Jay-Z’s Major News/Lil Wayne Settles Suit/ Opening Statements in Jimmy Henchman Case/ Freeway Mad At Jay?/ Mystikal Back in Jail

Posted: May 15, 2012 in Hip Hop News, Videos

Jay-Z Hopes To ‘Push The Culture Foward’ With Philly Festival

By Rob Markman

PHILADELPHIA — Jay-Z once bragged in song that he beat his assault charges “like Rocky.” Well, it’s been more than a decade since, and Hov — the multiplatinum mogul who remains atop music’s food chain — has done more than simply beat the charge.

On Monday morning (May 14), rap’s most magnetic man drew a crowd of reporters and media types to the very steps that the fictional boxer Rocky has made famous. Standing triumphantly at the peak of the staircase of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Hov and Philly Mayor Michael Nutter announced yet another prolific Jay-venture: Budweiser Made in America, a two-day music festival in Philadelphia, this Labor Day weekend.

“Everyone knows my love affair with Philly from the amazing, talented artists I’ve signed from here,” Jay said, prompting State Property MC Freeway to jump onstage beside him.

Jay-Z will not only headline the festival, he will also curate the three-stage concert, which will feature close to 30 different acts. Still, for the God MC, there are a few things to consider before pulling off stunts such as these.

“Whenever I enter into a project, I try to hit on some touch points. The first thing is: Is it great?” Jay asked rhetorically, addressing the crowd, which braved some clouds and drizzle. “The second one is: Is it gonna push the culture forward?”

Forward progress is a safe bet: A press release for the upcoming event promises eclectic acts in multiple genres like rock, hip-hop, R&B, Latin and dance music, but the official roster won’t be announced until May 21.

The third item Jay considers is the philanthropic opportunities, so once again, he is partnering with United Way. Together, they put on Jigga’s February Carnegie Hall concert in New York, and this time out, they aim to support local charities in both Philly and South New Jersey.

The show will be held September 1 and September 2 on Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park. Tickets for Made in America will go on sale May 23 through Ticketmaster.com and LiveNation.com. (mtv.com)

Lil Wayne Settle $1.5 Million Lawsuit With “Love Me or Hate Me” Producer

Just last month, Lil Wayne settled a lawsuit with the disgruntled producer of his Grammy Award-winning single, “Lollipop.”

Over this past weekend, TMZ reported that Weezy settled yet another lawsuit, this time for $1.5 million over his track, “Love Me or Hate Me.”

According to the celebrity news website, producer David Kirkwood sued Weezy, Cash Money Records and Young Money Entertainment last year, claiming they owed him royalties on “Love Me or Hate Me” off Wayne’s Tha Carter III album.

Although Weezy initially fought back in asking a judge to dismiss he case, he eventually decided to settle the lawsuit with Kirkwood out of court.

This news comes after TMZ broke the story of Wayne settling with producer Darius Harrison’s $20 million lawsuit for unpaid work on several records on Tha Carter III, including “Lollipop.”

Like with Kirkwood, Wayne initially tried to get a judge to dismiss the case with Harrison, before eventually settling out of court with him with what TMZ called a “confidential agreement.”

The success of “Lollipop” as the lead single off Tha Carter III paved the way for the album taking off as a huge smash hit with rap fans back in 2008. Hit singles such as “A Milli,” “Got Money” and “Mrs. Officer” all followed as the next string of singles the LP spawned.

Weezy would follow that album with Tha Carter IV album, which he released last August. That LP would boast a host of singles including “6 Foot 7 Foot,” “John,” “How to Love,” “She Will” and “It’s Good.”—Jakinder Singh (xxlmag.com)

Opening Statements Begin In Jimmy Henchman Cocaine Case

The trial of Hip-Hop mogul James “Jimmy Henchman” Rosemond began today (May 14) in Brooklyn Federal Court.

Rosemond, who at one point managed artists like Game, Brandy, Akon and others, is accused of being the head of a $10 million-year-cocaine ring.

Authorities accuse Rosemond, who appeared in a court today in a crisp, pin-stripped suit, of organizing a conspiracy to distribute cocaine imported from Los Angeles, to New York.

Prosecutors claim Rosemond used FedEx and other overnight shipping companies, to send cocaine from Los Angeles to New York, where the drugs were distributed, in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and other boroughs.

The Prosecution

A multiracial jury made up of eight women and six men listened to opening statements from prosecutors early this afternoon.

Prosecutors said Rosemond headed up the cocaine empire from 2007 until 2011.

“The whole system ran like clockwork,” Assistant Prosecutor Una Dean said. “For a time business was good. He [Rosemond] had a lot of money and lived a life of luxury. But he didn’t just have money, he had cash, so he could continue to build his drug empire.”

Prosecutors accused Rosemond of using his management company, Czar Entertainment, as a front, to launder his drug proceeds.

The Assistant D.A. said that on three separate occasions, police intercepted massive amounts of cash in bundles of $400,000 $600,000 and $800,000, respectively.

Prosecutors claimed that Rosemond created hundreds of front companies, and used thousands of money orders to pay for various luxury items

He even used the money orders to pay one lawyer $300,000 in attorney fees.

When Rosemond began to suspect authorities had infiltrated his drug empire, he started using other methods of sending the drugs back and forth between California and New York.

Police said that after Rosemond stopped using FedEx, he began shipping cocaine in music crates, to various recording studios in New York and sending the drug proceeds back to Los Angeles.

After some of those shipments were seized, Rosemond started shipping luxury cars stuffed with drugs, to New York and Los Angeles.

The Defense

Gerald Shargel said that there were four major flaws with the government’s case against Rosemond.

He said the government witnesses were liars, questioned their motives, said the evidence seized was flawed and that Rosemond’s reputation was strategically damaged by journalist Chuck Philips.

“I’m going to make a bold statement. The prosecution’s case against Jimmy Rosemond can’t be trusted,” Gerald Shargel told the jury. “The witnesses they are relying on want to be paid with the price of freedom. These witnesses have an eloquent history of lying. I don’t mean simply insignificant lies, I mean lies that hit to the heart of this case.”

Gerald Shargel said that most prosecution witnesses had a motive to lie, since that was the only way to have their federal sentences reduced, under federal guidelines.

Some of the witnesses testifying against Rosemond face sentences ranging from 10 years, up to life in prison for drug dealing and other crimes.

Shargel said that he would also question the evidence in the case, as well as the corroboration of the evidence the government is present.

Shargel said that Rosemond was the manager of several popular Hip-Hop artists, including Game, Akon, Mario Winans and others.

According to Shargel’s opening statements, Rosemond’s duties as a manager accounted for the large amounts of cash he frequently possessed.

Prosecutors began to object when Gerald Shargel laid out the final point of Rosemond’s defense, which was his reputation.

Gerald Shargel pointed to an infamous article published in the Los Angeles Times by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Chuck Philips.

The article claimed that Rosemond was behind the 1994 shooting of Tupac Shakur, at Quad Recording Studios in Manhattan.

When the article was found to be fabricated, the Los Angeles Times was forced to publish a retraction, fire Chuck Philips and settle a defamation of character lawsuit with Jimmy Rosemond for $250,000.

A man named Dexter Isaac eventually confessed to be being the trigger man in the 1994 Quad shooting, on orders of Rosemond.

“This motivated people to go along with the government’s story,” Gerald Shargel told the jury. “When they cooperate, the mandatory minimum no longer exists. You will find that plays an important role, because the article motivated people to testify against Jimmy Rosemond,bwho was labeled a snitch.”

According to Gerald Shargel, the former Hip-Hop mogul attempted to cooperate with the government seven different times, but they were not satisfied with the information he provided to them.

“What about Game? You got any dirt on Sean Combs, or anything on 50 Cent? Who killed Tupac Shakur?’ Those were some of the questions the government wanted Rosemond to answer,” Gerald Shargel said.

Testimony continues in the trial all this week. (hiphopdx.com)

The Truth About Freeway’s Appearance At Jay-Z’sPhilly Press Conference

Twitter can be a rapper’s best friend or worst enemy. Case in point: Freeway’s appearance at Jay-Z’s “Made In America” press conference in Philadelphia, earlier today (May. 14).

Shortly after the brief press event, photos surfaced of what appeared to be Hov ushering Freeway off to the side, so he could take photos solo, with Philly mayor Michael Nutter and other local politicians.

A fire storm of slanderous tweets and internet comments followed with mentions of the Philly rapper crashing the stage without an invite from Jay.

However, the former Roc-A-Fella rapper’s cameo was fully initiated by Jay-Z. Sources tell VIBE, Hov personally invited Freeway to appear at the press conference with him and that the two spoke both before and after the event. The speculation of stage crashing is totally false.

From the jump, Free was fully aware he would not be taking press photos with Jay and Philly’s politicians. The rapper’s past drug felony drug charge is the sole reason for this.

According to a source, Jay-Z and Freeway remain close friends to this day. (vibe.com)

Mystikal Check Back Into Jail Follwoing Probation Violation

Mystikal just checked into a Louisiana jail this morning (May 14) to serve an 81-day sentence for domestic abuse.

Back in February, TMZ first reported that the rapper was arrested in Baton Rouge on a domestic abuse charge back in February and a judge ruled it was a violation of his probation stemming from a five-year probation following a six-year prison stint for sexual battery and extortion.

Talking to XXLMag.com late last month, Baby vowed that that Cash Money would stand by Mystikal’s side and support him through his latest brush with the law.

“Them little 80 days, them ain’t about nothing,” Birdman told XXL. “We’ll be on his next single as he comes home. From the concrete, straight to the concrete. Ya heard me.”

Hearing that, Mystikal told XXL how appreciative he is of Baby and the entire YMCMB family, but knows it’s up to him to right his wrongs once he’s released.

“[Birdman’s] being supportive, but he’s hurt behind this shit and it’s on me,” Mystikal revealed earlier in the month.

“When a lot of good things come, it seems like that fall gotta come. I gotta make this good and ya’ll know I am.

“I’m just stoked about the opportunity to come home and still have that opportunity [to record music],” he added. “Even during a mishap, they’re still supporting me 100 percent. Get ready for the music. I can tell you that’s it’s gonna be well worth the wait. Well worth the wait. Especially that album.”

Originally, Mystikal’s sentence was supposed to be 90 days, but the rhymeslinger was credited nine days served while detained following his February arrest, edging the sentence to 81 days.

His album, although there’s no timetable on it as of press time, is supposed to be titled, Original. Before reporting to jail today, Mystikal tweeted to tell fans that his upcoming mixtape, Origins, will drop July 30.—Mark Lelinwalla (xxlmag.com)

NEW MUSIC

Azealia Banks – Jumanji

Fred the Godson ft. DJ Drama

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