Chris Brown Gets Speeding Ticket in Beverly Hills.
More drama for Chris Brown late last week, though it had nothing to do with Frank Ocean.
TMZ.com reports Chris was pulled over in Beverly Hills on Friday for driving 60 miles per hour in a 35-mile-per-hour zone. He was given a speeding ticket.
On the bright side for Chris, Frank announced on Saturday that he will not pursue charges against him for their reported brawl at a recording studio.
French Montana: "Nobody Can Do What Snoop Do"
Things have come full-circle for French Montana. As a kid growing up in Morocco, he listened to Snoop Doggy Dogg's 1993 debut album, Doggystyle, and envisioned himself as a rapper. "You gotta see things done before you do them," French tells ABC News Radio.
Now, years later, French is signed to a joint venture deal with Diddy's Bad Boy Records and Rick Ross' Maybach Music Group. This April, French is set to release his debut album, Excuse My French, which features among its special guests none other than Snoop Dogg -- or Snoop Lion. That's the name Snoop began going by last year, following a spiritually transformative trip to Jamaica.
"To see what he do, like, who could do that? Like, who can just come out and be like, 'You know what? I feel Jamaican today.' Like, who can do it?" French jokes. "Nobody can do what Snoop do or did."
When it came time for French and Snoop to record their collabo track for Excuse My French, veteran emcee Snoop was in India. The guys weren't able to get into the studio together, but French was happy to get a contribution from one of his earliest influences. "Work with somebody like that is almost, like, you know, he expecting and helping you, like, letting people know, 'You know what? I really like this kid and he earned it,' you know?" French says. "It just shows that, you know, you really earned your spot."
In addition to having the support of Snoop, French appreciates having Diddy and Ross in his support network, too. The hip-hop heavyweights are executive producers on French's upcoming album, and he says, "They come in when I really need them." In late 2011, rumors swirled that French would sign with Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music label, and French says that he came "really close" to doing that. But in the end, the decision to go with Diddy and Ross came down to "chemistry."
"It's not that I disliked [Kanye], he's like one of my favorite rappers," French tells ABC News Radio. But, "like when I was talking to him, he was basically telling me, email him if I wanna talk to him. I didn't feel that attachment. Like, I wanna be able to pick up this phone..."
French had that kind of access to Diddy and Ross, so their situation clicked, and he's happy to have them in his corner: "It's just Diddy is the best to ever market something or just bein' an entrepreneur, he's like Michael Jordan of my era when it come to [being an] entrepreneur, like, six businesses. And Rick Ross, hands down, top three, [is] one of the top three best artists of our era."
But even with big names behind him and nearly two-dozen mixtapes under his belt, French says his work has just begun. "Every day there's a new hater, you know, every day. Every day you slack, somebody else waiting' for your spot. So, I feel like my duties just started and even though I went through everything, I feel like, you know, the bigger you get, like Biggie said -- that's the realest thing ever said -- "Mo money, mo problems/Mo money, mo problems."
Excuse My French will arrive in stores on April 16, and includes the Lil Wayne, Ross and Drake-assisted club anthem "Pop That." To promote his first mainstream album, French will be kicking off a tour later this year.
Big Sean Follows His Gut, Delays Hall of Fame
Big Sean's sophomore album, Hall of Fame: Memoirs of a Detroit Player, had been set for release at the end of 2012. But at the end of his latest video blog, one centered on the theme of fear, Big Sean reveals that his second disc will arrive in stores in early 2013.
"Man... everything just gotta be how I want it to be," Big Sean says in the clip. "People sittin' here not valuing my opinion -- when every time I listen myself, it's always the right way. It's always the right move. It's the best thing."
Previously, Big Sean says that he thought that releasing Hall of Fame at the end of 2012, as opposed to the top of 2013, wasn't a big deal. "But it's gon' make all the difference to me," he explains. It'll make "all the difference to the people who riding for me, people who reppin' me, who be defending me in these conversations and s**t."
When Big Sean's debut album Finally Famous was released in 2011, he didn't think the album was exactly where he wanted it to be. He says that he didn't feel completely happy with a finished product until earlier this year, when he released his mixtape Detroit.
"I'm playing myself if I come out too early," Big Sean says of Hall of Fame. "I'mma take my time with it."
Rihanna Remembers Late Grandmother with New Tattoo
Rihanna has gotten a new tattoo in tribute to her late grandmother, who passed away in July.
The singer tweeted a photo of her new tat, located under her breasts, of the ancient Egyptian goddess Isis. She wrote, "Goddess Isis- Complete Woman - Model for future generations- #GRANGRANDOLLY - always in and on my heart."
Gran Gran Dolly was the nickname of Rihanna's grandmother, Clara Braithwaite.
The tattoo features the goddess bent down on one knee, with her wings spread across Rihanna's chest.
50 Cent's Fifth Studio Album Gets Fall Release Date
50 Cent's fifth studio album, Street King Immortal, will arrive in stores on November 13. Shady/Aftermath/Interscope will release the disc, which includes the lead single "New Day," featuring Dr. Dre and Alicia Keys.
It's been a longtime coming for Fif's new album. Last year, he took to Twitter to voice his frustrations with Interscope, saying that the people behind the scenes needed to "WAKE UP." He later wrote that if he and label heads didn't get on the same page, his fifth studio disc would not be released in 2011. In the end, it wasn't. Later, Fif announced that his set would be released on July 2, but the date came and went without any signs of a new album.
Snoop Dogg Says the Spirit Called Him to Jamaica, Record Reggae Album
As promised, Snoop Dogg let the "lion out the bag" on Monday, revealing details of his new reggae album, Reincarnated, at a New York City press conference that streamed online.
"I like to make records that feel good to me," Snoop says. "And records that mean something, that's gon' really change the world. And on this particular project right here, I had no planning on going to Jamaica, making a reggae record or nothing. The spirit called me, and anytime the spirit calls you, you gotta know that it's serious, and it's real."
It's in Jamaica where Snoop says his life changed. With help from senior partner and president of Doggy Style Records, Ted Chung, Snoop linked up with producer Diplo for the project. When he went into the studio, Snoop says he made it clear that he didn't want to be "Snoop Dogg on a reggae record." Instead, he wanted to transform.
"I want to bury Snoop Dogg and become Snoop Lion," Snoop told Diplo and the rest of the production crew. It's an idea that came to Snoop when he began meeting with Rastafarians in Jamaica. He went to a temple where he says, "The High Priest, when I walked in, he asked me my name, and I said, 'Snoop Dogg.' And he looked me in my eyes and said, 'No more...You are the light; you are the Lion.'"
Snoop, who has called himself the "reincarnated Bob Marley," channeled the icon's music on his new album, Reincarnated. The material Snoop created in Jamaica doesn't fit the mold of his previous music, with no celebration of gangster life or spending money. One song on the album is called "No Guns Allowed," for example.
Looking back over more than two decades rapping, Snoop, who's 40, says he wanted to do something new, and Reincarnated gave him a chance to do it. "When you get where I'm at in the music industry, it comes a point where you say, you know, 'either I done it all or it's really not much to do.' But this was like a rebirth to me, where it feels like I'm 19 to 20 years old again. Like I could do 20 more [years]," he says, explaining that he doesn't plan on retiring from rap.
Fans will get a close look at Snoop's experiences in Jamaica later this year. VICE magazine chronicles his journey in a film that has been selected to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, taking place Sept. 7-8. A special Reincarnated photo book will also be released.
Ms. Melodie Dies at Age 43
Ms. Melodie, a rap pioneer who made her name as part of Boogie Down Productions and delivered a memorable verse on the 1989 classic "Self-Destruction," died Tuesday at age 43, according to the New York Daily News.
There's no word on what caused Ms. Melodie's death, but friends and fans took to Twitter to remember her. Russell Simmons wrote, "RIP Ms. Melodie. a dope MC..." and Questlove tweeted on Thursday that he'd do a DJ set in her honor.
Monie Love, who tweeted about spending time with Ms. Melodie in earlier days, called on hip-hop fans to spread the word about the late rapper. "Thank you EVERYONE on twitter 4your coming together. Hip Hop preservationists thank you..." Monie tweeted after users began updating their timelines with news of Ms. Melodie's passing.
Born Ramona Scott, Ms. Melodie was a Brooklyn native and was married to KRS-One in 1987 and later joined his group Boogie Down Productions. KRS-One produced much of Ms. Melodie's solo work, including her only album, 1989's Diva, which featured the noteworthy hits "Wake Up, Wake Up" and "Live On Stage." Ms. Melodie remained associated with the Boogie Down crew until she and KRS-One divorced in 1992.
B.G. Sentenced to 14 Years in Federal Prison
Former Cash Money Records rapper B.G. has been sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for gun possession and witness tampering, according to The Times-Picayune. The charges stem from a 2009 traffic stop in New Orleans, involving B.G. and two other men, Demounde Pollard and Jerod Fedison, who were riding in a car with him.
Police found three guns, along with loaded magazines, in the vehicle, according to the Times-Picayune. The newspaper reports that two of the firearms had been reported stolen. The car, too, was stolen.
Pollard told authorities that the guns were his, but it turned out that B.G. had insisted that Pollard make the false confession, according to The Times-Picayune. The case was moved to federal court, where Pollard and Fedison pleaded guilty, and were sentenced. When prosecutors honed in on B.G., they sought an even stiffer sentence pointing to online videos in which the rapper shouted-out men suspected in high-profile New Orleans murder cases as supposed evidence of even greater criminal involvement by B.G.
A judge overseeing the case would not agree to giving B.G. a lengthier sentence based on the videos, but she did note that the material may have contributed to an atmosphere of violence in New Orleans.
Pusha T Talks G.O.O.D. Music, Solo Debut
Besides the August 7 release date, there's few details on the upcoming G.O.O.D. Music compilation album, Cruel Summer. Apparently, mystery is big over at the G.O.O.D. label, where Kanye West leads the charge.
"I'm in the dark just as much as you guys," Pusha T tells Billboard. "Nothing is conventional with these guys. It's to the point now, and it's so bad, because [Kanye]'s been so unconventional…that people won't even accept conventional s**t from him. I know we're not gonna start now."
When Kanye, Pusha, Big Sean and 2 Chainz performed their Cruel Summer single "Mercy" at this year's BET Awards, nobody knew what to expect. Ahead of the show, Pusha recalls asking Kanye, "'Yo, what are we gonna do for the BET Awards?' He goes, 'Oh, I got something.'" When the set got underway, Pusha walked out to find a "50-foot f**king Lamborghini" on stage.
Of course, fashion-conscious Kanye doesn't keep every single detail to himself. Pusha says, "He tells us things like what color to wear. 'Hey, bring white or black.' 'Okay, what are we doing?' 'Bring white or black.'"
While fans gear up for the release of Cruel Summer, they can also keep an eye out for Pusha's solo debut album. Kanye and The-Dream have a hand in producing the project. Pusha won't reveal a specific release date, but he's shooting for October.
Bei Maejor Defines Real Hip-Hop; Talks Waka Flocka, Nicki Minaj
As rappers like Nicki Minaj find success on the pop charts, the old debate continues: what constitutes real hip-hop? Bei Maejor, who's produced and written music for everyone from Justin Bieber and Sean Kingston to Trey Songz and Diggy Simmons, weighs in on the discussion, explaining to ABC News Radio that hip-hop is "not a concrete absolute."
Grammy Award-nominated Bei, who tapped Waka Flocka Flame to be the featured guest on his latest single "Lights Down Low," points to his collaborator as an example. "People would say Flocka is not really real hip-hop," Bei says, "but you can't really tell that to them kids who listen to [his music] and go crazy to it. Like, that's real hip-hop to them."
Michigan native Bei says that depending on what generation someone comes from, opinions vary as to what passes the test of authentic hip-hop. People may discount rappers like Nicki and Waka, Bei says, because "to someone who may be from a different era, or something, I think they may be thinking of more like, classic hip-hop."
"I always wanna be careful of being the old man," Bei says, explaining that the same people who are close-minded about new music were probably told, "'Rap ain't real music.' So I don't wanna be, like, part of that cycle of just hating on people just 'cause it's new."
Bei says that not everyone is going to like everything, of course, but he's happy to see anyone doing something "legal, and positive, and making money doing it," whether it's Nicki and her "Starships" single or Waka and his club hits.
Right now, Bei is focusing his energies on promoting his song "Lights Down Low." "I tried to bring two worlds together," Bei says of the single. "I'm coming in real hot falsetto, and he's coming in 'Bow! Bow' real crazy."
While fans await the release of Bei's debut album, they can get a taste of what to expect from his set by downloading and listening to his free EP Upscale.
Kanye and Jay-Z, Beyonce, Chris Brown Big Winners at 2012 BET Awards
BET held its annual awards show Sunday night, and while the censors worked up a sweat trying to mute the cursing -- to mixed results -- the marathon show saw multiple nominees Kanye West and Jay-Z, as well as Chris Brown and Jay's wife Beyonce, take home multiple awards. There also was a moving tribute to Whitney Houston from her former peers and her mother, Cissy.
The show opened with Kanye and his G.O.O.D. partners Big Sean, Pusha T, and 2 Chainz performing "Mercy," which led to 'Ye performing his "Way Too Cold," featuring a rap tribute to current girlfriend Kim Kardashian, who like Kanye was dressed all in white at the ceremony.
Some laughs included host Samuel L. Jackson and Spike Lee spoofing Jay and 'Ye's "N***as in Paris," and Jay-Z interrupting Kanye's acceptance speech for video of the year, spoofing Kanye's infamous interruption of Taylor Swift's 2009 MTV VMA speech.
Mariah Carey got emotional introducing a musical tribute to her friend Whitney Houston -- a tribute that featured performers including Monica, Brandy, and Chaka Khan singing Whitney's hits. There wasn't a dry eye in the house when Cissy Houston sang "Bridge Over Troubled Water" to honor her daughter.
Here are the main winners:Video of the Year -- "Otis" by Kanye West & Jay-Z
Best Group -- The Throne (Kanye West & Jay-Z)
Best New Artist -- Big Sean
Best Male R&B Artist -- Chris Brown
Best Collaboration -- Wale (featuring Miguel)
Best Gospel -- Yolanda Adams
Best Female R&B Artist -- Beyonce
Best Female Hip Hop Artist -- Nicki Minaj
Lifetime Achievement Award -- Maze (featuring Frankie Beverly)
BET Humanitarian Award -- Rev. Al Sharpton
Viewers’ Choice Award -- Mindless Behavior
Video Director of the Year -- Beyonce & Alan Ferguson
Fandemonium Award -- Chris Brown
Best Actor -- Kevin Hart
Bobby Brown Marries in Hawaii; Bobbi Kristina Not Present
It's Bobby Brown's prerogative to pack a concert and a wedding into a single trip to Hawaii. A source confirms to People magazine that on Monday, less than 24 hours after performing with New Edition in Honlulu, Bobby tied the knot with his fiancee Alicia Etheredge in that city.
Attendees at the nuptials included Bobby's kids Landon, La'Princia and Bobby Jr., as well as Cassius, his three-year-old son with Etheredge. Bobby Jr. posted a photo of the wedding party on Instagram.
Absent from the festivities was Bobbi Kristina, Bobby's daughter with Whitney Houston. A source tells People that the 19-year-old is "not on good terms right now" with her dad.
Bobby proposed to Alicia during a New Edition show in Florida in 2010. He told People in 2011 that because of her, "I got my passion back for music and for loving myself."
Bobby and Etheredge, who's his manager, will spend their honeymoon on the road with New Edition. Their next date is June 23 in Oakland, California.
Rodney King, Pivotal Figure in 1992 L.A. Riots, Dead at 47
Rodney King, the man whose brutal videotaped beating by Los Angeles police touched off one of the worst race riots in U.S. history, is dead.The LAPD said that foul play was unlikely in King's death. His body was found in a pool by his fiancee early Sunday morning at the home they shared. King, 47, was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Capt. Randy Deanda of the Rialto Police Department told ABC station KABC-TV in Los Angeles that King’s fiancee “did try to save him. However, she is not a good swimmer and chose to dial 911 and call the police department.”
An autopsy will be conducted today while toxicology tests to determine if King was under the influence of drugs or alcohol are expected in several weeks.
King was on parole after a robbery conviction in March 1991 when he led police on a high-speed chase. Later, King explained he took off because he thought a cop car was following him and he was scared at the prospect of returning to prison.
Deciding to surrender at an apartment complex, King got out of his car, only to be beaten by four white police officers while other cops watched but did not intervene as depicted in a famous video shot by an amateur cameraman, George Holliday, who was actually a plumber by day.
King said he was punched more than 50 times and zapped with a stun gun while his attackers used racial slurs. Within 48 hours, the video of King's beating went global and the Los Angeles Police Department, which already had a reputation for brutality, was seemingly caught in the act.
However, a jury in April 1992 acquitted Officers Theodore Briseno and Timothy Wind and Sgt. Stacey Koon and were deadlocked on the one charge against Laurence Powell, resulting in a mistrial.
The verdict sent shock waves through Los Angeles as African-Americans began looting, assaulting bystanders and setting fire to stores and buildings. More than 50 people died during the riots that resulted in over $1 billion in damages.
Attempting to calm waters at the time, King famously told reporters, "People, I just want to say, can we all get along? Can we get along?"
One year later, the four officers faced federal civil rights charges with Koon and Powell found guilty and sentenced to 30 months in prison. The other two cops were acquitted once more.
As a result of the beating, King received $3.8 million from the city of Los Angeles but burned through most of it because of bad investments.
King tried his best over the years to stay out of the spotlight but he was often in trouble with the law, including having to serve 90 days in jail for a hit-and-run incident involving his then-wife.
He was also a regular on the VH1 reality show Celebrity Rehab in 2008 and penned an autobiography, The Riot Within.King was engaged to be married to Cynthia Kelly, one of the jurors from his civil trial. Kelly called police Sunday after finding King's body at the bottom of their pool.
Busta Rhymes Headlining Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival
Busta Rhymes will headline the 8th Annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival in New York City, which takes place July 9-14.
Last year, Busta surprised festival-goers when he hit the stage alongside his longtime collaborator and pal Q-Tip. In the year since that set, Busta's joined Lil Wayne's YMCMB label, and set to work on his ninth studio album.
Tickets are already on sale for this year's Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival via Eventbrite.
Kim Kardashian's Sister Confirms She's "Dating" Kanye
They're holding hands! In fact, it was the first time Kim Kardashian and Kanye West showed affection towards each other in public. The two were seen holding hands Monday night while attending Scott Disick's grand opening of RYU, his new restaurant in New York City's Meatpacking District.
The couple, both dressed in black, isn't "serious" just yet, according to Kim's sister Khloe.
"It's a really good friendship that went into dating," Khloe told US Weekly. "She wore the KW earrings, that pretty much confirmed that."
The reality star was first spotted sporting gold and diamond earrings with Kanye's initials while walking through LAX airport on Sunday. Kim kept the "K.W." earrings in her ears at Monday night restaurant opening as well.
Best friend and publicist Johnathan Cheban approves of the budding relationship, saying, "It's much happier than the last time, that's for sure!"
Rumors about Kim and Kanye's budding relationship became the talk of tabloids recently when the Grammy Award-winning rapper released his song "Way Too Cold" -- formerly known as "Theraflu" -- in which he raps that he "fell in love" with Kim.
The Keeping Up with the Kardashians star is technically still married to NBA pro Kris Humphries. The two became estranged just after 72 days of marriage and are currently in the middle of a divorce.
Wiz Khalifa, Taylor Gang Land the Cover of The Source
Wiz Khalifa and his Taylor Gang cohorts Lola Monroe, Juicy J and Chevy Woods join him on the cover of The Source's upcoming issue.
The magazine hits newsstands on May 8, and inside Wiz talks about his sophomore disc, O.N.I.F.C. The title is an acronym for "Only Ni** in first-class," and delivers a short commentary on Wiz's success following the 2011 release of his gold-certified debut Rolling Papers. O.N.I.F.C., hits stores on August 28, and includes the new single "Work Hard, Play Hard," produced by Stargate and Benny Blanco.
In addition to talking about his music career, Wiz also touches on his relationship with his fiancee Amber Rose, in the magazine. He tells The Source, "We're like way better friends than we've ever been. We're at the best point in our relationship... It does my business well when the home life is right."
Later this summer, Wiz and Mac Miller will headline the Under the Influence of Music tour. During the trip, they'll bring out special guests Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolBoy Q and Chevy Woods. Tickets are already on sale, and the tour starts July 26 in Cincinnati.
Here are the dates:
7/26 -- Cincinnati, OH, Riverbend Music Center
7/27 -- Chicago, IL, First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
7/28 -- Indianapolis, IN, Klipsch Music Center
8/01 -- Boston, MA, Comcast Center
8/02 -- New York, NY, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
8/03 -- Philadelphia, PA, Susquehanna Bank Center
8/04 -- Pittsburgh, PA, First Niagara Pavilion
8/05 -- Detroit, MI, DTE Energy Music Theatre
Real Housewives of Atlanta Recap: Reunion, Part Three
On Sunday's Real Housewives of Atlanta, the final part of the Bravo series reunion aired with the women airing out their issues with each other, led by host Andy Cohen.
The reunion episode started off with an explosive argument between Marlo and Kandi. Marlo accused Kandi of bankrolling her boyfriend, saying she was paying for a relationship, literally. "I wasn't even going to be mean to you, but now you want to come at me?" Kandi retorted. Kandi defended that her boyfriend does indeed have a job -- he works for Bravo -- and has his own car, a Range Rover.
Kandi later confronted Cynthia on how she changes when Nene is around. And while all of the ladies agreed with Kandi, Cynthia defended herself, saying, "It ain't really that deep."
Marlo and Sheree relived their big fight in Africa, after Sheree failed to invite Marlo to an exclusive dinner. "The way you came over there in such a rage...was just crazy," Sheree said of Marlo's behavior.
When Andy compared Nene's new relationship with her "business partner" Jon to Kim and Big Poppa's former relationship, Nene responded, "Jon's not married so we can do whatever we want to do." Still, the two relationships are very similar in that the men would shower their ladies with expensive presents. "He's been very, very kind to me," Nene said with a smile. Still, she admitted that she and her ex-husband Greg still talk every day. "Greg and I are very close," Nene said.
Erykah Badu, Common Headlining Summer Spirit Festival
Erykah Badu and her old flame Common are among the headliners for this year's Summer Spirit Festival in Columbia, MD. The August 4 show also includes performances from Estelle, Eric Roberson and Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. Tickets are on sale now.
Last year's Summer Spirit Festival roster included Nas, Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley, The Roots, Bilal, The Foreign Exchange and Miguel.
Chris Brown's Fortune Gets New Release Date
Unfortunately for Chris Brown fans, Breezy's upcoming disc, Fortune, has been pushed back.
He took to Twitter on Sunday to make the announcement, writing "Team Breezy! The official album date for FORTUNE is July 3,2012!!!!!!!!!!!!" When Brown released the cover art for Fortune several weeks ago, he had promised the disc would be released on May 8.
Chris recently wrapped up shows in the Land Down Under. On Sunday, he headlined Australia's Supafest show in Perth.
Diddy Tops Jay-Z, Birdman on Forbes Five List
For the second year in a row, Diddy tops the Forbes Five list, a yearly report of hip-hop's wealthiest artists.
According to Forbes, Diddy has a net worth of $550 million, putting the Bad Boy Records label mogul one spot ahead of Jay-Z. The Watch the Throne rhymer has a net worth of $460 million, according to the magazine, which ranks him at #2.
The third spot goes to Dr. Dre, whose net worth is $270 million, according to Forbes. Birdman comes in at #4, with a net worth of $125 million, reports the magazine. The final spot is filled by 50 Cent, whose fortune is listed at $110 million.
The Forbes Five list is not to be confused with the magazine's Cash Kings list. That list ranks hip-hop artists based on their annual income, not their net worth.
Kanye Says He Never Compared Kim to Beyonce
Not one to bite his tongue, Kanye West is speaking up about reports speculating on his relationship with Kim Kardashian. He tells Us Weekly, "...of course there are a lot of media inaccuracies surrounding this past couple of weeks," but there's one rumor that apparently stands out to the rapper. Pointing to the "'She's my Beyonce' quote,'" Kanye says, "I would never compare anyone to my friend's wife," he says, referring to Jay-Z.
Ye is referring to a quote that first appeared in Us Weekly, quoting a source who reportedly told the magazine West "thinks [Kim] is his Beyonce." But before Kanye could deny that part of the Us Weekly story, Saturday Night Live took the quote and ran with it.
In a sketch on SNL's April 14 show, a Kanye impersonator, joined by a fictional Kim, riffs on the "She's my Beyonce" line, to which pretend-Kim chimes in, "Only without the singing, or the dancing or the acting. I'm a zero-threat!"
Kanye tells Us that the quote definitely didn't come from his mouth. "Come on now, that doesn't even sound like me," Kanye says. "If I don't say something in a rap or on Twitter, it's not true."
G. Dep Found Guilty of Second-Degree Murder
A jury has found G. Dep guilty of second-degree murder for a shooting that happened in 1993, according to AllHipHop.
Though the former Bad Boy Records rapper confessed in 2010 to a shooting that happened nearly 20 years ago, his lawyer has said that police have connected him to the wrong cold case, according to AllHipHop. G. Dep, born Trevell Coleman, has maintained his innocence, according to the website.
G. Dep faces at least 15 years in prison when he's sentenced on May 8.
Wyclef Jean Releases Song Inspired by Trayvon Martin Case
Wyclef Jean has released a new song dedicated to Trayvon Martin, the Florida teen who was shot and killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer in February.
Wyclef teamed with Prescribed and J. Williams on the song, titled "Justice (If You're 17)." It features lyrics referencing the controversial case, including, "If you're 17 with a hoodie on, watch out for the neighborhood watcher."
A music video for the song will be released this Friday, according to a collaborative short posted online by the trio. The caption for the short states that it "deals with not only the Trayvon Martin case, but profiling globally
Kanye Changes Title of "Theraflu" to "Way Too Cold"
After causing so much fuss with the release of his song "Theraflu," Kanye West has decided to change its title.
Island Def Jam Music Group announced over the weekend that the song is now called "Way Too Cold" following a "creative decision" by Kanye. The rapper confirmed the switch on his Twitter feed, while also noting that the song can be purchased from his website, KanyeWest.com.
A rep for the cold medicine Theraflu had said it did not endorse or approve of the references to its product in the song.
In "Theraflu" -- or, should we say, "Way Too Cold" -- Kanye rhymes about his rumored romance with Kim Kardashian.
Dr. Dre Planning Nate Dogg Hologram for Coachella
Nate Dogg may be dead, but that won’t prevent him from appearing at this weekend’s Coachella Valley Music and Arsts Festival in Indio, California, TMZ.com reports. Sources tell the website Dr. Dre wanted to include Nate Dogg in his performance this Sunday so he's arranged a special appearance in the form of a hologram.
TMZ.com reports an image of Nate will be projected onto the Coachella stage alongside Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and others to make it look as if he’s actually performing.
Nate Dogg passed away in March 2011 -- just weeks before last year's Coachella Festival -- due to complications from multiple strokes.
B.o.B Reveals Far-Flung Guest Features on Strange Clouds
Collaborating with Nicki Minaj and T.I. is nothing to sniff at, but a guest feature from Morgan Freeman?
B.o.B snagged the veteran actor for a collabo on "Bombs Away," a song from his upcoming album Strange Clouds. The Grand Hustle rapper also gets help from another unexpected guest, Taylor Swift, who pops up on the song "Both of Us."
B.o.B took to Instagram on Monday to unveil the track list for his sophomore effort, revealing the titles of 15 tracks, which include features from Trey Songz, Chris Brown and Lil Wayne, among others.
Strange Clouds track list:
- "Bombs Away" feat. Morgan Freeman
- "Ray Bands"
- "So Hard to Breathe"
- "Both of Us" feat. Taylor Swift
- "Strange Clouds" feat. Lil Wayne
- "So Good"
- "Play for Keeps"
- "Arena" feat. Chris Brown and T.I.
- "Out of My Mind" feat. Nicki Minaj
- "Never Let You Go" feat. Ryan Tedder
- "Chandelier" feat. Lauriana Mae
- "Just a Sign" feat. Playboy Tre
- "Castles" feat. Trey Songz
- "Where Are You (B.o.B vs. Bobby Ray)"
Fantasia Puts North Carolina Home on the Market
Fantasia is selling her North Carolina mansion. It's the same giant house that the American Idol winner nearly lost to foreclosure in 2009, according to TMZ.
The five-bedroom, 38,768-square-foot mansion in Charlotte is on the market for $800,000, according to TMZ. The website reports that's nearly $500,000 less than what Fantasia paid for the place in 2007.
There's no word on whether Fantasia's received any offers yet for the property.
Lil Wayne's Entourage Accused of Assaulting Photographer
A photographer claims that somebody in Lil Wayne's crew spat in his face, pushed him to the ground in the rain and then bashed his bicycle with a skateboard. That's according to a police report obtained by TMZ.
According to TMZ, the photog claims that he snapped pictures of Wayne and his buddies skateboarding outside a church, in an area near a "no skateboarding" sign. Rain eventually sent Wayne and his pals to their car, and the photographer followed them, which seemed to irritate the rapper, according to TMZ.
The photographer claims in the police report obtained by TMZ that Wayne had some of his guys intimidate the man into deleting a bunch of photos. The photog goes on to claim in the report that that's when someone spat on him, pushed him to the ground and vandalized his bike before he escaped.
TMZ says it reached out to Lil Wayne's camp about the matter but their calls weren't returned.
DMX's Undisputed Gets New Release Date
The original March 27 release date for DMX's comeback album Undisputed has come and gone, but there's word that the disc will still make its way to fans.
X's manager Jason Fowler tweeted about Undisputed on Monday, writing, "Finishing up the final changes and all on @DMX album ... June 26 !!!!! Let's go !!!!"
"I Don't Dance," featuring Machine Gun Kelly is the first single from X's Undisputed. The disc also includes features from Busta Rhymes, Tyrese and Jennifer Hudson, according to HipHopDX.com.
Kentucky Wins NCAA Men's Basketball Championship
The NCAA men’s basketball championship ended Monday with the number one-seeded Kentucky Wildcats defeating the Kansas Jayhawks, 67-59, to win their eighth national championship.
It was the first college championship for Kentucky coach John Calipari, who came close to winning it all before, only to see his Memphis team blow a lead against the Jayhawks with a little more than two minutes left in the 2008 final game that the Tigers eventually lost in overtime.
Things were different this time around for Calipari as sophomore guard Doron Lamb scored 22 points for Kentucky and freshman forward Anthony Davis pulled down 16 rebounds and had six blocks.
The Wildcats took a 41-27 lead into halftime behind 16-of-30 shooting from the field. Kansas came close in the second half, narrowing the lead to six points with 23 seconds left when Jayhawks guard Elijah Johnson was called for traveling before he sunk a three-pointer, negating the score.
Senior guard Tyshawn Taylor led the way for Kansas with 19 points while junior forward Thomas Robinson contributed 18 points and 17 rebounds.
Kanye West Faces Another Copyright Lawsuit; Appears in Chanel Exhibit
Just weeks after reaching a settlement over a Watch the Throne sample, AllHipHop.com reports that Kanye West is yet again the subject of a copyright lawsuit. This time, it's over music from 'Ye's 2006 mixtape Freshman Adjustment 2.
Singer and songwriter Robert Poindexter filed his suit in the United States District Court of Southern New York late last month, according to AllHipHop. He claims in the suit that Kanye's song "Girls Girls Girls (Remix)" contains an illegal sample of the song "Trying Girls Out" by 1970s R&B group The Persuaders, best known for their song "Thin Line Between Love and Hate."
The suit claims that Kanye knew that the sample wasn't cleared because he'd used a cleared version of the music on Jay-Z's 2001 hit, "Girls Girls Girls."
"I have offered to resolve this matter out of court with Kanye West," Poindexter says. "But in response, he has refused to even discuss any 'out-of-court' resolutions whatsoever. Nor has he provided any evidence that he is demanding others to cease and desist from selling the illegal version." Poindexter seeks $500,000 in damages from Kanye.
Rolling Stone points out that it's unclear how much of a case Poindexter has, because Kanye's mixtape was never released commercially.
In other Kanye news, the rapper has been included in Chanel's recently-launched Little Black Jacket project, according to Vibe. Designers Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld organized the campaign, inviting a wide range of personalities, including Kanye and Theophilus London, to don their own black jackets in photos that will appear in the upcoming book, The Little Black Jacket: Chanel’s Classic Revisited. The pictures were shown at an exhibit in Japan and are also available online.
Rihanna Open to Playing Whitney in Biopic
Last month, a rep for Clive Davis denied to ABC News Radio that the record executive is developing a film based on Whitney Houston's life. Nevertheless, if such a project ever does see the light of day, Rihanna is volunteering for the lead role.
Britain's The Telegraph quotes Ri-Ri as saying she hasn't been contacted by anyone about a possible Whitney biopic, but, she adds, she would "love" to star in one. She says, "That would be something that I would have to give my entire life to do because I would want to really pull it off. That's a huge, huge role and whoever does it has to do a good job."
Rihanna cites Whitney as one of her musical idols, saying, "My first song that I remember falling in love with was a Whitney Houston song -- 'I Will Always Love You.' All of her music actually was always played in my house, with Mariah Carey and Celine Dion."
Rihanna and Jennifer Hudson had been linked to Clive Davis' supposed Whitney film.
Diggy's Diss Track Not an April Fool's Joke
When headlines popped up on Sunday morning announcing that Diggy had made a diss track aimed at J. Cole, plenty people thought the news was part of an April Fool's joke. But with the first of the month behind us, it seems the drama is real.
On his song "What You Say to Me," Diggy takes jabs at Cole, explaining his problem with Cole over the song's beat, "The other day I was listening to 'Purple Reign,' couldn't believe all of the things that I heard em say/ Who dat, who dat/ you know who it is/ heard you lying on my sis/ tellin' people that you hit."
Diggy is referring to Cole's song "Purple Reign," which hit the Internet in 2010, and features the St. John's University graduate rhyming about getting "dome" from a preacher's secretly freaky daughter who he met in college. Cole doesn't name names, but Diggy's older sister Vanessa Simmons attended St. John's at the same time as Cole, according to Vibe.
Vanessa and Diggy's minister dad, Rev Run, seems to think that song is, indeed, about his daughter. He tweeted, "J Cole.. Puts out 2 records Dissing family & Diggy & nobody cared.. Some1 leaks a old Diggy record & there's a problem?" Vanessa chimed in, according to Vibe, writing, "***MORE IMPTLY that ish NEVER HAPPENED. *****" The message has since been deleted.
The second song that Rev Run is likely referring to in his tweet is "Grew Up Fast," where J. Cole spits, "What up Vanessa? I loved ya that one semester." Earlier in the track, he rhymes, "You n**as is not Russell, you're more Diggy/ Me I'm more Biggie." Cole later points out in the song that he's not dissing Diggy, just rapping.
Diggy, however, took the song personally. On "What You Say To Me," Diggy calls Cole a "broke back Jake Gyllenhaal," who has OK lyrics, but can't deliver vocals. Diggy even refers to Cole's Roc Nation boss Jay-Z, rhyming, "sit down/ don't try to call Hovi Hov for a sit down."
Some people are suggesting that Diggy's diss track has something to do with drumming up buzz around his debut album Unexpected Arrival. First week sales were sluggish, but Diggy told KarenCivil.com that neither Jay-Z's Reasonable Doubt nor Bruno Mars' Doo Wops & Hooligans had stellar sales early on. Diggy said he's just happy that the people who have the disc are "loving" it.
Chef Defends Chris Brown-Rihanna "Black and Bleu" Sandwich
An owner-chef of a restaurant in Watkinsville, Georgia, says he meant no disrespect when he created a sandwich that made light of Chris Brown's 2009 assault of Rihanna.
Richard Miley works at Chops & Hops, which last week unveiled its "Caribbean black and bleu sandwich," featuring "Caribbean-spiced marinated sliced ribeye" with bleu cheese, tomato, onions and shredded romaine lettuce. A description on the restaurant's Facebook page reads, "Chris Brown won't beat you up for eating this unless your name starts with a R and ends with A."
Predictably, the Facebook post led to many complaints. Miley tells ABCNews.com he did not expect the backlash, but he adds, “I’m not going to take it off Facebook, because I’m not afraid of what I did."
The restaurant has since posted the following message onto Facebook: "The owners of C&H would like to make sure everyone knows that we and our staff DO NOT SUPPORT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. Many of us have been affected by domestic violence in some manner and realize that this is no joke."
DMX Being Sued by Booking Agency Over Failed Comeback Tour
DMX's legal troubles have given him more legal troubles. TMZ reports that a booking agency is suing the rapper, claiming that his problems with the law sank their plans for an international tour. DMX's manager Jason, however, tells TMZ that his client cut all ties with the company, Heavy Rotation, because of some bad business practices.
Still, the booking agency claims that it had inked an exclusive one-year deal with DMX in 2011 to book his concerts, according to TMZ. The contract was signed in 2011, reports the website, presumably after DMX was released from an Arizona prison in July 2011.
Just over a month after being freed, DMX found himself in hot water again when police arrested him for speeding. TMZ reports that Heavy Rotation blames that incident, plus a pair of child support disputes, for the lien that was placed on DMX's passport -- keeping him from touring outside the U.S.
TMZ reports that the booking agency says it forked over nearly $100,000 to pay off bail, child support and other legal bills for DMX in hopes of clearing the way for him to travel overseas. According to TMZ, DMX continued to get into trouble, and he even hired another set of managers to set up his shows in the U.S. That move is said to have violated his contract with Heavy Rotation.
The company claims it lost $749,285 in its deal with DMX, and Heavy Rotation wants to be reimbursed.
Kanye West Planning Big Releases in April? Thu 03/22/1212
There are a few Kanye West-related rumors circulating, and if you're a fan of the man two bits of speculation come as good news.
First, AllHipHop.com reports that the first single off 'Ye's upcoming GOOD music compilation could be making its way to fans on April 6 -- that is Good Friday. The GOOD set is slated to include Kanye and crew -- Kid Cudi, Pusha T, Mr. Hudson, CyHi Da Prynce, John Legend, Hit-Boy and Big Sean -- along with their pals Jay Electronica, Frank Ocean, Mannie Fresh and Marsha Ambrosius.
Then, there's also word on when Kanye's Air Yeezy 2 sneakers will hit stores. According to StreetThing.com, Singapore boutique Limited Edt Vault will begin selling the highly anticipated Nike shoes on April 13.
Drake, Rihanna's "Take Care" Music Video Out This Week Thu 03/22/12
The wait is almost over for Drake's new "Take Care" music video with Rihanna. On Tuesday Drizzy tweeted, "Take Care video drops Friday. Shooting HYFR tmrw. OVO" Photos from the set of the Yoann Lemoine-directed clip popped up on the Internet earlier this month.
There's no word yet on whether Drake's "HYFR" guest Lil Wayne will appear in the visual for that single from the Take Care album.
Big K.R.I.T. Releases First Single from Live from the Underground Thu 03/22/12
Big K.R.I.T. has unleashed the first single from his upcoming, debut album Live from the Underground. The song is called "I Got This," and according to a written, dictionary-style graphic accompanying the song's online release, the title refers to "Confidence in your Gift" or "a saying often used to motivate self, and deter hatred."
"And ain't nobody gon' block my shine today, with the roof gone. I got a top-notch bi**h, you need something like this but you gotta get your own," K.R.I.T. rhymes over the beat of the song, which he produced himself.
The new single comes just a few weeks after the release of the Va$htie-directed music video for "Boobie Miles," a song that was featured on K.R.I.T.'s mixtape 4evaNaDay. Fans are still waiting for the word about when Live from the Underground will arrive. It has been pushed back from its originally slated September release.
Nicki Minaj Talks About Branding; Says, "No Manager Created This"
From Waka Flocka Flame's mom Deb Antney, to Diddy and James Cruz, and now with Hip Hop Since 1978 -- Nicki Minaj has had her share of managers, but as she tells Complex, "Little do they know, I manage myself." She explains that she works well with people who recognize that she is "the marketer and promoter of the Nicki Minaj brand. This did not come overnight. This did not happen from a record company. No manager created this."
In the past year or so, the Nicki brand has notched some major achievements. Ms. Minaj not only shared a track with Madonna, but the Material Girl also invited Nicki to appear with her and M.I.A. during the 2012 Super Bowl. Nicki's face has graced ads in a M.A.C. Cosmetics campaign. She's teamed up with O.P.I. for a Nicki Minaj nail polish collection. And she just landed a massive deal with Pepsi to promote that company's new beverage.
In the Complex cover story, Nicki makes it clear that she's had a hand in making all of those things happen. "People assume that I am not the brains behind this operation, and they don’t give me my credit," she says -- not that Nicki needs anybody's credit. "I could give two f**ks about credit," she tells Complex. "I just want you to leave me the f**k alone. Let me do me. Don't tell me how to pose; I know how to pose."
She gets wacky for the magazine's upcoming double-issue -- sticking out her black-and-white striped tongue in one shot, then looking more serious in another.
So, 10 years from now, what will Nicki be doing? "I always said there’s no way I could still be doing rap, 'cause what will I still be talking about? But now that the public has given me this opportunity to do all types of music, I might have more longevity," Nicki says.
She explains that as long as she can continue experiment, she may still be working. "I would enjoy a career like Jay-Z's, where he raps because he wants to, not 'cause he has to. I think that’s the scary part when, after 10 years in the game, people can’t pay their bills and now you’re desperate. And so that's why I always say, business first."
What Nicki seems certain of, is that she'll be married, with at least two kids. At least one of them needs to be a boy, she says. "I don't think I even need a girl. I need a boy though."
As for the immediate future -- Nicki is prepping for the April 3 release of her sophomore album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. On Tuesday, she tweeted a link to her latest single, "Right by My Side," featuring Chris Brown.
50 Cent Announces Release Date for Long-Delayed Disc
Looks like 50 Cent's oft-delayed new disc will actually see the light of day.
"My album is coming out july 2. I got some heat trust me I'm ready" tweeted Fif, who last year seemed far from ready to deliver his fifth studio album. He vented his frustration with his label home, Interscope, saying that folks there were slow-moving in doing their part to get the disc out. Fif took to Twitter, writing "THEY BETTER WAKE UP AND WORK"
Weeks later, Fif even threatened to rebel against Interscope by leaking Dr. Dre's song "Psycho," a single from Dre's upcoming album, Detox. Fif never followed through on the threat, and the drama has apparently been sorted out.
Fif seems to be excited about his upcoming release, tweeting, "My birthdays july 6 so that's a cool date for ME. Its gonna be july2 album, july4 independence day, then july6 my birthday."
The Game May Have to Cough Up Millions to Cops in Case over Documentary Sun
A North Carolina appeals court says The Game should fork over $5 million or more to five North Carolina police officers over a bonus feature on a documentary DVD called Stop Snitchin' Stop Lyin, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
A trial in 2010 determined that the defendants -- including Game -- should pay $5 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages to the five officers who appear in the footage, which was shot at a North Carolina mall in 2005. The clip is said to have been edited to make it look as though officers had brutally arrested Game. In real life, the rapper had, indeed, been arrested for criminal trespass, communicating threats and disorderly conduct, but the arrest scene in question apparently underwent extensive editing.
The appeals judge agreed with the decision to award $1 million in compensatory damages to each officer, but further investigation will be done on the issue of punitive damages. The DVD is said to have pulled in somewhere between $10 million to $40 million in profits.
Jay-Z & Kanye Settle Watch the Throne Sample Lawsuit
Jay-Z and Kanye West have reached a settlement with longtime musician Syl Johnson, who claimed they sampled his music without his permission, according to TMZ.com.
Johnson alleged in a lawsuit filed last October that Jay and 'Ye's Watch the Throne track "The Joy" borrowed from his 1967 recording "Different Strokes." He said Kanye previously tried to sample the song for his 2010 solo album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
The settlement, the terms of which have not been disclosed, was reached last week, according to documents filed in an Illinois federal court.