Friday, December 28, 2012


West Coast rapper Game is looking to reach for the stars with his new Rolex Records joint venture alongside fellow hip-hop artist Stat Quo and promised to lace his entourage with their own Rolex watches this week.
Although he would not get into specifics about the label, Game promised footage and photos of his new Rolex movement would surface soon.
"FOLLOW @roleyboyz NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Going to the Rolex store in Beverly Hills today with $100,000 & buying all my n*ggaz a Rolex watch..... & sky is the limit from there !!! Pictures & video coming soon.......... #RolexRecords gone do some amazing sh!t in 2013 #beleedat," Game promised on December 26th. (Game's Instagram)
Around mid-December, Game spoke on linking up with Stat Quo to launch their new label.
"We compiled a bunch of things that was taught to both of us individually by Dr. Dre and our own separate experiences on Aftermath and we created Rolex Records. It's a no tolerance, only dope music. We're not putting out anything subpar and if we don't get the greatest new artists or the best new artist that we feel can sell millions of records, then we're not even going to do it, man. We got a few people that are in demo mode and hopefully somebody jumps out. It's kind of like a hood 'American Idol' internally. Wait and hopefully somebody jumps out, we'll have somebody soon." (BET)
The platinum-selling rapper broke the Rolex Records news a few weeks ago.
"I just started a new record label, Rolex Records, and we're going to get off the ground and see if we can move," he says. The label is a joint venture between Game and fellow rapper, Stat Quo. "He was signed to Aftermath with me in the beginning. Now we'rebusiness partners, which is cool because he was a good friend of mine and he's just as equally music smart so we'll see how it goes," says Game. (Billboard)
In light of the buzz, SOHH reached out to Game protégé Compton Menace about the new venture.
"A lot of people think the Black Wall Street is a record label but the Black Wall Street is not a record label. It's actually just a movement, you understand what I'm saying? So as far as that, the Black Wall Street, the movement, it's always going to be with me and I'm always going to hold that down because that's what I came from. But as far as business goes, it's not the label so I've got to go to other business ventures. As far as [Game's Rolex Records], it's all about what's best for different people and what's best for me is what I've got going on." (SOHH Guest Star)
Check out a recent Game interview:

Mobile Devices, Especially Tablets, Have Huge Christmas

If you got a smartphone or tablet computer for Christmas, you were hardly alone.
Flurry, a mobile analytics company that tracks use of mobile apps, says 17.4 million new iOS and Android devices were activated on Christmas day, a 255% increase from 6.8 million on Christmas Day 2011 and a 332% increase over the December baseline of 4.0 million per day established the first 20 days of the month (see chart above).

Naturally, an influx of new devices means a need for apps for those devices. App downloads on Christmas Day increased 112% to 328 million from the 155 million-per-day December baseline.

Tablets were the story of Christmas 2012. Flurry says tablets were 51% of device activations on Christmas Day compared to 20% during the December baseline period. Apple's iPad and iPad Mini were big hits but so was Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7" tablet. Amazon grew "by several thousand percent" over its December baseline, according to Flurry.

Although Amazon did not disclose how many units were sold, the company said Thursday the Kindle Fire HD has been the company's best-selling, most-gifted and most wished for product since its release 15 weeks ago. The day before Christmas, also known as "Cyber Monday," was the biggest day for Kindle sales worldwide.


Rap veteran Ice-T may be largely responsible for his wife Coco Austin turning into a headline-making generator these past few weeks as new "Ice Loves Coco" sneak peek footage shows him encouraging her to relocate to Las Vegas.
In the footage, Ice pushes for Coco to pack her bags and spend a short time in Sin City.
In a sneak peek from an upcoming episode of Ice Loves Coco, the rapper ironically convinces his bootylicious wife to move to Las Vegas for several months to star inPeepshow, and has the video. "Three months. At the end of the day you are handling your business. You are doing what you want to do. And it's like a vacation. Look at it like a working vacation," Ice tells Coco, attempting to persuade her take the job. "What is going to fall apart?" Coco, who is concerned that leaving NewJersey for three months will get in the way of her dog park business venture and will strain her relationship with her husband, voices her concerns, but Ice continues to talk her into going. (RadarOnline)
Despite Coco's initial resistance, Ice continues to persuade his wifeshe should head out West.
"You gotta clear your mind. I understand that we don't want to be broke up and get away from each other, but we gonna handle that. You can make this move." "I know I can make the move. I'm venting right now," Coco sternly protests. "You get kind of hyper when I vent cause you don't understand. I'm just basically telling you what is inside my head. So you jumping on me is not going to help the situation. I just gotta make sure I deal with it correctly." (RadarOnline)
Shortly after her move out to Las Vegas, Coco got linked into affair rumors with rapper AP.9.
Ice-T tweeted, "Coco's in Vegas. She has given me her explanation of the pics on the net from her first weeks out there [at Peepshow, where she's performing] with some dude. She said he knew someone in the crew from our show and would pop up where ever they would go. He also said he knew me. I don't know dude." He continued, "Regardless... They would take Posed pics every time. Most of them disrespectful and in bad taste. She's made me look... And feel like sh*t." "I say this on Twitter because there's no way to avoid the obvious misconduct of a married couple. That's it. Any more questions ask @Cocosworld," added Ice-T. He concluded, "Don't get it twisted... I'm not happy about this sh*t." (Gossip Cop)
AP.9 later stepped forward and added fuel to the fire when asked about the curvy model.
Ice T's gonna be pissed ... 'cause rapper AP.9 is now strongly insinuating that he's banging T's wife Coco. Coco said the pics were harmless ... and stated that she's "happily married." But this weekend, AP.9 was shamelessly trying to breathe life back into story ... because when he was asked about the rumors he was still bangin' Coco, the rapper looked into the camera like he LOVED the attention and said, "That's a RUMOR? Is that a rumor?" He added, "No comment man." When asked if he was worried about retaliation from Ice -- AP.9 shot back, "I'm from the hood ... I'm not worried about nothin'." (TMZ)

A Britney Spears Exit From 'X Factor': How Much Would It Hurt?

Two weeks after Antonio "L.A." Reid confirmed that the second season of the U.S. version of "The X Factor" would be his last on the judges panel, rumors of Britney Spears' exit from the show spread on Thursday (Dec. 27), following a report from Us Weekly that painted the pop star's fate as all but sealed. Although Spears has indicated that she would like to return to the Fox reality competition in 2013 for a second season as a judge, a source tells the magazine that fellow judge and show mastermind Simon Cowell is actively trying to push the veteran singer out: "He wanted crazy Britney, but he got boring Britney."

"No one has discussed next year's judging panel," a rep for the show said in a statement. "Any reports otherwise are complete speculation." Whether Spears returns for Season 3 or is "fired," as headlines have announced today, the pop singer's potential departure from the "X Factor" comes after a mixed season that failed to live up to the hype that came with the addition of Spears and Demi Lovato as judges.

The May announcement that Spears and Lovato would be replacing Season one judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger breathed new life into a franchise that crossed the Atlantic with high expectations from its successful U.K. counterpart. After the British "X Factor" generated hitmakers like One Direction, Leona Lewis and Olly Murs beginning in 2007, Cowell expressed the desire to see the stateside "X Factor" surpass the ratings of his previous Fox smash, "American Idol," and rule the reality ratings roost upon Season one's September 2011 debut. That didn't happen -- 12 million viewers watched Season one each week according to Nielsen, compared to 15.8 million weekly viewers for NBC's "The Voice" -- and Season one winner Melanie Amaro, whose debut album will not make its way onto shelves by the end of 2012 as initially expected, has thus far been unable to establish herself as an organic star like recent "Idol" champs Scotty McCreery and Phillip Phillips.

However, the addition of proven superstar Spears and former Disney star Lovato was supposed to help morph "The X Factor" into the star-making juggernaut that Cowell had intended upon its launch.

"There would be no point in us doing the show if we genuinely didn't believe that, at the end, there would be some sort of legacy that makes the show worthwhile," Cowell told Billboard in our "X Factor" cover story last September.

Unfortunately, that legacy is still a bit unsatisfactory. The two-hour September premiere of Season 2 of "The X Factor" underwhelmed in ratings, averaging 8.5 million viewers and a 3.3 rating among adults 18-49 -- which was a 25 percent drop from the 2011 series premiere, according to affiliate ratings. The show's ratings grew as the vocal talent improved, and by the time that Fox announced in October that "The X Factor" had been renewed for a third season as well as added Khloe Kardashian-Odom and Mario Lopez as live show co-hosts, the 18-49 demographic was up to a 3.9 rating and the total viewership averaged 10.6 million. But the Season 2 finale on Dec. 20, which garnered 9.6 million viewers and a 3.1 rating, was down 18 percent from the final episode of Season 1. Adding insult to injury, the Season 3 finale of "The Voice" easily trumped its Fox counterpart when it aired two nights earlier.  

Why didn't the presence of Spears and Lovato (along with returning judges Cowell and Reid) move the dial more? Part of the lackluster ratings can be chalked up to the talent competing for the Season 2 crown: Tate Stevens, the country music vocalist who won the trophy and a $5 million recording contract, is a powerful singer who happens to be 37 years old. His victory over Carly Rose Sonenclar, 13, understandably drew less interest from the 18-34 demographic than the latest "Voice" victor, 23-year-old pop-punk singer Cassadee Pope, as well as 22-year-old "Idol" champ Phillips. And while Stevens was crowned the "X Factor" winner with a stirring cover of Chris Young's song "Tomorrow," Phillips emerged with a fully-formed original smash, as his single "Home" bowed at No. 2 on the Digital Songs chart last May and has since sold 3 million downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Endearing talent can mask the dysfunction from the judges table, as seen when McCreery's presence on Season 10 of "Idol" overcame the early shakiness of Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler; Stevens has a real chance to be a star, but did not command viewers' attention with the same charisma as his reality TV forefathers.

Of course, the Season 2 talent was coupled with a judges panel and a pair of hosts that produced neither scintillating entertainment nor keen vocal insight. "Crazy Britney" should not have been expected or desired upon Spears' entry into the "X Factor" world, but the pop superstar's presence on the show was admittedly less beguiling than originally anticipated. Too often was she stuck back-patting the competitors when she should have been mentoring them; as the source tells Us Weekly, Spears' job was not to be outrageous, but it was also not to "say 'amazing' and offer half-claps." Along with the unexceptional ratings and the $15 million price tag that accompanied Spears' involvement with the show, it's no wonder that her departure is at least under discussion.

Fortunately for Spears, the "X Factor" gig has helped her accrue another hit single -- one year after her seventh studio set, "Femme Fatale," notched another No. 1 album debut and eventually moved 769,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. "Scream & Shout," her collaboration with which was released last month, has so far peaked at No. 12 on the Hot 100, and has sold 635,000 downloads according to Nielsen SoundScan, after topping the Digital Songs chart for one week. Like Jennifer Lopez and "Voice" coach Christina Aguilera before her, Spears gave her new single a glossy platform when she and the Black Eyed Peas frontman premiered the track during the Nov. 28 live episode of "X Factor." Even if Season 2 of "X Factor" proves to be Spears' sole outing with the franchise, her recording career certainly looks no worse for wear.


Racist watermelon obama
A man in Kentucky has been displaying a clearly racist depiction of President Obama on his front lawn since before the election - and doesn't plan on taking it down.
Danny Hafley has a statue of Obama on his front lawn, showing the president eating watermelon. He purchased an Obama mask at a halloween store, dressed the figure up in a suit, and claims it is within his rights under the First Amendment to keep it up.
A neighbor told a local news affiliate that she doesn't agree with the sign, and said that while their neighborhood has no black people, she can see how they'd be offended.
Hafley says he doesn't think putting watermelon in the president's hand is racist, and claims he just thought the statue would get hungry. Watch the video below.


New York's Hot 97 radio veteran Funkmaster Flex weighed in on the current war of words between one-time comrades Cassidy and Meek Mill tonight (December 27) in light of dropping new diss records at one another these past seven days.

Although he called Cass' "Me, Myself & iPhone" clever and Meek's "Repo" diss tough, Flex could not crown an ultimate winner in the feud thus far.
"I listened to both of those. Hard. Cassidy's is clever, more clever in terms of the writing, the talking back and forth, Cassidy doing another voice. I think that's super clever. A little more clever than Meek's," Flex said. "Keeping it a hundred, the Cassidy beat was trash. But lyrically, it's tough. The back and forth, the cleverness of it, I like it. Meek's? The beat's tough. The lyrics are tough too but I don't, you know, I don't think that it's settled yet. I don't think it's settled yet. There's a lot being said here. Or they could just leave it, in a way -- I don't think they should run into each other anywhere. [laughs] I don't think so. That would be better not to happen. Nah, I don't even think on their part, I just think it's too much, too much. Really it's too much." ("Funkmaster Flex")
On Meek's "Repo" anthem, he takes multiple swipes at Cass' music career.
"What you made this year, what you worth n*gga," Meek continues. "I dropped Dreams & Nightmares, I made 'Church' n*gga, I did 'I'ma Boss,' young'n set the summer off/Now these old n*ggas mad at me 'cause they fallin' off/Get your hate on, Cass, and we ain't talkin' Larceny 'cause they all trash/Your goons ain't riding with you 'cause they all mad/You ain't never put no food up on AR Ave/My dog caught a body for you, d*mn, he ain't eatin' from it/Now you mad at Swizz 'cause you can't get a beat from him/Once my n*ggas come at you dog, we gonna keep coming/Weird ol' Forrest Gump a** n*gga, better keep running." ("Repo")
Last week, the "Hustla" poked fun at Mill falling behind Maybach Music Group leader Rick Ross' shadow.
"That ain't nothing new I raised son/I was around when that clown couldn't even get his braids done/Why he dropped that I'm a boss sh*t?/Cause his boss say he a (Boss) and he just on his boss d*ck/I usually don't get mad, but I had enough/When he dropped that song amen that was the last from us/He should praise his heavenly father the creator/But yo I gotta go I'mma holla at you later easy." ("Me, Myself & iPhone")
Despite the hollering by both parties, Meek has already vowed to fall back on the feuding.
"No more attention on broke n*gga sh*t..... I'm done.... Time 2 get this money! Nothing else #mmg #dcr," Meek tweeted December 27th. (Meek Mill's Twitter)
Check out Funkmaster Flex's comments:

Former Chicago mobster Frank Calabrese dies!

Frank Calabrese dies
Former Chicago mobster Frank Calabrese died Tuesday in a federal prison. The 75-year-old Calabrese, a hit man for the mob known for his brutality, was convicted in 2007 on a host of charges, including several murders from the 1970s. He was serving a life sentence at a prison in North Carolina when he died.
Calabrese Sr. was convicted partly through the testimony of his son, Frank Calabrese Jr., who secretly record his father talking about several murders over the phone. Calabrese Jr. told the Chicago Sun-Times: "It's very emotional right now because there were two sides to my dad, and I miss the good side."
Calabrese Sr.'s incarceration was part of a major crackdown on organized crime in Chicago, known as the Family Secrets trial. The federal government was able to put a slew of gangsters into prison, including Cabarese Sr., who was known for strangling his victims and then slashing their throats.
Calabrese's other sons also attested to their father's violent side, saying he was brutal in his private life.
Calabrese died on Christmas of unknown causes, according to the federal prison bureau. Calabrese Jr. said: "I believe he was taken on Christmas Day for a reason. I hope he made peace. I hope he's up above looking down on us. ... He's not suffering anymore. The people on the street aren't suffering anymore."

Holiday-Season Music Sales Down From Last Year


In the absence of a steady-selling blockbuster title like Adele's "21" or Michael Buble's "Christmas," 2012's holiday music sales were down compared to last year.

Comparing weeks 46-51 of this calendar year (Nov. 18 - Dec. 23) with the same period last year, unit sales were down 10% to 54.9 million in 2012, versus the 61 million copies scanned last year. Within that, digital album sales were up 5.3% to nearly 15 million units, from 14.2 million last year, while CD sales are down 15.4% to 39 million units from 46.1 million copies in 2011.
Some may find a little solace in the fact that last year's 51st week included Dec. 24 -- one of the biggest shopping days of the year -- and this year's SoundScan calendar did not, which should produce a larger 52nd week than last year's. But will that be big enough to make up this year's shortfall? If other factors are an indicator, the answer is: not likely.

For example, last year, Drake's "Take Care," Michael Buble's "Christmas," Nickelback's "Here And Now;" the Black Keys' "El Camino,"  Adele's "21,"  Young Jeezy's "TM 103: Hustler Ambition" and Justin Bieber's "Under The Mistletoe" produced weekly sales of over 200,000 units 12 different times during the holiday, including three weeks in which the Buble title produced sales of over 400,000 units and one week where the Drake title did over 600,000 units.

In contrast, this year albums exceeding 200,000 units in weekly sales happened just four times: One Direction's "Take Me Home," which scored 540,000 units, Taylor Swift's "Red," which topped the 200,000 unit mark twice during the holiday selling season and Rihanna's "Unapologetic," which sold 238,000 the week of Black Friday.

Another disconcerting sign: 12.7 million units scanned during the week ended Dec. 23 was the biggest album sales week for the holidays -- down from 15 million units last year. Meanwhile, the biggest week last year for digital-track sales was 38.2 million units, versus 25.5 million units this year, a 33% drop. 

If it weren't for week 51, track sales would have been up 5.2% for weeks 46-50, but with week 51 thrown into the mix, track downloads are down 4.8% to 139.8 million units from 146.9 million units so far into the holiday selling season.

But some music merchandisers say business wasn't bad - if you weren't dependent on music. Newbury Comics, which has moved heavily into fashion merchandise, saw this year's holiday selling season sales up over last year thanks to its inventory shift, reports chain director of purchasing Carl Mello.

In California, Super D's CD online sales and online fulfillment business experienced double digit growth according to VP of retail sales Tim Hinsley, but BP of wholesale sales Bobby Miranda says his accounts are reporting that sales were okay. "Some were up a little, and some were down a little," he reports. "Retail saw a last minute rush."

However, "there weren't a lot of releases that made an impact," Miranda says. "There wasn't a blockbuster release that sold throughout," although he noted that Taylor Swift's "Red," kept "buzzing."

 Likewise, Newbury Comic's Mello notes that "Red," was the best performing title, but when compared to Adele and Buble last year, "you have a whole lot of 200K deltas to make up."

Still, he adds that  "a lot of albums that did what you hoped," he added, including Bruno Mars' ("Unorthodox Jukebox"), Alicia Keys ("Girl On Fire"), Mumford & Sons ("Babel") and Pink's ("Truth About Love"). "We also had a bunch of new Led Zeppelin ("Celebration Day" DVD) and Beatles (vinyl versions of their catalog) items to sell, which worked out well.

However, "At the end of the day, there was a lot of decent records, but with less demand."