Nevermind all the rumors and speculations, it has been reported that G-Unit is a few steps away from entering an agreement with Def Jam. 50’s business partner, Sha Money XL has been appointed senior VP of A&R at Def Jam Records. Money XL is in the process of bringing G-Unit along with him. For the longest, we been hearing about Def Jam wanting to sign Lloyd Banks. A major announcement should be made soon.
Monthly Archives: April 2010
Sheila Johnson is using her riches from launching BET to raise awareness of the capital’s AIDS crisis with a new documentary. The billionaire talks to Lloyd Grove about the pandemic, why she’s “ashamed” of BET now, and how politics disillusioned her.
Black Entertainment Television, which Sheila Crump Johnson and her husband Bob started three decades ago with $15,000 in seed money and a $500,000 investment from media mogul John Malone, made her one of wealthiest women in America.
When Viacom bought them out in 2000, Sheila and Bob pocketed $1.3 billion—making them, pre-Oprah, the nation’s first African-American billionaires.
So today she must be extremely proud of her baby, right?
“Don’t even get me started,” says the 60-year-old Johnson, who has since divorced and remarried (charmingly enough, to the Virginia circuit court judge who presided over her divorce). “I don’t watch it. I suggest to my kids [a twentysomething daughter and a college-age son] that they don’t watch it… I’m ashamed of it, if you want to know the truth.”
“Society and government really believe [the AIDS] problem has gone away. People don’t know that this disease is still around.”
Johnson—who was at the Tribeca Film Festival this week for the premiere of The Other City, a searing, but ultimately hopeful documentary she produced about the AIDS epidemic in Washington, D.C.—says BET is making matters worse, and potentially contributing to the spread of AIDS, by promoting promiscuous, unprotected sex in raunchy late-night rap videos.
It wasn’t always that way. “When we started BET, it was going to be the Ebony magazine on television,” Johnson tells me. “We had public affairs programming. We had news… I had a show called Teen Summit, we had a large variety of programming, but the problem is that then the video revolution started up… And then something started happening, and I didn’t like it at all. And I remember during those days we would sit up and watch these videos and decide which ones were going on and which ones were not. We got a lot of backlash from recording artists…and we had to start showing them. I didn’t like the way women were being portrayed in these videos.”
Johnson says she no longer has any connection with BET. “I just really wish—and not just BET but a lot of television programming—that they would stop lowering the bar so far just so they can get eyeballs to the screen,” she says. “I know they think that’s what’s going to keep programming on the air; that’s what’s going to sell advertising. But there has got to be some responsibility. Somebody has got to take this over. Because with all the studies that are out there, this is contributing to an atmosphere of free sex, ‘I don’t have to protect myself anymore.’”
The film—financed largely by Johnson and directed by Susan Koch (who also directed Kicking It, a documentary about homeless soccer players, one of Johnson’s previous Tribeca entries)—starts with the shocking revelation that in the nation’s capital, at a time when most of us have been led to believe that AIDS has been contained, fully 3 percent of the population is HIV-positive.
“It is pandemic,” she tells me. “And now that the movie has come out we’re starting to hear from other cities that they’re having the same problems. Our goal is to take this movie across the country so that other cities start looking at themselves a little harder… Society and government really believe this problem has gone away. People don’t know that this disease is still around.”
Johnson, a philanthropist who has traveled the world as global ambassador for the humanitarian organization CARE, says she was gripped by HIV as a subject “because it is disproportionately affecting women. There are the problems of gender-based violence, and women giving birth to babies and losing their children at a rapid rate because they have AIDS. We’ve got the same problems right here in the District of Columbia as they do in Africa. The sexy thing to do is to be able to travel afar and hold babies in our arms. [Hello, Madonna and Angelina Jolie!] I’m not demeaning that at all, but we have got our own problems, I just decided we need to come home and focus on our problems, because they’re getting worse here in our own country.”
The R.E.D. Album will be in stores and online June 15th
During an interview, Compton rapper Game confirmed that He’s still waiting on Dr. Dre’s confirmation to executive producer his new album, as of now, Pharrell has the title on his own.
“When we talk, it’s just life check up. It was never about music. Until the day came where he’d ask if I wanna work, or ‘Let’s get into the studio’, it wasn’t for me to bring up,” Game said. It was reported by MTV that Dre would executive produce Game’s upcoming LP alongside Pharrell, but when we spoke with the rapper last week, he said Pharrell has the title all on his own. Still waiting for confirmation on this. Dr. Dre, however, is confirmed for a guest spot on the album, but it’s still unknown how many, or if, he’ll have any production credits. Stay tuned… (Baller Status)
NyDailyNews.com: A former Rikers guard says she was canned after a bad rap – a claim she tried to sneak a peek at Lil Wayne in lockup.
Amelia Negron, who is preparing a federal suit against the city, said union higherups forced her to falsely confess she was trying to star-gawk.
“I don’t even like rap,” said Negron, 33.
“I like rock and alternative music and didn’t know much about him when they said I tried to see him. None of it’s true.”
What really happened March 10 is that she popped her head into the unit where the performer was being held to see a colleague, Negron said.
“The door to the area was unlocked, and so I went in to say hello, and that officer said, ‘Hey, you can’t be here. We’ve got a celeb here.’ I said, ‘Okay, no problem,’ turned around and left,” Negron said.
She said that, after the short exchange, her superiors claimed she was trying to cozy up to Weezy.
“We did nothing wrong, but we were threatened with criminal charges, transfers, suspensions,” she said.
Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association President Norman Seabrook told her he would take care of things if she just admitted she was spying on the “Lollipop” singer, Negron claimed.
Seabrook said that’s a lie.
“I wasn’t the one who went into an unauthorized area. That wasn’t me; that was her,” he said. “The only reason I got involved is because they were going to suspend her.”
On April 19, the city Department of Correction fired Negron, claiming she had missed too many days of work.
Negron, who was hired in 2008, contends the missed days were for an injury she suffered at the firing range, when she was struck in the hand and chest by another officer’s gunfire.
“I was injured, eventually had to have surgery on my left hand, and they knew that all along,” she said.
But sources said Negron violated sick leave policy four times and had been out for 91 days during her short tenure.
Negron plans to file a federal suit, claiming she was the victim of discrimination and harassment.
A Correction Department spokesman noted Negron was a probationary employee and said her firing was “entirely appropriate.”
The track is off of Jeezy’s Trap Or Die 2 mixtapes, hosted by DJ Don Cannon
Trap Or Die 2 will be available for download on May 4th. Cover and tracklist below:
2. Trap Or Die Reloaded
3. Stop Playin Wit Me
7. Lose My Mind Ft. Plies
8. Greatest Trapper Alive
9. Ill’in Ft. The Clipse
10. Just Saying
11. The TakeOver Ft. Bigga Rankins
12. D Boyz Produced By Don Cannon
13. Hood Politics
14. Ride Wit Me Ft. Trick Daddy, Scarface
15. Go Hard
18. I Remember
20. My Tool Ft. Baby, Bun B
21. Da Greatest