Friday, June 28, 2013

Gabrielle Union Talks Movie With Chris Rock, More

By//Andrea Watson

Gabrielle Union has been keeping busy. Besides playing a successful talk show host in Being Mary Jane, the actress will also be star in a new Chris Rock produced film called Finally Famous.

She dishes out personal information on her relationship with Dwayne Wade, along with her on and off set experience in Think Like a Man 2.

Jay-Z And Frank Ocean Tackle Deep Race Issues On 'Oceans'

Magna Carta Holy Grail track's lyric sheet follows 'Holy Grail' and 'Heaven.'

Jay-Z once paralleled his artistic plight against those of some of hip-hop's enlightened minds like Talib Kweli and Common. In an often-quoted lyric from his 2003 supposed retirement LP, The Black Album, Hov suggests in "Moment of Clarity" that if he wasn't such a commercial draw, he'd pack even more meaning, insight and raw skill into his lyrics: "If skills sold, truth be told, I'd probably be lyrically Talib Kweli/ Truthfully I wanna rhyme like Common Sense," he admitted in song.

It's ironic now that as Hov is set to release his 12th solo album via a surely lucrative partnership with Samsung, he seems to be embarking on the road he wished for back then. A single hasn't been released for Jay's upcoming Magna Carta Holy Grail, but the Brooklyn-born rap king has released lyric sheets for three of the album's tracks — and all of the cuts bypass the party for a deeper dive.

On "Holy Grail," Hov partners with Justin Timberlake to explore the push and pull of celebrity in an all-seeing society, and on "Heaven," the rapper questions religion and shoots down persistent rumors that he is part of a secret society.

On Wednesday (June 26), Jay released the lyrics to another track via the Magna Carta phone app. "Oceans" appropriately features singer/songwriter Frank Ocean, and on the song, the "Big Pimpin'" MC ponders the transatlantic slave trade using the ocean off the Ivory Coast as his inspiration. "This water mixed my blood/ This water tells my story/ This water knows it all," reads a portion of the lyric sheet that Frank Ocean will presumably sing.

For his verses, Jigga marvels at how far he's come, using history books as his gauge. He isn't a big fan of Christopher Columbus or George Washington, but he loves the Notorious B.I.G. "I'm anti Santa Maria/ Only Christopher we acknowledge/ Is Wallace/ I don't even like Washingtons in my pocket," he spits on the album, scheduled to be released to Samsung users July 4.

Hov goes on to remind us of his lavish black-card spending habits and that he triumphantly picks cotton from the most lavish shops, but material possessions aren't the only thing that drives him. On the song's final verse, Jay stands amazed at his political influence and his efforts to get Barack Obama reelected, and ultimately be a part of history. "Can't believe they got a n---a to vote/ Democrat/ Nope ... In trouble water I had to learn to float," the lyrics say.

Release of the "Oceans" lyrics comes on the same day that the New York Post reports that the multiplatinum rap star is planning a Times Square concert for July 8, pending approval from the mayor's office.

With so many questions surrounding the album and its release, there is no telling what the message will be on the rest of Magna Carta Holy Grail, but if the revealed lyrics are any indication, Jay may finally be taking the step he's been longing for.


Mobb Deep's Havoc Addresses X-Rated Twitter Incident

With Mobb Deep member Havoc's Twitter page apparently falling into the hands of a hacker this week, SOHH reached out to the New York producer to see if he could clear up the situation.

"i [sic] really don't think that a statement is necessary.," Hav wrote via an exclusive statement provided to SOHH. "It's Twitter after all and this kind of things [sic] happen all the time. I just decided to leave it alone." (SOHH)
Earlier this week, a suspicious tweet followed by handfuls of explicit photos covered his Twitter timeline.
"Don't be the next contestant on that summer jam screen!," a tweet read from Havoc's Twitter page, which is now currently unavailable. (Havoc's Twitter)
The photos worked up a ton of reactions from Mobb Deep fans and Twitter followers.
"Yo @Nas! Please check your homeboy Havoc bro! Son putting the Bridge into disrepute!" (The N)
"not havoc's fault. he left his d**k at a gas station" (Ben Detrick)
"I guarantee Havoc's phone got stolen and someone uploaded those pics from his phone. I refuse to believe anything else." (Doughbeezy)
"Havoc has disgraced Queens. Havoc has disgraced New York" (DGH.)
"I don't follow havoc but since he took over my TL I thought i'd see what everyone was talkin about. smh in a split second I saw 2 much! x__X" (StarChile)
Last year, Hav came clean on lying about his Twitter page being hacked when diss tweets directed toward his Mobb Deep partner Prodigy flooded the Internet.
"The tweets is crazy," said Havoc. "So it was you?" asked Creekmur. "Yeah," said Havoc. "And I was speaking of a stand point of being mad, but still being truthful of how I felt - but it was just the wrong thing to do at that time." As for the state of Mobb Deep, Havoc says they are taking a break."Right now Mobb Deep is on hiatus, indefinitely...until things get hashed out," Havoc told "Eventually, the real story will come out; there's two sides to every story. Only one has been spoken for." (All Hip Hop)
In April 2012, Hav claimed someone stole his cell phone and posted the anti-Prodigy remarks.
"Just getting back into NY after my Easter weekend with family and friends in Jersey. I left my phone at a gas station yesterday evening while on my way to Jersey after a glorious Knick's game. To all Mobb Deep fans: it's business as usual! It's Mobb Deep all day!!! My twitter account @THEREALHAVOC will be down until further notice. The only other real account is @PRODIGYMOBBDEEP. Ignore the rest. One!" (Statement)

Aaron Hernandez Stuck in the Slammer BAIL DENIED

NFL star and murder suspect Aaron Hernandez has just been denied bail ... meaning he'll rot behind bars until his trial ... and that could take forever.

Hernandez was present in court today for a bail review hearing, where his lawyer begged the judge to release Hernandez from custody while he awaits trial.

But the judge wasn't moved by his arguments -- that Hernandez is an upstanding citizen and family man with no flight risk -- claiming the prosecution already had very strong evidence that Hernandez had committed the crime.

As for the evidence ... the prosecutor went through the entire timeline leading up to the murder of Odin Lloyd earlier this month, including matching shell casings found at the murder scene and inside Hernandez' rental car. He also mentioned the photo TMZ posted last night -- showing Hernandez brandishing a glock in the mirror 4 years ago -- claiming it's possible the murder weapon was also a glock.The prosecutor said they'd be seeking the max sentence for Hernandez ... life without parole.

In Theaters This Weekend: Reviews of 'White House Down,

UPDATE: Sony's summer gamble on a non-superhero film, White House Down, hits the big screen today  Friday, June 28.
The action-thriller stars Channing Tatum as a Secret Service agent who must protect the U.S. president, played by Jamie Foxx, from being harmed by a paramilitary group attacking Washington, D.C. Helmed by Independence Day director Roland Emmerich, the movie also stars Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Woods, Richard Jenkins and Jason Clarke.

For a more comical weekend, Paul Feig's The Heat sees Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock teaming up as an unlikely pair -- potty-mouthed detective Shannon Mullins (McCarthy) and uptight FBI agent Sarah Ashburn (Bullock) -- to catch a drug lord on the loose.

HOLLYWOOD -- Roland Emmerich's big-budget tentpole White House Down, starring Jamie Foxx as the president and Channing Tatum as a wannabe Secret Service agent. The two characters find themselves uniting after America's most famous residence is overrun by terrorists and the U.S. Capitol destroyed.
Appealing to the female set is The Heat, starring Sandra Bullock as a straight-laced FBI agent who is forced to team up with a crass Boston street cop played by Melissa McCarthy, one of Hollywood's hottest box-office stars. The 20th Century Fox film reteams McCarthy with Bridesmaids director Paul Feig.

Disney and Pixar's Monsters University could beat both new films in its second weekend as it continues to wrangle the family-friendly crowd.

White House Down, costing Sony $150 million to produce, could mark one of the lowest openings for a Roland Emmerich tentpole, particularly when accounting for inflation. In summer 2004, The Day After Tomorrow debuted to $68.7 million. Independence Day -- which also featured the destruction of the White House -- opened to $50.2 million in July 1996.

Part of the issue could be that White House Down comes out just three months after FilmDistrict's White House-under-seige film, Olympus Has Fallen. Nevertheless, Tatum and Foxx have sizable fan bases, and White House Down could overperform.

Chart Moves: Justin Timberlake's '20/20' First Album to Sell 2 Million in 2013

This week on the Billboard 200 albums chart, it was a hip-hop affair in the top three. Kanye West, J. Cole and Mac Miller debuted new albums, respectively at Nos. 1-3 on the list. West's "Yeezus" led the rap parade, selling 327,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Outside the top 10 on the Billboard 200 there were a number of movers and shakers, as usual. Let's take a look at some of them…
-- Justin Timberlake, "The 20/20 Experience" (No. 9): This week, Justin Timberlake's "The 20/20 Experience" becomes the first album to sell two million copies in 2013. The set, which slips 3-9 on the Billboard 200 with 32,000 sold (down 8%), sees its cumulative sales rise to 2.02 million in the U.S. It's also the only album to sell 1 million so far in 2013. The year's runner-up bestseller is Bruno Mars' "Unorthodox Jukebox," which has shifted 963,000. (The latter's total sales -- as it was released in late 2012 -- stand at 1.44 million.)

At the same time a year ago, only one album had shifted more than two million as well: Adele's "21." Through the sales week ending June 24, 2012, "21" had shifted 3.63 million in 2012. It of course finished the year as the top selling album, with 4.41 million.

-- OneRepublic, "Native" (No. 16): What a difference NBC's "The Voice" makes! After the band performed on the season finale of the talent series (June 18), the album flies 111-16 with a 366% gain. With 20,000 sold, it's the set's best sales week and chart rank since its debut at No. 4 on April 13 (60,000).

-- Hanson, "Anthem" (No. 22): The trio's new album debuts at No. 22 with 13,000 sold -- less than the arrival of their last effort, 2010's "Shout It Out" (14,000). However, "Anthem" is the group's highest-charting album since 2000. That year, its final studio set for Island Records, "This Time Around," debuted and peaked at No. 19.

-- Michelle Chamuel, "The Voice: The Complete Season 4 Collection" (No. 57): The three finalists from the just-closed season of "The Voice" debut within the top 75 this week -- all with their own same-titled compilation album. Each set features the contestant's respective performances from the competition series. Winner Danielle Bradbery is at No. 19 with the best sales week of any "Voice" finalist -- ever. Her set sold 18,000. Runner-up Chamuel starts with 7,000 at No. 57 and third-placers the Swon Brothers bow with just under 7,000 (No. 65).

-- Pink Floyd, "The Dark Side of the Moon" (No. 91): With 9.53 million sold, and sales of 3,000 to 8,000 per week, the classic is the next in line to hit the magic 10-million SoundScan-era sales threshold -- although it might take approximately two more years. Since SoundScan started tracking sales in 1991, 22 albums have shifted 10 million.

-- Phish, "Ventura" (No. 123): The six-CD box set is the 31st chart entry for the band and bows with 3,000 sold. It features two live shows recorded in 1997 and 1998. Eighty-three percent of its sales came from non-traditional means, mostly from Phish's official merchandise web site, Phish Dry Goods.

Jay-Z Decodes "Magna Carta Holy Grail" Track [Video]

Less than a week away from its release, rap mogul Jay-Z has provided the backstory to his Magna Carta Holy Grail song, "Heaven."

"This song is like, toying with the idea of being on heaven or hell on Earth. No matter what religion you are, accept other people's idea because have 'you' ever been to heaven? Have you ever seen, you know what I'm saying? My idea is heaven is in your daughter's laughter. Hell could be if your child is missing for three minutes, you're in three minutes of hell. It's just not my beliefs that a just God will make you burn to eternity for free will that he gave you." (YouTube)
Yesterday, a finalized and detailed Magna Carta Holy Grail tracklisting surfaced.

After getting the initial tracklist last week, the full tracklist, along with featured artists, has been officially released for Jay-Z's upcoming Magna Carta Holy Grail album. As shown below, guests include Rick Ross, Beyonce, Frank Ocean, and Justin Timberlake. Magna Carta Holy Grail drops July 4th to one million Samsung Galaxy users, with a official date of July 7th for everyone else. 1. "Picasso Baby" 2. "Heaven" 3. "Versus" 4. "Tom Ford" 5. "Beach Is Better" 6. "F***WithMeYouKnowIGotIt" ft. Rick Ross 7. "Oceans" ft. Frank Ocean 8. "F.U.T.W." 9. "Part II (On The Run)" ft. Beyonce 10. "BBC" 11. "La Familia" 12. "Jay-Z Blue" 13. "Nickles & Dimes" 14. "Holy Grail" ft. Justin Timberlake 15. "Open Letter" (Baller Status)
Contributing producer Swizz Beatz gave fans an idea of what to expect this week.

He continues: "[Fans] always want to go back to the classics. You always have that hunger of 'Man, why didn't he didn't he just... Man, he's supposed to...' It's always going to be that. For the first time in a long time I think someone solved that problem. He did that with this album." (VIBE)
The album has sparked widespread interest and even motivated rap executive Master P to consider similar business ventures.
"To be honest with you, I think it's genius to partner up with a technology company," Master P said of Jay's big moves. "I'm working on [my album] right now and hopefully Verizon will call me real soon." P went with his new idea, continuing, "My next record... I'll drop it through them and do it at a football game or something," he said, laughing and saluting Hov for continuing to think outside of the box. (MTV)
Check out Jay-Z's footage:

Monday, June 24, 2013

Drake receives ‘Best Rap Album’ GRAMMY award x proceeds to drink from it with OVO team

Back in February Drake was awarded the ‘Best Rap Album’ Grammy for his sophomore LP Take CareJAY Z) and encouraging his crew to drink shots out of it with him.
And now that the prestigious gong has finally made its way to the Canadian star, he celebrated its arrival by filling the Grammy with liquor (in a similar fashion to

Coincidentally wearing a T-shirt with ‘Take Care’ written on it, Drizzy swiftly pours alcohol into his newly received award and after having a couple of shots himself, he then passes the Grammy around the room so that everyone else can have a turn, including his close friend and go-to producer, Noah “40″ Shebib. The YMCMB rapper also reveals in the footage that he plans to keep his Grammy at his mum’s house, before taking a quick snap of it to send to her.

No doubt he will be aiming to have the same success with his upcoming album, Nothing Was The Same, which he recently announced will be released on 17 September.

News: Police Storm Flavor Flav's Chicken Spot, Fast Food Dream Collapses

Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 6:35PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne
Public Enemy member Flavor Flav's days as a fast food restaurant boss appear to be done for good as reports claim his Chicken & Ribs Michigan location has been cleared out.
LANDLORD VICTORY BOIIIIIIIIIIIIIII -- Flavor Flav's Fried Chicken & Ribs has officially been evicted from its location in Sterling Heights, Michigan ... and police wasted no time clearing staff out of the location, TMZ has learned. The signed eviction order was affixed to the front door today following a bitter legal battle between Flav's business partners and the landlord, who sued to evict them earlier this month ... accusing Flav's team of stiffing the property owner on more than $20,000 in unpaid rent. (TMZ)
The police forced employees to exit the restaurant and even changed the locks.
Sources close to the restaurant tell TMZ, police showed up this morning to kick out the staff and change the locks on the doors. For Flav's part, his business associates claim they didn't pay rent because of a faulty heating unit on the property -- which was allegedly spewing carbon monoxide -- but their excuse apparently hasn't helped their case. Calls to Flav's camp weren't returned. Ribs in peace. (TMZ)
After a nasty fallout with former business partners, Flav decided to launch his very own fried chicken and soul food takeout restaurant in Nevada last year.
The one-time member of the rap group Public Enemy is holding opening ceremony Thursday evening at Flavor Flav's House of Flavor, a few blocks southeast of downtown Las Vegas. It's the night before the 53rd birthday for the celebrity whose public persona is as big as the clock he wears on his chest. His real name is William Jonathan Drayton Jr., and he's tried the chicken restaurant recipe before. A short-lived franchise dubbed Flav's Fried Chicken opened and closed last year in Clinton, Iowa. An announcement says the Las Vegas store isn't associated with the one in Iowa. (Washington Post)
He previously spoke on his love for the culinary arts and the restaurant's theme.
"My secret (shhhh) fried chicken recipe. That's the star. But we have a red velvet waffle too, and everyone goes ohhhh when they hear that. Go on, you can say it," Flav said when asked about the menu. "My parents owned a soul food diner. It inspired me to go to culinary school. [Did I get a degree?] I sure did. 1978. Albertson, N.Y. ... [The restaurant theme?] Things showcasing my career, a lot of pictures up of me and my celebrity friends. I'll wait until we expand to put all my clocks on the wall." (Los Angeles Times)

Lecrae Addresses Roc Nation Signing Rumor, Claims Jay-Z Was "Looking For Some Conscious Artists"

Christian rapper Lecrae has cleared the air on recent rumors suggesting he may be the latest artist to sign on the dotted line to join Jay-Z's growing Roc Nation empire.
"[Laughs] At this point in time, no. Essentially, he was looking for some conscious artists and my name was thrown into a pool of other artists and that's as far as it went." (Ebony)
He also explained why teaming up with Young Hov's Roc Nation would likely never go down.
"Nah. For multiple reasons, but one majorly, I'm an independent artist, I'm a label owner," Crae added when asked if he would consider joining Jay-Z. "I love my independence. I love being able to create the story. And I want to do in many ways what Jay-Z is doing for the mainstream. He's inspiring a lot of people to think they can do something on their own. I want to inspire people that they can do it on their own and not compromise their faith and beliefs, as well. So, that's what I stand for." (Ebony)
Last year, the rapper talked about his admiration for Jay and the never-ending connections the rap mogul receives to extreme religious rumors.
"I don't know. I sympathize with him because I've been accused of a lot of things that are just ridiculous and so I can't imagine at his level, what's real and what's not. People accuse me of stuff and I'm just like where did you get that from? And I can only imagine that when you're at his level or his height, you're being accused of tons of stuff. Some of it may be true. I don't know. I really can't tell. I don't even know what the Illuminati is, but somehow I'm a member. I'm like man if they're accusing me of this and it's so left field and ridiculous, I don't know if [the rumors] of Jay-Z [being involved] are legitimate or not." ("The Yolanda Adams Morning Show")
Recently, Lecrae spoke to SOHH about working with an artist like Big K.R.I.T. who can balance both religion and illicit desires in his rhymes.
"The Big K.R.I.T. record I've got is called "May Day." I knew K.R.I.T. to be a real transparent dude, he's got no problem talking about his struggles and his ups and downs. One record he might be at the strip club and the next he might be reading the Bible. A lot of people like that because it's authentic. A normal person who doesn't have those complexes won't try to pretend. I thought it would be a dope opportunity for me to get on a record with someone that could say, "Look, I don't have it all together." He's got a church past and so he's heard some things and he's just wrestling with them. I really thought this would be a dope opportunity for people to relate to those and also for me to get on there to relate to him and also give some answers to those things people are wrestling with." (SOHH Singled Out)



The Mrs Carter Show World Tour starring Beyonce is extending its successful global run with additional dates, just confirmed. The tour dates will include performances in Mexico, Brazil, Canada, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and over a dozen US cities. Tickets for the newly announced shows go on-sale starting Monday, July 1. The North American tour, promoted by Live Nation Global Touring and produced by Parkwood Entertainment, kicks off on Friday, June 28 in Los Angeles.

Her Latin American itinerary kicks off in Fortaleza, Brazil on 8 September with stops in Venezuela, Mexico and Puerto Rico, while her added North American jaunt will take her across Canada and several U.S. states - with a homecoming show in her native Houston, Texas on 10 December. The tour will wrap in Boston, Massachusetts on 20 December.

Paula Deen Dropped by Smithfield Foods as N-Word Fallout Continues

Paula Deen will no longer be flogging meat for Smithfield Foods.
The food company has ended its endorsement deal with Deen, following revelations that she had used racial slurs in the past.

"Smithfield condemns the use of offensive and discriminatory language and behavior of any kind," a spokeswoman for Smithfield told TheWrap in a statement. "Therefore, we are terminating our partnership with Paula Deen. Smithfield is determined to be an ethical food industry leader and it is important that our values and those of our spokespeople are properly aligned."

On Friday, Food Network announced that it would not renew Deen's contract, after news broke that Deen admitted to using the N-word in the past.

The admission stemmed from a deposition that Deen gave, stemming from a lawsuit filed by a former employee at Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House, who claims that Deen's brother, Earl W. "Bubba" Hiers created a sexually and racially hostile work environment, and that Deen failed to prevent it.

Deen's severance with Food Network followed multiple apology videos published online by Deen on Friday.
It remains to be seen how the remainder of Deen's empire will be affected by the fallout. On Friday, a spokesman for Caesars Entertainment -- the corporate home of Harrah's, which has several facilities with restaurants bearing Deen's name -- said that it was "deeply disturbed" by reports of Deen's use of racially offensive language, and will "monitor the situation" going forward.

"Paula Deen has acknowledged using a racial slur in the past," the spokesman said. "As a company with a longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion, we are deeply disturbed by what we are reading in the press and strongly object to any use of racial epithets. We will continue to monitor the situation."

BREAKING: Fat Joe Headed To Prison For Tax Evasion, Apologizes To Family

Terror Squad leader Fat Joe has reportedly been sentenced to four months behind bars after appearing in court Monday (June 24) for a tax evasion-related case.
Rapper "Fat Joe" has been sentenced to four months in prison after admitting he failed to file federal income taxes.The platinum-selling artist, whose real name is Joseph Cartagena (car-ta-GEE'-nah), apologized to his family and supporters before being sentenced Monday in federal court in Newark. He pleaded guilty in December 2012 to failing to pay taxes on more than $1 million of income in 2007 and in 2008. U.S. Magistrate Cathy Waldor said she took into consideration the government's allegation that Cartagena failed to taxes on some $3 million in income for years 2007 through 2010, an estimated tax loss to the government of $718,038. The Miami Beach resident was prosecuted in New Jersey because some of the companies he earns money from are incorporated in Somerville. (San Francisco Gate)
Around mid-May, Crack revealed his fate could be sealed at a court date this month.
"I can't really explain that 'cause I got a real court case going on, like facing jail time. But I guess after June 24. Hopefully, it goes well," Joe said on Wednesday (May 22) on "RapFix Live." You gotta understand we hire guys who are supposed have Harvard degrees to take care of us," he began to explain. "All the time you see artists, the first thing they did to you when you caught money was introduce you to a bunch of fancy guys with bow ties who are gonna take care of your money and all that and then you always see an artist or a celebrity or somebody like that goin' down for it and these guys never go down for it." (MTV)
Back in December, Joe's attorney Jeffrey Lichtman said he wanted to fully repay his debts.
The rapper -- who is is currently free on $250,000 bail -- will face up to two years in prison and a fine totaling $200,000 when he is sentenced on April 3, officials said. "Fat Joe," who was recently in the news because of a well-publicized beef with "50 Cent," maintains residences in both New Jersey and Miami Beach. "'Fat Joe' has taken responsibility for his tax failures. He hopes to repay his tax indebtedness," said the rapper's defense attorney, Jeffrey Lichtman. (NY Post)
Details of the hip-hop heavyweight's money woes surfaced online around mid-December.
Rap star "Fat Joe" has pleaded guilty to federal tax evasion. The performer, whose real name is Joseph Cartagena (car-ta-GEE'-nah) entered the plea Thursday to a charge of failing to pay taxes on more than $1 million of income in each of 2007 and 2008. The 42-year-old Miami Beach, Fla., resident appeared in federal court in New Jersey because some of the companies he earns money from are incorporated there. (SF Gate)

Bobby 'Blue' Bland Dead at 83

Bobby "Blue" Bland, a distinguished singer who blended Southern blues and soul in songs such as "Turn on Your Love Light" and "Further On Up the Road," died Sunday. He was 83.

Bobby 'Blue' Bland Dead at 83Rodd Bland said his father died about 5:30 p.m. Sunday due to complications from an ongoing illness at his Memphis, Tenn., home surrounded by relatives.

Bland was known as the "the Sinatra of the blues" and heavily influenced by Nat King Cole, often recording with lavish arrangements to accompany his smooth vocals. He even openly imitated Frank Sinatra on the "Two Steps From the Blues" album cover, standing in front of a building with a coat thrown over his shoulder.

"He brought a certain level of class to the blues genre," said Lawrence "Boo" Mitchell, son of legendary musician and producer Willie Mitchell.

Bland was a contemporary of B.B. King's, serving as the blues great's valet and chauffer at one point, and was one of the last of the living connections to the roots of the genre. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.

Born in Rosemark, Tenn., he moved to nearby Memphis as a teenager and, as the hall of fame noted, was "second in stature only to B.B. King as a product of Memphis' Beale Street blues scene."

After a stint in the Army, he recorded with Sam Phillips at Sun Records in the early 1950s with little to show for it. It wasn't until later that decade Bland began to find success.

He scored his first No. 1 on the R&B charts with "Further On Up the Road" in 1957. Then, beginning with "I'll Take Care of You" in early 1960, Bland released a dozen R&B hits in a row. That string included "Turn On Your Love Light" in 1961.

His "I Pity the Fool" in 1961 was recorded by many rock bands, including David Bowie and Eric Clapton, who has made "Further On Up the Road" part of his repertoire.

"He's always been the type of guy that if he could help you in any way, form or fashion, he would," Rodd Bland said.

Not Again! Chris Brown Accused Of Assaulting A Girl In A Nightclub

Looks like Chris Brown is going to be in court over assaulting a woman again.

According to TMZ, Chris assaulted a woman in a nightclub so severely, that she may need surgery.
Deanna Gines tells TMZ ... she was in the VIP section with Chris at Heat Ultra Lounge in Anaheim -- where he had just performed.  When the bar was about to close, she claims Chris shoved her to the ground.  Deanna tells us, the shove was deliberate and she fell hard on her knees. 

Deanna tells us she filed a police report, and a rep for the Anaheim PD says a female did indeed file a report for assault inside the club, but the rep won't disclose the name. Cops are investigating.  

Deanna says she went to the hospital and doctors told her she had torn ligaments in her right knee. She's going to see another doc later this week and she says she's already been told she may have to go under the knife.
Here's a photo, obtained by TMZ, of Deanna on crutches:
But Breezy's people are saying they don't know anything about Deanna's injuries.
Chris Brown's rep, Nicole Perna, tells TMZ, "I'm unaware of the incident, as is Chris' lawyer and his entire team.  He was in a great mood after Powerhouse."  Perna adds, "None of this makes sense."
Guess we'll find out soon enough!

And, as a bonus, Chris just took to twitter to subliminally address the issue:

Jay-Z And Justin Timberlake's 'Holy Grail' Lyrics Revealed

Hov tackles the pitfalls of fame on the track, which is expected to be released on Tuesday.

Jay-Z famously doesn't write down any of his lyrics, but luckily, someone jotted them down for him, sharing online the lyrics to Hov and Justin Timberlake's unreleased "Holy Grail."

Judging from the lyrics — which were released via a Samsung app designed to deliver Jay's July 4 LP Magna Carta Holy Grail — Jay's tackling the pitfalls of fame on the track, which will reportedly be released Tuesday on iTunes.

"The bright lights is enticing/ But look what it did to Tyson/ All that money in one night/ 30 mil for one fight," the lyrics read, referencing famed Brooklyn boxing icon Mike Tyson.

To close the verse, Hov name drops Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain citing his 1994 suicide. Cobain's wife, Courtney Love said in a recent interview that she recently cleared Jay to use lyrics from Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Those lyrics appear on "Holy Grail," presumably sung by Timberlake. "And we all just/ Entertainers/ And we're stupid/ And contagious," the sheet reads.

In the final verse, Jay reflects on his family life, particularly the difficulty he has spending time publicly with his daughter. "Photo shoots with the paparazzi/ Can't even take my daughter for a walk/ See them by a corner store/ I'm cornered off,"

The lyric reveal is just the latest in MCHG ramp-ups. On Saturday, team Hov led fans through Brooklyn on a scavenger hunt and handed out binders with the full album track list to the winners. The book didn't list any of the album's features, but Jay has recently been photographed in the studio with Drake, Raekwon, Nas, Timbaland and Justin Timberlake.

Drake Talks Money, Says Rapper Aren't The Rich Ones

Drake spoke candidly about his attitude to money recently.

The Young Money rapper claimed that it was wrong to think of rappers as some of the richest people out there.

The rapper recently gave an interview with GQ, and exerts from the piece keep hotting up the internet.

This time, Drake’s views on wealth were discussed, and the rapper revealed that he did enjoy the status that money creates.

Drake also said that he had aimed to make $25 million by his 25th birthday, but now he’s set his eyes on a higher goal. Looking at the lives of the super wealthy -- Drake named Russian businessman, Roman Abramovitch -- he said that it actually took a great deal more money to support the kind of lifestyle that he aspired to.

"'Do you know that even if I had $250 million in the bank, I couldn't buy half of that?” Drake said. “Rappers aren't the really rich ones. We all have nice houses with studios and cars, but you need a piece of someone's business to be super wealthy.'"

Tupac Shakur Musical Bound for Broadway

Inspired by the late rap superstar's music, "Holler If Ya Hear Me" is currently being workshopped for a planned premiere during the 2013-14 season.

Tupac Shakur
Paramount Tupac Shakur
NEW YORK -- A developmental workshop is underway in New York City for Holler If Ya Hear Me, a new musical inspired by the work of Tupac Shakur, which is being targeted for Broadway.
The show will be directed by Kenny Leon, known for his Broadway work on plays including A Raisin in the Sun with Sean Combs; Fences, with Denzel Washington and Viola Davis; and The Mountaintop, with Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett.

While no firm dates have been set for the long-gestating project, producers are aiming to premiere during the 2013-14 Broadway season.

A non-biographical original story, the show is set in the present day, on the inner-city streets of a Midwestern industrial city, chronicling the challenges faced by two childhood friends and their extended families. The story is inspired by and unfolds to the music of Shakur, the influential rapper who died in 1996 and has sold more than 75 million albums worldwide.

The musical has a book by Todd Kriedler and choreography by Tony Award winner Wayne Cilento (Wicked, The Who's Tommy). The design team includes David Gallo (sets), Reggie Ray (costumes) and Mike Baldassari (lighting). Music supervision is by Daryl Waters, a veteran of such musicals as Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk, The Color Purple and Memphis.

Lead producers on the project are the late music superstar's mother, Afeni Shakur, as well as Eric L. Gold, Chunsoo Shin and Jessica Green.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Pitbull Sizzles, Ke$ha Fizzles at Hollywood Bowl: Concert Review

Pitbull and Ke$ha embarking on a summer tour together might seem like a strange pairing until you remember that the pop artists share a record label -- and thus marketing dollars. Another potential benefit of sharing a bill in giant outdoor amphitheaters like the Hollywood Bowl is the cross-pollination of fans, ensuring that each section of the Ke$ha-Pitbull Venn diagram is holding a ticket. But Tuesday evening at the Bowl, the seats were filled primarily with raging Pitbull fans, who filed into the venue mid-way during Ke$ha’s hourlong set, which took place mostly in daylight.

If both artists can churn out Top 40 singles and sell albums with decent regularity, how does one draw a notably larger crowd when it comes to touring? The answers might lie in each artist’s presentation and how the overall image they’ve each generated is translated into a live performance.
For Ke$ha, that image is sex and essentially nothing else. Even as songs like “Blow” and “Crazy Kids” feel like raucous party anthems, the singer seems hell-bent on embodying this persona of an over-sexed, unnecessarily crass rebel whose music is secondary to her shouting things like, “Now will you guys please take your balls out and teabag your neighbor?” Her performance is a spectacle but perhaps not in the way pop is meant to be a spectacle where the visuals should lend new meaning to the music itself. There is no subtlety, no innuendo, no turn of phase. For instance: the track “Dirty Love,” off her recent album Warrior. As if not already abundantly clear in its message, did the song really need the alarmingly explicit visual of Ke$ha poking her finger into one of her dancer’s butts?

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From a stripper pole to dancers dressed like drag queens to a series of glittering leotards to an inflatable pink hippo, Ke$ha’s set lacked an overarching vision beyond provocation. When you perform a song like “Gold Trans Am,” how does pretending to weld your crotch while changing the already-blatant lyrics to “Get inside of my vagina” expand and augment a recorded version of the song? If anything, it makes the track seem more like a gimmick than it did before.

Pitbull, on the other hand, has created an image of a cool playboy, ever-clad in a black suit and constantly surrounded by gyrating dancers. But the Cuban singer’s headlining set, which featured almost no production except a light show, four dancers and a band, was far more open than Ke$ha’s. It allowed for a broader audience to embrace its aesthetic and message, although Pitbull’s means of doing so occasionally bordered on cheesy.

For Pitbull, the performance was about playing the hits -- his own or anyone else’s. Each track was introduced with an abridged cover or interlude with songs like Icona Pop’s “I Love It” or Black Eyed Peas' “I Got A Feeling.” Even Jennifer Lopez, who appeared onstage toward the end of the set, was on hand to perform her own new single “Live It Up” rather than guest on one of the several Pitbull songs on which she is featured. The idea was to transform the normally tame venue into a party, one that transcended demographic (although Pitbull’s Latin audience was strongly represented last night). “We make world music,” the rapper said at one point, after rattling off a list of Spanish-speaking countries. “We talk to the whole world.”

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From “International Love,” which received a guest appearance from Chris Brown, to “Don’t Stop The Party” to the Enrique Iglesias-led “Baby I Like It,” Pitbull’s set was massive and all-encompassing, generating an unabashed sense of fun in the crowd. That, in many ways, feels like the point of a pop show -- creating an atmosphere that allows your fans to celebrate music and experience a sense of release ... not encouraging everyone to take their balls out because it serves your own twisted agenda.

Pitbull, who called out Los Angeles twice as his “No. 1 market,” balanced his pop radio singles with his more Latin-inspired numbers, offering onstage banter in both languages throughout the set. Before he closed down the Bowl with “Give Me Everything” and actual fireworks, the smiling singer presented the crowd with his motto: “Pasos cortos, visiĆ³n larga,” which translates to “Short steps, long vision.”

The two pop stars who took the stage at the Hollywood Bowl clearly have different ideas about artistic sustainability. Ke$ha revealed hers to be largely one-note, empty of anything beyond immediate shock value. But for Pitbull, this long vision consists of building himself up as an artist who's amiable and accessible to the crowd that supports his music. It’s a good lesson.

Set List:

Crazy Kids
We R Who We R
Gold Trans Am
Dirty Love
Take It Off
Machine Gun Love
Blah Blah Blah
Tik Tok
Die Young