Daily Update

Spike Lee Set To Direct James Brown Film

Director Spike Lee has signed on to shoot a movie about James Brown, the late “Godfather of Soul,” Daily Variety reported on Wednesday.The authorized project is being developed for Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures by Brian Grazer, the Oscar-winning producer of “A Beautiful Mind,” the trade publication said, adding that production would likely begin in 2008.Brown, the self-proclaimed “hardest working man in show business,” died of congestive heart failure on Monday, aged 73. The energetic singer of such soul anthems as “Sex Machine” and “I Feel Good,” invented funk music, inspired the dance moves of Mick Jagger and Michael Jackson, and helped pave the way for hip-hop.In recent years, posthumous movies about soul singer Ray Charles and country outlaw Johnny Cash have scored at the box office and won Academy Awards.Daily Variety said Brown played an active role in the project’s development, and granted access to his music rights.
Like everybody, I was surprised and saddened that James Brown died,” Daily Variety quoted Grazer as saying. “Having known him well, and after spending lots of time with him and researching his life, it’s somehow not surprising that he died on Christmas Day. He was the ultimate showman, all the way to the end.”Lee, the director of “Malcolm X,” was most recently in theaters with the thriller “Inside Man,” which Grazer produced.
source: hhnlive
JAMES BROWN REMEMBERED , body to lie in state at Apollo Theater

Within hours of his death early Christmas morning, fans of James Brown had lit candles and placed flowers at his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, while devotees in his adopted hometown of Augusta, GA gathered at his statue to remember the music icon and his impact.
Meanwhile, everyone from family members, to civil rights champions, to fellow musicians, to the President of the United States continue to comment on the passing of the legendary “Godfather of Soul.”
“An American original, his fans came from all walks of life and backgrounds,” said President Bush in a statement. “James Brown’s family and friends are in our thoughts and prayers this Christmas.”
The larger-than-life entertainer, who famously “got on the good-foot” while belting such classic singles as “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” and “I Got You (I Feel Good),” died of heart failure less than two days after he had been hospitalized with pneumonia and only three days after leading his annual holiday toy giveaway in Augusta. He was 73.
A public funeral service at an 8,500-seat arena bearing his name in Augusta has been set for Saturday, Brown’s agent, Frank Copsidas, told The Associated Press. Brown will be buried later Saturday in Augusta. A private funeral service that will include family and friends will be held Friday.
On Thursday, members of the public will be able to view Brown’s body, which will lie in state at the Apollo Theater in New York, Copsidas said. The body also will lie in state Saturday at James Brown Arena in Augusta, where the 1 p.m. public service will be held, Copsidas said.
At the time of his death, Brown also had diabetes and prostate cancer that was in remission. But he initially seemed fine at the hospital and even talked of attending his New Year’s Eve show at B.B. King’s Blues Club in New York, Copsidas said.
Brown was himself to the end, at one point saying, “I’m going away tonight,” said friend Charles Bobbit, who was with Brown when he died. “I didn’t want to believe him,” he said. A short time later, Brown sighed quietly, closed his eyes and died, Bobbit said.
“What James Brown was to music in terms of soul and hip-hop, rap, all of that, is what Bach was to classical music,” said the singer’s close friend Rev. Al Sharpton, who will officiate at Brown’s funeral service. “This is a guy who literally changed the music industry. He put everybody on a different beat, a different style of music. He pioneered it.”
Sharpton tells the Associated Press of his first ever meeting with J.B. while backstage before an early 1970s concert. Brown, in front of a mirror combing his spiked hair, urged the impressionable teenager to aim high. Brown advised Sharpton not to “go for little things — go for the whole hog.”
Then Brown, grabbing a microphone, kept talking right up to when he put the microphone to his lips and sang. The startled Sharpton realized he had followed his idol on stage.
“I didn’t know what to do so I started dancing,” Sharpton recalled in an interview Monday.
After that fateful concert in Newark, N.J., Brown supported Sharpton’s fledgling youth group and brought him along so often on concerts that people thought Sharpton was Brown’s road manager. Their father-and-son-like relationship continued to the end, when Sharpton learned of Brown’s death in a 3 a.m. Christmas call from Brown’s manager. The manager told Sharpton he and Brown were talking on the phone at 1:45 a.m. about old times when Brown took two breaths “and went out.”
Sharpton called the death “the heaviest loss I’ve ever endured,” and said he hopes Brown gets acknowledged in death for the full effect he had on music, social trends and blacks.
“I don’t think he ever got his credit because people saw him just as the show man and not the music innovator and the social innovator that he was,” Sharpton said. “He changed the perception of regular blacks. He wasn’t tall, light skinned,” he said. “He wasn’t polished. He was us. It meant the rest of us could make it.”
Sharpton said Brown also will be remembered for his effect on the country’s social fiber.
“It was James Brown that made it fashionable to stop calling blacks Negro,” he said. “Even though he had his legal difficulties, no one stopped giving him respect.”
Sharpton says Brown is the reason he will not get rid of his permed, pompadour hairdo. A couple of decades ago, Brown asked the civil rights activist “to straighten your hair like mine so when people see you they think you’re my son.”
Sharpton said he will never give up the look: “That’s my bond with James Brown,” he said.
Meanwhile, there is already drama sparked by the singer’s widow, Tomi Rae Brown. Hours after his death, she was shut out of the Beech Island, S.C. home they shared with their 5-year-old son, claiming the gate was padlocked at the request of Brown’s lawyer and accountant.
Tomi Rae, 36, said she was at a retreat when her 73-year-old husband died of heart failure. On Monday, she told the Augusta Chronicle: “The last thing he said to me was, ‘I love you baby and I’ll see you soon.'”
She returned to their home, only to be met by security guards who told her James Brown’s lawyer, Buddy Dallas, and accountant, David Cannon, said she was not allowed inside, she said.
She said she does not own the deed to the home, but said she had a legal right to live there. “This is my home,” she told a reporter for the newspaper outside the gate of the house. “I don’t have any money. I don’t have anywhere to go.”
The couple had a tumultuous relationship since they married in December 2001. James Brown pleaded guilty in 2004 to a domestic violence charge stemming from an argument with his wife and was let off with a $1,087 fine. He was accused of pushing his wife to the floor and threatening to kill her at the couple’s home about 70 miles southwest of Columbia.
In addition to Tomi Rae, Brown is survived by at least four children — his two daughters and sons Daryl and James Brown II, Copsidas said.
Quotes regarding the death of James Brown:
“He was an innovator, he was an emancipator, he was an originator. Rap music, all that stuff came from James Brown.” — Little Richard.
• “I am hurt. That’s my Godfather, my soul inspiration, the hardest working man in showbizness of all time. He’ll be missed, but his music and his legacy will live on through me, in everyway you can imagine. Soul brother #1…we miss you James Brown.” — Snoop Dogg.
• “Y’all lost the Godfather of Soul, but I lost my father. I know the whole world loved him just as much as we loved him, so we’re not mourning by ourselves,” Brown’s daughter Venisha Brown told the Augusta Chronicle as she stood near his statue in Augusta, fighting back tears.
• “He was dramatic to the end — dying on Christmas Day. … He’ll be all over the news all over the world today. He would have it no other way.” — Rev. Jesse Jackson.
• “He was a whirlwind of energy and precision, and he was always very generous and supportive to me in the early days of the Stones. His passing is a huge loss to music.” — Mick Jagger.
• “James Brown was the first solo singer that I loved as a kid. He was not only the Godfather of Soul, but the Godfather of Funk and Rap. Music will never be the same…” — Ice Cube.
• “People already know his history, but I would like for them to know he was a man who preached love from the stage. His thing was ‘I never saw a person that I didn’t love.’ He was a true humanitarian who loved his country.” — Charles Bobbit, a friend who was with Brown when he died.
• “Last night, he said ‘I’m going to be there. I’m the hardest working man in show business.'” — Agent Frank Copsidas, on Brown’s comments the night before he died about a scheduled New Year’s Eve performance in New York.

Celebrate New Years with the Jones’s With BET On New Years
Jim Jones, Busta Rhymes, Nas and Young Jeezy will help BET ring in the New Year via performances on the network’s holiday special, “106 & Party.”
The event, which is in its fifth consecutive year, recaps 106 & Park’s most memorable moments, while the audience and various celebrities share their highlights of 2006 and reveal their resolutiuions for the New Year.
Bow Wow, Young Joc, Cherish, Omarion, Juelz Santana and UNK are also slated to perform during the event.
“106 & Party,” which will be hosted by Terrence & Rocsi and Big Tigger, will air on Sunday (December 31) from 11:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m. ET/PT.

Source: SOHH

Saigon, New Host of “Rap City?”
To start the year off right, mixtape wonder kid Saigon is gearing up to host an entire week of BET’s “Rap City.”
The New York lyricist is set to play host on the show for the first week of the new year, which will include a recap of the best videos and happenings in hip-hop in 2006 as well as Saigon premiering his new video. The rapper, who is signed to Just Blaze’s Fort Knocks Entertainment, did not confirm which video he will premiere but it is believed to be a clip for the single, “Pain In My Life” produced by DJ Cocoa Chanelle and featuring R&B crooner Trey Songz, which was shot in late October.
The single will be featured on Saigon’s upcoming debut album, The Greatest Story Never Told, which is set for a first quarter 2007 release.
Source: SOHH
David Banner Hands Out Cash For Xmas, Donates $15 Gs To Mississippi Families

Mississippi’s own David Banner recently provided a Merry Christmas for hundreds of needy children in his home state.
On Christmas morning, the rapper went through the streets of Jackson, MS as well as Brookhaven, MS handing out money and toys to needy children and their parents before spending the holiday with his own loved ones. The rapper visited the Christian Brotherhood Apartments, Virden Addition, Washington Addition and other neighborhoods throughout the Jackson area in hopes of spreading a little holiday cheer. Banner used proceeds from a recent concert held in Florida to provide the gifts for the various families.
The Mississippi native, who recently received an award for his role in raising funds to assist Hurricane Katrina victims, hoped to send a message to any and all of his critics who scrutinize the rapper for his explicit lyrics among other things.
“I’m in the hood this morning,” he said. “All you nay sayers, I don’t see you. A lot of older rappers, they don’t know how to give. Nobody even gave to them so I try to be the example.”
Banner literally went to the streets to figure out what families were in need this Christmas. ” I would ask, really ask the kids, like, who is really hurting in the hood, and they’ll tell me and we’ll go give the family some money. This is what makes me happy. The pressure of being an artist and especially being the first (rap) artist, people don’t understand that pressure. And to see these kids smiles this morning who probably wouldn’t have gotten nothing either way that really made my year.”
In addition to toys, the rapper donated $15,000 to area families, an act that he feels was more than necessary. ” It’s about love and to be honest with you, I need it more than they need it,” he explained. “This is what builds my spirit.”
Source: SOHH
Bow Wow Takes It To The Court, Performs for Hometown Crowd

Bow Wow is heading back to his hometown of Columbus, Ohio this week to coach a special teen basketball invitational.
The 19-year-old Columbus native will be holding court for the kids of Barnett Recreation Center this Thursday (December 28) when they compete for this year’s Winter Basketball Invitational. While the young superstar is set to help direct one squad, Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman will coach the opposing team. Tipping off at 2 p.m., the game has also attracted several unnamed NBA legends who will be adding assists as referees and assistant coaches.
Bow Wow is also scheduled to hit the stage in Columbus Thursday night; he’ll be performing in support of his latest album at Veterans Memorial Auditorium.

The Price of Fame, Bow Wow’s fifth album, was released on December 19. His first single “Shortie Like Mine” featuring Chris Brown is currently #1 on Billboards Hot Rap Charts.
In related news, IHH recently chopped it up with Bow Wow about getting the respect of his older rap peers.

“Cats like [Young] Jeezy, they see me in Atlanta, they know what I am about and they know what I do,” Bow Wow told IHH exclusively. “Jeezy was like, ‘I respect you lil’ homie.’ And even Nas said it. I found that interesting coming from cats that get that hood credibility. I always get heavyweight rappers telling me they like my record.”

Source: SOHH

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