Showing posts with label music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label music. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Juvenile's Iconic Anthem Celebrated with 'Back That Azz Up Day' in New Orleans, Tour to Follow

The 25th anniversary of Juvenile’s iconic hit "Back That Azz Up" will be celebrated with a major North American tour and a special honor from his hometown of New Orleans.

On Tuesday, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell proclaimed June 11 "Back That Azz Up Day" to honor the song's enduring impact on the city's musical heritage. The announcement coincides with the launch of the "Back That Azz Up 25th Anniversary Tour," which kicks off July 7 in New Orleans.
Juvenile, whose real name is Terius Gray, expressed his excitement about the tour and the proclamation. "It's amazing to see it still resonate with people today," Juvenile said. "And I can’t wait for the moment each night of the tour when the song drops."

The tour will make stops in major cities across the U.S., including New York, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Atlanta, before concluding in New Orleans on New Year’s Eve. Tickets for the tour are available for pre-sale via Ticketmaster with the code CHORD, and general sales will begin on June 15 at 10 a.m. local time.
Cantrell's proclamation highlights the cultural significance of "Back That Azz Up," noting its influence on more than a billion listeners since its release in 1999. The song, a second single from Juvenile's quadruple-platinum album "400 Degreez," was produced by Mannie Fresh and features Lil Wayne. It has been a defining track in the bounce music genre and landed on Rolling Stone’s "Top 500 Songs of All Time" in 2021.

In addition to the tour, Juvenile has had a series of local successes over the past year. He collaborated with Urban South Brewery to create "Juvie Juice," a spiked iced tea and lemonade drink, and released a limited edition of "400 HOT Degreez CheeWeez," a popular New Orleans cheese curl. His 10-song set on NPR's Tiny Desk Concert, featuring performances with Mannie Fresh, Trombone Shorty, and Jon Batiste, has also been well-received.

Back That Azz Up 25th Anniversary Tour Dates:

07/07 – New Orleans, LA @ Essence/Donna Color Explosion
07/20 – San Francisco, CA @ Midway
07/27 – Oklahoma City, OK @ Criterion
08/03 – St. Louis, MO @ The Factory (Chesterfield)
08/09 – New York, NY @ Brooklyn Bowl
08/10 – Washington, DC @ Howard Theatre
08/11 – Harrisburg, PA @ Reverb
08/13 – Columbia, SC @ The Senate
08/14 – Birmingham, AL @ Iron City
08/15 – Memphis, TN @ Minglewood Hall
08/16 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Lawn
08/17 – Chicago, IL @ Radius
08/18 – Grand Rapids, MI @ 20 Monroe
08/22 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Van Buren
08/23 – Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl Vegas
08/30 – Myrtle Beach, SC @ House of Blues
08/31 – Asheville, NC @ Rabbit Rabbit
09/01 – Norfolk, VA @ The Norva
09/05 – Columbus, OH @ Temple Live
09/06 – Indianapolis, IN @ Murat Theater
09/07 – Detroit, MI @ The Fisher
09/19 – Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
09/22 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
09/23 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
09/24 – Vancouver, BC @ Commodore
09/25 – Edmonton, AB @ Midway Music Hall
09/27 – Louisville, KY @ Palace Theatre
09/28 – Huntsville, AL @ John Hunt Park
09/29 – Little Rock, AR @ The Hall
10/03 – Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
10/04 – Waukee, IA @ Vibrant Music Hall
10/05 – Charleston, SC @ Firefly Distillery
10/06 – Fort Smith, AR @ Temple Live
10/08 – Wichita, KS @ Temple Live
10/10 – Denver, CO @ The Fillmore
10/12 – Reno, NV @ Grand Theatre at the Grand Sierra Resort
10/13 – Boise, ID @ Treefort Music Hall
10/16 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
10/17 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Novo
10/20 – Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues
10/31 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theatre
11/09 – San Antonio, TX @ The Espee=
11/10 – Austin, TX @ Stubb’s
11/14 – St. Petersburg, FL @ Jannus Live
11/15 – Miami, FL @ Fillmore Miami Beach
11/20 – Atlanta, GA @ The Eastern
11/22 – Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore
12/01 – Fort Worth, TX @ Tannahill’s Tavern & Music Hall
12/04 – Montclair, NJ @ Wellmont Theatre
12/05 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Fillmore
12/06 – Brooklyn, NY @ Kings Theatre
12/07 – New Haven, CT @ College Street Music Hall
12/08 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues
12/09 – Portland, ME @ State Theatre
12/10 – Montreal, QC @ Beanfield Theatre
12/11 – Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall
12/12 – Rochester, NY @ Water Street Music Hall
12/14 – Cleveland, OH @ Temple Live
12/15 – Cincinnati, OH @ Bogarts
12/19 – Nashville, TN @ Marathon Music Works
12/20 – Chattanooga, TN @ The Signal
12/21 – Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore
12/31 – New Orleans, LA @ Saenger Theat

Monday, June 10, 2024

High Tension in YSL Trial: Young Thug's Lawyer Held in Contempt

The racketeering trial against rapper Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Williams, took a dramatic turn on Monday when his attorney, Brian Steel, was held in contempt of court. This development stemmed from Steel's revelation of a private meeting allegedly held between Judge Ural Glanville, prosecutors, and key witness Kenneth Copeland.

The situation unfolded when Steel informed the court of his knowledge of the unauthorized conversation. Judge Glanville, visibly upset, demanded to know how Steel obtained this information. Refusing to disclose his source, Steel argued that the meeting violated protocol.

"You're not supposed to have communication with a sworn witness," Steel declared, referencing the potential ethical concerns surrounding such an ex parte communication.

The tense exchange escalated when Judge Glanville threatened Steel with contempt if he didn't reveal his source. Despite the heated exchange, Steel wasn't immediately removed from the courtroom. However, the judge emphasized his seriousness, giving Steel a deadline to reveal his source or face further consequences. The back-and-forth continued, with Steel maintaining his stance and Judge Glanville demanding answers before the lawyer was removed from the courtroom.

Lead prosecutor Adriane Love requested that Steel be allowed to return for the remainder of the day's proceedings. The judge ultimately relented, allowing Steel back into the courtroom but reiterating that the contempt charge remained.

This incident adds complexity to the already lengthy YSL trial. Jury selection began in January 2023, a process that took ten months. Since opening statements in late November, the trial has faced repeated delays and is expected to continue into next year.

Prosecutors allege Young Thug is the leader of "Young Slime Life," a criminal street gang responsible for violent crimes. The defense maintains YSL is simply a record label.

Megan Thee Stallion Unveils Striking New Art After AI Fiasco

The alternate cover for Megan Thee Statllion's upcoming eponymously named album.
Grammy-winning rapper Megan Thee Stallion sparked renewed interest in her upcoming album "Megan" by unveiling striking new artwork over the weekend.

The visuals depict her shedding her skin like a serpent, symbolizing themes of transformation and renewal, offering a fresh perspective on her musical journey. This follows a previous artwork reveal showing her emerging from a butterfly chrysalis, which garnered mixed reactions from fans online.

Set for release on June 28 via her independent label, Hot Girl Productions, "Megan" is a significant milestone for the 29-year-old Houston native, marking her first full-length studio album under her own banner.

However, amid the excitement, Megan faced online harassment after a sex tape reportedly produced by AI went viral. Fans rallied behind her with the hashtag “WELOVEYOUMEGAN,” expressing solidarity and outrage at the attack.

In response, Megan addressed her assailants in a defiant tweet, condemning their actions and asserting her resilience. She wrote, "It’s really sick how y’all go out of the way to hurt me when you see me winning. Y’all going too far, Fake a$$ sh##. Just know today was your last day playing with me and I mean it."

The emotional toll of the cyber attack was evident during her recent performance at Tampa's Amalie Arena, where footage showed her visibly distraught while performing her hit track "Cobra."

This latest ordeal adds to the challenges Megan has faced, including public scrutiny following the 2020 Tory Lanez shooting incident.

The anticipation for "Megan" has been steadily building, fueled by snake-themed singles like "Cobra," "Hiss," and the chart-topping "Boa." Collaborations with artists like ReneΓ© Rapp for the upcoming "Mean Girls" movie and a remix featuring Cardi B have also contributed to the buzz surrounding the album.

In a recent interview with L'Officiel magazine, Megan discussed the album's thematic underpinnings, citing her fascination with snakes as symbols of renewal and spirituality. "We started with the snake because...snakes represent rebirth, spirituality," she explained. "I'm not really a person that's like, Oh my God, sunshine and just super bubbly, happy. I like darker things. I like things that are a little scary. I like things that are unique."

Friday, June 7, 2024

Clean Break: Howard U. Revokes Combs' Degree, Disbands Scholarship, Returns $1 Million

Photo Credit: Facebook/Diddy
In a decisive move, the Howard University Board of Trustees unanimously voted to accept the return of Sean Combs' honorary degree awarded in 2014. This action effectively revokes all associated honors and removes his name from the university's listing of honorary degree recipients.

A statement released by a Howard University spokesperson following a board meeting on Friday cited "behavior, as captured in a recently released video," as fundamentally incompatible with the university's core values. The statement did not specify the nature of the video but emphasized the university's unwavering opposition to interpersonal violence.
Combs, also known as Diddy, reportedly faced recent allegations and a lawsuit concerning assault. These developments likely influenced the board's decision.

The university's actions extend beyond the honorary degree. The board also directed the administration to terminate a 2016 gift agreement with Combs, disband the scholarship program established in his name, and return his $1 million contribution.

An additional $1 million pledge agreement from the Sean Combs Foundation in 2023 was also terminated as no payments towards it had been received.

The Howard University Board of Trustees and administration declined further comment on the matter.

Eminem's 'Houdini' Makes Big Splash, But Lamar's Record Holds Strong

Despite facing initial criticism from some reviewers, Eminem's new single "Houdini" has become a streaming phenomenon, rocketing to the top of the charts. Released last Friday, "Houdini" is not only Eminem's fastest-selling single in over two decades, but it's also projected to secure a spot in the top two of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

This success comes after some early negative reviews. However, listeners have clearly embraced the track, amassing a massive 56.7 million streams on Spotify within its first week. This makes it the second-highest debut for a rap song on the platform, just behind Kendrick Lamar's "Not Like Us."

The accompanying music video garnered 51 million views on YouTube during its opening week, further solidifying "Houdini" as a major success.

"Houdini" serves as the lead single for Eminem's upcoming album, "The Death of Slim Shady," slated for release later this summer.

Thursday, June 6, 2024

50 Cent Defends Boebert Photo, Trump Comments Also Go Viral

Photo Credit: X/50cent
50 Cent defended his viral photos with Rep. Lauren Boebert in a tweet Wednesday night, stating: "Wait, wait, guys I took pictures with everyone and all you seem to care about is Lauren 🀷🏽‍♂️what did she do in a dark theater that hasn’t been done, my God!"

The rapper's reference to the "dark theater" likely pertains to Boebert being removed from a production of "Beetlejuice" in September; video footage showed her vaping, dancing, taking photos and groping her male date during the performance.

50 Cent and Boebert had both tweeted pictures of the two posing together following his visit to Capitol Hill, which were viewed millions of times. Boebert tweeted she would "still love you if you flipped burgers at Burger King @50Cent, I used to do that myself!"

The rapper also tweeted pictures of himself with several other representatives last night, including Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-La.), former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) and Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.)—though none garnered as many likes and reposts as his picture with Boebert.

50 Cent, who owns the liquor company Sire Spirits (which sells Branson Cognac and Le Chemin du Roi champagne), made a surprise visit to Capitol Hill on Wednesday alongside civil rights attorney Ben Crump to advocate for more Black representation in the liquor industry. At a press conference following his visit, he stated he met with leaders of both parties to discuss "economic opportunities for everybody, and it’s really exciting. The response I got makes me feel like there are bright days ahead of us."

Addressing a reporter's question about the significance of Black men in the upcoming election cycle, 50 Cent commented on the trend of Black men "identifying with Trump" in the 2024 presidential election "because they got RICO charges." The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations law makes it illegal to engage in racketeering activity and was passed to combat organized crime. Trump and 18 co-defendants were charged in August under the RICO law for their efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. 50 Cent mentioned he has not yet decided who he will vote for in the presidential election.

In 2020, the rapper appeared to endorse Trump in a tweet criticizing President Joe Biden’s tax plans, stating: "I don’t care Trump doesn’t like black people." However, less than a week later, he tweeted: "F— Donald Trump, I never liked him." He previously endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Diddy Out, Employees In: Revolt Announces Employee Ownership Model

Photo Credit: Instagram/revoltv
Revolt, the media company founded by Sean "Diddy" Combs, announced a new ownership structure Tuesday. The company revealed that its largest shareholder group is now composed of its employees.

In a historic shift, Combs' shares have been fully redeemed and retired, making employees the predominant stakeholders. 

"This is something we've been looking to do, waiting to do, believing that the people who give this company their blood, sweat, and tears should have some sort of upside opportunity if and when we win," said Detavio Samuels, CEO of Revolt, in an interview with Variety. He added, "All the data suggests that companies with incentive pools for their employees outperform the rest. They perform better financially, they perform better with company morale and culture, and they perform better as it relates to retention."

Revolt celebrated the transition on social media, posting, "It's a new day! REVOLT is honored and proud to announce that, in an unprecedented and historic move in the Black media space, our newly projected largest shareholder group are REVOLT's employees. Our mission to become the largest media company powered by creators and fueled by the culture continues. "

Founded by Combs over a decade ago, Revolt was initially a music industry-focused cable channel aimed at boosting Black representation on television. It has since grown into a significant player in digital media, known for popular video podcasts such as "Drink Champs," "The Jason Lee Show," and "Caresha Please."

Combs' decision to step down comes after a wave of legal challenges, including a lawsuit filed in November by his former girlfriend, singer Cassie, accusing him of years of physical and sexual abuse. Although the parties quickly settled the lawsuit, it spurred additional accusations from other women.

The fallout from these allegations has been substantial for Combs, 54. Besides relinquishing his position at Revolt, he sold his stake in a liquor brand for around $200 million and saw the end of a partnership with a New York charter school network he helped expand.

Samuels declined to disclose the amount paid for Combs' stake. With Combs out, Revolt operates without a majority owner. A representative for Combs did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Revolt has distanced itself from Combs in recent months as legal issues and federal investigations into his conduct intensified. Despite the separation, the company has been impacted by the publicized allegations against its founder, including the release of hotel security footage by CNN showing Combs in a physical altercation with Cassie in 2016.
In response to recent developments, Revolt has provided access to individual and group therapists for employees. "Even before the lawsuits, Mr. Combs had little to no interaction with the team," said Samuels, who joined Revolt in 2020. He emphasized that the company's focus is on continuing its mission and supporting its staff through these changes.

Revolt, which has more than 110 full-time employees, continues to adapt to the digital age, with its business now largely driven by digital advertising and a significant presence on platforms like YouTube, where it has 2.8 million subscribers. The company also launched a podcast network in 2022, further diversifying its media offerings.

Monday, June 3, 2024

Pioneering Hip-Hop Artist Brother Marquis Dies at 58 pen_spark

The best-known lineup of 2 Live Crew poses for a promotional shoot. From left are Fresh Kid Ice, Mr. Mixx, Brother Marquis and Luke "Skywalker" Campbell.
Mark Ross, better known by his stage name Brother Marquis, a founding member of the iconic hip-hop group 2 Live Crew, has died at 58.

The news was announced through a social media post on the group's official page, which read: "Mark Ross AKA 'Brother Marquis' of the 2 Live Crew has went to the upper room #2livecrew..." TMZ subsequently confirmed the death with 2 Live Crew's manager. No cause or manner of death has been made public yet.

Born in Rochester, New York, in 1966, Brother Marquis emerged as a pivotal figure in Southern hip-hop, particularly the Miami bass scene. He rose to prominence in the mid-1980s with 2 Live Crew, the group known for its electrifying delivery and unapologetically raw lyrics that explored themes of sexuality and social commentary.

Their 1989 album, "As Nasty As They Wanna Be," became a cultural flashpoint after a legal battle that ultimately established a precedent for artistic expression in music. Beyond the controversy, Brother Marquis's rapping prowess and the group's innovative sound significantly influenced the evolution of Southern hip-hop.

Beyond 2 Live Crew

Brother Marquis showcased his musical versatility beyond 2 Live Crew in the early 1990s. He formed the duo 2 Nazty with DJ Toomp and released the album "Indecent Exposure" in 1993. That same year, he made a notable guest appearance on Ice-T's album "Home Invasion," contributing to the original version of the iconic track "99 Problems," later remade by Jay-Z into a chart-topping hit.
Brother Marquis remained active with 2 Live Crew reunions throughout the late 1990s and 2000s. In 1996, he rejoined 2 Live Crew with original members Fresh Kid Ice (Christopher Wong Won) and Mr. Mixx (David Hobbs) and released the album "Shake a Lil' Somethin'." The group continued recording and performing until Fresh Kid Ice's passing in 2017. Brother Marquis and Fresh Kid Ice released a final 2 Live Crew album "The Real One," in 1998.