Monthly Archives: September 2012

DMX, Snoop Dogg, Eve, A.$.A.P. Rocky, Mystikal, Talib Kweli And More Are Among This Year’s Featured Artists For The Hip Hop Awards Cypher 2012

DMX, Snoop Dogg and T.I. return to the BET Hip Hop Awards as 2012 cypher participants representing the East Coast, West Coast and Down South alongside Eve, A.$.A.P. Rocky, Cassidy, Mystikal, Talib Kweli, B.O.B and more.  The BET Hip Hop Awards, filmed at Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center on Saturday, September 29, features six highly anticipated on-air and three digital cyphers exclusive to

Among the six cyphers unveiled at this year’s exciting show, fans can look forward to another year of 16 tantalizing bars that cannot be seen nor heard anywhere else other than the BET Hip Hop Awards.  As audiences at home anticipate the 2012 cyphers, BET takes a look back at some of your favorite moments from previous years on a two-part “Cypher Replay” special airing October 1 and 2 at 8:00 P.M.*  “Cypher Replay” features memorable past Hip Hop Awards performances from top emcees including Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, KRS One, Juelz Santana and Eminem. With exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, the special includes insightful interviews provided by DJ Premiere, Pusha T, Jadakiss, Slaughterhouse, Big Sean and many more chronicling their journey into The Cypher. is the official site for the BET Hip Hop Awards 2012 where fans can visit to get up-to-date info on this year’s show and take a look back on past BET Hip Hop Awards.  In the coming weeks, will launch a series of interactive timelines, exclusive video content, games and quizzes leading up to the show.  To become a member and register for our BET Newsletter log on to

BET’s inaugural Hip Hop Awards App is available now for iPhone and Android. It provides a detailed history of the show since its inception in 2006 – hundreds of artists, past winners, cyphers, acceptance speeches and more. “The Lineup” allows app users to predict the order of this year’s show performer and a real-time Tweet map shows you what the country and your favorite artists are saying about the show. And for the first time ever, one award – the Best Hip Hop Online Site – will be determined solely by app users.

The Iron Fists Tour Featuring RZA & Special Guests Kicks Off October 3rd

RZA, the founder of the legendary Hip-Hop group Wu-Tang Clan—in association with Rock the Bells, a world-class Hip-Hop festival, and Guerilla Union, the promoters behind Rock the Bells Festival and Cypress Hill SmokeOut Festival—announced today that The Iron Fists Tour will hit venues nationwide this fall, beginning Wednesday, October 3. Launching in conjunction with the big-screen debut of Universal Pictures’ The Man With The Iron Fists , the tour will be headlined by RZA, who is director, co-writer and leading man of the action-adventure starring an international cast led by Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu. Additionally, RZA will curate each stop of the tour, which will feature unique live performances by RZA and special guests, in addition to film highlights and more.

The Iron Fists Tour will kick off at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in New York, NY on October 3 and continue all month long. A live band will back RZA’s headlining performance, and he promises each tour stop will be a unique experience as he calls on friends and special guests to perform from city to city. “The Iron Fist Tour will feature a unique musical experience curated by Wu-Tang Clan’s chief architect, The RZA. It will feature a very special live performance from The Abbott and his band. This once in a lifetime performance pays tribute to his directorial debut, The Man With The Iron Fists. Special guest will join The RZA in each city and every night will feature a unique set list inspired by kick-ass Kung Fu and genre bending beatdowns. Some fans will get to meet the master himself while others interact with RZA’s ultimate live experience via mc battle and b boy exhibitions. Imagine RZA’s musical mashup “Tiger Style.” Guerilla Union is honored to partner with RZA to help unleash his Hip Hop fury all over the country while we give fans something to warm up to before the masses hit theatres November 2nd to catch his masterful movie featuring Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu.”

Tickets at select venues are now on sale. Check The Iron Fists Tour website for more information. The Man With The Iron Fists will arrive in theaters on Friday, November 2. Fans are advised to visit and sign up for the Guerilla Union newsletter at for important announcements and up-to-date information regarding the tour and action-adventure.


10/03   Music Hall of Williamsburg, New York, NY

10/04   The Royale, Boston, MA

10/07   Soundstage, Baltimore, MD

10/08   The State Theatre, Falls Church, VA

10/10   Vinyl, Atlanta, GA

10/12   St. Andrew’s, Detroit, MI

10/13   Shrine, Chicago, IL

10/15   Beauty Ballroom, Austin, TX

10/16   Fitzgerald’s, Houston, TX

10/19   House of Blues, Las Vegas, NV

10/24   House of Blues, Los Angeles, CA

Video: Freeway’s Photoshoot For Diamond In The Ruff Album Cover

On November 13th, legendary Philadelphia MC Freeway will release Diamond In The Ruff, his first album since 2010’s critically acclaimed collaborative effort with Jake One, The Stimulus Package, through Babygrande Records.

Fans of the distinctly voiced Philly Freezer, who has built up an impressive discography with labels such as Roc-A-Fella Records and Rhymesayers as well as with his recently reunited group State Property, can expect the same level of consistency that Freeway has become known for with his releases on the new album.

In anticipation of his upcoming project, Freeway is releasing a behind-the-scenes video from a recent photo shoot for Diamond In The Ruff. The video catches Freeway on a recent afternoon in the Bronx, as he shows off his extensive and impressive sneaker collection and wardrobe layout, including a few tee’s from his own clothing line. The video catches Free knocking out the photo shoot as Philadelphia Freeway classics play in the background, and shows a lighter, more personable side of him.


Music’s Most Soulful Night – Soul Train Awards 2012

Soul Train Awards ’12, hosted by the Original King of Comedy and “Soul Man” actor Cedric “The Entertainer,” is headed to Las Vegas for its annual night of music and honors.  Featuring a Lifetime Achievement Award presentation to New Edition and soon-to-be-announced live performances from today’s music superstars, Soul Train Awards ’12 will premiere simultaneously on BET and Centric on Sunday, November 25th at 9pm*.

Every year, Soul Train Awards acknowledges the achievements of today’s most famed entertainers in multiple categories. This year, with two nominations, including Album of the Year, R. Kelly will be the most nominated artist in Soul Train Awards history.  R&B superstar Usher is also making Soul Train Awards history with five nominations including nods for Song of the Year and Album of the Year; surpassing both Michael Jackson and Beyonce in total nominations in a lifetime.

International songstress Estelle leads women in nominations with three nods including Song of the Year for “Thank You” and Best Female Soul/R&B Artist.  Rapper Nas also receives three nominations, including Album of the Year for “Life is Good.”  Singers Trey Songz and John Legend, who received two nods each, will compete in the Song of the Year category with Estelle, Usher, Tyrese and Wale. The late Whitney Houston and Amy Winehouse each received a posthumous nomination.  Whitney Houston in the Best Gospel Inspirational Performance category for her collaboration with Jordin Sparks on “Celebrate” from the Sparkle soundtrack, and Amy Winehouse in the Best International Performance Category for “Our Day Will Come.”

The Soul Train Awards is a presentation of Centric and Sunseeker Media and directed by Manny Rodriguez. Paxton Baker, Tami Willis-Arasli, Derek Lewis, Centric; Bart Phillips, Sunseeker Media; and Soul Train Holdings’ Kenard Gibbs will all be the executive producers of the network telecast, along with Cedric Kyles and Eric Rhone.

Soul Train Awards ’12 will air on BET and Centric on Sunday, November 25 th at 9pm*. For more information, please visit  *All times ET/PT

Soul Train Awards ’12 – Nominees and Award Categories  

Best New Artist

Elle Varner

Emeli Sande

J. Cole

Luke James

Robert Glasper

 Centric Award


Esperanza Spalding

Gary Clark Jr.

Leah LaBelle


Best Gospel/Inspirational Performance

BeBe Winans – America America

Fred Hammond – I Feel Good

Marvin Sapp – My Testimony

Mary Mary – Go Get It

Whitney Houston and Jordin Sparks – Celebrate

Best Hip-Hop Song of the Year

2 Chainz feat. Drake – No Lie

Wale feat. Miguel – Lotus Flower Bomb

Nas – Daughters

Kanye West feat. Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz – Mercy

Young Jeezy feat. Ne-Yo – Leave You Alone

Best R&B/Soul Female Artist



Keyshia Cole

Mary J. Blige

Melanie Fiona

Best R&B/Soul Male Artist


Robin Thicke

Trey Songz



Album of the Year

The One – Eric Benet

Channel Orange – Frank Ocean

Life Is Good – Nas

Write Me Back – R. Kelly

Looking For Myself – Usher

Song of the Year

Estelle – Thank You

John Legend feat. Ludacris – Tonight (Best You Ever Had)

Trey Songz – Heart Attack

Tyrese – Stay

Usher – Climax

Wale feat. Miguel – Lotus Flower Bomb

The Ashford & Simpson Songwriter’s Award

Thank You – Estelle (Writers: Arden Altino, Akene “The Champ” Dunkley, Jerry Duplessis, Doug F. Edwards, Thomas D. Richardson, Aliaune Thiam)

Tonight (Best You Ever Had) – John Legend feat. Ludacris (Writers: Allen Arthur, Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges, Keith Justice, Miguel Pimentel “Miguel”, Clayton Reilly, John Stephens)

Daughters – Nas (Writers: Nasir Jones, Ernest D. Wilson, Patrick Adams, Gary DeCarlo, Dale Frashuer, Paul Leka)

Share My Love – R. Kelly (Writer: Robert Kelly)

Climax – Usher (Writers: Usher Raymond IV, Sean “Redd Stylez” Fenton, Thomas “Diplo” Pentz, Ariel Rechtshaid)

Best Dance Performance

Beyonce – Love On Top

Chris Brown -Turn Up The Music

Nicki Minaj – Starships

Rihanna – Where Have You Been

Usher – Scream awards: Best Caribbean Performance

Cover Drive – Bajan Style

Damien “Junior Gong” Marley – SuperHeavy

Jimmy Cliff – Rebirth

Matisyahu – Spark Seeker

Sean Paul – Tomahawk Technique Best International Performance

Amy Winehouse – Our Day Will Come

Daley feat. Marsha Ambrosius – Alone Together

Emeli Sande – Next To Me

Estelle – Thank You

Gotye feat. Kimbra – Somebody (That I Used To Know)

Rebecca Ferguson – Nothing’s Real But Love Best Traditional Jazz Artist/Group

Chris Botti – Impressions

Kenny Garrett – Seeds From The Underground

Melody Gardot – The Absence

The Robert Glasper Experiment – Black Radio

Tony Bennett – Isn’t It Romantic Best Contemporary Jazz Artist/Group

Ben Tankard – Full Tank

Brian Culbertson – DREAMS

Cassandra Wilson – Another Country

Esperanza Spalding – Radio Music Society

Peter White – Here We Go

P!nk Announces ‘The Truth About Love’ 2013 North American Tour

P!nk, Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter and pop culture icon, announced that she will tour North America for the first time in four years, beginning on February 13, 2013.  P!nk is known around the world as one of the most captivating live performers of her generation. The recently named COVERGIRL has confirmed 25 dates for The Truth About Love Tour presented by COVERGIRL in support of her new album, The Truth About Love, available today. The Live Nation produced arena tour is scheduled to begin on February 13, 2013 at the US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona with dates confirmed through March 28, 2013 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Tickets go on sale to the public beginning September 29 th at  

P!nk is in the midst of a media blitz appearing on the Today Show today, as well as The View and John Stewart’s The Daily Show on September 19. Fans will have the opportunity to chat with P!nk about her upcoming tour live today at 12:00 noon Eastern. To register and participate in the web chat, fans should visit

Citi presale info Citi® cardmembers will also have access to presale tickets beginning Tuesday, September 25 th at 10:00am local time through Citi’s Private Pass® Program. For complete presale details visit

Since her debut in 2000, P!nk (Alecia Moore) has released 7 albums (Can’t Take Me Home, M!ssundaztood, Try This, I’m Not Dead, Funhouse, Greatest Hits So Far!!!, The Truth About Love), sold over 40 million albums, 65 million singles (nearly 20 million digital tracks), over 1 million DVDs worldwide and has had 12 singles in the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.  In addition, 15 of P!nk’s singles have reached #1 in at least 1 or more countries. She is the recipient of 3 Grammy Awards, 2 Billboard Music Awards, 5 MTV Video Music Awards, 2 MTV Europe Awards, 2 People’s Choice Awards, and many more. P!nk’s last studio album Funhouse debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 chart and #1 in the UK, Australia, Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland. The album produced the smash single “So What”, which marked P!nk’s 2nd #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 (after “Lady Marmalade”). Her latest album, Greatest Hits So Far… debuted in the Top 10 in over 13 countries and spawned the hit singles, “F**ckin Perfect” which reach # 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and “Raise Your Glass” which marked P!nk’s 3rd #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. P!nk just released her 6th studio album, The Truth About Love, on September 18 th. The first single “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” has sky-rocketed to the top of music charts all over the world and marks P!nk’s 12th Top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.

The deluxe edition of The Truth About Love, will be sold exclusively at Target, and will offer fans four additional studio tracks.  P!nk has teamed up with producer Greg Kurstin (Lily Allen, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foster The People & The Shins) for the very first time on this release along with long time collaborators Max Martin and Shellback, Billy Mann and Butch Walker. She has also worked with songwriter/producer Dan Wilson (Adele’s “Someone Like You”). The album is P!nk’s unique take on the different shades of love – the dark, the light, the happy and the sad.

SHOW DATE                CITY                         VENUE                         ON SALE DATE
February 13, 2013        Phoenix, AZ  U.S. Airways Center      Sat Sep 29
February 15, 2013         Las Vegas, NV Mandalay Bay Events Center   Sat Oct 06
February 16, 2013          Los Angeles, CA  STAPLES Center    Sat Oct 06
February 18, 2013  San Jose, CA        HP Pavilion at San Jose      Sat Sep 29
February 21, 2013   Houston, TX   Toyota Center        Sat Oct 06
February 22, 2013    Dallas, TX      American Airlines Center Fri Oct 05
February 24, 2013     Orlando , FL     Amway Center   Sat Oct 06
February 25, 2013    Fort Lauderdale, FL BB&T Center          Sat Oct 06
February 27, 2013     Tampa, FL       Tampa Bay Times Forum     Sat Oct 06
March 1, 2013             Atlanta, GA       Philips Arena             Sat Oct 13
March 2, 2013   Nashville, TN       Bridgestone Arena     Sat Oct 13
March 5, 2013   Detroit, MI             The Palace of Auburn Hills    Sat Oct 13
March 6, 2013     Columbus, OH       Schottenstein Center        Sat Oct 13
March 8, 2013      Louisville, KY         KFC Yum! Center     Sat Oct 06
March 09, 2013     Chicago, IL             United Center            Sat Sep 29
March 11, 2013      Toronto, ON            Air Canada Centre    Sat Sep 29
March 12, 2013       Montreal, QC            Bell Centre                 Sat Oct 13
March 14, 2013        Washington DC         Verizon Center           Sat Sep 29
March 16, 2013         Charlotte, NC              Time Warner Cable Arena  Sat Oct 13
March 17, 2013          Philadelphia, PA           Wells Fargo Center     Sat Oct 06
March 19, 2013       Saint Paul, MN            Xcel Energy Center     Sat Oct 13
March 23, 2013            East Rutherford, NJ   Izod Center                  Sat Oct 06
March 25, 2013             Uniondale, NY             Nassau Coliseum          Sat Oct 06
March 27, 2013              Uncasville, CT            Mohegan Sun Arena    Sat Oct 06
March 28, 2013           Boston, MA                 TD Garden                        Sat Oct 06

All dates subject to change.

For additional ticket and tour information, visit: and



Mike Epps Slated As Host For This Year’s BET Hip Hop Awards

Actor and comedian Mike Epps (@THEREALMIKEEPPS) will once again host this year’s BET Hip Hop Awards  festivities from the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center in Atlanta on Saturday, September 29, 2012 with the network premiere on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 8:00 pm*.

The BET Hip Hop Awards Voting Academy is comprised of a select assembly of music and entertainment executives, media and industry influencers.  Celebrating the biggest names in the game, newcomers on the scene, and shining a light on the community, the BET Hip Hop Awards is ready to salute the very best in hip hop culture.  Leading the pack of A-list talent this year is Kanye West with 17 Nominations for Best Hip Hop Video; Reese’s Perfect Combo Award; Best Live Performer; Lyricist of the Year; Video Director of the Year; Producer of the Year; MVP of the Year; Track of the Year; Made-You-Look Award; Hustler of the Year; Impact Track; and 2 nominations for People’s Champ Award Powered by Verizon for “Otis” and “Mercy” and 2 nominations Best Club Banger for “Ni**as in Paris” and “Mercy.”

“This year as there’s a vibrant, young energy in music that our BET Hip Hop Awards show is poised to capture both in dynamic cyphers and thrilling on-stage performances.  The excitement will be coming to you at the speed of light!” stated Stephen G. Hill, President of Specials and Programming, BET Networks.  “On another note, you can expect an all-star tribute to our friend Chris Lighty from those artists who loved him and worked with him…when it came to Chris, it was ‘love’ and ‘work’ in that order. This show, from front to back, is going to be special.”

Following is the Full List of BET Hip Hop Awards ’12 Nominees and Categories:

Best Hip Hop Video

2 Chainz f/ Drake – No Lie

A$AP Rocky – Goldie

Drake f/ Lil Wayne – HYFR

Wale f/ Miguel – Lotus Flower Bomb

Kanye West f/ Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz – Mercy

Reese’s Perfect Combo Award (Best Collabo)

2 Chainz f/ Drake – No Lie

Drake f/ Lil Wayne & Tyga – The Motto (Remix)

J. Cole f/ Missy Elliott – Nobody’s Perfect

Wale f/ Miguel – Lotus Flower Bomb

Kanye West f/ Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz – Mercy

Best Live Performer

A$AP Rocky


J. Cole

The Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West)

Kanye West

Lyricist of the Year

J. Cole


Kendrick Lamar


Kanye West

Video Director of the Year

A$AP Rocky & Sam Lecca

Benny Boom

Chris Robinson

Hype Williams

Kanye West

Producer of the Year


J. Cole

J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League

No I.D.

Kanye West

MVP of the Year

2 Chainz

J. Cole


Rick Ross

Kanye West

Track of the Year

Cashin’ Out – Produced by DJ Spinz (Ca$h Out)

Ima Boss – Produced by Jahlil Beats (Meek Mill f/ Rick Ross)

Ni**as in Paris – Produced by Kanye West, Hit-Boy and Mike Dean (The Throne – Jay-Z & Kanye West)

No Lie – Produced by Mike Will Made-It and Co-Produced by Marz (2 Chainz f/ Drake)

The Motto (Remix) – Produced by T-Minus (Drake f/ Lil Wayne & Tyga)

CD of the Year

Common – The Dreamer, The Believer

Drake – Take Care

J. Cole – Cole World: The Sideline Story

The Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West) – Watch The Throne

Young Jeezy – TM: 103 Hustlerz Ambition

DJ of the Year

DJ Drama

DJ Enuff

DJ Envy

DJ Funkmaster Flex

DJ Khaled

Rookie of the Year

2 Chainz

A$AP Rocky

Ca$h Out


Meek Mill

 Made-You-Look Award (Best Hip Hop Style)

2 Chainz

A$AP Rocky

Big Sean

Nicki Minaj

Kanye West

Best Club Banger

Ca$h Out – Cashin’ Out (Produced by DJ Spinz)

Drake f/ Lil Wayne & Tyga – The Motto (Remix) (Produced by T-Minus)

Future – Same Damn Time (Produced by Sonny Digital)

The Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West) – Ni**as in Paris (Produced by Kanye West, Hit-Boy & Mike Dean)

Kanye West f/ Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz  – Mercy (Produced by Lifted with additional production by Kanye West)

Best Mixtape

A$AP Rocky – LiveLoveA$AP

Joey BadA$$ – 1999

Meek Mill – Dreamchasers 2

Rick Ross – Rich Forever

Wiz Khalifa – Taylor Allderdice

Sweet 16: Best Featured Verse

2 Chainz – Mercy (Kanye West f/ Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz)

Diddy – Same Damn Time Remix (Future f/ Diddy & Ludacris)

Drake – Stay Schemin’ (Rick Ross f/ Drake & French Montana)

Ludacris – Same Damn Time Remix (Future f/ Diddy & Ludacris)

T.I. – Magic Remix (Future f/ T.I.)

Hustler of the Year

2 Chainz


Lil Wayne

Rick Ross

Kanye West

Impact Track

Around My Way (Freedom Ain’t Free) – Lupe Fiasco

Bitch Bad – Lupe Fiasco

Daughters – Nas

Murder to Excellence – The Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West)

People’s Champ Award Presented by Verizon

2 Chainz f/ Drake – No Lie

Driicky Graham – Snapbacks & Tattoos

Meek Mill f/ Rick Ross – Ima Boss

The Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West) f/ Otis Redding – Otis

Kanye West f/ Big Sean, Pusha T & 2 Chainz – Mercy

Best Hip Hop Online Site

Join the conversation on social media by logging on to BET’s multiple social media platforms: On Twitter by using hashtag: #HipHopAwards; and following us @HipHopAwards and @BET. On Facebook by liking the fan page at

Sway Calloway Hosts The 1st Annual Global Spin Awards

Bad Boy Records /Power Moves Inc. executive, Shawn Prez, orchestrates the 1st annual “Global Spin Awards” which will recognize notable DJs across the Globe for their accomplishments and great achievements in the music and entertainment industries. The award show will take place at the New York Times Center in NYC. MTV’s executive producer for MTV News and Sirius XM Radio, Shade 45 morning show host, Sway Calloway, has been confirmed as the award show’s host and will be announcing the nominees for the awards at a press conference to be held in NYC in October 2012.

The “Global Spin Awards” voting committee also known as the “DJ Bureau” is comprised of the most influential music industry tastemakers, executives, pop culture enthusiasts, and legendary DJs. This select group of influential individuals will work together to compile the list of categories and nominees who have transcended in their careers.  The bureau will select nominees as well as maintain the integrity of the voting process for each award. All nominees will be announced by Sway Calloway during the press conference for the GSA’s. 

The Global Spin Awards will be the first award show of its kind to give recognition to DJs nationally and internationally, honoring those who bring great music into the lives and homes of many. The award show is supported by DJ coalitions, music industry executives, entertainment industry professionals and DJs around the world.

“Throughout my career I’ve formed long standing relationships with DJs and have always noticed the lack of recognition given to them for the roles they play within the culture of music and entertainment. The GSA’s were created to fill that void and finally honor the DJs exclusively for their achievements, especially amongst their peers. Simply put, DJs deserve their version of the Grammy’s,” says an excited Shawn Prez.

The GSA’s will take place at the NY Times Center on November 19, 2012 at 8pm in NYC. The evening will include celebrities from Television, Music, Sports and Fashion industries hitting the red carpet and presenting awards in selected categories.

For more information about the “Global Spin Awards” please visit

Ryan Leslie to Release “Les Is More” on October 22

Producer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, entrepreneur and recording artist Ryan Leslie will release his third studio album, Les Is More on October 22 via NextSelection Lifestyle Group/BDG (BDG is distributed by RED Distribution, a division of   SONY Music Entertainment). The first single from the album “Beautiful Lie” featuring Fabolous is being serviced to mixshow radio.

 Les Is More is the first rap album from Ryan Leslie, and is the follow up to the Grammy-nominated R&B album Transition released in late 2009. Les Is More is influenced by Leslie’s collaborations with top rap artists such as Fabolous and Kanye West, both of whom appear in the video for the autobiographical track “Glory.” Leslie was further inspired when he sat in for the recording sessions of the Grammy award-winning album Watch the Throne. “Watching Jay and Ye’s creative process further inspired me that rap was the right direction for this album. However, I also knew that a departure from my previous critically acclaimed R&B work would require an even more robust artistic contribution.”

Fueled by that challenge, Ryan Leslie created an unprecedented body of work. Along with the music which was written, arranged, produced and performed by Leslie, he also directed and edited a series of music videos to accompany each record. The result, Les Is More is a ground-breaking visual album shot in Paris, Milan, Switzerland, Miami, Las Vegas, and Manhattan that provides a unique and intimate window into Ryan Leslie’s life.

Leslie kicked off his world Les Is More Tour in San Francisco on September 18. Below is a current listing of tour dates and more shows will be announced on

Les Is More Tour Dates

Sep 18                   Ruby Skye – San Francisco, CA

Sep 19                   Roxy Theatre – West Hollywood, CA

Sep 20                   The Cosmopolitan of LV – Las Vegas, NV

Sep 21                   Club Red – Tempe, AZ

Sep 29                   Showcase Live – Foxborough, MA

Oct 02                   Howard Theatre – Washington, DC

Oct 04                   Gramercy Theatre – New York, NY

Oct 05                   Theatre of Living Arts – Philadelphia, PA

Oct 11                     Virgin Mobile Mod Club – Toronto, Canada

Oct 14                   Pavilion (UC Davis) – Davis, CA

Nicki Minaj Introduces Pink Friday, Her Debut Fragrance

International superstar and sought-after style and fashion muse Nicki Minaj announces the launch of her first fragrance, Pink Friday, in partnership with Elizabeth Arden, a global prestige beauty products company.  The fragrance debuted in department stores nationwide this month (September 2012).

“We are very pleased to partner with Nikki Minaj as she introduces her debut fragrance, Pink Friday,” said Kathy Widmer, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Elizabeth Arden. “We believe this fragrance beautifully reflects her innovative and creative spirit, and we look forward to a long and rewarding partnership with her.”

From her signature sound as a talented artist to her striking look as a style icon, Minaj’s overwhelming influence transcends the traditional path of celebrities.  Defiantly undefined, she reaches fans that span from youth to adult, across a select array of platforms.  From her groundbreaking influence on music, to her captivating style for beauty and fashion, this starlet is revolutionizing pop culture with a fiery taste for originality.  Bold and confident, Nicki fearlessly pushes beyond boundaries to achieve her extraordinary vision.  Nicki now applies this outlook and passion through the debut of her fragrance, Pink Friday, an intoxicating new creative expression.

Pink Friday is a celebration of my life at this moment; it is a reflection of me as a creator, and an expression of me as a woman.  I know my Barbz will connect with and appreciate each aspect – from the name, to the outrageous bottle design, to the vibrant colors that create their own song.  Pink Friday shows off my personality and style; it’s exciting to express my voice through another dimension,” says Minaj.  “I was involved in every aspect of the decision-making process – it seems easy because I always get this feeling inside: I know if something is right or wrong.  Each detail needs to ‘wow’ me or it is not an option; that’s my way of composing perfection.”

Before the Show with the OMG Girlz

By Sommer Thornton

Scream Tour 2012 hit Chicago over the weekend and tweens from near and far flocked to the Arie Crown Theater. Diggy Simmons headlined the tour this year with the OMG Girlz, Chicago Native Jawon Harris, and rap duo TKnCA$H. Before the concert I got to talk with the vibrant teen sensation, the OMG Girlz, a trio comprised of Beauty, Babydoll, and Star.

A creation of former Xscape member Tameka “Tiny” Harris, the OMG Girlz are rising to the top with their catchy songs, energetic dances, and of course their pretty girl swag. The world was first introduced to the OMG Girlz on the BET reality show, Tiny and Toya, but after a few personnel changes in the group and a bolder image, the girls are ready to “paint the world pink, purple, and blue,” as BabyDoll puts it. Check out what the OMG Girlz had to say about touring, the family hustle, and of course boys.

 UNRATED URBAN MAGAZINE: What’s 1 word each of you would use to describe your music?


BABYDOLL: Age Appropriate

STAR: Distinct

UNRATED URBAN MAGAZINE: You guys have a unique style -it’s very brave. How does your style come through in your music?

BABYDOLL: Our new single “Where the Boys At” is a fun song for girls. The song is just about us having a good time- we just wanna find the party, figure out where the boys at. And “Gucci This” is about shopping- going to the mall and having a good time, even if it’s with your mom. All of our songs are really fun. Sometimes they can be about boys like “So Official” is about a guy we like and he’s really cute so he’s So Official.

UNRATED URBAN MAGAZINE: How has touring with Diggy this time around different from when you toured with Mindless Behavior?

BABYDOLL: It’s not too much of a difference because it’s like a family reunion. We like to watch each other grow. And we really appreciate each other and give each other credit where it’s due. So if there’s a difference it’s the growth and love as brothers and sisters, and doing what we love to do at the same time.

UNRATED URBAN MAGAZINE: Did you know any of the other artists before this tour?

BABYDOLL: Nobody on this tour. It’s good to meet some friends our age.

UNRATED URBAN MAGAZINE: Are there any artist that you have collaborated with that you’re especially excited about?

STAR: We do have one with Diggy on a remix. We have a couple of collaborations but we can’t really talk about them because we’re still choosing what should be on the album.

BABYDOLL: For the future we would like to work with big producers like Timbaland, Missy Elliot, The Dream, and also artists like Beyonce, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, John Mayer, and Katy Perry.

UNRATED URBAN MAGAZINE: Is there a female group or artist you all look up to?

STAR: As a group we really look up to TLC. They are really our inspiration. We love their style in music and their style in clothes. We look back at them then try to come up with something new- something more up-to-date from them. We also look up to Boys II Men, New Edition, Destiny’s Child and Xscape,  

UNRATED URBAN MAGAZINE: You guys are signed to Grand Hustle Records and Pretty Hustle. How is it being signed to your parents’ labels?

STAR: It’s a great feeling because when I was younger I always used to talk to my stepdad [T.I.] about Grand Hustle and I would tell him “One day I wanna get the chain and stuff.” I was like 5. So when we started our own thing and showed them that we were serious we ended up getting the chains and getting signed. It’s crazy but it’s overall a great experience.

UNRATED URBAN MAGAZINE: What’s the best advice your parents give you all about the industry that you guys have taken to heart?

BEAUTY: My mom tells me to always stay grounded and stay focused on what I’m doing. She always tells me to practice. She’s always on me about bettering my craft.

STAR: My parents tell all of us to make sure that when we’re in the business to take it seriously. Also that even though we’re in a grown people business not to act like kids, because we are mature for our age. They also tell us to be about what you’re doing and never feel like just cause I’m a kid I can’t ask questions and know what’s going on when we’re in meetings. They tell us to ask questions and know what were doing so that when we get older we’ll be even better.

UNRATED URBAN MAGAZINE: Star- Your brother Domani raps. Have you thought about putting him on any of your songs or putting any of your family members on an OMG song?

STAR: We‘re in the process of doing a song with Domani.

BEAUTY: We did a song with Domani and with my little sister Lolo.

UNRATED URBAN MAGAZINE: Star’s mom and stepdad’s reality show, TI and Tiny: A Family Hustle premiered on VH1 a few weeks ago. What can we expect to see from the OMG Girlz on the show this season?

BABYDOLL: More family hustle. It’s Star’s family so it’s showing how great they are, very family oriented. They chase us here and there.

UNRATED URBAN MAGAZINE: Do you have any funny stories that happened on tour either time?

STAR: On our first tour this girl snuck on our bus. This tour there were these fans outside our van sticking their hands in the window, and we were pulling off. So me and Babydoll kept telling them “you gotta move your hand before it gets cut off.”

BABYDOLL: We were just kidding with them. We just didn’t want anyone to get ran over.

UNRATED URBAN MAGAZINE: What’s your favorite thing to do when you all have some down time?

BABYDOLL: Collectively we like to spend time with our families because when we’re on the road we miss them. We go see our grandparents. I try to go back to my home town, Mobile, Alabama and they go back to A-Town. Star catches up on her sleep. Beauty loves to party and go out and hang out with friends. And me I like to work out. I don’t like to sit still. I like to do things that perfect my craft. We’re in school so on the road we had to stay caught up with our school work, so that when we go back home we have our work ready.

UNRATED URBAN MAGAZINE: When does your album drop? What’s it called?

BABYDOLL: The Album is coming really soon. It’s called Officially Miss Guided, which means girls guided by girl power and independence. It’s great because it can reach kids and parents. Parents are gonna be in the car too, so we wanna make something for them. But it’s fun and it’s colorful like our hair, also distinct and age appropriate like we said earlier. We’re ready to paint the world pink, purple, and blue.

I can see that these eloquent young ladies have a bright future ahead of them. They all sing well, they dance like I never seen a girl group move- very girly but also age appropriate. I also love the OMG Girlz’ unique style. And their songs “Loverboy” and “Where the Boys At” are catchy even for adults. By the end of the OMG Girlz’ lively set I wanted to buy their album, Officially Miss Guided when it drops. The crowd loved the OMG Girlz too. The ladies even paid an unexpected tribute to 90’s girl groups TLC and Total. My favorite performance was “Gucci This” which they killed. I can tell these girls were born to do what they are doing, and they’re serious about their craft.

Other Scream Tour acts included, TKnCA$H, a rap duo with major game. They had the crowd going wild for their hits, rapping every word. DTP Records’ fresh young rap duo is just what the industry needs. Also, Chicago’s own, Jawon Harris performed some of his R&B hits. Jawon reminds me of a Tevin Campbell/Bobby Brown hybrid. His songs are soulful and he has a wonderful voice. But Jawon has a bad boy streak. The girls in the crowd went cray when Jawon took off his shirt and showed his 6-pack while belting out a beautiful ballad. Then this boy poured water all over his nekkid chest (clutch my pearls.) I had to peek though.

After the OMG Girlz, Diggy Simmons hit the stage. I thought the theater couldn’t get any more hyped. Boy was a wrong. Diggy tore the roof off with his first song. And his swag was on 100 as he rocked the stage in all white everything. Everybody knows that Diggy is a star in the making- literally. But the OMG Girlz, with the help of their famous mentors are on their way to super stardom.

Watch the OMG Girls perform “Gucci This” at the Scream Tour in Chicago!


Watch the OMG Girls perform their ballad” Loverboy” at the Scream Tour in Chicago!