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by (@zaragolden)

It’s A Boy For The Civil Wars’ Joy Williams!

You Oughta Know artist, Unplugged veteran and history maker — remember how she performed pregnant? — and one-half of the Grammy Award winning duo Civil Wars Joy Williams has added “Mother” to her already impressive résumé. Williams and her husband, the Civil Wars’ manager Nate Yetton, brought a baby boy into the world on Saturday. Welcome, Miles Alexander! “Now I really know what love at first sight means,” she gushed on Twitter. “All happy and healthy.” A hearty congrats to all!

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by (@zaragolden)

Andre 3000 Will Cover the Beatles and Muddy Waters For Jimi Hendrix Biopic

Outkast‘s Andre “3000″ Benjamin will play Jimi Hendrix in the upcoming biopic All Is By My Side, but he won’t actually get to try on any of the psychedelic guitar god’s originals on for size. According to Rolling Stone, Hendrix’s estate has put the kibosh on that. And so, as it turns out, Andre Benjamin’s Jimi Hendrix experience might be Hendrix-less after all. Sort of.

Experience Hendrix, LLC, the family-owned company that over see’s Hendrix’s legacy, has asked that the biopic — which is currently in production in Dublin — not include original music or copyrights created by Hendrix. Because the film is meant to cover the years ahead of Hendrix’s landmark debut, Are You Experienced?, director John Ridley has opted instead to use some of Hendrix’s most famous covers. And so in lieu of Andre Benjamin remakes of “Purple Haze” and “All Along The Watchtower,” we’ll get Andre Benjamin covers of Jimi Hendrix covers of the Beatles, Elvis, Muddy Waters, and more. Not such a bad compromise, if you ask us! Read more…

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Willow Smith Is Comfortable In Her Own Skin In “I Am Me”

It’d be a lie if we said the opening of Willow Smith’s “I Am Me” didn’t sound like Rihanna. Within seconds it’s blatantly obvious it’s not Riri because Willow has her own sound, but the similarity in sound is there, even if only for a moment. New York City is a perfect place for a video titled “I Am Me” because it’s a place where individuality is celebrated. In the middle of Washington Square Park Willow sports blue jeans and an oversized shirt toting her keyboard and skateboard. And the whole point is she just doesn’t care what anyone has to think, whether it’s about her clothes or her shaved head. Read more…

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Guess Which Part Of “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” P!nk Puts The Emphasis On? (Hint: It’s Not “One Last Kiss”)

Pink "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)"

P!nk has always had the formula to make catchy hit songs that grab your attention. Take, for instance, “So What” or “Stupid Girls,” songs where she dares to be herself by telling it like it is. “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” is her exit love letter to an ex that she’s finally getting rid of. P!nk uses her robust vocals to deliver this pop rock tune where she let’s said subject know she thinks he’s “full of s—.” Read more…

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We Bet You’ve Never Heard Ginuwine’s “Pony” Covered The Way Ed Sheeran Nails It

Ed Sheeran Covers Ginuwine "Pony"

It’s been quite a while since we’ve heard any new music from 90s R&B heartthrob Ginuwine. On the BET red carpet last night Ginuwine, Tank and Tyrese mentioned working on an album together as TGT. Fortunately for us we don’t have to wait for the collaboration album to hear some classic Ginuwine. YOK artist Ed Sheeran covers Ginuwine’s “Pony” sounding more like a veteran singer than the 21-year-old upcoming new kid on the block. Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

Chris Brown Disses Drake on “I Don’t Like” Remix

And so it begins! Some weeks after their much publicized brawl at NYC’s Club W.I.P., Chris Brown has come out swinging at Drake. Rapping over Kanye West‘s remix of Chief Keef’s “I Don’t Like,” Breezy brings the fighting words. Brown calls Drake out as a bottle thrower — a charge Drake has adamantly denied — and takes the Toronto rapper to task for his music, his crew, and most personally his looks. “Them eyebrows, man,” he raps, “them sh**’s is yikes!” That, there, is where it really hurts.

Save for a few nice words reserved for associates Lil Wayne (who he calls “nice”) and Nicki Minaj (whose assets he finds “tight”), Breezy is sure to waste no breath not on Drake.  “One on one, what you scared, bruh? Matter of fact, Take Care, bruh,” he raps, making reference to Drake’s last album, Take Care, and calling him forth for battle. He strips Drake of his rapper title, saying, “I be singing, he be singing, so it’s on,” making clear that he — although counted as a crooner first, generally — is fit for the lyrical spar. And of Drake’s October’s Very Own crew and their much bantered about motto, Breezy makes clear that he thinks he’s got one up on them: “OVO, you overdosed, screamin’ YOLO — no, I live twice.”

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The Top 3 Performances At The 2012 BET Awards

BET Awards 2012 Whitney Houston Tribute

Yes, the royal couple of hip-hop and R&B were at last night’s BET Awards, front and center. Beyonce and Jay-Z were the second and third most nominated artists (respectively) of the night, only behind their play brother Kanye West. Although the Carters didn’t perform it was a great night for both hip-hop and R&B. Usher, Chris Brown, Melanie Fiona, Maybach Music Group crew, Nicki Minaj and countless others brought their A game. As hard as it was to choose only three, here are our top three performances from BET Awards 2012.

3. G.O.O.D. Music swerved on everybody.

Nothing gets a crowd hype like dropping the beat to one of the hottest songs of the summer. Big Sean emerges on top of a neon lit Lamborghini to the beat of “Mercy.” Pusha T delivers his verse followed by 2 Chainz. The crowd explodes when 2 Chainz hits the stage. It’s safe to say 2 Chainz is the latest rap phenomenon. Being Kanye he skips his “Mercy” verse and appears as the beat changes to “Way Too Cold.”  When he finishes his first verse, he raps an acapella freestyle before dropping the mic. It doesn’t get much better than that for an opener. Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

Azealia Banks And Styles P Relish the Haters On “Nathan”

Self-proclaimed “vocalist” and rap game drop-out Azealia Banks is back on her spit game. The Harlem sensation posted a wily new track to her Tumblr over the weekend called “Nathan.” Trading verses with “literally [her] FAVORITE rapper” Styles P. over a jittery beat, she comes hard with her trademark wordplay, fleshing out that hot dog imagery from “Liquorice” and also also relishing haters with a clever riff on “nothin’” — as in, “you ain’t got nothin’.” “Burn ‘em, boil ‘em, grill ‘em, bake ‘em, nada no problem,” she raps with her trademark verve, just in time for this week’s festivities.

Banks’ much-anticipated mixtape Fantasea is slated for release on July 11th, a week later than it’s originally planned July 4th date. And according to her Twitter, we can expect one more cut before then: “Next and Last mixtape leak will be more dancey – more singey … More core Azealia Banks.” Heads up!

by (@zaragolden)

Last Lap: Carly Rae Jepsen’s Album Is “Almost Finished”

CARLY RAE JEPSEN SAYS HER FULL-LENGTH DEBUT ALBUM IS “ALMOST FINISHED”
“I feel like the songs are mostly there, but there’s still some production and stuff to be done,” the thus-far one-and-one-half hit wonder says. “We’re in the home stretch.” [MTV]

SKRILLEX IS SCORING HARMONY KORINE’S NEW MOVIE
And, diving deeper yet into the pop-culture vortex, the movie is said to star James Franco. [Flavorwire]

MEET THE MAN WHO MAKES JUSTIN BIEBER SING
Kuk Harrell, vocal producer to the stars, is the one that makes sure artists like Bieber, Rihanna, and Jennifer Lopez bring their “superstar performance” to every song. [NYT]

TOM CRUISE GETS M83 TO SCORE HIS NEXT MOVIE
The french electronic band are set to score Oblivion, a sci-fi film that stars Tom Cruise and is directed by Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski. You win some, you lose some. [RS]

by (@zaragolden)

Lauryn Hill Pleads Guilty In Tax Evasion Case

According to TMZ, the Lauryn Hill has plead guilty to tax evasion, telling a judge this morning that she intentionally failed to file tax returns in between 2005 and 2007, when she earned more than $1.8 million. She was released on $150,000 bail, but will have to return to court in November for sentencing. According to her attorney, Nathan Hochman, Hill plans on paying back the taxes owed before then. But if it’s decided in November that the gesture is to little or too late, she could see up to three years of jail time.

When news broke, the former Fugees frontwoman attempted to temper the charges with a lengthy missive posted to her Tumblr. “For the past several years, I have remained what others would consider underground,” she wrote in defense, claiming to have removed herself and her family from society in order to “keep them safe, healthy, and free from danger.” She goes on to explain that she had filed regularly in the years prior and that, although she she stopped when she felt “it was necessary to withdraw from society”, her intention “has always been to get this situation rectified.”

Unfortunately, potential three years jail time (one for each year’s taxes not filed) and upwards of $75,000 in fines sounds not like the rectification she had hoped for. Hill has been edging herself back into the scene, making semi-regular appearances at big events like Hot 97′s Summer Jam and Rock the Bells the year prior. It was starting to seem like we might get her back! But, as compelling as Ms. Hill’s arguments for hiding out may be, Uncle Sam gets the last say on this one.

Lauryn Hill Pleads Guildy in Tax Case Faces YEARS in Prison [TMZ]