Saturday, September 15, 2012

AEG seeks Jermaine Jackson’s book drafts

LOS ANGELES — Concert giant AEG Live is seeking book drafts and manuscripts by Jermaine Jackson that it claims may reveal details about his superstar brother that will help its defense in a lawsuit filed by the singers’ mother.
AEG is seeking drafts and manuscripts of Jackson’s recent book, “You Are Not Alone,” as well as an unpublished memoir it claims may focus on Michael Jackson’s alleged drug abuse.

Jermaine Jackson’s attorneys are fighting the request, calling them overly broad and in violation of the First Amendment, according to court filings. Turning over the writings also would violate the privacy of Michael Jackson’s three children and other family members and constitute a “fishing expedition,” according to documents filed Monday.

AEG’s attorneys contend the writings are important to its defense in a case filed by the singer’s mother claiming the concert promoter failed to properly supervise Conrad Murray, the physician convicted of involuntary manslaughter for Michael Jackson’s June 2009 death.

Their efforts seek drafts of a book described as “Legacy: Surviving the Best and the Worst,” which was reportedly in the works several years before the pop superstar’s death. AEG claims drafts of the work would show issues “of immense relevance to this case, including Michael Jackson’s rumored long-term abuse of prescription medication.”

AEG’s attorney Marvin Putnam wrote in an email that the company was seeking the documents because, during his book tour, Jermaine Jackson publicly touted the “details of his brother’s life and death.” Putnam also wrote that Jermaine Jackson claimed he was the “only person qualified to deliver the real Michael.”
The writings are not covered by protections afforded to investigative journalists since they are memoirs, AEG wrote in its motion to get a judge to order the release of the materials. A hearing is scheduled for Nov. 28.
Jermaine Jackson’s lawyer Kevin Boyle, who also represents his mother in the lawsuit against AEG, was not immediately available for comment.

AEG had promoted Michael Jackson’s comeback shows, titled “This Is It,” which were canceled after his unexpected death due to an overdose of a hospital anesthetic the singing had been given to help him sleep.
The company also is seeking to depose Jermaine Jackson. And it obtained a judge’s order Wednesday requiring Jackson’s longtime friend and dermatologist Dr. Arnold Klein to appear for a deposition next month.

Katherine Jackson sued AEG in September 2010, and the case is scheduled for trial in April 2013.
The company also is involved in a separate lawsuit filed by Lloyd’s of London over Michael Jackson’s life insurance policy. Putnam said the company has informed Lloyd’s that it has recouped its losses and is no longer pursuing the claim. Any proceeds should be paid to a company that benefits Michael Jackson’s estate, he said.

AEG’s formal withdrawal of the claim is expected soon, as well as its dismissal from the case filed by the insurer.

— Associated Press

Lady Gaga Gets Wild at 'Fame' Masquerade Ball in New York

The invitations requested "masquerade" attire, so attendees of Lady Gaga's Fame fragrance launch stormed the Guggenheim Museum in a splendorous parade of Eyes Wide Shut-worthy looks last night. Gaga is probably the only modern pop star who can demand that her fans give something of themselves in order to elevate her own fantasy. As an ambience enhancer, it worked tremendously for this event: an army of shirtless, suspendered men lined the passageway to the dark, cavernous room inside, where you were swept inside a frenzied masked ball. An asymmetrical dome was situated in the middle. We later learned that these were the chambers from which Lady Gaga would emerge, redolent of her infamous Grammy egg exercise.
At 9 p.m., famed cinematographer Steven Klein took the stage and announced the unveiling of his "Fame" film (watch it below). 

What followed was staggering: a high-octane, Ridley Scott-produced short that showed Gaga as mountainous creature, scaled by tiny men one minute, toting a gun in an ink-filled bathtub the next, and leading a futuristic army throughout. She shoots the gun and the inky "Fame" fragrance explodes from a million orifices, including Gaga's own eyes and mouth. A more violent version (not showed last night) supposedly will show her massacring the men. David Fincher's director of photography, Jeff Cronenweth, shot it all, which made it a stylish sister to the equally atramentous, latex-laden opening sequence of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. More adventurous than any standalone Lady Gaga music video (and therefore, almost any, ever), "Fame" supposedly cost seven figures to make. Obviously, its finale drew a huge round of applause.

Three men steal from Chuck Berry’s home

WENTZVILLE, Mo. — Three men are jailed and accused of stealing an electric guitar and other items from the suburban St. Louis home of rock ‘n’ roll legend Chuck Berry.

The St. Charles County Sheriff’s Department says power washers and dozens of used car batteries were also taken, along with part of a fence.

Officials say it isn’t clear when the items were taken or if they were all taken at once. Deputies say the stolen items have not yet been recovered. Formal charges have not been filed.

Berry was one of rock’s pioneers with early hits that included “Roll Over Beethoven,” ”Sweet Little Sixteen” and “Johnny B. Goode.” The 85-year-old singer still performs monthly at a club in University City, another St. Louis suburb.
— Associated Press

Chad Johnson Files for Divorce

See why we're grinding our own coffee beans this morning:

• Chad Johnson has filed his own divorce papers in a Florida court. The former NFL star says his marriage is "irretrievably broken," according to TMZ. In addition, Johnson wants to honor the prenup agreement the couple signed before getting hitched. The star also wants a judge to block Evelyn Lozada's request that he pay for her legal fees. Johnson allegedly head-butted his wife of six weeks in August. Immediately following the incident he lost his job with Miami Dolphins and his reality show deal with VH1. [TMZ]

Rita Ora Talks Debut Album, Working with Drake and Seeking Second Opinions

Roc Nation's rising starlet Rita Ora has the ability to make an ice box-cold studio feel like a sauna with her soulful, throaty vocals. 

She also has a bit of a rebellious side. even When the teleprompter instructed her to omit the curse words from her debut single “How We Do (Party),” Ora continuously sang "bullshit" during acoustic takes.
Besides a fondness for swearing that will leave you in hysterics, the Albanian songstress also has an effortless sense of humor. When she’s lounging in front of you on a couch, dressed in a billowy camo skirt and a pair of J's, it feels like you're the only two people in the room.

Being down-to-earth is part of her charm, especially in an industry that persistently compares her to Jay-Z's other other chick. No matter your gender or preference, those bouncy blonde tendrils, that crimson red pout and piercing brown peepers will get you.

During her MTV Unplugged taping at New York City’s urban NEP Metropolis Studio in July, VIBE sat down with the natural beauty who unexpectedly popped the first question ("Did you watch the sessions"? she asked). As her native Brit buddies would say, I lost my wits, nearly forgetting that I’d watched her five-song Unplugged,/em> set more than three times. My girl crush may have been as blatant as the pink on my cheeks but thankfully, Rita barely even noticed—she had a debut album to gush about

The name of your album is O.R.A. Is there a significance behind that?
No, it's just Ora. I like how it looks. In my language, 'ora' means time and it took me a long time to do this album, like three years and it's my surname. I just felt like it was very convenient. It's simple, clean and effective.

Did you have a specific vision in mind while creating this album?
In the beginning, I didn't think I was making music that mattered to me. Well I know I wasn't, I was making music that I thought I had to make. I was 18, I got excited I got signed to Roc Nation, I got Jay behind me. I'm like 'Oh my God, I have to take a minute.' My mom would be listening to my songs and she's like, 'You don't even sing like this. That's not even how you sing.' I love soul music. I have a very soul-y voice and people don't really know that. So my mom was like, 'Do that, that's who you are' and I literally scrapped the whole album. Now I'm really proud of what [I've done].

Was Jay holding your hand throughout the entire process?
Yes and the amazing thing was that he let me scrap everything. He just believed in me, trusted my word and I said 'Look this isn't me. We're doing it again,' and he just said 'Ok.' That's when you know you have a great support system.

I heard Beyoncé took a listen to the album. Did she offer you any advice?
You know how crazy it is playing my album to her? Destiny's Child is one of my biggest [influences]
, like I love them and I was just sitting there playing my record, like 'Yo, I'm playing you my album.' Even though she's one of the most normal human beings, it's still Beyonce. So I would tell her, 'Oh, do you like it?' and she'd be like, 'Yeah, maybe you should go back and change that adlib,' just literally helping me out.

Even during the show, I noticed that you're always seeking a second opinion. How do you find that balance between what others say you should sound like and who you want to sound like?
I care about what my fans think. I care about what my friends and people that mean the world to me think. That's why during the sessions, I looked at my sister and said 'Is it alright?' People always need a second opinion, even though they're like 'No, I know who I am.' But that's just how I am. At times, I do need reassurance like everybody else.

You have the song co-written by Drake called 'R.I.P.' on your album. What was the conversation like when he first heard it?

He told me, 'You killed it. You swagged it out completely,' because it's hard, you could sit there and sing the song but it's about the feel.

So are we any closer to an actual song collaboration?
I would love for there to be but on this [album], there isn't. There's a lot of collabs on there though, there's, the-Dream's on there, Major Lazer's on there, and obviously Tinie Tempah.

Now I couldn't help but notice your kicks. Do you prefer Jordans over heels?
I'm a sneaker girl. I do wear heels and have a nice collection but I can't perform in them.

What do you hope to accomplish with this album?

I just want people to absorb the music and enjoy it. I really want to make people smile.

Copyrights And Consumers On Trial: Takeaways From The Entertainment And Technology Law Conference

Locating lawyers in New York City's midtown district isn't a big challenge. Finding a group of legal eagles focused on the latest developments for music and related fields, however, takes a little more doing.

For those who knew where to look, the Entertainment & Technology Law Conference held yesterday in Manhattan revealed just such a gathering. Presented by NARM (National Association of Recording Merchandisers) and, the half-day seminar at the law offices of Greenberg Traurig updated attendees on pressing issues at the intersection of entertainment, technology, and law.

The conference started with the panel "Comparing International Anti-Piracy Strategies" moderated by Jonathan Askin, Associate Professor of Clinical Law, Brooklyn Law School. Things got interesting in a hurry with Michael Smith, Professor of Information Technology and Marketing, Carnegie Mellon University, as he countered a number of myths about how consumers respond to digital content. For example, "You can never compete with free" (yes you can: competing with free is a special case of price competition).

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Michael N. Schlesinger, counsel, Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp, spoke about looking for win-win situations on the Internet. He broke down the "policy" strategy on anti-piracy, and clarified the rewards if and when governments get ahead of IP pirates: creators are rewarded, local economies are developed, tax revenue can be generated, and cultural diversity will be promoted.

And apparently, making policy work really will matter: according to studies cited by Schlesinger, in 2010 copyright industries accounted for an eye-opening $931.8 billion, or 6.36% of the US GDP, while employing nearly 5.1 million workers with highly respectable estimated average annual wages of $78,128. And with $134 billion estimated foreign sales and exports, US copyright industries ranked above other major sectors including aircraft, autos, agriculture, food, and pharma.

The second panel, "Continuing Digital Evolution of the First Sale Doctrine," reminded that intellectual property once existed primarily in physical form. Cloud computing and digital lockers make the legal issues surrounding copyright ownership in the digital world hazy.

The test case discussed by the three-lawyer panel moderated by Jeff Liebenson, principal, Liebenson Law:, which gives individuals who purchase digital content the ability to resell that content -- specifically used MP3 music files -- for about 20 cents below standard iTunes prices.

Not to neglect the visual side of things, the third panel -- moderated by Jon Potter of RPB Strategies -- addressed "Digital Television Innovation, Competition and Copyright" and the myriad issues growing around that sector. Services like Aereo allow users to watch free over-the-air broadcast signals via IP-enabled devices, and are attempting to secure a legal foothold in the US -- much to the ire of many broadcasters and cable carriers.

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As happened previously in the day's conference, the connections of these technologies to cloud computing arose: Whether or not content is a copy or original, and where it is actually being stored and played out from, are all arguments impacting courts' perspective -- as well as the business plans of newcomers to the digital TV space.

On the final panel of the day, a scary little creature reared its head -- the question of what constituted a copyright troll drove "Copyright Trolls or Creative Lawyering? Are Mass Copyright Infringement Suits Ethical? Can They Be Effective Deterrents, or a Successful Business Model?"

Jennifer Pariser, SVP, litigation, RIAA, described these litigious entities as "an enterprise whose business model is primarily generating profit from the prosecution of a copyright infringement lawsuit. That's distinguished from a business whose primary business model is the exploitation of their copyrights."

In regards to the much publicized (and oft-maligned) suits that the RIAA brought against alleged P2P music-sharers, Pariser noted, "We never stepped over the line into a malicious or fraudulent lawsuit. The RIAA acted with a genuine belief that they would see the case through to the end." Interestingly, as she acknowledged, the RIAA's costly go-all-the-way caseload of P2P-sharing induced suits lost them money. But making money wasn't the point, according to Pariser -- education was.

When the conference came to a close, one thing was clear: There are optimistic outcomes to solving legal puzzles, which are constantly evolving in step with 21st Century entertainment. Michael Schlesinger summed it up best at the conclusion of his "Comparing International Anti-Piracy Strategies" panel.

"Copyright and IP is not a finite pie," he noted. "A world with IP creates opportunities for people to monetize their situations, and actually work in this business."

James Taylor Suing Warner Bros. Records For $2 Million Over Digital Revenue

Add James Taylor to the list of musicians suing record labels over royalties from iTunes and other digital outlets.

The famed singer/songwriter filed a complaint against Warner Bros. Records on Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court claiming approximately $2 million in damages. The new lawsuit is among many in recent months to take issue with the way record companies treat digital income.

Taylor, who was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000 with such hits as "You've Got a Friend," "Sweet Baby James" and "Carolina in my Mind," signed his first deal in 1969 when his production company entered into a distribution agreement with Warner Bros.'s predecessor company. The contract was amended in 1972.

Like many musicians, Taylor got a deal that treated records "sold" different than when recordings were "licensed." The royalty rate for Taylor for sales is between 10 to 12 percent. The royalty rate for licenses is 50 percent of net receipts.

In the late 1970s, Taylor left WBR for Columbia Records. In 1979, Taylor and WBR executed a "termination and settlement agreement" that provided for continued payments with some modifications as well as auditing rights. In 2002, the parties made another amendment to their agreement with new rates so that a new Greatest Hits album could be released and old albums could be remastered and reissued, but WBR never re-released the albums, and Taylor says the 2002 agreement doesn't apply.

Under the auditing rights from the 1979 settlement, Taylor has been auditing WBR's accounting since 2008.

The results of two audits have purportedly turned up several forms of underpayment.

This includes smaller ticket items like foreign receipts, budget sales and the unauthorized use of Taylor's songs on certain compilation albums. It also includes intriguing items like an alleged smaller-than-expected share of proceeds from WBR's $110 million settlement with Napster (Taylor got 0.24 percent instead of the claimed amount approximately 0.33 percent).

But the biggest pot of money comes over the issue of whether Taylor should be splitting money equally with WBR whenever a consumer downloads one of his old songs from iTunes, Verizon and other digital or mobile outlets.

Others have sued over this same issue, including Kenny Rogers, Chuck D, Rob Zombie, Rick James, Sister Sledge, Peter Frampton, George Clinton and on and on...

Many of these lawsuits, including the latest from Taylor, mention the case brought by Eminem's producers and the 2010 decision at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals suggesting digital downloads should be treated as "licenses."

WBR hasn't yet responded to a request for comment, but according to the lawsuit, the record company denies that downloads off of digital outlets require a 50 percent share. In addition, the parties have had discussions about this for some time and in 2010, entered into a tolling agreement to extend the statute of limitations on claims to September 14, 2012. At the deadline, Taylor decided to bring the lawsuit.

"Warner Bros.'s failures have created a dispute of almost $2,000,000 with respect to Warner Bros.'s breach of the Distribution Agreement and its various Amendments."

Taylor is represented by Paul Duvall and Richard Busch at King & Ballow.

Webbie Arrested For Allegedly Kicking A Woman Down Stairs

Louisiana rapper Webbie is in trouble again—and you won't believe what he's being charged with.
According to TMZ, Webbie has been arrested for battery and robbery, after allegedly kicking a woman down a flight of stairs and stealing $340 from her purse.

According to a police report filed in his hometown of Baton Rouge, LA, Web attacked the woman inside a Chase Suite Hotel early this morning after being banned from the premises. That sure sounds familiar (Remember his infamous 106 & Park ban?)

However, a rep tells TMZ the rapper met the woman at a party that night, but never attacked & stole money from her. Webbie admits to taking the money, but claims the woman actually stole it from him.
Webbie plans to fight the accusations, after being released today on $9,000 bond. Damn Webbie, why so many lady troubles?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Juvenile Pleads Not Guilty to Charge Stemming From Club LIV Fight

Juvenile has pleaded not guilty to a disorderly conduct stemming from an incident last month at Club LIV. The rapper was involved in an altercation following an appearance at the Miami night spot with Lil Wayne.

According to TMZ, Juvie entered a not guilty please; it’s unknown as of press time when the former Cash Money star has to return to court.

At the time, Juvenile emphatically denied any involvement.

“Man, that club LIV on the beach has a security problem and I got caught up in it,” Juvenile told to via text message. “That’s all.”

Eric Clapton to Auction Painting Worth Up to $19 Million

Eric Clapton is expected to earn $14-19 million when he puts an abstract piece by the German artist Gerhard Richter up for auction at Sotheby's next month, Reuters reports. Clapton bought the paining, titled "Abstraktes Bild (809-4)," back in 2001 for $3.4 million.
Richter – whose work includes the cover of Sonic Youth's 1988 LP, Daydream Nation – has become one of the most coveted living artists, with one of his paintings fetching $21.8 million at an auction in New York in May. "Abstraktes Bild (809-4)" is one of a series of four paintings the artist made in the mid-1990s. Three of them were sold to Clapton in 2001, while the fourth is owned by the joint collection of the Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland.

Clapton will put the piece up at London's contemporary art evening auction on October 12th, which coincides with the Frieze Art Fair, one 

Happy 43rd Birthday, Tyler Perry

Tyler Perry is having one heck of a year! The media mogul was recently named one of the highest-paid people in entertainment on top of releasing two movies so far in 2012. And today, the playwright celebrates his 43rd birthday.

From developing stage plays to movies to starting his own production company, Perry has proven time and time again he's well connected to his audience. Up next for Perry is the thriller Alex Cross, where he hangs up the wig and dresses and opts for weapons to kick some butt. In 2013 he will release The Marriage Counselor.

In light of his hectic schedule, Perry has decided to take break from the stage to focus on projects that demand his attention. "I have some major projects that I'm working on that will require a lot of my time and effort," said Perry in a letter on his website.

There's no doubt in our minds that Tyler Perry is the hardest-working man in Hollywood.

Muhammad Ali to Receive Liberty Medal

Muhammad Ali is the 2012 recipient of the Liberty Medal. Ali will be recognized today in Philadelphia, PA by the National Constitution Center for his humanitarian, civil rights and religious freedom work, reports the Associated Press.

The organization's chairman, former President Bill Clinton said in a statement, "Ali embodies the spirit of the Liberty Medal by embracing the ideals of the Constitution – freedom, self-governance, equality and empowerment – and helping to spread them across the globe."

In addition to picking up a medal, the champion will receive $100,000 cash prize.

Ali's daughter, Laila Ali who announced she has joined the Mom Clean Air Force, along with Olympic gold medalists Claressa Shields and Susan Francia will bestow the medal onto the legend. His wife, Lonnie, will speak on his behalf.

The Liberty Medal isn't the only major recognition Ali has received in recent memory. In 2005, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Congratulations to the legendary Muhammad Ali on this latest accomplishment.

Minnesota Woman Ordered to Pay $222,000 in Music Piracy Case

A federal court has reinstated a $222,000 damages award against a Minneosta woman accused of illegally downloading 24 songs, Reuters reports, handing the music industry a victory in a case stretching past its sixth year.

The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Paul, Minnesota, rejected Jammie Thomas-Rasset's argument that the fine – $9,250 per song – was excessive and violated her due process rights under the Constitution. She has said her ex-boyfriend or two young sons were probably responsible for downloading the songs.

The court's decision was the latest step in the music industry's lengthy battle against Thomas-Rasset. She was one of 18,000 people the Recording Industry Association of America sued between 2003-2008 in an attempt to discourage people from downloading songs from filesharing sites like Kazaa. Although the RIAA had initially accused Thomas-Rasset of downloading more than 1,700 tracks, the industry group sued her on behalf of six record labels in 2006 over two dozen songs.

She lost her first trial in district court in 2007 and was ordered to pay $222,000, though the verdict was thrown out over faulty jury instruction. The jury in her second trial awarded the record labels $1.92 million in damages, an amount the court reduced to $54,000.

The record companies exercised their right to a new trial and won $1.5 million from a third jury, an amount the court again lowered to $54,000. The labels appealed, and a three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit unanimously reinstated the original $222,000 fine from her first trial.

Thomas-Rasset's lawyer called the judgment "punitive" and said he would likely appeal the case to the Supreme Court. The RIAA applauded the decision, saying it was "looking forward to putting this case behind us."

Chad Johnson Officially Charged with Misdemeanor Battery

• Former NFL star Chad Johnson was officially charged with misdemeanor battery. Johnson head-butted Evelyn Lozada, his wife of six weeks, last month during a heated argument. If convicted, Johnson could face up to one year in jail. Since the incidence occurred, Lozada has filed for divorce. Johnson reportedly refuses to sign any papers. [TMZ]

Sunday Best star Le'Andria Johnson gave birth to her fourth child yesterday. According to a press release, little Caelington Forrest Walker came in weighing six pounds and 14 oz. The baby arrived less than a week before her new album, Le'Andria Johnson: The Experience, hits stores.

• Could former American Idol judge, Paula Abdul, be heading to Dancing with the Stars? The '90s hit-maker was overheard at New York Fashion Week saying she'll be performing on the ABC show in November. She also allegedly said she's going to appear on the Today show as well. [NY Post]

• The two white police officers who were being investigated for allegedly racial profiling Tyler Perry have been exonerated. Perry described the incident as "hostile" and that he felt unsafe when two police officers stopped him over the summer. According to CNN, an internal affairs officer reported that he submitted evidence showing "the actions of both officers with the regard to the traffic stop of Mr. Perry were justified, lawful and proper." Perry was unavailable for comment. [CNN]

• Is Rihanna preparing for yet another album? The pop-princess is said to be releasing a brand new single on September 17th. The news comes just days after she announced plans for a North American tour in the spring of 2013. [TGJ]

Jay-Z and Beyonce to Host Obama at New York Fundraiser

Jay-Z and Beyoncé are throwing a $40,000-a-plate fundraiser for President Obama at Hov's 40/40 Club in New York City next Tuesday, The Hill reports.

Don't have the cash? No problem: like previous Obama celebrity fundraisers, supporters can donate smaller amounts and be entered for a chance to join the festivities (airfare and hotel accommodations included, according to Obama's website). Attendance for the event will reportedly be capped at just 100.

Earlier that same day Obama is scheduled appear at another New York City fundraiser where a $12,500 contribution will score supporters a photo with the president.

This isn't the first show of support for Obama from Jay-Z and Beyoncé. While the president was unable to accept Jay's invitation to show up in Philadelphia for the recent Budweiser Made in America Festival, he did send a video message urging audience members to vote in the upcoming election.

Jay-Z also showed up on Obama's celebrity supporter wishlist earlier this year, alongside Maroon 5's Adam Levine, Alicia Keys, Vampire Weekend and Janelle Monáe. A $40,000-a-plate fundraiser definitely means you can check his name off the list. 

BET Announces Full List Of Nominees For 2012 Hip-Hop Awards

The nominees are in.

BET announced the full list of nods for the 2012 Hip Hop Music Awards, with Kanye West leading the pack at 17 nominations total. 2 Chainz follows close behind with 13 nods, even doubling up in some categories such as "Best Hip-Hop Video" and "Reese's Perfect Combo Award" for his Drake-assisted "No Lie" and G.O.O.D. Music banger "Mercy." Drizzy himself earned 11.

The ceremony will be hosted by Mike Epps and air on October 7. The taping takes place on Sept. 29 at Atlanta Civic Center in Atlanta. Hip Hop mogul Chris Lighty will be honored at the event.
Check the list below.

Best Hip-Hop Video
2 Chainz f/ Drake – “No Lie”
A$AP Rocky – “Goldie”
Drake f/ Lil’ Wayne – “HYFR”
Wale f/ Miguel – “Lotus Flower Bomb”
Kanye West, 2 Chainz, Big Sean x Pusha T – “Mercy”

Reese’s Perfect Combo Award
2 Chainz f/ Drake – “No Lie”
Drake f/ Lil’ Wayne x Tyga – “The Motto”
J. Cole f/ Missy Elliott – “Nobody’s Perfect”
Wale f/ Miguel – “Lotus Flower Bomb”
Kanye West, 2 Chainz, Big Sean x Pusha T – “Mercy”

Best Live Performer
A$AP Rocky
J. Cole
The Throne
Kanye West

Lyricist of the Year
J. Cole
Kendrick Lamar
Kanye West

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

Producer of the Year
J. Cole
.E. League
No I.D.
Kanye West

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

Track of the Year
“Cashin’ Out” (Ca$h Out)
“I’ma Boss” (Meek Mill f/ Rick Ross)
“N–gas In Paris” (The Throne)
“No Lie” (2 Chainz f/ Drake)
“The Motto” (Drake f/ Lil’ Wayne x Tyga)

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

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

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

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

Best Club Banger
“Cashin’ Out” (Ca$h Out)
“The Motto” (Drake f/ Lil’ Wayne x Tyga)
“Same Damn Time” (Future)
“Ni–as In Paris” (The Throne)
“Mercy” (Kanye West, 2 Chainz, Big Sean x Pusha T)

Best Mixtape
P (A$AP Rocky)
1999 (Joey Bada$$)
s 2 (Meek Mill)
Rich Forever (Rick Ross)
Taylor Allderdice (Wiz Khalifa)

Sweet 16: Best Featured Verse
2 Chainz – “Mercy”
Diddy – “Same Damn Time (Remix)”
Drake – “Stay Schemin’”
Ludacris – “Same Damn Time (Remix)”
T.I. – “Magic (Remix)”

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

Impact Track
“Around My Way (Freedom Ain’t Free)” (Lupe Fiasco)
“Bitch Bad” (Lupe Fiasco)
“Daughters” (Nas)
“Murder To Excellence” (The Throne)

People’s Champ Award
2 Chainz f/ Drake – “No Lie”
Driicky Graham – “Snapbacks & Tattoos”
Meek Mill f/ Rick Ross – “I’ma Boss”
The Throne – “Ni–as In Paris”
Kanye West, 2 Chainz, Big Sean x Pusha T – “Mercy”

Best Hip-Hop Online Site

Mickey Hart Wanted on Assault Charges in Kentucky

Ex-Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart faces arrest in Kentucky after he allegedly assaulted fan following a Mickey Hart Band show at the Terrapin Hill Farm in Harrodsburg last week, TMZ reports

While details of the reported attack remain unclear, police issued a warrant for Hart after the alleged victim filed a report and pressed charges for assault. Hart denied the charges in a statement to Rolling Stone. "I am totally baffled by a bizarre claim of assault by me coming out of Kentucky – the home of bluegrass and a state I love dearly," Hart said. "Any accusation or claim of assault against me is completely false and without any basis whatsoever. I played drums on 'Shakedown Street,' but I never expected to be 'The Victim or the Crime.'"

Hart, 69, played with the Grateful Dead from 1967-71, and again from 1974 until the group dissolved in 1995. He's since played with surviving members of the band as the Dead. Recently he collected the vibrations of the Golden Gate Bridge on an accelerometer and converted the data into a soundscape, maintaining that the bridge is basically a giant wind harp.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

50 Cent Talks Working With Forest Whitaker: “There were points when I didn’t know if he was acting or if he was drunk.”

According to 50 Cent, Forest Whitaker is a pretty convincing actor. In an interview with Atlanta radio station V-103, Fif discussed his upcoming film Freelancers where he acts alongside Robert De Niro and Forrest Whitaker. 

In the movie, 50 plays a police officer as does Whitaker, whose role is that of an officer gone rogue. “[I didn’t know] if he went and had a couple of drinks. We had scenes when he was supposed to be drunk. I swear to God he was drunk in there…To this day, I can’t tell you if he was drunk or not. But he killed it.”

50 also talked about his upcoming album, recent health scares, and the rise of 17-year-old Chief Keef (and the controversy surrounding him since his emergence). You can read about 50’s thoughts on Keef and listen to the entirety of the interview here. — Neil Martinez-Belkin (@Neil_MB)

2 officers cleared of profiling Tyler Perry

ATLANTA — Two White Atlanta police officers have been cleared of racial profiling allegations against filmmaker Tyler Perry.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the decision comes following a four-month investigation by the police department after Perry felt he was profiled during a traffic stop outside his Atlanta studio earlier this year.

Perry didn’t file a formal complaint on the incident, but an internal investigation was launched after he posted comments about the incident on his Facebook page.

A report says Perry was stopped Feb. 24 after he made an illegal left turn in his white Porsche Panamera as he left his studio. The report says the officers questioned Perry for six minutes before letting him go without issuing a ticket.

— Associated Press

Ne-Yo Talks About His Motown A&R Gig, Learning the 'Language of Executive'

While walking the red carpet at the MTV Video Music Awards, Ne-Yo took a moment to talk with Billboard about both his upcoming album, "R.E.D.," and his new day job as Motown's new senior VP of A&R.

"I do have an office and it's bigger than a lot of other people's offices, but I'm rarely there," he said, before a joking grin began to creep onto his face. "I have my own parking space with my face in it. They actually painted a picture of me on the asphalt … I have seven white doves that are flown every time I enter the building," he laughed.

In January, Motown announced exclusively to that the singer/songwriter would be moving from Def Jam to the Motown family. "In Ne-Yo we have both a global superstar and arguably one of the best songwriters in music." Ethiopia Habtemariam, senior VP of Motown, said in a statement announcing the move.

He brings with him one of the more enviable track records of the past decade. With Def Jam, he had four top 10 albums on the Billboard 200: "In My Own Words (2006), "Because of You" (2007), "Year of the Gentleman" (2008), and "Libra Scale" in 2010. He's also written or produced hits for artists like Rihanna, Beyonce and Leona Lewis.

With his upcoming album,
"R.E.D." (an acronym for "Realizing Every Dream," due in November), he detailed one of the skills that can make him a strong A&R person as well as a producer.

"I pride myself on being able to do a song with someone like Young Jeezy and then turn around and do a song with, say, Calvin Harris and they both make sense," he said.

He did note that the first few months in his new job have not without their challenges.

"It's definitely something that I have to learn," he said. "It's a task. The mindset of an artist and the mindset of an executive -- they don't necessarily speak the same language all the time, if you know what I mean. So the language of executive is one that I am learning currently."

SiriusXM CEO Mel Karmazin: 'My Instincts Are That Liberty Does Not Need Me'

Liberty Media could announce as early as Wednesday that it has acquired a controlling stake in Sirius XM Radio, the satellite service's CEO Mel Karmazin said. He also indicated that Liberty may not want him around much longer.

"My instincts today are that Liberty does not need me," Karmazin said at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference in Los Angeles.

"I have historically been expensive, and, you know, it's very clear to me that if I were Liberty I would sit there and say, 'I'm not sure we need Mel.' And that's okay with Mel," he said, referring to himself in the third person.

Karmazin's contract as CEO of Sirius XM runs through the end of the year. Liberty has been purchasing shares on the open market, driving the stock higher in recent months. Between the recently acquired shares and the preferred stock it already had, Liberty owns slightly less than 50 percent of the company, according to a recent filing.

Karmazin said he has had little contact with Liberty's John Mallone or its CEO, Greg Maffei, since Liberty began its quest in May to control Sirius XM -- not when Liberty tried unsuccessfully for de facto control, and not since it began purchasing large chunks of stock.

"Liberty and we have not been having any conversations at all about what they are going to do," Karmazin said. He speculated, though, that Liberty would install a new board of directors and retain the company's current auditors.

Karmazin said he plans to stick around while control for the company remains in flux, but he will not negotiate a new contract during these uncertain times for the company because he wants to avoid the appearance of "conspiring against minority shareholders."

Maffei is scheduled to speak at the same conference later Wednesday.

Liberty has filed its request with the FCC to take control of Sirius XM, though a 30-day period of public comment hasn't been set yet. When Sirius and XM merged, a similar 30-day period stretched to 17 months, but Karmazin said he expects Liberty's gambit to be much quicker and noncontroversial.

Maker of Tupac Shakur Hologram Files for Bankruptcy

The company that created the hologram of Tupac Shakur that performed at this year's Coachella festival has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after going public in November, CNN reports. The filing by Digital Domain Media came as no surprise: the company, which had warned of long-term debt and overhead difficulties, had seen its stock price drop from a peak of $9.20 per share in May to just 55 cents yesterday – a decrease of 94 percent.

Besides the buzzworthy Tupac hologram, the company worked on special effects for blockbusters including Transformers, Pirates Of The Caribbean and Titanic, and won an Oscar for its work on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Digital Domain had planned an Elvis hologram, while the estates of Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison had expressed interest in staging holographic live shows.

The company, which counts James Cameron among its founders, was generally hired by Hollywood studios on a contract basis, which meant it had a small revenue stream. Digital Domain had boost its bottom line by dipping into the live performance market with its holograms. CEO John Textor resigned last week, and the company closed its offices in Port St. Lucie, Florida, and laid off around 320 employees.

Private investment firm Searchlight Capital Partners is planning to buy Digital Domain's core production business for $15 million, pending approval of the bankruptcy court. Digital Domain had partnered with Lionsgate to make a film adaptation of beloved sci-fi novel Ender's Game. A Lionsgate representative said the film's production is still on schedule for release November 1st, 2013.

Clive Davis Autobiography Set For February Release

NEW YORK (AP) -- Music mogul Clive Davis will release an autobiography in February that will include "the excitements, the disappointments and the triumphs" of his career.

The untitled book will be released through Simon & Schuster and will be written with music journalist Anthony DeCurtis. A news release says it will include "never-before-heard tales" about Davis' work with acts like Whitney Houston, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Janis Joplin and Bob Dylan.

Davis has helped the careers of many top musicians from Aretha Franklin to Billy Joel to Alicia Keys. The Harvard Law School graduate founded both Arista and J Records. He's currently the COO of Sony Music and is working on Franklin's new album and Houston's forthcoming greatest hits set.

The 80-year-old released his first book, "Clive: Inside The Record Business," in 1975.

Michael Jackson Promoter Withdraws Insurance Claim Over Singer's Death

AEG Live, the concert promoters for Michael Jackson's planned 2009 comback tour, have dropped a $17.5 million insurance claim stemming from Jackson's death after leaked e-mails showed that AEG executives were concerned about Jackson's health and worried about his stability shortly before his death that June, Reuters reports.

When Jackson died before he could begin a run of concerts in London, AEG filed an insurance claim with Lloyd's of London, citing losses in up-front costs for Jackson's "This Is It" tour. Lloyd's later filed suit against AEG Live, contending that it didn't owe the money.

AEG executives had long been skeptical about whether Jackson was capable of performing, according to e-mails obtained by the Los Angeles Times that openly discussed the matter. CEO Randy Phillips sent one particularly revealing message in March 2009 while he was in London with Jackson to announce the shows. "MJ is locked in his room drunk and despondent," wrote Phillips. "I [am] trying to sober him up." Despite the suggestion that AEG Live was aware of Jackson's troubles while negotiating its insurance policy with Lloyd's, AEG attorneys maintain the company's withdrawal has "nothing to do with the recent leak" of the emails.

"We are standing by AEG's lawyers comments that the withdrawal of the claim was not related to the leaked emails, said Paul Schriffer, an attorney for Lloyd's. An attorney for AEG, Marvin Putnam, said the company informed Lloyd's in June that it was dropping the claim, citing reimbursement from the Jackson estate that covered the company's losses.

First Look At The New iPhone 5

And now the moment that all Apple enthusiasts have been waiting for.

The new iPhone 5 made its debut at the Apple media event today in all its sleek and newly renovated glory. As the first device since founder Steve Jobs' passing, it's equipped with some swaggy new features.

According to ABC News, the world's thinnest smartphone weighs in at 112 grams including a design made from aluminum and glass.. The four-inch screen is taller than its predecessors, complementing the eight-megapixel camera that boasts improved video stability, face detection and the dual ability to snap photos while shooting video. It also comes with three microphones, and redesigned speakers and earpiece for improved sound levels all-around. The rumors of a smaller and reversible connector are true.

Pre-orders for the iDevice start Sept. 14 and they will ship out on Sept. 21 in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore. Cop that!

Usher to Tell All on Oprah's Next Chapter

This Sunday's installment of Oprah's Next Chapter is shaping up to be just as captivating as Jennifer Hudson's episode last week.

In this interview, Oprah convinces Usher to bare all after several failed attempts to get him to talk in the past. The singer says after this tell-all interview he will never talk about it again. In this sneak peek Oprah reveals Usher will discuss his failed marriage, infidelity, custody battle, his onstage breakdown in Berlin and more. In addition, Usher's mother Jonetta Patton makes a guest appearance to answer if she wishes she attended her son's wedding.

Will you be tuning into Oprah's Next Chapter this Sunday at 9 p.m.?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What Does Palace offer?

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If not, take an opportunity to take a quick peek.

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Currently, we are offering distribution of your music to television, film, and advertising companies to possibly get selected for a commercial and or sound track on a movie worldwide.

Currently, we are offering distribution of your music to over 30,000 radio stations, satellite radio, network radio, college campuses and DJ’s  worldwide. Palace Music Group enables artists and record labels to present their music, to radio stations, worldwide. Allowing the stations to listen, and download the artist’s music releases and plays them on their stations. Palace Music Group replaces the expensive, and time consuming process of mailing the CDs to radio stations.

Currently, we are offering artist distribution of your Press Kit to all Major labels and FREE (limited time only) press release to magazine companies.

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We ask that you please review all of the information carefully before contacting us with questions, so we can provide an accurate and timely response.

'Inventing David Geffen' Documentary Premieres at Toronto Film Festival

"Inventing David Geffen" works within a familiar format to sing the praises of a man who never did. An upcoming airing on PBS's American Masters series (Nov. 20) will please home auds; on home vid, the story should inspire would-be moguls for years.

"I'm completely without gift," David Geffen recalls telling a casting agent who asked, decades ago, about the nature of his gifts. "You should become an agent," she replied.

David Geffen: 'I'd Kill Myself' Rather Than Get Into Music Business Today

Instead of waiting around for the rim-shot punctuating that zinger, Geffen not only lied his way into a William Morris Agency gig but spent months sorting mail to intercept the proof he was lying: One quick alteration to the damning letter from UCLA, and his career was on track.

Lacy draws an easy-to-follow line whose twisting trajectory looked crazy at the time: how being awestruck by songwriter Laura Nyro's talent led the up-and-coming agent to quit WMA and become her manager; how that led quickly to a partnership (with Elliot Roberts) handling acts including Crosby, Stills and Nash; how his failed attempt to get Jackson Browne a record deal led him to co-found the legendary Asylum label.

We get glimpses of the famously aggressive, and inspired, dealmaking that enabled Geffen's quick rise. Audiotape of a call with Columbia Records head Clive Davis (accompanied by appealing animation) catches him getting the best of a music industry giant while proposing a Byrds reunion; stories about how his entrepreneurial mother used to haggle with Bloomingdale's clerks suggest this chutzpah was in his blood.

After a run in which his relationship to talent was that of a parent going to bat for his pampered kid's every whim (he arranged for the lyrics sleeve on a Nyro LP to be printed in lilac-scented ink), Geffen thought of himself in arranging the suprise sale of Asylum to Warner. A few years later, a false diagnosis of bladder cancer forced him to rethink his priorities further. Looking back on these turning points in contemporary interview footage, Geffen is candid and self-analytical, showing no evidence of the prickliness that reportedly helped him win every argument that mattered.

In fact, although many interviewees here (from Neil Young and Joni Mitchell to Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Davis) make note of Geffen's temper -- "Does he sometimes go too far? Yeah, he does," one says -- we never hear examples. Surely, the cutting-room floor is piled high with colorful anecdotes of bad behavior serving a good idea, and the doc would be richer for them. But Lacy has too many more achievements to explore -- little milestones like Geffen Records, "Risky Business," "Cats," and a remarkable philanthropic legacy -- to get hung up on talking to anyone who harbors hurt feelings, or witnessed a David Geffen project that didn't somehow, in the end, turn to gold.

Gunplay To Open Up Escort Service 'H.U.S.H.'

Talk about a self-made side hustle.

Maybach Music Group spitter Gunplay is cashing out for an L.A.-based escort service called 'H.U.S.H.', an acronym for 'Have U Seen Her.' 

In an interview with The BoomBox, the 601 and Snort rapper says when it comes to pussy, "there’s never a decline in sales." 

"P*ssy been selling before. That was the first thing that was selling. It was church and p*ssy. That’s the only thing that was getting money back in the day, and it still is to this day. Church and p*ssy," he said.

"So with my escort service, I’m changing the name because of some legal issues, but it’s gonna be called H.U.S.H. — Have U Seen Her. It’s trademarked, I already got that. We starting in January. We launching. It’s based outta L.A. We tryna get the best of the best. Exotic b*tches. We have to keep it civilized, so it’ll be H.U.S.H. video vixens and so forth and so forth."

He also speaks on his failed marriage, cocaine use and Swastika tatt. Read the full interview here.