Hip-Hop Mogul Chris Lighty Dies in NYC

Rap News - Chris Lighty

Chris Lighty, a hip-hop mogul who helped the likes of Sean “Diddy” Combs, 50 Cent and Mariah Carey attain not only hit records, but also lucrative careers outside music, was found dead in his New York City apartment Thursday in an apparent suicide. He was 44. He was found at his home in the Bronx with a gunshot to the head and was pronounced dead there, police said. No note was recovered, but a 9 mm handgun was found and there was no sign of forced entry, said Paul Browne, New York police spokesman. The shooting appears to be self-inflicted, authorities said.

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YELAWOLF – Radioactive

Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News, Rap Music News, Album Reviews, Artist Interview and Music Videos. - yelawolf-radioactive-cover

Michael Wayne Atha, better known as Yelawolf, is quite a talented rapper. Having been in Missy Elliott’s reality series Road To Stardom, then releasing an album and some mixtapes, and now his album Radioactive is nothing short of terrific. Radioactive is a great album that I think everyone is going to love. It’s produced by Eminem. Like I said, he is quite talented and he really should have more mainstream play.

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Jay-Z Protege J.Cole Preps For Music Spotlight

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J. Cole’s time on hip-hop’s sideline is almost over.

More than two years after being hand-picked by rap impresario Jay-Z as the first artist on the music mogul’s fledging Roc Nation imprint, the 26 year-old Cole hopes to repay his mentor’s faith in him when his long-awaited debut “Cole World: The Sideline Story” is released on September 27.

Thanks to the high-profile endorsement and several critically lauded free albums released online, Cole has established himself as a leading voice in a new generation of hip-hop talent that includes artists like Drake, Big Sean and Wale. The North Carolina-native told Reuters the album balances different styles and lyrical content that reflect his meticulous approach towards crafting music.

“Like some rappers have, on my debut I could have gone super commercial,” said Cole of the album, which features appearances by Drake, Missy Elliott, Trey Songz (who appears on the single “Can’t Get Enough”) and, of course, Jay-Z.

“I could have just filled the album with eight or nine potential singles and hope that some of them work. Or, I could have gone the other route and been super stubborn, using only the personal material and not even worry about selling any records. What I ended up doing was the perfect balance of both. I have a number of all of those styles; the personal, deep records that are almost tear-jerkers and the fun, carefree records and super lyrical songs.”

MENTORED BY JAY-Z

Cole began pursuing a career in hip-hop while attending college at St. John’s University in New York City. Eager to prove himself in 2007, he waited for Jay-Z outside a Manhattan studio for hours in hopes of passing a demo CD to the legendary Brooklyn emcee, who initially brushed him off.

But two years later, upon hearing the song “Lights Please” from Cole’s first mix tape “The Come Up,” Jay-Z made the young artist the centerpiece of his new Roc Nation venture, and Cole credits his boss for contributing to his growth as an artist.

“He gave me a long leash to try and figure this thing out, make mistakes along the way, do the right thing,” said Cole. “He was always there overseeing and looking over my project and giving me advice on what direction I could take.”

Cole said that for a six-month period, he would bring his mentor potential singles, play songs for him and try to prove his worth.

He said he learned not to wait before he had a full song to pitch, but to take Jay-Z ideas that could be fleshed out by working with the head man.


“You get advice just through conversation,” Cole said about their relationship. “It’s not always about music. It’s about personal stories that happened when he was coming up, like when he realized he was on another level, when his fan base changed and how he handled it.”

Jay-Z’s advice for dealing with fame should be particularly useful to Cole, who’s own celebrity status is on the rise.

Earlier this month, he had his first brush with the tabloids when rumours began to swirl that he recorded a sex tape with fellow Roc Nation artist Rihanna while serving as an opening act on the singer’s Loud tour. Cole quickly denied there was any tape.

Even with the new found attention and pressure of high expectations, Cole is confident his debut will satisfy both his fans and his critics.

“I just want to win for everybody,” he said. “I want to win for myself, I want to win for my fans, I want to win for Jay-Z and the label and my management. Even more than myself, I want everybody else — the fans and the people I’m in business with — to be rewarded. I want them to know that they were right and they were dealing with something special.”

Rapper Missy Elliott Has Thyroid Disease

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Rap star Missy Elliott says she has Graves disease, a thyroid problem that caused her hair to fall out and shut down her nervous system. But the condition is rarely life-threatening, and the 39-year-old Grammy winner is exercising regularly under medical supervision.

“My nervous system shut down, you know,” Elliott said in an episode of the show “Behind the Music”, which will air on June 29 on VH1. “Your skin is dry, your hair falls out, you wake up, and your eyes feel like they’ve got rocks in them.”

Elliott, who is known for the hit songs “Get Ur Freak On” and “Work It”, was diagnosed with Graves disease in 2008 but kept her condition private, her publicist Anne Kristoff revealed. “Elliot pretty much exercises every day, so she’s committed to her health,” she added.

Graves disease cannot be cured, but its symptoms can be mitigated with treatment, according to the medical organisation, Mayo Clinic. Patients with Graves disease have a thyroid gland that overproduces the hormone thyroxine, which increases the body’s metabolic rate and can affect a person’s appearance and energy levels.

Elliott gained fame in the mid-90’s and has won four Grammys since then. However, she has not released a new album since The Cookbook, which came out in 2005. Currently she is working on an album tentatively titled Block Party, with producer and rapper Timbaland.

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.

Source: Allhiphop.com



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