In the high stakes battle for Hip Hop superiority, it appears that the two top money earners in the rap game – Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and Sean “Diddy” Combs respectively – are in a quiet duel to become the first billionaires by way of their shared industry.
With various streams of revenue flowing for both savvy businessmen, some unrelated to music, the potential is vast for both men according to a recent analysis from Forbes magazine. However, another Hip Hop mogul believes he and his team will eclipse Jay-Z and Diddy in the money race all in due time.
CEO of Cash Money Records Brian “Birdman” Williams threw his and protégé Lil Wayne’sYoung Money imprint names into the billionaire sweepstakes pot, defiantly stating that the YMCMB machine is well on its way to the top. “I think Young Money Cash Money would be the first billion-dollar brand in hip-hop,” said Birdman plainly in an email to Forbes referencing his label ventures. “We strong and growing every day as a brand and fast. Within the next few years we will be billionaires.”
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According to Forbes numbers, Diddy is at the halfway mark with an estimated net worth of $500 million, much of that tied up in Diddy’s business ventures such as his Sean John and Enyce clothing lines along with his stake in Ciroc vodka. Jay-Z is right behind his rich pal with assets that include a lucrative $10 million dollar Live Nation deal, the 40/40 club chain, cosmetic company Carol’s Daughter and his partial ownership of the New Jersey (soon to be Brooklyn) Nets amongst other deals. Continuing the dollar tally, only Dr. Dre and 50 Cent are within range for the coveted billionaire status.
The Young Money rapstress switches up her management team and links up with Gee Roberson and Kyambo “HipHop” Joshua.
More than a year after signing with Sean “Diddy” Combs and James Cruz as managers, Nicki Minaj is no longer associated with the business moguls. According to XXLMag.com, the Harajuku Barbie is now being managed by Gee Roberson and Kyambo “HipHop” Joshua from Hip-Hop Since 1978, which also manages Lil Wayne, Drake and more.
The news may be surprising for Lil’ Kim fans, as Roberson and Joshua previously served as A&Rs for Atlantic Records for her 2005 album The Naked Truth. The Queen Bee also made a similar move earlier this year by linking up with Fendi, who is credited with launching Nicki’s career.
Before Diddy, Nicki was managed by Debra Antney’s firm, but switched over after firing Antney in April 2010. Rumor has it that she expected Diddy to be more hands-on with her career, and decided to move on when she realized he wasn’t as involved as expected.
This year’s BET Awards will feature many old faces returning to glory and a plethora of new faces to come onto the scene.
Making a return is Chris Brown, who released his album F.A.M.E. this year. Brown leads the field with 6 nominations including Viewers Choice, Best Collaboration, and Best Actor.
In the category of Viewers Choice and Best Collaboration, Brown’s songs Look At Me Now and Deuces will be going head to head with his ex-girlfriend Rihanna, and her collaboration with Drake on What’s My Name.
Rihanna will also be among heavy competition in the best female R&B category. Other nominees include Beyonce, Jennifer Hudson, Keri Hilson, and Marsha Ambrosius.
Just days after the death of their member M. Bone, Cali Swag District was nominated for Best Group alongside Diddy’s Dirty Money, N.E.R.D., New Boyz, and Travis Porter.
This year’s Best Male Hip-Hop Artist will be an extremely tough category with all of the contenders having an opportunity to take the crown. The nominees are Kanye West, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, B.o.B., and Drake.
The Best New Artist category is also shaping up to be a battle pitting Bruno Mars against the likes of J. Cole, Willow Smith, Miguel, and Wiz Khalifa.
The show airs live on June 26th from the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium.
The NYPD has launched an investigation into reports that Hip-Hop mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs was provided a police escort from his concert in Manhattan, to an after party in Northern New Jersey.
According to New York’s 1010 WINS, Mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke with Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly earlier today (April 26th), when reports hit the net that Diddy received a three-car police escort for his convoy of vehicles after a show at the Hammerstein Ballroom.
Combs was originally supposed to take a helicopter to Club 4 Sixty 6 in West Orange, but a request put in to the FAA to fly and land the helicopter was received too late.
“Police escorts should be provided if there’s a security issue, period,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. “Either for you, for me, for everybody else…The bottom line is the police department should treat everybody exactly the same. If you don’t get a police escort, P. Diddy shouldn’t.”
The internal investigation seeks to determine who authorized the police escort for Diddy.
Boston, Celtics’ Center Shaquille O’Neal claims that had he been with Christopher “Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace on the night he was shot four times in the chest, the rapper might be with us today.
Christopher Wallace, aka Biggie Smalls, was gunned down on March 9th, 1997 in Los Angeles, California, just after a party held at the Peterson Auto Museum for the Soul Train Music Awards in 1997.
Shaq, who celebrated his 39th birthday on Sunday (March 6th), said that the day is bitter-sweet, due to his friendship and fond memories of the late rapper.
During an interview with “Outside the Lines” on ESPN, Shaq revealed that he met Sean “Diddy” Combs and Biggie around 1993, after B.I.G. agreed to record on the basketball star’s record “You Can’t Stop The Rain.”
The pair developed a close kinship that lasted up until the night of B.I.G.’s death.
Shaq said he saw B.I.G. at a tattoo parlor on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, just two days before he was gunned down. B.I.G. invited Shaq to the infamous after party, where the rapper would lose his life.
According to Shaq, he was supposed to meet B.I.G. at the after-party, but he fell asleep in his condo while waiting for his head of security, Uncle “Jerome” Crawford, who could not get past the front desk.
“I was in my condo. I had on a cold white suit, white hat and all that,” Shaq told Outside the Lines. “I was on my way. I was dressed. Usually Uncle Jerome will just come up, but I guess he tried to call and the front desk wouldn’t let him through. I just fell asleep. I woke up about 4 o’clock from a call from my mother.”
The news Shaq’s mom Mrs. Lucille O’Neal delivered was shocking. Her son’s friend had been gunned down just hours earlier, by unknown assailants.
“She said ‘Did you go to the party?’ I’m like, ‘No, what’re you talking about?’ She said, ‘You know, your friend was shot and killed.’ And I was like, ‘What?’ So then I hung up with her and called some people and they told me what had happened,” Shaq told Outside the Lines.
Shaq addressed the murder in his 2001 autobiography Shaq Talks Back, when he wrote: “If I would have been standing by his truck, would the killer still have shot? I’ve always asked myself that question.”
Junior M.A.F.I.A.’sLil Cease also believes if Shaq had came to the party that evening, B.I.G. might still be alive.
“One dude in the car by his self,” Lil Cease revealed. “He just didn’t say nothing. He rolled up on the car, pulled his hand out the window and started firing the gun into the car, into biggie’s door. Big was just slumped over with this shocked look on his face, like he couldn’t believe what just happened.”
“I think that may would have changed things,” Lil Cease told ESPN’s Outside the Lines. “If Shaq would have said ‘you know what, I’ma come with y’all.’ I’m sure him and B.I.G. would have rolled together, because that’s the type of person B.I.G. was…I’m sure Shaq would have had security and I’m sure B.I.G. would have had enough security to come with him that day to make sure Shaq was alright. So I definitely think if Shaq would have been there, it definitely would have changed, definitely would have changed.”
While B.I.G.’s murder has never been solved, new hope has arisen in the pursuit for justice.
Hundreds of new documents were recently unsealed by the L.A.P.D. linking two former officers to the 1997 murder.
According to the new evidence, former L.A.P.D. officers-turned-criminals Rafael Perez and David Mack were involved with the murder of B.I.G., along with a man named Amir Muhammad, at the orders of Marion “Suge” Knight.
None of the men implicated in the rapper’s murder have ever been charged.
“I am fortunate enough to say that I knew him. Fortunate enough to say that he blessed me with 32-bars on my album and I’m blessed enough to say he knew me and I knew him. So I don’t really think about the bad times, I just good times, and he is the greatest rapper.”
On Wednesday (March 9th), B.I.G. will be honored by Junior M.A.F.I.A. and other close friends during a celebration of his life.
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Christopher Wallace Foundation, to directly benefit the Christopher Wallace Memorial Foundation, and their unwavering efforts to make a difference in the lives of the youth.
C.W.M.F. representative Jan Jackson will be on site during the event, and will be scheduling interviews upon request.
Also in honor of Biggie’s memory, the tribute celebration will feature artists who were inspired by Biggie’s music, and who will pay homage to him through live performances.
Raekwon has been added to the lineup, which also includes Easy Mo Bee, DJ Premiere, Esquire, 50 Grand, Pharoahe Monch and Lady Luck.
Early Monday morning (October 18), breakthrough female emcee Nicki Minaj announced that rap mogul Diddy has been “dismissed” as her manager in favor of industry vet Benny Medina. Medina, who famously managed the careers of superstars like Mariah Carey and Brandy, will be the third manager for the Young Money rapper this year.
According to a statement by Minaj, “By now, everyone should know that I am really strict when it comes to my representation. I had sympathy for [Diddy], however, I feel as if I haven’t gotten the guidance the manager is supposed to give his client. Personally, I feel like I’m being managed by mother. ”
“Even if you play the smallest role on my team,” she continued. “I wish to see progress. I’d like to thank him for everything he has done for me; for taking me under his wing. I wish him the best with repping Rick [Ross]. But now that my album is about to drop, it’s time to get serious and stop playing games.”
This month, Minaj took home 3 BET Awards including Best New Artist and Best Female Hip-Hop Artist. Prior to Diddy, Minaj, whose much-anticipated album Pink Friday is set to drop on November 23, enlisted Waka Flocka Flame’s mother Debbie Atney as manager until April 2010.