Friday, May 10, 2013

Former NY State Senator Shirley Huntley Sentenced To 366-Days In Prison For Fraud

Former state Sen. Shirley Huntley (D-Queens), was sentenced to a year and a day in prison Thursday (May 9), following a trial over fraud allegations. Huntley previously admitted to embezzling $80,000 from a charity she controlled.
Before being sentenced in a New York City court, Huntley begged the judge for mercy. "I am requesting that you give me another chance," she said. "I vow to spend my remaining years to redeem myself in the eyes of those I have embarrassed."
The 74-year-old's prior attempt to prove her newfound loyalty to the justice system started last year, when she fully cooperated with the FBI following a probe that demolished her re-election bid. Court documents reveal that Huntley also secretly recorded fellow elected officials to help the FBI expose more incidents of corruption. "The prosecution of Shirley Huntley ended her political career and devastated her family," her lawyer stated in court paperwork."Despite her downfall, she continues to volunteer in her community as she has done for her entire life."
Brooklyn Federal Judge Jack Weinstein was receptive to Huntley's attempts, but handed down the punishment --which fell short of the 18 month maximum she faced--"because the law expects the highest honesty from elected officials."
Huntley must also payback the money that was stolen. With good behavior the disgraced politician could be released by next February.


Exclusive: Clear Channel Working on Song-Swapping Technology

Exclusive: Clear Channel Working on Song-Swapping Technology
Clear Channel is working on a technology that would replace songs in streamed content with a different song while accounting for the different in song lengths, according to a patent application recently filed with the U.S. Patent Office. Clear Channel declined to comment.
The application describes a technology that alters streaming content by substituting a different song for the one being played by a radio station. After the substituted song has been played, the "downstream" radio station resumes playing. The technology employs a "variable buffer delay" to account for the difference in lengths between the substituted and replaced songs.
The technology would alleviate problems that arise when a networked radio station shares programming with another. The application explains that content for one broadcast station may include songs or advertisements pertinent to one audience but not for the audience of another broadcast station. Another scenario finds content in a transmission from one radio station may content undesirable for the diverse audiences of the radio stations carrying the transmission. While a station could swap out its own advertisements -- they run the same length of time -- it's not feasible to swap out songs.
According to the application, some radio stations have attempted to resolve the problem by blacking out content from a stream or simply not streaming at all. Thus, a technology that would allow songs to be swapped out would create a better user experience and encourage more radio stations to receive programming from other stations.
The application does not specify if this technology would be employed on iHeartRadio, Clear Channel's Internet radio service that carries terrestrial radio broadcasts and also offers personalized streaming a la Pandora. iHeartRadio streams broadcasts from Clear Channel's 850 stations around the country as well as stations from the Cumulus, Emmis and Cox Media Group networks.


Cash Money Records boss Birdman has stepped forward to speak out on recent reports which suggest there are tensions flaring between his Young Money protégé Lil Wayne and Miami's Trick Daddy.
Baby said he recently met Trick one-on-one to make sure there were no real issues toward his industry son.
"To be honest with you, I saw Trick Monday in [Miami strip club King of Diamonds] and we had a talk and it was all love," the #1 Stunna told "RapFix Live" host Sway Calloway on Wednesday's show, which was shot on location in Miami. "We got a lot of friends out here. These are people that we met day one, from day one when we hit the town. A lot of Haitian friends, Ross, Khaled, E Class, Flo Rida, all these boys -- even Trick. These people we been knowing since we hit the town, so when a lot of it erupts I wanted to holla. I saw him Monday and we talked. That's dead meat." (MTV)
Earlier this week, Trick said Wayne had him restricted from all Miamistrip clubs following their recent altercation.
Trick Daddy tells TMZ he's open to a proposed sit-down with Lil Wayne to settle their feud ... but what he's actually doing is throwing gasoline on the fire. In case you're not up to speed ... Lil Wayne went ballistic after a member of Trick's posse allegedly flicked a cigarette in Wayne's dreads at a Miami strip club. Mr. Daddy isn't copping to the incendiary move. Now here's where it gets bad. Rather than trying to make things nice, Daddy's logic is ... "If I [wanted to start s**t with Lil Wayne] he would have been in the hospital for a different reason than a seizure." Trick is bitter ... claiming Wayne's gotten him blackballed from all the good stripclubs in Miami ... and hey, now all that's left are the butterface joints. Finally ... enter Birdman ... who has the good sense to try and defuse the situation between the 2 feuding rappers by scheduling a sit-down happy meal. (TMZ)
A representative from King of Diamonds spoke on the dicey confrontation last month.
Before Wayne could react ... we're told KOD security jumped in between the parties and cooled off the situation. Also, our sources say at no point were Trick Daddy and Wayne ever face-to-face -- and Trick Daddy was not with his boys when things got heated outside. King of Diamonds tells TMZ, "It's sad they had to revisit a situation that was Internet beef ... while surrounded by naked girls." TD's been jawing at Wayne over Twitter ever since he went on a major anti-Miami rant back in February. We reached out to Weezy and Trick Daddy's camps ... nothing back yet. KOD says both rappers are welcome back anytime. (TMZ)
Rumors of the altercation popped up across multiple blogs days prior.
Lil Wayne reportedly engaged in a scuffle with fellow rapper Trick Daddy in Miami recently stemming from comments that the former made about the South Florida NBA team the Miami Heat. Wayne, the 30-year-old rapper, reportedly showed up to the Miami gentlemen's club King of Diamonds where he was confronted by the 39-year-old Miami rapper Trick Daddy. The latter reportedly threw a cigarette in Lil Wayne's face and a scuffle ensued, according to Vlad TV reports. Trick Daddy previously spoke about his issues with Lil Wayne and others who he felt disrespected his city. (Christian Post)
Back in February, Trick publicly spoke out against Wayne after the Young Money head called out his city's Miami Heat.
"I don't care who be offended by what I say. I rep my city and want nobody disrespecting. When their lease is up, they can leave. We've got to stick together as radio, as artists, as deejays and fans who love the music as a whole. And that's what makes a community. Me and Luke been talking, we've been getting together, we're going to find out some type of way to get this thing back on the road -- I can't go nowhere else, this is my home. So from now on, when they get here, they're going to have to start checking in. They're going to check in by turning to 99 Jamz and listening to us, what we've got to say. They're taking all of our beats and rapping over them anyway." (99 Jamz)

Kanye West To Appear On Saturday Night Live Season Finale?

Say yay, say yay! It seems amends have been made as Saturday Night Live tapped Kanye West 
as the musical guest for their season finale.
Run the tape back to when the funny people spoofed 'Ye and his Taylor Swift rant from the 2009 
MTV VideoMusic Awards, prompting the lyrical jab "Fuck SNL and the whole cast/Tell 'em Yeezy 
said they can kiss my whole ass" on "Power."
Now, all is forgiven as his cameo at 30 Rockefeller Center could also mean new music from the 
Chi-town spitter come May 18.
Now that's how you end your 38th season.

Randy Jackson Exits 'American Idol'

It’s official: Randy Jackson is leaving American Idol.
The longtime judge and last remaining member of the original panel, which featured Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul, exits the program after 12 seasons.
"Yo! Yo! Yo! To put all of the speculation to the rest, after 12 years of judging on American Idol I have decided it is time to leave after this season," he told E! News. "I am very proud of how we forever changed television and the music industry. It's been a life changing opportunity but I am looking forward to focusing on my company Dream Merchant 21 and other business ventures."
The news comes just hours after The Hollywood Reporter reported that fellow Idol judge Mariah Carey is no longer being managed by Jackson.
Meanwhile, rumors have circulated that producers could be eyeing an entirely new panel for next season. A rep for Fox declined to comment.
Idol's ratings slide continues, with the show down 22 percent this season. Fast national ratings show Wednesday night's Idol dropping a tenth of a point among adults 18-49, though adjustments should see it matching or besting last week's showing. The penultimate performance show of the season averaged a 2.8 in the key demo. In the 8 p.m. hour, it lost to a special outing of NBC's The Voice (2.7 adults over Idol's 2.5 adults), which topped it by two tenths of a point. (In viewers, Idol had the edge that hour, 9.5 over 8.7 million.) Fox averaged 10.8 million viewers for its two-hour block.
The show has struggeld with battles between freshman judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj -- both onscreen and on Twitter, and older-skewing theme nights (among season 12's guest mentors: Smokey Robinson and Harry Connick Jr.) haven't helped.


Grammy-winning rapper Eminem has the Internet in a frenzy with a new photo circulating of him and comedy veteran Chris Rock in the studio together.
Eminem is expected to deliver a new album to his fans sometime after Memorial Day. That's at least what his manager, Paul Rosenberg, has said publicly. Slim Shady's pal Dr. Dre told a New York radio station in late March that Eminem was just "finishing up" the album. What are your expectations for a new Eminem album? (M Live)
Back in March, rap mogul Dr. Dre updated fans on Em's long-awaited LP.
"Em is finishing up his project," Doc revealed in an interview. "And for me, man, I've just gotten inspired again to go back into the studio, so I'm just really having fun with life and having fun with being creative and trying new and different things with myself, just trying to stay active. As you know, it's been almost 30 years for me in music. It's a little bit difficult to keep getting inspired to get back in there but you know, music is my first love and I'm going to continue to do that as long as I can." ("Big Boy's Neighborhood")
A couple years ago, Cash Money's Busta Rhymes talked to SOHHabout locking in time with Chris Rock for his own music.
"Chris Rock is a friend of mine," Busta told SOHH. "He's a Brooklyn native, I'm a Brooklyn native. We've watched each other grow in the industry throughout the years. We homies. One day I seen him in Miami and I just had this idea for him to narrate the entire album. I went to L.A. and when I seen him in L.A., I gave him a call, told him to come down to the studio, see what was going on with the project so he could get an idea of the direction we were going and he heard it and he was with it. He did what he had to do right there on the spot." (SOHH)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mariah Carey No Longer Managed by Randy Jackson

By , The Hollywood Reporter 
It’s been described as an “experiment,” a “rebound” and “a little bit of a joke,” but alas, Mariah Carey and Randy Jackson are going back to being just friends.
The veteran American Idol judge is no longer co-managing Carey, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. In November 2011, THR first reported that Jackson and Irving Azoff were representing the singer.
“Randy was more of an in-between guy,” says a source close to the situation. “She was looking for new management and he was like a temporary fix.”
According to an insider, Carey recently signed with Red Light Management, which counts Dave Matthews, Tim McGraw and Alabama Shakes as clients on the firm's diverse roster, and is being handled by COO Bruce Eskowitz. Despite various reports, it appears former RCA Records executive Bruce Flohr is not involved in Carey's career.
Jackson and Carey go back to their respective Columbia Records days, when Jackson was vice president of A&R during the 1990s and Carey was signed to the label from 1988 to 2001. Over the years, Jackson has produced, co-written and appeared on many Carey recordings. He’s also played bass for the superstar both in the studio and on the road.
Elsewhere on the Mariah Carey front, the diva will premiere her new video on American Idol tonight. The song, called “Beautiful” and featuring Grammy winner Miguel, is from her as-yet-untitled forthcoming album, which might end up featuring the show’s final three ladies on a track.
Angie Miller, Candice Glover and Kree Harrison sang background vocals for Carey in the recording studio last week, most of which was captured on video, naturally, though it’s not yet known whether the song they worked on will make the final track listing.

YouTube Launches Paid Subscription Channels

YouTube on Thursday unveiled its subscription model, allowing channels to charge monthly fees to viewers who want to access their videos.
The move represents a significant departure from the free, ad-supported model that has thus far propelled YouTube's phenomenal growth from a little known Silicon Valley startup in 2005 to an online video powerhouse with more than 1 billion active monthly viewers. 
Thirty pilot channels taking the subscrption plunge include Sesame Street, UFC, Rap Battles, Jim Henson Family TV and others. Every channel will have a 14-dayfree trial, the company announced on its blog, and prices will range from as little as 99 cents a month with many channels offering deals for bundled channels or annual subscriptions. Channels are free to charge any amount above .99 cents a month, although many are averaging $2.99 a month. Subscribers will be able to pay via Google Wallet or credit cards.
While the model provides an additional revenue stream, it is not risk-free route for content creators. Chris Erwin, Director of Vertical Operations at BigFrame whose clients generate more than 3.2 billion YouTube views, wrote that a paywall could lower a channel's audience size and eat into existing advertising revenue. In addition, smaller audiences can result in lower ad rates.
"Anything that costs money translates to slower user adoption, especially when there are creators willing to not charge subscribers for what they will brand as similar, premium content," Erwin wrote.
Another potential difficulty is related to an important demographic for YouTube -- viewers under 18.
"Our audience is primarily teens who will need to ask their moms for credit cards" to view subscription channels, Sarah Penna, co-founder of BigFrame said this week at the annual Music Biz conference in Los Angeles. "There are definitely logistical hurdles."
At the same time, Penna said it's important that YouTube and its channel partners learn how to make paid subscriptions work.
"To make a real living on YouTube is possible, but it's the exception," Penna said. "Having to rely on CPMs is frustrating. So this has to work. However, it will take some long-term thinking because it's definitely a mental shift for people."
The company, purchased by Google in 2006 for $1.65 billion in stock, has been focused on expanding the number of ways for content creators to make more money off of its platform. 
YouTube executives have signaled for more than a year that it would pursue a subscription model, but the details of how it would work has not started to emerge until recent weeks. The company said it will begin offering the option to more channels in the coming weeks. 
"This is just the beginning," said Malik Ducard, Director of Content Partnerships in a call with reporter. "We will roll this out more broadly as a self-service feature for qualifying partners."

Rolling Stones Sax Man's Wild Life Story Optioned for Documentary

Independent producer Scott Putman and director-producer Jeff Stacy have secured rights to saxophonist Bobby Keys' rollicking, addictively readable biography "Every Night's a Saturday Night: The Rock 'n' Roll Life of Legendary Sax Man Bobby Keys," and intend to release a feature documentary in 2014.
"He's an icon," says Putman, "a rock 'n' roll lion who's got so many great stories." Now touring with the Stones' 50 & Counting tour, Lubbock, Texas, native Keys started out as a teen playing with Buddy Holly, and thanks to drive, talent, big talk and an amazing series of coincidences became a player for Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Harry Nilsson, Joe Cocker, Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, Barbra Streisand, Willie Nelson, Marvin Gaye and many more. He was Keith Richards' best friend, the soloist on "Brown Sugar," John Lennon's "Lost Weekend" drinking buddy and the man who introduced Carly Simon to Mick Jagger (and got him to sing on "You're So Vain"). Keys once filled a bathtub with Champagne to lure a French model to join him and drove through a hotel's plate-glass window with Keith Moon.
"He's an icon," says Putman, "a rock 'n' roll lion who's got so many great stories." Now touring with the Stones' 50 & Counting tour, Lubbock, Texas, native Keys started playing as a teen and through drive, talent, big talk and an amazing series of coincidences became a player for Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Harry Nilsson, Joe Cocker, Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, Barbra Streisand, Willie Nelson, Marvin Gaye and many more. He was Keith Richards' best friend, the soloist on "Brown Sugar," John Lennon's "Lost Weekend" drinking buddy and the man who introduced Carly Simon to Mick Jagger (and got him to sing on "You're So Vain"). Keys once filled a bathtub with Champagne to lure a French model to join him and drove through a hotel's plate-glass window with Keith Moon.
"At the risk of sounding like Forrest Gump, my life's been just like opening up a box of chocolates and having a variety of everything," Keys writes in his book. Producers have shot hours of conversations with Keys, Billie Gibbons, Dr. John, Bobby Whitlock, Ian MacLagen, Stanley Booth, Robert Greenfield, Jim Price, Joe Ely, Jim Keltner, Edward James Olmos, Seymour Cassel, and many rock luminaries have agreed to testify about Keys' wild life and work.

"Everyone 's happy to talk about Bobby," says Stacy. "After spending time with him, you come away with a feeling that you've been with the spirit of rock 'n' roll past, present and future. You walk away with a smile -- and sometimes ahangover.”
As B.B. King said to Keys after he nailed the sax part on "Caledonia" in one take, "That's just fine, son. That's just fine."

Sony Corp Reports Q4 Profit, Music Sales Are Flat

Sony Corp. USA To own 38% of EMI Music Publishing, No Official Word on Staffing
Sony Corp. is back in the black for its fiscal fourth quarter, recording a 93.9 billion yen ($948 million) profit, with big help from a weaker yen that boosts overseas earnings.
The Japanese electronics and entertainment company also dragged itself back to profit for the fiscal year ended March 31, following four straight years of red ink.
It reported Thursday annual earnings of 43 billion yen ($434 million), a reversal from a loss of 457 billion yen ($5.7 billion) the previous year - the worst in the company's nearly seven-decade history.
Tokyo-based Sony expects the recovery to continue, and projected a 50 billion yen ($505 million) profit for the fiscal year through March 2014, up 16 percent.
A weak yen helps Japanese exporters, and the dollar has gained 20% against the yen in recent months.
The favorable exchange rate is expected to continue in the coming months because of the policies of prime minister Shinzo Abe, who took office last year.
Sony had sunk to a 255.2 billion yen loss for the January-March period in 2012, slammed by its money-losing TV business and competition from rivals Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.
Sales for the January-March period rose 8% to 1.7 trillion yen ($17 billion), mainly from a favorable currency rate.
Sony's annual earnings were better than its own forecast for a 40 billion yen ($404 million) profit, and that of analysts surveyed by FactSet at about 33 billion yen ($333 million).
In an effort to achieve a turnaround, Sony has been shedding jobs and selling assets and parts of businesses in recent years.
The brand has lost much of its glamour as the maker of the Walkman portable music player, a pioneering product, as well as the PlayStation video-game console, once a must-have for holiday shopping.
Chief financial officer Masaru Kato said that despite the return to profitability, the company's electronics sector, including camcorders and digital cameras, was struggling compared to its entertainment projects.
"We must answer to the challenge of making our electronics business profitable, no matter what," he said.
The recent weaker yen, which will make Sony products cheaper abroad, was almost certain to work as a big plus, and Kato welcomed it.
Sony gained 182 billion yen ($1.8 billion) in its sales and operating revenue for the January-March quarter due to favorable exchange rates. The company reiterated that it will turn its TV business profitable by the fiscal year ending March 2014. That business has bled money for nine straight years.
Sony said it is beefing up its TV lineup, including models with 4K liquid crystal displays, which deliver even better image quality than current LCD TVs.
Sony said games sales will be boosted significantly with the planned introduction of the PlayStation 4 this fiscal year.
Sony is also doing better in its mobile-phone business with its Xperia Z, which went on sale earlier this year. Sony had fallen far behind rivals like Samsung and Apple in smartphones.
Sony sold its U.S. headquarters building on New York's Madison Avenue in January, as well as other buildings in Tokyo. It sold stocks in Japanese game maker DeNA.
It also ended its liquid-crystal display venture with rival Samsung, while inking a new capital alliance with Japanese electronics and camera maker Olympus Corp. to strengthen its medical equipment business.
Still, some analysts say catching up and selling assets isn't enough, and Sony needs to come up with a more unique product.
For the fiscal year just ended, Sony has continued to lag in its device, digital camera and game sectors. But it scored better sales and income in Sony Pictures Entertainment, with the success of "Skyfall" and "The Amazing Spider-Man."
Sales and income were flat in its music business. Best-selling titles included One Direction's "Take Me Home" and Justin Timberlake's "The 20/20 Experience."


Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa may have made one of the easiest decisions in his life by deciding to have a drug possession charge dropped in exchange for appearing in a video.
Details of Khalifa's latest legal win bubbled online this week.
Rapper Wiz Khalifa had a charge of possessing marijuana dismissed after appearing in a video for Winston-Salem students, encouraging them to stay in school. The Winston-Salem Journal reported that the charge was dismissed after Khalifa agreed to appear in a video that will be shown to students at Carter G. Woodson School. The top-selling rapper was cited May 1, 2012, for possessing marijuana after performing before about 2,000 people at the Joel Coliseum. (MyFox 8)
Despite the high-profile attention, this was reportedly Wiz's first offense in the North Carolina town.
Cameron Jibril Thomaz -- the rapper's real name -- had been cited in other parts of the country for possessing marijuana, but was a first-time offender in Forsyth County. Assistant District Attorney Mike Silver said Tuesday that he was treated no differently than other first-time drug offenders. Typically, first-time offenders are allowed to perform some kind of community service and to stay out of trouble. If they do that, prosecutors will agree to voluntarily dismiss charges. In the short video, Khalifa talks about the importance of staying in school and accepting responsibility for their actions, said Chris Beechler, Khalifa's attorney. (MyFox 8)
The rapper's drug bust caught headlines back in early May 2012.
Wiz Khalifa -- who famously raps about rolling joints "bigger than King Kong's fingers" -- was busted for weed AGAIN last night ... the 2nd time in 10 days. The Forsyth County Sheriff's Office in North Carolina tells us ... the rapper was ticketed for possession of marijuana after his concert in Winston-Salem last night. We're told officers discovered 11.39 grams of pot after searching the rapper and his tour bus. Wiz was cited and released -- and is required to appear in court at a later date. (TMZ)
Outside of legal drama, the 25-year-old rapper recently talked about embracing fatherhood with his newborn son Sebastian.
"Bash is great, man, he's awesome," Khalifa told host Sway Calloway. "He's eating on time, he's taking good poops, like a good baby should. He's been good." Though Wiz is adjusting to fatherhood nicely, he does find some difficulty with his new role. "The hardest thing for me is just when he cries. I want to give him everything just so he stops crying," he said. "You never want your baby to cry." (MTV)



The legacy of Kriss Kross' Chris Kelly was reportedly in full effect this week as reports claim the group's iconic "Jump" instrumental anthem played during his public wake in Georgia.
According to reports, the public funeral took place in the late rapper's Atlanta hometown and was open-casket yesterday (May 8).
Chris Kelly's public wake is under way at a funeral home in Atlanta, GA ... where mourners were greeted with an instrumental version of "Jump" ... TMZ has learned. Friends and family members have been paying their respects to the Kris Kross rapper at the open-casket event all day long -- while final preparations are made for tomorrow's public funeral. Although Chris kept faithful to his pants-backward style his entire adult life, his burial trousers were forward ... he was dressed in a black suit, white shirt and pink tie, sporting earrings and a goatee. (TMZ)
Details on the casket's design have also surfaced online.
Inside the casket, on a sign attached to the coffin lid, read the words: "Cause that's what I was born to do ..." lyrics from the Kris Kross hit "Warm It Up." The casket was flanked by photos ofChris and Daddy Mac in their heyday. No media were allowed inside, though the viewing was open to the public ... one vehicle rolled up with "Jump" blaring out the windows ... a few local news trucks were parked outside ... but otherwise it's been a quiet affair. A small group of family and close friends planned to gather later on at Chris's house. (TMZ)
Last week, So So Def founder Jermaine Dupri inked an open letter on his protégé's passing.
"To the world Chris was MacDaddy but to me, he was a son I never had, as much as you may think I taught him, he taught me, god has blessed me to be in the presence of so many naturally talented people, and Chris was one. his understanding of what we set out to do, from day one was always on point. his passion for the music, his love for doing shows, his want to better than everyone else, was always turnt up. when I think about it I spent more time with Chris than damn near anybody in my whole life, so you can imagine how bad this hurts. I will always love you Chris, and I will never let the world forget you, may god bless your soul" (XXL Mag)
While the public wake took place Wednesday, the actual funeral is set for today (May 9).
Funeral services are planned next week in Atlanta for former Kris Kross rapper Chris Kelly, who was found dead in his home from a possible drug overdose. Murray Brothers Funeral Home in Atlanta confirmed Saturday that it will hold a public viewing for Kelly throughout the afternoon and evening Wednesday. (Fox News)

Ja Rule, on House Arrest

Ja Rule
Ja Rule was released from prison the morning (May 7).
Fellow Queens rapper N.O.R.E. broke the news on Twitter saying, “Just spoke to @Ruleyork everybody tell him welcome home!!!”
Ja’s official fan site, RuleYork also confirmed the news:
The Rule York team is very proud and excited to announce that Ja Rule has been released from prison! Let’s give him a warm welcome. Ja Rule’s Twitter handle is @ruleyork. Follow him and send him some welcoming tweets. We will be giving you more details of his release shortly. Stay tuned!
He is currently on house arrest.