMG labels, it has been cut out of the development of the new album in violation of its rights of approval. In addition, Desperado says the labels have breached the agreements by failing to account and pay proper royalties. The defendants have allegedly claimed "'budget overages' for all LPs but have not provided supporting documentation," according to the complaint. Desperado's agreements allegedly allowed the UMG labels to recoup advances "solely from record sales and not from publishing earnings or royalties," the complaint states. "Royalties from the sale of Game LP's have never been paid to Plaintiff." The amount of those royalties are not specified, nor are damages, although a letter attached to the complaint demands an immediate $275,000 "advance" payment on the new album. This is one of those lawsuits that feels like it merely scratches the surface of a deep underlying feud. Game has a history of various fracases. We've reached out to UMG for comment. In addition to requesting an injunction, the suit alleges causes of action for breach of contract, fraud/failure to disclose, unfair business practices, negligent misrepresentation, accounting and declaratory relief. It was filed by LA attorneys Christopher Pham, Christopher Johnson and Susan Rabin at Johnson & Pham.

DRAKE DEBUTS @ #1 ON CHARTS.
Drake's debut, Thank Me Later scored the #1 slot which sold 447,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Thank Me Later also marks the third-highest debut week of the year. The only two albums to beat Drake were Lady Antebellum's Need You Now, which sold 481,000 in its first week, and Sade's Soldier of Love, which opened with 502,000. He thanked his fans thru Twitter saying, “Thank you for the support…thank you for the memories…thank me later,” adding “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”

EM AND HOVA SHOCK GUESTS AT NEW YORK HOTEL.
Monday evening guests of the New York Ameritania Hotel got the chance to catch a surprise performance of top recording artists Jay Z and Eminem during a recent taping for CBS Television Late Show with David Letterman. The early evening performance took place upon the rooftop of the Ameritania Hotel which is located at 230 West 54th Street in Manhattan. The hotel shares a common roof with the famous Ed Sullivan Theater, home of the Letterman show, and seemed the perfect solution to Jay Z's recent "Empire State of Mind" claim to being able to make it anywhere. The performance was meant to be unannounced, but as with any New York minute, word spread quickly. Manhattan-based hotelier Hank Freid, owner of the Ameritania Hotel, along with several other boutique hotels, threw an intimate party from the property rooftop to share in the entertainment and excitement. "It was the experience of a lifetime," one guest quoted. "Jay Z and Eminem performing live on top of the greatest city in the world!" The scene was a mix of who's who in the Manhattan society scene and the entertainment fields, with such guests as Sean 'P. Diddy' Combs, Ashlee Dupre, even talk show host David Letterman. The performance is scheduled to air this coming Friday (June 25, 2010) during "The Late Show with David Letterman".

LIVE NATION APPOINTS NEW PRESIDENT.
Live Nation announced today the appointment of arena management veteran Mike Evans as the company's newly created President of Arenas. Evans will be responsible for managing Live Nation's dealings with Live Nation's North American arena partners. In 2009, Live Nation promoted more than 1,000 North American arena shows, attracting more than 9 million fans and generating net gross ticket sales of approximately $600 million. Evans will report to Live Nation CEO of Concerts, Jason Garner. Evans comes to Live Nation from his previous position as Executive Vice President of Sports and Entertainment for SMG, where he was responsible for heading SMG's Booking Division for stadiums, arenas and theaters worldwide. With a background as a concert promoter and tour manager, Evans has interacted with a full spectrum of sports league commissioners, concert producers, tour promoters and talent agents. "Mike Evans has distinguished himself as a leader and specialist for successful arena relationships nationwide," said Jason Garner. "His expertise makes him the right man to oversee Live Nation's North American arena business. We want to thank SMG for working with Live Nation in aiding a smooth transition. We look forward to Live Nation's continued relationship with SMG and the arenas they manage."... "I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Wes Westley and the entire SMG team for the last 10 years, and feel that my experience there created the perfect platform to launch this new phase of my life and work at Live Nation," said Mike Evans. "I'm thrilled to continue my successful relationships with the many hard-working professionals who help create great shows at arenas throughout North America."

AEG GOIN' IN ON MAJOR LABELS?
AEG Live, the second-largest live entertainment company in the world, is talking to the major music companies about taking a minority stake in the business, reports the NY Post. The Los Angeles-based company, a unit of AEG, an owner of sports teams and concert and sport venues, has been talking to Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music, sources familiar with the situation said. The talks could result in either a sale to one of the major music companies or possibly a consortium of bidders, one executive close to the matter said. The discussions are said to have been on and off with Universal for more than a year, but have broadened recently to include other labels. "The talks are still going on. There is no definitive agreement," warned one person close to the discussions. While no one is clear on the rationale for AEG's stake sale, some suggest it could be driven by the desire to raise capital while the business is still robust -- despite the recent slowdown. Others suggest a deal with the music companies could also help shore up AEG Live's competitive position with the world's No. 1 promoter, Live Nation, which recently gained federal approval for its merger with Ticketmaster. AEG Live was behind the comeback tour by the late Michael Jackson and is fronting tours by Lady Gaga, The Black Eyed Peas, Pitbull and a host of others. A spokesman for AEG Live confirmed it had talked to some companies. "There are a variety of substantial organizations that have contacted us over the years and recently about investment opportunities in AEG Live," the spokesman said. "While we happen to have all of our funding in place and have no need for additional investors and have never found anybody to be a good fit, we continue to speak to many to determine if they would bring proper assets to the table to warrant consideration." The spokesman added: "We're having the best run that we've ever had and the future is incredibly bright but you always look for ways to strengthen the organization." A spokesman for Universal Music said: "We are not in discussions with them." Executives at Sony and Warner had no immediate comment. AEG owns, manages or programs roughly 29 venues across the country, including the Nokia Theater Times Square and the High Line Ballroom.

EMINEM LAUNCHES "EMSEE" BATTLE
Red Bull EmSee: The Road to 8 Mile is a freestyle rap battle of sight and sound, curated and directed by Eminem. The national battle series features the rawest lyricists competing for the honor of being named the illest freestyle MC in the country. This invitation-only competition has a unique format that challenges MCs to bring the true freestyle spirit back. Building upon the traditional head-to-head battle by adding an innovative twist, MCs will be tested on the sickest flows they can create on the spot based on spontaneous cues -- making it not only a battle against each other but also against the clock and the mind's eye. Qualifying battles will be judged by a variety of industry heavyweights including Just Blaze, Alchemist and Craig G. The ultimate winner of the national championship will be determined by Eminem. "I'm looking for somebody to stand out, to be unique and to say the sickest, most ridiculous, most retarded s#%! you can say, something that makes somebody want to quit," explained Eminem. Three distinct rounds of battle will challenge MCs to be nimble, sharp and witty while dominating the stage. In round one, MCs will showcase their best flows over beats. In round two, their freestyle skills will be further challenged as they rap about themes that are texted to a screen by judges and the live audience. The third and final round is a head-to-head, acapella, take no prisoners battle-to-the-end. Lyrical prowess during these rounds will advance the most skilled MC to the national finals in Detroit where the gloves come off. Red Bull EmSee: The Road to 8 Mile begins in New York and will travel through San Francisco (July 16), Philadelphia (July 20), Orlando (July 29), Atlanta (August 3), Greensboro (August 5), Houston (August 12), before ending in Detroit on August 26 at the legendary St. Andrews Hall. The MC left standing walks away with bragging rights and an opportunity to record with a headlining producer at Red Bull Studios.

DOUG E FRESH ADDED TO ESSENCE FESTIVAL.
Doug E. Fresh have been added as Superlounge artists during the 2010 Essence Music Festival. The artists, who will both perform on Sunday, July 4th, will join a stellar line-up of artists performing during the annual event over the Fourth of July weekend, including: Janet Jackson; Mary J. Blige; Alicia Keys; Earth, Wind & Fire; Gladys Knight; Trey Songz; Chrisette Michele; Estelle; Irma Thomas; Melanie Fiona; Mary Mary; Irvin Mayfield & the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra; Arrested Development and many more. The presenting sponsor for the 2010 Essence Music Festival is Coca-Cola. Other 2010 sponsors include Coors Light, CoverGirl Queen, Ford,
McDonald's, Olay, Pantene, Tide, U.S. Army and Wal-Mart; AARP, CNN, HBO, My Black is Beautiful, TBS, TVOne and Visa. The 2010 ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL is executive produced by Essence Festivals LLC and produced by Rehage Entertainment. Essence Festivals LLC is a division of Essence Communications Inc. (ECI).

RIHANNA VIBING IN THE LAB.
Rihanna has reportedly been in the studio and working on some new music. The next album will reportedly show and happier Rihanna who is in a much better place in life, according to songwriter and collaborator Sean Garrett. "I can definitely say that her album is definitely gonna be way more exciting, happy," Garrett told MTV. "I hope she doesn't mind me saying this. I love Rihanna. She's fun, she's like a sister, and I tend to think she doesn't really take herself too seriously. And I think that's what this album is gonna be about. Remember when Rihanna was just the little girl from the island and she was just having fun with 'Pon de Replay' and enjoying life? It always seemed like, 'Dag, she has that thing.' And it wasn't so serious until the [Chris Brown] incident happened. And everything became so serious. That's just life. But I'm just happy to see her back. And I can definitely say the records that we've been working on are very positive and very explosive. Heavy in the club."

LIL BOOSIE INDICTED FOR MURDER!
An East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury has indicted Torrance Hatch otherwise known as "Lil-Boosie" on a first degree murder charge. Hatch was indicted in the October 21st shooting death of Terry Boyd. Michael Louding and Adrian Pittman are also indicted on first degree charges on Boyd's murder. East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore says all three of the alleged killers meet the criteria of first degree charges. Moore said that the death penalty is not out of the question. Hatch and girlfriend Walnita Decuir along with a former Dixon Correctional Institute guard and an inmate were also indicted on drug charges. "I gotta go away for, like, 10 months to a year," Boosie told MTV News in October last year. "It's just a minor setback for a major comeback. I was gonna take 'em to trial, but I'm not gonna take them to trial. They offered me a deal. In Louisiana, you can't really win, bruh. So I'm gonna do my year, come back home, step it up even more. I leave on November 9." Source: CBS

LLOYD GOIN IN ON 2010.
In 2009, Lloyd assisted the Young Money crew with one of the years biggest collaborations, the BET Viewers Choice nominated “Bedrock”, and with the recent release of 4 new single collaborations, it appears that he hasn’t slowed down in 2010. From East to West to South, Lloyd heats up the summer with features on 4 new singles; “Feelin’ Myself” from South Central’s own Nipsey Hu$$le, the Jim Jonsin produced “Go, Go, Go” by Atlanta new comer J. Futuristic, Chamillionaire’s “Make a Movie” which also features Twista, and the most surprising of the 4, a collab with G-Unit veteran Lloyd Banks on “Any Girl”. When asked about working with Banks, a pairing that wouldn’t have been possible a couple years ago due to the tension between G-Unit and The Inc., Lloyd had this to say, “There was no hesitation on my part because we never had direct issues. We met for the first time in the studio and everything just clicked. It felt like it was our 10th song together.“ As for his other features, Lloyd credits time well spent in the “off season”, working hard while in between deals, “I was independent for about 6 months and we just tried to stay as busy as possible with shows and collaborations. It’s starting to pay off now”. He went on to say, “I like working with talented artist that are on their grind, whether they’re newcomers or veterans”. With this host of new collaborations, his Mystikal assisted buzz single “Set Me Free”, and still more summer collabs on the way, including a rumored Rich Boy and Drake record, Lloyd plans to stay in the public eye as he readies the first official single from his Interscope debut and 4th studio album.

QUE RECORDS INKS DEAL WITH EMI.
Que Records has entered into an exclusive distribution deal with EMI Label Services that is designed to maximize the exposure and sales for artists under the Que Records umbrella. The first act signed to Que Records is the sophomore album from platinum-selling Hip Hop artist Huey, to be released later this year on Que as a joint venture with Huey’s label, OMG Media. Under the new deal, Que Records will develop, and release albums in a variety of genres. Huey is a talented young St. Louis-born artist best known for his chart-topping hit “Pop Lock and Drop It,” which was a top 3 single on the [category] Billboard charts and has been blowing up the charts in the rap scene ever since. His new album is titled, “Redemption,” and the first single is “Smile and Wave” featuring Dorrough. Other guest artists featured on the album include Colby O’Donis. “Huey’s ‘Redemption’ is party-feel-good, make-you-want-to-dance music, and it’s being released just in time to make the summer hit lists,” said Que Records’ CEO Quayshaun Carter. “I am very excited about this joint venture between my label and OMG Media and our distribution deal with EMI. Huey is next in line to impact the music industry… be warned.” Que Records is here to stay.”

“THE SITUATION” LINKS UP WITH FATMAN SCOOP.
Jersey Shore’s Mike “THE SITUATION” Sorrentino is bringing his wise-guy rhetoric to this season's hottest dance club mix, firing up the fists, and banging the floor with a track that brings worldwide artists DJ Class, Fatman Scoop and The Disco Fries together on one label. “The Situation” as it is properly titled, is being released this week in all digital retail oulets via AV8 Records/The Orchard. “It was incredible that I was able to just have fun with some artists that I really respect. We connected in the studio and had a great time putting together something that fans can just have a good time and dance to,” said Sorrentino. Featuring verses from DJ Class, (I’m the Ish” ft. Lil Jon - Universal Records), and celebrity radio personality, Grammy award winner Fatman Scoop, Sorrentino’s hard hitting theme song is a situation that is sure to set the summer club scene on fire! According to Class, “This is a great record for the clubs – it’s not rap, it’s all about the party. We’ve linked it all up and created a situation right here.” Known for their heavy hitting remixes for Usher (OMG), Selena Gomez (Naturally) and Flo Rida (Sugar), double platinum production duo The Disco Fries brought the electronic, club edge to“The Situation” in a style all their own. “Working with Class and Scoop is always a pleasure, but bringing Sitch' into the mix brought a whole new dynamic,” said the Disco Fries duo, known worldwide for their work with top artists in the industry. They added, “We premiered it out this past weekend and had the dance floor rockin’ – it was obvious we had to get this out for the DJ’s ... all the haters need to smile when they listen to this one.” According to Fatman Scoop, currently performing in South Africa as part of the 2010 World Cup club scene, “Most people know me as the voice of the club. It was only natural to hook up with the king of reality tv to do this record.” Scoop is currently touring through Shanghai, China, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Australia with artists Ne Yo, T Pain and Big Boi and working on tracks with Diddy, David Guetta, Kat Deluna, and DJ Class. “The Situation” appears in MTV’s Jersey Shore Season 2 based in South Beach Miami premiering on July 29th.

B.o.B. INKS WORLD-WIDE PUBLISHING DEAL.
Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), the world's leading global music publisher, today announced details of a world-wide co-publishing agreement with international breakthrough artist B.o.B., as well as an exclusive world-wide publishing deal with Alex da Kid, who co-wrote and produced B.o.B's Top 5 single, "Airplanes." The deal with B.o.B. was signed through UMPG's joint venture with Eminem's Slim Shady Music Publishing, LLC. UMPG has been fortunate to sign very early key artists, writers, and producers that have taken the global music scene by storm, including recent breakthrough artists and writers Justin Bieber, Owl City, Florence & The Machine, and The XX, and now B.O.B and Alex Da Kid, to name a few. Said Jessica Rivera, Senior Director, Creative Affairs, Universal Publishing Group: "Both B.o.B. and Alex Da Kid are talent that we recognized early and helped develop as their music publisher. It's rewarding to sign such amazing talent and see their efforts grow into major international pop success. We look forward to supporting their future efforts as they develop long careers making music that will be heard around the world." The publishing deal encompasses B.o.B.'s platinum selling debut album, B.o.B. Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray (Grand Hustle) which reached No. 1 on three Billboard charts - U.S. Billboard 200, Top R&B / Hip Hop Albums and Top Rap Albums. The No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 single, "Nothin' On You," was the first single released on B.o.B. Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray. The current breakout hit, "Airplanes," featuring Hayley Williams (Paramore) and Eminem (published by UMPG), was co-written and produced by Alex da Kid, and is a Top 5 smash on the Billboard charts. Since signing to UMPG, London native Alex da Kid has worked with a wide range of artists including Diddy, Akon, Young Jeezy, Jazmine Sullivan, Jennifer Lopez, Estelle, Paramore, Slash, Rob Thomas, Nicki Minaj, and most recently with Eminem for an upcoming single titled "The Way U Lie" feat. Rihanna. Atlanta, Georgia native B.o.B. emerged as a young musician in grade school by playing numerous instruments including trumpet. His immense musical talent led him to having artist management by the time he was in high school. At 21, the platinum selling artist has now worked with a long roster of artists including Lupe Fiasco, T.I., Weezer's Rivers Cuomo, Paramore's Hayley Williams and Eminem, among others. B.o.B. and Alex da Kid join UMPG's long list of chart-topping urban artists including 50 Cent, Ciara, Eminem, Keri Hilson, Keyshia Cole, J. Cole, Jeremih, Justin Timberlake, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Ne-Yo,
T-Pain, and many more.


INDUSTRY VET STARTS OWN LABEL.
Gary Marella is a music entrepreneur responsible for breaking some of the biggest artists in the music business (such as Lil Wayne, Akon, Drake, Nelly, 3 Doors Down, Erykah Badu, Jack Johnson, Blue October, Birdman, Kid Cudi and more) over the past decade at Universal Motown Records. Before his departure in 2009, Marella was most recently the Senior Vice President of Promotion where he oversaw the radio and video promotion departments for the US market in addition to signing 2 bands, Tamarama and Barcelona. During his years at Universal Records Marella moved up the corporate ranks quickly being promoted several times from National Director to V.P. Rhythm Promotion then to V.P. Promotion then most recently Senior V.P. of Promotion which was announced in 2006 by Chairman Sylvia Rhone. "Gary possesses the rarest of qualities in a promotion executive. He has a special insight into the changing complexities of promotion and exemplary instincts when it comes to expanding the reach of our artists," said Rhone. Marella is now the founder of his own record label, Roma Records as well as his management, marketing and touring company, Del Mar Entertainment. Roma Records is distributed through Blackground/ Interscope Records where his first artists Jordy Towers is slated to come out the end of 2010 or early 2011. Del Mar Entertainment has already packaged tours with Live Nation and consulted such record labels as Cash Money, Konvict Muzik, J Records, Sony, Atlantic and Def Jam. Del Mar's artist management division continues to grow beyond just music to include artists in varying realms of entertainment such as his newest signing, international star Lior Suchard who Marella just recently signed to a new deal with United Talent Agency for representation. Previous to his tenure at Universal Motown Records, Marella worked at Priority Records, specializing in Hip Hop where he was influential in breaking the careers of such acts as Jay-Z (the label of his first release, 'Reasonable Doubt'), Master P, Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube, to name a few. Marella first entered the music industry over 15 years ago through Interscope Records, where he started in publishing and eventually discovered promotion. As an active member of the community, Marella is involved with charities such as The Art of Elysium, an arts-based charity that encourages working artists to voluntarily dedicate their time and talent to children who are battling serious medical illnesses.

BET AWARDS '10 TO HONOR PRINCE.
This year, BET Awards '10 will honor the musical legacy and genius that is Prince as the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, an honor bestowed to the most significant and influential individuals in music history. A musical legend, Prince is one of the most talented, successful and prolific musicians ever, producing ten platinum albums, thirty Top 40 singles to this point in his career. His unique, individual and stunningly original musical style broke barriers and has influenced almost every music maker of the past 30 years. Prince's music transcends all generations. Since its inception, the BET AWARDS has given the Lifetime Achievement
Award to the most deserving artists in music history. Whitney Houston (2001), Earth Wind & Fire (2002), James Brown (2003), Isley Brothers (2004), Gladys Knight (2005), Chaka Khan (2006), Diana Ross (2007), Al Green (2008), The O'Jays (2009)... and now Prince is inducted into this elite group. "We are humbled that Prince will be our lifetime achievement award recipient," said Stephen G. Hill, President of Programming, Music and Specials. "Genre smasher, virtuoso musician, one of the most emotional singers of all time; words are too weak to describe just what he means to our culture. We have a different kind of tribute planned for him as his unique style deserves a unique honor. Prince is dynamic. Prince is genius. Prince is music."
It's going down June 27.

ACTIVISION ANNOUNCES ROSTER OF AWARD-WINNING MUSICAL TALENT
Activision Publishing, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) announced today that its highly anticipated games Call of Duty®: Black Ops™, DJ Hero® 2, Guitar Hero®: Warriors of Rock and True Crime®: Hong Kong will feature music from some of the most popular and successful recording artists including Grammy® Award winners Usher, Eminem, Soundgarden, Pharrell Williams, David Guetta and other world-renowned musical talents. “Activision’s fall titles are set to give gamers an unparalleled musical experience,” said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. “We have assembled an exceptionally talented roster of artists, many of whom have created exclusive or originally recorded tracks for our games. We are sure our titles will offer a variety of tracks that will appeal to our wide consumer base and delight the most passionate music and gaming fans.“ Players will party together this fall, firing up two turntables and a microphone in DJ Hero 2, the follow-up to the #1 new videogame IP of 2009. Picking up where the award-winning DJ Hero® soundtrack left off, DJ Hero 2 spins together the hottest tracks blazing up the charts and legendary club anthems from the biggest artists in pop, dance and hip hop including R&B superstar Usher’s chart-topping hit “OMG,” with a current audience reach of over 160 million, which will be involved in an upcoming DJ Hero 2 project. The game will feature a host of new world-class DJ’s, including an in-game appearance and hit music from Grammy Award winning artist and multi-platform producer David Guetta. He joins progressive house producer Deadmau5 who delivered some of his hot new tracks and will also be an in-game playable character. Z-Trip spins his encore as part of the DJ Hero crew, having consulted on the game’s development and is delivering two exclusive new mixes. Grammy Award winning recording artist, producer and musician Pharrell Williams brings his unique blend of pop, hip hop and soul to headline the soundtrack for True Crime: Hong Kong the company’s forthcoming open-world/action game. Also on the soundtrack is up and coming R&B, pop and jazz singer Rhea who frequently collaborates with Williams and has performed with N.E.R.D. With orders to “do whatever it takes to become one of them,” players assume the role of undercover detective Wei Shen as he engages in visceral, fast paced martial arts combat, explosive gunfights, high-octane action driving and acrobatic free-running chase sequences in order to infiltrate and bring down one of Hong Kong’s most notorious Triad organizations. In order to survive, Wei must think like them, fight like them, and even kill like them. On November 9, 2010, the newest installment in the biggest action series of all-time and the year’s most anticipated title, Call of Duty: Black Ops, will insert players behind enemy lines during the most dangerous time period mankind has ever known. An epic single player campaign filled with heart-racing action, Call of Duty: Black Ops puts players in the boots of elite special forces units engaged in covert warfare, deniable operations, and explosive conflicts around the globe. The title features an edgy new track from Eminem’s upcoming album “Recovery” scheduled for release June 21st.

UMG PROMOTES NEW VP.
Mitch Rotter has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Marketing and Product Development for Universal Music Distribution (UMD), the major label distribution division of Universal Music Group Distribution (UMGD). The announcement was made today by Amanda Marks, Executive Vice President & General Manager of UMD, to whom Mr. Rotter reports. Formerly, Mr. Rotter served as Vice President, Marketing for the company. With this promotion, Mr. Rotter will add the development of new products, services, marketing tools and systems to his existing responsibilities, which include oversight of central marketing support for all products. "Since joining the company last year, Mitch has quickly proven himself to be an invaluable resource and innovative executive," stated Ms. Marks. "His experience, insight and fresh perspective have created real value for us and our labels.".... "I'm thrilled be taking the next step in my career here at UMD," stated Mr. Rotter. "Amanda and Jim (Urie, President and Chief Executive Officer, UMGD) have built a solid, industry-leading team and I'm proud to be a part of it. Together, we will continue to lead our company's and our industry's evolving distribution activities." Prior to joining UMD, Mr. Rotter served as Senior Vice President of Content Acquisition and Strategy for Thumbplay, where he was responsible for the company's overall content, merchandising, and storefront strategy. He also oversaw Thumbplay's numerous media, marketing and content partnerships. Formerly, Mr. Rotter served as Senior Vice President of Music Development and Soundtracks for New Line Cinema, responsible for monetizing New Line's music assets and overseeing music supervision and soundtrack releases for the studio while launching its first record label, New Line Records. He has also held positions at Capitol Records and American Recordings.

DJ MUGGS & ILL BILL PREP COLLABORATIVE LP
DJ Muggs is one of the industries most talented and best known producers. Since Cypress Hill’s formation in 1991, the pioneering rap-rock quartet has come a long way from the streets of South Central L.A. Over the course of its 19-year history, Cypress Hill has sold more than 17 million albums worldwide, including more than 11 million records in the U.S. alone. The group has garnered 15 multi-platinum, platinum and gold certifications from the RIAA; headlined Lollapalooza, Woodstock and the group's own Smokin' Grooves tour, appeared on "Saturday Night Live," made the late-night talk show circuit---all the while breaking down the musical and cultural barriers between hip-hop, alternative, metal, rock, reggae, ska and Latin music. In 2008, DJ Muggs, along with Cypress Hill received a VH1 Hip Hop Honors, to celebrate the vision and innovation that the group continues to bring to Hip Hop, strengthening its force around the world. Yet, that only touches on what Muggs has done as a member of Cypress Hill, as his highly-influential solo-projects (Soul Assassin Series, Grandmaster’s with Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA) and not to mention producing hits for House of Pain “Jump Around” and Ice Cube “Check Yo Self” among many others. Ill Bill was obviously honored to be working with Muggs, as he affirms “I've always been a huge Muggs fan and his Vs. series is one of the last places to hear the vibe that made albums by Cypress Hill & Gang Starr so dope. Not too many producers can craft an entire album on their own, let alone an album that's a classic. Muggs has done it many times over the past 20 years. It's an honor to be part of that legacy." For the vast majority of his career, whether solo or in a group capacity, Muggs has established a precedent for working hand in hand with artists and creating cohesive bodies of work, rather then spreading around beats from project to project and that rings true once again on Kill Devil Hills "I prefer getting in the lab and actually creating projects with people instead of just sending out beat CDs. I'm a producer in the fullest extent, where I like to not only produce an album; but craft an album. Being able to start a record from the beginning and following through with it, making sure that all the songs compliment each other. I've always come from making albums and producing my records---I'm still into that” relays DJ Muggs. Ill Bill was a founding member of Non Phixion who released their seminal debut, The Future Is Now, in 2002 and has also released two influential solo LP’s. Bill has also released an LP as a member of the bi-coastal conglomerate La Coka Nostra (which also includes Everlast, Danny Boy and DJ Lethal of House Of Pain and newcomer Slaine). Ill Bill’s The Hour Of Reprisal (2008) showed flashes of what the future would hold, as Bill & Muggs collaborated on two tracks (“This Is Who I Am” & “Only Time Will Tell”) for Bill’s most recent solo-LP. CHECK OUT VIDEO ON DJ MUGGS DISCUSS HIS PROCESS ON THE PROJECT - WATCH HERE

RECENT CHALK TALK WITH DRAKE.
In a recent interview with Variety, The 23-year-old Canadian singer-rapper-actor Drake dropped a few comments on his recent success and his upcoming album "Thank Me Later"... "There is a lot of song crafting involved on the new record," he says. "There is a lot of music that will hopefully spark an emotional journey." .. "I try to really capitalize off of what other rappers really can't do," he says. "There are opportunities that rappers I love simply can't get, because… you know...I don't have the tattoos; I have a different image." Among them are a long-term endorsement deal with Sprite, which has sponsored his Away From Home World Tour. "The minute we heard him, we knew he was not the average rapper," says Al Branch, who with hip hop moguls Gee Roberson, Kyambo Joshua and Cortez Bryant, form the management team guiding Drake's career. After gaining the support of controversial rapper Lil Wayne when an associate gave him his mixtape 19 months ago, Drake's career has since been a whirlwind ride driven by his association and collaborations with Rap's Big Four: Jay Z, Kanye West, Lil Wayne and Young Jeezy. "These are the most powerful people in hip hop," says Branch. "In society, you hear how successful black men in American can't work together. In Drake's case, you've got these educated, successful black men all collaborating together for a common goal."

TEAIRRA MARI HEATING UP 2010.
Teairra Mari is sizzlin up 2010. With good-look guest spots from Gucci Mane and Soulja Boy, “Sponsor” has quickly moved into the Top 20 at Urban Radio, prepping Teairra for a scorching summer full of sought after concert performance dates and her appearance on the big screen. August will find the sultry songstress in a substantial role in Warner Bros. Films’ The Lottery Ticket. Opening August 20, The Lottery Ticket features an all-star cast that includes Ice Cube, Bow Wow, Loretta Devine, Mike Epps, and Charlie Murphy. Teairra beat out a number of other high profile young actresses to land the role of sponsor-iffic Nikki Swasey. “I’m like the hot chick in the projects,” laughs Mari, “but something’s not right because I’m still in the projects!” Teairra Mari is no stranger to rocky roads. Signed to Roc-A-Fella Records at just 16-years-old, the Detroit native burst onto the scene in 2005 with her debut album, Roc-A-Fella Presents: Teairra Mari. The album debuted at #2 and spawned a Top 10 single with “Make Her Feel Good,” and a crossover hit with “No Daddy.” But things went awry shortly thereafter prompting the “Princess of the Roc” to receive the phone call, as she was dressing for her senior prom, that she was getting dropped from the label. After a brief dark period, Teairra pulled herself up by her bootstraps. “Name it and claim it!,” she recently told Academy Award winning actress and talk show host Mo’Nique. “No one’s going to pull you up but yourself. No one’s going to give you confidence but you.” It was during that period that she connected with music industry veteran Cudda Love (Mase, Nelly), who quickly signed Teairra to his Fo’ Reel imprint. Cudda and Teairra spent the next two years reintroducing her to fans with buzz tracks "Hunt 4 U" featuring Pleasure P and “Cause a Scene” featuring Flo Rida. "This world is a place where you have to show people. And you have to keep showing them,” says Teairra. “I know people counted me out. I want people to know this is in my heart and this is not something I decided to do just because someone decided to give me a track. This is something I wanted to do my whole life.” So what does Teairra make of all the “Sponsor”-versy? “Personally, I prefer a corporate sponsor,” she told Mo’Nique. “So, right now, Warner Bros. is my sponsor. But no matter what you do – doctor, lawyer, board of education – wherever you get your coins from to pay your bills, that’s your sponsor. Work it!”

JA RULE COULD FACE 4 YEARS ON GUN CHARGES.
Ja Rule could be heading to prison for firearm slash weapons charges. Back in July of 2007 after a show at the Beacon Theater, Ja Rule had his $250,000 Mercedes Maybach pulled over by the police and a .40 caliber pistol was found with the serial number scratched off. Ja Rule later plead not guilty to criminal possession of a weapon and on Ttuesday (June 8.) he suffered a loss in his case as the judge ruled against his challenge of the DNA testing procedure. Although Ja Rule and his lawyers plan to appeal the ruling, Ja Rule faces up to four years in prison when he stands trial on August 18th.

SWISHA PRESENTS YUNG REDD'S EVICTION NOTICE 4
While most of us were taking it easy over the holiday weekend, Yung Redd of Swisha House was wrapping up his latest mixtape Eviction Notice 4, slated to drop this summer Tuesday, July 6th. EV4 will be another classic for Yung Redd while he is rapping over original beats and features artists: Paul Wall, Lil Keke, Trae, Z-Ro and Yung Problems to name a few.

KANYE TO PERFORM AT BET AWARDS 10.

BET is proud to announce and welcome Kanye West to the stage at The 10 year celebration of the BET Awards '10; making this his first major awards show appearance since his appearance on the 2009 MTV VMAs. While West received much backlash and criticism following the VMAs, BET decided to give the performer a spot in music history during its 10 year anniversary special. Viewers can anticipate a dynamic comeback performance. Newly added performances also include Ludacris, DJ Khaled, Rick Ross, Drake and many more. Also, slated to perform are T.I., Diddy-Dirty Money, Nicki Minaj, and Trey Songz. The BET Awards '10 will be hosted by Queen Latifah and some presenters confirmed are Taraji P. Henson, and Mike Epps, as well as this
year's Humanitarian Award will be given to John Legend. The BET Awards '10 airs live, Sunday, June 27th 8:00 PM*, from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA.


PRODUCER JAYWAN LANDS DISTRO DEAL WITH UNIVERSAL.
BMI Publishing and Divine Management are pleased to announce that hip hop producer Jaywan has secured a six figure distribution deal with Universal Music Group for his newly created Jaywan Inc. production company. In addition to his distribution deal, Jaywan will also produce tracks for current Universal artists and serve as A&R for future projects as well. This distribution deal comes on the heels of producing the new Jim Jones single “Gift of God” (set to be released through Byrd Gang/E1) and two unspecified tracks off Young Jeezy’s new album Thug Motivation 103. Universal Republic Executive Vice President Cameo Carlson was on hand to congratulate Jaywan on his accomplishments and future success. “I am excited to work with Universal, Cameo and their whole team of music professionals, as we share the same vision for Jaywan Inc. and strive to make major moves in the industry moving forward” added Jaywan. “I believe in the Universal system, and look forward to having the Jaywan brand a stable for many years to come.” Commenting on the signing to Universal Republic, BMI Urban President and Chairman Catherine Brewton said, "Jaywan is one of the fastest rising producers in urban music today. He has created a unique and recognizable sound that is paving the way for hip hop’s newest talent as well as its established veterans. He has played a major role in developing and launching the careers of some of the South’s next up and coming artists in the business today, such as Swazy Baby and JW. We are very proud to have him a part of the BMI Family." Producer Jaywan has enjoyed both critical and commercial success throughout his career, changing music, culture, and perceptions while always remaining true to himself and his vision. Jaywan began his career creating groundbreaking music as a dj at some of Atlanta’s and Chicago’s hottest and most influential nightclubs. He moved on to produce tracks for Gucci Mane, Swazy Baby, JW, Paul Wall, Bone Thugs n Harmony, Trey Songz, Twista, Jim Jones, Cam’Ron, Young Jeezy, and many others.

LOWEST WEEK IN ALBUM SALES HISTORY!
Billboard Magazine reports show that the last full sales week (the week ending May 30th) was the fewest number of albums sold in a one-week period since Soundscan started keeping track of data back in 1994. In reality the industry thinks this is the lowest amount of albums sold since the early 1970s. Last week only 4,984,000 albums were sold, compared to the same week last year which saw almost six million units scanned (5.76). The highest one-week sales total was in late December (of 2000) in which 45.4 million albums were sold.

DESTINY'S CHILD REUNION RUMORS ARE FALSE - Statement from Mathew Knowles:
"Contrary to rumors online of a Destiny's Child reunion, there are no plans for the group to reunite for a performance or album. The rumors are false. Destiny's Child made an unprecedented impact in contemporary music, becoming one of the best-selling groups of all time. Beyonce, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams have each moved on to successful solo careers. The members remain close, but will not reunite as a group."

LIMEWIRE HIT WITH A 2 WEEKS NOTICE.
Thirteen big record companies want to freeze assets of the provider of file-sharing service LimeWire, accusing its founder of fraudulently trying to evade hundreds of millions of dollars in damages over copyright infringement. U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood last month found that Lime Wire LLC assisted users in pirating digital recordings, and that founder Mark Gorton personally "directed and benefited from many of the activities" that resulted in liability. In papers filed on Monday in Manhattan federal court, lawyers for the record companies said Gorton has moved "significant" assets, including nearly 90 percent of Lime Wire's ownership stakes, to an entity he "openly" hopes will be shielded from damages that could top $1 billion. The assets allegedly moved were blacked out in the papers. Gorton and affiliated defendants "have engaged in a series of fraudulent actions" to "frustrate a legal judgment in this case," the papers said. "An asset freeze is required in order to ensure that plaintiffs recover at least some of the monetary compensation they are entitled to." Last week, the record companies also sought a permanent injunction to halt piracies. It said that despite Wood's ruling, Lime Wire appeared to have done nothing "to change its illegal ways," and that every recording on Billboard's Top 40, Top 40 Country, Top 40 Rock and Top 40 Latin Pop charts were still available to download through LimeWire software. According to court records, Wood on Monday also granted the requests of two law firms to stop representing Lime Wire: Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, and Porzio, Bromberg & Newman PC. A Lime Wire spokeswoman said: "We will continue to stay focused on the development of our new music service and ensure that the company continues business as usual." She added that the change in law firms had been planned before the latest court filings, saying: "We were looking for a better firm." The file-sharing service has been given at least two more weeks to live. District Judge Kimba Wood gave LimeWire's laywers two weeks to respond to the RIAA's motion. Once LimeWire files its response, the RIAA gets another two weeks in turn to reply to that response, though Judge Wood could theoretically make a ruling any time after the LimeWire filing. After Monday's hearing, LimeWire released a statement, saying, "We feel a permanent injunction is not the best course of action," the company said. "It could hold back the creation of new digita-music technologies that LimeWire is in the process of developing, and it does not benefit the industry as a whole. Following today's court appearance, we will be submitting our opposition brief."

RHYMEFEST DROPS REVOLUTIONARY 3D VIDEO
Rhymefest continues to build anticipation for the highly anticipated LP with the announcement of Hip Hop’s first three-dimensional music video. The video, produced by veteran videographer Konee Rok, features Rhymefest and Little Brother’s Phonte for El Che’s first official single, “Say Wassup.” The first in a series of graphically groundbreaking videos, “Say Wassup” is predicted to change rap videos in the same light that Avatar changed motion pictures. Following “Say Wassup,” fans can expect to see a video for every song on El Che. With the comic book themed “Chicago,” and the Merry Melodies inspired “Give It To Me” already buzzing online, Rhymefest promises to deliver more visual gems with “Prosperity,” “City is Falling,” and “Talk My S**t” hitting the net soon. According to Rhymefest, “because my fans have been so patient with El Che, I want to give them things they’ve never seen or heard before. That’s what makes El Che revolutionary on multiple levels.” In addition to the world class visuals that will accompany El Che, Rhymefest’s label, dN|Be Entertainment, also recently announced that a limited quantity of red cassettes will be released for the album. Dubbed the “Red Tape,” the cassette will feature all 16 tracks from Rhymefest’s long awaited sophomore effort. As well, a transparent, prison-safe cassette will also be released for El Che. The clear cassettes will feature no screws and are approved for usage by inmates in most prisons. WATCH THE 3D VIDEO HERE

BAY AREA POWERHOUSE KMEL ANNOUNCES THE BAY'S TOP FRESHMEN.
KMEL 106.1 FM, one of the nation's premier Urban Contemporary stations serving over 1 million listeners in California's Bay Area, released their first annual list of the Bay's fastest rising hip-hop stars. The list is the brainchild of DJ Amen, one of the station's on-air talents. When asked about the criteria for choosing artists, DJ Amen commented, "We searched for artists who, despite having little to no radio play, have a strong presence and the potential to be the next big thing locally, and hopefully beyond." With growing national recognition for artists like DaVinci and international buzz for artists like Nio Tha Gift, KMEL's choices echo a growing consensus from the global hip-hop community on who will be the next generation of stars from Northern California. KMEL has been instrumental in launching the careers of other Bay Area greats like Tupac, MC Hammer, E-40, and Too $hort. The station's Freshmen list is likely to follow in this tradition, by tipping off record executives and media outlets nationwide to Bay Area acts they should be aware of. DJ Amen will host a media mixer on June 17th at SOM in San Francisco to celebrate the list and allow the press to become more familiar with these rising stars. Bay Area based record labels Interdependent Media and SWTBRDS, who both have artists on the coveted list are pleased with KMEL's commitment to supporting local talent. Says Interdependent Media’s Ian Davis, "The Bay Area has always had a strong rap scene and it is always growing. Every so often we have a wave of new artists who come out and leave their mark. This latest batch selected by KMEL, including our artists Moe Green and TRUTHLiVE, are some of the most exciting, creative, and talented artists to hit the scene in some time.” SWTBRDS artist DaVinci adds, “To have a major radio station like KMEL support me is immensely humbling and motivating because we are as indie as it gets, we don¹t have deep pockets; we just have ears for making good music and market ourselves well.” While the labels that represent The Freshmen see the marketing and commercial potential of inclusion on the elite list, some artists are simply proud to receive the honor. “Its a blessing. You remember listening to 106 when you were just a kid, and then to hear yourself on that same station... its unexplainable. I just appreciate people like DJ Amen, the people at KMEL, and everybody else involved for taking notice to what I got going,” exclaimed San Francisco based rapper Roach Gigz. The Freshmen list is another benchmark for KMEL which celebrated 20 years of urban programming in 2007. The Clear Channel Communications company was instrumental in popularizing the Bay Area's "hyphy" movement in the early 2000’s, and is the longest tenured urban station in California.
The full KMEL Freshmen 10 list in no particular order is:

1 NIO THA GIFT - Richmond
2 MOE GREEN - Vallejo
3 DaVinci - San Francisco
4 DB THE GENERAL - Oakland
5 JAY ANT - Hercules
6 P CHILD - Richmond
7 TRUTHLIVE - Santa Rosa
8 ROACH GIGZ - San Francisco
9 SU! - Richmond
10 COUSIN FIK - Vallejo

KIDZ IN THE HALL INK DEAL WITH MTV/VH1.
MTV & VH1 have acquired Kidz In The Hall's complete album, Land of Make Believe, for upcoming placement opportunities in the Network's original programming. Over the next 6 months, Kidz In the Hall's music will be tastefully incorporated into MTV, VH1 & Comedy Central shows & specials. This Sunday, June 6th, during the MTV Movie awards (9PM EST/8PM CST), Kidz In The Hall's song "Running," from their recent album, Land of Make Believe, will air during a Jersey Shore special. Snookie & J Wow are leaving the rainy north for a road trip to sunny Miami. The segment may be the opening scene for the first episode of the upcoming Jersey Shore 2 season.

PLIES AND YOUNG JEEZY BACK OUT OF VH1 HIP HOP HONORS.
Florida's hottest rapper Plies explains why he didn't perform at the 2010 VH1 Hip Hop Honors show. apparently there was a scheduling conflict since Plies had to push the release date of his latest album from May 25th to June 8th in order to lower the album street price for his fans. As a result, Plies feels that it is important to focus on his fans and the days leading up to the release of his fourth album Goon Affiliated. "I had to make a choice between personally meeting with my fans during my album promo tour or performing at the VH1 Hip Hop Honors and the choice was easy -fans come first," explains Plies. Ironically, not only will Florida's biggest rapper Plies not be attending or performing, but Young Jeezy, Georgia's hottest rapper right now will also not be in attendance at VH1's Hip Hop Honors specifically celebrating The South. Young Jeezy is one of the rappers featured on Plies fourth album dropping June 8th with their collaboration Look Like also featuring Fabolous.

EMI APPOINTS NEW EVP/GM.
EMI Music has appointed Mike Harris as EVP/GM for EMI Label Services and Caroline Distribution, the company’s third party artist and label unit. Harris will lead the division on a worldwide basis from New York City. He will report to Dominic Pandiscia, who since 2008 has led EMI Label Services’ expansion and was recently named EVP for EMI Music Services in North America. In his new role, Harris will take on worldwide responsibility for EMI Label Services’ full-service division that provides independent labels and artists with a global menu of services and access to an expanding range of revenue streams. "Mike was invaluable in helping me define EMI Label Services’ unique blueprint and he knows what’s important to independent labels and artists. He’s the perfect guy to continue our expansion. Mike also has great relationships throughout the industry," said Pandiscia. "He’s been a big part of building global careers for many artists and he knows what it takes to help labels excel on a worldwide stage."... "I’m really excited to work with the growing number of artists and labels who’ve responded to EMI Label Services’ flexible approach," said Harris. "What we offer is truly unique: a global, customized strategy and execution to support independent artists and label groups. I have worked with Dominic closely for many years. He’s built a great foundation that has really resonated with independent community, and I’m looking forward to extending our services to even more artists and labels around the world."

50 CENT TALKS WEIGHT LOSS AND NEW ALBUM
50 Cent recently spoke on his massive weight loss, new album and new movie. 50, who normally weighs 214 lbs dropped down to 160 lbs just after nine weeks on a liquid diet. 50 said his upcoming film, which he wrote, that he tried to emmulate what his character looked like during the illness which centers around the films plot. "Yeah, it was a lot for me to actually get there. After the second week, it was crazy. They say it takes 30 days to make a habit, but man. I was on the Internet and I was looking at Christian Bale, while The Machinist was out, he almost killed himself...."I was feeling like maybe I'm overdoing it and I'm dropping 54 pounds, but I was in such a good physical state prior to me deciding to go down on the weight." Beyond his liquid diet, 50 said his upcoming album “Black Magic” is in the works. 50 says he was inspired by singers Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield. “It’s still got a soulful vibe to it and that’s why I called it Black Magic. I had some Marvin Gaye-inspired stuff, some things that content-wise would feel like something Curtis Mayfield would do from my perspective, and just the choices of how the cadences on the records were like performance music that they did in the past. It feels brand new. If I didn’t tell you it was inspired by that, you wouldn’t know that I got it from that. I didn’t say the same things that they said; it’s just my perspective on what they offered.”

NEW TUPAC BIOPIC ON DECK.
Antonie Fuqua (Director of “Training Day),” says he is currently working on a Tupac Shakur biopic that should going into production this fall. “It looks like we’re doing Tupac Shakur’s movie next in September, that’s what I’ve been starting up and working on now,” he said. “I’ve been working on that for a while with Morgan Creek and Jim Robinson. I just got the greenlight from him and we’re going in September. I’ve just started to prep that.” Fuqua added that he is hoping to find an unknown actor to portray Pac. “That’s the goal, I want to discover someone new,” he explained. “I want to discover a lot of new people if I can. Obviously I’m going to have to put some people in it that you know, just because actors have different skills. I want to go to the streets and find him anywhere he might be in the world.”

PRESIDENT LEAVING WARNER MUSIC'S CATALOG DIVISION.
Rhino Entertainment president Scott Pascucci will be replaced by executive VP/general manager Kevin Gore at the top of Warner Music Group's catalog division. Pascucci will remain on board as a consultant through the transition. He joined Rhino, briefly known as Warner Strategic Marketing, in September 2001 from Sony Music Entertainment, where he had been senior VP of business affairs, new technology and business development. Gore moved to Rhino in 2002 from Universal Classics Group, where he was president. Pascucci's exit comes nine months after the company laid off 30 to 40 staffers in the face of waning sales for physical catalog product. A statement from the division said in part, "Rhino's long-term strategy remains on course and our commitment to our core principles -- creating the best most informative, innovative, and fun CD, vinyl, and digital music products, and doing everything we can to showcase the amazing artists, music and brands with whom we work -- is unwavering."

RIHANNA AND WEEZY LINK UP WITH EM.
Eminem has posted on his site the track list and album cover for his new album, Recovery. The album is due on June 22 and will feature Lil Wayne on "No Love," Rihanna on "Love The Way You Lie" and P!nk on "Won't Back Down." The album features production from Dr. Dre, Just Blaze, Boi-1da, DJ Khalil, Jim Jonson and D12's Mr. Porter. The lead single, "Not Afraid," is already a hit-- it debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart earlier this month. Released digitally on May 3, "Not Afraid" sold 380,000 downloads in its first week.

R.I.P. GARY COLEMAN.
Gary Coleman has died at the age of 42 after suffering a brain hemorrhage that left him in a coma and on life support, multiple news sources have confirmed. The 'Diff'rent Strokes' actor was taken to the hospital on Wednesday, and his condition deteriorated as the days went on. After being on life support for at least a day, his family made the decision to pull the plug. Coleman was taken to the hospital on May 26 after injuring his head during a fall, resulting in a brain hemorrhage. A spokesman for the actor said that he was "conscious and lucid" upon his arrival at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo, Utah, but later slipped into a coma.

SKYZOO X ILL MIND PREP NEW ALBUM.
Skyzoo has joined forces with highly producer/beat smith Illmind (G Unit, Boot Camp Click, Red Man, Little Brother) for what will be an exciting producer/MC album. Dropping on Duck Down Music in the Fall, the full length LP, 'Live from the Tape Deck,' will see the Brooklyn-based duo of Skyzoo and Illmind doing what they do best -- dropping hard-hitting beats over ‘rewind factor’ rhymes. “It’s not rocket science,” says Skyzoo. “There won't be any deep undertones or personal records like The Salvation; just dope beats and rhymes that's better than everything else out.” And with a history of dope collabo joints in the bag and a chemistry that can’t be replicated, these two creative forces plan to present raw hip hop with a unique, cohesive sound only they can produce. “Back in the day, it was always like that,” stresses Skyzoo. “When you look at Eric B and Rakim, EPMD, NWA, A Tribe Called Quest and groups like that -- you had one producer with one sound and one theme. That’s what we plan to bring with this project.” But don’t get it twisted; Live from the Tape Deck isn’t a throw back to that 90’s sound. Skyzoo explains, “The reason it’s called Live from the Tape Deck is because when labels made cassette tapes, it just so happens that was when records were dope. Once the option of buying a cassette in a store was gone, that’s when things changed and music got whack.” Illmind elaborates, “You know it’s not going to be some typical shit -- it’s going to be honest. Not throwback. Not boom bap. It’s going to be some 2010 shit with one of the best MC’s in the game.”

SWIZZ BEATZ & ALICIA KEYS ENGAGED & PREGNANT?
Looks like the rumors are true. The Associated Press reports that Alicia Keys is pregnant after reps for the couple confirmed the news last night. The couple are scheduledto be married this summer. This will be Alicia Keys’ first child and Swizzy’s third. Swizz Beatz already has two sons, one from his previous marriage with Mashonda.

WYCLEF AKA DR.FUGEE?
Wyclef Jean can now add another distinguished honor to his long list of achievements: The Haitian-born Jean was awarded an honorary doctorate on May 23 from Western Connecticut State University in Danbury. Dr. Jean delivered a commencement speech, titled "Vision for the Future," to the graduating class of 2010 and was presented a check from the university in the amount of $9,500 for his organization, Yéle Haiti. Founded in 2005, Yéle Haiti was one of the leading organizations that stepped up to the plate in the aftermath of this year's earthquake in Haiti. Jean, who came from humble beginnings, stated that he had to "ride a donkey to school in Haiti" and stressed the importance of perseverance. "I lived in a one-room shack. When I came to America, I didn't speak a word of English. Today I am able to travel the world, reach people with my music, work on behalf of my native Haiti and even speak at a college commencement." Challenging WCSU's class of 2010 to have a vision for the future and embark on their dreams, Jean stated: "Create a vision based on your specific gifts, talents and tools. There is greatness in simply being you and using your skill to do something with your vision -- and to put your personal plan in motion."

BRANDY & RAY J, CHILLI, BASKETBALL WIVES RE-UP.
VH1 announced today that its latest hit series "Brandy & Ray J: A Family Business," "Basketball Wives" and "What Chilli Wants" have all been picked up for second seasons.
Closing out their first seasons, "Basketball Wives" and "What Chilli Wants" finale on Sunday, May 30th at 10PM* and 10:30PM* respectively. "Brandy & Ray J: A Family Business" will finale on Sunday, June 27 at 9PM*. "VH1 viewers connected strongly with these three new series this year, and we're so happy that we can continue to share these real-life stories from the worlds of music and celebrity. Will Chilli really ever let down her guard in her quest for love? How well will Brandy and Ray J step up in their family business? And how will the 'Basketball Wives' move forward in their complicated lives? We're looking forward to answering those questions in their next cycles," said Jeff Olde, Executive Vice President, Original Programming & Production, VH1.


THE PACK RELEASE WEST COAST TOUR DATES.
Bay Area trendsetters, The Pack, are preparing to hit the road with Chiddy Bang, the buzzworthy hit makers who are currently enjoying rave reviews of the mash-up styled sound. The 'Opposite of Adults' tour, will also feature performances by XV and 2am Club. The first leg of the tour hits 15 cities beginning on June 6 at Nuemos in Seattle, and is tentatively scheduled to hit the Midwest and East Coast starting in August. The Pack Tour Dates With Chiddy Bang:

6/05 Petaluma, CA @ Phoenix Theater
6/09 Seattle, WA @ Neumos
6/10 Portland, OR @ Berbati’s Pan
6/12 Reno, NV @ Knitting Factory
6/13 Chico, CA @ Senator Theatre
6/14 Sacramento, CA @ Harlow’s
6/16 Pomona, CA @ Glasshouse
6/17 San Diego, CA @ Brick By Brick
6/18 Orangeville, CA @ The Boardwalk
6/20 Tempe, AZ @ The Marquee Theatre
6/21 Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress

TRINA TO LAUNCH AMAZIN’ COSMETICS
Katrina “Trina” Taylor, whose still reeling from the success of her 5th album AMAZIN’ which was released this month and debuted #1 on the Independent Billboard charts and #2 on the Billboard Rap Charts, is launching a cosmetics line this June titled Amazin’ Cosmetics. In conjunction with the launch of Amazin’ Cosmetics, Trina is joining forces with the Carma foundation for Amazing Gloss for An Amazing Cause to help raise funds to assist the orphans of Haiti devastated by the earthquake. Trina’s “Baddest Chick” Collection includes two lines: Amazin Cosmetics and Million Dollar Girl apparel. The Amazin Cosmetic line debuted with Amazin’ Lip Wear which consists of a modern palette of vibrant lip glosses with a built in sponge applicator to give your lips an extra luscious boost of shine; Amazin’ Eyelashes which are re-usable glamorous diamond studded eyelashes that instantly give a stunning beautiful look. Each set comes with tweezers and adhesive; Finally, the Amazin’ Perfume line currently includes two fragrances Diamond Princess and Diamond Doll. Coming this fall the line will introduce a new fragrance “Pink Diamond”. Amazin cosmetics reflects Trina’s iconic presence and sex appeal as seen on stage or as she dazzles them on the red carpet. Amazin’ Cosmetics will partner with Melky Jean’s (Wycleff’s sister) Carma Foundation to assist orphans who continue to be impacted by the catastrophic event in Haiti. Trina was moved by the countless number of abandoned children left on the streets of Haiti and decided to “do something”. She pledged her support by donating a portion of the proceeds from gloss sales to assist Carma Foundation and the Mayor of Port Au Prince Haiti in restoring hope for the children of Haiti.

LIL KIM ON BOARD WITH JAY-Z?
Lil Kim has reportedly joined Jay-Z's Roc Nation (New York based Roc Nation is management, music publishing and Entertainment Company founded by Jay-Z in 2009). The Label has the following signed artists Jay-Z, Rita Ora, J.Cole Bridget Kelly, Alexis Jordon, Range, Hugo And Kanye West. According to various reports, Kim becomes the Roc's latest signee, and will have the pleasure of Jay-Z executive-producing her next solo album. Nothing has been officially announced by Kim or Roc Nation, but industry insiders have confirmed the deal has been inked. Not sure if Roc Nation will serve as Kim's management or if she is signed as an artist to the record label arm of the company. We'll keep ya posted.

AL COE ON DECK.
Hot newcomer Al Coe is bringing his A-game with his hot new single "Gucci Shoe Shopping" packed with fresh beats and Al Coe's unique musical style, making what's sure to be a nationwide hit while still being as unique as the artist himself. Born “Alex Aiken” known to the streets as “AL Coe” began making music a couple years ago when he started to realize that he had a unique gift that he wanted to share with the world and that’s when his journey began. Al would stay in the studio for many hours at a time perfecting his craft, working on songs whether for himself or for other artists. He loved writing songs and bringing it to life with the artist. Al would always say “Everybody wants to rap but everybody can’t make good music”. When he makes music, he incorporates his personality and flavor to create his own unique sound. He strives to one day touch people all over the world from all walks of life. In 2008, he started working with producers in the industry who have worked with major artist like: LL Cool J, DMX, Nas, Fifty cent and many more. Al also opened shows for artists like Plies, Shorty Lo, Trina, Remy Martin (just to name a few). Now, he is currently living in Atlanta, GA. He’s networking, meeting new people and bringing his project to life. His Hot Single “She a Freak” is currently being played on Hot 107.9 Atlanta Hip Hop Station on the 9’ o clock music mix daily. In the past decade, footprints have been left from many entertainers like Fifty Cent, Kanye West, and Chris Brown. Every few years someone new steps on the scene: “Do we really have to ask whose next?” "Gucci Shoe Shopping" featuring Trina is the new hit single is taking over the charts right now in Atlanta as well as New York with it's catchy style. The single features a fresh beat as well as a catchy hook. Al Coe's hit making prowess is evident in this song.

JURY ACQUITS MAN IN DOLLA KILLING
A jury has acquitted a man of killing Atlanta rapper Dolla during a shooting at an upscale Los Angeles mall. Jurors on Friday rejected prosecutors' contentions that the killing of Dolla, whose real name was Roderick Anthony Burton II, was a callous act of apparent revenge. Burton and his accused shooter, Aubrey Louis Berry, had been involved in a fight at an Atlanta club less than two weeks before the shooting last May. Berry hugged his attorney after the verdict was read while Burton's family sobbed. Berry's attorney had contended the shooting was an act of self-defense, emphasizing that Burton glorified a violent gangster lifestyle in his rap lyrics and online videos. The rapper was a protege of hip-hop artist Akon.

THE PACK LANDS NEW DEAL.
SMC Recordings continues to attract some of the hottest artist’s out-adding to its already stellar roster. Their most recent signee is former Jive Records act, The Pack. The young group first made headlines in 2006, when their trendsetting hit single “Vans”, took over the airwaves. It was named #5 in the Rolling Stone’s Top 50 songs list for that year, and has sold 300,000 to date. The Berkeley, CA based group, comprised of members; Lil Uno, Young L, Lil B and Stunnaman were discovered by Hip Hop legend Too $hort, who signed them to Jive Records. They released an album and an EP with the label, quickly achieving a large following for their unique and edgy sound created by in-house producer and group member Young L. They appeal to everyone from hip hop heads to skate boarders. Their music’s influence has had great reach; even making its way into famed comedian; Dave Chappell Skits, who brought up their popular song “Vans” to the delight of the audience at a recent show. "I tried signing The Pack when “Vans” broke but how could I compete with Too $hort?” remembers SMC Recording’s Chief Operating Officer, Will Bronson. -- “The Pack has always been ahead of the curve and with this new album, the songs are stellar and they've truly evolved into stars. We've got so much in store for these guys its incredible," The Pack’s first album on SMC Recordings, Wolfpack Party, features production by Young L with additional help from hit making new comers The Cataracs keeping them musically as leaders of “the pack”. “The Pack is a great fit for our label, as we have proven success with these niche groups of Hip Hop artists. With their crossover appeal and a sound that stays one step ahead of the trends, they add incredible depth and prestige to our roster” said SMC CEO Ralph Tashjian. The group has is currently putting the finising touches to their SMC debut and preparing for their Summer tour.

NECRO RESPONDS TO HUMAN TRAFFIC KING PETITION.
Hip-hop's own King of Death Rap recently released his sixth full-length album, DIE!
Recently, Necro's video for the song "Human Traffic King" has become the object of controversy and an online petition to force a venue to stop him from performing the song. Necro has responded by releasing this statement: "Okay, for the record, I will officially say, I DO NOT SUPPORT HUMAN TRAFFICKING! I am not making this statement to censor myself, or to try to make anyone happy. I am doing this to set the record straight, and to address the organization petitioning me, The Barnaba Institute: am a rap artist from the streets and I always speak the truth as I see it. I do not support women being kidnapped and used for prostitution by organized crime. I run a record company and release brutally explicit hip-hop albums for a living. I have a mother and niece I love, as well as female fans all over the world that I love and I would never want to see them in a position where they were victims of human trafficking. My female fans support me 100%. They understand my sick insane art, and they know it's just that: art. They are intelligent enough to recognize the difference. Let me make something else clear: I DO SUPPORT insane explicit brutal art, and everything I record and release is based on reality. Human trafficking is a very real and serious subject that has never been touched on by any hip-hop artist. I am the first, but you shouldn't crucify me for showing you the brutal truth. My "Human Traffic King" video is not anti or pro, it's just art, it just is. It's viewing reality and brutal like a horror movie. Do we persecute movie directors for making brutal gore films with people being viciously killed? NO, these movies are in movie theatres and retail stores all over the world raking in millions, so why when a musical artist does that same form of art through music should it be judged differently? I was raised on gore flicks and low budget horror movies, so when I make art it has that exploitational feel to it because that's how I like to paint pictures. The thing that always made exploitational films so good is that they were more true to life than blockbuster movies; more dark, gritty, and realistic. So yes, my video is fucked up. Why? Because human trafficking is fucked up, plain and simple. Any female watching the video can see what could happen if she isn't careful in this world. I DO NOT SUPPORT HUMAN TRAFFICKING, but I DO SUPPORT FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND THE RIGHT TO CREATE ART THAT IS TRUE TO LIFE. You have the right not to watch it, or to watch it and learn from it, you can even hate me, but don't misunderstand the director or writer for his creation or depiction of reality You heard it from me personally, if you wanna debate my views, fine, but don't twist my words into what you want them to be.


HOV AND WIFE BE GO HEAD UP.
Jay-Z tops the list of nominees for the 2010 BET Awards with five noms. Him and wife Beyonce go head up in three categories, including video of the year. Beyonce, Melanie Fiona, Alicia Keys and Trey Songz each have four nominations. Other multiple nominees include Rihanna, Maxwell, Drake and Fabolous. Films competing for the BET Award for film are "Avatar," "Law Abiding Citizen," "Michael Jackson's This Is It," "Precious" and "The Blindside." Noms were announced Tuesday in New York. The BET Awards will be held June 27 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Queen Latifah will host.

FONTANA PARTNERS WITH RAP-A-LOT
Fontana, the independent distribution arm of Universal Music Group, the world's leading music company, has signed an exclusive distribution deal with critically-acclaimed Rap-A-Lot Records, it was announced today by Ron Spaulding, President of Fontana, and James Smith (a.k.a. J. Prince), Founder of Rap-A-Lot Records. Rap-A-Lot Records was created in Houston in 1986, putting the South on the hip-hop map with its most famous act, The Geto Boys. Rap-A-Lot has
continued to focus on rap by navigating the careers of Devin The Dude, Tela, Yukmouth, Do or Die, Scarface, Z-Ro, Bun B, Pimp C, and Trae Tha Truth, among many others. Rap-A-Lot has released almost 200 titles to date and recently launched the upcoming celebration of the label's 25th Anniversary. The company will mark the anniversary with releases from Z-Ro, Bun B, Pimp C and several themed compilations using select songs from Rap-A-Lot's extensive catalog.
"I have been doing business with James Prince and Rap-A-Lot for a long time and it is an honor to welcome his entire team to Fontana. James is a true music visionary and has established Rap-A-Lot as one of the great pioneers of southern hip-hop, a true original," stated Mr. Spaulding. "And
as they approach their well-earned milestone of 25 years in the industry, Fontana is thrilled to embrace their innovation, rich catalog and talented artists as we play a role in the next exciting chapter of their history." "I am excited about Rap-A-Lot Records' new journey and the opportunity
to work with Jim Urie (President & CEO, Universal Music Group Distribution) and Ron, two music executives that I have the utmost respect for," added J Prince. "I believe in the Universal/Fontana system and I look forward to having the Rap-A-Lot brand be a part of the #1 music company."

T.I. CHOPS IT UP WITH LARRY KING
T.I. chopped it up with Larry King last Thursday night for his first in-depth interview since leaving prison. T.I. spoke about the circumstances that led to his arrest for attempting to illegally purchase firearms in October 2007, as well as how he has grown and moved on from the incident. T.I. said he has truly put the "trouble" behind him and that he does not own a weapon now. But his desire to purchase one stemmed from the shooting death of his best friend. "It came from an attempt that was made on my life," T.I. explained to King on CNN. "My best friend [Philant Johnson] had died in my arms. It caused a state of depression and paranoia. My judgment was jaded, and I felt my life was in danger. At the time, when I felt the need to have these things, I never took into consideration the legalities; I only took into consideration the protection of my life and family." He added that being in jail gave him plenty of time to get introspective. "In having time to sit and reflect, if you take the time and use it to your advantage, you see [that], even though all those rounds were fired that night, you didn't have a firearm and you're still here," T.I. said. "Obviously, the firearms aren't what's keeping you alive. I had to take that into consideration. I had to apply it to the way I live my daily life." T.I. said he is now focusing on his future, working with at-risk youth and taking care of his six children. However, he did not shirk any of the responsibility for what happened. "The main thing I can do to protect myself in the future is to understand my position," he said. "I can't put myself in an environment where it will require me to have a handgun. I just stay places where I can be cool. I have security now. I take full responsibility for everything that happened to me. I'm a full believer that your life is what you make it. Society doesn't owe you anything."

HOV AND EM ANNOUNCE STADIUM SHOWS.
Jay-Z and Eminem announced that they'll co-headline two shows at their hometown baseball stadiums. The Rap vets will play Detroit's Comerica Park on September 2 and New York's Yankee Stadium on September 13. The last time Eminem headlined a show was at the New Orleans Voodoo Music Experience in October 2009. "This is a once in a lifetime set of shows, and I know we're both really going to bring it to our hometowns," said Eminem. "The fans are going to love this, and so am I. It's gonna be historic."... "These shows are like a dream come true," Jay-Z added. "I've always hoped that hip-hop could play any stadium like other genres of music. How perfect is it that Eminem and I get to play our hometowns and show how far the live rap experience has come?"

DETROIT RAPPER J CLEAR ON DECK.
The rap world is at a crossroads. In the face of shrinking budgets, music executives, resting on their laurels, search out the next YouTube sensation with a catchy hook and dance move in order to amass digital single sales. While many artists have tried to break through despite an industry melt down, few have been met with praise... and the applause for those that have has not been loud enough to sway the course of the current rap market. Looking to excel where his contemporaries have failed, Detroit native J Clear brings promise of a new day in hip hop music. Choosing his name because, the twenty-something describes himself as a versatile lyricist who can touch on numerous topics while maintaining his own identity. After a brief hiatus J Clear returns with his mixtape "The Greatest Rapper You've Never Heard". A mash up of soul filled sound beds, raw, energetic drums and an endless range of topics.

GUCCI MANE RELEASED FROM JAIL.
Gucci Mane was released from prison today after serving six months for violating his probationon an assault charge. The Atlanta rapper scheduled a press conference early this morning to announce plans for a nationwide tour this July to promote his forthcoming album "The Appeal. Around 12:30, Gucci Mane walked out and, with his nose buried in a piece of paper, quietly read a statement amid flashing lights and a sea of tape recorders. "I have made some mistakes in my life that have hurt a lot of people who care about me. I have worked very hard to get past them, but those mistakes have brought me to where I am today, and they will not be repeated. These past six months have been a difficult time, but fortunately I have learned a great deal from my experience. I was able to do a great deal of soul searching; I am coming out with a new attitude towards life." After pleading guilty to assault in 2005, he was sentenced to serve time for a probation violation -- failing to fulfill his court-ordered community service. He went to jail right as his latest album, "The State vs. Radric Davis," which features Keyshia Cole, Lil Wayne, Soulja Boy, Keri Hilson and Usher, was being released. "I was forced to miss what should have been one of the proudest moments in my life. This is something that I will make sure never happens again. My time in jail was trying, but I grew from it and am now a stronger and better person. I want to continue on a positive track and truly focus on being a role model to my fans and my community." The rapper said he has launched a new label, 1017 Brick Squad Records in affiliation with Asylum/Warner Brothers Records and that he would be recording with rapper Wacka Flocka Flame in the near future. He told the crowd that his new album, The Appeal, is scheduled for a summer release and that he would be going on a nationwide tour starting in July to promote it. SEE VIDEO HERE

RZA AND UNIVERSAL FORGE MOVIE DEAL.
Universal is making a deal to finance and distribute The Man With The Iron Fists, a stylized martial arts film that will mark the feature directorial debut of RZA, the Wu-Tang Clan co-founder who has written the screenplay with Eli Roth. RZA will play the title character, a blacksmith who forges weapons for the inhabitants of a village in feudal China. They are forced to defend themselves, and before you know it, everybody is kung fu fighting. Roth will produce with Strike Entertainment's Marc Abraham and Eric Newman. RZA will also produce the soundtrack. The film shoots in September in Hong Kong at a budget under $20 million. Roth said that Iron Fists was forged under the creative godfathering of Tarantino and has the stylized period vibe present in Kill Bill. "It started with a trip RZA and I took with Quentin to Iceland in 2005," Roth said. "We flew back, ended up snowed in in Boston, staying at my parents' house in Newton. Turned out that my dad and RZA grew up in Brooklyn and went to the same Brownsville junior high school and swam in the same public pool. He hooked me on his dream of directing and reinventing the Kung Fu movie genre. It reminded me of my love of horror. RZA went to the set of Kill Bill, and got a master directing course from Quentin. Nothing was happening with the script, and I formed this company, Arcade, with Eric Newman, that made Last Exorcism, a film that comes out in August through Lionsgate. We were looking for projects and I suggested RZA's script. I wrote the latest draft with him. While I was away shooting Inglourious Basterds, RZA went to China to shoot test footage on his own, with all the choreography. It was very visual and I think he will bring to life a script that mixes kung fu with a spaghetti Western mindset and a hip hop influence. "RZA has imagined every tribe, every fighting style, every costume," Roth said. "He knows kung fu like I know horror."

DMX REFUSES CELEB REHAB--JUDGE DENIES BAIL
An Arizona Judge has reportedly denied locked up rapper, DMX, bail and the opportunity to leave jail to attend Dr Drew’s “Celebrity Rehab” television show. DMX is already in a rehab while he’s in jail. According to the local paper, the judge denied DMX petition for simply one reason, he’s already doing well in the substance abuse program in prison. Previously we reported that DMX had filed a lawsuit from jail. According to the New York Times, DMX has reportedly filed a $1 million dollar lawsuit against Rich Kid Entertainment over unpaid royalties. He filed suit Monday against Rich Kid Entertainment, charging that the entertainment company pocketed 100% of the funds from a contract signed a decade ago that was only supposed to provide a 10% cut. “DMX has sold over 30 million albums worldwide and has had #1 singles and albums on the Billboard charts, which in turn have generated a great amount of revenue for Defendants, but has left DMX with nothing,” the suit says. The suit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, says DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, didn’t even become aware of the “fraudulent acts” until last year – because he had bigger problems. “From 2000 through 2008, Simmons was in and out of jail and changed representatives numerous times,” the suit says. Source: NY Daily News

YUNG JOC AND SWAGG TEAM ENT INK RECORDING AND PRODUCTION DEAL.
Yung Joc has inked a recording deal through his own imprint, Swagg Team Entertainment with Polo Grounds Music/RCA Music Group and a production deal with Battery/Jive Records for emerging acts through Swagg Team Entertainment. "It is my pleasure and honor to announce my affiliation and new partnership with Polo Grounds Music/RCA Music Group and Battery/Jive Records,” states Yung Joc. “Now I can actually work and not wonder if I'm going to be held back from building my own brand as well as the Swagg Team brand. I'm very excited to work with this team.” As an artist signed to Polo Grounds Music/RCA Music Group, Yung Joc is currently working on his new album tentatively titled Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood, slated for a late 2010 release. “Joc is a triple threat. As an artist, executive and personality, he is now entering a higher phase of his career and I’m happy to play a part in it,” affirms Bryan Leach, President, Polo Grounds Music. “I feel with Pitbull, Yo Gotti and now Yung Joc, Polo Grounds has an amazing front line of smart, talented, hungry artists that will continue to show why it’s still all about making hit records and outworking everyone else.” Tom Corson, EVP, General Manager, RCA Music Group cites “The signing of Yung Joc as both an executive and entertainer is a testament to the great talent that he possesses. His addition to the Polo Grounds Music roster will further establish the label’s strong foothold in urban music.”

FORMER FLIPMODE MEMBER - BABY SHAM ON DECK.
Baby Sham, a former member of Busta Rhymes', now defunct, FlipMode Squad, is currently readying the release of his long-in-the-making, "official" solo outing, Fabric Of Time. The set is being introduced by its impressive lead offering, "So Fresh," and is scheduled to bow this July. Sham grew up on the 41st side of the Queensbridge housing projects, which also birthed the likes of Hip-Hop pioneers MC Shan, Roxanne Shante', Nas & Marley Marl, and at age fifteen took up the art of emceeing full-time. As one sixth of the, then, popular Killa Kids collective, Sham and company quickly made a name for themselves in and around the five different boroughs. Unfortunately, due to creative differences amongst one another, Killa Kids soon disbanded. A chance encounter with Rhymes, who visited Sham's projects to film a Benny Boom directed video, led directly to a coveted spot in the, then, fledgling FlipMode crew. Baby Sham's first appearance on wax was Busta's platinum-plus When Disaster Strikes... LP, followed by '98's E.L.E. (Extinction Level Event): The Final World Front. The Imperial, FlipMode's gold certified debut, also dropped that same year, spawning a pair of hit singles; "Everybody On The Line Outside" & "Cha Cha Cha." In addition, Sham was featured on a number of movie soundtracks, including; Slam, Why Do Fools Fall In Love, Dr. Doolittle 2, and Friday After Next. 1999 brought Baby Sham a Source Award, as FlipMode Squad was named 'New Artist of the Year,' and in '04 he earned a pair of ASCAP Rhythm and Soul Awards for his contribution to Rhymes' Mariah Carey assisted, "I Know What You Want." On July 4th, and as a precursor, of sorts, to Fabric Of Time, Sham will drop Get To Know Me, a DVD mix-tape, where every track will be accompanied by a visual clip. Baby Sham is also presently working with Dolten Brothers Entertainment, an upstart production company that assists artists in filming and editing videos.

DIDDY LANDS EXCLUSIVE GIG WITH MACY'S.
Macy's Inc. has signed a deal with Diddy's Sean John line to be the exclusive retailer for its men's sportswear collection. The deal begins next spring. The move is the latest exclusive deal for Macy's, which over the last two years has signed similar arrangements with such labels as Tommy Hilfiger and Ellen Tracy. As part of the pact, Sean John's men's sportswear collection will be available online at macys's website and in 400 Macy's stores with additional stores to be added. Currently, the men's brand is in 375 Macy's stores. Sean John's men's wear brand is currently being sold at such stores as Dillard's and Belk Inc. Those retailers will no longer carry the men's wear collection starting in October, according to Dawn Robertson, president of Sean John. The Sean John brand generates sales of about $525 million from a variety of products including fragrance, women's sportswear and outerwear. Menswear accounts for a big chunk of sales, said Robertson, declining to be more specific. In an interview, Robertson said that the brand, founded in 1998, struggled in recent years, but over the past six months, the business has seen a resurgence as the company has reinvented its fashions and found a broader audience. "It was a difficult decision" to pull out of the other stores, Robertson said. But she said Macy's plans to focus on increasing sales within each of Macy's locations and eventually expanding to all 800 Macy's stores. As part of the agreement, Sean John will get more prominent placement in advertising and will move to a more visible area on the selling floor, she said.

B.o.B TOPS THE CHARTS.
B.o.B. scored a #1 debut this week as his first album, The Adventures of Bobby Ray, sold 84,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It marks the first time a solo male artist has earned a #1 album on the chart with their debut release since August 26, 2006, when Rick Ross did it with Port Of Miami, according to Billboard.

BAD BOY/INTERSCOPE RECORDS SIGN BROOKLYN'S RED CAFÉ
BAD BOY/INTERSCOPE RECORDS have announced the signing of rapper Red Café to their new label partnership which was cemented late last year. Red Café is preparing for the release of his debut album, Red October. His current single, “I’m I’ll” features Fabolous and is produced by hot newcomer Boi-1da (Drake’s “Best I Ever Had,” “Forever” and “Over,” and Eminem’s new single “Not Afraid”). The video, directed by Edwin Decena, has jumped to the #9 spot today on BET’s 106th & Park. Red October will be co-executive produced by Diddy and Akon. “I’m so excited. I’ve got the best of both worlds,” stated Red Café. “Diddy representing the streets and Akon bringing a worldly perspective to the project.” "Today, I can officially announce the signing of Red Café to the Bad Boy/Interscope family. Red's lyrical skill and passion is unique", says Sean "Diddy" Combs. "Red's raw talent brings a new sound and fresh perspective from the streets. I look forward to him sharing his talent with the world."

TRAE THE TRUTH SUES HOUSTON RADIO STATION 97.9 KBXX
Houston rapper “Trae Tha Truth” (nee Frasier Thompson) will be holding a press conference at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, May 5, 2010 at the Harris County Civil Courthouse, 201 Caroline, Houston, Texas, to announce the filing of a lawsuit in the 189th District Court of Harris County Texas against Radio One Inc., which owns and operates Houston radio Station 97.9 KBXX, The Box. The civil case alleges a consistent pattern of business disparagement, conspiracy and tortious interference. Defendants include Radio One, the radio station’s general manager Doug Abernathy, program manager Terri Thomas and morning show radio personality Nnete Inyangumia. Trae decided to file the lawsuit after the radio station officially banned his music from receiving airplay, and then began to interfere in his relationships with other music industry professionals. Radio One is the seventh largest radio broadcasting company in the country, and is the largest one targeting African American audiences in the U.S. The Box is the only hip hop radio station in Houston. The suit, which was filed by Houston attorney Warren Fitzgerald Jr., alleges that Trae was the subject of a radio ban after Nnete falsely accused Trae during an on-air interview of causing the violence which occurred at public festival which he sponsored. Ironically, Trae has arguably been the most active Houston rap artist when it comes to serving the local community. In 2008, Trae was honored by Houston Mayor Bill White and Council Member Peter Brown with his own “Trae Day” in honor of his outstanding community service. After Nnete had made the disparaging remark about Trae on the radio, he later released a “mix tape” that had a humorous lyric about Nnette’s weight. Trae notes, “I would not have filed a lawsuit, but when other people started being hurt by this ban, I knew I had to stand up.” The suit also alleges that a radio station staff member was suspended for a week and a half without pay for making a mixtape outside of work that had Trae’s music in it. The employee, in fear of losing his job, and the ability to feed his family, had to end his relationship with Trae. Another alleged incident occurred when rapper 6tre Gangsta, an artist signed to Battery/Sony Records, asked Trae to be on his new single. However when KBXX found out about the song, they notified 6tre that the song would be banned. This resulted in the record community scrapping both the song and the music video that had been slated for B.E.T. Even Haitian earthquake victims lost out, due to the station refusing to advertise Trae’s appearance at a benefit fundraiser. Other alleged incidents are listed in the lawsuit, the most recent being the firing of the “Kracker Nuttz,” an on air DJ tandem, for their accidentally playing a song on the air by “Chamillionaire”, which they did not realize had Trae on one of its verses. Ironically, the “Kracker Nuttz”, who were 12-year veterans of the station, had the Number One rated radio show there. Rap-A-Lot Records CEO James Prince states, “I had been excited about being involved with the next Trae album, but with this ban taking place, not only in his home town, but likely also in the second best place for airplay, which is Dallas, it would be impossible to promote the album. This ban is sabotaging his career, because those cities are the foundation for breaking his records.” Prince adds, “Having run a record label for over twenty years, I’ve never seen anything like this.” Says Trae, “I just could not let any more people suffer and be punished by the radio station over this ridiculous vendetta.” Trae’s attorney Warren Fitzgerald Jr. comments, “We believe that the defendants have gone beyond the parameters of legally sanctioned activity in first banning Trae’s music, then going so far as to intentionally interfere with his business relationships and thus destroy his career. I find this behavior repulsive, especially for a radio station that daily champions itself as music artists’ “best friend.” Trae is suing for general damages to his reputation, character, standing in the community, mental suffering, loss of professional opportunities, performance revenue, record royalties and other damages. Judge Randy Williams issued a restraining order prohibiting the radio station from destroying any evidence, including memoranda or emails surrounding the ban on Trae’s music. A preliminary hearing is set for May 14, 2010 at 1:30 pm. SEE HERE

FORMER DRUG KINGPIN CHALLENGES FRANK LUCAS (SEE FOOTAGE BELOW)
Former Drug Kingpin Ike Atkinson Challenges "American Gangster" Frank Lucas with Release of New Book "Sergeant Smack. In April of 2007, 84-year old Ike Atkinson was released from federal prison after serving a 32-year prison term. There were no cameras and little fanfare as the man deemed the biggest American drug kingpin ever to operate out of Asia was set free. Atkinson, who operated the largest drug smuggling enterprise in the 1970s, never carried a gun, never committed murder and never bowed down to the infamous Italian La Cosa Nostra. As a U.S. Army Master Sergeant, he utilized his intellect and charm to, by conservative estimates, smuggle over 1000 pounds of heroin annually from Bangkok, Thailand, through U.S. military bases into the United States. Atkinson's legendary enterprise was so complex and profitable, it easily rivaled that of modern day hoodlums, the Black Mafia Family. And no dead cadavers were involved in the process. A few years after his release from prison however, Hollywood released a blockbuster film entitled "American Gangster." The film not only distorted Atkinson's historical role in the international drug trade, but falsely depicted a snitch by the name of Frank Lucas as the pioneer of the Asian heroin connection. With the release of an explosive literary documentary, "Sergeant Smack: The Legendary Lives and Times of Ike Atkinson, Kingpin, and His Band of Brothers" award-winning author and investigative journalist Ron Chepesiuk, unravels and unveils the inner mechanics of the "true" story of the international chess game between the Ike Atkinson's organization and the DEA agents who took it down. In addition, he lays bare the history behind one of the biggest urban myths ever, that of the cadaver-heroin smuggling connection conspiracy, pimped by Lucas to achieve Hollywood fame, wealth and notoriety! Chepesiuk is no newcomer to uncovering crime. Having penned some 25 books including titles, "Gangsters of Miami," "Drug Lords, the Rise and Fall of the Cali Cartel," "Gangsters of Harlem" and "Gangsters of Chicago" and over 4000 articles and features, who better to lay it on the line about what really went down during one of the most tumultuous time periods in the urban community. "Frank Lucas is the gang bangers version of Walt Disney's Pinocchio," Chepesiuk states. "The more Lucas has lied about his story, the taller his tale has become." --- The recent movie, "American Gangster," which depicted the criminal career of Frank Lucas, greatly distorted Atkinson's historical role in the international drug trade. "Sergeant Smack" exposes the lies about the Ike Atkinson-Frank Lucas relationship and documents how Ike, not Lucas, pioneered the Asian heroin connection, with intelligence and not violence. "I, along with Lucas, played a crucial role in a significant part of American, be it, gangster history," Ike explained. "What's done is done. But for Lucas to twist and distort the truth in an effort to manipulate history for his own personal gain is just as despicable as the drug dealing we were both engaged in. We are both just old men now. But I am anxious to sit down with him and a third party reporter and chat about old times. I seriously doubt if he will want to do it. I'm here though and my book, thanks to Ron Chepesiuk, is a vivid documentation of the truth, not the big screen fairytale he has sold to Hollywood and the world at large." SEE FOOTAGE HERE

GUCCI MANE STARTS NEW LABEL/PARTS WAYS WITH OLD MANAGEMENT.
Gucci Mane launches new label 1017 Brick Squad Records and a new team of industry heavyweights behind him. 1017 Brick Squad Records, Inc., is prepping new releases from Gucci, Wacka Flocka Flame and Brick Squad, a super group consisting of Gucci Mane, Wacka Flocka and OJ Da Juiceman. Gucci will serve as President & CEO of the label in addition to being the marquee artist. Gucci has restructured his team from top to bottom, signing an exclusive management deal with First Avenue Management, Inc., and bringing on board powerhouse agency CAA, which represents artists such as Usher, Justin Bieber and Anthony Hamilton, to handle all booking and appearance scheduling. Rounding out the new cast behind Gucci is business manager David Bolno, Managing Director at Nigro, Karlin, Segal, & Feldstein and top entertainment law firm Davis Shapiro Lewit & Hayes, LLP. Gucci has parted ways and is no longer affiliated with his former management company Mizay Entertainment and booking agency Hitt Afta Hitt Enterprises (also known as HAH). Gucci is also no longer affiliated with or an officer of his former record label So Icey Entertainment. "The rest of 2010 is going to be real major," says Gucci Mane. "I'm taking control of all of my business properties and keeping the focus on my career, my music and my artists. All the pieces to the puzzle are finally in place and once I get home it's Gucci time."

FLO RIDA AND T PAIN LINK UP WITH PORNSTAR
Starring in the just-released Flo Rida music video "Zoosk Girl,"
featuring T Pain, Bree Olson dances, sucks on a lollypop and basically does what Bree does best! "It was an amazing experience being a 'Zoosk Girl,' and I am a huge fan of both T Pain and Flo Rida," says Bree. "So when Adam & Eve set this up, I jumped at the chance to be involved." ... "The music video market is something we've looked into for quite some time," says Adam & Eve Marketing Director Chad Davis. "This seemed like a great way to introduce the Adam & Eve brand, along with Bree Olson, to a new customer base."
SEE THE VIDEO HERE

CURTIS YOUNG (Dre's kid) ON DECK
Curtis, currently in the studio working on his anticipated debut album "Product Of My DNA", just released his lead single "Muzik", produced by St. Nick, which is heavily impacting radio, not only on the West Coast, but nationwide. "I represent a new era of positive feel good music for the West Coast -- I am a new generation of Left Coast artists who can not only rap but produce as well." Check out the joint and some raw footage HERE

NECRO SIGNS NEW DISTRO DEAL.
Independent rap legend Necro has signed a distribution deal with Universal Music Group subsidiary Fontana for his Psycho+Logical-Records. The deal was brokered by RBC Records, who handles General Managerial duties for Psycho+Logical-Records. The first release under the freshly minted agreement will be DIE!, the sixth solo album from the Brooklyn-based rapper, whose given name is Ron Braunstein. DIE! Is slated for a May 18th release. “I am thrilled to be in business with Necro, RBC and Psycho+Logical-Records,” says Ron Spaulding, President of Fontana, which also distributes Strange Music(Tech N9ne), Psychopathic Records(ICP), Mos Def, Rakim, Rammstein and Mannheim Steamroller, among others. “Necro and his team have been working and consistent in their delivery on all fronts. Psycho+Logical- demonstrates the kind of movement Fontana can really get behind to add value. This is the beginning of a long term partnership.” Necro creates the most extreme brand of hardcore hip-hop available. It’s violent, explicit, insane and at times, pornographic. The music is mental (psychological) but also insane (psycho) and intelligent (logical), hence Psycho+Logical-Records. Necro launched his label in Nov. 1999 and his five albums -- I Need Drugs, Gory Days, The Pre-Fix For Death, The Sexorcist and Death Rap -- are must-haves for fans craving rap at its most brutal. Necro’s new deal with Fontana sets the stage for DIE! The angst-filled collection features Necro’s signature blend of topics: death rap, porn songs, thug joints, a pimping anthem, a boxing track and a song about war, among other volatile subjects. With the best distribution of his career, Necro is looking forward to generating new fans and thrilling those who have been following him throughout the last decade. “Many incredible artists have had issues coming up with their fifth and sixth records because they had come so insane on the first few records,” Necro says. “I wanna be one of those artists that can deliver 10 in a row, show the people that love me that I got it for 10-plus records. That would be an accomplishment.”

BATTLE METHOD MAN ON MODERN WARFARE 2
Fresh off the release of Wu Massacre, the new album that reunites legendary Wu-Tang Clan brothers-for-life Method Man, Ghostface Killah, and Raekwon, Method Man will visit Xbox LIVE® to play Gold Members in Modern Warfare® 2. If you're a Gold Member join in on Friday, May 7, starting at 5:00 P.M. ET and meet the hip-hop legend. Send a friend request to the following gamertag and be online half an hour before (4:30 P.M. ET) the Game with Fame session starts:
* GWF Method Man

Wu-Massacre Game With Fame on Xbox LIVE
Date: May 7th
Time: 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM (EST)
Game: Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
GAMERTAGS: GWF Method Man

RICK ROSS TALKS JAY-Z COLLAB
Rick Ross recently sat down to talk about his collaboration with Jay-Z, He says he's waiting on the right time to release it. “The majority of the details of the album I’ve been trying to keep under wraps so the fans can savor the music that much more,” Ross said in a recent interview. “I most definitely have confirmed Jay-Z being on the album. The song is like an atomic bomb. I’m just waiting to push the button. Shout-out to Roc Nation. Shout-out to Kanye West… The funny thing is the way the record was done. I followed him to a few Blueprint 3 tour dates. I was chillin’ in the back, smoked out. As soon as he gets offstage, we was chillin’, vibing. His last date, which was in Vegas, he killed the show. We left the show, went to Tao for the afterparty. It was 30 bottles of Ace of Spades champagne. He left there, went and killed the craps table, the poker table. Then we got in the studio, and he laced me. It was the most phenomenal verse….It’s not ‘Maybach Music 3.’ You could kill the rumors. This is something totally unexpected, and we talking that talk. I’m just excited, man. I’m expecting big things from this Teflon Don project.”

GLOBAL MUSIC SALES STILL ON A DECLINE.
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has published its annual report, the Recording Industry in Numbers 2010 (RIN), and the organization says that global recorded music sales fell 7 percent to $17 billion in 2009, with the world's two biggest markets, the U.S. and Japan, making up 80 percent of the decline. The worldwide fall in revenues outside the U.S. and Japan was 3.2 percent, but physical sales fell by 12.7 percent globally. Digital music sales did rise by 9.2 percent to $4.3 billion, more than ten times the digital market value in 2004. Digital channels now account for 25.3 percent of all trade revenues to record companies. In the U.S., digital sales account for 43 percent of the recorded music market. The RIN report also showed that there are now more than 12 million tracks available from over 400 legal music services worldwide. As for the broader music industry, which takes into account radio advertising, live performances and the sale of audio equipment, it fell as a whole by 8 percent to an estimated $140 billion in 2009. Live music, songwriters' music copyrights and the performance rights market were the only sectors showing growth in 2009, although growth in live music revenues has slowed significantly in the last three years. Chairman and CEO John Kennedy pointed to the continued practice of music piracy as part of the problem for music sales -- "The global music business is continuing to fight its corner, investing in talent and developing new business models despite the problems of a market rigged by piracy. Music companies are investing over $5 billion a year in developing and marketing artists, licensing hundreds of services and adapting their distribution channels to meet changing consumer demand," he said. "Global music sales in 2009 fell by 7 percent. This is disappointing, but amid the decline there are some very positive points. No fewer than thirteen countries saw music sales grow in 2009, including important markets such as Australia, Brazil, South Korea, Sweden and the U.K. Digital sales in some of those markets rose at very encouraging rates, reflecting the new opportunities of online and mobile channels. South Korea and Sweden in particular saw striking returns to growth, showing how an improved legal environment can help impact on legitimate music sales."Kennedy added, "Reducing piracy is critical if these improvements are going to translate into long term recovery for our global business. Here too there are encouraging developments. France and the U.K., in particular, are leading the way with new legislation. There is a huge battle ahead, but also signs that the tide of opinion among governments is shifting as piracy's impact on the economy and jobs becomes clear. There is no doubt in my mind that growth is within reach for the music business - it depends, to a large extent, on how quickly governments can act to deal with piracy and, in doing so, tackle a market distortion that overshadows not just music but all the creative industries."

#'S FOR THE WEEK.
According to the Nielsen SoundScan the Black Eyed Peas’ E.N.D. album sold 21,400 units, making their 46-week total stand at 2,456,300. Right below is Ludacris at #17. Luda’s Battle of the Sexes LP sold 21,100 in sales, bringing his overall numbers to 355,600. Cypress Hill grabbed # 19 with Rise Up, selling 18,300 units in the group’s first week sales. Devin the Dude’s new album Suite #420 Debuted at #87 selling 6,100 units. Also debuting this week is Little Brother’s final project as a group, Leftback taking # 134, after moving 4,400 units. Although Westcoast vet Kurupt failed to make The Billboard 200 with his new LP, Street Lights-- The indie release did sell about 3,000 units in its first week.

GAME CHIMES IN ON SHYNE.
Game recently gave his input to Shyne's 50 Cent and G-Unit diss. Game says he likes the new diss and says Shyne will improve in time. “He’s just a good friend of mine, sort of like a brother to me in hip-hop and, you know, doing all that time, everybody expected him to just come out and be like the old Shyne, but it’s gonna take a while,” Game said in an interview. ”I’m sure he’s rough around the edges. It’s kinda like if Kobe Bryant just decides to sit it down, and you come back out your first three, it’s probably gonna be an airball, you know? You just gotta give him a little room, a little space, let him breathe and I’m sure you’ll get the old Shyne back. That’s him man with the beef, and I’m glad he can take that 50 Cent beef with him. I’m slowly but surely phasing it out, and I might poke a little fun here and there but for the most part I’m over it.” Game says “Shyne has been away for a long time and he will refind himself soon. It will probably come off a little ruff at first but give him some time and he will find his old self.” Game also spoke on the “Shake” music video, Game says that he shot some of the video at Dre’s house, but “he don’t even know yet.” GRAB THE RED ROOM MIXTAPE HERE

YOUNG DE ON DECK.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, native, by way of Los Angeles, California, emcee, Demerick "Young De" Shelton, is already somewhat a seasoned veteran at his craft, despite the fact that he has yet to release an album of his very own. With a string of high profile collaborations; most notably, Cypress Hill, Krayzie Bone, Royce Da 5'9", Crooked I, Freeway, among others, Young De is eager, and more than ready to take the industry by storm. Young De's first release, the DJ Skee presented/Kurupt hosted, Audio Hustlaz, Volume 1,