Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Drizzy Drops Half a Million Copies

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, AOL Black Voices

I took a poll of some of my industry homies last week to get a sense of how"Thank Me Later," the debut album for Drake, was going to sell. It turns out that out of those bold enough to make a prediction, my friends Michael Bivins (formerly of Belle, Biv, Devoe and New Edition) and Vigalantee (a rapper in Kansas City, MO), were closest. Vigalantee predicted 450,000 units and Mike Biv predicted 400,000. No matter how you slice it, Drake is now officially the shizzle.

It's not as if anyone is surprised by Drake's stellar debut. He and the rest of the Young Money clique did an outstanding job creating buzz for the album and Drake proved that even in the age of massive Internet pirating, he can still make his money.


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Monday, June 21, 2010

Fat Joe Questioned in Sexual Assault

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, AOL Black Voices

The rapper Fat Joe was detained by police Sunday night after he and his entourage were accused of sexually assaulting a woman in Madison, Wisconsin. According to TMZ, the woman is 33-years old and claims the assault occurred in a Cadillac Limousine after a concert at the Orpheum Theater.

Fat Joe (a.k.a.Joseph Antonio Cartagena) and his entourage were held for questioning, but he was released and not arrested. The details of the case are still being sorted out in the investigation. Relative to most artists, Fat Joe doesn't get into very much trouble. The 39-year old married father of two has not, to my knowledge been accused of any sexual assault, so I'd be surprised if he waited this long to get started. He has been arrested in some of the typical rapper non-sense in the past: In 1998, he and the deceased rapper Big Pun were arrested for assaulting a man with a baseball bat and stealing his gold chain. I'm not even going to try to explain that one.


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Monday, June 14, 2010

Dr Boyce Money: Diddy's Son's Car- Too Much?

by Dr Boyce Watkins

Some of us turned our heads to the side when it was reported that the rapper and businessman Diddy gave his son Justin a $360,000 Maybach automobile for his 16th birthday. People asked me what I thought about this, since I've written a great deal on how to teach your kids about money, and I used a three letter acronym: TAH - "Tacky As Hayell."
I respect Diddy and I apologize for having to lean in on him for this one, but as S Tia Brown and I discuss in our latest episode of Financial Lovemaking, you can find ways to show your children love without spoiling them for the rest of the world. By giving his son such an extraordinary gift at such an early age, Diddy may have minimized his son's ability to conceptualize the value of working hard for his success or empathizing with those who are less fortunate. In other words, receiving such overdoses of dopamine at the age of 16 is a sure-fire recipe for depression later in life.

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Rapper Tries to Back Pedal off Comments about Black Women

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, AOL Black Voices

Many of you may already know about the "interesting" comments made by the rapperSlim Thug, and his frustration about the lack of loyalty among black women. His comments were met with resistance by myself and Dr. Marc Lamont Hill from Columbia University, who gave him the stable advice to keep his mouth shut. I say that "Slim Thugga" needs to be quiet, not because he's wrong, but because this is a battle he can't win and still sell records. Getting every black woman in America to hate you is simply not good for business. Even Talib Kweli, a fellow hip hop artist, had something to say about Slim Thug's remarks.

On his twitter page, Slim Thug went out of his way to try to protect his image in the face of all the backlash:

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Nicki Minaj Gets Sued Over a Car

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

The rapper Nicki Minaj was sued this week over a pink Lamborghini that she rented for one of her videos. The company, Hollywood Exotic Car Rental, sued her for $12,000, alleging that the car was damaged and that the rental fee was not paid.

The car had been rented for $1,750 a day to shoot her "Massive Attack" music video, directed by Hype Williams.

The suit against Nicki Minaj was filed in LA Superior Court. The company alleges that the car was driven "off road" and that the damage amounted to $11,589.41. They also argue that Minaj didn't pay the three day rental fee on the car, which totaled $5,250.


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What's New in the world of Black Folks - 6/11/10

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NBA Gets High Marks for Diversity in Annual Report Card

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Obama's "Angry Black Man" Criticism: Isn't He Also Half White?

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CNN Asks Why Black Men Are Not Graduating From College

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Dwyane Wade Given Temporary Custody of His Sons

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Could LeBron James' Mother Rumors Push Him Out of Cleveland?


Slim Thug and his comments about black women continue to get the artist into trouble.  Is he going to lose big money because of this?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rappers and Black Women: Slim Thug and Talib Kweli

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University

A note to Slim Thug: You probably just need to be quiet for a while. It's not to say thatyour comments about black women were outside your rights to freedom of speech, but if you keep dissing the audience most likely to go out and buy your records, you are probably going to end up in the same poorhouse as MC Hammer. Don't get me wrong, black men love your music (at least I do), but the bottom line is that brothers don't buy albums, books, or anything else put up for sale. But when black women turn on you, it's a wrap son. Settle down and go back to the studio; it's good for your financial health.
I wrote yesterday about the comments made by Slim Thug regarding how he perceives white women to be a better dating choice than black women, as well asColumbia Professor Marc Lamont Hill'sresponse to Slim Thug's words. It seems that the debate has taken a life of it's own, now that rapper Talib Kweli has joined the conversation. In a recent essay he wrote for Vibe Magazine, Talib Kweli was ever the diplomatic artist, as he showed respect for Slim Thug, but also expressed his own concerns for his colleague's remarks about black women:

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To read more about the debate regarding Slim Thug’s comments about black women, click here.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Your News: Rapper Slim Thug Gets Public Lashing by Black Scholar

Marc Lamont Hill Responds to Slim Thug's Take on Black Women

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University

When I recently read the open letter to the rapper Slim Thug(pictured above), written by Columbia Professor Marc Lamont Hill (pictured below), I was concerned. I love "Slim Thugger" and his musical brilliance, but putting him in an intellectual toe-to-toe with one of the most brilliant young scholars in America is like puttingLennox Lewis in a boxing match with Beyonce. Marc is my boy, and incredibly sharp, and I would encourage him to pick on someone his own intellectual size. Simultaneously, I encourage Slim Thug to quietly walk away and shut up. He needs to stay in the booth and use his intellect for something other than ridiculous social commentary.
But Slim Thug asked for his public butt whooping, after engaging in one of the most feeble and misguided critiques of the African-American woman that I’ve heard in quite a while. Even for a rapper, he sounded as if he needed to be educated on what black women are all about. Here are Slim’s words, "straight out of the negro’s mouth":

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