Category: Lil Wayne

Far East Movement tapped to join Lil Wayne for summer leg of 'I Am Still Music' tour

Far east When Lil Wayne moves his hit I Am Still Music tour to outdoor venues for its second leg this summer, the rapper is adding a dose of electro-hop to the roster by adding Far East Movement.

The multiplatinum group owned the charts when their single "Like A G6" made them the first Asian American group to achieve a No. 1 single in the country.

Los Angeles natives, the group rose to mainstream prominence after building a following in the club scene. Their hit, "Girls on the Dance Floor," co-written by Bruno Mars, earned them a record deal with CherryTree/Interscope Records.

The band is currently headlining their Free Wired World Tour, which is taking them to college campuses across the country.

FM joins Rick Ross, who supported Wayne on the first leg, along with R&B singers Keri Hilson (she actually joined the rapper on the first I Am Music tour back in 2008) and Lloyd.

The second leg of the Live Nation/Haymon Ventures produced tour will kick off in Hartford, Conn., July 13 at the Comcast Theatre and wrap up Sept. 11 at the Woodlands Amphitheatre in Woodlands, Texas.

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Lil Wayne lawsuit over 'The Carter' documentary takes another twist

GetprevDespite boasting a pair of currently charting smash singles and a sold-out national tour, not everything is waffles and syrup for Lil Wayne.

Known for his frequent travails with both the criminal and civil courts, Wayne's latest imbroglio stems from the documentary "The Carter," which debuted at Sundance in 2009 to much critical acclaim. Focused on the rapper's notoriously prolific recording and drug habits, it immediately drew consternation from Wayne's camp.

Whereas Wayne once cut a swath as rap's Jim Morrison -- an addled and slurred Dionysian figure -- he has cleaned up his act in recent years. Reportedly sober, a coherence creeps into his speech that was formerly laced with weird rambles. Whereas he once played self-indulgent and ham-fisted guitar solos at his shows, he now espouses his love of God and his fans.

Presumably, this desire to project a more family-friendly image is part of the reason why his attorneys filed a $50-million lawsuit to halt the documentary made by Digerati Holdings LLC. Chagrined by the film's "objectionable content," Wayne's team is also suing over breach of contract, invasion of privacy, fraud, misrepresentation and unfair business practices.

The opening salvo of the suit filed by Lavely & Singer utilizes a level of comic invective rarely seen outside of a Lil Wayne song:

Corporate greed and fraud reached its zenith in 2008. Bernard Madoff stole $56 billion dollars from unsuspecting victims. A prominent attorney pretended to be someone else and made off with $380 million dollars. Apparently not content to sit on the sidelines and see this brazen hustlers make off with all the money, Digerati Holdings, LLC decided it wanted to participate in its own massive con game.

Unsurprisingly, Digerati filed a countersuit, alleging that Wayne was in breach of contract for failing to perform agreed-upon interviews, and for reneging on a deal to provide the filmmakers with video material. The countersuit also alleges that Wayne and his camp attempted to stop the spread of the film by attempting to sway Viacom and MTV Networks from distributing it.

Last November, Wayne was released from Rikers Island prison after serving eight months on a weapon possession charge. In 2008, he was sued by Urband & Lazar Music Publishing for allegedly using a sample in his mixtape hit "I Feel Like Dying" without permission. The suit caused him, in turn, to sue the song's producer Jim Jonsin, and was later settled out of court.

The suit over "The Carter" rages on, with both sides expected to reconvene later this year in court, where a jury will ultimately decide the case's fate.

RELATED:

Live review: Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross at Staples Center

Lil Wayne endorses the Green Bay Packers with 'Green and Yellow' freestyle

Lil Wayne 'Free at last' after eight-month prison stint

-- Jeff Weiss

 Photo: Lil Wayne makes an appearance at the 2009 Grammy Awards at Staples Center. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

Live Review: Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj at the Staples Center

nicki minaj staples center
The rapper born William Roberts goes by the pseudonym Rick Ross, and in lyrics he claims he’s MC Hammer and drug kingpins Big Meech and Larry Hoover. Dwayne Carter is known to most civilians as Lil Wayne but claims the names Lil Tunechi, Weezy and the more formal Weezy F. Baby. Queens-bred Onika Maraj is Nicki Minaj. Her alter-egos include Roman Zolanski and Nicki Teresa. Once on "Lopez Tonight," she called herself “Rosa” (with an extended roll of the "R.")

Together at the Staples Center on Friday night, the three behind the I Am Still Music tour asserted their  place at the forefront of the cartoon-rap renaissance, a progression that has occurred as hip hop’s commercial wing has increasingly divorced itself from its gritty '90s gangsta iteration. But few represent the shift more than Ross, who when confronted by his past as a corrections officer that he’d tried to keep hidden, transcended the nearly career-ending revelation by writing lyrics so absurdly fantastical they made Afrika Bambaataa’s spaced-out track “Planet Rock” seem grounded.

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Lil Wayne announces his 'I Am Music II Tour,' first outing since his prison stint

Wayne Fresh from his stint behind bars, Lil Wayne is ready to hit the road.

The pint-sized powerhouse is prepping a North American excursion, dubbed the “I Am Music II Tour,” a sequel to the hugely successful 2008 trek.

Wayne’s tour will hit arenas in 25 cities, starting March 18 in Buffalo, N.Y. 

The multiplatinum and Grammy award winning rapper will be joined by protégé Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, Travis Barker and Mix Master Mike.
 
He is back on the charts after releasing “6 Foot 7 Foot,” the first single off his highly anticipated album  “Tha Carter IV,” scheduled for a spring release. The thumping track, produced by Bangladesh (Wayne's "A Milli"), boasts an oddly perfect Harry Belafonte sample and debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Tha Carter IV” is the sequel to the multiplatinum 2008 album “Tha Carter III,”  which logged more than 1 million in sales in its first week of release -- and the follow-up to last year's "I Am Not a Human Being," which he dropped while serving time on a 2007 gun charge at Rikers Island.

Tickets for the tour will be available through Live Nation.com starting the weekend of Feb. 4.

Check out the dates after the jump:

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Lil Wayne 'free at last' after eight-month prison stint

Getprev Lil Wayne fans, rejoice!

After serving eight months of a yearlong sentence for attempted gun possession, the rapper was released from Rikers Island at about 8:30 a.m. Thursday. 

Wayne reported to prison in March after reaching a plea deal resulting from a 2007 gun charge after a Manhattan concert stop. 

Before going in, he adopted Twitter and launched a special website to keep in touch with his supporters. It was maintained by his "little brother" Lil Twist, and on it he published letters he'd penned in prison. 

"I was never scared, worried nor bothered by the situation" behind bars, Wayne said Tuesday through the site.

The rapper was welcomed home with a barrage of Tweets from his Young Money (Wayne’s imprint through Cash Money Records) family. 

"FREE AT LAST!!!!!!!" the rapper's longtime manager, Cortez Bryant, Tweeted Thursday morning as his ingénue Nicki Minaj exclaimed, "Wayne's home!"

Drake saluted the fans' support and Tweeted, “I just want to thank you all for keeping YM alive for the last 8 months.”

Besides fans writing Wayne –- which had to cease when he landed in solitary confinement for a month as punishment for possessing "music contraband" (headphones and a charger for an MP3 player) -– they gobbled up his latest album, “I Am Not a Human Being.”

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Taylor Swift's 'Speak Now': Headed for 1 million first-week sales?

Taylor Swift live Club Nokia Schaben 
Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now” album, which was released Monday, is shaping up to have possibly the biggest first-week sales of any album this year, according to Billboard. The 20-year-old singer-songwriter’s third album is expected to log sales of at least 800,000 to 900,000 copies by Sunday, Billboard reports.  That would put it ahead of the year’s current first-week sales champ, Eminem’s “Recovery,” which posted initial sales of 741,000 in June.

The trade publication gives it a shot at topping 1 million copies in its first week, which would make it the first album to hit that mark since Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter III” sold 1,006,000 copies in 2008 during its first week.

Swift’s collection appears to be doing better than retailers expected. A month ago, Billboard cited industry projections of 750,000 copies for "Speak Now" in the first week. It also is generating largely favorable reviews, scoring an 81, out of a possible 100, at the Metacritic aggregrate review site.

The enthusiastic response to the album runs counter to the downward trend of overall record sales, which in the latest reporting period were 14% lower than in the same period last year, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Just two weeks ago, Toby Keith’s “Bullets in the Gun” set a new record for the lowest sales figure for a No. 1 album debut –- 71,000 copies -- since SoundScan began monitoring retail sales in 1991.

Swift also would counter the trend of artists who have been unable to match or top their previous sales figures. Her 2008 sophomore album, “Fearless,” debuted at No. 1 after selling 592,000 copies in its first week of release.

Swift is in the midst of a blitz of media appearances this week in conjunction with the release of “Speak Now”; next year, she plans to embark on an international tour.

-- Randy Lewis

Photo of Taylor Swift performing at Club Nokia in Los Angeles. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

 

On the charts: Toby Keith's No. 1 debut sets record low

A Pop & Hiss look at what's selling -- and what isn't.

T_KEITH_LAT_6_

At the top: The U.S. pop charts have had an influx of country the last two weeks, as Toby Keith's "Bullets in the Gun" is the second-straight Nashville representative to lead the tally. "Bullets" hits with about 71,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan, a celebratory landing that comes with an asterisk. 

The number, according to Billboard, is the lowest-ever debut for a No. 1 album since SoundScan began tracking data in 1991. While there have been smaller sales tallies posted by albums that rose to the pole position -- including 60,000 copies sold by Justin Bieber's "My World 2.0" earlier this year -- Keith's figure is a new low for an album that debuted in the top spot. 

The Billboard archives reveal that Keith's 2009 effort entered at No. 3 with 90,000 copies sold. His latest sells just a few thousand more than Kenny Chesney's "Hemingway's Whiskey," which in its second week moves down to No. 2. The latter's two-week sales total now stands at 249,000.  

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Album review: Lil Wayne's 'I Am Not a Human Being'

Wayne Lil Wayne may boast that he’s not a human being, but the state of New York has other ideas. At press time, inmate No. 02616544L languishes in solitary confinement, finishing off an eight-month prison sentence and unable to sustain his notorious prolificacy.

Consisting of tracks allegedly intended for the indefinitely postponed “Tha Carter IV,” “I Am Not a Human Being” represents a stopgap effort, with Wayne mired in a peculiar stasis. Wildly profane, the New Orleans trickster ascended to hip-hop’s top spot through his surreal spontaneity and marathon recording sessions that yielded a singular eccentricity. But where it was once impossible to predict his next couplet, Wayne and his protégé Drake have calcified into a stiff simile-laden formalism that earned its own Twitter meme earlier this year, with Internet nerds vying to best mimic the Young Money lyrical style.

It’s unclear whether the creative languor stems from the inherent commercial pressure of being the Young Money meal ticket or whether Wayne has exhausted his ideas after compressing a career’s worth of songs into three years. Paired on a generic trio of tracks with smug aftershave-underling Drake, “Gonorrhea,” “Right Above It” and “With You” achieve a bizarre solipsism, with Wayne actively aping his most slavish imitator. And on bachelor ode “I’m Single,” flush pocket paean “Bill Gates” and the extraterrestrial title track, Wayne’s done this shtick better before. He might want to repudiate his own humanity, but on “I’m Not a Human Being,” Wayne reveals he’s mortal after all.

-- Jeff Weiss

Lil Wayne
“I Am Not a Human Being”
Cash Money/Universal
Two stars

RELATED: Lil Wayne 'didn't want to disappear' while behind bars, debuts new album

Lil Wayne 'didn’t want to disappear' while behind bars, debuts new album

Insert Though he’s been behind bars for the past seven months, Lil Wayne still manages to put his fans first.

Before the rapper began serving a one-year jail sentence in March at Rikers Island -- he pleaded guilty to a 2007 weapons charge -- he adopted Twitter and launched a special website to keep in touch with his supporters. It's maintained by his 'little brother' Lil Twist, and on it he publishes letters he pens from prison.

His biggest offering, however, came in the form of a new album. Released digitally on Sept. 27 (his 28th birthday) and physically Tuesday, “I Am Not a Human Being” is comprised of work he recorded right before heading to jail.

Cortez Bryant, Wayne’s manager, said the rapper wanted his presence felt despite his yearlong sentence.

“For about a month and a half he was in the studio just recording, knowing that he didn’t want to disappear,” Bryant said. “He wanted his fans to have something while he was in there. He said to me, ‘I want people to still feel like I’m here.’”

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On the charts: Zac Brown gallops to the top, but eyes look ahead to Lil Wayne

ZAC_BROWN_BAND_6_

Country good ol' boys Zac Brown Band and slick pop band Maroon 5 battled for the top spot on this week's pop chart, a bout between two former best new artist Grammy winners. The trophy, in this case, signifies each act's crossover appeal. The Zac Brown Band makes a backwoods country sound safe for pregame tailgates, and Maroon 5 dabbles in funk and soul, but never enough to dirty their designer look.

With "You Get What You Give," the Zac Brown Band follows its major label breakthrough, 2008's "The Foundation," with a No. 1 album. The Atlantic Records album sold 153,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan, giving the fast-rising country stars their first ever chart-topper on the pop tally. The first-week sales are just a small dent in the total sales notched thus far by "The Foundation," an album that this week sits at No. 22 and to date has sold just under 2.3 million copies. 

While Maroon 5 still scored a top 5 album, the news isn't quite as good for the Adam Levine-led slicksters. The act's "Hands All Over" lands with significantly less pop than its 2007 effort "It Won't Be Soon Before Long," the latter of which bowed with 429,000 copies sold, according to the Billboard archives. By comparison, "Hands All Over," despite its provocative cover, muscles 142,000 copies sold.

Last week's No. 1, Linkin Park's "Thousand Suns," dips more than 70%, selling a little less than 70,000 in its second week. That gives the Agoura Hills rockers a two-week total of 311,000 copies sold. Its last, 2007's "Minutes to Midnight," sold more than 600,000 copies in its first week.

Other notes from this week's pop chart:

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