Saturday, January 22, 2011

Juelz Santana studio raided; Skull Gang's Hynief arrested

Police made a surprise visit to Juelz Santana's New Jersey studio, where they found guns, drugs and arrested one of his Skull Gang rappers.

Hynief, real name Toby Raynor, 24, was arrested at "Santana's World" studio in Bergenfield, N.J. on Thursday, according to the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office.

Two fully loaded 9mm handguns, boxes of ammunition and marijuana were found during the raid.

Cops say Hynief on two separate occasions - June 16 and July 1 - sold marijuana to undercover Gang Unit detectives during a 10-month investigation.

A feature story on Santana, published in XXL Magazine in 2009, described the studio as "cozy and carpeted."

Hynief, who is originally from Virginia, is no stranger to trouble.

In a YouTube video, he talks about his long rap sheet, including an attempted murder charge in Virginia. (The Skull Gang crew took the video down, but nothing is ever completely gone on the Internet. Someone else posted the video as well.)

Two days before his arrest, he tweeted, "If you knew better then you'll do better...."

Maybe he'll take his own advice.

He is currently being held in the Bergen County Jail on $50,000 bail.

Consequence pushing Jets to the Super Bowl with new song

It's a chant that every Jets fan knows, and now it's in a new rap song.

Queens rapper Consequence released "J.E.T.S. (Put Your Arms Out)" on Wednesday, and it's quickly become an anthem that he hopes will carry them into the Super Bowl.

The catchy tune has become an instant hit with fans because it includes the popular, "J-E-T-S, Jets! Jets! Jets!" chant.

"I hope it inspires them," the rapper told the NY Daily News. "I hope Mark Sanchez got it on pump when he's leaving the locker room, and Braylon Edwards and the whole team, for that matter."

The Jets will take on the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday with the winner going to the Super Bowl.

The new anthem has also started a new debate.

Is it better than the unofficial Steelers anthem - "Black & Yellow" by Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa? You be the judge.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Russell Simmons & Maino on the fight against violence

Russell Simmons and Maino stood on the steps of New York's City Hall to call for an end to violence during the second annual Peace Week.

"If we can't figure out who killed Biggie, or who killed Tupac, or who killed Jam Master Jay? Or any of the famous rappers who've been murdered. How many murders do you think we're solving in these communities?" Simmons said on Wednesday morning.

"People are murdering each other without any recourse," he said during the press conference. "We need to get in our communities and work from the inside out, but we cannot do it alone. We need support."

The rally, part of Peace Week, was organized by Erica Ford, who is a long-time leader against violence in the city.

"Today, we come together as anti-violence leaders, young people, elected officials, celebrities and family members of those impacted by youth violence to join forces to change the culture of violence," Ford said. "Peace can be a lifestyle."

Ford picked up additional support from Brooklyn rapper Maino, who has turned his life around after serving 10 years in prison for kidnapping.

"I, personally, come from the same community, and the same violence," the "Hustle Hard" rapper said.

"I know what it is to be a part of gun violence, to lose friends, to lose families. However, this is the flip side to it," he said, referring to mothers at the rally who lost sons to gun violence.

"We read about this violence. We read about these kids that's getting murdered. But we never meet the families, and the loved ones," he said. "I'm just here to play whatever part that I need to play."

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Marsha Ambrosius tackles bullying and suicide in new video

He's not accepted by his community for his same sex sexuality.

He's pushed away by people who once accepted him. He's given dirty looks, bullied and beaten up.

It's too much for him too handle, and he escapes the only way he knows how --- suicide.

That's what we witness in Marsha Ambrosius' stunning new video, "Far Away."

While the video is not real, the situation is something that cannot be ignored.

Every year one million people commit suicide.

Ambrosius knows all too well. She lost one of her own friends to suicide.

"As an artist I have an opportunity to make music that affects people, and if my music can evoke the emotion that stirs up social awareness and save lives, then why wouldn’t I?” the singer tweeted today.

I think Ambrosius should be pleased with her effort to make a change because it certainly has a lot of people talking. Hopefully that's the first step. Not since TLC's "Waterfalls" have we seen a music video that addresses pressing issues of today's society in such a strong way.

Suicide and bullying were brought to the forefront last year after a string of tragic teenage deaths that made news.

One of the biggest cases happened when Rutgers student Tyler Clementi committed suicide after he discovered his roommate secretly broadcast a video of him engaging in a sexual act with a same-sex partner.

At the conclusion of the video, the following text was displayed:

"Dear friends,

Every year over 1 million people commit SUICIDE. Some were BULLIED because of their SEXUALITY. I lost a friend to SUICIDE, and I'm asking all of you to support alternative lifestyles. Don't put up with or join in with BULLYING. It's time we become more aware in this WORLD. Take a responsibility to make a difference. So if my MUSIC can save one life, I've done my job.

I love you all so much."