T.I., 2 CHAINZ & More Struggle to Keep Mixtape Music Off iTunes, Amazon-
A version of T.I.’s single “I’m Flexin’” has sold 2,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The song, which features Def Jam artist Rick Ross, has been available in the iTunes store since Jan. 24 as part of the DJ Cortez and DJ Ransom Dollars mixtape “Fuck the Competition Vol. 3.” But something isn’t right: T.I.’s Grand Hustle camp has never licensed this version of the song for retail, and hasn’t seen any revenue from these sales.
It’s an issue that’s plagued rappers who often use mixtapes as promotional items, rather than product for sale. Grand Hustle CEO Jason Geter speculates that DJs partner with distribution companies to mutually profit from major mixtape releases. “Fuck the Competition Vol. 3,” distributed by Green Light Records through SongCast, is also up on Amazon and Rhapsody, where the “Flexin’” remix is available for purchase.
"No one should be seeing money off of a T.I. record if we’re not seeing money off of that, period," says Geter, who co-founded Grand Hustle with T.I. "With Amazon or iTunes or any major distributor, they should be held accountable."
Online Experiment Adds 'I Cried' Button to Youtube:
Project Goodcry is as an experiment intended to make crying a collective experience. This is the first installment in Dee Kim and Bistin Chen’s extensive study exploring the role of crying in a networked culture.
Google Chrome users can now install the ‘I Cried’ button onYouTube from the Chrome app store. After installation, the button should appear next to the other YouTube buttons. Click the ‘I Cried’ button when you shed some tears or after you’ve finished material that moved you. Instead of rating the video with a series of stars, your emotions are gauged by tear drops. Functioning similarly to Facebook’s Like button, this new plug-in is an alternative to YouTube’s pre-existing thumbs up or thumbs down feature.
The website ranks all the ‘I cried’ videos, and after viewing a scene from the film, Imitation Of Life where Mahalia Jackson sings a moving rendition of “Trouble Of The World” we realized 279 others shared our sentiments and were touched by the clip.
CHRIS BROWN Launches Dum English, Limited-Edition Collectibles With Ron English:
Chris Brown can’t seem to sit still. In addition to finishing up his fifth studio album Fortune (July 3) and selling two-month-old pit bull puppies, the singer/songwriter has announced a new collectibles series in collaboration with artist Ron English. Called Dum English, the pair’s exclusive line of limited-edition collectible toys and unique art sculptures will launch in Los Angeles on May 2.
Working in tandem with sculpture manufacturers Garageworks Industries and vinyl toy production house Made by Monsters, Brown and English’s new venture is an offshoot of the singer’s MechanicalDummy.com blog/lifestyle site that also houses his own street art and that of other budding artists. Among Dum English’s inaugural offerings: A toy necklace chain ($75) and a 10”vinyl figure ($140), both from Made by Monsters, and a four-foot life-size fiberglass sculpture ($20,000) by Garageworks Industries.
BEYONCE Named 'World's Most Beautiful Woman' by People:
She’s an entertainment force of nature, 16-time Grammy winner, and beauty and style icon. But Beyoncé is proudest of one title that also happens to be her most recent: mommy to little Blue Ivy Carter.
"I feel more beautiful than I’ve ever felt because I’ve given birth," says PEOPLE’s 2012 World’s Most Beautiful Woman. “I have never felt so connected, never felt like I had such a purpose on this earth.”
The “Crazy in Love” singer, 30, and her husband of four years, Jay-Z, 42, have gone gaga for Blue, born Jan. 7 in New York City. “She’s just the cutest thing,” gushes Beyoncé, who croons one-of-a-kind tunes to her daughter and professes to “love” changing diapers.
So who does her daughter most resemble? “She looks like Blue,” says Beyoncé, who is back to her pre-pregnancy weight and gearing up for her first post-baby concerts, Memorial Day weekend at the Revel Atlantic City. “She’s her own person.”
"The best thing about having a daughter is having a true legacy," she adds. "The word ‘love’ means something completely different now."
For more of Beyoncé’s exclusive interview – in which she shares her beauty secrets, reveals how she lost the baby weight and sets the record straight on all the rumors – pick up this week’s special issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.
Remembering LISA 'LEFT EYE' LOPES, 10 YRS After Her Death:
Ten years ago today (April 25), hip-hop and R&B lost a great soul too soon. Rapper, singer, dancer and songwriter, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes lost her life in a fatal car accident in Roma, Honduras at the age of 30.
Lopes was was working on a documentary of her “spiritual journey” and headed to herbal healing village, The Usha Herbal Resource Institute, when she lost control of her rented Mitsubishi, veered off the road and turned over several times. Lopes died on the scene.
Lopes is best known as being the outspoken, feisty rapper in R&B group TLC. (The “crazy” one from the “crazy, sexy, cool” trio.) The multi-platinum group was behind such Hot 100 No. 1 hits as “No Scrubs,” “Waterfalls” and “Unpretty.” The act’s 1999 album “FanMail” debuted on top of the Billboard 200 and Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. TLC sold 15.6 million albums in the U.S. and is the second-biggest selling female R&B group of the past 20 years, according to Nielsen SoundScan. There’s no doubt that TLC revamped the girl group in the ’90s and paved way for other acts like Destiny’s Child.
The veteran MC’s 10th album is due July 17 on Def Jam Recordings, the label announced on Tuesday.
He gave fans a taste with single "The Don" last month, which followed 2011 single “Nasty.” He’ll drop a third cut, the No-I.D.-produced “Daughters,” on May 1.
The new album will also feature production work from Polow Da Don, DJ Green Lantern, Stargate, Mark Ronson and others on tracks including “Black President” and the Busta Rhymes-featuring “Fried Chicken.”
The new set follows a moment of nostalgia for Nas, whose “Behind the Music” episode debuted on VH1 last week. In March, he played a special set at the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas, devoted to his iconic 1994 album, “Illmatic.”
I’m very excited for this project! Nas is definitely one of the GOAT (Greatest of All Times) in Rap! My greatest memory working with him at Columbia Records was when I, as the label rep had to escort him & his crew to the famed Tunnel Nightclub in New York City. Nas is very laid back so that was a breeze, but the Tunnel, not so much! Crazy night! Funk Flex had it lit up in there! xo @RozOonTheGo
DRAKE Says Third Album Will Be Different Than 'Take Care':
After the “down” tone that pervaded his chart-topping sophomore album, 2011’s “Take Care,” Drake says he’s charting a different course for his next outing, which he’s already started recording.
"I think my mood will be reflected in the tempos I choose for the music," the Canadian singer and rapper told Billboard.com during a conference call to promote the upcoming U.S. amphitheatre run of his Club Paradise Tour. "A lot of ‘Take Care,’ it’s down… and I think a lot of it had to do with being back in Toronto, getting reacquainted with the life I had before (fame) and difficulties with that, and at the same time trying to express excitement, express joy…
"Now I’m in a very, very, very, very different place than I’ve ever been, really focused on myself, really focused on my health, my body, my mind, really wanting to be the best I can possibly be…I’m in a different mindset now that I’m very proud of… It’s going to be a very interesting album — probably, to be honest with you, conceptually one of the most exciting projects I’ve worked on, just ‘cause there’s so many new things going on in my life."