Rumors that DTP dropped their most recognizable artists at the behest of Def Jam chairman LA Reid have been confirmed by Def Jam sources. According to Sohh Ya Heard, Reid gave Bobby Valentino, Shareefa, and Steph Jones an 'F' following their R & B Live performances at Spotlight in NY on Tuesday. One day later, the artists were given their pink slips.

Reportedly, Steph Jones took the news hard. And according to a source close to the camp, Shareefa was working "day and night" on her sophomore album.

If Reid is trying to trim the fat from the label - why keep the rest of the DTP roster which is filled with virtual unknowns, while the moneymaker - Valentino - is given the heave ho? That doesn't seem to make any sense. One thing is for sure: the future of DTP - which hasn't had a hit in how long - is in doubt.


Update: According to my loyal reader Rodney, the custom Hermes cost a tidy $67,000.

Thanks to loyal reader Darnell for verifying that the purple Hermès carried by Pharrell Williams in an earlier post does belong to him. In the following post from Pharrell's blog, he explains he traveled to Paris to pick up his custom made Hermès, which is normal procedure for the elite who can afford these bags. Most Hermès are made to order.

Stopped by Hermes yesterday to pick up my new travel bag. Hermes is a world famous luxury goods company originally known for it’s leather goods including it’s saddles and famous silk scarves. This purple croc bag is a “Haut A Courroie” which is the original Birkin bag. This bag is a custom piece hand made in the Paris shop. The key chain was made by Jacob. (Source)

Lucky him. A Hermès croc had to set him back 20 grand at least.

Photos: Splash News

According to industry estimates: Erykah Badu and Janet Jackson are neck and neck for the #1 spot next week. Janet is expected to do 180k in sales while Erykah's Amerykah is expected to push 160k - give or take 10k.

The amazing part of all this is Erykah contends for the top spot with virtually no promotion. Janet, on the other hand, has promoted the hell out of her 10th studio album Discipline.

Last night, Erykah threw herself an album release and birthday party in Chicago. Dave Chapelle, and Billy McNamara attended. And tonight, Janet makes a rare appearance on CNN's Larry King Live where she plans to discuss her music and her love life. Frankly, we don't understand what her love life has to do with selling albums. But, we'll still tune in.

Larry King Live airs at 9 PM eastern time on CNN.

Gucci has been named the #1 brand in the world, according to Nielsen research:

In the latest survey, one in five global consumers said they would choose to buy Gucci (over any other luxury brand) if money was no option, making the Italian fashion brand that was revived by Tom Ford in the 1990’s the most coveted and aspirational luxury brand in the world today. Photos and quote: LIFE Files

I don't think this means celebrities and socialites will put their Louis Vuitton or Hermes bags up for sale on eBay. It also doesn't mean you'll see less "Stars and their LV" posts on LV and Hermes are still a considered status symbols to the elite who can afford them.

Speaking of Hermes: I saw this interesting photo of Pharrell Williams carrying a man-size Hermes handbag on his way out of his hotel in NYC yesterday. I searched other photo sites and there were no other pics of him with this bag. Which leads me to assume the bag isn't his. Which is a good thing because a Hermes croc half that size would set him back about 17k.

He's still a fashion plate though with his his LV scarf, and hat and jacket from his Billionaire Boys Club line.

Fonzi Thornton sits with Mary Ida Vandross at her son's funeral on July 8, 2005

Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2008 21:50:17
From: Kristi
Subject: Mrs. Mary Ida Vandross

Greeting Friends & Associates!

I received a phone call today with the news that Mrs. (Mary Ida) Vandross, mother of Luther Vandross, is in a coma. Mrs. Vandross' is the sole survivor of her immediate family including all of her children. The family is faced with having to make some hard decisions right now. It is in this time that we ask for prayers of strength for the Vandross family and friends and that God's will - whatever it may be - be done.

Many Thanks & Bless You All,

EYEwitness Web Production & Publicity Magazine & Radio

According to a source close to Keyshia Cole's camp, "Keyshia and Floyd Mayweather are not an item. They really don't know each other that well. She was in Vegas on vacation and attended his b'day party. That's all there was to it!

The media is just trying to make a big deal out of nothing."

Last night I spoke with a friend who informed me that the president of the NAACP was on my site yesterday. She told me how outraged he was by some of the comments he read. For some time now - years, in fact - I have held the opinion that the intellectuals among us do not leave comments on urban blogs.

Point in fact, the president of the NAACP didn't leave a comment even though he was moved by what he read. The reason for this is people like him don't want to wade through ignorant, juvenile comments just to find a spot where his comment makes a difference. And people like him know that his comment will be passed over for the ignorant comments that are most popular on urban blogs.

I rarely leave comments on urban blogs for that very reason. This year I have only commented on 2 urban blogs: Necole Bitchie and Style Razzi, because they have elevated their game beyond writing posts which encourages buffoonery in their comment sections.

A new day is dawning: for the first time in history, a biracial man is about to be chosen the democratic nominee. We have to do better on urban blogs because all eyes are on us now.

I realize that as the blog owner, I have a responsibility to set the tone for the comments on my site. So in recent weeks, I have checked myself to make sure that I include more positive posts. I convince myself that there ARE positive thinkers who read my site daily.

When someone whom I respect and admire calls me to complain about the comments, it makes me rethink my reason for converting to a blog in the first place. Most of my regular readers remember the old site where there were no comments.

Contrary to popular belief, I do not make money off comments - and neither does any other blog that I know of. We make money off the ads that you see. And regardless if there are 1 or 100 comments - we still get paid (sorry to burst your bubble). The fact is, advertisers don't care about comments - they care about stats/traffic.

Thank you to independent thinkers like Bird, 2BMe, 2thick, Smokie (even though you're a hata, lol), Shhh, and others who don't follow the crowd, and who help to bring balance and thought-provoking ideas to my site. I would like to encourage more independent thinkers to join in.

So to that end, I have banned the ringleaders who I feel are responsible for most of the negativity on my site. Members who attack the opinions of others will also be banned. While I don't agree with censorship, I do believe that people don't have the right to disrespect others. If that means there are less comments on my site, then so be it. To those who have been banned: don't take it personal. Remind yourselves that you didn't like me anyway, and have a nice day.

Comments Off on Win Gucci Sneakers with Rocko

Rocko and Island Urban Records want you to design your very own MySpace page layout, showing yourself off, whether it be in your freshest outfit, hottest whip, or even just in an everyday situation doing something you love.

The best MySpace layout will win an iPod Touch preloaded with Rocko's new album, Self-Made, as well as a pair of Gucci sneakers from the latest 2008 line. The two runner-ups will each receive a Rocko poster and an autographed copy of Rocko's new album, Self-Made, in stores March 18.

How To Win - On March 18th, when the contest ends, Rocko will check out all the entries and choose his three favorite layouts based on creativity and promotion of Self-Made. He will then email the winners individually and announce them on his MySpace page.

Rocko will also feature his favorite layouts on his MySpace page every week until the contest ends.

For more info, check out Rocko's official MySpace page -

According to Hits Daily Double, the industry estimates for 1st week sales of Janet Jackson's new album were far too generous. She was expected to push 200-270k in 1st week sales, but one-day sales reports from major retailers puts that figure at 180k. If there's any consolation, at least Janet will be #1 for the first time in ages.

Look for Michael Jackson’s little sister Janet to enter next week’s chart at #1, with her new IDJ album Discipline headed for 180k in sales, give or take, based on one-day sales reports from our retail minions. Universal Motown’s neo-soul stalwart Erykah Badu is a lock for #2 (hey, that rhymes) with between 125-135k. Three-time chart-topper Jack Johnson’s Brushfire/Universal Republic album will fight it out for #3 with 70k alongside Asylum’s Webbie, Canvasback/ Columbia’s resurgent Oscar winner Once and J’s Alicia Keys, with a Target circular slot, all between 60-70k. Rhino’s Juno should see a nice bump from awards activity to 50-55k, while Asylum’s Shawty Lo will see a debut in the area of 30-35k. Overall, the market was down 19% vs last week, down 13% vs same week last year and now down 12% year-to-date. Keep on chooglin’, people. (Source)

Photos spotted on:

Rihanna enjoyed a spot of bowling while taking some down time prior to performing during the BRIT Awards in London last week. In case you're wondering: the reason Rihanna is so loved the world over is because she is sweet and humble and doesn't aloow her fame to go to her head like some other singers we know.

Photo: Splash News

Kanye West, his fiancee Alexis Phifer and Italian designer Roberto Cavalli at the grand opening of the new Roberto Cavalli store in Paris, France yesterday.

Photo: Splash News

50 Cent dressed up as a mad scientist to hawk his Vitamin Water on the side of a van in SoHo, NY yesterday.