Like true royalty, Lil Kim is back to reclaim her throne. Not that anyone should need a reminder of the Queen Bee’s iconic status when she entered the rap game in the mid 90s, but just in case, her performance Friday at the Paradise Theater in the Bronx served up a bit of nostalgia and excitement for what’s ahead.
On the New York City leg of her “Return of the Queen” tour, Kim hit the stage with a massive entourage and a crew of talented hip-hop friends. Dressed in a shiny beige pants paired with a jeweled bra the Queen Bee took the stage royally with flower petals at her feet while men held flagstaffs with her logos. Her fans welcomed her with deafening screams as she performed “Black Friday” from the mixtape of the same name. Although the mixtape received mixed reviews, this was not evident by the crowd’s enthusiasm to see Kim in her element. Read more…
A rapper hasn’t earned his or her stripes until they publicly announce that they’re leaving the rap game for good. Like Too Short, Jay-Z, 50 Cent and The Game who’ve all threatened to retire, T.I. went on Power 105′s The Breakfast Club and said he wants out because the game has changed. How many times have we heard this song and dance before from other rappers? On The Breakfast Club video interview posted on HipHopDX.com, T.I. said he would be more than happy to fade to the background. “This is what everyone fails to realize. I want out. I want out, man,” he said. “What the game is going to and what has evolved into from a personality standpoint, it goes against what I represent.” By that he means he’s real and the industry is fake. “What I embody, this game contradicts that. I want out. I’m in it because I love music and I have obligations, contractually,” he disclosed. So, if it wasn’t for those contractual obligations T.I. would be perfectly fine focusing on his artists and other endeavors. Read more…
How does one become the richest musician in the world? Simple, if you’re rich and famous: invest $90 million in Facebook. U2′sBono will be the world’s richest musician because of a 2009 investment he made in Facebook. NME reports, Bono owns 2.3 percent of Facebook’s shares through his private equity firm Elevation Partners. Only three years later the rockstar will earn $1.5 billion from his initial $90 million share purchase. This gives a whole new meaning to balling. No one that makes less money than Bono can consider themselves “ballers.” We’re looking at you, rappers.
Facebook’s IPO is currently valued at over $100 billion as the second biggest IPO in history, according to HuffingtonPost. Bono was a genius for foreseeing the return on his investment. The lead U2 singer will surpass Paul McCartney as the world’s richest musician. McCartney is reportedly worth $1.05 million. Rockstar lifestyle isn’t all about groupies, booze and drugs. Let’s hear it for the money, money, money, money.
Serena Williams doesn’t play when she feels she’s been disrespected or stabbed in the back. Nobody is off limits (umpires included) from feeling her wrath if they cross the line. Ms. Williams is not too happy with the recent leak of her spitting rhymes in a studio, according to NecoleBitchie.com. We thought she sounded good though! In the song she raps, “I ball hard, no tennis racket.” Whether anyone likes it or not didn’t make much different to this all-star tennis player. As far as she’s concerned the track wasn’t supposed to be leaked at all.
At a press conference forthe Italian Open earlier this week a reporter asked her about the song, and Williams had some choice words for the anonymous song leaker. In the interview she said, “Well, I was in the studio with friends and I wanted to do something and so they said, ‘Do this’ and it was for me. The next thing I know — that was one or two years ago and then I read online that I was a rapper, and so my back-stabbing friends did that to me and so if I see them, I will act like a rapper — if you can get my drift.”
That sounds like a threat “if you can get my drift.” Rappers are notorious for beefing or rapping about slapping someone (or doing worse) if they feel disrespected. Don’t mess with Serena, on or off the court. With her track record, whoever this alleged backstabber is better make nice with her or it’s on.
The Billboard Music Awards may not be known for scandalous surprise girl-on-girl kisses like the VMAs or interesting collaborations like the Grammys, but the 2012 Billboard Music Awards is offering performances by the hottest artists of today. Carrie Underwood, Linkin Park, Nelly Furtado and Kelly Clarkson are only a few of the A-listers hitting the stage this Sunday at MGM in Las Vegas. We’re curious to find out if BMA can pull off a tribute to the Queen of Disco, Donna Summer, in just three days. Watching how artists bring their songs to life at a major award show is always exhilarating, but here’s the five singers we’re most excited to see and why.
Finally, a full Whitney Houston tribute. Jennifer Hudson did an amazing job at the Grammy Awards, but we were left wanting so much more. Thanks to Billboard, our wish came true in the form of John Legend and Jordin Sparks (who actually co-starred with Houston in the remake of Sparkle). It’s no easy feat to cover The Voice’s songs for even the best vocalists in the business. We’d love to hear the two sing “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” or “How Will I Know” as they are Houston’s earlier songs that are light and fun. It was announced that Bobbi Kristina and Cissy Houston are making special guest appearances to accept awards on Houston’s behalf. Will the gospel legend sing and take everybody to church? A lot is riding on this tribute, we’re hoping they nail it. Read more…
Falling head over heels in love with Kim Kardashian isn’t the only thing Kanye West is up to. According to MissInfo.TV, West is screening his short art film “Cruel Summer” at Cannes Film Festival in France, which is open to the public on May 24 and May 25. As if being a super producer, rapper and fashion designer weren’t enough to keep the superstar busy, he’s moving forward full throttle with his interests in filmmaking and directing. He’s taken a stab at directing before with his 35 minute video to “Runaway” from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. What exactly “Cruel Summer” will be about was left a mystery. But it’s Kanye West, so we’re confident it’s going to be an explosion of abstract art following a concept that is provocative. It will get the people going!
Per the Def Jam released press release, Kanye and his creative collective DONDA are screening the film out of competition. It promises to deliver something unlike anything we’ve seen from Yeezy before. The press release stated, “Inspired by the new G.O.O.D. Music album of the same name, CRUEL SUMMER is a fusion of short film and art installation; an immersive ’7 Screen Experience’ for the eyes and ears unlike anything West has attempted before.” If you’re in France, the RSVP details are on Mr. West’s website.
For those of us that can’t make it to Cannes, France, we’ll have to live vicariously through YouTube (at least we hope it ends up on there anyway). The possibilities of what Yeezy will do are endless. And considering he’s working on an upcoming album of the same title makes it all the more sweet. Let the “Cruel Summer” begin.
Mr. Get Rich or Die Tryin’ is feeling a little under the weather. Curtis “50 Cent” Jacksontweeted photos of himself lying in a hospital bed and alluded to a forthcoming surgery. According to Gossipcop.com, the rapper tweeted a series of tweets on Wednesday showing himself in a hospital gown, but he did not mention why he was in the hospital outside of the mystery surgery. Out of the blue 50 Cent took a page from Rihanna’s book and tweeted: Read more…
So far Nicki Minaj is holding it down with the summer boo anthem “Right By My Side” featuring Chris Brown. Nicki puts aside the characters and trades in the over the top costumes for pretty frilled dresses in the the fun, hold-hands-with-your-significant-other video. Instead of going with Chris Brown as the obvious romantic interest, Nicki opts for Nas to play her leading man. The track alone instantly sparks a warm fuzzy feeling of wanting a beau “right by [your] side.” With the complement of the on screen couple showing affection through hugs and strolls walking arm-in-arm, we’re feeling a double side of warm and fuzzy. On the rocks. Read more…
Whitney Houston‘s death has been an emotion roller coaster for those that loved her the most. If it’s not the Houston’s upcoming Lifetime reality show it’s salacious interviews with Bobby Brown‘s sister claiming the pop star’s death wasn’t an accident. On a brighter (but still sad) note, Bobby Brown debuted a song for Whitney on “The tonight Show with Jay Leno.” “Don’t Let Me Die” is featured on his upcoming album Masterpiece, scheduled for release on June 5. Brown details his feelings in the heartfelt tribute to his late ex-wife of 15 years. Disguised in dark sunglasses Brown sings, “I didn’t realize, every breath I took was for you, and you were my air.” Beautiful words to honor The Voice, but we don’t know if his current fiancee will think it’s so sweet.
Struggling to get the words out in what sounds more like him talking than singing, Brown reveals he has regrets from his tumultuous relationship. “I guess I messed up pretty bad,” he croons. “I didn’t know who you were, I didn’t know what we had.” Recently he rebutted the rumors that he was the cause of Whitney’s drug use in an interview with “Today’s” Matt Lauer. But he’s not denying the fact that the relationship was troubled, which we all witnessed on “Being Bobby Brown.” Emotions are high when he nearly hollers, “It’s killing me softly…don’t let me die.” Dang, Bobby. We can’t imagine the type of pain he’s in, especially since he’s admittedly living with regrets. This is a thoughtful tribute coming from an honest place. We want the reformed badboy to take some time to grieve. And while he’s doing that hopefully his fiancee doesn’t question whether or not he’s yearning for the love that once was.
Summer is fast approaching and we’re ready to bring on the BBQs, rooftop parties and most of all the concerts. What’s summer without indulging in live performances of the artists you love? Two of the biggest hip-hop concerts this summer, Summer Jam and Rock the Bells, have some acts lined up that are going to be bananas! Not that you’d go wrong attending either, but because they’re as different as night and day, we’ve broken down why one of these concerts rules as the must-see concert of the summer.
1. The headliners tell you everything you need to know about a show.
One of the biggest names in hip-hop, Nicki Minaj, is headlining Summer Jam along with Rick Ross, Waka Flocka and Young Jeezy. As far as mainstream rap, Summer Jam has it covered. With Nicki you’ll get a bit of hip-pop, Waka will make everyone dance and Rick Ross and Jeezy offer the trap anthems to make even the most suburban girl get hype.
Where do we even begin with the headliners for Rock the Bells? Its very big name acts run the gamut of the likes of Nas, Kid Cudi, Wiz Khalifa, Missy Elliott & Timbaland and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. It doesn’t get more versatile than Nas, one of hip-hop’s legends, and the fairly newbie Wiz Khalifa rocking the stage at the same festival. And Missy Elliott & Timbaland…together! That’s some epic 90s skeez right there. We’re singing, “Supa dupa fly, supa dupa fly” just thinking about it.
2. Whose lineup has the most artists hot in the streets right now?Read more…