Michael Jackson Memorial Set; Custody Battle Breaks Out

Posted: Friday – July 3, 2009

A memorial service for Michael Jackson has officially been confirmed and will take place this Tuesday (July 7) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, where Jackson rehearsed for an upcoming tour.

Organizers are giving away 17,500 tickets to fans lottery style, who must register at StaplesCenter.com.

Of those 17,500, only 11,000 will be able to actually go inside of the Staples Center.

The other 6,500 will watch the event from a simulcast being broadcast at neighboring Nokia Theater.

“If you do not have a ticket, if you are not credentialed, not only will you not be allowed at these venues, you will not be allowed in this area,” Los Angeles Police Department assistant chief Earl Paysinger said. “Watch it on TV.”

In related news, California State Attorney General Jerry Brown has officially launched an investigation into Jackson’s prescription drug use and how he received powerful anesthetic drugs like Diprivin (also known as Propofol).

The drug was found in Jackson’s house and is suspected of being the substance the caused the 50-year-old pop superstar to go into cardiac arrest.

A custody battle has also broken out over Michael Jackson’s three children. Debbie Rowe, who birthed Jackson’s two children Michael, 12 and Paris, 11, has confirmed that she will seek custody of the children, who have been in the care of Jackson’s mother Catherine since Jackson’s death last week.

Rowe will also reportedly seek custody for Prince Michael II aka Blanket, although she is not the child’s biological mother.

Source: Allhiphop.com

Busta Rhymes Prepares for Canadian Tour

Posted: Friday – July 3, 2009

Veteran rapper/actor Busta Rhymes is going beyond the borders of the United States to give fans a lively dose of hip-hop with his upcoming tour of Canada.

The outing, which kicks off July 16 at the Ottawa Blues Fest in Ottawa, ON, will be in support of Rhymes’ latest album Back On My B.S.

The release, which features the T-Pain-assisted hit “Hustler’s Anthem,” includes appearances from Lil Wayne, Jadakiss, Ron Browz , Mary J. Blige, John Legend, Akon and Jamie Foxx as well as production from DJ Scratch, Jelly Roll, Cool and Dre, the Neptunes and Mr. Porter.

In addition to Rhymes, fans will also be treated to opening sets from Juno and MMVA award-winning rapper Belly and Toronto-based rhymesayer Peter Jackson.

Belly, who is currently enjoying the success of his latest single “Hot Girl” and featured appearance on Danny Fernandes’ “Private Dancer,” will appear on Western Canada tour dates.

The outing’s August shows (Aug. 10-21) will be supported by Jackson, who is garnering a buzz from his debut single, “Come on Over.”

The Canadian tour is the latest achievement for Rhymes.

The Grammy nominated entertainer is noted for his work in films such as Shaft, Higher Learning, Finding Forrester and The Rugrats Movie. Rhymes also has a catalog of hits, including tracks like “Whoo Hah!! Got You All In Check”, “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See”, “Break Ya Neck”, “Make It Clap, “I Love My Chick,” “Arab Money” and others.

The following is a list of dates for Busta Rhymes’ Canadian tour:

July 16 Ottawa, ON Ottawa Blues Fest
Aug 10 Kelowna, BC Level Nightclub
Aug 11 Medicine Hat, AB Cypress Centre
Aug 12 Calgary, AB Flames Central
Aug 13 Edmonton, AB Edmonton Events Centre
Aug 14 Saskatoon, SK Ryly’s
Aug 15 Regina, SK Evraz Place
Aug 17 Winnipeg, MB (venue TBC)
Aug 19 Toronto, ON The Phoenix
Aug 20 Montreal, QC Metropolis
Aug 21 Barrie, ON The Roxx Nightclub

Source: Allhiphop.com

Exclusive: BET Denounces Lil Wayne Performance, Drake Apologizes

Posted: Friday – July 3, 2009

BET has expressed remorse over a performance by Lil Wayne, Drake and Young Money Records that involved underage girls during songs “Best I Ever Had” and “Every Girl.”

The songs, which have overt sexual references, were performed during the Sunday BET Awards ’09 show as a bevy of young girls danced on stage. The group of girls consisted of Lil Wayne’s daughters and her friends.

In an exclusive statement, BET has responded to the criticism and the public outcry over the segment.

BET Networks deeply regrets the performance by Young Money at the BET AWARDS ’09 (featuring Lil Wayne, Drake, Gudda Gudda and Mack Maine),” a BET representative told AllHipHop.com exclusively. “Elements of the performance were unplanned and should not have happened.”

In the aftermath of the show, many have expressed outrage over the outing by Young Money, which was set amid a show dedicated to the late Michael Jackson.

Activist and filmmaker Byron Hurt lambasted the network earlier in the week in an open letter to Debra Lee, the President and Chief Executive Officer of BET Holdings, Inc.

“In a culture where one out of four girls and women are either raped or sexually assaulted – and where manipulative men routinely traffic vulnerable women into the sex industry – it is not okay that BET allowed this to happen,” Hurt said. “BET owes its entire audience – particularly girls and women around the world – an apology for its failure to intervene.”

A representative said generally the company has found such opinions useful.

“We value and appreciate the feedback from our viewers and have edited Young Money’s performance for all BET Awards ’09 encore presentations.”

Drake has apologized and taken responsibility for the performance, admitting it was in poor taste.

“That…was a terrible idea that I’ll never do to myself again. But I was being pressed from different areas to perform, and I think what really happened at the BET Awards is with the passing of Mike, the climate really changed, as far as the award show goes,” he told Complex. “I don’t think it called for us to perform “Every Girl” and “Always Strapped,” and I think it was an award show filled with tributes and music and these genuine heartfelt speeches. And to sort of climax out of a very tongue-n-cheek point, and then people misconstruing Wayne’s daughters and her friends coming out on stage — it was just timed very poorly and it definitely wasn’t planned like that, but with that being said, it is what is. I believe in Wayne and myself and it’s nothing we can’t bounce back from. To anyone who was offended, my personal apologies, it wasn’t intended to offend anybody.”

An edited version of the show will re-air on Monday July 6. The BET Awards saw a 61-percent increase in viewers this year fueled by the sudden death of Michael Jackson. Ten percent of all turned on television sets watched the show Sunday, a remarkably high number.

Source: Allhiphop.com

R. Kelly Reps Deny New Sex Scandal

Posted: Friday – July 3, 2009

Representatives for R&B singer R. Kelly have responded to recent media reports claiming the singer was involved in another scandal, this time allegedly with a 17-year-old girl.

Reports had stated that the singers home in Olympia Fields, Illinois had been raided the day before Kelly’s first ever tour of Africa.

Police were allegedly seeking a girl who was 16-years-old at the time, who was rumored to be staying with Kelly.

Internet reports stated that anonymous sources claimed police were “gathering evidence that included signed affidavits from several witnesses within R. Kelly’s circle.”

Police Chief Jeff Chudwin confirmed that they investigated Kelly, but “found there to be no crime and the matters have been closed.”

Representatives for Kelly also shot down the report, labeling it “wildly exaggerated and inaccurate.”

“No police ever showed up at Kelly’s house with a search warrant nor was his house ever searched,” a rep for Kelly said in a statement. “It is also not true … that any such girl ever stayed overnight in Kelly’s house or that she had been there but left shortly before some mythical police search.”

In June of 2008, Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges, after he was accused of videotaping himself engaged in sexual acts with a minor, including allegedly urinating on a 14-year-old, between 1998 and 2000.

Source: Allhiphop.com

Lil Wayne Performance Sparks Controversy

Posted: Wednesday – July 1, 2009

Sunday’s BET Awards may have scored its largest audience for the network, but the event’s producers are coming under fire for a performance featuring Grammy winning rap star Lil Wayne.

The entertainer’s set, which featured fellow rapper Drake and a troupe of teenage dancers, was met with criticism from Columbia University clinical instructor Dr. Janet Taylor, who questioned BET CEO Debra Lee for green lighting Lil Wayne’s performance of his hit song “Every Girl” despite the risqué dance from the teens on stage.

“Perhaps, they are what our kids are used to. I have teenagers, girls no less, who have heard the song and like it,” Taylor told MomLogic.com while referencing the song’s lyrics. “My problem was with the preteens who were proudly onstage, shaking their groove thang to this misogynistic, disrespectful song. It was ridiculous. Debra Lee, the CEO of BET, also the mother of two children, should be asking herself who approved this and how these young girls were allowed to be a part of this ‘act.’”

Taylor’s comments come days after an emotional night at the BET Awards.

Nielsen Media Research shows the Jamie Foxx-hosted show, which was dedicated to the memory of music icon Michael Jackson, was a ratings success by drawing the cable channel’s largest audience on record with an average of 10.65 million viewers.

As a result, the viewership of this year’s BET Awards was more than any other cable broadcast this year and more than any prime-time show on the major networks.

Despite this, the scholar stated how her daughters thought the rapper’s performance “‘was strange’ and inappropriate.”

“They were embarrassed for the girls. I agree,” Taylor added.

Representatives have not responded to the criticism as of press time.

Source: Allhiphop.com

Jay-Z Brings Roc Nation To Sony

Posted: Wednesday – July 1, 2009

Superstar rapper/mogul Jay-Z has officially signed a new distribution deal with Sony for his new label Roc Nation.

According to Billboard, the rapper’s new solo album The Blueprint 3 will be distributed by Atlantic, although that deal is only for the third installment of the rapper’s Blueprint series of releases.

Jay-Z offered to have the Roc Nation imprint be distributed through his longtime home Def Jam over four years ago.

Island Def Jam Music Group (IDJ) also distributes Jay-Z’s Roc-A-Fella imprint, which has such superstar artists as Kanye West, Jadakiss, Beanie Sigel and others.

“You have to figure, this is like four years ago, and to them it was just like, ‘Are you crazy? No! Make a song,’ ” said the mogul, who bought his way out of his Def Jam contract for an estimated $5 million.

The rapper also revealed that executives at IDJ were not fully capitalizing on Jay-Z’s entrepreneurial abilities.

“To me it was like, I’ve sold companies for huge amounts of money. I’m an entrepreneur – that’s what I’ve been all my life,” Jay-Z told Billboard. “I can’t just sit here and make records and not do anything else. Why wouldn’t you want to do this with me? I felt under-utilized.”

On the management side, Roc Nation handles the careers of Wale, Melanie Fiona, Mickey Factz and others.

Source: Allhiphop.com

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