50 Cent's Long Island House Burns Down; Possible Arson A raging fire broke out at a Long Island, New York home owned by rapper 50 Cent early this morning. Speaking to TMZ, the local fire department have labelled the fire ‘highly suspicious’. Check out the report below:

The fire broke out at the six bedroom, five bath house in Dix Hills, NY around 5:00 AM. Six people, including the rapper’s ex Shaniqua Tompkins and their 10-year-old son Marquise, were in the house. They all were transported to the hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.

The Chief of the Dix Hills Fire Department tells TMZ that dogs are currently searching the burned out rubble, as the intensity of the fire made it highly suspect. The Chief says they’re searching for what substance possibly could have been used as an igniter.

The house has been the subject of a bitter dispute between Fiddy, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, and Tompkins. The rapper reportedly bought the home — one of the biggest cribs in the area — for a cool $2.4 mil in January 2007. Last month he tried to evict Tompkins and Marquise from the house, demanding she pay him $4,500 a month in rent.

Story developing …

UPDATE 10:25 AM ET: Suffolk Police tell us they received a call at 5 AM. An off-duty police officer was driving by and stopped to help rescue the victims inside the house. We’re told injuries to all six victims — including Tompkins — are non-life threatening and they have been treated and released from the hospital. While they are currently investigating the fire’s cause, we’re told 50 Cent is not a suspect at this point.

Without doing the inevitable finger pointing, this is the most suspicious ‘ish’ I’ve heard heard in a long while. I mean 50 & Shaniqua were seen having a heated arguement on a New York street just this Monday; 50 even had to be restrained. SMH…

Your thoughts?

Tracee Ellis-Ross Looking... Former ‘Girlfriends’ star Tracee Ellis-Ross was snapped wearing this ‘interesting’ dress last night at the Chanel Celebrates New Concept Boutique event. Hmmm…

What do you think of the pic?
New Nas Album Cover As reported early last week, rapper Nas succumbed to mounting pressure from the media and critics alike to change the name of his forthcoming LP – which was controversially titled ‘N*gger’.
Word has it, Nas has insisted the album now be title-less so as to not fully comply with his critics. Anyway, set for a July 3rd release, the cover art for the album surfaced today. It’s evident he’s not shying away from the original album title’s message. I’m still kinda on the fence about this whole project. I guess time will tell if it works in his favour.

What do you think of the cover?
Ashanti Covers JET R&B songstress Ashanti features on the latest cover of JET Magazine. She looks great.
Having heard her new LP ‘The Declaration’ (due June 3rd) in its entirety, I must say that I’m pretty impressed. Look out for a review mid-next week.

What do you think of the cover?
Diddy Eyes Leona CollaboDiddy is currently putting the wheels in motion for the follow-up to his last LP 2006’s collabo heavy ‘Press Play’. Speaking on who he’d like to work with on the record, the music mogul revealed that he has his sights set on UK singing sensation Leona Lewis:

The rapper explained that, following his pairing with Christina Aguilera on his last album, 2006’s ‘Press Play’, he wants Lewis to feature prominently on his next.

P. Diddy, real name Sean Combs, told the Daily Mirror: “I want that girl on my next album. I’m a huge fan. Not only is she so, so beautiful, she has a great voice. She is extremely talented, and it’s great she’s from England.

“She has one of the best voices I’ve heard. I’m already thinking about my next album and definitely want to make it work, so she’s on it.

“I had Christina Aguilera on my last album, but it’s all about Leona Lewis on my next.” {Source}

Hmm. Here’s hoping he tends to the Making The Band 4 clan first, all of whom are in dire need to new singles, promotion etc. Then again, this is Diddy…

Your thoughts?

Check out Danity Kane performing ‘Bad Girl’ and ‘Strip Tease’ on the Making The Band 4 New York tour stop at the Hammerstein Ballroom last night:

Bad Girl

Strip Tease

The ladies nailed it, both vocally and with the choreography. They really are seizing the previously vacant title of hottest girl-group out at the moment and running with it. Pussycat Dolls, who?

What do you think of the performances?

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Part 1: Moving Mountains, Here I Stand

BET aired an Usher ‘Here I Stand’ special to celebrate the release of the singer’s album earlier this week. The 29 year old performed select tracks from the record as well as an old favourite (‘Yeah’).

Part 2: Yeah, Love In This Club

Great performances.

In other Usher news, despite reports that ‘Here I Stand’ has been illegally downloaded more than half a million times, the singer is still on course to have one of the highest first-week sales so far this year with first day sales of 146,000 according Nielsen SoundScan. To get an idea of what the album is set to sell first week, one need not look further than Mariah Carey, whose ‘E=MC²’ LP sold 154,000 on its first day out, going on to shift 463,000 units by the week’s end back in April. Though the numbers are looking very promising, it’s a far cry from the 1.1 Million Usher’s last LP ‘Confessions’ sold first week. {Source}


Any thoughts?

Rihanna - 'Disturbia' ‘Disturbia’ is the next single to be lifted from Rihanna’s forthcoming ‘Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded’ re-release (due June 17th). At the risk of being labelled a ‘hater’, the Synth-Pop cut continues the mediocre tone set by its predecessor ‘Take A Bow’, offering little in the way of substance or originality. With much better tracks such as ‘Breakin’ Dishes’ and ‘Push Up On Me’ sitting unreleased on the album’s original track-list, it’s hard to understand why neither was released instead of this rubbish. Seeing as nearly everything her promo team she touches these days turns to gold, it wouldn’t surprise me if this one shoots to the top of the charts. SMH…

Hit or Miss?

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Danity Kane’s Aubrey O’ Day features in the latest issue of J’ Adore magazine. It’s good to see some of the ladies on their grind outside of the group. Word has it, their iron clad deal with Bad Boy sees them making little money, despite all of their success. The price of ‘fame’, I guess…


What do you think of the pics?

The third and final video for Kanye West’s ‘Flashing Lights’ surfaced just a few hours ago. Though better than the second, I’m still out of the loop as to what the vids are actually about. Kudos to Kanye for continually thinking out of the box, though…

What do you think of the vid?

New 50 Cent MTV Show To Uplift Kids In a welcome change to the controversy that usually surrounds a 50 Cent story, it has been announced that the G-Unit leader has partnered with MTV for a new reality show – with a twist:

Taking the “Charm School” recipe one step further, 50 Cent has teamed with MTV to create a reality show that is actually aimed at helping the community. In his new, still untitled, elimination show, 16 young kids will compete to master the skills that elevated 50 from the streets to the top of the charts. But here’s my favorite part: Instead of the winner receiving a cash prize, the last one standing will actually be awarded a full scholarship to college. {Source}

Though I wholesomely commend 50 for partaking in such a show, I did have to chuckle at the ‘master the skills that elevated 50 from the streets to the top of the charts’ part. Perhaps we’ll see the kids talk mess about the top contender near the time for their task? Just a thought lol…

Any thoughts?
Tricky: Hip-Hop To Blame For Violent BritainBritish musician Tricky (no I don’t know who he is either) blames Hip-Hop for rising crime in the UK, insisting ‘it has created a generation of angry and violent young men’. Check out the report via Contact Music below:

The artist, who mixes rock, hip-hop and pop in his music, claims parts of Britain are now more dangerous than New York, and the popular hip-hop culture must be held responsible.

Tricky – who has performed with Massive Attack – says, “I love hip-hop, but it has to take some responsibility for the gun culture we’ve got over here. We’re getting super-violent. You can walk around the Bronx for days on end and nobody bothers you. “In England, you can say the wrong thing in a pub and, before you know it, you’ve got a bottle over your head or a bullet in your brain. English people have got quicker tempers.”

His genuine opinion? Maybe. A publicity stunt? A possibility. Stupid? Hell yes! Granted the crime rate here in the UK has risen in recent years (and is a hot topic in the media at present), it’s very unoriginal to take aim at Hip-Hop. To say the mainstream UK Hip-Hop movement is lacking would be an understatement, so I’m assuming he means US Hip-Hop (the only kind we’re exposed to on mass). Yet, he’s contradicting himself in his ‘parts of England are tougher than the Bronx’ statement, as it’s largely the same thing we’re listening to around the globe. What’s more, without generalising, it’s highly unlikely that you’d find your average Hip-Hop listener in a ‘pub’. For someone who claims to ‘love Hip-Hop’, he sure did little to show it.

In a broader context, I wanted to know if you feel Hip-Hop is responsible for violence/crime in your own locality/country? If so, why? If not, why?

Your thoughts?