Date: Wednesday – February 8, 2012

Following an outstanding 2011, premier independent hip-hop artist Tech N9ne is starting off the New Year with an ambitious start.  The Strange Music recording artist is gearing up to embark on  his “Hostile Takeover 2012” tour with Bad Boy/Interscope Records rapper, and MTV’s 2011 “Hottest Breakthrough MC,” Machine Gun Kelly.  The tour will kick off on March 24th in Tech N9ne’s hometown of Kansas City and continue through July.

A trailer announcing the tour and featuring some of Strange Music’s brightest acts such as Krizz Kaliko, Mayday, Prozak and Stevie Stone, who will be joining Tech N9ne on the “Hostile Takeover Tour,” was released in mid-January and can be viewed HERE.

With over 90 performances scheduled in just 99 days, the “Hostile Takeover 2012” tour will be the longest consecutive tour in rap history and the only time this year fans will be able to see the enigmatic Tech N9ne perform his one-of-a-kind stage show.

Over the last decade, the Kansas City recording artist has continued to build his Strange Music brand by developing a fervent following of devoted fans captivated by his uncanny energy and relentless touring schedule.  By the mid-2000s, Tech N9ne was performing over 200 shows a year in high-octane sets that have earned high-profile endorsements from the likes of Lil Wayne, Busta Rhymes and many others.

In 2011, the rapper released his critically acclaimed twelfth studio album, All 6’s & 7’s, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Independent and Hip-Hop/R&B charts, and No. 4 overall on the Top 200.  Tech N9ne also delivered a show-stopping, stand-out feature on Lil’ Wayne’s The Carter IV, which sold nearly 1 million units in its first week of release last summer.

“Hostile Takeover 2012” tour dates are below.  For a complete listing, set-times and tickets, please visit

March 24 – The Midland Theatre – Kansas City, MO

March 25 – Cotillion Ballroom – Wichita, KS

March 26 – Cains Ballroom – Tulsa, OK

March 28 – Diamond Ballroom – Oklahoma City, OK

March 29 – Palladium Ballroom – Dallas, TX

March 30 – Juanita’s Café and Bar – Little Rock, AR

March 31 – The Varsity Theatre – Baton Rouge

April 1 – House of Blues – Houston, TX

April 3 – Brewster Street Ice House – Corpus Christi, TX

April 5 – Emo’s East – Austin, TX

April 6 – Wreckers – Lubbock, TX

April 7 – Tricky Falls – El Paso, TX

April 10 – Sunshine Theater – Albuquerque, NM

April 11 – The Top Deck – Farmington, NM

April 12 – Pepsi Amphitheater at Fort Tuthill Park – Coconino, AZ

April 13 – The Rialto Theatre – Tucson, AZ

April 14 – Celebrity Theatre – Phoenix, AZ

April 15 – House of Blues – San Diego, CA

April 16 – The Observatory Orange County – Santa Ana, CA

April 17 – House of Blues – Las Vegas, NV

April 18 – House of Blues – West Hollywood, CA

April 19 – The Majestic Ventura Theater – Ventura, CA

April 20 – TBD – TBD

April 21 – Pozo Saloon – Pozo, CA

April 22 – The Catalyst – Santa Cruz, CA

April 23 – Cal Neva Resort Frank Sinatra Ballroom – Crystal Bay, NV

April 24 – The Phoenix Theater – Petaluma, CA

April 25 – Ace of Spades – Sacramento, CA

April 26 – Fat Cat Music House & Lounge – Modesto, CA

April 27 – The Senator Theater – Chico, CA

April 28 – Arcata Community Center – Arcata, CA

May 1 – TBD – TBD

May 2 – McDonald Theatre – Eugene, OR

May 3 – Roseland Theater – Portland, OR

May 4 – TBD – TBD

May 5 – The SHowbox SoDo – Seattle, WA

May 6 – The Capital Theatre – Yakima, WA

May 8 – Knitting Factory – Spokane, WA

May 10 – Knitting Factory Concert House – Boise, IS

May 11 – TBD – TBD

May 12 – Saltair – Magna, UT

May 13 – Mesa Theater & Club – Grand Junction

May 15 – The Black Sheep – Colorado Springs

May 16 – The Black Sheep – Colorado Springs

May 17 – Aggie Theatre – Fort Collins, CO

May 18 – The Fillmore Auditorium – Denver, CO

May 19 – The Venue – Casper, WY

May 21 – Al Bedoo Shrine Auditorium – Billings, MT

May 22 – Rushmore Hall – Rapid City, SD

May 23 – All Seasons Arena – Minot, SD

May 24– Fargo Civic Center – Fargo, ND

May 25 – Ramkota Exhibit Hall – Sioux Falls, SD

May 26 – Cabooze Music Club – Minneapolis, MN

May 27 – The Omaha Civic Auditorium Mancuso Hall – Omaha, NE

May 29 – 7 Flags Event Center – Clive, IA

May 30 – The River Center – Davenport, IA

May 31 – The Orpheum – Madison, WI

June 1 – The Rave / Eagles Club – Milwaukee, WI

June 2 – House of Blues – Chicago, IL

June 3 – The Egyptian Room @ Old National Centre – Indianapolis, IN

June 4 – The Castle Theatre – Bloomington, IL

June 5 – IPFW Rhinehart Auer Hall – Fort Wayne, IN

June 6 – Newport Music Hall – Columbus, OH

June 7 – The Fillmore Detroit – Detroit, MI

June 8 – Headliners – Toledo, OH

June 9 – The Agora – Cleveland, OH

June 10 – The Rostraver Ice Garden – Belle Vernon, PA

June 11 – The Silo Nightclub – Reading, PA

June 12 – Town Ballroom – Buffalo, NY

June 13 – The Chance Theater – Poughkeepsie, NY

June 14 – Theatre of Living Arts – Philadelphia, PA

June 15 – The Worcester Palladium – Worcester, MA

June 16 – Starland Ballroom – Sayreville, NJ

June 17 – Highline Ballroom – New York, NY

June 19 – Baltimore Soundstage – Baltimore, MD

June 20 – The NorVa – Norfolk, VA

June 21 – Tremont Music Hall – Charlotte, NC

June 22 – TBD – TBD

June 23 – The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA

June 24 – House Of Blues – Orlando, FL

June 26 – Club Cinema – Pompano Beach, FL

June 27 – Green Iguana Bar & Grill – Tampa, FL

June 28 – Plush – Jacksonville, FL

June 29 – Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex – Birmingham, AL

June 30 – Whiskey – Jackson, MS

July 1 – Orpheum Theater – Memphis, TN

July 3 – Marathon Music Works – Nashville, TN

July 4 – Expo Five – Louisville, KY

July 5 – Pops – Sauget, IL

July 6 – TBD – TBD

Hip Hop Artists Collaborate To Find Talent


Date: Monday – January 30, 2012

Should independent hip hop artist Joe Bird make it big, there’s at least one thing he says fans can count on: He won’t hide his High Desert roots.

Just as the 26-year-old Victorville rapper — who’s opened for Chris Brown and 112 — works to fast-track his own career, he’s trying to instill a greater sense of pride, unity and collaboration among fellow local underground artists.

“For so long people would mock really where I come from, but it’s time for the people here to have pride,” said Bird, who graduated from Victor Valley High School and University of California, Riverside with a bachelor’s degree in history. “I’m really trying to spearhead a movement out here in this entertainment scene. I believe there is enough talent for the High Desert to be going for it.”

For years there’s been talk of a “760 movement” to put the High Desert in the hip hop spotlight, but for the most part the idea that there could be strength in numbers hadn’t really caught on, said Brian Eudy a.k.a. “ETA,” 28, a Victorville native who started the Royal Family Records label.

Eudy said a handful of locals have had success and continued to represent the region, like The Static Gang in the 1990s, while others seem to shed their ties to the Victor Valley once they gained fame. Hip hop duo The New Boyz, for instance, now on an Asia concert tour, were in Victorville high schools only a few years ago but their official biographies refer only to Southern California or the Los Angeles area.

Lately, however, momentum seems to be building to earn local artists credibility and facilitate an environment for learning from each other, instead of being pitted against one another in a cutthroat competition.

“Right now the hip hop scene out here is at a level that it’s never been before. It’s got a new energy, and it’s made me want to work harder at it,” said Josh Bowles a.k.a. “JDB,” 25, of Victorville. “It’s something fresh and I like the way we’re going with it. We could go toe to toe with anybody.”

Social media platforms have played a big role in driving local collaboration, including music hosting, promoting and networking sites like DatPiff, ReverbNation and SoundCloud.

A few months ago, Bird formed the Facebook group “HD Hip Hop.” Eudy has been running the “High Desert Hot 16,” a mixtape he produces after posting beats online and compiling submissions from local artists.

“People feed off of each other,” Bird said. “I strongly believe that one of us has to be able to make it and that the cream rises to the top, so I wanted to create a platform where whoever that may be can actually succeed.”

Now more than 100 local artists, producers, promoters and others use the Facebook group to share music and post feedback, publicize shows and, more recently, plan meetups for events like a cypher, an informal gathering of a group of rappers showing off their skills.

“I’ve come across new people that I’ve never heard of because of the group. We’re starting to get a little bit of unity,” Bowles said. “Before, everyone wanted to just be ‘the man.’ If someone’s going to blow up out here, I think it’s going to be a lot easier if we go at it together and work as a team.”

Earlier this month the group hosted a cypher, with participants rapping verses they’d prepared based on a 16-bar beat posted online and doing some freestyle a cappella around a turntable in the driveway of a Victorville home. In an effort to chronicle the momentum of the local scene, the cypher was filmed by artist Brandon Martinez a.k.a. “HEXXX,” a Sultana High School graduate who founded the Newport Beach-based Night Breed Films and record label.

The styles and content of various local artists are eclectic, with topics ranging from partying at the club to rough experiences in Old Town Victorville. Some verses contain foul language and are inappropriate for younger audiences, but the rappers explain hip hop is about direct, raw lyrics and telling it like it is.

“I don’t appreciate hip hop that’s vulgar just for vulgar’s sake, but there are a lot of things in life that are not pretty, and I think that hip hop is willing to touch on those things,” Eudy said. “Sometimes that makes people really uncomfortable, but in my opinion all really good rock and roll or hip hop should be a little bit dangerous.”

In Bird’s song “High Desert Livin’,” one verse goes “Joshua Trees, tumble weeds, tweekers with no teeth/Riding the D for dope down on D Street,” and the song’s hook closes with, “The High Desert is full of cities that don’t sleep.” Bird said he draws inspiration from a wide variety of music — including jazz, ’80s and ’90s hip hop and Gospel music — and that he views hip hop as an art form, likening the culture to the Harlem Renaissance.

To promote his next album set for release this spring, Bird plans to do street performances at local parks. Eudy plans to release his second solo album in July, and Bowles is finishing his fourth solo mixtape.

“Don’t let the naysayers bring you down — people saying, ‘Oh this is Victorville, nothing’s going to happen here,’” Bowles advised aspiring artists. “If you love doing something, just do it.”



Ice-T’s Rap Documentary


Date: Monday – January 30, 2012

The Indomina Group has acquired worldwide rights to Ice-T’s documentary “Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap,” the company said Sunday.

The sales price was not disclosed.

In the performance movie, Ice-T travels across the country, working with Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Caz, Nas, Mos Def, Eminem, Chuck D, KRS-One, Run-DMC, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg.

The movie, which Ice-T directed with Andy Baybutt, is a personal story of the music that saved Ice-T’s life.

“Something From Nothing” shows the craft and skill of rap and explores what goes on inside the minds of the genre’s legends.

“The Art of Rap is a perfect fit for Indomina,” the company’s vice chairman and CEO, Jasbinder Singh Mann, said in a statement. “A masterfully crafted, superbly riveting and star studded film about rap that only Ice-T could deliver. This is a film that shares the same DNA as Indomina and speaks directly to our core audience. We’re thrilled to have ‘Art of Rap’ on our theatrical release slate and eager to give audiences around the world the opportunity discover this brilliant film.”

Indomina plans a theatrical release in North America this summer.

Mann launched the Indomina Group in 2008. The company operates in Los Angeles and the Dominican Republic.



Bow Wow Needs To Hire An Accountant


Date: Monday – January 30, 2012

Bow Wow needs to hire himself a new accountant — because not only does he have a tax lien against him for unpaid taxes from 2006 … but now it turns out he owes back taxes from 2008 and 2010 as well!

As TMZ first reported, a tax lien in Florida for the year 2006 put Bow Wow on the hook for $91,105.61. The lien has still not been paid off.

Now a new lien was filed on January 9, this time in Georgia, saying Bow Wow owes $15, 279.62 for unpaid taxes from 2008 and another $19.700.91 for 2010.

Put it all together … and you’ve got $126,086.14.

Calls to Bow Wow’s rep were not returned.



Machine Gun Kelly Arrested for Disorderly Conduct


Date: Monday – January 30, 2012

Rapper Machine Gun Kelly’s tour took an unexpected stop early this morning — to jail … after he was busted by police in Florida for misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

According to the website for the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, MGK (real name Richard Baker) was busted at 4:12 AM and released a few hours later after posting $100 bond.

Kelly tweeted about the arrest, saying, “Just spent my entire night in a fucking Florida jail…shitt escaladed way to quick last night, it always does with us though.”

MGK is currently touring and played the State Theatre in St. Petersburg last night. His next tour date is in Los Angeles on February 8.



Cory Gunz Arrested For Gun Possession


Date: Monday – January 20, 2012

Last year, Cory Gunz earned mad props for his rap on Lil Wayne’s ’6 Foot 7 Foot,’. So far, 2012 is off to a less promising start. As MTV reports, the 24-year-old rapper was arrested  (Jan. 28) in his hometown of the Bronx, N.Y., after being caught with a loaded firearm.

The Young Money MC was picked up around 2PM, and while his father, veteran rhymer Peter Gunz, says police sometimes “like to make an example” out of young hip-hop artists, that doesn’t appear to have been the case here.

“I spoke to the arresting officer, and so far, what I’m hearing from him is that they got a phone call at the station saying they should ‘look out,’” the elder Gunz told MTV. “According to [the officer], they didn’t know he was Cory Gunz. They just saw a bunch of kids following him around.”

He added that it was “definitely an illegal search” and said that the officer “felt bad about the situation” — perhaps because in New York, such gun charges come with mandatory jail time.

This is Cory’s first such offense, and after being taken to the 43rd Precinct, he was transferred to Central Booking. As of Sunday afternoon, he remained in police custody.

“To go to a precinct and see your son, your junior, in handcuffs, it’s heartbreaking,” Peter told MTV. “Anytime you see your child in jail, in the cell, in handcuffs, it’s very hard. He’s walked down some of the same paths that I walked down, but you never want to see your kids go through what you went through.”



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