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
U2′s Bono and the Edge will appear on Wednesday’s season-ending show.
By Gil Kaufman
The star-studded lineup for the two-night season 10 “American Idol” finale is starting to come into view, and it will feature a former “Idol” champ whose career is a model for finalists Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina.
The two country-singing teens will take the stage on Tuesday night (May 24) to sing three songs each — one their favorite from this season, another chosen by “Idol” producers and the third picked by one of their personal music idols. According to USA Today, those heroes will be Country Music Hall of Famer George Strait for Scotty and season four “Idol” champ Carrie Underwood for Lauren.
Underwood, who recently became the most successful “Idol” winner in history, is also the first and only country champion from the show.
Wednesday night’s finale will feature an appearance by U2′s Bono and the Edge, who will take the stage alongside the lead actor of the troubled Broadway musical “Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark,” which features songs written by the iconic rock duo. The season-ending show also will include season seven “Idol” winner David Cook, who will singing this season’s elimination song, Simple Minds’ “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” as well as a performance from judge Steven Tyler.
In addition, bearded season 10 growler Casey Abrams will take the stage with “Kung Fu Panda 2″ funnyman Jack Black.
Don’t miss a special edition of “Idol Party Live” Thursday at noon on MTV.com for analysis, finale red-carpet coverage and the last “Idol in 60 Seconds” of season 10. Get in the conversation by tweeting with the hashtag #idolparty! In the meantime, get your “Idol” fix on MTV News’ “American Idol” page, where you’ll find all the latest news, interviews and opinions.
‘I hope people leave the concert feeling like they know you better,’ she tells MTV News.
By Jocelyn Vena, with reporting by Sway Calloway
It’s a big week for Taylor Swift. Not only did she premiere her “Story of Us” video Tuesday on MTV, but she also kicks off her Speak Now Tour on Friday in Omaha, Nebraska. When MTV News’ Sway sat down with the country/pop superstar following her video premiere, she let fans in on what to expect from the stadium show.
“We get to have such groovy, cool stuff happening,” she said. “I’ve never had pyro before. I’ve never had aerialists before. It’s got this grand staircase. The stage in itself looks like an old-world theater. I can’t believe we get to play stadiums. I’m so excited about this tour. I want to live on that stage. I hope people leave the concert feeling like they know you better.”
Swift looks at this tour as the ultimate “thank you” letter to her fans for the success Speak Now has had. “That’s why I’m so blown away. That’s why I can’t wait to go out on tour and thank them personally,” she said.
Before the official tour kickoff, Swift gave some lucky fans a taste of the show during a charity event last Saturday in Nashville. She opened up her final Speak Now dress rehearsal to fans and gave the proceeds to tornado victims.
“It was one of the coolest things. Honestly, we thought our first show was going to be a week later, watching the news and seeing the damage, it was just really emotional for me and a lot of the dancers and crew,” she recalled. “So I felt like, if there was any way I could help out, why not sell tickets to that? And so it turned out it was something we could do. Putting on, pretty much, our first show and having it go so well over $750,000, it was so exciting.”
Will you check out Taylor’s upcoming tour? Let us know in the comments!
Singer tells MTV News that the clip put her right back into ‘excruciating, awful moment when you run into an ex for the first time.’
By Jocelyn Vena, with reporting by Sway Calloway
After the premiere of her “The Story of Us,” video, Taylor Swift opened up to MTV News about how it felt to watch the clip and relive the emotions behind the Speak Now song, which was inspired by a seriously awkward awards-show encounter with an ex.
“Anytime I’m onstage or watching the music video, the first thing that comes into my mind is the person I wrote the song about,” she told MTV News’ Sway Calloway during “MTV First: Taylor Swift.” “It’s like the first thing that you think of is the moment that inspired the song, which is that excruciating, awful moment when you run into an ex for the first time.”
Just because Swift’s awkward ex encounter was at a Hollywood event doesn’t mean her fans can’t relate. The singer said life as a celebrity is “just like in high school, except at an awards show. You go on living a normal life, except on a different scale. I tend to focus on love, feelings, emotions, what it was like feeling that particular relationship.”
While the song doesn’t directly address that awards-show encounter, it does touch on the themes of knowing when it’s time to move on from a relationship.
“Noble Jones, the director, had sent in this treatment. He had it set in a library, and I called him and I asked him if he’d be willing to change it to an Ivy League feel,” she explained of her input.
Sway asked if the “Story of Us” heroine was at all connected to her “You Belong With Me” character. “Well, I think the biggest difference between the new video and all the other ones is that I love to make a happy ending happen, and with this video, it doesn’t happen,” she said.
What did you think of Taylor’s new video? Share your reviews in the comments!
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.
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!
In latest edition of MTV News’ Track by Track, Fernando Garibay breaks down ninth song on Born This Way.
By Jocelyn Vena, with reporting by Kara Warner
The ninth track on Born This Way, “Bad Kids,” is unapologetic Lady Gaga at her fiercest.
The metal-tinged disco anthem about embracing yourself includes a line that has Gaga singing, “I’m a twit, degenerate, young rebel and I’m proud of it / Pump your fist if you would rather mess up than put up with this.” Like so many of the anthems on Born This Way, which officially dropped on Monday (May 23), the song is about accepting and celebrating perceived flaws.
If you don’t think anyone else gets you, Lady Gaga does, and when she sat down to write the track with producers Fernando Garibay and DJ White Shadow, she had some bad kids in mind. ” ‘Bad Kids’ is something that we all collaborated with — Gaga, White Shadow ,” Garibay told MTV News. “Gaga came offstage one night, I remember, and she said, ‘I have this idea for a song, “Bad Kids,” ‘ ” he recalled.
The song is tough and in-your-face, but also soft and heartwarming, with Gaga singing on the breakdown to the disenfranchised rebels of the world, “Don’t be insecure/ If your heart is pure/ You’re still good to me/ If you’re a bad kid, baby.”
That sentiment, Garibay said, perfectly reflects what Mother Monster and all of her little monsters are about. “Just because you’re a bad kid growing up, doesn’t mean you’re a bad person,” he said. “And a lot of bad kids end up being extraordinary people, like Lady Gaga, and she wanted to make people who had a rough start or maybe not the most ideal circumstances have a voice and a message. And it’s basically about staying true to yourself and if you’re bad, so what? You can still be great. There’s good, bad and I think that’s pretty much what it’s talking about.”
What do you think of “Bad Kids”? Tell us in the comments!
Don’t miss MTV News’ hour-long, exclusive interview “Lady Gaga: Inside The Outside” airing Thursday, May 26, at 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.
‘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!
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