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September 1, 2014

hip hop

Hip Hop Star Heavy D Has Died, Aged 44

by Catherine Lawson, posted Nov 9th 2011 6:50AM
Heavy DA sad start to the day with the news that hip hop artist and actor Heavy D has died at the age of 44. He was rushed to a Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles Tuesday after collapsing outside his Beverly Hills home.

No cause of death has been released, but police are not treating his death as suspicious. There have been several reports that he may have been suffering from pneumonia. According to TMZ.com Heavy D collapsed with breathing difficulties following a shopping trip. His neighbor Adam Mills found him leaning against a railing, clearly in distress, saying "I can't breathe, I can't breathe."

Only a few hours before his death the Jamaica-born rapper, who grew up in New York, Tweeted a tribute to the late boxing great Joe Frazier -- "SMOKIN JOE FRAZIER..RIP.. truly one of the best heavyweight champs that ever lived.. GODS SPEED,MR FRAZIER!" -- and sent his fans a typically positive message: "BE INSPIRED!"

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The Roots are ready to rock, rap, jazz and even disco the set of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 27th 2009 9:20AM

The Roots are taking their new gig as the official house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon very seriously, even if their initial chances of scoring such a gig seemed like nothing more than a joke by a couple of the show's overworked staffers.

"We were the musical supervisors for [Chappelle's Show] season two and three ... and Dave's partner Neal Brennan was brought over as a consultant, and he sort of jokingly recommended The Roots as a house band," said Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson in a conference call last Tuesday with Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter. "I guess the joke was sort of like, you know, I dare you to ask them, even though they're too busy to take it."

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So You Think You Can Dance: Top 10 Revealed

by Kristin Sample, posted Jul 11th 2008 9:02AM
Top 12 dancers
(S04E15)It's time to find out which dancers will be going on tour after So You Think You Can Dance ends this August. I'm going to put it out there now (I think it's time): I want either Joshua or Katee to win this competition. I think it would be especially nice if the girl they almost didn't put on the show won the whole sha-bang!

Other thoughts before we begin... Nigel is a little cranky lately. I don't like him chiding Cat. All she did was remind everyone to tune in to the finale. By the way, there's going to be a sick popping battle during SYTYCD's live finale. Awesome. My review of tonight's show is after the jump.

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So You Think You Can Dance: Top 14 Perform

by Kristin Sample, posted Jul 3rd 2008 8:38AM
Mark and Chelsea(S04E12) I'm filling in for Jason as he had some technical difficulties last night. So let's get right to it. Tabitha and Napoleon were helping out Mary and Nigel at the judges table. And thank goodness for that. I've been waiting to see someone else's hip-hop choreography. Theirs is very hit or miss for me.

We got to see fourteen routines tonight on So You Think You Can Dance as the seven couples appeared twice. I love when they move to this part of the competition. You get to see right away who has the determination, strength, and technical know-how to stay alive on this show.

And it was a night of crazy hair...

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So You Think You Can Dance routines: Reader favorites - VIDEOS

by Kristin Sample, posted Jul 2nd 2008 10:24AM
Lacey and Kamryn dance A few days ago I put together some of my favorite routines from So You Think You Can Dance. I have to thank you readers for reminding me how many other great routines the show has had. They are even some I forgot about entirely. But I enjoyed watching them all over again.

After the jump are the reader picks and the videos. Don't forget to check out Jason's review of tonight's show and tell us what you thought of the performances.

So You Think You Can Dance airs on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET and on Thursdays at 9 p.m.

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Shane Sparks: The TV Squad Interview

by Kristin Sample, posted Jun 28th 2008 11:26AM
Shane SparksOn Tuesday I headed over to the Warner Bros. studios in Burbank, CA for a taping of America's Best Dance Crew. I sat back in the V.I.P. room while the taping was going on. The show, which tapes at Stage 23, has a gigantic set this season (probably due to the first season's enormous and unexpected success). The taping is so boring though. While I was watching, they spent about twenty minutes taping the first thirty seconds where Mario Lopez starts things off. Each time they tweaked something he said, he got a little more annoyed. The audience never seemed to get tired of doing their job, applauding like maniacs.

But before anything started I got to interview judge Shane Sparks. Find out more about what Sparks had to say about his involvement with America's Best Dance Crew, his absence on this season's So You Think You Can Dance, Wade Robson, and the JabbaWockeeZ after the jump.

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So You Think You Can Dance: Top 20 perform

by Kristin Sample, posted Jun 12th 2008 12:04PM
The Top 20
(S04E06) The first night of performances and we've got a lot to consider. Nigel and Mary were joined by hip-hop choreographer Dan Karaty at the judges table and they led us through ten couples. We saw everything from smooth waltz to Broadway. And only one thing is for certain: it's going to be a tough competition. As Dan said in the beginning of the show, there are no front runners.

But after the ten couples strutted their stuff, the pack of ten had some leaders. Find out what happened last night on So You Think You Can Dance after the jump.

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Rapping with the Stars could be coming to MTV

by Adam Finley, posted May 11th 2007 12:02PM

mtvPeople enjoy rap, and people enjoy reality television. So: why not combine them?

That seems to be the thought process behind Rapping with the Stars, a new reality series that could be popping up on MTV that, according to Variety, "features teams squaring off in [a] range of rap-oriented musical challenges."

Those "teams" consist of, naturally, a rapper and a celebrity. I wonder, though, how many rap-oriented challenges can there be? Other than freestyle, performing someone else's rap, or doing your own rap, what's left? Is there some kind of rap endurance race in which rappers must perform Run-DMC tunes while sprinting and pole vaulting cross country? Because there should be, I'd totally watch that.

If this show does become as popular as Dancing with the Stars, perhaps we'll start seeing more and more with the Stars-style shows, none of which I will watch.

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Everybody Hates Chris: Everybody Hates DJs

by Adam Finley, posted Mar 19th 2007 10:04PM

Everybody Hates Chris(S02E17) Remember when I said I couldn't review this show anymore? Well, I have the CW again, so it's all good. Hopefully it won't be removed from my cable again.

My love for this show may have just increased ten fold. This episode was not only well-written and well-acted as usual, but it actually contained a reference to Night of the Lepus, probably the best movie ever made about gigantic killer bunnies. I'm not sure I believe Chris' real father actually had an irrational fear of rabbits, but it provided a nice B story about how willing Julius is to be there for his kids, even if it means passing out at a magic show.

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BET and VH1 join forces for Wifey

by Adam Finley, posted Feb 14th 2007 7:03PM

queen latifahVH1 and BET, both Viacom-owned channels, are splitting production costs and sharing airtime for a new series called Wifey, a drama set inside the hip-hop business. Queen Latifah is on board as a producer through her company Flavor Unit (which would also be a cool name for a restaurant, but I digress). Production on the series kicks off next month.

A pilot for the series has been ordered, and if it gets picked up for a full season the episodes will air simultaneously on both VH1 and BET, presumably to woo people interested in black culture and people interested in how comedians feel about ALF and the Rubik's Cube.

As the Hollywood Reporter points out, the obvious risk is that one network will be watched by a majority while the other one will be left high and dry. The people behind the new series also admit it's a gamble.

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Black History Month on TV

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 25th 2007 4:03PM

billy strayhornIn honor of Black History Month, I've made a non-conclusive list of some programs and specials that are coming up to celebrate black history in America. I'll be adding more shows to future posts as information becomes available, probably as we get closer to February. If you know of any I've missed, let me know in the comments and I'll add them to my next post.

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Jamie Kennedy gets record deal

by Adam Finley, posted Jul 5th 2006 1:01PM
jamie kennedyOkay, I can admit when I'm wrong. When Jamie Kennedy and his pal Stu Stone tried to set the world of hip hop on fire with their sorta-reality show Jamie Kennedy's Blowin' Up, I didn't think they stood a chance in hell of ever getting a record deal. I figured the show would be essentially be a comedic look at two mediocre rappers trying to seem legit, and I guess that's what it was, but it also got Kennedy and Stone the deal they wanted all along. On July 11, Reprise/Warmer Bros. Records and Kennedy's own label Jkss will release an album from the first-time rappers, which will feature guest rappers Ice-T, E-40, Paul Wall, and Kardinall Offishall. If you like your rap light and fluffy, this is probably the album for you. I'm not sure if anything can beat Kennedy's tribute to Bob Saget (link NSFW), though.

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Paris Hilton to release hip-hop album

by Bob Sassone, posted May 29th 2006 7:12PM
Paris HiltonAs Anna mentioned a while back, Paris Hilton, who is always busy drinking a lot, breaking up with boyfriends, dissing ex-best friends, partying, and forgetting the name of her own videogame, is planning to release an album. Now we know what it's going to be: reggae, rap, and hip-hop. And you thought you'd never see the words "reggae," "rap," "hip-hop," and "Paris Hilton" in the same sentence.

The apocalypse is near.

She's also going to do a cover of Rod Stewart's "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?", but she'll probably drain any sexiness out of it and just make it rather irritating. Or maybe she'll change the title to "Do Ya Think I'm Hot?" And millions will answer "no."

The first single will be titled "I'm Such A Damn Moron" "Stars Are Blind."

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Bodyguard shot during taping of Busta Rhymes video

by Adam Finley, posted Feb 6th 2006 3:22PM
busta rhymesA bodyguard, Israel Ramirez, was gunned down recently outside a warehouse in New York City where rapper Busta Rhymes was making a video for his song "Touch It." Five hundred people had gathered for the taping, including recording artists Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent,and Missy Elliot. Rameriz, a father of three children, was hired to guard expensive jewelry belonging to Busta Rhymes. It's unknown what exactly led to the violence, though a car from the area that had been struck with bullets is being analyzed by authorities. 

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