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Two producers have filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Mary J. Blige and others claiming her track, “On My Grind,” is too similar to a tune they submitted to the song’s producer, reports TMZ.com.      

        New Jersey-based Jermaine Jumpp and Michael C. Adams say in their federal lawsuit that they handed a “compact disk” to the “office” of producer Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins that contained the song “On My Grind,” reports TMZ.com.       

       Four years later, Darkchild produced the track “Enough Cryin'” for Mary J., and the guys say it’s a rip off of “On My Grind.”       

       “Enough Cryin” was recorded and mixed in 2005 for Blige’s multi-platinum album “The Breakthrough.” Blige and Darkchild are credited with writing the tune, which features a rap segment from Brook-Lyn, Blige’s alter ego whom Mary created to give her lyrical freedom without the fear of damaging her own persona.       

       Jay-Z was also named in the lawsuit, although his role is unclear.


KANYE, LIL WAYNE TOP TIME’S 2008 LISTS December 16, 2008

Filed under: Entertainment,Hip Hip — Ryann Hayman @ 10:08 am
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Time Magazine has revealed that Kanye West’s “Love Lockdown” and Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter III” are respectively its top single and album of 2008.      

      Below are the publication’s reasons for selecting the two artists as the year’s best.


“Love Lockdown” 

• Singing in an Auto-Tuned monotone with little regard for melody, West sounds ghostly as he recounts his romantic failures in brutal detail. Just when “Love Lockdown” seems too brittle to sustain itself, humanity arrives in the form of an army of Japanese taiko drums. At first it sounds like pop-guns going off, but the drumming gets faster, warmer, wilder, and matched against West’s distant vocals “Love Lockdown” turns into a dance song about misery — far closer to “Love Will Tear Us Apart” than any hip-hop ancestor. It’s easily the most interesting pop experiment this year, and, if you grant its premise and stick with it, also the best.


“Tha Carter III”

• “Tha Carter III” is beyond sprawling, but its lack of discipline is also its point. It’s a pop showcase for Dwayne Carter, the very peculiar cough syrup-swilling New Orleans rapper who swears he improvises all of his rhymes. Whether he really does is anybody’s guess, but amid all the Auto-Tuned vocals and effects — no rapper enjoys hearing his own voice distorted more — are shrewd commercial choices (the No. 1 hit “Lollipop,” the Jay-Z duet “Mr. Carter”) and extended periods of verse that take rap back to its essence: talking. On “DontGetIt,” over a sample of Nina Simone’s “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood,” Wayne tells a 10-minute life story that meanders into an indictment of drug laws and an out-of-nowhere slam of Al Sharpton. The words are smart, but the delivery — just behind the beat, in a voice that sounds like Miles Davis lecturing on Robitussin — is hypnotic.



Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 10:38 am
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Beyonce Knowles’s current No. 1 song “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)” has been named the Best Single of 2008 in a new poll from Rolling Stone magazine.


       The publication’s “Singles of the Year” tally features Santogold’s “LES Artistes” at No. 2, Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop” at No 5, “American Boy” from Estelle feat. Kanye West at No. 7 and T.I.’s “No Matter What’ at No. 10.       

       Beyonce’s husband, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, also made the list at No. 22 with “Swagga Like Us,” a collaboration with T.I., West and Lil Wayne.      

       View Rolling Stone’s entire “Singles of the Year” list here.




Darnell Martin, the writer/director of “Cadillac Records,” admitted at Monday’s premiere that she took some “dramatic license” in creating a make-out scene between Etta James and the head of her label, Leonard Chess.      

       But, Adrien Brody, who plays Mr. Chess, said he had no problem with the historical inaccuracy of kissing James, who is played in the film by Beyonce Knowles.


       “Let’s just say it wasn’t a deal breaker,” the grinning actor told the New York Daily News. “When I met Etta [the real one], she told me, ‘Leonard and I did not do those things!’ So, yes, it was somewhat embellished. But what’s wonderful is the truth Beyonce brings to that moment. That justified it.”      

       Beyonce, who came to the premiere with husband Jay-Z, said she didn’t find the intimacy repellent.      

       “It wasn’t so bad,” she said. “I remember when he kissed Halle Berry. He’s not shy! Not at all.”      

       Meanwhile, Cedric the Entertainer, who plays bluesman Willie Dixon, said he was upset that “they wrote me out of a scene with Beyonce.”      

       Following the premiere, cast members Mos Def, Gabrielle Union and Emmanuelle Chriqui hit the after-party at Marquee with guests Leonardo DiCaprio, Diddy, Ne-Yo, John Legend, Kevin Connolly, Akon and Russell Simmons.

Watch the trailer for “Cadillac Records”:



To say Lil Wayne is having a big year is an understatement. And to underscore how big a year he’s having, Wednesday evening the diminutive rapper from New Orleans was nominated for a whopping 8 Grammys, including album of he year for “Tha Carter III.” Rock band Cold Play was close behind, scoring seven nods.


     This year the announcements of the 51st Grammy nominations were made public within a new format. They were part of an hourlong live prime-time CBS concert special hosted by LL Cool J and Taylor Swift.


     While Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter III” was not regarded by critics as his greatest CD, it was the album that made him a pop superstar, thanks to massive hits like “Lollipop” and “A Milli,” noted AP writer Sandy Cohen. it also got a lot of attention because it was the only record this year to sell 1 million copies in its first week.


     Meanwhile, artist and songwriter/producer Ne-Yo didn’t do too badly either. When all was said and done, he wound up with six nominations for his “Year of the Gentleman.”


     “When I was putting it together, I was trying to do something that everybody could get into, as opposed to just my pop and R&B core group,” Ne-Yo said after the ceremony. “I was trying to do something that the world could enjoy and I think that the Grammy people paid attention to that.”


     Also nominated was new singer-songwriter Jazmine Sullivan, who has drawn comparisons to Lauryn Hill with her hit “I Need You Bad.” She scored an impressive five nominations.

     Other multiple nominees included Jay-z and Kanye West, who had six each.


     For a complete list of nominees, visit the Grammy Awards website: www.grammy.com.


     Normally the nominations are announced during a morning news conference. But because award shows in general are losing their edge, NARAS, the organization behind the Grammys and CBS decided to put on the prime-time event.


     The show kicked off with past Grammy winner Mariah Carey singing a song from her classic Christmas album, decked out in a short red minidress to give some holiday cheer. Held at the Nokia Theatre, the show also celebrated the Saturday opening of the new Grammy Museum next door.


     The Grammy Awards telecast itself will be held on CBS on Feb 8 from the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles next door to the Nokia Theater.



Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 9:36 am
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Raphael Saadiq, whose new Columbia album “The Way I See It” puts a new school spin on Gamble & Huff’s musical legacy, has been invited to perform a special mini-set at the duo’s legendary Philadelphia International Records Studios on Friday (Dec. 5).      

       Currently on tour with labelmate John Legend, Saadiq’s performance will air as a WDAS radio special from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday – hosted by legendary Philly DJ Butterball Tamburro – honoring the music and history of Philadelphia International Records.       

       Saadiq will open for John Legend at Philadelphia’s Tower Theater later that evening.       

       “It’s incredible to perform for Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff in the studio where they made the music that changed my life,” said Saadiq. “For me, this is a dream come true.”


       Meanwhile, Saadiq continues to support “The Way I See It,” which features guest artists Joss Stone, Stevie Wonder, Jay-Z and more. He opens for Legend on the following tour dates:

    12/04    University Park, PA  PSU Bryce Jordan Center
    12/05    Philadelphia, PA     Tower Theatre
    12/06    Fairfield, CT        Fairfield University Alumni Hall
    12/08    Baltimore, MD        Lyric Opera House
    12/09    Washington, DC       Constitution Hall
    12/10    Greenville, SC       Peace Center Concert Hall
    12/12    Charlotte, NC        Ovens Aud.
    12/13    Durham, NC           PAC


Aretha & Diddy hook up; Mariah not happy with Nick; Beyonce learns from parents November 28, 2008


How about this? Lady Soul and Diddy are hooking up! No, not that way, but to launch a new “American Idol” style show. That’s right, according to WENN, Aretha Franklin and Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs are combining forces to find talented R&B and hip-hop stars. But, unlike “AI,” the winner of their new venture will be decided by them – not the public. “The country will not vote. It will just be me and Diddy voting for who the next star will be,” says Franklin. Look for the show sometime in 2009.


     *Mariah Carey reportedly is not happy with hubby Nick Cannon’s candid comments about the couple’s no-sex-before-marriage pact. The older Mariah, who wed the younger Cannon in April, feels he went too far when he told the world the pair waited until their wedding night to have sex for the first time, reports Starpulse. She says, “Why did he tell that story? I didn’t want him to let everybody know that.”


     *Talking to Giant magazine, Beyonce said she prepared for the potential challenges in her marriage to Jay-Z after watching her mother Tina and father Matthew struggle and overcome their differences as husband and wife. “My parents are tighter now than ever, but they’ve been through it all,” she said. “There were times when they were together, times when they were apart. I learned that it’s a lot of hard work, that it’s more than a dress.”