A lot of people point towards 1996 as a landmark year for Hip-Hop despite the murder of 2Pac. What seems to fall through the cracks in the discussion, however, is that 1996 was also one of the greatest years on record (pun fully intended) for R&B / Soul music. So while everyone else has taken you through what made the year such a great one for Hip-Hop, today I’m going to take you on a ride through the soulful side of ’96.
There’s been a pretty constant rhetoric for the past half decade about how Hip-Hop needs saving. Everyone is quick to anoint new artists as the next big thing, or the potential saviors of Hip-Hop. The truth of the matter is no one can live up to such initial pressures and in the past few years a number of artists have failed miserably under such conditions. Today I’m taking a look at five of those artists.
It was supposed to be a fairly easy evening. This past Friday all I had to do was drive up to Webster Theatre in Hartford, say I’m on the list, get in, see an act I’ve wanted to see for a while now in Tech N9ne, and two acts that people wanted me to cover, Kottonmouth Kings and Ill Bill. Unfortunately, very little about covering the show turned out to be as easy as it should have been.
This story was sent to us by www.killedthat.com - at the Madison Square Garden "ScreamFest" concert last night Kanye West and Jay-Z performed several hits together while 50 Cent stood on stage with them, nodding his head to the music. That's not the interesting part - the big scoop is that when they were done performing 50 threw up the Roc diamond (the same one Jay-Z and Diamond Dallas Page settled out of court over). This may be the end of the alleged "feud" between the two over their new albums coming out on the same day, or perhaps Jay squashed it himself by inviting 50 onstage to make him an honorary member of the Roc. We encourage you to go to www.killedthat.com and check out their photos from the show.
Just days after we learned that Foxy Brown was leaving Def Jam she's already gotten herself into ANOTHER jam. www.urbanworldwireless.com reports that Inga Marchand b.k.a. Foxy Brown was sent to Rikers Island for violating her probation. Apparently the judge overseeing her case heard about her allegedly smacking a neighbor in the face with a Blackberry and traveling out of her jurisdiction despite being on probation, and these were the final straws. Marchand will now sit in jail until her next hearing on September 6th.
Meanwhile it's all coming up roses for her ex-beau Ricardo Emmanuel Brown, better known as Kurupt. www.ballerstatus.com reports that Kurupt and Gail Gotti tied the knot on August 20th during a private ceremony held in Philadelphia, PA. The hip-hop couple exchanged vows in front of 170 of their closest family and friends at the Rittenhouse Hotel, just eight months after Kurupt proposed to Gail. Congratulations to the newlyweds!
Bad news for Amy Winehouse fans though - her label reports that due to the rigours involved in touring she has been advised to postpone her upcoming September US and Canadian tour dates. All ticket holders may obtain refunds at their point of purchase. Ironically Amy's European and UK tour dates in October and November remain in place but until then Amy has been ordered to rest and is working with medical professionals to address her health. You know, that's just no good.
Tha Dogg Pound are shocking the hip-hop world again! www.BallerStatus.net revealed that just months after releasing their latest album "Dogg Chit" that they have signed a deal with Cash Money Records and that a "new album [is] droppin' soon" according to their official website.
Meanwhile www.urbanworldwireless.com dropped the bombshell that Dr. Dre has filed a lawsuit against Death Row Records over his masterpiece "The Chronic." Dre is claiming in bankruptcy court that he is the original copyright owner of the 1992 album and naturally he would like to see it returned. We'll keep you informed as more info develops.
Last but not least www.ballerstatus.net reports that Saigon spoke to MTV recently about bringing in a rock band for his video "Come On Baby." Quoth Saigon: "Remember [Run-DMC's] 'Walk This Way'? I wanted to do it just like that, Me and Just [Blaze] in one side of the studio, doing some rap stuff, they doing their rock stuff [on another side], then we banging on the wall. We wanna use 'Walk This Way' as sort of like a blueprint." Should be a hot video.
It appears Inga Marchand has had enough of Def Jam. www.ballerstatus.com writes to inform us that Foxy Brown has split from Def Jam despite having recorded an entire album titled "Black Roses" that was never released. The management firm Black Hand revealed she is signing with Koch Records and will release albums under her own imprint for the label titled Black Rose Entertainment. No word on whether that means "Black Roses" will come out through Koch as well but Foxy does plan to be the first artist on her imprint to release an album. "After 13 years at Def Jam, I felt it was time as a matured business women to move on and continue my brand under the roof of something I own." Best of luck to Ms. Marchand in the future.
With two weeks to go until the release of Talib Kweli's new album "Eardrum," Warner Brothers Records has released a new word widget which allows you to explore many facets of the album and learn more about it and the artist himself. They've also put up some free downloads including wallpaper and avatars. If this all sounds like a plug for Talib Kweli well it is, but it's a free one. Check out www.TalibKweli.com for all this and more, and be on the lookout for "Eardrum" coming August 21st!
Thanks to www.ballerstatus.com for putting us up on this info. Some of our readers may recall that Chingy was pretty tight with Disturbing Tha Peace artists on his debut album "Jackpot" and in fact had a FORMAL relationship with Ludacris for distribution and promotion, but left the DTP fold over a monetary dispute. As it turns out Chingy and Luda have put the past behind them and settled their differences. Quote Howard Bailey b/k/a Chingy: "Our reconciliation started last year at the Billboard Awards in Las Vegas, The whole situation was a misunderstanding because no one ever really talked [it] through." Chingy has left Capitol Records and inked a new deal with Def Jam - where of course Ludacris makes his home. A new Chingy album is expected by year's end.
Thanks to KA for this news tip. It seems The Game was performing at a local festival called 'Lokerse Feesten' in Belgium when a fan threw a beer cup at the stage. One local newspaper said The Game himself jumped into the crowd and hit the fan several times while another's website claims two of his bodyguards jumped into the crowd and hit the fan. Either way an assault of some sort occured but no charges are being pressed so far. Unfortunately I can't translate Dutch but KA provided a link to the newspaper and their story here, which appears to be the "two bodyguards" version. We'll keep you informed of any further developments.