Posts by Soren Baker
Jay-Z rapped about his co-ownership of the Brooklyn Nets on "N-ggas In Paris," his hit single with Kanye West, and on the recently released "Open Letter."
But the music mogul had to relinquish his ownership stake in the NBA franchise now that he's launched Roc Nation Sports, a sports agency.
Roc Nation Sports signed New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano earlier this month and NBA rules stipulate that an owner of an NBA franchise cannot have an ownership stake in a sports agency.
"Being a member of the Nets organization surpasses some of my greatest ambitions," the Brooklynite wrote on his Life + Times blog. "It was never about an investment; it was about the NETS and Brooklyn. My job as an owner is over but as a fan it has just begun. I'm a Brooklyn Net forever."
Jay-Z goes on to thank Mikhail Prokhorov, majority owner of the Nets, among others, for helping make the Nets a first-class organization.
Ray J has waffled about whether or not his "I Hit It First" single is about former girlfriend Kim Kardashian.
But images don t lie.
Behind-the-scenes footage for the song's upcoming video features a pixelated image of what appears to be a Kim Kardashian lookalike on the set.
Ray J appears to be making the most of the pair's famous relationship, which included the release of a sex tape, in order to promote his new material.
In fact, Ray J also modeled the cover for the "I Hit It Single" off of a photograph of Kardashian on the beach.
The obscured image also resembles certain versions of the album cover of Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album.
Kardashian is now pregnant with the child of West, her boyfriend.
"I Hit It First" has generated a steady stream of publicity since its recent release.
TMZ, Wendy Williams and Los Angeles radio station Power 106 DJs Big Boy and Felli Fel are among those who have discussed the song, which includes the lyrics, "She might move on to rappers and ball players, but we all know I hit it first."
Wiz Khalifa and Amber Rose's son may be nearly two months old, but that doesn't mean he is out and about.
The Pittsburgh rapper told New York radio station Power 105.1 that his son Sebastian "The Bash" Taylor Thomas is always inside.
"I haven't even [taken] my son out the crib yet," Wiz told the show. "I'm like defensive. I don't want nobody to see him yet. I'm so scared cause he's so young. He's so little."
The "Remember You" rapper also told Power 105.1 s The Breakfast Club show that he was active during Rose's pregnancy.
"I went to birthing classes," he said. "It was the sickest [thing] ever. The videos [were] cool, but the pictures are graphic. I had a panic attack and almost passed out the first time."
Nonetheless, Wiz watched the baby being born.
"It was cool," he said. "It was awesome."
DMX's drug addiction was among the factors that cost him his marriage and tens of millions of dollars, among other things.
Now, one of the rapper-actor's supporters is reaching out to him again in a moving video.
Spiritual healer and motivational speaker Iyanla Vanzant featured the troubled artist on her Iyanla: Fix My Life show, which aired on Oprah Winfrey's OWN Network last week.
DMX's appearance was reportedly set up in order to address his alleged addiction to women.
But it is DMX's addiction to drugs -- the Yonkers, New Yorker's crack cocaine addiction and its fallout was detailed extensively in his Behind The Music episode, which debuted in 2010 -- that has Vanzant particularly worried.
In a new video, Vanzant makes it clear that she is more worried about DMX's substance abuse issues than his other vices.
"What concerns me is what I'm hearing from your friends and family, those who love you … is that they re just waiting for the call," Vanzant says in the clip. "But I'm not waiting for that call. I'm calling on you and I'm not going to give up on you. I will not stand by and watch my brother die."
People who complained about the attention Jay-Z's recent trip to Cuba received may have to reconsider their stance.
The rapper-businessman is among seven cover subjects for Time magazine's tenth-annual "100 Most Influential People In The World" issue.
On its website, Time writes of Jay-Z that his "journey from hip-hop artist to powerful entrepreneur symbolizes, according to Michael Bloomberg, the American Dream narrative."
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg wrote the special profile on Jay-Z for the issue.
Jay-Z is among the best-selling rap artists of all time and has been a successful businessman since the 1990s, excelling as a record company executive, clothing magnate, pitchman, minority owner of the Brooklyn Nets and, most recently, a sports agent, among other endeavors.
Jay-Z has been a fixture in the news in recent weeks because of his much-ballyhooed trip to Cuba with wife Beyoncé and his new song "Open Letter," which discussed the trip and President Obama s alleged reaction to it.
Tyga is signed to two labels who promote big spending and operating as a family.
But the Young Money/Cash Money recording artist – who released his second Cash Money album, Hotel California , April 9 – said he’s yet to get paid from the label home of Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Drake and others.
"I never got a check from Young Money or Cash Money," Tyga said during an interview April 15 on New York radio station Power 105.1.
While on the surface those comments may seemingly be the cause of bad blood between Tyga and label heads Lil Wayne and Baby, he seemed to make the comments as a statement of fact rather than with any sort of animus in his voice.
Going against his previous statement, Tyga also said, "I got a signing bonus when I first signed, but that was it."
The California rapper also said during the interview that the label pays for his videos and other things.
Tyga appeared at ease with the relationship because he said that he was never dependent on the label for his success.
"I've always treated my career like independent," he said. "Everything that I got is because of myself, my own endorsements, my own touring myself."
Several rappers have taken Jay-Z's "Open Letter" as an open invitation to remake it as their own.
Common and Wyclef Jean are the latest to revisit Jigga's new cut.
Pitbull reworked the track Sunday; his version was "Open Letter Freestyle."
On Common's "Open Letter Pt. II," the Chicago rapper leaves Jay-Z's initial verse as-is before coming in on the second verse.
At the beginning of his verse, Common compares Jay-Z to Black Panther activist, convicted felon and fugitive Assata Shakur, whom Common says he visited in Cuba.
Shakur fled to Cuba after escaping from prison in 1979 and Jay-Z recently visited the island country with wife Beyoncé, causing a backlash that was at least partial inspiration for Jay-Z's "Open Letter."
Common also had the song "A Song For Assata" on his 2000 album, Like Water For Chocolate . The tune depicted the shootout with New Jersey police that led to Shakur’s arrest and the fallout surrounding her case.
Drake often presents himself as a player in his music.
On his new "Girls Love Beyoncé" song, though, the Canadian rapper-singer revisits Destiny's Child's "Say My Name," asking the girl he's singing and rapping to to say his name in order to ensure no one else is around her.
"Girls Love Beyoncé" gets its title from the first line of Drake's lyrics, but the song is not about Beyoncé.
Indeed, "Girls Love Beyonce" is much more thematically in line with "Say My Name," a hit single from Destiny's Child's smash 1999 album, The Writing's On The Wall .
Beyonce, of course, is Destiny’s Child's frontman.
"Girls Love Beyoncé" flips the perspective from female to male and features Roc Nation crooner James Fauntleroy singing the chorus.
Also unlike "Say My Name," "Girls Love Beyoncé" has a slow tempo and spare instrumentation throughout.
"Say My Name," by comparison, hits an energetic crescendo in its chorus and features dramatic vocal inflection and runs.
Pitbull is famous for his party tracks.
Now the Miami rapper is flexing his political commentary skills on "Open Letter Freestyle," his version of Jay-Z's "Open Letter."
Pitbull raps about his love for Cuba (he is of Cuban ancestry) and his hope that Cuba will be free one day, as well as Jay-Z and wife Beyoncé's recent trip to the island country.
Jay-Z's "Open Letter" was inspired, at least in part, by conservative lawmakers' uproar regarding his recent trip there.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is among those who have blasted Jay-Z for the trip, saying that Jay-Z should have met with oppressed people while in Cuba.
Pitbull questions politicians attacking Jay-Z on "Open Letter Freestyle."
"Question of the night: Would they have messed with Mr. Carter if he was white?" Pitbull raps.
Jay-Z's given name is Shawn Carter.
Though their battle over Rihanna appears to be over, Drake and Chris Brown continue attacking one another in the press.
Drake appeared on East Village Radio's "Keep It Thoro" show April 12 and told host Elliott Wilson that the media should stop preying on Chris Brown’s insecurities.
"His insecurities are the fact that I make better music than him, that I’m more popping than him, and that at one point in life the woman that he loves fell into my lap," Drake said Friday. "I did what a real [brother] would do and treated her with respect, so she's not up there talking down on me. All those things combined create an individual that comes up to your radio station and is going to do dumb [stuff]."
Drake and Brown both dated Rihanna, though Brown has been Rihanna's long-time, on-again, off-again boyfriend.
Drake, Brown and their respective entourages got into an altercation at a New York club in June 2012 after Drake – who was dating Rihanna at the time – allegedly taunted Brown about his being with Rihanna.