Hip-Hop Media Training
  • Maybe it was a bad idea for Kanye West to make light of theTaylor Swift incident in a comical note he sent to Britney Spears Friday viaTwitter.

    [Related: Taylor Swift's ex brings new date to Globes]

    Last Tuesday, Spears released a new song "Hold It Against Me,"and it immediately reached No. 1 on iTunes. Ironically, West and Jay-Z droppeda new track, "H.A.M.," the same day, and it came in at No. 2.

    West's acknowledgment of Spears' chart victory sparked awave of reaction from both West and Spears fans. "Yo Britney, I'm really happy for you and I'mma letyou be #1,but me and Jay-Z single isone of the best songs of all time! LOL," the controversial rapper wrote on hisTwitter page.



    Many West fans found humor in the message. "I LOLed at the 'I'm happy for you' you tweeted at Britney," Imoh "Im0h" Dexter Emah said toWest via Twitter. "Nice to know you can make fun of yourself."

    [Related: Kanye West shows off 'egotistic' jewelry]

    While Twitter was flooded with comments from fans who

    Read More »from Kanye West’s ‘Imma Let You Finish’ Britney Tweets Divide Fans
  • Usher abruptly stopped his performance at Berlin's O2 Arena mid-show Thursday nightafter suffering from a respiratory illness, according to a statement from hislabel.

    In concert footage that has surfaced online, the "OMG"singer struggled making it through his song "Lovers And Friends." He was noticeablylethargic and his speech was slurred.


    Before finishing the song, he walked away from themicrophone stand, blew a kiss to the audience, touched his heart, and thenexited. The audience booed in disappointment.

    After Usher left the stage, a representative addressed thecrowd. "Unfortunately, Usher is too sick to [continue]," the rep said. "We'resorry to make you guys come back twice. But I promise you, we will be back. ...Thanks for understanding."

    This was the second cancelation for Usher this week. TheThursday show was originally set for Wednesday, but was rescheduled at the lastminute.

    Usher expressed in a statement his regret for the date changes."I have been very excited about my

    Read More »from Usher Abruptly Ends Berlin Concert Due To Illness
  • Eric Benet, John Legend, and R. Kelly have all stepped awayfrom their traditional contemporary R&B styles to release nostalgic soul albums.They all have a history of making good music, but something about their latestalbums feels different.

    Benet thinks it will take efforts like theirs to helpresuscitate the music business that has taken a hit over the last decade withfans preferring to download music illegally instead of purchasing records.

    "I think the medicine is really music," Benet said when hestopped by Yahoo! Music offices in December to discuss his latest album, "LostIn Time."

    Before beginning to work on the album, he came up with agame plan. He knew that settling on using loops and synthesizers would not give his record the authenticity he desired. But hiring all the musicians heneeded would exceed his recording budget.

    He took a risk, and asked the label to give him more moneyto make the album. Then he pooled his resources and linked with some talentedold musicians friends

    Read More »from Eric Benet Says Promoting Real Musicians Will Help Revive Business
  • The long-discussed Aretha Franklin biopic is closer to beingproduced, the Queen Of Soul revealed during a phone call on Wednesday's episodeof "The Wendy Williams Show."

    "For the last four years we've been talking about that," Franklin said. "And Ihave had a number of offers, but unfortunately, they were not good offers. Now,we have something on the table. They have all of the financing on one project.The second project, he's in the process of writing things for me to approve onthe telefilm."

    Franklinis still interested in having a particular Oscar award-winning actress in thelead role. "Halle Berry is my pick for the [older] Aretha,"she said, adding that a younger actress had yet to be determined to portray herearlier years.

    The "Respect" singer mentioned speaking to Terrance Howardabout playing Smokey Robinson.

    Aside from the film, Franklinwas eager to discuss one of her favorite contemporary songs, R. Kelly's throwbacksoul ballad "When A Woman Loves." "I think any woman that's ever

    Read More »from Aretha Franklin Picks Halle Berry For Biopic, Crushes On R. Kelly
  • TLC member Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas has returned with thesecond season of her hit VH1 dating show, "What Chilli Wants." The beautiful,39-year-old singer is arguably television's pickiest bachelorette.

    Most of the show is focused on why male suitors don't liveup to her list of qualifications many consider immeasurable. It drives herrelationship expert Tionna Smalls nuts.

    Though Chilli picked Bill as the winner of Season 1, it didn'twork out. But for Season 2, the dating process has intensified.

    Hip Hop Media Training recently spoke to Chilli to discuss confrontingmillionaire boxing champ Floyd Mayweather about taking their relationshipserious, forcing matchmaker Smalls to change her game plans, and the blind datefrom hell her mother arranged.

    HIP HOP MEDIATRAINING: You get heat because of your list. I think it's extreme, but feelthat if that's what you want, you should stick to it.

    CHILLI: The list is not a pact for anybody. Those are thingsthat are important to me. And a lot of the

    Read More »from Chilli Says She Knew Floyd Mayweather Wasn’t The One
  • Chester Marlon Hanks, son of Academy Award winning actorTom Hanks, tosses his hat in the hip-hop arena, recording a remake of WizKhalifa's top 10 song "Black And Yellow."

    Performing under the moniker Chet Haze, the 20-year-old Northwestern University student and actor has tradedKhalifa's pro-Pittsburgh lyrics for those advocating college.

    On "White And Purple (Northwestern Remix)," Haze boasts,"I'm living college life, homie 'til the world is mine." He also references agirlfriend: "Got a call from bruhs in the frat house, I'm with my girl tryingto get up under that blouse."

    Surprisingly, Haze has a nice rhyme flow. It's unclearwhether rap is just a hobby, but the lyrics suggest an interest in getting arecord deal. "Hear them haters talk, but you know they be losing," he raps. "I'mtrying to walk the walk for the major of my choosing."

    According to Gawker,who broke the story, Mo Greene first recorded a "White And Purple" Northwesternanthem last year.

    Haze also has a couple acting credits

    Read More »from Tom Hanks’ Son Records Rap Song, Remakes “Black And Yellow”
  • Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Motown founder Berry Gordy, and "Everybody Hates Chris" actress Tichina Arnold were just a few of the celebrities who paid their respects to R&B legend Teena Marie during a private memorial service Monday at Forest Lawn in Los Angeles. Marie, born Mary Christine Brockert, died in her sleep on December 26.

    The "Lovergirl" singer and protege of Rick James often referred to Robinson as her idol, the musician whose songwriting she most wanted to emulate. Robinson said that he and Marie were extremely close. "She was my baby," he said as he arrived at the service. "When you called her house, she had written a song about me that was on her answering machine. So today I'm performing a song that I had written about her."

    Robinson's song is called "Shine: Teena's Theme." Robinson was an executive at Motown when the label signed Marie in the '70s. He described her as a "bundle of dynamite."

    Stevie Wonder said that while he enjoyed being a fellow Motown artist, he

    Read More »from Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder Say They’ll Miss Teena Marie’s Spirit Most
  • William Shatner has added poetic rhythm to Sarah Palin'stweets so it's only right that Josh Groban would extend the same creativeservices to Kanye West's random online status updates.

    The singer-songwriter added a classical flare to actual Westtweets during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live Monday.

    Groban played piano as he sang hilarious West one-liners:"Black is the new black," "Fur pillows are hard to actually sleep on," "Frenchfries are the devil," and "Classical music is tight yo."

    If listeners didn't pay close attention to the lyrics, theymight assume Groban was singing real songs. He never broke character whenperforming selections from his fictitious album "Josh Groban's The Best TweetsOf Kanye West" that includes 752 selections.

    Groban conducted the skit during a stop at Kimmel to promotehis real new album, "Illuminations" released in November.


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    Read More »from Josh Groban Adds Classical Flare To Kanye West Tweets
  • R&B legend Teena Marie was found dead in her home Sunday.

    The Rick James protege was born Christine Brockert in Santa Monica and was 54 at the time of her death.

    Marie's publicist Lynn Jeter told CNN that the singer suffered a seizure a month ago.

    "Luckily, someone was there," Jeter said. "The ambulance took her to the hospital, and on the way she had another seizure."

    The cause of death was not known at press time.

    Her career spanded three decades and included stints on Motown, Epic, Cash Money, and Stax. Her 1982 departure from Motown culminated in a legal dispute. Teena's appeal resulted in the creation of the Brockert Initiative which is of great importance to recording artists.

    The law restricts a record company's ability to shelve an artist's music while simultaneously locking them into their contract.

    R&B singer Mary J. Blige was among the celebrities who shared her condolences via Twitter. "[Teena Marie] inspired me vocally as a child," Blige wrote. "Her songs I sang in

    Read More »from R.I.P. R&B Legend Teena Marie
  • Willow Smith's odds for success are greater than those of the average10-year-old aspiring child star.

    Both of her parents are already famous. When her father WillSmith was a teen, his hip-hop group Jazzy Jeff And The Fresh Prince earned thefirst hip-hop Grammy for their song "Parents Just Don't Understand." By theearly '90s, he starred in his own sitcom, "The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air," andthen took over the big screen with blockbuster credits like "Independence Day"and "Men In Black."

    Her mother, Jada Pinkett Smith, has a respectable resume oftelevision and movie roles, including co-starring in Eddie Murphy's "The NuttyProfessor."

    Even her older brother, Jaden, has made a name for himself. Last summer, he starred in anadaptation of the '80s teen martial arts flick, "The Karate Kid."

    [Photos: Jaden and Willow Smith's red carpet style

    Willowis already following suit.

    Her first musical release, "Whip My Hair," was an instanthit, selling more than two million downloads. The buzz of the

    Read More »from Willow Smith On ‘Parents Just Don’t Understand,’ ‘Twilight,’ Jay-Z, And Being 10


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