"The Merger” Hosts Mixtape In Honor of Pioneer, Justo Faison
Faison’s Last Interview Along With Other Hip-Hop Notables To Be Fused Into Mixtape Tribute
New York, NY- Aug 14, 2006, "The Merger", a synergy between Thermal Soundwaves and Music Is My Business will pay tribute to music/mixtape pioneer Justo Faison. The compilation mix CD/DVD with testimonies, memoirs, and acknowledgements to Justo by some of the many individuals that have benefited from all of the opportunities and doors that the Mixtape Awards have opened up. Words from the man himself, captured in his last interview on Thermal Soundwaves Radio just two weeks prior to his passing, will be fused through out the mixtape.
"I am immensely grateful that The Merger has taken the initiative to help Jus Muzik Group in preserving Justo's legacy. I look forward to working with them on this and future projects," said Regan "Sommer" McCoy, Justo’s girlfriend and partner of Jus Muzik Group. She continues to say, "It feels good to see these two entities coming together paying tribute to Justo the right way, helping to carry on his legacy so that the movement he created for DJ's and his son will not die. Music Is My Business CEO, Aaron Arnold and Thermal Soundwaves founder, C.Truth wanted to create an initiative that would serve as the catalyst to help bring back the Mixtape Awards and generate additional awareness. "Justo made his mark far beyond the DJ world and has impacted the automobile, footwear, marketing, and communications industries to name a few." He goes on to say, “As an industry friend and a friend to Justo, we wanted to integrate a musically-driven project with his last thoughts so the world would not forget.” “Last year was my first year at the Mixtape Award and I was blown away and inspired by everything I saw," says Aaron, Music is My Business. "Without Justo's effort and vision the new-generation wouldn't have the opportunities that we have." Over the next several weeks The Merger will infiltrate a series of interviews from various artist, DJs and executives that have been impacted and influenced by Justo and his contributions to the industry. "We understand that we have some of the last words and thoughts of a music pioneer in Justo, so we are taking this very serious as we understand the importance of this," said C.Truth.
For more information or to contact "The Merger" please visit http://www.myspace.com/themerger
About Music Is My Business and Thermal Soundwaves *Music Is My Business, next generation of fully-integrated, independent music companies isled by 26-year-old CEO and former Sean "Diddy" Combs assistant, Aaron Arnold. Music Is My Business is housed at the Artist Factory (http://www.artistfactory.com), a multi-million dollar music facility in Atlanta, GA founded by former president of Island Black Music and music industry legend, Hiriam Hicks. In addition to being in the business of marketing, producing and promoting artists, Music Is My Business Inc is also focusing on Television/Film and merging synergies with Corporate America and brands to create musically-driven projects. For additional info please visit: http://www.myspace.com/aaronarnold or http://www.musicismybuisness.net/
*Thermal Soundwaves: Thermal Soundwaves is a broadcast media and entertainment company serving a widespread audience through radio, television, cable, satellite, film, and the internet. We specialize in delivering music, news, talk, and a variety of programming that affects all. The company is headed by C.Truth, a 10-year radio veteran, who established Thermal Soundwaves as a larger vision to the avant-garde show of the same title. The company is primed to bring innovation to the broadcast world. We are a growth enterprise that expands as the industry heightens. Whether small or large endeavors, Thermal Soundwaves' focus remains to be the voice of the voiceless and "The Natural Alternative". For further Thermal Soundwaves info, stop by http://www.thermalsoundwaves.com or http://www.myspace.com/ctruth
Media Contact: Raychelle LeBlanc, SheNotes / The RG Group - 212.268.8288
Big Daddy Kane Talks Finances for Radio News
By: Kenny Rodriguez
Hip-hop great Big Daddy Kane is lending his smooth voice to Black Enterprise’s “Keys to a Better Life,” a daily radio report that offers information on personal finance, homeownership, and health issues in the Black community.
“Keys to a Better Life” airs twice daily on radio stations nationwide, and Kane can be heard reporting the news throughout April. Past participants have included notable figures Cedric The Entertainer, Doug E. Fresh, and Alicia Keys.
“Black Enterprise is doing big things by providing important financial aid and homeownership information to young, Black America,” says Kane. “These issues are important and I am honored to be a part of it.”
Kane, 38, is best known for late 1980s hits “Ain’t No Half Steppin” and “Smooth Operator,” and he was saluted on last year’s VH1 Hip-Hop Honors television special. The Brooklyn rapper also oversees his self-founded company, Mahogany Entertainment, and is gearing up to release an independent DVD film, Dead Heist, by the summer.
Ice Cube Defends TV Show 'Black.White'
Rapper/actor Ice Cube has slammed critics of his controversial new race show Black.White, insisting he just wanted to spark a debate. The hip-hop star denies deliberately setting out to upset viewers and hopes the TV program, in which a black family swaps lives and color with a white family, is informative.
He tells AllHipHop.com, "I just wanted to get dialogue and get people talking about race; I wanted the show to reflect that there is still a problem with race relations in America, and that there are many layers dealing with the subject. I really don't care what people say about me, because honestly I am used to it. My intent (is clear) when I say, 'The things aren't to offend anyone, it's to hopefully open the viewer's or the listener's eyes to see that there are problems out there and to get people to talk about them.'"
He added, "I think everyone has a racist point of view, and that's why these shows and people addressing the issue head on, whether it be through a record or whatever, is needed to get people talking and dealing with their own selves."
Lupe Fiasco Speaks On 'Food & Liquor' Being Leaked To Internet
By Houston Williams
The buzz for rapper Lupe Fiasco reached a fever pitch after the rapper’s highly anticipated album, Food & Liquor, was leaked to the internet months before its summer release.
The Chicago rapper released a personal statement over the weekend that addressed the leak, which may permanently shelve the album.
“Hey s**t happens. An unmixed version of Food & Liquor got leaked yesterday so I assume its on [file-sharing services like] Limewire and Bittorrent and all that s**t,” the rapper stated. “Its stuff like this that makes you wanna just be like f**k it. A lotta time and money and bulls**t went into creating that album. Over the years I've had my people die, get locked up, my company get shut down, weak a** ‘intelligent Black men’ in my own crew turn against me and just when things are starting to look good [this happens].”
The 23-year-old prodigy said he was in a Philadelphia studio waiting for singer Jill Scott to record for his album when he learned of the leak. The rapper suggested that the premature release of the album may have inadvertently denied fans the full experience of Food & Liquor.
“If u can find it, it is my gift to you. Enjoy! Take it as [a mixtape like] 'Fahrenheit 1/15 Part 6: Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor' minus Jay-Z, Pharrell [of The Neptunes], Jill Scott, Three-6 Mafia and others,” Fiasco said.
The Atlantic Records rapper said he doubted the album would come out, but admitted Food & Liquor might simply be repackaged for commercial release.
“Everything happens for a reason and God wills what He wills when He wills so I gotta take this one and keep it moving. I'm goin’ to take some time out and refocus on some other things for a minute-maybe my sneaker and toy stuff,” he explained. “God-willing get back in the studio and get back to work. I hope it doesn’t hit the streets as a bootleg, but I got this real deep feeling that it will, so I'm writing off Food & Liquor as you know it or may have heard it and starting over.”
In previous interviews with AllHipHop.com, Fiasco said that he has been working on Food & Liquor for about five years.
Atlantic Records wasn’t available for a formal comment at press time.
New Study Says Listeners Of Rap Music More Prone To Substance Abuse
By Chris Richburg
Listeners of rap are more likely to encounter problems with alcohol, drugs and violence than listeners of other genres, according to a new study by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation's (PIRE) Prevention Research Center.
More than 1,000 community college students, age 15-25, participated in the study, titled "Music, Substance Use and Aggression." The students were questioned on their music listening habits, alcohol use, illicit drug use and aggressive behaviors, such as getting into fights and attacking or threatening others.
The results found that rap was consistently associated with alcohol use, potential alcohol use disorder, illicit drug use and aggressive behavior.
The study, published in the May issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol, also found that young people who listen to reggae and techno use more alcohol and illicit drugs than listeners of other music, with the exception of rap.
Rap topped all other genres in association to alcohol and drug use and aggression.
The results, which were not affected by the respondents' gender or ethnicity, should raise eyebrows, said lead author Meng-Jinn Chen, Ph.D., a research scientist at the Center.
"People should be concerned about rap and Hip-Hop being used to market alcoholic beverages, given the alcohol, drug and aggression problems among listeners," Meng-Jinn said. "That's particularly true considering the popularity of rap and Hip-Hop among young people."
Hip-Hop artists have been featured in advertisements for malt liquor and other alcohol products, while urban radio is regularly used for alcohol advertising.
Meng-Jinn added, "While we don't fully understand the relationship between music preferences and behavioral outcomes, our study shows that young people may be influenced by frequent exposure to music lyrics that make positive references to substance abuse and violence."
Researchers emphasize that the survey's results can't determine whether listening to certain genres leads to alcohol or illicit drug use or aggressive behavior.
However, young people with tendencies to use alcohol or illicit drugs or to be aggressive may be drawn to particular music styles.
Recent studies of popular music revealed that nearly half of rap/Hip-Hop songs mentioned alcohol, compared to 10 percent or less of other popular genres.
Nearly two-thirds of rap songs mentioned illicit drugs, compared with one-tenth of songs from other genres. Rap and rock music videos depict violence twice as often as other music genres.
AmericanBrandstand.com, a web site that tracks the number of times products are mentioned in music, reported that Hennessy was the highest ranking alcohol brand in 2005, ranking sixth overall in a list of products mentioned by artists.
The brand was mentioned 44 times, nine more than Cristal, which ranked eighth.
The study was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), which sponsors the PIRE Prevention Research Center, a national nonprofit public health research institute.
Game's Manager Issues Statement On Arrest Warrant
By Nolan Strong
The Game's manager Jimmy "Henchmen" Rosemond has released a statement regarding an arrest warrant that was recently issued for the rapper in North Carolina.
Authorities issued the warrant after the Compton rapper missed a March 28 court date to face charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Rosemond, who was featured on the front page of the Money Section of USA Today Friday (April 14), stated that his client's situation is a result of a simple mix-up.
"There was a change of address in which Game did not receive his court summons," Rosemond, CEO of Czar Entertainment, told AllHipHop.com in a statement. "It was a simple mistake and yes, a paper warrant was issued. However, his attorneys are working to clear this matter immediately."
The arrest warrant stems from an incident in a local shopping mall on Oct. 28, 2005. Game, born Jayceon Taylor, was in Greensboro, N.C., to perform at Winston-Salem State University's 2005 Homecoming.
The rapper visited a local mall wearing a Halloween mask. Police accused Game of ignoring requests to remove the mask and leave the mall.
As a result, a minor altercation between Game and an off-duty police officer ensued, resulting in the rapper's arrest and a claim of police brutality.
The police officer also pepper-sprayed Game and several associates during the dispute, which was videotaped by a member of the rapper's entourage.
The altercation was included on Game's DVD Stop Snitchin', Stop Lyin'.
The Internal Affairs Department of the Greensboro Police Department viewed the incident on the DVD and cleared the arresting officer of any wrongdoing
Rhymefest Joins Lupe Fiasco and Big Daddy Kane for Brooklyn Fest
Rhymefest and The Procussions have just been added to the second annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival.
The current lineup already includes Big Daddy Kane and Lupe Fiasco. Furthermore, the festival has also added XM Satellite Radio as a partner for the event. The festival will be held at the Historic Tobacco Warehouse and is part of the free programming presented by Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, NY State Parks and Empire Fulton Ferry State Park this summer.
This will mark Rhymefest's second consecutive appearance at the festival. Last year's roster included Little Brother, Brand Nubian and Leelah James. Fest is set to release his long-delayed debut, Blue Collar, on July 11. The CD features production from Kanye West, Just Blaze, Cool & Dre and No I.D. among others.
"Yo last year was off the chain!!! Brooklyn really showed me love so this year I'm coming back to bring y'all some of the Windy City's finest and I got some surprises for y'all this year," Rhymefest said in a statement. "Nothing but that incredible energy and that good music!!!!"
Meanwhile, the Procussions are the latest signees to the revived Rawkus label. Their debut, 5 Sparrows for 2 Cents, is slated to hit stores May 30. More artists are expected to join the roster in the coming weeks.
The second annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop festival is slated to take place June 24.
Uncle Luke Sets Off Censors Again
Luther "Uncle Luke" Campbell is at a controversial crossroads yet again. Major retailers are wavering over whether or not to carry a new double CD audio book and music compilation, Uncle Luke - My Life & Freaky Times.
As SOHH previously reported, Luke and distributor Urban Box Office (UBO) had teamed up to sponsor a spokesmodel contest for the project last year. The audio book will offer a voyeuristic peek into Luke's life, giving his firsthand accounts of his exploits as an entertainer, even spilling the dirt on other celebrities as he recalls his milestones in the music business.
Retailers have objected to some of the titles on the project, threatening not to carry the products unless changes are made.
"This album pushes the barometer for parental advisory with titles that allude to things of sexual nature that we know will receive major backlash," said one retailer who preferred not to be identified.
Campbell responded to the controversy. "All I can say is here we go again," said Luke via a statement. "After my landmark victory with the Supreme Court, I would think that our right to freedom of expression as artists has been preserved. This audio book is my life and I've always raised the bar and broken the rules. I raised the bar when I formed Luke Records, the first ever African-American owned and operated hip-hop record label, in 1983. I raised the bar when I went up against the Supreme Court for our right of artistic freedom of expression. This audio book is more than a tell-all audio book of freaky stories, it's about my life and career."
The accompanying 23-track CD, Don of All Dons - The Soundtrack, features guest appearances by Trick Daddy, Pitbull, Jacki-O, Petey Pablo, Rick Ross and Dirtbag. The CD's first single "Holla At Cha Homeboy" featuring Pitbull and Petey Pablo is currently in radio rotation.
Uncle Luke - My Life & Freaky Times is due in stores May 16.
Eminem Gets Richer, Michigan Has His Money
The Michigan Treasury Department recently listed Eminem among several celebrities on the unclaimed property web site.
With millions generated in album sales, tours, his Shady imprint and Shady Limited clothing line, Em has yet to be paid in full. Word is millions of his dollars are presently being held by the state Treasury Department. The Treasury Department keeps money in forgotten bank accounts, uncashed paychecks, dividend payments and other property. The assets are usually sent to the state when a company can't find the person owed the money or property. The site doesn't send notices. Individuals must log on the site and make claims if applicable.
"A lot of it is bank accounts; people moved and maybe forgot about them," state treasury spokesman Caleb Buhs told The Detroit News. "If the account remains dormant for a year, the banks are legally obligated to turn it over to the state.
Aretha Franklin, Domino's Pizza founder Thomas S. Monaghan and former Michigan Governor John Engler are also listed on the web site.
In related news, Eminem recently spoke out about the death of his friend/fellow D12 member Proof. In fact, Em credits Proof with helping him get to where he is today.
Mos Def, Okonedo eyeing Indie drama
Rapper Mos Def (Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy) and Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda) are in final talks to co-star in the indie drama "Stringbean and Marcus," playing two former Black Panther members who have fallen out of love.
The movie, set in 1978, was written and will be directed by first-time feature filmmaker Tanya Hamilton. It is told through the eyes of an adolescent girl. "It's not so much about the idea of race," Hamilton said. "I just wanted to show this world of ordinary people living under extraordinary circumstances, trying to outrun this past they all have." Shooting is scheduled to begin in July in Philadelphia. Mos Def and Okonedo, producer Sean Costello said, have not yet signed, but "they've committed to the project." Contracts are not likely to be finalized until June, he added.
Hamilton was honored at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1996 for her short film "The Killers," for which she also received a DGA Women's Award.
"Mos is one of my favorite actors; he's fantastic," Costello said. "Sophie has to play this character who's both closed off and being open to helping people yet not being an angry woman. That's what she did in 'Hotel Rwanda' as this maternal, yet emotionally conflicted woman."
Okonedo received a supporting actress Oscar nomination for "Rwanda" last year. Mos Def received an Emmy nomination for his lead role in the cable TV movie "Something the Lord Made."
Ludacris Adds To Film Resume With 'Heart Of The Game'
By Elle Castro and Nolan Strong
Ludacris has been tapped to narrate an upcoming documentary titled Heart of the Game, which features Joyce Walker (Paid in Full), Devon Crosby Helms, Maude Lepley, Darnellia Russell and others.
Due in June, the film tells the true story of the Seattle high school girls' basketball team, the Roosevelt Roughriders, and one player's battle with trying to regain eligibility to play.
Ludacris will also appear in episodes of the NBC drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in May.
At this year's Academy Awards, two films that Ludacris co-starred in, Crash and Hustle & Flow, walked away with Oscars on Sunday (March 5).
"My stock has definitely gone up," Ludacris told AllHipHop.com. "People can get used to seeing me on the big screen more in the future [as I] continue to choose projects that I feel will change people's lives."
The Atlanta rapper also applauded Three 6 Mafia for performing and winning Best Song for "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp," a tune the group wrote and produced for Hustle & Flow.
The trio was the first rap group to perform at the awards.
"I witnessed history and Juice [Three 6 Mafia's Juicy J.] and [DJ] Paul performed and won that award. I couldn't have been more proud as it was a historical moment for not only southern hip hop, but for hip hop as a whole. I feel like the Oscar's will never be the same."
In related news, Ludacris will release his sixth studio album titled Release Therapy this summer.
Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival Announces New Location
By Christine S. Kim
The Tobacco Warehouse will be the new site for the 2nd annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival (BHF), Room Service Productions has announced.
The Festival is a free, all-day, outdoor event celebrating Hip-Hop music and culture.
The June 24 affair is part of the free programming that Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy is organizing for State Parks at Empire Fulton Ferry State Park this summer.
"The celebration of Hip-Hop music and culture will certainly provide exciting and diverse entertainment for friends and families of all ages," stated Mary Ellen Kris, assistant deputy commissioner of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
The Festival will feature Hip-Hop performances, as well as jazz, soul and R&B. Performers will be announced in the coming weeks.
"Our mission is to shine the light on the positive aspects of Hip-Hop culture," said Wes Jackson, president of Room Service Productions. "In a few years, the waterfront will serve as a world-class venue for many performers. We're just excited to begin that process by bringing attention to this incredible venue and hope to find a permanent home for the Festival along the waterfront."
For more information, visit the official Festival website at www.brooklynbodega.com.
Biz Markie Releasing Limited Edition Beat Boxing Doll
Hip-Hop legend Biz Markie is releasing a limited edition run of the Diabolical Biz Markie Beat-Boxing Doll.
Biz Markie and Extended Play have teamed up to create 1,000 hand-crafted Biz Markie action dolls, which come complete with accessories and custom packaging.
The doll is outfitted in a crisp mesh jersey, hand-tailored jeans and old school kicks (circa 1987).
Standing at nearly 2 feet tall, the Diabolical Biz Markie Doll comes with a three-finger "BIZ" ring as seen on the "Just a Friend" 12" cover, the classic BIZ hat and a detachable microphone that fits in either hand.
While the doll is cast from a hard mold, the body is plush and when the belly is squeezed the doll makes beat-boxing sounds.
The action figure is also exclusively packaged in its own custom-made cereal box.
As the Ambassador of Hip-Hop, Biz Markie first surfaced on the music scene in the early '80s as a pioneer of Beat Boxer & Emcee with DJ Marley Marl & the Legendary Juice Crew All-Stars.
Biz's humorous, innovative and unorthodox approach has influenced generations and led Biz to countless guest appearances with Hip-Hop's biggest stars.
For more information, including product details, photos and how to order the doll, visit www.bizmarkiedoll.com.
Nelly and Daddy Yankee Get Tied Up With Reebok
Reebok is set to add Nelly and Daddy Yankee to its popular "I Am What I Am" campaign.
As SOHH previously reported, Lil' Wayne, Lupe Fiasco and Mike Jones have also signed on with the athletic wear company to promote their "OG Collection."
"We're bringing together the power of all of our assets," Que Gaskins, Reebok lifestyle and entertainment marketing chief told New York's Daily News.
Nelly's Derrty One line, which will include sneakers, T-shirts and hats, will launch April 4. Derrty One's casual sneaker line will run approximately $75. Meanwhile, Daddy Yankee will debut a line of sneakers, apparel and accesories with kicks priced at about $80. Yankee's line is due to premiere May 23.
"Nelly's shoe will have a clean, inner-city, urban style," Gaskins added. "Daddy Yankee's will have more of a soccer flavor."
The sneaker giant hopes to target a youth market with the $50 million campaign. To date, Jay-Z, 50 Cent and Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson have all been part of the campaign.
Print ads featuring Weezy, Lupe and Jones have already appeared in several publications, including XXL.
Jay-Z Takes 40/40 To The Far East
Owning two popular high-end sports lounges' in the New York and New Jersey area is just not enough for Jay-Z, the Def Jam President recently wrapped up a lease agreement which will allow him to expand his 40/40 club franchise in different spots in Asia.
Hov and his partners Desiree Gonzalez and Juan Perez hope to have three 40/40 clubs up and running in Hong Kong, China; Shanghai, China and Tokyo, Japan by 2008.
Before the aforementioned clubs open, Jay-Z is slated to open 40/40 clubs in Los Angeles and Las Vegas in 2006 and 2007, respectively.
As SOHH previously reported, Jay-Z will also be launching the Rocawear timepiece collection for both men and women in the fall.
Smithsonian Institution To Create Hip-Hop Exhibit
It’s quite clear that, over the past decade, hip-hop has become more than a music genre. A lot more. Actually, it has become a cultural trend, one so colorful and diverse that a very serious organization as the Smithsonian Institution has decided to create an exhibit on the urban style best known for rap music, break dancing and baggy clothes.
However, in order to open such an exhibit, the Smithsonian needed something to show to the visitors, so its representatives went to the most important figures in hip-hop and asked for their help.
Rap stars and producers who contributed items to the exhibit, including Ice-T and Russell Simmons, said they were surprised to see the Smithsonian turn its attention to the three-decades-old art form, according to Reuters.
"It validates it," said Los Angeles-based rapper Ice-T. "It's a good feeling."
Hip-hop music got its start in the South Bronx section of New York in the 1970s, when largely black and Puerto Rican youths began layering samples of sounds from existing records over driving, bass-heavy rhythm tracks.
The initial contributions to the museum's collection include a pair of turntables used by disc jockey Grand Master Flash, known for the seminal 1982 hit "The Message," and a boom box owned by Fab Five Freddy, the original host of "Yo! MTV Raps," as well as pictures, album-cover artwork and recordings.
Officials with the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History said it could be three to five years before its exhibit on hip-hop was ready.
The museum, based in Washington, receives more than 80 percent of its money from the federal government and aims to represent the breadth of American culture. Its collections range from the early American flag which inspired the national anthem, to costumes and props from popular television shows.
While hip-hop started out with a lighthearted, party-focused image, in the 1990s it developed a harder edge with "gangsta" rap, which focused on violence and gang life.
Several noted rappers have died violent deaths over the past decade, including Jam Master Jay of Run DMC, Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur.
"Hip-hop is not about hooliganism," said Kool Herc, a pioneering early hip-hop disc jockey. "It's not about disrespecting other people. It's about coming to a party and having fun."
But Ice-T, a "gangsta" rap pioneer who was the subject of a heated national debate in 1992 over his song "Cop Killer" with the band Body Count, said rap should not be blamed for inner-city violence.
"The streets aren't mimicking rap; rap is reflecting what's going on out there, unfortunately," he said.
However, the Smithsonian isn't the only museum with an interest in hip-hop culture. In the fall of 2000, the Brooklyn Museum of Art put on "Hip-Hop Nation: Roots, Rhymes & Rage." In June the museum plans to showcase an exhibition of graffiti art, spokesman Adam Husted said.
The Museum of the City of New York plans to hold "Black Style Now" in September on hip-hop's impact on fashion and black fashion designers. And the Experience Music Project, an interactive music museum in Seattle, has featured exhibitions on hip-hop.
Chamillionaire Shines On With Makaveli
Chamillionaire will recently named the new face of Makaveli Branded clothing line.
The Houston based MC will be featured prominently in the Tupac-inspired line's spring tribute ad campaign. Previous Makaveli Branded campaigns have featured Scarface, DJ Quik, Twista, DTP, Chingy and actor Omar Epps.
"Chamillionaire was an obvious choice when we were considering candidates for the spring campaign" said Makaveli Branded VP Rick Edwards, via a statement. "Everyone knows the incredible work ethic that Tupac had during his career and I see that same ethic in everything Chamillionaire does. His leadership and music both have contributed greatly to the resurrection of the Houston music scene."
The campaign will be highlighted via magazines like Slam, The Source, XXL and Scratch. Proceeds will be donated to the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation and Center of the Arts, which opened last year.
As far his own career is concerned, Chamillionaire continues to keep things rolling. He will be featured in the upcoming April issue of The Source and will be launching a nationwide tour with Lil' Flip on March 30 in San Diego.
The video for his second single "Ridin," off his debut album, The Sound Of Revenge, will be going into rotation on various music video outlets in the coming weeks.
The clip for "Ridin" was directed by Lyfe Garland and features cameos from Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony and actor Tommy 'Tiny' Lister (Friday).
50 Cent In Final Negotiations To Star Opposite Samuel L. Jackson
In 'Home Of The Brave'
By Nolan Strong and Roman Wolfe
50 Cent is in final negotiations to make his second motion picture appearance in the upcoming film Home Of The Brave, opposite Samuel L. Jackson.
The plot revolves around three soldiers returning from the war in Iraq and trying to readjust to civilian life. Jackson plays a doctor who unravels during the course of the film.
Other cast members include Christina Ricci, Jessica Biel and Brian Presley. The film is based on a screenplay by Mark Friedman and will be directed by Irwin Winkler.
Ironically, Jackson turned down a starring role in 50 Cent's big screen debut, Get Rich Or Die Tryin', despite a longtime desire to work with the film's director, Jim Sheridan.
Jackson has stated on numerous occasions that he refuses to work with unproven rappers who earn roles simply based on their popularity.
50 Cent lashed out at the veteran actor, stating that the only role Jackson was suited for in his movie was a "crackhead," in reference to Jackson's past drug addiction.
Get Rich has grossed over $20 million dollars at the U.S. box office.
Home Of The Brave has a $12 million dollar budget and is slated to start filming on location in Morocco next month, with final production taking place in Spokane, Wash.
Juelz Santana Opening HipHop SodaShop On 125th Street
By Nolan Strong
Juelz Santana has become a financial partner in a new HipHopSodaShop opening on 125th Street in Santana's hometown of Harlem, New York.
The rapper is co-owner of the new franchise, which is licensed by parent company H3Enterprises Inc. (HTRE), a publicly traded company.
"We're gonna rip 125th up," Juelz said in a press release. "It's great to be able to enjoy all this in my own backyard with my own people. I've hung out with my boy 'A Butta' here since we were little punks and now we're gonna get a chance to actually work together for the good of our own hood."
HTRE was founded by Brian Peters, who was worked with various artists, including Outkast, Nas, Snoop Dogg and others.
"Juelz is a true Harlem treasure and we hope to utilize all of his talents to the full benefit of our shareholders and our communities," said Peters, president and founder of HTRE.
In November of 2005, HTRE announced it was leasing a large space less than a block from the legendary Apollo Theater. Other locations are expected to open in Times Square in Manhattan and Las Vegas' famous "Strip."
"We're building a real home for the Hip Hop generation complete with all the things we love to do," Juelz continued. "But it's really about creating educational opportunity and good jobs and that's where Team H3 will prove to be unbeatable."
Last month, HTRE announced a joint venture with Lou Pearlman, who has worked with some of the most successful artists in the music business, including Justin Timberlake, N Sync, The Backstreet Boys and others.
HTRE and Pearlman will jointly develop HipHopSodaShops throughout Orlando and Tampa, Florida. Pearlman invested an undisclosed amount into the venture and will bring his entertainment, media, contacts and experience to the company.
"The man [Pearlman] has proven over and over again that he has his hands firmly on the pulse of the entertainment industry and always stays ahead of the curve," Peters said. "We are truly honored that he has chosen to become an integral part of our Company's ongoing development."
Juvenile Films Video In New Orleans' Ravaged Ninth Ward
By Houston Williams
Juvenile recently wrapped a new, gritty video for "Get Ya Hustle On" that captures the continued desolation in New Orleans' Ninth Ward in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
The rapper and New Orleans native is one of the first artists to be granted access to the lower Ninth Ward since a levee breach flooded the streets in the natural disaster.
The video, which is still in production, was shot over a four-day period in a documentary style.
"Get Ya Hustle On," a politically charged song, criticized local and national governmental forces for neglecting the city's poorest and disenfranchised.
"It’s more like out with the old, in with the new," Juvenile said of the efforts to rebuild New Orleans. "Now you got [wealthy real estate barons] down there, buying up all the property - now it’s a big business venture. If you didn’t pay your taxes on your property - and half of the people weren’t able to pay taxes, you know - a lot of people lost their money for real.
While most of Reality Check, the rapper's upcoming album, was recorded prior to the hurricane, he re-added songs like "Get Ya Hustle On" to address the plight of the victims.
The video, directed by Ben Mor, depicts three children that find masks of President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and Mayor Ray Nagin.
The opposing side of the masks says, "Help Is Coming."
The beginning of the video says, "This is a tribute to those who died in the wrath of Hurricane Katrina. The storm may have passed, but for thousands the struggle is just beginning."
To view images from the shoot click this link.
Juvenile's UTP/Atlantic debut, Reality Check, is due on March 7.
Hip-Hop Harmony: Jay-Z And Nas Officially Dead Beef
By Seandra Sims and Houston Williams
Jay-Z warned everybody that he was "getting the itch" for a good show in New York, and the rapper came out swinging with the first of a pair of concerts initially to air his grievances with rival rappers.
The highly publicized event, which was sponsored by New York's Power 105.1, eventually became somewhat of a peacefest. The biggest shock of the night at Jay-Z's "I Declare War" Concert was when the megastar announced, "It's bigger than 'I declare war.' It's like the muthaf**kin' president presenting the United Nations. Let's go, Esco!"
The stunned crowd of thousands inside the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, NJ, screamed in approval as Jay and his former nemesis Nas appeared onstage together, signifying that two of rap's biggest names had finally deaded their once-bitter beef.
"A lot of ni***s is makin' money and still f***in' mad at the world!" Nas said. "We [are] savin' the East Coast with your help."
Nas performed the hook to Jay's "Dead Presidents," followed by his own classic, "The World Is Yours." Jay-Z exited briefly and gave his counterpart time to rock his classic songs like "It Ain't Hard to Tell" and "New York State of Mind."
Jay-Z rejoined Nas onstage and said, "Damn, this is some s**t right here!" Nas spun into "Made You Look'" with Jay-Z and Sean "Diddy" Combs, who also performed "Hate Me Now" with the Queens superstar.
"We all in this s**t together," Jay-Z said after the songs. "Y'all witnessed history. Everybody in this building is a part of history. All that beef s**t is wack." He then concluded the show, leaving some beef-seeking fans to grumble.
But, the show was far from a disappointment. The hip-hop icon's concert kicked off with a bang as throngs of eager concertgoers poured into Powerhouse, the annual mega concert by Power 105.1.
At the show's opening, Jay-Z emerged onstage seated in a presidential setting reminiscent of the Oval Office, with a voiceover of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech blaring in the background.
From the very beginning, the crowd threw their Roc signs in the air while chanting "Hova, Hova, Hova" signaling that the rap megastar has lost none of his shine during his semi-hiatus from the mic.
"I don't think y'all muthaf***as [are] ready tonight!" Jay-Z proclaimed above the screams of the crowd, as two staunch security guards manned the rear of his Oval Office. "'This is my house in this muthaf***a...y'all don't understand...I own the Nets!" (whose regular season home games are played in the Continental Arena). When the "god MC" performed songs like "You Don't Know," the audience held on to his every word. Eventually, Jay plucked a young boy out of the crowd, who played impromptu hype man. "Don't stage dive. Don't try to upstage me with none of that cute kid stuff...you like summer?" Jay-Z asked the boy. The rapper then spun into "Dear Summer," one of the biggest songs of 2004.
Aside from Jay-Z and Nas, solidarity was a common thread through the evening.
During the show's other surprises, Freeway burst from backstage to perform his verse from "What We Do." Looking at Freeway, "Jay-Z said, "We missing some sh*t (on this stage) to make this whole thing complete!" A hooded Beanie Sigel, who once played mentor to Freeway, came out to perform, throwing up the Roc diamond sign to the crowd's delight. "Roc for life, n***a. You already knew," Beanie said.
The Lox and Jay-Z's old friend Sauce Money also graced the stage to perform Jay's classic posse cut, "Reservoir Dogs" to everyone's surprise. They were followed by a quick impromptu appearance by Diddy, who was once the subject of The Lox's scorn, and a stirring rendition of "The Benjamins."
Jay-Z also paid homage to those that have passed.
"We also got to pay respect to the pioneers of the game, and that's Jam Master Jay and Run DMC," Jay-Z said as he rolled into a set paying tribute to JMJ, Big Pun, Big L, Aaliyah, Biggie, Tupac, and even Civil Right icon Rosa Parks.
Shortly after, Kanye West emerged from below the stage floor to perform for "President Hova," and was joined by Houston rapper Paul Wall on the track "Drive Slow."
Over the course of the night, he brought out special guests Teiarra Mari, Ne-Yo, Peedi Peedi, and Memphis Bleek, along with a four-song set by T.I. T.I. was joined by Young Jeezy, who was a fan favorite with the hook-heavy songs from his debut album Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101. Jay, with a fresh set of clothing, returned on the tail end of Young Jeezy's set to perform "Go Crazy."
Initially, fans and gossip mongers thought that Jay-Z was going to "go crazy" and wage a personal beef with a number of artists in the rap community.
At an earlier appearance at Power 105, the Def Jam president revealed that he would address some of whom he called "hard-headed" critics of his "Carter Administration" during the show, but never revealed those people he intended to disrespect. Many fans and gossip mongers speculated he would go after The Game, 50 Cent, Jim Jones, Cam'ron or others.
"I gotta put 'em in the choke hold, the Boston crab," the rapper told Ed Lover of Power 105.1. "I gotta smash a couple of people. Everybody better make up and be my friend."
A second show, set for October 28, is slated for Philadelphia's Wachovia Center in conjunction with Power 99, another Clear Channel radio station.
The last time Jay-Z declared war he jumpstarted a long-running feud with Nas and Prodigy of Mobb Deep, unleashing such hits as the mixtape-gone-mainstream "Takeover."
"As it was coming together, I seen Puff perform with The Lox, T.I. perform with Jeezy, the return of Beanie Sigel.so I said f**k it," Jay-Z said. "So you know what I did for y'all, what I did for Hip-Hop?"
And, one era ended as another began.