Dr. Dre has had a successful rap career for more than two decades, but it seems as if his focus has changed from making music to creating products for people to best listen to their favorite tracks. His headphone line, Beats by Dre, came out in 2009, and since then everyone from crooners to professional athletes have been seen representing the gear.
The seasoned musician has teamed up with a number of elite public figures like LeBron James in the past to create unique headphones, and now it seems as if Nicki Minaj is looking to get involved. Dre recently branched out from headphones to portable Bluetooth speakers known as Beats Pill and Minaj has now created her very own line for the brand.
The Pink Pill version is right up Minaj's alley thanks to its bubblegum pink colorway. The singer and "American Idol" judge discussed her new speaker with Rap-Up.
"I am so excited about this product. It's something I actually use," Minaj told the news outlet. "It's a little tiny speaker that I can travel with, yet the sound is incredibly loud and rich. I knew the Barbz [what Minaj calls her fans] would not only love it, but that they'd want it in pink! So, here ya go Barbz!!!! My PINK PILL!"
Minaj's commercial for her Pill is set to premiere during "American Idol" April 10.
Do you have any of the Beats by Dr. Dre products? Would you be interested in Minaj's Pink Pill?
Famed basketball legend Magic Johnson is no stranger to controversial headlines. Johnson very publicly announced he was HIV positive during a press conference in Los Angeles Nov. 7, 1991, ESPN reports. The news shocked his fans and other players within the NBA, but the announcement also sparked a new approach to how people looked at the virus. Johnson became a poster child for AIDS - educating people from around the nation on the virus and how anyone can get it.
Now, it seems his son, Earvin Johnson III, is becoming a leader in his own right. TMZ reported recently that Earvin is openly gay, and his father backs him 100 percent. The former basketball star recently discussed his love for his son and his understanding of the struggles Earvin will likely face in his life with the news outlet.
Johnson touched on the subject of religion and how he feels his son may be subject to some hostility or hatred among people who don't believe homosexuality is the right way of life. Johnson hopes Earvin will be able to turn the negative into a positive, telling TMZ, "I don't care who's attacking my son, I'm going to still support him and still love him ..."
On another note, Johnson also believes Earvin's honesty may encourage other African American youth to feel comfortable about coming out themselves.
"I think this going to be good for a lot of young, black people who want to come out," Johnson told TMZ. "[Earvin's] going to be that symbol. I told EJ, 'This is going to be bigger than you,' we can't see it now. You can't see your impact, but you're going to have [one].'"
Do you think Earvin's announcement and Johnson's support of his son will have a positive impact on other teens or young adults trying to come out?
Amidst opening up about his battle with epilepsy, rapper Lil Wayne may soon again have something to smile about. BET reports the hip hop star's latest album, "I Am Not A Human Being II," recently debuted at the No. 2 spot on the Billboard album chart. The CD sold 217,430 records in its first week.
Despite strong sales, Wayne wasn't able to beat out Justin Timberlake. His CD, "The 20/20 Experience," remained at the top of the charts, selling more than 1 million albums, and over 300,000 this week alone. Even though Wayne fans seem to be excited about his new sound, many critics feel the rapper's record falls short.
Jon Hadusek, a music reviewer for Consequence of Sound, declared the album as, "Less than little." Adding, "The beats are so simple that they're a nonfactor, and there aren't very many funny lines - which was Wayne's most redeeming quality in the past. The record makes one fear for Dwayne Carter's career ..."
A second review by Ken Capobianco of The Boston Globe shares a similar description, claiming Wayne is "slumming, going for lazy verse punctuations and relying on easy rhymes."
Did you pick up Wayne's new album? Do you like his latest sound or do you agree with the reviews?
Khloe Kardashian-Odom seems to have it the most together out of all of her famous siblings. Not only is she married, she tends to always be the most level-headed on the family's various reality TV shows, and is the sister who is known for giving back. However, it seems as if Kardashian-Odom may soon be in some hot water - she and husband, basketball player Lamar Odom, are being accused of charity fraud.
ESPN's show, "Outside the Lines," is behind the allegations, claiming Odom's charity, Cathy's Kids, hasn't used any of the nearly $2.2 million raised to put toward cancer-related causes. Though Odom's case was highly publicized on the episode, "OTL: The Charity Conundrum," ESPN researchers also looked into more than 100 charities fronted by athletes.
What the allegations mean
According to the extensive research by ESPN, Cathy's Kids, which was created in 2004 after Odom's mother, Cathy, died of stomach cancer, looks to raise money to help fund cancer research and provide for underprivileged kids. However, since its inception in 2004, it seems as if no money has been given to cancer research and that $1.3 million has been spent on supporting two youth basketball teams.
The nearly eight years of tax records ESPN researchers reviewed showed the remaining funds went toward covering the charity's expenses, New York Daily News reports. This includes paying Jerry DeGregorio, Odom's former high school coach, an annual salary of $72,000 for helping to run the charity.
Even though Cathy's Kids was set up by Odom prior to the basketball star getting involved with Khloe Kardashian-Odom, the reality TV star has used her own success to boost donations. Kardashian-Odom has an eBay account in which she and Odom auction off their own personal items, claiming any money that is brought in from the sales goes to benefit Cathy's Kids.
Is there truth behind the accusations?
When the news first broke on March 31, both Odom and Kardashian-Odom kept quiet, though in the recent days following up, Odom's rep has come forward with a response.
"The millions of dollars personally contributed by Lamar constituted more than 90% of the money raised by the foundation," the statement read. "All of the funds donated by Lamar and the other contributions to Cathy's Kids were used for one of the foundation's intended charitable purposes. Not one penny went to help Lamar personally or any member of his family."
Overall, the eye-opening show exposed some hard truths about how legit athletes' charity work is. Researchers found of the 115 charities looked into, approximately 74 percent "fell short of acceptable nonprofit standards used by the top three charity watchdogs," ESPN reports.
Are you surprised about Odom's charity? Do you think the allegations are true?
It's no secret that rapper Jay-Z wears a lot of hats. Not only has he branched out from music into clothing and creating clubs, he is now dipping his hands in the world of sports. Yahoo! Sports reports Jay played a huge role in bringing the New Jersey Nets back to Brooklyn, as well as playing a major part in revamping the team's fashion and entire look.
Jay helped bring back an old school vibe with the team's black, gray and white color scheme, and has even electrified the borough more thanks to his overwhelming support for the Barclays Center, the team's home.
Jay-Z: The newest sport agent
Now it seems Jay is ready to get even more involved with sports, as it was recently announced the mogul is a sports agent. According to CNN Money, Jay officially signed his first client March 2, acquiring New York Yankees star Robinson Cano. The breaking news comes on the heels of Jay's announcement that he's created Roc Nation Sports, a sports agency under his Roc Nation brand that will team up with an already popular sports agency, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), to bring in new clients.
"Because of my love of sports, it was a natural progression to form a company where we can help top athletes ... the same way we have been helping artists in the music industry for years," Jay said in a statement regarding his new business.
Is Cano making the right move?
Many within the sports industry are shocked by Cano's decision to sign with the relatively new company. The second baseman is set to become a free agent at the end of the current baseball season, and it's reported many teams are looking to pick him up. Despite the risky move, Cano, who has already won a World Series and is a two-time Gold Glove Award winner, is confident with his decision, according to the New York Post.
"At this point in my career, I am ready to take a more active role in my endeavors both on and off the field," Cano said during a press conference. "I am confident that the pairing of Roc Nation Sports and CAA Sports will be essential in helping me accomplish my short- and long-term goals. I am making this important decision now so I can keep my focus on helping the Yankees succeed in 2013, while minimizing any distractions for me and my teammates."
Are you surprised by Jay-Z's latest move? Do you think he'll have to give up his share of ownership with the Nets in order to get more clients?
Lil Wayne's health has been in the news a lot as of late. He suffered a seizure that sent him to the hospital March 15, and despite telling fans he was feeling great, he recently announced on the Power 106 radio station that he battles epilepsy.
Wayne told DJ Felli Fel about his condition and that his most recent seizure was not the only one he's had.
"The bad news is I'm epileptic, so I'm prone to seizures," Wayne explained to the DJ. "This isn't my first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth or seventh seizure. I've had a bunch of seizures. Y'all just never hear about them."
The rapper added his most recent episode was one of his worst, describing how he had not one, but three seizures in a row, which slowed his heart rate down about 30 percent. Wayne also admitted the people closest to him understand his condition and generally know what to do when he has an episode, though the one on March 15 was so bad they had to take him to get help.
"Certain times I don't even go to the hospital but this time it was real bad because, like I said, it was three in a row. I've never had three back-to-back like that and the third one was so bad," Wayne said in the interview.
His latest confession has some fans concerned for his safety, but Wayne wont let his condition hold him back. He announced he'll be touring this summer to promote his latest album.
Are you surprised by Wayne's confession?
The anniversary of Eazy-E's death due to complications from AIDS was March 26, and fans in both the hip hop world and the streets took a moment to honor the legendary MC. The date also sparked excitement about the documentary film E's daughter, recording artist E.B. Wright, is making to showcase the life and death of her famous father.
BET reports Wright is looking to reveal the issues surrounding his early death (he was 31) and how he was able to change the rap game during his short time on Earth.
"A lot of people don't know the truth behind his death," Wright told the news outlet. "There's definitely a story out there of how people think he died but a lot of it is a misconception, so I think it's time to tell the story of exactly what happened."
The documentary, "A Ruthless Scandal," is reportedly going to focus on Eazy-E's time prior to his death as told by his close friends and family. Wright is relying on the memories of such people because she was only 4 when her father passed.
"I'm going to have interviews with everyone: his former [NWA] group members, business associates, friends, doctors, lawyers, court papers will all be in there," Wright told the publication. "Everything that was involved [in his death] is going to be a part of the documentary."
The young singer and filmmaker believes her father could have been a major player in the hip hop, fashion and entertainment industries had he lived to see his dreams come to life. She admitted she feels as if he'd be someone highly influential like Russell Simmons or Jay-Z because he was not only connected with the streets, he also had a mind for business.
According to HipHop DX, a six-minute trailer for the documentary was recently released and shows excerpts of people talking about Suge Knight's threats on Eazy-E's life, as well as certain reservations friends have about the way he died.
The documentary, reportedly set to drop in fall 2013, is being produced by Ruthless Records, the company Eazy-E helped launch prior to his death. The label is still in effect today and is run by Eazy's late-wife, Tomica Woods-Wright.
Would you be interested in seeing the Eazy-E documentary? What type of insight would you be looking to gain by viewing the film?
Rapper Drake has continued to make a name for himself within the hip hop industry. Most recently, he's decided to switch gears with his management team, ditching BMI for ASCAP. The latter is the nation's top performing rights organization, according to BET.
Fellow performers like Eminem, Justin Timberlake and Pharrell Williams all call this management team home, meaning Drake is in good company - and he knows it.
"For me, a big part of making music is getting the opportunity to work with people I love, trust and respect," Drake said in a statement. "As an organization run by music creators, ASCAP represents a whole community of kindred spirits. Joining ASCAP was just a natural choice for me because I know my music is in the best possible hands."
The ASCAP's official website reports the group is a "professional membership organization of songwriters, composers and music publishers of every kind of music." Its mission is to license and promote the music of members, while providing musicians with fair compensation for live performances, record sales and merchandise.
Do you think Drake made the right move? How do you think switching will affect the cost of his concert tickets, merchandise, etc.?
Soulful crooner India.Arie is known for belting out hits about loving the skin you're in. However, rumors have been swirling lately that a photo taken of her for her latest single, "Cocoa Butter," shows Arie with lighter skin. Fans took to their social media pages to blast the singer for her hypocrisy, BET reports.
Despite trying to keep a cool head, Arie recently fought back against the allegations in a series of tweets posted March 29.
"Personally speaking! I'm happy to say I have NOT BLEACHED my skin LOL! ROTF at the thought," Arie said in one tweet, adding right after, "I wouldn't endanger my health that way 2. i'm so in love with myself I have no DESIRE to BLEACH myself. Lol."
Arie went one step further, declaring the photographer and the "magnificent" lighting used on set are to blame for the appearance of her supposed lighter complexion.
Despite the controversy, in show business any news can be good news. The recent drama has certainly helped Arie get the word out regarding her new single on her latest album, "Songversation," set to drop June 25.
Do you think India.Arie would bleach her skin? Are you surprised fans thought she would?
Justin Timberlake has been making more movies than albums in recent years, but first week sales of his new CD, "The 20/20 Experience," prove his fan base is stronger than ever. Billboard reports JT's first album since 2006 earned the No. 1 spot this week, selling just shy of 1 million copies nationwide.
Timberlake's latest album follows a long career of success. "FutureSex/LoveSounds," which came out in 2006, also debuted at No. 1 , selling 684,000 copies in the first week, while his first solo album, "Justified," which came out in 2002, earned the No. 2 spot on the Billboard Top 100, selling 439,000 copies in the first week.
Even though Timberlake has had tons of success with the CD's first single, "Suit & Tie," featuring Jay-Z, Timberlake admitted via his Twitter account that he wasn't expecting to sell so many copies of the album in the first week.
"Whoa... Speechless. Shocked. Numbers go up, numbers go down. I just hope this album makes your Summer... You already made mine #bestfansever," JT shouted out to his fans.
He then sent out another message, making it seem like he had a gift for his loyal listeners up his sleeves.
"I'm gonna find a way to show my appreciation to you ladies and gents this week... Stay tuned. #finderskeepers," Timberlake tweeted.
Do you like JT's new sound? Did you buy his album?