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Gerald Olivari


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BlackVibes.com Interviews... G-Unit

    

BlackVibes:


It's been 5 years since G-Unit dropped their debut album Beg For Mercy. Several mixtapes and solo albums later, 50 Cent, Tony Yayo and Lloyd Banks are back with their highly-anticipated follow-up album Terminate On Site.

At one point, the album was going to be called Shoot To Kill, however they eventually decided on a title that would be a little more store-friendly. Despite the name change, the content is expected to be just as hardcore.

As the group prepares for the July 1st release, they spoke with BlackVibes.com about their latest mixtapes, the Young Buck situation, and why they're still the hottest group in the game.



You've already dropped a couple of mixtapes this year. How did those projects turn out?


Tony Yayo: We dropped Return of the Body Snatchers first. That had me, 50, and Banks on there. It was crazy! The reaction we got from it was like an album. We got over a million downloads from ThisIs50.com so the proof is in the pudding. The second mixtape we dropped was Elephant In The Sand which also got over a million downloads. That sold more than Fat Joe's album. Big shoutout to Fat Joe on that one.

The third one we've got now is the Gangsta Grillz with DJ Whoo Kid and DJ Drama, the biggest DJs out there to do it. We're excited about that. That's coming before the release of T.O.S. which is coming July 1st. It features Polow Da Don, Swizz Beatz, Dangerous LLC, me and Lloyd Banks and whole bunch of other producers. It's gonna be crazy!



What should we expect from your upcoming album T.O.S. (Terminate On Site)?


Banks: You can expect energy. The record is definitely aggressive. It touches on a lot of different bases. You've got the club records, the real records, and the street records. It can't just be one thing. There are just too many real things going on right now in our personal lives and in everybody's lives. Straight Outta Southside is dedicated to Sean Bell. (YAYO - Rest In Peace to Sean Bell on that one.) I think a lot of people need this at this time because there's a sense of urgency out there. There are also a lot of new producers on there as well.



For the greater part of this decade, a lot of rappers have been trying to bring "real hip-hop" back, but the fact is..."real hip-hop" music never really left. Do you think some rappers are beating a Dead Horse or is it still a valid concern?

Yayo: (Laughs)

Banks: I think there


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Skillz Releases New Mixtape [FREE DOWNLOAD]

    

Design Of A Decade Cover

Rapper Skillz rarely releases mixtapes, but this time he's decided to give his fans a preview of what's to come. "I feel like doing something special when I do something -- something that will stand out from what else is being [done] at the moment," said Skillz.

The mixtape, Design Of A Decade, is hosted by J.Period and Don Cannon. It features Skillz rapping over classics from the '90s. "I had to start with the 90's cuz that music influenced me the most," said Skillz.

Skillz' new album Million Dollar Backpack is scheduled to be released on July 8th. It currently features Common, Talib Kweli, Freeway, and The Roots.

To download Design Of A Decade: http://www.zshare.net/download/12022285a6af7237/

For more information about Skillz: http://www.blackvibes.com/services/ms/info.asp?bv_keyword=skillz



Click To Enlarge Cover


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Obama T-shirt Displays Image Of A Monkey

    

Protest Video

A Marietta bar owner is selling an Obama '08 T-Shirt with the image of a monkey and several people are very angry about it. Mike Norman long-time owner of Mulligan's Bar and Grill says the image was not meant to offend and plans to continue selling them despite protests.

The T-Shirt features an image of Curious George eating a banana. Norman says he has been receiving requests for the shirt non-stop since he started selling them in April. "One guy in New Jersey wanted me to send him 100 shirts," said Norman, 63.

About a dozen protesters rallied on Tuesday outside of the restaurant, demanding that the owner stop selling the T-Shirt. Local TV station, FOX 5 Atlanta, was there to cover the demonstration. (Click Video Below For More Information)

The Curious George logo is a registered trademark of the Houghton Mifflin Company. They are the only ones who could legally request a cease-and-desist on the sale of the T-Shirt.

The Houghton Mifflin Company Headquarters can be contacted at:

222 Berkeley Street

Boston, MA 02116

617-351-5000

http://www.hmco.com


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BlackVibes:




How did you come up with name of your new album E-Life?


Stokley: One of the reasons why we entitled it eLife is because of the electronic world that we're living in. We were downloading and file-sharing different [tracks] for our songs. That's what's happening now. We also did some [songs] traditionally, but this project was about having one foot in the past and one in the future.

Some people were a little perplexed because nothing really touches on that [topic] in any of the songs. Sometimes you expect the title to be whatever is in the song, but in this case it's the essence of what the [album] is about.



Talk about the opening track "Baby Boy Baby Girl." What was the inspiration behind that song?


Stokley: The inspiration came from the base player, Rick. He was actually on the Internet and his little girl asked him to play with her – exactly like it happens in the intro of the song. He had been on the Internet for a while and he realized that he needed to spend some time with her because the kids and the human connection is really where it's at.

The song also talks about the things that people go through in real life. You've got single fathers that go through some hard times. Sometimes they get caught up in court system with the mother of the child. It's kinda unfair when you've got good dads out there and they get the short end of the stick.



What does it mean to you to still be performing and releasing albums 17 years after your debut album (Meant To Be Mint) dropped?


Stokley: It means that we have some dedicated, hard-core fans that really love what we do. We're really thankful. We don't take it for granted. That's our success. Some people measure their success differently – like record sales, platinum plaques, or CD appearances. But I think the testament is staying in the game and doing quality music while you're in the game. I think that is an incredible thing and we don't take it for granted.




There are a lot of media channels for people to connect to artists nowadays. What is the best way for your fans to connect to you personally?


Stokley: We're getting to be a lot more Internet-savy each day. You can see it on our site MintConditi


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BlackVibes.com Interviews... AZ

    

BlackVibeAZ:

AZ feels that game is lacking substance and he's prepared to serve it up on his latest album, Undeniable. The new album features Styles P, Ray J and Jay Rush, with production by Fame (M.O.P.), Large Professor, Nottz, Street Radio and more.


The 14-year veteran recently sat down with BlackVibes.com to discuss the album, his relationship with Nas, and his remarkable career.


What is the most important thing that an artist needs to have in order to maintain a successful music career?


AZ:

Your work ethic gotta be through the roof. At the same, you've gotta surround yourself with good people that know the business. If you do that, the sky is the limit.


You've dropped around 10 albums over that time period. Aziatic was definitely my favorite. Which ones were your favorites? ...and Why?


AZ:

I guess it would be Doe or Die because it was my first album and it came out nowhere. People felt like I had been in the game for a while because I was dealing with Nas, but I just got in the game. I had to jump into doing an album after that because of the high demand from Life's A Bitch. Doe or Die was my first baby, but I can also say Aziatic too because that was pinnacle of how I was movin' and how I felt.


Ever since you dropped that first verse on Illmatic, you've been linked with Nas. We all know about The Firm album. Has there been any consideration to you and Nas getting together again to collaborate on another album and what's you current relationship with Nas?


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BlackVibes.com Interviews... Day26

    



August 26, 2007. That's the date when five supremely talented young men were chosen by Diddy and MTV viewers around the world on the blockbuster Making The Band 4 season finale. Now, those same men - Brian Andrews, Mike McCluney, Qwanell Mosley (aka "Q"), Robert Curry, Willie Taylor - are poised to become R&B's latest breakthrough group, DAY26. The moniker is a tribute to the day when Brian, Mike, Qwanell, Robert, and Will went from unknowns to stars.

Most groups have arguments behind close doors, but they usually don't play out on TV. How challenging is it to have everyone know what's going on behind the scenes?

Will: I think it's a good thing. You get to see our flaws and see our growth. Sometimes you're at home and you get irritated. You're thinking "did they have to show that?" But at the end of the day it usually works. They see what you go through to get here. You get here and they love you for it. We really can't hate the engine that got us here.

How much of the show is close to how it really is?

All: Everything is real. Ain't nothing fake. Nothing [is just] for TV. Everything is real...Everything!

You didn't know each other before the group was formed. How have you been able to bond as group?

Q: We're from 5 different cities. At first you didn't know anybody and you're like... "I don't know this dude - I gotta check 'em out." But I can say now, as a group, we're like brothers. We're like a fraternity. We all love each other to death. We'll fight for each other. The chemistry is all love.

How did you deal with it when Diddy broke you down in the studio and said that you needed to get a vocal coach?

Rob: We watched the past episodes of Making The Band so we knew this wasn't going to be an easy ride. I think everything that Diddy does, no matter how painful it might feel at the time, it's always with good intentions. It's always for the best. We've actually seen the growth in him stopping in the studio for a minute and going to church and listening to choir. Maybe at the time it felt kinda bad, but the outcome of situation was the best thing that could have happened to us.

Brian and Robert, there was a point where Puffy listening to your song and said you didn't sound like a group. And Brian made a remark that Robert thought he was lead of the group, but after that scene it cut to y'all going to church. How did y'all resolve that matter?

Brian: It wasn't even like how it came off on TV. It was a situation where some things were said and the group as a whole wasn't comfortable with that. We just wanted to make sure we were on the same page. Rob is like a little brother. He reminds me a lot of myself. I have nothing against Rob. We're like family.

Rob: Now that was some good TV! We are 5 different guys coming from 5 different places. I can't expect everybody to take things the way you put it out. I felt like I had to adjust to cater to that because at the end of the day we all have a common goal. That's to make this money...and make this music...and make this magic. I felt like I had to sacrifice in some ways to fit this group better. Church did help it a lot. Church always puts me back in my place. I'm rooted out of the church. My father is a pastor so that was a big part of my deliverance out of that situation. God always steps in right on time.

How is the tension in the house with Danity Kane living in the same crib?

Q: We're in the house with the house with 11 different personalities. It's kinda weird because we don't know how each person is gonna act. But getting to kn


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BlackVibes.com Interviews... HEAVY VEE

    

BlackVibes:

Heavy Vee, born Vanessa Asbury in New Jersey, expressed her talent whenever she could, either at local talent shows, or just at home in front of family members. After a move to Newark, New Jersey, her mother worked two jobs and struggled to raise two daughters. Little Vanessa didn't let the family's lack of money stop her from performing, she spent most of her time in her room either practicing dance moves, or coming up with rhymes to express her daily emotions.

Inspired by Hip Hop artists that "kept it real" like Lil' Kim, Missy Elliot, Biggie Smalls, Tupac, and Salt n Pepa, she gained the confidence to share her own songs with others and booked her first ever live performance at a local steak house in Jersey, which lead to a deal with Razor and Tie. From these humble beginnings, Heavy Vee was born!



You said that you want to bring back real hip-hop music. What do you mean by that?


VEE:

Hip-Hop has changed. It went from real hip-hop to a new phase. I'm not going to say hip-hop has taken a turn for the worst, but it is different. So I'm trying to give them a taste of that different hip-hop as well as that real hip-hop from back in the day.


Who do you consider real hip-hop artists?


VEE:

I would definitely consider Lil Kim, T.I., and Kanye West real hip-hop artists



Are those also the artists that have inspired you to rap?


VEE:

Yes, definitely! Other artists like Missy Elliot, Biggie, and Lauryn Hill have inspired me to rap also.


You've said that you're representin for the big girls out there. Why do you feel that is important?


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BlackVibes.com Interviews... STANK

    

BlackVibes:

East St. Louis is ready to get its Weight Up and Stank is prepared to make it happen! Stank was recently signed to Vista Music Group/Universal Republic Group and he just released a mixtape called Black Boy Sh!t Vol #1 . He's only been in the game for 6 months, but he has plans to make a big impact in 2008.

Stank recently sat down with us to discuss his background, his mixtape, and his future plans.


How did you get the name the name Stank?


S:  

Stank came from my childhood and stuck with me. It's a family name and I chose to give ...em me. My mother gave me the name and Stank Louis just go together so perfectly.


You know I've gotta ask. How did she come up with that name? Was it because you had stanky diapers?


S:  

Ah maan, you can say that! I guess you can say that. It's just a childhood ghetto name like Pookie or Money or something else they'll call you from ...round the way.


Talk about your background. What was your environment like growing up?


S:  

I had a cool household. All my brothers and peoples were the same way. We were all outgoing. We kept it real thick with the family and everything we did we kept it in tune with us. We had a lot family ventures.



Clarify for people who aren't familiar with St. Louis area. What's difference between where you come from and where other artists like Nelly and Chingy represent?



S:  

It's 4 sides to each city. You've got the North, South, East, and West. The North, South, and West side are located in Missouri and it's the Mississippi river that divides them. When you cross the Martin Luther Bridge, you're on the East side and that's the only side that is located in Illinois. That's why they call us East St. Louis, Illinois. Nelly and them are far away from us.


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BlackVibes.com Interviews... Raheem DeVaughn

    

BlackVibes:

It feels good when you finally get respect and acknowledgement for all of your hard work. It means even more when it comes from people that you respect and admire. Well, that's how Raheem DeVaughn felt when he received the news about his Grammy Nomination for Woman, the first single on his upcoming album Love Behind The Melody.

As he prepares to drop his second album, Raheem spent some time with us discussing the award and giving us some insight on The Man Behind The Melody...


What was your reaction when you received the news about your Grammy Nomination?


RD:

It was crazy getting that news. I'll never forget. December 6. 1pm. I was just rollin outta bed. The first phone call I got that day was from Shannon who runs the DC Chapter and the second call was simultaneously on the other line. It was from my manager.


You've been grinding in the music industry for a long time. How did it feel when you finally started to get that recognition?


RD:

The slow grind is the best grind. The Grammy thing was great because I was recognized amongst my own peers. It lets me know that real music is being preserved and cats see through the hype.


Everybody has ups and downs during their career. What has been the hardest thing that you've had to face during your career?



RD:

My grandmother past away right before my first single for the first album went to radio. It would be cool to see her around now and be able to open up the [Washington] Post and see me in the Style section. Another transition was having my first-born - being on the road and not being around for that experience. But once again...it's life maan. You have to embrace it. I'm a firm believer in trying to find a positive in everything.


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BlackVibes.com Interviews ... JAHEIM

    

BlackVibes:

It's been over six years since Jaheim burst onto the scene with his first Platinum album. Now, as he prepares to provide his fans with a new set of R&B classics, he gives BlackVibes.com the inside scoop on the album as well as who inspired him to sing in the first place.



What should we expect from your upcoming album?


J:  

Well, it's a milestone project that reflects how Jaheim has changed over the years. This album is far different than all of the albums you've heard in the past, but it's still on the same level....real singing, true relationships, ups-and-downs, and gettin personal.


As you've moved over from Warner Bros to Atlantic, what has been the difference with putting this album together?


J:  

This album was done a little different than the last ones. I've never had an opportunity work with an R. Kelly or a Babyface. I also worked Keyshia Cole and Gamble & Huff. This has been a big album for me.


Those are some big names. What was it like when you got a chance to work with Babyface?


J:  

I must say. Babyface is a genius. When I first walked in, I saw Babyface and I was real quiet and respectful. I put my game face on. I had to be focused! We vibed for the first day. Came back on the second day and wrote the record together. He was a good person to work with. He didn't have an ego. I would love to work with him again.



How about working with R. Kelly?


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