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

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Atlanta Rapper Dopeboy Ra, Aka Young Capone, Passes Away at 35

Photo via Instagram/dopeboyra
The hip-hop community in Atlanta is mourning the loss of Dopeboy Ra, formerly known as Young Capone, who passed away at 35. Publicist Aleesha Carter confirmed his passing on Tuesday; however, the cause of death remains undisclosed.

Carter shared her grief on Instagram, stating, "This is with a heavy, heavy heart that I’m even posting this. We made magic when we strategically put out projects, always." She expressed disbelief at the news of his unexpected passing. Carter also described Dopeboy Ra as not only a client but a dear friend, highlighting his significance in East Atlanta. She concluded, "Rest easy, RIP @dopeboyra #dopeboyra #youngcapone."

Dopeboy Ra had been missing since July before confirmation of his passing, leaving his admirers stunned. Runway Richy, a collaborator and close friend, paid tribute on Instagram, writing, "Rest in peace, my n***a @gxdsxlldxpe @dopeboyra. A true legend, a brother."

Emerging as Young Capone in the mid-2000s, Dopeboy Ra's journey was marked by tracks like the 2006 hit "Lights, Camera, Action," and "It's Hot." His artistic contributions continued through mixtapes such as "Look Who's Back" (2010) and "Paper And Politics" (2011).

Dopeboy Ra eventually found his artistic home with Grand Hustle, the label associated with the eminent rapper and entrepreneur, T.I.'s group Hustle Gang. This affiliation is pivotal as T.I. wields substantial influence in the industry and Atlanta's music landscape.

The label conveyed its sorrow through Tip on Instagram, who wrote, "Deeply saddened by the loss of an Atlanta/Trap Muzik Legend," under a message from the label:

"The Grand Hustle family is deeply saddened by the tragic passing of RaRa (formerly known as Young Capone)," the label announced. They expressed heartfelt condolences to his family, children, friends, and the wider Atlanta community, while highlighting his indelible presence and effortless talent.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Hip-Hop's Golden Anniversary to Take the Spotlight at 2023 Pepsi National Battle of the Bands

The 2023 Pepsi National Battle of the Bands is gearing up for a remarkable commemoration of hip-hop culture's 50th anniversary. The event is slated to occur on August 26 at Houston's NRG Stadium, featuring an impressive lineup of some of the genre's most renowned artists.

Today, organizers revealed in a release that hip-hop icons Doug E. Fresh, Slim Thug, Choppa, Lil Keke, Z-Ro, DJ Mr. Rogers, and a surprise guest artist are set to take the stage at the annual event, which marks the beginning of the fall marching band season.

These accomplished musicians will collaborate with premier Historically Black Colleges and Universities' marching bands in a performance designed to highlight the synergy between hip-hop and marching band cultures.

"The 50th anniversary of hip-hop holds significant cultural importance," said Derek Webber, Executive Producer and Creator of the National Battle of the Bands. "We are excited to bring together the energy of HBCU bands with the pioneers of hip-hop, creating a dynamic fusion that pays tribute to the genre's legacy while propelling it into the future."

This collaborative endeavor aligns with NBOTB's commitment to amalgamate diverse musical genres, catering to a broad audience while maintaining the event's authenticity. The performances will serve as a platform to elevate the visibility of both NBOTB and participating HBCU bands, with an emphasis on promoting scholarships and recognizing the pivotal role of these institutions in nurturing emerging musical talents.

For further details, including ticket information and event updates, click here.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Smokey Robinson Triumphs as Jury Dismisses Manager's $2M Commission Demand

Smokey Robinson, with his attorneys, David Schecter (left) and Sasha Frid.
Following a fierce three-day courtroom clash, the jury unequivocally sided with music legend Smokey Robinson, firmly rejecting his former manager Eric Podwall's audacious bid for nearly $2 million in unpaid commissions tied to his concert and touring ventures.

In a 2016 legal skirmish, Eric Podwall sought to bolster his case against Robinson by asserting unpaid commissions, ostensibly guaranteed by a management agreement. However, Robinson’s legal team effectively dismantled this claim during the trial, highlighting that the agreement did not encompass provisions for such commissions.

The legal team representing the Motown icon meticulously underscored Podwall's failure to fulfill his managerial responsibilities. Under rigorous cross-examination, Podwall's defense crumbled, marked by admissions of his non-contributory role in Smokey's concert and touring endeavors.

The legal showdown climaxed with Robinson himself taking the witness stand. His testimony, a tapestry of his illustrious career, proved deeply compelling. He shared poignant anecdotes from his upbringing on the same street as Diana Ross, the genesis of Motown Records alongside Berry Gordy and the creation of timeless musical treasures.

In a pivotal revelation, Robinson categorically stated that the management agreement did not encompass his prolific concert and tour pursuits—a vocation he had honed decades before Podwall was born.

In a decisive verdict, the jury wholeheartedly endorsed Smokey's assertion, firmly dismissing Podwall's pursuit of supplementary touring commissions. However, in a minor concession, they granted Podwall $2,000 — compensation for a commission linked to an album advance.

Sasha Frid, legal counsel for Smokey Robinson and a co-founding partner at Miller Barondess, LLP, which represented him in the case, expressed in a statement after the trial, "This resounding victory epitomizes Smokey's unwavering spirit. The jury's verdict attests to his artistic prowess and steadfast commitment to contractual obligations. In the face of a multimillion-dollar demand, Smokey stood strong against his former manager's audacious claims. It is an honor to champion his cause."

Monday, August 14, 2023

'Black Godfather' of Music Industry, Clarence Avant, Dies at 92

Photo Courtesy Avant Family

Clarence Avant, widely known as the “Godfather of Black Music” for his influential role in launching the careers of Quincy Jones, Bill Withers, and other music industry luminaries, as well as his guidance to legendary athletes like Muhammad Ali and Hank Aaron, passed away at the age of 92 at his Los Angeles residence on Sunday. His family confirmed the news through a statement that did not disclose the cause of his death.

In a heartfelt announcement, his children, Nicole and Alexander, along with son-in-law Ted Sarandos, shared, “It is with a heavy heart that the Avant/Sarandos family announce the passing of Clarence Alexander Avant. Through his revolutionary business leadership, Clarence became affectionately known as ‘the Black Godfather’ in the worlds of music, entertainment, politics, and sports. Clarence leaves behind a loving family and a sea of friends and associates that have changed the world and will continue to change the world for generations to come. The joy of his legacy eases the sorrow of our loss. Clarence passed away gently at home in Los Angeles on Sunday, August 13, 2023.”

Avant's legacy encompasses a vast array of accomplishments. Starting as a nightclub manager, he managed prominent figures like Lalo Schifrin and Jimmy Smith in the 1960s. He later founded two record labels that introduced the world to talents such as Bill Withers, Sixto Rodriguez and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. Avant was instrumental in brokering the sale of Stax Records in the late 1960s and later became chairman of the board at Motown Records, followed by becoming the first African-American board member at PolyGram. 

He also played a pivotal role in establishing one of the earliest fully black-owned radio stations. Additionally, he was an advocate for black culture, providing consultancy services to MGM and ABC during the 1970s. Avant's influence extended to political circles as well, as he advised Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George Bush and Barack Obama.

The story of Avant's life and impact was highlighted in the 2019 Netflix documentary "The Black Godfather." His remarkable journey will be further commemorated with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in October.

Tragedy had previously struck the Avant family in 2021 when his wife of over 30 years, Jacqueline "Jackie" Avant, a Los Angeles philanthropist, was shot and killed in a home invasion. The incident occurred in their Trousdale Estates residence, where at least one intruder targeted her. Clarence, who was 90 years old at the time, was present but unharmed during the incident.

Hip-Hop Icon Magoo of Timbaland & Magoo Duo Dies at 50

The hip-hop community is in mourning following the passing of Magoo, half of the acclaimed duo Timbaland & Magoo, who reportedly died at the age of 50.

Born Melvin Barcliff, his death was announced on Sunday through heartfelt social media tributes from fellow musicians and longtime collaborators Digital Black and Ginuwine.

Digital Black, renowned for his contributions to R&B groups Dru Hill and Playa, expressed his disbelief through an Instagram post. Accompanied by an image of Timbaland and Magoo's 1997 debut album "Welcome to Our World," he stated, “Man can’t believe this RIH Magoo damn big bro wasn't ready for this at all #superfriends."

Ginuwine, famed for chart-toppers like "Pony," shared his emotions on Instagram, “I don’t even know how to say anything at this point, I have lost 3 friends now within a month to LIFE and it’s due date...this dude, always pushed me...I will miss you maganooo...totally one of the best ever in my eyes always pressing forward...I will see you soon bro...I’m truly efd up right now foreal life is crazy… I hate going through this and losing people we love sometimes it makes you feel like you don't wanna feel the pain so you wanna be gone also… pain oh man...blessings to the family all of my condolences.”

Magoo's contributions were intricately woven into the creative collective Da Bassment Cru, which also included Timbaland and Missy Elliott, among others.

Emerging from Norfolk, Virginia, the dynamic duo initially connected as teenagers before ascending to prominence in the music landscape. Their legacy was solidified with the release of their debut album "Welcome to Our World" in 1997, yielding the chart-topping single "Up Jumps da Boogie."

Subsequent albums ensued, including "Indecent Proposal" in 2001 and "Under Construction, Part II" in 2003 — the latter serving as a sequel to Elliott's album from the prior year.

Magoo's musical legacy lives on through the hits of Timbaland & Magoo, such as "Up Jumps Da Boogie" (featuring Elliott and Aaliyah), "Clock Strikes" (featuring Mad Skillz), "Luv 2 Luv Ya (Remix)" (featuring Shaunta and Playa) and "All Y’all" (featuring Tweet and Sebastian). He also made notable appearances on tracks like Missy Elliott’s "Beep Me 911," Ginuwine’s "G Thang" and a remix of Jodeci’s "What About Us."

While Timbaland ventured into production and collaborations with luminaries like Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, and Madonna, Magoo's voice and presence continue to hold a pivotal role in the hip-hop narrative.

As the music community grapples with this profound loss, the circumstances surrounding Magoo's passing remain undisclosed. Both Timbaland and Elliott, his close artistic companions, have yet to comment on the tragedy.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Music Icon Chuck D and MLB Forge Partnership to Commemorate Hip-Hop Culture

Courtesy of California African American Museum
Major League Baseball has joined forces with music icon Chuck D to commemorate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop culture.

This Friday, the Bronx will take center stage as the co-founder of the pioneering musical ensemble Public Enemy assumes a special role as correspondent during the "Hip Hop 50 Live at Yankee Stadium" concert. This event also marks the launch of MLB's yearlong partnership with New York-based media company Mass Appeal's Hip Hop 50 initiative.

Described on the company's website as "a manifestation of the company’s commitment to celebrating the culture in the most authentic and globally impactful way possible," Hip Hop 50 is Mass Appeal's ultimate tribute to the genre.

In a move that merges music and sports, the rapper will be entrusted with capturing the essence of this star-studded gathering. His insights will be artfully curated into exclusive content across MLB's multifaceted platforms, including @MLB, @MLBLife social handles,, MLB.TV and MLB Network.

Reflecting on the profound significance of this collaboration, Chuck D expressed his excitement, stating, “As a longtime baseball fanatic, I am beyond honored to be the first Hip Hop artist to collaborate with Major League Baseball in this dynamic new way — connecting sound and culture to the stories of the game. Thank you to MLB for adding me to the lineup... and the pitch is on the way."

Throughout the year, he will engage in a sustained partnership with MLB. This collaboration will encompass MLB’s robust social media presence, the dynamic MLB Network, and captivating in-stadium videos — all deliberately aimed at unraveling the intricate relationship between baseball and Hip Hop culture.

A Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Chuck D has long held a deep affection for the sport. In April 2023, he unveiled "We Wreck Stadiums," an album that pays homage to baseball's luminaries and their enduring impact on the sport.

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Concert Mic Flung by Cardi B Nets Incredible $99,900 in Auction

Screengrab Instagram
A microphone that once soared through the air in the fervor of a Cardi B concert has landed in the hands of a new owner, commanding a jaw-dropping price of $99,900.

The incident, an eruption of fiery emotion during a Las Vegas spectacle, saw the "Bodak Yellow" star unleash the mic like a guided missile upon a concertgoer at Drai's Beachclub, following a shower of liquid launched in her direction.

Scott Fisher, the architect behind the audio at the gig, initially listed the item for a mere $500 on eBay. Speaking to the New York Post's Page Six column, Fisher said, "I think it's a bit crazy, but to each their own. To some people, it’s a world-famous item and there are definitely collectors that like this kind of stuff."

Cardi B, who was initially under scrutiny as a battery suspect following the microphone toss, can now breathe a sigh of relief. The verdict delivered in the court of justice was unequivocal – no crime committed. In an official statement, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department declared, "After a thorough review of this case and with consultation from the Clark County District Attorney’s Office, this case has been closed due to insufficient evidence. No charges will be filed in relation to this case."

Fisher said he orchestrated the sale as a conduit for philanthropy, with the proceeds going to Friendship Circle Las Vegas, a local organization connecting volunteers with children and young adults facing special needs, and the Wounded Warrior Project, a charity dedicated to restoring independence to severely wounded veterans.

The eBay listing apparently issued a resonant call to action: "If you want a piece of hip-hop infamy and what has now become national and world news, then please bid whatever you are willing to spend...thanks (sic)."

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Tory Lanez Receives 10-Year Prison Sentence for Shooting Megan Thee Stallion

The Come Up ShowCC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
The uncertainty enveloping rapper Tory Lanez's destiny in connection to the shooting incident involving hip-hop luminary Megan Thee Stallion has at last been dissolved today, as Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Herriford unveiled the verdict. Lanez has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for shooting Megan Thee Stallion.

Presiding over the extensive two-day hearing, Judge Herriford declared prior to pronouncing the sentence that he was disinclined to view Lanez as a menace to public safety—a pivotal juncture in the case. The judge's pronouncement brings to a close the high-profile trial that has engrossed both the music industry and legal analysts.

Throughout the hearing, Herriford maintained a neutral stance, impartially bestowing tactical advantages to both the defense and the prosecution. This approach has veiled the ultimate verdict in secrecy until its unveiling.

Herriford's concurrence with the prosecution's stance of excluding mental illness as a sentencing factor further elucidated the underpinnings of his judgment.

Lanez's legal team laid forth arguments centered on his history of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), stemming from his mother's untimely death when he was 11 years old, along with other childhood adversities. These struggles led to alcohol abuse in adulthood. Defense attorney Jose Baez vehemently advocated for Lanez's PTSD and battle with alcoholism to factor into the sentencing deliberations.

Judge Herriford's observations underscored his meticulous evaluation of the evidence presented. Despite acknowledging the role of alcohol in the shooting incident, he concluded that the defense had not met the requisites for categorizing Lanez's condition as clinical PTSD or alcohol abuse disorder. Consequently, these aspects did not meet the legal threshold for inclusion in the sentence.

Prosecutors championed a 13-year sentence for Lanez, whose legal name is Daystar Peterson, following his conviction on multiple charges, including assault with a semiautomatic firearm, possession of an unregistered firearm in a vehicle and discharging a firearm with gross negligence.

In contrast, Lanez's defense team advocated for probation and his release from incarceration to partake in a residential substance abuse program. Their intent to challenge the conviction was also affirmed.

Lanez, a notable figure in the music realm, has been a constant presence throughout the hearing, attired in distinct orange jail garb and a black skull cap, seated alongside his legal representatives.

Megan Thee Stallion's impact reverberated even in her absence. Her statement, conveyed audibly by Deputy District Attorney Kathy Ta during the proceedings, candidly portrayed the profound trauma she has endured since the incident. "Since I was viciously shot by the defendant, I have not experienced a single day of peace," Megan conveyed, asserting that Lanez's actions necessitate full accountability within the framework of the law.

In a poignant twist, Judge Herriford permitted seven pro-Lanez witnesses, including his father and the mother of his 6-year-old son, to testify. Their accounts illuminated Lanez's philanthropy, resilience in the face of childhood trauma and commitment to nurturing parenthood.

Megan's trial testimony cast a lengthy shadow across the proceedings, detailing the distressing moment when Lanez fired at her feet and exhorted her to dance, as they departed a summer 2020 gathering at Kylie Jenner's Hollywood Hills residence.