All Articles Tagged "jay z"

Lil Wayne Says He’s Signed A Deal With Roc Nation

June 14th, 2015 - By Tonya Garcia
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Lil Wayne used his time on stage at Oakland’s KMEL Summer Jam to announce that he has signed a deal with “his idol” Jay Z and Roc Nation. According to The Fader, it’s unclear whether he’s signed with them under a management basis or whether there will be new music coming. But Weezy has had some very public disputes with Cash Money Records, going so far as to sue the label for $51 million and saying outright that he wanted out. So whatever the deal, he sounds happy about it.

The Fader notes that Lil Wayne has joined Tidal, putting out a single through the service.

Whatever the deal, fans are certainly eager for any new music that Wayne is ready to serve up. A clip of his Summer Jam announcement above.

“We Are Rooting For Jay And Tidal To Succeed”: Sony CEO Will Not Remove Beyoncé’s Music From Tidal

June 1st, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Beyoncé's Music From Tidal


Last week, a Bloomberg feature insinuated Sony would pull all of its artists, including Beyoncé’s music off of Tidal if they didn’t reach an agreement on the streaming services rights. However, Entertainment Weekly reports that is false. In a statement from Sony’s CEO Doug Morris: “Jay Z is a friend and business associate for many years. I have always admired his business acumen, his entrepreneurship and his passion for music. All of our content, including Beyoncé, is available through the Tidal service, and we have announced no plans to remove our catalog from Tidal. Like all of our other partners, we are rooting for Jay and Tidal to succeed.”

Another source told Rolling Stone it was ill-judged for Bloomberg to focus heavily on Beyoncé’s work being taken off of Tidal when in reality streaming rights affect all artists.

“Sony is regularly negotiating with partners,” the magazine writes. “They took that point and obviously focused on one artist, which is inappropriate as well. This is a Sony Music issue and it’d be across Sony Music.”

It appears since the launch of Tidal, facts regarding its legal issues may become skewed due to the lack of general support. And the folks running Tidal haven’t exactly done a bang up job of talking publicly about the service either. (We’re looking at you Jay.)

Sony May Pull All Of Beyoncé’s Music Off Of Tidal

May 29th, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Beyoncé's Music Off Of Tidal


The latest difficulty in the Tidal business saga is Sony Music’s request to be paid for the streaming rights for artists who appear on the service. Although Tidal  received approval from Universal and Warner music labels, Sony is still pending because it is seeking large advances in order for their artists to be featured.

Bloomberg says if Tidal cannot pay Sony, it may lose music from already featured on the service — most importantly (and, perhaps, most ironically) Beyoncé. Although Beyoncé serves as a TIDAL co-owner, Peter Mensh, co-founder of Q Prime told Bloomberg artists even of Beyoncé’s caliber may not even own their own streaming rights.

Sony’s music label controls Columbia Music, RCA and Epic Records to name a few. Musical acts who fall under these labels will have issues if any streaming service has not had its rights or payment agreements approved.

Let’s just add Sony to the list of 99 problems that Hov is having in 2015.

h/t Complex

Do All Celebrities Have A Social Responsibility, Or Only The Ones That Get Called Out?

May 27th, 2015 - By Tanvier Peart
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These days, anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of public opinion.

Jay Z is coming under fire over recent comments that compares water to the music industry. “Water is free,” the hip-hop mogul told the New York Times. “You should drink free water from the tap — it’s a beautiful thing. And if you want to hear the most beautiful song, then support the artist.”

While I understood the point he was trying to make, many people — including Denver Water executive Steve Snyder — did not think it was appropriate. Taking to his company’s blog, Steve penned an open letter to Jay Z asking the Grammy award winner to stick to his own business.

“I get what you are saying,” wrote Snyder. “Artists should be paid for the music they create. But to say that ‘water is free while music is $6′ isn’t exactly true.”

I personally am not going to get into the breakdown of how water is or isn’t free. To my knowledge, many people pay for their water, gas or electricity through a utility bill. If you live on land that operates off well water (I do), you technically don’t have to pay for water, but do need equipment and other materials to process it. Like I said, this whole debate can get very technical and complicated.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Yes there are many celebrities who probably couldn’t tell you the average cost of gas today, let alone a gallon of milk. What’s interesting about this criticism is that some believe celebrities should do more with their money when it comes to helping others in need. “At one point, you were reported to have a net worth of $510 million,” Steve adds. “When trying to calculate how much water you could buy with that, my calculator short circuited.”

This raises the question: Do celebrities have a social responsibility or decree to use their money for the betterment of everyone?

Even though Steve personally never asked for a donation, there are many who believe high-profile figures should in fact use some of their paycheck to solve world problems. In the case of the water crisis — which is far worse in underdeveloped countries — stars like Matt Damon co-founded organizations like to help provide solutions to the billions affected by daily water and sanitation needs. Does this mean Jay needs to follow suit?

No matter how much a celebrity chooses to give or donate, I’m not sure it will ever be enough. Jay Z and Beyoncé reportedly put up bail money for protesters in both Ferguson and Baltimore not too long ago. That gesture raised some eyebrows; some couldn’t believe why they would help people in jail, even if they were peacefully exercising their right to voice their opinion.

Heck Taylor Swift couldn’t catch a break when she made good on her promise to donate proceeds from her song, “Welcome to New York” to New York City public schools. The tune made $50,000 which some didn’t think was enough.

I think it’s really easy to target certain people and ask what have you done for me lately. Sure it would be great if more celebrities and people in positions of power practiced social responsibility, but at the end of the day, we just don’t know what they do behind closed doors. Not every cause they hold dear to their hearts will be at the top of our lists of most important causes, which can easily turn good deeds into rants about doing more.

Jay Z Responds To Artist’s Claims That He “Completely Used” Her

May 21st, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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If it’s not one thing, it’s another.

Earlier this week, performance artist Marina Abramovic shared with Spike magazine that she felt “used” following her involvement in Jay Z’s 2013 “Picasso Baby” art presentation. As you may recall, Abramovic allowed Jay to adapt her “The Artist Is Present” exhibition under the condition that he support the Marina Abramovic Institute, which she claims he did not. Instead, she called the partnership a “one-way transaction.”

“The day before, he came to my office and I gave him an entire PowerPoint presentation and said, ‘Okay, you can help me, because I really need help to build this thing,” the 68-year-old told the magazine. “Then he just completely used me. And that wasn’t fair. This is very different from Lady Gaga, for example, who has done great work for me. Just by having 45 million followers, she brought all these young kids into my public.”

However, it seems that there’s a bit of miscommunication or some funny business going on at Abramovic’s New York institute because shortly after news of Abramovic’s allegations began to spread, Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, who directed the music presentation, came forward with actual receipts and a “thank you” note proving that the Brooklyn rapper made a generous donation to Abramovic’s institute. art net News explains:

“Thank you for your donation,” says a receipt from the Hudson, New York institute, according to New York dealer and “Picasso Baby” video producer Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn of Salon 94, who read parts of the document to artnet News over the phone Wednesday morning.

After all of that, Abramovic’s institute could do nothing but apologize.

“Marina Abramovic was not informed of Shawn ‘Jay Z’ Carter’s donation from two years ago when she recently did an interview with Spike Magazine in Brazil,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “We are sincerely sorry to both Marina Abramovic and Shawn ‘Jay Z’ Carter for this, and since then we have taken to appropriate actions to reconcile this matter.”

Glad Jay was able to clear his name.


Is Jay Z Missing The Point?: Why Exactly Are People Criticizing Tidal?

May 19th, 2015 - By Tonya Garcia
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Jay Z gave a special concert over the weekend for Tidal subscribers and a small group of audience members at New York’s Terminal 5 and took a moment to freestyle on a variety of topics: from equal pay to Freddie Gray and Trayvon Martin. He also used the opportunity to sound off on Spotify, YouTube, Apple and other companies that are involved in the music industry.

You can watch the whole video above, but here’s a snippet:

“Spotify’s $9 billion. They ain’t say s**t.

Lucy they got some splainin’ to do.

The only one they hatin’ on look the same as you.”

He ends with the line, “It’s politics as usual.”

From the beginning, Tidal has taken a lot of heat for applying a subscription cost — up to $20 per month — for access. The widely discussed press conference to launch the service took place on March 30 and since then, it has been plagued with negative chatter about subscriber numbers and how the service sets itself apart from the others.

Jay has tried to respond on Twitter and that largely fell flat. (We discussed the reasons why here.) His freestyle also introduces the idea that critics are coming after him because he’s Black.

Though Jay is aware of the talk, we’re not sure he’s hearing what exactly Tidal is being criticized for.

No doubt, racial bias across business and in the music industry exists. We’re not debating that point here. But a good chunk of the criticism about Tidal has come from fans who are saying in plain language what they value, what they’re willing to pay for and why Tidal’s business pitch isn’t selling them. The argument that fans should pay because other companies are taking money out of musicians’ overstuffed pockets is a hard pill to swallow. Moreover, you can’t propose that “YouTube is the culprit” here when you’ve making songs that tell everyone you’re “planking on a million.” Before Tidal, YouTube helped make you that million.

At this point, music lovers are used to gaining access to songs at no charge. From Pandora to Spotify, there are services that play your favorite songs for free. You pay with your time; you listen to a few 30-second ads here and there. A large part of the music business has turned to other things to make money, live events and merchandising, for example. Consumers are willing to pay for a concert ticket or a spot at a music festival (which can run into the hundreds of dollars), but they’re less likely to spend just to hear the song play on their computer.

So the biggest issue here is that Jay & Co. have taken something that has already been made available for $0 and tried to tell people they should pay more than that for it. Shortly after the “Feeling Myself” video was made available on Tidal, it became available other places on the web as well. And Tidal partner Jack White has broadcast his concerts at no charge on YouTube in the past. It would be like newspapers telling people they have to pay for stories after readers have gotten used to getting news for free online (which they tried). On its face, that just won’t fly.

Fans would be willing to pay if they were being offered a unique experience. But Tidal has yet to effectively make its value proposition. Why is it worth the money? What are my dollars supporting beside your lavish lifestyle? What have you done for me lately? The answers to those questions haven’t been forthcoming. That’s what the backlash is all about.

Tidal’s chief investment officer Vania Scholgel has acknowledged the public relations hiccups that have plagued the company. “Everything that has been done to date has come from a place of authenticity but we recognize that we’re not perfect at PR,” she said in an interview earlier this month. “The one thing I did not expect or foresee was that if we didn’t tell all the details, people would come in and speculate and tell the story for us.”

Jay Z is more than welcome to make a ton of cash on his music and business endeavors. But if you want people to hand over their dollars, they have to be given a good reason. Jay Z doesn’t need to rap about Spotify and the other competitors. He needs to spend more time talking about the virtues of Tidal.

h/t on the video to The Verge

Jay Z And Beyoncé Put Up Bail Money For Protesters In Ferguson And Baltimore, Says Dream Hampton

May 18th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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In the past, both Jay Z and Beyoncé have been criticized for sometimes failing to speak out on issues that affect the Black community. But as it turns out, although the duo frequently moves in silence regarding these matters, they’ve been doing quite a bit to support these causes.

Over the weekend, writer dream hampton, who cowrote Jay’s 2010 book, Decoded, tweeted that the hip-hop power couple has put up tens of thousands of dollars in bail money for protesters in Ferguson and Baltimore.

“When we needed money for bail for Baltimore protesters, I asked hit Jay up, as I had for Ferguson, wired tens of thousands in mins,” she tweeted.

“I’m going to tweet this and I don’t care if Jay gets mad,” she followed up.

“When BLM needed infrastructure money for the many chapters that we’re growing like beautiful dandelions, Carters wrote a huge check.”

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The tweets were quickly deleted, but the Michigan native says that every word she tweeted was nothing but the truth.

“It’s true,” she told the New York Daily News. “I erased because I didn’t want it on Twitter.”

In addition to offering financial support, the husband-and-wife duo recently met with Freddie Gray’s family during a visit to Baltimore for last weekend’s “Rally 4 Peace” event where Prince performed his new record for the city of Baltimore.

“I am honored to join Prince in his mission to inspire through the uniting power of music and be able to offer a platform where this moment can be shared globally,” Jay said in a statement earlier this month.

“We invite all to experience the music and contribute in their own way to promote peace, tolerance and understanding,” he continued. “Our prayers go out to Freddie Gray’s family and every family affected by brutality and senseless violence.”

Does any of this change your opinion of the Carters?

Beyoncé & Jay Z with #FreddieGray's family. #Rally4Peace

A photo posted by Beyoncé (@beylite) on

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise

Is This Picture Of Rita Ora Hugging Up On Jay Z Really That Inappropriate?

May 12th, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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We are just here for the comments…#JayZ #Diddy #TarajiPHenson #RitaOra

A photo posted by The Shade Room (@theshaderoominc) on

This time last week, the Met Gala took place in New York City with a lot of fanfare, and thankfully, a lot less drama this time around.

If you’ll recall, after last year’s star-studded and classy event, Jay Z took a street a**-whoopin’ from Solange Knowles over a situation people were never able to get to the bottom of. Many assumed that because Beyoncé allowed her sister to kick and swing at him in an elevator for a quite a few minutes before finally stepping in, the rapper had done something inappropriate.

Fingers were pointed at fashion designer Rachel Roy (she was accused of being flirtatious) and there was speculation of infidelity and marital drama for weeks after the fact. The couple tried to distract people from all of it with their “On The Run” tour. Fast forward to a year later and things seem to be in a much better place for the powerful duo. No more family fighting (just back-to-back white weddings). No more cheating rumors. Just family vacations and walking hand-in-hand. Thank goodness.

So they arrived fashionably late to the Met Gala, went in and enjoyed themselves, and walked out without a care. The only thing people were talking about that night was Beyoncé’s gown and her insane body.

But days later, people have something to say when it comes to the couple’s appearance at the Met Gala, but it has to do with Rita Ora. She is an artist signed to Roc Nation, and a singer known by many for…well, always being pictured at events. We can’t really name a song by her though.

The picture you see above is from the evening of the Met Gala, and it shows a giddy Ora hugging on her boss as he has an in-depth conversation with Diddy. Her chin seems to be on his back, and her embrace, from my vantage point, seems to be one that was meant to be one of those “Surprise!” hugs before the recipient of your squeeze turns around to greet you. It looks innocent considering that she did it in front of everyone, but the fact that such a display of affection was public may also be part of the problem. According to the Internet, homegirl was highly inappropriate at this moment.

“I really think Rita meant no harm but that pic looks bad on her part & makes Jay look even worst. Your suppose to check a female when something like that happens.”

“If ANY woman dares to hug my man from the back, I’m not holding myself accountable for the violence I emit.”

“Maybe she was drunk or overly excited ( for whatever reason), I don’t know. But, this is just too close for comfort. Yes, Rita is like a little sister to both Jay n Bey but uhhhhh, this is a bit much.”

Even your friend Wendy Williams thought Ora was doing too much, but also placed blame on Jay Z:

“A hug is not just a hug. I venture to say that a hug from behind is way more intimate from a hug from the front. Even as a married woman, you can go up and give a man a hug and kiss on two cheeks, and your husband could be standing right there, but you know to create separation and don’t linger. But a hug from the back? Rita Ora knew exactly what she was doing…When you’re married, you have to have your swat game up.”

But some felt it was a harmless hug people have blown out of proportion:

“I think that hug was innocent. Didn’t Jay Z help jump start Rita Ora’s career?”

“I don’t think Rita Ora did anything wrong. I picture her and Jay-Z having a brother sister relationship. I highly doubt Beyonce cares about this photo (which people could and probably ARE taking way out of context) so why do ya’ll care. Sit. down.”

Ora has since had a majority of her Instagram photos bombarded with bees, which only means one thing: the BeyHive has awoken, and they’re piiiiiissed. They’ve told her to “go die,” they’ve made comments about her looks, and they’ve literally just trolled for the past three days. As always, Beyoncé’s fans love to do the most, and it’s not even that serious…

But I must admit, Ora was just a tad bit disrespectful. I don’t think she meant any harm, and I’m under the impression that she has a comfortable relationship with both Jay and Bey. Plus, she’s clearly a fan of Beyoncé. She did her own version of the “7/11″ video, and when asked about last year’s cheating rumors surrounding the couple, Ora quickly came to their defense on “The Breakfast Club”:

“Don’t you dare disrespect Beyoncé like that ever again in your entire life. You should know better than that…that’s just straight-up disrespect. You can’t even go there.”

So she rides for her boss and his wife–she just may be riding a little too hard.

Hugging another woman’s husband from behind is just one of those things you shouldn’t do. You don’t want to give anyone any ideas, and you don’t want to get too comfortable with someone else’s spouse. It can appear as though you’re flirting, even if you swear that you aren’t (just ask Kenya Moore), and it’s like you (yes, I’m talking to you valued reader) trying to hold hands with a colleague’s man, or hugging up on your very married boss. You just don’t do it.

I’m about 1000% sure that Beyoncé was not pressed about this hug (and Solange came to the Gala with her husband this year, so she was distracted and unable to kick a** and take names), so there’s no reason to read Ora for filth. But this is a good example for others when it comes to boundaries and how to behave around someone’s husband or significant other. Since he is her boss and the husband of someone else, she overstepped her boundaries. A light tap to get his attention and a quick hug would have sufficed. And considering that we haven’t even seen Beyoncé display this sort of affection towards her own husband in public, I have to state that it just wasn’t a good look for Ora.

I say all that to say, keep your distance and always remember to have boundaries when it comes to other people’s partner’s, ladies. The last thing you want is to get your reputation dragged, or your wig snatched over a misunderstanding…Don’t start none, won’t be none.

Who Is The Richest Hip-Hop Mogul In 2015?

May 6th, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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For their 2015 annual report on hip-hop artists, Forbes found that Bad Boy Diddy tops the list of richest moguls in the hip-hop industry with $735 million. The largest portions of his net worth come from his investments in Ciroc and Revolt.

Last year, Dr.Dre occupied the top spot as the wealthiest artist in hip hop.

Diddy also holds a controlling stake in the clothing lines Sean John and Enyce, the water brand Aquahydrate and the newly launched tequila brand DeLeon. Dropping to the number two spot, Dre is currently worth $700 million. His wealth of late is due in large part to his Beats By Dre deal with Apple, which was finalized last year. The value of the deal was reported to be $3.2 billion but in cash it was an even $3 billion. After taxes, Dre’s 25 percent stake in the Beats By Dre left him with a $500 million windfall.

Jay Z ranks in third place with $550 million, but his position may elevate with his newly-bought Scandinavian streaming service, Tidal. By releasing exclusive content on the service,experts say Tidal could prove to be an asset to those in the entertainment industry. Rounding out the top five spots are 50 Cent and Birdman; 50 comes in at $155 million whereas Birdman’s value is at $150 million. The Cash Money executive’s finances have decreased due to the rumors surrounding his record company and the end to the business relationship with its biggest recording act, Lil Wayne.

The $100 million sale of VitaminWater in 2007 continues to be lucrative for 50 Cent, and he continues to invest in new brands such as SMS headphones, Effen Vodka and Frigo Underwear.

Forbes calculated their list by reviewing each contender’s current holdings, past earnings, interviewing analysts, attorneys, managers and other moguls to ensure the correct details in their report.

Check out Diddy, along with Cassie at the 2015 Met Gala discussing his continued success, below.

Oh, You Tried It: 15 Epic Clapbacks From The Stars

April 29th, 2015 - By Desiree Bowie
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Mo'Nique reveals strained relationship with her 25-year-old son and that she has prayed for "another chance."


Everyone likes a good clapback but everyone loves watching a celebrity set their haters straight. From singers and actors, all the way to the President of The United States, let’s take a look at 15 celeb clapbacks that had us screaming, “B***h, you guessed it!”