Kanye West’s ‘Monster’ Video Banned By MTV

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The music video for Kanye West’s single Monster has been banned by MTV. The television network made the decision to pull the video in response to an outcry over the way women are being portrayed in the footage.

At the forefront of the outrage are two activists Sharon Haywood and Melinda Tankard Reist, who created a petition asking MTV and Universal Music Group to stop promoting the video, and in the process managed to get over 1,600 signatures.

“The mainstreaming of videos like this increases desensitized and callous attitudes toward violence against women,” said Reist, one of the campaign’s originators. “Young people are seeing images and absorbing harmful messages which glamorize misogyny and brutalize women.”

Adding, “Women are reduced to sex-doll like playthings. So great is the level of desensitization that the barbaric treatment of women and girls is seen as normal and to be expected. We decided to run this campaign because we wanted to challenge the status quo.”

Their work isn’t completely done though, pointed out Reist, who said that they are determined to continue their campaign until Universal Music Group responds to the petition.

Monster collaborators Jay-Z, Rick Ross, and Nicki Minaj appear in the video alongside West.

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Jay-Z Signs Jay Electronica To Roc Nation

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Posted: Sunday – November 14, 2010

Jay-Z signed Jay Electronica to Roc Nation tonight at an exclusive music industry function tonight in New York City.

The signing ended years of speculation as to where Jay Electronica would call his recording home.

“We’re trying to reintroduce magic to Hip-Hop,” Jay-Z said from the stage at a club called The Bar.

The event was set as a magic with several oddities performing, including a man deemed “The Human Slinky” and magicians.

Jay Electronica performed for the crowd and the DJ later played his song with Jay-Z.

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Eminem: “I Had To Learn To Write And Rap Again”

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Posted: Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How bad was Eminem’s descent into prescription drug addiction? It not only nearly robbed him of his life, it scrambled his brain so badly that he literally had to learn how to rap again, he revealed to the New York Post.

On the eve of his historic two-night stand at Yankee Stadium with Jay-Z #8212; and his two VMA wins #8212; the paper spoke to Slim Shady, 37, about his tumble into drug addiction and the long, hard road to redemption on his hit album Recovery.

“I had to learn to write and rap again, and I had to do it sober and 100 percent clean,” Em said, explaining the more mature, focused nature of his rhymes on Recovery. “That didn’t feel good at first … I mean it in the literal sense. I actually had to learn how to say my lyrics again #8212; how to phrase them, make them flow, how to use force so they sounded like I meant them. Rapping wasn’t like riding a bike. It was [as much] physical as mental. I was relearning basic motor skills. I couldn’t control my hand shakes. I’d get in the [recording] booth and tried to rap, and none of it was clever, none was witty and I wasn’t saying it right.”

The rapper recalled taking his first Vicodin when he was 24 or 25, back before he could afford anything he wanted. “It was easy in the beginning,” he said. “I didn’t have the money to get really involved in drugs. I’d do them when somebody offered them to me. As my career took off and the crowds got larger and life got faster, I reached out for that sh– more and more. I used it as a crutch to calm my nerves. Especially the sleeping pills.”

But as his addiction deepened, the drugs began affecting his art, stifling his creativity, shutting off his brain and making him so lazy he preferred watching TV to making new tracks. He said that while listening to albums such as 2004′s Encore, he can hear how high he was in the music. “I think the drug use was obvious,” he said.

While late partner Proof tried to get him off the pills, Em said even hearing deep concern from his childhood best friend wasn’t enough to get him to come clean. “He’d say what was on his mind,” Marshall said of Proof. “But as close as he was, it didn’t matter. I wasn’t ready to listen. There wasn’t a person who could tell me I had a problem.

What came next was a nearly four-year hiatus during which the rapper first went to rehab, but then relapsed and settled into a drug funk that he was only beginning to come out of when he released last year’s album Relapse. In retrospect, he realized that there were some problems with the record.

“I wasn’t disappointed when I put it out. When I felt that was later, when I was reassessing my work #8212; trying to figure out why my songs didn’t sound like they used to sound,” he said. “The further I got away from Relapse, I was able to hear the problems with all the accents I was using to slip in and out of characters, and how the serial killing didn’t work. The joke was over #8212; I ran it into the ground.”

He realized the problem was an obvious lack of “personal honesty” on the tracks, a situation he rectified on Recovery with such hit tracks as “Not Afraid” and the Rihanna collabo “Love The Way You Lie.” Once his head finally cleared, Em said, he was a new man, which might explain why he ditched plans to make Relapse 2 and start over with Recovery.

“When I got clean and sober, it was like I was a kid again,” he said. “Everything was new. Not to sound corny, I felt like I was born again. I had to learn my writing skills. I was relearning how to rap. I didn’t know if my MC skills were intact. But everything was fun and suddenly I started feeling happy. I hadn’t felt happy for a long time.”

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Jay-Z, Will Smith Comment On Willow Smith’s Deal With Roc Nation

Posted: Thursday – September 9, 2010

Jay-Z has confirmed that he has signed Will Smith’s daughter Willow to a new deal on his label, Roc Nation.

The rapper/mogul appeared on Ryan Seacrest’s show this morning and confirmed rumors that he snatched up Willow, whose song “Whip My Hair” has generated an instant buzz.

“We at Roc Nation are excited to work with Willow,” Jay-Z told AllHipHop.com in a statement. “She has an energy and enthusiasm about her music that is truly infectious. It’s rare to find an artist with such innate talent and creativity at such a young age. Willow is about to embark on an incredible journey and we look forward to joining her as she grows in all aspects of her career.”

Willow, 9, already has a career, having landed roles in I Am Legend and in Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.

“After meeting with several record companies, it was clear that Jay-Z, Ty Ty, Jay Brown and the Roc Nation staff was the unquestionable choice,” Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith told AllHipHop.com in a statement. “Their passion for Willow combined with their boundless vision and artistic integrity made Roc Nation the perfect home for our little girl.”

According to Jay-Z, Willow’s advanced beyond her years and has a vision for her career in the music industry, despite only being nine. He noted that superstars like Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder started their careers off young.

“I heard the record first before I knew that it was recorded by a nine year old and I was like man that record’s a smash,” Jay-Z told Ryan Seacrest. “I believe in superstars. I believe on big records on superstars and I think she has both.”

Rap runs in the family’s blood.

In 1985, Will Smith started off as a rapper in known as The Fresh Prince, from the streets of Philadelphia, along with his partner DJ Jazzy Jeff.

Willow’s 12-year-old brother Jaden also raps on a song called “Never Say Never” with teen idol, Justin Bieber.

And their mother, Jada Pinkett-Smith, front a hard rock band, Wicked Wisdom.

A release date for Willow Smith’s Roc Nation debut was not available as of press time.

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Ex-Drug Lord Rick Ross Sues Rapper Rick Ross

Posted: Saturday – June 26, 2010

California ex-drug kingpin Ricky “Freeway” Ross filed a trademark lawsuit against rapper Rick Ross in a California Federal Court on Friday June 18. According to the Miami New Times blog, Ross is suing the rapper for stealing his name, image and likeness to create a successful rap career.
Hip-hop website Allhiphop.com got a hold of the court papers earlier this week, revealing that Ross and his lawyer Melvin Sharpe Jr. are also suing Maybach Music — rapper Rick Ross’ label — Universal Music Group Recordings, Slip-N-Slide Records — the independent label the rapper first signed to before signing to a major — and Jay-Z, who was President of Def Jam Records when rapper Rick Ross signed to the label in 2006.

Jay-Z is named in the suit because, according to Ross, he is partially responsible for the trademark infringement since he allowed rapper Rick Ross to sing under that artistic name. Miami New Times reports that Jay-Z might have to testify in court, since Judge Percy Anderson has issued a summons that may require him to do so.

Allhiphop.com also reports that lawyers for Ross are seeking a temporary restraining order for preliminary and permanent injunction relief, to officially block the release of rapper Rick Ross‘ upcoming album, “Teflon Don.” The project is scheduled to be released on July 20, 2010.

Jay-Z and Eminem To Collaborate On New York and Detroit Shows

Posted: Thursday – May 13, 2010

Jay-Z and Eminem are all set to join forces in a pair of concerts in each entertainer’s hometown.

At the New York show, the two rap giants will play the very first concert at the new Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. That show is September.

A couple weeks before the New York show is the Detroit show on September 2 at Comerica Park.

Eminem made the announcement at game two of the Yankees and Detroit Tigers doubleheader in Detroit.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime set of shows, and I know we’re both really going to bring it to our hometowns,” Eminem said Wednesday. “The fans are going to love this and so am I. It’s going to be historic.”

The pair also collaborated on the popular DJ Hero video game earlier this year.

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