Friday, January 18, 2013

Sony Corp. of America Sells New York HQ for $1.1 Billion

In a move to bolster its balance sheet and cash position, Sony Corp. of America has agreed to sell its 550 Madison headquarters building in New York City for $1.1 billion to a consortium of investors led by the Chetrit Group. 

Sony companies, including Sony Music Entertainment and Sony/ATV Music Publishing, will remain in the building for up to three years, under a sale/leaseback arrangement in a deal expected to close in March. 

According to the announcement, Sony will realize $770 million in net cash proceeds on the deal, after repaying debt and other transaction costs. In a statement, the company said it is "undertaking a range of initiatives to strengthen its financial foundation and business competitiveness and for future growth." 

As part of that, Sony is working to improve its cash flow by carefully selecting investments, selling assets and strengthening control of working capital such as inventory, the company added.


Brooklyn rap newcomer Joey Bada$$ has stepped up to silence rumors and gossip blogs claiming he officially joined forces with rap mogul Jay-Z at Roc Nation.
According to Bada$$, media outlets jumped the gun on a deal which, he said, never existed.
"They actually announced it on the radio that I signed with them -- that was dumb as f*ck," Joey said in an interview. "Won't sign to no major, for no wager, less than a 3 million offer of the top, I be in a box when my coffin drops, why settle for an office spot? That type of thing, you know. Not really, major labels is just not where my head is at right now, you know? [Independent?] Yeah, that's more of where my head is at, 'cause that's what I'm tryna to do, I'm tryna go more independent." (The Source)
Joey also discussed what big plans he has to expand his fan base in 2013.
"Well, that part, thats what I was planning last year. Now, I feel like whatever move I do will expand my fan base, so I'm just at a point now where I'm just doing me, cause I feel like I have basically a strong following right now, its just gonna continue to expand, like through word of mouth, just through seeing it, seeing the movement, like growing and everything." (The Source)
Rumors of Joey possibly linking up with Roc Nation emerged in earlier January.
LISTEN: Hip-Hop is doing just fine. Even though it may not be exactly what we want, it really hasn't been that since the very beginning. Now, Jay-Z is the don of dons to this day in Hip-Hop. Really like what dude is doing, even though he has his fair share of critics. With the rumors that he's moving on, I am hearing Jigga man has signed the boy Joey Bada$$ to THE ROC! Man, the kid Joey is only 17 but he's got bars of fury! Furthermore, Joey is from Brooklyn! Wow. He's got that 90?s rawness! Jay is smart for this one, should it be totally true. I gotta give it up. This is smart, because this young man is hungry. Rumor has it, Jay has given up on Jay Electronica. (AHH Rumors)
Recently, renowned booking agent Peter Schwartz spoke to SOHH about booking shows for Bada$$ off the strength of his online presence.
"But nowadays, the Internet's so strong that an artist can put out a mixtape on the web and be worth tickets in Europe right away. For example, we work with Joey Bada$$ and he hasn't really put out an album yet. He's got music on the web but he just went over to Europe and did his first tour there selling out five hundred and six hundred cap clubs his first time there." (SOHH Guest Star)


tarantino milestone django unchained
Here's a big milestone for director Quentin Tarantino - his newest flick "Django Unchained" is also his best-earning film of all time.
Tarantino's milestone at the box office is a big one. "Django" has earned nearly $130 million at the North American box office since it's release last month, surpassing 2009's "Inglourious Basterds," which picked up $120 million.
However, "Basterds" was a big earner overseas - it made more than $200 million internationally and $321 million overall.
Tarantino's milestones don't stop there. "Django" also earned five Oscar nods, including Best Picture. "Django" may turn out to be Tarantino's most important film ever!


ryan leaf prison arrested
The downfall of former NFL player Ryan Leaf continues. The former no. 2 overall pick was kicked out of a drug treatment center, and now a judge has sent Ryan Leaf to prison.
Leaf has been in rehab in Helena, MT, but after threatening a staff member he has been sent to a correctional facility. Leaf was charged last spring with breaking into two houses to steal prescription pills, and part of the sentencing in his guilty plea was a nine-month stretch in a drug treatment center.
But now, we'll see Ryan Leaf in prison again, the latest in a long list of run-ins with the law for the former Charger. Ryan Leaf was arrested after the drug center refused to continue treating him, and he will now serve time in prison.
Leaf was the no. 2 pick in the NFL Draft in 1998, and was nearly the first overall pick over superstar Peyton Manning. But injuries, drug issues and behavioral problems have stamped him as one of the biggest busts in NFL history.
He has had numerous drug-related issues, and Ryan Leaf in prison is reminiscent of other promising NFL prospects who saw their careers derailed, including former USC star Todd Marinovich and former top pick and LSU star JaMarcus Russell.
It's too bad that Leaf is more known for prison than for football, but there's a reason "Ryan Leaf prison" trends so frequently online.

Ron Fair in Talks to Helm Virgin Records

Producer and former Geffen Records chairman Ron Fair is in talks to take a presidential or chairman-level post at a revived Virgin Records, a source close to the situation confirmed to The source emphasized that the deal is still being negotiated and, if successful, could be struck imminently or within a few weeks. 

Virgin is a division of the former EMI labels that were acquired by Universal last year, which are now united under the Capitol Music Group umbrella; Steve Barnett came over from Columbia to helm the group last fall. The labels in the group are Capitol, Virgin, Blue Note, Astralwerks, Harvest, Capitol Christian Music Group and Caroline. Dan McCarroll, most recently president of the Capitol & Virgin Label Group, is expected to remain at the helm of Capitol. 

Fair, who was hired in a consultancy role at Front Line management in April of last year, has a 30-year track record as an A&R executive and record producer. He is known for shepherding the career of Aguilera and his contributions to producing and providing A&R services for the Black Eyed Peas, Mary J. Blige, Queen Latifah and others. His recordings have won 18 Grammy Awards. He previously held positions at Chrysalis Records, RCA Records, Island Records and EMI Records. Fair's recent projects include Matt Goss, children's' television show "The Gonnabeez," The New Pussycat Dolls, and this season's finalists from NBC and Universal Record's hit show "The Voice."


Chief keef sentenced juvenile detention
It's been a rough week for Chief Keef, and it just got worse. The teenage rapper was sentenced this week to 60 days in juvenile detention for a parole violation, thanks to a viral video involving some gun play.
Chief Keef, government name Keith Cozart, was on probation for pointing a gun at Chicago police officers in 2011, and violated that probation after appearing in a promo video at a gun range.
Apparently, Sosa broke down crying at the sentencing, after the judge said he wouldn't tolerate the teen’s “blatant violations of the court’s order.”
This isn't the only bad news for Keef - he's being sued for no-showing at a concert in London last month, and he's still under investigation for involvement in the death of fellow Chi-town rapper JoJo.

Elizabeth Sobol Named Decca Label Group President and CEO

Elizabeth Sobol, current managing director at IMG Artists North America, has been named the Decca Label Group's president and CEO effective April 15th. 

Sobol will report to Universal Music Group International's chairman and CEO Max Hole, who was promoted to that position last week after serving as that company's COO since 2004.

"I'm delighted to welcome Elizabeth to the Decca Label Group where her passion for music, innovation and creativity make her the ideal choice to develop the Deutsche Grammophon, Decca and Mercury Classics' labels in the US,"  said Hole in a statement.

At IMG Artists, Sobol was responsible for the creation of the company's Dance, Latin Music and World Music/Jazz/Attractions divisions, as well as signing 40 contemporary artists.

"It is difficult to adequately express my excitement about working with Max Hole, the Decca Label Group team and all the great artists at Universal and with them, to build the best and most creative set of music labels in America," Sobol stated.  I have had a rich and rewarding time at IMG Artists and look forward to continued collaboration in the future."

Thursday, January 17, 2013


G-Unit's 50 Cent has weighed in on the controversy surrounding Chicago rapper Chief Keef in light of his unexpected arrest this week on a reported probation violation.
In Fif's opinion, he felt Keef's publicized bad boy antics would eventually catch up with him.
"With Chief Keef, it's unfortunate to hear that he's actually locked up," Fif told MTV News on Wednesday (January 16), a day after Keef was detained in Chicago when he was videotaped holding a gun, which is in violation of his probation. "I feel bad, because I feel like I knew that was gonna happen. I knew what continues to happen afterwards if you let it spiral out of control." (MTV)
No matter the legal outcome, Fif still believes in Keef's talent as a hip-hop artist.
Fif is still rooting for Keef, even though they haven't spoken since the youngster left him high and dry. "I haven't been in communications with him following that, and I wish him the best," 50 said before remarking on the rap rookie's potential. "Chief Keef, I think he has something, obviously. Even within the system, no one has done anything for Chief Keef. He's still just this raw music, raw talent, because he shot all of these music videos in the living room." (MTV)
Back in September, 50 said Interscope Records nearly dropped Keef.
"There was some energy there in the [Interscope] building, they was actually thinking about dropping him," 50 said in an interview. "I was like, 'D*mn you can't just like drop him.' That's what hip-hop culture is. It's an opportunity for you to make it from anywhere. If you from the bottom right now you could listen to this music that comes on, write something and put them cards back they gave you and deal yourself some new ones." (Hot 97)
The Chicago rapper got taken into police custody Tuesday (January 15).
Just weeks after releasing his debut album, "Finally Rich," South Side rapper Chief Keef was taken in handcuffs from juvenile court Tuesday after a Cook County judge ordered him held in custody. Judge Carl Anthony Walker ruled that Chief Keef had violated his probation for a 2011 gun conviction by holding a rifle at a gun range in New York while a video was being shot last summer. (Chicago Tribune)

Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey Fuss as 'American Idol' Premieres in New York

It was a tale of furry clothing accessories, "Mean Girls" quotes and British accents on the season 12 premiere of "American Idol," its first with Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey and Keith Urban as judges, joining the stalwart Randy Jackson. 

After months of questions -- could so many big names mesh well together? Would Minaj and Carey play nice? -- "Idol" came to New York with a skip in its step, following the major success of defending winner Phillip Phillips, whose smash hit, "Home," opened the show. 

But rather than focus on the talent that came to the audition room over two days, much was said and shown of the rivalry between the show's female judging crew. From the get-go, the pop legend and superstar of today got in their little kicks, from the moment the latter walked into the room with a furry drum major hat. 

"We can have accessories? I didn't know that was allowed. That's the last thing I'll say," said Carey snarkily, prompting some choice stares from the rapper/singer. Later, Minaj could be heard whispering "she's a b*tch, she's a b*tch" through clenched teeth, Mariah announcing that she'd rebuke it if Nicki was, in fact, calling her such a word. 

So civil certainly wasn't the name of the game. Following a war of British accents, prompted by Minaj talking in one and Carey responding in one mockingly, and deliberation about a "Mean Girls" quote to which Nicki had apparently responded incorrectly, Minaj left the auditions claiming that she wanted to "strangle one of the divas on the panel, but I won't tell you who." She certainly wasn't speaking of Urban, who deserves a raise for being able to sit in between the two during their constant bickering. 

Such was the season premiere of "Idol," a show that once prided itself on focusing on both the good and the bad of America's talent during its audition rounds. Instead, only a select few full auditions were even shown, with only three falling under the category of laughably bad. This isn't your older brother/sister's "Idol," but that was evident in 2012. 

New York brought some star potential, as it often does. Sarah Restuccio stood out after a country-girl-turned-rapper audition that won Minaj's heart. Gurpreet Singh Sarin -- the Turbanator -- injected some soul into the day with "Sunday Morning" (and confirmed that he owns 40-50 turbans). Angela Miller provided the day's top audition despite major hearing loss. Frankie Ford went from subway busker to Hollywood-bound. 

The show's preview of the next episode -- Chicago -- tendered a glimpse into what can be expected from the judging panel, which appears to be enough of an argument between the usual gang that they implore the auditioning contestant to leave the room before things get messy. Though it's unclear if choice singing talent will be featured on the show in upcoming episodes, one can be sure of one thing: the diva fight may be just getting started.


West Coast rapper Guerilla Black and a handful of associates were reportedly arrested Wednesday (January 16) on charges related to a credit card fraud case.
Details of the elusive hip-hop artist's latest predicament emerged hours after he got taken in by police.
Compton rapper Guerilla Black was arrested in connection with a major credit card fraud investigation, police said Wednesday. The 35-year-old rapper, whose real name is Charles Tony Williamson, was taken into custody Wednesday morning by local officers and agents from the U.S. Secret Service, according to the Manhattan Beach Police Department. Black and four others were apprehended by authorities who served search warrants at seven locations across Los Angeles County. Black was on a pre-trial release after being indicted by federal authorities in Washington on fraud charges, Manhattan Beach police said in a statement. (Los Angeles Times)
Black initially ran into problems when police arrested him last summer in connection to the credit card case.
A rap artist is in jail after allegedly buying and using thousands of stolen credit card numbers that were hacked from Seattle area businesses. The rapper, known as Guerilla Black, was arrested in Los Angeles Thursday on a 22 count indictment. The U.S. Attorney's Office says Charles Williamson, 33, bought more than 27,000 stolen credit and debit card numbers. Williamson is accused of working with two other men who've already been indicted for hacking into computers at a restaurant in Seattle's Magnolia neighborhood and a restaurant supply company in Shoreline. (My Northwest)
The scam reportedly lasted from January 2011 to February 2012and earned Black roughly $150,000.
Williamson's alleged conspirators David Benjamin Schrooten, 22, of the Netherlands, and Christopher A. Schroebel, 21, of Keedysville, Md., were indicted previously; Schroebel has since pleaded guilty. Prosecutors contend the young men stole and sold the credit card information, which Williamson put to use within hours of the thefts. Prosecutors claim Williamson received at least 27,257 stolen credit card numbers and stole at least $150,000. Williamson is alleged to have emailed instructions to Schroebel and Schrooten, telling them that he wanted to purchase "dumps" of stolen credit card numbers in lots of 100, 500 or more. (Seattle PI)
A detailed listing of charges Black faced also surfaced in mid-2012.
He's being charged with conspiracy to access protected computers to further fraud, to commit access device fraud and to commit bank fraud. He's also facing two counts of accessing a protected computer without authorization to further fraud, six counts of access device fraud, eight counts of bank fraud and five counts of aggravated identity theft. (KOMO News)

A$AP Rocky Set for No. 1 Debut on Next Week's Billboard 200 Chart


Rapper A$AP Rocky is aiming for the No. 1 slot next week on the Billboard 200. Industry sources suggest his major-label debut "Long.Live.A$AP." could sell around 130,000 copies by the end of the tracking week on Sunday, Jan. 20. 

The new Billboard 200 chart's top 10 will be revealed on the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 23. 

The set, released through A$AP Worldwide/Polo Grounds/RCA Records, has spun off a top five hit single on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart with "F**kin' Problems." The song, which features Drake, 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar, hits a new peak this week, rising 5-4 on the tally. 

A$AP Rocky's new album might be one of only two debuts in the top 10 next week, as the only other title aiming for the region is the new "Kidz Bop 23" compilation. The effort features kid-friendly covers of such recent top 10 Billboard Hot 100 hits Rihanna's "Diamonds," Justin Bieber's "As Long As You Love Me" and One Direction's "Live While We're Young." 

If "Kidz Bop 23" starts in the top 10, it will mark the sweet 16th top 10 effort for the long-running franchise from the Razor & Tie record label. The last "Kidz" set, the 22nd volume, debuted and peaked at No. 3 on the Aug. 4, 2012 chart with 64,000 sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan.


50 Cent is back in a major way, and his new song with Young Jeezy has made a big splash. Go behind the scenes of the video shoot here!

Digital Radio Boom: SoundExchange Distributions Grew 58% to $462 Million in 2012

SoundExchange distributed $462 million in digital performing royalties in 2012 -- a 58% increase over 2011 -- the organization announced Wednesday.

The 22,000 payments, totaling $134.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, were 10% higher than the $122.5 million paid out in the previous quarter and 50.7% higher than the same quarter in 2011.
SoundExchange is the U.S. organization that distributes royalties for the digital performances of sound recordings by Internet radio, satellite radio and cable TV music channels. It has paid out over $1 billion to record labels and featured recording artists since its inception in 2003.

The growth of this revenue stream underscores the importance of services such as Pandora -- and other webcasters -- and Sirius XM Satellite Radio in today's digital marketplace. Pandora, which supported the Internet Radio Fairness Act that could have led to a change in webcasters' statutory royalty rates, finished 2012 with 67.1 million active listeners, up 41% from 2011. Sirius XM added 2 million subscribers to finish the year with 23.9 million.

Along with subscription services and advertising-based digital services like YouTube, digital radio represents the growth of recorded music revenues. It's just what the industry needs, too. The $170-million increase in SoundExchange payments grew in 2012 will help offset some of 13.5% decline in CD sales last year.

"SoundExchange's increasing annual royalty payments are a positive indication of where the industry is heading," said SoundExchange President Michael Huppe in a statement. "As digital radio continues to grow, so should the amount that performing artists and rights owners receive for the use of their content."


porn star teacher
This porn star teacher is in hot water. A California judge recently denied a middle school teacher's appeal to return to teaching after she was fired for her past career in porn.
The porn star teacher, 32-year-old Stacie Halas, was dismissed in April from her job at Haydock Intermediate School in Oxnard after online videos of her in X-rated films were discovered by students and teachers.
"We were hoping we could show you could overcome your past," Halas lawyer Richard Schwab said Tuesday. "I think she's representative of a lot of people who may have a past that may not involve anything illegal or anything that hurts anybody."
"Although her pornography career has concluded, the ongoing availability of her pornographic materials on the Internet will continue to impede her from being an effective teacher and respected colleague," Judge Cabos-Owen said in the 46-page decision issued Friday by the Commission on Professional Competence.
The AP reports:
Halas, 32, was continually deceitful about her nine-month career in porn before she went to work at the school, the judges said.
Schwab said Halas "was being honest and forthright, but was embarrassed and humiliated by her past experience in the adult industry."
Student claims that the teacher was moonlighting as a porn star were initially dismissed after school officials said they couldn't find any images of her on the Internet — but they were using the school's computers, which don't allow access to porn.
Teachers then showed administrators downloads of Halas' sex videos from their smartphones.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Chicago rapper Chief Keef is reportedly in police custody after getting found guilty of a probation violation this week.
Details of the unexpected news have started to circulate onlineTuesday (January 15) afternoon.
Chicago rapper Chief Keef was jailed Tuesday after a judge found he violated probation. Keef, whose real name is Keith Cozart, appeared in Cook County juvenile court. Cozart, 17, is on probation. (Chicago Sun-Times)
Earlier this month, a judge ruled against jailing Keef for a speculated probation violation.
Cook County prosecutors sought to have rapper Chief Keef jailed Wednesday for allegedly violating his probation but a judge declined to lock him up. The 17-year-old musician, whose real name is Keith Cozart, failed to notify his probation officer that he was living in upscale Northbrook, prosecutors said. Juvenile court Judge Carl Anthony Walker refused to jail Cozart. Instead, he said he would consider the issue on Jan. 28, when a hearing already was set for a separate alleged probation violation involving the rapper. (Chicago Sun-Times)
Chief proceeded to boast about his short-lived legal victory following the judgement.
"#MyLawyerAintForNun," he tweeted January 3rd.
"BigGucciSosa300 ?@ChiefKeef #NewCrib" (Chief Keef's Twitter)
This all comes days after an arrest report emerged and revealed Keef pointed a handgun at police officers in 2011.
Chief Keef made headlines when he violated the conditions of his probation, but details of the 17-year-old rapper's run-in with police back in December 2011 were not made public--until now. has learned that Chief Keef's arrest in 2011 stemmed from an incident when the rapper pointed a handgun at police officers. According to the report, Chief Keef, whose real name is Keith Cozart, left his grandmother's home "holding a coat over his hands that were in front of his waistband." Police tried to stop and question Keef, but "the rapper dropped the coat, flashed a blue-steel handgun and sprinted through the vacant lot next door." "When officers gave chase, Chief Keef--who was 16 at the time--twice turned and pointed the pistol at the officers. The officers 'discharged their weapons' but missed, according to the police account." (So Jones)

Digital Startups, Developing Market Establishing New African Music Industry

Wizkid performing at London's Hammersmith Apollo on June 4, 2012. (Photo: Joseph Okpako/WireImage/Getty Images)

After long-term challenges with widespread piracy and a widely disparate radio and record industry, a burgeoning legitimate music scene is fast emerging on the continent of Africa.

An expanding middle class, a fast-growing population with more than 65% under 35 and digital startups helping to leapfrog infrastructure weaknesses are making major African cities emerge as not only sources of great local talent that can go global in a meaningful way, but also markets and venues for U.S. and other global artists touring and selling their music.

"Africa is the last big secret in the music world, and it's just about to blow up," says Obi Asika, CEO of Lagos, Nigeria-based media and entertainment company Storm 360. "In South Africa and the associated regions around southern Africa, [the business and music industry infrastructure] are much more structured, more like the West."
Randall Abrahams, managing director of Universal Music South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, adds, "The African industry is an extremely exciting and vibrant music marketplace right now."

Universal, the world's largest music company, encouraged by its French media and telecoms parent Vivendi, has been keeping an eye on the fast-evolving markets in Africa and is starting to make some moves there.

All of this portends good news -- and visions of dollar signs -- for a beleaguered industry on the prowl for new revenue resources. Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most-populated continent with more than 1 billion inhabitants.

With Apple's iTunes store due to launch in Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Ghana in 2013, Abrahams notes that the imminent arrival of such digital platforms aligned with ongoing advances "by continental collection agencies means that the sub-Saharan territory along with other emerging markets is a major source of growth for Universal."

Other digital services already have a small presence on computers and mobile devices, including French startup Deezer, German mobile music service Simfy and local Nigerian startup Spinlet.

One online standout is, founded in 2011 as a video music management business. It counts 120,000 registered users primarily in Nigeria. The site's NollywoodLove channel is the No. 1 movie channel globally on YouTube, averaging more than 25 million views per month. The company is currently rolling out a dedicated computer and mobile platform for music downloads and streams using the tag line "Nigerian music anytime anywhere" -- representing 400 artists and containing more than 35,000 tracks in its catalog, according to CEO Michael Ugwu.

But the market is still nascent, so Universal, like it did in the United States with Vevo, is leading the launch of a local digital music service called Kleek, according to sources familiar with its plans. The service should launch next year in key African markets South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Angola and Cameroon. Universal declined to comment on the service.

"It's tough to measure the African market as there aren't many territories which quantify physical sales, and digital data collection is in its infancy," Abrahams says. "One of our key focuses at Universal is to invest in capturing higher levels of consumer/music data . . . We have to continue to develop platforms and content drivers in order to generate consumer interest and engagement."

A key to developing the market will be establishing not only collection agencies and stronger copyright legislation but also radio and sales measurement systems.

Colin Gayle, a former artist manager and head of international branding for 50 Cent's G Unit, founded Beyond the Music in 2004 to grow and bridge the music industry space across Africa locally and then move it into the mainstream domestically and internationally. His company -- with offices in Nigeria and South Africa -- has morphed into Billboard Africa after licensing the Billboard brand. Billboard Africa is in the midst of launching a BDS-type platform in 16 countries in Africa to create a music chart system and provide the data needed to pay performance-right fees for local and international artists.

"The question is how to build a great ecosystem in Africa as well as a robust domestic market -- and engage the world with African music content," Gayle says. "Before, local markets were taking a lot of international content. Now in the last two years, I've watched the youth here begin to embrace their own local music and culture, wanting more of it. The opportunities are immense if we can start conversations between North America and Africa and build slowly."


After a day filled with back-and-forth reports, the Oxygen network has officially pulled the plug on Atlanta rapper Shawty Lo's "All My Babies' Mamas" reality television series.
An official statement confirming its cancellation surfaced Tuesday (January 15) evening.
"As part of our development process, we have reviewed casting and decided not to move forward with the special," a network spokesperson told MTV News in a written statement on Tuesday (January 15). "We will continue to develop compelling content that resonates with our young female viewers and drives the cultural conversation." (MTV)
Buzz about it likely getting axed heated up the Internet earlier in the day.
Under public pressure, Oxygen won't let the new reality-TV series starring Shawty Lo see the light of day, sources tell Allison Samuels. But why was 'All My Babies' Mamas' ever given life to begin with? Though the network denies it, Oxygen is expected to announce that All My Babies' Mamas won't ever see the light of day, according to my sources--and that's a good thing. Still, I'm more concerned with how it ever reached this point. How could a network ever assume that a show about an African-American rapper with 11 kids by 10 women would be OK and not immediately deemed racist? How could it not see that it was offending, insulting, and mocking an entire segment of the African-American community? The answer is pretty simple. The network saw it; the network just didn't care. (The Daily Beast)
Prior to the latest update, an Oxygen rep came forward to deny claims.
Despite a petition that has received well over 40,000 signatures and the threat of a boycott from the Parents Television Council, a representative for Oxygen told exclusively that the show is still in development. "This rumor is simply untrue. The project remains in early development," an Oxygen rep told (AHH)
Shawty Lo's camp lashed at the uproar his canned show's teaser created last week.
Rapper Shawty Lo is under fire for a new Oxygen reality special about him, his 11 children and 10 baby mamas, but a rep for the musician tells RumorFix exclusively, "Shawty Lo is a father figure who most young black men today should mimic." The Parents Television Council condemns All My Babies' Mamas saying, "Every time we think that the television industry couldn't stoop any lower, sadly one of the networks steps forward to prove us wrong," They claim the organization demeans blacks. The show is in development for Spring, but a trailer has been leaked online already. Oxygen tells us the show "is not meant to be a stereotypical representation of everyday life for any one demographic or cross section of society." Shawty's rep, Kali Bowyer, adds, "It's a sad day in America, when people attempt to reject a father who steps up to the plate, a father who is actively supporting his children & their mothers not just monetarily but emotionally as well." (RumorFix)

'Real Housewives of Atlanta' Star Kandi Burruss Is Engaged

Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker
Good news for viewers who've enjoyed watching the romance between Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker on The Real Housewives of Atlanta: They're now engaged! A rep has confirmed to that Burruss plans to marry Tucker, a line producer she met while filming the reality show in 2011.
Tucker began appearing on-camera this season, as RHOA showed the couple moving in together and joining the couples' trip to Anguilla. Fans got another hint at how serious their romance was getting on a recent episode when Burruss — a Grammy Award-winning songwriter and entrepreneur — asked castmate Porsha Williams about prenuptial agreements.
When they wed, Tucker will become stepfather to Burruss' 11-year-old daughter Riley.
Send your congratulations to the happy couple!


After more than two decades, former hip-hop duo Kris Kross are reportedly reuniting to honor their one-time record label So So Def.
According to reports, Chris "Mac Daddy" Kelly and Chris "Daddy Mac" Smith will formally hook back up next month.
Get ready to break out your backwards oversized gear again, because '90s pint-sized rap duo Kris Kross are all growed up and ready to jump jump back into the spotlight. It's been 21 years since Chris "Mac Daddy" Kelly and Chris "Daddy Mac" Smith became famous for those ridiculous outfits -- and their monster hit "Jump" -- and they've just announced they are reuniting for a 20th anniversary all-star concert honoring So So Def Recordings in Atlanta next month. (TMZ)
Along with Kris Kross, former So So Def artists including Xscape and Da Brat will reunite.
Atlanta-based So So Def Records will celebrate 20 years of making music by holding a concert at the Fox Theater. MayorKasim Reed joined the label and hip hop artists on Tuesday to announce a 20th anniversary concert on Feb. 23. So So Def starsJermaine Dupri, Xscape, Kris Kross and Da Brat will perform at the reunion celebration. (My Fox Atlanta)
Back in early 2011, Da Brat got released from jail after putting in time on a three-year jail sentence.
"It's been crazy, everybody has been hitting me up," she said in an interview. "I'm in the 'A' doing house arrest. I have this nice leg monitor jewelry. I'ma put some Swarovski Crystals on this...I actually had more freedom in the work release program because I got to go home on pass. In the transition center you work and go back and forth to your job. When you're on pass you can go home. But I ain't trippin'. It's all good. All of this will be over soon." (XXL Mag)
Kris Kross are most known for invading the rap scene in the early 1990's as teenagers.
Thirteen-year-old rappers Chris "Daddy Mack" Smith and Chris "Mack Daddy" Kelly became the pop sensations of 1992 as Kris Kross. The two were discovered at an Atlanta mall in 1991 by then-19-year-old producer Jermaine Dupri, who took them under his wing and came up with the gimmick of having the duo wear all of their clothing backwards, lending more significance to their name. Thanks in part to savvy marketing, "Jump," which sampled the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back," became the fastest-selling single in 15 years, staying at number one for eight weeks on the Billboard charts and pushing the sales of their debut album, Totally Krossed Out, past four million. Another gold single followed in "Warm It Up," and Kris Kross toured Europe with Michael Jackson and appeared on innumerable teen-oriented TV shows. (All Music)
Check out the "Jump" music video:

Universal Music France President Pascal Negre Named UMG's Global Head of New Business

Pascal Nègre, president at Universal Music France, Italy, Middle East and Africa, has been promoted to UMG's global head of new business, according to a press release.

"I'm really happy to work closely with Lucian and the Board team in order to create today the foundation of the music company of tomorrow," said Mr. Nègre in a statement.

Said UMG chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge: "This promotion reflects his many accomplishments, but also signals the tremendous growth opportunities that we see ahead for UMG as we expand globally." Most notably, that expansion will be rooted in UMG's massively expanded portfolio of labels following its acquisition of EMI for around $1.9 billion in November, 2011.

Nègre has spent over thirty years in the music business; previous positions include head of  the French "pirate station" Free Radio in the early '80s, press and promotions work at BMG and CBS Records, CEO of French label Barclay, and  president of PolyGram Music before that company's acquisition by Universal and his subsequent promotion to president of Universal Music France.

Nègre also currently serves as the president of the SCPP, French analog to the RIAA, which saw a 10 percent growth in income in 2011 following SCPP's agreement with Radio France to oversee podcasting of its programming.

Nègre is a strong supporter of France's controversial three-strikes filesharing rule HADOPI, telling the New York Times last February: "I think more and more French people understand that artists should get paid for their work… I think everybody has a friend who has received an e-mail. This creates a buzz. There is an educational effect."

Nègre is also the president of Olympia, a concert hall built in 1888 in Paris' historical 9th arrondissement.


stevie wonder tax lien
It's never good when the IRS comes calling, but Stevie Wonder should be fine. Stevie Wonder's tax lien is for a staggering... $40. Yep, seriously.
TMZ has located the Stevie Wonder tax lien, apparently caused by two tax mistakes the singer made, and the total bill to the government is for $40. Something tells me Stevie's got about that much in his wallet at the moment, or possibly under all of his Grammy Awards. But a Stevie Wonder tax lien is a Stevie Wonder tax lien, and the singer will have to pay up, including fees and processing.
All together, Wonder owes $138 - still shouldn't be a problem for the music legend.