50 Cent Associate Arrested For Assault On Woman

May 28, 2008 at 3:19 pm | Posted in 50 Cent | Leave a comment
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Connecticut police arrested an associate of rapper 50 Cent on Tuesday May 27 for allegedly assaulting a woman.

According to News Day, police arrived at 50 Cent’s Farmington mansion yesterday and arrested 27-year-old Dwayne McKenzie after getting a call from the 22-year-old New Britain woman.

Police say McKenzie allegedly choked the woman and struck her with a belt after a violent argument.

He has been was charged with assault, strangulation, breach of peace and unlawful restraint.

This isn’t his first violent offense though. According to the paper, McKenzie was already on conditional discharge stemming from an arrest in Hartford for allegedly pistol-whipping a nightclub promoter. In 2007, he was arrested for allegedly discharging a weapon in public in Hartford following a dispute over jewelry.

In regard to Tuesday’s incident, he has been released after posting $10,000 bond and is due back in court July 15.

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T.I. Gets MTV Reality Show

May 28, 2008 at 10:14 am | Posted in T.I. | Leave a comment
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Rapper T.I. will turn his legal issues into an untitled reality series that will air on MTV in early 2009.

According to Variety, MTV will follow the Grammy Award winning Atlanta rapper as he performs 1,000 hours of community service and readies for a one-year prison sentence, for possession of unregistered machine guns and silencers.

MTV has already ordered eight episodes of the series, which is being produced by Ish Entertainment and executive produced by Grand Hustle’s Jason Geter and T.I. himself.

“We began the conversations in the middle of deliberations over what would happen to him,” Ish’s Michael Hirschorn told Variety. “The original idea for the show had him staging a series of interventions in each episode with people in danger. But when we visited him under house arrest, it felt much bigger and more powerful than we anticipated.”

The show will also document T.I. as he finishes and released his highly anticipated new album Paper Trail, which is due in stores in August.

T.I., born Clifford Harris Jr., was arrested by agents with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives last October, just hours before a performance at the BET Hip-Hop Awards.

The rapper took a plea deal and was sentenced to a year in prison starting in 2009, fined $100,000 dollars and ordered to serve 1,000 hours of probation.

The Story Behind Kanye’s “Flashing Lights”

May 28, 2008 at 8:45 am | Posted in kanye west | Leave a comment
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In an up-coming interview with HHNLive.com, “Flashing Lights” producer Eric Hudson tells the story behind Kanye’s monster hit and who the beat was originally intended for. Eric Hudson on how the collaboration went down:

“I was in one studio and he was in another one [close by], and we had an initial respect for each and a good relationship from some of the other joints that I had produced. I heard he was in the other studio so I just went by to say what’s up. You hear Kanye’s in the studio and you’re going to go say something! So we was in the room and he was like, “yo, you got a joint? My album’s closed, but if you can give me that one banger I’ll put it on there if it’s crazy.” So I start wonder, do I got CDs on me? And by the grace of God I had that beat man. He came into the other room and I played it for him. He listened to the beat for about ten seconds man…the beat didn’t even drop totally. He took it, put it in Pro Tools and did the song right then and there…He wrote it right there. He freestyled it and then next I’m hearing he went and put the “flashin’…lights, lights,” he put that on there…”

Eric Hudson on who the “Flashing Lights” beat was originally intended for:

“Yo, I had originally did that beat for Beanie Sigel. To me it could have been an R&B joint or a rap joint, but I had intended for it to be a rap joint.”

At local stops, hip-hop just flops

May 27, 2008 at 3:34 pm | Posted in Alicia Keys, beyonce, jay z, kanye west, Mary J. Blige | 2 Comments
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Kanye West was snubbed here twice. Beyonce played to more empty seats than occupied ones. And now Alicia Keys has joined the Cold Shoulder Club.

It’s sad but true: Tampa Bay is a brutal market for major R&B and hip-hop concerts. West, Beyonce and Keys are multiplatinum superstars that have fans of all ages, genders and races. I want them to come back. But do you?

On Saturday, the 27-year-old Keys — who’s had four consecutive No. 1 albums — played to 7,201 people in the St. Pete Times Forum, a Tampa venue that can seat about three times as many. The show was a dazzler, but it would have been better with a full house cheering her on. Tickets started at $39.50, a relatively good deal these days.

You could blame the recession, the price of gas, the price of life. But other major tours are doing great in the Tampa Bay area (Radiohead, Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen). Plus this is a trend that tracks well before 2008.

In July, Beyonce played to a smattering of fans in the Times Forum, probably no more than 4,000. Final figures were never released, no surprise there. Minutes before the show — in a move I’ve never seen before — people in the upper levels were invited down to grab a seat in the lower level. Even more amazing? There weren’t enough people in the pricier seats to complain.

The last two times rapper West set up shop in Tampa Bay, a widespread case of couldn’t-care-less broke out. In October 2005, as he was selling out consecutive nights in Madison Square Garden, West drew a measly 3,572 in the USF Sun Dome, which has a capacity of about 10,000.

A few weeks ago, West came to Ford Amphitheatre with a hit-making supporting cast of Rihanna, Lupe Fiasco and N.E.R.D. They drew just 9,200, or about half of the venue’s capacity.

The very next night, at Miami’s American Airlines Arena, which holds 19,600, Kanye & Co. performed for a sold-out crowd, according to the Miami Herald.

Granted, we’re not Miami, and we’re definitely not New York. But something’s going on here.

DJ Trauma, an on-air personality at Wild 98.7, one of the few local stations that play West and Keys, says there are two major reasons why R&B and hip-hop shows are tanking. First of all, “They don’t have the proper promotions behind them,” he says. “They don’t know how to get the word out to the right people.” Much has been made of Tampa Bay’s dearth of urban radio choices, which could also be part of the problem.

But DJ Trauma also points to the success of Wild’s two annual hip-hop festivals: Wild Splash and the Last Damn Show, multiact events that cost about $20 and routinely draw huge crowds.

But “all these people around here don’t have $40 to spend on a concert,” he says. “There’s a lot of money in Miami and Dallas. This is different here.”

A few R&B and hip-hop acts do well here: Mariah Carey drew 16,493 fans to her 2006 Times Forum show. Gwen Stefani, whose biggest hits are hip-hop collaborations, drew 16,500 at the amphitheater last year. Not as good, but not awful, were crowds for a double-bill of Eminem and 50 Cent (13,593, Times Forum, 2005), and R&B belter Christina Aguilera (11,538, Times Forum, 2007).

Overall, Tampa Bay is considered a good, if unreliable, concert market. Country acts always fill the seats. Veteran performers (a la Neil Diamond, coming Oct. 24) are slam-dunks. And ’80s acts (such as Cheap Trick, Heart and Journey, a triple-bill coming July 30) are money in the bank, too. Those sales numbers are reflected in the local abundance of country and classic-rock radio stations.

But hip-hop shows? Not so much. And that’s too bad, especially since West, Keys and many more have made hip-hop the most creatively daring genre in popular music.

According to Billboard magazine, one of 2008’s hottest tours is the tandem of rapper Jay-Z and “queen of hip-hop soul” Mary J. Blige. Tickets start in the $30s, and nightly grosses in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Oakland have topped $1-million. There are no plans for Jay and Mary to come to Tampa. With our attendance records, why would they?

Trina Launches Clothing Line and Website

May 27, 2008 at 8:56 am | Posted in Trina | Leave a comment
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Rapper Trian recently launched her Pink Diamond Couture clothing line, along with an accompanying website – ShopTrina.com.

The clothing line will consist of jeans, tops, t-shirts, velour sets and jackets, and will all show off the rapper’s signature logo.

“I have always imagined a clothing line that was high quality that I could offer to my fans,” said the rapper in a statement. “I love the way the jeans fit and feel. I spent a lot of time creating special details that are fresh and unique. The best part they look really expensive but are priced right.”

Trina’s last album, Still The Baddest, entered at the #1 spot on the “Billboard Rap Albums” and “Billboard Hip-Hop/R&B” charts.

Pink Diamond Couture is set to hit stores this spring.

Festival Postponed Over ‘Snoop Dogg Gang Violence’

May 26, 2008 at 2:59 pm | Posted in Snoop Dog | Leave a comment
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A Californian music festival featuring Snoop Dogg has been postponed over fears the rapper’s performance will attract gang violence.

The star – real name Calvin Broadus Jr. – was scheduled to play at The 2nd Annual Monterey Music Summit on May 30th.

But the festival has been delayed because members of the The Monterey County Board of Supervisors have demanded heightened security, fearing the star’s affiliation with the notorious Los Angeles Crips gang will cause violence at the event.

They have also called for metal detectors on the doors and that Broadus is searched upon arrival.

Lil Wayne’s ‘Lollipop’ Returns To Hot 100 Peak

May 24, 2008 at 9:07 am | Posted in lil wayne | Leave a comment
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After a three-week break, Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop” featuring Static Major returns to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week. It’s the longest chart-topping hiatus since Usher’s “U Got It Bad” went four weeks between No. 1 stints in January 2002.

Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love” is No. 2 for a second week, while last week’s chart-topper, Rihanna’s “Take a Bow,” slips 3-1 despite being the fastest-growing track at radio. Usher’s “Love in This Club” featuring Young Jeezy rises 5-4, trading places with Jordin Sparks’ “No Air” featuring Chris Brown.

Ray J & Yung Berg’s “Sexy Can I” holds at No. 6, and Madonna’s “4 Minutes” featuring Justin Timberlake remains No. 7. Natasha Bedingfield’s “Pocketful of Sunshine” rises 9-8, trading places with Mariah Carey’s “Touch My Body.” Danity Kane’s “Damaged” holds at No. 10 to round out the top tier.

Another new Usher song, “Love in This Club, Part II,” soars 63-18 in its fourth week, thanks to digital sales of 44,000.

The Hot 100’s greatest digital gainer is Duffy’s “Mercy,” which sold 59,000 downloads en route to a 66-27 climb. The U.K. artist’s debut Mercury album, “Rockferry,” debuted yesterday at No. 4 on the Billboard 200.

The week’s top debut comes from the reunited New Kids On The Block with “Summertime” at No. 57. The song shifted 39,000 downloads and is off to a strong start at top 40 radio, moving 40-35 this week on the Pop 100 Airplay tally.

Also new this week are Kate Voegele’s “Hallelujah” at No. 66, Three 6 Mafia’s “Lolli Lolli (Pop That Body)” at No. 79 and Jason Mraz’s “Lucky” featuring Colbie Caillat at No. 82.

Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop” is No. 1 for a fourth week on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, where Kanye West’s “Homecoming” featuring Chris Martin is the top new entry at No. 68.

Brad Paisley’s “I’m Still a Guy” moves 2-1 to overtake Hot Country Songs, his fourth chart-topper from the album “5th Gear.”

On Billboard’s rock chart, Weezer is No. 1 on Modern Rock with “Pork & Beans” for a third week, and Disturbed’s “Inside the Fire” tops Mainstream Rock for a third. The Cure has the top debut on Modern Rock with “The Only One” at No. 35.

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