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New Merc Montana 44 Bars of Murda

Merc Montana has released a new track as warm up for DJ D-Lyfe and MurderInc-Online's mixtpae 'The New Inc Mpire' which you can order above this story. To listen to '44 Bars of Murda' go to Merc Montana's myspace. Leave your opinions on our forum.

published on June 2 nd, 2008

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Ashanti's Live At SoundCheck Performances

Check out Ashanti performing Live @ Soundcheck Performances including 'You're Gonna Miss' and 'Girlfriend' for more check out our forum.

published on June 2 nd, 2008

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New Lloyd Interview

In an exclusive interview with DJBooth‘s DJZ,” Lloyd steps inside the booth to talk about his reasoning for not titling the new album, “Sex Education,” why working with acclaimed video director Hype Williams was a unique experience, and what has been his hardest learned lesson in love.

Listen to the Interview

published on June 2 nd, 2008

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Grammy Award Winner Ashanti to perform at SaberCats game

Grammy Award-winning artist ASHANTI will be performing at HP Pavilion on Saturday, June 14, as a part of the San Jose SaberCats halftime entertainment, the club announced today.

Kickoff for the game against the Tampa Bay Storm is set for 7:30 p.m. (PT) and in addition to the free halftime performance featuring Ashanti, the first 5,000 fans will receive a full set of SaberCats trading cards, compliments of Netgear.

Tickets are available and can be purchased through any Ticketmaster outlet, online at ticketmaster.com, by phone at (408) 998-TIXS or in person at the HP Pavilion box office during regular business hours. Be sure to check the SaberCats website in the coming days for more details.

Ashanti is scheduled to release her fourth album entitled, The Declaration, on June 3, and will bring her distinctive style to the ‘Cats Lair for an exclusive halftime show. The American hip-hop soul singer took home a Grammy for her debut album, Ashanti, which featured the hit song Foolish, and has sold over 10 million copies worldwide since its release in April 2002.

In addition to singing, Ashanti has established herself as a songwriter, penning lyrics for artists such as Ja Rule, Jenifer Lopez and Toni Braxton. She has also appeared on the silver screen in movies such as Coach Carter, where she starred alongside Samuel L. Jackson, John Tucker Must Die, and most recently Resident Evil: Extinction.

oursportscentral.com

published on May 29 th, 2008

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Judge: Rapper broke Ja Rule(s)

Rapper Ja Rule got scolded Wednesday by a Manhattan judge for failing to show up in court last month because he was on tour in Germany, but the judge agreed to let him out of the country again - for performances in Russia.

Ja Rule was charged with gun possession last summer after police stopped him and two friends in his pricey 2004 Maybach.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Micki Scherer warned him to check in after he gets back from Moscow.

"There was no excuse in my view for your absence [last month]," she told the entertainer, whose real name is Jeff Atkins.

Scherer said Ja Rule must give the court five days' notice of any business trips that will take him out of the metropolitan area.

Ja Rule's lawyer Stacey Richman said the people who planned the German tour booked the dates by mistake.

Ja Rule; his road manager, Dennis Cherry, and his driver, Mohamed Gamal, were charged with gun possession after police stopped their car on the upper West Side and searched it because, they said, they smelled marijuana.

No one was charged with possession of drugs.

nydailynews.com

published on May 29 th, 2008

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FULL VIBE MURDER INC. Story

The Irv Gotti/ Murder Inc. oral history takes you from Queens, N.Y., to the Murder Mansion in Beverly Hills, and then back to Manhattan’s Meatpacking District for a shoot at which Ja Rule was taller (and more charming) than you think, Deb Lorenzo as gorgeous as she seems on VH1’s addictive Gotti’s Way, and Irv, a hitmaker’s hitmaker, and old-fashioned wild-man, as boisterous as he wanted to be.

VIBE
Danyel Smith
Editor-In-Chief

IT’S MURDER
SEX. POP. GANGSTA

From 1999 to 2003, the record label and clique known as MURDER INC. dominated. Launched by the vociferous, hard-partying Irv Gotti, Murder Inc. made Ja Rule a superstar and produced megahits for Fat Joe and Jennifer Lopez. But despite blows from 50 Cent, a falling out with Ashanti, and the trial of Gotti’s life, Murder Inc. is born anew. Today, Gotti and his family are reality TV stars, Ja is back in the studio, and The Inc. is aching to rise again. Thomas Golianopoulos puts the pieces together.

IRV GOTTI TOOK HIS BEATING LIKE A MAN. It was June 2000, and he’d just finished playing what would become Ja Rule’s sophomore album, Rule 3:36, for his Def Jam bosses, Lyor Cohen (the label chairman at the time) and Kevin Liles. Cohen and Liles were experienced king-makers, helping launch artists like Run DMC, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, and Jay-Z. But they weren’t feeling 3:36, a turn to lighter fare after Ja’s hard-edged debut. The insults started flying Gotti’s way. “It’s soft. It’s wack,” said Liles, who did most of the talking. “This isn’t even hip-hop.” And, worst of all (to the suits), “You wasted our money.”

Gotti was shocked--the young A&R star wasn’t used to having his ears questioned, even back when he was choosing beats for his first artist, Mic Geronimo. By the turn of the century, he had been instrumental in bringing Jay-Z and DMX to Def Jam (both in ‘97), and he’d delivered Ja’s platinum 1999 debut, Venni Vetti Vecci. Not to mention, according to Irv, “All the bitches in L.A. was loving [3:36].”

At the end of the meeting in Lyor’s swank office, Liles ordered Gotti to make an entirely different record. What did he change? Not a thing. Def Jam eventually provided Irv with 10,000 pieces of vinyl for the lead single, “Between Me & You”---a very modes roll-out---and Gotti started calling his radio connections. “I whored Ja out basically,” Gotti says now. “I was like, ‘Please, if you like it, just play it.’ And, boy, did they play it.”

Rule 3:36, a reference to a Bible passage from the Book of John, eventually sold more than three million copies and initiated one of the most successful runs in hip hop history. All told, between 1999 and 2005, Murder Inc. released eight platinum albums through Def Jam and conquered the Billboard charts. In 2002 alone, Gotti produced nine Hot 100 Top 20 hits. He did it by keenly merging R&B with street rap. It seems obvious now, but Gotti godfathered an entire subgenre: gangsta pop.

Irv and his crew also pissed off a lot of people, from rival rappers to executives. But most notably, he caught the attention of the federal government................ Read The Rest Of This Article On Our forum.

published on May 29 th, 2008

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Fresh Inc: Parts 1 & 2

published on May 29 th, 2008

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Season Two Of 'Gotti's Way' Set For November

VH1's "Gotti's Way," which centers on The Inc. CEO Irv Gotti, is currently filming for the reality show's second season, which is set to begin in November.

The show will again feature The Inc's artists, including the newly signed six person band, the Thundercatz (best described as a new Black Eyed Peas) and new MC, News.

"Newz is my new rapper from Brooklyn," says Gotti. "He's got this movement called Black Gang and his vibe is really back to the essence of hip-hop. It's something that I'm really, really excited about and Hot 97's Funkmaster Flex and Power 105's DJ Clue are already playing their first single, 'Hater-Proof.'"

Staple Inc. artist Ja Rule, however, is having a harder time finding radio play. His last album, "The Mirror," was postponed last year after his single "Uh Oh" featuring Lil' Wayne peaked at No. 69 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

"We're making some new music right now," says Gotti. "What I've learned with Ja is that he needs a special type of record. He's got so many people watching that if he releases a street record, it's too street. People say he should go back to his old formula. But if he releases a female-friendly record, they say it's not street enough. Ja's got to have a unique hip-hop record that can hit all demographics."

This season's "Gotti's Way" will play out over eight episodes and will run at 9 p.m., instead of last season's 10:30 p.m. start.

"VH1 stuck me at the bottom of the barrel but I still had five million people watching," says Gotti. "Imagine if they would've really promoted the show?"

billboard.biz

published on May 29 th, 2008

Lloyd icon

No Longer G-Rated: Lloyd

R&B CUTIE LLOYD has come quite a few sexy steps forward since his first taste of stardom at the age of 10 with the pre-teen pop group N-Toon.

Formed by Klymaxx's Joyce Irby, who hand-plucked Lloyd from his performing arts school in Atlanta, N-Toon quickly lost its harmony and was dropped by DreamWorks after the group's first and only album, "Toon Time."

This was a fortuitous break for Lloyd, though, who shopped for a solo deal and eventually landed with Irv Gotti and The Inc. label.

Now, the still young he's 22 but more mature Lloyd is back with "Lessons in Love" (due out July 15), the follow-up to his solo debut, "Street Love" (2007).

And if the album rocks anything like it's first single, "How We Do It" featuring Ludacris, it's sure to be a banger.

Lloyd talked to Express about a possible sneak peak of the new album when he performs at 9:30 Club for WPGC's Birthday Bash 20 on Tuesday.

» EXPRESS: Are you going to sing something from the new album?
» LLOYD: I freestyle my shows, depending on what the crowd is like. If I'm feeling like I got more new fans out there as opposed to people who've been there, then I will definitely be a little more tempted to perform new songs off the album.

» EXPRESS: What's the album like anyway?
» LLOYD: It's the bomb, girl. What you mean what's it like?

» EXPRESS: I mean, are you staying in the club a lot? Or are you busting out the straight ballads?
» LLOYD: I'm not in the club as much. I slowed it down a little bit. It's a lot more soulful. I take them to the club when I need to. Me and JLac, I think we take 'em to the club better than anybody. JLac, that's Usher's brother who produced "Get It Shawty" with me last year. We hooked up again to take them back to the club.

But I also hooked up with some soulful young people and we did a song called "Treat You Good," which is probably one of the more soulful songs on there. And me and Polo hooked up for a song called "Party All Over Your Body" that sounds like a very young Curtis Mayfield.

» EXPRESS: What about your vocal progression?
» LLOYD: Moreso than the last album, I think I'm showcasing my vocal skills a little bit more. I'm also showcasing my production skills a little bit.

» EXPRESS: Was producing out of your element?
» LLOYD: It was a challenge just like anything. But, yeah, it was one of my bigger challenges in music to actually sit down and just drive myself crazy.

» EXPRESS: So you like having your hand in all the cookie jars?
» LLOYD: I want to be the guy who does it all. I want there to be no limit to my life. I want to be able to produce, to write, to record, to perform. The sky is the limit; I can go into outer space.

Photos by Lloyd» EXPRESS: So, is this album like a part two to "Street Love"?
» LLOYD: If anything remains the same it's my consistency to create stability through music that changes and moves people's lives. It's that feel-good music that makes you feel better about your day. You just might turn on a song that feels like, "Oh, my goodness, I'm going through this right now with my boyfriend, or with my girlfriend. Maybe if I listen close enough I might learn some lessons in love that will help me along the way."

» EXPRESS: At your age, how much do you know about love?
» LLOYD: I'm still learning but my fantasy was to be a professor in a classroom full of girls. So what I did was I made them re-create this classroom scene and when we did the album shots it's actually me in a classroom with a ruler pointing to the board, no shirt, tattoos, apple on the desk, skeleton head on the desk. And then, it's all girls in the class and they are all so interested by what I'm saying. It's pretty cool.

Read the rest of the interview on our forum.

published on May 29 th, 2008

Ashanti icon

ASHANTI Performs 'The Way That I Love You' Live On 106 & Park

Check out this Ashanti performance below and don't forget 'The Declaration' is in stores June 3rd. Big thanks to our friends over at ashantidouglas.net for uploading the video.

published on May 21 st, 2008

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