Maxo Kream Announces Major Label Debut LP "Brandon Banks"

Maxo Kream is prepared to release his first official album for RCA Records. The Houston-bred rapper revealed his debut LP, Brandon Banks, is scheduled to drop on July 19.

“This album is me telling the story of how I’m just like my dad except he was a scammer and I was a trapper,” Maxo said in a press release. “Despite his flaws, he was a great parent, always made sure the rent was paid, made sure I went to school, taught me right from wrong. I wasn’t raised to be a trapper, it just happened because of my circumstances. My relationship with my dad now is great – I used to be terrified of him growing up but now that’s my nigga. We’re like yin and yang.”

Brandon Banks will feature collaborations with fellow H-Town natives Travis Scott and Megan Thee Stallion. Production is handled by Mike Dean, Murda Beatz and Ryan ESL, among others.

Check out the album’s trailer and cover art below.

Maxo Kream Announces Major Label Debut LP "Brandon Banks"

UMG Secured a Massive Settlement from NBCUniversal After the 2008 Fire — But Shared Nothing Back With Artists

The crisis surrounding UMG’s handling of the Universal Studios Fire of 2008 is worsening with news of a massive settlement in 2009.

As Universal Music Group faces the specter of dozens of lawsuits stemming from its mishandling of the 2008 Universal Studios fire, another buried fact has surfaced.  According to details unearthed by multiple sources, Universal Music Group secured a sizable settlement from NBCUniversal in 2009, based on Universal Studios’ negligence leading up to the 2009 fire.

Both media conglomerates share the ‘Universal’ moniker, but they haven’t been part of the same umbrella since 2004.  Still, there were obviously some shared operations, including media asset storage.

The settlement followed four years of litigation between the parties, which apparently ended in a confidential high dollar settlement.  That settlement was most likely very substantial, though as far as we can ascertain, none of that money was redistributed back to artists whose masters were affected by the blaze.

Last week, an investigatory piece by the New York Times revealed that roughly 500,000 priceless master recordings were destroyed in the 2008 fire.

At the time, Universal Music vehemently denied that any substantial damages had occurred, while flat-out lying to major news outlets like the New York Times. the Los Angeles Times, Deadline, and others.  According to the Times, an internal email from Universal PR exec Peter Lofrumento described the fabrications fed to the major pubs, while gloating about misleading LA Times reporter Jon Healy into misreporting the situation.

King said to expect legal filings as soon as this week.  Industry attorney Ed McPherson is also gathering information in preparation for possible litigation against Universal Music Group.

Digital Music News is currently canvassing around in search of relevant court documents.  According to LA Times journalist Randy Lewis, paperwork was filed with the Los Angeles Superior Court back in 2009.  But those filings may have been redacted, given the confidential nature of the settlement.

Attorney Howard King told the Times that the rumored settlement figure is ‘ridiculous,’ but affected artists were none-the-wiser.  “We’re hearing ridiculous numbers,” King said.   “That would be a good fact to find: how much Universal Music got and then forgot to report to their artists, and to share with their artists.”

Meanwhile, Universal Music Group Chairman/CEO Lucian Grainge has remained entirely quiet on the matter.

Grainge took the reins in 2011, years after the blaze occurred.  But multiple sources have noted that the disastrous damage created by the fire was well known inside UMG.  Now, 11 years later, UMG is facing a serious fallout with dozens of artists and their estates, with a serious PR and artist relationship nightmare just getting started.

Despite an obvious cover-up in 2008, Universal is still trying to downplay the issue.  The label unsuccessfully attempted to discredit the New York Times, while essentially denying (again) that any substantive damage had occurred.  Whether the label decides to reverse that approach is unclear, but highly doubtful.

Exactly how that impacts UMG’s pending sales process is unclear.  UMG’s parent, Vivendi, has been discussing the sale of a 50% stake, with the label fetching Wall Street valuations as high as $50 billion.

More as this develops.

Budweiser Celebrates The Dads Who Care With Emotional "Father’s Day" Video

With Father’s Day upon us, it’s nice to see the dads the world get some well-deserved love. And while that certainly applies to those a biological variety, Budweiser wants to make sure the stepfathers get some shine. Enter “For The Fathers Who Stepped Up,” the newest campaign from Budweiser, and one that’s destined to trigger more than a few emotions – especially if you’ve already been indulging in some their most famous products. In any case, the sweet video centers around three stepfathers and their stepchildren, exploring the relationship and dynamics they have forged together. 

If the stories weren’t already enough to move your stony heart, Budweiser takes it one step further. The video concludes on a touching note as each the stepchildren present adoption papers to their respective fathers, prompting the man-tears to flow like Bud from a tap. As far as advertisements go, Budweiser really (rather appropriately, on that note) stepped it up with this one.

“On a day when the world celebrates fathers, Budweiser wants to shine an unexpected light on fatherhood. That’s why this Father’s Day, Budweiser is toasting stepfathers who love their stepchildren like their own,” explains Budweiser marketing Vice President Monica Rustgi. Not only that, but the self-proclaimed King Of Beers is vowing to donate $1.00 to the Step Family Foundation for every story shared on the YouTube Page, up to $10,000. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! 

E-40 Unveils Cover Art & Release Date For New Project "Practice Makes Paper"

E-40 just surprised fans with a special announcement today. The rapper unveiled the cover art for his upcoming project, Practice Makes Paper, which is scheduled to release later this month on July 26th. This would be E-40’s 26th solo studio album to date, which further hints at his lengthy and well-kept career in the rap industry. The Vallejo-bred rapper will be doubling up on his latest musical effort, entitled Connected and Respected which was released last year and called on a collaboration with B-Legit. The aforementioned album was met with considerable success hence we can surely expect something fresh with this upcoming project.

Aside from this album, the latest news surrounding E-40 involves his charity efforts with rapper ChamillionaireThe artists were looking to invest a total $25K in a startup company, specifically one from minority groups and/or women. Relatedly, we also reported on the beef between E-40 and Wack 100. Herein, Wack 100 shared his stance on his volatile relationship with the Bay Area rapper, by adding “I Don’t F*ck With You.” Blueface’s manager is evidently at odds with the rapper and remains unapologetic about it. 

Emergency Doors Wouldn’t Open In Shocking Costco Shooting In Southern California, 1 Dead & 2 Injured

This Friday, a tragic shooting occurred inside a Costco store in Southern California, CNN reported, and it left one person dead and two others injured. Lt. Jeff Edwards, Corona police, reported that a man (whose name wasn’t immediately released) is now in custody after firing inside the store. The shooting stemmed from an argument that had taken place inside the store, but the relationship among the victims and the alleged gunman is unclear, Edwards said.

The incident is not believed to be a domestic dispute, he also revealed, and police weren’t looking for anyone else in connection with the crime, they tweeted. Officers found four people “down” inside the Costco store: the suspect, the decedent and two injured victims, Edwards said. The victim that was murdered was not immediately named either. Among the injured was an f-duty ficer from another department, Corona police said in a news release. The alleged gunman and the victims were taken to hospitals, Edwards reported, but the extent their injuries has not yet been made clear.

Some people were also injured trying to flee the store, Edwards said, recalling how some shoppers said that the “emergency” doors wouldn’t open. Naveed Navi and Rochelle Flores were shopping for items for a barbecue when gunshots rang out, they told CNN affiliate KTLA. They recalled hearing four shots, after which they tried to escape through emergency doors, but “they wouldn’t open,” the pair told the station. “It’s not very fun when you’re scared and you’re running for your life and you’re trying to open a door that says ’emergency’ and they don’t open,” Flores told the station. “Everybody was freaking out. People were falling over each other.” She described the absolute state chaos and confusion as shoppers tried to flee through the front entrance. “Everybody’s running around,” Flores said. “It’s scary.”

Diddy Congratulates Ex-Girlfriend Cassie on 1st Pregnancy

Diddy and model Cassie dated off and on for over 10 years, but permanently ended their relationship last year.

Cassie ultimately moved on with fitness guru Alex Fine, while Diddy grieved the death of his ex-girlfriend and mother of his children, Kim Porter, who passed away unexpectedly in November 2018.

But, it appears Diddy harbors no ill feelings towards his ex. On Friday (June 14), the Bad Boy mogul congratulated Cassie and Fine on their baby announcement.

“Congratulations @Cassie and Alex,” he wrote alongside a photo of the couple. “I wish you all nothing but love and happiness. God bless. L O V E.”

Both Russell Simmons and 2 Chainz applauded Diddy in the comment section for the humbling gesture.

The 32-year-old revealed she was expecting her first child on Thursday (June 13) with an Instagram post of her own.

“Can’t wait to meet our baby girl,” Cassie captioned the photo. “Love You Always & Forever.”

Concord Music Publishing Acquires Russian and Soviet Specialist Sikorski Music

Concord Music Publishing has unveiled a new acquisition, and with it, a merger.

The publisher has confirmed the acquisition of Sikorski Music Publishing Group.

Sikorski serves as the custodian of Russian and Soviet-era classical copyrights.  These include the rights to works from composers Dmitri Shostakovich, Sergei Prokofieff, Aram Khachaturian, Dmitri Kabalevsky, and Alfred Schnittke.  Sikorski also has ongoing relationships with active composers, such as Sofia Gubaidulina, Giya Kancheli, and Lera Auerbach.

Financial terms of the acquisition remain undisclosed.

Under the acquisition agreement, Sikorski, the German-based publisher, will join Concord Music Publishing.  Concord will merge the German company with longtime UK classical publisher Boosey & Hawkes.  The latter also serves as a custodian of 20th-century copyrights, including contemporary composers.

Like Sikorski, Boosey & Hawkes has also promoted works in the West.  Currently, the German-based publisher remains active in promoting its classical copyrights as well as engaging with composers.  They write chamber music, orchestral music, operas, ballets, and music for children.

Unveiling the company’s long-term strategy into the classical copyright business, Concord Music’s Sikorski acquisition and subsequent merger will grow its presence in Europe.  The German publisher will also take advantage of Concord’s sync and marketing network.

Speaking about the merger, John Minch, the long-term head of Boosey & Hawkes as well as the President of Concord Music Publishing of Europe, explained,

The union of Boosey & Hawkes and Sikorski under the Concord family of companies is a real signal to the continued value of classical repertoire.

Concord is now at a moment to bring further investment and commitment to not only these evergreen catalogs, but the next generation of composers and the wider classical sector too.

Glen Barros, Concord’s Chief Operating Officer, added,

This acquisition is important to us on many levels.  In addition to adding an amazing collection of compatible works to the publishing side of our company, it’s a big step toward the fulfillment of key strategic goals.

Namely, we very much believe in the market for classical music and plan to further expand our presence in this genre.


Featured image by Concord Music Publishing.

Los Angeles Judge Grants Britney Spears a Five-Year Restraining Order Against Former Manager, Sam Lufti

Following a lengthy legal battle, Britney Spears has finally obtained what she and her family have long wanted.

Yesterday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny issued a five-year restraining order against Spears’ former manager, Sam Lutfi.

The ruling now prohibits the 44-year-old manager from contacting the singer, her family, and making disparaging comments against them online.

During the trial, Judge Penny heard testimony from both Spears and her father, James, who has controlled the singer’s money and affairs through a court-ordered conservatorship for 11 years.

Attempting to defend his client, Lufti’s attorney, Marc Gans, claimed a restraining order would go against freedom of speech.  Rejecting the argument, Judge Penny called Lufti’s testimony “evasive.”  She had extended a temporary restraining order first granted on May 8th.

According to James Spears and his legal team, Lufti had openly incited fans against him over the court-ordered conservatorship.  Using the hashtag #FreeBritney, which went viral on Twitter last month, the former manager slammed James’ control of Britney.  Lufti also claimed James only wanted more money from his daughter.

Testifying about the incident, James told the court,

I worried that he was trying to take down the conservatorship.  I was very angry [and] was worried that we were right back in 2008.

Lufti had served as the pop star’s manager for a brief time between 2007 and 2008.  Yet, he has allegedly been a “predator” to Spears and her family ever since.

Conceding to Gans under questioning, James admitted he doesn’t have a solid relationship with his daughter.

Me and my daughter’s relationship has always been strained.

In a major blow to Lufti’s case, however, Judge Penny struck down most of Gans’ arguments about Britney.  Lufti’s lawyer had also attempted to show Britney didn’t have the proper mental state.  In addition, Gans said Lufti’s statements about James’ alcohol use were “true” and protected under the U.S. Constitution.

Judge Penny disagreed, stating the tweets were, in fact, illegal incitement.

The Spears family had first obtained a restraining order against Lufti 10 years ago over his predatory behavior.

In his closing arguments, Chad Hummel, the conservatorship’s attorney, said,

[Lufti’s] been asked repeatedly to stay away from this family.  He can’t help himself.”


Featured image by Eva Rinaldi (CC by 2.0).

Common Reveals That He’s Ready To Be A Husband During "Red Table Talk" Visit

Jada Pinkett Smith’s Red Table Talk always has its guests either shedding years, revealing all or gaining all kinds inspiration from the variety heavy topics that get discussed around the red table. The latest guest to be subject to the latter is none other than Common, who opened up about his desire to one day be a husband. 

Jada referenced his specific want after reading his memoir, Let Love Have The Last Word, that was recently released to the world. “You said in the book also that you’ve accomplished everything but that you’re not a husband,” Jada said in the clip shared to Facebook

“Yeah, that’s.. I would like to be a husband. Now I think that I just want that partnership. To be able to experience life where I’m growing as a human being and it’s fun too,” he responded. 

Common Reveals That He's Ready To Be A Husband During "Red Table Talk" Visit
Noel Vasquez/Getty s

Common previously chatted with The Breakfast Club about his former dating patterns.

“The pattern I found myself in—and my therapist broke it down—was the feeling being in love and that honeymoon period. I was addicted to that feeling,” he said. “When that feeling would go away and the real part the relationships came, I was like, ‘OK. Do I want this or not?’ I wasn’t ready to do the work.”

Jamie Foxx & Katie Holmes Reportedly "Stronger Than Ever" In Long Distance Relationship

The relationship status Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx has always been a private matter with certain reports coming through every now and then, sharing details the couple’s inner happenings. There have been some reports them ending things but we don’t know how true those reports have been since they’re always ‘back together’ and look to be going strong. 

Page Six reports that the couple’s relationship is the best its ever been considering it’s long-distance since Katie lives in New York and Jamie lives in Los Angeles. “He said] things are going swimmingly,” a source told the publication. “They’re making long] distance work, and they are stronger than ever.”

Jamie Foxx & Katie Holmes Reportedly "Stronger Than Ever" In Long Distance Relationship
Kevin Mazur/Getty s 

Jamie’s daughter, Corinne Fox, recently spoke her father’s relationship with the actress calling it “really great.” 

“They are so great and Katie is always so chic. They were wonderful,” Corinne said their Met Gala pink carpet debut as a couple. “It was] my dad’s first Met Gala.”

Back in November, there was word that the couple may have gotten engaged but that was quickly debunked. Being as Jamie and Katie have been going strong for at least three years now, who’s to say it couldn’t happen – only time will tell.  

Mac Miller Joins Free Nationals and Kali Uchis on ‘Time’

Nine months since his death, Mac Miller joins Free Nationals and Kali Uchis on his first posthumous collaboration “Time.”

Over a mellow groove, Kali provides her lush vocals, while Mac reflects on the growing pains of a relationship. “Look at me watering seeds it’s time to grow / I get out of control when I’m alone,” he raps. “If you can make it with me, you can make it on your own / So quit the bullshit and playing on my phone.”

The song marks the first release from Miller since his death last September. The 26-year-old rapper died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl, cocaine, and alcohol, according to a toxicology report from the L.A. County Coroner’s Office.

Last week, a filmmaker announced plans for a documentary on the Pittsburgh rapper, but those plans were quickly derailed at the request of his family and management.

Tamar Braxton Apologizes To Former "The Real" Co-Hosts For Hurt She Caused Them

Tamar Braxton was formerly apart the daytime talk show The Real before she and the show mutually parted ways. The aftermath the situation wasn’t cute since Tamar would shade the show and anyone that would join the panel. “I think she’s embarrassed, she knows the truth. If you don’t like us, if you thought we had you fired, why would you sit with us when we all got nominated for an Emmy?” Loni Love previously said Tamar’s exit. 

Now months later, Tamar has come through to apologize for any hurt she caused her former co-workers in a caption on Instagram accompanied by a video her having a great time in a pool.

“When all u know and felt is hurt. You hurt. Self inflicted and to others are included,” she wrote. “From my sisters, the ladies the real, Iyanla, old and new Friends and whomever else I’ve EVER hurt, from being hurt. Please forgive me. I didn’t know love to show you love. Now I do thanks to my @david.adefeso.”

When Tamar left the show, she was still involved in a relationship with her estranged husband Vincent Herbert. Now Tamar is dating David Adefeso who she cites as an inspiration for her happier life. “When I met my @tamarbraxton 12 months ago she was angry, distraught and almost-completely broken. She’d lost her family, her friends, her job and was estranged from her mom and sisters who she loves so much,” David wrote on Instagram. 

“With few exceptions the anger has been replaced by joy, the despair has morphed into a need to help the abused (check out #NoNeedTBShame), and the kind, gentle, beautiful and self-assured woman that is my @tamarbraxton is now on full display.”

New Music: Wale ‘Gemini (2 Sides)’

Wale returns with his new single “Gemini (2 Sides).”

Produced by DJ Suede, the astrology-based track finds Wale rapping about his complicated relationship with a Gemini woman. “Tried to figure you out, but you’re kinda tricky,” he raps. “Ironic you like attention, but hide your feelings.”

The “Virgo with trust issues” continues to celebrate his “emotional nomad.” “One queen, two sides / One me, woosah,” he continues. “Whole time / You a whole vibe / We can both shine / My Gemini.”

Wale teased the track by posting photos of famous Gemini women, including Azealia Banks, Iggy Azalea, Angelina Jolie, and Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes.

“Gemini” is the first offering from Wale’s upcoming sixth studio album, due later this year on Warner Records.

"Central Park Five" Prosecutor Linda Fairstein Dropped By Publisher

Ava DuVernay’s Central Park Five-series When They See Us continues to be watched and spark outrage. We can fairly state that the series successfully reached its aim shedding light on the detriments wrongful incarceration and the treatment minorities within the justice system. And since its release, the key players underlying the wrongful incarceration then-teenagers Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise have been dragged to filth for their role in the tragedy. Of these key players, we count prosecutor Linda Fairstein, who vehemently fought to get the young men jailed despite overwhelming evidence they did not do the crime. 

Since the show released, fans protested for justice to be brought upon Fairstein. After chants to have her books pulled f shelves and so despite her status as a New York bestselling author, the former lawyer deactivated all her social media accounts. She was then kicked f the board a non-prit organization she worked with for years. Now, new reports indicate she has taken another L and was dropped by her publisher. Dutton, the publishing company which represented the crime novelist, confirmed that they “terminated its relationship” with Fairstein. The decision came swiftly after pressure from social media called for Fairstein to be dropped. 

Poetic justice? Perhaps. 


Master P Shares Snippet of Nipsey Hussle Collaboration "Street Millionaire"

The number tracks and projects in Nipsey Hussle‘s vault is unknown, but months after his tragic death, his legacy continues to shine through his music. DJ Khaled recently released his Father Asahd hit “Higher” featuring Nipsey and John Legend, and Master P told PEOPLE that he has a Nipsey collaboration his own. The Lousiana rap mogul has praised the slain rapper as a community builder and innovator, supporting Nipsey’s “The Marathon Continues” movement since his death.

The No Limit legend and Nipsey worked on a track for Master P’s film I Got the Hookup 2, and the rapper stated that he collaborated with the Los Angeles artist to create “street music with some soul and substance.” The pair joined forces in the studio and crafted “Street Millionaire,” and just two days later, Nipsey was shot and killed outside his Marathon Clothing store.

Although “Street Millionaire” won’t be released until July 12, the same day that I Got the Hookup 2 premieresMaster P shared a one-minute snippet the track to whet fans’ appetites. “This was a talented brother who cared about the community and did a lot for it],” Master P said. “This man was a star. His legacy is going to change so many lives.”