Rapper Kanye West has partnered his DONDA creative house with Jay Z's Roc Nation record label as part of a management makeover. The new venture will focus on "West's international recording brand and worldwide touring ventures", according to a statement on the Roc Nation website.
West currently has no musical artists signed to DONDA, but he used the label to design the Watch The Throne tour, the seven-screen surround vision experience in Cannes, France, the short film Cruel Summer and album packaging for several artists including rappers 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne, according to AllHipHop.com.
West launched the company, which is named after his late mother, in 2009.
Rapper 2 Chainz will not be performing at an upcoming music festival in Australia after he was denied permission to enter the country. The hip-hop star was due to perform at the Future Music Festival in Sydney next month (Mar14), but officials Down Under have refused to grant him a visa.
Organisers have now been forced to remove 2 Chainz from the line-up. They say in a statement, "We've been regrettably advised that 2 Chainz is unable to travel to Australia at this time. Both parties are disappointed - FMF (Future Music Festival) HQ loves 2 Chainz, and can't wait to get him down to Australia as soon as we can."
The rapper writes in a post on his Twitter.com page, "To my Aussie fans, due to reasons beyond my control I will not be at Future Festival this year... hopefully I can make it there soon!"
The festival will go ahead with sets from stars including Rudimental, Tinie Tempah and Deadmau5.
2 Chainz was previously forced to axe an appearance at another Australian music event, the Movement Festival, last year (13) due to visa issues.
In just about every one of Kevin Hart's scenes in Ride Along, there's a joke that is just aching to find its way out of the diminutive, rascally comic actor. Hart is a small-scale physical comedian — of the same ilk as Jack Black — who puts nuclear-degree energy into his facial contortions, anatomical outbursts, and the delivery of every gag in general. If only he had material that was crafted with the same energy.
Unfortunately, nothing else about Ride Along seems at all "hard at work." Not the script, which pads a lifeless story with lazy comedy, and certainly not his screen partner Ice Cube, whose only stage direction seems to be "frown, and be taller than Kevin Hart." So lifeless is Ice Cube that even his machismo-obsessed straight man bit doesn't really work. Instead of the virile and intimidating "bad cop," he comes off as a disapproving middle aged dad without much to show for his own life.
But the script pairs the wily, overzealous high school security guard and video game junkie Ben (Hart) with no-nonsense lawman James (Ice Cube) on the titular ride along, with the scrappy cop-wannabe hoping to prove to the force veteran that he's good enough to marry the latter's younger sister. In earnest, he's not. Ben never puts any respectable effort into learning the tools of the trade, insisting on employing his amateur style and controlling the radio despite his proclamations that he wants, and deserves, James' trust. And James is no saint either — he's irresponsible on crime scenes, violent with perps, and disgruntled to the point of being unable to work with anybody else on the force. These are not good police officers... of course, you'll say, this is a comedy. But where are the laughs, then?
They're not absent entirely, you just have to look for them. In a movie so focused with big, broad humor, it's the smaller comedy that actually lands best. Hart's background mutterings and fumblings, his emoticon-laden texts to girlfriend Angela (Tika Sumpter, whose only stage direction seems to be "smile, and never wear a full outfit of clothing"), and a bizarre repetition of the word "weird" from supporting player John Leguizamo. All good for unexpected chuckles, while jokes like Hart facing off with a pre-teen or being blown backwards into a brick wall after firing a large gun are all lazy, familiar, and flat.
Structurally, the script is a mess. Ride Along spends far too much time on set up — we get it, Hart and his soon-to-be-brother-in-law Ice Cube don't get along — and far too much time on wrap-up — there's a gigantic, dramatic warehouse shootout that, in any other movie, would be the climax, but there's plenty more to go after that — without any cohesive middle to make the movie feel like... a movie.
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Hart, who leaps at every comic opportunity like a kangaroo (wallaby would be more appropriate), is suited just right for a buddy cop comedy, but he needs something fresh with which to work — a real character, an interesting story, actually funny jokes. Even just one of these would be fine!
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Singer B. Smyth was arrested for trespassing on Sunday (22Dec13) in Florida, according to a U.S. report. The Leggo hitmaker, who has worked with rappers Future and 2 Chainz, was allegedly pulled over at a gas station for tailgating.
During the stop, Smyth, real name Brandon Smith, reportedly became confrontational with police officers, accusing them of pulling him over because he is African-American, according to TMZ.com.
The 21 year old then allegedly said he was "going to sleep with one of the officers wives."
He was placed into custody after refusing to leave the area.
Rapper 2 Chainz received an unwelcome Christmas present on Tuesday (24Dec13) when he was formally charged for obstruction of justice relating to a police run-in in August (13). The I'm Different hitmaker, real name Tauheed Epps, was busted alongside members of his entourage over the summer (13) after refusing to let an officer onboard his tour bus to investigate the smell of marijuana smoke emanating from the vehicle.
The cop, who had initially stopped the bus due to a faulty tail light, booked 11 people for obstructing a police officer, and now 2 Chainz has been officially charged with the misdemeanour.
Taking to his Twitter.com page on Christmas Eve (24Dec13), he wrote, "So the fact that OKC (Oklahoma police) is charging me with obstruction months after pulling my bus over And finding nothing lets me know the devil is busy".
If convicted, he faces up to a year behind bars and a $1,000 (£670) fine, reports AllHipHop.com.
2 Chainz spoke out about the arrest in September (13), insisting he had done nothing wrong and accusing police of unfairly targeting him.
He told MTV's RapFix Live show, "You're not gonna find a kilo on my bus. You're not gonna find an unregistered reason. I went to work all last year. I paid taxes. I did everything I was supposed to do. So maybe people need to start aiming at some criminals. For me, I'm cold turkey on all criminal activities. I don't wanna do anything criminal. It's just about wasting your time, my time and taxpayers' money."
This was, without a doubt, an excellent year for Hip-Hop music. Jay Z, Kanye West, and Timbaland (as a producer) all returned to a certain glory with their new projects. Artists like Pusha T, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, and A$AP Rocky became key players in the game. And lots of new artists generated positive buzz. Lots of magazines like Rolling Stone are counting down the best Hip-Hop albums of the year, but we're going to keep it simple with 5 definitive hip-hop tracks of 2013. Obviously, tons of great songs came out, but if we had to put 5 singles into a time capsule, these would be it!
Black Skinhead, Kanye West
People can hate on this guy all they want, but the lyrics, production, and impact of this song were amazing. And once it found its way to the trailer for Martin Scorsese's The Wolf Of Wall Street (perfectly appropriate, in part because of the line "I'm aware I'm a wolf/Soon as the moon hit"), it became that much more epic.
Started From The Bottom, Drake
To say that this song was "everywhere" would be the understatement of the year. Even Chris Brown -- who still has beef with Drake -- was spotted losing his mind to this in the club. Now whether or not Drake himself "started from the bottom" is debatable (well, okay, it's not true at all), but we'll let the whole thing slide if only so we can enjoy the song.
Feds Watching, 2 Chainz feat. Pharrell
Like it or not, 2 Chainz is one of the defining artists in hip-hop right now. And for people who had been supporting him since he was still Tity Boi (and one half of the group Playaz Circle) his latest album represented a return to his original style. "Feds Watching" had a dope beat and was (thankfully) lacking in some of the silliness that people had come to associate with Chainz. It was a good look for him.
Picasso Baby, Jay Z
When Jigga merged Hip-Hop with performance art (with the help of Marina Abramović), he showed that Hip-Hop already was performance art. "Picasso Baby" as a song, video, and short film became a movement that ultimately proved hip-hop is already in the realm of high art.
Control, Big Sean feat. Kendrick Lamar & Jay Electronica
Although the entire world stopped spinning (seriously) as practically every, single rapper in existence responded to Kendrick Lamar's now-iconic, unforgettable verse (which was not, in fact, an actual diss), Big Sean and Jay Electronica both went in on this one. This was, quite easily, the most discussed song of the year, and with good reason. Next year, we'll have to see if Kendrick Lamar will remain King of the game.
Rappers 2 Chainz and Pusha T are teaming up for the 2 Good to be T.R.U. tour, which will visit 21 cities across America. The artists, who have performed on each other's albums this year (13), will kick off the trek in Boston, Massachusetts on 4 February (14), and wrap up the tour on 24 March in Washington, D.C.
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio turned his star-studded birthday party into a charity fundraiser on Sunday (10Nov13) after recruiting rappers Kanye West and 2 Chainz to headline a special concert in his honour. The Titanic hunk hosted a private dinner at TAO Downtown in New York for 100 of his friends and family, including frequent collaborator Martin Scorsese and actors Tobey Maguire, Orlando Bloom and Benicio Del Toro.
The guests, among them designer Nicky Hilton, hip-hop star Busta Rhymes and New York Yankees baseball aces Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, were then treated to a show by West, who performed hits such as Gold Digger and Good Life, while 2 Chainz serenaded the birthday boy with his own version of Happy Birthday.
The event, which also featured a charity auction, helped raise $3 million (£2 million) for environmental causes supported by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.
The Hollywood star actually turned 39 on Monday (11Nov13).
Rapper 2 Chainz is considering releasing a sex tape to make some extra cash. The My Story hitmaker, real name Tauheed Epps, is hoping the venture will make him a very rich man and make sure all his future mistakes are covered financially.
He tells Playboy magazine, "I want to put out a sex tape in the next five to 10 years and reap all the benefits in case I spend my hard-earned rap money doing boneheaded activities."
And 2 Chainz already has an idea of who he'd like to join him in bed for his sex tape: "I hate to say this, but I think Iggy Azalea's dope."
He also wouldn't be opposed to romancing his Beez In The Trap collaborator Nicki Minaj: "Yeah, I'd do that."
Mc Lyte was honoured at the BET Hip-Hop Awards on Saturday (28Sep13) for paving the way for female rappers. The 42 year old, who was the first woman to release a full-length rap album in 1988, was handed the I Am Hip-Hop Award by rapper Eve at the event at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center in Georgia.
Eve told the star-studded crowd, "She set the precedent for female freestylers. I'm truly, truly honoured. She has meant so much to me in my career."
Fellow female rap veteran Queen Latifah recorded a video message praising MC Lyte, as did superstar couple Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith.
Accepting her prize, Lyte, real name Lana Michelle Moorer, said, "Please keep the dream alive, I am with you."
Other winners including Drake, who was named the People's Champ. The full list of award recipients will be revealed when the prizegiving is broadcast in the U.S. on 5 October (13).
Kendrick Lamar took to the stage to perform a four-minute freestyle rap, while Montana, Rick Ross, 2 Chainz and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony also played.
Snoop Dogg hosted the ceremony.