J. Cole is reinventing the South

For years, rappers from the South have been trying to prove they are just as good, if not better, than rappers from other parts of the nation. Even with the rap music scene dominated by the likes of Rick Ross and Lil Wayne, people still consider rappers from the mecca, New York City, as the best, overall. Some people feel this is because of the Southern drawl.

Since his return from prison, T.I. has tried to improve his speech, but it is obvious he is from the South. Lil Wayne, on the other hand, raps with a heavy Southern drawl. But, when he talks, he does not have an accent. When J. Cole speaks, he has no drawl and when he raps, he has no drawl. It would take deep listening to tell he is from the South.

The reason J. Cole sounds this way is because of the city he is from. Cole was born and raised in Fayetteville, North Carolina and the city is home to a military base. The city is located in a rural county on the rural side of North Carolina, but people from all over the world reside in Fayetteville. The city is an international city and living there exposed J. Cole to many different lifestyles. People in Fayetteville do not have much of a drawl and because he grew up listening to Nas and others, he is very lyrical.

However, in cities such as Miami, Atlanta, and New Orleans, the cities have deep ghettos and the population is black people who have lived in the area for decades. J. Cole did not grow up in a city with a deep ghetto, although there is a poor section in the city. Plus, for the past three years, J. Cole has been living in New York City working for Jay-Z. Having been away from the South for this many years has changed the way J. Cole talks and being around rappers from other areas, personally, has changed his style of rap. Despite being from the South, J. Cole has no drawl. But, he still claims the South as where he is from, but he raps for everyone.

Soon, other Southern rappers from similar areas will begin to do the same thing and Southern hip hop will merge into other regions of hip hop and the debate over regions will soon be over. When this happens, hip hop will truly become a music genre in its own right.

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Jay-Z's legacy better than Tupac's?

Before his untimely assassination, Tupac Shakur was the top dog in the game. He had finally reached the point where anything he put out would be successful. Tupac had solidified his legacy with the release of All Eyez On Me, the first double album in hip hop history. Weeks after his death, he set another record when he released The Seven Day Theory and it was also critically and commerically successful.

As great as Tupac was and as popular as he was, and still is, there are some things he never did. Tupac released albums frequently, but he was unable to release an album each year and have a long run. Initially, Tupac was viewed as a socially-concious rapper and was not very popular. But, over time, he became a gangsta rapper and earned fame. One thing remained constant and it was the fact of him being critically-acclaimed.

Jay-Z, on the other hand, came into the game and gave himself a record deal. When Jay-Z was trying to break into the game, it was being dominated by Tupac. The only way to land a deal was to try and be Tupac. Many gimmick rappers were signed, but none of them ever made it, but Jay-Z did. He released his first album independently and it would be met with critical success. With hardly any promotion, the album nearly went gold. Realizing the star emerging, Def Jam tried to sign Jay-Z, but he turned them down. More than anything else, Jay-Z was a businessman and he was not going to sign an artist deal, instead he signed a distribution deal.

Under the Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam partnership, Jay-Z forever changed the game and he would release seven more albums on the heels of each other. Out of his next seven albums, two were undeniable classics, while the other albums were met with positive reviews. Even the album he released on behalf of Roc-A-Fella Records was a critical and commercial success. Most rappers who try to also run labels have to give either one or the other. It is rare that an artist remains on top while his crew also gets exposure. But, with Jay-Z, he made every artist on the label into a moderate star. Each time Jay-Z released an album, he was nearly assured a platinum plaque. Each time any other member of the crew released an album, they were nearly assured a gold paque.

Now that he has passed on, it is rarely mentioned about Tupac and his crew. Before he signed with Death Row, Tupac ran his own label. The only artists signed to the label were his crew, Tha Outlawz. The group was signed to a deal and each artist was signed to a solo deal. Tupac had hoped to use his fire to light their candles and he tried with the Thug Life, Vol. 1 album. The album did enough to cross Tupac over into the mainstream, but his crew was left behind. While Tupac will forever be known as the best rapper to ever touch a microphone, he could not handle both being the franchise player and the owner. Aside from being bailed out of jail by Suge Knight, Tupac signed there because he knew Death Row had great management.

Of course, no one knows both the insides of Jay-Z and Tupac's career, but from the outside looking in, Jay-Z has accomplished more in his time than Tupac. The argument is there, Jay-Z had more time than Tupac to build his legacy, but it was clear Tupac would have probably retired to build his crew. The only way they could have ever had the success of Roc-A-Fella Records was if Tupac could devote all of his time to the project. Where Jay-Z is a great multitasker, Tupac Shakur was a single-minded man. Then, of course, Jay-Z had Dame Dash in his corner for most of his run. In the time since he sent Dame dashing, his career has fallen off and his comeback has been met with mixed reviews.

Regardless of position, Jay-Z and Tupac will go down as all-time greats, but the impact of Jay-Z goes much deeper than Tupac's.

Da Brat is free, Working on New Album

It has been three years since Da Brat was last free when she hit a woman with a bottle. But, after the woman filed charges, she found herself in the Georgia Prison System. Despite being behind bars, she has remained close with Jermaine Dupri. Now separate from Def Jam, he is looking to rebuild his empire.

Da Brat is a free lady for the first time in years and she has wasted no time getting back into the public eye. Already, she has been featured in a video. Da Brat was discussing her career and how she plans to revive it. Starting this year, she wants to get herself back on track.

Headed back into the studio with Jermaine Dupri, Da Brat promises an incredible album. With her three-year prison term wrapping up, she has been released through work release. Her primary job is rapping, so Da Brat will find herself back with Jermaine Dupri.

Rick Ross to perform at Tupac Birthday Concert

To honor the late rapper, Tupac Shakur, last year an event was held in his memory. With his birthday being towards the end of May, a concert was held to honor him. It was held at his memorial center in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

This year, the event will be in the same place. Multiple rappers have signed up to perform at the concert. Because the event is being held in Georgia, mostly Southern rappers will be participating. However, Too $hort and Pill will make the trip.

The headlining rapper of the event will be Rick Ross. He has developed his style, partially from the late Tupac Shakur. Over the course of his career, he has become one of the big players in the game. It is only right for Rick Ross to perform for Tupac.

The Real Rick Ross is suing Rick Ross

Rick Ross has based his career off of drug kingpin, Freeway Ricky Ross. The rapper Ross discovered the drug trafficker through his former job. Before his time as a rapper, Rick Ross worked in law enforcement. For a while, the two Rick Rosses operated on different sides of the law.

When it was revealed what Rick Ross' original job was and how he discovered Freeway Ricky Ross, the golves were off. The original Rick Ross made it clear he was not friends with the rapper. Often times, he would be seen on video dissing Rick Ross. Then, when 50 Cent began feuding with Ross, he joined in.

The only difference between now and then is the fact that the original Rick Ross is out from prison. Now, he feels he has grounds to sue. The former police officer, Rick Ross, has built his fortune off of a lifestyle in which Freeway Ricky Ross lived. Because of the lifestyle he lived, Freeway Ricky Ross found himself in prison. Meanwhile, Rick Ross gave up his job as a police officer to rap about this man's life.

Probably needing a source of income after losing everything when he was busted, Freeway Ricky Ross has decided to sue Rick Ross. The main reason for the suit is over the name, less than the lifestyle the rapper has glorified over the past four years.

T.I. lands Eminem and Lady GaGa for "King Uncaged"

Today has been a great day for T.I., as he continues to work on his latest album, King Uncaged. Earlier today, he released the second single from the album, "Yeah, Ya Know (Takers)." The song features Chris Brown and it will be on the soundtrack of their new film, Takers. Having been out of the spotlight for a while, T.I. is aggressively reclaiming what was his.

Frequently, T.I. compares his album to the classic album released by Tupac Shakur in 1996, All Eyez on Me. Tupac released the album after his time behind bars in 1995. Many people saw that album as the ultimate back from jail album. Using this as his goal, T.I. plans to outdo All Eyez on Me with King Uncaged. Like Tupac, T.I. hopes to have multiple guests on the album.

Until now, nothing has been set in stone as far as collaborations go on King Uncaged. However, recently T.I. decided to join forces, once again, with Eminem. The two collaborated in 2007 on T.I.'s T.I. vs. T.I.P. album on the "Touch Down" track. For the first time in three years, the two will be doing a song together. Aside from landing Eminem for the album, T.I. has reached out to Lady GaGa for an experimental track.

T.I. plans to released King Uncaged towards the end of the summer on Grand Hustle and Atlantic Records.

Red Cafe co-signs Bad Boy movement

Last spring, Diddy announced he was signing Red Cafe to Bad Boy Records as a start of the new movement. Months later, he announced he was moving the label from Atlantic Records to Interscope Records. This deal is unique from most deals because the artists were not transferred. When Diddy decided to move Bad Boy, Red Cafe had to be dropped from Bad Boy/Atlantic and moved over to Bad Boy/Interscope.

Realizing what Diddy is trying to do, Atlantic Records is doing all they can to make sure they get something out of the deal. Red Cafe was dropped from the deal with Atlantic Records in December. But, the deal was not cleared until this spring. Once Red Cafe was officially off of Atlantic Records, Diddy signed him to the new Bad Boy Records under Interscope. The deal was official at the start of the month. An announcement was made.

Now done moving, Red Cafe has started working on his debut album, which has been due since 2004. Diddy wants to put new music out and he wants Red Cafe to headline the new label. With all of this going on, Red Cafe recently spoke on the new movement Diddy is creating with Bad Boy Records. Earlier this month, the new Bad Boy label was slammed by Hip Hop Wired and Red Cafe is responding to the statements made by the site. He said the deal is official and Bad Boy is behind him 100% despite what some people say.

According to Red Cafe, before the end of the year, Bad Boy Records will be running the game. All of the people who are currently doubting the label are going to be proved wrong in a few. Red Cafe has released multiple mixtapes, waving the Bad Boy flag. Before the end of next year, he will finally get to release his debut album, while waving the Bad Boy flag high.

Eminem caused the delay of Dr. Dre's "Under Pressure" with Jay-Z

The hip hop community was buzzing at the beginning of last month with the possibility of Dr. Dre releasing a new single. For the past decade, Dre has been talking about his Detox album. But, now he is actually trying to get the album released to the public. He announced the first single as a collaboration with Jay-Z. The song was supposed to have come at the beginning of April, but it did not come.

When the single was not released, as planned, it came as no surprise. Still, a lot of people were disappointed because Dr. Dre had never promised a Detox single. Jay-Z spoke on the song and he said it should probably come some time before the end of May. With the end of May around the corner, "Under Pressure" has still yet to be released. Now, there is a likely answer to why this is so.

Eminem recently spoke on the single and he revealed why the song has yet to be released to the radio. Initially, Eminem had planned to use music he recorded last year when working on Relapse for his next album, Relapse 2. But, Interscope Records forced him to move on from the Relapse, so his music could not even be used. Quickly, Eminem came up with the concept for another album, Recovery, but he needed someone to help him. Had Dr. Dre released "Under Pressure," he would have had to go out and promote the song. There was no way he could do Eminem's album and promote himself.

Because he has always chosen Eminem first, Dr. Dre decided to help with Eminem's album and delay the release of "Under Pressure" until Eminem is ready to begin the next phase of his album.

Fabolous is excited about BET Awards

Three years ago, Fabolous was nominated for his first-ever BET Award. Aside from his nomination, he and Ne-Yo were signed on to perform their then-rising hit, "Make Me Better." Their performance won the crowd over and Fabolous had a great time. Following the show, he promised to come back every year. At the time, he had planned to release another album the next year.

Things did not go according to Fab's plans, but he still attended the 2008 BET Awards. With no new music out, all he was able to do was sit back and watch. Despite not having a starring role, Fabolous was happy to be there. Last year, he was at the awards show, but again took a back seat. Even with being in the crowd, Fabolous always has a good time.

Going to the BET Awards for the fourth straight year, Fab will have a starring role this year. He is nominated for an award and he is going to face-off against his mentor, Jay-Z. Because he always has a good time at the BET Awards, Fabolous is excited about heading to the show for another year. He feels this year will be special because he has a chance to win his first-ever BET Award. Even if he does not win, Fabolous is happy to be a part of the show for another year.

Sha Money XL tells female rappers to look like Nicki Minaj

Following the release of The Naked Truth by Lil' Kim, the female rap game has fallen off. For four years straight, the rap game was completely dominated by male rappers. Last year, Eve tried for the third time to land her comeback. The sad part about her comeback was the entire female rap game was counting on it. While Eve did not come back, Nicki Minaj entered the game.

Riding off of the Young Money name, Nicki Minaj has changed the game forever. She presents herself in skimpy outfits as the black Barbie in rap. Her image has been embraced by some female rappers, while taunted by others. Despite what people say about her, she is on top of the game. Inspired by Nicki Minaj, a lot of other females are trying to enter the game.

Industry veteran, Sha Money XL has advice for any woman trying to make it as a rapper. With the way Nicki Minaj has dominated the rap game, he has advised any female rapper to look like Nicki Minaj. It is optional, but he said if they want guaranteed success in the game, the best way to do it is the way Nicki has done it. Because of her looks, she was able to draw the male audience. But, it has been her style and the way she raps that has kept them. While keeping the men looking at her body, she is one of more lyrical rappers out.

Kanye West finally delivers New Music

For the past year and a half, there have been rumors of a new album from Kanye West. After he delivered his R&B debut, 808s & Heartbreak, Kanye West promised his next album in June 2009. But, when the time came, the album did not come. Instead, he pushed the album back an extra six months. He had a plan to stage his rap comeback.

Starting after the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, Kanye West was going to begin releasing new music from his album. Later that week, the title of the album was supposed to come. Those plans were halted right in their tracks when Taylor Swift won the VMA for Best Female Video over Beyonce's "Single Ladies." Feeling as if Beyonce was slighted, West jumped onto the stage and said Beyonce was more deserving.

The media had been waiting for a chance to pounce on Kanye West and they had finally found it. In a matter of minutes, he went from being a fan favorite to being public enemy number one. Because of all of the negative press, Kanye West flew to India to clear his mind. While in India, he began to recording process all over again. When he returned, the people who heard Kanye West's new music were impressed. DJ Premier said the album would be one of the best of all-time.

While people close to Kanye West have been hearing his music, the fans have not heard anything new from him since his verse of Keri Hilson's "Knock You Down." But, for the first time in almost two years, Kanye has delivered something actually new to his fans. Yesterday, he played four new songs off of his album, Good Ass Job, which will be released in September.

Big Boi analyzes the game

Yesterday, David Banner gave his diagnosis on the death of hip hop and he has sparked another discussion. After David Banner gave his opinion of what has gone wrong with hip hop, Big Boi plans to deliver his. Much like Banner, Big Boi is trying to prove himself to be one of the best rappers in the game. He wants his debut album to be one of the best of the year.

Big Boi said hip hop has lost its essence because it has become too commercial. In the old days, rappers used to come off of the top of their head and do a freestyle. But, now rappers such as Drake write their freestyles and then recite them. Big Boi said the game is not about that. People are supposed to come with their own styles and come off of the top of their heads.

Like many other rappers, Big Boi has realized the game is changing, but he does not like the direction. His statement was similar to the one made by David Banner, yesterday. While the game is currently lost to him, he feels as if the game can be changed back to its original form. Big Boi plans to begin this change with his album, as does David Banner with Death of a Pop Star.

Rick Ross willing to work with Sha Money XL

Recently, Sha Money XL was hired to help rebuild Def Jam after many of its stars left. One of the first moves Sha Money has planned is to bring G-Unit Records over to Def Jam. Rick Ross has been signed to Def Jam South since 2005 and he has had problems with G-Unit since 2008. Lloyd Banks bragged of how they were going to run Rick Ross out of Def Jam.

However, Sha Money XL was talking a different game when he spoke of his role with Def Jam. He said he was brought in to help the label make money. Sha Money plans to have everybody on the label doing their part. No one will be doing less than their potential while he is at Def Jam. Because of that, Sha Money does not want any problems with Rick Ross.

Sha Money XL said there is no reason he cannot be friends with both Rick Ross and 50 Cent. Recently, Rick Ross heard the statement made by Sha Money. When Ross responded, he said he completely agrees with Sha Money. His issue was never with Sha Money to begin with. His feud started with 50 Cent, but the rest of G-Unit, sans Sha Money, jumped into the issue. Rick Ross said when it comes to the money, he is more than willing to work with Sha Money XL at Def Jam.

Fat Joe boasts about Trey Songz collaboration

Yesterday, Fat Joe released his long-discussed Trey Songz collaboration, "If It Ain't About The Money." Once he revealed he was recording a new album, Fat Joe has named Trey Songz as one of the guests. After talking about the album for almost six months, it was heard for the first time on May 24, 2010.

While the song was released yesterday, it will take some time before the song actually gains airplay. The song is currently dominating the radio in the New York area. But, it will be some months before the song receives airplay outside of its own area. Fat Joe is confident the song will change his fortunes when it is released.

Describing his new song, Fat Joe said the game will not be the same once everybody hears it. Fat Joe said a change will take place in the streets. Not only will the change take place in the streets, but change will also take place within the city. There have been doubts of Fat Joe's legendary status despite him being a veteran.

However, after the release of this song and once the people hear it, Fat Joe is confident in his legacy being cemented.

Styles P pegs new L.O.X. album for 2011

Dating back to 2007, The L.O.X. have been working on a new album. But, with the members all trying to release solo albums, the project has been neglected. Last fall, Jadakiss, Styles P, and Sheek Louch were inspired to complete the album. A bidding war between Diddy and Swizz Beatz for The L.O.X. soon ensued.

For the most part, it looked as if The L.O.X. would end up returning to Bad Boy. But, the deal has been stalled and it now appears as if the crew is headed back to Ruff Ryders. Because of the bidding war, the album was pushed back from 2009 until this year. However, it appears as if the album will have to wait a little longer.

Recently, Styles P spoke on the status of the album and he said they had to record some new tracks. With the album on hold, some of the songs were a little too old. Because they have had to record some new music, their album has been pushed back from a 2010 release date to a release date for sometime next year. Still, before the end of the year, the first single should be released.

Nicki Minaj changes her Name

Ever since she came into the game, Nicki Minaj has used this alias. The Minaj is a play off of her last name. One reason she has gone by Nicki Minaj is because she feels the name is cute. Not only the way it sounds, but the way it is spelled.

When Lil Wayne discovered Nicki Minaj, he felt the name went with the look. Once he heard her rap, he wasted no time signing her to Young Money. Her name has gone on to become quite popular with the fans. The name goes with her voice.

But, with her debut album set to come towards the end of the year, Nicki Minaj has decided to change up. Yesterday, she revealed she has changed her name from Nicki Minaj to Roman Zolanski. Some people feel this is a play on the French director, Roman Polanski.

Drake wants to be a Legend

There is nobody in the game as hot as Drake right now and people have picked him to be the future of the game. Detractors of Drake, few and far between, however, have written him off as a fad. When he first began receiving attention, some tried to write him off as a pop rapper. But, after So Far Gone, it was clear Drake was the real deal.

With his album set to come in three weeks, Drake is on top of the world. He cannot wait to finally release his debut album, which is coming through Young Money. Most projections show Drake selling over 80,000 copies in his first week. The possibility of having his debut album go platinum excites Drake, but he wants more.

Because he is who he is, his Thank Me Later album is likely to sell 1 million copies. Then, critics are likely to give the album favorable reviews. But, usually rappers take a while to come back with their next album and with Young Money built around Lil Wayne, it may be three years before another album comes from Drake. Then, when he comes back, the people are likely to have moved on. This was the case with such artists as Huey and Mims.

But, Drake does not want to come back with some pop rap album when he does return. Drake wants all of his albums to be platinum successes and critically-acclaimed. When he finally hangs up the mic, Drake wants to be remembered as a legend in the rap game. Because he is in Lil Wayne's crew, Drake is often mentioned with Wayne. But, when people speak of Lil Wayne, they often put him in the same conversation as Biggie, Tupac, and Jay-Z. Wayne demanded the critics make room for him in 2008 and Drake has those same demands two years later.

J. Cole compares Nas to Michael Jordan

With people finally hearing J. Cole rap, he has received a lot of comparisons to Nas. Last week, J. Cole spoke of his influences and he admitted to being a major Nas fan. But, he said most of his inspiration came from Canibus and Eminem. Despite what inspires him, the people see a parallel between himself and Nas.

Earlier this year, Drake even openly stated J. Cole was the next Nas. In response to those statements, Cole said people need to chill with all of the comparisons. He said there is no doubt in him, and Drake, becoming great artists. But, J. Cole wants it to happen in their own rights.

Recently, J. Cole addressed the Nas comparisons again. He said Nas is like Michael Jordan, in a way. After Jordan retired in 1998, the sports media began a search for the next Michael Jordan. Any player in the NBA drafted to a bad team that was between 6'4 and 6'8 was pegged as the next Michael Jordan.

With Nas no longer being a focal point in the hip hop game the way he was, ten years ago, J. Cole feels Nas is going to go through the same thing Jordan went through. J. Cole said right now, people are thinking of him as the next Nas, but this could change in the next few years. Once he has established himself in his own right, some other rapper may end up being compared to Nas. He said this is a cycle and the fans cannot help but get caught up in this.

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David Banner says mixtapes Killed Hip Hop

David Banner has drastically changed his style from what it was when he came into the game. He has had many reasons for the changes he has made. For starters, he lost a lot of weight because of his health and he decided to build muscle. With a new image and a new lease on life, Banner decided to hone his mic skills. Now, he finds himself among some of the best rappers in the game.

However, Banner is unique from most rappers in the game. It has been said that rappers need to step up and take accountability. Many rappers have agreed, but few have stepped up. David Banner has been among those few. One of his first appearances in years was his appearance on BET's "Hip Hop vs. America." On that program, Banner proved how wise he actually was.

The changes he made during his hiatus spread over into his music. His last album, released in 2008, shows multiple differences from the album he released in 2003. Now that he has a wise voice in the game, David Banner often delivers his opinions to hip hop outlets about the state of the game. In 2006, Nas made the delcaration of hip hop being dead. Ever since he released the album named after the death of hip hop, many rappers have given their opinion on the situation.

Recently, David Banner gave his opinion and he said the reason hip hop died was because of mixtapes. The top rappers in the game are focusing more of their energy on the mixtapes as opposed to the albums. In the early days of hip hop, rappers poured all of their emotion into their albums. But, now with the popularity of mixtapes, rappers place their true feelings in the mixtapes. On the albums, rappers are being more contained and as a result, mixtapes are receiving better reviews than the albums.

Beanie Sigel restarts Jay-Z feud

While Roc-A-Fella Records was initially built for Memphis Bleek, it was the Philadelphia connection that kept the label afloat. Jay-Z, of course, was the focal point of the label. Meanwhile, Memphis Bleek was to be the second in command. But, for some reason, the people did not buy into the movement Bleek was making.

Instead, the fans felt a connection to Beanie Sigel. He did not come alone, though. Beans brough his own crew with him. During his time with the Roc, he was also the head of State Property Records. But, they were just as close with Jay-Z and the rest of Roc-A-Fella as Beans was. When Beans announced his feud with Jay-Z, the crew stood back.

Ever since late October, Beanie Sigel has been trying to bait Jay-Z into recording a diss track. Out of desperation, he would even invite 50 Cent to join the feud. Gladly, 50 Cent joined, but not even a Jay-Z feud could help his album sell. Following the 50 Cent distraction, Beanie Sigel seemingly disappeared from the spotlight.

However, as Jay-Z is in the process of recording new music, Beanie Sigel has stepped back in to remind his former boss of how much he still dislikes him. Recently, Beanie Sigel took the stage with his entire State Property crew. While on stage, he took the time to go at Jay-Z one more time.

Lil Chuckee tells Kat Stacks to Cool It

Throughout the spring of 2010, a new video vixen has emerged on the scene. She follows in the footsteps of Tahiry and others, but she claims to be the baddest of them all. Kat Stacks claims to have slept with every rapper in the game. When she first made herself known to the public, she claimed to have slept with the entire Young Money crew.

Each time she does an interview, Kat Stacks ends up recounting her time with Young Money. But, in the time since she first made the statement, she has spent time talking about Fabolous. Initially, he tried to ignore her, but Fab has been caught up exchanging Twitter messages with her. But, her favorite topic has been Young Money.

Most people know the aim of Kat Stacks is to try and gain fame in the industry. The best way to receive quick attention is to latch onto the Young Money crew. However, when speaking of Kat, Lil Chuckee feels she has gone about this the wrong way. He feels if she wanted to roll with the Young Money crew, she could have come another way.


Lil' Kim signs with Roc Nation

Last year, Lil' Kim attempted to revive her career and she nearly landed herself a hit. During the early spring of 2009, she united with T-Pain and Charlie Wilson for the single, "Download." The song was a favorite among fans, but could not land any traction with the Billboard Hot 100. The song was supposed to be the lead single of her fifth studio album, Vintage.

Atlantic Records decided to push the album back in time for Lil' Kim to record some more tracks for the album. Still due before the end of 2009, her label scrapped the album. Upset with the lack of support and promotion from Atlantic Records, Lil' Kim left the only label she has ever known. For the entire year of 2010, Lil' Kim has been a free agent.

On the other side, there is Jay-Z, who left his longtime label, in which he created at Roc-A-Fella Records. The time came for more money and he had sold his label to Def Jam. As a result, he was under contract like everyone else and he could no longer move the label. Because of this, when he struck his deal with Live Nation, Jay-Z announced the formation of Roc Nation. While he remained with Roc-A-Fella Records, he stopped any executive work with the label to focus on Roc Nation.

While working on The Blueprint 3, Jay-Z paid Def Jam $5 million to let him leave the label before his contract expired and for the rights to his music. Jay-Z landed a distribution deal for himself at Atlantic Records and a distribution deal for the overall label with Sony Records. Quickly, he would sign J. Cole, his protege since 2007. Now, Jay-Z has pinned the future of Roc Nation upon the shoulders of Cole, but he has tried to place a strong supporting cast around him. Throughout his career as a record label owner, Jay-Z has promised to let struggling stars release their albums with little struggle.

Making this promise to Lil' Kim, she quickly ended her relationship with Atlantic Records and headed over to the Roc Nation created by Jay-Z. Not only is she signed to the new label, but Lil' Kim wants Jay-Z to be the executive producer of her next album. It is unclear if Vintage will be the title of the next album Lil' Kim releases. She is expected to make an official announcement sometime later in the week about her status with the label.

Diggy Simmons does not want Uncle Russell in his career

In the Simmons family everybody has to work. When "Run's House" first premiered in 2005, Rev Run was trying to prepare his children for the real world. Often this real world led his children into the office of their uncle, Russell Simmons. Any time any of Run's children had an idea, they took it directly to Uncle Russell.

Usually when they come to him for help, Russell Simmons would tell them there was nothing he could do. In one episode, he told Vanessa and Angela when he was coming up, he had no Uncle Russell. He was trying to inspire the girls to do things on their own. When Diggy came to him with the idea of a clothing line, he gave a similar speech.

It remains to be determined if Vanessa and Angela learned the moral of the story Russell told them. Diggy, on the other hand, went out and got his. The new face of Atlantic Records, Diggy's video is all over the internet. On the verge of becoming a rap star, Diggy does not want any help from Uncle Russ.

Diggy Simmons recently said he, like his uncle, got to where he is at by himself. Because of this, he does not want his uncle hovering over him and holding his hand. Diggy said if he wanted Russell Simmons by his side, he could have easily signed with one of his record labels. But, he did not because he wanted to separate himself from the Simmons name. Despite Russell Simmons selling Def Jam years ago, he still works with the label and they distribute releases from his new labels. The top competitor to Def Jam is Atlantic Records, the home of Diggy Simmons.

The Death of Dolla, one year later

Among the rising names in hip hop, Dolla’s name will forever ring loud. For years, he worked in the background, waiting for his time to shine. At the age of 12, he began rapping and landed his first record deal three years later. But, after his crew disbanded, Dolla was left on the outside looking in. In an effort to keep a foot in the door, Dolla began working with Sean Combs as a model for his Sean John clothing line.

For four years, he modeled for Sean John, but he was rapping to himself every time he had a spare minute. Living in New York City and working for the biggest urban fashion line around, Dolla was often surrounded by some of the power players in the music industry. On the scene, looking for his time to shine, Dolla ended up meeting Akon. After rapping for the mini-mogul, he signed him to his Konvict Muzik label.

The deal was official in May 2007 and Dolla quit his job at Sean John. Led by his single, “Feelin’ Myself,” Dolla was quickly rising up the ladder of success. Due to the success of his debut single, he soon found himself involved in a feud with West Coast rapper, Mac Dre. Dre said he had recorded a song of the same name, which was actually older. Nothing ever came of the issue with the single and Dolla was happy with the free publicity.

Late in 2007, Dolla released his first official single, “Who The Fuck Is That?” to radio and the song would peak at number 82 on the Billboard Hot 100. He recorded with Konvict label-mate, T-Pain on the track. The chemistry shown on the track led to T-Pain signing Dolla in a joint-venture deal with his Nappy Boy label. With the large promotional machine behind him, in 2008, the video came.

Early in 2008, he revealed the title of his debut album to be A Dolla and a Dream. Promotion of the album continued with his next single, “I’m Fucked Up.” But, for some reason, none of the songs by Dolla could stay on the charts for long. In an effort to have him land that big single to make him into a household name, Akon and T-Pain decided to push his album back until an indefinite release date. In the meantime, he made an appearance in Ciara’s video.

Dolla proved free time was something he could not deal with. Living off of the advance money given to him by Konvict Muzik, Dolla was living in Atlanta, Georgia. Not only was Dolla living the good life, but he was famous within the city. Because “gangsta” is what is “in” with the hip hop community, Dolla often traveled with a gun. Every night, Dolla would hit the club scene and his gun was never too far away from him. On October 20, 2008, this landed him in jail.

Upon getting out of jail, Akon set him up in Los Angeles to start recording A Dolla and a Dream and he demanded Dolla to stay out of trouble. To make sure he was on task, Akon would drop in on him from time-to-time. From October 2008 until May 2009, Dolla remained on task, limiting his trips to the club. But, after being held up in the studio for weeks at the time, Akon would allow him to go have some fun.

On May 18, 2009, Dolla was taking a break from his album, which was coming together quite nicely. Having the day off, Dolla spent the day shopping in Beverly Hills. Along with a couple of friends, he was waiting for the valet to bring his car around. Sadly, he would never see his car come around the corner because he was shot at 3:10 pm. Despite being rushed to the hospital, the rising rapper did not make it and the talent he had was never properly shown.

It has been one year since Dolla departed the earth sooner than expected. His murderer was revealed to be Aubrey Louis Berry. The man had an altercation with Dolla and his crew in Atlanta days before Dolla’s October 20 arrest. However, a little over a year since his death, Berry has been released from jail with nothing more than a slap on the wrist. The light sentence and release on Berry’s behalf has shocked quite a bit of people.

Konvict Muzik released A Dolla and a Dream late last year and the album was met with mildly positive reviews.

Rick Ross amazed by Jay-Z in the studio

Two years ago, Rick Ross united with Jay-Z for the initial “Maybach Music” track. Jay-Z’s work ethic in the studio inspired Rick Ross to do better. Ross credits his time with Jay-Z in the studio for his performance on his follow-up, Deeper than Rap. After releasing a solid album in 2009, Ross is trying to record a classic album in 2010. When speaking of Teflon Don, Rick Ross says this album will be the album of his career.

Rick Ross wanted so badly to have Jay-Z for his Teflon Don album, as he wants an all-star lineup to witness his greatness. Unlike the last time Rick Ross recorded a song with Jay-Z, Ross now sees himself as an equal to Jay as opposed to a newbie watching a veteran. Having earned the title of biggest rapper in the game, Rick Ross and Jay-Z recorded together as equals. But, the verse Jay-Z laid down for the album still had Ross baffled like it was 2008.

The song does not yet have a title, but Rick Ross definitely loves the beat, as he has had the beat for over nine months. Earlier this year, he recorded the first verse of the song and realized the song would be a lot better with Jay-Z on it. He said he spoke with Jay-Z and they talked for a little while before he got ready to record. Before Jay-Z went to lay down his verse, he listened to the first verse by Rick Ross.

Calmly, Jay-Z began recording and Rick Ross said his verse was ten times more potent than his after going one take and doing the verse in three minutes. Ross said Jay was rubbing his head as if he were pulling the rhymes from out of his mind. In the crowd with Rick Ross as Jay-Z recorded the song was Trey Songz. Like Ross, Trey Songz was amazed with what he witnessed the former CEO of Def Jam do.

Fat Joe gets mad on New Album

This time around, Fat Joe has taken the gloves off. There have not been too many rappers to have the success Fat Joe has experienced. No, he does not sell as many records as Jay-Z, but he has been relevant in the hip hop game longer. Like many other rappers, Fat Joe came into the game telling his story and the people loved it. But, after he told his story, he had to find a way to keep the fans interested.

By the mid-1990s, every rapper in the game was trying to be a gangster. Led by such albums as the original Only Built 4 Cuban Linx by Raekwon, East Coast hip hop had gone Mafioso. Fat Joe attempted to create his own mob lifestyle. However, not too many people brought into Fat Joe being Don Cartagena. Despite failing at Mafioso rap, the album still went gold.

When he returned with his next album, Fat Joe had one mission which was to make the people dance. He wanted to create feel-good music to make everyone happy. Starting in 2001, he began releasing hit after hit. During the late summer of 2001, he recruited R. Kelly for “We Thuggin,” which was followed up by his Ja Rule and Ashanti collaboration, “What’s Luv?”

For the remainder of the 2000s, Fat Joe recorded such hits as “Lean Back,” “Make it Rain,” and “I Won’t Tell.” But, since the release of his 2007 hit, Fat Joe has not been able to buy radio play and he has become a joke. In 2004, Fat Joe and Ja Rule reunited for Rule’s hit “New York,” a song where Rule takes time to diss 50 Cent. Feeling as if Fat Joe had taken sides, 50 Cent began feuding with Fat Joe.

Their feud has been going on for five years and 50 Cent declared himself the winner nearly two years ago. 50 Cent has been successful at teasing his rivals for what they do best. Once he is done teasing them for what they do, he begins to do their style. But, the fans recently caught on to this trick so now Fat Joe and 50 Cent are on the same boat.

Fat Joe credits his downfall for his change in style. He feels people see him as too much of a nice guy when the case is opposite. On his chart-topping 2004 hit, “Lean Back,” he complains of how he has been doing the right thing for 10 years and people still see him as a threat. Following his plea for acceptance, he is upset with being taken as a joke.

Over the past six years, Fat Joe has been viewed as a “safe” rapper, but on his latest album, The Dark Side, Joey Crack is reminding people of why he was a threat to begin with. Not only has he landed a secure deal with E1 Music, but Fat Joe also plans to re-take the game. Still, there is no major record label forcing him into a corner and Joe is going to take advantage of this. He has described The Dark Side as “raw.”

Lil Wayne admits to Trouble Behind Bars

Last week, MTV broke news of Lil Wayne getting into a bit of trouble behind bars. During a routine raid, Wayne was caught with an iPod charger and earphones. At the facility at Riker's Island, having music is not allowed. The rapper will be charged for being in possession of music contraband.

However, when Lil Wayne first went behind bars, he openly stated he would work on music. He brought with him his iPod. Not only did he have an iPod, but he also brought a recorder. The plan was for him to work on Tha Carter IV while behind bars.

Yesterday, his ex-wife Toya Carter, said the issue never happened. But, recently, Lil Wayne said he was in a bit of trouble with the guards at Riker's. However, he played it off as not being much of a big deal.

Nas admits mistakes in His Rhymes

Throughout his career, Nas has projected himself as an intellectual rapper and many people have looked up to him. His early rhymes were hailed by critics and they grew upset with him. Starting with his second album, Nas started to change his style. Mafioso rap was popular and Nas transformed himself into Escobar.

During his feud with Jay-Z, Hov revealed this to the world and all of the quiet rumblings soon became loud rants about Nas. In an effort to combat all of the negative attention, Nas soon returned to his intellectual rapping. But, it was a case of too little too late, even after his victory in the feud with Jay-Z.

The feud with Jay-Z was won with his epic diss, "Ether." But, in the song, a lot of the information was fabricated. Even on his song, "I Can," a lot of the facts were a bit tangled. Years after his feud with Jay-Z and the mix-up in his songs, Nas has decided to speak on the criticisms. He said many of his rhymes are complicated like this.

Nas says when he writes songs, he does not check the facts. He simply rolls with the rhymes and if there is a mistake, the mistake stays. Much like many other rappers, Nas said he has sacrificed words all in an effort to keep the rhyme going. He said he has slurred words on almost all of his albums in order for the song to keep a consistent rhyme. In his "I Can" song, he mistakenly credited Alexander the Great for Napoleon. Nas said there was nothing wrong with that because Alexander the Great and Napoleon go hand in hand.

Fabolous sets Release Date for "Loso's Way 2"

After finally releasing his mixtape, There Is No Competition, Pt. 2: The Funeral Service, Fabolous is finally ready to release his next album. Soon after he released Loso's Way in 2009, Fab made plans to release Loso's Way 2 in 2010. Late last year, he said the album should come out sometime before the end of the spring.

With the spring almost over and the summer of 2010 heading in, not so much as a new single has come from Fabolous. Now his mixtape is finally out there, Fab has dominated the underground market. Following the success of his mixtape, Fabolous has started working on his next album. The single, as opposed as the album, should come before the end of the second quarter.

Fabolous wants to release multiple singles before the release of his next album, Loso's Way 2. Def Jam has reorganized and they have promised Fab he will become a key member in their new movement. Because of this, his album will be released in the fourth quarter. Fabolous recently spoke on the progress of this new album. He said he is working as much as he can on the album and it should be released sometime before Thanksgiving.

LLoyd Banks recruits Gucci Mane for New Album

Following his departure from Interscope Records, 50 Cent ordered Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo to begin working on their new albums. While they had their time tied up in recording, 50 was to be out looking for a new deal. In the time 50 Cent has spent handling business, Lloyd Banks has become the unofficial spokesperson for G-Unit Records.

Now, it appears as if G-Unit Records will be teaming up with Def Jam. Lloyd Banks' talk has changed from the status of his label to the status of his album. From the beginning, Banks said he had some surprises in store for the album. For weeks, he spoke of the big surprise and it was his collaboration with Juelz Santana.

In the eyes of many, their collaboration was not much of a surprise, so Banks provided another. Recently, he reached out to Gucci Mane and he has agreed to work with Lloyd Banks on his new album, The Hunger For More 2. The two were in the studio laying down a couple of tracks, one for the new Gucci Mane album and another for the new Lloyd Banks album. Gucci Mane has no release date for his album, but Lloyd Banks plans to release his sometime before the end of the summer.

DMX to kick off New Season of "Behind the Music"

After being on hiatus for years, VH1's "Behind the Music" series returned last fall. The new episodes included features from Lil Wayne,  50 Cent, T.I., and Pink! Each of the episodes brought in high ratings for the network. Because the last season of "Behind the Music" did so well, the network has decided to bring it back for another season.

DMX has been going through various legal troubles for the past two years. His life has gotten out of control, but he has made a solemn vow to regain everything. X has made plans to stage a comeback and to put his Ruff Ryders' crew back on top. The first step of this comeback will be an episode of "Behind the Music."

Appearances in the episode will come from Swizz Beatz, Irv Gotti, Lyor Cohen, and many other executives from Def Jam. The episode will air on June 7, 2010 at 8:00 pm.

Nas talks New York Anthems

Early in his career, Nas solidified himself with his single, "NY State of Mind." The song was one of the first anthems dedicated to being from New York City. Some people credit this song as the reason for Nas being a legend. In the time since he released "NY State of Mind," there have been many more hits honoring the city.

In 2004, Ja Rule was able to revive his career with his hit, "New York." For a short time, the entire New York hip hop scene was united behind this song. With features from Fat Joe and Jadakiss, the song gained significant airplay. Then, the video featured the top artists and producers from New York in the past decade.

As production was wrapping up on The Blueprint 3, Jay-Z announced he was working on a new single. The song, "Empire State of Mind," was a play off of Nas' "NY State of Mind" and was to feature Nas. But, when the song came out, Alicia Keys was revealed as the lone guest.

Still, the nice melody and the beat of the song, coupled with Jay-Z's lyrics led to the single rising to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in November 2009. Being the first number one single in Jay-Z's career, his legacy was finally cemented, but Nas was missing. Later, he spoke on not being on the song, saying he and Jay-Z agreed to take the song in another direction. There were rumors of Nas jumping on a remix, which was to feature multiple New York rappers. This never came to be, but Nas recently spoke on the song.

He gave the song its co-sign and he admitted "Empire State of Mind" is likely to be the greatest out of all of the New York anthems. Nas meant, all-time, not only the hip hop anthems.

Diddy partners with Rick Ross

Last month, Rick Ross revealed to the world Diddy was his new manager. For the past few months, Diddy and Rick Ross have become close friends. Perhaps still missing Biggie, Diddy compared his new best friend to his late partner. The comments offended a lot of people, but Diddy stuck by them.

Only days after Rick Ross made the announcement of Diddy being his manager, Diddy came out to deny the reports. He said do not beleive the rumors Rick Ross is spreading about him. Diddy said the two remain friends, but he is not managing him. But, he did have a major announcement which may include Ross.

Yesterday, Diddy finally announced his deal with Rick Ross. He admitted to working with the Miami rapper. However, what he does with Ross is much more than managing. Instead, Diddy sees himself as a partner with Rick Ross. From this point on, Diddy's relationship with Rick Ross is a partnership.

Game's "R.E.D. Album" pushed back

Ever since he reunited with Dr. Dre to work on the long-awaited Detox album, Game has taken a page out of Dr. Dre's playbook. He has had multiple set release dates for The R.E.D. Album. Initially due in December of 2009, with June around the corner in 2010, the album still has more time to wait.

The album was first pushed back so Dr. Dre could do some work to the album. But, because he had to focus on other projects, Dr. Dre had to leave the project. In his place, Dre recruited Pharrell, who Game has become very close with. All of the sounds on this album have led to the album being delayed several times.

After the March 23 release date came and went without an album, Game was pushed back until June 15. He was supposed to go head-to-head with Drake, but Drake was pushed back to June 22. Soon, Game found himself saddled with the June 29 release date. However, the album has been pushed back one more time to July 6, 2010.

Game is currently pushing the single, "Ain't No Doubt About It," on the radio. The album will be released through Aftermath Entertainment, Black Wall Street Records, Star Trak Entertainment, and Interscope.

Jae Millz gets arrested in New York

Recently, a domestic dispute Jae Millz and his girlfriend landed the Harlem rapper behind bars. Details about exactly what happened are sketchy at this point. While the story says Millz was arrested for a domestic dispute, Millz argues he was arrested for having an illegal substance.

As the situation was going on, Jae Millz took to his Twitter. The message stated he could not believe this woman was calling the cops on him. He later adds the woman is calling the cops to him in his own house. A few minutes later, Millz posts he is getting arrested. Millz said he was arrested for substance, but others were behind bars due to women.

There is still no clarity on what happened to land Jae Millz behind bars, but the rapper is out now. Later today, Jae Millz plans to release the official music video for his new single. The song is the first release off of his new mixtape, He Still Nasty.

On the Rise: Roscoe Dash

Hailing from the mecca of Southern hip hop, Atlanta, Georgia, Roscoe Dash is looking to follow in the footsteps of the legends who come before him. Dash has been a hot topic for months and his time is almost here. Early in his career, Dash has already worked with Chris Brown and Mishon.

Perhaps, Roscoe Dash is best-known for his issues with Travis Porter. Porter has always tried to present himself as a non-confrontational artist, but his feud with Dash ended the image. Signed to Zone 4 Inc. Dash has the heavyweight, Polow da Don in his corner. Polow has already delivered him a hit with "All The Way Turnt Up."

His Soulja Boy collaboration placed Roscoe Dash in front of everyone and he responded accordingly. With no new single planned, Dash plans to release his debut album, Ready Set Go! on June 22. With the biggest record label behind him, Roscoe Dash plans to be around for years to come.

Ludacris said "The Hangover" inspired the "Sex Room" video

For the past few days, Ludacris has been discussing the latest single from his Battle of the Sexes album. Ludacris was very close to retiring from the game, but working on this album led to him falling back in love with the game. The album featured the chart-topping lead single, "How Low."

Coming off of the success of his spring single, "My Chick Bad," Luda is looking to put a lock on the summer. He feels his Trey Songz-assisted, "Sex Room" single can do this for him. Throughout his career, Ludacris has always been a nasty rapper. But, for some reason, he has always been a hit with the kids.

For this reason, Ludacris has come up with two different videos for his latest single. One video will be for the kids who love his music dearly. The other video, however, will be for the adults. Another icon meant for the adults and loved by the kids is The Hangover. The film from last summer has been the model for the "Sex Room" videos.

The adult video will be filmed in Las Vegas, Nevada and Ludacris said the concept of the video comes right from The Hangover. Luda described the video as he and Trey Songz doing what they do best.

Nas regrets not collaborating with Raekwon last year

Last year, as Raekwon was gearing up for the release of Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt. II, he announced Nas as one of the guest features on the album. For unknown reasons, Nas did not appear on the album and Rae seemed to be a little offended. He said he understood how busy Nas was with everything going on, but he made a promise.

In the end, the joke was on Nas because Raekwon's album was viewed by many as one of the top albums of the year. Later, Nas would go on to praise both Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt. II and The Blueprint 3 by former rival, Jay-Z. Nas was supposed to appear on both albums, but did not.

When speaking of the proposed Raekwon album, Nas admitted he messed up when he was not a part of that classic. Nas has yet to talk with Raekwon since last year, but he is confident they will collaborate in the future. He said it is likely for them to collaborate on the project Rae has in store for this year.

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