Friday, October 16, 2009

Trina Nominates Nicki Minaj For “Hottest In The Game”

Southern rapper Trina recently shared her opinion on MTV’s widely-talked about Hottest In The Game 2009 list and said Lil Wayne protege Nicki Minaj should have been considered.

Feeling the list is overly populated by males, Trina spoke up for Minaj.

“I expect that, because the industry is male dominated,” Trina said about the male dominance. “It’s just too many guys. You got Jay-Z, Nas, Lil Wayne, Ludacris, T.I., Young Jeezy, Soulja Boy, Rick Ross, and you got 10 MCs. Where are you going to put a girl? She definitely deserves the respect. She doesn’t have an album out or sold any records, but it’s more so about the passion and the response she gets from the listeners. To see her pave her way from nothing to come up to be a topic or a name. You give that respect to the person coming up making a name for themselves. That’s just real talk. I don’t pull any punches. People say I give too much credit to people but it’s not about that. It’s about being real. And being real is giving props when it’s due. You can’t be hating or mad when you see people doing their thing.”

Video: Nicki Minaj Says Her Debut Single Will Drop Next Month

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Video: Nicki Minaj – 5 Star Chick (Remix)

Videos: Power 98 Interviews The Young Money Entertainment Artists

Queen Latifah Speaks On Nicki Minaj + So Far Gone EP Sells 72,104 1st Week

One of the females that’s being hailed as the torchbearer for the next generation of hip-hop is Nicki Minaj, who’s making a huge splash in the rap world. What’s your opinion on her as an artist and what she’s doing with the genre?

I like everything I’ve heard from her so far. What I do like about her is number one, I got mad love for Lil Wayne. He’s bringing her up, he’s giving her an opportunity to come up through his camp. She’s showing and proving. Eve did the same thing. She spit with every dude in the Ruff Ryders camp, and that showed that she had the courage, gumption, talent and ability to be in this game. But then the records that she made were great records that talked about things that females wanted to talk about, and they were hit records. Her first album was platinum, so to me, when we do get on, we make a big splash because there aren’t that many of us. We stand out from the crowd. I’m hoping that there’s not just Nicki Minaj, but that there’s someone else out there, the next whoever, that’s waiting to have that same opportunity that she’s getting right now. But God bless her, I hope she blows up, because that’s what we need right now. We need that female energy in the game.

Nicki Minaj Interview & Photo Shoot With Honey Magazine

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ester Dean ft. Chris Brown - Drop It Low

Cameos in the video include Rich Boy, Nelly, Teyana Taylor, Soulja Boy, Keri Hilson and Omarion. This was a good comeback look for Chris..

Myammee Says It Got Saaphyri

Lil Wayne & Young Money Cover The Source Magazine

Lil Wayne and his Young Money family will be featured on the September/October issue of The Source Magazine which hits shelves soon.

Monday, September 14, 2009

She by Sheree’ Hits NY Fashion Week

America’s Most Wanted: The Tour DVD

You can now officially buy a copy of the Young Money and Lil Wayne “America’s Most Wanted: Music Festival” on DVD.

Knotti has captured a whole night of the tour which features Lil Wayne, Drake, Mack Maine, Nicki Minaj and the Young Money/Cash Money family.
The runtime is 55 minutes, and the price is $25 + $2.50 for shipping and handling (including International). You can order a copy here --

Doctor Advises Nivea That She Can Go Into Labor Any Minute

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009

Neffe prego Again!!!!!!!

Neffe’s bestfriend Dariel tweeted a pic of Neffe and her new baby girl at the hospital last night. This is baby #5! I hear Keyshia [Cole] doesn’t come around to see the family as often as she used to and it’s upsetting the kids (especially Neffe’s oldest daughter Breanna)

Happy Birthday To Jae Millz

Thursday, September 10, 2009


The T.O. Show Season 2

PRNewswire – VH1 has picked up Terrell Owens option for a second go-around of his hit series. The “The T.O. Show” has been a ratings hit for VH1 with an average of over 1.5 million viewers per episode.
As this is a show about Terrell’s off-season life, the series will resume production shortly after his 2009 football season ends with the Buffalo Bills. Season two will begin as his one-year contract with the Buffalo Bills expires and he will once again be faced with the question of … will he back with the Bills or will he be looking for a new team in the off-season. He will also be exploring business opportunities for life after football and dealing with the women in his life.

Kita Williams and Monique Jackson, Terrell’s two best friends as well as his marketing and publicity team, are also returning to the series. In addition to molding Terrell’s image off the field they are also a formidable duo in his personal life that do their best to guide him in his personal life with sound sisterly advice.

Flavor of love 3 All stars

Dirty Money featuring Diddy, Kaleena and Dawn Richard

The Real Housewives of Atlanta on Ellen DeGeneres Show - 9/9/2009 // FULL interview

Blaze Media TV Interviews Young Money Backstage

Young Money Interview Backstage

Monday, September 7, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009

Who Gon Check Her Fashions, Boo?

Sheree Whitfield has one upped the naysayers with the announcement that she will unveil her clothing line, She by Sheree, at New York Fashion Week.

She won’t be under the big tents at Bryant Park, but she is on the schedule and she will debut her line at the Metropolitan Pavilion.

Some have already criticized this as a big discredit to New York Fashion Week given designers bust their butts to get a spot at the famed fashion event yet a person who can’t even design her own designer clothes will be taking part in the festivities.

Nicki Minaj Interview With J’Adore Magazine

In one word describe Nicki Minaj.

What is your response to those who compare you to Lil’ Kim?
Listen to “Beam Me Up Scotty” or “The Pink Streak in My Hair.”

What sets you apart from other female rappers in the industry and makes you unique?
I don’t think of myself as a female rapper. I consider myself a rapper in general.

If you could do a track with two other female emcees, whom do you feel could match you skill for skill?
No one!

Aside from making music, possibly doing a reality TV show (if Young Money produces it) and finding a Bad Bitch for that Super Snatch, what else is on the horizon for Nicki Minaj?
Taking over the world and going to Africa.

What would you do over there?
Do a lot of shows, and take books, paper and pencils to all my little kids over there.

Speaking about finding a Bad Bitch, you have all but admitted that you are bisexual, do you prefer one sex more so than the other and if so why?
I have not admitted to being bisexual and will not admit to being bisexual.

Do you feel that female emcees have to depend more so on their sexuality than their skills at verbal linguistics in order to get ahead in the music industry?
No they don’t!

Do you think that female emcees will ever get the respect in the music industry that they deserve?
Yes they will, in the next 12 months when Nicki Minaj drops. Things will change.

Do you feel that being the first artist signed to Young Money and being a female puts more pressure on you as an artist to be successful?
I have always been a perfectionist. So the pressure doesn’t come from being the first artist or being a female artist. The pressure comes from me wanting to do what I do in a perfect way.

What is it like working with Wayne, the business man versus Wayne, the rapper?
I love working with Wayne. Working with Wayne is definitely unpredictable that’s for sure. He won’t sit you down and school you, but if you watch and listen, you will learn what things work for him and how he’s become successful.

What producers and artists are you working with on your upcoming album?
I’ll definitely be working with Ron Browz. He sent me a bunch of tracks and I’m feelin’ his sound. Other than that I can’t really speak on that just yet.

What is your creative process for writing a new song?
I like to sit at home alone when I write. It’s more so about my delivery than it is about the lyrics. I don’t like to write when I’m in the studio.

What made you want to be in the music business?
I used to hang out with the dudes on the block and they would be rapping and I started rapping. I would let people hear it and I was horrible, of course, and I just began working at it. I always loved hip-hop though. I was one of those kids that wanted to dance like Salt-N-Pepa and we’d cut up jeans and stuff. You know what I mean. I’ve always loved the culture. Like, I love Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh and those type of artists. I just didn’t know that I could do it. When I started working at it, I actually got good. I was like, “Hey, wait a minute this might be something here, let me really focus.” That’s what I did. I’ve been really focused at being Nicki Minaj, the solo artist for about two years now. I think I’ve been doing pretty good so far. I know people that’s been doing it for 10 years that you ain’t interviewing right now, let’s just say that.

Who inspired you to become an artist and how?
Wayne inspires me very much. Foxxy and Kim inspire me a lot. Remy inspires me. Lauryn Hill inspires me. Right now Leona Lewis inspires me. Gwen Stefani and Natasha Bedingfield inspire me. I’m inspired by a lot of different kinds of artists. It’s always something new, but I just love music and I am inspired by good music.

Your vocal abilities are just as sick as your rap vernacular. Will we be hearing more singing than rapping on your upcoming album and which do you prefer?
First of all, thanks, because I’m still a little bit nervous with my whole singing stuff, but I like singing more than I like rapping. I believe that I’m better at rapping than singing. It’s always a toss-up for me because I actually listen to more singing than hip-hop or rap. So naturally when I go to the studio, I want to sing on everything. I’m in this singing stage or phase so I really don’t know. I would love for my album to be equally balanced between singing and rapping actually. I just hope everybody will be open to that.

It’s funny that you say that, because in the small snippets that I heard you singing on the “Sucka Free” mixtape, I got the vibe that even though your rap skills show your strength and a confidence in your abilities, I get the impression that you’re more comfortable with singing and that’s what you really want to do.
Wow, that’s so interesting. Yep! I think you definitely hit it on the head. A lot of people don’t see that at all. It’s the truth. I have fun singing. You know what it is, when I hear a beat, I’ll hear a melody before I hear a rap on it. I’ll hear a hook. Sometimes I have a whole bunch of stuff where I just have hooks written to ‘em. I like singing hooks and I’ll hear harmonies in my head on how it should go. I’m just transitioning as I get deeper into my music, I guess.

On your track “Autobiography” on the “Sucka Free” mixtape you talked about various personal subjects. What words of advice can you give to young ladies out there who may have been through similar situations as yourself?
Whenever you make something larger than yourself, like for instance I wanna do music, but I don’t wanna do music because of me, it’s bigger than me. It’s for my mother, it’s for my family, it’s for my manager. I wanna make her proud. Whenever you make something bigger than you, you get, like, this extraordinary strength that, if I was just doing this for me, to look cute and say I rap or I sing, I would have given up.

Everything I’ve gone through has made my career and future larger than me. In other words, everything is riding on this. My mother’s future is riding on this. My brother’s future is riding on this. So with all the things that I’ve been through, I’ve said, you know what, I can give up, but it’s not about me. When your life gets to a point where it’s no longer about you, you will surpass your own expectations of your own dreams and goals and stuff like that. So that’s what you have to do … just look at the bigger picture and then all of the things that have happened in your life, the times that you cried yourself to sleep. It will seem smaller in the bigger scheme of things.

What types of movies does Nicki Minaj like to watch?
One of my favorite movies is “Sarafina.” Every time I watch that movie I cry hysterically and I cannot get enough of it. I don’t know what it is about that movie that I love. I also love anything that Jada Pinkett-Smith is in. My other favorite movie of all times is “Gladiator.” I loved that movie although I’m not a big action movie type person.

Do you have a favorite television or reality show?
Back in the days I was hooked on “Real World.” Being that I’m focused on my music, I really don’t have time to watch much TV. If I had to pick a show it would be “Judge Judy.” I friggin’ love that show. That little lady, seriously, I want to adopt her and take her home. She reminds me of me. I see the good in her because I know what it’s like to mean business. She just doesn’t have time for stupidity. She hates stupidity and so do I. I love Judge Judy.

What else is going on in Nicki Minaj’s world that she wants her fans to know about?
I’m into being more health conscious right now. I’m just trying to get myself healthy and in the gym. That’s really all I’ve been doing and focusing on is my music. Getting the music out and still deciding who I’m going to sign with. Record companies have been showing their interest, but we just have to narrow it down. I’ve said recently that a record company cannot give Nicki Minaj a “female rapper” deal. We’re not signing those. They wanna throw $400,000 at you and want you to sign away everything. It’s almost like they set you up for failure. It’s like you can’t really market yourself on that little bit of money. Then when your album flops, it’s a wrap. If I flop, at least let me have done everything I could possibly do. Let my label do everything they could possibly do. That’s my outlook on it right now. I mean no disrespect to the labels who have offered us those type of deals, but we just have to think big right now.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Nicki Minaj – Itty Bitty Piggy [Official Music Video]

Video: Drake & Trey Songz On 106 & Park

Drake confirms he is Young Money/Cash Money/Universal and says his album “Thank Me Later” will come on Valentines Day, 2010 in the video above.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Atlanta Housewives & More Support NoH8 Campaign

Make sure you visit for more information on the protest.

Junk Goes Insane – Says Chance Is Racist, Infers Freckles Is A CrackHead

Tyga’s Reality Show Episode 1

Check out Tyga’s brand new reality show above which features Keri Hilson, Pete Wentz (Fall Out Boy) and the G.E.D. crew.

Drake’s FADER Magazine Story

On September 7, 2008, Lil Wayne stepped onstage at the MTV Video Music Awards and then stepped decisively away from the words on the lyric sheet circulating in the audience with the following lines…

I’m on my Disney thang, goofy flow/ I’m Captain Hook on the beat and my new car is Rufio/ Damn where my roof just go/ I’m somebody that you should know/ Get to shakin’ somethin’ cause that’s what [deleted] produced it fo’/ I make mistakes that I don’t ever make excuses fo’/ Leavin’ girls that love me and constantly seducing hoes/ I’m losing my mind like, Damn where my roof just go/ Top slipped off like Janet at the Super Bowl

Then, as Leona Lewis launched into the hook of Nina Simone’s “Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood,” he croaked, “Drizzy Drake: I love you, bwoy!” That namecheck was the only clue to most attendees that Wayne had just blatantly violated the unwritten rules of his own freestyle game by spitting another artist’s words. Though almost lost in host Russell Brand’s commentary on promise rings and presidential politics, it was a coronation moment rarely seen in the arena of rap, and with one verse, Wayne introduced the name of his protégé to the mainstream in dramatic fashion. Amongst those already familiar with the various Wayne-affiliated rookies collectively known as Young Money, the lines sparked a fierce debate over whether Drake was in fact ghostwriting for the master (he and Wayne both still claim he never has), but by the time the rap blog drama blew over, one thing seemed clear: Drake was the next big thing, heir apparent to Wayne’s multi-platinum throne and Young Money’s most likely flagship artist.

The buzz was confirmed by the radio phenomenon of “Best I Ever Had,” a soft rock-sampling mixtape track that hit #1 on numerous charts without major label support or even a record deal in place. But a second look made this passing of the torch seem like an unlikely proposition. Drake shares with Wayne a certain manchild vocal tone, but their styles are almost antonyms. Where Wayne rides his stream-of-consciousness through drug and gunplay into Freudian—almost hallucinatory—nursery rhymes, Drake hews rigorously close to the guidelines of rap formalism, pumping an incredible volume of two- and three-syllable schemes out of the same subjects: girls, multi-colored whips and his skill in the booth. He seems to depart from this formula only to talk about his emotional state, an introspection that usually happens when he shifts from rap mode into catchy and sometimes haunting R&B. On his own records, he abandons Southern double-time to push genre boundaries more like Kanye, rapping over chopped-and-filtered snatches of Coldplay, Lykke Li and Peter Bjorn & John.

The differences only get starker if you compare Drake’s bio to his project-raised, tattooed and codeine-addicted mentor. Though born in Memphis, Aubrey Drake Graham was raised in Forest Hills, an affluent enclave of Toronto that is about as far in mood and geography from New Orleans as you could get without a land bridge. Before he ever considered being a rapper, Drake was a child actor, portraying athlete Jimmy Brooks on the Canadian teen drama Degrassi: The Next Generation. His father, Dennis Graham, was a drummer for Jerry Lee Lewis, and he is nephew to both legendary bassist Larry Graham and Teenie Hodges—a guitarist best known for co-writing some of Al Green’s ’70s classics who’s played with everyone from Talking Heads to Cat Power.

The more you know about him, in fact, the harder it seems to know exactly who Drake is. There is something almost chameleon-like about his talent. If his appeal can’t be contained to a one-liner like “Wayne protégé,” it’s only because he invites a whole series of comparisons: to Wayne’s inventiveness, Kanye’s art-school eclecticism, Jay-Z’s braggadocio and Lloyd’s post-Kelly singsong. Though he reps Toronto, in interviews Drake has even said that a childhood split between his father’s base in Memphis and his mother’s house in Canada has allowed him to escape the territorial matrix of rap. He’s parlayed this “from everywhere” quality into a burgeoning career as a guest verse specialist, always adjusting his approach to the demands of the host organism, a strategy that makes you wonder which Drake will step out on his own debut LP—slated to drop before the end of the year—a project that’s not recorded yet but already titled Thank Me Later.

In some sense, Drake has already provided one answer in the form of So Far Gone, the mixtape that spawned “Best I Ever Had.” Those who know him primarily as a Young Money soldier may be unaware that it had almost nothing to do with Wayne except for his vocal features, having been produced exclusively by Drake’s Toronto-based crew, and appropriately, it’s on his home court that I finally catch up with the moving target of so many expectations. We’ve both just flown in from New York on different flights and link for an after-midnight dinner on the roof deck of an Italian restaurant in which Drake is a silent partner. He’s wearing a leather jacket and leaning on a cane with a gangsterish list, walking off the same basketball injury that had him propped up on a stool for his closing performance at the 2009 BET Awards. Posing for our camera with glass raised, he has the air of a newly made man trying on the don’s overcoat for size, but in between snaps, he is quick to flash a grin to let you know he doesn’t take himself too serious. In person, he has a face like mercury, sometimes opening wide with disarming vulnerability, then just as impulsively clowning, eyes seeking out everyone’s reaction to see if they get the joke. If you don’t, they move away instantly, flat and bored. Child-star handsome, at 22 he is still growing into his looks, with deep-set eyes that make his face somehow boyish and craggy at the same time, features almost too large for his slim shoulders in a way that heightens the youthful quality.

It is Fourth of July weekend. In the past week or so, Michael Jackson died, and Drake finally inked a major label deal. But the conversation mostly centers on the Kanye West-directed video for “Best I Ever Had,” which has just debuted. West’s cinematography is being panned by a local video dude who doesn’t like the lighting, though judging from his neon lumberjack and the hat awkwardly covering his baldy, his aesthetics are not necessarily to be banked on. Drake hardly blinks at the hometown hater, but the video—which features him playing coach to a female basketball squad in a league of their own, cleavage-wise—has invited negative feedback from other fans, ones whose opinion may carry more weight. Whether you like it or not, the video’s tone definitely puts an ironic distance on the genuine emotion of the hook, thereby ruining the girlish daydreams of many a 16-year-old disciple. Of these there are more than a few, many of them fans he brought with him from his days as a cable TV heartthrob. Drake claims not to have put too much thought into it. “I started getting the straight cookie cutter treatments,” he says. “The pretty boy, lovey-dovey shit that everybody wanted me to do.” The Toronto accent is an extreme north version of flat Midwestern twang, sprinkled with Jamaican patois. In Drake’s case, it’s mediated by a soft Southern cadence picked up from his Memphis cousins. It balances out in the middle somewhere, and if you didn’t know different, he could easily be from Detroit or Chicago. “I was just like, Man, let’s do Kanye’s video,” he says. “Some crazy shit that could potentially offend people. Let’s just fall out of this pattern of doing everything that everyone wants.” Despite the nonchalance, it’s the first inkling I get that his identity crisis is not so much a question about what makes him tick as a potential answer. The bait-and-switch of the video seems like a slo-mo version of a tactic he employs often in conversation and even in song, as when he raps, “I’m the next to blow…pause.” He’s always going out on a limb and then skewering himself before anyone else can, just to let you know that he could son himself more skillfully than you ever could—that he has the lyrical teeth to skewer you if you mistake introspection for weakness.

Toronto has been repeatedly recognized by the United Nations as the world’s most multicultural city, and the security council of close homies assembled around Drake seems to echo this. There’s Niko, with whom I don’t talk much but who looks like the fifth member of Black Chiney Soundsystem. Oliver el-Khatib, a Lebanese-Scandinavian who grew up between Toronto and London, is Drake’s brand manager. Tyrone “T-Rexx” Edwards promotes some of the trendiest parties in the city when he’s not running a government-sponsored project that gives inner city youth access to a professional studio. Boi 1da produced the beat for “Best I Ever Had,” while Noah “40” Shebib is Drake’s engineer and main partner in the studio. Then there’s Foots, whose main job seems to be taking Drake’s car on epic missions to acquire Belmonts for el-Khatib to smoke and being dipped head to toe in Polo. Totally unsolicited, he lifts his pantcuffs and shirt-tail to display the logos on his socks and boxers, just in case you doubted the thoroughness of his game. “I mean,” he says, “It do have a horse pon it too right? Respeck.” Even the brown-skinned girls who float around the table boast family trees that include Carib, Arawak, Syrian and African branches. Also, everybody is nice. In fact, to judge from this crew, everybody in Toronto is a creative individual with a pleasant-ass demeanor, racially integrated, well-adjusted, has free health care and is not broke.

All of which begs the question: What the hell do they have to rap about? Driving through, the city itself feels modern, clean and spacious, with no visible ghettos or overcrowding. If rap music often feels like a reverse SATs, an intellectual exercise inherently—if not intentionally—biased in a way that favors the skill sets of kids from oppressed minorities and dilapidated zip codes, it seems almost natural for a newcomer to edit out the squeaky clean parts of their resume. But Drake does not seem particularly pressed to play down the middle class and Jewish half of his biracial upbringing and frequently mentions his mother’s central role in his life.

The next day he even lets us tag along to visit his bubbe, his mother’s mother, in the nursing home she recently moved into. She obviously adores her Aubrey, and is not even mad when we interrupt her card game with her boyfriend. “Don’t call him that, we just say he’s a friend,” she says, as she is apparently not the type of bubbe to have her biz in the streets. “I have a girlfriend like that too,” Drake replies. “We say she’s just a friend, cause she doesn’t want anybody to know.” He could be talking about Rihanna, whom he’s been hanging out with a lot lately, or maybe his ex, Canadian diva Keshia Chante. Or really, any one of a number of world-class dimes he seems to have on the hook these days. We go to sit with Bubbe in her suite, where she has a Drake splash page from the Toronto paper taped to the wall. “Well, what’s new with you?” she asks, and Drake starts off like any other college age grandson. “Just traveling, mostly.” But then, “I signed a record deal. For a million dollars…” Bubbe makes him repeat this a few times before she is sure she heard right. “Actually, more than a million,” he confirms.

That deal is the end result of what has been described as one of the biggest bidding wars the music industry has seen in ages. No one party is willing to share all the details, but Atlantic Records and Interscope’s Jimmy Iovine were certainly both in the mix, and at one point, Universal Motown president Sylvia Rhone apparently threatened Drake with legal action to prevent him from going elsewhere. In the end, he signed directly to Aspire, a company co-run by his manager (and Young Money CEO) Cortez Bryant, with major label distribution through Universal Republic. Although his Wikipedia entry and various news items list his label as Cash Money/Universal Motown, Drake is quick to say, “I went through Universal Republic because I don’t fuck with Motown. At all.” The details are more than academic, since the Universal affiliation is what allows Lil Wayne and Young Money to own a piece of the project. But even though Wayne has been touted as an executive producer in previous interviews, Drake indicates that putting a YM logo on the disc is more of a nod to his mentor than a structural reality. “I respect the fact that Wayne put me in this position,” he says. “But as an artist, I have to do my own thing at this point. I’m not sure if that’s gonna be a struggle in the next couple months, to set myself apart. I don’t want it to feel like a disrespectful thing, but I know it’s a bridge that I’m going to have to cross as far as becoming my own person.”

Our next stop is the house Drake grew up in, which turns out to be one floor of a modest duplex on a block of Forest Hills that feels suburban but hardly wealthy. We’re here to continue the dubious project of pretending not to be photographing Drake at whatever activities he would be up to anyway. By that measure, he would be lamping under the birdbath in his smallish backyard, wrapped in a newly purchased Hermés blanket against the chill of a Canadian summer evening, staring at the purple flowers that overhang the steps and celebrating a million-plus advance with a bottle of Opus One and a droopy spliff. Although it’s meant to be a contemplative moment, there are lot of “pause” jokes between pics, and a lot of “respecks”—a conversation ender meant to convey exactly the opposite of what it says. “Which one” is another recurring theme, a particular way of phrasing friendly disrespect as an open-ended question, as in: “Foots, is that Polo Mansion or Polo Warehouse? Which one?” Drake’s mother arrives, to make sure we followed her detailed instructions and found the keys where they were hidden in a blue plastic prescription drug canister under the planter on top of the barbecue grill. She looks at her son wrapped in the Hermés blanket and says, “Are you cold, or are you just trying to look cool?” prompting much discussion of her natural “which one” skills. Drake has just about taken an entire Swisher Sweetfull to the face when Kanye West calls to say he’s done a re-edit of the “Best” video he wants him to see. T-Rexx is holding Drake’s phone and there’s an awkward interlude when he answers, “Ye? Kan-Ye?” because the association is still so new it doesn’t seem real.

This highlights yet another x-factor in play around this album project, which is the fact that Kanye—according to the people around Drake, anyway—is so open on his talent that he is more amped to work on Drake’s project than his own, dangling the possibility that he might step in as executive producer. That night at Cherry Beach studio, the crew runs through two or three newly recorded songs which are in contention for Thank Me Later. There’s “Shut it Down,” a pure R&B burner that’s so close to the sound he’s going for that Drake “probably almost can’t see it not making it”—though it still needs a rap verse and maybe a guest. There are tracks with Rihanna and Pharrell. “Forever” may be for the album or possibly a forthcoming soundtrack, a Kanye collabo in which he and Drake bring out the best in each other, elevating their respective rap games in a way that’s only happened with Drake and Wayne on tracks like “Ransom.” It’s the kind of verse that lends real credibility to his fans’ claims that Drake is the best lyricist on the set in 2009. Despite the obvious implication, he does not seem inclined to substitute one mentor for another, preferring to develop the sound for the album himself, drawing beats from his engineer, “40” Shebib, and other members of his crew, loosely known as October’s Very Own. It’s not that he doesn’t want Kanye’s input, but he feels that, “We’ve got to build a vision that’s strong enough for Kanye to come and say, ‘Okay, I see it.’ That Pharrell can say, ‘Okay, I see it.’”

It’s the following day now, and Drake is laid out on the king-size of a luxury hotel suite, resting the injured leg. With a tape recorder and chair pulled alongside, I can’t help but feel a little like a psychiatrist, and I am in fact asking him about his childhood. “Well I have always sorta been alone in my world,” he starts off. “I have great relationships with my parents and stuff, but I’ve never really been connected to anything, and it caused me to think a lot.” We talk about the relationship that first provoked him to try singing and his Memphis cousin’s obsession with Usher; about his misfit status amongst the rich kids of the Forest Hills high school where he lasted exactly one year, the biracial kid with the single mom and the dad “who was more like a little brother.” We talk about what aspects he drew from each: his father’s “overcool, Shaft-like personality,” his mom’s ambition, her generosity.

He is remarkably able to see and articulate all this in himself. But by this point, I don’t need anybody to tell me he’s got a whole hell of a lot to rap about after all; that probably since he even had an identity, he’s been using his exceptional verbal ability to navigate uncomfortable situations, sometimes finding common ground, sometimes striking out to defend himself, but always having to decide where to fit in when there is no automatic place for him. I give one last shot at getting Drake to define the place he wants to carve for himself with the album, his official stepping out moment. His eyes go wide with that throw-you-off vulnerability and he says, “I don’t think I ever want to find my place.”

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Shawty Lo’s Daughters Celebrate Sweet 16

Two daughters, Two Mom’s, One Sweet 16 Party. Shawty Lo held a huge birthday bash for his two 16 year old daughters. They were joined in the celebration by Lo’s 7 other kids. Yes….boys and girls. Carlos has been quite busy over the years! He has a total of 10 kids ranging in ages 7 to 17 and two of the girls turned 16 around the same time. This will be Lil Wayne in 16 more years…

Chris Tells Larry King He’s Still In Love With Rihanna…

Daytime Emmy Awards

New Nivea

Last night R&B singer Nivea held a A&R showcase and Launch event for her management/Artist development company Avalon Music Group. I have to say this was my first time really having the chance to meet her and have to tell yall she is so down to earth. She told me about everything she had going on, and how she cant wait to have her baby… she is now 6 months pregnant and loving everything that comes with being a mommy … She is now managing different artists and is about to start recording her new album…

Shanell Joins Long List Of Performers Coming To DTE

If there’s one thing that Young Money Entertainment artist Shanell would like to tell fans in Michigan, it is that she’s not from Detroit.

“The last time we were in Detroit, Wayne had told the audience that I was from there,” said Shanell, who’s from Springfield, Mass. “It’s kind of funny. I don’t know if people know I’m not from there. He was a little confused on where I was from. He told the audience, ‘She’s from Detroit. Everyone give it up for Shanell.’ I was like, ‘Oh my goodness.’ I’m not from there, but we had fun the last time we were there.”

Shanell, along with fellow Young Money artists Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy, Soulja Boy, Jeremih and Pleasure P, are returning to the Detroit area to perform at the DTE Energy Music Theatre on Sunday.

“You can expect everything from the show — and I’m not playing,” she said with a laugh. “Wayne’s show, the Young Money show, we all touch on different parts of music. You get everything at once, which is really different than what people get when they come to a rap concert. We give a lot that’s unexpected.”

Shanell, also known as SNL, is a quickly rising pop/rock/urban artist signed to Lil Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment. She has collaborated with Ne-Yo, Usher, Keri Hilson, written songs for Danity Kane, Kelis and most recently co-wrote Lil Wayne’s breakthrough rock/urban hit “Prom Queen,” the first single off the upcoming “Rebirth” album.

“‘Prom Queen,’ that was big for me,” she said. “We all look up to Wayne and how well he did with his last album and his career, period. When he asked me to write a song for him, that was big because he’s a great writer himself. He heard it and he loved it, I was like, ‘Yeah!’ He said, ‘It’s my first single.’ ‘Yeah!’ I pretty much think everything I do is really good. It’s good to think like that about your work. I believe in my work. I leave it up to people to decide whether it’s a hit or not.”

She was featured on the “Dedication III” mixtape (”My Weezy”), an exclusive version of the multi-platinum “The Carter III” album (”Showtime”) as well as performed “Prom Queen” and other songs on the I AM Music U.S. Tour with Lil Wayne and T-Pain, “The View” and MTV’s “Spring Break.”

Shanell’s new songs “Play in My Band” featuring Lil Wayne (which she also performs on tour) and “Party All the Time” featuring Aubrey O’Day from Danity Kane have been buzzing on the Internet and radio off her recent music sampler release called “A Taste of Shanell aka SNL.”

Next up she will appear on the “Young Money” Compilation and “Rebirth” albums as well as a European Tour with Lil Wayne.

“We have to finish up these albums,” she said. “We have Wayne’s ‘Rebirth’ album we have to finish up. The ‘Young Money’ compilation album we need to finish up and get it out to you guys.”

The Young Money family, which also includes Nicki Minaj, Drake (who was originally on the tour but sustained a leg injury), Jae Millz, Lil Chuckee, Lil Twist, Mack Maine, T-Streets, Tyga, Bow Wow and Gudda Gudda, takes a unique approach to writing and recording.

“We just go in the studio and we work,” Shanell said. “If I have a song that I worked on and I want Nicki Minaj to get on it, I’ll call her to get on it. If Gudda has a song and he thinks I will be great for the hook, he’ll call me to get on it.

“Once we create all this music, we pick and chose what’s going to go on what. ‘This is gonna go on your album, this on ‘Young Money’ album, this is going to go on ‘Rebirth.” It’s different. I think that’s why Young Money is such a strong family. It’s such a strong family of musicians. We’re all really good creative people and we create like that. A lot of people focus on one song, ‘This is going to be the single,’ ‘This is going to be the second single.’ We don’t do that. We go in and we’re free to create and listen to it and whatever works for whatever album, or situation, that song will go there.

“You should see all of us in the studio, it’s crazy,” she added. “Everybody gives everybody their time to work on whatever they need to work on. We have basketball games going on while we’re waiting to work. We play tricks on each other. It’s really like a family. It’s not a bunch of big-headed, ‘I’m better than you type atmosphere.’ We really are like a family.”

Nicki Minaj Signs With Young Money Entertainment

It’s official, Nicki Minaj has now officially signed with Young Money! Check out the official press release below:

New York, NY–August 31st, 2009


Months after Drake signs with Universal Records, another intense bidding war ensues, resulting in Nicki Minaj signing with Lil Wayne’s Young Money label. During the last two years Minaj has emerged as one of the premiere rappers, choosing to fore go earlier label offers in order to establish a stronger fan base by way of the internet, promotional touring and a series of mixtapes.

After the release of Playtime is Over and Sucker Free, it was her third mixtape, the critically acclaimed Beam Me Up Scotty with featured appearances from Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane, Busta Rhymes, Bobby Valentino and Drake that caught the attention of music industry heavy weights.

Lil Wayne asserts, “I am honored to have Nicki Minaj as Young Money’s First Lady. She is a star.”

The battle among labels to sign Minaj heightened this summer and finalized with Minaj signing an exceptional and very unique deal with Young Money/Universal, where she retains and owns all of her 360 rights, including merchandising, sponsorships, endorsements, touring and publishing.

Nicki Minaj asserts, “To say I’m excited would be an understatement. It’s validation. It’s proof. It’s empowerment. I represent every little girl in a hood near you. To everyone that supported me two years ago when I was on underground mix-tapes and DVDs and to the people that only caught on two weeks ago, I say thank you. Be proud of yourself. You’ve given girls all around the world the permission to change the face of female rap.”

Minaj’s debut album is anticipated to be released in early 2010 and will be distributed through Universal Motown. Minaj is currently appearing with Lil Wayne at sold-out arenas throughout the country on the America’s Most Wanted tour, which also features Young Jeezy, Soulja Boy and more. Minaj continues to be managed by Mizay Enertainment’s Debra Antney who also represents Gucci Mane.

Nicki Minaj At The AMW Tour In Chicago

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Risky: Reality Shows Are Fake, But I Want One!

Helping Hands

Singer Ashanti shared laughs with actor Mario Lopez at the Boys and Girls Club “A Million Meal” Summer event yesterday afternoon. Ashanti looks freaking gorgeous! I am so happy for her and all of her success this year! This industry will eat your alive if you don’t have the right foundation..

Pictures & Videos Of Lil Wayne In Noblesville, IN

Lil Wayne Has Another Woman Prego? just received word that Lil Wayne may have ANOTHER child on the way. A Los Angeles exotic dancer is reportedly telling her co-workers that she’s knocked up by the platinum selling rapper.

The woman, who is of East Indian descent and works at the popular L.A. men’s club Spearmint Rhino, told her co-workers that she just learned of the pregnancy. And that she’s discussed the baby with Lil Wayne – who wants her too keep it.

We’re working on getting images of the soon-to-be mom now. But we’re told she’s drop dead gorgeous …

Drake Names His Favorite ‘Forever’ Verse

Mary J. Blige – The One (Feat Drake) [Music Video]

the official music video for Mary J. Blige’s single “The One” which features Young Money’s Drake.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

this is a sneak peak of Rihanna’s spread from the September 2009 issue of Vogue Italy.

Lil Twist – Don’t Make Us

Shanell’s Tour Diary #2

SHANELL aka SNL Official Tour Diary Episode 2

Shanell and Aubrey O’Day take us backstage to premiere their new song “Party All The Time” at Power 106 in LA with DJ Felli Fel.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

FeFe Dobson Addresses Rihanna swagga Jacking

According to the internet rumblings, Fefe signed to Def Jam in 2003. Two years later a reggae/dancehall artist by the name of Rihanna signs to the label. No worries to Fefe as they were two different artists image -wise and had two different styles of music. However, as time went by, Rihanna’s appearance began to look more and more like Fefe’s and her music changed from reggae/dancehall influenced to rock & pop influenced. Here’s what Fefe had to say when Honey Magazine asked her if she thought Rihanna bit her style:

I mean, for sure I question that, but who wouldn’t. She is supposedly a fan of mine. I try to take it as a compliment. It gets a little much when she starts getting the same tattoos as me but overall I just want people to separate the image and listen to the music. It’s about the music. Its like Prince and Michael Jackson, totally different artists. Or its like Kanye West and Jay-Z. So what? They are both black men, they sound different. So they both wear jeans, they are different.
Fefe goes on to say that she met Rihanna years ago. “I met her when she was the dance hall queen with the long hair. She was a nice girl but very quiet.“