Saturday, June 10, 2017

Watch Suge Knight Try to Sign Tupac to Death Row in 'All Eyez on Me' Clip: Exclusive

In light of Tupac Shakur's All Eyez on Me biopic dropping next week, our friends over at Billboard got its hands on an exclusive clip from the movie.
The 48-second teaser features Suge Knight visiting Shakur in jail after he was sentenced for sexually abusing a fan in 1995. In hopes of luring 'Pac over to Death Row Records, Knight lists all the things he can offer the embattled rapper.

Believe Digital: Seeks Sale
"Money ain't a thing. What you need is guidance," says Knight. "I'm not saying you can't have friends, but I'm the one who's gonna be there with you 24/7/365, so it should be me [as your manager]. Death Row ain't a label, it's a way of life," he continues.

Shakur's decision to sign with Death Row Records in 1995 was a pivotal move in his career. After leaving prison, he released his opus All Eyez on Me later that year, which not only signified his comeback, but bolstered the legitimacy of Death Row as a super label.
Watch the clip below:

Friday, June 9, 2017

Taylor Swift Returns Her Music Catalog to Streaming Services

Taylor Swift is returning her music catalog to streaming services, ending the digital music world’s highest-profile feud and affirming that streaming is now the dominant music format.
On Thursday evening, Ms. Swift’s management announced on Twitter that since her latest album, “1989,” has now sold 10 million copies around the world, she “wants to thank her fans by making her entire back catalog available to all streaming services tonight at midnight.”

For Spotify in particular, Ms. Swift’s return has great symbolic significance. Shortly after she released “1989,” in October 2014, Ms. Swift removed her entire catalog from Spotify, saying later, “I’m not willing to contribute my life’s work to an experiment that I don’t feel fairly compensates the writers, producers, artists and creators of this music.”
It was the highest-profile protest at a moment when many artists were highly suspicious of streaming, and concerned that the new format would erode their sales of CDs and downloads.
The next year, Ms. Swift battled publicly with Apple over the introduction of Apple Music, Spotify’s streaming competitor. Her public criticism led the company to change its royalty policy overnight.

Believe Digital: Seeks Sale
But Ms. Swift’s return is a sign of the dominance of streaming, and of its maturation as an essential part of the music business, from the marketing of singles to the industry’s sales figures. In March, the Recording Industry Association of America, a trade group, reported that in 2016 streaming services generated $3.9 billion in sales in the United States, representing 51 percent of revenues.
Spotify, which operates both free and paid tiers, had for years staunchly refused requests from record labels and artists — including, apparently, Ms. Swift — to restrict music to its paid levels, which pay higher royalties. But this year, in a renegotiation with the Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music conglomerate, Spotify agreed to let labels put new music only on the paid tier for limited periods, in exchange for lower royalty rates.
Ms. Swift’s music is returning to all major streaming services, including Spotify, Amazon and Google Play, and will be on both free and paid levels of Spotify. (Her music is already on Apple Music, which has also financed a concert film for her and put her in commercials.)
This article was originally published by the New York Times

This article originally appeared in the New York Times

Contributing author 

Mary J. Blige Ordered to Pay $30,000 a Month in Temporary Spousal Support

Singer ordered to pay retroactive spousal support, estranged husband's lawyer fees

Mary J. Blige has been ordered to pay her estranged husband, Kendu Isaacs, $30,000 a month in temporary spousal support.

The couple decided to separate last year after 12 years of marriage.

According to TMZa judge ordered the “Not Gon’ Cry” singer to pay the funds to Isaacs after he requested a whopping $129,319 a month from the star.

Though the court found Isaacs to be entitled to money that would accommodate the standard of living he was used to, it decided his requested amount was unreasonable.

Blige was ordered to pay retroactive spousal support dating to September, along with Isaacs’ attorney fees. That’s a total of $235,000.

In April, Blige claimed in court that Isaacs spent more than $420,000 during their marriage on “travel charges” that involved his girlfriend, it was revealed that Isaacs allegedly cheated on the 46-year-old with her much younger protégée.

To make matters worse, the Family Affair singer was dedicated to making Starshell, well, a star. Reportedly, the A-lister would bring the budding songstress to red carpets, events, and TV appearances in order to build the up-and-comer's profile.Nonetheless, Starshell was regularly spotted spending alone time with Kendu. 


Blige also claimed that Isaacs drives a Mercedes that she pre-paid the lease on and that he refuses to turn over possession of her “Grammy and other achievement awards.”

The singer said she had long been the only bread-winner in the family and that she is burdened with more than $10,000,000 in debt.

While the couple does not have any children together, Blige has been a stepmother to Kendu’s children – Briana, Jordan and Nas – from a former relationship since they wed in 2003.

“I am not responsible for supporting [Martin’s] parents and his children from another relationship which he lists as ongoing monthly expenses,” Blige stated in the court documents.

Whether Isaacs is satisfied with the designated amount in spousal report remains unclear, but one thing’s for sure—he’s living a heck of a lot better than most of us.

This article was originally published by EBONY
This article originally appeared in EBONY
Contributing author #TEAMEBONY


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Master P To Host First-Ever ESSENCE Fest Celebrity Basketball Game

Pelicans assistant Robert Pack teams with Master P to form Team H.O.P.E. to mentor local youth. 

Team H.O.P.E. , an acronym for “Helping Our Players Excel.”  Set to take place on Thursday, June 29 at the Xavier University Convocation Center, the game will feature an all-star line up of entertainers, former pro athletes and other respected members of the New Orleans community. Keeping with the Team Hope NOLA mission, proceeds from the event will go towards a scholarship fund for New Orleans youth. Master P himself has long been a hometown public figure who has actively taken steps to provide opportunities for the youth in the NOLA community and he says his celebrity friends were glad to join the cause when he put out the call.

"I reached out to some of my colleagues and friends and told them what we are doing to help raise money for the children in New Orleans and the response has been overwhelming,” said Percy “Master P” Miller. “It is extremely important to be able to help the young people from my hometown – these children are challenged with so much. This is just my way of giving back and we can have some family fun doing it."


In addition to Master P, celebrity players who will take part in the game include Trey Songz,Romeo MillerAnthony MackieTerrence J,Juvenille and more. Click HERE to see the full lineup of celebrity players and be sure to visit get your tickets today!

This article was originally published by Essence.

This article originally appeared in Essence.

Contributing author Rachaell Davis.

#ImpactOneBillionPeople #TeamHopeNola #EssenceFestival2017 #EssenceFest        

Universal Music Group Names Tuhin Roy VP of New Digital Business

Universal Music Group announced Thursday that digital entrepreneur Tuhin Roy has been appointed to the newly created position of Vice President of New Digital Business.
According to a release, Roy will identify and work closely with start-ups in the early-stage digital media sector to develop strategic new digital business partnerships. He will be based at UMG’s global headquarters in Santa Monica and report to Michael Nash, Executive Vice President of Digital Strategy.
In making the announcement, Nash said, “Tuhin brings an entrepreneurial orientation and an incredible wealth of experience to this role. I’m confident his deep knowledge of the start-up environment and investment community dynamics will magnify UMG’s efforts to cultivate the digital ecosystem, promote innovation and establish new revenue streams.”
“Universal Music’s amazing track record of empowering entrepreneurs and embracing digital innovation, from early-stage start-ups to industry-leading companies, has enabled the music industry’s return to growth,” Roy said. “I’m thrilled to join Michael Nash’s incredible team and I’m looking forward to advancing UMG’s mission of working with entrepreneurs to develop exciting new digital services for music fans and artists around the world.”
In 2003, Roy founded the Digital Rights Agency, a digital music and TV content aggregation company that he merged with the Orchard.  In addition, Roy has served as an adviser to SXSW On, 8tracks and MediaLink. He recently co-founded Fanzy, a digital platform that enabled 25,000 brands and top music artists to reward fans on social media platforms.
Earlier, Roy served as General Counsel of Echo Networks, a digital music company acquired in early 2003 by a consortium of music retailers, where he was responsible for music industry relations. Roy previously practiced corporate and intellectual property law at Perkins Coie LLP in Menlo Park, California, where he represented technology companies in licensing and corporate finance matters. Before practicing law, Roy worked as a songwriter and producer.
This article was originally published by Variety.

This article originally appeared in Variety.

Contributing author

Jerry Seinfeld Explains Awkward Kesha Moment: ‘I Don’t Hug a Total Stranger’

In what’s now internet history, Kesha approached the comedian on the red carpet at the David Lynch Foundation’s National Night of Laughter and Song, co-sponsored by Variety, on Monday and asked for a hug, only to be denied — three times. A video of the awkward moment almost immediately went viral.“I’m 63, I don’t know every pop star,” Seinfeld told “Extra” on Thursday. “I don’t know everyone.”
He confirmed that he’s not a huge fan of hugs, at least not when it’s with a “total stranger.” “I was right in the middle of an interview, it was a little off,” he added.
“When you get to be my age and you’ve done a couple things, you have your own reality,” he said. “In my reality… I don’t hug a total stranger. I have to meet someone, say hello. I gotta start somewhere. Hug isn’t first moment of a human, two humans. I never did that.”
“I got a borderline harassment case here!” he joked.
It doesn’t seem like there’s any hard feelings, however. “She was very nice about it, we laughed about it,” he said.
But did the pop star ever get her hug? “No!” Seinfeld clarified. Lesson learned.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Oprah Just Explained Why OWN Won’t Be Picking Up ‘Underground’

WGN America’s recent cancellation of the hit antebellum-set drama Underground was a blow to both television and to TV lovers who are enthralled and fascinated by the history of slavery and race in this country. 

Though there is still hope that the series will get picked up by either Netflix or Hulu, many fans were confused as to why both BET and Oprah Winfrey’s OWN decided to pass on the acclaimed series.

EMINEM: Makes Grad. video Appearance

Recently, at a press event for Queen Sugar in Los Angelesshe said,

“I can’t afford Underground. It cost twice as much to make as Queen Sugar. As a matter of fact, my dear friend John Legend called me personally and asked me about it, but we’d already been talking about how we could make it work – it’s like $5 million an episode, so we can’t afford it. It’s not cheap; I think because it’s a period piece.”

Sitting in a very intimate setting with a small group of journalists, Winfrey added thoughtfully, “We really tried to make it work, I wanted to make it work because I think it’s a good show. I wanted to be able to save that show, but it did not make good business sense for me.”

BILL MAHERKareem Abdul Jabbar's Thoughts

Sometimes it seems that things truly do boil down to rating and numbers. Winfrey expressed that though Underground has a loyal following, the ratings just did not make sense for OWN since it’s only about six years old and is still finding its footing.

Now that The Get Down and Sense8 are over on Netflix, here’s hoping the streaming platform swoops in and saves the day. We’re sure the series executive producer John Legend has one last move up his sleeve.

This article was originally published by Ebony Magazine

This article originally appeared in

Contributing author ARAMIDE TINUBU

Twitter: @thapalace
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Hip Hop superstar makes a (video) appearance at a Flint, Michigan graduation ceremony.

FLINT, MI – When Eminem wrote about seizing moments and opportunities in “Lose Yourself,” chances are he wasn’t really talking about getting a high school education.

BILL MAHERKareem Abdul Jabbar's Thoughts

Now Slim Shady is older, and his sensibilities have changed a little. The Hip Hop superstar made a (video) appearance at a Flint, Michigan graduation ceremony this week to congratulate the students from several Michigan high schools.

“What’s up Class of 2017? This is Eminem. I just want to say congratulations to the graduating seniors of Flint Northwestern, Flint Southwestern and Flint Accelerated Learning Academy. Congrats to all your guys’ hard work, man. You earned this moment.”

Em, who is famously a proud “Michigander,” didn’t just offer kind words to the graduates, he also supplied a set of Beats by Dre headphones to every graduating student in the auditorium.

Even better, MLive has reported that the whole idea was Eminem’s, and that he reached out to the schools through his Marshall Mathers Foundation.

OPRAH: OWN Passes on "Underground"

Last August, Em also teamed up with the Kids In Need Foundation to help bring school supplies to the community’s children.

Flint is a city that’s been in the headlines for the last several years for its water crisis, after its citizens were potentially exposed to dangerously high levels of lead in their drinking water. The situation has continued without resolution.

Flint schools Superintendent Bilal Tawwab spoke to the resilience of the students as a result of having been brought up in Flint.

“I would rather bet on a Flint graduate, someone who has been tested by adversity, who has transcended all the obstacles put in their way than someone who has coasted through life with every advantage. You can do anything you want and for the first time in your lives you have the full power to set your own course. From this point on the decisions are yours.”

This article was originally published by hiphopdx

This article originally appeared in

Contributing authorby Somhairle Cinnsealach


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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: No, Maher Shouldn't Be Fired For the N-Word

 by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
"Intent is important," writes the NBA great, and the HBO host's use of the word merely shows poor taste — and it could even raise awareness of today's race issues.
Courtesy HBO; F.M. Brown/Getty Images Maher (Abdul-Jabbar (inset))
Political comedian Lenny Bruce, who was often arrested for the provocative material in his act, once theorized that if everyone used the N-word matter-of-factly in daily life, it would be robbed of its power to “make a 6-year-old black kid cry” when someone at school used it on him. In a way, that’s exactly what some in the African-American community have done by using the word freely among themselves when addressing each other. But in times when hate crimes are on the rise, when we have an administration actively and gleefully dismantling civil rights gains, and when the word is being scrawled on LeBron James’ home, Lenny Bruce’s dream that we could defuse the word-bomb is still far from a reality.
Which is why Bill Maher's joking use of it on the June 2 edition of Real Time has caused such a backlash. There are plenty of contexts in which a white person using the N-word would be appropriate and inoffensive. Maher used the word once before while appearing on Larry King’s CNN show when commenting on Newt Gingrich’s accusation that then-President Obama held a “Kenyan anti-colonial worldview.” Maher responded that “Kenyan, of course, was code for n—er.” In that situation, he was condemning Gingrich’s coy racism with a harshness that was justified and incisive. This time, however, was not the same.

OPRAH: OWN Passes on "Underground"
The reason the N-word is so volatile is that it carries hundreds of years of poisonous baggage. It is associated with how African-Americans were perceived as less human than whites, and it represents the atrocities committed as a result. The word evokes kidnapping, rape, mutilation, humiliation, forced poverty and murder. Even now, it implies a physical threat. We are sensitive to its use — and have a right to be — because the effects of that word and all it represents remain a part of our daily lives.
But we also have the responsibility not to punish every time it is used in poor taste rather than maliciously, because that muddies the waters regarding the reason for our outrage. Intent is important. Clearly, Maher's intention was not to demean blacks. To put it in perspective, compare Maher with Phil Stair, the public official from Flint, Michigan, who was recently recorded using the N-word while blaming black people who "don't pay their bills" for the water crisis facing the city. He has since resigned. A major difference between people like Maher and people like Stair is that the public official’s bias has a direct and practical effect of the people he represents. His is a betrayal of the principles the country stands for.

EMINEM: Makes Grad. video Appearance
Was Maher insensitive? Absolutely. Inappropriate? Definitely. Smug in appropriating the word for cheap humor? Check. Yet, there was no malevolent intent.
Maher is a worthy and incisive voice in political humor who made a mistake and apologized. Inadvertently, he caused the issue to be debated, raising awareness and hopefully sensitizing people. I just wish it was for an insight rather than an insult.
A version of this story first appeared in the June 7 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
This article was originally published by THR
This article originally appeared in THR

Contributing author Kareem Abdul-Jabbar


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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Newly Released Alternate Ending for 'Juice'


Kain and Hopkins’ memories of Raheem, Steel and “Juice” come as the film is set to debut on Blu-ray on June 6 The video release, which will be re-released on DVD the same day, will honor the movie’s 25th anniversary with new interviews with the cast and crew as well as never-before-released footage of the cast on set, the original ending of “Juice” and a new director’s commentary from Dickerson, who details the reasons why the ending was changed prior to the film’s theatrical release.

Bishop: You gotta snap some collars and let them motherfuckers know you here to take them out anytime you feel like it! You gotta get the ground beneath your feet, partner, get the wind behind your back and go out in a blaze if you got to! Otherwise you ain't shit! You might as well be dead your damn self! 
Juice (1992)

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the hip hop classic Juice, director, Ernest R. Dickerson, has released the alternate ending to the movie's climactic finish. 
The original ending portrayed Tupac Shakur's character Bishop and Omar Epps' Q engage in a bloody skirmish on a city rooftop. After Q knocks Bishop over the edge of the rooftop, he attempts to grab his hand to keep his friend from falling. Unable to maintain his grip, Q watches his homie take a gruesome fall. 
For the alternate ending, Bishop is once again fighting to maintain Q's grip. As he struggles to hold on, he's startled by the sounds of police sirens closing in on them. Rather than pull his way up, Bishop concedes, because he refuses to spend his life in prison.

OPRAH: OWN Passes on "Underground"
"He hears the cops coming and he stops struggling... and he lets go," says Dickerson, looking back on the agonizing scene. "It was just an attitude that showed that Bishop wasn't a punk. He was a force that really had to be reckoned with in the right way." Read More

While some entertainers grow weary and annoyed over recognition for portraying that one character, Kain wears it like a badge of honor. Especially since the movie that birthed Raheem, (“Juice”) celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

So yes, all the love Kain receives for his character is proof he made one hell of a first impression. Not bad for a guy who carried no prior movie experience and continues to be blown away by the mark Raheem left with filmgoers.

BILL MAHER: Kareem Abdul Jabbar's Thoughts

“That was the first film that I ever did. I had no idea that 25 years later, people would still be screaming ‘Raheem!’ out in the streets. That’s a huge compliment, huge compliment,” Kain shared with EURweb associate Chris Richburg as he explained how being annoyed is never an option when it comes to Raheem.

“I have friends of mine that be walking around and they’re like, ‘Yo man. Does that ever get annoying?’ I’m like, ‘No, never. Never. Not 25 years later.’

Like Kain, Hopkins can testify about the relationship with his co-stars going beyond what was seen in front of the camera. According to the “Lean on Me” and “Phat Beach” star, late nights on and off set resulted in the formation of a genuine “brotherhood” that made for a “life-changing” experience.

“I remember a lot of late nights and getting back into the condo at the break of day,” Hopkins recalled. “So there was a whole lot of that and just the time that we as a cast, pretty much…we formed a brotherhood. We was that crew when the cameras wasn’t rolling. We had a lot of fun like black brothers would do, different jokes, different pet names and stuff and everything.”

When it came time to assemble the Wrecking Crew, “Juice” producers brought a natural approach with an invitation for the actors to eat dinner with them, a strategy Hopkins labeled as “genius.”

“When I look back on it, it was genius for them to do that because that’s how they were able to put this cast together. They took us out with different groups. Everybody that they had in mind. And they didn’t tell us to stick together or get together. It was just like however, whoever clicked and we clicked. Just like y’all seen us click in the movie, that’s how we clicked in real life.

This article was originally published by Billboard and EuroWeb
This article originally appeared in Billboard and EuroWeb
Contributing author(s)  Carl Anthony Lamarre & QWEST7