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Rapper Benzino Shot By Nephew During Funeral Procession

Reality TV star Benzino was injured after being shot by his nephew on a Massachusetts highway Saturday while riding in a funeral procession for a family member, according authorities and Benzino’s hip-hop magazine.

Benzino, whose real name is Raymond Scott, is a cast member of the VH1 reality show “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” and CEO of Hip-Hop Weekly. The magazine confirmed on its website Saturday night that Benzino had been shot.

The 48-year-old Benzino was traveling on Route 3 south of Boston just before noon when 36-year-old Gai Scott pulled alongside and fired several shots into a red SUV driven by Benzino, the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement. Officials say there had been growing tension between the two.

Benzino, of Mansfield, Mass., got out of the SUV after being struck and was taken by a passerby to the Duxbury Police Department and then transferred to a hospital.

Hip-Hop Weekly said he was shot in an arm, and his back was grazed by a bullet.

He was listed in good condition, a spokeswoman for South Shore Hospital in South Weymouth said Sunday morning.

The magazine said Benzino was in the area to bury his mother. He was heading to a church in Plymouth at the time of the shooting, the District Attorney’s Office said.

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Jhonni Blaze Arrested in Atlanta Over Connection With Boyfriend’s Death

We’ve learned Jhonni Blaze has been arrested, and is locked up in Atlanta. Jzapal Jackson aka Jhonni Blaze is said to have been on the run since her 30-year-old boyfriend, Brian Washington, was shot dead just outside of Houston’s NOX nightclub on December 25, 2013. A source told HSK Jhonni Blaze fled to Atlanta “to avoid being questioned by homicide detectives” — leading a Harris County, TX judge to declare Jackson a “Fugitive From Justice.” According to the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, the 5′ foot, 157-pound stripper was arrested about a week ago on March 5, 2014. She’s being held at the Fulton County Jail, without bond.

 

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PS4 leads US hardware sales in February, but by narrow margin

February was a good month for games, with strong sales for almost everybody regardless of platform.

For overall console sales, the NPD reports, “PS4 led hardware sales in February 2014, but by a narrow margin with Xbox One selling over 90% of what the PS4 sold in terms of unit sales. However, with Xbox One’s higher price point it led hardware sales on a dollar basis.”

And Microsoft also clarified specific numbers in a separate press release stating that the Xbox One sold 258,000 consoles “surpassing Xbox 360 sales by over 61 percent at the same point in time.” Microsoft also wrote that, combining the 360 and Xbox One, “The Xbox platform sold more hardware than any other home console platform,” which would put it above the PS3/Vita/PS4 and Wii U/3DS combinations.

But regardless of the spin, it’s good news for both companies. The NPD wrote, “Within console hardware, we continue to see strong year-over-year increases due to the success of the Xbox One and PS4,” and “The majority of hardware platforms experienced double-to-triple digit increases compared to January 2014.”

Software sales were also very positive; the NPD reported that game sales for both the Xbox One and PS4 were up 80% “when compared to the combined first four-month sales for the Xbox 360 and the PS3.”

Despite strong sales of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, which Nintendo reported earlier, the NPD clarified that the game “did not rank in the top ten when looking at title-level sales.”

February 2014 Top 10 Games (New physical retail only across all platforms, including PC)

Call Of Duty: Ghosts (Activision Blizzard)
The LEGO Movie Videogame (Warner Bros. Interactive)
NBA 2K14 (Take 2 Interactive)
Thief (Square Enix)
Grand Theft Auto V (Take 2 Interactive)
Battlefield 4 (EA)
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (Ubisoft)
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (Square Enix)
Minecraft (360–Microsoft)
Bravely Default (Nintendo)

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Radio Station Plays Nelly’s “Hot In Herre” On Loop For Over 40 Hours

Some organizations play music on loop to interrogate individuals into submission. Others simply do it to test out a new radio format. On Friday (March 14th), a San Francisco radio station began playing Nelly’s “Hot In Herre” on repeat and has yet to stop. KVVF/KVVZ has been playing Nelly’s 2002 hit on repeat in a move known in the radio broadcasting industry as “stunting”. The act of “stunting” consists of a radio station playing a song uncharacteristic of its format to prepare for a transition to a new format. KVVF/KVVZ is transitioning from “Latino Mix” to “Hot 105.7″.

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How a selfie with a rapper can improve your Facebook status

Can it really be possible that taking a picture with a famous person and posting it to Facebook can make you more attractive? An encounter with one man suggests it’s true.
On occasion, I’m forced to disappear to the Wine Country in order to commune with nature.

If I feel that the last vestige of niceness is disappearing from me, a few hours spent in the company of the people of Napa and their grape products creates a reawakening, as well as a need for a hotel.

Late on Friday afternoon, I was sipping some very fine Honig cabernet when a young man engaged me in conversation.

He was 24 years old, he had a flip phone, and he was in crisis.

“I’ve got to leave in a minute to go to a liquor store in Fairfield,” he said. This is not the sort of sentence you always hear in Napa. But this man seemed excited. Or was it perturbed?

Fairfield, should you not know it, is a city that is home to the Jelly Belly and the Travis Air Force base. Yes, it’s a place where you can get your candy and have your ear drums crushed by a transport plane, all on the same day.

Why did Archie (let’s call him) need to go to Dave’s Liquor in Fairfield? He needed to meet E-40.

Wait, you don’t know E-40? He’s a very important rapper and entrepreneur, who happens to have his own wine label (Earl Stevens Selections is the brand).

Some of E-40’s greatest hits include “Tell Me When To Go” and “My S*** Bang.” He was going to be at Dave’s Liquor in order to present his wine.

Wine tends to induce naivete in me, so I assumed that Archie, a wine aficionado, needed to meet E-40 because he loved his wine.

All the same, I asked him, just in case I’d missed a nuance: “Why do you need to meet E-40 so badly, Archie?”

“Facebook,” he replied.

“Facebook?”

“Yes. I need a new profile picture.”

So you’re not interested in the wine? Instead, the idea is to take a picture with E-40 and make it your profile picture? Why do you need to do that?”

He looked at me as if I’d just stepped off a large circular transport plane and had candy-colored antennae poking through my remaining three hairs.

“Girls,” he explained irritatedly.

“Girls?”

“Look, when girls look at my profile picture, they’ll think I’m a lot cooler because I hang out with rappers.”

“But you don’t hang out with rappers, Archie. You ambush them in liquor stores, demand a picture, and don’t even tell them that you’re using them to pick up girls. That’s not hanging out with them. That’s faking it.”

“As if the whole world isn’t about faking it,” he mused with slightly sad eyes. “You don’t understand how important this is. You’re either somebody or you’re nobody. Especially on Facebook. If girls see that you’re just another guy, they breeze on by. But if they see you’ve done something cool with someone cool, they’ll message you. I have to have girls. Girls have to want to have me.”

“Wait, but Facebook is the place to get girls? I thought it was the place to tell your granny you’ve got a girl.”

“It is, partly. But I haven’t got a girl, so I have nothing to tell my granny. And you can still meet girls on Facebook. You just have to look cool.” At this, Archie began to get up, seeming stressed that he had to go through this procedure to proceed with his love life. His cheeks had reddened and he’d not been drinking.

“Wait,” I said. “But you’ve only got a flip phone. How are you going to get a selfie with E-40?”

“I’m meeting my friend over at the liquor store. He’s got an iPhone,” Archie replied.

Archie rushed away, to do what needed to be done. He needed to get his free celebrity endorsement.

Perhaps it’s no surprise that he felt the need to advertise himself this way. People laugh about Facebook adorning its pages with advertising, when everyone uses their own Facebook pages to advertise how interesting their lives are.

This is me. I am exciting. Love me. Want me. Be fascinated by me. Be jealous of me. But, most of all, love me.

Somehow, though, it was sad that Archie had to drive 40 minutes in order to get the job done. Because a job is what it clearly appeared to be.

This morning, I drifted to E-40’s Facebook page to see if he had really been at Dave’s Liquor. It was true. There, for all to see, was a picture of hordes waiting to taste the great man’s wine.

I couldn’t see Archie in the picture, which doesn’t mean he didn’t get his man, in order to get his woman.

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50 Cent Explains How He Left Interscope, Debuts ‘Funeral

Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson spent much of his early life yearning for a record deal with one of the major labels. After a run with Universal-backed Interscope that began in 2003 and saw him sell over 30 million albums, he’s spent much of the past few years itching to leave.

Yesterday, he got his wish: he’s departing the label that launched his career to forge ahead as an independent artist. He has signed a worldwide distribution deal with Caroline/Capitol/UMG for G-Unit Records and his own releases, beginning with Animal Ambition, due out on June 3rd.

“It’s freedom to invest in your own ideas,” he told FORBES in his first interview since the news broke. “If ever I had a horse that I was betting on at the track, I’d like to be the horse. Let it be me, goddammit, because I’m going to run as hard as I can.” He says his deal is structured similarly to Cash Money’s arrangement, which in which Bryan “Birdman” Williams’ label doles out a mere 7% of wholesale per album to Universal in exchange for distribution and support.

In conjunction with Eminem’s Shady Records and Dr. Dre’s Aftermath label, Interscope will continue to release and market 50’s lucrative back catalogue, including his 2003 multiplatinum opus, Get Rich or Die Tryin’.

“50 Cent is, and always will be, a marquee artist for us,” said Steve Berman, Vice Chairman of Interscope/Geffen/A&M, in a press release. “We respect his decision to pursue this new venture and the next chapter in his career, and wish him nothing but the best. He will always be a part of our family.”

The timing of 50’s split with Interscope comes as a bit of a surprise, given that he still owed the label another album. Artists rarely get out of their deals early without paying some sort of fee—five years ago, Jay Z famously bought back the last album he owed Universal for $5 million (and later sold it for $10 million)—but 50 says he didn’t have to fork over any cash.

“I’m a special case and situation,” he explains. “It’s also because of the leverage of having the strong relationships with Eminem and Dr. Dre. They don’t want me to be uncomfortable. They value our friendship to the point that they would never want [to jeopardize] it over that little bit of money.”

Added Eminem, in a statement: “I’ve developed a great friendship with 50 over the years, and that’s not going to change. We know 50 will have success in his new situation, and we remain supporters of both him and G-Unit.”

Of course, another big reason the split between 50 Cent and Shady/Aftermath/Interscope has been amicable is that all the labels involved have the same parent company (“If it wasn’t all under the Universal umbrella, it wouldn’t work,” 50 admits).

The move gives 50 greater flexibility to pursue the sort of unusual release tactics employed by some of his peers lately—for example, Jay Z’s agreement to release his last album via a Samsung mobile app in exchange for a guarantee that the company would buy 1 million copies at $5 apiece.

It also allows 50 to dictate his own schedule for recording and releasing music videos. The latest example: he was able to offer FORBES the opportunity to debut the video for “Funeral” below.

“It’s having the ability to do that versus, ‘It’s out of the question,’” he says. “Now those options have opened up.”

For more on the business of hip-hop, check out my book Empire State of Mind: How Jay-Z Went From Street Corner to Corner Office. My next one, Michael Jackson, Inc, will be published on June 3rd. You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

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Jimmy “Henchman” Rosemond Admits To Setting Up 1994 Tupac Shakur Shooting

In all likelihood for Jimmy “Henchman” Rosemond, the s#it has been introduced to the fan. Not only was Henchman found guilty last month for operating a drug ring and indicted for murder on Friday, but he has finally come clean about his role in the infamous Quad Studios shooting of Tupac Shakur.

This shooting turned friends Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G. into bitter enemies and eventually led to demise of both of their lives. Per The Village Voice:

“Rosemond secretly admitted to involvement in Tupac’s ambush during one of nine “Queen For A Day” proffer sessions with the government last autumn, court transcripts show. (In such sessions, suspects under investigation choose to enter an agreement with the government to confess knowledge of certain crimes with the agreement that the information won’t be used to prosecute them.) His confession unfolded as he was trying to carve out a cooperation deal that might lead to a reduced sentence, according to federal prosecutors.

“Rosemond apparently came clean about his involvement in Tupac’s ambush shortly after his former best friend, Dexter Isaac, stepped forward last summer to publicly confess that he had led the attack on Shakur in 1994. Isaac released a statement on June 16, 2011 to allhiphop.com, saying it was Rosemond who had paid him to rob and pistol-whip Tupac.”

The statute of limitations on robbery is seven years, so although this confession brings minor closure to a huge chapter in Hip-Hop, the involved parties will see zero jail time for this.
– See more at: http://hiphopwired.com/2012/06/25/jimmy-henchmen-rosemond-admits-to-setting-up-tupac-shooting/#sthash.6VC9PuA1.dpuf

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Chris Brown Arrested For Assault In D.C.

Chris Brown is back in trouble with the law after being arrested early this morning in Washington D.C. for felony assault, reports TMZ. According to the report, Brown got into a verbal altercation with a man outside of a hotel, which later escalated when Brown allegedly began punching the unnamed male. Brown was taken into custody around 4:30 a.m. The victim in the incident was taken to a nearby hospital and is reportedly claiming injury.

Brown is still on probation from the Rihanna assault case and could be facing up to four years in prison in found in violation. The Virginia crooner escaped possible jail time earlier this year when charges were dropped against him in a alleged hit-and-run case

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Twitter said to be considering killing off its #Music app

The app, which launched just six months ago, is seen as part of the social network’s plan to transform itself into a media platform.
Just six months after launching its #Music app, Twitter is already said to be singing the blues over the music-discovery app.

The social network is “strongly” considering ending support for the music-discovery app, AllThingsD reports, citing multiple anonymous sources described as familiar with the matter. The app, which launched in April, helps Twitter users discover new music through artists and songs that are trending on Twitter.

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