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    Russell and Kimora Lee Simmons Launch Phat Farm Cologne
    Tuesday. 9.5.06 10:08 pm
    By: Bomani Jones

    August 31, 2006

    Though their marriage is over, Russell and Kimora Lee Simmons still come together in the names of commerce and philanthropy.

    The formerly happy couple, still partners in the Phat Farm clothing company, inked a deal with Coty, Inc. to launch a men's fragrance called Atman on September 3. The cologne is an extension of the Phat Farm line, but all proceeds from its sale will be donated to charity.

    Atman means "spirit of man," and Simmons hopes the fragrance embodies that notion.

    "I wanted to design a fragrance that would inspire men to connect with their power, spirit and destiny and take the Phat Farm lifestyle to the next level,” says Rush, well known for his devotion to yoga. "The spirit of man has unlimited potential – nothing is out of reach.”

    Atman's proceeds will be given to several organizations including Keep A Child Alive, a group that provides anti-retroviral drugs to African children with HIV.

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    Mario Slated To Drop New Album
    Tuesday. 9.5.06 10:06 pm


    Tuesday, September 05, 2006
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    News Headlines
    Mario Slated To Drop New Album

    By: Alexis Jeffries

    August 8, 2006

    After making his acting debut in the high-powered dance film Step Up, R&B crooner Mario is slated to drop his new album later this year, and he seems to be rather excited about it.

    “The album is coming along wonderfully. There’s a lot of different producers that are helping me bring a different flavor,” Mario said during an exclusive interview with Vibe.com.

    In this midst of filming, Mario managed to pump out a track for the movie’s soundtrack featuring his on-screen love interest Drew Sidora called “For the Love.” Although still in production, the 19-year-old songster’s currently-untitled album is said to bring a different sound, not typical of Mario’s classic style.

    “Usually my music is really melodic. Now, it’s still melodic, but it’s much more passionate,” Mario said.

    The album is set to feature tracks produced by Akon, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Brian Cox, Scott Storch, Rich Harrison, and several new producers, adding to Mario’s changing style of music.

    “I still have another month to put into the project, and I did some production on it myself, and it’s coming along great,” the singer said. “I hope that everybody enjoys it.”

    Have a news tip? Email us.

    Read more vibe.com news headlines.

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    * Mario Recruits A-List Team For New Album
    * Seven Spoon: Mario Looks Like...

    More Stories by Alexis Jeffries

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    Lupe Fiasco: Weirder Than Your Average
    Tuesday. 9.5.06 9:56 pm
    By: Alexis Jeffries

    August 18, 2006

    His highly-anticipated album hasn’t even been released yet (with exception given to an untimely internet leak), and he’s graced the covers of international magazines after only a few short months in the spotlight. As one of the most highly-acclaimed new artists and by far one of the most popular, it would seem surprising that Lupe Fiasco, 24, is as laid back as he is.

    “I’m a regular guy, but I’m nerdy, too” says Fiasco, born Wasalu Jaco, a self-proclaimed “nerd” from the West side of Chicago. “In high school I was a nerd, and I haven’t changed.” Yet, as he flips through a magazine in the lobby of the ultra-chic Le Meridian Hotel in Beverly Hills, it’s hard not to notice his colorful BAPE sneakers, Cartier frames surrounding his eyes, and all of the expensive pieces of jewelry he sports nonchalantly. The ideal depiction of a “nerd” seems light-years away from who Lupe Fiasco is today.

    The young rapper insists, however, that he is NOT the typical depiction of a nerd; not for how he dresses, but for how he uses his mind and abilities.

    “It wasn’t even that I studied a lot in school,” Lupe says before his show at the famed House of Blues in Hollywood. “I collected comic books and I knew massive amounts of information about the most trivial subjects and would ‘wow’ my peers. I was on the Knowledge Bowl Decathlon Team!”
    Comment (4)

    With all the hype surrounding his upcoming album release, his connections and collaborations with artists like Jill Scott, Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park, and Jay-Z, Lupe is anything but a regular guy. He grew up in the hood and managed to stay away from all of its negative influences until he landed a record deal in high school. He watched television for hours as a child and hardly ever left the house. He was the Muslim kid in the neighborhood whose father was a devoted teacher of the martial arts and told him constantly that young Lupe should “never want to go to the dark side.”

    He developed an affinity for modern Spanish culture, wanting to dress like his Latin friends and have a Latin girlfriend. He has always wanted to be (and still wants to be) a rocket scientist. By this point, anyone would be convinced that Lupe is indeed as nerdy and uniquely different as he says.

    Even with all of the positive reviews and press he’s garnered, there are some who still believe he’s fake; skateboarders think he’s latched onto the culture to be cool, but he’s supposedly not really “down for the cause” so to speak. Others have noted that his nerdy mentality is overrated, saying he tries too hard to be different when he’s really just like everyone else. Lupe’s response to this is simply that he is a regular guy, and doesn’t try to be anymore than who he is.

    “I can’t skate that well, honestly. People be pumping me up, but I’m not trying to front like I’m a good skater, because I’m not,” Lupe says about the hateration he’s received, even though the amount is small. “I know how to skate, but I’m not the best, by any means. I’m just different because I don’t think like everyone else…I know I don’t.”

    Lupe has also received backlash from fans after his recent VIBE article statement saying that he wanted to “burn the hood down.” With a frustrated glare emerging from under his glasses, the former hood resident shakes his head in disbelief, confused as to how people have misinterpreted his words. “I love the hood because it’s my history, but the hood is one of the most destructive places all around,” he says firmly. “It’s not a good place to be. It’s like you already lost the fight when you choose to stay there. You’re fighting yourself and your brethren instead of fighting the system and making some real change.”

    As much as his love and hatred for the hood co-exists within him, he recognizes that his disdain for the hood lifestyle is different from those who’ve led a different existence than he has. “I know it’s probably worse for others, because I was never in the hood where I needed protection. I wasn’t the gangster. I wasn’t toting guns or none of that. I was the nerdy kid. I love it because it’s history, but I’d love to burn it down to the ground because of what it does to people and the limitations it sets on people.”

    All the while, the young rapper continues to acquire superstar status while acting like he’s hardly gotten famous at all. This is what distinguishes Lupe Fiasco from the real Wasalu Jaco; a cool kid from Chicago who really does read science magazines, is scared to wear contacts because “they might shatter in my eye”, and watches ants on the ground while pondering how small their world is compared to ours.

    “My fans think I’m crazy because I’ll just walk into Dunkin’ Donuts, and they’ll wonder why I don’t have security around me or anything,” he says. “They flip out, and I never understand why. I’m just trying to get some donuts! I’ll just talk to them, because that’s how I am.”

    As he jumps out of his seat and heads for his hotel room to eat quickly before his performance at the famed House of Blues on in Hollywood, Lupe Fiasco acknowledges fellow hotel guests who obviously have no clue who he is. Yet, the well-known lyricist from Chicago’s West side garners their attention not because he’s the black kid with glasses donning a skateboarder’s gear and a Rolex watch, but because he dares to be the person he is without any inhibitions. That aura radiates all around him, which is why his fans have taken such a positive response to his music. That’s what makes him cool, and he’s on a mission to make everything around him the same way.

    “I want to make it cool to be uncool. I want the cool things to become uncool, and the world will be less destructive,” he says.

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    Beenie Man Ties The Knot With Pregnant Girlfriend
    Tuesday. 9.5.06 9:52 pm
    By: Alexis Jeffries

    August 24, 2006

    Moses "Beenie Man" Davis tied the knot with fiancée Michelle D'Angel' Downer in a lavish ceremony Crichton Estate on the island of St. Andrew on Tuesday (Aug. 22).

    The event, with 150 guests all required to wear white, reportedly started late due to Beenie Man’s 1-hour late arrival. Beenie Man reportedly danced down the aisle shouting, “where’s my wife?” sources said.

    Beenie man also reportedly adlibbed multiple parts o f his vows, serenaded his new bride at the reception with “Woman I Need You”, and brought DJ Vybz Kartel to perform after the ceremony. Vybz Kartel is a prominent member of 'The Alliance', whose head is Bounty Killer, the sworn archenemy of deejay Beenie Man.

    Beenie Man and Downer are expecting their first child, Marco Dean, in October.

    Have a news tip? Email us
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    More Stories by Alexis Jeffries

    * Beenie Man Ties The Knot With Pregnant Girlfriend
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    Beyoncé on New Album and New Movie
    Tuesday. 9.5.06 9:43 pm
    By: Alexis Jeffries

    September 1, 2006

    Beyonce Knowles (see slideshow), who is set to release her sophomore solo album, B'Day, on Tuesday (Sept. 5th), is expected by fans and critics to showcase her vocal ability and writing talents unlike ever before.

    "She can do the bounciest songs, then also give a sense of raw emotion and sexual energy,” VIBE's Editor-in-Chief Danyel Smith told USA Today about the Houston-bred superstar's range of productivity and ability.

    Knowles is also preparing for the long-awaited December premiere of Dreamgirls, where she stars as girl group-front woman Deena Jones. In a USA Today article, Knowles said that her role as Deena in the film allowed her to make a more powerful album that was unlike her typical style.

    "The movie inspired something else that's not in me. I went into the writing process saying to the producers, 'I don't want to do Dangerously in Love,” Knowles said to the newspaper, referring to her 2003 solo debut. “I wanted to do different things, to be innovative and kick really hard beats. I think I would have been scared to take that risk if I hadn't done (Dreamgirls). I would have made a love album, because that's where I am in my life."

    Smith said she feels Knowles' acting aptitude is only a small reflection of what she offers in her music, and that her ability to draw creatively from other performers without imitating them is a solid display of Knowles’ ever-improving acting chops.

    “There is an unabashed attention to showmanship,” Smith said. “She's so modern and yet completely old-school. You can tell she's not just sponging off old film clips of Tina Turner and Diana Ross. My guess is that she has studied these people.”

    The highly-anticipated B’Day features production from D.C. producer Rich Harrison and Knowles’ long-time boyfriend Jay-Z. She said she plans on launching a world wide tour in the spring, as well as continuing to grow her clothing like, House of Dereon, beside her mother Tina Knowles. Her main focus at the moment, however, is the September 5 album release date, the day after her 25th birthday.

    “About half of (B'Day) is fun, though, so it's a great balance. It taps every emotion, all the things women go through," Knowles said.

    Have a news tip? Email us.

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    Tuesday. 9.5.06 9:39 pm

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