Jimmy ‘Henchman’ Rosemond’s lawyer fires back at Dexter Isaac’s charges that he was paid by the industry exec to shoot ‘Pac in 1994.
By Rob Markman
Instead of celebration, what would have been Tupac’s 40th birthday has been marred by controversy as new allegations emerge about the November 1994 Quad Studios robbery and shooting of the rapper.
While fans celebrated ‘Pac’s life and legacy on Thursday (June 16), remembering the fallen icon with two trending topics on Twitter (#tupac and THUG LIFE), many of them were also debating the contents of a letter written by Dexter Isaac and posted to AllHipHop.com on Wednesday. In a note to the site, Isaac claimed to be the triggerman in the now-infamous robbery that left Shakur shot five times, two years before he was killed in a still-unsolved murder.
Moreover, Isaac (who is serving a life sentence for murder, robbery, fraud and witness intimidation), now charges that it was ‘Pac’s former associate, Jimmy “Henchman” Rosemond, who set the whole thing up, paying him $2,500 to do the job.
Rosemond’s lawyer, Jeffrey Lichtman, fired back, refuting Isaac’s story. “It’s a flat-out lie,” he told the New York Daily News. “Dexter Isaac is not claiming this 17 years later to clear his conscience. He’s doing it because he’s told anybody who will listen he doesn’t want to die in prison. He has kids and wants to work off his sentence. He can’t be trusted.”
“I want to apologize to his family and for the mistake I did for that sucker ,” Isaac told AllHipHop.com from prison. “I am trying to clean it up to give mothers some closure.”
Henchman and his defense team, however, are not buying it. On May 17, news broke that federal authorities issued an arrest warrant for Jimmy Henchman in connection with a drug case. Rosemond, who as head of Czar Entertainment has had ties to numerous rappers, believes that the government is using incarcerated informants to build a case against him. He attacked Isaac’s credibility in a statement first issued to XXLMag.com. “If the government is relying on informants like Winston ‘Winnie’ Harris, a convicted drug dealer and Jamaican deportee, who came to me and motioned via hand signal that he was forced to wear a wire and begged me to skip town, or Dexter Isaac, who is serving life in prison plus 30 years, then I’m sure I will not be offered a fair trial.”
The late Tupac’s onetime prot
Born This Way producer Fernando Garibay says song was inspired by Proposition 8 ruling.
By Jocelyn Vena, with reporting by Kara Warner
Lady Gaga dabbled in Latin-sounding music on Fame Monster with “Alejandro,” but for Born This Way, Gaga took that sound to a whole new level on “Americano,” a charging, no-holds-barred statement about love of all kinds, played up against the chugging backdrop of Spanish guitar, horns and a disco-ready beat.
“The song was directly inspired by events that happened that day. It was in August, in the middle of summer, last year, and it was when Prop 8 was overturned in California,” producer Fernando Garibay told MTV News. “And there was a lot happening with immigration and the border issues and she pushed, she said she wanted to make this song really Mexican, with the struggle the Mexican people have gone through for freedom, for a better life, and so those ideas are directly implemented in the song.”
Gaga, a Proposition 8 activist, tweeted shortly after the ruling that she was inspired to write music. The lyrics directly address that momentous occasion. On the song, Gaga sings, “If you love me, we can marry on the West Coast/ On a Wednesday, en el verano, en agosto.”
Garibay explained that while she might shed light on gay rights lyrically, she’s hoping to bring attention to immigration laws in the United States sonically.
“I remember her saying, ‘Yes, I want mariachi, I want Latin percussions. I want to go big.’ I’m so used to people in the industry saying, ‘Latin: It’s a little bit cheesy,’ ” he said. “But she was like, ‘F that! Let’s go full Mexicano.’ We started with me on guitar and her on piano, kind of wrote the lyric on the spot, and she sang it all the way through, and that’s how the song was born.”
Share your thoughts on “Americano” in the comments below!
Pop-culture journalists weigh in on ‘Lady Gaga: Inside the Outside,’ airing Thursday at 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.
By Jocelyn Vena
Lady Gaga gets personal in the exclusive MTV documentary “Lady Gaga: Inside the Outside,” airing Thursday at 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET/PT on MTV. The hour-long special delves into the moments, people and anecdotes that shaped Gaga in her formative years as Stefani Germanotta in New York City.
On Tuesday (May 24), press gathered to screen the documentary before it airs, and even the biggest Gaga experts said they learned so much from the revealing sit-down with the leather-clad star.
“She kind of had this meteoric rise to fame, so being able to see that she worked for it it wasn’t just an overnight thing. … I think a lot of us at this point, ’cause she is everywhere, just assume it was so easy, and it really wasn’t,” Julia Rubin of Stylite told MTV News after the screening.
NewNowNext’s Kate Bennert felt the special expanded on the mythology of Lady Gaga and revealed more about the star than even the most die-hard Little Monster knows. “Honestly, a lot of Gaga fans have heard the stories kind of briefly through other interviews, but I think one of the biggest things was her actually going into depth and you can see her get emotional,” she said. “You felt like you were actually with her in that room, having a conversation, like you were asking the questions.”
Fellow Gaga expert Zac Stackell of The Shout magazine was impressed by how much information he learned about the woman who worked so hard to become Lady Gaga. “The biggest reveal, I think, in terms of Lady Gaga, was the Stefani before Lady Gaga, the Stefani of New York City,” he said. “How she became the Lady Gaga of 2011. I think it gives some real definition to her path; it gives a humanity to it.”
In a sneak peek from the documentary, Gaga recalls the first albums she had as a kid. “It was Green Day, Dookie, with my own money,” she says. “But my parents got me Stevie Wonder, Signed, Sealed Delivered, and the Beatles when I was younger — A Hard Day’s Night. Yeah, they were two CDs and they were given to me with little boom box for Christmas when I was young.”
Don’t miss “Lady Gaga: Inside the Outside” to hear Mother Monster herself open up about the creative forces behind her generation-defining career. Our exclusive documentary airs Thursday, May 26, at 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.
Modine will play character named Nixon, but Conti and King’s roles are not yet known.
By Eric Ditzian
Production on “The Dark Knight Rises” is already under way, and on Friday Warner Bros. released the first photo from director Christopher Nolan’s film. Now three new actors have officially joined the cast.
Variety reported that Matthew Modine will play a character named Nixon. Tom Conti and Joey King have also signed on, but the exact nature of their roles is being kept under wraps.
While Modine is new to the world of blockbuster comic-book adaptations, Variety noted that the actor has in fact played a Joker before, albeit Private Joker in 1987′s “Full Metal Jacket,” the Oscar-nominated Vietnam War film directed by Stanley Kubrick.
The Scottish-born Conti himself nabbed an Oscar nod for his turn as a troubled poet in 1983′s “Reuben, Reuben.” The 11-year-old King played Ramona last year in “Ramona and Beezus” and will appear in this summer’s ensemble comedy “Crazy, Stupid, Love.”
These three actors join a production expected to jump from locales in India, England and Scotland to domestic stops in Pittsburgh, New York and Los Angeles. They join Christian Bale, who returns as Bruce Wayne (and his alter ego Batman), and newcomers Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle (who becomes Catwoman in comic-book lore) and Tom Hardy as the villain Bane, among many others.
On Friday, we got our first look at Hardy as Bane, thanks to a viral marketing campaign that sent fans on an investigative hunt from the film’s website to Twitter and back again. The reaction was immediately positive. “Chris Nolan will do it big again,” wrote one MTV News commenter. “One image has never made me so excited for one film. Looks to me like Nolan and company are gonna go out with a huge bang and leave people talking.”
Check out everything we’ve got on “The Dark Knight Rises.”
Show also featured a Rihanna/Britney lip-lock and a tribute to Beyonc
Kirstie Alley falls behind in last performance show before Tuesday’s finale.
By Kelley L. Carter
It was a tie for the top on the final “Dancing With the Stars” performance episode. The reality dance competition goes into Tuesday’s finale with a dead heat between Disney star Chelsea Kane and football superstar Hines Ward.
Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas: The first couple to take the stage on Monday night’s (May 23) “Dancing With the Stars” set the bar high. The junior members of the show impressed judges with their sexy round-one samba.
“I liked what I was watching,” head judge Len Goodman told the pair. “I wasn’t over-keen on the flailing-arm section, but overall, it was a great number. Well done.”
Bruno Tonioli jumped up and down in his spirited, animated fashion, saying, “You were like an ultra-sexy bombshell! Way to go!”
Carrie Ann Inaba, who aided Kane in rehearsals, agreed: “Hot! Hot! Hot! Chelsea, you’re on fire. That was so what I was wanting from you. You got down, you got dirty, you got sensual.”
Judges gave them a 29/30 for their samba and went wild during their freestyle routine, giving them a perfect 30/30. Score: 59/60.
Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: The elder stateswoman in the competition held her own. Judges found her samba to be elegant and full of womanhood but said she needed to play to her audience better.
“I love what you did. I love your movement quality. That was a really great samba,” Inaba said.
Goodman agreed. “It was less aggressive, less full-on. But it had a lovely naturalness about it. It could have been a little bit crisper. But lovely job,” Goodman said. Alley ended up with a 27/30 for the first round.
When the couple performed again, judges applauded their risk-taking. “Honest truth: 10 weeks ago, I would never have thought of you even attempting to do lifts and things you’ve done tonight. You have to really appreciate what you’ve achieved,” Tonioli said. “Respect, girl, respect.”
Inaba said her freestyle routine embodied what Alley has become: “the new poster child for life as it should be lived at 60 years old.” Score: 54/60.
Hines Ward and Kym Johnson: By the time Ward and his partner were done with their round-one routine, the audience leapt to its feet.
“You are able to make it be like you’re running for a touchdown! The whole audience follows you. It makes me forget that I’m supposed to be judging. I love that,” Inaba said.
Goodman critiqued the routine, saying, “as good as that was … for me, it’s not quite there yet. This competition is still anyone’s to win or lose. Come back in that freestyle and really show me the wow factor. I know you’ve got it.”
Tonioli disagreed: “It was like watching a mega-production on Broadway. Full of excitement. You connect with the audience like no one. You’re just an entertainer. It’s brilliant.”
For their freestyle, they created what Hines called a halftime show. Tonioli cheered it, saying it was a crowd-pleasing event.
“That wasn’t really a halftime show. That was the whole damn Super Bowl!” Inaba cheered.
Goodman said, “This competition is about give-and-take. The more you give, the more points you take. You’ve just given your all!” They earned 29/30 for round one, and their freestyle earned a perfect 30/30. Score: 59/60.
Who do you think will come out on top in Tuesday’s finale? Let us know in the comments!
Rick Ross, Wale, Meek Mill and Pill will join Sway on ‘RapFix Live’ Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET.
By Rob Markman
Last week, “RapFix Live” brought fans intro the world of Eminem and Royce Da 5’9″ when MTV News’ Sway Calloway sat down with Bad Meets Evil, chatting about the duo’s upcoming EP Hell: The Sequel. This week, we have the biggest Boss of them all: Rick Ross.
Ricky Rozay has been making some serious moves, and on Wednesday, he will bring his Maybach Music Group to the “RapFix” couch. After taking his label over to Warner Music Group and signing next-gen rap standouts Wale, Meek Mill and Pill, Ross is in full promo mode for his MMG compilation, Self Made, which hit stores Monday (May 23). Fueled by street bangers like “Tupac Back,” “Pandemonium” and the Jadakiss-assisted “600 Benz,” Rozay is ready for his rap takeover.
Be sure to tune in Wednesday when Sway will talk to the Teflon Don about his rise from behind-the-scenes ghostwriter to label CEO. Sway will even ask Ross about Drake’s verse on DJ Khaled’s “I’m On One” and whether the Boss thinks Drizzy took a shot at Jay-Z on their collaborative track. You don’t want to miss this one.
D.C.’s Wale will also show up and talk about going from the tutelage of Mark Ronson to his new deal with MMG. Meek will be in tow to talk about how he transformed his street grind into his rap dream and speak on his relationship with incarcerated rap star T.I. Last but not least, Pill will describe to Sway the inner workings of the trap.
You can also expect MMG to spit their hottest 16′s. There is no telling what is going to go down on this week’s episode of “RapFix Live”!
Visit MTV.com on Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET to watch Rick Ross and his Maybach Music Group on “RapFix Live”!
‘It’s a beautiful song,’ Fernando Garibay tells MTV News about the new Gaga track.
By Jocelyn Vena, with reporting by Kara Warner
Lady Gaga has mixed up a “Bloody Mary” for her fans on Born This Way, which was released on Monday (May 23). The song sits at #8 on the album’s track list, sandwiched between “Schei
Star performs with fake baby bump on Justin Timberlake-hosted season finale.
By Mawuse Ziegbe
Lady Gaga performs on “Saturday Night Live”
As “Saturday Night Live” wrapped up its 36th season, the show let the
evening’s megastar guests, Lady Gaga and Justin Timberlake, take the reins; a move which meant a revisit of some of JT’s classic “SNL” gags and a live television moment only Mother Monster could deliver.
JT started the show insisting that he wouldn’t be singing during his latest
appearance, only to segue into a ditty during which he busted out his
signature falsetto, serenaded a blushing audience member and brought it on
home with some soulful trills.
But JT didn’t stay on the anti-singing kick for long, popping up in the
first sketch as an overeager street marketer in a beer-bottle costume armed
with booze-friendly versions of pop hits. Going up against side-eyes from a
prudish, tea-shilling Kristen Wiig, Timberlake countered with pro-imbibing
jams like a revamp of DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win.” Lady Gaga got in on the
action, too, tottering on set in a snug vine-swathed frock with goblet-shaped
glove thingys to join Timberlake for reboot of B.o.B and Hayley Williams’
smash “Airplanes,” crooning, “I could really use a drink right now.” The
pair then belted “too much merlot” to Flo Rida’s “Low” before switching up
the easy-listening staple “Endless Love” to “Endless Buzz,” with lines like,
“No one can deny/ This hooch I have inside.”
Gaga also showed off her comedic skills in a digital short alongside
Timberlake and Andy Samberg. After getting some sugar from mature vixens
Patricia Clarkson and Susan Sarandon, JT and Samberg hit the streets in
Color Me Badd fresh jumpsuits and leather bombers only to both show up at
Gaga’s door clutching Alize and Bartles & Jaymes. Looking in gold hoops and a gaudy getup, the pop supernova welcomed them in for an ode to the ménage a trois. “You’re my best friend through thick and thin and now it’s time to make a triple connection,” the crew belted. “It’s OK when it’s in a three-way. It’s not gay when it’s in a three-way!”
Gaga’s first onstage performance began with a much more subdued tone. Banging
away on a striped grand piano with a silvery crescent-shaped headdress, the
songstress showed off her fiery vocals with an impassioned rendition of
“Edge of Glory.” Then Mother
Monster ditched the intimate vibe — and the headpiece — for a
club-ready performance of her speaker-rattling single “Judas.” Dancers in
dark kilts and strappy, belted bodices backed up Gaga, who coordinated her
two-toned locks, shiny black body suit and thigh-high boots with the striped
stage. After flexing some of the video’s high-energy choreography, Gaga
retreated to a ladder on the side of the set for a bit before launching back
into the punchy moves.
JT and Gaga kept cranking out the laughs as the songstress owned Timberlake
in a celebrity edition of “What’s That Name?” While Timberlake handily
identified animated ’90s Paula Abdul collaborator MC Skat Kat, the
singer/actor blanked on the name of a bubbly hook-up from two weeks ago, and
even struck out on Taran Killiam as Timberlake’s fellow ‘NSYNC member Chris
Kirkpatrick. Grinning in a latex blazer and bra, Gaga easily remembered a
fan she met in passing, schooled JT on the purpose of his charity and
rattled off names of the stage crew and audience.
Timberlake put his growing acting skills to work in every sketch, creeping
out Jason Sudeikis as a handsy member of a robotic barbershop trio on a
hokey carnival ride, sparring with Bill Hader’s decrepit local news
correspondent and continuously flubbing the retro “Secret Word” game as a
campy magician peddling crusty tricks.
For her last onstage trick, Gaga revisited the futuristic birth theme of her February Grammy performance of “Born This Way,” revving up the performance with some S&M touches. Once again, the superstar emerged from an egg-shaped structure, this time however the vessel was adorned with caviar-like lumps. Gaga hit the stage in a cropped latex top with voluminous shoulders and second-skin leggings as fog encircled the singer and her crew. Swapping out the flesh-tone tunics from the Grammy performance for shiny belly-baring tops and slashed culottes, the dancers rocked the choreography as Gaga whipped her blonde ponytail around. Enveloped by her dancers for an onstage costume change, Mother Monster ramped up the drama by getting outfitted with a prosthetic latex-covered pregnancy belly. Gaga vamped it up in the fake baby bump as her crew hoisted her onto a throne and caressed her body, and glitter rained onto the pop diva.
The show closed with a cameo appearance from “SNL” alum and late-night host
Jimmy Fallon for the “Barry Gibb Talk Show.” Timberlake reprised his role as
apathetic sidekick Robin Gibb to Fallon’s jumpy, karate-chopping Barry as he
grilled guests about the U.S. debt. JT stayed largely mum as Fallon
continued to wig out, only piping up to briefly harmonize, “We suckled at
the same teat!” Yet Timberlake was quick to revive Fallon when he froze
during a signature freak-out. When the comedian came to, Fallon exclaimed,
“I survived the Rapture!”
What did you think of “SNL” this week? Let us know in the comments!
‘Dreams Money Can Buy’ is reportedly intro track to rapper’s forthcoming sophomore album.
By Alvin Blanco
Young Money’s Drake set the hip-hop world afire Friday (May 20) morning when he officially leaked “Dreams Money Can Buy” from his forthcoming sophomore album, Take Care. The song was made available via a post on Drizzy’s October’s Very Own blog and quickly began making the file-sharing rounds.
Besides an MP3 download link, the post contained this message: “A song that I felt the need to share. Not my single. Just a piece of my story. Hear me out though…” Reportedly, “Dreams Money Can Buy” is Take Care‘s intro track. Drake’s blog post was accompanied by an image with text that reads, “This is a story of dreams mixed with reality.”
True to its title, the song is filled with quotables clearly taken from the pages of Drake’s charmed rap life. In the first verse he muses on juggling different women and on how his success (Thank Me Later has been certified platinum) hasn’t necessarily made his life any less stressful. “And comfortable I sit, in manual Ferrari Italian, some fly sh–/ But it’s sitting at the house like I bought it in ’96, ’cause honestly I’m too busy to drive stick,” he raps.
In the second verse Drake addresses rival MCs and past rumors that he was on the outs with Lil Wayne and the YMCMB crew. “Can’t tell ya how much I love when n—as think they got it/ And I love the fact that line made them think about it,” Drake slickly spits at the beginning of the verse, followed by, “I am CMB, these n—as make it so hard to be friendly when I know part of it’s envy.”
Rap conspiracy theorists are going to have a field day speculating on whom Drake is possibly referring to with a “top five” line in the same verse. “I feel like lately it went from top five to remaining five, my favorite rappers either lost it or they ain’t alive/ And they trying to bring us down, me Weezy and Stunna, we stayed up, Christmas lights in the middle of summer.” One rapper Drake himself claims he is not referring to is Jay-Z. “Hov diss? Hov of all people has not lost it … that’s god body flow,” Drake tweeted.
Drake’s longtime collaborator Noah “40″ Shebib produced the song’s hauntingly ambient track, which features a prominent sample of British singer/songwriter Jai Paul’s “BTSTU.” A vocal swipe of “Don’t f— with me, don’t f— with me” from Paul’s song is used as the hook for Drake’s record.
The “Best I Ever Had” rapper had fallen back on recording after dropping his debut, Thank Me Later. But with talk of collaborating with the Weeknd, guesting on DJ Khaled’s “I’m on One” with Lil Wayne and Rick Ross — essentially a Drake record — and now “Dreams Money Can Buy,” the Toronto rapper’s brief sabbatical is officially over.
What do you think of Drake’s newest track? We want to hear from you in the comments!
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