November 11, 2005
Jadakiss and Styles P
Jadakiss and Styles P two of the members of the rap group L.O.X. are no longer releasing solo albums through their label Interscope Records. As everyone should well know, Interscope is home to 50 Cent and his boutique G-Unit label. Apparently verbal sparring with 50 has gotten the Lox in trouble with the powers that be at Interscope, who are going to do nothing to anger their cash cow 50, who has taken to calling himself Curtis "Interscope" Jackson. The Lox spoke with MTV and pretty much set the record straight as far as their latest protest, which ultimately isn't going to hurt anyone at Interscope's bank balance.
Styles says, "We've been on a promo tour for Sheek Louch's album, and on the bus we just been talking about this shit. They doing so much bullshit to us, and it's like you can't do nothing. It's like you work at a real job like at Key Food and you notice the conditions ain't suitable for you and you ain't really getting nowhere." While Sheek has a solo album out now, the guys do not plan to regroup and record another group effort for Interscope either. The trio maintains that they will continue to put out new music via the mixtape circuit and will be focusing more on their corporate endeavors and grooming the careers of other artists, like J-Hood.
According to MTV, Jadakiss is upset that Ruff Ryders CEO's Waah and Dee have been in a number of meetings with 50 Cent, negotiating on their behalf, without their knowledge or consent. 50 has been warning the Lox that he would get Styles P's album pushed back if they kept coming at him and it has come to pass; Styles believes that it has everything to with 50's stronghold at Interscope. Styles says, "On the radio he said the building leans when he leans. What is that telling me? I don't wanna go to jail. And I don't wanna step on none of these rich people's toes. I don't wanna argue with none of these people and I don't wanna continue to frustrate myself wondering when my album is gonna come out. I'm at a point in my life when I can't be waiting two years for them to drop my album. Why be a slave?"
50 has agreed to end the beef and make Jadakiss a part of G-Unit, but luckily Jada has enough sense to bow out of that one. While they are going through their struggles with Interscope, Styles still finds time to be upset with Diddy, CEO of the Lox's former label, Bad Boy Entertainment. Of Diddy, Styles says, "I don't have no beef with him, but I'm not feeling him. He don't want to come off none of that publishing. That's securing your future. That's what's gonna come in later down the line. The direction things are going now, it's going downhill. It's like we almost blackballed and we been fighting through the blackball. He has all this money, he has Justin's restaurant, Sean John, he throws million-dollar parties but we can't get a piece of our publishing back?"
At this time Interscope has made no response to the Lox's allegations.
Isn't this something? Not for nothing, but if the Lox never record again, I don't think anyone would really miss them. I do like Styles P though. This is a really bad situation for them, but you have to choose your battles wisely and they didn't. Jada responding to 50 on wax was a waste of time for many reasons, most of them being that the response was corny as hell and now he's damn near out of a job because of it. It wasn't worth it. What was it all for? Pride? These hip-hop dudes have pride for the wrong damn things. Seriously. 50 is one of those people that you need to ignore. I swear he's going to go away one day. He's like the school yard bully and he gets his kicks making other people suffer. He's really mature that way.
Now as for them being mad at Puffy, well, they need to get over it. Puffy doesn't owe them a damned thing. They signed over their publishing and now it is his, bottom line. Fair and square. I don't care how many corporations he owns or if he's a one man conglomerate, the fact that the Lox are in a financial bind is not his problem, nor is it his fault. All of the trouble they're having at present is their own fault. I don't think Styles calling him out on the cost of his parties is going to make him change his mind about the publishing. Puffy's parties are really extravagant and expensive, but if Puff pays pennies for a party or million of dollars for a party, it should be of no concern of Styles P, because Puffy is not spending Styles money. So, I'm going to ask that Styles to keep his eye on the prize, which would probably be coming to some kind of terms with Interscope so that he can have a career in hip-hop. Never mind what Diddy's doing.
I feel for the Lox because it is a fucked up situation, but they need to do what they have to do to make things right in their lives. Whatever that may be, I wish well with it and hope they make wiser decisions in the future.
Patti Labelle Tribute
So this past Tuesday night UPN aired a tribute to soul diva Patti Labelle. The show was hosted by Tracee Ellis Ross, Diana's daughter, who is also the star of the UPN sitcom "Girlfriends". Her hosting was neither here nor there. I didn't enjoy it, but it wasn't necessarily bad either. I did find it ironic that Tracee was hosting a tribute to her mother's arch rival.
The show started off with Kelly Rowland, former back up singer to Beyonce Knowles, and Nelly performing "Dilemma" which uses a sample of Patti's classic, "Love, Want, and Need You." I don't know how everyone feels about Kelly, but vocally she sucks. She can carry a tune, but she has no range so she can't carry it very far. You need not mess with a Patti song if you can't sing.
Kelly looked nice. I thought the big curly wig was nice. Her dress was cute, but it fit kind of strange, like she stole it from her little niece, but it was still cute. I may have missed some, because VH-1 Soul just became available to me recently and I've been watching old school videos every chance I get. Anyway, when I turned back Patti was performing with Ashanti. Now, I think I've spent all of Ashanti's really popular years ragging on her lack of vocal ability. Well, now that she's on a downward spiral, I feel the need to be a little kinder to her. Not really, but she sounded pretty good.
She was wearing a hot pink gown, which was really nice, but she was holding one side of it up. She still hasn't an ounce of stage presence and her hands always tend to be askew, this time she held the dress the entire performance. Vocally, she was leaps and bounds ahead of where she was in the past, but standing next to Patti wasn't really helping her. When she and Patti were singing in unison, Ashanti may as well not even have been there. I couldn't hear anything but Patti and we all know how Patti's loud, screaming ass gets down. I was very glad to hear that Ashanti has been working on her vocals during this time when Ciara is getting all the shine that once belonged to her.
Now Patti was wearing this big black or brown cape with huge fur tassels hanging off of every inch of it. It wasn't exactly hideous, but it wasn't nice looking either. I am sure whatever the fur thingies were, they weren't tassels, but they were huge. I promise you, it looked like 300 squirrels gave their lives just to end up dangling off the dress/cape/bedspread thing Patti was wearing.
R & B singer Mario performed "Somebody Loves You", which is my all time favorite Patti Labelle song. I was planning to hunt him down and stab him with a plastic spoon 47 times if he screwed this song up. He sounded pretty good, but I thought his performance was phenomenal, only because he really made the song his own. He did not try to do it Patti style, he did it his way, complete with his own arrangement. Had I never heard that song before, I would have thought he originated it. Patti stood and clapped for him, so she appreciated it as much as I, if not more.
Yolanda Adams sang that song "Victory". I don't know where the song is from, but the first I ever heard it was in the previews for the movie "Gospel". I was almost tempted to go see that movie just to hear that song, almost being the operative word. She did a great job. I don't think I've ever seen anyone sound as powerful and beautiful, while it's seemingly so effortless. She could have been up there brushing her teeth for all the enthusiasm she put into the performance, but she sounded great.
Patti and Michael McDonald, fomerly of the Doobie Brothers, performed "On My Own." I love them together. At some point Jimmy Fallon got up and did a very funny and spot on Michael McDonald impersonation to Michael's hit "I Keep Forgetting". He was even backed by the band. At some point Patti reunited and with her former group members Nona Hendrix and the other one and formed the triumvirate of sass formerly and appropriately known as Labelle. Of course they performed their most popular hit "Lady Marmalade" and other than jump around the stage like apoplectic refugees, Nona and the one whose name escapes me right now, provided absolutely nothing. They were up there Kelly and Michelle style.
Sheila E. also came out and played drums during the "Lady Marmalade" performance. Oh, I forgot to mention Boyz II Men. Nate, Slim, and Wanya were there and performed "If You Ask Me To." It was good to see them, as they've been gone for a while, but they looked a mess. Nate was wearing jeans with strategically placed holes in them. Wanya also had on really baggy jeans, but topped off this already bad fashion statement with an oversized white tee and a black blazer. Slim was the best dressed of the trio, wearing all black, but had a fitted cap sitting on top of his head, cocked to the side--think Jay-Z. Oh and do you guys remember Bass/Mike? The one who used to stop in the middle of the songs and give those inappropriately timed soliloquies? Well, I think I know what happened to him. Wanya ate him. No, Bass left the group due to medical reasons. I believe he had scoliosis or something else involving the spine, but seriously Wanya is huge. He did his thing though.
You can always count on Wanye to oversing, add 200 runs to a song and it still sounds good. I wonder if he's Beyonce's vocal coach? Patti and Gerald Levert performed "Here and Now" in a tribute to their dear friend, the late, great Luther Vandross. I turned it off midway through, because they were just annoying me. All that screaming is not good for the ears at all.
Now if anything else happened during this show, I completely missed it, and it probably wasn't worth mentioning anyway. Overall, I thought it was cool. Nothing spectacular, but UPN is the BET of network television. I think the Vibe Awards will also be airing on UPN next week, and they will be co-hosted by Tracee Ellis and actor Anthony Anderson, so that should be fun.
There are rumors being spread that Halle Berry is pregnant by her boyfriend Michael Ealy. I don't know if there is any truth to this story, but if so congratulations to the couple and good luck to the baby. I love Halle, but I think she's a lunatic.
There is also a nasty rumor going around that actress Sanaa Lathan had a baby, fathered by her lover Denzel Washington. Then this rumor got coupled up with one about Pauletta divorcing Denzel. Now the same day I heard the divorce rumor, I saw Pauletta and Denzel on TV courtside at a Lakers game looking very happy. I'm sure Pauletta's been through many mistresses and she hasn't divorced him yet, so I'm not sure what's really going on with them.
Yet another rumor has Queen Latifah and the recently divorced boxy Laila Ali being romantically involved. I read something earlier today where Laila completely denies the rumor. She said something about her divorce being a catalyst for the gay rumor, but she would never date a woman. Laila hon, I think the fact that you're a boxer and as butch as they come is the reason that rumor started. That could just be my thinking.
Whose House? Run's House.
Have you guys all been watching MTV's reality show, "Run's House", starring Reverend Run, formerly of Run DMC fame? I have and I love it. It's a little hokey and it seems scripted, but I love his family. His household seems to be the antithesis of his brother Russell and his wife. His children are not spoiled, they know the value of a dollar, and he does not give them any and everything they want. They live in a very nice, very large house, but it is tacky on the inside. Looks like they let the Cash Money Millionaires come in and furnish it from the discount furniture/appliance store. All of his children's bedrooms are pretty small, sparsely furnished and decorated.
The one sore spot in this show for me, is Run's wife Justine. She acts like a big baby. She's always whining and crying and is ten times worse their their youngest child Russell Jr. named after Run's big brother. I mean she is annoying as hell. What I do like is that he treats her like she's two years old. I wonder if he treats her that way because she acts that age or if he married her because he wanted someone he could run all over? Just a ponderable. I will ask him if I'm ever presented with the opportunity.
Only five episodes of this show have aired and already MTV has picked it up for a 2nd season, which makes me happy. They're like the hip-hop version of the Huxtables.
Since I'm talking about that show, I just watched the most recent episode and Run's daughter Angela was interning for Kimora at Baby Phat. Kimora was having some arguments with her staff about some shoes. She was arguing that they needed diamonds all over them and that the people wanted diamonds on them. Angela came in and told her that it would be a bit much as the shoe already had 400 different things going on and the diamonds were not helping. This was pretty much what her employees told her. Baby Phat is a tacky mess. When I see it in the store I can't believe that this woman owns her own company and has apparel that is mass marketed. It is horrendous. Just logos, baubles, and trinkets randomly placed all over everything.
During this episode of "Run's House" it was good to get a glimpse into the mind of Kimora and now I understand why her shit is so tacky. She's tacky and doesn't seem to know any better, nor does she care.
Shaquille O'Neal, center for the NBA's Miami Heat and his wife Shaunie are having another baby. Each have a child from previous relationships and they have 3 children together, making this their fourth baby together.
Shaunie is too cute. Did anyone watch that show that aired on ESPN earlier this year. I think it was simply titled "Shaquille", but it was a reality series that focused on Shaq. It showed him at home, practices, games, etc. During that time, Shaunie was at home with the kids while Shaq was on the road and it was hilarious. Their youngest children were into everything and Shaunie was chasing them around, trying to get them to settle down. Not a nanny in sight. She seems to be extremely hands on. Shaq was too, when he was around. He did more playing and taking the boys out for haircuts, while Shaunie was the disciplinarian. They make an adorable little family. Congrats to the couple on the new baby.
And Kobe Too
Los Angeles Laker shooting guard Kobe Bryant and his wife Vanessa are also expecting a baby. The couple already has a three year old daughter named Natalia. A spokesperson for Kobe says, "In addition to their excitement, Kobe and Vanessa have been sharing a lot of laughs because, after hitting game winning shots for the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe has been making late night food runs for his wife's pregnancy cravings only to get home with the food and find out that her craving has changed."
Kobe needs to fire his spokesperson. That statement was beyond ridiculous. Who needs to know that they are laughing because after he hits game winning shots, he runs out, and wonk, wonk, wonk... Just nonsense. Nobody wants to hear all of that. Not to mention it is not even Kobe's personality to share things like that to the general public. I guess he's still trying to rebuild his image after the whole rape incident, but he's going about it all wrong. Such a loser that Kobe.
Good luck to the couple and the new baby.
- reported by Keshawnta J.