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."
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.
Rapper Jay Z is selling his stake in basketball team Brooklyn Nets to coach Jason Kidd. The 99 Problems hitmaker, who was introduced to the team in 2003, will be signing off his 0.67 per cent ownership to Kidd for around $500,000 (£333,333), according to New York Post gossip column Page Six.
The star, real name Shawn Carter, has been forced to sell his stake over a conflict of interest after he formed his own sports agency, Roc Nation Sport, earlier this year (13).
A source says, "Other owners want to give Jason a part ownership of the team, and urged Jay to sell his shares to him."
"You learn something every day! Never knew @S_C_ (Shawn Carter) was a fan of Toxic! That's Big Pimpin." Britney Spears is pleased to learn she has an admirer in Jay-Z after he named her 2004 track as his favourite song by the pop star during a rare question and answer session with fans via Twitter.com on Monday (08Jul13).
Jewel, you were meant for The Sing-Off.
The four-time Grammy Award nominee has joined Boyz II Men's Shawn Stockman and singer Ben Folds as a judge for NBC's singing competition series' recently announced fourth season. Nick Lachey will continue to turn the heat up to 98 Degrees as host of the show while singer-songwriter Jewel replaces Sara Bareilles, who took over for Nicole Scherzinger during the third season but is now stepping out to "focus on her music."
"There are very few musical artists as accomplished and talented as Jewel. Her addition to The Sing-Off judges panel, along with our stellar team of Shawn Stockman and Ben Folds, raises the showmanship of the series up another notch," said Paul Telegdy, NBC's President of Alternative and Late Night Programming. "The musical credentials of Nick Lachey are extraordinary and his continued contributions to the show as host remain a huge asset.""I am so thrilled to welcome Jewel to our expert musical panel," added executive producer Mark Burnett about the singer, who most recently starred in Lifetime's June Carter Cash biopic Ring of Fire in addition to releasing a greatest Hits album.
Here's to hoping the judge lineup is here to stay when The Sing-Off returns in December, because let's be real... these foolish changes are tearing us apart.
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Rapper Jay-Z is now authorised to scout professional baseball and basketball talent for his new sports management team after passing a licensing exam and becoming a certified agent. The Empire State of Mind hitmaker expanded his business empire earlier this year (13) with the launch of Roc Nation Sports, but he wasn't legally allowed to conduct negotiations with prospective clients until he completed the registration process.
And this week (begs17Jun13), the hip-hop star, real name Shawn Carter, was finally given the green light to recruit athletes for his company roster in Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Basketball Association (NBA), according to ESPN.com.
A handful of players are already signed to Jay-Z's Roc Nation Sports, among them New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano and New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith.
Gatsby may have believed in the green light, but in Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby, every color in the spectrum is strewn across the screen to an orgastic degree. Like Project X for the gimlet-sipping crowd, Luhrmann takes F. Scott Fitzgerald's source material, douses it in modern music courtesy of soundtrack mastermind Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter, and shoots the melodrama with sweeping movements normally reserved for Lord of the Rings. Weary narrator Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) describes Gatsby's weekly festivities as a "kaleidoscopic carnival." Quite apt: Luhrmann's 3D spectacle goes from mesmerizing to dizzying in under 30 minutes.
Like Carraway, The Great Gatsby is eventually awoken to the "real" man behind the lavish production numbers. The movie changes course for the better when the brilliant Leonardo DiCaprio enters the picture. Like the plebs he greets, DiCaprio's Jay Gatsby takes the movie's breath away, forcing Luhrmann to put aside his song and dance infatuation for dazzling performances in the heightened world he's created. Luhrmann's script sticks closely to the required high school reading we all know and love: After settling into a modest West Egg, Long Island cottage for the summer, Carraway is courted by Gatsby for friendship. With the help of the reclusive gazillionaire, Carrway experiences life in the fast line. But Gatsby has ulterior motives. Five years prior, he fell desperately in love with Carraway's cousin Daisy (Carey Mulligan). Now he needs Carraway to pull her out of East Egg long enough for Gatsby to convince her to leave her cheating, polo-playing husband Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton). Mesmerized by charm, Carraway reluctantly abides.
Maguire does a stand up job playing witness to Gatsby's upper crust destruction, but it's DiCaprio's show to steal. The actor finds new sides to his on-screen persona that outshine the glitz and glamour; in his first encounter with Daisy, Gatsby bumbles around Carraway's living room, hyperventilating and trembling in fear like a teenager on his first date. It's DiCaprio embracing physical comedy and low status — in complete contrast to what he does as the "Great Gatsby" who commands over parties and works shady business deals in the backrooms of New York City. Like the sporadic beauty of jazz, DiCaprio mixes Gatsby's moods into one enchanting character.
The supporting cast feels more like they're role playing in the Roaring '20s then digging into their literary counterparts — impaired partially by Luhrmann's insistence on voiceover and flashy execution — but there are standouts. Without material doing her an favors, Mulligan turns Daisy into a vicious romantic, her fragility exposed when Edgerton's Tom reacts violently to Gatsby intrusion. The Aussie actor finds plenty of moments to chew up with his boisterous, period-appropriate delivery. The mustache doesn't hurt the smarminess. In a small role, heralded Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan appears to push Gatsby's buttons and turn the film on its head. He makes more of an impression than two normally strong performers, Isla Fisher and Jason Clarke, who have little to do as Tom's mistress and her gas station-owning husband.
Luhrmann doesn't put style over substance, though Great Gatsby is off-balance. The first half nearly collapses under the weight of production value and DiCaprio's bravado isn't quite enough to carry the film to greatness. The stylized backdrop, New York by way of Life of Pi, fit the larger than life story. If it were precisely used rather than slathered over the screenplay, Luhrmann would have a year's best on his hands. Instead, The Great Gatsby straddles the line of disaster, manic in the vein of its protagonist's delusional escapades.
What do you think? Tell Matt Patches directly on Twitter @misterpatches and read more of his reviews on Rotten Tomatoes!
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Naysayers be damned — 2012 did indeed mark the ushering in of a new realm of human existence, shifting the world one January morning with the momentous birth of Blue Ivy Carter. Yes, we remember quite vividly the day we welcomed the offspring of Beyoncé Knowles and Jay-Z into our society, celebrating the amalgam of two of our nation's most beloved artists and entrepreneurs in the form of a 7-pound, oddly-named demigod. And although we couldn't possibly conceive of an era with two Blue Ivys (all that power could be dangerous), it seems as though Beyoncé is strongly considering giving her daughter a little brother or sister soon.
Beyoncé spoke with ABC News about her forthcoming animated movie Epic, speaking on her desire to expand her and husband Shawn Carter's family. "I would like more children," Beyoncé says in the video below. "I think my daughter needs some company. I definitely loved being a big sister," referring to her relationship with younger sister, singer Solange Knowles. Of course, Beyoncé is hesitant to commit to these plans just yet, telling viewers that she will explore the option "at some point. When it’s supposed to happen."
So when do you think we'll see the latest addition to the Carter clan? And from what color/plantlife combination will the proud parents borrow his or her name? We're thinking "Chartreuse Moosewood."
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter
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