Saturday, December 30, 2006

Little Bit of Interesting News (50 Cent and Ja Rule)

50 gets Ticket in Harlem

50 Cent was pulled over by police in harlem yesterday, but this traffic stop went much more smoothly than the one he had earlier this year.

A crowd gathered as police ticketed 50 Cent, aka Curtis Jackson, for making a wrong turn.

Back in September, 50 Cent was pulled over in a Lamborghini in New York City for making an unsafe lane change, and was also cited for driving with an expired license. Looks like 50 caught a break this time.




Ja Rule Plays Santa in his Old Neighborhood

Ja Rule came home to his old neighborhood and brought toys and games for kids in Jamaica, Queens, yesterday.
"I'm trying to spread some holiday cheer, baby," said Ja Rule. "I came to play Santa today. This is my 'hood. This is where I'm from."

The recipients were students at the Amistad Early Childhood Education Center on 164th Place in Jamaica.

"It was wonderful," said second-grader Clyde Quallis, 7. "I'm so glad Ja Rule came to Amistad. I thank him very much for the present."

Ja Rule made the donation on behalf of LIFE Camp Inc., an organization he co-founded to improve the academic and social behavior of at-risk youth.

"I think it's very nice that he came to the community and that he didn't forget where he came from. I like that," said Ellis, a city education worker.

"It's wonderful that he, a celebrity, can inspire them to do good work," said Janilee Yanny, program director for Amistad.

"He does a lot of positive things, and people don't know that," Salt 'n Pepa member Cheryl (Salt) James said of Ja Rule.


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Top 10 Hip-Hop/R&B Albums Of '06

List by SOHH.com *

1. Nas - Hip-Hop Is Dead
2. Lupe Fiasco - Food & Liquor
3. Snoop Dogg - Tha Blue Carpet Treatment
4. Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
5. The Game - Doctor's Advocate
6. Justin Timberlake - FutureSex/LoveSounds
7. T.I.- King
8. Ghostface Killah- Fishscale
9. Clipse - Hell Hath No Fury
10. Jay-Z - Kingdome Come



Billboard's List **

1. Mary J. Blige - The Breakthrough
2. Jamie Foxx - Unpredictable
3. T.I. - King
4. Ne-Yo - In My Own Words
5. Chris Brown - Chris Brown
6. Lil' Wayne - The Carter II
7. Mariah Carey -The Emancipation of Mimi
8. Beyonce - B'Day
9. Eminem - Curtain Call: The Hits
10. Keyshia Cole - The Way It Is

* SOHH's list was based on albums released from January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2006.
** Billboard's list, which was based on Neilsen's SoundScan, began on December 3, 2005 and ended on November 25, 2006.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Bishop Lamont Expected To Record With Eminem In New Year

LA HIP-HOP POWER 106 FM:

Bishop Lamont has arranged for some studio sessions with Eminem in 2007 next month; expect some production from Eminem on Bishop Lamont's debut album "The Reformation".

Friday, December 22, 2006

New Wu-Tang album in 07

SRC Records CEO Steve Rifkind recently announced that he has reunited with the Wu-Tang Clan for a new album.

Wu-Tang, who first came to prominence via Rifkind's now-defunct Loud Records, have not released a group album since 2001. During their six year hiatus, all nine members of the New York bred rap collective have released solo albums.

The group's most infamous member, ODB (born Russell Tyrone Jones), died in 2004 from an accidental overdose while recording his third solo project.

"I just got off the phone with Divine and RZA from Wu-Tang, we are coming back, we are joining forces for one album, coming up in 2007," said Rifkind via a video on his blog , thelabel.blog.com. "I don't know what the name of the album is but we are back, its official. Wu-Tang and Steve Rifkind are back together."

Rifkind is also credited for breaking rap acts like Mobb Deep, Big Pun and Xzibit, among others. His current SRC roster includes Akon, Remy Ma, Pharoahe Monch and Remy Ma.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

10 Best Hip-Hop Albums Of 2006

By hhnlive.com


WINNER HIP-HOP ALBUM OF THE YEAR: The Game – The Doctor's Advocate

- Ghostface Killah - Fishscale
- Busta Rhymes – The Big Bang
- The Roots – Game Theory
- T.I. – King
- Jay-Z - Kingdom Come
- Young Jeezy – The Inspiration
- Snoop Dogg - The Blue Carpet Treatment
- Lupe Fiasco – Food & Liquor
- Nas- Hip-Hop Is Dead

Young Buck Interview

Young Buck isn’t one to blend in with a group. The 25-year-old rapper’s Tennessee twang sticks out like a hitchhiker’s thumb among the New York City slang of his G Unit brethren, yet his lyrical prowess is about as Southern as Philly Cheese Steak.

Even Buck has a hard time labeling his style. “With me being a Southern artist the slang is there automatically,” says Young Buck. “When you put the lyrics with it, you get something that not even I can fucking describe.”

The Nashville native is not nearly as lost for words when speaking on his sophomore album, Buck The World. In fact, he only needs three: “It’s the shit,” says Buck. With production by the likes of Dr. Dre, Jazze Pha, Timbaland and Hi-Tek, Buck is poised to stand out once again, this time in a first quarter stuffed with high-profile rap releases.

Vibe.com chatted with Buck Marley about his beginnings in G Unit, the aftermath of the 2004 VIBE awards, and why some fans have hailed him the Tupac of the South.

Vibe.com: When you first met 50 Cent, Tony Yayo, and Lloyd Banks, they were building up a buzz grinding out mixtapes. When you officially joined the clique did you realize that you would play a major role in something so big?

Young Buck: I didn’t know we would be this big. I was there in the middle of the grind; before 50 even signed with Dr. Dre and Eminem, I was on the outside. To see us grow now and everybody becoming their own fucking artist—I’m proud of everybody. I’m really proud of 50 for the opportunity that he gave me because that’s all I ever wanted from anybody. Even with Cash Money, all I ever wanted from them cats was an opportunity and to let the streets be the judge. 50 was the one who provided that for me, so I’m real thankful and real protective over my homeboy. If somebody chooses to push any kind of line, you know his beef is my beef, on the strength of the opportunity.

It seems like 50 had it planned all along for everything to work out the way it has.

Young Buck: Yeah, this ***** had a plan. And for me, it was just like trusting this ***** with what he’s telling me because I had been burned from that. *****s saying they’ll do this and that for you and then they don’t. That’s how I came up with the “Do It Myself” record.

So your second album, Buck The World, is set to drop early next year. Can you tell me a little bit about the album?

Young Buck: It’s the shit. The content of my album is pretty much based on reality. I base my music around the things that I’m going through in my life. So I’ve been going through situations such as the VIBE awards that the world knows about, and just freak shit that the world don’t know about. I feel like the only way people are going to be a true fan of your music as an artist is if they can pull something from one of these verses we put out and say either “I’m going through that, I know somebody going through that or I don’t want to go through that.” I make my music based around real life in order to get that. That’s why we know that 50’s been show nine times and Eminem got a daughter named Hallie, because they base their music around real life. It lasts longer.

How is it different from your solo debut, Straight Outta Cashville?

Young Buck: It’s totally different than that one. My first album, I feel like I was in a rushed position. I had a date for a solo album and I was really trying to meet it. And at the end of the day, we were on the Rock The Mic tour, so it was the process of getting off the stage, jumping on a studio bus and recording the album. This one, my comfort zone was more laid back. I had more time to create records and really take it there and really decide exactly what I wanted to do with this album. Lyrically, I think I totally stepped my game up. I got a lot of top-name producers from top to bottom, so that made it real easy for me as far as delivering my flows. You’re going to get more features out of this album than you have any G Unit record. And I put my features together on certain records so I could make room for a lot of my solo records.

It’s always seemed like you were more widely considered a G Unit artist from the South than a Southern rapper. Do you agree with that?

Young Buck: I think I’m more looked at as a Southern rapper more than just a G Unit artist. That’s why you see me featured on so many other artists’ records. It’s because they see me more or less as a Southern artist and they respect the brand of G Unit too. In the beginning, I think I was just a totally G Unit artist and now I’ve grown to be a Southern artist.

What’s your take on the snap movement?

Young Buck: I think it’s good. I believe in reinventing myself in the music and I believe in the reinvention of other artists in their music, but just staying the same people that they are. That’s what I do. Snap is something that’s brand new and it’s catchy and the kids like it. The whole dancing thing I think is cool but for me, I think reality rap, real life rap works best. I’ve always lived under the theory that dances get old. You don’t see nobody doing the fucking MC Hammer dance. The same way in snap—you’ll see it now and then after a while it’ll be gone. But the difference is you can always go get you a record like [Tupac’s] “Keep Your Head Up” or “Brenda’s Got A Baby,” which was played so many years ago, and hear that motherfucker every day and bang it. So I feel like that side of me would last longer and I focus more on reality rap than party shit. I do that too, I just don’t make that my focus point.

So it’s safe to say that we might see Young Buck snapping his fingers?

Young Buck: Hell nah. It ain’t safe to say no shit like that. I ain’t gon’ be snapping my fingers on shit. But at the end of the day, I wouldn’t say I wouldn’t, but I ain’t gon’ be snapping my fingers on my motherfucking album. [Laughs]

Some of your fans consider you the Tupac of the South. What kind of influence did 'Pac have on you?

Young Buck: A big one. I started to understand music through Tupac Shakur. I’m just 25 years old, I caught the Tupac and Biggie era, the Run DMC’s, the Kool Mo Dee’s, the NWA’s, I heard it. I started to understand through “Brenda’s Got a Baby,” “Keep Ya Head Up” and “If My Homie Calls.” He was the first artist that I was drawn to and really paid attention to. What I used to get most from Pac was the way that he delivered his message where he could give you the reality and hardship that came along with the street but then deliver you the record like “Keep Ya Head Up” and “Brenda’s Got A Baby.” And that’s a resemblance of my natural character because I’m a ***** that plays a part of this shit out here in these streets, so naturally the hard shit come along with me. You’re going to get that. But I can give you the other side of this shit too. I’m more or less thuggin’ with a conscious. And that’s what mixes it up and makes it all the way right.

Did you do anything to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Tupac’s death this year?

Young Buck: Yeah, I smoke a whole lot of weed every day. Every day is an anniversary for Tupac Shakur to me. The 10th anniversary this year, we had a big cookout in the projects and it was crazy. Brought a lot of meat, hung out, popped a few bottles of Patron, smoked and banged his music out of all the cars and shit. That’s my way of kicking it. Right now, as I’m sitting in my car on some real shit, he’s in the fucking CD player right now as we speak. It’s crazy that you even said some shit like that.

Earlier you mentioned the situation at the 2004 VIBE Awards. How did that incident impact you?

Young Buck: I was blessed to walk away from that. I think I walked away from that situation because I didn’t come in that building with that bullshit on my mind, thinking, “I’m fitting to come in here and start something.” I’m coming in there to win an award and check out some of these fine ass women running around. At the end of the day, shit happens though. You know what I’m saying? If I’m in a situation where I feel like my life’s in danger or my loved one’s life is in danger, I’m going to do anything to protect it. I was actually in the back watching the teleprompter when the shit jumped off. I saw it from the teleprompter. And then I came up to the front of the stage to see Dr. Dre tangled all up. The Don don’t have any business being tangled up with nobody. I’m like, ‘Nah man, let me handle that for you.’ Shit got fucked up but I tell everybody, if you ain’t got no money, don’t follow in my footsteps because that shit cost me a lot of money to be able to keep myself out here on these streets. I got a few years of probation (three years) out of it and a whole lot of hours of community service (80 hours) but I’m still here. At the end of the day, P.U.S.H.--Pray Until Something Happens.

Did you gain anything from the whole situation?

Young Buck: I think a lot of people feel like, “now he got Dr. Dre on his album because he jumped in and held Dr. Dre down.” That was kind of funny to me. But I was always a part of Dr. Dre’s shit before the shit popped off. I did some work with Dr. Dre on my first solo project and I worked with him on the G Unit Beg for Mercy project and I was already in plans to work with Dr. Dre on this project. I think that that’s a misconception that I can clear up real quick.
On a side note, I learned that you have to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Make sure everybody will ride for you the same way you’ll ride for them. I got a chance to see a lot of people that say that they’re down, not down and shit like that. But overall, I learned that sometimes it’s cool for me to lay back and let shit happen another way. But at the end of the day, like I said, if I feel in danger or somebody’s life is in danger, I’ma do whatever it takes.

What do you think makes G Unit like no other crew out there?

Young Buck: The real life issues, that makes us totally different. The Ja Rule situations and shit that come along with 50, that shit’s real life. There’s not many rap groups with known real-life issues out there next to G Unit. So that makes us stand out like a sore thumb in the middle of a motherfucking crowd. And then the success individually that’s come along with G Unit. My album went platinum, Banks went platinum and we know how many 50 Cent albums went platinum. I don’t care if Yayo’s album just went gold—he’s got a gold fucking plaque. We grow as artists and good music will always make its mark. At the end of the day, I feel like the whole theory of a label such as G Unit growing up and falling, you don’t ever have to expect to watch us fall—we’ve made too much fucking money in this shit. *****s got enough money to constantly keep trying. If we did fuck up, there’s enough money to heal the wound.

Would you like to say anything else?

Young Buck: Buck The World. Save the pennies and the ones, because this motherfucker’s set to blow up at any time with George Bush in office. Bet on that.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Producer J.R. Rotem Helping 50 Get Soul, Tossing Beats For Dr. Dre

Producer J.R. Rotem says he doesn't party. Judging by the schedule he's keeping these days, he probably wouldn't have time for it anyway.

A few years ago, Rotem was your average Joe, sitting at home in his boxer shorts wondering if anybody would actually pay for his tracks one day. Now Rotem has everyone from the Game to Rick Ross to JoJo shelling out top dollar for his beats. He's working with two artists a day, with Britney Spears and 50 Cent being the biggest names on his roster.

"Within a 24-hour time period I was in with 50, then Britney," Rotem said. "Whoever I'm in the studio with, I try to bring the best out of them and let them bring the best out of me. I just try to make the best possible song."

Although he's very secretive when it comes to Spears (see "Britney's New Music Is 'The Next Level,' Producer Says") — including those recently leaked tabloid photos that allegedly captured the two locking lips — he opens up just a little bit about 50's music. Just as 50 told MTV News a few weeks ago, he says the leader of the G-Unit is indeed looking to soul music for inspiration.

"I just sat down with him and we went through tracks," Rotem said. "He's definitely into soulful stuff. He's at a level where he doesn't have to put an album out for money or anything — he's in it for the love of hip-hop. For the next album, he's trying to bring a very powerful new sound. He's an innovator. He puts out a sound and people will copy it. He wants to set a trend. At this point I can't give any more details, but it's definitely going to be a remarkable project."

This year alone, Rotem has worked with Rihanna ("S.O.S."), Rick Ross ("Push It") and the Game ("The Doctor's Advocate," "California Vacation"). His latest projects include new tracks by Jennifer Lopez, JoJo, Mya, Natasha Bedingfield, Ashley Tisdale and Jesse McCartney.

Oh yeah, he's also worked with Dr. Dre on the Detox album (see "Meet Super-Producer J.R. Rotem: The Man Game Calls 'The White Dr. Dre' ").

"He's gotten a few tracks from me for it, and I've heard vocals on some of my tracks," Rotem said. "But with Dr. Dre, he might record 100 tracks and choose his favorite 15 or something. I don't want to jump the gun and say I'm going to be on the album."

Rotem also just inked a deal with Epic Records for his new imprint, Beluga Heights.

"We sat down with everybody," the producer said of the courting process for his label. "I learned that when you get into business with somebody on an exclusive level, you need to really connect with the point people. In this situation, there was no contest as to who we connected to the most. It just felt right to go with them."

First on his roster is 16-year-old Miami rapper Sean Kingston.

"He's incredible," J.R. boasted of his protégé. "I'm giving him his own sound, his own identity. When I work with established people, there's already precedents to their sound, so I have to step it up some and give the J.R. twist to it. With Sean, I'm the one who's actually establishing his sound."

Sunday, December 17, 2006

D12's Bizarre Slowly Moving Towards Acting

In the mainstream world of rap, where chiseled artists like 50 Cent often go shirtless on their CD covers, it's fair to say persona, to an extent, is shaped by physique.

For Bizarre, the most rotund member of the popular Detroit rap group D12, his shape is his image. In some D12 videos, Bizarre, like his thinner musical counterparts, has no need for T-shirts. He wears his trademark shower cap and raps about all things absurd and obscene. He is the lighter side of rap -- pun very much intended.

``I've always been a class clown, a funny guy,'' Bizarre said during a phone interview last week from his home in Atlanta. ``I'm just being me in the rap form.''
Bizarre's form, in all its tattooed splendor, will be on display at 7 p.m. Friday at the Ground Sphere Rhythm Cafe, in Allegan.

Bizarre, 33, whose real name is Rufus Johnson, is putting the finishing touches on a new D12 album, which he said should be released sometime between March and May. And he runs his own label, Red House Records.

But Bizarre is expanding his career options to reach beyond rap.

He appeared as the ``basketball convict'' in the 2005 comedy ``The Longest Yard,'' starring comedians Adam Sandler and Chris Rock. He also was a contestant on the third season of VH1's reality show ``Celebrity Fit Club.'' The series invites overweight celebrities to shed pounds with help from health professionals like former Marine and personal trainer Harvey Walden.

``It was cool. Harvey's a cool guy,'' Bizarre said of the experience.
Since ``The Longest Yard'' and ``Celebrity Fit Club,'' Bizarre said, he has started taking acting lessons and trying to secure roles in comedy movies. He recently read for a part in ``Boulevard,'' am upcoming comedy to be directed by Robert Farquhar that follows a night in the life of Los Angeles teens cruising Crenshaw Boulevard. It is tentatively scheduled for release in 2008.

Bizarre said he's approaching the new career track ``slowly but surely.'' So far, memorizing several pages of dialogue has proved to be a bit more difficult than he realized.

``H--- yeah. It's way tougher. I have a lot of respect for actors,'' he said.
But Bizarre is not giving up rap. Since Eminem burst onto the pop charts in 1999 with his irreverent style, D12 has been able to benefit from his success. Originally formed in 1990, D12 picked up some mainstream success behind 2001's ``Devil's Night'' and 2004's ``D12 World.'' On June 28, 2005, Bizarre dropped his solo debut, ``Hannicap Circus.'' Last week, ``Eminem Presents: The Re-Up,'' a compilation CD featuring Shady Records artists, hit stores. Bizarre only rapped on one verse of one song of the disc.

But on his Web site, Bizarre posted a few new singles, including ``Roman Noodle Soup,'' a take-off on Young B and DJ Webstar's ``Chicken Noodle Soup.''
He raps:

``I can't afford no chicken noodle soup/
That's why I'm at home eatin' Corn Flakes and Fruit Loops/
I'm a big guy who hates all soup/
Eggs 'n' bacon like the fat kid from `Juice.'''

As for the new D12 album, the first since original member Proof was shot and killed in April, Bizarre commented, ``We took it up another level.'' Among the list of collaborators on the yet-to-be named CD are Three 6 Mafia, T.I. and producer Swizz Beatz, Bizarre said.

``I'm excited for this album because I think it's more up-tempo,'' Bizarre said. ``It's the kind of music you can get wild to in the club. I can just imagine performing the songs. I'm excited about performing them because they're so energetic.''

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Snoop Dogg, Diddy Launch European Tour

Snoop Dogg and Sean "Diddy" Combs have announced a major European concert tour, that will feature the former foes as co-headliners of the Snoop/Diddy Tour.

The 18-city tour kicks off March 12 in Oslo, Norway and wraps up with a performance at the Nottingham Arena in the United Kingdom in April. The rappers will visit numerous cities, including Germany, Switzerland, France, Denmark, Belgium, Holland and Ireland.

Diddy will perform selections from his latest album Press Play, while Snoop and his backing band The Snoopadelics, will hit the road in support of his latest album, Tha Blue Carpet Treatment.

The announcement marks Snoop's first major appearances in the United Kingdom, since the rapper was involved in an airport brawl in April in London's Heathrow Airport.

Snoop and an entourage of almost 30 people were en route from Los Angeles to Johannesburg, South Africa, to perform at a major festival, when certain members were denied entry into British Airways' first-class lounge.

A huge brawl ensued, resulting in seven officers being injured. As a result of the brawl, Snoop was banned from flying British Airways. T

he rapper was then allegedly banned by the UK's Home Office, because of his previous criminal record in the United States.

Any alleged ban on Snoop Dogg appearing in the United Kingdom has been lifted, as the tour calls for stops in London, Cardiff, Manchester, Glasgow and Nottingham.

Snoop and Diddy were one time rivals and central figures in a feud between Death Row Records and Bad Boy Entertainment. The bad blood between the two labels resulted in an "East coast/West coast" feud, which climaxed with the tragic, unsolved murders of Death Row rapper Tupac Shakur and Bad Boy artist The Notorious B.I.G.

Tour dates for the Diddy/Snoop Dogg European Tour are listed below:

MARCH
12 Oslo, Norway Spektrum
13 Copenhagen, Denmark The Forum
14 Berlin, Germany Max Schmelling Halle
15 Stuttgart, Germany Schleyerhalle
16 Hamburg, Germany Sporthalle
17 Frankfurt, Germany Festhalle
18 Munich, Germany Olympiahalle
19 Zurich, Switzerland Hallenstadion
21 Paris, France Bercy
22 Paris, France Bercy
23 Dusseldorf, Germany Philipshalle
24 Brussels, Belgium Forest National
25 Amsterdam, Holland Heineken Music Hall
27 London, UK Wembley Arena
28 Cardiff, UK Cardiff International Arena
29 Manchester, UK MEN Arena
30 Glasgow, UK SECC (Hall 4)
31 Dublin, Ireland The Point

APRIL
1 Dublin, Ireland The Point
2 Nottingham, UK Nottingham Arena

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

50 Cent Speaks About New Movie Home Of The Brave

50 Cent's first outing in films wasn't exactly a successful one. Amidst poor reviews, many of them pointing at his ability as an actor, and only $30 million at the box-office it's safe to say Get Rich or Die Tryin' sort of died tryin'. With his second effort we meet a film called Home of the Brave, centering on the war in Iraq and what happens when the soldiers return home. 50's role as Jamal isn't an easy one, but it looks like he has made a few improvements in his acting and in talking to him it seems like he isn't about to give up as an actor.

What was it about this movie that made you really pursue it?

50 Cent: It was the action in it that I really wanted to be a part of and it was different than everything I had seen so far from a war perspective. A lot of war films are set during the war and that's it and this film is about re-entering society after the experience of war.

I actually enjoy war films. Prior to doing the research for my character I just watched the films that I had seen that had those types of action scenes in them as entertainment. It's after you start to do the research and you start to see people and images even more graphic than what you have seen in film. You start to have a different outlook on it.

And you were just really focused on the acting side of it, outside of the music…

50 Cent: Absolutely, that's why I didn't create the single for the soundtrack.

Talk about filming in Morocco and your experiences there.

50 Cent: Yeah, don't think because it sounds sexy that it is. Morocco, it's crazy man, we were in Iraq. You see the set, what it looked like in the film, that's what it looked like. Just going out there only required me to be there for about 11 days to shoot my portion of the action and the war scenes. It was cool, I fasted while I was out there because their food standards are a little bit different.

How about filming in Spokane?

50 Cent: After I left from there I went home for about a week and then they called me to Spokane, Washington. Have any of you been to Spokane, Washington before? Try not to ever go to Spokane, Washington. It was so quiet, when they would say "cut" you just wanna say, "Wait, can we just try that one more time?" Because it's only like six o'clock and we were going to be there and I am going to go back to the hotel and do nothing until it's time to come back here. It worked out though, it gave me plenty of time to be focused on everything else that I had to do.

Irwin Winkler wasn't keen to cast you at first, what was it that you did to impress him?

50 Cent: I threatened him. [smiling] No, I'm just kidding… People have a perception of me based on the aggressive content of my music, but that is a reflection of the environment I grew up in and not all that I am. Coming up where I am from I have to be two people, aggressive enough to get by in my neighborhood and I had to be my grandmother's baby.

Your character seemed a little more aggressive when he got home, was that a conscious thing on your part?

50 Cent: Absolutely, that was just choices that I made. When you build so much anticipation toward getting home, Jamal he was looking forward to being back with Keisha, then when he gets home nothing's right after the experience. Everything is not happening on his time, whether it's his discharge, the girl wouldn't talk to him, eight weeks and wouldn't kiss him. He's got issues and he is feeling like it is from the actual experience of the war.

They tell you that it's a legitimate kill, but you are still a human being killing another human being. Some people don't adjust to that very well. I have had the opportunity to perform in front of the soldiers in Iraq and I'm sure the people that I met there weren't the people that their loved ones missed back here. I believe a spirit changes with that much death around you. If you start in a platoon of 50 people and then the platoon is 47, and then the platoon is 30 and then the room is filled up again. Majority of them have death notes that they wrote to the people when they die, because they have to be conscious that any one of these days I could not come back in here.

I think that changes your entire perspective on everything.

After everything Sam Jackson said in the past did you know he was in this movie when you went after the part?

50 Cent: Yeah, Sam said he wouldn't do a film with a rapper. I don't think he meant he wouldn't do a film with Will Smith, who's a rapper, or Queen Latifah, who's a rapper, or Ice Cube, who's a rapper. Initially what I thought when I heard that was he meant he didn't want to do a film under a rapper. A film that's based on my life story couldn't possibly be a film starring Samuel Jackson and 50 Cent. It had to be 50 Cent and Samuel Jackson. He works hard to get where he is and from the perspective that he is speaking you have to understand it, you've got people who bring a lot of work, consider themselves an actor since they were little kids, went to school for it forever and they see someone with an opportunity because of the interest generated through music it absolutely makes sense to give them a shot on screen.

What was the reason to use your real name instead of just 50 Cent in association with the movie?

50 Cent: Yeah, I think when people see 50 Cent they directly associate it to the music and the aggressive content of the music. They may be disappointed when they see my character and he doesn't have that same aggressive edge that they're familiar with from the music. So I told them to put 50 Cent in the middle so they would know it was me still… [laughing]

Did you have the opportunity to speak with people that had similar experiences to you in the war?

50 Cent: I haven't had the opportunity to speak with people directly that have lost their minds from the experience of the war. I mean my character actually gets killed in a hostage situation so it would be difficult to find people who have already done that. I did get a chance to speak with people that were in war before.

What were the differences and similarities in the lives you came in contact with compared to yours?


50 Cent: There was some shootin' going on in both of them, but they definitely dealing with bullets that are a lot bigger over there than those little 9mm bullets. It's a whole other thing. The things that I have physically endured are minimized by what they have to go through. Even the mental process of what happens if you're there and you don't want to be there anymore? Like you are in jail, you're there now. It's the same, you don't wanna fight, but you got to. If you're blessed and one of the lucky ones that do make it back you've got to fit in with everyone, that was just a television show to them. Because we're not at war here. When you see war in the news you flip from it to the thing that you actually want to see. We don't stop because it is on CNN right now.

Do you think hip hop should play a larger role in speaking out about the war?

50 Cent: You can't say hip hop in general because it is more than just hip hop as a genre of music that has a responsibility to be a part of it. When I travel, music has taken me all over the world, I get a chance to see how different news is broadcast in different areas and it makes me feel like even news is entertainment instead of the condition of the minds in the public. So in the U.S. they'll give us a certain picture of the U.S. and then when you get outside of the country you see the craziest stuff, the craziest things… unbelievable what their perception is of the U.S.

Since Get Rich or Die Tryin' what have been some of the scripts that you've read and want to pursue?

50 Cent: This film called New Orleans [now titled Microwave Park] is my next project, me and Robert De Niro and following that it was a screenplay called The Dance, which is myself and Nicolas Cage and I play a fighter in an Angola State Prison he plays a founder of the boxing program in it.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

News About Dr. Dre's Detox Album

The video for the first single from Dr. Dre will feature a guest and will be filmed in late May 2007. The video will premiere on various stations in late June 2007. The album will be released on September 25, 2007, so Dr. Dre's album can be sent in for Grammy nominations. The album is confirmed to be almost a full 80 minute album featuring guests on basically every track. Eminem and 50 Cent are the only confirmed artist to be featured on the album. It has been confirmed a while back that Diddy and Jay-Z have both done vocals made for Detox, but it is not known if they will make the final cut. Dre had told Diddy previously that at least one of the two tracks he recorded would be the album. The album is set to be co-produced by Scott Storch who has announced that Snoop Dogg, Lloyd Banks, and Bishop Lamont have also recorded vocals. Other people working on the album "Detox" consist of Mike Elizondo and Dawayn Parker.

New 50 Cent Movie Brings Money Into New Orleans

The production of various movies in the city of New Orleans, including the upcoming shooting of the police thriller New Orleans starring 50 Cent and Robert Deniro, has reportedly boosted economic development in the area.

According to The Shreveport Times, numerous production companies are filming in New Orleans to take advantage of The Louisiana Motion Picture Incentive Act, which offers a 25 percent tax break on goods and services bought in the state.

The act, which was enacted in 2002, has made Louisiana one of the most cost-effective places in the United States and Canada for movie and TV production.

Millennium Films, the company producing New Orleans, will shoot two other movies in the Shreveport area and recently wrapped up production on the action / comedy Homeland Security.

"The tax credit is a very good benefit for us," Michael Flannigan, an executive producer with New Orleans told The Times. "Since we had already scouted Homeland Security and set up offices there, we felt that we could do these shows back to back."

As ShadyBlock.com previously reported, New Orleans will center on a veteran police man, played by Deniro, who believes his partner died during the storm, but later learns he was shot and killed. After being assigned a new partner (50 Cent), the duo delve into the shooting investigation, which leads them deeper into the realm of crooked police.

"It's a good cop, bad cop story set in the aftermath of Katrina," explained Flannigan. Production on New Orleans will begin on January 11 and will last about six to seven weeks, but he does not know where filming will begin.

In related news, 50 and Samuel L Jackson recently wrapped work on the war drama Home of the Brave. Set to open nation wide on December 15, the movie centers on three soldiers who struggle to readapt to everyday life following a long tour in Iraq. Jessica Biel (Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Eva Mendes (Hitch) and Christina Ricci (Monster) also star in the film.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Usher Hard At Work On New Album

"It's about time for me to get back in and put my 10 cents in it!"

Usher says his long layoff from making records is over: The singer is back in the studio and expects to have a single and album out by the middle of next year.

"I feel it's about time for me to come out with an album," he said via phone from Atlanta on Tuesday. "I'm not extremely enthused about where music has gone. I say that coming from listening to artists like Stevie Wonder, Prince, Michael Jackson — those great artists and iconic musicians. I feel music is at a standstill."

Usher says he does like what Justin Timberlake and John Legend are doing right now, and that Robin Thicke has released the album of the year with The Evolution of Robin Thicke. Thicke is one of the collaborators on Usher's upcoming opus.

"His album is banging, but also as a producer and writer, he's amazing," the singer said of his friend. "We've been able to get to a point where we can work very easily together. I'll give him an idea and he'll understand exactly what wavelength I'm on."

Jermaine Dupri and the production teams of Dre and Vidal and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis are all scheduled to collaborate on the record — as is Jay-Z. Usher, who appears on the Pharrell-helmed "Anything" from Jay's Kingdom Come LP, said he and Hova did a trade-off.

"Jay-Z came to me with the record," Usher recalled. "He said, 'This is one I don't want you to miss out on.' We had been talking for years about doing a record, and as a result of this, we're going to work again on my album. So look out for that next step, but it's a hot one on his album."

Usher has been called many things over the years, but he emphasized that "James Brown" will not be one of them — at least not at the moment. He said reports that he has signed on to play the Godfather of Soul in an upcoming biopic are untrue.

"That was a press release that was put out. I haven't been signed on to play James Brown, but it would be an honor to be considered for the role," he said.

Other projects on his plate are opening up some restaurants around the country, developing a fragrance, promoting his protégés — the R&B group One Chance, who are signed to his Us Records label and have their debut album on tap for early next year — and delving further into helping the Gulf Coast recover from Hurricane Katrina. His charity foundation, New Look, has started an initiative called Our Block for which the group is helping to rebuild and revitalize city blocks in New Orleans, one street at a time .

To help with the funding of the project, he's teamed with Armani Exchange to create "Love 4 Life" dog tags. These dog tags are available at Armani Exchange stores and on the company's Web site (which can be accessed through New Look: www.ushersnewlook.org), and 100 percent of the proceeds go to the Our Block effort.

"I don't have all the answers but I am trying my hardest to come up with a solution," he said.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Eminem Presents The Re-Up is Out

The Re-Up album is out today. The album has 22 songs including one Eminem, 2 songs with Eminem and 50 Cent, 3 Stat Quo songs, several Ca$his and Bobby Creekwater songs. Album also features Obie Trice and D12. There are also several remixes on the album including Smack That and Shake That remix. Buy The Re-Up and check out new Shady artists.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Bishop Lamont News

Bishop Lamont has been hard at work lately. He's been in the studio night and day recording music in preperation for an explosive 2007 for Aftermath. Bishop's debut "The Reformation" is currently scheduled for Summer of next year, with Dr. Dre's "DETOX" following in the Fall.

In the meantime, fans can expect to hear Bishop on the mixtape "Nigga Noize", hosted by DJ Skee. That mix-tape, in addition to a mix-tape called "The Pope-Mobile" will probably hit the streets by Spring of next year.

Bishop will soon be hitting the studio with Chris Martin from Coldplay and some other respected Urban artists. No guest artists have officially been confirmed, but planned sessions with Eminem and 50 Cent are in order. Production on the anticipated LP is expected to come from Dr. Dre, Battlecat, DJ Premier, The RZA, Pete Rock and others.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Suge Knight Responds To Snoop Dogg's 'Rolling Stone' Comments

Death Row Records cofounder Marion "Suge" Knight has responded to comments rapper Snoop Dogg made in a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine.

Snoop Dogg is featured on the cover of the December 1 issue, which contains an in-depth interview with the rapper, who touches on his career, his time spent as an actual pimp and his infamous feud with Knight.

"I felt like challenging him would either expose his whole card or I would have to kill the n***a. And I was ready to do it. That's where I was with it. So when he got out of jail, I'm f****n' with him," Snoop told Rolling Stone. "Never was afraid of him. I was afraid I was gonna have to kill him. That's what I was afraid of."

Knight responded to Snoop Dogg's comments in today's (Nov. 30). New York Post.

"I don't have to go around and convince people I'm tough," Knight told the Post's Page Six column. "The only being I fear is God. Snoop has never been in a real fight. When there's trouble, he runs to the police. He throws up and starts crying."

The two have been at odds since Death Row cofounder Dr. Dre left the label after growing disillusioned with Knight.

The situation grew worse when Snoop left Death Row for Master P.'s No Limit Records.

Knight also commented on Snoop's recent string of arrests, which include incidents at three separate airports and an arrest Tuesday (Nov. 28) that have resulted include gun, weapons and drug charges.

"Snoop is a rat. He's a police informer," Knight claimed. "This is the only guy who never goes to jail no matter what. I don't like rats."