All 5 founding members of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony reunite for this new record called Everything 100 featuring Ty Dolla $ign. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony currently working on a new album.
Producer/songwriter Salaam Remi has established his own label imprint group, Louder Than Life, with Sony Music, Billboard has learned exclusively. It’s the latest move by a high-profile producer/songwriter to help drive major-label A&R strategy.
In addition to releasing projects under the Louder Than Life banner, Remi will issue projects through two subimprints: RemiFa Music and Flying Buddha Records.
“[Sony chairman/CEO] Doug Morris has given me a great opportunity to incubate and market artists,” Remi says of Louder Than Life.
Remi, whose extensive list of credits includes Amy Winehouse, Usher, Alicia Keys and Miguel, describes Louder Than Life as an artist development-focused imprint targeting youth and urban culture through multiple genres ranging from pop, hip-hop and R&B to jazz, blues and reggae.
The Grammy Award-nominated producer is among a growing group of hit songwriter/producers who have migrated to major labels’ A&R executive ranks within the last several years. Those ranks include Def Jam executive VPs of A&R No I.D. and The-Dream and Motown senior VP of A&R Ne-Yo. Another such convert, Christopher “Tricky” Stewart, recently resigned from his post as Epic president of A&R after nearly two years, citing his desire to get back into the studio.
Lack of A&R development has long been a bone of contention among artists and producers. Remi’s double roles as executive VP of A&R at Sony Music and now at the helm of his own artist development-focused label group underscores the majors’ renewed commitment to A&R in the last couple of years.
One of the more high-profile A&R appointments occurred in July 2012 whenMike Caren—former executive VP of A&R for Atlantic and co-president of Elektra—was made president of worldwide A&R for Warner Music Group. Republic Records expanded its urban A&R department last year with two new VPs of A&R: Tab Nkhereanye and Naim Ali McNair. In May, Michael “Sha Moey XL” Clervoix was named executive VP of urban A&R for Epic. More recently, former Atlantic VP of A&R Darrale Jones segued to Def Jam Recordings as executive VP, reporting directly to Karen Kwak, executive VP/head of A&R for Island Def Jam.
The strategy hopes to give promising artists the chance and tools to develop and nurture their talent with an ear toward creating careers versus one-hit wonders. More focus on artist development can also translate into boosting the ranks of sustainable artists whose music is more substantive instead of formulaic. And that connection also means a better return on investment in terms of building fan bases, touring, catalog and other revenue-generating ventures.
Remi’s rollout begins with two initial releases. Up first is Mack Wilds, the R&B/hip-hop alter ego of actor Tristan Wilds (“The Wire,” “90210”). Wilds’ debut album, New York: A Love Story (RemiFa/Louder Than Life), is due in September. First single “Own It” is now available, written and produced by Ne-Yo and Remi. Flying Buddha’s first project, due in July, will be from Australian four-piece “future soul” band Hiatus Kaiyote.
Remi declined to reveal financial terms or details about the length of his imprint group’s initial contract with Sony. He will, however, continue in his role as executive VP of A&R and production at Sony Music Entertainment. In that position he has been involved in production work with artists across the Sony labels, including Jazmine Sullivan, Jennifer Hudson, Katherine McPhee, Jordin Sparks, Treasure Davis, Mali Music, James Arthur and Ella Henderson.
“From RCA, Epic and Syco to Kemosabe and Columbia, I sit down with the heads of those labels to help with any artists they want me to look at,” Remi says.
For the first time in the Billboard 200 chart’s history, rap albums hold down the top three spots in three successive weeks.
J. Cole’s Born Sinner is No. 1 this week, followed by Wale’s The Gifted and Kanye West’s Yeezus at Nos. 2 and 3, respectively. A week ago, the order was: Wale, Cole and West. And, the week before that: West, Cole and Mac Miller (with his Watching Movies With the Sound Off).
There have been two previous times when we’ve had two consecutive weeks where the top three were all rap albums.
It last happened on the July 13-20, 2002 charts, when Nelly’s Nellyville, Eminem’s The Eminem Show and Nas’ God’s Favorite ruled at Nos. 1-3 (July 13). It was immediately followed by Nelly, Eminem and the compilation Irv Gotti Presents The Inc (July 20).
Before that, the feat last happened on Oct. 17-24, 1998. Jay-Z’s Vol. 2 … Hard Knock Life led in both weeks, with OutKast’s Aquemini and A Tribe Called Quest’s The Love Movement rounding out the top three on Oct. 17. The next week, Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and Bizzy Bone’s Heaven’z Movie were Nos. 2 and 3.
Speaking of Jay-Z … His latest album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, should easily top next week’s Billboard 200 chart. Industry sources forecast the set to sell debut with 475,000 to 500,000 sold in the week ending July 14. It will give Jay-Z his lucky 13th No. 1, extending his record for the most chart-toppers among solo artists.
If he tops the list — which is pretty much a certainty — he’ll mark another bit of chart history: It will be the first time that four different rap albums have consecutively spent their initial week at No. 1. We last had three in a row between Sept. 3-24, 2011. That’s when Jay-Z and Kanye West’s Watch the Throne, the Game’s The R.E.D. Album and Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV all consecutively spent their initial weeks at No. 1.
The new Billboard 200 chart’s top 10 will be revealed on the morning of Wednesday, July 17.
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Roberto Cavalli has inaugurated a Cavalli Caffè in Saint-Tropez’s Place de La Garonne. Connected to the Cavalli boutique, IT features a steel counter and a wisteria tree pushing through the ceiling into the terrace.
“In the Seventies, when everything started, incredible women of timeless beauty and femininity made this place on the French Riviera the best location, where the international jet-setters of the era loved spending the holidays,” the designer said. The Roberto Cavalli Group already directly operates a Cavalli Caffè in Florence, while the other spots in Kuwait City, Beirut and New Delhi are managed through licenses.
The Cavalli caffé adjoining the store emanates the perfect environment for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with an added luxury of live DJ sets. And as goes in every Cavalli branded store or caffé, this outlet also has been adorned with the designer’s signature zebra and giraffe prints on chairs and sofa sets
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