August 2012


The beautiful Alicia Keys is ready to set the stage on fire next week. The Grammy Award-winning artist will be performing at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards on Thursday, September 6th, where she’ll debut her new single “Girl On Fire.” The song serves as the title track off her upcoming fifth solo album due on November 27th.

Hear a preview of A. Keys’ new single in MTV’s latest VMA promo clip below…..



Ludacris’ album Ludaversal is set to drop this fall, and in its anticipation, the ATL rapper has released a track from the imminent album. With Kelly Rowland on the hook, Luda’s new single “Representing” is a sexy mid-tempo duet. The song premiered on the Atlanta-based radio station V-103, so for now, it’s only available in the radio rip form.

Listen to the motivational single below…..



Big Boi and Theophilus London turn a discreet home into their women-filled abode in “She Said Ok,” the new single from 1/2 of Outkast. As Big Boi attends to a curvaceous nude companion, Theophilus focuses his attention to the legs of his female partner. Their collaboration will appear on Big Boi’s sophomore album, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors on November 13.

Watch the T&A-filled “She Said Ok” with Big Boi and Theophilus after the jump…..



Aggressive, gregarious, and infinitely connected…Chris Lighty, one of hip hop’s most successful middle men, is dead at the age of 44. According to sources close to Chris and his team, he was found dead at home in the Bronx earlier today by his wife and his bodyguard. Chris allegedly died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Police confirmed to the New York Times that they are investigating the death as a suicide. Meanwhile, the New York Daily News cited unnamed sources that told them Chris shot himself after arguing with his estranged wife, Veronica:
Lighty, 44…stepped outside his South Riverdale apartment about 11:30 a.m., after a spat with his wife, Veronica, police sources said.
Suddenly, a gun shot was heard and Lighty was found lying faceup with a 9-mm. pistol next to his body, sources said.

Despite these troublesome circumstances, many in the music industry who knew Chris Lighty are remembering his vast influence and experience. Born in the same Bronx River Houses as hip hop music itself, Lighty got his first crack at the music business by carrying record crates for DJ Red Alert. He was known then as Baby Chris, the youngster of Red Alert’s Violator crew. Then he became the road manager for The Jungle Brothers, and from there, Lighty was recruited by Lyor Cohen and Russell Simmons to work for RUSH Management. But Chris became a power player in his own right when he started his own Violator Management company, wheeling and dealing for clients like Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott, Diddy, Mariah Carey…and most famously, 50 Cent.


In 2000, as the “music lifestyle editor” for Vibe Magazine, I wrote a feature about hip hop’s most influential siblings. There were the Dashes (Damon, Darren, Bobby), the Ronsons (Mark, Sam, Charlotte), the Deans (Chivonne, Darrin, Waah), the Rifkins (Steve, Jon, and Rich Isaacson),…and the opening spread was Chris Lighty, playing ball at his Jersey mansion, alongside his brothers Dave, Jonathan and Mike. What I remember most about that project and all the times that I worked with Chris afterwards, was his intensity, wealth of experience, and a brutal honesty that comes with self-confidence. Condolences go out to his family, his kids, his team, and his artists.

Read about Chris Lighty and his brothers (Vibe, 2000)…
Check out Chris Lighty’s Road Manager Rules To Live By (Ego Trip Book of Rap Lists, 1999)…
Watch Chris Lighty’s cameo in De La Soul’s legendary “Buddy” video…
Watch Chris Lighty speak on his career and the music business (with Al Lindstrom, 2011)
After the jump


While a handful of on set videos have hit the internet, Game delivers official behind-the-scenes footage of his video for “Celebration.” The first visual in support of his upcoming Jesus Piece LP takes us to a good old BBQ in L.A. as Chris Brown, Tyga and Wiz Khalifa have fun on set. Lil’ Wayne’s part will be filmed seperately in the coming weeks. Also look out for a remix to the SAP-produced single features Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, who’s “1st of Da Month” is sampled on the feel good record.

Go on set of “Celebration” with director Matt Alonzo below….



Saying goodbye is always hard to do. For Nas, the Queens MC closes a chapter in his life in “Bye Baby,” the reflective stand out cut off his Life Is Good LP. Nas brings his album cover to life as he documents his life with ex-wife Kelis as he reminisces over video of their wedding day. From meeting with lawyers to close his divorce, and cleaning out Kelis’ closet before finding her infamous green wedding dress, Nas says his final goodbye in the Aristotle-directed visual, with a cameo from Aaron Hall! If you remember, the song samples Hall’s voice from GUY’s “Goodbye Love.”

Watch the VEVO premiere of “Bye Baby” below….



Lil Wayne’s long-anticipated Dedication 4 mixtape, slated to drop today, has been pushed back again. Mack Maine, the president of Young Money, announced the delay earlier today via Twitter, writing, “Dedication 4 will not drop today…we will announce the new date soon…(Dodges bullets).”

The YMCMB rapper tweeted, “My bad!! Dam!!! It be here Soon tho don’t trip. I wouldn’t give y’all just anything” confirmed the tape will be released on Sept. 3 at 3pm.

Lil Wayne’s ‘D4′ Has a Release Date: Will It Live Up to the Hype?
Nicki Minaj Speaks on ‘Dedikation 4′ Feature with Lil’ Wayne
Nicki Minaj Brings Foxy Brown, Cam’Ron, Drake, and Lil’ Wayne to her NYC Show
Lil’ Wayne – “No Lie (Freestyle)”

With the newly released debut ASAP Mob mixtape, Lord$ Never Worry, currently making its rounds around the Internets, VillageVoice did a massive profile on the rest of the crew. Sure, we all know everything about Rocky at this point, but what about the other members? Who is A$AP Ferg? And who is the kid with the birthmark?? I’m sure a lot of you are still asking yourselves these questions.

Check out the best questions and standout quotes from the interviews after the jump…



Brandy stands tall, extended arms out against two walls in the artwork for her upcoming Two Eleven album arriving on October 2. Her sixth solo album is supported by the singles “Put It Down” with Chris Brown, and the latest “Wildest Dreams.” In an exclusive interview with Rap-Up, the R&B star describes the project as “Just an R&B album, a rhythm and blues album. That’s what it is. No gimmicks, real R&B music.”

She goes on to describe the sound as “a little bit sexier than my previous albums—very vibed out, and it’s versatile. It has so many different R&B sounds and different R&B records on there. I got a chance to work with different people more than I did in the past because in the past, it was pretty much one producer that I would work with and I didn’t really get a chance to explore a lot of different talents. I was able to do that with this album.”

12 songs will be included on the standard edition, while the deluxe will include anywhere from 15-16 songs. Check out the standard cover above, and the deluxe after the jump…..



All 2 Chainz wants for his birthday is a big booty girl. The artist formerly known as Tity Boi pairs up with his G.O.O.D. Music affiliate in Kanye West to bring us “Birthday Song,” the latest viral in support of his #1 debut album Based on a T.R.U. Story. Directed by Andreas Nilsson, an executive/director under Kanye’s DONDA creative collective, 2 Chainz brings a wacky unique twist to celebrating your born date. From midgets, to quintuplet brothers, a circus, old seniors, and a backyard circus? One crazy, ratchet party caught on film.

Watch the surprise-filled VEVO premiere below…..


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