Browsing: Southern News

David Banner Lands Role Alongside Samuel L. Jackson In Flick ‘Black Snake Moan’

August 19th, 2005 | By Administrator

Rapper/producer David Banner is taking a step from behind the microphone and mixing board to make his acting debut along side Samuel L. Jackson in the Craig Brewer directed film ?Black Snake Moan.???

The movie is a tale about a white woman who is a nymphomaniac and must be cured of her disorder by a black bluesman.

“I’m really happy with the role,” David Banner told “I feel blessed that my debut role is a major one, starring beside someone as great as Samuel L. Jackson.”

?Black Snake Moan??? is slated to start shooting in October and also stars Christina Ricci and Justin Timberlake. Brewer directed the critically acclaimed movie ?Hustle & Flow.???

“My character is one of the few people in the town besides Lazarus [played by Samuel L. Jackson] that really understands this woman,” Banner said of his role, “He’s a hustler but No one else believes in her and they all kind of get down on her. It’s a real cool movie”

Although the plot may seem simple, the actual story behind it is much more complex, according to director Craig Brewer.

“This is a movie where we are taking some of the most sexual and racially charged imagery where you look deeper and you find that these are human beings, but it is also a movie that deals this wave of sexual addiction;” director Craig Brewer told in a recent interview about the movie. “It shows that there are so many things that have collided but that is ultimately what makes us all family. It makes us connected to each other where normally we wouldn’t be connected.”

Banner has also been tapped by Cartoon Network to create an untitled cartoon that will appear in the Adult Swim block next season.

“The cartoon is going to be really funny,” Banner told “It’s really going to push the envelope as far as the topics we are touching on.”

The cartoon will not only feature David Banner, but fellow southern producers Jazzy Pha and Mannie Fresh.

“It’s about a white family and a black family living in modern day North Mississippi but the white family’s mind set is that of 1869 and no matter what you do it won’t change, they still think and talk the way they would in 1869, so it’s really pushing it,” Banner said. “My character is a member of black rock band who works at Sonic, but he is moving upward and is in direct conflict with the white family. I think that it’s really going to push the envelope and address the issue of race relations in America, even if we don’t want to.”

With his new upcoming acting projects, Banner says he is taking a break from music to focus on his craft and to get some much needed rest.

“Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a workaholic,” Banner said. “I am just going to use this time while I am shooting the film to really rest. I am totally focused on acting because that has always been my dream. After we are done shooting, I am planning on starting the European tour to promote Certified and dive back into the swing of things with music.”

David Banner?s Certified hits stores September 20 on Universal.

Gucci Mane Denied Bond

August 17th, 2005 | By Administrator

Amid a pending trial on aggravated assault charges, Gucci Mane was denied bond after an Atlanta judge stated that the rapper has been “in too much trouble.”

Gucci Mane, born Radric Davis, is accused of beating a promoter with a pool stick this past June, during which he was already on bond for a murder trial.

The 25-year-old Atlanta-based rapper was charged with allegedly shooting Henry Clark on May 10. Three days later, Clark’s body was discovered in Atlanta.

Davis has repeatedly said that he acted in self-defense, and a new investigation of that incident is currently underway.

The trial has been deferred until October, and Davis is being held without bond in the Fulton County jail.

TVT Records & Slip-N-Slide Battle Over Pitbull Recordings

August 14th, 2005 | By Administrator

TVT Records and Slip-N-Slide Records will head to court August 26 over unreleased material by Miami, Florida rapper Pitbull.

According to a report in the Miami Herald, the two labels are battling over the release of Welcome to the 305, an album that contains material Pitbull recorded before signing with TVT.

The Slip-N-Slide recordings were tracked in 2001, before the rapper signed to TVT. Slip-N-Slide claims Pitbull signed over all rights to the recordings when they granted the rapper a release in 2003 to sign with TVT.

TVT President Steven Gottlieb said that Slip-N-Slide was exploiting the investment they had made to make Pitbull a worldwide star.

”TVT has invested substantial time, effort and resources to develop P?rez [Pitbull] as an artist and to develop, market and release the M.I.A.M.I. album on a worldwide basis,” Gottlieb said in court papers.

Pitbull’s debut album M.I.A.M.I. (Money Is A Major Issue) has moved over 500,000 units and according to Slip-N-Slide owner Ted Lucas, Welcome to the 305 has already tallied over 100,000 pre-orders.

Lucas said that Pitbull has given verbal support of the older material, while Gottlieb claimed Pitbull told TVT to block the release.

?We’ll fight for this because Pitbull’s next real release should be a multi-platinum breakthrough,” TVT said in a statement.

Mystikal Hit With Tax Charges

August 12th, 2005 | By Administrator

Rapper Mystikal, who is currently incarcerated for sexual battery, has been hit with another charge for allegedly failing to file his federal income tax returns, according to officials at the IRS field office in New Orleans.

The New Orleans rapper, whose real name is Michael Tyler, is charged with two counts of not filing his tax returns for 1998 and 1999, when his gross income was $824,915 and $930,953, respectively.

Mystikal could serve up to a year in prison on each count if he is convicted.

The rapper was sentenced to six years in prison in 2004 after his hair stylist accused him and his two bodyguards of forcing her to perform sexual acts.

The woman claimed that Mystikal and his crew accused her of stealing $80,000 in checks from the rapper, which she denied.

Slip-N-Slide Celebrates 10 Years With Labor Day Weekend Party

August 10th, 2005 | By Administrator

Slip-N-Slide Records, recording home for artists Trick Daddy and Trina, will celebrate it’s 10th year in the music business in September with a three day Slip-N-Slide “MIA” celebration in Miami, Florida.

The Slip-N-Slide weekend will feature an invitation-only cocktail party at a private mansion on South Beach, a yacht party and an A-list party hosted at one of Miami?s newest hotspots.

A formal reception is also planned at Parrot Jungle Island.

Slip-N-Slide?s representatives were tight lipped about details on the events, but have stated that there will be major surprises and top performances.

Some of entertainment?s biggest names are slated to be present to help celebrate the Miami, Florida based label 10 year anniversary.

When asked about his mission for the next ten years, Ted “Touche” Lucas, President and CEO of Slip-N-Slide stated: ?I would like to take Slip-N-Slide to a new level and become one of the major record labels in the music business, similar to Interscope Records.???

Although Slip-N-Slide was built on bringing their infectious brand of Hip-Hop to the mainstream Lucas added that he is looking to release more genres of music.

To thank South Florida, fans and the entire music industry for the great support they have received through the last several years, a portion of all proceeds will benefit Concerned Citizens for Miami-Dade County Schools and the Miami Coalition against Crime.

The Slip N Slide “MIA” weekend is scheduled to be held Labor Day weekend September 2nd – 5th.

Turk Convicted On All Charges, Rapper Faces 10 Years

August 10th, 2005 | By Administrator

A federal jury convicted rapper Tab ?Turk??? Virgil of three felony charges yesterday (August 9). Virgil was convicted of being a felon with a handgun, a fugitive with a handgun and a drug addict with a handgun.

The charges stem from a shootout during a January 2004 drug raid of an apartment. SWAT team member Deputy Chris Harris was shot in the jaw, hip arm and calf.

During the trial, Deputy Harris said he opened a double-door closed in the apartment and saw a bright muzzle flash. He said he immediately felt the bullets? impact.

Harris said he traded fire with someone in the closet and that he could see bullets flying through the door and into the ceiling of the apartment.

Afterwards, police recovered a 9mm in the closet with six shells nearby. Ballistics evidence also stated the bullet that struck the officer in the jaw came from the 9mm.

While tests on Virgil?s hands came back inconclusive, prosecutors said the rapper had gunfire residue on his shorts.

Virgil?s attorney Javier Bailey told the jury that the rapper never fired a weapon. He said that officers botched the investigation.

Bailey argued that once police threw a flash-bang grenade into the apartment, no one would have been capable of retrieving a weapon.

Six officers present testified that they never saw Virgil with a gun in his hand and none of them saw him in the closet either.

The leader of the SWAT team, Sgt. Perry McEwen, said that Virgil and his girlfriend were ordered to crawl out of the bedroom after the shooting.

McEwen testified under oath that Virgil stated: “I thought we were being robbed.”

Attorneys made their final arguments yesterday morning and the jury took just five hours to convict the chart-topping rapper, who made his mark as a member of Cash Money Records? hit group, The Hot Boys.

The group featured fellow New Orleans rappers Juvenile, B.G. and Lil? Wayne.

Virgil?s attorney expressed disappointment at the time the jury spent deliberating and has vowed to appeal.

Virgil faces between five and 10 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced October 26.

The rapper is still facing an attempted-murder trial stemming from the shooting, but a trial date has not been set.

Jury Selection Starts In Turk Trial, Lawyer Hopes Charges Will Be Dismissed

August 1st, 2005 | By Administrator

Jury selection started today (August 1) in the weapons trial of Tab ?Turk??? Virgil, who is currently incarcerated on attempted first-degree murder charges and weapons violations.

The charges stem from a January 26, 2004 shootout with Memphis, Tennessee SWAT team members. Prosecutors say that Virgil injured officers as they raided an apartment seeking a cache of heroin and weapons. As they entered the apartment, gunfire erupted.

S.W.A.T. team officer Chris Harris was shot three times, in the jaw, hip and leg and another officer was wounded by ?friendly fire??? from another S.W.A.T. team member.

Virgil is charged with being a felon in possession of a handgun, a fugitive in possession of a handgun and being a drug addict in possession of a handgun.

The rapper also faces first degree murder charges in state court. Virgil has maintained his innocence, saying that he was hiding in a closet as the officers raided the apartment.

“We can never tell which way a jury is going to go” Virgil?s attorney Javier Bailey told “But I am confident that the jury will take one look at the evidence and dismiss the charges against Mr. Virgil. When it all comes down to it, I feel that the actions of the officers and [the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation] in this case further add to the tensions and distrust that are very present between the Hip-Hop community and law enforcement.”

According to representatives for Virgil, gunshot residue found on the rapper was returned as inconclusive. An analysis statement read: ?These results can not eliminate the possibility that the individual could have fired, handled or was near a gun when it fired.???

Representatives say this is significant to Virgil?s defense of hiding in the closet. A surprise witness that was allegedly hiding under a bed during the shootout was found with no weapons, but yielded the same test results.

?I’ve never shot a police [officer], I’ve never owned a gun, I’ve never seen a gun,” Virgil told Memphis Tennessee’s Channel 3 News shortly after the shooting. “I’m scared praying. I hear boom boom. I don’t hear any police say ‘knock knock.'”

Virgil said officers called him out of the closet, but he was reluctant because officers wanted to “beat” him.

“I never saw a search warrant,” Virgil said. “I’ve been having drug problems since I was 14. Off and on battling heroin. I never fired a gun, never. I’ve never even seen a gun, never.”

Virgil is being held in lieu of $150,000 bond in Shelby County Jail.

JD Goes At Chris Rock In “Free” KING Mag

July 26th, 2005 | By Administrator

KING is mostly known for scantily clad women, but Jermaine Dupri has tossed some disparaging words at comedian Chris Rock in the latest issue of the men?s magazine.

The comments to the ?illest men?s magazine??? come under the premise of a mock bachelor party for the Virgin Records president, who is also singer Janet Jackson?s boyfriend.

However relaxed the setting, J.D. stated, ?If you say anything about anybody who got what you want, it’s a statement of jealousy. It’s like you end up dating someone that people wanted to date their whole life, so people are crushed by it. Chris Rock probably ain’t married to the person he wants to be married to and when he sees me, he’s like “Damn! How? Why?” I look at it like that’s just part of their job, too. When people make jokes, they make jokes on what’s hot. At the time, me and Janet were a big conversation piece.???

While no formal wedding plans have been announced, the So So Def mogul said that African-Americans haven?t championed his girlfriend?s sibling Michael, in an acceptable manner.

?It’s clear that Michael was set up. Michael Jackson is a generous dude. He’s in The Guinness Book of World Records for giving. He gives the most to people and people take advantage of that,??? J.D. explained to KING. ?What’s foolish about it is that our own community jokes about it. If Elvis were still alive, they would never let anything happen to him.???

Free of BET graces the cover of the magazine?s latest issue and she?s not the demure, affable host that appears on ?106 & Park.???

Among other spicy details, the Boston native explained why she was reluctant to pose for the publication.

?I was a little shy with the concept of ?Take off your clothes and put your butt in the camera??? [laughs]. But we had a good time and I?m ready for it now. I don?t think I was ready for it before,??? Free said.

The magazine is already on newsstands in New York City and is being distributed nationwide.

Boyz N Da Hood Give Hustle & Flow Two Thumbs Up

July 25th, 2005 | By Administrator

Hustle & Flow, a hopeful tale about a pimp/rapper, entered the weekend box office at No. 7, an impressive debut considering the film was in fewer theaters than top dogs like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Wedding Crashers.

The film pulled in $8.1 million and appeared in just over 1,000 theaters. The movie stars Ludacris, Anthony Anderson, Taryn Manning and Terrance Howard as the aspiring pimp-turned-rapper D-Jay. Also, Hustle & Flow, was produced by vet John Singleton and Stephanie Allain and directed and written by Craig Brewer.

In addition to money, the film is raking the acclaim from the Hip-Hop community. Young Jeezy of Boyz N Da Hood said that Singleton?s most recent foray is comparable to a classic movie that chronicled the experience in South Central Los Angeles.

?This is like [the Boyz n The Hood] of the South (which launched Singleton?s career), especially for the town [of Memphis]. I don?t know where [Terrance Howard] is from, but he represented for Memphis. That?s how they talk down there, ?mayne,???? Jeezy raved to

Howard, a 36-year-old native of Chicago, is already garnering an Oscar buzz with his depiction and subsequent humanization of the aging pimp, a person that has been relentlessly stereotyped in Hip-Hop.

Jody Breeze, another member of BNDH, said that the movie realistically portrayed the struggle some Southern rappers experience in seeming desolate situations.

?They showed a lot of love for the game, man, both the grind and the hustle,??? Breeze said. ?There?s a lot of ni**as that don?t know that part of the game.???

Producer John Singleton said that, even though the film deals with the squalid world of prostitution, the tremendous efforts of the characters will transcend to all people.

?The bottom line is that everybody has a dream. Not everybody has a way to get there to express it, but everybody?s got something in them that they want to get out,??? Singleton told ?Even if they?re a pimp.???

Singleton?s next movie, Four Brothers, hits theaters August 12 and features Andre 3000 of Outkast, Mark Walberg and Tyrese Gibson and Garrett Hedlund. Also, Terrance Howard will co-star with 50 Cent in Get Rich or Die Tryin,? which is due in theaters Nov. 11.

Mike Jones, Paul Wall, Slim Thug Talk H-Town

July 22nd, 2005 | By Administrator

With Mike Jones certified platinum, Slim Thug No. 1 on Billboard?s rap charts and Paul Wall on deck, Houston, Texas is experiencing its biggest resurgence in recent history.

However, the trio is keeping their success in perspective.

Paul Wall humbly told, ?We just following suit, because the Geto Boys been putting it down with Rap-A-Lot, UGK of course. Other places been doing it?we just following suit to represent for real.???

With The People?s Champ coming September 13, Paul Wall recently joined Reebok apparel company in its print ad campaign.

And although Slim Thug sold major units on the independent circuit, his major label debut was bootlegged forcing Geffen to push his date back.

The rapper, who stands 6?6,??? merely adjusted to the streets.

?Already Platinum had gotten out on bootleg and we didn?t want to give the people the same record [that was in the streets],??? Slim Thug said. ?We went and redid the whole thing over so it?s a whole new album.???

Slim?s album was the largest debut this week on the Billboard 200, selling more than 129,000 copies and debuted No.2.

On the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, Already Platinum emerged in the No. 1 spot.

Mike Jones? Who is Mike Jones? pushes a steady amount of units and is already platinum.

?I?m just trying to make it. I?m the motivator, I motivate people. I got my own label, Ice Age Entertainment,??? Jones said. ?I?m ready.???

?People are showing (Houston) a lot of love and embracing us,??? Paul Wall concluded.

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