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Hip Hop News
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Pregnant Ciara Tweets About Baby Kicks


Image Courtesy Ciara via Instagram

Ciara and Future will soon welcome their first child together, and the singer continues to keep her fans up to date with her pregnancy via social media. Ci Ci shared that her son is kicking.

"Kicks To The Ribs Early!:) Hey Lil One...Youch!:)..:)," she tweeted to her 5.5 million followers. One fan commented, "Can't wait to see my god-baby," while another joked, "He's tryna 1,2 step already?"

Ciara's bundle of joy will mark Future's fourth child.  He has three kids with three different women: an 11-year-old boy, a four-year-old girl and a one-year-old boy.

The singer is reportedly due next month.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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John Legend to Executive Produce Documentary-Style Dance Film


ABC/Randy Holmes

John Legend is teaming up with Step Up 5 writer John Swetnam to create a new coming-of-age dance flick, titled Breaking Through.

Deadline reports their upcoming project will serve as a "documentary-style drama for the YouTube generation." Legend will serve as an executive producer while Swetman will make his feature directorial debut.

The independent film will begin casting and filming this summer.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Kelis Says She Doesn’t Listen to Nas' Music


Island Def JamFormer couple, Nas and Kelis, are both promoting their respective music projects, but it seems the rapper's ex-wife is not interested in his new material. In a recent interview with the New York Times Magazine, the singer finally addressed her thoughts on Nas posing with her wedding dress on his infamous album cover for Life is Good.

"It’s not even the dress. The joke behind that is that it’s the slip to the petticoat to my dress," she told the publication earlier this month. "I think when I moved out I just left it. That’s all he had, poor thing."

When asked if she knows why the rapper chose to use the dress on his album cover, Kelis replied, "All kinds of ideas of why, but I don’t really care."

The rapper's nod to their failed marriage, which spanned from 2005 to 2010, seemingly does not make her sentimental. "Maybe for others, but not for me. I don’t really listen to his music anyway," she adds.

Meanwhile, Nas is still celebrating the 20th anniversary Illmatic -- he released a double disc version of the album, Illmatic XX, and premiered his documentary, Time Is Illmatic, earlier this week.

Kelis is gearing up to release her first album in four years, Food, on April 22.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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August Alsina's "Testimony" Expected to Have Solid First-Week Sales


Def JamAugust Alsina's debut album, Testimony, is on track for solid first-week sales, according to industry forecasters.

According to Hits Daily Double, the singer's first studio effort is expected to sell between 50,000 to 60,000 copies in its first week. The 13-track project boasts guest appearances from FabolousTrinidad Jame$, B.o.B, Yo Gotti and Rick Ross as well as the Jeezy-assisted single "Make It Home."

Alsina's disc could potentially debut within the top 10 on the Billboard 200 and within the top 5 on the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart.

Elsewhere, Jason Derulo's new album, Talk Dirty, is expected to debut with approximately 30,000 to 35,000 copies sold in its first week.

The official sales figures will be released next Wednesday.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Aretha Franklin Threatens Suit Over Fake Patti LaBelle Fight Story


Aretha's Records; Courtesy of Patti LaBelleEarlier this month, The News Nerd published a satirical story about Aretha Franklin getting into a physical altercation with Patti LaBelle.  Although the Queen of Soul released a statement clarifying that the story was false, she is planning to file a $10 million lawsuit against the publication, according to the Detroit News.

"The stories were not presented as satire or humor.  It was presented as a serious news story intended to depict me in a slanderous and derogatory way -- defamation of character," said Franklin through her publicist Gwendolyn Quinn.

The News Nerd claimed that Patti was arrested after she punched Aretha with "a Mayweather style right and left."  The fabricated story was seemingly concocted after Franklin was captured pulling her arm away from Patti, who was trying to greet Aretha at the "Women of Soul" concert at The White House last month.

Although the publication carries a disclaimer at the bottom of each web page that describes its stories as "purely satirical" and "for entertainment purposes only," Franklin is still moving forward with possible legal action.

Earlier this week, the legendary singer laughed off the alleged incident.  "I've never heard anything crazier," Franklin said in a statement on Tuesday.  "Patti and I are cool and we always have been.  I enjoyed her at the White House.  Classic Patti."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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SWV, Jaheim & More to Perform at 22nd Annual Trumpet Awards


WE tvSWV and Jaheim have been tapped to showcase at the 22nd Annual Trumpet Awards, airing on TV One this Easter Sunday.

The network announced that the entertainers will be joined by Raheem DeVaughn, Joe, Carl Thomas, Lyfe Jennings, Stephanie Mills, Candice Glover, Donnie McClurkin, Amber Riley, Melle Mel, Kurtis Blow, Kid N’ Play, Chubb Rock and many more. The artists will be backed by the Trumpet Awards Orchestra under the direction of James “Big Jim” Wright.

The event recognizes men and women who have significantly contributed to enhancing the quality of life in fields such as law, religion, politics, public service, sports and entertainment.

Hosted by actor Laz Alonso and actress Melissa De Sousa, the event's honorees this year include Academy Award-nominated actress Alfre Woodard as well as a Harvard Law Professor, the Attorney General of California, various entrepreneurs and others.

Tune in at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 20 on TV One.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Trumpet Awards 2014 - 15 Seconds from TV One, LLC on Vimeo.

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Report: Drake Sued for Allegedly Ripping Off Jazz Musician


Cash Money RecordsDrake has reportedly been sued by the estate of a late jazz musician, whom he allegedly ripped off for one of the tracks on his 2013 album, Nothing Was the Same.

According to TMZ, the estate of Jimmy Smith claims Drake excerpted without permission a 35-second monologue from the musician's 1982 song, "Jimmy Smith Rap" for Drake's track "Pound Cake/Paris Morton Music 2." The lawsuit claims Drake incorrectly stated in the liner notes of his album that he obtained a license for the sample.

The lawsuit seeks more than 300 thousand dollars from Drake and other named defendants, including Cash Money Records.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Miguel's Stylist Speaks About His "Sexy, Bold, Rock 'n' Roll" Fashion


Image Credit: Anthony WilliamsMiguel recently acknowledged that his stylist Jasmine Benjamin has landed a feature in Vogue magazine, in which she details the crooner's edgy fashion statements.

When asked by the magazine how she would described Miguel's style, Benjamin complimented the singer for being fashion-forward and pushing "boundaries."

"His style is sexy, bold, rock 'n' roll and everything that idea encompasses.  We go from rockabilly and punk to '90s glam-metal band," she says. "He always needs a good pair of jeans, a T-shirt, a pair of leather boots and a leather jacket, of course. These staples are a part of who Miguel really is."

After working together for more than two years, Jasmine and Miguel see eye-to-eye on which outfits will suit him. "Miguel literally can give me a few words and describe how he wants to look for an event and I just know exactly what he means," she says. "I totally know what he’s going to love right away, but sometimes he surprises me!"

So what's her favorite looks for him? Jasmine says she loved Miguel's red carpet look for the BET Awards in 2013 and for this year's Grammys Awards.

Meanwhile, fans can expect more funky fashion choices from the singer, who is currently recording the follow-up to his breakout 2012 album, Kaleidoscope Dream.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Jhené Aiko Debuts New Song "Spotless Mind" at Coachella


Def JamJhené Aiko made the most out of performing for the first time at Coachella on Sunday. The singer debuted a brand new song called "Spotless Mind" during her set.

“Started as a love song, 26 years in the making / Moving from place to place and I never really settled down,” she sings backed by her live band. The island-inspired song was posted on her official YouTube page.

"Spotless Mind" will appear on her upcoming full-length debut Souled Out, slated to arrive this summer.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Eve to Wed Billionaire Beau in Lavish Spain Wedding?


Courtesy Eve Via InstagramEve got engaged to British designer Maximillion Cooper last year on Christmas Day. Now, the couple is reportedly gearing up to exchange vows in Spain this summer.

Sources tell the New York Post's Page Six that the long-time couple, who've been dating since 2011, will have their ceremony inside the Blue Marlin megaclub in Ibiza. The wedding will be held sometime in June.

This will be Eve's first trip down the aisle. Cooper has four children from a previous marriage.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Diddy Tops Forbes Five List of Hip-Hop’s Wealthiest Artists


Bad Boy RecordsWhile many continue to debate his upcoming Howard University commencement speech, Diddy is laughing all the way to the bank. The rap mogul has just landed atop The Forbes Five list of Hip-Hop’s Wealthiest Artists.

The college drop-out has secured the position for the fourth year in a row with a net worth estimated by Forbes to be around $700 million, up $120 million from last year in large part due to the launch of his cable music network Revolt TV.

While Diddy closes in on a ten-figure fortune, Dr. Dre claims the number two position with $550 million in part a result of his majority stake in Beats by Dr. Dre, a venture Forbes estimates could be worth as much as $2 billion. Meanwhile, Jay Z takes third place with an estimated $520 million fortune stemming from his $204 million Rocawear sale in 2007, his $150 million deal with Live Nation in 2008 and his Roc Nation Sports agency.

Elsewhere, Bryan “Birdman” Williams nabs the number four spot  with $300 million, thanks in part to his Cash Money empire, while 50 Cent rounds out the top five with $140 million, due to his $100 million sale of Vitamin Water in 2007 as well as his interests in SMS Audio and SK Energy.

The Forbes Five list was determined using past earnings, current holdings and financial documents, and though interviews with industry players and even some of the artists themselves.

Here's the Forbes Five 2014:

1. Diddy -- $700 million
2. Dr. Dre -- $550 million
3. Jay Z -- $520 million
4. Birdman -- $160 million
5. 50 Cent -- $140 million

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Mack Wilds Releases Video for "Henny (Remix)" Featuring Mobb Deep, French Montana & Busta Rhymes


MackWilds.comAfter teasing behind-the-scenes shots, Mack Wilds has unveiled the official video for his remixed single "Henny," featuring guest verses from Mobb Deep, French Montana and Busta Rhymes.

The clip was inspired by Craig Mack's "Flavor in Your Ear" video and captures the entertainers partying with models against a white backdrop.

The original Salaam Remi-produced version of "Henny" appears on Mack's Grammy-nominated album, New York: A Love Story, while the revamped track with Busta Rhymes appears on Mobb Deep’s double-disc album, The Infamous Mobb Deep.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Usher Plans "Classic" Material for New Album, Says Rico Love


Image credit: Anthony MandlerAlthough he's currently staring as the celebrity coach on NBC's The Voice, Usher is making great strides in the recording process for his eighth studio album.  Rico Love, who is contributing to the project, has revealed what fans can anticipate.

"He's in a great place, and sonically, he's sounding the best he's ever sounded," Rico told MTV News last week. "But he always gets better vocally with each album. I always noticed that about him."

Usher and Love have a long history of collaborating, beginning with Usher's 2004 diamond-selling Confessions.  "Got in the studio with Usher, we did some really amazing records -- really amazing records," Love said. "Me and Usher are really like brothers. Me and Usher will fight, we'll beef and won't speak for a while."

He continues, "It's always a good time when I'm in the studio with Usher, but we really did some classic sh**. Everybody says that, but I feel like I've earned the right to be able to say that and [have] it mean something."

Fans can expect Usher's next album also to include contributions from Pharrell Williams. The set is slated to arrive later this year and will serve as the follow-up to 2012's Looking 4 Myself.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Jay Z's Made in America Festival to Run Simultaneously in Philadelphia & L.A.


Life TimesJay Z has announced plans to take his Budweiser Made in America Festival to both the East and West Coasts this summer.

The rapper and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino have announced that a version of the two-day music event will take place in L.A. during the 2014 Labor Day weekend, August 30-31. An edition of the festival will also be held simultaneously in Philadelphia, which is where the event has taken place since its inception in 2012.

As a result, the dual-city event will now feature a larger line-up and fans will be able to live stream performances from both coasts. Performers and further details will be announced at a later time.

To purchase tickets for Budweiser Made in America 2014, visit MadeInAmericaFest.com.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Erica Campbell Confirmed for McDonald's Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour


Courtesy of Erica Campbell's Instagram

Erica Campbell has been tapped to host and perform during McDonald's upcoming Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour, kicking off later this summer.

The gospel singer, formerly of Mary Mary, will be joined by comedian Jonathan Slocumb. Concertgoers also can expect performances by 2014 Stellar Award-winners Anthony Brown & Group TherAPy, the renowned Mississippi Mass Choir and gospel star Uncle Reece, among others.

"I am so thankful and honored to be chosen not only to host the tour, but to perform alongside other gospel greats," said Campbell in a statement. "The tour will definitely be filled with uplifting music, laughter and an overall good time for everyone."

The free summer concert series runs from May 22 through July 25, making stops in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Philadelphia  and Washington, D.C., among other cities.

To score free passes, visit 365Black.com.

Here are the dates for the Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour:

5/22 -- Philadelphia, PA, Mount Airy COGIC
5/23 -- Washington, D.C., Ebenezer AME Church
6/5 -- Charlotte, NC, The Park Church*
6/6 -- Raleigh, NC, Wake Chapel Church
6/7 -- Greensboro, NC, Mount Zion Baptist Church*
6/19 -- Jackson, MS, Greater Bethlehem Temple Church
6/20 -- Memphis, TN, New Salem Baptist Church
6/27 -- Detroit, MI, Greater Grace Temple
6/28 -- Chicago, IL, Chicago Gospel Music Festival – Ellis Park
7/9 -- Atlanta, GA, Full Gospel Baptist Conference – Georgia World Congress Center
7/24 -- Los Angeles, CA,City of Refuge Church
7/25 -- Oakland, CA, Craneway Pavilion

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Pharrell's New Track "Here" from Amazing Spider-Man 2 Surfaces Online


Columbia Records

Pharrell Williams has contributed not one, but two songs to the soundtrack of upcoming film The Amazing Spider-Man 2. After producing for Alicia Keys' "It's On Again" featuring Kendrick Lamar, the hitmaker recorded a slow-tempo ballad called "Here."

In the acoustic guitar-driven song, Pharrell pours his heart out on the subject of reuniting with the love of his life.  "We're here again/ Our thing right where we left it/ A delusion is a flight, first class to nowhere/ While a dream is a blueprint, a plane to go there," he sings.

Fans can expect "Here" and "It's On Again" to appear on the film's soundtrack album, arriving on April 22.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

 

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Future Allows Fans to Stream "Honest"


FutureFreeBandz.com

Future is getting set to unleash his sophomore album, Honest, and the rapper is letting fans preview the disc a week before its official release.

The rapper has announced that his project is now available to stream in its entirety via MTV. The follow-up to his 2012 debut, Pluto, features the Mike WiLL Made It-produced single “Move That Dope” with Pharrell and Pusha T, as well as guest appearances from Drake, Nicki Minaj and Kanye West, among others.

Honest will arrive on April 22.

Here's the track list for Honest:

“Look Ahead”
“T-Shirt”
“Move That Dope” feat. Pharrell, Pusha T, and Casino
“My Momma” feat. Wiz Khalifa
“Honest”
“I Won” feat. Kanye West
“Never Satisfied” feat. Drake
“I Be U”
“Covered N Money”
“Special” feat. Young Scooter
“Benz Friendz (Whatchutola)” feat. André 3000
“Blood, Sweat, Tears”

Deluxe:
“Big Rube Speaks”
“Side Effects”
“I’ll Be Yours”
“How Can I Not” feat. Young Scooter
“S*!t”
“Karate Chop (Remix)” feat. Lil Wayne

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Beyoncé and Jay Z to Tour Together This Summer?


Beyonce.comBeyoncé and Jay Z are taking their marriage, and their music, on the road, according to a new report.

According to the New York Post, the duo will launch a stadium tour in late June. Reportedly, they will visit 20 stadiums across the country, including a potential date in New York on July 4.

Jay ended his Magna Carter World Tour in January. His wife completed her Mrs. Carter Show World Tour last month.

They both made cameos at the Coachella festival in California last weekend; Jay Z joined Nas for a performance, while Bey danced onstage during her sister Solange's set.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Aretha Franklin Laughs Off Rumored Fight with Patti Labelle


Image credit: Matthew Jordan SmithEarlier this month, The News Nerd published a satirical story about Aretha Franklin getting into a physical altercation with Patti LaBelle. Now, Franklin has decided to address the story, which many people actually thought was true.

"I’ve never heard anything crazier -- regarding myself and Patti allegedly fighting on March 20, in Atlanta," Aretha said in a statement.  "On March 20, I was in New York City readying for my birthday patty (Sorry. LOL. Laughing at my typo error).  I meant PARTY, which we all had one fabulous time."

She continued, "Patti and I are cool and we always have been.  I enjoyed her at the White House.  Classic Patti."

Last last month, Franklin was captured pulling her arm away from Patti, who was trying to greet Aretha at the “Women of Soul” concert at The White House.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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August Alsina Aims to Make His Mom Proud with Newly Released Debut Album, "Testimony"


Def JamThis week saw the release of August Alsina's full-length debut album, Testimony, which included his club anthem "I Luv This Sh**"; and the singer says he's not concerned with what his critics think of the project, he only wants to make his mom proud.

"Some people are happy and then some people just probably [are] not," Aug tells ABC News Radio, referring to what he expects some detractors might feel about his album.  But he says he's never be the sort of person to worry about what haters might think. "I always just want to see the next person happy and doing whatever it is that they do, but all I know is that my mom is happy."

He continued, "She's probably my biggest fan and that's really all that matters."

August also credits his mother for raising him into a unique individual, which he says helps to separate him from his R&B peers.

"My momma didn't raise them and they momma ain't raise me. They didn't live my life and I didn't live theirs. We got our own story, we got our own struggle," he says. "No matter if you say, 'Nah, you look like this person, you sound like that person,'...there can never be another Aug, that just can't be."

The crooner decided to share his story by writing from personal experiences on Testimony, which became a difficult process that he felt obligated to share.

"I always struggled with, and still struggle with, how much of myself do I give to the people, because I've honestly never been the type of guy to tell my business to nobody. But I also said that if I don't keep it honest, I could be cheating myself," August explains. "I'm cheating the people and I'm cheating God, because of the position that he put me in right now. You know, it's so many people out there like me, I can help a lot of people."

The singer's 13-track project boasts guest appearances from FabolousTrinidad Jame$, B.o.B, Yo Gotti and Rick Ross, and also features the Jeezy-assisted single "Make It Home."

Testimony is available now.

Here's the track list for Testimony:

“Testify”
“Make It Home” feat. Jeezy
“Right There”
“You Deserve”
“No Love”
“Porn Star”
“FML” feat. Pusha T
“Grind & Pray/Get Ya Money” feat. Fabolous
“Ghetto” feat. Yo Gotti
“Kissin’ on My Tattoos”
“Ah Yeah”
“Mama”
“Benediction” feat. Rick Ross

Bonus Tracks:
“I Luv This Sh**” feat. Trinidad Jame$
“Numb” feat. B.o.B & Yo Gotti

 Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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