Archive for the “News” Category


Just got word via Live Nation’s Twitter that the Kanye West/Lady Gaga tour has been cancelled.

Media Take Out said yesterday they heard rumors that Ms. Gaga wanted out. As you may remember though, Kanye did mention on Leno that he wanted to take some time off to clear his head.

Hope he gets everything sorted out that he needs to. That was an ominous name for a tour too, shit…

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A few years ago, MTV started the “Hottest MC’s in the Game” list. If you couldn’t figure out what they do by the title, the network sits around with hip-hop “experts” and others to argue out who the hottest is, and in the process come up with a ranked list.

It was just revealed today that Raekwon has come in at #10. Not a bad choice, but the way rankings are given out is a system that is strikingly similar to another confusing, unscientific ranking system.

I’m talking about the NCAA Football rankings a.k.a. the BCS. TV networks like ESPN have created countless TV shows and even new networks (ESPN U) that revolve around discussing this ambiguous system no one quite has a grip on.

So, this is where I come in. Think of me as a slightly more coherent Lou Holtz. I’ll break down the MTV list in a way college football fans could understand: I’ll explain what team each rapper could be described as.

So who is Raekwon?


(photo credit: AP/ESPN)

University of Miami

For a good part of the 90’s, Miami was a powerhouse. And their players were characters. Flambouyant, confident, and sometimes in trouble with the law or the university, but always winners. Think Warren Sapp, Ray Lewis, and Michael Irvin. However, something went wrong in the past decade. The mighty U wasn’t so mighty anymore. No national titles, no bowl games, but everyone knew the name.

Now it’s 2009 and Miami (so far) looks like they could win the ACC and maybe get back in the BCS graces.

Does that sound similar to a certain hip-hop clique that ruled the 90’s? Thought so. The Wu-Tang Clan may as well have been the University of Miami. They ran the 90’s, but most of the members oddly fell into obscurity after experiencing early solo success. It was a big fall for a group of dudes with attitude, flamboyance, endless merchandise, and a video game (remember that?).

However, in the past year, Raekwon’s star has been reborn. Getting caught up in the blog-explosion, Rae dropped new tracks, mixtapes, features, and finally delivered the follow-up to his masterpiece, Only Built for Cuban Linx 2.

Stay tuned for #9

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I remember a time when going platinum in the first week was the minimum requirement for success. I was a kid then, but I can remember Best Buy building its empire by practically billing itself to my neighborhood as a cheap place to get CDs. It was nothin’ to go in there and come out with a handful.

Things have changed now though. Most people had their mind made up on what they thought of the Blueprint 3 before it was even officially released.

Last week, Kid CuDi sold about 105k in his first week and by the rest of the media’s standards, that’s a success. And it is. He’s a new artist who had to fight the uphill battle of getting the media to care about him. Mr. West’s co-sign didn’t hurt either of course.

Let’s look back at some of this year’s more anticipated releases to see how CuDi’s 105k stacks up.


Rick Ross - Deeper Than Rap
158,000 in Week 1
With the 50 Cent beef, Officer Ricky had plenty of publicity to have a strong showing. It’s the lowest opening week numbers of his 3 albums though.


Jim Jones - Pray IV Reign
42,818 in Week 1
Jimmy’s efforts to promote this thing on Twitter were admirable, but his major label debut has still yet to hit 100k in sales. Maybe some of that A-rab money should have gone to promo.


Asher Roth - Asleep in the Bread Aisle
65,000 in Week 1
He was essentially the first of the “blog generation” to make the full transition to major label life, and considering the money that must have gone into making that album, I have a feeling the suits weren’t thrilled with these numbers.


Jay-Z - Blueprint 3
476,000 in Week 1
HOV is out from Def Jam’s grip and had a marketing campaign you couldn’t escape. It’s clear that the days of platinum in a week are dwindling (duhh, Mark)…

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No triumphant return really, but hey. It’s been a long couple of months full of technical difficulties and other things you’ll hear about it all over time. All that matters is we’re back now, and regularly. So for those who still check it, I appreciate it more than you know. Hope I didn’t lose too many of you…

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Something I’ve always respected about hip-hop is that it never hides from what it does. And that includes open corporate sponsorships and partnerships with “the man.”

Do you realize that this kind of association ruins artists in other genres? Metallica fans said they sold out just because they started making videos and actually went platinum. That’s low standards for “selling out.”

Not hip-hop though. Even back in the day, Run-DMC had an endorsement deal with adidas. Your favorite rappers have continued that proud tradition with Vitamin Water, Fat Burger chains, and car ads. Not to mention clothing lines have lived and died through their image and alignment with rappers.

That’s why this latest Dr Pepper ad with Dr Dre didn’t surprise me. It actually made me smile. What’s the big deal though?

Well, this ad features the first clip of a beat that will be featured on Detox.

Yes, the most anticipated hip-hop album of the past decade had a partial premiere on a soda commercial.

Some may say it’s selling out. I say it’s history repeating itself

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FF Cypher 5.9.09: Tanya Morgan x Kenn Starr x Oddisee from jben.ok on Vimeo.

In light of the release of their album Brooklynati today, a freestyle of sorts from the rap trio Tanya Morgan ( Von Pea, DonWill, Illyas). They are a true testament of how much technology has revolutionized the game, as they met online, and almost recorded a full album — Moonlighting without ever actually meeting in person. Purchase the album on Itunes today, support good music!

And just in case you were worried about not getting anything Free today. Illyas released this about a month ago, but its a nice preview of what’s to come.

I-el (Illyas)- The Prelude

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The Smoking Gun reported this week that longtime T.I. associate, Alfamega was a government informant in the late 90’s. Today, Tip dismissed him from Grand Hustle. The Smoking Section (not to be confused with the Smoking Gun), posted audio of T.I. making the announcement. There’s been no reported connection between T.I.’s latest jailtime and Alfamega at this time, though.

I guess when you’re in Tip’s shoes these days, you can’t take any chances, even if you’ve cleaned up.

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photo: aznightbuzz/AZ Daily Star

You probably heard by now that The University of Arizona recently put on a concert that had a $1.4 million budget. That’s a lot money for a student group to be granted to put on a show. Of the trio of performers (Third Eye Blind, Kelly Clarkson and Jay-Z), Hov commanded a reported $750,000 for the show.

The word yesterday is that the show was significantly undersold, and the university is taking a huge hit. A $917K hit. It’s so bad that the university is tapping into emergency funds and taking revenue from the bookstore to compensate.

I think the best part about this story is that everyone’s blaming this “flop” on the economy. Maybe it plays a part, but it’s pretty obvious it was poor event planning that did it. They were expecting to fill the stadium (30,000 seats), but didn’t even sell 7,000 tickets, and gave away 4,400 more.

I used to live in Arizona, and to put a million dollar concert on in Tucson doesn’t make much sense. The event organizers had to know the stadium wasn’t going to be filled with U of A students alone, as there’s barely 30,000 undergrads at the university. Clearly, they were banking on people to make the trip to Tucson.

There’s one problem with that: Tucson is 2 hours from the Phoenix metro area (where everyone in AZ lives practically). No one’s making that trip on a Wednesday night with money they don’t have.

Despite all that: it’s still a college show. It’s not Brooklyn, it’s not MSG, it’s not a one-night-only at Radio City Music Hall: it’s Tucson, Arizona.

On the bright side, it looked like it was a good show and Hov gave them their “money’s worth.”

Hit the jump for a video of a dead crowd from the concert. You’re in John McCain’s home state, Hov, that’s why no one was singing with you…

Read the rest of this entry »

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Scott Storch sat down with MTV to talk about where he’s been and if he was really in jail and in debt. He’s not in jail, he’s been battling a coke addiction, and is now in recovery. In the process though, he lost $30 million. How do you lose $30 million dollars in that short of an amount of time? At least he’s recovering and doing well though.

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Amazon needs to update their cover-art. If it was a higher res, you could see how all the individual pills make up Marshall’s face.

Relapse drops May 19. Let’s all buy Bill O’Reilly copies and send them to him.

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