NAS’ KIDNAPPED CONCERT PROMOTER

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Nas’ concert promoter who was kidnapped at gunpoint in Angola is still stuck in the country — caught in a legal stalemate between Nas and the guy who allegedly kidnapped him .. and it’s getting worse by the day.

TMZ broke the story … Patrick Allocco — a U.S. concert promoter who booked an Angolan New Year’s Eve show starring Nas — was kidnapped after the Angolan concert promoter sent Allocco a $300,000 advance for Nas and the rapper ended up being a no-show.

We’ve learned Allocco — who was released from custody but is still prohibited from leaving the country — sent Nas the $300k, but now the Angola promoter wants not only the $300,000 back, but an additional $50,000 in expenses.

Here’s the deadlock. Nas is willing to send $300,000, but not the addition $50 grand. In addition, before Nas sends ANY money, he wants a letter from both Allocco and the Angolan concert promoter — releasing him from any liability.

So there’s a stalemate. And Allocco is stuck in a foreign land.

PUSHA T: ‘WHAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF’ VIDEO FULL OF CANDY

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Clipse rapper Pusha T has dropped off a drug-inspired visual for ‘What Dreams Are Made Of,’ one of the darker songs from his 2011 EP, ‘Fear of God II: Let Us Pray,’ which features the G.O.O.D. rapper amidst a mountain of coke lines, scales, straws, cash and bubbly, and even a live python.

The Jason Goldwatch-directed video was shot back in November, but premiered on Thursday (Jan. 5), thanks to Red Bull.

“[The clip] is arrogant, it’s a bit brash, it’s about excess, fast living and articulating a lifestyle, a lifestyle that we know very well,” Pusha revealed, while on set. “Lyrically, it’s about how our people fell victim to drugs, but it wasn’t all our fault: [Ronald] Reagan had a lot to do with that; don’t just blame us. If you love what I’m about and what I’ve been doing all these years, then it’s for you, and I’d be cheapening [the project] if I didn’t shoot a video for one of the harder records off of the EP.”

While the video generally illustrates the images conjured in the song, keen-eyed fans will note one item that stands out — a jar of jelly beans. When MTV queried as to the reason for the confection’s inclusion, Pusha explained that the jelly beans are a tribute to former president Ronald Reagan.

“Ronald Reagan was an avid jelly bean lover, so we’ve got to pay homage to him. We have to: He had a lot to do with this … the Ronald Reagan era was a tough time and a detrimental time to the black community, but we adapted,” Pusha explained. “I have a very mean couplet in this song that describes what Reagan did and how Nancy [Reagan] tried to be down too, so we decided to showcase that with the jellybean.”

Nicki Minaj’s Turns Gospel (VIDEO)

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As reported by The BoomBox, Nicki Minaj’s smash hit ‘Super Bass’ has received unlikely covers by everyone from country music star Taylor Swift to 8-year-old YouTube sensation Sophia Grace Brownlee. Now, it looks like the female MC’s hit has gotten the remix treatment from one of the most unlikely sources of all.

A group of University of Florida students have remade Minaj’s rap song into a Christian tune about falling for a fellow Christ lover, and have renamed it ‘Super Grace!’ The parody was written by University of Florida student Raychel Manko, who made an accompanying music video with her UF friends to enhance the holy experience.

In the visuals, Manko pays tribute to Minaj’s eccentric fashion sense by rocking an electric-blue wig.

She raps in a church while standing at a pulpit, replacing Nicki’s lyrics with, “This one is for the boys with the boomin’ system/ Top down, AC with the coolin’ system/ When he come up in the club, he be blazin’ up/ Got stacks on deck like he savin’ up,” with her own holy verse, “this one is for the boys with the true religion/ And love with the lord and done with sinnin’/ When he come up in the church he be praisin’ up/ Always tithes, but he’s still savin’ up.”

Manko herself calls the spoof “a humorous, somewhat exaggerated commentary about the single Christian girl’s struggle to appreciate the wonderful Christian man in her life while still guarding her heart and waiting patiently upon the Lord.”

Watch the ‘Super Grace’ video below!

Common Says “I’m to Hip-Hop What Obama Is To Politics”

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“How can I say this? Fuck it, I’m the greatest!”

Common is pacing the room like a prizefighter, his left arm extended above his head as he mouths the first 10 words to “Sweet,” a song off his new album that is anything but. As the speakers rattle at Roc the Mic Studios in Manhattan, Common nods along to the rhythm and echoes weighty declarations like, “I’m to hip-hop what Obama is to politics,” and “I’m the franchise, so I rock my own chain.”

“Sweet” may be the cockiest track that Common has ever recorded, but it feels at home on his insatiable new album, “The Dreamer/The Believer,” released Dec. 20, 2011, on Think Common Music/Warner Bros. Records. Ditching the electronic vibe of 2008′s disappointing “Universal Mind Control” (G.O.O.D. Music/Geffen), Common has regained his soulful swagger on his ninth studio set with the help of No I.D., who produced the entirety of “The Dreamer/The Believer.” The project debuted at No. 18 on the Billboard 200 with 69,000 copies sold (according to Nielsen SoundScan) and scored favorable reviews from such magazines as XXL, Paste and Prefix.

Common had grown up in Chicago working with No I.D.-the producer was heavily involved in early Common projects “Can I Borrow a Dollar” and the rapper’s breakthrough, “Resurrection” (which No I.D. also produced in its entirety) — but the pair hadn’t stayed in close contact as No I.D. moved on to helm tracks for artists like Jay-Z, Ghostface Killah and G-Unit. After running into each other at the 2006 premiere of Common’s film “Smokin’ Aces,” the two bonded again, and in September 2010 they laid down a handful of tracks at No I.D.’s Los Angeles studio.

“Working on this, it was more like, ‘We need an interlude, we need an emotional song, we need a single/radio song, we need a club song,’” says No I.D., who was named Def Jam executive VP of A&R in August. “You can think about the whole process, knowing what’s there already, versus going in to work with somebody and not knowing what else they’re going to get from somebody else.”

Common had wrapped primary work on the album in March when an invitation from first lady Michelle Obama to attend a poetry event at the White House pushed him in the middle of a conservative media cross-examination. Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin condemned the rapper’s track “A Song for Assata,” which focuses on the controversial conviction of former Black Panther member Assata Shakur and appears on his fourth album, “Like Water for Chocolate,” as a plea for Shakur, who has maintained her innocence in the 1973 killing of a New Jersey police officer. Common, who attended the May 11 reading without incident, says the media scrutiny simply helped spread the message of “A Song for Assata.” “Even if they did delve into my lyrics, they’d see that I was speaking up against police brutality,” he says.


The political controversy certainly didn’t scare away Warner Bros. Records: After spending a decade on Universal Music (and the past seven years under the umbrella of fellow Chicago native Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music, where No I.D. served as label president), Common announced a distribution deal with Warner on June 24 for his own imprint, Think Common Music, which will primarily handle the release of “The Dreamer/The Believer.” “That was more of us wanting to take control of our assets, in a situation where we could own our masters,” manager Derek Dudley says.

“The Dreamer/The Believer” was originally slated for a Nov. 22 release, but was pushed back to Dec. 20 partly because of Common’s commitment to “Hell on Wheels,” a new western TV series that filmed its first season last summer in Calgary, Alberta, and premiered Nov. 6 on AMC. Show creators Joe and Tony Gayton describe the rapper, who stars as a freed slave named Elam, as the hardest-working man on the set.

“He was the first major part cast in this thing,” Tony Gayton says, “and we wanted to be very clear with him of the privations he would be suffering during the production of this television show-that it was going to be cold and rainy, there could have been snow, and it’s a basic cable show and there’s a brutal shooting schedule. He kind of smiled and said, ‘I’m up for all that.’”

In addition to “Hell on Wheels,” Common stars in the forthcoming independent film “L.U.V.,” scored a supporting role in Disney’s “The Odd Life of Timothy Green,” lent a voice-over spot to “Happy Feet Two” and appears in a bit part in the ensemble comedy “New Year’s Eve.” The acting gigs have ultimately helped spread the word about “The Dreamer/The Believer,” with recent appearances on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” and “Chelsea Lately” used to promote both his acting roles and the new album.

Common will likely hit the road next year, and Dudley says the rapper’s camp has discussed the possibility of a co-headlining tour with Nas, who appears on the new album track “Ghetto Dreams.” “There’s nothing set in stone,” Dudley says.

Wiz Khalifa Sued for $2.3M, Accused of Stealing ‘Black and Yellow’

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A Pittsburgh rapper is suing hip hop star Wiz Khalifa for $2.3 million over allegations that he stole the hit song “Black and Yellow.”

Max Warren performs under the stage name Maxamillion. He says Khalifa’s chart-topper “Black and Yellow” was lifted from his own song “Pink N Yellow.”

Warren says he copyrighted “Pink N Yellow” in 2008 and Khalifa copyrighted “Black and Yellow” in 2011.

The copyright infringement lawsuit was filed in federal court in Philadelphia and seeks at least $2.3 million in damages. It names Khalifa, whose real name is Cameron Jibril Thomaz, two other songwriters and several record companies and music publishers.

Warren’s lawyer declined to comment Thursday. A spokesman for Khalifa at Atlantic Records didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Most Anticipated Hip Hop Albums Of 2012

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The staff at Gutta World highlights 10 releases this year that we are personally excited about. And no, we’re not counting on “Detox” either.

After so many colorful releases in 2011, Hip Hop fans have a lot to look forward to in 2012. No, we’re not actually basing our hopes on Dr. Dre’s Detox or Jay Electronica’s elusive debut, the mythical merger of Nas and DJ Premier or the long-delayed complete reunion of Goodie Mob. Like any fan, we would love if any or all of those released before we purchased new calendars, but there are a plethora of albums already underway that have a ton of promise in making this year musical.

Younger artists who had powerful impact in ’11 as well as some “golden era” alumni keeping the hardcore alive are slated to make bold statements with their music this year, and the Gutta World staff sat down and compiled 10 releases that we can count on, and why we think they’ll make 2012 all the more exciting.

The Ecology by Fashawn


Few debut albums in recent memory were as potent and honest as Fashawn’s 2009 debut Boy Meets World. The independent release, produced entirely by Exile, helped rush the forefront of a West Coast renaissance of music coming from young emcees with wisdom well beyond their years. Late this summer, when the Fresno DXnext alum announced that he was going to uphold the formula with Ex on the boards, the Gutta World staff rejoiced. Expect colorful sample-driven sounds and common-man themes as the Young Santiago helps expand his legacy as one of the more resonant voices of this time. As Common, Talib Kweli and Mos Def all began as independent artists in the ’90s before reaching mainstream stature, Fash is another poised to have that kind of impact.

Trouble Man by T.I.


2010′s No Mercy felt like a rushed T.I. album, as the Grand Hustle founder was quickly recording as a free man before serving for his latest (and hopefully last) felonious brush with the law. Given Tip’s track record for every-other-album being outstanding (see Paper Trail and King), the album sharing a name with the Marvin Gaye hit sounds audiobiographical and brutally honest before it even nears roll-out. Hopefully the man who made Atlantic Records relevant to Rap music can go in and delicately walk that line with a mainstream-friendly album that still carries plenty of trappings.

The Kolexion by Bumpy Knuckles & DJ Premier


Dating back to O.C.’s Jewelz, Bumpy Knuckles and DJ Premier share a musical chemistry that reflects their strong personal bonds. Two “kings of the underground sound,” these masons of the East Coast Hip Hop sound have teamed up for a March album that’s fully collaborative. Whereas 2000′s Industry Shakedown was a mosiac from the likes of Pete Rock, Diamond D and The Alchemist, The Kolexion is a project the fans have been asking for and brings Premier back to one of the fiercest emcees of the Gang Starr Foundation glory years. We anticipate a mosaic of wisdom and aggression.

Live From The Underground by Big K.R.I.T.


Few artists have the ability to appeal to the streets and the college campuses as well as Meridian, Mississippi’s Big K.R.I.T. With two mixtapes that easily could have been albums held in the highest regard, the Cinematic/Def Jam emcee, like J. Cole has the ability to make an album entirely by himself that could change the face of Hip Hop. Given K.R.I.T.’s history of working with icons that influenced him such as 8Ball & MJG, Devin The Dude and Ludacris, even if that’s not the case, the expectations for this are high. Plus, with Sha Money XL (who made classic albums with 50 Cent and Game as G-Unit Records’ former President) having a strong hand in the project, this is an album that could prove to be another Def Jam southern game-changer in the line of debuts from Ludacris, Young Jeezy and Rick Ross.

Good Kid In A Mad City by Kendrick Lamar


After making the “album of 2011″ (according to us, anyway), Compton, California’s Kendrick Lamar is expected to go right back and drop another one. Good Kid In A Mad City, as its known now anyway, finds Jay Rock’s lil’ homie dealing with rumors of an Aftermath deal, Tech N9ne, Game, and Drake working with him, as well as a whole different place than he was in just a year ago. We hope the supporting cast is as obscure as they were last time (GLC, RZA, J. Cole, Terrace Martin), but that one of the smartest 24 year-olds you’ll ever meet has more anthems that carry Hip Hop out of its stupor.


God Forgives, I Don’t by Rick Ross


Few superstars have the ear for beats that Ricky Rozay possesses. Just as Teflon Don was one of the best-produced albums in recent years, we expect a refreshed (hopefully healthier) Rawss to make another gem. With the Maybach Music Group compilation and Wale’s sophomore LP being winners of 2011, this seems in the cards to one of the biggest voices and personalities in Rap since the 1980s. Moreover, like Drake and Lil Wayne, Rick’s guest-lists usually pack surprises that change lives, just ask Styles P.

R.A.P. Music by Killer Mike & El-P


Ten years ago, this collaboration would have sounded like a clunky April Fool’s joke. However, Company Flow-meets-Dungeon Family next year, as Brooklyn-meets-Adamsville. Mike Bigga and El-Producto have been at work on this album for years, and two of the smartest guys in Hip Hop music are expected to make joints that sound informed as well as experimental. Hopefully it puts each talent in front of audiences previously not exposed to their greatness. El-P’s track record with producing others’ albums (see Cage’s Hell’s Winter and Cannibal Ox’s The Cold Vein) is of the highest level. We are trying to get subs back in the trunk before this rolls out.

Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded by Nicki Minaj


The emcee with 2010′s “Verse of The Year” has proved herself to be one of Rap’s most animated lyricists since Busta Rhymes. While her debut, Pink Friday may have been guilty of trying to do too much, after strong appearances with Lil Wayne, Drake and Big Sean, Oneka is the one to watch in ’12. Mainstream Hip Hop fans should tune in to see this 2008 DXnext alum step in and give Lil Wayne a run for his millions as YMCM’s sharpest spitter.

The Make Believe Album by David Banner


2005 belonged to Houston. 2008 belonged to Detroit. 2012 may belong to Mississippi. The Magnolia State’s Hip Hop pioneer David Banner, along with K.R.I.T. may shake things up with brutal honesty over-top self-produced beats. After making ethery commentary on 2011′s “Swag” (an inclusion on The Make Believe Album), expect D.B. to come out vocally swinging. In late ’10, David brought out one of his strongest works to date in Death of A Pop Star. Now removed from the controls of SRC Records, this Rap veteran may do for ’12 what Killer Mike did for ’08.

Godfathers by Kool G. Rap & Necro


For years, Necro’s rhyme delivery has been compared to Kool G. Rap, and the Psycho Logical Records’ founder will proudly admit that the Juice Crew spitter is a deep influence. As not all G Rap works have sounded cohesive since Roots of Evil, hardcore Hip Hop fans can count on this merging of the musicians to sound grimier than New York in the 1970s. Meanwhile, this is a perfect vehicle for Necro to bring his brand of “Death Rap” and amazing sources for sounds back into the ears of common Hip Hop fans. As Riches, Royalty and Respect went under the radars of most, this is a perfect collaboration for two cult followed icons.

What albums are you most looking forward to in 2012?

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