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Posts from August 2012

New Video: Nas - "Bye Baby"

Rapper Nas

Nas releases the video for 'Bye Baby,' one of the best songs on his stellar tenth album Life Is Good. The song is the New York rapper's confession of how his failed marriage to R&B songbird Kelis really went down. The video, which is directed by Aristotle, features Nas in his white suit holding Kelis green wedding dress draped across his knees as seen on his album cover. Also making a cameo in the video is crooner Aaron Hall, the lead singer of Guy of which the song samples their 1988 ballad "Goodbye Love."

The video is good; life is good.

Hip-Hop Impresario Chris Lighty Dead at Age 44

In Memoriam: Chris Lighty (1968-2012)

Can we please have several moments of silence for Chris Lighty, a visionary manager of hip-hop stars, who passed away on Thursday (Aug. 30) at age 44.

According to the New York Daily News, the Hip-Hop mogul was found dead at his Bronx apartment from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Authorities did recover a black semi-automatic pistol at the scene. Sources in law enforcement also told the newspaper that Lighty was going through some personal and financial struggles, including owing the IRS $5 million in unpaid taxes.

Mr. Lighty (aka "Baby Chris") started his career in the late 1980s working at Russell Simmons' RUSH Management firm and learning the ropes of the music business under the tutelage of Lyor Cohen at Def Jam Recordings. He later founded Violator Entertainment, which managed a roster of hip-hop's biggest rap superstars including 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes, Q-Tip, Fat Joe, Ja Rule, Jungle Brothers, LL Cool J and many others. He was instrumental in introducing corporate America to hip-hop and helped rap artists with branding themselves to fashion labels and sneaker companies during the late 1990s and early 2000s.

It was Lighty who convinced Gap to have LL Cool J promote its apparel and he secured endorsement deals for Busta Rhymes (with Mountain Dew) and A Tribe Called Quest (with Sprite's "Obey Your Thirst" campaign). Lighty also brokered an investment deal between 50 Cent and Glaceau (makers of Vitamin water) in 2004. Two years later, Coca-Cola buys out Glaceau for $1.2 billion and Fiddy pockets an estimated $60-100 million.

"I am deeply saddened by the loss of a hip-hop hero," said Russell Simmons in a statement. "Chris Lighty has been a dear friend of mine since he was a kid. Was a brilliant partner in business and I was so proud of all that he had accomplished. He is an amazing example of how a passionate kid from the street can go to the most even-keeled, smart, thoughtful manager in the business and a generous philanthropist. He was loved by everyone who knew him, including me. He will be missed greatly by all of us."

Moments after hearing the devastating news, the hip-hop community took to Twitter to share their condolences.

Rest in Power, Chris Lighty. You were a visionary in the rap game and your impact will be forever felt in hip-hop. Thank you. Heartfelt condolences to the Lighty Family.

New Music: Michael Jackson - "I Wanna Be Where You Are" (J. Period Remix)

King Jackson: Michael Jackson

Today marks the 54th birthday of the late and great Michael Jackson. Sadly, the King of Pop is no longer with us, but it's comforting to know that his musical legacy continues to live on through us.

DJ J. Period posted a tribute remix of MJ's 1972 hit "I Wanna Be Where You Are," using previously unreleased vocal takes from the original studio sessions. J. Period's remix highlights a very young MJ's yearning vocals and the soulful orchestral productions.

Happy Birthday, MJ. We will always love you. Rest eternally in peace.

New Video: Avicii - "Superlove" (Featuring Lenny Kravitz)


No, Beats and Rants is not becoming an EDM blog, but Avicii's new video for "Super Love" featuring the vocals of Lenny Kravitz is simply fun to watch. The clip stars a nerd who finds a walkman on the ground with a tape inside that reads, "Super Love." When he plays the tape, the nimbly nerd is sent to another dimension where partying, babes and booze are non-stop. There's plenty of colorful graphics to hold your attention even if you don't like dance music. This is a cool video.