Saturday, March 2, 2013

Diddy Spills His Guts Out: "I'm Confessing That I Used To Be A Bed Wetter"

Bad Boy Records CEO Diddy appeared on popular talk show "Ellen" leading into the weekend and revealed how he owes his current swag to beating a bed wetting habit.
Puffy, who appeared on the show to discuss his new AQUAhydrate partnership, blamed Kool-Aid for giving him a weak blatter growing up.
"One thing I want to say is, I grew up as a Kool-Aid kid. I never drank water," Diddy told DeGeneres. "I used to pour a half a pound of sugar into the Kool-Aid. Besides it having me bouncing off the walls, I used to be a bed wetter. I guess I'm confessing that I used to be a bed wetter. So I went on this quest to stop wetting the bed, and the first day I had a sleepover and I didn't wet the bed, it was, like, one of the greatest days of my life. It gave me the swagger that I have today because I stopped wetting the bed." (MTV)
The Bad Boy did not stop there and went on to warn viewers about the backlash of too much sugar in your body.
"Excess sugar consumption, especially refined white sugar, can cause many health issues and conditions, including the need to urinate more often," according to the Livestrong website. " Too much sugar triggers the urinary tract system in an effort to eliminate the substance from within the body." (MTV)
Details on Diddy's new AQUAhydrate power move surfaced online a few days ago.
Entertainment powerhouse Sean "Diddy" Combs and actor/producer Mark Wahlberg today announced a joint venture with Southern California-based fitness and wellness water brand, AQUAhydrate. Per the arrangement, Combs and Wahlberg will oversee business strategy along with CEO John Cochran, formerly President of Fiji Water. Together they will help drive the AQUAhydrate vision and be instrumental in helping secure retail partnerships for the water brand, such as their recently signed deals with Safeway, Kroger and GNC. (Real Talk NY)
In light of the business venture, SOHH reached out to former Bad Boy Records artist and health nut Styles P for his reaction.
"It's great," Styles told SOHH when asked for his reaction to Diddy getting behind AQUAhydrate and artists like 50 Cent launching his own Street King energy shot line. "It's f*cking great. We need it. You need to live right. So it's great. The juice bar is still going on. ... It's all about balance. Everything needs balance. You can't do all sh*t that's wrong for you. You know what I'm saying? The waters and [healthy drinks], I think it's great for artists to do that. Whatever artists do, regular people are going to do. It's great to see artists doing something healthy or something that benefits everybody." (SOHH)

Universal Zulu Nation criticizes WorldStarHipHop in open letter

Media, gossip site WorldStarHipHop has been facing a lot of criticism lately. First, the website was in hot water over a video it posted of a man being stripped naked by three men on the street in New Jersey then whipped with a belt. The men suspected in the video were later arrested and charged, but the footage caused some outrage in the community, claiming that sites such as WorldStarHipHop were desensitizing youth to violence.
Now, Universal Zulu Nation’s Minister of Information Quadeer “M.C. Spice” Shakur has penned an open letter to the site, putting the site’s creator Lee “Q” O’Denant on blast.
Check out an excerpt:
As I mentioned earlier, Mr. O’Denat, I am a representative of the Universal Zulu Nation, and we take our Culture quite serious. You are a Black man who has accomplished quite a lot without a formal education, and I’m quite sure when you dropped out of New York’s Grover Cleveland High School, you would never have imagined that you’d be as successful with your company, World Star, LLC. Doesn’t it bother you just a little that another Black man (that man being yourself), has “made it” out of the “ghetto”, only to display unnerving images and videos of young adults berating, belittling, and beating each other solely for the purpose of the enjoyment of who you are led to believe are “millions of Hip-Hoppers?”
Mr. O’Denat, the followers of your site are impressionable young men and women who “follow” you for a reason. As salacious as you may want your site to be, our youth are looking for answers and solutions to the many problems that plague our communities. The young people use your site as an outlet to escape the world they are living in, only to find that you place them right back at the starting point. Brother, you are well aware, or should be aware of the way Haitians are treated all over the world, including their own country. After all, Mr. O’Denat, you are Haitian, and you have even labeled yourself as a “Haitian Ghetto Nerd”, to gain God knows what kind of accolades. I am not Haitian, but I find it deplorable for a Haitian to associate such a dignified people with the “ghetto”, when Haitians come to this country to escape ghetto life.

Clarksdale mayoral candidate Marco McMillian found dead

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A 22-year-old man was charged with murder Thursday in the death of a mayoral candidate, whose body was found near a river levee in the Mississippi Delta this week.
The Coahoma County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release that Lawrence Reed of Shelby was charged in the death of Marco McMillian, 34, a candidate for mayor of Clarksdale.
Campaign spokesman Jarod Keith says McMillian’s bid was noteworthy because he may have been the first openly gay man to be a viable candidate for public office in Mississippi.
An investigation began Tuesday when McMillian’s SUV slammed head on into another car on U.S. Highway 49 near the Coahoma and Tallahatchie county lines.
Reed was driving the car, but McMillian was not in it, according to sheriff’s department spokesman Will Rooker.
McMillian’s body was found the next day near the Mississippi River levee between Sherard and Rena Lara, Coahoma County Coroner Scotty Meredith has said.
Warren Strain, a spokesman with the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, said the autopsy was completed but toxicology and other test results are pending, and no cause of death will be released until the report is completed.
The sheriff’s department has not released a possible motive for the crime.
Reed was taken to the Regional Medical Center in Memphis after the car wreck, and was listed in good condition on Thursday, a hospital official said.
Little is known about Reed or how he was acquainted with McMillian.
A recent address listed for Reed was at a Clarksdale apartment complex, but the manager said the unit was rented by another man who has since moved out. The manager said he did not know Reed.
Sissiretta Melton, 33, said she had known McMillian since they were in seventh grade in Clarksdale and described his death as “dramatic” for those who loved him and his community.
“It’s just terrifying to everybody that knew him personally because you ask, ‘Why?’” Melton said. “Why would it happen to someone like him?”
Melton said people knew early on that McMillian had a bright future and that he could have left Mississippi behind for good.
“He knew this town needed him,” she said. “Kids here have nothing. We don’t even have a decent movie theater. He wanted to bring those things here.”
Keith has said McMillian had big plans for Clarksdale, a town of about 17,800 people best known as a hub of Blues music.
Although Keith said McMillian’s sexual orientation was noteworthy in the conservative state, Melton took issue with the way McMillian has been characterized at times since his death, saying he was not one to flaunt his sexuality, but was comfortable with who he was.
“He was just a standup guy,” she said.
Clarksdale is known as the home of the crossroads, where Robert Johnson is said to have sold his soul to the devil for skills with a guitar. Academy Award-winning actor and Mississippi native Morgan Freeman is part owner of the Ground Zero Blues Club in town.
But the town also struggles with the grinding poverty that is typical of the Mississippi Delta.
Those who knew McMillian said he had connections across the country, and hoped to put those to use for Clarksdale.
McMillian had forged ties while serving for four years as international executive director of the historically black Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. Photos on McMillian’s website and Facebook page show him with a younger Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton and with U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat.
McMillian was CEO of MWM & Associates, described on its website as a consulting firm for nonprofit organizations. In addition to his role at the fraternity from 2007 to 2011, McMillian had previously worked at Alabama A&M University and at Jackson State University.

Hilton Hotel Under Fire for Racist Mural

Deandra Pittman, a massage therapist at The Roosevelt Hotel New Orleans, has filed a lawsuit against the Waldorf Astoria hotel over a discriminatory painting that hangs in the hotel lobby.  “[The mural] creates a hostile work environment and subjects [me] to feeling demeaned and looked down upon,” says Pittman.
The 73-year-old painting depicts African-Americans slaves picking cotton, tilling the fields and drinking alcohol. Employees of color at the Roosevelt Hotel, which is owned by Hilton Worldwide, have complained repeatedly about the mural, but management has refused to remove the painting or take it out of spectator’s sight.
Al Thompson, Jr, the attorney representing Pittman in her suit against the hotel says, “the hotel should appreciate the sensitivities of their employees and their guests.”

RZA On the Offensive Over Sampling Infringement Allegations

RZA, the acclaimed Wu Tang Clan member, record producer and budding filmmaker, is attempting a new offensive tack against those who accuse him of sampling theft.
This week, he filed a lawsuit against JVC Kenwood Holdings, a multinational company whose holdings include Teichiku Entertainment, which is said to be in the business of acquiring rights to musical sound recordings and compositions.
RZA (born Robert Diggs) is upset that the record label Island Def Jam has withheld more than $50,000 in royalties based on the claims that one of Teichiku's sound recordings was illicitly used on Kanye West's 2010 song, "Dark Fantasy," which RZA produced.
As a result, RZA is going to court to get a declaration that "Dark Fantasy" is not an infringement. It's just one of several lawsuits that the RZA has planned on this front.
Sampling theft allegations are becoming increasingly common. Jay-ZMadonnaand Beastie Boys are among the artists in court over pending claims.
According to the latest lawsuit, RZA was notified that "Dark Fantasy" contained an unauthorized sample from "Gincyo Watadori," performed by Meiko Kaji. The defendant demanded compensation.
What happened next, according to RZA's court papers, was that West's label Island Def Jam refused to pay royalties, claiming "that it is entitled to indemnification from plaintiff against defendant's copyright infringement claim."
So RZA is going to court against the accuser in an attempt to show the sampling allegation has no merit. He's represented by Stephen Rothschild and Howard King at King, Holmes, Paterno & Berliner.
King provides more information.
"We see dozens of baseless copyright-infringement claims against our clients every year," he tells The Hollywood Reporter. "Rather than engaging in costly and fruitless dialogue trying to convince claimants and their contingency lawyers that our clients do not succumb to extortion and settle ridiculous claims, we have decided to commence declaratory relief actions to squash some of these claims and, perhaps, recover our costs of defending same. The RZA complaint is the second one of these we have filed this month, with more to come."
King adds that the claim made by Teichiku Entertainment is that RZA sampled a short piano run.
"RZA did not use Teichiku’s piano run, and it sounds different from the one in 'Dark Fantasy,' " says King. "In fact, it would have been technologically impossible to sample the piano run without the rest of the music in 'Gincyo Watadori,' and the piano run in 'Gincyo' is so simple that the least talented person in the studio could have replayed it had anyone wished to do so."

Kim Rappaport Named RCA Records Senior Director, Business & Legal Affairs

Kim Rappaport has joined RCA Records as Senior Director, Business & Legal Affairs, making the move from Sony Music's corporate legal team, RCA announced today.
In her new role, Ms. Rappaport will focus solely on label affairs and report to RCA Record's Executive Vice President of Business & Legal Affairs, Dan Zucker.
Ms. Rappaport began her career as an anti-piracy litigator at the law firm of Arnold & Porter, LLP, where she represented record labels in industry-wide digital copyright actions. 
In 2007, she moved in-house to Sony Music where she worked as litigation, employment and most recently transactional counsel under Sony Music’s Executive Vice President of Business & Legal Affairs and General Counsel, Julie Swidler. 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Former Temptations Frontman Richard Street Dies

Former Motown vocalist Richard Street, a member of the Temptations for 25 years, has died. He was 70.
Street's wife, Cindy, says her husband died early Wednesday at a hospital in Las Vegas after a short illness.
Richard Street sang as a young man with Temptations members Otis Williams and Melvin Franklin, but didn't join the famed Motown group until the early 1970s. He later made the move from his native Detroit to Los Angeles with other Motown acts and stayed with the group until the mid-1990s.
Funeral arrangements are incomplete, but Cindy Street expects services to be held sometime next week in Cypress, Calif.
She says her husband "was a really good person" who should be remembered for his work with theTemptations.

Nicki Minaj Sets The Record Straight, Cuts Out The Plastic Surgery Rumors

Young Money star Nicki Minaj recently discussed the never-ending rumor mills involving her name and came clean on the various plastic surgery accusations.
According to the self-proclaimed Barbie, she has never gone under the knife for any of her facial features.
In an interview with Extra, Nicki told correspondent Renee Bargh: "I've never had surgery on my face. They'll see contour and they'll think you had surgery on your nose, no no no, look at RuPaul's drag race and you'll see how you can make your nose look any shape you want. When people see my makeup they think all types of crazy things that I'm doing to my skin, but it's makeup." (Hollywood Life)
Last year, Minaj deflected plastic surgery-related questions about her teeth.
Underneath the pneumatic bosom and bottom (rumoured to be surgically enhanced, which she denies), the gold bangles, the screaming pink and green make-up, there's a rather delicate beauty - lovely big features in a small face. She refuses to talk about her body these days and looks aghast if it's suggested anything might have been worked on. "Your teeth are beautiful," I say. "Thank you," she says. "Are they natural?" She gives me a ferocious stare "Are your teeth natural?" she replies. "You can tell they are," I say. "They're disgusting." (The Guardian)
Back in 2011, reality star Coco Austin talked to SOHH about being compared to Minaj due to their eye-catching backsides and affirmed hers is natural.
"I don't want to be put in the same category but the thing is I have had requests [and questions] and it's all real from down under," Coco assured SOHH. "Like, there's nothing going on there. Yeah, so, I really celebrate the fact that I have a womanly [body] and why not? It's not like I try to cover it up. I don't want to be homely looking, I just want people to see that sexy woman that I always have been." (SOHH)
In 2010, Minaj denied speculation which claimed she used butt pads.
Nicki Minaj doesn't have much time for her detractors, including those who recently set the Web ablaze with speculation about whether her assets had been enhanced with "butt pads." Did it bother her? "Absolutely not!" the Queens-bred rapper and Lil Wayne protégé says with a laugh. "People will pick anything to talk about, and that happens to be the thing at the moment. I love being a conversation piece." (New York Post)

Zoe Saldana Responds To Nina Simone Backlash

After news of a biopic on world-renowned singer Nina Simone surfaced last year, fans and 
spectators were filled with memories of the singer and her iconic music. But once the actress 
who's scheduled to depict Nina Simone was announced, a few people were left uneasy sparking
 petitions and uncertainty.

Zoe Saldana decided not to comment on the backlash she received about her non-resemblance 
to the late singer or her ability to sing until now.

In a short interview with HipHollywood, the Colombiana actress said, “I guess what kept me from 
being hurt by the negative comments was that I’m doing it for my sisters and my brothers, and I 
don’t care who tells me I’m not this or I’m not that. I know who I am, and I know what Nina Simone
 means to me.”

Court Overturns James Brown Estate Settlement

Gone But Not Forgotten: The Decade in Deaths
The South Carolina Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned a settlement divvying up the multimillion-dollar estate of James Brown, saying a former attorney general didn't follow the late soul singer's wishes in putting together the deal.
Attorney General Henry McMaster brokered a settlement in 2009 that split Brown's estate, giving nearly half to a charitable trust, a quarter to his widow, Tomi Rae Hynie, and leaving the rest to be split among his adult children.
But the justices ruled that the deal ignored Brown's wishes for most of his money to go to charity. The court also ruled the Godfather of Soul was of sound mind when he made his will before dying of heart failure on Christmas Day 2006 at age 73.
The court sent the estate back to a lower court to be reconsidered.
The justices did agree with the lower court's decision to remove Brown's original trustees. Members of Brown's family said they wanted them gone because the trustees mismanaged the estate until it was almost broke.
The court said it had no idea what the estate was worth, giving an estimate of $5 million to more than $100 million.
The justices harshly criticized McMaster, who stepped in to broker the settlement after the estate floundered in court for years. Under McMaster's deal, a professional manager took control of Brown's assets from the estate's trustees, wiping out crushing debt — more than $20 million Brown had borrowed for a European comeback tour — and opening the way for needy students to receive college scholarships. The plan allowed a financial manager to cut lucrative deals that put Brown's music on national and international commercials for products such as Chanel perfume and Gatorade.
Chief Justice Jean Toal suggested Wednesday that, if the settlement was allowed to stand, it could discourage people from leaving most of their estate to charity for fear their wishes could easily be overturned.
The dispute came to the court after the ousted trustees sued.
"The compromise orchestrated by the AG in this case destroys the estate plan Brown had established in favor of an arrangement overseen virtually exclusively by the AG," giving large sums of money to relatives even though they were given little or no control in the singer's original will, Associate Justice John Kittredge wrote.
The fight over Brown's estate even spilled over into what to do with his body. Family members fought over the remains for more than two months, leaving Brown's body, still inside a gold casket, sitting in cold storage in a funeral home. Brown was eventually buried in Beech Island, S.C., at the home of one of his daughters. The family wanted to turn the home into a shrine for Brown similar to Elvis Presley's Graceland, but that idea has not gotten off the ground.
An attorney for Adele Pope — one of the trustees who appealed — commended the court for its ruling, which he said would more accurately fulfill Brown's wishes.
"James Brown was certainly devoted to the cause of education," James Richardson said. "Today's decision means that the bulk of his fortune will go to the cause of educating needy children."
McMaster, who left office in 2010, said that he respected the court's decision but stood by the settlement he brokered.
"I believe we took the correct legal steps to make the very best of a bad situation," McMaster said. "We worked hard to see that Mr. Brown's wishes were effectuated to the furthest extent they could be."
Current Attorney General Alan Wilson said he respected the court's decision but felt McMaster had acted legally.

Gospel Singer Michael Winans Sentenced To Prison

Winans sentenced
Michael Winans Jr. was sentenced to 14 years in prison for his role in a financial scam.
The member of the Winans gospel family was convicted for
The 30-year-old is gospel royalty, the grandson of Mom and Pop Winans, and the son of Michael
 Sr., who was a member of The Winans gospel quartet. Uncle Marvin Winans gave the eulogy at 
hte funural of Whitney Houston.

The Detroit-based scheme involved investing in Saudi oil bonds, and Winans used friends to
 involve more investors before stiffing them for their money. It was not dissimilar to the Ponzi 
scheme run by Bernie Madoff, in that early investors were paid off and then used as bait to
 attract other investors. Winans then used the money from later investors for himself.
"I want to apologize to everyone. ... These were decisions that were negligent and irresponsible,"
 said Winans.

Universal Strategic Marketing Expands With Geoff Smith Hire

EMI veteran Geoff Smith has been appointed head of digital for Universal Strategic Marketing, a newly created role.
Based in London, Smith will be tasked with creating international opportunities and innovative solutions for catalog artists across the major’s digital platforms and services.
Smith comes to Universal Music’s international catalog operation after six years at EMI, where he most recently served as VP digital marketing catalog U.K. At EMI, he was responsible for working global priorities including the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Iron Maiden and David Bowie.
Earlier in his career, Smith worked in broadcasting, advertising, management, independent labels and publishing, and he had a stint with a digital start-up.
Smith reports to Andrew Daw, VP of USM.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Nicki Minaj Reveals Why She Hasn't Cashed-In On Hollywood Yet

Young Money rapper Nicki Minaj recently discussed her reluctance to hop into a handful of Hollywood movies and said she is patiently going through various film scripts. The self-proclaimed Barbie said she is still searching for the best flick to latch onto before putting her Hollywood career into full swing. Nicki Minaj has set her sights on the big screen. She told Page Six on Oscar night, "I would love to act, it just has to be the right project, the right movie." "Nothing stereotypical about a singer," the rapper and "American Idol" judge said. "I have an agent, and we are looking at a couple of scripts, so we'll see." (New York Post)
Last year, Minaj's Young Money labelmate Drake said he has also waited for the perfect film script to land in his hands."I've been reading scripts for a while," Drake said in an interview. "I want to do something great. I really want to do something a movie specifically for my culture, the younger people that are still in tune with everything going on. I'm actually writing with my friends right now -- they have a production company called By Any Means Necessary, so we're writing together trying to figure out the right movie. [Ideal role?] Something that's not a rapper or a basketball player, which is all the scripts that I get. [laughs]" (VH1 News)
Although she only contributed her voice, Minaj's Ice Age: Continental Drift earned $46 million at the box office when it opened up in theaters last summer. 20th Century Fox can chill out now, as the fourth installment of the studio's animated "Ice Age" franchise easily debuted in the No. 1 spot at the box office this weekend. "Ice Age: Continental Drift," the only new movie to hit theaters nationwide this weekend, opened with a solid domestic sum of $46 million, according to an estimate from Fox. The 3-D picture reunites the series' beloved band of prehistoric mammals and features a number of celebrities in its voice cast, including Queen Latifah, Nicki Minaj and Ray Romano. (Miami Herald)
Three years ago, Cash Money's Bow Wow revealed how close Nicki came to landing a movie role in 2010's Lottery Ticket big screen comedy. "To be honest, Nicki was close to being [the character] 'Nikki' in the movie. I called Nicki and said, 'Yo, I think you should audition for this role.' "Unfortunately, Bow's bid to get Minaj some screen time was unsuccessful: The part eventually went to R&B vixen Teairra Mari. "I thought [Minaj] did good, but unfortunately you know how things don't work out." (MTV)

'The Best Man 2' Announces New Title

Malcolm D. Lee's The Best Man sequel finally has a title.
Universal Pictures is producing The Best Man 2. Malcolm D. Lee is set to write, direct and 
produce, according to Deadline. The Best Man 2 will be the the sequel to the 1999 film, a 
comedy in which a writer (Taye Diggs) is preparing to be the best man for his football player 
buddy (Morris Chestnut), but the timing is bad because said writer's circle got advanced copies 
of his semi-autobiographical novel, which describes how the best man slept with the bride back 
in college. Lee wrote and directed the original version also. Anticipation has been high after the 
project was announced, and finally there is a title to premiere: The Best Man Holiday
Honestly, after all these months of speculation and the time the creative team behind the project 
spent mulling, and that was the best they could come up with? Let's pray that the first trailer 
proves the film to be better than its name when it opens November 15.

Island Def Jam Promotes Nicole Wyskoarko to SVP of Business and Legal

Island Def Jam Music Group announced the promotion of Nicole Wyskoarko from her current position as VP of business and legal affairs to senior vice president of that same division, it was announced today by Island Def Jam's EVP, Steve Gawley.
Wyskoarko has been with Island Def Jam for 11 years, starting at the company as an intern while completing her law degree, eventually taking the VP position of IDJ's legal and business department after six years, working with artists like Rick Ross and Justin Bieber.
“Nicole is a team player and a rising star.  I can't think of anyone more qualified to lead business affairs for The Island Def Jam Music Group," wrote Mr. Gawley in a statement, going on to say that "Nicole has deep industry relationships and a knack for quickly navigating and closing the most complicated deals we encounter.  She is a proven closer."
“I am truly honored and elated to expand my role at a label known for its exceptional artistry and its extraordinarily talented executives,” said Ms. Wyskoarko.  “Steve Gawley has been an incredible mentor and friend to me.  I look forward to working closely with him, Michael Seltzer and the rest of our team as we consummate the new deals and relationships necessary to implement the vision of IDJ’s management team for the future.”
Wyskoarko was awarded ASCAP's women behind the music award in 2012 and is a founding member of the non-profit advocacy group Black Women in Entertainment Law.