Friday, August 16, 2013

'That 70s Show' Actress Lisa Robin Kelly Dead At 43!

Actress Lisa Robin Kelly, best known for her role on "That '70s Show," passed away Wednesday night (August 14). She was just 43 years old.

According to, Kelly died in her sleep while staying at a rehab facility in California for alcohol.

The actress' agent said she had just voluntarily checked herself in for treatment for alcohol abuse this past week and was determined to clean herself up. "She had been fighting demons for a while and finally lost her battle," stated Kelly's agent.

Kelly had long struggled with alcohol, and was arrested at least four times in the past three years for DUI, spousal abuse and assault.

Reports said she had been in and out of rehab centers hoping to kick her alcohol problem, but most recently fell off the wagon following a dispute with her estranged husband Robert Gilliam, who beat her up last May to obtain residual money from her show. He would be convicted of domestic battery last month and sentenced to three years probation and 35 days in jail

Kelly's new boyfriend brought her to rehab again on Monday (August 12), but she went into cardiac arrest late Wednesday night and passed away.

Lisa Robin Kelly dead at 43: 'That '70s Show' actress dies during rehab stint after suffering cardiac arrest, according to report

The star, who played Eric Forman's older sister on the sitcom, reportedly passed away in her sleep at a rehab facility after long fight against alcoholism

12th April 2000: Portrait of American actor Lisa Robin Kelly wearing a fuchsia blouse with a ruffled neckline and black Capri pants, standing on a film lot, Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Munawar Hosain/Fotos International/Getty Images)
Lisa Robin Kelly pictured in 2000.

Lisa Robin Kelly, an actress best known for her long-running role as Laurie Forman on "That '70s Show," died at age 43 on Wednesday.

Kelly had been staying at a rehab facility in California when she passed away in her sleep, according to TMZ.

The gossip site was told she went into cardiac arrest and could not be saved.

Kelly's agent told TMZ that the actress had voluntarily checked herself into treatment during the past week.
 'That 70's Show' star Lisa Robin Kelly after an arrest for assault. The actress died in her sleep at a California rehab facility at the age of 43. 
Kelly  Mug Shot

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Supplied by PacificCoas/Los Angeles County Sheriff's Dep

 'That 70's Show' star Lisa Robin Kelly after an arrest for assault. The actress died in her sleep at a California rehab facility at the age of 43. 

"I spoke to her on Monday and she was hopeful and confident, looking forward to putting this part of her life behind her," Kelly's agent, Craig Wyckoff, told People.

"Last night she lost the battle. Cause of death has not been issued yet and no death certificate has been issued either." 

Connecticut-born Kelly debuted in an episode of "Married..with Children" in 1992. She also appeared on television shows "Murphy Brown" and "Charmed," as well as TV movie "Amity Dollhouse."  Kelly's best known part was on "That '70s Show," on which she played the older sister of Topher Grace's character Eric Forman. When she left "the FOX sitcom after five years, she was replaced by actrss Christina Moore. 
The cast of 'That '70s Show.' Lisa Robin Kelly, far right, who starred as Laurie Forman, died Thursday.

The cast of 'That '70s Show.' Lisa Robin Kelly, far right, who starred as Laurie Forman, died Thursday.

In an interview with ABC News, Kelly opened up about her struggles with substance abuse after she left the show. 


"I had lost a baby," Kelly said. "As a result of that I lost it. I lost everything and I was abusing alcohol."
"With 'That '70s Show' I was guilty of a drinking problem, and I ran," she added. 

Kelly had been arrested several times in the past three years for a string of incidents. In 2010, Kelly pled guilty to misdemeanour drunk driving, earning her a night in jail and a year of unsupervised probation.

In March 2012, Kelly was arrested on a count of spousal abuse, though charges were later dropped. In November of the same year, Kelly and her husband Gilliam were both arrested for assault. In June of this year, the actress was arrested again on suspicion of driving under the influence. 

In June Kelly had filed for divorce from Gilliam, citing irreconcilable differences for as the cause of their split.


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Justin Timberlake Reveals Track List For New Album "The 20/20 Experience- 2 of 2" drops Sept. 30 ...

Just in case you couldn’t get enough of Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience,” which was released earlier this year after a musical hiatus, you’re in luck. “The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2″ is scheduled for release on Sept. 30 and the lead single, “Take Back The Night,” is out now.

The pop star shared the track listing, which you can view below, on his Instagram account Wednesday night.

1. Gimme What I Don’t Want Know (I Want)
2. True Blood
3. Cabaret
4. TKO
5. Take Back The Night
6. Murder
7. Drink You Away
8. You Got It On
9. Amnesia
10.Only When I Walk Away
11. Not A Bad Thing

Timberlake, who wraps up his Legends of the Summer Tour with Jay Z in Miami Friday night, will hit the stage solo soon to promote “20/20 Part 2.”
Later this month, he will perform at the MTV Video Music Awards in Brooklyn, where he will receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. Congratulations, Justin!
The new CD is now available for pre-sale at iTunes and Amazon.

Russell Simmons Apologizes For Harriet Tubman Sex Parody Posted to New YouTube Venture

Russell Simmons is apologizing for a controversial parody video on his YouTube channel, which depicted U.S. abolitionist Harriet Tubman having sex with her white slave master with the intent of filming the act and blackmailing him.

The video, posted to Simmons' new All Def Digital YouTube channel on Wednesday, has since been removed, with the media mogul issuing a statement of apology.

"I'm a very liberal person with thick skin," he writes. "My first impression of the Harriet Tubman piece was that it was about what one of the actors said in the video, that 162 years later, there's still tremendous injustice. And with Harriet Tubman outwitting the slave master? I thought it was politically correct. Silly me."

Simmons reveals that a phone call from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was what prompted him to remove the clip.

"I can now understand why so many people are upset," he says. "I would never condone violence against women in any form, and for all of those I offended, I am sincerely sorry."

Tubman is remembered for helping hundreds flee from slavery through a series of safe houses in the 1800s, and was a well-known "conductor" on Underground Railroad network. Tubman was also a spy for the Union army during the American Civil War. 

Read Simmons' full statement via

Big Sean Performs "Beware" feat. Jhene Aiko

Big Sean caps off a busy week of and bottle-popping by invading the Jimmy Kimmel Show alongside soulstress Jhené Aiko to perform his single "Beware" on the Sony Outdoor stage. Sean's forthcoming album Hall of Fame touches down August 27. Stay tuned for the world premiere of the official visual including Lil Wayne Friday.

Rihanna & A$AP Rocky? Does RiRi have a new squeeze?

Grammy-winning singer Rihanna is heating up the summer in New York City after reportedly getting extra cozy with Harlem rapper A$AP Rocky this week.

According to reports, RiRi and A$AP shared a few intimate moments during a shoot Wednesday (August 14) evening.
Rihanna got up close with A$AP Rocky on set of a music video in New York on Wednesday night. It's unknown exactly what they were shooting, but the two were spotted getting cozy on and off camera. According to photographers on set, they shared a cigarette and were seen making out at one point. Rocky was also joined on set by his A$AP Mob brothers A$AP Ferg and A$AP Illz. RiRi wore a floor-length zebra-print dress and changed into Timberlands while getting flirty with her co-star. RiRi and Rocky shared the stage at the 2012 VMAs and he opened for her on the U.S. leg of her "Diamonds World Tour." (Rap-Up)
Back in April, Rocky insisted RiRi is nothing more than a good friend.
"Yeah I expected people to say that me and Rihanna were sleeping around. We're just cool," Rocky told MTV News while out on the set for A$AP Ferg's "Work" remix video on April 10. "Man dudes be tryin' to front like they tappin' Rihanna's [anatomy] and all that, but they don't be hittin' it." "That's really a friend. She supports me, man. She's bringing me out, she ain't have to do that. That girl came to my Coachella a year ago. I got nothing but love for Rih Rih, that's the homey right there," he continued. "I ain't tryin' to get in no trouble with no Rihanna rumors because I'm not f---in' Rihanna. That's somebody's elses." (MTV)

Earlier this year, rumors scattered the 'net which claimed RiRi dumped reunited boyfriend Chris Brown for the Harlem emcee. just got OFFICIAL confirmation this morning that Rihanna has a new boyfriend . . and we're told that the two are "VERY SERIOUS." Her new boyfriend is . . .A$AP ROCKY!!! According to a ROCK SOLID MTO INSIDER, A$AP and Rihanna have been on tour together now for about a month - and they've FALLEN IN LOVE!!! The insider told, "This isn't some fling, they're in love . . . cuddling, hanging out, everything." The insider continued, "I've never seen Rihanna so happy - even happier than when she was with Chris." (MTO)
Last fall, Rocky spoke on his now-infamous squeeze on the eye-catching crooner.
"I didn't mean for the ass grab to be the thing. I don't fiend for fake publicity sh*t. I'm just a trill n*gga. [Laughs.] Rihanna is what I want to be, as far as having a big core following. She's very successful. She's been doing it for years. Think about it. "Pon de Replay".... So '05, '06, '07, '08, '09, '10, '11, '12.... She's got seven years in this sh*t. Shout-outs to that young lady, and hopefully, with the grace of God, seven years from now, I can say the same." (Complex)

Does RiRi have a new squeeze? The sexy singer was caught getting VERY close to rapper A$AP Rocky while filming their new music video on August 15, and the two looked curiously comfortable locking lips for the cameras.

On-screen romances hardly ever look this real! Rihanna and A$AP Rocky are playing lovers for their upcoming music video, “Work,” and on August 15 photographers caught them making out and showing off some serious chemistry. So is there anything going on off-set, or are RiRi and A$AP just fantastic actors?

Rihanna & A$AP Rocky Kiss

Rihanna and A$AP Rocky had a late night together — filming the music video for their song, “Work,” well into the morning on August 15, according to SplashNews.

The two stars appear to be playing each other’s romantic interest in the video, and they appear to be doing a very good job at it. Standing outside of a corner store, Rihanna and A$AP got super close, cuddling frequently and even making out with each other at one point!

And they definitely didn’t seem to have any problem getting romantic with each other — the two laughed and looked flirty all throughout the filming, according to SplashNews.

Rihanna & A$AP Rocky Making Out: Does It Mean Something More?

We’ve seen Rihanna do plenty of wild things in her music videos, and you could say making out with A$AP is just another one of those things, but this steamy video makeout session isn’t the first time that Rihanna and A$AP have been linked.

The 24-year-old rapper opened for Rihanna on her “Diamonds” tour from March to May, and rumors that their relationship was more than professional have been swirling ever since. An April report even went so far to claim that the two hooked up and actually started dating while on tour!

And for her part, Rihanna has actually helped fuel the rumors. She’s tweeted his lyrics numerous times before and on April 19 she Instagrammed a photo of A$AP and herself lovingly embracing on stage.

And if Rihanna and A$AP do take their music video romance off-screen, it wouldn’t be the first time she found love on a film set (which is not a hopeless place) — she and Drake had a short fling after they made the video for “Take Care.”

So what do you think, HollywoodLifers? Are Rihanna and A$AP acting up for the cameras or are they making it look so real because it is!? Let us know!

WATCH: Rihanna Caught Kissing A$AP Rocky 

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Chris Brown Catches Rare Break In Hit-And-Run Case

Judge tosses out case, but how will it impact Brown's probation status?

A week after Chris Brown threatened to retire from the music business
 after expressing his frustrations with his ongoing legal problems, the singer caught a rare break in the courtroom on Thursday (August 15).

According to TMZ, a judge dismissed Brown's hit-and-run case after the singer and his alleged victim reached a compromise on the matter. Though the prosecutor in the case had argued that Brown deserved to be punished for allegedly leaving the scene of an accident
 because he is still on felony probation from his 2009 assault on former girlfriend Rihanna, the judge disagreed.

The victim in the case was reportedly not interested in payment from Brown because the damage to her car was so minor and she'd asked for the matter to be dismissed. The L.A. City Attorney objected, though, arguing that Brown was very aggressive to the victim and called her a bitch.

Brown's probation in the Rihanna case was revoked in July in connection with the hit-and-run and the singer spent less than an hour in jail
 on the charge last week. He is due in court on Monday for a probation hearing and could face up to four years in jail
 if he is found in violation.

Before Thursday's ruling, veteran Los Angeles-based criminal defense attorney Mike Cavalluzzi, who has no firsthand knowledge of the case, told MTV News that Brown's probation would likely be reinstated if the hit-and-run was dismissed.

"Once that [hit-and-run] case is dismissed, if it is due to a finding of no wrongdoing, it is also routine to reinstate the probation on the felony [assault] case," said Cavalluzzi. However, he added that even if the misdemeanor case is dismissed but there is proof of some wrongdoing, the judge could still look at that case and determine for himself if there was some wrongdoing on Brown's behalf and decide to violate his probation.

"It could be anything from reinstating probation with no punishment, to extending his probation, to additional community service, jail time or state prison time," he said. The likely scenario, though, is that the judge will reinstate Brown's probation with a violation noted on his official record.
Brown's lawyer, Mark Geragos, told TMZ, "The case never should have been filed in the first place. It's unfortunate he was being prosecuted for who he is rather than what he's done." MTV News could not reach Geragos for additional comment at press time.

A spokesperson for Brown confirmed that the singer suffered a nonepileptic seizure
 while in the recording studio last Friday that was partially a result of the stresses of his ongoing legal problems. "His doctor tended to him this afternoon and attributes the NES to intense fatigue and extreme emotional stress, both due to the continued onslaught of unfounded legal matters and the nonstop negativity," read the statement.

J. Cole Talks Autism Controversy, Illuminati Allegations

Born Sinner, J. Cole stopped by the offices of Wall Street Journal to talk about various topics in an hour-long interview.

The Roc Nation rapper explained his feelings about dropping his album on the same day as Kanye West's Yeezus; the controversy over his "autism" lyric and how it may affect his career moving forward; and later, his college education at St. John's University in New York.

Cole also talks about the help Jay Z has given him; allegations that he and Jay are members of the secret society known as the Illuminati; and much more.

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Miley Cyrus Stops Twerkin', Pencils In Hip-Hop Debut

Pop star Miley Cyrus has taken a moment away from her twerking campaign and finally penciled in a release date for her upcoming hip-hop debut, Bangerz.
Barring any setbacks, Miley's new LP will land on stores shelves in early October.
Miley Cyrus is bringing her Bangerz this fall. The singer has set a release date for her fourth album. She announced the October 8 date on Twitter. "#BANGERZ #Oct8th," she tweeted. Miley has been in the studio with Mike WiLL Made It, Pharrell, Da Internz, Planet VI, Stacy Barthe, and Sam Hook, and has collaborated with Big Sean, Future, Nelly, and French Montana, who she worked with on a remix to "Ain't Worried About Nothin." "I had no preconceived ideas w/ this record," she told one fan. "The album revealed its name about 8 songs in when I realized we got nutn but #bangerz. (Rap-Up)

Earlier this summer, hip-hop producer Pharrell said the project would have touches of hip-hop along with other sounds.
"It's just gonna sound like her and her influences, but it's not that hip-hop heavy," Pharrell says of the full body of work. That's not what she does, that's not where she comes from. It's a part of what she loves, which is a very big difference. I would expect that there would be elements of the things that she's into, but nothing rules her. She's a fiery Sagittarius; she can't be put into a box. None of us can anyway. All of us like a little of this and a little of that, in terms of the elements of our influences." (MTV)
Back in April, the hitmaker suggested Miley Cyrus is really about that rap life and much more.
"She can tell you everything about Waka Flocka. She can tell you when Gucci Mane came out. She means it 'cause she grew up in that. She grew up listening to that with all her friends. She's showing you the signs that she's a different girl." (Hot 97)
Recently, Bad Boy Records rapper French Montana gushed over his bond with Cyrus.
"That's my dog. That's my peoples. We became friends at the Clive Davis Grammy party. I was sitting there with Puff. She was sitting there with Wiz [Khalifa]. She just kept looking at me laughing, I kept on looking at her laughing. I said, "What you laughing at?" She said, "I know you high like me." After that, we became mad cool. I went over to the studio, just kicking it -- Yeah. We working on something now. That's just cool peoples." (MTV Hive)

Morning Fix: Robin Thicke & Co. Pre-Emptively Sue Marvin Gaye's Family

In order to shield "Blurred Lines," the hottest hit of the summer, Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and Clifford Harris, Jr. are going to court.

A lawsuit was filed Thursday in California federal court by the trio against Marvin Gaye's family and Bridgeport Music, which owns some of Funkadelic's compositions. At issue are complaints about similarities between "Blurred Lines" and at least two songs.

According to the suit, a copy of which was obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, "Plaintiffs, who have the utmost respect for and admiration of Marvin Gaye, Funkadelic and their musical legacies, reluctantly file this action in the face of multiple adverse claims from alleged successors in interest to those artists. Defendants continue to insist that plaintiffs' massively successful composition, 'Blurred Lines,' copies 'their' compositions."
Read the lawsuit here.

The suit claims the Gaye family is alleging that "Blurred Lines" and Gaye's "Got to Give It Up" "feel" or "sound" the same, and that the "Gaye defendants are claiming ownership of an entire genre, as opposed to a specific work."

As for Funkadelic, there's said to be claimed similarity between Thicke's hit and Funakedlic's "Sexy Ways."
"But there are no similarities between plaintiffs' composition and those the claimants allege they own, other than commonplace musical elements," states the lawsuit. "Plaintiffs created a hit and did it without copying anyone else's composition."

A New York TImes critic has noted that "Blurred Lines" is "influenced heavily" by Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up,” but the lawsuit makes the point that "being reminiscent of a 'sound' is not copyright infringement. The intent in producing 'Blurred Lines' was to evoke an era."

The Gayes and Bridgeport are said to be threatening litigation should the plaintiffs not pay a monetary settlement. Rather than wait for such a lawsuit to proceed, the plaintiffs are going to court to determine the parties' respective rights and obligations.

In seeking a judgment, Thicke, Williams and Harris Jr. are not only looking for a declaration that their song doesn't violate the defendants' rights by copying their songs, but also that the "Gayes do not have an interest in the copyright to the composition 'Got To Give It Up' sufficient to confer standing on them to pursue claims of infringement of that composition."

The plaintiffs are represented by Howard King and Stephen Rothschild of King, Holmes, Paterno & Berliner.

THR has reached out to the defendants for comment and update with a response.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Want a Job in the Music Business? These Are the Cities You Should Live In

Big cities like New York and Los Angeles have more music industry jobs, but you're more likely to have a neighbor in the biz in Nashville.

In today's DIY music business, people can perform their jobs from just about anywhere. But as economist Richard Florida pointed out in 2009, the trend in music industry jobs has been increased concentration in a small number of cities. From 1970 to 2006, Nashville was the only city in the country with positive growth in music industry jobs using a location quotient, a measure of a particular industry's share of the total employment in a given location. "In effect, it sucked up all the growth in the music industry," Florida wrote.

Nashville's 27,000 music industry jobs are vital to the city. The jobs earn an income of nearly $1.7 billion and contribute $5.5 billion to the local economy. The multiplier effect means one job can help support additional jobs. In all, the local music industry supports 57,000 jobs and creates a total economic output of $9.7 billion.

None of this has gone unnoticed by the City of Nashville. A report by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Music City Music Council, a group of professionals assembled by Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, boasts of music's great impact on Nashville and the resources available in the modestly sized metropolitan area of 1.7 million. Using economic data compiled by Economic Modeling Specialty International, the report shows how Nashville stacks up to other music hubs.

In terms of concentration of music industry jobs, Nashville is tops with 7.8 per 1,000 residents, according to EMSI data in the report. Los Angeles is a distant second with 2.8. Austin is third with 2.6. At 2.0, New York actually falls beneath the 2.1 of Charlotte, N.C.

It should come as no surprise that the cities with the three highest concentrations of music industry jobs also have the best-paying ones. Los Angeles tops all markets in average music job earnings with 175% of the country's average salary. Nashville is second at 156%, and New York is third at 147%. Music jobs pay less than the national average in Charlotte (99%), Austin (94%), Atlanta (85%), Memphis (79%) and New Orleans (73%).
Those good salaries go far in Nashville. The city's cost of living is 11.1% lower than the national average, according to the ACCRA Cost of Living Index. New York is 125% of the national average. Los Angeles is 31% above it.

A Timeline Of Responses To Kendrick Lamar’s “Control” Verse

Kendrick Lamar declared himself “King Of New York”

It has been a little more than 48 hours since the occupying force of Kendrick Lamar declared himself “King Of New York” on his monumental verse on Big Sean’s “Control.” Hip-Hop has been served notice that Kendrick has claimed superiority over his peers, putting himself on the pedestal of the greats.

Newtonian physics tell us that “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” You didn’t really think hip-hop wouldn’t respond to this, did you? Over the last 36 hours, hip-hop has responded in force. Some find Kendrick’s braggadocio refreshing while others find the Good Kid’s gall to rather offensive.

The Rolling Stones sue fashion company over iconic logo

The Rolling Stones have launched legal action against a German fashion retailer for using their famous lips logo on promotional sales posters without permission.

The Brown Sugar hitmakers are suing bosses at clothing company New Yorker Fashion for using their mouth and tongue design on posters and clothing tickets, but the CEO of the company argues that the design is not exclusive to the rockers.

Lawyers from the group's Netherlands-based law firm Musidor BV are demanding a $315,000 (£210,000) settlement and a $25,500 (£17,000) fine.

A spokesperson for the band tells Britain's The Sun, "As with any band or major brand, we will be fiercely protective of our commercial properties, be that songs, gigs or logos. If we didn't chase up improper use, it would set a dangerous precedent."

However New Yorker Fashion CEO Fritz Knapp argues, "The tongue is not the Stones' alone. The posters were made by our creative department. I won't let the Stones ban my tongue."

Staff at stores have already had to remove 800 promotional posters and over 3,000 clothes tags with the logo on.

Foxy Brown Addresses Botched Lil' Kim Summer Jam Rumors

New York rap veteran Foxy Brown has cleared up recent rumors about running late and ultimately missing an opportunity to end her beef with Lil' Kim at Hot 97's Summer Jam.

According to Foxy, there were never any plans for her to share the stage with the Queen Bee during rapper Fabolous' set last June.
"This story is not true," Foxy said about the Hot 97 reunion rumors. "What's been alleged is not true. Scary. It's so scary. I never thought I would miss the days of Paula Froelich and Wendy Williams. I thought I would never say I would miss those days, no really, but at least there was an ounce of validity to their reportings back then. ... Anybody that saw Summer Jam pictures saw Foxy Brown 'on' stage, the pictures with Raekwon and I onstage. Foxy Brown was never late, let's see, it's a touchy situation because I have a lot of respect for Fab, my brother and Fab are like brothers -- let's just say it wasn't orchestrated properly and when you have something of that magnitutde, I understand, I have a brain -- some part of that [proposed reunion] has to feel real. It has to be real." (RapFix)
She also confirmed Fabolous approached her about the idea and said her personal beef with Kim was deeper than just a rap conflict.
"The night before he calls me -- 'I wanna ask you something, I don't know how you're gonna feel about this but I'm going to ask you -- how would you feel if I brought Lil' Kim out with us on stage?' I said, 'That would be crazy.' ... The last time she and I were even [around], there was a shoot-out, the last comment I ever remember her making about me, she laughed at the fact that I lost my hearing. Those things, when people do things like that, and they have malicious intent, that's different than people just having a rap battle." (RapFix)
Last June, reports of Foxy's late arrival ending a possible reunion surfaced across the Internet.
Nicki Minaj and Lil' Kim both touched the stage at Summer Jam XX on Sunday. While Nicki was a guest of 2 Chainz, Lil' Kim had MetLife Stadium buzzing when she surprised during Fabolous' set. The Queen Bee performed "Queen Bitch" off her debut Hard Core. "When we talk about the ni**as who be killin' it from Brooklyn, it was only right that we got the queen out here," said Fab. There were also rumors that Foxy Brown was supposed to appear during Loso's set, but she was running late. (Rap-Up)
Back in January 2011, a perceived Kim diss track from Foxy leaked online.
"First a b*tch wanna hate on Foxy/ Ten years later now she hating Minajie," Foxy raps over Jay-Z's "So Ghetto" beat. "And all that subliminal rap sh*t, I'll put you in a Chinchilla casket ... Bear witness to the rise and the fall of Miss Kimberly Jones." ("Christmas Massacre")

Russell Simmons Announces Launch of All Def Digital YouTube Channel

Def Jam co-founder and music mogul Russell Simmons has announced the launch of a new YouTube channel, All Def Digital, a collaboration between Rush Digital Media, Simmons' media company, and Dreamworks Animation subsidiary Awesomeness TV, one of the most teen-trafficked video platforms. Partnered with Google/YouTube and, All Def Digital will serve as a new source for urban music, comedy, and spoken word.

“I’ve worked my entire professional life to promote up-and-coming talent and the new art forms they create and YouTube is the perfect platform for this new generation,” wrote Simmons in a press release. “Just as our talent will benefit from being able to engage directly with their fans, YouTube will benefit from having a network that reflects the incredible diversity of the new America.”

All Def Digital will host original series including "Odd World: MellowHigh," which follows hip-hop trio MellowHigh (Hodgy Beats, Left Brain, and Domo Genesis) as they record their next EP and tour the country with the rest of Odd Future; "B-Rock," an animated series that re-imagines Barack Obama in the White House; and "Dr. Reasons," a couples-counseling show helmed by YouTube phenom Spoken Reasons (born John A. Baker, Jr.). 

There are also plans in the works for original music programming in the form of All Def Music, which is scheduled for debut sometime this fall, and All Def Poetry, which will showcase spoken word videos. 

This announcement follows the July unveiling of All Def Music, a "record" label helmed by Simmons, Steve Rifkind (CEO and partner of All Def Music), and film director/producer Brian Robbins (founder and president of Varsity Pictures, director of "Hardball," "Varsity Blues"), focused on the development and promotion of artists via YouTube.

Simmons, Robbins, Rifkind partner with UMG to launch YouTube-focused label

Def Jam founder Russell Simmons, Brian Robbins and Steve Rifkind have partnered with Universal Music Group to launch a “next-generation” label that will focus specifically on signing, developing and promoting artists on YouTube.

The label, All Def Music, is the first major label-affiliated company specifically designed to A&R through YouTube. It will leverage a new channel and forthcoming multi-channel network on Youtube (All Def Digital) founded by Simmons and Robbins with funding from YouTube itself to produce programming featuring a diverse range of talent.

All Def Digital will launch in Q3 2013.

Steve Rifkind has been appointed president and CEO of All Def Music and ADD Management.
The first signings to ADD Management include John A. Baker (aka Spoken Reasons) – a poet, comedian and musician who has garnererd more than 1.3 million YouTube subscribers to date.
All Def Digital has also announced the development of an unscripted music-themed show with rapper Asher Roth titled Lemonade. Roth has already amassed over 20 million YouTube views.

“The exponential growth of Internet-based video has created a powerful new outlet for music and music-based content, and the launch of All Def Music is a part of our broader strategy to partner with some of the most experienced entrepreneurs in media and technology to identify future stars and develop powerful content on the world’s fastest growing media platform,” said UMG chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge.

“As one of the most successful entrepreneurs in media, Russell has built a global organization based on developing cutting-edge entertainment for generations of fans,” he added.  “We’re excited to partner with Russell as he extends his incredible track record to platforms such as YouTube, and I’m thrilled that we can welcome Russell back to the UMG family where he has been instrumental to this company’s evolution with Def Jam.  

“In addition, Brian Robbins’ proven track record of exceptional content creation specifically designed to harness the power of YouTube has made him one of the most successful producers in media today. And with Steve’s wealth of experience as a music entrepreneur, I couldn’t think of a better executive to launch this label.”
Simmons said: “I look forward to working with the extraordinary talent from the vastly creative YouTube ecosystem in the same way I’ve worked with musicians, poets, comedians and designers all my life.  This is the most exciting new terrain for me, to move talent across all media platforms and I couldn’t have better partners in Brian and Steve, and the most innovative of music executives, Lucian Grainge.”   

Robbins said: “I'm thrilled to be in business with an impresario like Russell Simmons and a distinguished entrepreneur like Steve Rifkind to leverage digital and build ADD into the biggest and brightest urban brand.”
Rifkind said: “Over the course of my entire career, I've never been more excited than I am today about the potential for innovation in music.  Tapping into YouTube’s fertile creative platform, we intend to identify, develop and nurture music's next generation of superstar talent.  Alongside Russell, Brian and the incredible team at UMG, I look forward to building All Def Music into a global music label for the new age.  

“We're excited to see what this innovative collaboration will yield," said Robert Kyncl, Head of Content and Business Operations at YouTube. "The launch of All Def Music will amplify YouTube’s role as a launchpad for both established artists and the next generation of musical talent.”

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Foxy Brown And Pusha T On 'RapFix Live' Aug 14

It's been awhile since Foxy Brown sat down for an in-depth interview, and on Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET, the Brooklyn-bred rapper will make her first appearance on "RapFix Live" to chat with host Sway Calloway.

Pusha-T will also be live in the studio to make an announcement about his anticipated debut album, My Name Is My Name.

 Watch video

Catch Foxy Brown and Pusha-T on "RapFix Live" Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET on MTV Jams and Join the conversation using the hashtag #RapFixLive and send your questions for the MCs to @MTVRapFix!

Prince Enters the Twittersphere, Launches 3rd Eye Girl Video

The Purple One has come to Twitter.

Prince, who once called the Internet "completely over," posted several tweets on Tuesday through the account of his current group, 3rd Eye Girl.

The tweets, poking fun at his online aversion, include a picture of what appears to be his dinner and a link to a 3rd Eye Girl live performance.

 "CATCH THIS NOW B4 MY LAWYERS DEW," he wrote of the video, a nod to his sharp eye for video copyright violations: in April, he issued a takedown request to Twitter's Vine for the presence of his music in some of the service's 6-second videos.

The new live video, dubbed "Let's Go Crazy Reloaded," is the first on 3rd Eye Girl's account -- perhaps a sign that more of his music, currently a YouTube rarity, may be heading online.

Prince's tweeting spree was confirmed by Twitter's Tatiana Grace.

Jesse Jackson Jr., Wife Sentenced

EST: A federal judge has sentenced former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. to 30 months in prison, following his guilty plea that he engaged in a scheme to spend $750,000 in campaign funds on personal items. Sandi Jackson, his wife, has been sentenced to one year in prison for filing false joint federal income tax returns that understated the income the couple received.
Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is ashamed of his conduct and accepts responsibility, his lawyer told the federal judge who was deciding the sentences Wednesday for the Illinois ex-congressman and his wife for misusing $750,000 in campaign money on splurges from a gold-plated Rolex watch and mink capes to vacations and mounted elk heads.

Jackson’s lawyer, Reid Weingarten, told the judge that his client is “a very special guy” who can be charming and kind and whose behavior reflected mental illness. “He immediately wanted to come to terms with the conduct and did,” Weingarten said.

The 48-year-old son of civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson was expected to step before the judge at the hearing to make a statement, a moment defendants typically use to apologize or ask for mercy. An emotional Jackson held back tears earlier this year when he entered a guilty plea to conspiring to defraud his campaign.

Citing the brazenness of his illegal spending, prosecutors are recommending a four-year prison term for the Chicago Democrat once seen as a possible candidate for U.S. president. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson — who is not related to the defendants — could give him as little as probation or impose the maximum five-year prison term.

Sandra Jackson, 49, a former Chicago alderman, pleaded guilty to filing false tax returns, and prosecutors are seeking 18-month sentence for her crimes. But as a concession, they have asked that the couple’s sentences be staggered so one Jackson would be free to care for their two children while the other is behind bars.
In letters to the court prior to Wednesday’s sentencing in Washington, the former congressman’s family urged the judge to go easy on him, blaming much of his bad behavior on his recent diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

“I appeal to you for mercy,” Jackson’s father wrote in one letter. “Jesse Jr. is an example as a teacher and counselor who will be better served under supervision and probation.”

Jackson’s mom, Jacqueline Jackson, describes becoming aware of her son’s unraveling a year ago, just before he disappeared from public view. Months later, he resigned his House seat.

“(I) found my son grossly underweight and in poor health,” she writes. “When I took him to his Capitol Hill office to prepare for (a) vote, the office was in total disarray, which was most unusual for my son.”

Weingarten said the younger Jackson has been under a microscope for his entire life and had enormous expectations placed upon him from the time he was born.

But prosecutors dismiss the notion that Jackson’s bipolar disorder explains his misdeeds.

There is no proof his mood swings had any bearing on the “3,100 illegal transactions that occurred during the life of the conspiracy,” they say in one filing.

They also noted his apparent greed. The combined annual salaries of Jackson and his wife were more than $300,000 during much of the time they were burning through donors’ money.

Prosecutors took particular umbrage at defense claims that Jackson’s crimes were ultimately victimless.Jackson betrayed voters, they told the judge, and he undermined the democratic process by shaking public confidence in the nation’s campaign-finance system.

Diddy Clowns Kendrick Lamar Over "King Of NY" Line

Bad Boy Records CEO Diddy is the latest hip-hop artist to weigh-in with a reaction to Kendrick Lamar declaring himself as the 'King of New York' on Big Sean's "Control" anthem.
Diddy hopped onto his Instagram page and posted a parody meme of him alongside Jay Z to address Lamar's line.
The backlash against Kendrick Lamar is in FULL SWING ... with Diddy putting the rapper on blast on Instagram ... and he's even dragging Jay-Z into the attack. Lamar has been under fire for the past 24 hours for the lyrics he spits out against other rappers on Big Sean's new track, "Control" ... in which KL refers to himself as the "King of New York." Naturally, Diddy took issue with the lyric ... considering, well, you know ... he thinks HE'S the king of New York. So Diddy fired back with an image on Instagram, showing himself and Jay-Z, another New York boss, laughing ... along with a caption that MOCKS Kendrick's lyrics. Diddy ain't the first to fire back at Kendrick -- 67-year-old NBA legend Phil Jackson dropped some knowledge Kendrick's way yesterday ... after KL shouted his name in the same song. (TMZ)
Coincidentally, Puff Daddy gave Lamar props for his good kid, m.A.A.d city album earlier this summer.
"I feel like the timing of these albums coming out and these artists deciding to be honest with themselves and raising the bar... Kendrick Lamar came out and killed us and really f*cked our heads up with some realness. I think that he's responsible for starting it, but I think these other brothers came back real hard and strong and are very, very competitive. That's when hip-hop or music is at an all time high when people know and they respect, "Yo, that album is dope and I want my album to be better than that album," or, "I want to challenge that album."" (VIBE)
Last fall, West Coast rapper Game compared Kendrick to New York rap veteran Nas.
He compared him to one of hip-hop's most respected MCs. "Kendrick is like our West Coast Nas, so to speak--lyrically amazing," he said, while warning other rappers not to mess with him. "I hope no one ever beefs or tries to attack him lyrically. You will definitely lose. His mind is crazy." Kendrick reminds him of someone else from Compton. "His career is real reminiscent of my early start, minus the bandana. Kendrick is neutral in this. That's our West Coast Nas and everyone should support that." (Rap-Up)

On the "Control" track, Kendrick does not hold back his lyrical wrath with dicey name-dropping lines.
Big Sean, 25, took to Twitter to release his latest single, "Control" to his over 4 million Twitter followers, which features 26-year-old rapper Kendrick Lamar. "I'm usually homeboys with the same n****s i'm rhymin wit/But this is hip hop and them n****s should know what time it is/And that goes for Jermaine Cole, Big K.R.I.T., Wale, Pusha T, Meek Mill, A$AP Rocky, Drake, Big Sean, Jay Electron', Tyler, Mac Miller/I got love for you all but I'm tryna murder you n****s/Tryna make sure your core fans never heard of you n****s." He also has a verse that says: "I'm Machiavelli's offspring, I'm the king of New York/King of the Coast, one hand, I juggle them both." (Hollywood Life)