Beenie Man Goes Indie; Signs With Brookland Ent/Universal Republic

Posted: Tuesday – July 14, 2009

The freedom to dictate his musical direction provided the motivation for famed reggae/dancehall artist Beenie Man to align with New York-based independent record label Brookland Entertainment/Universal Republic.

According to the Kingston, Jamaica native, transitioning from a major label to an independent was a no-brainer, considering his track record with well-known labels.

“Being signed to a major label, you lose creative control,” Beenie Man said, as he cited Brookland president Eric Nicks’ track record as a music industry veteran as a factor in his decision to make the label his new recording home. “My company, MD Entertainment, will provide the music and Brookland will work their magic,” Beenie stated. “It’s as simple as ABC. No politics. Let’s make good music and make the fans happy.”

Beenie Man’s joint venture deal with Brookland/Universal marks a new chapter in his near 30-year career in music.

The Grammy winner, whose first major deal came with Virgin Records in 1998, is known for a string of hits that include “Dude,” “Who Am I,” “Girls Dem Sugar,” and “King of the Dancehall.”

Among those who have collaborated with Beenie Man are Janet Jackson, Wyclef Jean, and Mya.

To celebrate his 30-year anniversary, Beenie Man will appear at a star-studded concert in Kingston, along with rappers Rick Ross, Hurricane Chris, Heavy D.

As part of Brookland, the dancehall star joins a roster comprised of rap diva Lil’ Kim, West Coast crooner LeMarvin, soul songbird Yolanda Renee, and producer/singer August Rigo.

Beenie Man’s signing with Brookland is yet another example of major artists choosing independent labels over the majors because of the better treatment they receive at the indie companies,” added Brookland president Eric Nicks. “We look forward to extending Beenie’s incredible music legacy well into the next decade.”

Beenie Man’s first album on Brookland will be his 19th studio release, The Legend Returns.

The project, which features the single, “Gimmi Gimmi,” is slated to hit stores this fall.

Next month, Brookland will release Brookland Entertainment Presents: Independence Declared, a compilation album featuring songs from its artist roster.

Source: Allhiphop.com

Pitbull DUI Trial Starts In Miami; Rapper Faces Prison

Posted: Wednesday – July 8, 2009

The DUI trial of rapper Pitbull started today (July 8) in Miami, Florida.

Pitbull, born Armando Perez, landed his second DUI charge in December of 2007, after police stopped him driving 93 miles-per-hour on the Palmetto Expressway.

He was arrested and was eventually released on $1,000 bond. The rapper’s first DUI charge came in March of 2001.

In that case, he pleaded no contest and paid a fine.

Since this is his second DUI charge, Pitbull faces jail time if he is convicted of the 2007 charge.

Pitbull’s latest single “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)” is currently #16 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Single’s chart.

Source: Allhiphop.com

Making the Band Franchise at the Center of MTV Court Case

Posted: Wednesday – July 8, 2009

Hip-Hop mogul Sean “P. Diddy” Combs may make a possible appearance in court in regards to a case involving MTV and its hit reality show, Making the Band.

The case, which was scheduled to go to mediation this month, stems from efforts to sue MTV Networks by Soneet Kapila, a trustee in former boy band creator Lou Pearlman’s ongoing bankruptcy case.

The talent manager, who’s Trans Continental Records introduced The Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC, made headlines in 2006 after reports surfaced of him admitted to running a $300 million Ponzi scheme.

Pearlman ultimately pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy, money laundering, and making false statements during a bankruptcy proceeding.

He is currently serving up to 25 years in a federal prison.

Soneet Kapila sued MTV in August 2008 in U.S. bankruptcy court in Orlando over the channel’s role in joint venture with Pearlman’s television production company, also named Trans Continental, to create Making the Band.

The show, which premiered in 1999, featured the boy band O-Town.

The group later signed to Trans Continental Records at the end of the first season, only to split in late 2003.

MTV shifted the focus of Making the Band for its second season, as it dumped the Trans Continental production company for the Hip-Hop/R&B centered Making the Band 2 with P. Diddy and his Bad Boy Entertainment.

Trans Continental and Kapila disputed the action in a 66-page complaint, claiming that the production company was slowly squeezed out of its joint venture with MTV, as the music channel reneged on promises to share profits from advertising revenue, spin-offs and other related projects.

If the case heads to trial, Combs will likely be a witness. MTV’s legal drama comes as it gears up for a new season of Making the Band.

The first of the show’s new episodes will premiere at 10 p.m. July 27 on MTV.

Source: Allhiphop.com

Mack 10 Secures Lil Wayne, Rick Ross and Jim Jones for New Album

Posted: Monday – July 6, 2009

Armed with a renewed focus and an all-star list of collaborator, West Coast rap star/actor Mack 10 plans to wrap up the summer in grand fashion with his forthcoming album Soft White.

The release is the follow-up to the Inglewood, Ca. native’s previous offering, 2005’s Hustla’s Handbook, which included the Nate Dogg-assisted single “Like That.”

For Soft White, Mack 10 admitted to having “fun” while working on the project as he explained the meaning behind the album’s name.

“I went with that title because this album right here is just raw and uncut, it’s just me,” Mack 10 stated. “We had fun on this one and I had to bring them all out, I’ve been smiling all year.”

Among those on hand to craft Soft White are music producer Jazze Pha and R&B crooners Anthony Hamilton, J. Holiday and Akon.

Rappers Jim Jones, Birdman and Glasses Malone have also been recruited for the album as well as Lil Wayne and Rick Ross, who both appear on Soft White’s first single, “So Sharp.”

The release of the album is the latest chapter in the music career of Mack10, who has sold nearly 3 million albums.

The rap veteran first emerged on the scene in 1995 with his self-titled debut album, which charted at number 2 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.

The following year, Mack 10 aligned with fellow West Coast rap artists Ice Cube and WC to form Westside Connection.

The trio released their critically acclaimed platinum debut, Bow Down, in 1996.

Following Bow Down’s release, Mack 10 remained a fixture on the rap scene with a string of albums like Based on a True Story, The Recipe, The Paper Route and his 2003 Cash Money Records release Ghetto, Gutter & Gangster.

Mack 10’s Soft White is slated to hit stores on August 25. A video for “So Sharp” will be released in the coming weeks.

Source: Allhiphop.com

Mase's Return Inspired By Michael Jackson's Death

Posted: Monday – July 6, 2009

The death of Michael Jackson has inspired a return to rap by rapper-turned-preacher Mase.

“I’m excited. Mike [Jackson] passed away. It lit a fire under me and made me want to go in the studio and do something,” Mase told DJ Self of New York’s Power 105 FM after the legendary pop singer died.

Still, Mase said that he knows nothing of about contemporary rappers and needed help finding out Hip-Hop’s top talents.

“I asked my lil’ nephew and said, ‘Who is the hottest thing out there?’ He said ‘Drake, Drake.’ I said I gotta see what record he got and I said I’m going to jump on a joint.”

He said he eventually got the re-make to DJ Self to break the record.

“You know I stay with a couple [rhymes] under my sleeves. I just need a place to play them,” Mase said.

“I just love both of them. I know we had a lot of bad altercations and stuff like that. I got love for the family, man,” the Harlem-bred artist said. “At the end of the day, my kids are supposed to know their kids. Their kids are supposed to know mine.

Jim Jones called into the station and apologized to Mase for their past exchanges which were very public.

“I just wanted to tell you I tip my hat to you. I apologize to you for anything I ever done when I was younger,” Jim Jones said in a brief conversation with Mase. “I’m good like a fresh pair of [Air force] 1′s,” Mase concluded.

Source: Allhiphop.com

Pretty Ricky Declare Independence

Posted: Monday – July 6, 2009

Group Enjoys Success After Brake from Altanic Records
Single “Tipsy in Dis Club” Is Number Two Most Added at R&R

Miami, FL – July 3, 2009 – Fresh on the heels of their split from Atlantic Records, Pretty Ricky has announced that they will not pursue another major label deal, choosing instead to release their new CD through their own indie label Bluestar Entertainment International, Inc.

The announcement comes just days after the group’s single, “Tipsy In Dis Club,” the first release from their self-titled third CD, was the number two most added song at R&R and third most added at Media Base.

Group member/producer and Bluestar President Diamond Blue Smith said the success of the single, which is “blowing up the same way it would if it was released by a major,” is due to the group’s grassroots marketing approach and the support of their loyal fan base. “We’ve been hitting all the cities, all the DJs, all the little clubs. When we were signed with a major, we never had the opportunity to hit the clubs.”

Diamond Blue says he and his fellow group members, Slick ‘em and Spectacular, look forward to “going back to basics” and introducing fans to their new member, Pittsburgh, PA native Lingerie.

Diamond says a release date for “Pretty Ricky” will be announced in the coming weeks.

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