Royce da 5’9" Unleashes New Music

Posted: Wednesday – June 10, 2009 @ 10:24 PM

Fans of Royce da 5’9” will get more than an earful of new music as the Detroit lyricist gears up to unleash a slew of material for eager listeners.

Royce’s first release will be the digital only EP The Revival.

The offering will include songs from the rapper’s upcoming album Street Hop as well as a new unreleased track from the group Slaughterhouse.

According to Royce, The Revival will be the first in a series of digital EPs released from the Slaughterhouse camp as Royce and fellow members Joell Ortiz, Crooked I and Joe Budden prepare for the July release of the super group’s self-titled debut album.

“The Revival will give people a chance to see what I’ve been up to and what to expect from the album,” Royce stated. “The month of July will belong to Slaughterhouse with the release of our full length group album and solo EP’s from me followed by Joell, Joey and Crooked. We will show fans why we are the ones to watch.”

In addition to The Revival, a new Slaughterhouse song not featured on the group’s album will be featured on each member’s solo digital EPs throughout July.

The arrival of the Slaughterhouse album and The Revival serve as preparation for Royce’s Street Hop.

The rapper’s fourth album, which will be executive produced by DJ Premier, concludes a lengthy process spanning almost two years.

To further anticipation for his new releases, Royce will spend the summer on the road with Slaughterhouse as part of the Rock the Bells tour.

A new single and video for The Revival is set to debut in the coming weeks.

Royce da 5’9”’s The Revival is slated to be released July 7 to all major digital outlets, while Street Hop hits stores on September 22.

The following is a list of Rock the Bells tour dates featuring Slaughterhouse:

June 27 – Chicago, IL – First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
June 28 – Detroit, MI – DTE Energy Music Theatre
July 5 – Toronto, ONT – Molson Amphitheatre
July 12 – Baltimore. MD/DC – Meriweather Post Pavilion
July 18 – Boston, MA – Comcast Center
July 19 – New York, NY – Jones Beach Amphitheatre
August 1 – Vancouver, BC – Deer Lake Park
August 2 – Calgary, AB – Shaw Millennium Park
August 6 – Denver, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre
August 8 – Los Angeles, CA – Glen Helen Amphitheatre
August 9 – San Francisco, CA – Shoreline Amphitheatre


Max B Speaks on Conviction and Appeal

Posted: Wednesday – June 10, 2009 @ 4:25 PM

Harlem rapper and now convicted murderer Max B has released an official statement regarding his guilty verdict.

Yesterday (June 9) a jury found Max, real name Charly Wingate, guilty on 9 of 11 counts of felony murder and conspiracy charges in the death of David Taylor.

The 29-year old was killed execution style during botched robbery that cooperating witness Gina Conway said was orchestrated by Wingate.

With an official sentencing looming next month, Max expressed thankfulness for the support from friends and fans during the trial, and his desire to move forward with an immediate appeal.

“Thank you to all my fans for the continuous love and support during my trial,” Max explained to in a prepared statement. “With the advice of my attorney, family and friends I’ve decided to appeal my conviction, with full belief that I will be found innocent of all charges. This has been a long journey but, I have full faith that there will be a positive outcome and I will be cleared of all erroneous allegations.”

Despite his ex-girlfriend’s testimony, Gina Conway will still serve 18 years in prison for her role in the murder.

Max B and his step-brother co-defendant Kelvin Leerdam will stand before a judge on July 30, where both men face a maximum life sentence.


Lauryn Hill Cancels European Tour Dates, Health Cited

Posted: Wednesday – June 10, 2009 @ 10:46 AM

Lauryn Hill has canceled her involvement in a European tour for health reasons, according to a recent report.

Organizers of the Stockholm Jazz Festival say the eccentric R&B/Hip-Hop star was experiencing unspecified health-related complications that would prevent her from staying on the bill and other dates.

Spokesperson Liisa Tolonen told the Associated Press that Hill’s told the Stockholm Jazz Festival late Tuesday that she would not be involved in any capacity. The dates canceled include Italy, Switzerland, Greece, Sweden, Poland, the Netherlands, Germany, France, and Austria.

The tour would have been Hill’s most public appearance in several years.

She was the headliner of the The Stockholm Jazz Festival.



Rick Ross, Triple C's Endorse 1800 Tequila

Posted: Tuesday – June 09, 2009 @ 10:59 PM

Miami rap star Rick Ross is bringing his marketing potential to the forefront via a new partnership with Proximo Spirits, Inc. and 1800 Tequila.

The rapper, along with his Triple C’s crew, will endorse 1800 Tequila’s Select Silver, a new beverage described by the company as “the first and only 100 proof clear tequila on the market.”

According to Ross, the parallels between 1800 Select Silver and his musical accomplishments are prevalent as he expressed his willingness to make the drink a success with consumers.

“Of all the tequilas out there, the 100 proof 1800 Select Silver is the ‘big boss’ and the only tequila I would put the Rick Ross name behind,” the rapper said in a statement. “1800 Tequila is a brand I’m really excited to grind and build with, and as I keep pumping out the hits, topping the charts, and discovering new talent like my crew Triple C’s – 1800 Tequila will be rising to the top with me.”

Ross’ 1800 Tequila alliance comes amid the rapper’s success on the charts with his latest album Deeper Than Rap.

The rapper’s current good fortune as well as the popularity of his music provided Proximo with a easy decision on whether or not to involve Ross in the promotion of 18 Select Silver.

“Rick Ross and Triple C’s were an obvious choice for us,” the company’s head of marketing, Elwyn Gladstone added. “1800 Select Silver is a serious tequila for the serious tequila drinker. It’s making a huge splash in the tequila market right now, just as Rick Ross is shaking up the music industry.”

The 1800 Select Silver promotion with Ross and Triple C’s is set to kick off this month with a video and photo shoot.


Atlantic Records Asserts African-American History In New Campaign

Posted: Tuesday – June 09, 2009 @ 9:50 PM

Before the music industry united in 1979 to officially decree June as Black History Month, Atlantic Records had already been a champion of Jazz and R&B for thirty years.

This year, the legendary label has tapped some of its current stars to celebrate the continuing legacy of African-American music in a new promotional campaign.

The “Atlantic IS Black Music” features Atlantic recording artists T.I., Maino, Cee-Lo, B.o.B. aka Bobby Ray, Young Steff, Sophia Fresh, Janelle Monae and others sharing their views on Black Music and the Atlantic legacy through a series of webisodes delivered online at

In addition to the artists views on music, the series also sheds light on the history of Black Music Month.

This week’s video, for example, features footage from the first Black Music Month celebration held at the White House by President Jimmy Carter in June 1979.

Featured in the video is DJ, journalist and scholar Dyana Williams, founder of the International Association of African American Music.

Williams provides the commentary on the historic event alongside Warner Music Group Executive Vice President Kevin Liles.

As a testament to the impact that African American music has on artists across the globe, Atlantic has also included songbirds Estelle and Laura Izibor, from the United Kingdom and Ireland respectively, into the celebration.

“It’s important to celebrate Black History Month because it’s the root of a lot of different styles of music,” said Estelle in the third webisode of the Atlantic IS Black Music campaign.

Adds Izibor, “A majority of music originates from Black Music, from Black people. And this highlights how much Black people have contributed to music on a worldly basis.”

Since it’s first major hit in 1949, “Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee” by Stick McGhee, Atlantic Records has been home to some of the biggest names in R&B and Jazz.

In the 50s, it was home to Ray Charles, the Clovers, the Drifters, the Coasters, Lavern Baker, Ruth Brown and Big Joe Turner.

At the height of the Jazz movement, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, the Modern Jazz Quartet and many more called Atlantic home.

The Soul revolution led by Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Ben E. King, Wilson Pickett, Sam & Dave, Booker T. & the MGs, gave way to the success of legends and pioneers like Roberta Flack, Donny Hathaway, Chic, Sister Sledge and Levert and modern day success stories like Lupe Fiasco, Flo Rida, Toni Braxton and Trey Songz.


Mos Def Speaks On The Escstatic; New Wesley Snipes Flick

Posted: Tuesday – June 09, 2009 @ 9:40 PM

Three years since highlighting his musical self, Mos Def is more than ready to reestablish himself in the eyes of the rap community with the release of his forthcoming opus The Ecstatic.

For the rapper/actor, the challenge lies in giving fans an album worth adding to their collection, as he admits that the “quality, clarity and ambition” behind his latest project is prevalent.

“The aim is high,” Mos Def told USA Today while sharing that his writing and rhyming skills have sharpened since arriving on the scene with the single “Universal Magnetic,” 12 years ago.

“I don’t want to waste anyone’s time or money,” Mos explained. “I want to give people some truth and positive heart lift. The quality, clarity and ambition are there. There are no discotheque anthems. Um, no disrespect to discotheque.”

The Ecstatic’s pending release follows Mos Def’s 2006 album True Magic.

The rapper’s third offering, which included production from The Neptunes, Rich Harrison and Minnesota, was released without promotion in a clear case without cover art.

Between albums, the rapper kept himself busy over the years via acting roles in a string of films such as The Italian Job, Monster’s Ball, 16 Blocks, Be Kind Rewind, HBO’s Something the Lord Made, Cadillac Records and his latest big screen outing, Next Day Air.

Despite the Mike Epps and Donald Faison-assisted feature’s failure to generate a big payday at the box office, Mos Def is looking ahead as he ponders various movie offers and maintains high hopes for Toussaint, a Danny Glover-helmed biopic about Haitian revolutionary Toussaint L’Ouverture.

In addition to the rapper, the cast will include Wesley Snipes and Don Cheadle.

“It’s hard to take Hollywood too seriously,” Mos Def said regarding the importance of a successful film project. “If you can turn a dollar and sleep at night, then cool. Whether a movie sinks or swims, you want to have a decent experience, so you go for something that at least is trying to be good.”

Preceded by a trio of singles (“Life In Marvelous Times,” “Quiet Dog (Bite Hard)” and “Casa Bey,” The Ecstatic will feature appearances from Slick Rick, Scarface, Talib Kweli and K’Naan in addition to producers Madlib and Chad Hugo.

Musically, Mos Def sheds light on the title of his new album as he admits that The Ecstatic borrows its name from a 2002 comic novel from Victor LaValle.

Mos Def’s The Ecstatic is in stores today (June 9).


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