Considering that he cites Oscar De La Hoya as one of his early boxing idols, maybe it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Victor Ortiz is reaching out to the fairer sex ahead of his September 17 title defense against Floyd Mayweather. Those old enough to remember can recall that girls and women adored De La Hoya and could regularly be heard screaming at his weigh-ins like it was a teeny-bopper concert. It would be one of reasons that some hardcore fights fans, especially those who were Mexican, never completely warmed to the clean-cut, Hollywood-like image of the Golden Boy.
Ortiz’s photos were a collection of shots released as part of new underwear campaign for FreshPair.com. The photos were picked up by celebrity news site TMZ. Despite the unflattering headline (“Boxer Victor Ortiz Modeling Man Panties…), I’m sure Ortiz’s team doesn’t mind the mainstream publicity. Thankfully, boxing matches are settled with fists and not modeling. For those so inclined, you can check out the rest of the photos on the below link.
Aside from Beyonce’s huge pregnancy announcement, there was an actual award show that took place last night on MTV. While there were no iconic moments that happened, many of the artists turned in very good live performances. Read on to see who elevated their games and who feel flat.
BEYONCE “LOVE ON TOP”
Is that a baby glow? Nope, that’s just Beyonce’s regular look. Bey went old-school with this performance for “Love On Top.” Even with the background dancers, this was centered strictly on her vocals over theatrics, something most of her colleagues cannot do. Don’t expect anyone to take her spot even with the baby on the way.
GRADE – B+
JAY-Z & KANYE WEST “OTIS”
This set wasn’t expected. But with Beyonce giving the VMAs huge pub by announcing her pregnancy, it’s the least MTV can do. Jay and Ye got off to a great start with the pyro effects and stage walk. Funniest thing was someone yet again trying to crash a Jay-Z MTV performance. What would’ve been awesome is if they had come out in that Mad Max Maybach.
LADY GAGA “YOU AND I”
You see the confused faces in the audience? I was equally dumbfounded. I didn’t know if that was Gaga, a cracked out Andrew Dice Clay, or K.D. Lang. These types of intros work good on concert tours. Here, it just runs too long. It takes a minute for your mind to get into the song, which was executed well, after that beginning.
CHRIS BROWN “YEAH 3X/PROTECT YA NECK/TEEN SPIRIT/BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE”
I was never a Chris Brown hater, but I can’t say I was much of fan either. Lately though, he’s caught my attention with the music he’s been putting out (Boy In Detention). Anyone who can incorporate classic Wu-Tang and Nirvana into their performances in 2011 is ok in my book. The stage flying took this over the top.
PITBULL “GIVE ME EVERYTHING”
This is the first and only performance of the night where my attention started waning. I think most people would have struggled following that Chris Brown set. The song being meh probably didn’t help either.
ADELE “SOMEONE LIKE YOU”
Adele has a great voice and she nailed this. All the slick production on this show made her work stand out even more.
LIL WAYNE “HOW TO LOVE/JOHN”
Wayne got clowned heavy last night for those leopard print skinny jeans. Mixing the mellow “How to Love” with the hard-hitting “John” was a nice contrast of styles. However, it never quite connected with the audience. It would have come off much stronger if Rick Ross joined him on stage for his part. Overall, not great but not terrible.
GRADE – C-
BRUNO MARS “AMY WINEHOUSE MEDLEY/VALERIE”
Far as male singers go, Bruno Mars was a good pick for this Amy Winehouse tribute. His voice sounded great and the overall presentation was an excellent nod to Amy’s big band jazz roots from the attire to the swing rhythms. Even Tyler the Creator was loving it. Well done, sir.
YOUNG THE GIANT “MY BODY”
Never underestimate the benefit of a lively crowd. The song is nice, but the crowd’s energy in the pit put this on another level. This is the good-natured vibe that results in tipsy girls hugging random people at shows. Extra points for the stage diving.
COBRA STARSHIP “YOU MAKE ME FEEL”
It’s hard for me to tolerate these dance-pop anthems outside of working out. The singing at times is strained but let’s face it, you don’t listen to these songs expecting Patti LaBelle level vocals. I did like how they traveled to different stage areas.
GRADE – B-
Disagree? Vote on who was your favorite performer on last night’s VMAs!
HBO had a solid first episode of 24/7 last night (August 27) for Mayweather-Ortiz. Ortiz’s side gave some insight into his first trainer Bucky, how he doesn’t remember quitting against Marcos Maidana, and his relationship with trainer Danny Garcia. Mayweather’s side revealed some newfound tension between Floyd Sr. and Jr. Lil Floyd became so enraged with his father that he told him “you couldn’t fight worth shit” in regards to his Dad’s fighting career. While jarring to see live, I’m sure their verbal fights are old hat after all these years. On the Hip-Hop side, 50 Cent makes an appearance, and AZ’s music gets some well-deserved shine. Floyd’s fine fiance “Miss Jackson” also makes her 24/7 debut. Part two will air next Saturday (September 3) at 10 PM.
Robert Guerrero will follow the advice of his doctor and undergo surgery to repair a tear in his left rotator cuff.
Guerrero made the decision today after a final consultation with physician Dr. Dillingham. While the tear was found to be slight, surgery was chosen to access any further shoulder damage not seen in the MRI.
“After talking to Dr. Dillingham today; Robert will undergo an arthroscopic shoulder surgery procedure to take a closer look at the damage done to his rotator cuff,” explained Bob Santos, Guerrero’s manager. “Right now the MRI shows a slight tear, but Dillingham advised us that it would be in our best interest to scope the shoulder to check for other damage that an MRI can’t reveal. No definitive answer can be made as to when Robert Guerrero will return to the ring until after his surgery is completed next Tuesday. We are hoping he’ll be back in six months, God willing his surgery goes smoothly.”
Last week, the 28-year-old Guerrero pulled out of an August 27, #1 contender’s match against Marcos Maidana after suffering the shoulder injury during a sparring session. He revealed that the shoulder has been a nagging issue going back to his teenage years.
“I’m really disappointed that I had to pull out of the fight, but thankful that the steps are in motion to get healthy,” Guerrero said. “This was a lingering injury I suffered playing football as a teenager that never got addressed. I know surgery is a dangerous procedure, but Dr. Dillingham is one of the best doctors in the country that specializes with this type of surgery. The good thing is my shoulder is going to get fixed and I’ll live to fight another day. Times like this I must stay faithful to my lord and savior Jesus Christ who strengthens me through adversity.”
LOS ANGELES, CA — Snoop Dogg was the recipient of a BMI Icon award and several tributes from colleagues Too $hort, Dr. Dre, Nas, Bootsy Collins and others last night at BMI’s Urban Awards from Hollywood’s Pantages Theater.
BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) holds annual events to recognize the top songwriters, publishers and producers in music. Snoop Dogg’s award recognized his 20 years in music.
Snoop’s all-star tributes featured covers from Wiz Khalifa (“Nuthin But a G Thang”), The Lady of Rage (“Deep Cover”), Too $hort (Gin & Juice”), Charlie Wilson (“Beautiful”), Game (“Murder Was the Case”), Akon (“Sexual Seduction”), Nas and Kurupt (“Next Episode”), and a rendition of “Ain’t No Fun” with Warren G, Kurupt and Daz Dillinger. Dr. Dre delivered a speech before Snoop joined the stage with Bootsy Collins and Charlie Wilson to perform “What’s My Name?”
Other award recipients for the next included Lex Luger (Producer of the Year), B.o.B. for “Nothin’ on You” (Urban Song of the Year) and Drake (Songwriter of the Year).
DR. DRE SPEECH, “WHAT’S MY NAME” (CHARLIE WILSON, DAZ, GAME, RAGE, BOOTSY COLLINS)
Word going around is that this “remix” of “Smoke Sum’n” is actually the original. For whatever reason, Wayne’s verse was left off of Verde Terrace earlier this week. Wayne shows adequate respect for this classic beat and thankfully leaves the goofy punchlines at home in favor of using Andre 3000′s flow as a model.
Big K.R.I.T. comes to terms with his destiny in this new video for “The Vent.” This man consistently hits with relatable life topics ranging from financial issues to insecurity about our abilities to succeed in these trying times. When it comes to his own work, K.R.I.T. declares what he makes is “truly art,” and has no qualms calling out what passes for Hip-Hop these days on the radio. His debut album, Live From the Underground, drops on September 27.
Nothing is promised in this industry. Your previous accolades, no matter how exceptional, don’t guarantee any artist a place of security. Game experienced that firsthand when he began work in 2009 on The R.E.D. Album, a follow-up to his gold-selling 2008 album LAX. Even with a track record of multi-platinum and gold albums, Interscope doubted this project’s commercial viability and subjected it to 10 delays. After three long years, Game has finally delivered an album that while full of shortcomings, is entertaining enough to satisfy fans who’ve been waiting patiently for Game’s self-proclaimed “rededication to Hip-Hop.”
After a short Dr. Dre intro, R.E.D. opens with Cool & Dre’s dramatic production on “The City.” With a movie-like atmosphere set, Game assails the mic with proclamations of the West Coast’s rebirth and his own pedigree of plaque-certified albums. Kendrick Lamar is the show-stealer, supplying a detailed, spoken word-leaning chorus that leads into a thrilling a capella third verse. The heavy production continues with DJ Khalil on “Drug Test,” a song marked immediately by its West Coast melodies. The club chords are short and stabbing, resulting in Dre, Game and Snoop adjusting their verses accordingly. Although Nate Dogg is gone, Sly does a novel imitation on the chorus.
THE GAME X KENDRICK LAMAR “THE CITY”
Dark humor comes into play on “Martians vs. Goblins.” Game does a respectable Odd Future impersonation. As a serial name-dropper, Game has no issues throwing his peers into surreal bars (“Tie Lil B up to a full tank of propane/Swag/ Now watch him cook…”). Although the beat has the murky feel of the Odd Future variety, Tyler the Creator’s offbeat humor doesn’t go too left that it’s not enjoyable for the uninitiated listener (“Fall back like LeBron’s hairline…”).
Game’s first solo song don’t come until deep into the album. Again, DJ Khalil employs a big sound for “Ricky,” a treat for older Hip-Hop fans as it samples Stanley Clarke’s music from Boyz N the Hood. The jazz elements, Game’s vocal energy, and the movie quotes the punctuate his lyrics make it one of the more enjoyable and engaging songs on the LP.
As the R.E.D. Album progresses, it’s quite easy to forget your listening to a Game project. His identity is lost when he decides to imitate the cadence and flow of his guests, as he does with Jeezy and Big Boi on their featured tracks. While interesting at first, it wears thin quickly and pales against other collab tracks where Game refrains from the imitation flattery like ”Heavy Artillery” and “Good Girls Go Bad.”
The influence of Game’s major label can be felt in the LP’s second half, which is overrun with radio-friendly, commercial singles with singers Lloyd, Mario, Lu Breeze and Chris Brown. Here the sequencing becomes a glaring issue; having four consecutive songs with this style becomes redundant and totally takes you out of the album. Although Game tries to inject introspective content in the last two, the production style and R&B choruses gives you the same feeling as the first two offerings.
Thankfully, DJ Premier comes to the rescue with “Born in the Trap.” Primo’s sample incorporates a beautiful orchestral loop. Game is equally impressive riding the beat and even changes the normal boom bap format we expect by handling the chorus himself and saving Premier’s trademark scratches for the ending sequence. The scenic production continues via Pharrell on “Mama Knows,” arguably the album’s strongest cut. While it was touched on throughout the album, Game saves this track to go in-depth on his mother’s influence on his life. Nelly Furtado’s airy vocals work perfect on these rhythms and will remind you of Janet Jackson’s preferred singing style.
GAME X NELLY FURTADO “MAMA KNOWS”
While Game still has not completely fixed the tendency overstuff his albums with guest appearances at his own expense, The R.E.D. Album has much better production and more highlights than what was heard on 2008′s LAX. If he accepts the benefits of the “less is more” approach, Compton’s native son will have further improvement on his next album.
With over one million Twitter followers, Floyd Mayweather is heavy on the social networking front despite being out of the ring since May 2010. In a just released blog, Mayweather talks about the importance of fans in his decision to return to boxing and to continue his career September 17 against Victor Ortiz.
One of the best parts about my job is interacting with the fans. Without the fans, none of this would be possible. First and foremost, I fight for my family, my children. I want to give them the best life possible so I remember that with every fight and each victory is for them. And I even appreciate the fans that don’t support me either. It’s all love.
But after my family and children I fight for the fans. I have always appreciated their support and when I am in public there really isn’t an autograph I won’t sign. If it wasn’t for the fans, I would not be the king of pay-per-view. I am in awe of their support and that is why I go out of my way to make them happy. For my last four fight announcements I have always made sure they are included by inviting them to the media tour press conferences. They show me such love and support and it is for this reason that I can continue to train and work hard for each fight in front of me. The fans are what brought me back to the square circle this time too. I knew that they waited long enough to see me fight again. So when I step into the ring against Victor Ortiz on September 17, I plan on giving them another great performance. It’s the only way to make them happy. It’s the Mayweather way and experience.
I have had some great times with my fans over the years. When we announced this fight against Ortiz in June, we started the press tour in New York City and fans started to line up in the heat beginning at 6:00 am [the press conference started at noon]. The fans filled the two balconies at the Hudson Theatre in Times Square and stayed for hours for autographs and pictures. Then we went to Los Angeles and tons of fans came out to this event too. We had it at night because it’s Hollywood baby and we were promoting STARPOWER. They too were lining up in the early morning to get a great seat to watch the show. My fans know that when I fight, it is a mega-event, and they wanted to be a part of it, which means the world to me.
But I think my most memorable fan moment was in London, England when I went there to promote my fight with Juan Manuel Marquez. I told my CEO Leonard Ellerbe I wanted to do a public workout. He found the Peacock Boxing Gym and we arranged for the workout and invited the fans. It was unbelievable how many people showed up. The gym was packed, standing room only. I let them come right to the edge of the ring and surround me on all sides while we worked out. The energy and commotion was something I will never forget. After we finished the workout, I walked out to the balcony of the building so the fans who waited hours to see me, and couldn’t get in the gym during the workout but were still there waiting for me, felt my gratitude for their support. I remember we could barely make it back to our cars. It was a fantastic experience and after my September fight I plan to go back and do it again. This time we will find a bigger place.
I also have to give much love to my 1.5 million Twitter followers. When I announced that I was returning to the ring on my Twitter account [@floydmayweather], even I was amazed at how fast the news spread. I love being able to reach all of my fans at one time and all the time. The responses and messages I get every day are motivation for me to keep working hard in the gym and bring home a win on September 17.
HBO®’s Emmy® Award-winning all-access series “24/7” premieres an all-new edition when “24/7 Mayweather/Ortiz” debuts Saturday, Aug. 27 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. The four-part series will air for three consecutive Saturday nights before the finale airs the night before the welterweight championship showdown in Las Vegas.