R. Kelly Is Losing His Chicago Crib

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Hip-hop crooner R. Kelly, who has had his share of legal issues in the past, is facing another: He may lose his mansion near Chicago to foreclosure. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. has filed a foreclosure action against the singer, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, saying he hasn’t paid his mortgage in a year.

With the foreclosure, Kels, as he is known to some fans, joins a long list of rap and R&B stars before him who failed to pay their mortgage bills.

Last year, we reported that Chamillionaire, the lyrical mind behind the hit single “Ridin,’” defaulted on the loan for his Houston mansion. Atlanta-based “Prince of the South” and southern gangsta rapper Lil Scrappy was reportedly foreclosed on late last year, along with his girlfriend Diamond, of the hard-core rap group Crime Mob. Rapper Xzibit, of “Pimp My Ride” fame, faced the music in 2009, after missing $21,000 in payments on his California home. Hip-hop record executive Damon Dash lost his TriBeCa duplex last year to foreclosure. Even Nelly (remember “Country Grammar” and “Hot in Herre”?) was accused by a former manager of being in danger of losing his home to foreclosure, although he denies it.

All of this brings up some interesting questions about hip-hop artists and their thoughts on real-estate, one’s obligations vis-à-vis private property and debt, and the economic crisis. We know from their lyrics that rappers love money, and claim to have a lot of it. We also know from music videos and TV shows like MTV’s “Cribs” that rappers also like big houses and flashy cars. But does foreclosure even register with rhyme-sayers, or are they too busy living the high life to care?

Rap Genius, a website devoted to hip-hop lyrics, shows that 12 hip-hop songs contain the word “foreclosure,” and 7 more with some variation of the word “foreclose.”

Staten Island native and Wu-Tang protégé Trife Diesel, for example, in his song “World Today,” which starts with an audio sample of Barack Obama giving a speech about the economy, raps, “FDA approved medicines, killing off us Americans / Homes in foreclosures, we being kicked out of residence / It’s time to represent, for our next to kin.” He stops short of proposing a solution to the foreclosure crisis, but offers this analysis of tightening of mortgage-lending standards by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: “People with A1 credit can’t afford steak sauce.”

Other rappers have taken on the economy, too. Statik Selektah, for example, in “So Close, So Far,” wistfully imagines a world without the GM and AIG bailouts and the subprime loan mess: “Wouldn’t it be nice if the banks didn’t f— up the loans / And people ain’t have to move out they homes? … That the world I’m talkin’ about is where we would like to be / Worried about debts, recessions and foreclosure…”

Perhaps not surprisingly, a lot of rappers are in caught up in foreclosures of their own doing. Chicago’s Real Estate Daily, citing an unnamed source, reported that R. Kelly “stopped making payments on the mortgage in an attempt to force the bank to negotiate a modification of the loan.” It’s a tactic adopted by many American homeowners, who find that banks are unable or unwilling to negotiate a new loan or interest rate for them unless they have missed payments. Chamillionaire’s case, too, was a strategic default, or so he told celebrity-news website TMZ last year.

If we are to believe the hype, hip-hop artists probably have the money to pay their mortgages, but seeing continuing weakness in the housing market, choose not to.

From the point of view of economic self-interest, you can hardly blame them. Wasn’t it Ice-T who first said, “Don’t hate the playa / Hate the game”?

DMX Extends Jail Time

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DMX will need to spend at least another week incarcerated at Arizona State Prison. X was jailed on November 19th 2010, for violating his parole and was held on a number of charges, the principal being drug use. He was sentenced to serve one year with no chance of bail. In mid-May, it was announced that the artist could be getting off earlier than expected, if he met the terms for good behavior. That date was officially set for July 13th.

New reports suggest the MC hasn’t met those terms. Since January, DMX has managed to accumulate seven disciplinary violations at the prison, some of which include: unauthorized smoking, disrespect towards staff, possession of narcotics and disorderly conduct.

The man behind the chart toppers, Party Up and Who We Be, has had his share of run-ins with the law, starting in 1994 with an arrest for drug possession, and in 1998 a rape charge, which he was acquitted for due to DNA evidence. The charges have accumulated since that time, the latest being a 2009 conviction for animal cruelty and drug possession, and a 90 day jail sentence in 2010 for a reckless driving charge.

DMX has been working on his 7th album, Redemption Of The Beast, for over a year now. He’ll be collaborating with artists like Sean Kingston, The LOX, Tyrese, as well as known producers Scott Storch, Swizz Beatz, and Dame Grease.

A spokesman for the Arizona Department of Corrections has confirmed an anticipated release date of July 19th for DMX.

Lil Boosie Associate To Stand Trial For Murder of Rapper Nussie

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An 18-year-old associate of rapper Lil Boosie that is charged with six murders, will first stand trial for the killing of Chris “Nussie” Jackson.

Michael “Marlo Mike” Louding is charged with killing Baton Rouge rapper Chris “Nussie” Jackson in 2009.

According to prosecutors, Nussie was one of six men murdered by Louding during a violent streak in 2009.

He was who just 16-years-old when the string of murders took place.

Lil Boosie and Nussie were engaged in a violent war of words, when Nussie was gunned down inside of a house on American Street, in February of 2009.

Louding is also accused of killing a 35-year-old named Terry Boyd, in a murder for hire plot that prosecutors claim involves Lil Boosie.

Although Lil Boosie is not charged in the Nussie case, prosecutors originally claimed he may have ordered that hit as well, because the two rappers were feuding at the time of the homicide.


As a rapper, Nussie was the founder of Dope Celebrity Records, which released three of his albums.

Lil Boosie, born Torrence Hatch, is not charged in Nussie’s death, but he faces a first-degree murder charge for his alleged role in Boyd’s murder.

Including Lil Boosie, a total of seven men from Baton Rouge have been charged in a total of six murders.

Also charged are Ryan “Sneaks” Carroll, 16, Johnathan Rogers, 17, Kendrick Johnson, 19 Jared Williams, 20, Reginald Youngblood, 32 and Adrian Pittman, 36.

According to reports, the first hearing for Michael “Marlo Mike” Louding will take place on July 20th.

As for Lil Boosie, the rapper has pleaded not guilty to a first-degree murder charge.

Bow Wow Reveals ‘Secret’ Baby Daughter

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Bow Wow has revealed on his website that he has become a father.

“For the past three years [I've] been battling life,” Bow Wow wrote on his website. “I felt as if I had no purpose to live (thinking selfishly) until God gave me the illest gift of my life … nothing amounts to my lil girl.”

The rapper who rose to fame when he was just 13 years old explained that he kept his daughter a secret because he didn’t know how his fans would react to the news.

“I was nervous on how ya’ll would look at me. My lil girl is getting BIG fast. I love every minute of it. She inspires me to go harder. Even made me treat my mother better, it’s like it made me into a man overnight.”

Bow Wow did not disclose his daughter’s age or who her mother is but it seems that they don’t live together.


And even though he now calls himself a father, that doesn’t mean Bow Wow has shortened his ways with woman. In a video on his website, Bow Wow talks openly about the throngs of women who throw themselves at him night after night.

“I love women so that’s like my weakness, women,” Bow Wow said. “It’s just too easy, man. I mean you wouldn’t believe, you wouldn’t imagine what girls do just to get backstage or just to get to the hotel. I mean there’s times when I can rock a sold out show and get back to the hotel and there’ll be just a flock of women in the lobby waiting and willing to do what ever it takes just to get to me.”

Although life on the road doesn’t sound all that bad for Bow Wow, he admits his schedule does take him away from his daughter.

“Baby gotta stay with they momma and all dat bull. I hate that! So i have to fly 5 hrs away to see her,” blogged the rapper. “I miss out on so much that I now know how important it is to cherish and have those things in your life. Yes! I change diapers. Ain’t as bad as I thought.”

Are You Planking?

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Planking is blowing up the news and photo galleries these days. What is Planking? Older people would say it’s another instance of why the youth is screwed up. Kids would fire back that it’s the most fun you can have being still. Who’s right?

Planking is the act of lying face down for a photograph. The term planking originated from Australia but is actually just another name for ‘the lying down game’ (I’m not kidding). The specific instructions: to put your body face down to the ground (or table, or object, or anything) with your arms to the side.

It may be the latest craze that’s taking over the internet, but does it really mean what people think it means?

Rapper Xzibit is leading a new charge against “planking”, claiming the practice has racist roots. Xzibit recently Tweeted, “Planking is THE dumbest shit ever. Planking was a way to transport slaves on ships during the slave trade, its not funny. Educate yourselves.” The rapper continues with, “Don’t get twisted. I care less where your dumb asses lay face down and take pictures of the shit, I’m just telling you where it came from.”

Although Xzibit is sharing his thoughts on planking, some celebrities, such as Katy Perry, Demi Moore, Rosario Dawson, Chris Brown, and Justin Bieber, seem to care less and have taken part in “planking” and have posted the pictures online.

So yes, “planking” has roots in slavery. If you look at the picture to the right, it shows how slaves captured in Africa were stowed away on ships during the “Middle Passage” journey during the late 16th Century. Slaves used the planks as beds. Rumors have it that “planking” came from kids in Australia, but actual planking began at the start of the slave trade as captured Africans were transported by ships to the New World during the “Middle Passage”.

What do you think?

Ice Cube Recalls Falling In Love With Hip Hop

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Ice Cube has been a cornerstone of Hip Hop since beginning his career in the mid-‘80s. In a sneak preview of his upcoming VH1 episode of “Behind the Music,” the former N.W.A. member recalls falling in love with the culture, explaining that his DJ uncle and Sugarhill Gang were to blame.

“It clicked with me in elementary. I discovered hip-hop at 10 years old, since 1979. My uncle Jerry was taking me to the dentist. He used to be a DJ and would throw parties, deejaying,” he says. “So he had a lot of records and he had this big radio about this big in the backseat. He was into Confunction and Earth, Wind & Fire and Ohio Players and stuff like that. But this one song came on, which was ‘Rapper’s Delight,’ and it mesmerized me. One thing in rap, a song that’s 11 or 12 minutes, they rapping the whole way through. And that just turned me on.”

That planted the seed for Cube’s passion for Hip Hop, encouraging him to soak up the culture in every regard.

“From then on, I had a thirst for the music. I could see anything Hip Hop. Back then, it wasn’t everywhere. You had to find specials on breakdancing and anything on hip-hop, you damn near had to have a treasure map to find it. I was looking. I used to look in TV Guide for anything that had everything that had to do with graffiti, breakdancing, rapping, scratching – anything that had to do with anything being a B-Boy.”

Ice Cube’s “Behind the Music” episode airs tomorrow night (July 6th) at 10 p.m. on VH1.

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