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VH1 Goes Behind the Music with Six New Episodes PDF Print E-mail
Written by Staff   
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 14:19

 

VH1's five-time Emmy-nominated documentary series "Behind The Music" returns to focus on six of today's most influential hip hop/urban artists. This season's roster includes: Pitbull, Game, T-Pain, Akon, Brandy and Nas. In addition to the dramatic storytelling that made "Behind The Music" a worldwide hit, the series will feature originally shot footage of each artist at work today, anchoring each story in the current day and connecting the past with the present. The new season will premiere Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 9pm ET/PT.

"BEHIND THE MUSIC: PITBULL" – PREMIERES THURSDAY, MARCH 15, 2012 AT 9PM ET/PT
It's only through struggle that resilience arises and for Armando Christian Perez, better known to the world as Pitbull, the past ten years have seen the charismatic Cuban-American rapper evolve from an embattled upstart to become one of the most entertaining acts in all of pop music. Growing up in the gang-infested neighborhoods of Miami, Florida, Pitbull saw hip hop as a way out of the streets and into a better life. With his lighter complexion and "Spanglish" rhymes, he made an unlikely battle rapper, but his quick tongue and talent for wordplay earned him his first record contract at 20 years old. He spent the next several years honing his craft and transforming himself into an international superstar whose rapid-fire rhymes, billion-dollar beats and infectious hooks continue to take the world by storm.

By the time his sixth studio album Planet Pit was released this past year, Pitbull had transformed into a platinum-selling global sensation, whose knockout smash of the summer "Give Me Everything" climbed to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and Pop charts and was also a top ten hit in 15 countries. In this installment of "Behind the Music," Pitbull opens up about his family struggles and how reconnecting with his dad as an adult filled a void in his life. With interviews with Lil' Jon, rap legend Luther Campbell of 2 Live Crew, and hip hop mogul Irv Gotti, along with Pitbull's family and inner circle, "Behind the Music" follows Pitbull's extraordinary journey from the negative to the positive, topping charts and touching lives all around the world.

"BEHIND THE MUSIC: GAME" – PREMIERES THURSDAY, MARCH 22, 2012 AT 9PM ET/PT
"Behind The Music: Game" tracks the unlikely rise of a young gangbanger from Compton into the most successful west coast rapper since N.W.A. and Snoop Dogg. Born into a life of drugs and hustling, by the age of seven he was in a foster home. By high school, he was a full-time gang member and drug dealer. After being shot five times and left for dead, Game dedicated himself to becoming a rapper and against all odds, rose to the top of the genre, putting west coast gangsta rap back on the map. Despite numerous beefs, battles with depression and multiple arrests, Game has managed to stay on top with four consecutive #1 hit albums. Featuring candid, no holds barred interviews with Game, his family and close friends, Behind the Music: Game is a riveting portrait of one of hip-hop's most misunderstood artists.

"BEHIND THE MUSIC: T-PAIN" – PREMIERES THURSDAY, MARCH 29, 2012 AT 9PM ET/PT
"Behind the Music: T-Pain" explores the rise of a shy kid from Tallahassee, Florida to the heights of the music industry. T-Pain was born Faheem Najm into a stable, middle class family that supported his natural curiosity and talent in music at a very young age. An outsider in school, T-Pain spent his childhood locked in his makeshift bedroom "studio," producing his own music, eventually dropping out of the 8th grade to pursue his dreams full-time. As a teenager, he found local success with a group called the Nappy Headz. Frustrated by the lack of opportunities in Tallahassee, the falling apart of his family and a tense relationship with his father, T-Pain ran away from home and signed with Akon's fledgling label, Konvict Records. Finally on the national scene, his use of auto-tune created a signature sound and he quickly became one of the most sought-after producers, working with everyone from Lil Wayne, Kanye West and Britney Spears. A multi-platinum selling artist in his own right with 2005's Rappa Ternt Sanga, 2007's Epiphany, 2008's Thr33 Ringz and his most recent release rEVOLVEr, T-Pain has produced and been featured on over 45 top ten songs and 16 No. 1's.

Those participating in the special include: T-Pain, his family including wife Amber Najm, his parents and brother, Eric "DoeBoy" Youman, Akon and BU, Akon's brother and the person who gave T-Pain his first big break with a label and Michael Blumstein, Dave Abrams and Rocco Valdez from Chase Entertainment.

"BEHIND THE MUSIC: AKON" – PREMIERES THURSDAY, APRIL 12, 2012 AT 9PM ET/PT
In "Behind The Music: Akon," VH1 traces the artist's early beginnings in Senegal, Africa, through his struggles forging an identify in America and his criminal past as a car thief, landing him in prison. While there he ultimately found redemption by turning to music. Under heavy media scrutiny after his commercial success, Akon was forced to defend his heritage in the wake of several controversial onstage incidents. BTM catches up with Akon for a-day-in-the-life as he promotes his forthcoming album, "Stadium." In the special, Akon opens up about his home life and addresses the notorious onstage incidents that included dirty dancing with an underage daughter of a preacher in Trinidad and tossing a fan off the stage at a concert in New York. He also talks about discovering Lady Gaga and being the last artist to record with the legendary Michael Jackson. In an effort to promote cultural tolerance and understanding, Akon is charting a career path to become hip hop's first truly global artist.

"BEHIND THE MUSIC: BRANDY" – PREMIERES THURSDAY, APRIL 19, 2012 AT 9PM ET/PT
"Behind The Music: Brandy" will chronicle the Grammy Award-winning artist from her days as young girl singing in her church choir to flourishing into a successful musician and actress. It will also follow Brandy's trials and tribulations, both personally and professionally, and illustrating how she re-emergered as a dynamic, hit-making musical recording artist with a successful acting career. At the tender age of 18, Brandy found herself dealing with the high costs of fame, maintaining her "perfect" image, all the while balancing her career as a musician and coping with the pressures of starring in her hit TV series "Moesha."

During this period, Brandy suffered life-altering tragic events, which are chronicled in this "Behind the Music" special. Raising her daughter as a single mom and serving as a role model in her community via her Norwood Kids Foundation, which supports music and the performing arts in public schools, Brandy is on top of her game and currently in the studio working on her debut album for RCA/Chameleon Records set for release later this spring, as well as being a go-to actress for several TV and film roles including her upcoming role in Tyler Perry's film "The Marriage Counselor," as well as her roles on "90210," BET's scripted series "The Game" and serving as a mentor on the reality TV talent show for kids entitled "Majors and Minors."

"BEHIND THE MUSIC: NAS" – PREMIERES THURSDAY, APRIL 26, 2012 AT 9PM ET/PT
"Behind The Music: Nas" tells the story of one of hip hop's most daring and prolific icons. Raised in the gritty Queensbridge projects of New York City, Nas narrowly escaped his violent surroundings. He later channeled his experiences into a lyrical style that would revolutionize hip hop. A musical legend by the age of 20, Nas' passion for music has carried him through a tumultuous career. Despite very public distractions including multiple feuds with hip hop's biggest names, political controversy, a highly publicized divorce with R&B star Kelis, as well as the devastating loss of his mother, Nas' seven consecutive platinum albums have cemented him as one of the greatest hip hop artists of all time. The special features candid interviews with Nas, members of his family, friends and hip hop luminaries including Russell Simmons, Q-Tip and Common. "Behind the Music: Nas" is the truly unfiltered story of Nasir Jones as it's never been told before.

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 February 2012 14:21
 
A "Coming Of Age" Cover Story PDF Print E-mail
Written by Staff   
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 06:16

The Source Magazine, the leading publication of Hip-Hop music, culture, business and politics is featuring three rising stars on its February/March cover: 2 Chainz, Tyga, and Mac Miller. For this groundbreaking cover, The Source is making a big statement, defining where Hip-Hop is going, in a "Coming Of Age"-type story.

"Hey Young World" (p. 48) takes an up close and personal look into 2 Chainz, Tyga, Mac Miller, and Kendrick Lamar. Each artist sat down for an exclusive interview with The Source, to discuss leading his own movement. 17-year old Mac Miller silences the naysayers by doing what works best for him. Miller says his fan base is "growing wider than people give me credit for." And newly signed Def Jam artist 2 Chainz says he's "hungry like that younger me." Tyga even admits, "most of my fans are from 12 to 25."

Also, in honor of Black History Month, The Source celebrates a new generation of History makers. "History In The Making"(p. 62) pays tribute to today's influential and powerful leaders who are paving the way, creating tomorrow's legacies.

Keeping in line with the theme of "who got next," this issue also highlights talented individuals who are taking over in their own space. Karen Civil (p. 26) shares her secrets on building a social media business, Bad Boy/MMG artist French Montana (p. 18) talks about gearing up for his highly-anticipated debut, and Power 105.1's The Breakfast Club (Angela Yee, DJ Envy and Charlamagne Tha God) (p.34) talks exclusively about dominating New York morning radio. In addition, Source Sports (p. 39) features US Olympic Runner LaShawn Merritt's quest for redemption as he gears up for the Olympics.

And finally, The Source celebrates women in Hip-Hop with "The Last Women Standing" (p. 42), an in depth analysis of the plight of the female MC. The long overdue story, which includes interviews with Iggy Azalea, Nitty Scott, and more, spotlights a new generation of females, while recognizing the talents of the women who came before them. The feature examines why it's been so hard for women to breakthrough in the male dominated space.

 
Exclusive: Janet Jackson's Advice to Bobbi Kristina PDF Print E-mail
Written by Staff   
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 04:10

Earlier today, Anderson taped a one-hour interview with music icon Janet Jackson. In this exclusive clip, Anderson asks Janet what advice she has for Whitney Houston’s grieving family, particularly her daughter Bobbi Kristina.

“It's a very, very tough time. Even though it’s still a loss… I lost my brother, she lost her mother,” says Janet, adding, “There's still a difference, even though there's a still a loss to a family, I don't know what that's like being so young. It was hard for me. It was very, very difficult for me. I didn't want to accept it, it's very difficult. You have to come to terms at some point, you have to actually give it up to God, and it sounds so mean, but you have to move on. You can't hold on to that because it can be very devastating. Sometimes therapy is the best thing.”

Anderson asks Janet where she was when she heard the news of Whitney’s passing, and what her first reaction was...

“I couldn’t believe it,” says Janet. “Immediately, I started shaking. I was trying to text everyone that I knew to let them know, and I was speechless. I could not believe it.”

“To you, what was she [Whitney] like as a performer?” Anderson asks Janet.

“Incredible. She was known as The Voice,” says Janet. When she would open her mouth and this instrument would come out, you would obviously understand why. She was such a sweet, sweet soul.”

“It's very, very devastating and I pray for her and her family, even Bobby [Brown],” says Janet, “I mean he's going through so much. They are all going through so much. The mother, it's very sad.”

Anderson’s unforgettable interview with Janet, a daytime exclusive, airs on Presidents’ Day, Monday, February 20. During the hour, Janet talks candidly about her career, her legendary brother Michael, her life-long struggle with self-esteem and weight, and so much more. Janet’s book, “True You,” is now available in paperback.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 February 2012 04:11
 
Kemo the Blaxican bringing you the heat on his latest album "Upside of Struggle" available here! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Frenkie   
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 05:30

The soulful style and hard-hitting beats grab you first. Then you hear the smooth-yet-powerful baritone vocals deliver with a distinctive tone. You recognize the voice as it commands attention with provocative lyrics over the flavorful track. This MC shifts the rhyme from English to Spanish, and then back to English again seamlessly. Your head nods the whole way through and it doesn’t matter if you can’t understand the Spanish parts. Then it hits you…the voice and trademark rhyme-flow belongs to none other than “Kemo The Blaxican,” former member of urban-Latin hip hop pioneers, “Delinquent Habits,” whose highly-anticipated album, Upside of Struggle, is slated for release nationally Tuesday, August 17, 2010 on Dead Silent Records.

His new CD, Upside of Struggle, is series of hip hop tracks inspired by his roots; specifically southern California culture and the music that influenced his youth—from west coast funk, soul, and classic hip hop, to traditional Latin music. The album also features guest appearances by Sen Dog (Cypress Hill) and Tetsuya Weeping Willow Nakamura (formerly of War) on the track“Just What You Feelin,” as well as contributions by Sick Jacken (Psycho Realm) on the album.

Upside of Struggle is Kemo’s third solo album on Dead Silence Records, which demonstrates his evolution as an MC and producer. This 12-track incarnation bursts with musical styles and compelling arrangements. Kemo’s lyrical skills stretch back and forth between L.A. street slang and barrio Spanish, never hesitant to show both sides of his composite. He moves the listener through moods, harmoniously encapsulating contradiction, antagonism and the co-existence of good, even during bad times, all with mind bending ease.

The title track, “Upside of Struggle,” tells a story of the artists’ challenges growing up biracial in the barrio and the struggles his mother made as a single parent. Kemo the Blaxican, with his soulful musical maelstrom, brings the listener contagious hooks, grooves and beats, without compromising his signature, raw style. From the opening bars of the title-track, “Upside of Struggle,” the listener knows he’s in for something special. Your head bobs and you’ll find yourself excited with each track; which is removed from the sterile debates and orthodoxies of the time. Upside of Struggle, with its technically interesting beats, intelligent lyrics and coalition of styles makes it a progressive album, bound for national appeal.

Kemo The Blaxican is a former MC and lyricist for West Coast Latin hip hop pioneers, “Delinquent Habits.” Before Kemo went “solo,” he was most notable as the brainchild of Delinquent Habits (DH), who happened to also be the only Spanish-fluent MC in the group. He spent twelve years with the collective, with whom he released four albums, and took the Delinquent sound around the world. In 1996 the group struck gold with their very first single "Tres Delinquentes,” a song that masterfully fused a traditional mariachi sound (courtesy of Herb Alpert's "Lonely Bull") with the raw hip-hop backdrop of the streets. The sound was a breath of fresh air in a stale rap scene, and opened a new creative doorway into which many other Latin hip hop acts would follow.

"Tres Delinquentes" blew up almost overnight, receiving airplay not only on hip-hop radio but rock and Top 40 stations as well. The track eventually landed Delinquent Habits an appearance on the former-NBC show, “Late Night with Conan O'Brien” and tours with heavyweights like Korn and Ice T. In no time, "Tres Delinquentes" became a worldwide hit, selling over one million copies around the globe and pushing the group’s self-titled album to nearly the same figure. This was the public’s first introduction to Kemo's lyrical skills and flawless bilingual transitions. He stepped into the hip-hop game, introduced himself as “The Blaxican,” and never looked back.

Four Delinquent Habits albums later—after countless tours around the globe including the UK, Europe, Japan, South America, Mexico and Taiwan—Kemo left the group and embarked upon his solo career. Kemo walked away having played a major role in solidifying Delinquent Habits as one of the most influential Latin hip hop groups of all time and establishing himself as one of today’s leading bilingual MC's. The solo move has allowed him to record Simple Plan, Not So Rich & Famous, and Upside of Struggle on his own indie label, Dead Silence Records.

2005 saw the release of Simple Plan, Kemo's first album as a solo artist. The disc found ‘The Blaxican’ taking his talent for wordplay and ability to draw a vivid picture through rhyme and attitude to new heights. Kemo writes and raps about real life issues, than many of the superficial topics that saturate hip hop today. The album featured the hit single “La Receta,” which made its way into the Warner Brothers movie “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” as well as Morgan Freeman’s film “Ten Items or Less.” His track “I Drink, She Smokes” on Simple Plan is a jazz-soaked spoken word excursion that landed on the soundtrack to the acclaimed film “La Mujer de Mi Hermano.”

With Not So Rich & Famous, Kemo sophomore solo CD, he showed the world that he is not only one of the nation’s leading bilingual MC’s, but also a gifted producer who is not afraid to explore genres and coalesce the traditional with Latin hip-hop. Influenced as much by the west coast funk and soul icons he grew up listening to as by hip-hop, Kemo was joined by Tetsuya “Weeeping Willow” Nakamura (harmonica player for the legendary band, War) for the “5th of May.” The whole album with its range, depth and impact fed the good, bad and real.

Kemo reminds us with Upside of Struggle that the life has its highlights and hardships. Each track on the album increases with dynamism, as Kemo envokes emotion through his beats and words.

Kemo The Blaxican is always on the move. In 2001, the bilingual LA rapper recorded a song with Grammy-winning merengue queen, Olga Tanon, and Egyptian singer Hakim. The track fused hip hop, merengue, and modern Middle Eastern sounds and was a mainstay on the charts from the Middle East to the West Coast. On top of it all, he is also the proud owner of indie record label, Dead Silence Records and the urban fashion t-shirt line, Joint Clothing. Kemo also works successfully in publishing, garnering his music in numerous national T.V. ads and films for over a decade.

His latest album is available here for our TLA readers at a discounted rate only a flat $10.00ea. we pick up the tab for shipping and handling, just click on "BUY NOW" icon to the left next to the picture of the album and enjoy!

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 February 2012 17:56
 
Ray Charles Foundation wants $3 million gift back PDF Print E-mail
Written by MSN   
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 02:30

ATLANTA  -- The Ray Charles Foundation is demanding the return of a $3 million gift given to Albany State University a decade ago because the organization says the college has yet to use the money to build a performing arts center in the late artist's name.

In 2001, Charles gave the south Georgia school $1 million and donated another $2 million a year later after receiving an honorary doctorate from the college. The native of Albany, Ga., died in 2004 at age 73.

Bing: Stream Ray Charles' music

The money was given solely for the construction of the performing arts center, yet it only exists "on the drawing board and in an unapproved downsized plan," the foundation said in a statement.

Charles was specific on how the money was to be spent, said foundation president Valerie Ervin.

"It is incomprehensible that Albany State University failed to use the money in the manner Mr. Charles wanted. Mr. Charles would find ASU's behavior unacceptable," she said.

Albany State University spokesman Demetrius Love said the gift was never restricted and that the school continues to pursue additional funding for the building, which is expected to cost at least $23 million.

The 2001 donation still is in a bank and the $2 million gift was given to 125 students chosen to be Ray Charles Presidential Scholars, according to the university. Officials said the donation was the largest gift the university has ever received.

Also: Oklahoma hospital must pay $1 million to Garth Brooks


"It has been a long and tedious process, but strides have been made in accomplishing this goal," Love said in an email statement. "Albany State University will continue in its efforts of honoring Mr. Ray Charles by constructing a fine arts building in his name."

Plans for the project have stalled in recent years because of a lack of state funding amid budget cuts.

In October, the university's legal counsel sent a letter to the foundation reiterating their desire to move forward with the building project, which also includes a theater to be named for Charles' mother. The university has received additional state funding to support the design phase of the building, the letter said.

"When Mr. Charles made the two separate gifts to the University, he did so without restrictions," the letter reads. "The University does believe that a Fine Arts Building named after Mr. Charles, with a theatre named in honor of Mr. Charles' mother, Mrs. Aretha Robinson, is one of the ways to do `the right thing.' The University has been working tirelessly towards that goal."

 

MSN

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 February 2012 02:38
 
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