All Articles Tagged "rappers"
Unfortunately, it is not unusual to read about rappers getting arrested for engaging in criminal activity, but what about getting arrested for pretending to be gangsters in a music video?
That is what happened to an unsigned hype from Jersey City, New Jersey. Sort of. According to reports by All Hip Hop.com and NJ.com, nine members of a New Jersey Bloods gang, who also make up the hip-hop group DFG, were arrested for brandishing a gun while filming their their music video. The video, which is for their first single called “MoneyCello,” was posted about a year ago, but somehow it recently caught the attention of the Jersey City Street Crimes Unit who used the “evidence” to get an arrest warrant for the nine men.
According to published reports, one of the rappers was apprehended while at his full-time non-rap gig at a warehouse. Another was arrested while in bed with his girlfriend. During the raids, which included a search for the YouTube music video, police found small amounts of drugs and other paraphernalia in their homes; however, none of the reports specify if the actual guns (or any guns for that matter) used in the music video were recovered. Still, experts from the Newark Police Department’s Ballistic Lab are certain that the guns used in the video were real and have determined that one of the handguns was either a 9mm or a .380 semi-automatic.
And because of the video, which prior to their arrest had only a couple thousand views, the rap group is looking at a litany of charges, including felony unlawful possession of a handgun.
This is not the first time rappers have been arrested for their stellar performances. Last year in San Francisco, Bayview plainclothes officers raided the set of a rap music video and arrested 20 people on various charges, including suspicion of being a felon in possession of a loaded semi-automatic handgun and suspicion of selling drugs. And in 2014, two rappers out of Pittsburgh were arrested and convicted of intimidating witnesses, making terroristic threats and conspiracy. This all stemmed from a YouTube rap video, which included a lyric that threatened two Pittsburgh police officers who arrested the pair in the past on unrelated gun and drug charges. The song also referenced a cop killer who had gunned down three officers in 2009. The rappers were sentenced to a minimum of two years in prison.
An article from The New York Times entitled “Legal Debate on Using Boastful Rap Lyrics as a Smoking Gun” recently took note of this growing trend in law enforcement. According to the report, in the last two years alone there have been three dozen prosecutions in which rap lyrics were used as either confessions or to help paint an “unsavory picture of a defendant to help establish motive and intent.” As reported by the Times, prosecutors and law enforcement alike see rap lyrics as an important crime fighting tool, however:
“The proliferation of cases has alarmed many scholars and defense lawyers, who say that independent of a defendant’s guilt or innocence, the lyrics are being unfairly used to prejudice judges and juries who have little understanding that, for all its glorification of violence, gangsta rappers are often people who have assumed over-the-top and fictional personas.”
I have to agree with the scholars and defense lawyers. Rappers, particularly those who rap about the streets, are easy prey because they are involved in a profession that requires them to portray violent images and hyper-masculinity. And it really does seem like these law enforcement agencies and prosecutors are exploiting the general public’s–particularly White America’s– ignorance and disdain for hip-hop music to prosecute otherwise difficult cases. Likewise, I am sure there are tons of Hollywood directors being violent gang-related films sitting in their mansions with tons of cocaine and other drugs stuffed up their noses like Tony Montana in Scarface. And yet, I can’t recall a single one of them being targeted for felonies.
The question that comes to mind when I think of this case in New Jersey is how does one determine the authenticity of a gun from a video on YouTube? I know high definition helps to add more resolution to people and things, but it sure as hell doesn’t make them three dimensional. I mean we are talking about law enforcement agencies that can’t always tell the difference between a toy gun and a real gun in the hands of a 12-year-old boy.
But what do folks think? Is this fair or are aspiring rappers being set up by a malicious and opportunistic court system? Leave your comments below.
There’s competitiveness in any field that you work in, but it’s always nice to see some camaraderie, support, and just have someone that you’re working with lend a helping hand… or a face.
In this list (which was inspired by a comment from poster Dark Child) we’re going to be bringing you musicians who appeared in other musicians’ music videos. Now, here’s the stipulation for their selections:
They have to either play the role of a love interest, they didn’t have a vocal part in the song, and/or they are merely there as a form of solidarity for their friend. So, with that said, let’s get it going with:
Well, by now we should know that problems don’t go away just because you’ve acquired a certain amount of wealth. Drake is the latest star to find himself in a bit of legal trouble since becoming “THE” Drake.
The actor turned rapper is being sued by promoters from Chicago because Drizzy failed to perform at two concerts in March 2012, according to TMZ. They claim he initially agreed to do the shows after being paid a set amount of money but he then told the promoters that if they wanted him there, he would need to be paid a “fame premium.”
A “fame premium?” That definitely sounds like some “new money” stuff that people come up with when they finally get a little something in their pockets.
When the promoters didn’t come up with the money (or maybe, couldn’t come up with the money), Drake bailed. There’s no word on whether or not they had to cancel both shows altogether or if they found replacements but either way, they want their money back.
They (by the way, their names haven’t been released) are allegedly suing Drake for over $200,000.
By the way, the venue that was holding the concerts held 8,500 people and the venue in Chicago he performed in a few months later held…28,000 people.
There has been no comment from Drake’s camp. This story is slightly surprising because why would Drake, in 2012, agree to do such a small concert? He was already selling out arenas at this point and bigger companies were actually sponsoring his concerts.
I guess we’ll have to see what happens.
Whatever you just said to yourself, I’ve already said it. Deal with it and let’s move on. Rapper Plies recently showed off his brand new Trayvon Martin Tribute gold chain.
Rapper have always been known to find their own unique ways to show love, honor and respect to someone or something that meant a lot to them. We know that many of them were deeply affected by the death of Trayvon Martin and the results varied from rap songs in dedication to tattoos in Trayvon’s memory.
Earlier this week, Plies posted a video on Youtube showcasing his new Trayvon Martin tribute gold chain. In the video, he stated:
“…Wanted to make sure I had the homie around my neck at all times. He impacted my life just that much. Double salute to the whole Martin family. I wanna tell you rest in peace, homie. I’ma keep you around my neck at all times. It’s just that important to me, man. Trayvon, you’ll forever live on.”
Sure, there’s a lot you can say about this. “Oh, why didn’t he donate some money to the foundation?” “This is stupid.” I’m sure there are valid thoughts and opinions across the board; however, this is what he thought was most appropriate for him. Plies is not known for intellectual rhymes (he might be the most recent king of ratchet and raunchy music) so I don’t think anyone would expect him to write some deeply moving article or anything (but don’t get it twisted – he’s actually not an ignorant man at all).
That said…I can’t wait to hear your thoughts. Check out the video below!
Whether they’re rapping too fast or singing too low, we can never understand what these entertainers are saying once they get behind the mic. We still love them, of course, but we’d just like to know what exactly they’re saying on a track every once in a while .
Okay, what’s really going on between Nicki Minaj and DJ Khaled?
SO remember we told you producer/DJ Khaled made a video proposal with a ring and everything? Yes, we thought it was pretty left field and kind of a weird thing for him to do out of the blue.
Well, allegedly, so did Nicki.
According to 365HipHop, Nicki has gotten a restraining order against DJ Khaled. I know, right? Well, according to them, Nicki has filed the restraining order in the state of New York because this isn’t the first time Khaled has pulled little stunts with Nicki. They don’t have all the details but this is a bit of a surprise because I don’t think anyone knew Khaled was being a nuisance behind the scenes as well.
This isn’t an example of being the best, now is it, Khaled?
I always got the impression that all members of We The Best (Khaled’s label) and Young Money (Wayne’s label) were very close – almost like a blended family – but maybe that’s not exactly the case.
Nicki hasn’t responded to the proposal or the rumor of her getting a restraining order against him. This sounds like a publicity stunt but you know, stranger things have happened.
We might as well accept it, the reality TV wave is far from over, which depending on who you ask is either a good or a bad thing. One potentially good thing that’s currently happening is there seems to be more shows like “The Braxtons,” and “Mary Mary,” and “R&B Divas” in the works than series like “Basketball Wives” and “Love & Hip-Hop,” and word is rapper Da Brat is about to get in on some of that action.
The Jasmine Brand recently interviewed Phil Thornton, the executive producer of TV One’s “R&B Divas” and “R&B Divas LA,” and he shared a little tea about what projects he has in the works, like the aforementioned reality show with Da Brat and the Michelle Williams project we told you all about earlier this year. He also addressed talk that he and Atlanta R&B Diva Nicci Gilbert just cant’t get along because of drama over the TV One reality series. Check out what he said.
On projects with Da Brat and Michelle Williams
I don’t have an issue. I really don’t. At the end of the day, I’m grateful for her and Faith basically developing this idea and bringing it to me. So I don’t have an issue. I can’t speak for Nicci. I can only speak for my contribution to the project and I know that I’ve done right and above board business by all 13 ladies in the cast. Take a survey. But I can’t speak for her issue. I really don’t know. I had nothing to do with the petition. I don’t have enough time. I have several shows, I manage artists, I have an executive position and to do a petition…no. I would rather have a sit down one on one with the respected party and say ‘You know what, maybe we should explore a different direction.’ But I wouldn’t dare do a petition. And anybody who knows me will tell you I’m very ‘What you see is what you get.’
Whether he and Nicci have talked
I don’t know what the issue is. My number has always been the same. My email has been the same. So I haven’t received a call or had any meeting. I’m open to it because I personally don’t have an issue with any of the ladies. Any of them.
Check out the rest of Phil’s interview on The Jasmine Brand. What do you think about his upcoming reality projects and his pseudo drama with Nicci Gilbert?
Rappers just love to brag about their “bread.” Countless music videos show artists flinging around excessive amounts of cash. With their flashy Italian cars, gold chains, and expensive clothes on screen, how much of the big-talk boasting match their actual bank accounts? Skeptics at Bloomberg BusinessWeek reveal the truth behind our rappers’ claimed “riches.”
“I’m in Saint Tropez on a big boat, on my way to make a billi like a big goat,” said a bumbling Nicki Minaj in “Up in Flames.” We can let the “Starships” singer strut around claiming she makes a billionaire’s salary like a large farm animal, but BusinessWeek tells us Minaj really makes $15.5 million — seven percent of one billion.
Minaj isn’t the only culprit. We all love Pitbull’s new summer jam, “Feel this Moment,” but we certainly don’t like liars. “I see the future but live for the moment, make sense don’t it. Now make dollars, I mean billions, I’m a genius, I mean brilliant,” he said. Yeah, right. Mr. Pitbull, you make $9.5 million. Please don’t insult our intelligence.
Then there’s the richest man in hip-hop. For some reason, he’s not satisfied that he’s No. 1 on the “Richest Rappers of 2013” list with a net worth of $580 million. Oh no, he has to convince everyone that he’s “dippin’ in the gatti, billboards in Tokyo. Worth about a billion and still run the city” in “Shot Caller Remix.” Puff Daddy, P.Diddy, Diddy—whatever your name is—you only make half of that.
“And a b**ch can’t call me cheapskate, I’m worth 20 millon eBay,” Gucci Mane — with the ice cream cone face tattoo — proudly proclaimed in “Pistol in the Party.” We don’t know what planet this man is on, but BusinessWeek discovered that the most expensive Gucci Mane item on eBay was an autographed microphone for $200. Two whole hundred dollar bills! We are just so astonished by excessive value of wealth that Gucci Mane has-an online auction site.
While BusinessWeek also calls out Nas, Lil Wayne, 50 Cent, and Rick Ross on their rubbish claims of wealth, the only rappers that refrained from exaggerating their riches were Wiz Khalifa, Ludacris, and Jay-Z. Both Wiz and Luda kept it real on the $10 million they make.
Jay-Z — who’s worth $475 million — is not far off the target when he said “Like these rappers rap about all the s**t that I do really. I’m like ‘Really: half a billi, really?’ You got baby money,” in “HAM.”
Jay was tired of rappers pretending they are more prosperous than they truly are. As a result, in his new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, which went platinum (kind of), he decided to point it out in his”Versus” track: “The truth in my verses, versus, your metaphors about what your net worth is.”
With the BET Awards fast approaching, it’s only fitting to relive some of the most memorable BET Awards show moments ever. You know BET is the only channel that can have gospel sets mingled in with rappers dropping expletive bombs every other second while censors struggle to keep up with the bleeps. The BET Awards has never failed to be the highlight of a conversation with the hairdresser, over lunch with a girlfriend, or at the Sunday dinner table with family. Check out these most memorable moments.
He says that he is trying to understand and navigate love and that he is eager to become a father because he has lots of love to give his future children. He also admitted that his own selfishness is the main reason he can’t settle down right now. That’s pretty honest and self-aware of him, right? Check out what he said:
On why he can’t seem to settle down:
“[…] Because of my attitude, my greed. The nature of a man I embody that. I’m a living embodiment of all the flaws, greed, the selfishness. I’ve got all of those things. I’m just knowledgeable enough to speak on them and I’m secure with where I am in my life. A lot of men keep it inside or are living in denial. I just live my life that way.”
“I went through years at a time where I didn’t even really believe in it. I thought it was all chance and chemical imbalance. It was kinda euphoria, when it’s like the right time, the right place, the right shape, the right situation. When you think something is going on in your mind and in your heart but in actuality it’s all lust. As I’m growing I’m still trying to figure out what love is to me. But I think it is different to everybody though. I really do think there’s a different internal definition that’s beyond words for everybody [and] for what love is. There’s relationships where people really can feel love but there not magnums. So, everybody’s description of love might be different and I’m still trying to figure it out.”
On showing emotion:
“Emotion is a taboo in hip-hop. I don’t know when that started. But I just feel like we are supposed to be poets and we cant sing and do all that – emotion is suppose to come through our words. So when you take that emotion away, you’ve got a bunch of s**t that’s monotone and you’re not really feeling nothing. […] I feel like emotion is good in hip hop. [They’ll say being emotional] is like being a woman or whatever. That’s how it is. […] I’ve come to grips with the fact that I’m kind of an emotional person. That’s what makes me make songs like “Lotus Flower Bomb” or a lot of things people fell in love with on my mixtape.”
How do you feel about his candor? Do you agree with his philosophy on Black men, hip-hop and love?