Russell Simmons launches new record label, All Def Music

Russell Simmons, along with Loud Records founder and SRC Records CEO Steve Rifkind and television executive Brian Robbins, is launching a new record label called All Def Music. According to reports, All Def will be a unique, YouTube-centered label, using the popular online video site for the promotion and development of artists. Via a partnership with UMG, they will also launch ADD (All Def Digital) management. Rifkind will serve as the CEO of ADM and ADD Management.

“How [Russell] built Def Jam and how I built Loud was through the streets and through grass-roots marketing,” Rifkind said in an interview with the LA Times. “Cut to 20 years later, we’re applying this same formula, this same blueprint, using YouTube as our street team, using YouTube as our A&R source, using YouTube as our branding machine.”

“I wake up at 4:30 or 5 in the morning, ready to work,” he shared. “I haven’t been this excited [in years].” UMG president Lucian Grainge issued a statement regarding this latest endeavor and the implementing of a new business model.

“The exponential growth of Internet-based video has created a powerful new outlet for music and music-based content, and the launch of All Def Music is a part of our broader strategy to partner with some of the most experienced entrepreneurs in media and technology to identify future stars and develop powerful content on the world’s fastest growing media platform,” Grainge said.

Grainge also wrote a lengthy email to the Universal family, sharing his excitement over working with Simmons again, following his successful stint as founder of Def Jam Recordings.

“It is truly a thrill to be able to welcome Russell back to our family. As one of the founders of Def Jam with Rick Rubin (whose American Recordings is a part of Republic Records), Russell and Rick created an iconic brand that forms part of the foundation of [Universal Music Group] and a label that has had a profound impact on popular culture,” wrote Grainge.

“I can’t say enough about how highly we think of Russell both professionally — his vision and entrepreneurial talents are legendary — and personally. He is a rare treasure,” read the email. “And with Brian’s track record on the content side and Steve’s on the business side, they make a formidable team.”

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Congratulations to Kim Fields on her New Coming Baby Boy

The celebrity babies just keep on coming.

Kim Fields, 44, and husband, Christopher Morgan, 37, are expecting their second child in early December. Fields made the announcement on The Real, revealing her pregnant tummy to host and viewers.

She told the five co-hosts, “Sebastian and Christopher are very excited. We’re very, very blessed,” she says. “It was planned. We’ve actually been trying for a couple years. We were pregnant twice and miscarried. Chris and I were very blessed to really have one another, to have our family and friends and our God to really get us through that.”

The couple have already named their new baby boy, Quincy Xavier, who will be welcomed by the couples 6-year-old son Sebastian Alexander.

Congratulations to Kim Fields and family.

Switching Lanes Trailer Now Available

switchlanes

Indianapolis, IN —  It’s officially here! Tyscot Films has released the trailer for its upcoming film, Switching Lanes via the Tyscot’s Youtube Channel.

Switching Lanes is a coming-of-age tale that uniquely addresses the topic of racial reconciliation through the unlikely friendship between Kaneesha and Sarah. Residing in the ‘separate-but-equal’ town of Sumerton, the girls forge a strong bond despite the racial segregation that exists in their town. The girls soon discover that their unlikely friendship will not only change their lives but also their community.

The film features a mix of seasoned actors and gospel stars including: Kim Fields (Living Single), Terri J. Vaughn (The Steve Harvey Show), Marla Maples (Executive Decision), Michael Lerner (GLEE), Angie Stone (R&B Divas), Fred Hammond (Gospel artist), and Wess Morgan (Gospel artist).

This past weekend company president and executive producer, Bryant Scott along with co-producer Shannon Nash and Director Tommy Ford (Fox’s Martin) , debuted the trailer for the first time at the Indiana Black Expo in Indianapolis.Ford, who also acts in the film, said Switching Lanes is more than a movie about race, it’s about healing.

To stay up-to-date on Switching Lanes, please visit: www.switchinglanesmovie.com to join the mailing list.

Celebrity Lisa Leslie Wife Swaps with Downtown Julie Brown

WELCOME TO HOME OF LISA LESLIE!

Lisa and family

Think you know Former WNBA All Star Lisa Leslie, well think again. Lisa opens her private doors to her family home on Sunday by swapping lives with another celebrity family for one week. Lisa Leslie, a wife, mother, athlete, business woman keeps her cool with her sweet persona, charm and lovely smile.

“In our household we have very normal roles, Michael and I share all responsibility in the house and always help each other when needed. Our house runs very smoothly and that’s the way we like it. We all stay very busy but always make time for each other at the end of every day”, says Lisa in her house rules letter to Celebrity Wife Julie Brown. The two wives stepped in each other’s shoes finding way to make the other family better.

Watch Celebrity Wife Swap on ABC Sundays at 8pm PST.

Learn more about Lisa Leslie at www.rkdmusic.com 

Darlene McCoy’s New Album “Random Foolishness” Available Aug 6th!

Beyonce On Pepsi Criticism: ‘It’s All About Choices’

beyonce pepsiBeyonce on the cover of Flaunt magazine. (Image: Flaunt magazine)

Beyonce Knowles Carter was a big part of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move fitness campaign, a decision that would later be called into question when the singer signed a complex, $50 million promotional deal with Pepsi.

Like Coca-Cola, Pepsi has long been criticized for targeting children (and adults) with sugary drinks that, when consumed in excess, have negative effects on long-term health. In a new interview with Flaunt, Beyonce soft-handles the idea that her involvement with both the First Lady’s plan and Pepsi constitutes blatant hypocrisy:

Some were critical at your participating in a Pepsi campaign after you moved your body for childhood obesity. Where is the balance between your career objectives and your philanthropy? Pepsi is a brand I’ve grown up seeing my heroes collaborate with. The company respects musicians and artistry. I wouldn’t encourage any person, especially a child, to live life without balance.

“Knowles is renting her image to a product that may one day be ranked with cigarettes as a killer we were too slow to rein in,” Mark Bittman wrote in the New York Times. “From saying, as she once did in referring to Let’s Move, that she was ‘excited to be part of this effort that addresses a public health crisis,’ she’s become part of an effort that promotes a public health crisis.”

Beyonce’s deal includes not only traditional ad spots, but also gives the company a stake in her art. By funding certain creative endeavors, Pepsi opens new investment avenues, while the singer is freed from worrying about finding the cash to support her projects. Jay-Z’s Samsung deal may or may not have been similar on paper, but that the rapper’s album, “Magna Carta Holy Grail,” went platinum upon its release because the tech giant purchased 1 million copies to dole out to app users for free seems to align with the idea behind the Pepsi deal. (Beyonce and Jay-Z were 2012’s highest-paid celebrity couple.)

Beyonce’s biggest projects with Pepsi to date have been her “Mirrors” commercial, in which the singer debuted a new song, “Grown Woman,” and the Super Bowl halftime show, which the beverage company sponsored. Beyonce also has a massive deal with H&M and premiered “Standing in the Sun” in an ad for the clothing chain.