Archive for September 27, 2011

Article: Latest trend in hip-hop: Women’s clothes by MESFIN FEKADU

The latest fashion trend in hip-hop has its male stars raiding the women’s clothing department for inspiration.

Lil Wayne jumped around in skinny women’s pants during his performance at this year’s Video Music Awards. wore a multiprint shirt designed for women at the Coachella music festival. Kid Cudi has been seen in a plaid skirt, often wears jewelry designed for women, and is a fan of the Hermes-made Birkin bag, the ultra-expensive purse favored by Hollywood’s top actresses.

Elena Kiam, the owner and creative director of the jewelry brand Lia Sophia, says initially she was surprised to see her women’s line embraced by some of rap’s top acts like 50 Cent, and Snoop Dogg, who has worn her pieces in music videos and on magazine covers.

“When we were designing these really beautiful, sparkly necklaces, we thought more for top editors, maybe a celebrity movie star. We really weren’t thinking about hip-hop,” said Kiam, who also said Beyoncé, Rihanna and have worn her designs.

“There was a rapper wearing the same piece as a soccer mom from Ohio,” she added.

Celebrity stylist says those multiplatinum musicians can pull it off because their personas stretch beyond the hip-hop culture. Of ‘s much-talked about decision to sport a pair of boxer-revealing, black-and-white leopard print pants during the VMAs, she acknowledges his attire was “eccentric, but you know, he’s a rock star and pulls it off extremely well.

“Fashion should be as unisex as it is right now. It’s probably the most unisex we’ve seen it,” she said.

West, hip-hop’s ultimate metrosexual who will debut his own fashion collection in Paris next week, wore a flowing, long-sleeved women’s shirt designed by French-based fashion house Celine earlier this year at Coachella. Though there were some who poked fun at his clothing choice, Ambrose saw nothing wrong with it.

“I think it’s acceptable if you’re not wearing a pair of heels with it and you’re not wearing lipstick and neither of these guys did that,” said Ambrose, who has styled Jay-Z, Diddy and . “They treat fashion like it is art.”

It’s not just rappers — and rockers like and have worn women’s clothes in the past; says the famous sparkly black jacket wore during his legendary “Motown 25″ performance was from his mother’s closet. And of course, androgyny has long been intertwined with pop, from to to Prince (known for his trademark heels).

Bieber, the 17-year-old pop phenomenon, acknowledges he has rocked women’s jeans because of their suitable fit.

“I think I’ve worn women’s jeans before because they fit me better,” he told at a recent fashion event. “I just think that whatever works, works.”

“It wasn’t like it looked like a woman’s sweater,” continued Bieber, referring to women’s shirt worn by West. “It was just a regular sweater that just happened to be a woman’s.”

But hip-hop culture — often defined as much by its masculinity as much as its music — always seemed to be different. It’s hard to imagine Eminem raging onstage in a breezy women’s top; rapper DMX once clowned Jay-Z for wearing sandals on the beach, deeming it unmanly. Hip-hop’s style in recent years has ranged from oversized sports jerseys to sweats to baggy, sagging pants and plain, large white T-shirts. Lately though, hip-hop stars are likely to sport clothes that are made to fit, and sometimes, tightly, like rock and indie hipsters.

“(Lil Wayne and West are) small enough to pull it off and that’s really what it’s about,” Ambrose said. “I don’t think Jay-Z could pull that off. He doesn’t have the body type for it. But these two guys are pretty petite and they’re able to pull those things off because (the clothes) come in a size that they can wear.”

Brea “BStar” Stinson, who has styled Usher, Bieber and Jaden and , says while women’s clothes can fit better on some men, at times they can be too fit.

“I thought those pants were great (and) that print is totally in right now, but I didn’t think that they were appropriate for (Lil Wayne),” Stinson said. “The fit was wrong (and) I think there’s only a limited amount of stretch a man is allowed in his pants, and they were just really, really small.”

Whether Lil Wayne will be sporting more women’s clothes is unclear. Still, this latest trend in hip-hop isn’t a new one, says Ambrose. She remembers seeing similar happenings in the 1980s with rappers like Grandmaster Flash, and the Ultramagnetic MCs. Hip-hop was key in making diamond earrings popular for men in both ears. And Andre 3000 from OutKast was known for pushing the envelope with his style.

“Those guys were wearing leather pants, blouses. If you go back and look at the eccentricity, it’s really just come full circle,” she said of the past generations of rappers. “Back in the late ’80s and early ’90s, guys were wearing bright-colored jeans, skin tights, like leggings, and high boots.”

Ambrose — who will launch her own VH1 reality show “Styled By June” in February — feels that fashion and hip-hop go hand-and-hand when it comes to self-expression.

“I think one thing about hip-hop is that it’s always been uncensored and unedited in that way, and I think that if you take a lyric and you put it to a look, then it really makes sense,” she said. “(Rappers) say what they want to say and they say it in their way, so why shouldn’t the fashion have the same emotion and the same voice and the same freedom?”



Industry Tips & Advice: Music Licenses


Industry Tips & Advice: The Reality of Artist Development Deals at Major Labels

Owen Husney is a musician, artist manager, and concert promoter based in Minneapolis. He was Prince’s first manager, and the person who arranged the famous contract with Warner Brothers which allowed Prince nearly unprecedented creative control over his music.



Music News: NEW MUZIK: T.I. ft Big K.R.I.T. – I’m Flexin (Snippet)

We told you that T.I. would be dropping a new song featuring Big K.R.I.T.

Here is a snippet.  Tell us what you think of it so far.



Glossary: Music


is a kind of copy-protection. It is a hardware or software device that forces users to comply with copyright owners’ conditions.

Music News: Will Diddy And Jay-Z Be First Hip-Hop Billionaires? Not So, Says Birdman by D.L. Chandler

In the high stakes battle for Hip Hop superiority, it appears that the two top money earners in the rap game – Shawn “” Carter and Sean “” Combs respectively – are in a quiet duel to become the first billionaires by way of their shared industry.

With various streams of revenue flowing for both savvy businessmen, some unrelated to music, the potential is vast for both men according to a recent from Forbes magazine. However, another Hip Hop mogul believes he and his team will eclipse Jay-Z and Diddy in the money race all in due time.

CEO of Cash Money Records Brian “” Williams threw his and protégé ’s Young Money imprint names into the billionaire sweepstakes pot, defiantly stating that the YMCMB machine is well on its way to the top. “I think Young Money Cash Money would be the first billion-dollar brand in hip-hop,” said Birdman plainly in an email to Forbes referencing his label ventures. “We strong and growing every day as a brand and fast. Within the next few years we will be billionaires.”

According to Forbes numbers, Diddy is at the halfway mark with an estimated net worth of $500 million, much of that tied up in Diddy’s business ventures such as his Sean John and Enyce clothing lines along with his stake in Ciroc vodka. Jay-Z is right behind his rich pal with assets that include a lucrative $10 million dollar Live Nation deal, the 40/40 club chain, cosmetic company Carol’s Daughter and his partial ownership of the New Jersey (soon to be Brooklyn) Nets amongst other deals. Continuing the dollar tally, only and are within range for the coveted billionaire status.

What do you think of Birdman’s latest boasts?



Article: 25 Worst Rap Lyrics Ever By Henry Adaso,

The Worst Rap Lyrics of All Time

25 lyrical missteps that made your favorite rappers wish they could go back in time and rewrite their rhymes.

25. “Verse number 2 do the damn thang keeps on my neck pocket’s full of Ben Franks.”
Yung Joc, “It’s Goin’ Down.”

A classic case of saying…absolutely nothing.

24. “There’s no need to lie folk, Why you sleepin’ wit ya eyes closed?”
Timbaland, “Get on the Bus”

Well, Tim, if I had to endure your mediocre rhymes all the time I’d definitely sleep with my eyes, ears, and nose closed as well.

23. “I can double my density from three-sixty degrees to seven-twenty instantly.”
Canibus, “Funk Master Flex Freestyle”
Obviously, Canibus slept through 10th grade when they went over units of measurement.

22.“Thirty-eight revolve like the sun round the Earth.”
Jay-Z, “It’s Hot”

And, Jay-Z skipped his Geography class.

21. “N****s in the Bronx call me Lex cause I push a Lex, and I rock a Rolex and I lounge on Lex’, and I love sex.”
Peter Gunz, “Deja Vu: Uptown Baby”

What are the odds that ghostwrote this for his dad at age 9?

20. “Never let me slip, cause if I slip, then I’m slippin.”
Dr. Dre, “Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang”

Aren’t we glad that he eventually decided to hire some ghostwriters?

19. “When it’s hot I’m duckin’ them people with my firearm Look I be straight thuggin.”
Turk, “Trife Livin”

If he’s the one with the firearm, why’s he duckin’?

18.“My paragraph alone is worth five mics (uh-huh) A twelve song LP, that’s thirty-six mics (uh-huh)”
Redman “5 Boroughs”

Apparently, Redman’s calculator is miles ahead of the game.

17. Don’t try to treat me like I ain’t famous My apologies, are you into astrology Cause I’m, I’m tryin to make it to Uranus
Kanye West, “Gettin’ It In”

Oh I get it: there’s Libra, Sagittarius, Scorpio, and then Uranus. And you say Kanye doesn’t deserve to have his image displayed next to the word ‘genius’ in Webster’s Dictionary?

16.“Hood n***a from Bankhead, I stay by Grandma Nana I lay by my banana, dumpin’ and punkin’ monkeys.”
Young Dro, “Shoulder Lean”
With all the money T.I. makes from music and movies, you’d think he would at least invest in a decent ghostwriter for his sidekick.

15.“When you take a sip you buzz like a hornet Billy Shakespeare wrote a whole bunch of sonnets.”
LFO, “Summer Girls”
Cut them some slack. These guys graduated from the prestigious Vanilla Ice Institute of Hip-Hop and decided to try their hands at random word association.

14. “Sometime y’all get crimey crimey, grimy grimy But those with a tiny hiney they get whiny whiny.”
Cam’Ron, “5 Boroughs”
Someone should have informed Cam that this choppy choppy rhyme thing is silly silly.

13.“I’m hungry for cheese like Hungry, Hungry Hippo.”
Project Pat (“Ballers”)
Extra points for giving us one of the worst songs ever known to man.

12.“If you don’t bring back my m****f*****n money or my m***f****n dope, you can forget about Christmas n***a, cause you ain’t gon even see New Years.”
Master P (“Do You Know”)

In Master P’s universe, New Year comes right before Christmas.

11.“It’s like fee, fie, foe, fum, I smell the blood of a jealous a*s punk.”
Prodigy (“Click Clack”)

No longer inspired by hardcore hip-hop, Prodigy turns to nursery rhymes for some equally uninspiring lyrics.

10.“First family will gradually lift that a*s up like gravity.”
Lil’ Fame (of M.O.P.) (“Half and Half”)
Sire Isaac Newton must be turning in his grave right now.

9.“I like the way ya ass move to the beat You a freak, that’s somethin’ you can be.”
J-Kwon (“Show Your A**”)
You see, kids, that’s another reason why you should stay in school.

8. “D.D.T. the b**ch, I can go for some hours. Let Parlae hit, together we like twin towers.”
Pimpin (“Freaky as She Wanna Be”)

A terribly humorless and tasteless joke. Enough said.

7.“I like them black, white, Puerto Rican, or Haitian Like Japanese, Chinese, or even Asian.”
Chingy (“Balla Baby”)
As far as Chingy’s concerned, Asian is a nationality damnit.

6.“I’ll break it down for you now, baby it’s simple If you be a nympho, I’ll be a nympho.”
50 Cent (“Candy Shop”)
Well, what do you expect from an artist whose stage moniker in itself constitutes a grammatical mishap?

5.“Thirty-two grams raw, chop it in half, get sixteen, double it times three. We got forty-eight, which mean a whole lot of cream Divide the profit by four, subtract it by eight We back to sixteen…”
Foxy Brown (“Affirmative Action”)
This holds the world record for worst mathematics on a song.

4.“Got a Bill in my mouth like I’m Hillary Rodham.”
Ali G (Grillz)
No comments.

3.“Young, black, and famous, with money hanging out the anus.”
Mase (“Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down”)
Now, that’s the type of money I definitely wouldn’t want to touch before breakfast.

2.“I watch my back when I’m walkin, I watch my mouth when I’m talking. My glock cocked when I’m crawling.”
Mike Jones (“Scandalous H**s”)
What’s next? I watch my ears when I’m hearing, I watch my sight when I’m seeing?

1. Now you know that I’m the Queen of Miami. All that loud talkin, lyin, save that sh*t for your mammy. Sounds like “blah, blah blah, blah bla blah-blah,” I’m like uh-huh (uh-huh) okay (okay), Whassup (whassup) SHUT UP!”
Trina (“Here We Go”)

Actual lyrics.



Industry Tips & Advice: Ja Rule says “Enjoy, but know YOUR business!”

Multi-platinum artist Ja Rule drops some science about the game, and knowing and understanding your money game.

Article: Jay-Z Trying To Steal Knick Fans

Jay-Z is unleashing a full-court press for his Brooklyn-bound Nets — hoping to steal Knick fans from lower Manhattan.
The hip-hop superstar and part-owner of the Nets is set to tip off a major marketing campaign today aimed at enticing fans to bench the Knicks and score season tickets for his Prospect Heights hoopsters.
The soon-to-be-former New Jersey Nets dribble over to the Barclays Center next fall, and Jay-Z is expected to reveal the team’s “new name” this morning, sources told The Post.
The fresh hoops handle could be as simple as a crossover from “New Jersey Nets” to “Brooklyn Nets” or be a complete overhaul for the founding ABA club originally named the New York Americans.

It’s the first time Jay-Z is allowing his popular brand and universally recognized image to market Net tickets.

He’ll personally christen the new basketball arena with a concert there next year, sources said.

Net CEOsaid: “Jay-Z will be the face of the team’s fourth-quarter campaign” to sell 4,400 “All-Access” premium seats at the rapidly rising 18,000-seat arena.

Their game plan is set to target Wall Streeters and residents of upscale neighborhoods like TriBeCa and SoHo.

The turf war will be fought with billboards, 150 taxi tops, 60 telephone kiosks and a whopping 250,000 coffee cups to be distributed to local stores.

“We’ll be blanketing Wall Street with the coffee cups,” said Yormark.

Since opening premium-seat sales in April, the Nets — whose majority owner is Russian billionaire– have filled more than half of them.

Ducats run from $99 a game in the lower level to $1,500 courtside — or $4,356 to $66,000 for a full season.

Season packages include perks like free food and having the first shot at buying tickets to non-Net events like concerts and boxing.

“The message is that the Barclays Center is much more than basketball,” Yormark said.

“There will be great concerts and other entertainment — so who better to deliver that message than the world’s No. 1 entertainer, Jay-Z?”

A photo of Jay-Z and an arena rendering will accompany the slogan: “Get all access to Jay-Z and other events at the Barclays Center.”

MSG officials don’t seem too concerned. The Garden is the middle of a $1 billion face-lift that will be done by fall 2013.

“While we always respect any competition, the Garden will always be the Garden,” MSG said in a statement.

Read more: 

Article: 10 Best Female Rappers: # 8. Lil’ Kim

Lil’ Kim’s The Naked Truth was the first album by a female rapper to be awarded 5 mics in The Source magazine. Whether or not the accolades were well-deserved is another story. However, Kim’s impact on hip-hop is unquestionable. Since her Hard Core debut in 1996, Kim has spawned a slew of emulators, who are eager to replicate her libidinous lyrics and in-your-face persona.



Quote Of The Day

Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change – this is the rhythm of living. Out of our over-confidence, fear; out of our fear, clearer vision, fresh hope. And out of hope, progress.

Article: Kristin Chenoweth: “I’m Never Doing Hip-Hop!” by Ian Drew

It’s become a cliché for stars to try their hand at recording a country album. But for Oklahoma native Kristin Chenoweth, recording her first southern-style disc, Some Lessons Learned (out now), is simply coming home.

I recently sat down with the single Glee star and Broadway vet, 43, to find out where she got her country cred — and the one musical genre she’ll never touch.

UsMagazine.com: Tell me a little bit about the album –you were born and raised in Oklahoma. You’re one of those triple threats that people are very scared of!

Kristin Chenoweth: I can’t sing, can’t dance, and can’t act. (laughs) That’s what we always say in Broadway. They’re a triple threat — they can’t sing, can’t dance, and can’t act.

Us: What made you want to tackle country music?

KC: It’s not my first time singing country music — it’s what I grew up singing. Think for a second where I grew up and where my performing outlets were. It was either church or rodeo. It wasn’t until I went to OCU – Oklahoma City University – where it kind of opened up and I became aware of all kinds of singing and music. But this is sort of like going home for me. And getting to write a couple of the songs and create this awesome album itself in Nashville was a gift. I had worked when I was 19 at Opryland, which is now no longer, as you know. I was hired as a singer in one of the shows called Way Out West. And I did not want to go back to OCU, I just wanted to live in Nashville for the rest of my life and work at Opryland. Turns out, when I came back to do this record, it felt really familiar. And
the people are so gracious and the community is so wonderful. They’re very family-oriented, and I like that.

Us: Do you know Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert? They live close to Broken Arrow in Oklahoma.

KC: I do not, but you know who lives down the street from my mom and dad is Toby Keith. And, of course, I’m a huge fan of Reba, and I know here a little bit. I’ve never met Garth and Tricia but I’d love to. There’s something in the water there, isn’t there? And I think Miranda and Blake make such a cute couple. I guess that’s why they got married.

Us: What are the very special moments on this album? “Fathers and Daughters” is very personal.

KC: Oh, yes. I’m so glad you picked that one out. That’s my favorite one. Obviously, “What Would Dolly Do?” the song I co-wrote, and “Dying to Love,” another song I co-wrote — it’s a little nerve wracking to put something out you wrote.

Us: Tell me about the Dolly Paton song. How is she an inspiration? I know you’re a huge fan. Are you one of those obsessed Dolly fans who collects the dolls and everything?

KC: I do have a Dolly doll. I have a vintage 1970 Barbie doll of Dolly that someone gave to me as a gift. I think the way we approached the record is, ‘What would Dolly do?’ Would she do a crying in her soup record over a lost guy? No. And since I love her attitude and her spirit so much, we thought
when we were listing to songs — and, by the way, I’ve been listening to so much music over several years — it was all chosen so carefully and only things I wanted to say on the album. When you approach it as ‘What would Dolly do?’ you think, well, you’ve got to write the song. So I wrote “WWDD.” It is approaching a turd boyfriend and how she would handle it. I think it’s a nice tribute to her. (laughs)

Us: How were you able to juggle recording this with Glee?

KC: I just basically carved out the time. After Promises, Promises, I went to Detroit to do a movie and then I went to Nashville for a couple of months. I had everything all figured out and what I wanted to do. So Bob Ezrin who produced Pink Floyd’s The Wall among other things, he’s kind of amazing. You wouldn’t necessarily put us together on paper, but in the studio, it really worked. It was Diane Warren who’d heard me sing Carrie Underwood’s “Last Name” on Glee who encouraged me to do it. I’ve always wanted to do the record and I was always hoping I’d get to, but it can be scary. I was like I’m not really known that way and I don’t know if I’ll be accepted. But it’s a risk worth taking because the genre fits me very well. I had a few things to say and I got to say them.

Us: I know you have been very open about saying you were a runaway bride and it was
about your search for finding unconditional love. Do some of the songs echo your experiences?

KC: Yeah. I’ve had some great men in my life and I’ve had some turkeys, like everybody. It’s well represented and documented on this album. One of the more fun songs on this album is a song called “I Didn’t,” where I say “what finally tore our love apart was a matter of religion. He thought he
was God, but I didn’t.” I thought it was pretty funny. Being in love with a narcissist person — a lot of women can maybe understand that. Being in love with someone you shouldn’t be in love with is represented on there. And being with someone who makes you need to be away from them and change. There’s a song, a cover from Dolly Parton, it’s a song called “Change,” which I absolutely love. Then “Lessons Learned,” from Diane Warren, which Carrie Underwood recorded several years ago, I just loved it. I’ve always loved the lyrics. It’s just a beautiful lyric about what you’ve learned and how you’re going to handle it from now on. And sometimes the hard lessons help make us better. It’s more of a women’s album, not speaking from a young teen girl, but someone who’s experienced a little bit of life.

Us: Are you single now?

KC: Totally single and nobody on the horizon. Just my dog and me.

Us: But you’re happy?

KC: I’m so happy. One thing I’ve learned is that of course I want that partner in my life but it doesn’t define me. It doesn’t complete me. But, yeah, I’m at that point in my life where I’d love to share my life with someone. It has to be the right person though.

Us: Have you heard from Carrie or do you know her?

KC: Yeah, she’s amazing, and she’s also from Oklahoma. I did her TV variety show a couple of years back and I got to know her just a teeny bit from that. We had a great time together. I hope she’s proud of the song. Her version is just outstanding, which inspired me. It’s really a testament to
her that I wanted to do it anyway. I hope she likes it. I just wish her the best because I think she’s a really good, good, good-spirited and hearted person.

Us: She found her prince charming, so there you go.

KC: See! There’s hope!

Us: Are there any other genres that we’ll see you tackling?

KC: I’m going to try really hard not to do hip-hop. Something tells me I would not be accepted in that world. But I can see me doing another country record, to be honest. It feels very right to me. And I’m a new artist so in a way I feel like I’m starting over. I can also see me, before I die, doing an opera record. There you go. All over the map!

Us: What are we going to expect for you on the next season of Glee? Are you going to be back?

KC: I think that’s a question for Ryan Murphy. I’ve been a guest star now for two seasons. If he deems April Rhodes appropriate for season 3, I would love to come back. I’m working on a new show, Good Christian Belles, for ABC, which is really funny. But I’m always available for Glee.

Us: What was your favorite moment of that or is there anyone you bonded with in the cast?

KC: Matthew Morrison and I became really good friends. And I’m so proud of his album too. I think, for me, it’s him because we’ve done a lot of our scenes together. But I just have to say that I love those kids and I’m so proud of them. They’ve inspired me too. They say I inspire them but they
inspire me.

Us: Did you and Matt give each other pointers on your albums or help out at all?

KC: I did a quick online interview for him where I was his James Lipton. When I heard his single “Summer Rain” on the radio, I pulled over in my car and told him I heard his song and the radio and I wanted to cry. When you get a song on pop radio, it’s kind of a big deal. I wanted to acknowledge
that, and I hope he gets my record and likes it too. We’ll see.

Us: Is there anyone you’d die to do a duet with? I know you have Dolly.

KC: That’s it. Just her. She’s my favorite. Her, Barbara Streisand, and Julie Andrews. Those are the three.

Us: Do you think you’d be able to hold it together with Dolly in the studio?

KC: Well I had better, hadn’t I? I’d better be able to. If I got her in the studio, I’d better be able to step up to the plate.

Us: I have one more quick question. You’ve covered so many great songs on your Glee appearances. Is there a song you’ve heard that you wish you could do?

KC: I’ve told Ryan in the past, please let me do “Little Sparrow.” Just throwing it out there. Come on!




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