Roxanne Shante Opening ‘Hip-Hop Ices’ Ice Cream Parlor

By Tiffany Hamilton

Hip-Hop veteran Roxanne Shante is all about the ice, but not the diamonds that are draping a lot of emcees necks; she’s all about the ice cream and has opened “Hip-Hop Ices,” a new ice cream parlor in Jamaica, Queens.

Hip Hop Ices located at 153-33 Hillside Avenue, will serve as the flagship location for the business, which will open shop in Atlanta as well as on the West coast.

“A lot of artists are talking about keeping it real and what they are going to do in the community, well I am doing it with Hip-Hop Ices,” Shante told ” I have made sure that Hip-Hop Ices not only serves as a place where kids come to relax, but also receive knowledge from various the workshops we hold.”

Shante, who runs a psychology practice in New York, explained that she shows kids the value of hard work.

“I only employ high school students,” Shante said. “I want to make sure that this is not only a job, but that they learn how to enterprise. The students that work for me play a role in scheduling, budgeting and ordering.”

Hip-Hop Ices is also lined up with support from corporate sponsors that help with giveaways and contests.

“We are located near the largest high schools in each city, so students who are in high school can receive Ice Cream sneakers, clothes and stuff through a raffle they get for getting good grades,” Shante revealed.

And because Hip-Hop is so popular, the parlors also hold workshops and seminars that help hopefuls avoid the pitfalls of the music industry.

Shante, who started in the music business at the age of 14 as a member of Marley Marl’s legendary Juice Crew, quit the music business due to industry politics.

“They learn about royalties and contracts; because who better to teach them about royalties and recouping than me.,” Shante said. ” I could have started a clothing line or a jewelry line, but I chose to do this because it’s not about making money to me, it’s about making a difference.”


Chamillionaire: With A Vengeance Published February 18, 2005 byTiffany Hamilton

Houston we have a problem. It seems nowadays that Houston is having everything but problems. With the resurgence of Southern music on the forefront, all sorts of talent is definitely making sure to get in where they fit in and Houston born rapper, Chamillionaire is no exception. Now signed with Universal after selling over six-figures in albums as an underground talent, Chamillionaire is here to prove to the world that he is more than average. After an unfriendly split with former partner Paul Wall and disassociation from Houston mixtape powerhouse Swishahouse, Cham is no stranger to conflict. More on that later…
We last checked in on him a couple years ago. Lets see what up with Chamillionaire at this stage in his life. What is the title of your upcoming solo album? There are two titles being tossed around in press.

Cham: The name of my album is called The Sound Of Revenge. It was gonna be called Controversy Sells, but the indie label that I put out my first album on, just put out an album with that name in an attempt to try to capitalize off the street promotion I have been doin’ with that title. They put out a CD with old material tryin’ to fool the public like it’s my new album, and the underground fans aren’t really feelin’ what they tried do. When is it slated for release?

Cham: The Sound Of Revenge will drop summer 2005 on Chamillitary Records. I know the world is really startin’ to see a lot of action comin’ out of Houston right now, but I’m not gonna rush. I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my music, and I’m not tryin’ to put out anything less than the best album to come out. People will know I’m the truth when they hear it. I read in an interview where you said that you really don’t feel that you have to be signed with a major to make it, what made you decide to finally sign with a major?

Cham: I guess it was just meant to be. I had been doin’ a lot of underground records sayin’ that I wouldn’t sign with a major unless everything was completely right. One of my producer homies from the Beat Bullies called me up and told me he was gonna get my name on the VIP list for a Nelly party that was goin’ on in New York. I wasn’t even planning on goin’, but the guy that is now my manager called me and told me that one of the head guys from Universal Records saw my name on the list and was hoping to see me there. I paid for a ticket to New York, but by the time I got there it was just about over. I went and got a hotel and in the mornin’ when I woke up, I saw a lot of New York area codes on my missed calls log. Next thing you know, I was going from meeting to meeting. I met with various labels. Every meeting went well to me except for one, where the executives were stuck on an ‘American Idol’ type concept. I didn’t like the whole idea and the approach they was doin’ where you have to rap and dance for them. They passed on me, but I’m glad because I got the deal that people were tellin’ me that I wasn’t gonna be able to get. Now you started in the industry doing promotions for everybody, do you feel that entering in that way gave you an advantage from a business standpoint?

Cham: Definitely. It doesn’t matter what venture you tryin’ to get into. If you want to be successful, you need to learn about it first. You don’t dive head first into water with out knowing how deep the water is. Promotions helped me to learn the game before I jumped into it completely. Watching the lives of other people helped me know how I was gonna keep my life in tact. I got to see other people pass and fail, and got to see who was really makin’ the money behind the scenes. I know that you and Paul Wall started in this together but recently we have been hearing that you two are not on good terms?

Cham: Yeah, we came up together but now he is back with the Swishahouse, and I’m not. We aren’t cool at all anymore because a lot of personal stuff that I’m not even gonna begin to try to explain. He [recently] made a comment in XXL saying he has a feeling that I’m gonna start dissin’ him, but he won’t diss me back because he thinks that is childish. My response to that is everyone knows that he has been subliminally dissin’ me on all his records, and now he’s trying to act all innocent. Him and his homies are goin’ around everywhere tryin’ to turn people against me, and tryin’ to make me look like a bad guy. There is nothin’ they can say to anyone to keep me from being successful. They can pray for my downfall now, and be disappointed later. Now that you are a solo artist, do you think you can make an even larger impact than before?

Cham: Even though I sold over 100,000 units on my first independent record, I was still considered an underground artist. It’s bigger than that now and the stakes have been raised a lot higher now that I’m on a major. The independent album and all the mixtapes served as training for me. I’m still gonna do all that stuff but when I drop this first major album, people will be able to see that I don’t just make underground hits I can make nationwide hits. You have done a lot of songs on mixtapes for Swishahouse, why didn’t you ever sign with them?

Cham: When I was in the Swishahouse, it wasn’t really a real label at that time. It was kinda like a bunch of rappers spittin’ on screwed mixtapes. I never saw any contracts at all. We were never signed that’s the reason why we were able to start our own thing when our street buzz was hot enough. I got tired of watchin’ all the money get made and not being able to financially profit from it. I was told that I had to pay dues when I was askin’ about getting paid for a show that I was performing in. I did hundreds of mix tape verses and a lot of shows and wasn’t makin’ money doin’ it. So I got out and did my own thing. No one puts a salary cap on me or tells me when I get paid now. I am thankful for the experience though because I learned from it but what I went through is also the reason why I separate myself from everything they got goin’ on over there. I respect what that label did to get me where I’m at, but I’m not a sweatshop worker or a slave and this Rap is how my family eats. I hear there are a lot of beefs going on between you and Swisha House, like with Mike Jones. Are you going to continue to with the beef considering the fact that Houston is finally getting some shine.

Cham: I’m not a gangsta. I’m a businessman. So beefin’ is not what I’m here to promote even though I know the controversy in a rappers personal life can help record sales sometimes. I haven’t built my career on that and don’t plan to because when you are better at making music than your competitors, you don’t have to. See there are a lot of personal issues that the public doesn’t know that has been goin’ on between me and them guys. That’s part of the reason why some people go against me, because I’m the person that will say exactly what I feel is the truth instead of giving the politically correct answer. That’s mainly why I don’t really go into too much detail about the personal stuff. Because when I speak on it, I’m gonna have to give my truth. And I know once them skeletons they got come out of their closets, it’s gonna go to a whole different level. Okay, fair enough. A lot of Southern artists and artists in general are now creating their normal sounding CD’s, but then re-releasing a screwed and chopped version. Are you planning to do that as well to maintain loyalty to your underground fans?

Cham: Yeah, the mixtapes and the screwed versions won’t stop. You can’t get signed and then switch up what ya doin’ that got you there. There is a difference between a fan that likes you because they see you on TV, and a fan that has watched you grow and mature your whole career. The fans that watched you grow will stick around if you keep it real with them. The other fans will jump back and forth between who has the hotter single so I gotta keep feedin’ the fans that have been down the whole ride. OG Ron C used to be a co C.E.O. of the Swishahouse but he split up with them also, and is now my official DJ. All my screwed versions will be done by him. What producers are you working with for the album?

Cham: I been in the studio with a lot of big producers, but it’s too early to say what will make the album. Last but not least, what do you want people to know about you that they don’t already?

Cham: I’m not just some rapper who talks big to tries to over-hype and exaggerate what I have done. Most of the rappers of today all have the same story, but I’m a new breed of MC with my own success story. No gimmicks, just good music. For more information you can check out my website

RZA Launches Wu Tang Latino Published June 08, 2005 by Tiffany Hamilton

The RZA has teamed up with Ray Acosta, former VP of Musica Latina and Marketing at UBO, to launch a new label, Wu-Tang Latino. “Wu-Tang Latino is the perfect fusion between Hip-Hop and Reggaetone,” Acosta, President of Wu-Tang Latino, told “I felt it was necessary because we [as Latinos] love Hip-Hop but in the love for Hip-Hop, we were losing our culture. So I feel that this joint venture with RZA is the perfect solution because it’s Hip-Hop and Reggaetone, but it’s not too overwhelming from either side to where you don’t know what you’re listening to.”

The label has already signed four artists who all plan on dropping albums next year.

“I am happy with the venture” artist/producer Rameses said. “I have been a fan of Hip-Hop since forever, so to team up with members of the Wu-Tang Clan and to be on a label that has the same vision for my music as I do, is incredible.”

In addition to Rameses, artists Ruster, NP Killah, Shown Black and Gil will be some of the artists featured on the upcoming Wu-Tang Latino mixtape due out in August.

“We just want to bring everyone together.” Acosta continued. “We want to create our own type of music on the East Coast, because we have Reggaetone, but the West coast has Regional Hip-Hop for Mexicans. Eventually I would like it all to be classified as Latino Hip-Hop to embrace us all.”

Look out for the debut single from Rameses featuring Mef to be out as soon as next week.

Ol Dirty’s Manager Responds To Child Support Accusations Published April 18, 2005 by Tiffany Hamilton

The battle over Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s estate continues, as the late rapper’s manager and mother responded to child support non-payment allegations issued by Dirty’s estranged wife and mother of three of his children, Icelene Jones. Last week, Jones held a press conference alleging that although she has been appointed as the official care taker of Dirty’s estate, since the rapper passed away in November of 2004.

Jones stated that neither she nor her children are set to receive any royalties or funds from the rappers upcoming album A Son Unique, scheduled to be released on the Damon Dash Music Group label on June 21st.

In 1997, the late rapper was arrested because he was $35,000 behind in child support payments to Jones, but Weisfeld said Ol’ Dirty has made hundreds of thousands of dollars to Jones.

“Since September 3rd, 1997 Russell Jones [Ol’ Dirty Bastard] has paid Icelene Jones $272,906.97 in child support,” Weisfeld stated to “If Icelene hasn’t received any money it is because she hasn’t taken the proper steps to create an estate.”

In addition to disputing the facts surrounding the unpaid child support allegations, Weisfeld said it was in fact Cherry Jones, [Dirty’s mother], who insisted on the DNA preservation for tests, not her daughter-in-law.

Icelene Jones produced a marriage certificate to a New York Surrogate Court stating that she married the rapper on July 25, 1991. Jones proclaimed that she was the court appointed representative of the rapper’s estate last week.

The couple has three children together and according to published reports, Dirty sired at least seven other children starting in his teenage years.

Shortly after Dirty passed, the Jones’ began fighting over the rapper’s estate, which had been largely controlled by Ol’ Dirty’s mother Cherry Jones and manager Jarred Weisfeld.

“I have nothing against the other children,” Icelene Jones told the API. “I’ve met some of them. If they are, they are. If they’re not, they’re not. They’re beautiful children — the ones that I’ve seen. I preserved DNA for this purpose.”

Weisfeld said the Jones only has temporary control of Dirty’s estate and accused Icelene Jones of being “greedy.”

“Mr. Dash wants all of [Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s] children to benefit off this album, not just a certain three,” Weisfeld said. “Cherry and I have always said that we want all the children to be taken care of, that’s including Icelene’s three.”

Ice Cube Working On New Album, Preparing ‘XXX’ Published April 20, 2005 by Tiffany Hamilton

While Ice Cube is keeping busy in the film world, the acclaimed writer/director/actor isn’t neglecting his rap career and recently divulged details of a new album. “I am planning to release the single by early summer ” Ice Cube told “Once I put the finishes on it, I plan to drop the album by late summer.”

In addition to the album, Cube continues his foray into Hollywood and as previously reported, is in negotiations to star in a remake of the 1948 comedy Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House.

“I don’t really want to disclose anything right now, I am really superstitious and I want to wait until the deal is final, Cube said of the movie.

Cube’s superstitious aside, the rapper’s last project, Are We There Yet grossed over $81 million dollars as of April 15th, while his other films, such as the Barbershop and Friday series of movies have grossed hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office and through DVD sales.

Cube’s latest movie, XXX State of the Union, is the sequel to the 2001 film XXX which starred action hero Vin Diesel.

Diesel and original director Rob Cohen opted out of the sequel, but stayed on as executive producers.

Cube was selected as a replacement for Diesel since both have deals with the studio, which produced the original version and the sequel.

“I am honored that they even considered me, to star in a film of this caliber is definitely a dream come true,” Cube said of the action flick. “If they decide to do a XXX 3 depending on how this does, I am definitely interested in playing the part again.”

XXX: State of the Union hits theaters worldwide April 29th.

EXCLUSIVE: Uncle Murda Talks Shooting Published January 24, 2008 By Tiffany Hamilton

Roc-A-Fella rapper Uncle Murda was shot in the head on Tuesday (January 22, 2008) in New York City.

Uncle Murda sat down exclusively with and revealed details as to what happened and what his next move in the music industry will be.

The Brooklyn bred rapper revealed that he was shot in the head, as he stood with a friend outside of a parked car in New York.

While the rapper didn’t divulge specifics, he denied rumors that the shooting was the result of several high profile disputes with a number of rappers.

“This wasn’t no entertainment beef sh*t,” Uncle Murda told in an exclusive interview. “This was some street sh*t.”

Uncle Murda, who narrowly escaped death, has been in several lyrical beefs with rappers like Nas, Mobb Deep and most infamously Papoose.

The rapper, born Leonard Gant, was treated at a local hospital and released.

He dismissed any reports that the shooting was connected to any of his rap rivalries.

“If anybody, I think it may have been the NYPD. But who it ever was that did it, they missed because I didn’t even know I was hit. One of my crew told me that my face was bleeding and took me to the hospital. They said I still have a bullet in my head and if I am sexually active it will fall out [laughs].”

The rapper claimed he was tending to his wounds without the help of medical assistance.

Although addressing the situation light heartedly, Uncle Murda also addressed the ongoing rivalry with Papoose and his plans for his album.

“That is old,” Uncle Murda said, “I don’t have any problems with that dude. Only thing I am focused on is my upcoming album on Roc-A-Fella/Violator. It is still real and happening so look out for that because it is going to be hot.”

G-Unit Debuts New Video on Internet Published November 01, 2007 By Tiffany Hamilton

Rap collective G-Unit (50 Cent, Tony Yayo, Lloyd Banks and Young Buck) has announced that they will debut their new video “Feel Good” exclusively on the Internet.

“Feel Good,” which debuts on today (November 1) at 4:00 PM
EST, is the first single off G-Unit’s upcoming, as yet untitled mixtape. According to G-Unit, it is the first time in history a video will be premiered before the actual song.

“The project itself will be something they will be looking forward to,” 50 Cent told “There hasn’t been a project so far that has captured that good street or aggressive content.”

50 Cent decided to release the video and single for “Feel Good” on the Internet first due to the creative freedom of the medium, and the video’s graphic content.

“We’re going back to the basic concept of the mixtape and creating a new vibe,” 50 Cent continued. “[We are creating] a new sound for them to rock in the street. We plan for [“Feel Good”] to do for G-Unit what “You Should Be Here” [from 50 Cent is The Future] did for me. Implant us in the future.”

Rapper Chamillionaire Planning Video For ‘Industry Groupie’ Published October 02, 2007 By Tiffany Hamilton

Houston, Texas rapper Chamillionaire is preparing to shoot the video for Industry Groupie, the latest single from his critically acclaimed sophomore album Ultimate Victory.

The video re-teams the rapper with veteran director Marc Klasfeld, who shot the video for his single “Hip-Hop Police” featuring Slick Rick.

“Most of the time before you choose a director for your video, you have to look at different treatments in order to pick out the right one, but with Marc I just sat down and talked to him and he completely understood where I was going and what I wanted to do creatively with that record,” Chamillionaire told

The rapper also clarified the conceptual song’s subject matter, despite the message the title conveys.

“It’s a conceptual song. A lot of people listen to it and think I am talking about a female that has slept with a whole bunch of rappers, but I am actually talking about the industry overall and how it has changed,” Chamillionaire revealed. “All my songs have a concept and if you just sit back and really listen to my album, you will realize that all the records where it sounds like I am talking about a female, I am really talking about music.”

Chamillionaire, who snagged a Grammy Award in Feb. 2007 for his single “Ridin,” hopes Ultimate Victory will reap the same rewards.

The video for “Hip-Hop Police” was recently nominated for a BET Hip-Hop Award for Best Hip-Hop Video of the Year.

“To me gaining a nomination is a blessing,” Chamillionaire told “It feels good to be recognized for doing something different and being creative. At the end of the day, people fail to realize that we are artists and as artists we have to constantly change and reinvent ourselves so that we can push the envelope and take creativity to a completely different level.”

Chamillionaire, who is currently in Paris, France on a tour of Europe, is also planning a tour of the United States.

He is also developing new artists Tony Henry, an R&B singer and rappers Lil’ Ken and Young Low.

“A lot of artists start to feel like they are too big to go one the road,” Chamillionaire said, “I feel that is the best way to reach people is to go where they are, that is why I am talking to you from Paris. My artists are here with me learning the in’s and out’s of the business because I want them to be the best artists they can be and help them develop creatively, so that Chamillitary can one day be a dynasty like Roc-A-Fella, No Limit and Bad Boy.”

Chamillionaire’s new album Ultimate Victory is in stores now.