It looks like the over-hyped, over-the-top sales marketing plan worked for rapper Jay Z and former VIBE editor Dream Hampton, who goes uncredited as the actual author of Decoded.
Decoded, Jay Z’s autobiography slash memoir of his days hustling drugs in the Marcy Projects to his current gig hustling for cred in corporate boardrooms, debuted at #3 on the New York Times Best Seller list for hardcover non-fiction books.
This is not a big deal when you consider that the aging rapper is trailing behind 2 books that have been on the bestseller list for weeks: Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken (#2) and George Bush’s memoirs Decision Points (#1).
Jay Z’s rhyme tome didn’t even crack the Top 10 on USA Today’s bestseller list, which is actually based on overall sales and not who you know at the NY Times. Decoded landed at #18.
Photos by Sandra Mu/Getty Images AsiaPac
Last night, BET and Centric TV (formerly BET Jazz) aired the Soul Train Awards featuring moving tributes to R&B legends Anita Baker and Ron Isley. The most moving performance (in my opinion) was by the very talented singer Tamia.
After watching Tamia’s stirring performance of Baker’s “Giving You The Best That I’ve Got,” many wondered why she hasn’t put out a new album.
It turns out the 35-year-old Grammy winner’s promising career was cut short when she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, a debilitating disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. Tamia, who is best known for her hits “You Put a Move On My Heart” and “Stranger in My House”, is one of the truly great singers of our time.
Tamia’s debut album, More, is considered a classic among her devoted fans. The CD received favorable reviews when it dropped in 1998, but it was largely slept on by the black community.
One of the singles, “So Into You,” was sampled by rapper Fabolous for his single “Into You”. The single peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2003.
This video also includes Faith Evans’ cracked out rendition of Baker’s classic hit “No One In The World”. It was a horrible performance by today’s standards — and that’s putting it mildly.
More performances on MissInfo‘s blog.
According to the Huffington Post:
Kim Kardashian will go off Twitter and Facebook on Wednesday to support World AIDS Day and won’t sign back on until $1 million is raised for Keep a Child Alive, Alicia Keys’ charity. Alicia, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake and Usher have also made the pledge.
Here is Kim’s ad, which reads: “Kim sacrificed her digital life to give real life to millions of others affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India. Visit BuyLife.org or text ‘KIM’ to ’90999′ to buy her life now.”
So, donate to a good cause if you want Kim back on Twitter.
The Grammy winner is known for controversy, but “The Way You Love Me” breaks new ground for Keri. The video features cameos by Faith Evans, pop singer Jo Jo and Dawn Richard.
Dressed in a skimpy, barely there leather bikini ensemble, Keri peppers the track with sexually explicit language dropped between lusty pelvic and hip thrusts. “Yeah, it’s me. This where you wanna be. I got the kind of pu$$y that will keep you off the streets,” she sings.
Keris’ 2nd studio album, No Boys Allowed, is scheduled for release on December 21st.
Watch the video after the break.
By now you’ve heard about the brief Twitter spat between Usher Raymond’s baby mama, Tameka Foster, and reality TV personality Kandi Burruss last night.
Apparently what happened was, Kandi and her mother, Joyce, were guests on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live, following the broadcast of last night’s episode of RHOA.
The host, Andy Cohen, asked Kandi who she was crushing on, and Kandi responded, “Usher,” because she had heard he could put it down in the bedroom.
Someone on Twitter relayed Kandi’s comment to Tameka via tweet. Tameka responded, “Girl that doesn’t surprise me, there isn’t many left in town that she hasn’t so…… Go figure…”
Kandi immediately tweeted, “you on some real bullshit i see…. wow.”
Tameka quickly followed up by inviting Kandi to “take it outside,” so to speak. “See I like real live convos.. So anyone that wants to talk to me can DIAL or come SEE ME. I don’t play cyber games..”
Though it was snarky, what Tameka tweeted to Kandi wasn’t far off the mark.
Everybody knows Kandi has been down that road with quite a few married, and taken, industry cats. It’s no secret that Kandi’s a slut who only pursues men in committed relationships.
Kandi’s baby daddy, entertainment mogul Russell “Block” Spencer, had a girlfriend and kids at home when he sired Kandi’s daughter. The chick has no morals, yet she calls herself giving advice to other clueless baby mamas online.
Read the tweets after the break.
Over the weekend, rapper Nelly vented his frustration at his record label, Universal Records, for failing to promote his latest album, Nelly 5.0. Allegedly, Universal only shipped 200,000 albums to record stores.
The source, who is close to Nelly’s camp, told me confidentially that Universal Records allocated most of Nelly’s marketing budget to promote newcomer Nicki Minaj’s debut album, Pink Friday.
The source said Nelly was frustrated with the lack of promotion by Universal which led to decreased consumer awareness of his album. The source also said Nicki’s album took top priority over Nelly’s even though the critics say Nelly’s album is much better than Pink Friday.
Nelly 5.0 was released on November 12 and debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Rap Albums chart, selling 63,000 copies in the first week.
The source claimed some of Nelly’s promotional budget also went to maintain Nicki Minaj’s “image,” which I took to mean her extensive plastic surgery, including hydrogel butt injections.
At the time I was asked to keep this information under wraps because Nelly didn’t want to appear to be crying foul about the situation.
But on Saturday, Nelly took to his Twitter page to lash out in a very public way at Universal Records (and by extension, Nicki).
In a tweet that contained a stealthy dig at his label mate, Nelly wrote: “When an artist doesn’t deliver sufficient material they (the artist) gets [his] budget cut for [the] next [artist's] album, or worse, dropped from the label!”
Read Nelly’s tweets after the break!
Last night, MTV aired a one hour documentary on Nicki Minaj’s life titled My Time Now. MTV followed Nicki for 3 months chronicling her meteoric rise to fame from her humble roots as an emotionally disturbed rapper from Brooklyn.
My Time Now had fierce competition last night from BET’s Soul Train Awards and Bravo’s Real Housewives of Atlanta. A sampling of Twitter results revealed that The Soul Train Awards easily beat the competition hands down (at least on Twitter).
MTV’s cameras followed as Nicki, born Onika Maraj, returned to her native Trinidad and surprised her mother with a new home.
The documentary failed to touch on Nicki’s first public exposure which came via a viral YouTube video in which a deranged Nicki (who claimed to be from the Bronx) rambles on about her imaginary lesbun relationship with rapper Remy Ma.
Since that ominous introduction, Onika lost weight and reinvented herself as a silicone and hydrogel filled human action figure worshipped by legions of adoring (and some crazed) “Barbies”.