June 2007

(fyi…for all my hardcore hip hop heads, this is not really for you…but I got some fun celebrity romance gossip for everyone else today…I just gotta finish up at the station,
and then I’ll post it : )EDIT: ok, now that I’m finally finished with work today (ugh)…now I can rewrite this properly so its not the messy post that it was. Apologies…)

Today was an eventful one….

I met with a old pal who worked on a recent video shoot for Ciara and 50 Cent. (We all know that Ciara worked with 50 on a song called “Can’t Leave ‘Em Alone”, its on her new album.)

Now if you remember, a couple months ago, there were rumors in the NYC tabloids about Ciara being spotted with 50 Cent in Lefrak, Qns of all places….she was seen waiting in his Phantom, blahdy blah blah…..and honestly, I dismissed those rumors the same way most people did. (um, why would 50 need to go to Lefrak of all places…that’s no where near Southside Jamaica, and its certainly not the new trendy datespot, lol)

Anyways, ever since then, I kept hearing little tidbits here and there….Ciara and 50 spotted looking cozy on tour….Ciara talking to 50 on the phone…yadda yadda yadda. Even, one of my famous co-workers noticed a little nervousness on Ciara’s part when asked about a certain Curtis Possibly-Not-Interscope-For-Much-Longer Jackon : )

So, back to the unedited video footage that I peeped on the low. I couldnt take it with me (I wish, lol) so I’ll just have to describe it from memory:

-shots of Ciara in a skin-tight Herve Leger bandage dress

-shots of Ciara strutting in tiny yellow bootyshorts and a bikini top (I’m not used to seeing her in such revealing gear…the shorts with heels outfit reminded me of “Crazy in Love” nahmean? lol)

-shots of Ciara and 50 Cent all dressed up on a classy date

-but the headbanger was…..(this footage I had to rewind four or five times)…alot of steamy scenes featuring a chest-naked 50 Cent caressing (and being caressed by) an equally bare-from-the-waist-up Ciara. At times Ciara was rubbing 50’s huge pectoral muscles. Other times, 50 was stroking her bare back….the whole time, 50 and Ciara are wrapped in each other arms, lips to necks….definitely all looking alot more intimate than two business collaborators or two platonic pals would ever get.

When was the last time, two artists got that intimate (bare chest to bare breast?!) on video? Andre and Erkyah Badu, Enrique Iglesias and Anna Kournikova, J-Lo and Diddy….lol, notice a pattern? (Hell, Jay n Bey been dating/engaged/married for years and the most they did on video were performance scenes, right?)

Now before all you commentors get upset…yes, obviously just because two celebs do a duet, does not mean that they’re dating. And just because a female star and a male star appear in the same video, that doesn’t mean they’re dating either (ie. Beyonce and Usher, Beyonce and Sean Paul, Mary J Blige and Nas, DMX and Eve, Jay-Z and Foxy, Eve andum…well, you get the idea). And as for the rumors linking Ciara with producer Polow Da Don, I doubt it. But nobody is saying Ciara and 50 are married or even exclusive, I’m just saying something is poppin, lol, wink wink….

Pretty sure that Ciara will deny that she and 50 are more than just friends. I’m not sure what 50 will say, sinced he’s one of the realest and brutally honest people I’ve ever dealt with…but he may want to play low-pro for now because Ciara is not like Vivica, there is real potential here.)

But all I can say is this: I wouldn’t suggest that 50 and Ciara are dating if all I had to go on was a couple stolen peeks at an upcoming music video : )

Here are my celebrity drama reports from tonite, addressing what I saw/heard from a secret insider who worked on Ciara’s new video “Can’t Leave ‘Em Alone” (featuring 50 Cent)…I’ll share more details soon….and I’m trying to get a clip from the actual video.

8pm’s report….

[audio:02 cd1-ciara50.mp3]

9pm’s report….

[audio:03 cd2-ciara50.mp3]

10pm’s report….

[audio:04 cd3-kimbuck.mp3]

Here is the actual Ciara song featuring 50 Cent song….

Well maybe Lil Kim and Young Buck’s onstage lambada episode was more than just a momentary animal attraction…..insiders just told me that the Queen Bee and Young Buck (I couldnt think of any cute nicknames for him) were spotted eating dinner at Phillipe here in NYC last night.

Coincidence? Well, Buck also spit the following rhyme in a recent freestyle: “I’m not sayin’ no names, but I have a bad bitch…”

Nothing definitive? Eh…time will only tell. (just a thought: Didnt Buck run into a problem while he was dating Monica when his babymoms heard her bigging up Buck on their local Nashville radio station? Hopefully all that has been handled already because Brooklyn ain’t havin’ that, lol…just kidding)

Um….what..the…oh boy. Well, I guess its good to see Lil Kim enjoying herself, even if that means getting her proverbial eagle-on all over Young Buck’s groin area. He looks a little terrified. On the plus side, if there is one, Kim’s post-pen thickness looks good on her.

big up to Dunny from the Suckafree Blog, and ConcreteLoop for the fun.

so 50 Cent walked out of the label offices and bumped into….Jesse Jackson? Surprisingly, Jesse didnt assemble his collapsible soapbox and start lecturing Curtis on the ills of gangsta rap, lol…according to friends, Jesse and 50 bonded, and Jesse even started putting Fif on the phone will his politico pals. ‘Cause, at the end of the day…what future campaign wouldnt want to the guy with $100mill burning a hole in his Dickies? While Al Sharpton is delivering bars of soap to record label heads, Jesse is doing the polar opposite, lol…

Here’s an exclusive pic of the new BFFs. (I’ll have photos of 50’s sold out Cipriani’s fundraiser later…)

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much love to Nels…

also, hi Abso, thanks for checking in….


“When questioned whether the beef was finally over with Cam, [Jim Jones] said, “Everything is fine, everything is straight. As far as what me and Cam got going on, that’s a little bit more personal than anything. That doesn’t reflect on our movement, doesn’t reflect on our business. Business is always business, at the end of the day. If we want to keep this boat floatin’, want to keep it like that, one of us gonna have to jump off ship, ‘cause it’s gonna float, baby.”

Click here to read the news on Jim Jones on XXLmag.com today….

And click below to watch the MTV Raw video clip that xxlmag.com is talking about. Jimmy discusses the loss of his friend/artist Stack Bundles, as well as the state of Dipset…

(no idea who the guy is doing the interview, but um….the words “artificial intelligence” comes to mind, lol. I was cringing at times. Probably could have been better with Shaheem Reid.)

Here is part 2 of Kenya Byrd’s Essence.com interview with Usher’s much-maligned older woman former stylist divorcee 3-kid-momma fiancee Tameka Foster…..cant wait to read Sandra Rose’s post-game analysis, lol….

“Essence.com: When did you know that Usher was The One?

Tameka Foster: I knew he was the man for me when I told him personal things about me and he didn’t flinch. I never felt like he judged me. Instead, he just accepted me for who I am. I am 36 with three children so I don’t have the body of a 21-year-old. I have flaws, I have an attitude problem, I never make flights and the list goes on. Overall, I have issues that a person could either love or hate, but he accepted me completely. And every day he still treats me like we just met. He opens my car door, calls me to ask if I need anything. He gives a 100 percent and doesn’t waver on consistency.

Essence.com: Aww, Black love. So why do you think people still believe your relationship is a publicity stunt?

T.F.: That’s so foolish. Usher doesn’t have to date any woman to sell albums. He has one of the best voices and can outperform almost anyone. He naturally garners attention wherever he goes. The fact is he has many options and could have chosen to be with anyone, including a Hollywood actress that the press would have loved to write about daily.

Essence.com: I hear you have a 10 carat ring.

T.F.: Actually, it’s bigger. It’s 11.5 carats Asscher cut. A man is not going to go out and buy 11-plus carats to be playing games. If that were the case, he could have just said he was engaged rather than go through the motions.

Essence.com: Whoa! I guess Plymouth Rock didn’t land on us, it landed on your hand!

T.F.: [Laughs] Yeah, it’s pretty serious. I don’t wear it everywhere. It’s just a great reminder of our promise, but I would be happy to be engaged with nothing because he’s a bigger jewel than any ring.

Essence.com: I’m sure his proposal was equally as fabulous!

T.F.: It’s a long story, but it was a beautiful proposal. We were in a studio with a mutual friend of ours, Robin Thicke, who serenaded me while he played the piano. He was playing the piano and singing “The Stupid Things” from his first album.

Essence.com: Did you have any idea Usher would get down on bended knee?

T.F.: No, I was shocked! He made a statement and Robin began singing the song and it was just beautiful. You know, I have a very good man, in every sense of the word and not because of his celebrity, but because he treats me like a woman.

Essence.com: When is the wedding?

T.F.: I’d like to get married sooner, but I’m engaged to a really busy guy. He has a lot of things on his plate. He owns sports teams, restaurants and has an album coming out at the end of this year that he has to promote. I just want to make sure he has time to be at his own wedding. I haven’t set a date, time, place or decided how many guests we’ll have. I’m not worried about what I’m going to wear because that’s the furthest thing from my mind. I might even hire a stylist to help me shop. But it’s all okay because it’s like we’re already married. We are happy with each other and clear about where we are.

Essence.com: Would you elope?

T.F.: Mmmm. I’ve considered that as well with all the press, but I doubt it. I think our close friends would be offended if we did.

Essence.com: What do you say to those who question the sincerity of your relationship?

T.F.: Tell them to keep watching. Usher has done a major coming-of-age. So if he’s doing anything that doesn’t fit the cookie-cutter image people expect from him, then they have something negative to say. If I’m not the right person for him, let time tell. I don’t know that we’ll be together until we die, but we’re happy now and we ain’t bothering nobody. “


(no idea who the lady on the left is, but Usher’s fiance is in the middle, and Usher’s scarf is the star of the show evidently)

Big up to my girl Kenya Byrd, we go way back to the days at Vibe Magazine…well, today she has an interview on essence.com with Usher’s fiance, Tameka Foster. But while Foster’s quotes are interesting, even better was reading how Atlanta photographer and blogstress extraordinaire, Sandra Rose calls Foster out on some big inconsistencies on her site. Click here to read Sandra’s juicy tidbits

And here is an excerpt from Tameka Foster’s interview:

“Essence.com: Let’s address some of the rumors. Were you creeping with Usher while you were still married and he was still dating TLC’s Chilli?

T.F.: No, it’s not true. For the record, I was legally separated from my husband, to whom I was married to for five years, not ten as many have reported . He knew Usher and I were dating, and he was dating other people. It was really the photographers who were creeping. Usher and I went to St. Bart’s to celebrate my birthday in December 2005 and partied for five days straight all over the island. We weren’t hiding! We didn’t even know we were being photographed until we got back to the States. The funny thing is, my ex-husband was on vacation with his date in the Bahamas and having a good time. We were all chilling.

Essence.com: So Usher is not a home wrecker, as the tabloids suggested?

T.F.: Absolutely not. He was on tour when my marriage was officially over. He had nothing to do with what happened between my husband and me. Between my hectic travel schedule and our personality differences, my ex and I grew apart. There are no hard feelings between us. He is a wonderful father. I don’t have any regrets or anger toward him. We have great, smart, well-rounded children. It’s the media that wants to make it appear as if we have this big nasty beef with each other, and we don’t.

Essence.com: When did your relationship with Usher blossom into romance?

T.F.: In November 2005. What people don’t realize is that Usher and I were friends for nearly seven years and I worked as his personal stylist for five years. I was the only female friend he felt he could talk to. Because I was older, he would often ask me questions to help him understand the mentality of an older woman. He was really into Chilli. And when things began to get shaky in my marriage he was there to listen to me as well. But I want to make this clear: We only began dating when Usher was certain that there was no chance of reconciliation between me and my ex, because who wants to be known for breaking up a family or for sharing a woman?

Essence.com: Bloggers have also reported that you are pregnant with some other man’s child, possibly your ex-husband’s, and that Usher has promised to raise it. Supposedly you two broke up and got back together in February when he found out you were four months pregnant. True or false?

T.F.: That is ridiculous. No, I am not pregnant with my ex-husband’s child. If that were the case, the baby would have been born already. Yes, we had a brief split for about a month, but just to reassess and figure everything out.

Essence.com: Okay. Well, are you pregnant with Usher’s child?

T.F.: Yes, I do plan to have children with Usher. This is the man I love and plan to spend the rest of my life with so why wouldn’t I want to share that bond of bringing another life into this world with him.”

WAIT, HUH? Which is it? Is Tameka saying that she IS prego by Usher now? Or she WANTS to be prego by Usher later?….confusing. Well, the belly will soon tell, right?

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Just got back from a nice, small screening party for Kanye’s new “Stronger” video…again, kudos to ‘Ye for knowing how to throw a get-together that is actually appropriate for the occasion. Its a video screening, not a gala, so it was at the small Tribeca Screening Room. But it was for a video that obviously Kanye cares about, and took him a lot of time and sweat investment, so he brought A-Trak to DJ before and after. He had some food trays laid out, and even free drinks (“But not no champagne…that y’all have to pay for” -Kanye). And along with celebrity friends like Swizz Beats and Consequence, Kanye also had media people (self, Shaheem and Rahman from MTV News, Datwon from King Magazine, etc), his business ppls– like LA Reid and Babyface (?!), and also…folks who actually worked on the actual video at the post-production studio. Nice. Only right.

Now before Kanye aired the video and afterward, he talked about the long ordeal that it took to make it, as well as some other really interesting comments about the song itself, the very unapologetic attitude he shows in the rhymes on the song, his hindsight on some of the shortcomings of his other videos, and what happened when he started reading “the hip hop blogs” hahaha…..All in all, having known Kanye years ago when he wasnt yet a huge star…then seeing him over time as he was a huge star…and then now….it felt like he was more comfortable and happy. And more comfortable being happy, lol. Like the confidence without the chip on his shoulder. And it was great to hear his smart humor come through.

I’ll try to remember exactly what he said, my dumb ass didnt have a recorder with me. (and sorry to Kanye if he happens to read this, I am paraphrasing his comments from memory….. because he’s a massive super-stickler about quotes….overly so, IMHO) And whenever the video leaks I’ll post it here but for now, I have a couple pics, and some notes that I took on my way home : ) sorry its not exactly perfect prose. I’m anxious to play Wii (the best thing ever invented! lol)

-video took 9 days to shoot, directed by Hype Williams, partially styled by June Ambrose. Shots done in the Shibuya section of Tokyo (I am so in love with Japan. I go there like once a month now, and I’m doing alot of business out there too”)…but then it took 3 months to finish in post production….Hype tried to quit 3 times but Kanye convinced him to say on (I think he was joking about the quitting)
-because of the limited budget, they just shot in friends stores…for example, they used the hallway of the BBC store, stairs of the Bape store, got a real motorcycle gang,
-Cassie gueststars in the video as….well, just a model. She flew out with just 3 days notice. (see the second photo above)

-One of the things that prompted ‘Ye to go back and redo parts of the video, was when he showed Atrak footage, and he said that Kanye’s afghan scarf outfit looked stupid. Only problem: that was the outfit in Kanye’s main performance shots, so he had to go back and try to rework things.
-The second verse wasnt even written when Kanye started shooting the video, so he likened this video to a song: “this is the first time I got to make a video the same way I would compose a song…Going back and reworking things, and changing parts all the way up until the end….”

-Kanye says the album and the song represented a change, I think in his attitude….he said he had to crawl out of from all the “wack juice” that he was covered in over the last year. Which was very interesting to hear him say….I wonder what wackjuice he was talking about.
-he said that songs like Diamonds, etc were good but that people maybe liked them without really fully relating to them…
Then he was talking to John Brion (the musical director for Kanye’s last album, who added much of the orchestral elements, and who produced Fiona Apple, etc) who is obviously someone that kanye sees as a musical mentor…
“After I played John some stuff, he said, I dont want you to spit raps…well he didnt say that, he said I dont want you to say verses to buy you goodwill….” and that led to Kanye just stripping away some of the intention and just say what he really wanted to say….(then Kanye performed the first verse of Stronger….)

n- n- now th- that don’t kill me
can only make me stronger…
bow in the presence of greatness
cause right now thou has forsaken us
you should be honored by my lateness
that i would even show up to this fake sh*t
so go ahead go nuts go ape sh*t

-Kanye also related that another incident that led to his new attitude. He said there were some mistakes that he recognizes that he made. Like when MTV flew him out to Denmark, where he says he was freezing to death, for the MTV Europe awards. He said It was wrong for me to run up there and wild out, but when they first told me, hey you’re nominated for THREE awards….I thought, wait a minute, so that means that there are two other awards that I can win besides Video of the Year….THIS is gonna be some bullshit….” (LOL) And thats when they gave him the best hip hop video award. That prompted him to run up onstage during the video of the year presentation and voice his displeasure (CLICK HERE TO SEE THAT HILARIOUS CLASSIC FOOTAGE)…..

-Oh, and I’m sure my ppls at Nahright.com and Hiphopmusic.com and other sites will get a kick out of this: then Kanye sarcastically thanked two of his friends for introducing him to hip hop blogs….”So I started reading the hip hop blogs…where they would say Kanye, one of his shoelaces ain’t tied…he’s a bitch……..So those are some of the things that led to ‘Stronger, that don’t kill me can only make me Stronger.‘”

*Now I have to say, there’s only one thing worse than conceit without talent…and that is humility without sincerity. So I can appreciate that Kanye is on his own dilz because he’s not pretending to be not on his own dilz….you know what I mean? It was much better than the ‘woe is me’ hiphop Rodney Dangerfield attitude from before.

-also, about the crazy Levelor-shade white sunglasses, Kanye says they are from Paris and he will be remaking them for this Pastelle clothing line this fall, and that…..

“Stronger is also a fashion statement. Its for people like us, who dress fresh and like fly shit. And if you dont like the song, than more than likely you dont know how to dress either.” lol….always entertaining ‘Ye.

Well, it’s cool visually…has a futuristic vibe which Kanye said was Hype’s whole mission from the start. There is a robotic special effect scene that reminds me of that old Bjork video by Chris Cunningham where Bjork is actually a mechanical cyborg. Then there are cool scenes around Tokyo, which visually is one of the coolest places on earth. And then there are random shots of Cassie, who is beautiful but whatever. And towards the end, Kanye performs an odd little dance move…which folks were calling his Michael Jackson Billie Jean dance. Lol….I liked the fact that he obviously tried to do something different. Its not hard to just go on the block and get some girls to dance next to a candypainted donk these days.
Also, its funny but Kanye said that originally he and Hype wanted to do this whole neon color scheme for the video….but then after the shoot he was on itunes and saw the new Maroon 5 video, and the new 50 Cent Amusement Park video….both with tons of neon. So there went that idea, lol.

**ok, I just realized how much I’ve written about maybe a total of 1 hour and 45 minutes of my tuesday evening, and I’m embarrassed. Nerd. Apologies : )**

Anyways, here’s the actual song, “Stronger”….I definitely like it. You?


despite what the rumor say to the contrary….

eyewitnesses at the 107.9 Atlanta radio station bash say that he talked about his new label Cashville Records, which he recently found a home for (with help from Sha Money XL, 50’s original right hand man, who is no longer with G-unit….hmmm, interesting [edit comment: see reader comments for correction]) but he never dissed 50 and G-unit.

Game performed earlier at the same event…but he and Buck were kept far apart from what insiders say…in fact, some say that Game was kinda cut short during his performance…like, cut off, lol…

Meanwhile, here are some pics etc from the concert over at LT Dinwiddie’s Sohh blog: Hot107.9 bash (lol@ at the photo of Usher presenting a $3,000 check to the Left Eye Foundation)

My webpal LT Dinwiddie posted this new video testimonial on the Sohh Atlanta blog….its an interview clip with Loon. And Loon basically says, in so many words…. that Mase was cruising for trannies in ATL and that its the same thing he was doing back in the Bad Boy days. Loon claims that he never exposed Mase’s predilections to spare his fans. Yikes. Now of course, you gotta take Loon’s words with a grain of salt because Mase and Loon have bad blood, but here’s the video.

double yikes….

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