Clyde Smith now blogs at: Hip Hop Logic

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5/07/2005

 
Fat Daddy Records Finals Release Of Habitt Album

Ride With Us, says Habitt
Album Dedicated To Late Actor

The long-awaited arrival of the debut album, Talk Of The Town, from Oakland rapper Habitt is now slated for release on May 17. His record label, the Los Angeles based Fat Daddy Records, headed by television and film actress Yvette Wilson and her husband Jerome Harry, had originally anticipated a February release, until they decided at the last minute to switch distributors. Harry explains, We really felt it was the best decision for our label, even though it slowed down the process a bit. He adds, The support for the album has been incredible. The response has been amazing.

Much has happened since initially preparing for the original February date. One of those events, however, left all involved shattered, and that was when actor Lamont Bentley was suddenly killed in a car accident. Bentley was a friend of the label, as well as a close friend of Habitts. Both Bentley and popular actor Ken L. had just recorded a skit with Habitt, which is on the album, and it is titled Shakin It Up. Habitt reports, It was such a shock to lose someone who is a friend like that. He adds, I dedicated my album to Lamont. He was a true friend, and we all miss him a great deal.
The Habitt van is currently making its way across the country, and is slated to hit 29 states across the country, and it gets reaction wherever it goes. Scheduled arrival dates for this next week include Oakland, Sacramento, San Francisco, Vallejo, Las Vegas and Seattle. Ride with us, says Habitt, inviting fans to check out his music and participate in the interactive promotional tour. Ive got song on the album called Riders, and thats what its all about. Ride with us.

Other guests on the album are label mate Black Diamond, who is scheduled for a release in 2006, the Luniz, and KnocturnAl, who Harry used to manage. There is one more very special guest on the album, and that is Persian vocalist Aku G. Fort, who appears on the track Hypnotize. Her vocals are sung in Persian, as Mid East meets West Coast hiphop.

Habitt says his life has really turned around because of the album. At times, things were not so easy, he says. I was running around in the streets when I was seventeen and got shot. It must have been meant to happen in the grand scheme of things, but I was not meant to go at that time. Somebody ran up to the car I was in and shot it all up. I was in the passenger seat in front. I just prayed that I wouldnt get hit. It was shot in my stomach area and in my thigh, so it was very serious, and I almost died. Somehow though, like a miracle, the bullet missed all my organs. It was right below my heart. He adds, I wanted to change the situation, and did everything I could to turn my life around.

Regret is expressed in his song Lesson, while Strictly Game is about using those lessons for good benefit. Habitt explains, Everything you do is entirely about your game, and if youre doing a good job at whatever it is youre doing. But without game, you cant have anything in life. Early critical response has also given a nod to tracks like N From The O and the indelible Cross Me Border. Habitt says that one of his personal favorites on the album is Street Life, which he notes is an autobiographical portrait.

The current single Pick It Up has received great reaction from record pools across the country, and as one DJ aptly noted, Thats it for the album, too. Pick it up, because its well worth it."


 
LEGENDARY NEW YORK RAPPER CAPONE RETURNS AFTER 5-YEAR HIATUS WITH NEW ALBUM ON FASTLIFE MUSIC

PAIN, TIME & GLORY STREETS ON JULY 12TH

Album features guests Akon, Scarface, Raekwon, C-Murder, Bun-B,
Devin The Dude, Peedi Crackk, Butch Cassidy and more

(May 3, 2005)New York, NY--After a brief hiatus away from the game, Capone is back with a vengeance. Five years after the Capone-n-Noriega Reunion album (2000), Capone is set to release his first solo record on Fastlife Music. Pain, Time & Glory will be released on July 12th, and features guests Akon, Devin The Dude, Scarface, Raekwon, C-Murder, Butch Cassidy, and Peedi Crackk. The album also features production from The Heatmakerz (Diplomats), Twinz, Screwface, Nexxus Entertainment, Reefa, Dub Z and DJ Absolut.

I am definitely excited about this album; it's time for the game to see what I've been doing. I want to dedicate this album to the hood because the hood kept me afloat all these years. Every song on this album is real, whether party or pain, it's time for the PTG experience," says Capone.

Capone was one-half of the Queens based powerhouse group Capone-N-Noreaga, a duo which sold over 1 million albums in their short-lived career. The pair met at the Collins Correctional Facility in New York, quickly hitting it off. Capone was from the Queensbridge Projects and Noreaga was from Lefrak City. Shortly before finishing the recording of their debut album, War Report (1997), Capone was sent to prison for breaking parole on a weapons charge, but War Report became an underground hit and went gold. Noreaga released two solo albums while Capone was incarcerated, and upon his release, the duo released The Reunion, which also went gold.

Fans who loved the duo CNN will not be disappointed with Pain, Time & Glory. Older and much wiser, Capone has taken his past experiences and created an impressive album with club bangers, street anthems and even a song or two to charm the ladies.

Tracklisting and credits for Capones Pain, Time & Glory:

1. Intro (produced by The Heatmakerz)
2. The Release [Skit]
3. Soldier's Story (produced by The Heatmakerz)
4. She Wanna Ride f/Akon (produced by Screwface)
5. Where The Stuff At f/C-Murder & Bun-B (produced by Nexxus Entertainment)
6. Diet Plan (produced by Dub Z)
7. All 4 U (produced by The Heatmakerz)
8. No Where To Run f/Scarface (produced by Screwface)
9. It's Been A Long Time (produced by Screwface)
10. I'm Gone f/Devin The Dude & Butch Cassidy (produced by Screwface)
11. Crack Muzik f/PTG (produced by The Heatmakerz)
12. I'll Die For Mine (produced by SPK)
13. The Manual (produced by Twinz
14. F#@k Yo Set (produced by Reefa)
15. Miss My Dogs (produced by Nexxus Entertainment)
16. Cop Shot [Skit]
17. Oh No (produced by Nexxus Entertainment)
18. Chitty Bang f/Raekwon & Peedi Crakk (produced by Roots)
19. U So Craaazzzy (produced by Screwface)
20. Faith In Da Streetz (produced by DJ Absolut & Fredo)

Adding to the strength of this project, Capone introduces his New York-based camp featuring Young G, Double O, Black Box, Speede, 1100 and Sha Nitt.

Capone will be releasing his solo-debut, Pain, Time & Glory on July 12th on Pain, Time & Glory Enterprises/Fastlife Music.

# # #

To obtain a press copy of Capones Pain, Time & Glory for review or interview purposes, please contact:
Matt Conaway@ Movement Marketing
Business #: 410-903-7568
E-Mail: Matthewbrn@aol.com
AOL IM: Matthewbrn


 
FIRST INDIAN / HIP-HOP ALBUM IN THE WORLD!

ALL ORIGINAL MUSIC, NEW ELEPHANT MAN, CHRISTION, YUKMOUTH with INDIAN HEAVYHITTERS RDB & MORE!!

New York, Monday May 6th 2005: New independent label Bollyhood Records will be releasing the first ever Indian-infused Hip-Hop & R&B album. The CD, titled BHOOD, will be available for sale from their website www.bollyhoodrecords.com by the end of this month. BHOOD contains 13 independent tracks including exclusive collaborations such as Christion & Bikram Singh, Sumeet & Rich London, G Samra and Jade Foxx, and super group RDB with heavy hitters Elephant Man and Yukmouth. It also includes a touch of Dancehall and Soul resulting in an exotic mix of sounds for those people who wanted more of it after Punjabi MC hit the charts two years ago.

DJs will be able to get the lead single Ishq Naag (Love Bites) by RDB featuring Elephant Man on vinyl through AV8 within the next 2 weeks. Described as a new sound of Indian / Jazz / Hip-Hop and Dancehall, the single is already getting rave reviews on the mix tape and club scene. RDB, who are undoubtedly the biggest group on the Indian and UK global scene, continue to perform to sold out shows including New Yorks Webster Hall this month. This is their first crossover track with well known dancehall artist Elephant Man. For an exclusive preview of the track, visit the Bollyhood Records website.

Ashlene presents
BHOOD: The Album Vol.1

A collaboration of Indian & Urban Artists
New, Original Music & Exclusive Remixes!! Straight out of the U.S!

Featuring: Elephant Man, RDB, Yukmouth, Christion, Bikram Singh and more!

RDB Featuring Elephant Man Ishq Naag (Love Bites)
Available soon on vinyl through AV8, promo copies available (email below)
EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW NOW UP ON www.bollyhoodrecords.com !

For further information please contact:
Ashlene Nand
Bollyhood Records
Cell: 1 718 598 5131
Email: info@bollyhoodrecords.com


 
CASTING CALLS: Damon Dash reality show

Damon Dash is searching for a couple of MOGULS in the making to compete
for
a spot within his Empire on the new reality show, Ultimate Hustler.

We're looking for a DIVERSE group of young, dynamic, vibrant,
hardworking
individuals.. like that:

* sharp and sassy, Gucci bag swinging, PR and marketing diva...
* backpack wearing, CD peddling, "yo.. you like hip hop?" kid with a
plan..
* Wharton MBA overachiever who whoops ass in the boardroom...
* indie label owner... fashion designer... filmmaker... entrepreneur
...
... whatever the hustle...

The NATIONAL OPEN CASTING CALL schedule has been updated!

NEW YORK CITY OPEN CALL
Sunday, May 8th - 9am - 6pm
LOFT 11 - 336 W. 37TH - bet 8th & 9th

LOS ANGELES OPEN CALL
Wednesday, May 11th - 9am - 6pm

ATLANTA OPEN CALL
Tuesday, May 17th - 9am - 6pm

For other cities & general info, visit: http://netcorehost.com/UH

Check back daily... Dates & venues may change! You snooze, you lose...

--

Huck Films
http://netcorehost.com/UH


 
HIP HOP JOURNALIST/SCREENWRITER RAHIEM SHABAZZ SPEAKS CREATIVE FULFILLMENT AND PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS TO 5TH GRADERS

Atlanta, GA., Friday, May 05, 2005- SHABAZZ, talks from the perspective of one who traversed the waters of disappointment to fulfilling his dream during career day.

F.L. SUTTON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 5TH graders will be on hand to listen to Rahiem Shabazz on Friday, May 06th @ 9:00 AM-1:00 PM

"The synergy of hip-hop and film possess a undenying power and Shabazz has tapped into that power with his latest offering, that is why we are honored to have him speak to the youth," states school teacher Reggie Crossley.

Shabazz, will not only discuss the creative process, and his journey to greatness as a journalist but he seeks to propel the young forward in realizing their dreams.

"My enthusiasm for speaking to the young, continues to grow with each speaking engagement that I accept. During career day, I want to inspire the young to take hold of their destiny and to become role models in their communities," states the dynamic communicator.

Rahiem Shabazz, CEO of Capitol Gains Films (CGF), has a unique grasp on where hip-hop and cinema coincide. His eclectic insight draws from experience and love for hip-hop culture. Shabazz just finished filming "The Sun Will Rise" in Atlanta and is gearing up to promote the film in several film festivals.

For further information on Rahiem Shabazz or The Sun Will Rise contact:
RaSha Ent/PR @ 404.484.2706 or e-mail rahiemshabazz@yahoo.com

Rasha Ent/PR
2328 Campbellton Rd P-6
Atlanta, GA 30311
404.484.2706


 
Stars Ving Rhames and Ja Rule Put New Spin on Classic Tale With Explosive Urban Drama 'Back In The Day'

Worldwide Premiere on BET Set for Friday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on BET; DVD Hits Stores on May 24th

LOS ANGELES, May 6 /PRNewswire/ -- What do you do when your past catches up with you? It's the question at the heart of this new-school classic depicting a young man at life's crossroads. Emmy Award(R) and Golden Globe(R) winner Ving Rhames (Mission Impossible, Don King: Only In America) and platinum-selling rapper Ja Rule (Assault on Precinct 13) star in the complex urban drama BACK IN THE DAY, making its worldwide broadcast premiere on BET on Friday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT. In addition, the BACK IN THE DAY DVD will debut in stores on May 24. Directed by James Hunter, this gritty tale of love and redemption features an all-star ensemble cast including Pam Grier (The L Word), Frank Langella (Unscripted), Tatyana Ali (The Brothers), Giancarlo Esposito, (Law & Order), Tia Carrere (Supernova), Debi Morgan (Eve's Bayou), and Joe Morton (Ali). Hunter shares co-screenwriting credits on BACK IN THE DAY with Michael Ruffanello.

In BACK IN THE DAY, Ja Rule portrays Reggie Cooper, a young man from the rough side of the tracks who lives with his divorced, affluent father (Esposito) in order to avoid the gang activity that almost claimed his teenage life in his mother's neighborhood (Grier). When Reggie reconnects with a recently paroled friend from his past (Rhames), he slips back into a life of crime with fatal consequences. Reggie becomes involved in the murder of a local preacher (Morton) and in the aftermath of this crime, he falls in love with the preacher's daughter (Ali). Ultimately, he must choose between losing everything he cares about and his lifelong loyalty to his oldest friend. BACK IN THE DAY chronicles the powerful story of one man's search for personal redemption.

"BET is very excited about this relationship with DEJ Productions on BACK IN THE DAY, a film that depicts urban life with dramatic realism and emotional depth," said Herbert Niles, BET Vice President of Film Development & Program Acquisitions. "The performances by Ving Rhames and Ja Rule are compelling and unforgettable, and BET is pleased to have the opportunity to introduce this riveting and unique story on our network."

BACK IN THE DAY was produced by DEJ Productions, a subsidiary of Blockbuster, Inc. and is distributed by First Look Home Entertainment. Marketing support for the DVD release includes trailers on premium DEJ and First Look titles, an extensive BET on-air and online promotional campaign, as well as national radio promotions in Top 30 markets.

ABOUT BET

BET, a subsidiary of Viacom, Inc. (NYSE:VIA) (NYSE:and) (NYSE:VIA.B) , is the nation's leading television network providing quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs programming for the African-American audience. The BET Network reaches more than 80 million households according to Nielsen media research, and can be seen in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. BET is a dominant consumer brand in the urban marketplace with a diverse group of branded businesses: BET.com, the Number 1 Internet portal for African Americans; BET Digital Networks -- BET Jazz, BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Event Productions, specializing in a full range of event production services, including event management, venue selection, talent recruitment, sound, lighting and stage production; and BET Books, the nation's leading publisher of African-American themed romance novels under the Arabesque imprint which also publishes compelling fiction under the Sepia imprint and inspirational fiction and nonfiction under the New Spirit imprint.

ABOUT DEJ PRODUCTIONS

DEJ Productions Inc. is a leading independent entertainment company that acquires and distributes product in the theatrical, home entertainment and television arenas. DEJ Productions is a wholly owned subsidiary of Blockbuster Inc. Since its inception in 1999, DEJ Productions has commanded one of the largest acquisitions and distribution infrastructures in independent film, with an average of 35 films a year. Among them, DEJ Productions acquired all English-speaking rights, including those in North America, to the 2003 Academy Award(R) winning film Monster, starring Charlize Theron. DEJ also co-financed and produced Crash with Stratus Films, written and directed by Paul Haggis, which will be released by Lions Gate Films later this year. DEJ Productions Inc. is headquartered in Los Angeles, California.

ABOUT FIRST LOOK HOME ENTERTAINMENT

First Look Home Entertainment, a division of First Look Media, specializes in diverse independent films and special interest programs that include First Look Pictures theatrical art house and foreign releases, as well as video premieres and genre-specific films. These diverse titles have helped First Look Home Entertainment grow rapidly. Revenues since inception of the division have increased on average 77% per year. The current home entertainment release schedule includes the upcoming Sundance hit, September Tapes, National Lampoons Blackball (starring Vince Vaughn), and the recently released charming romantic comedy, Perfect Opposites (starring Piper Perabo, Martin Hendersen, Jennifer Tilly, Artie Lange), First Look Pictures' theatrical release, Mayor of the Sunset Strip (starring Rodney Bingenheimer, and featuring Coldplay, No Doubt, Cher, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Oasis, Courtney Love, to name a few), the 15 year television series hit, Unsolved Mysteries (featuring acclaimed host, Robert Stack), Stateside (starring Rachael Leigh Cook, Jonathan Tucker, Val Kilmer, Carrie Fisher, Joe Mantegna), and The Last Sign (starring Andie MacDowell and Tim Roth).
Photo: NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050506/NYF043
AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org/
PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com

Source: Black Entertainment Television, Inc.

CONTACT: Tosha Whitten-Griggs, +1-818-655-6712,
Tosha.whitten-griggs@bet.net, Zabrina Horton +1-818-655-6737,
Zabrina.horton@bet.net, both of BET; Ava DuVernay, ava@dvapr.com, Ellene
Miles, ellene@dvapr.com, both of The DuVernay Agency for BET, +1-323-860-7060

Web site: http://www.bet.com/


 
Mario Storms European Singles Charts With 'Let Me Love You' - First #1 Ever for J Records in Germany!

RIAA platinum TURNING POINT album yields second single, 'How Could You'

18-year old star will escort lucky BET contest winner to her prom - Spring Bling appearance in Daytona Beach scheduled to air this weekend

NEW YORK, May 4 /PRNewswire/ -- 3rd Street/J Records teen sensation Mario's RIAA gold #1 Pop/R&B single "Let Me Love You" takes it overseas to conquer the Euro charts this month, as the song holds #1 for the 6th week in a row on the European radio airplay chart and 5th week in a row on the European Hot 100 (single sales charts). "Let Me Love You" also hits #1 on the radio airplay chart in the U.K., where it stays inside the top 10 on the national singles chart for a 6th week. Topping it off, the song has reached #1 on the German single and radio airplay charts -- the first #1 record in Germany for J Records in the label's 5-year history.

Back home, after setting the all-time BDS audience record of 185 million - and hitting #1 across-the-board at Urban, Crossover, Rhythm, Top 40 and Billboard Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop charts - "Let Me Love You" now stands as the longest-running hit single inside the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 (at 28 weeks) and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart (31 weeks).

"Let Me Love You" is the first single from Mario's RIAA platinum second album, TURNING POINT, which also includes a bonus remix of "Let Me Love You" featuring Jadakiss and T.I. The hit single, which spent 7 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Urban Mainstream Airplay monitor chart, is currently the longest-running song inside the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 (at 28 weeks) and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart (31 weeks). "How Could You," the follow-up single, is #14 this week on the Urban Mainstream Airplay monitor chart.

The most-played video at BET, "Let Me Love You" peaked at #1 this month and has spent more than 3 weeks on the Countdown. Mario's performance at BET's "Spring Bling" from Daytona Beach aired on Saturday, April 30th at noon and again at 8:00 p.m. (ET). Meanwhile, tens of thousands of BET's female viewers have been feverishly submitting 100-word essays explaining why Mario should escort them to their prom -- the winning entrant will be announced in the weeks ahead.

Source: J Records

CONTACT: Chrissy Murray, CPR Media, cprmedia2@aol.com; or Melissa
Victor, Melissa.Victor@sonybmg.com, or Chris Chambers,
Chris.Chambers@sonybmg.com, both of Sony BMG Publicity, +1-212-930-1604


 
MINDBENDA HITS THE SCENE WITH A BUNCH OF URBAN ANGELS

Sunday, March 13, 2005, Urban Angels Recordings artist Mindbenda shot his video for his underground release " Lets Get it Poppin", which was produced by the Speshulyst..

It was shot on location in the artists home town of Mount Vernon, NY which he was presented with the support of the city.Directed by Big Tone, this is one of the many steps that Urban Angels Recordings is doing to make themselves a contenda in this game called music.

When asked by the local newspaper that came, what are his plan, the young artist replied:"I just want to rep my city, I live and I give life back to real hip hop, so its time to get it poppin!"

To learn more about his multinational entertainment and sports service firm, go to www.angel4life.com or email at either info@angel4life.com.

Florence Beauredon
CEO & Founder
ANGEL 4 LIFE Entertainment, LLC.
URBAN ANGELS Recordings
www.angel4life.com


5/05/2005

 
TIMBERLAND ANNOUNCES IT WILL NO LONGER BUY CRUELLY OBTAINED AUSTRALIAN WOOL

PETA Applauds Outdoor Outfitters Decision to Shun Wool From Lambs Mutilated on Australian Farms

Portsmouth, N.H. After reviewing video footage showing the stunningly cruel treatment of sheep at the hands of the Australian wool industry, Stratham-based retailer Timberland has told PETA that it will not knowingly sell products which contain Australian merino wool until the practice of mulesing and live exports stop. Timberland is a $152 million company with 200 retail locations around the world, with boots that have been referenced in countless songs by artists such as Wu Tang Clan, Beastie Boys, Nas, and The Game.

Mulesing is a painful mutilation in which Australian farmers use gardening shears to slice chunks of skin and flesh from lambs backsideswithout any painkillersin a crude attempt to reduce maggot infestation, even though humane control methods exist. Every year, millions of aging Australian sheep are shipped to the Middle East in open-decked ships through all weather extremes, mired in their own waste, on journeys that take weeks. Sick and injured sheep are thrown overboard to the sharks or ground up alive in mincing machines. When the survivors reach the Middle East, their throats are slit while they are still conscious.

The way to Aussie farmers hearts is through their wallets, says PETA Campaign Coordinator Matt Rice. With the help of companies like Timberland, were showing the Australian wool industry that whats good for lambs bottoms is also good for the bottom line.

For more information and to see a video of these abusive practices, please visit PETAs Web site PETAWorld.com.


 
DISTURBING THA PEACE PRESENTS: BOBBY VALENTINO

Debut Album Enters at #2 R&B, and #3 Billboard 200 Chart with Sales of 179,751!; `Slow Down' First Single Climbs to #1 R&B; First singer signed to IDJ/DTP joint venture label is R&B success story of the year

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 4, 2005--

Upcoming tv appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live (May 11th) and Regis & Kelly (May 13th)

Bobby Valentino's smooth and sexy "Slow Down," the debut single from the first R&B artist signed to Ludacris' Island Def Jam/Disturbing Tha Peace joint venture label, wins the #1 spot on Billboard's Hot R&B/ Hip Hop Singles & Tracks chart - and sends his self-titled debut album DISTURBING THA PEACE PRESENTS: BOBBY VALENTINO straight to a #2 debut this week on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Billboard Album chart. On the pop side, "Slow Down" jumps 2 points to #16-bullet on the Hot 100, and the album debuts at #3 on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart, with 179,751 units sold.

Channeling the sounds of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Prince and other classic R&B greats in his music, Bobby Valentino has tapped into a soul-starved marketplace that can't seem to get enough of him. The video for "Slow Down," directed by Erick White (who has shot clips for DTP founder Ludacris, Chingy, Fabolous, Jojo and others) stays at #1 on BET and has just been added on MTV. Bobby is scheduled to appear May 11th on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live, and May 13th on ABC's Live with Regis & Kelly.

"Slow Down," produced by hitmakers Tim & Bob (known for their string of hits with TLC, Jodeci, Jagged Edge, and others) has turned into the R&B success story of the year. Bobby recently wrapped up a 32-city promotional tour of major and secondary markets, where "Slow Down" accelerated nearly 10 million in Hot 100 radio airplay audience to nearly 80 million last week. The digital single sold another 7,800 downloads this week, reaching almost 40,000 in a little over 2 months.

Born in Jackson, Mississippi, and raised in Atlanta, 22-year old Bobby Valentino first tasted stardom in the teen vocal group Mista (produced by Organized Noize), who delivered a classic hit with 1996's "Blackberry Molasses." Bobby returned to school, eventually receiving a degree from Clark Atlanta University two years ago. The wisdom he's acquired over the years makes his debut album irresistible, as listeners hone in on his extraordinary vocal ability, teased by such tunes as "Love Dream," in which he puts his falsetto to good use, and the poignant "My Angel," focusing on the magical chemistry between a man and his true love.

Tour dates for Bobby Valentino will be announced in the weeks ahead.
Contacts
For
Island Def Jam
Jana Fleishman, 212-445-3298
jana.fleishman@umusic.com


 
``Donkey Konga 2'' Jams with Hip-Hop, Electronica and Rock Tunes; Good Charlotte Appears in, Plays a Chart-Topping Song for Nintendo's Commercial

REDMOND, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 4, 2005--Are you ready to crank your next party up a few notches? "Donkey Konga(TM) 2," the bongo-beating Nintendo GameCube(TM) sequel to last fall's hit, ups the cool factor by making use of some of today's hottest hip hop, electronica and rock tunes.

Music lovers can still rock out using their DK Bongos controllers, only now they can groove to hip-hop and R&B hits like "Rock the Boat" and "No More Drama," dance and electronica tunes like "High Roller" and rock hits like "All Star" and "The Anthem."

"We chose these new, popular songs to give consumers the chance to play along to their favorite songs, ones they hear on the radio every day," explains George Harrison, Nintendo of America's senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications. "'Donkey Konga 2' provides a video game experience that crosses age barriers to expand the playing experience to the widest possible audience."

The television commercial for "Donkey Konga 2" features the music and musicians of rock band Good Charlotte. The spot shows band members delaying the start of a concert because they are occupied backstage playing "Donkey Konga 2."

Just as in the original game, up to four players beat the bongos and clap their hands in time to the music; the player with the best rhythm wins the round. Players can compete in a drum roll contest or earn coins to spend on new songs at the in-game shopping mall.

"Donkey Konga 2," Rated T for Teen, launches May 9. The game is available bundled with a DK Bongos controller or individually. For more game information, visit www.donkeykonga.com.

For more information about Nintendo, visit the company's Web site at www.nintendo.com.

Contacts
GOLIN HARRIS
Eileen Tanner, 509-628-1993
etanner@golinharris.com
or
Julia Roether, 213-623-4200, ext. 783
jroether@golinharris.com


 
HipHopSodaShops Will Be Poppin' In Vegas; H3 Signs 30-Store Development Deal with Las Vegas Legend Jackie Robinson

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 2, 2005--H3Enterprises, Inc. ("FCTN.PK") has announced the signing of an Area Development Agreement for its breakthrough HipHopSodaShop franchise with RLW, Inc. of Las Vegas, a group headed by Hall of Fame athlete and entrepreneur Jackie Robinson. The deal calls for RLW to open 30 HipHopSodaShops in the Las Vegas metro area over the next 3 years. H3 expects to announce the signing of a number of similar deals in the coming months with some of the biggest names from the NBA, NFL, and the ever-expanding world of Hip Hop. Robinson, who was the owner/operator of 53 Pizza Hut franchises, has also agreed to help spearhead H3's entire West Coast operations, and will be playing a major role in gaining sponsorships, media coverage and the best possible Las Vegas stage for H3's $5,000,000 WorldSeries of CyberSports, scheduled for January, 2006.

"HipHopSodaShops are community-conscious fast food establishments offering the healthiest menu combos on earth as well as the best in Hip Hop music, memorabilia and merchandise," said award-winning Company President and co-founder Brian "H3" Peters. "HipHopSodaShops are also the first themed restaurants to utilize competitive CyberSports as a major part of the concept. We will be installing computer terminals in all our outlets and make competitive cyber gaming an integral part of the store experience as well as our online presentation. We've been planning the first `WorldSeries of CyberSports' event to complement and promote the opening of our first unit on the Las Vegas `Strip,' and have now found the perfect person to make all our Vegas operations a mega-success. It's truly a blessing to add someone with the proven ability, experience, accomplishments, and wealth of contacts that Jackie Robinson brings to the H3 team."

"The `SodaShops' have price points suitable for everyone's budget," added company co-founder and top Hip Hop DC DJ, Jamar `J Niice' McNeil, "including a wide variety of 50-Cent specials as well as our signature H3Raps, a delicious selection of `Biggie'and `Smallie' wraps that have 80% fewer carbs than traditional subs and sandwiches. We're also introducing H3WhiteTea, our own line of great tasting sodas, teas, lemonades, and energy drinks containing organic white teas sweetened with pure chicory syrup, and boasting five times the healing and overall health benefits found in a 20 oz. bottle of Green Tea."

In his brilliant athletic career, Jackie Robinson achieved the status of All-American, World Champion, and Hall of Famer. After a series of extremely profitable business ventures, the Vegas native landed a spot in Black Enterprise Magazine's "Top 100 Business People" (#51), a list that includes the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Bob Johnson. Jackie was the owner of his own record label as well as a number of highly successful eating establishments, and served as a senior executive for the Aladdin Hotel Casino for eight years.

"I see the HipHopSodaShops as one of the greatest fast-food franchise opportunities of our time," said Robinson. "I love the entire concept and especially the fact that `H3' and `J Niice' are committed to using the enormous wealth being generated by Hip Hop to create better jobs and educational opportunities for the entire black community. It's obvious to me why Bank of America and Visa honored these two 25-year-old wunderkinds with their top prize for Best New Business Concept of 2004. I look forward to being a major contributor to all of their remarkable business endeavors."

H3 Enterprises is the owner, creator, licensor, and franchiser of Halls of HipHop, HipHopSodaShops, H3Raps, H3WhiteTea, H3CyberSports, H3Merchandise, and H30 (hthreeonline.com).

This press release may contain forward-looking information within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 or Section 21E of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 and is subject to the safe harbor created by these sections. Certain information included herein may contain statements that are forward-looking, such as statements relating to plans for future expansion and other business development activities. Such forward-looking information is subject to changes and variations which are not reasonably predictable and which could significantly affect future results.
Contacts
H3Enterprises, Inc.
Tom Lisker, 914-376-6767


 
WWE(R) Champion John Cena(TM) Steps Outside the Ring with Debut Album YOU CAN'T SEE ME

YOU CAN'T SEE ME Streets May 10

John Cena Announces In-Store Appearances to Coincide with SmackDown!(R)

NEW YORK, May 3 /PRNewswire/ -- World Wrestling Entertainment(R) champion John Cena has come a long way from the beatings he used to take in junior high school for his love of hip-hop. Columbia Records gives the wrestler props with YOU CAN'T SEE ME, his debut album available in stores May 10.

Recorded in 2004 at Chaos and Order Basscamp Studios during Cena's rare breaks from the ring, YOU CAN'T SEE ME features 17 original tracks. Paying tribute to the classic two-man rhyming crews of the past, Cena and Tha Trademarc (Marc Predka) nimbly trade verses throughout the album. "You almost never hear a rap crew today working like EPMD or 3rd Bass," says Cena. "I wanted to bring that style back a little and get away from one MC up there doing his thing. Working this way let us attack a song from different directions and create a more dynamic flow."

The album's first single, "Bad, Bad Man," is backed by Chaos' insistent beat and respected rap legend Freddie Foxx (aka Bumpy Knuckles), who created the song's chest-pounding chorus. The new video for "Bad, Bad Man" is a parody of the old A-Team show, featuring modern special effects stars: John Cena as Col. John "Hannibal" Smith, Bumpy Knuckles as Sgt. Bosco Albert "B.A." Baracus, Tha Trademarc as Capt. H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdock, also a cameo with Different Strokes star Gary Coleman.

With "Beantown," Cena combines a bluesy guitar riff and funky backbeat to fuel a tribute to his Boston roots. Giving shout outs to everything from Fenway Park's "Green Monster" and the Tobin Bridge to Carl Yastrzemski's bushy sideburns (circa 1973) and the Boston Tea Party, Cena paints a vivid picture of the place he still calls home. "Yo, we fresh, y'all a little bit stale, and we about to make it ugly like Kevin McHale."

The tables have turned these days and Cena is the one administering the smackdowns, but as he prepares to release his debut, YOU CAN'T SEE ME, he's still fighting against those old perceptions. "I know what I'm up against. I know people are going to dismiss me as a hip-hop artist out of hand because they think there is no way a white wrestler could rap," he says. "I busted my ass for three years writing songs and improving my skills to prove those people wrong. Whether you love or hate this record, I don't think you can deny its authenticity."

- The following dates are confirmed, and additional
dates are to be announced -

DATE EVENT VENUE

May 9 7:00 PM WWE SmackDown! Live Center @ U. of Delaware
Event - Newark, DE Bob Carpenter

12:00 AM - Midnight Autograph Session Best Buy
2201 Farrand Drive
Wilmington, DE

May 10 7:30 PM - WWE SmackDown! - Reading PA Sovereign Center

7:00PM Autograph Session - Boston, MA Boston Virgin Megastore
360 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02115

May 12 7:00PM Autograph Session - New York, NY F.Y.E.
1290 Ave. of
the Americas
New York, NY

May 14 7:30 PM - WWE SmackDown! Cow Palace
Live Event - San Francisco

May 15 5:00 PM WWE SmackDown! Redding Convention
Live Event -Redding, CA Center

May 17 7:30 PM WWE SmackDown! Tyson Events Center
- Sioux City, IA

May 18 4:00PM Autograph Session Fort Hood Military Base
- Fort Hood, TX Clear Creek PX
Fort Hood, TX

May 19 Electronic Entertainment Expo
(E3), Los Angeles, CA

May 20 6:00PM Autograph Session - Tampa, FL Location TBD

May 21 2:00PM Autograph Session - Mall Of America
Bloomington, MN Sear's Court
Bloomington, MN

May 22 6:45 PM WWE Judgment Day Pay Per View Target Center, MN

May 27 6:00PM Autograph Session HMV
- Toronto, Canada 333 Yonge Street
Toronto, CA



Trademarks: The names of all WWE programming, talent, images, likenesses, and logos, are the exclusive property of WWE. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Source: Columbia Records; WWE

CONTACT: Neil Lawi of World Wrestling Entertainment, +1-203-352-1010, or
neil.lawi@wwecorp.com; Tom Muzquiz of Columbia Records, +1-310-449-2503, or
tom.muzquiz@sonybmg.com

Web site: http://www.columbiarecords.com/


5/04/2005

 
Audio Assassins & Pepsi Hit 350+ Radio Stations!

Atlanta rap production duo The Audio Assassins have linked up with Pepsis Amp Energy Drink to take on 350 plus college radio stations as a part of their 6-Pack new music program.

The producers who are riding high with their latest mixtape Guns Blazin Vol. 1 and the radio/club buzz of their urban artist Maxyne have began to bubble with both the fans and the industry at large thanks to their no-holds-barred sound that results in songs that touch on every emotion possible. Glover, one-half of the duo recently commented on the pairs feelings on getting involved with Amp.

Working with this situation has been incredibly off-the-chain. Were building Audio Assassins as a brand that stands for hot records every time whether they are street joints, emotional tracks or songs that make you want to tip a bottle or ten. Our 6- Pack highlights not only the variety of what we do but it also features interview footage with us and a few of our favorite new artists that we have made incredible music with. Life is more than just one thing, so this is just another way for us to put that out there.

6-Pack program director Joe Iremia described in detail what a 6-Pack is. During the spring and fall months, we service a CD featuring (selected artists) to over 350 college radio stations around the country. It features 6-minutes of audio (a 6 Pack) from (the artist) that features a few of their songs as well as dialogue that gives a listener some insight into where (they are) coming from.

With Guns Blazin Vol. 2. due this summer, a street release of their favorite remixes on the horizon and tracks with unsigned, new and established artists landing over the rest of the year, the Audio Assassins will definitely continue to grind their way into any situation that will result in timeless music.

Contact:
Gouge Music
(770) 497-0968
(770) 634-0165
glover@audioassassins.com

Stay In The Loop:
www.audioassassins.com
www.badassmagazine.com
www.thinkmaxyne.com
http://gunsblazin.audioassassins.com
www.myspace.com/audioassassins


 
Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival Partners with MySpace.com and Eyejammie and Debuts Website

May 2, 2005
Brooklyn, NY - The First Annual Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival (BHF) set to take place on Saturday, June 18th has added several marketing and creative partners that will certainly make the all- day outdoor event a true celebration of Hip Hop music and culture. The organizers, Room Service Productions, The Brooklyn Brewery and Seven Heads Entertainment have been warming up for the festival by producing the monthly Good Foot parties at the Knitting Factory's Tap Bar. The Good Foot has hosted WBAI's Underground Railroad 14th Anniversary, DJ Amir (Kon and Amir) and DJ Language. The latest installment will be blessed with the talents of Prince Paul ( www.princepaulonline.com) fresh off the Handsome Boy Modeling School Tour and The Scratch Academy (www.scratch.com).

Gearing up for the event, the BHF staff is pleased to announce the launch of the festival's home site, www.brooklynhiphopfest.com. Created by Melon Made, the site will serve as the main portal for the event, and will include information regarding artist line-up, tickets, as well as links to partners and sponsors. Wes Jackson, president of Room Service had this to say, "We're very excited to launch the online home for the festival, and feel that it vibrantly portrays the aesthetic and mission statement behind our event; a community gathering with great music celebrating our culture."

The BHF has teamed up with several key partners who will be a unique and powerful addition to the event. Painter and Queens native, Jackson Brown has signed on to create a live painting the day of the show. Like Keith Haring before him, Jackson Brown has been an artistic fixture in New York City's renowned nightclub scene, creating large paintings live at parties for nearly a decade. Working closely with Bill Adler and his Eyejammie Fine Arts Gallery, Jackson adds homage to the visual aspect of Hip Hop that the festival organizers felt was necessary.

Organizers are also particularly excited about their recent partnership with
MySpace.com as a media partner for the event. MySpace has quickly become the number one online networking portal helping to propel the blogosphere phenomenon that many Hip Hop artists use as an important tool in promotion. The site is home to over 14.5 million subscribers and 25,000+ Hip Hop artists.

As the summer quickly approaches, BHF will be announcing the artist line up, which is rumored to be an eclectic and thoughtfully curated group of performers. BHF plans to host breakdancing crews, turntablists, and even African drummers in addition to the musicians who will be performing throughout the day. Truly the first of its kind, the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival will be the ticket of the summer. Alma Geddy- Romero, Director of Grassroots Marketing and Events at Room Service added that "We're expecting festival goers to walk away with an experience like no other, and continue to attend the BHF for years to come."
# # #
For further information please contact Greg Trani or Kimberly Trick at Room Service. greg@roomserviceinc.net / kim@roomserviceinc.net - 718.408.1151


Room Service Productions
Kim Trick
email: kim@roomserviceinc.net
phone: 718.408.1151 x 203
Room Service Productions
Greg Trani
email: greg@roomserviceinc.net
phone: 718.408.1151 x 206


 
SUBTITLE "Young Dangerous Heart" CD/2LP (GSL98)

Close to two years since SUBTITLEs first appearance on GSL comes the towering L.A. emcees official full-length debut, Young Dangerous Heart. Nearly 18 months in the making, the album finds SUBTITLE shape-shifting amid a diverse array of donated-beats and guest production from all over the California hip-hop underground. Contributions and/or appearances from ACEYALONE, MURS, OCTAVIUS, ALIAS, OMID, THAVIUS BECK, 2MEX, BUSDRIVER, DEESKEE, EXISTEREO, and many o thers serve to enhance SUBTITLEs trademark stream-of-consciousness poetics and laid-back charm, while his own production work continues to rewrite the rules... backwards. SUBTITLE recently appeared on the cover of URB magazine and was included in their Next 100? list. He has toured supporting THE MARS VOLTA, THE UNICORNS and BEANS. He will tour Europe in April and May in support of the new album.

Press and Radio promotion:
Fanatic Promotion, Inc.
135 West 29th St., #1101
New York, NY 10001
george@fanaticpromotion.com

Artist contact info: Giovanni Marks
Home phone: 323-293-7039
Cell phone: 213-249-3344
Email: subtitle31@hotmail.com

Artist website:
www.goldstandardlabs.com/subtitle/subtitle_info.html

Gold Standard Laboratories
www.goldstandardlabs.com
PO Box 65091 Los Angeles, CA 90065
office phone (562)923-0535


 
Brand and Youth Lifestyle Experts Launch 'Project 2050' to Connect Brands With Today's Youth & Lifestyle Markets

Monday May 2, 3:00 pm ET
Renowned Design Revolutionary Shepard Fairey Signs on as Creative Force
Initial Clients and Brand Work Include EA Sports, Boost Mobile and Honda

NEW YORK, May 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Project 2050 officially launched today to bring brands closer to the influential, trend setting, and urban-skewing youth markets. The marketing and strategy shop will offer corporate clients as well as advertising agencies services that include brand consulting, branded content opportunities, public relations, experiential marketing, creative support and trend analysis.

Project 2050 is a collaboration between cultural youth and lifestyle experts Phil Colon, Christopher White and Matt Pressman. The three individuals bring extensive experience from the branding, advertising, media, and entertainment realms. In addition to agency experience, the founding partners have successfully managed three of the most prominent urban youth publications in the marketplace today (Vibe, The Source, and Urban Latino). Their collective expertise coupled with a keen understanding of the urban mindset creates a level of specialization and real world knowledge of urban youth culture all under one shop.

Project 2050 also announced today the signing of Shepard Fairey as Creative Director. Fairey, known as one of the most prolific street artists ever, was the creative force behind Nike's recent print campaign for the inaugural signature shoe launch of Jordan athlete Carmelo Anthony. In addition to brand work for companies such as Coca Cola's Sprite, Electronic Arts and Pepsi's Mountain Dew, Fairey also created the pervasive Obey Giant street art campaign which has spread throughout urban centers globally, and has gained him a cult following among skateboarders, graffiti artists, hipsters and graphic designers around the world.

"My art represents an experiment in phenomenology -- the aim is to reawaken a sense of wonder about one's environment," says Shepard Fairey. "With the rise of underground art seeping into the mainstream, companies can't follow the same archaic formula. Brands need to deliver their message to young urbanites in an authentic, graphic language that instantly stimulates curiosity. It is crucial for young tastemakers to see a brand as a culturally like-minded peer living in harmony with their world."

The bi-coastal agency has been retained by Electronic Arts to provide strategic and marketing communications support in bringing the breadth of EA's FIFA Soccer 2006 videogame title to the nation's growing Latino youth and young adult markets. Boost Mobile, a lifestyle-based telecommunications division of Nextel Communications, has hired Project 2050 to produce a Shepard Fairey-designed campaign around its summer music marketing efforts. And, multicultural advertising agency Muse Communications hired Project 2050 to provide trend research and analysis for the upcoming Honda Civic Si launch.

Phil Colon, Project 2050 Founder & CEO, co-founded Latino youth advertising agency Ruido Group in 2000. As a result of increased demand from clients to reach urban and general market youth, Mr. Colon decided to bring on new partners to expand the scope of the agency and change the name from Ruido Group to Project 2050. Previously, Mr. Colon was President of Urban Latino Magazine and a Senior Brand Manager of trademark brands at Coca Cola North America. In addition, Mr. Colon and actress Rosario Dawson co-founded "Voto Latino" a non-profit organization geared to motivating Latino youth to get more involved in the political process. Christopher White, Project 2050 President, previously served as VP/Publisher of The Source Magazine after leaving the multicultural shop Uniworld Group, Inc. The group's Managing Director, Matt Pressman, was Associate Publisher of Vibe Magazine and most recently Vice President of lifestyle marketing shop Cornerstone Promotion.

"Our collective experience in branding, media and trend spotting gives us a unique perspective. This market does not want to be advertised and marketed to -- they want to be entertained. We believe brands need to seduce, engage and entertain (S.E.E.(TM)) to reach this fickle consumer," states Matt Pressman, Project 2050 Managing Director.

"Project 2050 will provide unique solutions for the growing and diverse requirements of clients in need of capturing the attention of today's multicultural youth. We will also identify, explore, and deliver non-traditional opportunities that will allow clients to 'shake hands' with today's influential tastemakers," says Christopher White, President Project 2050.

"Our media-savvy team of brand and lifestyle experts and a creative team led by Shepard Fairey are ready to work with brands, advertising agencies, and client partners to create a youth market groundswell," says Phil Colon. "Immediate industry focus for Project 2050 includes the beverage, automotive, consumer electronics, gaming, mobile communications, sports/entertainment, and footwear/apparel categories. We expect to announce some additional wins in these areas soon."

About the Project 2050 Opportunity:

Project 2050's coveted 16-28 year old target audience representing 50 million ethnically diverse consumers (encompassing African American, Latinos, Asians, and CWK's -- cool, white kids) is becoming increasingly multicultural. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by the year 2050, a "tipping point" will occur -- where ethnic groups will exceed 50% of the U.S. population, thus becoming the new mainstream. Already, this is occurring in major metropolitan cities across the U.S. This cultural shift represents the genesis of the agency's name. Project 2050 helps brands forge a connection with this influential multicultural, urban-skewing youth market. The lifestyle marketing shop focuses on non-traditional marketing solutions fueled by edgy, relevant strategy and creative.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: Project 2050


 
Voy Pictures' Film Debut, 'FAVELA RISING,' Wins Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award

Jeff Zimbalist and Matt Mochary Honored

NEW YORK, May 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Jeff Zimbalist and Matt Mochary, who directed and produced VOY Pictures' film debut FAVELA RISING, were honored with the much-coveted "Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award" last night at the Tribeca Film Festival.

The award was accompanied by a $25,000 check from American Express to Zimbalist and Mochary. Judges of the category included Whoopi Goldberg, Diane von Furstenberg, Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos) and Mort Zuckerman.

More than 250 films were shown during the 13-day festival.

FAVELA RISING (http://www.favelarising.com/) is the electrifying story of a man and a movement, a city deeply divided and a vision for a community finally united. Haunted by the murders of his family and many of his friends, the film follows Anderson Sa, a former drug-trafficker who turns social revolutionary in Rio de Janeiro's most feared slum, the favela Vigario Geral. Sa inspires his fellow citizens with a new vision for a better life. AfroReggae, the grassroots cultural movement founded by Sa and fellow favela resident Jos Junior to connect and inspire people through music and dance, combines the sounds of hip-hop, street rhythms and Afro-Brazilian themes. Through the movement, Sa rallies his community to counteract the violent oppression enforced by teenage drug armies and sustained by corrupt police.

Zimbalist and Mochary traveled back and forth to Brazil for more than two years, living in the favela while they chronicled the rise of AfroReggae. After earning the trust and friendship of the soulful and prophetic Sa, they were permitted unprecedented access and shot astonishing footage of daily life in the slums. Zimbalist and Mochary also taught favela children to use digital video cameras so they would be confident and competent enough to document their own lives. In fact, several remarkable sequences in the film were captured by local favela youth. The resulting feature documentary is a gripping story of man's ability to transcend violence, hunger and spiritual poverty.

VOY Chairman and CEO Fernando Espuelas said, "We could not be more thrilled for Jeff and Matt. The fact that this is VOY's first production and theirs as well makes the honor even more meaningful. This is only the beginning of our partnership with these talented filmmakers."

Espuelas continued, "This is a riveting film that I truly believe will deeply impact audiences across the world. Jeff and Matt's vision of a society brought together through the power of art and love is an inspiration in these times of violence and uncertainty. VOY's mission to create entertainment that showcases the power of optimism and self-empowerment makes FAVELA RISING the perfect debut production for VOY Pictures."

Espuelas said VOY plans several "special" screenings of FAVELA RISING in the coming weeks and months in New York, Miami and Los Angeles. The exact dates and locations will be announced soon.

VOY Pictures, the film and television division of VOY, is committed to the production of Latin themed films that are evocative of the VOY message of optimism and self-actualization. While VOY Pictures is primarily focused on creating English-language films, the company also produces films that are inspirational to global audiences regardless of language.

VOY, LLC (http://www.voygroup.com/) is a media company focused on the Latin market and on those consumers discovering Latin culture. Through a suite of VOY-branded products and services including television and radio programming, films, music and publishing, as well as a television network, the company focuses on helping its consumers achieve their aspirations. VOY donates ten percent of its profit to the VOY Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization that awards college scholarships to Hispanic youth. VOY has offices in New York, Los Angeles and Buenos Aires.

Source: VOY, LLC

CONTACT: Gary Rosen/Janice Lusky Greenspan, both of Gary Rosen
Communications, +1-917-751-9111, +1-212-547-8441, +1-305-318-1566, for VOY,
LLC

Web site: http://www.voygroup.com/
http://www.favelarising.com/


 
Samuel L. Jackson Gets Animated for Spike TV with 'AFRO SAMURAI'

NEW YORK, May 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Acclaimed actor and producer Samuel L. Jackson is set to voice and produce the highly anticipated animated action-adventure AFRO SAMURAI for Spike TV, with Japanese anime studio Gonzo and Japan's largest TV network, Fuji Television. The five episode series will premiere on Spike TV in 2006.

AFRO SAMURAI is the tale of a black samurai futuristic, yet feudal Japan who is on a mission to avenge the wrongful death of his father. Samuel L. Jackson stars as "Afro," a warrior who travels a solitary path encountering a myriad of enemies, friends and challenges beyond imagination. The series, produced in Japanese animation, blends samurai style with hip-hop, creating a kind of action that American audiences have never seen before.

"With Samuel L. Jackson involved with this project combined with the talents of Gonzo, the leader in producing cutting-edge Japanese animation, and featuring a funky, hip-hop soundtrack -- this project was irresistible for us," says Kevin Kay, Executive Vice President of Development and Production for Spike TV. "Afro Samurai is already generating a great buzz for its animation and captivating storyline."

AFRO SAMURAI is a creative collaboration between Samuel L. Jackson, Takashi Okazaki and Japanese animation company Gonzo, a division of GDH, who is also acting as Series Producer. The concept of AFRO SAMURAI was created by graphic designer, illustrator and artist Takashi "Bob" Okazaki who has worked on the illustration versions of "Spiderman" for Sony and "Blade: Trinity" for New Line Cinema.

Source: Spike TV

CONTACT: Debra Fazio, Spike TV- NY, +1-212-846-6240,
debra.fazio@spiketv.com, or Robert Pini of Spike TV- NY, +1-212-846-8074,
robert.pini@spiketv.com

Web site: http://www.spiketv.com/


 
Record Deals, Development Deals, Productions Deals, Management Contracts, and Cash to be given away as prizes at The 2005 New York Music Seminar

In the real world, the chances of getting signed to a record deal is slim, but this August when The 2005 New York Music Seminar comes to Manhattan, record deals, cash, management contracts and more are up for grabs. The Nomad Entertainment Group, who is the company responsible for the seminar, has aligned itself with some of the largest major labels, respectable independent labels and a host of producers and artist management firms. According to the company, the goal is to introduce to the world talent that in most cases would never be heard.

Those interested in becoming a part of the competition must first submit a demo tape, and talent competition submission form (which can be found at the website: www.NYMusicSeminar.com) which will be screened by a group of judges who will narrow it down to about 300 artists or groups. This group of 300 contestants will then be narrowed down to around 50 after they perform live before a panel of judges, consisting of Music Industry Executives, Celebrities, and Seminar Representatives. That 50 will then perform at the evening of the first day of the seminar, where thereafter they will be narrowed down to the 20 who will perform the second night of the seminar. It is at that final offering that the winners will be chosen and prizes will be received.

For more information on the 2005 New York Music Seminar and taking part in the competition, visit:
www.NYMusicSeminar.com
or email:
Nomad_Ent@hotmail.com


5/02/2005

 
HIP-HOP JOURNALIST RAHIEM SHABAZZ BEGINS PRODUCTION ON THE SUN WILL RISE

(ATLANTA, GA) The urban romantic comedy THE SUN WILL RISE starring Lil Zane, Dylan (formerly of Bad Boys Da Band), Nina Nicole and Mami Chula begins production APRIL 22 in Atlanta. Written by hip-hop journalist Rahiem Shabazz, THE SUN WILL RISE centers on two furniture movers, Malachi (Zane) and Stephon (Dylan) who land a record deal with a local rap mogul. But when Malachi falls for the moguls daughter Arnelle (Nicole), drastic measures are needed to save the recording contract and keep the girl.

THE SUN WILL RISE is directed by Byron Horne, who co-wrote and directed the 1999 independent blockbuster Dollar starring MC Breed, comedians Ryan Cameron and Bruce Bruce. The film sold over 100,000 units nationwide with talks of a sequel coming soon.

Over 500 actors and actresses turned out to the casting call for THE SUN WILL RISE. "The people of Atlanta are really looking forward to this movie, says Micah White, Editor-In-Chief of Urban Enterprise Magazine. After reading the script, filmmaker Ray Culpepper (Big Ain't Bad, The Naked Truth) said, "Malachi is a fabulous protagonist and Arnelle is his ideal counterpart. Remarkable script". And according to the CEO/Founder of Break Magazine, "Shabazz shows a willingness to write for today's generation. He has not let us down. Its the best script Ive read thus far.

Veteran producers Ron-G, Kyze, Dame Grease, Carlos Broady and Ty-Boogie are slated to appear on the soundtrack to THE SUN WILL RISE as well as rappers Lil Zane, Dylan, and Sec Cheddar.

Sean Anthony Anderson who will oversee the production of the entire film as managing producer while Rahiem Shabazz will serve as executive producer.

About the Cast

Lil Zane plays the lead role of Malachi. Zane is known for his 2000 rap album Young World: The Future on Priority Records. Hes also appeared in films such as Finding Forrester with Sean Connery, Dr. Dolittle 2 with Eddie Murphy and The Fighting Temptations with Beyonce and Cuba Gooding.

Dylan plays Stephon, Malachis partner-in-rhyme. Dylan is mostly recognized for what is often described as his rebellious behavior during the taping of MTVs Making The Band 2 which spawned the short-lived rap group Da Band. Dylan brings that same attention-getting charisma to the big screen.

Nina Nicole plays the role of Arnelle, the beautiful daughter of a local rap mogul. Nicole is a model and actress who began her career by appearing in videos for Lil Jons "Get Low" and "What You Gon Do," as well as Youngbloods "Damn" and the Ying Yang Twins "What's Happenin. Nicoles face has graced the pages of such magazines as The Source, Smooth, Street Masters, Upscale, Black Men, 3XS Magazine, and Mo Girls USA 2004 "Sports Zone" calendar. She is also the lead actress in Towanda Kilpatrick's hit musical "Can A Hoochie Mama Be A First Lady?" and starred in the hit Internet movie Lewd Behavior.

Mami Chula, radio personality at Atlantas Hot 107.9 FM, appears as herself in this film. Shock-jock, ghetto guru, and radio scandal-monger are just a few of the titles she is known to carry.

Rahiem Shabazz is a recognized hip-hop journalist with credentials in writing video treatments, movie scripts, bios and press releases. After penning three movie scripts, Shabazz has wasted no time in working on his first novel about his life story. In the novel, Shabazz re-introduces readers to the early days of hip-hop and details his childhood and his journey to becoming one of the industrys most sought-after journalists. He is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists (Atlanta Chapter) and the Atlanta Screenwriters Circle.

Press Contact:
RaSha Ent.
Phone : 404.484.2706
Email: rahiemshabazz@yahoo.com


 
Metropark Brings World-Renowned DJ and Street Culture Icon to Mall of America for May 18th Opening Event

Tuesday April 26, 6:00 am ET
- Live Performance by Z-Trip
- Live Art Installation by Obey Creator Shepard Fairey
- 'Lords of Dogtown' Art Collection

CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif., April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Metropark, a new chain of mall-based specialty stores offering contemporary, multi-brand apparel, accessories, music and art for young men and women will be hosting an invitation-only event Wednesday, May 18th to celebrate the opening of its Mall of America store. The event will feature a live DJ set by Z-Trip (Hollywood Records) and a live art installation by Obey Giant creator Shepard Fairey. Guests will also view an exclusive "Lords of Dogtown" art collection provided by TriStar Pictures.

Metropark is the first mall-based retailer to combine the converging core lifestyle elements of fashion, music and art through a carefully edited, hard-to-find assortment of vendors that typically only serve small street boutiques in the major fashion centers of New York and Los Angeles. This includes an eclectic multi-brand assortment of apparel and fashion accessories; a custom, multi-channel audio-visual presentation featuring a current mix of music, fashion and art content; a lounge with energy drinks; street-inspired art and a DJ table where premier DJs perform live on weekends.

"To properly introduce our brand to the Twin Cities customer, we hand- picked several key mindshare leaders from the fashion, music and art arenas to participate in our Mall of America launch event," states Lawrence Tanenbaum, Metropark's President. "Z-Trip and Shepard Fairey are paving the road for tomorrow's pop-culture trends and, as such, they are true extensions of the Metropark brand. Their involvement with our Mall of America launch is significant and validates Metropark's commitment to offering our customers a fun, unique and constantly evolving destination shopping experience," adds Tanenbaum.

Metropark will be located on the first level of Mall of America near the Nordstrom court. The store is scheduled to open to the public on Saturday, April 30th. This is Metropark's first store outside of California, where it opened its first four prototypes last fall.

"Metropark has raised the bar by showcasing amazingly creative brands and art, stuff as cool as any boutique out there, in the mall setting," states Shepard Fairey, founder and creative visionary of Obey. "I'm sure Metropark is going over well because consumers are more sophisticated than most mainstream marketing gives them credit for and a venue like Metropark is long overdue. Snobby boutiques are going to be humbled by Metropark's offering," adds Fairey.

"I am excited to be involved with Metropark at an early stage of their growth," comments Z-Trip. "They are in touch with the fashion and cultural influences of today, and I think they are a very credible partner to help me reach and expand my fan base. The bottom line is; they get it!" stated Z-Trip.

Metropark currently operates stores in four major regional malls, including Glendale Galleria (Glendale, CA); The Oaks (Thousand Oaks, CA), Valley Fair (Santa Clara, CA) and Oakridge (San Jose, CA). The company is opening three to five additional stores this year, including Mall of America (Bloomington, MN), and has already executed leases for stores at Irvine Spectrum Center (Irvine, CA) and Galleria at Tyler (Riverside, CA), both of which will open late summer/early fall 2005. For more information, visit the company's web site at www.metroparkusa.com.

Z-Trip started DJing as a 13 year old in Phoenix, Arizona. His 2001 release Uneasy Listening Vol. 1, a mix-CD put together with fellow turntablist DJ P, was called "genius" and "wholly original" by critics. In 2002, Z-Trip was featured in the documentary film "Scratch" and the DVD bonus-feature, "How to Rock a Party" was shown on MTV2. He's played high-profile festivals such as Bonnaroo and Coachella and has opened up for The Rolling Stones, Dave Matthews and Linkin Park. Z-Trip's debut full-length album Shifting Gears (released April 19th on Hollywood Records) received a four-star review from Rolling Stone and features, "Walking Dead" with Chester Bennington from Linkin Park. "Walking Dead" can be heard on Modern Rock radio stations across the nation. www.djztrip.com

Shepard Fairey's visual propaganda has seeped into the urban consciousness through its massive worldwide street presence since 1989 with a whimsical sticker featuring the mug shot of Andre the Giant. Fairey has shown his work in solo gallery exhibitions all over the world and has permanent collections on display in numerous museums including New Museum of Design in New York, the MOCA Sand Diego, and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Shepard's own design firm, Studio Number One, pushes the boundaries in the advertising world through highly creative campaigns for clients such as Coca Cola, Twentieth Century Fox, Red Bull, Black Eyed Peas and Atari. Fairey is also co-founder and publisher of Swindle Magazine. www.studionumber-one.com www.obeygiant.com

On June 3rd, TriStar Pictures will present the major motion picture "Lords of Dogtown" in theaters across North America. The film stars Emile Hirsch, Nikki Ried, John Robinson, Victor Rasuk, Heath Ledger and Johnny Knoxville and depicts the legendary rise to fame of the Z-Boys, a Southern California surf-skate team that inspired the action sports revolution. In honor of the original team, TriStar Pictures will tour a collection of original Dogtown art and memorabilia along with props from the film created by the Z-Boys themselves. The show captures the inspirational esthetic of the Dogtown era and the authenticity of the filmmaker's process. www.lordsofdogtown.com

Mall of America is the nation's largest retail and entertainment complex. With 4.2 million square feet, the complex is home to more than 520 world-class shops; Camp Snoopy, the nation's largest indoor family theme park; Underwater Adventures Aquarium, a 1.2 million gallon walk-through aquarium; a 14-screen movie theater and more. The Mall is located in Bloomington, Minn., just minutes from downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. For more information visit www.mallofamerica.com

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: Metropark


 
Hooman Sound Has Just Opened Its Doors for Business in NYC

Hooman Sound, a new recording studio in New York City, has just open its doors for business, providing rappers with a home to find the hottest instrumentals in hip hop.

New York, NY (PRWEB) April 28, 2005 -- Hooman Sound has just opened its doors for all MCs with the hottest lyrics around. Hooman Sound is giving a chance to prove to the world how good MCs will be with the studio's instrumentals, and a chance for artists to have the hottest beats around.

Hooman Sound employees are in the lab every day bringing in the heat so artists can have the upper hand that they have been dreaming of. Every month Hooman Sound provides artists with fresh new beats to help them lay down tracks. With Hooman Sound beats artists will be one step closer to selling records and finally hearing their music on the radio.

Hooman Sound's mission is to provide quality beats, service and support to the Hip Hop generation at a single destination for all things related to their grind.

Founded in 2003 as a recording studio, Hooman Sound originally offered soundware for Ensoniq keyboards. Soon after the release of the MPC2000, the company quickly became known for the hottest sounds by the hottest labs in New York among many other cities.

In 2005, Hooman Sound launched their Web site, Hoomansound.com, offering an expanded library and expanded formats, but keeping over 95 percent of their catalog laced with the straight urban hip hop feel. The hip hop industry has been the sole focus for HoomanSound from day one. From basement beat makers to their many Gold & Platinum plaque clients, HoomanSound has blessed more true hip hop artists than any other sound company.

While other so-called hip hop sound producers take a client's money and run, dry up and go out of business or just refuse to step their game up, Hooman Sound will still be here, assisting in the shaping of modern hip hop and always here for questions or concerns. Hooman Sound wants to make the artist the next big thing with the help of their beats.

Contact:
212-849-6880
e-mail protected from spam bots

Send Demo to:
Hooman Sound
One Penn Plaza
250 West 34th Street
36th Floor
New York City, New York 10119
United States


 
MIKE JONES' Debut "Who Is Mike Jones?" Lands in the Top 5 of "The Billboard 200" Chart

Houston-Based Rapper MIKE JONES' Solo Release Lands at #3

NEW YORK, NY--(MARKET WIRE)--Apr 27, 2005 -- Houston-based rapper MIKE JONES makes an impressive debut landing in the TOP 5 of Billboard's 200 Chart at #3 just under Rob Thomas and Mariah Carey, respectively, with his Warner Bros./Asylum/SwishaHouse release of "Who Is Mike Jones?" The CD sold more than 60,000 units its first day of release and topped out at more than 180,000 at the end of the first week. The CD is also #1 on Billboard's "Top Rap" and "Top R&B/Hip-Hop" charts as well as having served as the #1 CD on Apple iTunes.

The first single from this talented marketing wiz/rapper, "Still Tippin'," featuring label-mate Paul Wall and Slim Thug, has already garnered an audience of more than 27 million at radio and continues to be in heavy rotation at BET and MTV2. Close to 2 million people are file trading "Still Tippin'" online with the new single "Back Then" quickly seeing a similar pattern with the file-swapping phenomenon online.

Produced by the same hit-making team that delivered the debut single, "Still Tippin'," (SwishaHouse head Michael K. Watts and Silah Williams) and with early online trading detections, "Back Then" promises to deliver as big a bang as "Still Tippin'." The video clip shot by Dr. Teeth debuts on MTV2 and BET next week.

"Who is Mike Jones?" boasts production by the aforementioned Michael K. Watts and Silah Williams as well as Memphis-based famed producers DJ Paul and Juicy J, and a host of up and coming production talent. Guest appearances on the disc include rhymes by Bun B, Lil' Keke and, of course, Paul Wall and Slim Thug.

Hip hop heavy hitter MIKE JONES, who began rapping in 2001, has gone from a fledgling rapper struggling to get his records in rotation to one of the most well known game spitters on the southern underground to chart-topping artist.

MIKE JONES gained fame on more than two dozen now legendary SwishaHouse "screwed-up" mix tapes by constantly repeating his name throughout his rhymes and hooks, then following with the question "Who?"

You can catch MIKE JONES performing on BET "Spring Bling" on April 28. JONES is also currently on tour doing dates across the country, both promotional and paid.

Contact:

For more information on MIKE JONES, press kits,
or interviews, please contact:
Tremedia
Tresa Sanders
845.623.2325
or via email at tre@tre-media.net

Warner Bros.
Luke Burland
615.214.1490
or via email at luke.burland@wbr.com.


 
Queen of Hip-Hop Fiction Nikki Turner Launches The Glamorous Life in Style

Essence magazine bestselling author, Nikki Turner launches a glamorous, extravagant literary gala, never done before in hip-hop fiction. Gala will launch her first book published by Random House, The Glamorous Life.

Richmond, VA (PRWEB) May 1, 2005 -- Nikki Turner, the Queen of Hip-Hop Fiction, will host an elaborate book launch party, at the exclusive Downtown Club of Richmond over looking the beautiful James River. The book launch, introduces Turner's friends, fans and celebrities to her latest novel, entitled: The Glamorous Life, her first book published by Random House's imprint,
One World Books.

Turner a #1 Essence bestselling author, of A Hustler's Wife, A Project Chick and Girls From Da Hood, has the winning formula for producing bestselling books, and she is using that same creative talent to produce a one-of-a-kind book launch gala. Complete with a red carpet and spotlight to make the celebrity and literary icons invited, feel like they are arriving to an Academy Award event.

Since the April 26 release of The Glamorous Life, copies have been flying off store shelves, and calls have been pouring in from book clubs, and book stores alike for booksignings across the country. Thus far, Turner has several appearances scheduled in Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago, New York, California and Georgia.

The book launch gala for The Glamorous Life is May 6, 2005 at the Downtown Club of Richmond on the Riverfront Plaza West, 901 East Byrd Street in Richmond, Virginia.

The running order of the majestic evening will be as follows:
- Royal Greeting on the red carpet: 6:30-7:30 p.m.
- Dancing, Networking & Booksigning: 7:30-11:00 p.m.
- Afterparty: 11:00 pm until at the Hyperlink
- Dress code: Nothing less than Glamorous!

Contact Pam Purifoy for media credentials at (919) 451-2620.


 
Billboard Launches Major Redesign with April 30 Issue

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 27, 2005--Billboard, the world's most trusted source of music, video and digital entertainment news, charts, reviews and analysis, announces its first major redesign in more than forty years, premiering with the April 30 issue. The new design will serve as the foundation of a wide-ranging transformation of the Billboard brand, which will be followed by the relaunch of Billboard.com and Billboard.biz, the launch of Billboard Mobile and the debut of new branded industry conferences and events.

Founded in 1894, Billboard is the premier music industry publication and its charts are the industry standard for success. While the redesigned magazine will continue to feature the quality entertainment industry reporting and data readers have come to rely on, the new Billboard will parallel the changes in the marketplace by featuring expanded digital and brand marketing coverage. Tamara Conniff, recently named Billboard co-executive editor, in conjunction with long-time executive editor, Ken Schlager, will spearhead the new look. Together they will oversee the editorial content of Billboard, as well as the web properties, the mobile initiative and the multiple Billboard conferences.

Billboard's world-famous charts will be grouped together in a section for easy cross-reference and will feature a new look with easy-to-read formatting and at-a-glance analyticals.

Daniel Stark served as creative director and with his firm, Stark Design, was responsible for the redesign. Stark Design has worked with such clients as Aramis, Kenneth Cole, Maybelline and Perry Ellis, among others. Late last year, Stark's group was responsible for the creative behind the relaunch of Billboard's sister publication Billboard Radio Monitor.

"With an average annual household income of $236,000 and 71% in management positions and higher, Billboard's affluent, educated and innovative readers reflects all aspects of the industry - from label executives to brand marketers, from artists to retailers, from dealmakers to decision-makers," said Kilcullen. "Now more than ever, Billboard is an indisposible resource reaching the thought leaders who create buzz, influence the purchasing habits of millions of consumers and drive change in the music, video and digital entertainment industry."

About Billboard:

Now in its 111th year, Billboard is the world's premier music publication and a diverse digital, events and brand-licensing platform. Billboard publishes the most trusted charts and offers unrivaled reporting about the latest music, video and digital entertainment issues and trends. Billboard is the flagship property for the Billboard Information Group, which also consists of Billboard.biz, Billboard.com, Entertainment Law Weekly, Billboard Chart Alert, Billboard Information Network (BIN), Billboard Directories, Billboard Licensing & Events and Billboard Radio Monitor. Billboard's many strategic partners include Fox-TV, Microsoft, mForma, Reuters, Sirius Satellite Radio, Telemundo, Univision Radio, ABC Radio Networks, Azteca America and Billboard sister companies Nielsen SoundScan and Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems. These partnerships leverage Billboard's proprietary data, charts and information resources to develop broadcast entertainment, digital and mobile platforms and contextual commerce applications that expand Billboard's franchise and consumer reach.

Billboard is headquartered in New York with bureaus in Boston, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville and Washington DC. The Group is a unit of VNU Business Media, a worldwide media company that provides specialized publications, electronically delivered data, expositions and marketing services and is owned by VNU Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Netherlands-based VNU, an international publishing and information company.


 
Hip Hop and Business Worlds Collide to Motivate Urban Youth

'Making The Band's' (MTV) Chopper and Kwame Jackson From 'The Apprentice' (NBC) Join Forces to Promote New Line of Rap Snacks and Entrepreneurship Through Multi-City Promotional Concerts

CHICAGO, April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Bad Boy recording artist Chopper, a.k.a. Young City of the worldwide platinum rap group "Da Band," recently signed on as the spokesperson for Rap Snacks Pork Skins and Cracklins, a new product line being launched by the Chicago-based Evans Food Group and Rap Snacks, Inc., headquartered in Philadelphia.

On Saturday, April 30th, Chopper makes his very first promotional stop in St. Louis to promote the product and his forthcoming single and album (Bad Boy South). He will perform at The Vault. Joining Chopper will be Kwame Jackson from NBC's first season of "The Apprentice." Jackson, a successful business owner and highly sought-after speaker, will co-host the concert series in an effort to promote entrepreneurship among the urban youth expected to attend the events. Jackson recently closed a $3.8 billion deal through his real estate company.

Rap Snacks, Inc. is a 10-year-old company headed by business man James Lindsay. Since 1994, Rap Snacks, Inc. has used popular rap stars and hip, positive phrases to sell chips to urban markets. Last year, the company reported sales of 3 million bags of chips per week, thanks to retail outlets and independent distributors in cities across the nation.

Chopper's photo is featured on bags of Rap Snacks Pork Skins and Cracklins, which are available in a variety of flavors. Also featured on the bags are motivational messages like "seize every opportunity," and "be who you are without shame." The new line of Rap Snacks Pork Skins and Cracklins is available in stores now.

Chopper gained popularity on P. Diddy's hugely successful MTV reality show "Making the Band." He went on to become the only artist to land a deal with the Bad Boy South record label.

Source: Evans Food Group

CONTACT: Monique Caradine of Momentum Communications, +1-708-720-4252,
or mobile, +1-708-989-0391, mo@motalks.tv, for Evans Food Group

Web site: http://www.send2press.com/

Web site: http://www.evansfood.com/


 
New Voices: 10 Citizen Media Experiments to Launch

April 28, 2005
College Park, Md. Ten New Voices award winners from across the United States will receive $12,000 grants to launch innovative local media ventures, J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism announced today.

The 10 were selected from 243 proposals seeking inaugural New Voices funding, said Jan Schaffer, director of J-Lab, which administers the program, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The winners, ranging from the Friends of the Deerfield Library in New Hampshire to the Mid-Columbia Centro Cultural in Hood River, Ore., demonstrated both the goal of applying the values of fact-based journalism in pursuit of news, and a realistic plan to find a way to keep the operation going after its launch.

Ten more ventures will be funded next year. The 2006 deadline will be next Feb. 8.

Grant recipients for 2005 include:

* The Philbrick James Forum, from the Friends of the Deerfield Library in Deerfield, N.H. To create a Web site to report on local news and activities, exchange opinions and showcase news, fiction, poetry, cartoons and photography from the 4,000 residents of this growing rural community. A quarterly newspaper will cover seasonal topics, including local elections and school issues, and highlight the best contributions posted to the Web site.

* KRFP News, from Radio Free Moscow Inc. in Moscow, Idaho. To train citizen journalists to produce a daily half-hour news program for this new, low-power FM radio station. A companion Web site will allow listeners to tune in to the latest broadcast in streaming audio, download podcasts of previous shows, and hear unaired, expanded reports. A Web-based message board and a 24-hour phone line will allow listeners to sound off on the issues and suggest new stories to cover.

* Hartsville Messenger expanded community coverage, from the University of South Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication and IFRAs Newsplex in Columbia, S.C. USC students and Newsplex advisors will team with the twice-weekly Hartsville Messenger to recruit and train citizen journalists to contribute reports, moblogs, video and audio to either a new or improved Web site as part of a pilot program that will result in a how-to guide for smaller news organizations seeking to embrace citizen journalism.

* Noticias Tuyas, (Your News) from the Mid-Columbia Centro Cultural in Hood River, Ore. To launch a weekly half-hour, prime-time, bilingual news program, broadcast on low-power FM radio station, Radio Tierra 95.1 FM KZAS, that will target the Latino residents who comprise more than 25 percent of the community. Broadcasts will feature local news, opinions written and read by community members, and educational forums with a Latino perspective on the news. Community members will be trained to research, write radio scripts, and edit audio.

* Loisaida Speaks, from the Lower East Side Girls Club in New York City. To train 32 young women, aged 15-21, to produce weekly podcasts on community news and issues as a first step in building a network of teen podcast correspondents to cover local issues and events. The Lower East Side Girls Club serves predominantly black and Latina girls from low-income neighborhoods.

* The kaPow! Web site, from kaPow! Inc. in Philadelphia. To create a virtual home on the Web for hip-hop culture in Philadelphia and the mid-Atlantic region. The Web site will provide news, audio broadcasts, bulletin boards, events listings and directories of artists and services. A creative commons space will allow artists to post their latest songs in MP3 format, barter talent and get feedback from their audience.

* Loudoun Forward in Loudoun County, Va. To the emerging Loudon Forward public think tank to create a hyperlocal civic tool set that includes a printed publication, a Web site and Weblog, an e-newsletter and public forums to help residents in the nations fastest-growing county identify the forces that are shaping their lives and make better public decisions. A newsprint magazine will dispassionately probe such topics as housing, growth, economic development, racial diversity, conservation, crime, education and health care. Citizen contributions will be made through the Weblog, topic-based town hall meetings and the electronic newsletter.

* Twin Cities Newswire, from the Twin Cities Media Alliance and KFAI-FM community radio in Minneapolis/St. Paul. To create a Web site to launch during the 2005 municipal elections for community media outlets and citizen journalists to post and share print, audio and video news stories focused on the racially and ethnically diverse population of the Twin Cities. Inviting content on such topics as immigration, police/community relations, public safety, environment, the site will post stories from individuals and enable minority and ethnic journalists to reach a larger audience.

* The Madison Commons Project, from the Center for Communication and Democracy at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. To create boot camps to train citizen reporters and university students in micro-reporting for 12 mostly minority neighborhoods and to establish a model community information commons. The Web site will include content organized by neighborhood, region and issue and will be produced by citizen reporters and community and ethnic publications. The Capital Times newspaper will regularly feature news reports produced by the project.

* North Lawndale Community News Blog, from Strategic Human Services in Chicago. To launch a community news Weblog to encourage citizen journalism from the mostly African-American residents of one of Chicagos poorest neighborhoods. The blog will cover community tensions, concerns over gentrification and other local issues through print, audio and photos. It will be linked to the biweekly North Lawndale Community News.

Participating in the selection process were the New Voices Advisory Board:

* Charles B. Fancher, president, Fancher Associates Inc., Annapolis, MD.
* Jeff Jarvis, president and creative director, Advance.net, founder of the blog buzzmachine.com.
* Bruce Koon, executive news editor, Knight Ridder Digital and board member, Online News Association.
* Peggy Kuhr, Knight Chair on the Press, Leadership and Community, the University of Kansas, Lawrence
* Peter Levine, deputy director of CIRCLE at the University of Maryland, College Park
* Katherine McAdams, associate professor, Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland, College Park
* Adam Clayton Powell III, Director, Integrated Media Systems Center, Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California
* Donna M. Reed, vice president of news, Media General
* Thomas Kunkel, dean, Philip Merrill College of Journalism.
* Jan Schaffer, executive director, J-Lab.

Grantees will be considered for $5,000 second-year grants if they successfully launch their projects and supply matching funding. Project updates will be posted at www.J-NewVoices.org. Deadline for 2006 proposals will be February 8, 2006.

Later this spring, J-Lab will launch J-Learning.org, a how-to site that will provide beginner-friendly training on planning, building and promoting hyperlocal news sites. To subscribe to
J-Labs newsletter, email news@j-lab.org.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes excellence in journalism worldwide and invests in the vitality of 26 U.S. communities.

J-Lab helps news organizations and citizens use new media technologies to create fresh ways for people to participate in public life and also administers the Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism. It is a center of the University of Marylands Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

Website: www.j-lab.org

Contact:
Jan Schaffer, (301) 985-4020