Thursday, June 13, 2013

Lil Kim in Neck Brace Following Car Crash

Lil Kim was involved in a car crash that left her with whip lash. The rapper will be in a neck brace at least for the next month or so, but she will be ok. Kim shared this via her Twitter account:

“Hi My Luvs. I’m ok minor car accident that left me w/ whip Lash now I’m stuck wearing this stupid brace 4 a week and a half but I’ll be fine,” and later, “thank u all for ur prayers and support I Luv u all God is Great ! #mykillerbeehive”
Lindsay Lohan has CHECKED OUT of the Betty Ford treatment center near Palm Springs ... and has entered the Cliffside rehab center in Malibu.

Sources familiar with the situation tell us ... the move was APPROVED by the prosecutors, the judge and Lindsay's lawyer.

The gang agreed ... Betty Ford is better suited for a 30-day program, which Lohan has completed -- and she'd be better off completing the remainder of her 90-day sentence at a new place.

We're told ... they all agreed Cliffside in Malibu would be beneficial for Lohan and everyone signed off.  She checked out of Betty Ford yesterday ... and is already settling in at Cliffside.

We don't know if Lindsay will be allowed to take Adderall at Cliffside ... but one source says, "It's doubtful."

LeAnn Rimes' Spitfire Album Tanks

Sells 10,798 Copies in Its First Week
Spitfire or misfire? LeAnn Rimes' latest album earned critical acclaim (Us Weekly's Ian Drew gave it 3/4 stars, while USA Today's Brian Mansfield gave it 4/4 stars) but the disc failed to make an impression on the Billboard charts. Released in the U.S. June 4, the singer's 12th CD debuted at No. 36, selling a disappointing 10,798 copies. By comparison, Queens of the Stone Age's sixth studio album, ...Like Clockwork, debuted at No. 1 with 91,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan data.

After a tumultuous few years -- the singer's image was tarnished after Us exposed her affair with Eddie Cibrian' in 2009 while both stars were married to other people -- Rimes had been hoping for a hit. Instead of staying quiet, Rimes decided to share her side of the story through music.

"I felt I had nothing to lose by telling the truth," Rimes said in Us Weekly's June 10 issue. "I'd been so quiet about everything, it was like ripping a piece of tape off my mouth."

The stepmom to Cibrian and Brandi Glanville's sons Mason, 10, and Jake, 6, discussed her affair in the song "Borrowed." According to Rimes, writing and releasing the song was cathartic. "It was the elephant in the room; I had to to talk about it," the two-time Grammy winner explained. "There's no glamorizing the situation. I was disgusted with myself and thought I was pathetic. But now that I'm on the other side, I'm proud of who I am."

Soledad O'Brien Joins HBO's Real Sports

Soledad O'Brien is headed back to TV. After making her final appearance as the anchor of CNN's Starting Point earlier this spring, the 46-year-old journalist will be joining Today show alum BryantGumbel on HBO's Real Sports, the network announced Wednesday, July 12. 

According to the Associated Press, O'Brien's first story is about war veterans who use martial arts to help cope with post-traumatic stress disorder.

"It's exactly what I've been doing for a long time -- telling stories about human beings and their struggles," O'Brien said of her new job.

O'Brien announced she was leaving Starting Point in February to start a production company, Starfish Media Group. John Berman and Christine Romans took over after her final episode aired March 29. In addition to Real Sports, O'Brien will continue to work on CNN's Black in America series, which began airing in 2008.

In addition to her TV career, the Harvard-educated journalist -- who co-anchored Weekend Today from 1999 to 2003 and American Morning from 2003 to 2007 -- has authored two books. She has four children -- daughters Sofia and Cecilia and twin sons Charles and Jackson -- with husband Bradley Raymond.

This article originally appeared on Soledad O'Brien Joins HBO's Real Sports

Nelson Mandela Is Responding to Treatment

Nelson Mandela's health is improving, reports NBC.

The 94-year-old leader is said to be "responding better to treatment," according to a statement from South African President Jacob Zuma's office.

Today, for the first time since Mandela was hospitalized, the family spoke about his condition. Mandela's grandson, Mandla, spoke on their behalf. "We appreciate the support we have received," he said. "We are particularly honored to have received all the prayers and messages. We want to say 'thank you' and we appreciate all the support you have shown to our grandfather and your father—because my grandfather is the father of the nation, because he is embraced by the whole global community—so we appreciate the support we have received."

Mandela has been battling an on-going lung infection in recent months. He was released from the hospital on April 6th after a 10-day stay for pneumonia. In December, Mandela was hospitalized for a lung infection and to have gallstones removed.

The former leader's political party, The African National Congress, released a statement on Monday. "We will keep President Mandela and his family in our thoughts and prayers at this time and call upon South Africans and the peoples of the globe to do the same for our beloved statesman and icon, Madiba," it read.

Steven Spielberg Predicts 'Implosion' of Film Industry

George Lucas echoed Spielberg's sentiments at an event touting the opening of a new USC School of Cinematic Arts building, saying big changes are in store.

Steven Spielberg on Wednesday predicted an "implosion" in the film industry is inevitable, whereby a half dozen or so $250 million movies flop at the box office and alter the industry forever. What comes next -- or even before then -- will be price variances at movie theaters, where "you're gonna have to pay $25 for the next Iron Man, you're probably only going to have to pay $7 to see Lincoln." He also said that Lincoln came "this close" to being an HBO movie instead of a theatrical release.
George Lucas agreed that massive changes are afoot, including film exhibition morphing somewhat into a Broadway play model, whereby fewer movies are released, they stay in theaters for a year and ticket prices are much higher. His prediction prompted Spielberg to recall that his 1982 film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial stayed in theaters for a year and four months.

The two legendary filmmakers, along with CNBC anchor Julia Boorstin and Microsoft president of interactive entertainment business Don Mattrick, were speaking at the University of Southern California as part of the festivities surrounding the official opening of the Interactive Media Building, three stories high and part of the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

Lucas and Spielberg told USC students that they are learning about the industry at an extraordinary time of upheaval, where even proven talents find it difficult to get movies into theaters. Some ideas from young filmmakers "are too fringe-y for the movies," Spielberg said. "That's the big danger, and there's eventually going to be an implosion — or a big meltdown. There's going to be an implosion where three or four or maybe even a half-dozen megabudget movies are going to go crashing into the ground, and that's going to change the paradigm."

Lucas lamented the high cost of marketing movies and the urge to make them for the masses while ignoring niche audiences. He called cable television "much more adventurous" than film nowadays.

"I think eventually the Lincolns will go away and they're going to be on television," Lucas said. "As mine almost was," Spielberg interjected. "This close -- ask HBO -- this close."

"We're talking Lincoln and Red Tails -- we barely got them into theaters. You're talking about Steven Spielberg and George Lucas can't get their movie into a theater," Lucas said. "I got more people into Lincoln than you got into Red Tails," Spielberg joked.

Spielberg added that he had to co-own his own studio in order to get Lincoln into theaters.

"The pathway to get into theaters is really getting smaller and smaller," Lucas said.

Mattrick and Spielberg also praised Netflix, prompting Boorstin to ask Spielberg if he planned to make original content for the Internet streamer. "I have nothing to announce," said the director.

Lucas and Spielberg also spoke of vast differences between filmmaking and video games because the latter hasn't been able to tell stories and make consumers care about the characters. Which isn't to say the two worlds aren't connected. Spielberg, in fact, has teamed with Microsoft to make a "TV" show for Xbox 360 based on the game Halo and he is making a movie based on the Electronic Arts game Need for Speed.


Apple's iTunes Radio Cuts Deal With BMI

In its latest move in licensing music, Apple's iTunes Radio has cut a performance licensing deal with BMI, according to sources.

Those sources say that BMI is going to be the beneficiary of the rising tide begun by the major music publishers who withheld digital rights from the PROs (performing rights organizations), in order to cut market-rate deals. Consequently, sources say that BMI will receive 10% of advertising revenue from the iTunes Radio service. Apple was unavailable to comment and BMI earlier had declined comment.

While the Universal Music Group, Kobalt Music Group and BMG Chrysalis have notified the two PROs that they are withholding their digital rights so that they can cut their own direct deals, all three of them will likely be covered by the BMI deal for the remainder of the deal, since none of them can reclaim the ability to cut digital deals until Jan. 1, 2014, sources say.

In the meantime, because of different licensing periods, the above three publishers and Warner/Chappell Music have filed what is termed a revocable notices with ASCAP that beginning July 1 it is their intention to withdraw digital rights, but none of them have made a final decision, according to the ASCAP Website.

The Universal Music Publishing Group has already confirmed its intention to cut direct digital deals and sources say it is close to signing a deal with the Apple iTunes Radio service. Likewise, sources say the BMG Chrysalis will withdraw its digital rights from the two PROs when the waiting periods expire. However, its not clear if Warner/Chappel will pull all of its digital rights, even though it has filed a revocable notice with ASCAP and apparently has negotiated a direct deal with Apple for its streaming service. Sources say that since publishers allow the PROs to license their music on a non-exclusive basis, Warner might choose which digital accounts it wants to do direct deals with and might leave others to be covered by the PROs. A Warner/Chappell spokesman declined comment.

As for Kobalt, "while Kobalt has notified ASCAP and BMI of its revocable election to withdraw licensing rights with respect to certain categories of digital service providers, we prefer not to comment further until the arrangements are finalized," a Kobalt spokesperson said in a statement.

Dres Says Kanye Doesn't Like Black People, Calls Pregnant Kim K Biggest "Whore"

Black Sheep's Dres just does not know when to stop and has now dragged Kanye West's pregnant girlfriend Kim Kardashian into a war of words toward the hip-hop mogul.
"Kanye West does not like black people....," Dres tweeted June 13th.
"drops mic.. makes coffee"
"besides not being crazy bout his music... i don't agree with the message he sends our people.. at all... I hoped him to be a better artist"
"and having a child with the biggest media whore of our generation.. literally and figuratively... what a horrible message to young ladies" (Dres' Twitter)
Yesterday, the rap veteran shot out a controversial comment directed at Yeezus on Twitter.
"Kanye... like Steve Jobs... is one of the most powerful gay men in the world.... God Bless Him," Dres tweeted June 12th.
"oh... he's not out yet.... my bad.... lmao"
"cmon y'all... i'm playin.... Steve Jobs wasn't gay...." (Dres' Twitter)
Earlier this year, fellow rap veteran Lord Jamar dropped a diss track called "Lift Up Your Skirt" aimed at clowning Kanye's manhood.
"Somebody mad at my hash tag," Jamar raps. "Instagram, Black man lookin' half a f*g/With a blazer and vest, I'm just amazed at the mess/Pioneer of this q*eer sh*t is Kanye West/He introduced the skinny jeans to the rap scene/Then he wore a f*cking skirt on the video screen/Then he wore it again at a memorial/I can't pretend that this sh*t ain't deplorable/I bet this n*gga thinkin' he lookin' adorable/Your music's good but your ego is horrible..." ("Lift Up Your Skirt")
In a new published interview, Mr. West discusses the love he has for his pregnant girlfriend.
"Any woman that you're in love with or that loves you is going to command a certain amount of, you know, energy. It's actually easier to focus, in some ways. ... I'm the type of rock star that likes to have a girlfriend, you know? I'm the type of soul that likes to be in love and likes to be able to focus. And that inspires me. ... [Parenthood?] That is a really interesting, powerful question. One of the things was just to be protective, that I would do anything to protect my child or my child's mother. As simple as that. ... I don't want to explain too much into what my thoughts on, you know, fatherhood are, because I've not fully developed those thoughts yet. I don't have a kid yet. ... Well, I just don't want to talk to America about my family. Like, this is my baby. This isn't America's baby." (New York Times)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

'Man of Steel' Extended Featurette

The stars of Warner Bros.'s Superman film introduce us to the new Man of Steel. In this thirteen minute extended featurette we get to see Zack Snyder's vision including the new costume and cape.

WME Taunts CAA with ‘CAAN'T’ Poster Blitz, Website

Talent agency William Morris Endeavor has taken its spat with rival Creative Artists Agency to a higher -- more visible -- level.

WME Taunts CAA with ‘CAAN'T’ Poster Blitz, Website

The Westfield Century City mall in L.A. has been the unlikely battleground for an advertising blitz which has reportedly seen dozens of ads posted with the words "CAAN'T" -- a play on CAA’s initials and rendered in the agency’s familiar red-and-white colors.

The posters appear in other sites across L.A. And they’re the work of WME, sources confirm to The Hollywood Reporter.

The campaign nods to a May 13 item in the New York Post in which a CAA client was said to be unhappy with their representation. The piece read: "Which recently nominated Oscar director loudly groused in a high-level meeting about being frustrated with his Hollywood agency by yelling: 'They should be called Caan’t! Caan’t, Caan’t, Caan’ttttttt!'?"

Scan Me
The campaign continues online. WME is understood to be behind -- a simple Website which carries a scan of the New York Post story, and the “CAAN’T” logo.  Domain-name registration data suggest the colorful campaign has been weeks in the making.

The posters have been spotted along sidewalks from Hollywood to Santa Monica, and in 78 display cases at the Westfield mall, which is close to several talent agencies, including CAA, the THR notes.

WME also apparently emblazoned the logo onto T-shirts, one of which was spotted among the crowd during the taping of this morning’s "Today" show in New York.

The Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer Films' tentpole will screen in the large format in the U.K., Japan and other select international territories.

The Lone Ranger Poster - P 2013
Photo courtesy Disney
BANFF, ALBERTA – Imax is to super-size Johnny Depp as the iconic Tonto as it brings Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer Films' The Lone Ranger to select international screens from August 2.
Imax said it will digitally re-master Gore Verbinski’s action pic, which stars Armie Hammer as the

The Lone Ranger reunites mega producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Verbinski and Depp after Disney's first three Pirates of the Caribbean films.

"We've always enjoyed working with Disney, Jerry Bruckheimer and Johnny Depp, and we look forward to having Gore Verbinski's first Imax picture released in our network," said Greg Foster, chairman and president of Imax Entertainment.

The Lone Ranger will release in U.S. theaters on July 3.

MTV, CMT & VH1 Celebrate Fourth of July with 'Music Independence Day'

MTV, CMT and VH1 is looking for emerging bands to help celebrate the Fourth of July and offering acts an opportunity to develop their fan bases.

Scan Me
The three networks will celebrate “Music Independence Day” on July 4, broadcasting a 12-hour block of music that includes music from acts participating in the networks’ online Artist Platform operation.

At the music discovery site Artist Platform (,, artists create their own pages and opt in on “Music Independence Day.” Artists will be able to drive audiences to their pages via social networks and #MusicIndependenceDay, where they can invite listeners to purchase music, leave tips or otherwise show their support. Participating artists will have their music and videos considered for MTV, CMT and VH1.

Each of the networks will target their programming between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.  MTV will bring in artists as hosts, spotlight independent artists that have emerged from Artists.MTV and re-play major music moments from throughout MTV’s history. CMT will hold its annual “BBQ Week,” culminating in the ultimate BBQ playlist with favorites such as the Avett Brothers, Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood and Punch Brothers, alongside.

VH1 will emphasize summer jams during its broadcast from Philadelphia with host Jim Shearer. At 8 p.m. on the Fourth, VH1 will air the Philly 4th of July Jam with the Roots, John Mayer, Jill Scott and Demi Lovato. VH1 will also premiere a new music series, “STOP/WATCH,” in which an act performs a complete song in 60 seconds.

2 Chainz Arrested At Los Angeles Airport

Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz continues to remain in the headlines as reports claim he was arrested in Los Angeles Tuesday (June 11) on a felony drug possession charge.
2 Chainz was just arrested at LAX ... after cops allegedly found weed on the "I'm Different" rapper as he was trying to board an airplane, TMZ has learned. Sources tell us ... 35-year-old 2 Chainz is currently being booked for possession of marijuana after he was caught with pot in Terminal 5. Just yesterday, 2 Chainz -- real name Tauheed Epps -- was tweeting about how impressed he was with the weed in San Francisco. So far, cops are not commenting on the situation. (TMZ)
Reports claim Chainz received a felony charge and possessed marijuana.
4:43 PM PT: 2 Chainz has been booked on felony narcotics possession. Law enforcement sources tell us ... Chainz was in possession of Promethazine -- one of the 2 main ingredients in sizzurp. He also had pot, but less than an ounce. (TMZ)
Chainz updated fans on his well-being following the arrest reports.
"That was quick we good y'all, peace," Chainz tweeted Tuesday night. (2 Chainz's Twitter)
Recently, the rapper had drug charges dropped against him for a February crime.
Rapper 2 Chainz has been acquitted of drug charges he faced after a traffic stop on Maryland's Eastern Shore. The Star Democrat of Easton, Md., reports ( ) that a Talbot County district court judge found the rapper, whose real name is Tauheed Epps, not guilty Wednesday. (Huffington Post)
Last year, Chainz called out New York City police for arresting him over jewelry.
"They tried to assassinate my character, they tried to assassinate my swag," 2 Chainz told MTV News in an exclusive telephone interview. "It was just a negative dilemma earlier where someone misconstrued a piece of jewelry for a weapon and stuff. ... I do exclusive pieces. My pieces are actual conversation pieces, like, literally. When you see my gold, when you see my stuff, it's something to conversate about. People weren't doing four-finger rings and all that. I just like to set myself apart, so I definitely wasn't trying to beat nobody up on the airplane or nothing." (MTV)

Exclusive: Roc Nation Names Jason Iley Label President

Roc Nation Records, home to J. Cole, Rita Ora, Jay Electronica and Bridget Kelly, has named Jason Iley as its president. He comes to the newly minted position from his most recent post as president of Mercury Records in the U.K. Iley will be based in New York.  

“Jason has a vision that extends beyond the status quo,” says Roc Nation founder/CEO Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter in announcing the appointment. “He’s innovative, has an ear for what’s ‘next’ and sees past mundane, by-the-numbers marketing.”

Named Mercury president in 2005, Iley worked with Elton John, Paul McCartney, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Mariah Carey, Rihanna and Jake Bugg, among others. During his 15-year career with Universal Music U.K., Iley also held senior executive posts at Polydor and Island.

“Jay-Z is not only a great artist but also has the sharpest business mind in entertainment,” states Iley. “And I’m delighted to join [president] Jay Brown, Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith and the rest of the Roc Nation team in the biggest music market in the world.”

The label's next big release is J. Cole's sophomore album Born Sinner, which bows on Tuesday (June 18). 

In April, Roc Nation entered into a multi-year, worldwide partnership with Universal Music Group. The pact allows the label to operate as a standalone within UMG. Financial terms of the deal, which became effective immediately, were not disclosed.

The Lonely Island Featuring Robyn, 'Go Kindergarten'

Diddy and Paul Rudd hit the club in The Lonely Island's "Go Kindergarten" video.

It can be SUPER hard to keep up with songs that require an entire dance routine (see: "Gangnam Style," "Cotton Eyed Joe," "One Cent, Five Cent, Ten Cent, Dollar," "Macarena," "The Electric Slide," "The Hustle"... Whoops, did we lose you?). But no matter what the routine, we have perfect faith in Diddy's ability to keep up -- heck, dude even CREATES dances (#DiddyJetDance). On the other hand, an awkward soul like Paul Rudd might have a little trouble adapting to the clurrrb, which is exactly the problem in The Lonely Island's new video, "Go Kindergarten," featuring Robyn.

Watch The Lonely Island featuring Robyn's "Go Kindergarten" video after the jump.
The latest clip from The Lonely Island's newly released The Wack Album, "Go Kindergarten" has Paul Rudd feeling a little hesitant about this whole "club" thing at first, but the Bad Boy President promises he'll be taken care of. Once inside, The Lonely Island and Robyn (who look a lot like The Black Eyed Peas in "I Gotta Feeling") begin an electro-tinged performance that includes yelling out the most absurd dance steps imaginable: like, twerking, throwing their hands up, eating shoes, and whipping their d**ks out. TOTALLY NORMAL.

On the other hand, The Lonely Island's instructions might seem less daunting if you're (a) ambidextrous, (b) are going into labor, and (c) feel comfortable stomping barefoot across broken glass. Among other things. See, Paul Rudd? Nothing to worry about! (But you might want to rethink that mustache -- Diddy didn't exactly invite you to Studio 54, OK?)

Tunecore Reports $300 Million in Artist Payments Since Inception

The company claims revenue has grown to $50 million in the first five months of 2013.
In reaching the high-water mark of paying out $300 million to its clients since the company's inception, TuneCore claims that company revenue has grown to $50 million in the first five months of 2013, representing 20 percent growth over the $250 million the company had paid out by the end of 2012.
The company noted that streaming is growing at a phenomenal rate, and said that cumulative streams and downloads now exceed three billion units compared to the 1.8 billion counted through the end of 2012. However, the company did not break down streams versus downloads.

"Hitting this $300 million earnings milestone is something to be celebrated, and we congratulate all our TuneCore Artists," TuneCore COO Scott Ackerman wrote in a statement. "TuneCore's mission has always been about giving all artists the opportunity to easily and affordably get their music heard anywhere in the world and receive 100 percent of the revenue from the downloads and streams of that music."

Tunecore, which pays out all revenue it collects from digital services directly to artists, charges those clients an introductory album fee of $29.99 for the first year and $49.99 each following year.

Drake Helps Lil Twist Overcome Stress Of Album Delays

Putting out a debut album has to be stressful, especially when faced with continual delays, but lucky for Lil Twist he has had the right people in his corner.

"I talked to my mom mostly, and then Wayne," Twist told Mixtape Daily about whom he sought advice from each time his Don't Get It Twisted album got pushed back. "Wayne and [Young Money president] Mack [Maine] are like my brothers, and Drake also. Drake is always a good person to give advice."

Twisted was originally slated for a 2011 release and has already produced a number of notable singles, including "Love Affair" with Lil Wayne and "Turnt Up" with Busta Rhymes. Now, the LP has a March 20 release date, which, to Twist, appears to be rock solid. 2 Chainz and Twist's buddy Justin Bieber are also expected to appear. "We're getting ready to drop that record 'Wherever You Are.' Y'all will have that real soon," Twist told MTV News of the high-powered collaboration. "It's a fun record. Justin killed it. He's, like, rap-singing on it; another different sound for Justin."

Don't Get It Twisted has been complete for some time, but Twist simply had to wait things out.

"Drake went through everything as far as being a new artist and on the same label, seeing how everything went down," he said of his Young Money labelmate. "So he was just letting me know what was going to go down, how I need to go about it and just how to overcome the stress that I was feeling coming out with this album."

Are you ready for Lil Twist's Don't Get It Twisted? Tell us in the comments!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Chad “Ochocinco Johnson” was sentenced to 30 days

Chad “Ochocinco Johnson” was sentenced to 30 days in jail on Monday, for a probation violation in a domestic violence case (with ex-wife Evelyn Lozada)  by a judge who felt that Johnson was being disrespectful. The judge rejected a no-jail plea deal after Johnson playfully slapped his attorney on the butt in court.


Johnson, known as Chad Ochocinco for his jersey number in Spanish during his playing days, had reached a deal with prosecutors calling for community service and counseling instead of jail. 

Broward County Circuit Judge Kathleen McHugh said she would tack on an additional three months’ probation because Johnson had failed to meet with his probation officer during three previous months.

It was all set until Johnson, when asked by McHugh if he was satisfied with his lawyer Adam Swickle, gave the attorney a light swat on the rear — as football players routinely do to each other on the field. The courtroom erupted in laughter and at that McHugh said she wouldn’t accept the deal.

“I don’t know that you’re taking this whole thing seriously. I just saw you slap your attorney on the backside. Is there something funny about this?” McHugh said, slapping the plea deal document down on her desk. “The whole courtroom was laughing. I’m not going to accept these plea negotiations.
 This isn’t a joke.”

Johnson, 35, tried to apologize and insisted he meant no disrespect. Johnson was on probation after pleading no contest to head-butting his then-wife, TV reality star Evelyn Lozada, during an altercation last August. She quickly filed for divorce after barely a month of marriage and Johnson, a six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, was immediately released by the Miami Dolphins. He didn’t play at all last season.

Lil Wayne Preps For Drama, Rededicates Himself One Last Time

Grammy-winning rapper Lil Wayne is suiting back up with DJ Drama for at least one more addition to their popular The Dedication mixtape series.
"Yup. D5. Tunechi. Dram. YM. Stay tuned. But pleaaaase.... b patient.," he tweeted June 10th. (DJ Drama's Twitter)
Last fall, the Young Money boss released his star-studded Dedication 4 Gangsta Grillz mixtape.
Lil Wayne has officially released the fourth installment in his popular Dedication mixtape series, Dedication 4, for free. After DJ Drama announced that he would be teaming up with Lil Wayne for another Dedication mixtape, fans have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Dedication 4 project. The details on the project have been rather sparse, and Weezy has only released one single in the 2 Chainz and Drake 'No Lie' Freestyle Remix. DJ Drama also promised that fans would get everything they expect from Mixtape Weezy on the project, which has driven the hype for this project that much more. (The Versed)
Back in August 2012, Wayne blamed boredom for fueling his Dedication 4 mixtape.
"I just felt like it was time. I got bored," Weezy told DJ Drama when asked about the motivation behind his upcoming mixtape. "Being me, I always feel like I ain't done nothing yet. So I'm always looking for the next thing 'to do.' Other than that, yeah, it does get pretty boring when it comes to just the rapping and all that type of stuff. I've done so much of it. I've been doing it since I was eight and I'm about to be thirty in September and I'm still rapping. I kind of feel like I'm getting old. [laughs]" (Drama Like The DJ)
Prior to it coming out, Wayne explained its various holdups.
"D4 is done, it's right here," Wayne said in a video. "But let me tell you how this is going down -- y'all remember how when I used to do mixtapes - when I'm finished, I used to just drop them online, just free, [you could] grab them off line. ... I finished but my man [manager] Cortez [Bryant] - he told me he don't want me to do it that way this time. He said, 'No, don't let it out free. You're not just giving them the songs. Don't do that.' He wanted Drama to properly set it up and all that, I don't know, some business stuff, I don't know that stuff, all I do is rap. So my part, my job is done, just letting y'all know, my job is done. We over here banging it, me and my n*ggas - they dropping it on the third, I think that's Monday. So they're dropping on Monday. I don't want to give y'all any more dates because I'm done. I'm finished." (Bread Over Bed)

Apple Debuts iTunes Radio

Apple finally introduced the world to its anticipated Internet radio service at its World Wide Developers Conference Monday. 

Called iTunes Radio, the service works on iPhones, iPod Touches, iPads, iTunes on Mac computers and AppleTV. It will be available first in the United States -- it’s due out this fall but Apple has not given an exact date -- and other countries at later dates.

iTunes Radio has featured stations and also allows users to create their own stations based on artists, songs or genres. When a song is playing, listeners can ask iTunes Radio to play similar songs or never play the song again. The service lets users see a history of songs listened to and buy the tracks.

As expected, iTunes Radio is a free service that is supported by advertising. Apple is making iTunes Radio ad-free for people who pay $24.99 per year for iTunes Match.

Apple is playing catch-up in the United States. Pandora has over 200 million registered users and more than 70 million monthly listeners in the United States. It commands a 7.3% share of total U.S. radio listening -- a figure calculated internally -- and 58% awareness in the United States, according to NPD Group. The company does not break out its numbers on its listeners in Australia and New Zealand.

But Apple has far less to overcome in other countries. Pandora fully launched in Australia and New Zealand just late last year. Few other markets have viable competitors that are standalone radio services. Although Deezer, Spotify and Rdio operate in dozens of countries, they are on-demand services in which radio is a feature rather than a specialty.

Apple has negotiated licenses with record labels rather than use the compulsory license available to non-interactive webcasters. Sources have told Billboard that Apple will pay major labels around 0.16 cents per stream in addition to a share of advertising revenue, but payments will begin only after the service grows beyond a specific threshold. Direct licenses will allow iRadio to offers features not available to DMCA-compliant Internet radio services like Pandora and will allow it to operate outside of the U.S.

Apple has some important advantages. The company has sold 600 million iOS devices globally that can run the Internet radio app. It has 575 million iTunes accounts, most with credit cards and one-click buying, and a 63% share of the paid download market (in the fourth quarter), according to NPD Group. The incremental revenue from downloads will bring an additional dimension to a type of service that has historically struggled to attain profitability.

The two-hour presentation also provided a look at iOS 7, the latest mobile operating system, and its new Mac operating system, OS X Mavericks. It also featured a stream of statistics: The App Store has had 50 billion app downloads in its five years of operation. Developers have been paid $10 billion from paid apps and in-app purchases. The store now carries 900,000 apps -- 375,000 for iPads -- and 90% are downloaded each month. It has reached 300 million iCloud accounts less than two years after launch.

Beyoncé Knowles-Carter has shown a knack for penning open letters

Grammy-winning singer Beyoncé Knowles-Carter has shown a knack for penning open letters and made no exception with tennis superstar Serena Williams following an impressive French Open championship win last weekend.
"Stunt on them Serena. 31 and in your prime. You have no idea how much you inspire all of us women. Im so proud of you. All my Love and Respect. Beyoncé" (Beyonce)
The note reportedly came shortly after Williams added more gold to her name by winning the French Open.
Beyoncé wrote a lovely note to Serena Williams after the tennis star won the French Open on Saturday. Yes, it has a girl-power vibe to it, why do you ask? Did she send this message via snail mail? Transcribe it from a text after lip-syncing it? Or was the note written solely for the purpose of posting on Facebook? It's most likely the last one, even though that sounds phony and shallow and we all know Beyoncé and her team are neither of those things. (USA Today)
Last year, Bey inked an open letter to First Lady Michelle Obama.
"Michelle, is the ULTIMATE example of a truly strong African American woman. She is a caring mother, she's a loving wife, while at the same time, she is the FIRST LADY!!!! No matter the pressure, and the stress of being under the microscope - she's humble, loving, and sincere. She builds and nurtures her family, while also looking out for so many millions in so many ways. Michelle, thank you so much for every single thing that u do for us - I am proud to have my daughter grow up in a world where she has people like you to look up to. Love, Beyonce." (Beyonce)
Her comments did not go unnoticed and sparked a reaction from Mrs. Obama.
"@Beyonce Thank you for the beautiful letter and for being a role model who kids everywhere can look up to. -mo," she tweeted April 13th.
".@Beyonce writes a lovely letter to FLOTUS: http://OFA.BO/D4A3JK" (Michelle Obama's Twitter)

E3: Sony's PlayStation 4 Will Be Available This Year for $399

The company says it will not impose restrictions on used games, allowing selling, trading and lending. 

Sony announced that its PlayStation 4 -- unveiled Monday at E3 -- will be available this holiday season for $399 ($100 less than Microsoft’s Xbox One) alongside a host of exclusive games.
The company put special emphasis on the fact that they would allow players to lend, trade or resell used disc-based games in any manner they choose. This is in stark contrast to Microsoft, which has said it will put restrictions in place to limit the sale of used games for its new console. Microsoft will also require games on its system to "check in" over the Internet once every 24 hours to ensure the console is authorized to play a given game. Sony has said its games will not need to check in ever and will be fully playable offline (assuming online access is not critical to the title's intrinsic gameplay.)

Some of the games that will be exclusive to PS4 include The Last of Us, Puppeteer, Beyond: Two Souls, Gran Turismo 6, Kill Zone, Shadow Fall, Drive Club, Infamous: Second Son, and Knack. Sony also previewed Square Enix's Final Fantasy XV and Disney’s Kingdom Hearts 3.

In addition, Sony revealed that it has signed a host of titles from notable independent studios, including Don’t Starve, Transistor, Mercenary Kings, Secret Ponchos, Ray’s Dead, and Galax-Z.

In launching PS4, Sony plans to capitalize on its brands, emphasized Andrew House, president and group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment.

To that end, Michael Lynton, chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, made an appearance, saying that the studio is “hard at work on new original programming plans and content that will be available exclusively on PSN and PS4.”

Sony also is expanding its entertainment offering with Flixster and Redbox Instant, as well as pay-per-view live events.

The company spoke briefly about its plans for integrating the Gaikai cloud gaming service it purchased in 2012. The service, which will be available for U.S. PS3 and PS4 owners in 2014, will use Gaikai's technology to stream games to players, allowing for backward compatibility with Sony's vast catalog, as well as enabling "instant play" of games that a consumer has bought, but not yet downloaded.

Man of Steel...Review

Zack Snyder's Superman reboot stars Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner and Russell Crowe.

To the oft-asked question of whether or not the world is really starving for yet another superhero origin story, Man of Steel simply responds by serving up what could be as much spectacle and action — minute-by-minute, frame-by-frame — as any movie anyone could think of. Zack Snyder’s huge, backstory-heavy extravaganza is a rehab job that perhaps didn’t cry out to be done but proves so overwhelmingly insistent in its size and strength that it’s hard not to give in. Warner Bros.’ new tentpole should remain firmly planted around the world for much of the summer.
With Christopher Nolan’s mammoth Batman trilogy having wrapped up last year, the quick return of the other great DC comic hero was inevitable, even if the last attempt, Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns (2006), only lasted one lap. Nolan’s involvement here as a producer and co-story writer with David S. Goyer, his collaborator on all three Batman films, will encourage fans to look closely for his fingerprints, and a first impression might suggest his hand in deepening the hero’s roots to such a serious extent and insisting upon using Hans Zimmer to compose the score.

Visually and rhythmically, however, Snyder has gone his own way, summoning up memories of Dune in the sculpted architectural look of Krypton, echoing Jesus by underlining the sacrifice Clark Kent is called upon to make for the good of mankind, and simply by hardly letting five minutes go by without inventing some new excuse for a staggering action scene -- any one of which undoubtedly cost more than the combined budgets of all of this year’s Sundance competition lineup.

Even the inevitably expository first 18 minutes on Krypton are spiked with an amazing amount of visual stimulation. As Jor-El (Russell Crowe) lays it all out about the planet’s road to ruin, its failed intergalactic colonization efforts and his discovery of a planet to which he can send his little son, we’re witness to both large-scale calamity and the intimate treachery of the rebellious General Zod (a ferocious Michael Shannon), whose murderous campaign gets him packed off to the deep space equivalent of Siberia.
Snyder doesn’t miss a beat once the tale spins down to Earth. Scarcely has Kal-El emerged from his projectile after a long flight when he rescues workers from a burning oil rig. The youngster later sees his classmates in disturbing X-ray vision and, not long after the renamed Clark Kent asks his adoptive mother (Diane Lane), “What’s wrong with me, Mom?” a parade of topless shots of the young man reveal far from anything wrong but, rather, that the actor playing him, Henry Cavill, would have been fully qualified for a major role in Snyder’s 300 without any digital musculature added.

When Clark saves the day yet again by lifting a school bus out of the water after it’s gone off a bridge, his adoptive father (Kevin Costner) realizes it’s time for a heart-to-heart. “You’re the answer to whether we’re alone in the universe,” he confides upon showing Clark the old pod that brought him to Earth.

At the same time, ace Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane (Amy Adams) gets on to a story about a foreign object that’s been buried in ice for 20,000 years, while Jor-El abruptly rematerializes to teach his sprig more Kryptonian history and present him with his long-awaited suit and cape so he can begin his entertainingly staged flying lessons.

For a film that has thus far spent an hour basically setting the table, writer Goyer and Snyder have found a way to sneak in at least a half-dozen big-time action sequences. Suddenly, there are two more, a Midwestern twister big enough to send not just a house but a whole town to Oz, and the spectacular spaceship arrival of Zod, who breaks Kal-El/Clark’s cover by giving him 24 hours to surrender. Here the Jesus parallel asserts itself, especially when it’s stressed that Kal-El has spent 33 years on Earth anonymously before being asked to sacrifice himself. Not much more is made of this, but the subtext persists.
When a real-time action sequence can’t be generated narratively, Kal-El experiences a nightmare vision of the Kryptonian dystopia Zod would impose upon Earth, which provokes him to attack the general in what is wittily staged as an old-fashioned Main Street showdown in Smallville. By now it’s clear that Snyder’s and Goyer’s intention is to have no downtime at all, just spectacle on top of spectacle. In enormous effects-driven films, this is often a counterproductive approach, in that it can either have a numbing, deadening effect, as in the Transformers series, or terminally suffer from a strained attempt to keep topping itself scene after scene, as in the last Indiana Jones adventure.

Although it does go over the top toward the end, when Zod embraces a genocidal program and attacks Kal-El with giant metallic tentacles that are more ridiculous than scary, Man of Steel mostly plays it smart by mixing its action deck-of-cards style.

Given the almost relentless pursuit of big scenes, Man of Steel manages to find the time to develop a reasonably plausible relationship between Kal-El and Lois Lane, who must balance her compulsion to deliver the scoop of the century with the suspicion, shared by the alien’s adoptive father, that the world is not ready for the likes of this superman (Superman? Does anyone here say "Superman"? Barely.) This is a smart, active, modern Lois, one who does need to be rescued on occasion but is always keen to be in the thick of things. Adams and Cavill develop a spirited rapport that’s enjoyable to watch in admittedly short spurts.
Visually, Snyder and cinematographer Amir Mokri employ handheld shots noticeably more than is the norm in such megaproductions, and the very tight, short-focused shots of the hero’s face while flying have an unexpectedly intimate nature, quite beautiful in their way. The effects, which course through the film without cease, are not as consistently sharp as they normally were in Nolan’s Batman trilogy, veering from the expert to the video-gamey to the borderline cheesy, albeit charmingly so.

Becomingly modest in the character’s low-key early scenes and gradually reveling in his power, Cavill has a pleasing presence that makes him easy to accept, as Kal-El accepts the extraordinary fate that has been prescribed for him. Snarling, scarred and not without a worthy villain’s righteous logic, Shannon excels as the fearsome Zod. Other major names are well cast and used down the line, including Costner, Lane, Crowe, Laurence Fishburne as Lois’s editor and Antje Traue as Zod’s relentless ninja-style warrior partner.

Working in a somewhat lower key than was his norm for Nolan, Zimmer still provides the musical grandeur and sense of portent that lends the film an extra dimension.