“Godfather of Go-Go” Chuck Brown Dies At 75

by Slava Kuperstein

Chuck Brown, credited with the creation of go-go, died on Wednesday (May 16).

Brown’s manager confirmed that the bandleader died from complications from sepsis, reports the Washington Post. Brown had been hospitalized for pneumonia.

Regarded as the “Godfather of Go-Go,” Brown was credited with creating the sub-genre of funk in the mid-1970s, which became wildly popular in Washington, D.C. and the surrounding area.

The call-and-response brand of funk has fused with Hip Hop in recent years, with many D.C. go-go artists covering songs by various Hip Hop acts. The name of the genre, according to Brown, came from the fact that “the music just goes and goes.”

Washington, D.C. emcee Wale took to Twitter to pay his respects to the fallen legend:

@Wale Wale Folarin RIP to the Legend …Chuck Brown. u will be missed worldwide. #dcornothing May 16 via Echofon Favorite Retweet Reply

Brown was 75 years old. (hiphopdx.com)

Chuck Brown “Go-Go Swing”

 

Chuck Brown And The Soul Searchers – Day-O

 

Rocsi, Terrence J Leaving “106 & Park”

by Grouchy Greg

Hit Hip-Hop/r&b video countdown show “106 & Park” will go through some major changes in the near future.

According to the New York Post, longtime co-host Rocsi Diaz is leaving the show to pursue an acting career.

Rocsi will reportedly be relocating to the West Coast, in an effort to pursue a career in Hollywood.

According to sources, Terrence J. is also making plans to leave the show as a host, to pursue an acting career as well.

Both have appeared in high-profile movies in the past year.

Rocsi will be featured in the movie “Soul Ties,” while Terrence J. had a starring role in Steve Harvey’s movie “Think Like a Man.”

There was no time frame for the their departure from “106 & Park.”

Terrence J. and Rocsi were the third set of hosts for “106 & Park,” since the show’s launch in 2000.

Free and AJ Calloway were the original hosts from 2000-2005, while Big Tigger and Julissa Bermudez hosted the show for one year, from 2005-2006.

Rocsi and Terrence J. held down the hosting duties from 2006 until present. (allhiphop.com)

Donna Summer, Dies at 63

Donna Summer — the Queen of Disco — died this morning after a battle with cancer … TMZ has learned.
We’re told Summer was in Florida at the time of her death. She was 63 years old.
Sources close to Summer tell us … the singer was trying to keep the extent of her illness under wraps. We spoke to someone who was with Summer a couple of weeks ago … who says she didn’t seem too bad.
In fact, we’re told she was focused on trying to finish up an album she had been working on.
Summer was a 5-time Grammy winner who shot to superstardom in the ’70s with iconic hits like “Last Dance,” “Hot Stuff” and “Bad Girls.”

She continued her dominance in the ’80s with “She Works Hard for the Money” and “This Time I Know It’s for Real.”
Summer and her producer Giorgio Moroder defined the dance music era of the ’70s and influenced acts like Duran Duran and David Bowie to enter the genre.
Summer married Brooklyn Dreams singer Bruce Sudano back in 1980. They had two daughters together. (tmz.com)

Donna Summer – Last Chance

 

Donna Summer – Bad Girls

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FBI May Charge George Zimmerman With Hate Crime

SANFORD, Fla. —

WFTV has learned charges against George Zimmerman could be getting more serious.

State prosecutors said Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman, profiled and stalked 17-year-old Trayvon Martin before killing him, so the FBI is now looking into charging him with a hate crime.

Zimmerman admitted to killing Martin in February during a confrontation. However, he claims the shooting was in self-defense. He’s facing a second-degree murder charge, which carries a maximum possible sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. But if Zimmerman is charged and found guilty of a federal hate crime involving murder, he could face the death penalty.

FBI investigators are actively questioning witnesses in the retreat at the Twin Lakes neighborhood, seeking evidence for a possible federal hate crime charge.

Martin was unarmed when he was shot to death, police said, and some accuse Zimmerman of targeting the teenager solely because of the color of his skin.

WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said federal prosecutors would have to prove the hate crime to charge Zimmerman, though.

“What the government would have to prove is that Mr. Zimmerman acted out of hatred toward African-Americans. That’s why he came into contact with him. That’s why he shot and killed him,” Sheaffer said.

Sheaffer said a federal hate crime murder charge could bring more serious consequences than the second-degree murder charge Zimmerman faces now.

“Mr. Zimmerman could be punished by up to life in prison or even the death penalty,” said Sheaffer.

Zimmerman said he used deadly force in self-defense after Martin punched him, knocked him to the ground and repeatedly slammed his head against a sidewalk.

As of late Monday, Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, told WFTV that he’s gotten the first prosecution documents containing the evidence against his client. O’Mara said he’s gotten a redacted witness list with 22 witnesses listed only as numbers.

O’Mara said he believes there are recorded interviews and some documents, but he said he hasn’t even opened it yet.

Prosecutors are required to release information to the defense and the public

However, O’Mara, wants Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. to keep some of the key evidence, especially witness statements, out of the public eye by writing a motion to keep it sealed.

O’Mara posted a statement on Zimmerman’s website that said, “We doubt any of them (witnesses) enjoy the scrutiny they are under due to the coincidence of their involvement in such a high-profile matter.”

In the meantime, a photograph recently surfaced which is said to show Zimmerman’s mother in the arms of her grandfather, who is black.

Zimmerman’s mother testified at his bond hearing that she has met the black child whom he mentored and even risked his safety in a dangerous neighborhood to do it, because he didn’t want to abandon the child.

State prosecutors said Zimmerman gave several inconsistent statements to Sanford police, which is, in part, their basis for charging him with second-degree murder. (wftv.com)

 

Jay-Z Supports President Obama’s Same-Sex Marriage

Jay-Z is in full support of President Obama’s same-sex marriage stance.

Hov made that clear during a sitdown interview with CNN on Monday (May 14) after announcing that he’ll be the curator and headliner of the Budweiser Made In America music festival during Labor Day Weekend in Philadelphia.

“I mean, I always thought of it as something that’s still holding the country back,” said Hov about certain states still not allowing gay marriage. “What people do in their own homes is their business. You choose to love whoever you love. That’s their business. It’s no different than discriminating against Blacks. It’s discrimination plain and simple.”

When asked if he thought President Obama would lose out on votes to remain Commander-in-Chief due to his support on gay marriage, Jay answered that it’s not about the votes.

“I think it’s the right thing to do, so whether it costs him votes or not, again it’s really not about votes,” Jay responded. “It’s about…people. So, whether it costs him votes or not, I think it’s the right thing to do as a human being.”

There has been a noted mutual respect between Jay-Z and Obama.

In an interview with The Atlantic a couple months back, writer David Samuels asked Obama about who he prefers—Jay-Z or Kanye West—and the Commander-in-Chief gave the nod to Hov, before sarcastically calling Kanye a jackass for the second time in three years.

The Pres has previously praised Jay-Z, saying he listens to the rapper’s music on his iPod. Jay’s wife, Beyoncé, recently even attended an Obama fundraider with First Lady Michelle Obama in New York City in March.—Mark Lelinwalla  xxl mag

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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Dr Shaquille O’Neal?????

Posted: May 5, 2012 in Hip Hop News

Shaquille O’Neal to receive doctorate degree

By Lateef Mungin, CNN
updated 4:43 AM EDT, Sat May 5, 2012
Former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal scored 28,596 points during his 19-year career.
Former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal scored 28,596 points during his 19-year career.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Shaquille O’Neal gets a doctorate in education from a Florida university Saturday
  • He graduates with a 3.81 grade point average
  • “This is for my mother, who always stressed the importance of education,” he says

(CNN) — Shaquille O’Neal has donned many monickers during his basketball career, including Shaq Fu, the Big Aristotle, Superman and Shaqtus. This weekend, he will add “Dr. O’Neal” to that list.

The former NBA player will graduate from Florida’s Barry University on Saturday with a doctorate degree in education focusing on organizational learning and leadership.

“This is for my mother, who always stressed the importance of education,” O’Neal said. “I am proud to have achieved a doctoral degree and wish to thank my professors and Barry University for helping make this dream a reality. I’m smart enough to know that, even at my tender age, my pursuit of education is never finished.”

The 7-foot-1 retired basketball star and NBA analyst is expected to be one of 1,100 students who will don graduation gowns at a ceremony in Miami, the school said.

“For the past four-and-half years, O’Neal pursued his doctoral degree in education while juggling the roles of athlete, student and entrepreneur,” Barry University said in a statement. “He completed the requirements of the doctoral program while adhering to the grueling NBA schedule prior to his retirement last year as well as fulfilling commitments in broadcasting and business.”

O’Neal graduates with a 3.81 grade point average and he completed 16 courses mostly using satellite classrooms and video conferencing, the university said.

In addition to the championships under his belt, O’Neal has a Bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University and an MBA he received in 2005.

He won three titles with the Los Angeles Lakers after forming a devastating partnership with Kobe Bryant, and added a fourth in 2006 with the Miami Heat.

With 28,596 points, O’Neal is fifth on the all-time NBA scoring list and is second only to Michael Jordan on the all-time list of NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Awards.

O’Neal retired last year after playing 19 NBA seasons.

(CNN) — Adam “MCA” Yauch, a founding member of the pioneering rap band Beastie Boys, died Friday after a nearly three-year battle with cancer, the band’s publicist said.

Yauch, 47, revealed in 2009 that he had a cancerous tumor in a salivary gland. As a result, the band canceled its scheduled concerts and delayed the release of an album.

“I started feeling this little lump in my throat, like you would feel if you have swollen glands or something like that, like you’d feel if you have a cold, so I didn’t really think it was anything,” he said then in a video to fans.

Yauch, a self-taught bassist and vocalist, underwent surgery to treat the tumor that year.

2009: Beastie Boys’ MCA announces cancer

2009: Springsteen, Beasties at Bonnaroo

The Beastie Boys burst on the music scene in 1986 with the album “Licensed to Ill,” which included hits such as “(You Gotta) Fight for the Right (to Party”), “Brass Monkey” and “No Sleep Till Brooklyn.”

The group, inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last month, came together for the first time to play at Rauch’s 17th birthday party, its publicist said.

Yauch was the oldest of the Beastie Boys, an only child who grew up in Brooklyn Heights, according to Current Biography magazine. The band, which also featured Michael “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Adrock” Horovitz, sold more than 40 million records.

Remembering Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys Remembering Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys

Marquee: Remembering The Beastie Boys’ greatest hits

Under an alias, Yauch directed several Beastie Boys videos, including “Intergalactic” and “So What’cha Want.”

Yauch converted to Buddism in the 1990s after visiting Nepal and hearing the Dalai Lama speak in Arizona, he told the Buddhist magazine Shambhala sun in 1995.

“It just seemed like Buddhism, especially Tibetan Buddhism — because that’s mainly what I’ve been exposed to — was a real solid organization of teachings to point someone in the right direction,” the magazine quoted him as saying. “Some real well thought out stuff. But I don’t know, like, every last detail about Buddhism.”

Marquee: Celebs react to the loss of Yauch

The conversion led him to have second thoughts about the bawdy party-boy image the band portrayed in the 1980s, he told the Boston Globe in 1998.

“I didn’t realize how much harm I was doing back then and I think a lot of rap artists probably don’t realize it now,” the newspaper quoted him as saying. “I said a lot of stuff fooling around back then, and I saw it do a lot of harm. I had kids coming up to me and saying, ‘Yo, I listen to your records while I’m smoking dust, man.’ And I’d say, ‘Hey, man, we’re just kidding. I don’t smoke dust.’ People need to be more aware of how they’re affecting people.”

As a Buddhist, Yauch became an advocate for Tibetan freedom.

He founded the Milarepa Fund, which helped raise money for the effort, and organized charity concerts involving the Beastie Boys and other acts, including the first Tibetan Freedom Concert in 1996. Several similar concerts followed.

The Milarepa Fund also organized a 9/11 benefit concert for residents deemed unlikely to get aid from other sources.

Yauch is survived by his wife, Dechen, and a daughter, according to the band’s publicist.

Hot 97 Announces Lineup For “Summer Jam 2012”

by JP DelaCuesta

New York radio station Hot 97 has officially unveiled their lineup for their 2012 Summer Jam music concert, which will be held on Sunday June 3, at Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

This year, as they have done in the past, Hot 97 rounded up some of the top industry names to perform on the Hot 97 main stage.

The 2012 lineup includes Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, Young Jeezy, J. Cole, Wale, DJ Khaled, Waka Flocka, Trey Songz, Maino, Big Sean, 2 Chainz, French Montana, Mavado, Tyga and “a colossal amount of surprise celebrity guests will conquer the main stage.”

“Boost Mobile is excited to be back as the presenting sponsor of Hot 97 Summer Jam 2012 for the ninth consecutive year and happy to be a part of bringing the show to fans across the country through the LIVE streaming of the show on June 3,” said Steve Gaffney, vice president-Lifestyle Marketing.

“This is truly the most anticipated concert in New York and as always Hot 97 does not disappoint by having the biggest names in Hip Hop perform,” Gaffney added.

Over 55,000 fans are expected to attend the concert, and event sponsors have announced that Summer Jam 2012 will be streamed live on Hot97.com in over 25 countries.

Tickets for Summer Jam 2012 can be purchased at a number of price points beginning with $45 and topping out at $175 for floor seats. A limited amount of exclusive HOT 97 Platinum Packages are available for $200.

Tickets for Hot 97’s Summer Jam 2012 are on sale now at www.Ticketmaster.com. (allhiphop.com)

Concert Promoter Serves Flo Rida With Legal Summons Via Facebook

Flo Rida has been served with legal papers—via Facebook. The Miami native was paid $50,000 to perform at the Fat As Butter festival in Australia last summer, but failed to appear. The 33-year-old ignored a previous summons, causing the judge to allow him to be contacted on the social networking site.

“We tried to serve him physically on several occasions when he was out here but he got wise to it pretty quickly,” said promoter Brent Lean, who runs Mothership Music, the company behind the deal.  We couldn’t get near him in the end because he was constantly surrounded by an entourage and security, so we looked into ways of serving him via Facebook because he’s very active on social media.”

The digital message, posted for his 6 million fans to see, reads “seeking damages for breach of contract” for “his non-appearance at the Fat as Butter festival in October 2011.”

Should he choose not to respond, the 33-year-old could face upwards of $100,000 in restitution.  Flo Rida is the latest rapper to be called out for not showing up at an event after receiving a paycheck. In December, Nas pocketed more than $300,000 to perform in Africa, and reneged on the offer, resulting in the kidnapping of a promoter, who has since been released.

At press time, Flo Rida did not respond to a request for comment. (hiphopwired.com)

Rick Ross’ Storytelling On God Forgives, I Don’t Will Memorable

Rick Ross‘s fifth LP God Forgives, I Don’t has been a long time in the making, but the MMG CEO promises that the final product will take fans on a roller coaster ride, punctuated by bone-chilling rap tales that find him stepping up his lyrical game. “This is my best project yet,” Ross told MTV News in NYC this week. “God Forgives, I Don’t is a very dark story.”

After a number of setbacks, Ross stamped a July 31 release date on the album he’s touting as hip-hop’s “most anticipated album of the year.”

“It’s extremely lyrical. The music is next level,” Ross said. “I’m expecting nothing but the biggest results. The collaborations is gonna surprise a few of you guys.”

“Surprising” is one way to describe these past months for MTV’s Hottest MC in the Game. Rozay triumphantly rose to the occasion earlier this year when he released the highly successful Rich Forever mixtape just a month after he was stricken with multiple seizures. Now, with all signs pointing toward GFID, Ross is looking to deliver on the hype of the album.

“I think the stories being told on this record is going to make it stand apart from all the other albums I’ve ever done,” says Ross. “By the time you get to track two, you gonna understand this is a completely different body of work.”

The rapper/entrepreneur’s stock has ballooned with every major album release, and God Forgives, I Don’t should fair no different, possibly even catapulting him into the upper echelon of galactic hip-hop MCs like Jay-Z and Nas.

“This was the missing part of my legacy,” Ross stated. “This is what’s going to put me over the top right there.” (mtv.com)

Kanye West – Lost In The World (Video)

2 Chainz feat. 50 Cent – Riot (Remix)

Maybach Music Group Announces Album Release Dates, Partnerships at NYC Press Conference

by Steven J. Horowitz

Last week, Maybach Music Group and Warner Bros. Records sent a save the date for a special press conference to take place at the Eventi Hotel in New York City. Rumors circulated that the event, hosted by Rap Radar’s Elliott Wilson, would be for the signing of Omarion and Mase, as well as release dates for Self Made Vol. 2 and God Forgives, I Don’t.

This afternoon, Ross appeared to announce several new ventures including a big and tall line with Swizz Beatz and Reebok; a June 26th release date for Self Made Vol. 2; an August 28th release date for Meek Mill’s debut Dreams & Nightmares; a July 31st release date for Rick Ross’ God Forgives, I Don’t; and Omarion’s signing to Maybach Music Group.

With Def Jam and WBR executives including Lyor Cohen, Steve Bartels and Todd Moscowitz, as well as Sean “Diddy” Combs and Swizz Beatz, in attendance, the event began with a short film that showcased the MMG squad, which includes Rick Ross, Wale, Meek Mill and Stalley. CEO of Recorded Music for Warner Bros. Lyor Cohen took the podium to introduce Ross, marking the first time that he’s publicly introduced an artist or label since Roc-A-Fella Records 18 years ago.

“When I got a chance to meet him, I saw someone that was going to be undeterred in achieving the success that he has,” said Cohen. “He’s not satisfied. There’s no stopping him. I’m so grateful that I’m associated with him and that the Warner Bros. label is associated with him. The possibilities that Rick and Maybach Music are going to bring is going to be, in my mind, unprecedented.”

After a short Q&A with Ross about his in-studio work ethic and social media savvy, Swizz Beatz took the podium to announce a partnership with Rick Ross for Reebok to release a big and tall clothing line.

“He’s going to lead the big and tall movement,” said Swizz. “There’s a limit with clothes that stops at a certain point. With Ross, everything has to be custom made. […] I felt that instead of just doing a regular sneaker, we give Ross his own big and tall line.”

Diddy was next to take the stage, praising Ross’ abilities and thanking him for promoting Ciroc. “I’m here to celebrate the hard work and success of my brother Rick Ross,” he said. “He, to me, is one of the hardest working men in this business. To have a relationship with him, this is not by accident. […] I know he will go down in history as one of the great record men.”

Wale took over to announce that Self Made Vol. 2 will release on June 26th, while Meek Mill revealed that his debut album Dreams & Nightmares will drop on August 28th. Rick Ross also said that his upcoming album God Forgives, I Don’t will hit retail on July 31st and that a single will drop “extremely soon.”

Rick Ross then brought out Omarion and announced him as the latest signing to Maybach Music Group. “A lot of people have been wondering what’s up with Omarion? Is his career over?” said Omarion. “I’ve never been a fan of popular opinion, but from now on, when you see me, understand that it’s Maybach Music.” After French Montana announced the release date for his debut Excuse My French (July 17th), and that the first single will feature Rick Ross, Drake and Lil Wayne, Omarion played his new single “Let’s Talk” that samples The Notorious B.I.G.

Rick Ross said that he just “lets the rumors circulate” regarding signings, but wouldn’t confirm any partnerships with Mase, Dom Kennedy or Nipsey Hussle. (hiphopdx.com)

2 Chainz Named Spokesman For 2012 “Respect My Vote!” Campaign

by Roman Wolfe

Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz is teaming with the Hip Hop Caucus for the 2012 2012 “Respect My Vote!” campaign.

The Hip Hop Caucus’ non-partisan effort is aimed at mobilizing young voters between the ages of 18 and 40, registering new voter, and teaching felons about their voting rights.

“It meant so much to me when I learned that I had the right to vote, because I’m an ex-felon, who has been blessed with the opportunity to completely turn my life around and become a positive influence to my family and community. It’s very important that once disenfranchised men and women know they can be a part of American democracy again, they have second chance,“ said 2 Chainz. “I’m honored to be a spokesperson for the 2012 ‘Respect My Vote!’ campaign, and to be a part of a movement where celebrities and the community can work together to promote empowerment through political participation.”

According to Reverend Lennox Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus, 2 Chainz was specifically selected for his ability to speak to the “Respect My Vote!” target audience, in an authentic manner.

A broad, national coalition of civic engagement organizations are backing the campaign, which will work to counter misinformation disseminated about felons’ and their rights.

The issue disproportionately impacts over 1.4 African-American males.

“Lives will be changed and lives will be saved because 2 Chainz is using his voice to speak authentically to those who have been disenfranchised,” said Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., President and CEO of the Hip Hop Caucus. “2 Chainz is serious about empowering ex-felons to exercise their right to vote, and I’m so sincerely and deeply proud to be able to show the world that this is what democracy looks like.” (allhiphop.com)

Nicki Minaj Announces Pink Friday North American Tour

In addition to these dates, Nicki will also be playing a few radio shows including Hot 97′s Summer Jam in New York (June 3), according to MyPinkFriday.com. Fans can expect to catch her at Wild 94.9′s Wild Jam in San Francisco (May 10), 102.7 KIIS FM’s Wango Tango in L.A. (May 12), Wired 96.5 Fest in Philadelphia (June 1), Jam’n 94.5 Summer Jam in Boston on (June 2), Hot 97 Summer Jam in New York (June 3) and Hot Jam in Hartford (July 20).

Nicki will be bringing back her famous meet and greets where fans will have the chance to purchase a VIP laminate and lithograph and be the first to enter the venue on the night of the show.  During these meets, the “Starships” rapper will be signing autographs and taking photos with each of her Barbz. Fans interested in purchasing these VIP packages can get them here.

This all comes as Nicki will be prepping for her European tour which starts June 8 in Stockholm, Sweden and closes at the V Festival 2012 in Hylands Park, Chelmsford, UK on August 18. See below for the rest of her North American Pink Friday tour dates:

July 16 – Chicago, IL – The Chicago Theatre

 July 17 – Detroit, MI – Fox Theatre Detroit

July 19 – Cleveland, OH – State Theatre at Playhouse Square

 July 22 – Atlanta, GA – Fox Theatre Atlanta

July 24 – Miami, FL – James L. Knight Center

July 26 – Birmingham, AL – Boutwell Auditorium

July 28 – Houston, TX – Bayou Music Center

 July 29 – Dallas, TX – Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie

July 31 – St. Louis, MO – Peabody Opera House

 August 2 – Denver, CO – Wells Fargo Theatre

 August 4 – Las Vegas, NV – Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino

August 7 – Phoenix, AZ – Comerica Theatre

August 11 – Seattle, WA – Paramount Theatre

August 12 – Vancouver, BC – Queen Elizabeth Theatre (xxlmag.com)

NEW MUSIC

2 Chainz – No Lie feat. Drake

Chief Keef – I Don’t Like (remix) ft. Pusha T, Jadakiss, Kanye West, & Big Sean

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