(AllHipHop News) Kanye West just previewed both his new album and clothing line on Jay Z's TIDAL streaming service. (See archived video below.)
The event offered guests like Jay Z, Lamar Odom, Kim Kardashian and family, Jaden Smith, A$AP Rocky, Ric Flair, and others who watched the Chi-Town rapper preview both ventures. The Kardashians arrived around 4:30 pm, all wearing white fur coats. Kanye West because playing the album, The Life of Pablo, shortly after.
Supermodels included Alex Wek, Veronica Web and Naomi Campbell all modeled the clothing line, along with thousands of others.
Jay Z has removed his classic album The Blueprint from Spotify. This is the second classic album he has taken out of the competing brand. You already know, Jay Z is down with TIDAL and so this presents a classic conflict of interest. But, it also deprives fans from getting the album from one of the biggest streaming services in the market. Is this smart? I guess so. I guess not. I am sure he's not making any money having it there. All good, Jay. I guess its download TIDAL or dig up my old CD.
(AllHipHop News) Late last year, news broke that British singer Rita Ora was suing Roc Nation in order to get out of her contract with the label. The company, founded by Jay Z, has now filed a counter suit against Ora.
In its cross-complaint, filed last Friday (Jan. 29) in California Superior Court, says it has "tirelessly promoted" Ora's career, spending over $2.3 million promoting and recording her 2012 album Ora. The filing calls for that $2.3 million to be returned, and for damages on the four remaining records in her contract.
According to Ora's lawyer, Howard E. King, Jay Z called the "R.I.P." performer after she filed her suit and the Hip Hop mogul said he would released her from the Roc Nation contract. King even referred to Jay as "gracious" and suggested Sony Music has been delaying the process.
"It was just a little twist, because Jay Z, we are told, has to answer to Sony Music, so that's been the hangup in having this go away," stated King. "But we're confident that Jay can resolve whatever he has to with Sony Music."
Rita Ora released one album under Roc Nation, 2012's Ora. The LP debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, and it spawned The Notorious B.I.G. sampling, UK hit record "How We Do (Party)".
(AllHipHop News) Has Rihanna's new album become a monster global smash already? According to the "Work" singer, her latest release Anti was downloaded 1 million times in under 15 hours. Rihanna broke the news the LP crossed the million download mark on Twitter.
The Roc Nation songstress partnered with Samsung to offer free download codes for Anti. Rihanna signed a reported $25 million sponsorship deal with the electronics company last year.
In 2013, Roc Nation head/Rihanna mentor Jay Z also offered his last studio album Magna Carta Holy Grail as a free digital download through a partnership with Samsung. MCHG moved over 1 million downloads in its first week.
Anti premiered on Tidal (which Rihanna is a part owner) on Wednesday night. The entertainment platform is also celebrating the 1 million downloads for the project. In addition, Anti was reportedly streamed over 13 million times in 14 hours.
The deluxe digital version of the album is now available on Tidal and iTunes today (January 29). A physical copy is expected to be released in the future.
AllHipHop.com reached out to Roc Nation for confirmation on the first day download numbers for Anti, but the label has not responded as of press time.
According to RadarOnline, Beyoncé is nearly five months pregnant. She recently shot a new music video in Los Angeles where she was pretty covered up.
"Although she didn't announce it or anything, it was pretty apparent from the way she was acting that pregnancy rumors seemed to be true. She was probably close to five months pregnant. Indeed, she used a stunt double for the crazier shots. It was pretty indicative she was covering up. She had a dress on, but this really big black hoodie covering up. That was the outfit she used for the whole shoot. But despite her efforts to hide it, she definitely had a little belly pouch."
RadarOnline's insider also claimed Bey was complaining about being nauseous and extremely tired. Rumor has it that Beyonce is trying to finish all of her shoots before her baby bump gets too big.
(AllHipHop News) Earlier today (Jan. 26), a lawsuit involving Jay Z and Parlux Fragrances surfaced. The perfume company alleges that Hov's breach of contract eventually lead to the manufacturer to seek an $18 million judgement, this according to TMZ. Back in 2013, Parlux contends that it secured a licensing deal with Jay Z to launch the fragrance, Gold Jay Z.
Both his name and his image were supposed to be used to help brand the product. With that in mind, Parlux purports that additional future scents were supposed to follow the first one. According to the perfume company, Mr. Carter neglected to uphold his contractual obligations.
[ALSO READ: Jay Z and Beyonce Win "Drunk In Love" Lawsuit] Parlux claims that Jay Z refused to show up at different scheduled appearances at Good Morning America and Macy's. Regarding the project, the iconic MC and entrepreneur also stands accused of neglecting to use his social media to help publicize the product.
Given Jay Z's earned respect, Parlux banked on hauling in about $50 million in a two year span. The disappointed has professed that it has yet to turn a profit. To add insult to injury, it also stated that stores are returning its unsold inventory. Parlux Frangrances actually claims that it has actually been hemorrhaging money.
Memphis Bleek stopped by the Breakfast Club to talk about the days of Roc-A-Fella, coming up under Jay Z, how the game has changed and evolved from then to now, and more. One of the most interesting things Bleek commented on was the break up of Roc-A-Fella. DJ Envy asked,
"What broke up Roc-A-Fella?.... At one time it was a perfect fit."
Memphis Bleek replied saying,
"I think it was ego. It wasn't money, everyone was making a ton of money. It was ego. When something happens one person wants to be responsible for it. People want to be certified and critically acclaimed, and they will die for it. That's what broke it up; ego. People just couldn't accept that Jay is that dude. He's the God."
Ego has gotten in the way of a lot in music. Bleek also says they were really a family at Roc-A-Fella, and the problem with units today, is there is no real loyalty.
(AllHipHop News) Back in 2013, Trayon Christian insisted he was wrongfully profiled at a Barneys New York store in NYC. After purchasing a $349 Ferragamo belt, Christian claimed he was stopped by two undercover NYPD detectives just because he was a young, black male. A Barneys employee apparently contacted police over concerns the debit card Christian used for the purchase may not have been his.
"Settling was in the best interest of the city," said Nick Paolucci, a spokesperson for the city's law department.
In 2014, Barneys agreed to pay $525,000 in fines to settle claims of racial profiling. The company also agreed to implement measures to reduce profiling of African Americans by employees. It is not clear if Christian or any other customers that filed complaints were awarded money directly from Barneys.
The Barneys "Shop & Frisk" or "Shopping While Black" stories became national news partly due to superstar rapper Jay Z debuting a special collection at the high-end retailer around the same time the profiling complaints became public.
There were calls for the Hip Hop mogul to cancel his partnership with Barneys, but Jay decided to move forward with the holiday release. The concerns of profiling eventually led to 100% of the proceeds from sales of the BNY SCC collection being donated to the Shawn Carter Foundation.
(AllHipHop News) Back in the early 2000's, State Property was the hottest crew to emerge from Philadelphia. SP member Oschino recently spoke with Mikey T The Movie Star about how the group started.
[ALSO READ: Beanie Sigel Talks Possibly Reuniting With State Property (VIDEO)] According to Oschino, State Property leader Beanie Sigel did not know many of the rappers in the group when they were first put together. Chino claimed most of them did not even know what the others looked like prior to connecting under Jay Z's Roc-A-Fella Records.
"We went to Hot 97 and rapped. People thought we knew each other, but we didn't," said Oschino. "I knew Freeway and Peedi, but I didn't know Beans."
It was determined Sigel would head the faction since he was the most well known at the time, but Oschino revealed he actually signed to the Roc without Beanie's help. The "Jail Letters" spitter and some of his friends were given the chance to rap for Jay, and he ended up earning a contract moments after rhyming for the Brooklyn boss.
"Jay Z walked in and said, 'I got 5 minutes.' I was like, 'How the f*ck he got 5 minutes? It's like ten people.' So I just said, 'I gotta go first,'" explained Oschino. "I just jumped up, rapped, and didn't stop. I ain't give nobody [else] five minutes. I got signed that day. I just boguarded brody, and got signed on the spot."
Rumor has it that one of T.I.'s producers is claiming a deal has been signed between T.I. and Jay Z's Roc Nation. T.I. has a new album, 'The Dime Trap,' coming out, and Jay Z will be featured on it as well. We aren't sure how true it is, but could you see it? Would this be a good move for Tip?
Check out this photo of Jay & Tip from a few months ago.
"The 3 young Kings seen in this photo came together for 1reason. Can u guess? Go head, Guess... CLUE: 3words 10letters..... I'll wait....Answer: "Da Dime Trap."
(AllHipHop News) Recently, Jadakiss shared his list of New York MCs whom he considers to be the best. Before delivering the concise list, the "Y.O." native contemplated why "Hip Hop is the only genre of music that gets semi-categorized." To strengthen his point he then added, "Hip Hop is the only genre of music that they break it down by the coast or demographically - West Coast rap; East Coast rap; Down South rap."
"If I was Kelly Clarkson right here you wouldn't ask what's your top five New York country artists," he told HipHopDX. Kiss then offered, "They don't say West Coast country or down south R&B, every other genre just is what it is." Later he gave this matter-of-fact reply, "But if you must have [my] top five New York artists it would have to be Biggie, Nas, my brother Styles P, Jay Z and the dog DMX."
What elements must an MC possess to be considered a Top 5 contender?
(AllHipHop News) With a musical mentorship record that includes Kanye West, Rihanna, and J. Cole, Jay Z has help turn several artists into platinum selling stars. It appears the Roc Nation boss is setting his eyes on a boy band member from the U.K. as his next protegé.
"Harry doesn't need any help with exposure; everybody in the world knows who he is," said Jay. "But he does need to make the transition from being part of a group to becoming an individual artist."
One Direction announced the group is taking a hiatus. However, Styles has not confirmed whether he will release an album as a solo act. If the England native does decide to release a project, Jay believes he can do a lot to enhance Styles' career.
"I can get him working with the bigger artists, the biggest producers - and have him as the biggest artist in the world within a year," added Jay.
Those words are similar to what fellow New York rapper 50 Cent said about Styles' former One Direction partner Zayn Malik. Last year, 50 expressed interest in working with Zayn and connecting him with top Hip Hop artists.
"If Zayn wants a rap career, just because of who he is, he is going to sell records," said 50. "But if he wants to be credible he has to be with the right people. I'd happily sign him up to my label, mentor him and have him working with the biggest rappers on the planet."
(AllHipHop News) Earlier this month, Rick Ross released his eighth studio album Black Market. Before the Maybach Music Group boss launched his decade-long career, he was a fan of Hip Hop. Tidal tapped Rozay to share the five albums from other artists that changed his life.
[ALSO READ: Rick Ross Speaks On Wale & Omarion Getting Snubbed By The Grammys (VIDEO)] Ross named the LPs in no particular order, but his entire list includes projects from the 1990's. The Miami native named Trick Daddy's Based On A True Story (1997), OutKast's Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik (1994), 2Pac's All Eyez On Me (1996), The Notorious B.I.G.'s Ready To Die (1994), and Jay Z's Reasonable Doubt (1996).
The exclusive video also featured Ross speaking about each album and its impact on him and the culture. In addition, he offered personal comments about Pac and Biggie.
"Of course we lost great artists, but 2Pac was the artist I witnessed grown men cry for," said Ross. "When I think of 2Pac, I can't go without thinking of Notorious B.I.G. - Christopher Wallace. Rest in peace to both of those icons who I feel are the two most influential artists."
Tidal subscribers can watch "5 Albums That Changed My Life - Rick Ross" at Tidal.com.
(AllHipHop News) Tech N9ne is one of the most respected rappers in the game. That is proven by the fact the indie artist can secure features from some of the top stars of the culture like Lil Wayne, Kendrick Lamar, T.I., and Busta Rhymes.
"Look at me though. Jay Z, if he sees this [picture of me] - I mean what is he going to say? He's going to say, 'That's Tech N9ne? That ain't the guy I remember back when we went on tour. He's worse now,'" stated Tech. "What is Jay Z going to do with that? So it has to be music driven."
He added, "Rihanna looks at that, [and she'll say,] 'Uh, what the f*ck is that, dude?'" Then they hear my music, and it's like, 'Oh, that's that guy. This n*gga looks like he's about to say, 'Hail Satan, see you in hell.'"
Tech went on to explain the photograph of him with what may be mistaken as a satanic symbol on his head actually stands for "worldly angel." The creator of Strangeulation Vol. II insists his talent speaks for itself and he is never changing his image.
(AllHipHop News) Atlanta-based rap stars Big Boi, Killer Mike, and T.I. are defending a Mississippi high school student's First Amendment rights. The trio is among a host of concerned citizens that filed a brief to the United States Supreme Court on why rap music is an art form protected by the Constitution.
Killer Mike, T.I., and Big Boi were also joined by Pharoahe Monch and Jasiri X in adding their names to the brief filed on behalf of Bell. Erik Nielson of the University of Richmond, Charis E. Kubrin of the University of California-Irvine, and Travis L. Gosa of Cornell University are among the main authors. Professors from several universities including USC, Columbia, Georgetown, Northwestern, and UCLA also signed on as friends of the court supporting Bell.
The brief references the artistic value of several Hip Hop acts including Afrika Bambaataa, Jay Z, Tupac Shakur, Eminem, Nas, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, and more.
Hip hop-a cultural movement comprised of performance arts such as MCing ("rapping"), DJing ("spinning"), breakdancing ("b-boying"), and graffiti ("writing")-began as a response to these dire conditions. Pioneers like Afrika Bambaataa (once a gang leader himself) used spiritual and political consciousness ("knowledge of self") to develop hip hop as a tool for ending gang violence by providing an outlet that transformed the inherent competitiveness and territoriality of gang life into something artistic and productive. Dance competitions, rap battles, and other competitive performances replaced actual fighting, and rap in particular eventually became an alternative, legal source of income for blacks and Latinos otherwise cut off from labor market opportunities.
In his memoir, Decoded, Jay-Z-one of the best-selling artists in history-recounts being following around New York City by the same "hip hop cop" for seven years and, at one point, being arrested for no reason other than so police could "paint the picture of me as a menace to society." JAYZ, DECODED 162 (2011). Jay-Z explains why rappers, as opposed to artists in other genres, receive such treatment: "The difference is obvious, of course: 11 Rappers are young black men telling stories that the police, among others, don't want to hear."
Perhaps recognizing the transformative power of hip hop, both in the U.S. and abroad, the Vatican included the song Changes by Tupac Shakur (a rapper well known for using violent rhetoric to attack institutions of power) on its official MySpace playlist in 2009. Jo Piazza, Tupac Song Selected for Vatican Playlist, CNN (Dec. 4, 2009). The song includes lyrics like "Give the crack to the kids, who the hell cares, one less hungry mouth on the welfare" and "My stomach hurts, so I'm looking for a purse to snatch." The Vatican- unlike the Disciplinary Committee and Fifth Circuit-apparently recognized the difference between artistic expression and literal truth.
Like Tupac Shakur, Taylor Bell was using his music to effect changes. In the final portion of the video for his song PSK da Truth, Bell says that in rapping about sexual misconduct at his high school, he is trying to raise awareness about similar injustices around the world: "It's something that's been going on, you know, worldwide for a long time that I just felt like, you know, I needed to address."
Songs like Ether reveal some of the most basic characteristics of rap as a creative form. Not only is the genre imbued with an inherent sense of competitiveness, it also is "a complex linguistic art where words are constantly in flux, changing meanings and intentions, texture and sound." ADAM BRADLEY, BOOK OF RHYMES: THE POETICS OF HIP HOP 89 (2009).
The decision by the court of appeals punishes a student for his art-and perpetuates unfair and inaccurate stereotypes-by mischaracterizing often used rap music phrases as "threats." The decision either failed to understand, or failed to acknowledge, Taylor Bell's rap song as artistic expression. As a result, Bell's petition for certiorari should be granted.