Common Leaves Universal Records After 10 Years, For Warner Bros.


Chicago rapper Common has inked a new deal with Warner Brothers Records according to reports.

Common and Warner Bros. co-president/CEO Todd Moscowitz made the announcement yesterday (June 24th), during an outdoor concert in New York.

According to, Common addressed the crowd in the Warner Bros. records courtyard, where he expressed gratitude for the new deal.

“I’m very grateful to be a part of this family, to be a part of this team,” Common told the crowd, which gathered to watch the free outdoor concert.

“We have very inspirational, exciting music to team up with you. We’re just open to what this change can bring,” Common said.

Common began his recording career on Relativity Records, which was eventually acquired by Sony Music Entertainment.

The rapper/actor released three albums with Relativity, including 1992′s Can I Borrow a Dollar?, 1994′s Resurrection and 1997′s One Day It’ll All Make Sense.

Common’s stint with Universal began in 2000, when he signed with MCA Records and released his first album for the label, Like Water for Chocolate.

Common, had been signed to Universal Music for the past 10 years.

His last album was 2008′s Universal Mind Control.

Beyonce, B.E.P, Kanye, and Jay-Z Top Nominees at Grammys

Posted: Saturday – December 4, 2009

At the Grammy nomination award show which aired on Wednesday December 2nd, hip-hop was there and represented in a big way. Hosted by LL Cool J himself, the nomination show featured all of the nominations for some of the biggest artists and songs of the year.

Beyonce headlined the event with an astonishing 10 nominations including record of the year, song of the year, and album of the year. Her Hubby Jay-z, as well as Kanye West and the Black Eyed Peas were all nominated for 6. These nominations include categories from Best Rap song of the year to Album of the year. The up and coming artists such as Drake and Kid Cudi, were nominated for 3 apiece both fighting in the category Best Rap Song.

Other artists such as Eminem, T-Pain, Common, Flo Rida, and Mos Def also were involved in the nominations in hopes to adding another Grammy to their wall. The 52nd annual Grammy Award Show, will be on January 31, 2010 at the Staple Center in Los Angeles, and will have some of the biggest names in music performing. Here are some of the categories with the nominations of Hip-hop’s best!

Best Rap Solo Performance

•Best I Ever Had


•D.O.A. (Death Of Auto-Tune)

•Day ‘N’ Nite
Kid Cudi

•Casa Bey
Mos Def

Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group

•Too Many Rappers
Beastie Boys & Nas

•Crack A Bottle
Eminem, Dr. Dre & 50 Cent

•Money Goes, Honey Stay
Fabolous & Jay-Z

•Make Her Say
Kid Cudi, Kanye West & Common

Kanye West & Young Jeezy

Best Rap Song

•Best I Ever Had

•Day ‘N’ Nite
Kid Cudi

•Dead And Gone
T.I Ft Just Timberlake

•D.O.A. (Death Of Auto-Tune)

•Run This Town
Jay-Z, Rihanna & Kanye West

Best Rap Album

•Universal Mind Control


Flo Rida

•The Ecstatic
Mos Def

•The Renaissance

For More information on the nominees and the categories, go to

Queen Latifah Talks Women in Rap, New Album Material and Tour

Posted: Thursday – October 8, 2009

Within the confines of the current rap scene, Queen Latifah has seen a shift in the landscape, with a noticeable lack of female rhymesayers.

So much so, the veteran entertainer admitted to USA Today how concerned she was about hip-hop’s silent female representation in rap.

“Never in my career do I remember rap being so male-dominated,” Latifah said. “In videos, women are basically shown as the girl you shake the booty with. They’re objectified.”

Although it may seem non-existent, Latifah is quick to say that “there are females out there who can rap, who listen to rap” while advocating the importance of equal representation in the music.

Missy and Lil’ Kim and the young up-and-coming ones need an opportunity to be heard,” she said. “I think we’re all masculine and feminine, and a society can’t be right if you don’t honor the feminine voice.”

Latifah’s comments come amid her return to rap with her latest album, Persona. The release, which features appearances from Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes and Mary J. Blige as well as production from Cool & Dre and The Neptunes, follows the Oscar nominee’s forays into singing with 2004’s The Dana Owens Album and 2007’s Trav’lin’ Light.

Among the songs featured on Persona is “The World,” a song in which Latifah alludes to an incident in which she was molested when she was 5-years-old by a male babysitter.

According to the rapper, the tune provided the perfect outlet to express her feelings regarding the incident.

“It was important for me to write that, to get it off my chest. And to discuss it with a therapist, and tell my parents — which I did, eventually, though it took me about 20 years. And hopefully it will be helpful to someone out there who has gone through a similar situation,” said the rapper, who admitted the incident “left me not knowing how to deal with certain things.”

In support of Persona, which was released in August, Latifah will embark on a month-long concert tour.

The outing, which is scheduled to kick off November 1 in Seattle, will be a welcome experience for the rapper, who expressed her excitement at hitting the road with her new material.

“I know I’ll have so much fun rocking these new songs on stage, and, of course, playing older favorites,” she said.

Outside of music, Latifah will return to the big screen as she appears in the upcoming romantic comedies Valentine’s Day with Jamie Foxx and Jessica Alba and Just Wright with fellow rapper/actor Common.

Both films are slated to hit theaters next year.


Bone Thugs, Akon, Swizz Beatz Sued Over "I Tried"

Posted: Thursday – July 16, 2009

Popular Hip-Hop group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, producer Swizz Beatz and R&B singer Akon have been hit with a lawsuit by a Texas-based music publisher.

Songster, which is located in Fort Worth, Texas, filed the lawsuit in the Central District of California yesterday (July 14).

The company claims the Bone Thug’s lead single from their 2007 album Strength and Loyalty illegally lifted portions of the 1978 track “When The Day Will Come (aka KRSNA)” by group Rasa.

The lawsuit lists a variety of Hip-Hop artists who have sampled chanting from the song, which has been incorporated into tracks by KRS-One (“Beef”), Black Rob (“Can I Live”), Common (“Take It Easy”) and others with permission.

Songster also names Akon, the track’s producer, Swizz Beatz, owner of the Full Surface record label, Interscope Records, Sony A.T.V. Publishing and Universal Music Group in the lawsuit.

Songster claims they notified each defendant in writing about the infringement, but the album and song was still sold as physical CD’s and digital downloads.

Songster seeks to take the case to trial, to determine the amount of damages the original producer and songwriter of “Everything You See is Me” are entitled to.

They are also demanding all profits earned from the sales of Bone Thug’s track, in addition to removing any CD’s containing the track from being sold through physical and digital stores.


Common, Queen Latifah Find Love In 'Just Wright'

Posted: Friday – June 19, 2009

Rappers/actors Common and Queen Latifah have signed on to star in a new Fox Searchlight film titled Just Wright.

Queen Latifah plays a sports trainer, who falls in love with a professional basketball player, while attempting to rehabilitate him from a career-threatening injury.

The script was written by Michael Elliot, while Latifah, long time partner Shakim Compere and Debra Martin Chase will produce the movie, with Sanaa Hamri directing.

Common, who is currently shooting Date Night, recently had a high profile role in the movie Terminator Salvation, which has raked in over $165 million dollars in box office revenue in the U.S. since being released in May.

Shooting on Just Wright is slated to begin next month, while the movie is expected to be in theaters nationwide sometime in 2010.


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