Hill, 35, is scheduled to perform in a few shows as part of the lineup of the Rock the Bells tour. In the past few days, a previously unheard track titled “Repercussions” which is purported to be of her singing has hit the Web. The notoriously private singer also recently gave an interview to National Public Radio, sounding very much like a star on the comeback trail.

“I’m starting to get excited again,” Hill told NPR. “Believe it or not, I think what people are attracted to about me, if anything, is my passion. People got exposed to my passion through music and song first.”
Not everyone is convinced.

“I’m not sure if there is a comeback,” said Gail Mitchell, senior editor covering R&B and hip-hop at Billboard magazine. “Maybe that interview with NPR was to prime people, but until there is an announcement or new music, I don’t think we can say that anything is set.”

“Is she coming back or is she just doing what she has always done?” said Sandra Rose, who runs the popular gossip site SandraRose.com. “She performs, makes some money and then she disappears again.”
It’s not quite the career the world expected of Hill after her hit album, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” was released in 1998 and went on to garner the singer 10 Grammy nominations (the most of any female performer at the time) and five awards.

Read more »


Famed NY Times columnist Maureen Dowd tackles last week’s biggest story, the one that Hot Air refers to as the l’affair Sherrod.

The West Wing white guys who pushed to ditch Shirley Sherrod before Glenn Beck could pounce not only didn’t bother to Google, they weren’t familiar enough with civil rights history to recognize the name Sherrod. And they didn’t return the calls and e-mail of prominent blacks who tried to alert them that something was wrong…

“I’ve known these two individuals — the husband for more than 50 years and the wife for at least 35, 40 — and there’s not a racist hair on their heads or anyplace else on their bodies,” [Rep. John] Lewis said…

The president’s getting hurt real bad,” Clyburn told me. “He needs some black people around him.” He said Obama’s inner circle keeps “screwing up” on race: “Some people over there are not sensitive at all about race. They really feel that the extent to which he allows himself to talk about race would tend to pigeonhole him or cost him support, when a lot of people saw his election as a way to get the issue behind us. I don’t think people elected him to disengage on race. Just the opposite.” Read More…


Over the weekend I received numerous emails and phones calls from fellow bloggers and non-bloggers expressing concern and encouragement.

Update:

Earlier I wrote that not one female blogger was among them. But I was wrong. Blogger K.I.M., who is also an industry veteran, did write a post in support. Thanks to longtime member Attorneymom for pointing that out.

Dennis Byron, Editor-in-Chief of Hip Hop Enquirer, points out that JD’s punk azz made terroristic threats from outside of the United States’ jurisdiction (he was in France) — probably under the false belief that it was legally OK for him to do so.

LEGAL MINDS CHIME IN ON HOW THE LAW CAN HANDLE THESE TYPE OF THREATS
By Dennis Byron | Hip Hop Enquirer

Prominent Atlanta Criminal Defense Attorney Larry Ellerbe who has been an analyst in the past on other crime related stores hand this to say:

It appears that everyone is disturbed over the allegation of Jermaine Dupree threat to blogger, Sandra Rose. I am not here to weigh in on whether the alleged statements are legally actionable because I was not there. What I can do is give you a legal perspective as to what is required to be considered a terroristic threat. I believe an informed reader can come to the conclusion if Jermaine Dupree is in jeopardy of legal consequences. So what are the elements of a terroristic threat?

1. Someone willfully threatens to commit a crime that will result in death or great bodily harm. Usually threatening someone property does not rise to the level of a terroristic threat unless you are connected to said property and you obviously will be harmed by its destruction.

2. The threat was made with the specific intent that it be taken as a threat. This means that if it appears that you do not have the means to carry it out but you made the statement with the intent that the person believes you can carry it out it still classifies as a threat.

3. The threat is so unequivocal, unconditional, and specific as to convey a gravity of purpose and immediate prospect of execution. What this means is that the threat states what you will do and not what you can do. Ex. I can blow your car up if I get a bomb as oppose to I will blow you car up when I get the bomb. See the difference?

4. The threat actually caused fear in the victim. The person must actually believe the threat. Is this the case with Sandra Rose?

5. The fear was reasonable. If someone tells you that he/she is going to shoot you with a ray gun they just invented then it is unlikely you could take this threat seriously.

Keep in mind each state has it rules that constitute terroristic threat. Consider the alleged [threats] made [by] Jermaine Dupree, weigh it against the elements needed to be considered a threat and you make your own decision without listening to someone else’s opinion.

Now there still lies the question of if the alleged threat was made outside of the United States does the U.S. still have jurisdiction to prosecute the charge?

The answer to the question is not a simple one but what is important to note is that anytime a violation of the law is done via the airwaves and/or internet it becomes interstate, intrastate or an international matter. It may become a federal matter and thereby jurisdiction will not become a hindrance to prosecution. Also note that also the alleged threat may have been made in France the alleged recipient of the threat was in the U.S. which may give rise to U.S. jurisdiction to prosecute said threat. Thus may become an interesting matter for the Attorney General of the Northern District to decipher.

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Close friends of troubled producer Jermaine Dupri say he’s depressed and despondent over his breakup with pop legend Janet Jackson. His friends asked this blogger to try and understand the reasoning behind Friday night’s emotional outburst that led to death threats.

“Your post hit him where it truly hurts,” said one friend, who asked to remain anonymous. “You hit him in a place where he lays awake at night and can’t sleep because he’s thinking about it.

How would you feel if the woman you loved blamed you for ruining her career and now she’s dating a billionaire?

In a recent interview with Atlanta tabloid the Creative Loafing. JD told a writer that rumors of his separation from Janet are mere “assumptions” — despite the fact that Janet has apparently moved on with her life. A friend tried to explain why Dupri seems to be in denial.

“He can’t let go of her. He was really in love and love makes you do crazy, crazy things!,” he said. “People in the industry have been saying that he single handedly messed her [career] up completely. That has been said by everybody,” he added.

Read more »


A worn and tired looking Halle Berry and her former boyfriend Gabriel Aubry were spotted arriving at LAX with their daughter Nahla to catch a flight out of Los Angeles yesterday. At least they keep up pretenses for their daughter.


Aging rapper Jay-Z sipped expensive champagne while watching a game between the New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals on Friday (July 23) at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. Luckily his wife Beyonce wasn’t there or she would have falling drown drunk by the 9th inning.

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Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith’s fashionable daughter Willow made her most recent foray into the world of entertainment with a professional photo shoot on the Trocadero in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower in Paris yesterday.


While there they surprised a newlywed and happily posed for photos with them. Are my eyes deceiving me? When did Jada get all that junk?

Willow Smith, who will turn 10 on October 31st, made her acting debut alongside her father in I Am Legend. But she will step out on her own when she launches her career as a singer, according to her mom Jada:

Pinkett Smith tells AmbassadorMag.com, “I have always had a love for music, always, always, and always. I probably started to pursue it a little late in life. But it was always a passion of mine. I had always been too afraid to venture into music, but I decided when I was about 30 to just go for it. I started a metal band called Wicked Wisdom. I toured and I loved it.”

“But soon after, my kids’ careers started taking off, so I sacrificed it. I am pleased to say my daughter, Willow, will be putting out an album soon and . So I am excited about that, and she’s pretty awesome. She will be better at it then I ever could be anyway!” Read More…

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Friends and inside sources have been whispering about rapper T.I. and his fiancee Tiny’s “secret” wedding in Miami for months now. The news of the wedding’s date and location (this weekend) was made public by a number of radio and blogs last week.

When the couple finally say their “I do’s” after 9 years together, they will be surrounded by close family and friends, including their combined children from outside relationships.

But the most important family member there will undoubtedly be Tiny’s dad, Charles Pope, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. Tiny’s parents, Mr. Pope and her mom Dianne Cottle-Pope, were introduced to her fans in episodes of her popular Tiny & Toya Show on BET.

Mr. Pope is a proud man who continued to perform as the last founding member of the group The Tams even as the disease began taking its toll on him. Now inside sources say Mr. Pope can no longer walk or talk. Tiny hopes that he will be well enough to escort her down the aisle on her happy day this weekend.

Friends and family have rallied to assist Dianne with Mr. Pope’s care. Her helping hands includes one of Tiny’s childhood friends who arrives from work every evening to help out. She is a strong woman who lifts Mr. Pope from his chair and carries him to his bed.

Even Tiny’s 5-year-old son King pitches in. From the moment he wakes up in the morning, King is by his grandaddy’s side watching over him making sure he’s OK.

Read more »


Thanks to loyal reader Brian over at HipHopBlog for this follow up to my post about music producer Jermaine Dupri’s veiled threats to end my life over a blog post that he didn’t like.

A friend who was on the line – a local club promoter who heard the whole thing — defended Dupri’s actions with the excuse that Dupri was drunk after partying the night away in France. Dupri did not sound drunk to me. His speech was not slurred. His words were clear and precise.

He wanted me to know — over and over again — that his goons were ready fuck me up and/or even kill me, to protect his little rep as the honorary mayor of Atlanta. All of these threats of violence were made over a blog post that hit too close to home.

Here’s what Brian and Rocky Williform (pictured above left), the founder and editor-in-chief of HipHopBlog.com (formerly T.I.’s StreetCred.com) had to say:

If these allegations are true, the entire blogosphere should be outraged and Dupri should face litigation. “You’re talking about the Internet blogosphere, so you’re talking federal statute,” says HipHopBlog.com’s Rocky Williform. “What he did amounts to a terrorist threat.” Bloggers should be able to blog without fear of violence from individuals who don’t like what was written about them. Of course, if one is reading something about themselves that they don’t like–or that they believe to be untrue–they have a right to react. “There are civil remedies for when you disagree with someone or you feel someone is slandering you,” Williform says.

“Would he have called [TMZ’s] Harvey Levin like that? Would he have called Rupert Murdock at Fox News?” Williform adds. “New media should be outraged and should send a message to Jermaine Dupri that this kind of behavior cannot be tolerated.” Because the Internet is international commerce, Dupri could realistically face charges under federal statutes, meaning that instead of Rose’s attorney, he could possibly face U.S. attorney Sally Yates of Georgia’s northern district. READ MORE…


In a strange twist of events, Staten Island police now say Leisa Jones, 33, may have used a straight edge razor to slit the throats of her three oldest children before setting her Port Richmond apartment ablaze early Thursday.

Police initially believed C.J. Jones, Leisa Jones’ troubled 14-year-old son, slashed the throats of his two sisters – Brittany, 10, and Melony, 7 – before torching the second floor walk up and cutting his own throat.

But new evidence points to a different suspect — the children’s mother.

According to the NY Daily News, investigators are awaiting toxicology reports on 25 undigested pills found in C.J.’s stomach “to see if mom doped any of the kids to make it easier for her to slit their throats.”

C.J. was kicked out of a nearby park for setting a fire on Thursday. And neighbors said they saw C.J. setting small fires in front of his apartment building in the hours before the 3 alarm blaze.

Still, investigators don’t believe the teen’s infatuation with fire is enough to explain the brutal mass murder, another source said.

“Cutting people’s throats is usually something a psychotic grows into,” the source said. “And so far no one has reported he tortured animals or other kids or his brothers and sisters – so it’s a puzzle.” [link]

The murder weapon was found under C.J.’s body where police originally believed he dropped it after slitting his throat. Fire fighters say C.J. was found in a back bedroom slumped over on a bed in a sort of “suicide hari kari” sitting position.

A charred “confession” note with the words “am sorry” was fused to a melted metal Butane lighter in the mother’s bedroom.

Investigators have tentatively matched the handwriting on the note to samples of Leisa Jones’ known penmanship. Leisa Jones’ body was found “in a crawling position” in the living room not far from the bodies of her three youngest children. Police say her body was positioned as if she was trying to get away from an assailant or the fire.

Jones’ 2-year-old son, Jermaine Sinclair, Jr. was the only child pulled out of the burning apartment alive. He was found near the front door where the fire had been set to prevent anyone from leaving or entering the apartment.

Jermaine later died at a hospital from smoke inhalation and third degree thermal burns. His body was so badly burned that fire fighters on the scene couldn’t initially determine his gender.


An enraged Jermaine Dupri launched into a profanity-filled tirade during a late-night phone call last night that left the hair standing up on the back of my neck.

A friend called me around 11 pm to say he had Dupri on the line and was it alright if he spoke with me. I agreed to listen to what he had to say. Dupri began by ranting and raving about bloggers in general, and about me specifically.

JD, as he likes to be called, was reacting angrily to a post I wrote yesterday titled “How the Mighty Have Fallen: Jermaine Dupri Rebounds.”

While not denying that anything I wrote was false, he angrily vented about me “always” going in on him and his artists, including Dondria and Bow Wow.

He basically let me know that his goons were coming for me — with his blessing.

“I got people ready to kill you right now!,” he screamed. “I’m letting you know it’s serious in the streets right now,” said JD in a 3-way call from France where he had just finished partying.

He said repeatedly, “I run Atlanta! I got ni**as calling me saying they don’t know what you look like, but all I gotta do is point you out and they will FUCK YOU UP!!!!”

I was extremely offended by all his yelling and cursing and I reminded JD that I was a grown ass woman. “I’m grown too!,” he responded. “I got ni**as that will fuck you up on sight!”

He wasn’t at all subtle with any of his threats — even though he insisted he wasn’t threatening me. “I know you’re recording this,” he yelled, “and I’m recording it too!” He made death threats unapologetically: “You already dead!,” he screamed.

After taking as much of the verbal abuse as I was willing to tolerate, I hung up on him and called the police.

Edit: I spoke with my attorney today.

No blogger should tolerate death threats from a celebrity. Whether the threats are veiled or direct, they are still threats against your life. And that it is against the law.

Edited:
to add another email from loyal reader D. Bryant (scroll down)…

Loyal reader Domi writes:

Good Day Ms. Rose,

My name is Dominique from Los Angeles and I visit your site every single day. I have attempted to register to comment on your site to no avail, but I just had to leave you with this!

I saw the pictures of Nas and Amy at Damien Marley’s birthday party leaving together, and my mouth dropped open.

I have been an Amy Winehouse fan since her first album, and I was completely blown away after the Back to Black album, which I call the soundtrack to my life. Although she’s a real live crackhead, she has undeniable talent.

With that being said, true Amy Winehouse fans know that it has been rumored for many years that Amy and Nas were a couple in the past. There is even a song that is presumably about Nas, entitled “Me and Mr. Jones” which is obviously about a tumultuous relationship between the two. It is one of my favorite songs of all time and she is CLEARLY talking about Nas. Sandra please Google it!

Some of the most notable verses go “Mr Destiny, 9 and 14” (they share the same birthday) “Besides Sammy you’re my best Black Joe” I mean come on, the song is called Me and Mr (Nasir) Jones! I thought people knew this already, but all over the internet people are saying “What is Nas doing with Amy Winehouse”!!

Whew! I vented and now I feel better!

Love your blog,

Domi from L.A.!!!

Read more »

According to conservative political commentator Patrick J. Buchanon, white voters who helped put U.S. president Barack Obama in the White House are now abandoning him in droves.

In a post on World Net Daily, Buchanon sees the rush to judgment and hasty termination of former USDA official Shirley Sherrod as the latest in a long list of racial missteps by an Obama administration that once promised to be “post-racial.”

Once it was revealed that Sherrod was innocent of being biased against a white farmer, the White House quickly distanced itself from the embarrassing snafu. Press secretary Robet Gibbs claimed it was Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s lone decision to fire Sherrod. But Vlisack reports directly to Obama, doesn’t he?

And why was an Obama senior official praising other White House staff in a Tuesday morning closed-door meeting for acting quickly on Sherrod’s termination? That hardly sounds like the White House had nothing to do with Sherrod’s firing.

What it sounds like is the White House jumped the gun because it was desperate to appease the right wing critics in the media.

“[The White House] desperately want to be liked by the right, and this pathological need to ingratiate themselves with people who want to destroy them lead them to make stupid move after stupid move,” complained Markos Moulitsas, who runs the influential Daily Kos blog. [link]

But that’s all besides the point, according to Buchanon:

What was it that caused the rush to judgment by Vilsack, the NAACP and a White House that supported the ouster of Sherrod without talking to her or viewing the full tape?

Panic. The White House fears it is losing white America because of a false perception that it harbors a bias against white America.

For though the black community remains solidly behind Obama, …whites in America still outnumber blacks five to one. And if forced constantly to come down on one side or the other of a racial divide, most folks will wind up with their own.

As the National Journal’s Ron Brownstein has been reporting, white America is increasingly alienated and distrustful of all our major economic and political power centers – the banks, big corporations, the government.

And, for the first time in our lifetimes outside the South, white racial consciousness has visibly begun to rise. READ MORE…

It would have been so much easier for Obama if he had done what he promised his supporters he would do when he got into the White House: create new jobs and ease homeowners’ fears of losing their homes.

But narcissists like Obama rarely keep their promises.


According to TMZ.com, R&B singer Brian McKnight, shown above with his sons, is breathing easier this morning now that paternity tests prove he is not the father of a gold digger’s 14-year-old boy.

Brian McKnight is not the father of a 14-year-old kid in Florida — so says a DNA test — and now, he’s no longer responsible for $341,640 in back child support payments the boy’s mother was hoping to collect.

As we previously reported, a woman sued McKnight last year claiming Brian is her long lost baby daddy. But McKnight didn’t respond to her lawsuit, and the judge issued a default judgment against him … which means he was on the hook for the cash.

McKnight eventually took a DNA test — and the results showed that Brian could not be the kid’s father … so the judge promptly tossed out the case.

According to TMZ, Miriam Lee filed paternity and child support docs in Orange County, FL last year alleging that the kid was McKnight’s son.

According to online reports, Lee and McKnight were an item for many years — even before McKnight divorced his wife of 13 years. McKnight has expressed regret for staying with his wife for years after realizing there were major problems in the marriage. He said he stayed for the benefit of the couple’s two sons.

”I think deep down we both knew that this would be the end result,” said Brian. “If we hadn’t had children, it would have been much easier to say, ‘You know what, we’re just going to go our separate ways.’ We do love each other, but people grow apart.”


It was a great ride: After two decades of churning out bubble gum rap and crafting memorable hits for such artists as Bow Wow, Kris Kross, Xscape and Da Brat, music producer-turned rapper Jermaine Dupri has come full circle.

The pint sized former rap mogul now finds himself staring at an uncertain future as he starts over at square 1 with a downsized version of So So Def, the independent label that made him a household name.

The 90s were heady days for Jermaine Dupri who struck gold and then platinum with a mixture of pop-rap that Atlanta has become known for. But few people knew then that JD, as he likes to be known, did not craft those hits himself.

Like fellow Atlanta producer Dallas Austin, JD kept a team of virtually unknown producers on his payroll, and they did most of the work for him.

That’s not unusual in a music industry that is dominated by narcissists who routinely take credit for other people’s work.

Big name producers, such as Diddy and JD, are often up all night clubbing, and making it rain on botoxed strippers who they share champagne breakfasts with in random hotel rooms at 8 in the morning. All the while, the unknown producers, who make pennies on the dollar, craft the hits that earn the big name producers their Grammys.

This explains why “producer” Sean Combs put out so many hits early on in his career, but he couldn’t make a hit now if his life depended on it. The same goes for JD who took his So So Def label independent last year after being dumped from Island Records.

According to Creative Loafing, JD is bitter now that he has no major label to call home. No longer able to splurge on the exorbitant $8,000-a-month rental fees, he took down his infamous “Afro man” billboard alongside I-85 downtown. The one that greeted out-of-state visitors driving into Atlanta from Hartsfield airport.

Dupri, 36, also laid off (or fired) most of his staff and now operates So So Def out of his Southside studios in Buckhead with a skeleton crew of 3.

Gone is the big money label budget and all the perks that went along with being signed to a major label. If you don’t have a major label budget, then you can’t pay producers. This is when a producer’s weaknesses — and lack of raw talent – is exposed for the world to see.

Also gone is the main reason why Dupri’s name stayed on everyone lips for so long: Janet Jackson. Sadly JD is in denial, refusing to admit that their relationship is over.

According to Creative Loafing, JD seems to deny that the pair have broken up, despite numerous reports to the contrary last year. “That’s an assumption,” he says.

The failures began multiplying, culminating In 2008, when JD executive produced his then girlfriend Janet’s Discipline album. The album failed to go gold and Janet’s contract was not renewed at Island. Some say JD destroyed Janet jackson’s career by selfishly elevating his own career above hers. Even if that wasn’t true, others took notice of his failures.

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Troubled British singer Amy Winehouse was seen stumbling and leaning heavily on rapper Nas at London’s Kyashii club (where Damian Marley was celebrating his birthday yesterday). As you know, Nas is divorced from singer Kelis who gave birth to his only son.


We don’t know whether or not Nas took the intoxicated “Rehab” singer back to his hotel and had his way with her. But Amy does look like she’s thinking “take me back to your place and get you some.”

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