September 04, 2014



Associated Press


Chris Brown pleaded guilty September 2 to punching a man in the face outside a Washington hotel, an assault that occurred while the singer was on probation for attacking his then-girlfriend Rihanna.


Brown pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and was sentenced to time served. He spent two days in a District of Columbia jail in the case, one that further tarnished the image of the Grammy-winning singer.


Brown, 25, admitted that he hit a man who tried to get in a picture the singer was taking with two women outside the W hotel a few blocks from the White House last October. The victim, Parker Adams, suffered a broken nose.


At the time of the arrest, Brown was on probation in a felony assault case for attacking pop star Rihanna hours before the 2009 Grammy awards. The arrest led a judge in California to revoke his probation, and he was ordered in May to serve an additional 131 days in jail. He was released in June.


Brown’s attorney, Danny Onorato, argued that Brown had already suffered extensive consequences from the Washington case, noting the additional jail time in California and the four months he spent receiving inpatient counseling. He said that Brown’s career has been on hold for nearly a year and that he wanted to take responsibility for his actions so he could go back to work, including a tour in support of a new album.


“To say that he’s been punished severely in this matter is an understatement,” Onorato said.


Brown spoke only briefly, ­saying: “I would like to say to the court that I’m sorry.” He did not comment as he left court, swarmed by photographers and a handful of fans.


Brown had previously pleaded not guilty in the case. A trial scheduled for April was delayed, and two previous attempts to reach a plea deal fell through. Onorato said there were “nuances” of difference in the potential deals.


“As Chris Brown himself has now finally acknowledged, he punched a man in the face without provocation,” U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen said in a statement. “No matter your status or celebrity, you will be held accountable for such conduct in our city.”


Brown had a squeaky-clean image before his attack on Rihanna, but since then he has had several flare-ups that have been reported to authorities and noted by Los Angeles prosecutors. Brown broke a window after a 2011 “Good Morning America” interview in New York and was accused of snatching a woman’s cellphone in Miami after she tried to snap pictures of the singer. He was also slightly injured in a New York nightclub brawl and, earlier this year, was accused of being involved in a fistfight with Frank Ocean’s entourage over a parking spot at a West Hollywood recording studio.


He was not charged in any of the incidents, but they have hurt his public standing. Nonetheless, legions of fans, including many of his more than 13 million Twitter followers, continue to support him. Following the hearing, he tweeted “#XTheAlbum,” a reference to his new recording, due out Sept. 16.


Onorato said his client has learned to “be more judicious” in his dealings with the public.


“He’s an incredibly talented and charismatic kid,” Onorato said. “I think he’s misperceived a lot. He’s a wonderful person, and I’m glad this is behind him.”


Brown’s bodyguard, Christopher Hollosy, was convicted of misdemeanor assault in April for his role in the same scuffle. He has not yet been sentenced. The victim, Adams, has also filed a $1.5 million lawsuit against Brown and Hollosy.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

August 28, 2014


By Jineea Butler

 NNPA Columnist



Hip Hop has always had a fetish with gangster movies and characters. We often see artists referring to themselves in lyrics or using popular characters as their stage name: Public Enemy, Scarface, and Little Caesar were all popular gangster films of the 1930s. The Notorious B.I.G. lost a court battle for the right to use the name Biggie Smalls, a character in “Let’s Do It Again” with Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby. Even French Montana borrowed half of his name from Tony Montana made famous by Al Pacino in Scarface.


My favorite is the Godfather trilogy. It is a timeless chronicle of a 1940s New York Mafia family, redemption and the struggle to protect their empire from rival families. The current state of Hip Hop could be looked at as having five controlling families; New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Chicago.


In the Godfather, Marlon Brando played a violent and vicious hero. One could argue that the description is redundant, but are you familiar with Hip Hop Veteran James ‘Bimmy’ Antney? Yes, Love and Hip Hop’s Waka Flacka and Deb Antney’s kin, and a former member of the Supreme Team. His moves are much like that of Don Corleone. In the Godfather II, Robert De Niro won an Oscar for portraying Young Vito Corleone and his rise to power. In a candid conversation with Bimmy, I learned how he earned the right to be called New York’s unofficial Don of Hip Hop.


When I asked him why he got so much love and respect from his peers when most are met with hate, he quoted mobster John Gotti: “Everybody is a Gangster till the real Gangster walks in the room.” Oh. Now I am not implying that Antney is involved in a life of crime. I could tell the streets raised him, but the desire to “be street” left the building long ago. Just like Don Corleone, he has been there and done that, but his experiences and wisdom has led him to understand that he must lead responsibly.


Bimmy is woven into the fabric of Hip Hop. He lived and slept on the floor in the early days of Def Jam in the famous Chung King Studio when Slick Rick did “Children’s Story,” when Run DMC did “Rock Box, when LL Cool Jay did “I’m Bad.” He witnessed Hip Hop being born in its purest form.


Young Vito Corleone realized that the reigning Don Fanucci was taking advantage of the people of Little Italy and decided that the only way to save them was to give him an offer that he couldn’t refuse. Likewise, Bimmy expressed his deep disdain of how New York artists are treated and not revered as they once were. Bimmy wants everybody to understand one thing: while he may have worked for and popped artists from all over the country like Gucci Mane and 2 Chains, he loves his city and wants to restore New York to greatness. After a gap of 14 years since their last project together, LL Cool Jay entrusted him to lead the crusade on the production and arrangement of the highly anticipated album GOAT 2. LL’s statement on Shade 45 VIP Saturdays says it all, “My man Bim, threw me to the wolves, I’m out here with the wolves and we doing what we do.”


When Vito became the Don, he was everybody’s go-to man. He catered to the people of the community and solved problems for the community. He negotiated truces and collaborations with the other five families, he even was the voice of reason when necessary. His team was comprised of his family and his most trusted allies.


I see Bimmy Antney carrying out the same obligations and undertakings representing the New York music scene. He led me to believe that is he the answer to making sure real Hip Hop lives, especially in New York. He said, “Who I am to down play Hip Hop, if I am not going to help. These young artists need to be nurtured and learn how to ask for and accept help. Maybe then their careers won’t be so short. I know the formula, I’m taking it back to when we first started and all we had was the bull horn. Hip Hop follows the streets and the street game is backwards right now. I care about the mistakes, a mistake could cost us a whole borough. God appointed me to monitor it and care about it and I do.”


The Godfather trilogy is fiction; Bimmy is not. Far from being a member of the Mafia, he writes his own movies and is an example of how life can imitate art. As LL Cool Jay is wrapping up G2 and eyeing a G3, Bimmy is setting the stage for Hip Hop to accept an offer no one can refuse.


Jineea Butler, founder of the Social Services of Hip Hop and the Hip Hop Union is a Hip Hop Analyst who investigates the trends and behaviors of the community and delivers programming that solves the Hip Hop Dilemma. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Tweet her at @flygirlladyjay.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

August 28, 2014

Aries Mar 21 - Apr 19


This week's New Moon in Virgo can be helpful for ditching bad habits and committing to new, more life-enhancing ones. However, when it comes to finances, wait a few days before applying for a loan or other credit, as you may have more luck toward the end of the week. There is still a focus on fun, leisure, and enjoyment, which you'll find rejuvenating and entertaining. One romantic liaison could move to a new phase of passion and intensity.




Taurus Apr 20 – May 20


If you've been thinking about taking a budding romance to the next level, the New Moon on Monday may give you the incentive you need to make it happen. You have a two-week window of opportunity, but catching the Moon tide sooner rather than later might bring better results. In the meantime, if someone is being stubborn, don't try to persuade them against their will. Later in the week they may come around to your way of thinking anyway.




Gemini May 21 - Jun 20


The pressure's on this week at work, so make a point of chilling on a regular basis so you can cope with the extra demand. In addition, you may be pushing yourself to complete projects on the home front, particularly if you've suffered from procrastination in this regard. Don't pile too much on your plate - it could lead to disappointment. Instead, make time to be with friends and enjoy relaxing in good company whenever possible. Later, you may need to compromise but find it hard to do so.




Cancer Jun 21 - Jul 22


Social trends spotlight an interesting plan, although cooperation and compromise may be required to handle a certain relationship. A partner or love interest could be headstrong and impulsive, causing you to feel frustrated. However, as the week progresses it will become easier to talk things over and come to an arrangement. Where finances are concerned, use this opportunity to consolidate your affairs and find ways to get your money to work harder for you. Don't fritter it away if you can help it.




Leo Jul 23 - Aug 22


Issues on the home front could come to a head on Monday, yet something positive can arise out of this. If you've been battling frustration and tension for some time, it's possible that a solution can be born out of a desire for peace and harmony. As for you, you seem to be upbeat and positive, so try not to let such matters distract you from the goals, plans, and opportunities that are now opening up for you. Stay focused and you can do very well.




Virgo Aug 23 - Sep 22


Mixed signals suggest that one piece of news could cause anxiety, or perhaps a friend's plight will impinge upon your time. However, giving an edgy situation the attention it requires might help ensure a relatively trouble-free week. The New Moon in your sign on Monday can be excellent for kick-starting a plan or making changes in any area of your life you choose. You have a two-week window of opportunity, but the sooner you act, the better the results can be.




Libra Sep 23 - Oct 22


This week's New Moon in your spiritual sector brings an opportunity to take up a spiritual practice such as meditation, yoga, or tai chi. Your willingness to make this a regular habit could have a positive effect on all areas of your life, particularly the stressful and uncertain parts. At the same time, you'll be boosted by the companionship of good friends who can make a positive contribution to your life this week. In romance, you could be attracted to someone who oozes sex appeal.




Scorpio Oct 23 - Nov 21


A setback, hampering situation, or disappointment, possibly in connection with a friend or loved one, may test you. Instead of throwing your hands up in the air, focus on sorting things out. However, tensions ease as the week gathers pace and you begin to feel more confident and upbeat. Socially, things are looking much more positive. This week's New Moon early on could entice you to move in new circles and seek out friends and companions on a similar wavelength.




Sagittarius Nov 22 - Dec 21


Exciting influences prevail where your love life is concerned, though you may have to move outside your comfort zone for them to show up. As for career, this week's New Moon brings a positive boost to a new project or plan. You have a two-week window of opportunity, so make use of it and you'll find that things come together much more quickly than they might otherwise. When it comes to travel and adventure, someone may have a suggestion that you'll find hard to resist.




Capricorn Dec 22 - Jan 19


A patient approach may be needed concerning a friend or associate who is unwilling to compromise. But once this is out of the way, the week looks almost buoyant. The continued focus on your zone of finances and megabucks encourages you to connect with folks who are successful in their own right. This may be the time to learn a few tips and tricks that might come in handy. Regarding romance, someone may seem to have soul-mate potential. Perhaps it's time to strike up a conversation!




Aquarius Jan 20 - Feb 18


This week the New Moon in your zone of shared resources can be helpful if you want to apply for a loan or line of credit, but it might be worth waiting a day or two to avoid complications with those in authority. The coast should be clear by Thursday or Friday, with a better chance of getting what you want. Regarding relationships, things look very positive, but you'll need to put in the effort to continue to reap the rewards. Later, your significant other could be too tempting to resist!




Pisces Feb 19 - Mar 20


If a long-range dream seems even more distant and out of reach, that doesn't necessarily mean it's impossible. You may find you can attain your wish at a fraction of the cost by scaling back your plans. In addition, the New Moon in Virgo offers a chance to take a budding romance to a new level of commitment. If you're already in a partnership, use this Moon phase to kick-start a challenging project and have a better chance of success.


Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

August 28, 2014


Associated Press


NEW YORK (AP) — BET has suspended a producer after a joke about Beyoncé and Jay Z’s daughter that aired Monday on the network's music video countdown show, “106 & Park.”


A source at BET, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed to discuss the matter publicly, said the producer was suspended after a remark about 2-year-old Blue Ivy’s hair.


On Monday’s show during a segment about Blue Ivy’s hypothetical thoughts during Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards, guest host Karrueche Tran said: “I really did wake up like this, because my parents never comb my hair.” Blue Ivy joined her mother onstage at the VMAs.


Stephen Hill, BET’s president of music programming and specials, publicly apologized on Twitter.


“Last night on 106 & Park there was a stupid, unthoughtful joke made about a young child,” Hill tweeted.


Hill also said the network privately apologized to Beyoncé and Jay Z.


BET didn’t return an email seeking comment Wednesday.


Tran, who has dated singer Chris Brown, tweeted Tuesday that she did not write the joke. She wrote: “Now y’all know I LOVE me some Beyoncé and Blue Ivy!”


Hill also tweeted that it was not Tran’s fault.


“We also apologize to her for putting her in that position,” he wrote.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

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