Tupac Shakur was a huge basketball fan--he even portrayed a wanna-be ''baller'' in the 1993 film "Above the Rim." But the rapper had never been to a professional basketball game before Suge Knight took him to one in 1996, shortly after Shakur signed with Knight's Death Row Records. "It was the Lakers versus the Bulls, with Michael Jordan playing,'' recalls Knight. "Pac was jumping up and down in his chair, cheering like a little kid.
When her debut album, "Who Is Jill Scott?" hit the music racks last July, the soul artist decided she didn't want to shout the answer from the rooftops. There'd be no full-spread ad in Rolling Stone, no "Live With Regis," no cardboard cutouts in Virgin Megastores--even though the man with the money behind her record label, NBA legend Michael Jordan, could have guaranteed that and more.
It's 1:30 a.m. in a small recording studio in a seedy South Philly neighborhood where NBA superstar Allen Iverson and his boys are laying down tracks for his debut album, "Non Fiction." After 30-minutes of nonstop rap, Iverson, dressed in oversize jeans, a black T shirt and matching do-rag, orders a break to talk with a reporter about his musical venture.
After 15 years in the rap game, LL Cool J knew he'd have to keep it real in a hip-hop market overrun with new faces. So he holed up in his grandmother's basement in Queens, N.Y., just like he used to do when he was a fresh-faced kid in a Kangol hat, and began writing the slickest, most arrogant raps he could think of.
To get a sense of the issues facing black professional women, NEWSWEEK invited a handful of prominent "sisters" to talk about life: Cheryl Mills, the former deputy White House counsel and current vice president at Oxygen Media; Mae Jemison, former astronaut and current director of the Jemison Institute at Dartmouth; Debbie Allen, director, producer, actress, dancer; Lisa Sullivan, founder and president of LISTEN Inc.; Ananda Lewis, MTV host; Amy Holmes, political commentator, and Tracey Kemble,...
After the premiere, there is a party. But it's only after the party that anybody really parties. Welcome to the after-after party. It's a Monday night in Los Angeles--actually, it must be Tuesday morning by now--and Eddie Murphy, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Prince, Arsenio Hall and an army of Cristal bottles are holed up in an extravagant hotel suite high above Universal Studios.
Have you ever seen Michael Jordan dance?" Jill Scott asks. Scott knows what it takes to get The Jumper moving. Her album "Who Is Jill Scott?" is the first one released by Hidden Beach, Jordan's new record company. "Who Is Jill Scott?" is a shimmering collection partial to songs--"Long Walk," "Love Rain"--that celebrate new love.
As he turned 25 years old last week in an Atlanta courtroom at his own murder trial, football star Ray Lewis wasn't looking much like a hero. Wearing a sober suit, he scribbled notes on a yellow legal pad and talked to his defense team, barely glancing at his two codefendants just 10 feet away.
Being cheeky hasn't hurt Sisqo's career. Propelled by his ode to the female posterior, "Thong Song," his debut album has sold more than 2 million copies. MTV declared the tune--in which telling a woman she "got dumps like a truck" is high praise--its official spring-break anthem.
Getting hurt may be a lucky break for artists. Just days after 'N Sync-er Lance Bass twisted his ankle during a "Saturday Night Live" performance, the group rocked the music industry by selling 1.1 million copies of "No Strings Attached" its first day in stores--and went on to sell a record 2.42 million for the week.
You'll see lots of big-name rappers on the Grammys this week, but the one who outstripped them all in 1999 didn't get a single nomination. So Wednesday night Juvenile, whose CD "400 Degreez" sold 4 million units, will work Rochester, N.Y.--taking the stage, as usual, by leaping out of a giant Plexiglas Rolex.