Rap superstar Jay Z is moving ahead with his designer collection deal with U.S. retailer Barneys despite the furore surrounding the store's alleged racial profiling policy. The high-end chain has been at the centre of a scandal over claims two young black shoppers were detained by cops after making expensive purchases at a New York City branch and quizzed as to how they could afford to pay for the items.
Campaigners called on the rapper to pull plans to release a curated designer collection for Barneys in time for the festive season, with more than 55,000 fans signing a petition calling on him to cut ties with the store.
He has now announced he will move forward with the project on the condition he is involved with an investigation into the racism claims.
A statement from the star reads, "While I await the findings of the Attorney General's Office, I have agreed to move forward with the launch of (the) collection under the condition that I have a leadership role and seat on a council specifically convened to deal with the issue of racial profiling.
"I am in a unique position to use my voice to affect change to this disturbing issue. The easy position would have been to walk away and leave policy making to others hoping that someone addresses the problem. I will not leave the outcome to others. I will take this into my own hands with full power to recommend, review and revise policies and guidelines moving forward. I am choosing to take this head on."
All proceeds from the sales of the collection will now go to his Shawn Carter Foundation, rather than the original 25 per cent.
Rapper-turned-sports agent Jay Z is reportedly under investigation by Major League Baseball Players' Association officials for giving New York Yankees star Robinson Cano a pricey watch as a gift. The organisation's leaders are keen to determine whether or not the 99 Problems hitmaker violated the union's agent regulations by giving the second baseman the $34,000 (GBP22,600) timepiece from his own limited edition Shawn Carter Classic Fusion Hublot range as a 31st birthday gift last month (Oct13).
They fear the rapper may have broken a rule that stipulates, "No Player Agent or Applicant shall provide, cause to be provided or promise to provide, any money or any other thing of value to any player, or any person related to or associated with such player, the purpose of which is to induce or encourage such player to use or continue to use any person's or firm's services as a Player Agent, Representative, or Draft Advisor.'
Cano joined Jay Z's Roc Nation sports group in April (13).
According to the MLBPA rules, any gift over $500 (GBP330) must be disclosed to the union in writing, and as a result, Jay Z could face discipline for his actions, reports BleacherReport.com.
Bosses at U.S. retailer Barneys have issued an apology to Jay Z after he was dragged into a race row raging around the store's alleged profiling policy. The high-end chain has been at the centre of a scandal over claims two young black shoppers were detained by cops after making expensive purchases at a New York City branch.
The pair allege they were aggressively quizzed about how they could afford to buy their items, and have since filed suit against the store for discrimination.
The row has erupted as Jay Z, real name Shawn Carter, plans to release a curated designer collection for Barneys in time for the festive season, with more than 24,000 fans signing a petition calling on him to cut ties with the store.
CEO Mark Lee has now spoken of his regret that the rapper has been embroiled in the drama, saying, "We deeply regret that these recent events have distracted from the great work of the Shawn Carter Foundation, and we offer our sincere apologies to Mister Carter."
Profits from Jay Z's line are set to go to charity.
The 99 Problems hitmaker has insisted he will not pull the project until he learns all of the facts surrounding the customers' claims.
Rapper Jay Z has broken his silence after he was urged to cut ties with luxury retailer Barneys over the reported racial profiling of two customers at the U.S. store. Fans are demanding the hip-hop star end his association with the high-end chain, which has come under fire over allegations two young black shoppers were detained by cops after making expensive purchases at a New York City branch.
More than 1,400 signatures were added to an online petition asking Jay Z to pull his name from an upcoming fashion collection he curated with designers at Barneys, which he was rumoured to be profiting from.
The 99 Problems hitmaker has now issued a statement on his website Life +Times to address the controversy, claiming the clothing deal will benefit his charity, the Shawn Carter Foundation.
The rap mogul writes, "This collaboration lives in a place of giving and is about the Foundation. I am not making a dime from this collection; I do not stand to make millions, as falsely reported. I need to make that fact crystal clear... This money is going to help individuals facing socio-economic hardships to help further their education at institutions of higher learning. My idea was born (sic) out of creativity and charity...not profit."
Jay Z went on to explain that he is waiting for all the facts to come in about the incident at Barneys in Manhattan before he makes his next move.
He added, "I move and speak based on facts and not emotion. I haven't made any comments because I am waiting on facts and the outcome of a meeting between community leaders and Barneys. Why am I being demonized, denounced and thrown on the cover of a newspaper for not speaking immediately?
"The negligent, erroneous reports and attacks on my character, intentions, and the spirit of this collaboration have forced me into a statement I didn't want to make without the full facts... Making a decision prematurely to pull out of this project, wouldn't hurt Barneys or Shawn Carter, but all the people that stand a chance at higher education."
The star, whose collaboration is due to hit shelves on 20 November (13), concluded, "Hopefully this brings forth a dialogue to effect real change."
WENNWhen asked what most excited him about his new album during his hopelessly awkward live interview on ESPN, a hopelessly zoned-out Eminem replied 'nothing.' Judging by the two tracks which have been unveiled so far, his lack of enthusiasm for the record will be shared by many.For after appearing to have finally matured with 2010's introspective Recovery, the 41-year-old now disappointingly seems to have regressed back to the kind of cheap pot-shots at easy target celebrities and casual homophobia that defined his cartoonish beginnings.Whereas rap's enfant terrible could get away with such tactics on his 2000 sophomore, his 2013 official follow-up, The Marshall Mathers LP 2, arrives in an era when the likes of Kanye West and Jay-Z have upped the ante for blockbuster hip-hop and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are arguing the case for gay rights.His new single, "Rap God," therefore, sounds entirely out of place in today's landscape. Indeed, his rapid-fire delivery, apparently four words per second, may be impressive but its content is anything but, whether it's the boasts about how he'd like to "break a mother****r’s table over the back of a couple of f***ots" or the second verse's sustained riff on 'gay boys.'Of, course his legion of fans have been quick to argue that the homophobia displayed is in fact from the viewpoint of his Slim Shady persona and not Eminem himself, but such a shaky defence hardly makes all the troubling imagery suddenly seem perfectly acceptable.His previous release, "Berzerk," might not have been as overtly offensive but despite the presence of producer Rick Rubin on board, it was easily just as lazy, relying on a well-worn Billy Squier sample and playground insults towards Z-list celebs that bordered on the embarrassing. Seriously, could he have chosen any celebrity victims more obvious than Khloe Kardashian and Kevin Federline?Arguably the most depressing aspect of Eminem's early '00s revival is just how many people are falling for it. "Berzerk" peaked at No.3 on the U.S. Hot 100 while much of the music press have bizarrely been falling over itself to declare "Rap God" as some kind of return-to-form masterpiece.The Marshall Mathers 2 LP, therefore, will inevitably follow in the multi-million selling footsteps of its predecessor. But it still doesn't change the fact that Eminem currently appears to be stuck in some kind of early '00s time warp.
Jay Z, Kanye West, and Drake all dropped new albums this year and -- naturally -- they all received tons of hype in the process. But without a doubt, the most buzzed about album in hip-hop has got to be Pusha T's debut solo album My Name Is My Name. And never has so much buzz felt so right. One half of the critically-acclaimed group The Clipse, Pusha has been dropping mixtapes and powerful verses throughout the last few years, but now we get to really experience him as a solo artist. And many folks in the know are saying the experience will be a game/life-changer. Pusha's album was officially released Tuesday, and if you haven't already copped it, here are a few nudges in the right direction.
Kanye West Gave The Most Intense, Profanity-Laced Co-Sign Ever
He may have been/was definitely drunk, he may have been over-the-top, but when Kanye West interrupted Pusha T's listening party and dropped the most epic rant in the long, long history of Kanye West rants, we knew My Name Is My Name must be the truth.
That Amazingly Bizarre Joaquin Phoenix Connection
When Pusha's single "King Push" was released, a very strange rumor came along with. Joaquin Phoenix (yes, Oscar-nominated Joaquin Phoenix) was alleged to have co-produced the beat with Kanye. Crazy, right? And kind of awesome. Phoenix reportedly came out a little while later and said that he didn't actually produce the track, but introduced the producer (a friend of his son's) to Kanye’s camp. Either way, the Joaquin Phoenix connection is plenty to get psyched about.
The "King Push" Single, Which Leads Us To Believe That Hip-Pop Is Dead
Now if you haven't heard "King Push" or seen the video, well then. We're here to help. And you should probably prepare for the death of hip-pop. Pusha's not here to sing hooks. Not ever. Not even a little bit.
George Pimentel/Getty Images
Did you know that some of your favorite celebrities have interests that are somewhat and/or completely unrelated to their careers? Shocking, we know. But they do! Producer Swizz Beatz likes to paint, Matt Damon is involved in clean water projects, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt has one of the coolest websites/online open collaborative production companies ever.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, HitRecord
First of all, everything JGL does is pretty awesome. So when he got the brilliant idea to start a production company that literally anyone in the world can join, we should have known it would take off. HitRecord is a website where artists, writers, musicians, and anyone who has any kind of talent that they've parlayed into a project can submit their work. If the big man (who goes by 'Regular Joe' on the site) likes what he sees, you can get hired as a freelance worker and paid for your work. And if you just like to be around art and other artists, this website is one hell of a place to hang out.
Zooey Deschanel, Hello Giggles
Zooey Deschanel and her two best friends (Molly McAleer and Sophia Rossi) have a blog and it is as adorable and fun as you think it is. With a focus on women, they post about everything from DIY nail art to creative writing tips, to social issues. A lot of it is cutesy, but much of it deals with heavier issues, including the Malala Yousafzai story.
Jay Z, Life + Times
When we visit Jay Z's Life + Times website it kinda feels like we're hanging out with Hova himself. The site (which features lots of great work from writer, hip-hop critic, activist, and Jay Z's good friend dream hampton) specializes in sharing sports news, art news, fashion news, and of course music-related stuff. It's all very NYC...in fact, there's even a recent article on the Chelsea Market Cookbook.
Charlize Theron, Africa Outreach Project
Lots of celebrities do lots of great charity work, but Charlize Theron is legitimately and completely involved in this project. The Oscar-winning actress is very hands-on in the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa and in her native South Africa. We love that Charlize actively tweets updates about her project, and continuously promotes the work she and the folks in her organization are doing.
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The hilarious Tumblr The Carter Family Portrait Collection reimagines Beyoncé, Jay Z, and baby Blue Ivy as famous portraits through history. While of course it's fun to see our favorite pop stars sans weave and sunglasses and instead posed as tasteful nudes, it's also not that much different from the shockingly well composed shots that grace Bey's official Instagram. I mean, some of those shots simply cannot be candid, right? (Unless it's possible to take a selfie while standing 40 feet away while holding a child, working a wind machine and lighting yourself from three angles.)
Do yourself a favor and pay your respects to Bey's fantastic hair and makeup game no matter what artistic style she's copying by checking out all of the pictures.
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Rapper Jay Z is teaming up with designers at U.S. luxury clothing retailer Barney's for his first curated fashion line. The 99 Problems hitmaker's A New York Holiday collection will include limited-edition products from designers such as Balenciaga, Alexander Wang and Balmain and will range in price from $70 (£46) to $33,000 (£22,000).
He tells WWD.com, "With this project, Barneys New York and I were able to take the slickness, energy and innovation of New York City and translate that into quality, timeless pieces.
"Everything that encompasses 'New York Holiday' - the items chosen, the amazing designers that participated, the windows, the design of the BNY SCC Gallery - represents a perfect example of a unique and groundbreaking collaboration that I hope demonstrates how inspiring New York has been to me."
Jay Z's selections will hit stores on 20 November (13) and 25 per cent of sales will benefit his Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation, which provides college scholarships to underprivileged individuals.
WENNFive years after The Notorious B.I.G.'s life story was adapted for Hollywood, the long-delayed biopic of his bitter rival, Tupac Shakur, will also be heading for cinemas after Morgan Creek Productions confirmed this month that they are finalizing negotiations for the film to start shooting in 2014. Their feud may have been one of hip-hop's more tragic tales, but there are plenty of other rappers whose real-life narratives are worthy of gracing the big screen. Here's a look at five of the more eventful.Jay-ZRaised by his single mother, Jay-Z went from being a crack-dealing, brother-shooting teenager to the pop superstar-marrying, President shoulder-rubbing founder of a hip-hop empire worth $500 million. By far the ultimate rags-to-riches story.Eazy-EEric Wright allegedly earned up to $250,000 selling drugs in the mid-80s before realizing he could make even more money by becoming the Godfather of Gangsta Rap. Under the moniker of Eazy-E, he pioneered the West Coast sound with two solo albums and as a pivotal member of N.W.A before passing away due to complications from AIDS in 1995.
Lil' KimOne of the first female rappers to be accepted on the hardcore rap scene, Lil' Kim was thrown out of her house as a teen before she attracted the attention of Biggie Smalls. Three US Top 10 albums and a major beef with Foxy Brown then followed before she was sentenced to twelve months in prison for a perjury charge relating to a shooting outside a radio station.Rick RossOne of the more intriguing hip-hop back stories, Rick Ross worked as a correctional officer in the early '90s before finding fame at the relatively late age of 30. Since then he's nearly died after suffering multiple seizures, been the target of a drive-by shooting and kickstarted a rivalry with 50 Cent which many believe to be entirely faked.DMXPossibly more suited to a mini-series than a film, DMX has spent more time at the police station than the studio during the '00s, having been arrested for everything from animal cruelty to reckless driving -- resulting in six separate jail sentences -- while also finding the time to father ten children from several different women.
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