After being banned by the NYPD from the Highline Ballroom show on the Hostile Takeover tour, Machine Gun Kelly hit Notorious B.I.G.’s favorite recording room in Daddy’s House studio to drop a freestyle for the fans and critics.
Behind The Music: Notorious B.I.G. shows the Brooklyn-born MC rising from the streets to the throne of hip hop, revealing how his thriving career and larger-than-life presence was cut short when he was gunned down at 24. Enjoy.
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New Video: MGK feat. 2 Chainz, Mystikal, Yo Gotti, Meek Mill & Steve-O – Wild Boy (Remix) (Official Video)
This past Friday made 13 YEARS since Mason Betha called into the Funkmaster Flex show to announce his retirement from rap for the church. He made a comeback in 2004, and left the game again in 2007. Today he appeared on “Slight Work” remix with Wale, French Montana and Diddy, marking another comeback. Funk Master Flex got Ma$e on the phone to see if this time it’s for good, and to discuss the G-Unit deal that almost happened, his current relationship with Diddy and more.
“We were in a Miami studio last night and Ma$e just stopped by,” Montana said. “We were just workin’ on my album. We recorded two songs together—me, Ross and Ma$e. You might hear [Ma$e] on either my album [Excuse My French] or Ross’ [God Forgives, I Don’t] or both…Ma$e sounds good, sound like he never left. His flow is crazy. We’re going to let the world hear soon enough. Stay tuned. Just stay tuned.”
Forbes writer Zack Greenburg checks in on hip-hop’s wealthiest artists for 2012.
1. Sean “Diddy” Combs ($550 million)
Diddy has remained a mainstream mainstay for 15 years thanks to his knack for self-promotion. Lately, he’s been channeling that energy toward Ciroc vodka, much to the benefit of his bank account: he receives double-digit millions annually as a share of the spirit’s profits. Better yet, he’s entitled to a nine-figure chunk of cash if Ciroc is ever sold. He also boasts stakes in clothing lines Sean John and Enyce, marketing firm Blue Flame, record label Bad Boy, a handful of tech startups and cable channel Revolt, slated for a 2013 debut—all of which means he’s well on his way to becoming hip-hop’s first billionaire.
2. Sean “Jay-Z” Carter ($460 million)
Unlike his fellow Forbes Five members, Jay-Z still churns out music and goes on tour—most recently with pal Kanye West—adding to his considerable war chest. He sold his Rocawear clothing label for $204 million in 2007 and signed 10-year $150 million deal with Live Nation in 2008, and also holds stakes in the New Jersey Nets, his 40/40 Club chain, ad firm Translation, cosmetics company Carol’s Daughter and other businesses.
3. Andre “Dr. Dre” Young ($260 million)
Fittingly, the bulk of this super-producer’s wealth comes from headphones. In August, handset maker HTC paid $300m to buy a 51% stake Beats Electronics, the company founded by Dr. Dre and Interscope chief Jimmy Iovine in 2008. Sources say each owned a third of the company before the deal, placing Dre’s cut at $85 million after taxes. The agreement also values his remaining stake at $100 million, which could increase rapidly as the company continues to expand.
4. Bryan “Birdman” Williams ($125 million)
The Cash Money Records cofounder would be higher on this list if he held sole ownership of his label, but he shares it with brother Ronald “Slim” Williams. The duo founded Cash Money two decades ago, inking very favorable $30 million distribution deal with Universal in 1998. The label’s value has soared with the success of rappers Drake, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne (who shares in the ownership of sub-label Young Money). There’s even more cash on the horizon—the label’s deal with Universal is up this summer, raising the prospect of a bidding war for the right to distribute Cash Money’s releases.
5. Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson ($110 million)
The Queens-born rapper earned $100 million for his Vitaminwater stake in 2007, and then spent freely on cars and renovations to his Connecticut mansion, formerly owned by Mike Tyson. But a nice cushion remains from his back catalog, acting gigs and 50 Cent-themed videogames, books and clothes, as well as new headphone line SMS. Next up: an energy shot called Street King, which promises to feed hungry children—and 50’s bank account.
In this new short film directed by Julien Bachlet, Diddy documents his recent journey during his time in France for The Paris Fashion Week.