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Common Sells Over 81K, EPMD’s Comeback Fails To Chart In The Top 200 December 17, 2008

Filed under: Entertainment,Hip Hip — Ryann Hayman @ 11:25 am
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Chi-town vet Common just missed the top 10 on his debut week on the Billboard 200, while label boss Kanye is steadily on pace to reach platinum status.

According to the Nielsen SoundScan, Com’s 8th studio album, Universal Mind Control, landed at the number 12 spot, selling around 81,700 copies in its first week. The 16 year vet opted for a more party vibe with this record, working extensively with The Neptunes and OutKast producer Mr DJ. UMC features appearances by G.O.O.D. music leader Kanye West and Cee Lo Green, among others.

With his third week on the charts, the Louis Vuitton Don’s latest release, 808’s & Heartbreak is inching its way to platinum status. After officially going gold last week, Ye now sits on 719,900 albums sold. Standing 6 seats up from his associate Common, the super producer/rapper sold 126,800 discs this week.

On his second week on the charts, hip-hop hookman extraordinaire Akon drops from the number 7 position to number 18, selling 63,000 copies of his new album, Freedom. The Senegalese-born singer has sold a total of 173,900 CDs so far.

Failing to make it on the top 200 this week is We Mean Business, the comeback disc by hip-hop legends EPMD. Bay Area heavyweights Keak Da Sneak and San Quinn’s collabo CD, Welcome To Scokland, also failed to make the charts.

Next week look for new releases by Soulja Boy and Plies to debut in the top 10.


Bassett announces SAG noms; Naomi in Miami; BET & PlayPhone; Prince to rock Obama ball?; Marbury meeting fruitless; Hendrix in Grammy Hall December 2, 2008


ER’s” Angela Bassett and “Will & Grace” star Eric McCormack will announce the nominees for this year’s Screen Actors Guild Awards in a live broadcast on Dec. 18. The nominees for five film and eight television categories will be revealed at 9 a.m. ET on TNT, with TBS.com carrying a live webcast, reports People.com. The 15th Annual SAG Awards Ceremony will air Jan. 25 on TNT and TBS at 8 p.m.      

       *Supermodel Naomi Campbell is in Miami to attend tonight’s “In Fashion Photo,” a retrospective of more than 50 photographs and illustrations of her from the past 20 years. Campbell was expected to throw her after-party for the expo at the Cipriani sales center in the former Saxony hotel, according to the New York Daily News, but the restaurant is currently dealing with some legal issues.  Instead, the bash will be held at SET nightclub down the street.


       *BET Networks has partnered with PlayPhone, Inc. to build and manage its mobile entertainment and personalization business.  The new BET Mobile destination (http://mobile.bet.com) powered by PlayPhone is a place where fans can download new and exclusive mobile content directly to their mobile phones. The service is accessible on the Web or WAP deck (wap.bet.com) and is also easy to access from more than 2,000 wireless devices across all major North American wireless networks.


       *Spike Lee, Anne Hathaway and Susan Sarandon are reportedly confirmed to attend the Creative Coalition’s Gala Inaugural Ball at the Harman Center, where two tickets cost $10,000. According to People.com, Prince, Rihanna and Elvis Costello are in talks to perform at the event celebrating Barack Obama’s presidential election, while Mary J. Blige and Common are reportedly interested.


       *An attorney for New York Knicks guard Stephon Marbury said nothing was resolved during their meeting Monday with team president Donnie Walsh, who suspended the player for one game without pay and docked him an additional game’s salary last week after he reportedly refused Coach Mike D’Antoni’s request to play in a loss to Detroit last Wednesday. The athlete’s representative, Hal Biagas, wouldn’t say if Marbury was reinstated or if there had been any progress toward a buyout.


       *Jimi Hendrix’s famous version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” that opened the 1969 Woodstock Festival is among 28 new recordings added to the Grammy Hall of Fame, a featured part of the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles opening on Dec. 6. Queen’s “We Are The Champions/We Will Rock You” also joined the Grammy Hall. Inductee “Let The Good Times Roll” by Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five will be featured in a live performance by B.B. King and John Mayer on “The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!!” airing tomorrow (Dec. 3) at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.




Oprah Winfrey is among a number of celebrities due in New York tonight for a benefit honoring Susan L. Taylor, editor-in-chief of Essence magazine.


      Sean “Diddy” Combs, Terry McMillan and Ruby Dee will also attend the gala, which celebrates Taylor’s 37 years with the magazine targeted to African-American women.


      Tonight will also serve as a fundraiser for the National CARES Mentoring Movement, which is dedicated to pairing vulnerable African-American children with a caring mentor. The organization, founded by Taylor as Essence CARES, currently operates in more than 50 U.S. states.


       Gospel stars Yolanda Adams and Donnie McClurkin are scheduled to perform. Other notable attendees will include Michael Eric Dyson, Common and the Rev. Al Sharpton.



Filed under: Entertainment,Hip Hip — Ryann Hayman @ 11:23 am
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Barack Obama’s Presidential victory Tuesday night inspired fellow Chicagoan Common to leak the song “Changes” from his upcoming album “Universal Mind Control,” due Dec. 9. [Scroll down to hear track.]      

       “I wrote this song to inspire the young world to believe that change can happen. To be honest, I also envisioned it as a great inaugural song for Barack Obama,” said Common of the track, which features singer Muhsinah Abdul-Karim as well as a spoken word appearance by his daughter Omoye.      

       Hopeful about Obama’s chances of a victory, Common was inspired to pen “Changes” during the campaign, but when hope became a reality, he was moved to leak the song ahead of schedule, according to a statement from thinkcommon.com.       

       Common has always been vocal about his support of Barack Obama and was even the first hip-hop artist to name check him in a song almost four years ago.


“Changes” – Common




Michael Jordan, Russell Simmons, Wesley Snipes, Bob Johnson and Butch Lewis were at Diddy’s big birthday bash/Obama watch party Tuesday night at a club in New York when the Illinois democrat was elected president.


       According to Page Six, “A huge roar shook the dining room” where they had all gathered to watch the returns. Jordan and Snipes later partied at Tenjune with fellow Chicagoan Larenz Tate, Knicks Jared Jeffries and Jerome James, and “Last Comic Standing” host Bill Bellamy, the surprise emcee for the night who shouted with excitement: “We are officially a country of change.”


       Meanwhile, Forrest and Keisha Whitaker, Common, will.i.am, Star Jones, Hill Harper and Kevin Liles (Warner Music VP) celebrated Barack Obama’s victory until 4 a.m. at The Underground in Chicago, Page Six reported.      

       Television cameras captured Oprah Winfrey watching Obama’s victory speech in Chicago’s Grant Park, but Brad Pitt – also at Grant Park – managed to escape the night undetected by media, as well as Oprah.      

       “I was looking for you and would have invited you down to sit with the rest of us,” Oprah told the actor during a taping of her talk show that will air later this month.      

       “You mean the non-VIP area?” Brad joked, before assuring his host that he took public transportation to be at the rally “just like everyone else.”      

       The show, on which Brad will promote his movie “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” alongside co-star Cate Blanchett, is due to air on Nov 17, according to Star magazine.


       In Los Angeles, Kim Kardashian and her boyfriend Reggie Bush, both Obama supporters, ended up in a heated argument over some of his policies following his announcement as president.       

       “Reggie and I had this two-hour long conversation at the end of the night,” Kardashian told People. “We got so carried away that we had to call his mom. We had to call my mom, it ended up in this huge conference call.”      

       And, even after the outcome was clear, “We were going off on tangents about politics, different theories, the Bible,” Kardashian admitted. “It was pretty intense, but then we passed out.”


Warrant Issued For Mos Def’s Arrest November 6, 2008

Filed under: General News — Ryann Hayman @ 12:23 pm
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Rapper wanted for alleged attack on photographer at MAGIC convention

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of rapper and actor Mos Def after an alleged attack on a fashion photographer at MAGIC in Las Vegas. 

According to TMZ, Vegas police are searching for the rapper who’s facing felony robbery and malicious destruction of private property charges. Def allegedly attacked the photographer, hired by MAGIC, for taking photos of event attendants. The photographer, Volker Corell, claims Mos tore his camera off his neck and smashed it to the ground…then ran off with it. 

Stay tuned to VIBE.com for further developments. 



Filed under: Entertainment,Hip Hip — Ryann Hayman @ 2:21 pm
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Five months after Common’s new album “Universal Mind Control” was scheduled to arrive in stores, Geffen will finally release the disc on Dec. 9, Billboard reported Tuesday.      

       Two songs, “Announcement” and “Universal Mind Control” both of which feature Pharrell Williams, have already been released. The album also includes two fresh songs, “Gladiator” and “Inhale.”      

       Among other changes to the album since its original release date, “Punch Drunk Love” now features Kanye West rapping the catchy chorus “Am I crazy, or was you giving me the eye?” Also, “Sex 4 Sugar,” which Common previously described as a conversation with a dancer, now has faster drums. “Everywhere,” which was formerly called “Runaway” and set to feature Santogold, now sports a dreamy layered chorus, sans Santogold, over a guitar riff similar to Pat Benatar’s “Love Is a Battlefield.”       

       The album’s production is still split between the Neptunes and OutKast cohort Mr. DJ. West has not contributed any production to “Universal Mind Control.”       

       Here is the track listing for “Universal Mind Control”:

“Universal Mind Control” 
“Punch Drunk Love” featuring Kanye West 
“Make My Day” featuring Cee-Lo Green 
“Sex 4 Sugar”
“Announcement” featuring Pharrell Williams
“What a World”