All Articles Tagged "billboard"

Missy Elliot Covers Billboard, Talks Her Come Back, Her Health & Thoughts On Nicki Minaj

November 19th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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missy elliot covers billboard

Source: Billboard

Now that it seems that we’re finally about to get some new music from Missy Elliot, the Hip Hop legend sat down with Billboard to cover their November 28 issue. In it she talks about the pressure she feels to come out with something hot and fresh, her privacy both in and out of the studio, her health struggles and her thoughts on Nicki Minaj and music today.

Check out the highlights below.

On taking her time to release new music

“I have to be very careful,” she says. “It’s different now. People are quick to be like, ‘You’re irrelevant, you’re a flop, you’re washed up.’ 

The task became particularly challenging considering Elliot is only working with a very small circle of people for this project.

[Pharrell and Timbaland are] “the only two producers that understand me.”

Truth be told, it’s not that the album hasn’t been held off because she’s been uninspired.

“If I wanted to do ‘The Missing Files of Missy Eliliot,’ I have probably six albums just sitting there.”

Missy consciously made a decision to take a break. She just didn’t realize it would be this long.

“People hadn’t realized that I haven’t just been an artist, I’ve been a writer and a producer for other artists. When you’re writing that much, your brain is like a computer. You have refresh it.”

Missy also believes it was her workload didn’t do much to help her Graves disease.

“It causes hair loss, your eyes bulge,” she says. “My blood pressure was always up from just overworking.”

Her protege, Sharaya, spoke about the emotional toll it took on Missy as well.

“It started to change her way of life,” she says. “There were physical changes, extreme headaches, extreme weight loss. What that does to a person, being a public figure and knowing people are looking, judging? That’s a tough thing.”

On Nicki Minaj and the need for more female MCs. 

When asked about Nicki Minaj, who is clearly influenced by Elliott, she mock-innocently replies, “Oh, she is?” (Speaking to her influence generally, she adds, “Unfortunately, breaking news, there is only one Missy.”) Still, she would love to see more woman MCs on the charts — when she was coming up, that was much more common. “It was me, [Lil’] Kim, Lauryn [Hill], Eve, Foxy [Brown], Trina,” she says. “There’s room for so many. It’s important.”

On being shy and maintaining her privacy 

“I was always feisty, always that kid that would be on the porch with a hairbrush singing or rapping,” she says. “I got more shy as I got older and realized people could be laughing at me, or judging me.”

And though she and Timbaland are friends and have been creative partners for years, she’s shy around him too.

“I never record in front of anybody,” she says. “[Even] Tim has never seen me record a day in his life.” Early on she worked with an engineer, but for many years now she has recorded her parts alone — with two exceptions. “It’s just me and my little Yorkies, Poncho and Hoodie.”

The habit of being alone comes from Missy’s childhood where she would use her room as an escape from her often turbulent life. Not only had she repeatedly been sexually abused by her cousin, she also  watched her mother being physically abused by her father, at one point pulling a gun on her.

“My room would become a whole other world once I shut that door,” she says. “That’s why I believe my videos are so important to me. It was Alice in Wonderland: my bed, my closet — it would all turn into something else. And I would write and sing and block out whatever was going on.”

Pieces of that introverted child still remain. Surprisingly enough, while we all remember her absolutely killing her Super Bowl performance with Katy Perry, Missy says that she had a panic attack before it actually happened.

Like, IVs in my arm, everything,” she says. “Nobody knew.” The day of the show, she remembers being just offstage and hearing the opening riff of “Get Ur Freak On.” “I said, ‘If I can get over this step, then I know all my dance steps will be on point,’ ” she recalls. “I know it was nothing but the grace of God that lifted me up and took me through that performance.”

We’re so glad He did!

You can read Missy’s full interview with Billboard here.

Who’s Going To Pay For This? Billboard Sexualizes Baby North West In Disgusting Tweet

October 30th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Splash News

Splash News

Another day, another example in ways the mainstream media is hellbent on the sexualizing Black girls, hell even babies.

It wasn’t that long ago that we were discussing the completely distasteful and shockingly disgusting Blue Ivy “joke” written for the Amy Poehler-produced Hulu show “Difficult People.” Personally, I’m still not over it.

And now Billboard is jumping on that bandwagon.

Earlier this morning, the outlet tweeted this image of North West and her mother Kim Kardashian, with this caption.

Source: Twitter

Source: Twitter

I’ve tried to think of ways in which this tweet could have been misconstrued. But it’s very clear that they were using sexual innuendo in an attempt to get people to click on a story about North West saying “I said no pictures.” Perhaps, when they issue an apology, which they have yet to do, Billboard will likely allege that they were trying to highlight the similarities of North and her mother in the ways in which she handled the paparazzi but everyone knows Kim Kardashian is not known for telling the paps she doesn’t want her picture taken, quite the opposite. They were referencing her sex tape with Ray J, something that shouldn’t be a topic of conversation when children are involved in the conversation. You would think logic and moral decency like this would be understood. But we can’t make those assumptions when it comes to the ways Black people, men, women and children, are treated in this country.

We’re not allowed our innocence and childhood. Our girls, our babies are sexualized long before puberty and demonized as they’re approaching it. We all remember what The Onion had to say about Quvenzhané Wallis, in an attempt at pathetic satire.

But it’s not just our childhood that is disregarded, it’s our general humanity.

It’s hard to argue that Ben Fields saw that sixteen-year-old girl as human when he placed her in a chokehold and flung her across the classroom.

It’s the reason why Black girls are punished more often and more severely than White girls in the public school system. Instead of being seen as a student coming to learn or a child prone to mistakes, we’re regarded as problems to be eradicated.

These instances go beyond what a few media outlets are tweeting haphazardly. These tweets speak to a very racist and problematic perception of Black people and women specifically. And it needs to be brought to the forefront.

Billboard did delete the tweet. But they replaced it with something that still didn’t work.

Ahhh sassy.

Another trope for Black women. Women who have the audacity to speak up for themselves or ask for what they want, are disregarded as “sassy” or having an attitude. Especially Black women. Nah. When North said “no pictures,” she was merely stating what she wanted. If cameras were following me every time I stepped out of the house, from the time I was born, I would request “no pictures” too. And instead of calling her “sassy,” we should be applauding her confidence and intelligence for articulating her wants.

White children, even if they are children of celebrities, are not treated like this in the public eye. When a man who was allegedly working as a paparazzi called Suri Cruise “a little brat,” the media was quick to defend her, arguing that children should be off limits.

I wonder if the mainstream media will come to North West’s defense. And by come to her defense, I mean someone needs to get fired.

Update: Billboard issued an apology.

It’s trash.

“I Want To Get My Back Blown Out For Like A Week.” Remy Ma Talks Post Prison Plans

March 26th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Remy Ma Talks Post Prison Plans


In honor of Women’s History Month, has been spotlighting female MCs, one for every day of the month. And yesterday, they honored Remy Ma.

As you know Remy Ma, born Reminisce Smith, has been in prison for the past six years. The 32 year old was sentenced for allegedly shooting Makeeda Barnes-Joseph in the abdomen over a missing $3,000. Now, that she’s at the tail end of her sentence with three months to go, she talking about the now resolved beef with Fat Joe, plans for her career once she’s released, what she’s learned in prison and what she wants to do personally, biblically with her husband Papoose now that she’ll be a free woman.

You may remember that Rema Ma was featured on the hit Terror Squad song “Lean Back.”  And though the record was smashing the charts back in 2004, behind the scenes there was tension between she and Terror Squad front runner Fat Joe.

 I think our issues came from our egos conflicting. [Fat] Joe used to give me advice on what to do and what not to do, but I didn’t listen. He guided me, but I didn’t listen to him. If I would have listened to him then, things would have been different now. If I would have listened to Joe half of the time…You don’t realize it at the time because when you’re young you think you know everything. There was a lot of conflict that could have been avoided. Sometimes when you have hit records out, you let that control your actions and affect your relationships.

I just recently spoke to him and we had a wonderful conversation. It started off a little awkward. [Laughs] We’re both like, ‘Just say what you want to say.’ We were both holding on to our egos. ‘Well what do you want to say?’ ‘No what do you want to say?’ We finally let it go. We ended up talking about things I want to do when I get home. He said, ‘I still think you’re the dopest female rapper ever.’ I’m like, ‘Really?!’ [Laughs] When you put egos and pride aside, and be the real people that you are it works out… I told him that when I do go home I’m going to make it my business that we talk more.”

Remy Ma also alluded to the fact that perhaps she wasn’t the one responsible for the shooting that landed her in prison.

“You can’t believe everything that people say about someone. I’m a strong believer that things happen for a reason. I’m not the type of person to bring someone down to save myself. I’m always one to take one for the team. Sometimes you have to sacrifice yourself to make sure everything else is right. At first when I went through what I went through, people said, ‘Why didn’t you work out a deal?’ I never took the stand. I let people say what they wanted to say, and I just took the decision. That’s the person I am.”


Anyway, Remy Ma also spoke about the material she’s been writing in prison and what stories she wants to hear on the radio.

“I’ve grown so much as a woman and as an individual. I know that I can bring something to the table that’s missing. I don’t hear the things that I want to say or have experienced; I don’t hear it in the music that’s out.

I’m writing about my own stories but also the stories of the people I’ve come across while in prison. I’m not in jail, I’m in prison. You’d be surprised as to how many women come through here and what they’ve experienced. I’ve encountered people from all over the world.  I’ve always rapped about my struggle and living a hard life but there’s a lot of things that are serious, like gang issues, immigration issues, domestic violence issues… There’s some women in here, 18-year-olds with ambition, who may never see the light of day. I thought I had a hard life, but I’ve now experienced a whole different world. It’s serious. I’m going to put it in my music.

I want to show sides of me that I hadn’t showed and tell my story since I left till now, and the stories of others. I can say I have at least 20 books or so of songs.”

And lastly, she spoke about what she wants to do for herself personally once she gets out.

“I’m going to get my hair done. I’m going to get my nails done. [Laughs] People see me as this rough tomboy. I’m a girly girl. And I’m married! I’m over here married, without my nails done. I’m going to get dolled up. I’ll then knock out a few things [and] lay down some melodies. I’ve written a lot down but I haven’t been producing so I just write and listen to the radio. I think that if I get in to the studio with some of these guys that are out – like Rico Love and DJ Mustard – I’m going to get so lit.” [Laughs]

“After I get dolled up and lay down some records and my voice is out, I want to get away and get my back blown out for like a week. Mess up the hair and make-up that I got done. I have been in prison for a while.”[Laughs]

Remy Ma is truly focused if she’s trying to lay down songs and get her voice out before she gets that work from her husband. Whatever order she addresses her desires, we wish her the best.

You can read the rest of her interview with, here. 

The Business Of Christmas: Celebrities Who Profit Each Year During The Holidays

December 20th, 2013 - By Blair Bedford
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For some big retailers and celebrities, Christmas bring good tidings of great profits to their bank accounts every holiday season. From album sales, Billboard chart-topping hits, best-selling clothing lines and televised holiday specials, these celebrities and businesses know how to monopolize on the Christmas cheer.

A few of your favorite celebrities and stores are cashing in this and every holiday season. Find out who is making a business out of the Christmas season.

So Long, Katy Perry! Rihanna Breaks Record For Most Chart-Topping Songs

December 12th, 2013 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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Rihanna Breaks Record

Image Source:

Knocking Katy Perry off her throne, Rihanna is the newly-crowned songstress with the most hits! Eminem’s “Monster,” on which Rihanna was featured in, is the Bajan beauty’s 11th No.1 pop song, Billboard reports.

Rihanna’s good friend Miss Perry once held the tiara for having the most hits with 10 chart-topping songs, but the “Where Have You Been” singer surpassed the American Music Awards’ opening performer and broke a new record as Billboard’s new hit master. Rihanna has come a long way from “Pon De Replay,” an island club banger that was dismissed as a one-hit wonder.

Here’s a list to remind you of the 25-year-old singer’s hit-makers:

1. 2006, “SOS” (one week at No. 1)
2. 2008, “Take a Bow” (three)
3. 2008, “Disturbia” (three)
4. 2008, “Live Your Life” (T.I. feat. Rihanna) (two)
5. 2010, “Rude Boy” (two)
6. 2010, “Love the Way You Lie” (Eminem feat. Rihanna) (two)
7. 2010, “Only Girl (In the World)” (three)
8. 2011, “S&M” (one)
9. 2011, “We Found Love” (Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris) (eight)
10. 2013, “Stay” (Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko) (one to date)

According to Billboard, a chart-topper is defined by its radio airplay. During it’s 21-year history, Rihanna is the first artist to break the 10-hit tally.

As if breaking a Billboard record isn’t enough of a Christmas treat, Rihanna has also been showered with lovely holiday gifts from Rodarte, Stella McCartney, Miu Miu, Prada, and Versace that includes shoes, sunglasses, luxury bags, and more. How do we know? Because she’s posting them on Instagram. Tacky?

Either way, this year seems like a good year to be RiRi!

The Struggle: Ciara Sells New Album On Groupon After Sales Drop

July 30th, 2013 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Source: Derrick Salters/ "Ciara" "Groupon"

Source: Derrick Salters/

We all love us some Groupon! The restaurant, spa, and travel deals make us oh so happy, but now you can even get  a “Body Party” on Groupon. No, not that kind of body party, the one only our girl Ciara can provide. That’s because the singer will be selling both her new album, “Ciara,” and compilation album, “The Very Best Of Ciara,” for a 2-CD deal on Groupon.

Although ‘Ciara’ scored the third spot of the Billboard charts by selling 59,000 units,  the album sales quickly dropped; therefore, making Groupon a viable business move. Since Jay-Z caught some heat for his Samsung Magna Carta Holy Grail deal, we decided to see what Twitter fans had to say. But before you see the shade they threw, check out Ciara’s Groupon deal. It ends August 2, 2013.

Ciara tweet

Do We Have to Play by Jay Z’s #NewRules?

July 22nd, 2013 - By C. Cleveland
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Rules were made to be broken. At least that’s Jay Z’s logic. Under the prophetic hashtag #newrules, the rapper and businessman announced that his latest album “Magna Carta Holy Grail” would be given away 72 hours before its officially release date via a free app for Samsung Galaxy customers. Rather than continuing the fight the music industry has waged against free music since the days of Napster, Jay Z embraced technology, to the tune of $5 million.

Everything didn’t go according to plan. But anyone gleefully pointing to the app crashing the night of “Magna Carta”’s early release as a sign of failure misses the point entirely. Samsung spent a few million dollars – a small amount for the telecommunications juggernaut – to bill themselves as the official leakers of Jay-Z’s album. The buzz generated by the deal coupled with Jay Z’s payout makes both parties winners.

The RIAA quickly jumped on the #newrules bandwagon, tweaking its gold and platinum awards program to cover any digital album sales that previously had to wait a month to be qualified in order to allow for “returns” (unsold, but shipped, stock); making Jay Z’s latest album an instant platinum success.

But everyone isn’t excited about the new world order Jay is ushering in. LL Cool J tells Revolt TV:

“Numbers are Numbers. In the numbers is truth, but in terms of touching the people it’s a little different…For me as an artist I still want to be able to touch the people individually…It still matters to me that people individually went out and bought my record. Although I still think a million sold is a million sold, but for me I like to know that a million PEOPLE bought my record, not a company bought a million copies of my record.”

Billboard took a similar old-school stance when they declined Jay-Z’s team request for the million albums sold to be counted on the charts saying, “ever-visionary Jay-Z pulled the nifty coup of getting paid as if he had a platinum album before one fan bought a single copy…But in the context of this promotion, nothing is actually for sale.”

If 1 million copies of an album are paid for, but no one is there to buy them, is the album really platinum? …Does it really matter? Outside of being a handy statistic for stans to bring up during “who’s the best artist” debates, have fans ever really cared about platinum plaques?

The RIAA had a point when it announced the rewriting of its rules: “The reality is that how fans consume music is changing, the music business is changing as labels and artists partner with a breathtaking array of new technology services.”

Individual album sales are a remnant of music industry past.  Magna Carta gives us a peek at the future of music where the industry dances to the tech industry’s tune.

Jay isn’t the first to hand out albums for free (Prince slid his “Planet Earth” album into copies of the Mail, and Radiohead lets fans pay what they wanted for “In Rainbows”), or sell an album as an app (Björk’s released “Biophilia” for the iPad in 2011).

If the fervor generated by Magna Carta’s early release is any indication, the album would have been a success without it. When the app crashed, the leaked album quickly took over radio airwaves and was gobbled up by non-Samsung users. We all may have trouble swallowing the fact that a company paid for Jay to go platinum but at the end of the day, this whole ordeal was nothing more than a well-executed promotional campaign.

Rather than squabble over Jay Z’s well-coordinated success, energy would be better spent figuring out how to leverage these type of business deals to benefit smaller acts rather than the artists who need the money the least.

C. Cleveland covers professional development topics and entrepreneurial rebels who blaze their own career paths. She explores these stories and more on The Red Read, Twitter (@CleveOutLoud) and Facebook (/MyReadIsRed).

Jay-Z’s ‘Magna Carta’ Album Sold a Million Copies… Or Did It?

July 10th, 2013 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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A shot from Jay-Z's Samsung ad.

A shot from Jay-Z’s Samsung ad.

Beyonce posted an old graduation photo of her beau, Jay-Z on Instagram; the words “bow down” were stamped in bold white letters on the picture. The “Single Ladies” singer wants us to curtsy for Jay-Z. After all, the  Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) hailed Magna Carta Holy Grail as a platinum album. However, Billboard refuses to “bow down” and will not accept Jay-Z’s one million digital sales as platinum, reports

Jay-Z teamed up with Samsung who agreed to purchase one million digital copies of Magna Carta for its Android customers. “While the album was free for the Samsung customers, the company paid Jay-Z and Roc Nation $5 for each copy,” says TheWrap.

In order to award Sean Carter with a platinum plaque, the RIAA had to change their rules. Originally, sales are only counted a month after the official release of the album. If the rules remained unadjusted, Jay would have to wait 30 days after July 9 to see if he had generated sufficient sales.  But earlier in July, “the certification company altered its rules to instantly qualify appropriate pre-sales towards gold and platinum status,” adds TheWrap.

Billboard, however, isn’t budging to appease Jay-Z. “[I]t wasn’t as simple as you might think to turn down Jay-Z when he requested that we count the million albums that Samsumg ‘bought’ as part of a much larger brand partner ship,” Bill Werde, editorial director of Billboard states, but “nothing was actually for sale.”

Werde explains that Samsung users downloaded a Jay-Z app for free and got the album for free as well, so the argument by Carter’s team that “something was for sale” isn’t valid.

Billboard only predicts Jay-Z to sell between 450,000 to 500,000 copies by Sunday, July 14. But they do expect the “99 problems” rapper to reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. He would be “extending his record as the solo act with the most No.1 albums in chart history,” said Billboard. Only The Beatles have surpassed Jay-Z with 19 chart-topping albums.

Billboard’s Top 200 chart will be released on Wednesday morning, July 17.

“I Feel Like Lil Kim Is Who I Am On The Inside”: Miley Cyrus Names Kim And Nicki Minaj As Favorite “Singers,” And Shows Love To Khia

July 5th, 2013 - By Clarke Gail Baines
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Miley Cyrus tickles me. That’s the only way I can put it. And she clearly confuses many others with her new look and new way of doing things, which includes twerking, wearing Tupac shirts around town, and being a more sexualized version of herself. But that’s not stopping that baby from topping the charts and shouting out the many black men and women she loves, which she did while being interviewed by Billboard about her top five favorite singers. Aside from the legendary Dolly Parton, Beth Hart and Joan Jett, she name dropped rappers, including the Queen Bee and even said that she feels that in a past life, she was Lil Kim. And if that wasn’t enough, she taps Nicki Minaj as another favorite saying that basically, you can’t name Kim and not name Nicki Minaj since they’re mad similar…I think they might disagree with that though:

“My third favorite, I want to say Lil Kim cause she just is. In my past life, that was me. I feel like Lil Kim is who I am on the inside. And so she just makes me happy listening to her music. And she is just like…I just love her. I can’t help that I love her.

I have to put Nicki as four because I did Kim. You can’t like choose one. If you say Kim you have to say Nicki and Nicki is my Lil Kim of my generation, so that’s cool.”

Check out the interview above to see Miley in her Versace jacket waxing poetic about the ladies who have influenced her.

And while she has spoken positively about these two rap icons, it seems that Cyrus also has an affinity for rapper Khia, who decided to do a remix of the singer’s hit, “We Can’t Stop.” Cyrus took to her Twitter to praise the unofficial remix as one of her favorites, and we all know Khia is somewhere letting her head get blown up by the exposure:


Check out the song below and let us know if you can dig it or if it’s an absolute mess.

Billboard Says Jay-Z’s Samsung Giveaway Won’t Count; Album Tracks Revealed

June 24th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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Billboard has told Jay-Z to hold his horses. The magazine, which tracks record sales, informed the rap mogul that it will not include the one million album downloads that Jay-Z is giving to Galaxy mobile phone users through a deal with Samsung, reports The Huffington Post. Last week, Jay-Z announced a venture in which his new album, “Magna Carta Holy Grail,” set for official release on July 7 would go out to one million Samsung users on July 4.

Through a letter posted on its website, Billboard said the downloads don’t count because Samsung ultimately isn’t selling the album on its phones. But, said editorial director Bill Werde, it wasn’t that easy denying Jay-Z’s request to include them on the Billboard album sales chart.  “The passionate and articulate argument by Jay’s team that something was for sale and Samsung bought it … doesn’t mesh with precedent,” Werde wrote.

One of scavenger hunt clues, via Instagram

One of scavenger hunt clues, via Instagram

Speaking of the “Magna Carta Holy Grail,” the track listing for Hova’s latest was revealed via a scavenger hunt held in Brooklyn, NY. According to Billboard, Jay-Z’s publicist Jana Fleishman tweeted pictures of locations where she was waiting with books containing the song titles. Fans who were clever enough to figure out the sites grabbed the copies.

But Fleishman hinted there was more to come. Following  the publicity stunt, she tweeted a photo via Instagram containing the words, “Hey family… Done for right now… Stay tuned for next time. I’m out…”

Right now, only the title tracks have been made public, though there is much speculation about who collaborated with Jay-Z on the album. Among the rumored producers are Rick Rubin, Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, and Swizz Beatz, mostly thought to have been involved because of their appearance in the commercial that aired June 16 announcement the album during the NBA Finals.

Some of the cuts in the much-anticipated CD: Picasso Baby, Heaven, Tom Ford, La Familia,  Jay-Z Blue,  Nickles & Dimes. Read into the titles what you may. But most of us won’t  know what Jay-Z is rhyming about until July 7.

Are you going to buy a of “Magna Carta Holy Grail”?