Now that WBA heavyweight titlist David Haye has agreed to the Klitschko’s request for a 50-50 split, trainer Emanuel Steward is urging the two sides to sign contracts immediately.
Steward, who trains WBO and IBF heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, has watched several negotiation failings and a fight cancellation between his fighter and David Haye over the last two years. Citing “lack of interest” from viewers, HBO recently decided to stop airing all heavyweight fights unless Haye is matched with Wladimir, or his brother, WBC titleholder Vitali Klitschko.
From Steward’s viewpoint, neither side should delay making the fight, as it represents the most lucrative and legacy-building bout for each side.
“These guys should stop arguing over every nickel and dime and get this fight done,” Steward told The Sun. “It’s gotta be 50-50 all the way. Get this fight signed as soon as possible for the good of boxing.”
Both Klitschkos have stated Haye has the option of choosing which one he wants to face. While not promising Haye will be the next fight, the brothers did guarantee they’ll meet their rival some time in 2011.
“We promise that in 2011 the fight against Haye will come,” the Klitschko’s told the German outlet Bild in a prepared statement. “We want this fight at all costs. He may choose which one of us he wants to step into the ring to lose his world title to.”
Kanye and company were able to squeeze in this long-awaited “Monster” before we roll into 2011. To tie in with the song’s title, Kanye went heavy on the garish images, utilizing dead models laid out in contorted positions. ‘Ye has a very nice visual where he’s rhyming while female hands constantly pull at him from behind, which can be interpreted as sexual, ominous, or both depending on the viewer. Ross’s bars are short, so all we get for his part is the Miami emcee puffing on a cigar in the midst of hanging women. Jay keeps it stoic, and doesn’t interact any with his background, which includes a dead model lying on a couch. After having to deny constant Illuminati talk this year, he perhaps didn’t want to give theorists any more ammunition. Nicki Minaj got all the attention for her verse, and she rightly gets the most involved scenario for her part. It features S&M bondage with a pink-wigged Minaj being interrogated by a more unstable, dominatrix version of herself (probably her Roman Zolanski character).
Some people might be tired of these Lady Gaga type videos, but it works considering the song is titled “Monster.” Unfortunately (especially for Nicki), it doesn’t quite have the punch it intended because the song is so old (dropping back in August). Had this come out in early November, it would’ve given Minaj’s debut an even bigger push.
Popular 70′s middleweight contender “Bad” Bennie Briscoe passed away yesterday (December 28) at the age of 67.
Briscoe fought for 20 years (1962-1982), taking on the best fighters on his era. He battled Carlos Monzon twice, holding the middleweight great to a draw in their first encounter in 1967. In the championship rematch in 1972, Briscoe badly staggered Monzon with overhand right in round nine. The ropes held Monzon stay up, and the champion was able to continue outboxing a relentless Briscoe down the stretch to win a competitive decision. He would lose his second title shot, the WBC strap vacated by Monzon, by seventh round KO to Rodrigo Valdez in 1974. His last title shot came in 1977, when he lost to Valdez again via a unanimous decision.
A determined, come forward fighter who possessed a strong body attack, Briscoe was a formidable contender that middleweights who aspired to be elite had to prove themselves against. Very powerful, nearly all of Briscoe’s opponents, including a young Marvin Hagler, preferred to box him rather than engage him on the inside. Briscoe’s resume features a who’s who of world class fighters, including Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, Vito Antuofermo, Emile Griffith (2X), Marvin Hagler, Carlos Monzon (2X), Rodrigo Valdez (3X) Georgie Benton, and Eugene Hart.
Briscoe retired in 1982 with a record of 66-24-5, with 53 KOs and only one knockout loss. In 2003, RING Magazine included him on their 100 Greatest Punchers of All Time list. Philadelphia’s annual boxing awards ceremony is also named in his honor.
For the past week, Briscoe had been under hospice care at Temple University. At press time, a cause of death and funeral arrangements have not been announced.
“They said 50 sang too much/And Em got soft/And they said Dre fell the fuck off…”
If this is the last all-star collaboration of 2010, the year is going out on a good note. This song made the rumor mill rounds on Twitter a few days ago courtesy of mixtape dj Big Mike, and it turns out his claims of this song’s existence were right on point.
The title is a gateway to offer commentary on the importance of lyrics in today’s Hip-Hop. Eminem, one of the few who’s managed to become a superstar with technical wizardry, playfully bemoans how today’s young listener’s don’t possess attention spans beyond the chorus (“The whole formula switched/Because we don’t know anymore what’s a hit…How do we adapt and get TRL votes/When 13 year olds control the remotes?”). Em’s verse is very quick, and posits more questions than answers for Jay-Z to reflect on.
As expected, Jay takes a business approach. The “bang bang/chain” flow and content sells. He directly addresses the listeners, and states “it takes two to tango.” Right there, the Roc Nation CEO is making it clear that no one’s hands are “clean” in this situation: from the labels, to rappers, and even the actual fans who continue buying the product (“I guess you’re to blame, too/ I just found an angle..”). After painting Hip-Hop message board critics as naive, virgin teens, he views the philosophical divide as a choice between “the chat room or the house in Malibu.” For Jay-Z, his decision is easy.
Dr. Dre only gives a few quick bars, but the good doctor has some nice lines about veteran rappers continuing the standard of excellence set in previous generations. When it comes to passing the torch, Dre doesn’t see anyone ready to pick up the mantle (“The torch is going to burn out before it gets passed…gambling every time we put a record out…”). There is a light-hearted moment after this verse where Em takes his hand at the irritating, R&B choruses that are dominating the radio at this time.
50 Cent doesn’t tackle the subject as well as his peers. The most he can muster is a few nonsense bars to continue the motif that lyrics have lower importance over melody (“Just give me my check/ and I’ll be on my way”). Ca$his and Stat Quo hold their own with these heavyweights. For topics, they focus on bringing Shady/Aftermath to the forefront as the new generation of artists.
Not a bad track at all, and one that’ll have the hardcore internet fans talking, especially about the bars in their direction. In the end, these guys are in the record business, and as much as they may care for their art, the main goal for them will always be the looped Eminem words that close out the track, “Now get out there and sell some God damn records!”
EMINEM X JAY-Z X DR. DRE X 50 CENT X CA$HIS X STAT QUO “SYLLABLES”
Amir Khan hasn’t completely ruled out a rematch with Breidis Prescott, but the WBA junior welterweight champion would rather face “bigger name” opponents in 2011.
After an exciting victory over Marcos Maidana earlier this month, Khan has been exploring options for an opponent in early 2011. Khan hopes to have one fight before a unification bout with the winner of January’s matchup between Devon Alexander and Timothy Bradley.
Prescott handed Khan his first loss in 2008 with an embarrassing first round knockout. Since then, Khan’s career has progressed well, winning the WBA title. In the last two years, Prescott has floundered and failed to have any standout performances.
Still, the promotional angle of revenge is still there should the two young fighters meet again. Taking the argument to his Facebook page, Khan explained that Prescott is not interested in facing him again.
“Prescott doesn’t wanna fight me and he’d get knocked out at 140 pounds,” Khan wrote. “I’m a different fighter, bring it on. That fight won’t happen but I’ll try for all my fans. That’s what we want. There’s bigger names and fighters I want to face and bring great fights to viewers and to the UK. Why don’t people hate on David Haye, Naz, Lewis, [and] Pacman? They all lost a fight or two.”
At this stage of their careers, Khan feels that Breidis Prescott’ skill level has regressed to “bum” status. But Khan also cites that loss as the reason he’s been able to become an elite fighter.
“My fight against Prescott was not a loss it was a blessing; he’s a bum, but I needed that defeat to put me where I am now,” Khan said. “It was a wake up call. I’m now on this level thanks to him, facing bigger names and tougher opponents. [I'm] bringing boxing alive again.”
At press time, Amir Khan is planning to fight in England in April 2011. In addition to Prescott, Zab Judah has also been mentioned as a potential opponent.
Lenny Kravitz owes his career to Teena Marie. As an unknown, 16-year-old musician, Marie took him in when he was homeless. Not only did she provide him the basic necessity of shelter, but Marie helped nurture Kravitz’s musical gift, supplying him with instruments, and taking him to shows and studio sessions. You can hear the acute pain and disbelief in his voice over her passing. Unfortunately, they had not been in contact over the last few years, and normally that indicates a possible falling out. Let this serve as reminder to not let disputes overcome your love for a person, because you never know when it’s their time (or yours) to leave this world.
For immediate future, DMX’s one year jail term will be under the supervision of the Flamenco Mental Health unit at Arizona’s State Prison.
Earlier this month, DMX (Earl Simmons) received his jail sentence after pleading guilty to parole violation. X violated his terms by testing positive for cocaine and oxycontin. The former multi-platinum emcee had just been released from prison in August after serving a year for a conviction on drug, fraud, and animal cruelty charges.
According to the Phoenix New Times, the mental health tests are a follow-up on the recommendation of Arizona judge Christine Mulleneaux, who stated at the rapper’s sentencing that it’s possible he suffers from bi-polar disorder, or another “undiagnosed mental condition.”
At press time, DMX’s manager Nakia Walker would not verify if her client has a mental condition. DMX will be able to have visitors beginning on January 20, 2011.
It’s crazy (no pun intended) that after being arrested every year since 1999, Arizona has finally decided to take a look at DMX’s mental condition. For those of us in Hip-Hop, we knew from the first album that X tittered on that thin line between brilliance and insanity.
DMX needs help, and Arizona is not the place he’ll get it. In that state, he’s simply a target, and that’ll never change. DMX is a grown man, so no one can force him to get off drugs. At least in a new location, he’d have a legit chance at a fresh start. I don’t know if it’s property holdings, family, or a just a love for the area that’s kept him there. Whatever it is, those ties need to severed when he’s released next year.
On every album, DMX says an emotional prayer. I hope his fans are keeping him in theirs.
The joyous atmosphere of the 2010 holiday season was shattered amongst music aficionados yesterday (December 26), when news broke on the death of Teena Marie. Today, I take a look back on Teena’s legendary career, and her enduring influence in the world of Hip-Hop.
Born Mary Christine Brockert on March 5, 1956, Marie’s vocal stylings, even as a child, reflected a significant influence from her predominantly black neighborhood of Oakwood, located in westside Los Angeles, California. By her early 20s, she drew the attention of Berry Gordy, who signed her to Motown in 1976.
After floating around with several producers, she linked up with Rick James and guitarist Paul C. Saenz. James would become a lasting musical influence and mentor, and the popular funk singer picked young Teena over working with label superstar Diana Ross. Their early collaborations resulted in her debut Wild and Peaceful, which reached the Top 20 of Billboard’s then Black Albums Chart. The cover is notable for not including any pictures of Marie, for fears that black audiences would not be receptive of her music if it was discovered she was white.
Those fears proved unfounded on her 1980 follow-up Lady T. With her face displayed prominently on the cover, the LP was still a hit due to burning dance floor numbers like “Behind The Groove,” and other production contributions from Richard Rudolph, husband of the late Minnie Riperton. She dropped another well-received album in Irons in the Fire that same year, and struck on her own for the first time as lead producer. This album would also be the earliest LP to catch a Hip-Hop producer’s ears with the disco number “I Need Your Lovin’”. In 1981, early Hip-Hoppers Lovebug Starski and the Harlem World crew used the song for the jam session joint “Positive Life.” In 2008, Jadakiss and Ne-Yo used its template for “By My Side.”
TEENA MARIE “I NEED YOUR LOVIN’”
JADAKISS FEAT. NE-YO “BY MY SIDE”
LOVEBUG STARSKI & THE HARLEM WORLD CREW “POSITIVE LIFE”
In 1981, Marie would record her last album for Motown, It Must Be Magic. It turned out to be her highest-selling Motown offering, and a project that yielded her most enduring sample for Hip-Hop fans. “Square Biz” would become one of her signature hits, and receive mileage well into the 90′s courtesy of high-profile artists like The Firm and Mase. The song featured Marie rapping, something that showed foresight and a willingness to embrace the fledgling culture of Hip-Hop. That cannot be said of many early 80s R&B stars, who held the music in contempt.
Ludacris, a new millennium Hip-Hop star, found inspiration from another single on the album entitled “Portuguese Love.”
TEENA MARIE “SQUARE BIZ”
MASE FEAT. BILLY LAWRENCE “LOVE U SO”
THE FIRM “FIRM BIZ”
TEENA MARIE “PORTUGUESE LOVE” (VOCAL SAMPLE 5:55-6:00 MARK)
LUDACRIS FEAT. NATE DOGG “CHILD OF THE NIGHT”
In the mid-80′s, Marie delivered her most commercially successful album in Starchild. The project was fueled by the smash hit “Lovergirl.” But it wasn’t that chart-topper that caught the attention of Hip-Hop producers. It was the beginning melody on ”Out On a Limb.”
TEENA MARIE “OUT ON A LIMB”
PASTOR TROY “LICENSE TO KILL”
MAX B FEAT. FRENCH MONTANA “SEEN IT ALL”
Teena Marie’s last big sample contribution to Hip-Hop came off her 1988 album Naked to the World. The soulful and whimsical “Ooo La La La” was one of her biggest singles, and the only one to hit #1 on the US Black Singles Chart. Those who grew up in the 90s will recall a young Lauryn Hill beautifully interpreting Teena’s chorus work for The Fugees’ own monster single ”Fu-gee-la.” Grand Puba also tried his hand singing the chorus.
TEENA MARIE “OOO LA LA LA”
THE FUGEES “FU-GEE-LA”
GRAND PUBA ”FAT RAT” (SAMPLE AT 1:08 MARK)
Teena never stopped making music. She dropped her last album, Congo Square, in 2009. Back in 2004, she had reintroduced herself to younger fans with the Cash Money album La Dona, which charted #6 on Billboard.
Known affectionately as the Ivory Queen of Soul, Teena Marie leaves behind a musical legacy that spans 30 years, and is a testament that music quality, not skin color, can determine an artist’s success.
Beats, Boxing & Mayhem salutes the life and music of Teena Marie. Rest in peace…
Those who were online for Christmas got a nice treat with DJ Premier’s blog dropped this exclusive sitdown interview with Premier and Pete Rock. Based on the hotel setting and Japanese word characters, this interview likely took place during an overseas stop. Premier reveals how he literally fell into Gang Starr when the emcee of his previous group blindsided him by enrolling in the Navy. He details the differences between the album and single versions of “Words That I Manifest,” and a violent altercation at label Wild Pitch over his contract. On Pete Rock’s end, he reviews his creative process on what many consider his best work, the remix to Public Enemy’s “Shut ‘Em Down.” Pete also gives great info on one of his other undisputed classic in “T.R.O.Y.”
Grab a snack, because both legends reflect for a full hour! This is invaluable info from two of the master producers in Hip-Hop history. Mandatory viewing.
“We’re going to end up having a problem…let me in my motherfucking house!”
The holiday spirit wasn’t with Floyd Mayweather during his latest acrimonious encounter with a security guard. This incident was caused by the guard not allowing Mayweather into the affluent, Southern Highlands gated community unless he showed ID. The linear welterweight champ became irate, and indicated this was the second time he’s had an incident at this location. The last time, Mayweather received a battery charge for allegedly poking the guard in the face. He managed to keep his hands to himself, but continuously berated this new security guard.
As someone who’s on the Board of Directors in my gated community, I would have no issues with someone requesting ID. To me, that ensures that my property, and those of my neighbors, doesn’t have random people loitering around. I’d especially be ok if the guard indicated he knew me, but was still following procedure. Floyd said at the beginning he didn’t have his ID, and the guard just requested a second so he could get him clearance to go through. Did that warrant such an outburst? I think it’s obvious the people at Southern Highlands and Mayweather need to have a sitdown regarding community protocol.
Too bad the 24/7 crew couldn’t catch this. Then again, Floyd would have to be fighting for HBO cameras to be around.