All Articles Tagged "nas"

Do New Artists Lack Respect For Those Who Came Before Them?

December 16th, 2014 - By Alexandra Olivier
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

Many new artists representing for this generation reflect on the artists before them who paved the way and inspired them. Some even end up bonding and sparking a friendship with these musical forefathers (and mothers). There’s no better example of this ode to the old school and camaraderie with the new school than the relationship between J. Cole and Nas.

Many have likened J. Cole to Nas in terms of lyrical ability and fame. His track “Let Nas Down” wasn’t a diss record or an apology for making a song that Nasty Nas wasn’t feeling. It was simply a chance to speak on the pressures to make it in the rap game, sometimes at the expense of your art, and how the industry really hasn’t changed, regardless of when both men entered it. Nas could relate, and in turn, created the song “Made Nas Proud” to share his own bumpy road in the industry and to show his support.

This type of relationship between a man that many can coin a living legend and another who is definitely one of the brightest stars in hip-hop, is what I would like to see more of, especially from artists just breaking into music. You can’t simply kick open a window that was already opened for you and say you broke through all by yourself. Unfortunately, this respect between old and new artists isn’t necessarily shared across the board.

Say what you want, but Nicki Minaj owns the female rap game right now. She has critically acclaimed featured verses – even stealing shine from Jay Z and Kanye West on“Monster” when she was a rookie – and two big records with Beyoncé. She is, without a doubt, the current female rapper running things. Way before her, there was Lil Kim. And despite Kim rolling with the big boys, spitting raunchy lyrics that made your grandmother blush and putting her own stamp on hip-hop, Nicki ignores her resumé.

It’s not necessarily all Nicki’s fault. Lil Kim’s attempt to make a comeback by using Nicki’s name and beef with her sparked an underwhelming wave of diss tracks and songs at a time when the Barbz and the Ken dolls pined for the “Pills n Potions” rapper’s third studio album, The Pinkprint (in stores today). Lil Kim has certainly had her time on top, but she’s unwilling to make space for Nicki. The pettiness of their beef (which popped up again after Nicki did the “Flawless” remix a few months back), appears to be more of Kim trying to regain her place on top in an industry that has evolved without her.

Now Drake and Diddy are reportedly coming to blows over the “0 to 100” beat. Drizzy is every girl’s favorite rapper – word to K. Michelle – while Diddy is a rapper and business mogul who has worked with some of the greats and broke records. Snubbing the infamous Bad Boy head would be a bad idea for the careers of quite a few rappers. But with Drake near the top of hip-hop, he made it clear that he’s unbothered, and Diddy got physical in the end, telling Canada’s biggest star that “You’ll never disrespect me again.”

Regardless of Nicki and Drake’s success, a respect for those that blazed the path for them to come up is still necessary. They don’t necessarily have to care for them, but a simple nod to the old-school would suffice.

In that same respect, picking fights while desiring to have that “old thing” back is sad and unnecessary for the old-school stars. It would be more interesting to witness a collaboration between these artists rather than listen to them trade insults on wax (and punches at nightclubs). The records are never that great, nor do they seem authentic.

Good music is good music, and there is enough space on iTunes to celebrate the old and the new. So why can’t some of music’s biggest stars play nice?

Destiny Jones Speaks On Her Parents’ Relationship: “We’re A Family Regardless”

December 10th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Instagram

Instagram

Last month, we told you that Nas’ 20-year-old daughter, Destiny, launched lip gloss line, Lipmatic. While promoting the new beauty product, the young entrepreneur sat down with Mara the Hip Hop Socialite. During their chat, she openly addressed her parents’ dysfunctional relationship.

Despite the public nature and Nas and Carmen’s issues, Destiny says that she was never really affected by them; mainly because she was too young to understand what was happening during the height of the dysfunction.

“I think that when I was younger, a lot of the drama that was out in the public with them, I didn’t really understand it,” Destiny explained. “I didn’t really see it. I really didn’t know what was going on, and it didn’t affect me that much. Now if my parents are on any type of blogs for beefing with each other, it’s kind of not that big a deal to me because usually, whatever’s in the media is always like ten times deeper than what it actually is between us as a family. So it really doesn’t faze me that much. It’s just like whatever; tomorrow there will be something else in the blogs. I don’t really pay attention to it.”

Instagram

She went on to say that because she doesn’t put too much thought into what people think of her, the fact that some of her family’s personal business seeped into the media wasn’t as traumatizing as it may have been for someone else.

“I’m a little different because with me personally, certain things just don’t affect me the way, like, my friends for example. I have friends that are like, ‘Wow, I wouldn’t be able to handle that.’ But with me, I’ve never really grown up caring about the opinions of others – what other people think of me and my family. So, for me, it just kind of falls to the wayside, like I really don’t care that much. But I’m sure that for any other individual, it would be kind of traumatizing.”

As for what her parents’ relationship is like now, Destiny had this to say:

“I think that my parents just both have a clear understanding that regardless of what has happened in the past, we’re a family regardless.

Nobody can ever say anything bad about my dad to my mom or she’ll go off, and my dad doesn’t want to hear anything bad about my mom. So that love is there and that respect is there, and right now, and hopefully forever, everything is really just cool between them.

Regardless of whether they were ever going through their drama or not, I feel like that love and respect has always been there, and they always had that unspoken understanding.”

Check out Destiny’s full interview here.

Destiny Jones Launches LipMatic Lip Gloss Line!

November 29th, 2014 - By Courtney Whitaker
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Destiny Jones is ready to leave her mark on the world! The 20-year-old daughter of hip hop icon, Nas, launched her new lip gloss line today.

The lip gloss line, titled LipMatic pays homage to the 20th anniversary of her father’s debut album, Illmatic. The line features four organic shades, Life’s a Peach, P.L.U.M. State of Mind, Cherry Love and Cotton Candy Lane. All of them are titled after singles from the album.

Destiny has quietly been working on the project for the last few months.

In a statement, Destiny said,

Since I came up with the concept for LipMatic, I dove into researching the best ingredients. I’m super picky about my lip gloss! When I found a formula that looked and felt great, and was 98% organic – that just brought what started as an idea to life.”

The 2014 collection is available  here.

The 15 Cutest Men In Hip Hop Today

September 25th, 2014 - By Whitney Larkins
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Derrick Salters/WENN.com

Derrick Salters/WENN.com

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who isn’t a fan of one of the men we have listed, and it probably has less to do with the music and more to do with their good looks. Check out our picks for the sexiest men in Hip Hop today!

Where Are They Now? The Cast Of “Belly”

September 22nd, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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I’m something of a Netflix-head, and I noticed recently that the movie Belly was added to “Instant” watch. Score! Trust me, I know that it isn’t a modern-day classic or anything like that, but the 1998 film, which many would classify as one long and beautifully shot but poorly written movie, definitely was entertaining. I just so happened to watch it last night while nursing a cold and I wondered what the actors had been up to since doing the film. So in case you were wondering, here is an update on the cast of Belly.

Artisan Entertainment/WENN

Artisan Entertainment/WENN

Nas as Sincere

Nas didn’t give the best performance as Sincere (I mean, he delivered most lines as monotonous as possible), but who was expecting Denzel-caliber work? After Belly, Nas decided to stick to rapping for the most part, but continued to try his hand here and there at acting. He was in Sacred is the Flesh, “Hawaii Five-0″ and most recently was cast as Street Poet Isaiah in Black Nativity. He has been able to fuse both his music and film together with the upcoming documentary on his life, Nas: Time Is Illmatic.

One Night Only! Nas’ ‘Illmatic’ Doc To Screen Nationwide On Oct. 2

September 16th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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Phil Lewis/WENN.com

Phil Lewis/WENN.com

Nas’ documentary Time Is Illmatic made its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year. To keep the buzz going, the rapper, who recently turned 41, is embarking on a unique marketing strategy for the film, whose namesake album celebrated its 20th anniversary. The doc, which explores the life of the Queens hip hop legend, will screen across the country just for one night only.

So mark your calendars. The date is Oct. 2. Nas announced on Twitter that the doc will screen across 40 theaters nationwide. It’ll also be accompanied by a few tour dates TBD.

Among the cities are: Atlanta, GA (AMC Phipps Plaza, AMC Southlake 24); Baltimore, MD (Charles Theatre, AMC Owings Mills 17); Charlotte, NC (AMC Carolina Pavilion 22, AMC Concord Mills 24);  and Chicago, IL (AMC Loews Crestwood 8, Music Box Theatre).

Time Is Illmatic features appearances by Alicia Keys, Busta Rhymes, and Pharrell, along with his family, and of course, Nas.

The film has been getting good reviews. As Variety remarked, “Still, this brisk, stylish and extremely heartfelt portrait of Nas’ rise from the housing projects of Queensbridge to the heights of hip-hop royalty ably stands on its own, marked by an admirable focus on the man and his music rather than hype and hagiography.”

The review concluded: “The pic occasionally reveals its multi-year gestation period in the variable range of video formats used to capture the interviews, but otherwise sports a polished, professional sheen.”

Buy your tickets here.

Yara Shahidi Of ABC’s “Black-ish” Talks Playing Young Olivia Pope, Keeping Up A 4.0 GPA And Having Nas As A Cousin

September 4th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Is anybody else excited to see what kind of comedy ABC’s upcoming show “Black-ish” will be?

Starring Anthony Anderson as a successful black man and father who starts to worry that his family, who lives in a predominately white neighborhood, is losing touch with their culture, the show focuses on his hilarious efforts to make sure his they don’t forget where they come from. Tracee Ellis Ross and Laurence Fishburne also star on the show as Anderson’s character’s wife and father, and child actress Yara Shahidi plays his tech-obsessed daughter. The 14-year-old actress has come a long way since she starred as Eddie Murphy’s daughter in “Imagine That,” and she has big goals for her future. We chatted with the young actress about her role as Zoey Johnson on “Black-ish,” playing young Olivia Pope and meeting Kerry Washington, having Nas as a cousin (her second cousin) and why education comes first for her. This young lady has a very good head on her shoulders. Don’t believe me? Keep reading.

Who Is Zoey Johnson On “Black-ish”?

“Zoe, she’s popular, she’s smart, she’s witty—all of that. But the one thing is that she really loves Instagram and texting friends. She’s a very social person in that way. Because of that, she’s usually on her phone. But she has a really big personality. She’s really colorblind, which is definitely a good thing, but she’s so caught up in social media that she’s kind of lost a piece of her culture. She’s kind of a lost cause and he [Anthony Anderson] constantly tries to get her involved.”

What Makes “Black-ish” A Refreshing New Show On Television

“It addresses a lot of problems and not just for the African American community, but for people of any ethnicity. It’s funny and there are family problems, so it’s something you can watch with your family and enjoy altogether, but it still carries an important message.”

What It Was Like Playing Young Olivia Pope Alongside Kerry Washington

“It was amazing. The audition was literally me walking into a room and being myself on camera. Everyone on set was so nice and I got to work with some amazing actors and actresses, which was fabulous. And at the end of the day, Kerry Washington walked into my school, while I was in school even though she wasn’t shooting near it, and came just to say hi. She’s honestly the nicest person ever.”

Her Future Career Aspirations

“Well, I really want to continue acting, but I have other interests. I love, love history. I was actually just at Oxford this summer, and I took some history classes at Harvard. I know my interests change a lot, but I’m also interested in advertising too. It’s always interesting to see the process behind getting a person on camera and I love ad campaigns. One thing I’ve always been concerned about is the objectification of women in ads and that’s one thing where I was like, well, if I become a part of advertising, I could change that.”

On Visiting University of Oxford And Harvard This Past Summer

“One thing that used to worry me is that the fact that it seemed like Harvard was this big scary thing where I would have to spend all my time studying just to get in. But getting to go to both campuses of Harvard and Oxford and getting to meet some of the professors was absolutely amazing. At Harvard I got to meet and have dinner with Jamaica Kincaid. Just to have conversations with professors was absolutely amazing.” 

What It’s Like Having Nas As A Cousin

“He’s honestly just so chill. It’s funny because I’ll have friends come over and they’ll just stop dead in their tracks when they see him: ‘Oh my God, you didn’t tell me he was going to be here. Why didn’t you tell me?’ They start freaking out, but then they start talking to him and they’re like, ‘he’s so nice.’ He’s given my family so many opportunities because we travel together and all sorts of stuff. I’ve been fortunate that he’s called me up and been like, ‘You want to go to Harvard?’ And I’m like, ‘sure!'” 

How She Keeps A 4.0 GPA While Pursuing Acting

“I have the support of my parents and my teachers. They made it very possible for me to go to a school that is open and supportive of me being gone at times and pursuing acting. But school always comes first for me. So if I feel like I’m giving up a part of my education or missing an important piece developmentally because of a project, then I’m just not going to do the project. I love acting but school for me, because I’m so interested is so many other areas, it would be a shame to not pursue school and miss out on the opportunities that I have now.”

If Classmates At Her All-Girls School Treat Her Differently Because She’s An Actress

“The majority of the kids at my school know me as Yara, the girl in my class. Oh yeah, Yara, I hung out with her the other day. But sometimes they’ll see things with me in it and come back and say, ‘hold on, you didn’t tell me you act!’ But I’ve been lucky enough to have amazing friends. I get emails like, ‘Hey, I noticed you’re missing today. Hope you’re having fun on set! I got all the notes for you from these classes.’ I’ve been lucky to have some very supportive people in my life.”

Yara is going far! Be sure to check out “Black-ish” when it premieres on Wednesday, September 24 at 9:30/8:30c on ABC.

Nas Traces His Family On PBS’s ‘Finding Your Roots’ Shocked By What He Finds

July 25th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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Phil Lewis/WENN.com

Phil Lewis/WENN.com

Many African Americans have traced their roots through an ancestry DNA test. Nas becomes the first rapper to do so–and on TV.

The hip hop icon was invited by the PBS show “Finding Your Roots” to take a look to his past. But while Nas said he was up for the chance to trace his family tree he was unprepared for what was found.

When he viewed 1859 documentation of one of his ancestors being sold as a slave, he said he was shaken.

“First I was enraged when I looked at the bill of sale,” Nas said during a Television Critics Association panel discussion. “I was like, that guy that owned property owes me some cash. My people made him really wealthy, so maybe I should find his family and talk.”

The information about his family history, he said also made him think about his ancestors’ contribution to America, he said, “and now I’m on a mission to find out more.”

Nas’ family’s tale is among those told on season two of “Finding Your Roots,” hosted by Harvard University scholar, author and filmmaker Henry Louis Gates Jr., debuting Sept. 23.

In all, the series will air in 10 parts and will trace celebrities’ ancestry. Ben Affleck, Jessica Alba, Tina Fey, Sting, Stephen King, Billie Jean King, Derek Jeter,  Courtney Vance, Khandi Alexander, writer/actress Anna Deavere Smith and chef Ming Tsai are among those who will also participate.

The show does DNA testing of a saliva sample and then does a detailed family history that Gates presents on camera to the guest. Most are surprised at the results.  Alba’s heritage, for example, was traced to the ancient Mayans.

As far as Nas, when he was asked if his new awareness of his history will influence his music. He said, nothing is planned “but I think in some way it will happen on its own.”

via The Huffington Post 

DMX Isn’t The Only One! 10 Celebrities With Garnished Wages & The Ones Who Were Close

June 20th, 2014 - By Tanvier Peart
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WENN.com

WENN.com

You know things are really bad when the courts need to step in and take your money to pay what you owe. Just ask DMX. A judge recently found in favor of his ex-wife Tashera Simmons’ petition to collect child support. Apparently he stopped helping out once they split. Because of this, Mr. Earl Simmons will see up to $15,000 each month leaving his pockets. Take a look at 10 celebrities who also have seen their wages garnished and the ones who came very close.

Destiny’s Child Got Booed?? The Most Memorable Summer Jam Moments Ever

May 30th, 2014 - By Iva Anthony
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The year 1994 marked the beginning of Hot 97’s epic annual Summer Jam concert. Twenty years later, the concert featuring the biggest names in hip-hop and r&b is still going strong and continues to showcase the biggest names in music. Here’s a look back at some of the most memorable moments from Summer Jam.

Summer Jam

WENN

The Notorious B.I.G.’s Only Performance At Summer Jam

The year was 1995 and Bigge Smalls was the king of New York rap. The year before he released his debut single Juicy and then followed that up with the platinum-selling album, Ready To Die. When he descended onto the Summer Jam stage in ‘95 as the headliner, the crowd went wild. Dressed like a dapper don in a three-piece suit, Big had the crowd on its feet for his entire set. That would be the first and last time the Brooklyn rapper would perform for the radio station’s mega concert. He was shot and killed nearly two years later.