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Wiz Khalifa, Jason Derulo & Future Perform At Reggae Sumfest 2014

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“I’m always nervous performing at home because Jamaicans are tough people to please but I am very happy with tonight’s outcome,” revealed Jamaica’s Tessanne Chin – and NBC’s The Voice season five winner – minutes after delivering a flawless, headlining set at Reggae Sumfest in Montego Bay. Surrounded by her family and management team, the exceedingly gracious Chin posed for numerous photos with fans prior to reminiscing with Billboard about her Sumfest debut in 2007, which coincided with the release of her breakthrough single “Hideaway.” “It felt like my career was just beginning back then so to return this year and perform “Hideaway” alongside songs from my new album ‘Count On My Love’ is a dream come true.”

Reggae Sumfest was developed to increase visitor arrivals to Jamaica during the traditionally low summer tourism season; over three nights Sumfest annually attracts nearly 25,000 patrons from around the world, according to Executive Director Johnny Gourzong. Held at the open-air Catherine Hall Entertainment Complex Sumfest’s 22nd annual staging, July 17-19, presented forty Jamaican dancehall and roots reggae artists alongside international acts, Jason Derulo, Wiz Khalifa and Future.

Prior to Derulo’s well-received set on Friday’s International Night 1, which included a guest appearance by 2007 American Idol winner, his fiancé Jordin Sparks performing their hit “Vertigo,” he shared with Billboard his fondness for beef patties – the humble Jamaican fast food staple – and a lifelong love of reggae. “My father lived here for 12 years and Bob Marley’s music was played in our house, so there’s always a hint of reggae in my music. I’m really excited to perform for my Jamaican fans,” Derulo said.

Wiz Khalifa told Billboard he was humbled by Jamaica’s love for him and expressed interest in working with local artists. “Reggae’s message brings people together and that’s been really influential to me; if I could collaborate with any artist here it would be Beenie Man,” he acknowledged.

Also on Friday night, upcoming Rastafarian sing-jay Jesse Royal made his impressive Sumfest debut and roots reggae sensation Chronixx delivered a beautifully nuanced, mesmerizing set while Jamaica’s Sean Paul triumphantly returned to Sumfest after a 10-year absence with an energetic performance on Saturday’s International Night 2.

Yet, it’s Sumfest’s Thursday Dancehall Night that dependably pulled the largest crowd, estimated by Gourzong this year at 12,000. Highlights included a riveting lyrical display by Agent Sasco, Bounty Killer’s incisive social critiques and female singer Spice, who donned male drag to attain deserved props in the testosterone-laden genre.

As the tropical sun rose over Catherine Hall minutes before 6 AM, I-Octane held the majority of the crowd in place with renditions of the numerous hits that earned him the night’s prestigious closing slot. Shortly after leaving the Sumfest stage, I-Octane wentto the studio with producer DJ Frass and recorded “Jah Mi Seh” aimed at his detractors, especially Mr. Vegas who continually criticized the selection of I-Octane for Dancehall Night’s crowning position. “I am the only artist in Sumfest’s history besides Beenie Man to close Dancehall Night for two consecutive years, which is a great accomplishment for a young artist,” I-Octane told Billboard. “Even if I am working overseas, I come back to Jamaica for Sumfest, it brings visitors to Jamaica and is an important showcase for our artists locally and globally.”

By , Jamaica

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Is Bobby Shmurda The Next Trinidad James?

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Getting signed is just the beginning.

Bobby Shmurda’s recent signing with Epic Records felt like an inevitability. Given the seeming ubiquity surrounding his viral hit “Hot N***a” and its corresponding Shmoney Dance Vine, those who feverishly follow the ins-and-outs of this rap game knew the young Brooklyn artist would be courted by the majors. Intergenerational endorsements and co-signs from Jay Z, Meek Mill, and Raekwon shone a spotlight on Shmurda that most rap publicists would would sacrifice their firstborn over. Currently lacking a proper commercial release for “Hot N***a,” any hip-hop A&R had to at least see Shmurda’s short-term earnings potential via the download and ringtone marketplace.

The ink on the contract having barely dried, some might be tempted to consider the signing Shmurda’s big win. Record deals are worth celebrating, though as Azalea Banks and others in similar predicaments can attest they often mark the beginning of one’s problems as opposed to the end. Even if Shmurda earned himself a six or seven figure advance with Epic, he’s still got to recoup that for the label. (Rock producer Steve Albini explicitly explained the uneven economics behind these deals over twenty years ago in his widely cited, must-read essay “The Problem With Music.”) As with the NBA draft, getting picked means it’s time to show and prove. Once everyone’s done shaking your hand, they’re wringing their own over how you’ll fare.

Though some might balk at the comparison, there’s a rather clear cautionary tale to be found in the story of Trinidad James. Despite having a music video whose viral success scored him a deal with Def Jam, he went from being one of the hottest new rappers out of Atlanta—with two Gold-certified singles—to a “snaggletoothed”persona non grata in less than two years. In our fast-paced socially-driven Internet, “All Gold Everything” feels ancient, like it dropped ages ago on some now-dead media format. Though still presumably signed, his proper full-length debut isn’t on any calendar, nor is it particularly anticipated. It’s been nearly a year since his last mixtape and he’s hardly made a dent in 2014.

“All Gold Everything” first emerged in the summer of 2012, though it took until October of that year for it to really take off. Within two months, James had signed with the iconic label and swiftly re-released his breakout single and adjoining Don’t Be S.A.F.E. mixtape. Def Jam wasted little time in attaching him to then up-and-coming R&B singer August Alsina’s February 2013 single “I Luv This Shit.” Both tracks respectively sold enough to achieve RIAA Gold certification, though his verse on the latter wasn’t exactly the driver behind its success. A guest appearance on A$AP Ferg’s “Work” remix found him sandwiched between French Montana and Schoolboy Q. He sported mixtape and one-off features on tracks from Big K.R.I.T., Gucci Mane, and Kirko Bangz, among others, none of which popped off.

By the time the adequate 10pc. Mild mixtape appeared, his shine had faded considerably. Those who had been initially wary of James saw the lack of a viable follow-up single of his own as justification for their skepticism. That could be self-fulfilling prophecy just as much as a referendum on James as an artist. What’s undeniable is that he had a moment of genuine excitement around his music, one that seems distant and unlikely to be replicated by his future endeavors. This is what worries me about Bobby Shmurda as he currently enjoys such a moment in the good graces of hip-hop fans and the press.

The next move on Epic’s part appears to be a proper digital retail release for “Hot N***a,” alongside a French Montana assisted remix. Note that Def Jam did this with “All Gold Everything,” tacking on a bonus track version featuring T.I., 2 Chainz, and Young Jeezy to the Don’t Be S.A.F.E. re-release. Unless he’s got an album of bangers at the ready, it’s doubtful that Shmurda will be dropping a proper full-length anytime soon. Even after “Work” blew up, it took a track as monumental as “Shabba” to get A$AP Ferg’s Trap Lord tape upgraded to an album at RCA. Instead, he’ll likely get paired up with another Epic artist for a formal shot at radio, especially if some version of “Hot N***a” properly charts. Combine that with headlining live appearances and maybe an opening slot on someone else’s tour. Shmurda will need that momentum to stay afloat in the rest of 2014, as attentions shift to new music and albums from Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar.

While there’s no exact science or formula to follow, there are ways for Shmurda to transcend his moment and turn it into a career. He’ll need to establish an identity beyond an amusing six second Vine. Trinidad James essentially became typecast as “that gold guy” because he doubled down on it, sporting a gold laptop and other such accessories. If Shmurda really has been dealing crack since the fifth grade as his single boasts, then that angle of credibility might be worth pushing instead of thinking up more dance moves.

Shmurda has taken to calling himself “the trap god” on GS9’s Shmoney Shmurdacompilation, a brand already claimed by Gucci, Ferg, and scores of lesser mixtapemouthpieces. Instead of borrowing from that well-worn lexicon, he can craft his own, speaking to his experiences honestly without falling back on the same tropes listeners have grown tired of. If Shmurda can build on the accessibility and authenticity of drill and trap without coming off as another wannabe or carbon copy by way of Brooklyn, he’s got a shot.

Furthermore, success in hip-hop can’t be easily defined. Targets are fluid, the public’s tastes prone to change. Hurdles emerge and increase in size and difficulty. A label’s expectations of the artist can confound, frustrate, and bedevil. Unless he and the team at Epic can capitalize on his current heat and make it commercially viable beyond “Hot N***a,” Shmurda’s ascendancy could be stymied just as rapidly as it began.

BY GARY SUAREZ

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Parabellum’s Luxe Day Bag May Cause You to Skip a Bill or Two… or Six

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Parabellum’s new day bag shits all over the inferior backpack you’ve been lugging around.

Made from hand-cut leather in Los Angeles, the bag is both incredibly strong and functional. The spacious master compartment includes an internal zip pocket as well two external sleeves for extra storage. There is also a removable shoulder strap, adjustable cinch strap, and permanent handles to give you carrying options for your daily commute.

The features alone might be enough to convince you that you need this item. But you better have some coined saved up. This bag is made from free-range bison, technical ceramic, and plush suede lining, resulting in a cost of $2,650.

So if you’re looking to replace your gear, head over to Parabellum’s website to select from the black, navy, and pumpkin variations. Just make sure you have enough money left to at least feed yourself until your next paycheck.

by Perry Mayweather

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Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2

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Pac-Man may be set for a guest appearance on Nintendo’s home turf in Super Smash Bros. later this year, but he’s also planned to star in his own new adventure, too. Bandai Namco announced today that Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 will launch October 14, featuring new worlds and new playable characters.

A sequel to 2013′s Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures (based on the TV series of the same name), Ghostly Adventures 2 allows you to also play as Pac-Man’s allies Cyli and Spiral, who fly around shooting foes out of the sky with laser guns. They put their abilities on display in this new trailer, where Pac-Man also gets a taste of a new power-up that transforms him into the towering Paczilla.

Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 will come to Wii U, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and 3DS. For more, check out a previous trailer.

the author Wayne Stainrook

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Destiny Beta Is Now Open To Everyone

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If you weren’t lucky enough to get a code for Bungie’s Destiny beta, cry no more. The studio has now opened up the beta to all gamers.

The move was announced with this post on the Bungie site: “Today, at 4:00 PM PDT, we’re opening the Destiny Beta to anyone who wants to create a character and walk in their boots. There are, of course, some requirements. You’ll need to have a compatible console equipped with PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold.”

[Source: Bungie.net]

Our Take:
It will be interesting to see how the game performs under the flood of new users. Now, why are you still reading this? Go play Destiny! 

the author Matt Helgeson

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Listen to Rustie’s “Attak” f/ Danny Brown

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Rustie‘s latest single, “Attak,” featuring Danny Brown, is the latest drop from his upcoming album, Green Language. If we were to say Danny snapped on this record, it might be an understatement. He damn near dismantles the fiery production with his wicked double time flow.

Gorgeous Children and D Double E are also slated to be featured on Rustie’s Green Language album, which is set to drop on August 26 via Warp Records. Listen to the song and check out Rustie’s upcoming tour dates below.

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07/24 – Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West
07/25 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall
07/26 – Montreal, QC @ Le Belmont
07/30 – Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall
07/31 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
08/01 – Denver, CO @ The 1up-Colfax
08/02 – South El Monte, CA @ Hard Fest

BY ZACH FRYDENLUND

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SBTRKT’s New Album “Wonder Where We Land” Gets September Release Date, Features A$AP Ferg and Jessie Ware

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After teasing a new song “Runaway” in January and releasing the Transitions series earlier this yearSBTRKT shared “Temporary View” ft. Sampha out of nowhere last month. There’s an album cover (above), a title (Wonder Where We Land), a tracklist, and a release date, showing an exciting group of collaborators this time around—A$AP Ferg, Sampha, Jessie Ware, Raury, Denai Moore, Andrew Ashong, Warpaint, Ezra Koenig, Caroline Polachek, and Boogie.

As evidenced by his 2011 self-titled album, SBTRKT works with people who are poised to blow up (sidebar: Drake loves him, too). Listen to one of his new collaborations, “NEW DORP. NEW YORK,” featuring Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig. Tracklist below.

TRACKLIST

1. Day 1
2. Wonder Where We Land (feat. Sampha)
3. Lantern
4. Higher (feat. Raury)
5. Day 5
6. Look Away (feat. Caroline Polachek)
7. Osea (feat. Koreless)
8. Temporary View (feat. Sampha)
9. NEW DORP. NEW YORK (feat Ezra Koenig)
10. Everybody Knows
11. Problem (Solved) (feat. Jessie Ware)
12. If It Happens (feat. Sampha)
13. Gon Stay (feat. Sampha)
14. The Light (feat. Denai Moore)
15. Voices In My Head (feat. A$AP Ferg)

 

Khloe Kardashian Celebrates 30th Birthday At Tao Nightclub

French Montana and Khloe Kardashian’s First Interview Together With Angie Martinez

Khloe Kardashian Celebrates 30th Birthday At Tao Nightclub

Hip-hop’s new favorite couple French Montana and Khloe Kardashian hit a milestone today when they stopped by the Power 105 studio for an interview with Angie Martinez, which was their first ever together. During the nearly 30-minute conversation, the couple talked about how they first met, which actually happened because of Diddy, and how they don’t care what other people think about their relationship.

“People are gonna comment no matter what. If I dated the most clean cut perfect guy, they’re gonna comment. That’s just the way it is. If I’m having fun and if I like this kid, no one else should care, they’re not f****g him. Or maybe they are, I don’t know,” Khloe said of her relationship with French.

French talked about his recent studio sessions with Kanye West, and said that there is a possibility that Ye will executive produce his next album along with Harry Fraud. French also touched on how he is dealing with the added exposure that comes with dating a Kardashian and what it’s like to appear on Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

BY Un4tunate

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Lil Wayne Is Reportedly Starting a Sports Management Company

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Lil Wayne has always been known as a diehard sports fan, but soon he will have a more vested interest in games. According to TMZ, Wayne is launching a sports management company in partnership with PolarisSports, which is affiliated with CAA, and GestiFute. His first client will be soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, whose agent,Jorge Mendes, operates GestiFute. Wayne’s company will oversee Ronaldo’s branding, marketing, and endorsement deals in the United States. It is worth noting that last year, Forbes reported that Cash Money Records filed a trademark application for the name “Visionaire Sports Group.”

Apparently, Wayne and Ronaldo are close friends, to the point where Ronaldo made the Prime Minister of Japan throw up a Young Money symbol during a state visit earlier today. “Young Muulah baby!” Wayne said about the picture.

Wayne is not the first rapper to enter the sports management world. Jay Z‘s Roc Nation Sports represents superstars such as Kevin Durant and Robinson Cano, while 50 Cent runs SMS Promotions for professional boxers.

BY Un4tunate

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T.I. Addresses Rumors Of Ghostwriting For Iggy Azalea

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T.I. “ain’t no ghostwriter.”

When asked by Bijou Star TV if he’s written rhymes for his Grand Hustle Records artist Iggy Azalea, he says that “Iggy got her own ideas and thoughts that she presents to the world in her own way.”

Claims of Iggy Azalea using ghostwriters, specifically T.I., were reignited when Nicki Minaj told the world that she writes her own rhymes while at this year’s BET Awards.

“What I want the world to know about Nicki Minaj is when you hear Nicki Minaj spit, Nicki Minaj wrote it,” she said during her acceptance speech.

The internet assumed that she was referring to Azalea. But, according to T.I., while all artists get assistance “with hooks and certain things like that,” Azalea raps her own rhymes.

“I couldn’t write a lot of the shit she say, you know? I couldn’t put her thoughts into words as articulate as she does. You know what I’m saying? She just has a different way of presenting herself and her art.”