Will Kanye West Run Into The Same Problem? [VIDEO]

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Do you think Kayne West is going to run into the same shit as Kris Humpries? Tell us what you think!

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KAYNE WEST Has A Case of Theraflu

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The people at Theraflu insist they’re not as stuffy as you think … claiming they DID NOT force Kanye West to change the title of his new song. Rumors are swirling that Kanye buckled under legal pressure from the company behind Theraflu — but both Kanye and the cold medicine people claim it’s all BS. In fact, the Theraflu people sent us a statement about the situation … telling us, “Novartis Consumer Health did not ask that the name be changed — that request would be way too cold.”

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Rap Wins But Not At The Grammy

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Date: Saturday, January 28, 2012



Since its beginnings in the 1970s, rap music has transformed from an underground, street-based sound to a definitive part of pop culture, transcending race and becoming one of the strongest — and most prolific — voices of today’s generation. But at the Grammy Awards, rap has had a long-lasting losing streak in the top categories.

The hip-hop sound — first recognized at the 1989 Grammys — has garnered numerous prestigious nominations over the years, and for 10 of the last 14 years, rap acts have either led or tied for most Grammy nominations. But rarely will a hip-hop act win one of the show’s top four honors — album, song and record of the year, along with best new artist. Instead, rap acts tend to win rap awards.

50 Cent, who won his first and only Grammy two years ago, believes Grammy voters are out-of-touch and need a fresh outlook on what’s going on in contemporary music.

“I think that the board is a lot older and they’re conservative, so some of the content in the music is offensive on some level,” said 50 Cent, who famously interrupted Evanescence’s best new artist speech by walking onstage when he lost to the rock group in 2004. “There’s a lot of people that don’t accept that hip-hop culture is now pop culture.”

This year, hip-hop leads the Grammys in nominations again, with Kanye West earning seven; it’s his third year as the show’s top-nominated act, and his fourth overall (he tied Mariah Carey and John Legend for most nominations at the 2006 Grammys). While his song “All of the Lights” is up for song of the year, his critically revered fifth album, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” didn’t score an album of the year nomination, a shock to many. Even Jimmy Jam — the chair emeritus of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences — was surprised by West’s snub.

“I think he’s one of the genius artists, and I’m saying this as a person who’s worked with Michael Jackson and Prince, so I don’t throw that word around lightly,” Jam said. “So, yes, I was surprised.”

West’s album with Jay-Z, “Watch the Throne,” was also left out of the top album category; both CDs are nominated for best rap album.

Jay-Z, who once boycotted the Grammys because of the show’s lack of love for hip-hop, says Grammy nominations are “cool,” but he doesn’t use the accolades as a barometer of his success.

“The Grammys and all of those other things, they’re fine and it’s a good way for everyone to get together amongst their peers and collect some trophies at the end of the night, but my whole thing is for the people, as long as the people accept it — that’s my real Grammy,” Jay-Z said. “As long as it connects with an audience in a way.”

But Steve Stoute, the former record executive who accused the Grammys of being irrelevant last year in a full-page advertisement in The New York Times after Eminem and Justin Bieber lost top awards, says there is a bigger problem. Stoute believes The Recording Academy doesn’t have board members who understand hip-hop as a true art form.

“If (The Recording Academy) understood that, then (rappers) would be scoring technical points,” he said. “They don’t get the technical points.”

In Grammy history, 14 hip-hop albums have received nominations for album of the year. Lauryn Hill has the distinction of being the first hip-hop artist to win album of the year for “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” in 1999, but the album, while featuring rap, was heavy on R&B. Hill also won best new artist that year, the second time a rap-based act had done so following Arrested Development’s win in 1993. A rapper hasn’t won the award since.

OutKast, the alternative, genre-bending hip-hop duo, followed in Hill’s footsteps with an album of the year win in 2004 for the double disc “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.” It, too, was not strictly hip-hop, as Andre 3000 blended rock and even jazz for his half of the project.


But while there have been high-profile wins, what stands out more are the losses. No rapper has ever won record or song of the year, and both Eminem and West, each nominated three times, have failed to win the album of the year trophy in years where they appeared to be critical favorites.

At last year’s Grammys, three of the five songs nominated for record of the year were rap smashes. Lady Antebellum’s crossover hit, “Need You Now,” ended up taking away the record and song of the year honors.

Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, the leader and drummer of The Roots, says the hip-hop community shares some of the blame for its losing streak. He says those in the genre aren’t involved enough with The Recording Academy, its community and its events.

“We’re not active members of (The Recording Academy) and I promise to take a more active role in that,” said Questlove, who has won three Grammys. “I should definitely come and be more involved in that. It’s taxing time-wise, but you know, I can either sit and complain … or do something about it.”

Jam says rap’s losses are also a reflection of the Grammy membership, which he said is “traditionally very heavy” with members of the country, jazz and classical music worlds.

“We’re a membership organization and the members vote. So, if the numbers of members who consider themselves of the hip-hop genre … if those numbers are lower, then the results probably point to that fact,” Jam said.

But Stoute, who is the author of “The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy,” had harsh words for Jam, a founding member of funk-soul band The Time and best known for producing multiple hits for Janet Jackson, Usher, Boyz II Men and more with partner . Stoute and Jam had a conversation after last year’s awards, and Stoute was upset that Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” wasn’t up for song of the year: At the Grammys, a track is not eligible for that award if it contains a sample or if it’s not an original piece of work; that disqualifies much of rap, which relies heavily on sampling (“Empire State of Mind” samples The Moments’ “Love on a Two-Way Street”).

Stoute said Jam should be helping hip-hop, and blasted the renowned producer.

“What he’s doing is not right,” Stoute said of Jam. “And if he’s supposed to be the guy who understands urban music because of his famed career as a producer … (and) if he’s not going to be sensitive to the creativity around hip-hop, I am sorry, we’re in trouble.”

Jam, who was The Recording Academy’s chairman from 2005 to 2009, says his goal was to diversify the Grammy community, and if people have an issue with traditional Grammy rules, they should demand a change.

“You can write a proposal,” Jam said. “I hope … people step up to the challenge rather than dismiss it, which is the easy thing to do.’”

Jam also said he helped bring forth the best rap song award at the 2004 Grammys, which honors rap tracks that contain samples. Jam also implemented a new rule in 2009 that allowed anyone nominated for a Grammy to bypass the regular application process and automatically be made a member for a year. He said he did it so that nominated acts would easily be involved in the organization the following year.

“If hip-hop is the most nominated, then they should be the best represented according to what I did,” Jam said.

Bad Boy Artist French Montana Doesn’t Know How To Use Email

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Recent Bad Boy signee French Montana has entertained deals from a variety of labels, but in a recent interview with Hot 97′s Angie Martinez, the ‘Shot Caller’ rapper revealed that his email illiteracy actually cost him a deal with Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music label.

“I met up with him one time and then I met up with him again. There were things that I was used to ’cause I was already moving. I’m like a money train,” the 27-year-old Moroccan-born MC said.

Unfortunately, his inability to use email rendered French’s communication with his potential boss null and void.

Kanye doesn’t have a phone. If you need to get in contact with Kanye, you have to email him,” French explained. “You can’t tell me how to do that. I don’t know how to use an email, so I guess me and you is never gonna talk, and I’m a put my career in your hands?”

French continued to say that he had great respect for ‘Ye, and that, had he signed with his label, the two would have made “history” together.

“He’s definitely talented and I felt like if I went there, we would have definitely made history,” he concluded.

French is currently gearing up to release his Bad Boy debut, co-executive produced by Diddy and Rick Ross.

Rihanna Named Top Selling Digital Artist

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Date: Monday, January 9, 2012



Adele may have ruled 2011 with the top album and single and Kanye West may be watching the throne, but it’s Rihanna who’s actually sitting on the throne, as far as digital tracks are concerned. The ”You Da One” pop minx has captured the title of best-selling digital artist of all time by Nielsen SoundScan, thanks to a whopping 47.5 million paid downloads of hits like “Umbrella,” “Rude Boy” and “We Found Love.”

Other artists have been in the game longer — such as Black Eyed Peas (No. 2 on the ranking, with 42.4 million), Eminem (No. 3, 42.2 million) and Beyoncé (No. 8, 30.4 million) — but RiRi has truly carved out her niche as a singles artist.

Of course, dropping releases at the rapid pace of one album per year doesn’t hurt. Check the top 10 best-selling digital artists below, and let us know your thoughts on where your favorites landed.

The 10 best-selling digital artists to date:

1. Rihanna (47,571,000)
2. Black Eyed Peas (42,405,000)
3. Eminem (42,290,000)
4. Lady Gaga (42,078,000)
5. Taylor Swift (41,821,000)
6. Katy Perry (37,620,00)
7. Lil Wayne (36,788,000)
8. Beyoncé (30,439,000)
9. Kanye West (30,242,000)
10. Britney Spears (28,665,000)

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.

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