Hip Hop


Aaliyah: A Style Icon Remembered In Photos

It is difficult to describe what Aaliyah meant to us back in 2001, when her life was tragically taken so abruptly on August 22. She was the epitome of understated cool, of raw talent mixed with genuine humility and effortless, chameleon-like style. She was both hard and soft, edgy and adorable, the it girl who wasn’t interested in wearing the crown. She was stunning, always, as evidenced in the red carpet pics below. But most importantly she was a massive musical talent who owned the industry during her short life. On the verge of a movie career, Aaliyah was posed for mega-mega-stardom when her plane crashed after taking of from the Bahamas, following the video shoot for her hit single “Rock the Boat.” There is no doubt that she lives on in legacy of performers — Beyonce, Gaga, Rihanna, Ke$ha, Katy — who have followed in her footsteps, mixing style with serious singing skills.

RIP, baby girl.

Check out 15 of Aaliyah’s most iconic looks, from the red carpet to the stage and everywhere in between, below.

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by (@katespencer)

Did Lil Wayne Have Sex With A 16-Year-Old Fan?

Here’s some underage groupie drama for you. A Canadian teen named Sarah (who goes by Sisi) vaguely claimed via Twitter and Facebook that something went down between her and Lil Wayne. After driving to Montreal to see his concert, the 16-year-old met the Weezy and appears to have hung out with him in his tourbus. Things get fishy from there. There are texts, Facebook comments and tweets that all seem to point to some smexin’ going down (which would possibly violate LW’s parole, as Media Take Out notes), but Sisi took to YouTube (of course) on Saturday to post a video in which she denies the rumors. She also calls the rapper “one of the greatest people out there” and “the absolute best rapper alive,” which are nice things to say about someone whether you boned them or not.

We can’t quite tell what the real story is, but we’re really connectin’ with the words of wisdom her Snookified friend drops in their video. She says, “F*ck what you heard, recognize what you see.” Confusing, because what we see are photos, texts and comments that seem to point to something more than just a fan meet n’ greet. But hey, way to stick up for your friend, gurl!


by (@katespencer)

Nicki Minaj Takes To Twitter To Mourn Cousin’s Murder

Our condolences go out to Nicki Minaj and her family this morning. The hip hop starlet announced on Twitter today that her cousin, Nicholas Telamaque, was gunned down outside his Brooklyn home over the holiday weekend. “Lived in Brooklyn his whole life. My precious cousin. My baby. Killed last nite,” she wrote on Twitter, adding, “*My cousin Nicholas. Also goes by Juse, or @brolicalcoholic* Murdered. Last nite. Near his home. Brooklyn,NY.”

Nicki also posted two photos of Nicholas, one of which is above. The NY Post confirms Nicki’s report in their Daily Blotter, with this brief report:

“A man was killed in a barrage of bullets in East Flatbush yesterday, police said. Nicholas Telamaque, 27, was shot five blocks from his home on East 52nd Street and Farragut Road at 2:40 a.m. Cops were called and found him with gunshot wounds to his upper torso. He was rushed to Kings County Hospital, where he later died. It is unclear what spurred the violence.”

[Photos: Getty Images/Nicki Minaj]

by (@katespencer)

No One Will Post Gucci Mane’s $5700 Bail

Poor Gucci Mane. After being arrested last week for allegedly pushing a woman out of a car (okay, maybe we don’t feel so bad for him), the rapper is still sitting behind bars, even though Gucci’s bail is just $5700. Big money for us, sure, but not much in the world of celebrity bail! It’s not like he’s short of famous friends with pockets full of cash, and you’d think one of them would come to his rescue. But nope – Gucci is still stuck in an Atlanta cell, hopefully reflecting on the many reasons it is NOT cool to push a woman out of a moving car after she refuses to go back to your hotel with you. ‘Cuz seriously…who does that?

If you’re a Gucci fan and are interested in forking over some cash to rescue the star, head on down to the DeKalb County Jail in Decatur, Georgia. Look for the dude with the ice cream cone tattoo on his face. Pay up. And then politely decline when he offers you a lift home.

[Photo: GettyImages]

by (@hallekiefer)

Ashley Judd Apologizes for Calling Rap, Hip-Hop The “Soundtrack Of Misogyny”

We’re willing to cut Ashley Judd a lot of slack, considering Judd’s memoir All That Is Bitter & Sweet paints a pretty gruesome portrait of the abuse the actress had to deal with as an adolescent. Nonetheless, it was pretty big misstep for Judd to call rap and hip-hip misogynistic; that’s like saying all country western singers are redheads named Naomi. “As far as I’m concerned,” Judd wrote in her book. “Most rap and hip-hop music — with its rape culture and insanely abusive lyrics and depictions of girls and women as ‘ho’s’ — is the contemporary soundtrack of misogyny.” Oh Ashley, we want to let this one slide completely, but how much rap and hip-hop are you listening to every year? That was written in the last decade?

Even The Roots’ ?uestlove added his two cents about the ensuing kerfuffle. “At least i got my answer as to why ash Judd didn’t give us so much as a nod on her last visit,” ?uestlove tweeted about Judd. “EVERY genre of music has elements of violence.” After her Twitter blew up with fans and detractors alike, Judd apologized on Global Grind, Russell Simmons‘ site. “I have looked closely at the feedback I have received about those two paragraphs, and absolutely see your points,” Ashley posted. “And I fully capitulate to your rightness, and again humbly offer my heartfelt amends for not having been able to see the fault in my writing, and not having anticipated it would be painful for so many.” Judd then couldn’t help but add, “My equivalent genres, as an Appalachian, an oppressed and ridiculed people, would be mountain music and bluegrass.” Everyone then quietly backed away from their keyboard, because it was just not worth getting into again.

by (@hallekiefer)

Jay-Z Regrets Big Pimpin’ Lyrics: “What Kind Of Animal Would Say This Sort Of Thing?”


If you were an internationally renown rapper with millions of dollars and a wife by the name of Beyonce, you would probably be pretty happy with your artistic choices, right? But apparently Jay-Z regrets Big Pimpin’, his 1999 monster hit, for its unfortunate lyrics, an admission that retroactively spoils hundreds of Spring Breaks the nation over.

Says Jay-Z, “Some [lyrics] become really profound when you see them in writing. Not Big Pimpin’. That’s the exception. It was like, I can’t believe I said that. And kept saying it. What kind of animal would say this sort of thing? Reading it is really harsh.” Given that Jay-Z is older, wiser and madly in love with a talented bad-ass like Bee, lyrics such as “You know I thug em, f**k em, love em, leave em/Cause I don’t f**king need em,” probably seem like the height of douchebaggery. Then again, we all danced to it, so what does that say about us? Oh right, that we’re douche bags too.

Looking back with distaste at his verse, however, is only a symptom of a bigger issue. Says Jay-Z, “We have to find our way back to true emotion. This is going to sound so sappy, but love is the only thing that stands the test of time. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was all about love. Andre 3000, The Love Below. Even NWA, at its core, that was about love for a neighborhood.” So is the world ready for a kinder, gentler Jay-Z, with lyrics about visiting the in-laws and throwing his grandma a birthday party? Oh, who are we kidding? With beats like his, Hov could read his grocery list and a spontaneous wet t-shirt contest could still break out at any moment. At ANY moment. [Photo: Getty Images]

by (@unclegrambo)

Rap’s Top 20 Richest Artists Revealed


First things first: Do people still say the word “bling”? Or is that term a relic of a bygone era? Either way, it’s no secret that there is a lot of money to be made by becoming a global hip-hop icon these days. So much so, in fact, that a normally hoity-toity magazine like Forbes has been putting together lists of the Top 20 Hip-Hop Cash Kings since 2007. To that end, the high-falutin’ magazine is putting its fawning coverage of Wall Street robber barons in a temporary holding pattern as they focus their efforts on counting down which rappers are making the most cheddar in 2010.

While you most certainly won’t be surprised to find out that Jay-Z currently holds the title as hip-hop’s wealthiest mogul — he raked in some $63 million last year, no big whoops — you might be surprised when you hear that Lil Wayne places fourth on the list, this despite the fact that he’s been behind bars since March. Hilariously, Weezy’s actually on track to earn more money this year ($20 million) than he did last year ($18 million).

Check out our gallery below to find out who else made the list (and how much they took home). Only one question remains: If hip-hop’s wealthiest don’t spend money on “bling” anymore, what do they spend it on?

by (@katespencer)

Lil Wayne Heading To Prison For Gun Charge


Lil Wayne plead guilty to gun possession charges in a NYC courtroom today, after cops busted him for having a handgun on his tour bus in July 2007. Wayne had originally plead not-guilty but changed his tune in court, and will now spend up to a year behind bars. In doing so he avoided a lengthy trail that – had he been found guilty – could have resulted in 3 1/2 – 7 years jail time.

The father of 3 (soon to be 4) is out on bail and will be sentenced in February. [Photo: GettyImages]


Chris Brown Gets Probation, No Jail Time


Chris Brown has copped a plea deal in his felony assault case: He’ll be on probation for five years and do 180 days of labor in Virginia, where he lives. He also must enroll in domestic violence counseling.

Chris attended the hearing today in Los Angeles with his mother and other family members. Ex-girlfriend and alleged victim Rihanna also attended, dressed in dark clothing and large dark sunglasses. But the former lovers never came face-to-face as Rihanna was held in a private room until a judge called her into the court to explain that her testimony would not be needed.

Since a plea bargain was reached, Chris will serve no jail time for allegedly beating Rihanna in February.

[Source: TMZ; Photo: Splash News Online]

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by (@katespencer)

Beyonce Offers Fans Cheap Concert Tix


You know it’s a recession when Beyonce starts giving concert tickets away for next to nothing. The singer has joined the likes of No Doubt, U2, and Dave Matthews Band in offering her fans discounted tickets to her upcoming summer tour.

According to her label, B will be selling the last 2000 tickets to each North American show for just $20 a pop. It’s not like she needs much money these days  – have you see her engagement ring? In addition to scoring cheap seats, fans will have the opportunity to help others with a food drive at each concert, created by Beyonce and Hamburger Helper. But  Beyonce fans who aren’t currently strapped for cash can still spend big bucks to see the star – her “meet & greet” package on Ticketmaster is currently going for $1000 a ticket.  [Photo: GettyImages]