Sunday, November 29, 2009


Dominic Di Francesco (pictured above with Black Eyed Peas member is the Editor and founder of Australia's Rhyme & Reason magazine which consistently delivers interviews with the biggest acts from around the world. To stay in the loop with everything going on in the urban scene get onto the Rhyme & Reason website (link below). Here is Dom's top 5 moments in 09.

1. The Kanye West / Taylor Swift Incident:
Long story short; obnoxious rapper storms the stage and humiliates country/pop princess. Perhaps we could've forgiven Kanye were he contesting the oversight of Beyonce for the Most Awkward Dancer Award - but that wasn't the case. Even so, Kanye didn't deserve the cruel retribution dealt by Jay Leno the following evening, with Leno asking Kanye on live television; "What would your mother think?" Perhaps she would think that her son had been taking lessons from Leno on how to be an insensitive a**hole!

2. The Chris Brown / Rihanna Incident:
No other piece of news generated as much conversation in the music world as the Grammy weekend altercation between R&B's then golden couple - Chris Brown & Rihanna. Having spent time with both artists, it came as a shock to find them embroiled in such a nasty and unfortunate incident. But every cloud has a silver lining. Rihanna is now exploiting the altercation to sell her new album, and Chris is... well, Chris is being exploited by Rihanna to sell her new album. And rightly so.

3. Retail Release of Drake's 'So Far Gone' Mixtape:
September saw this Canadian sensation out-sell his peers with the retail release of his free [year-old] mixtape, So Far Gone. To provide some perspective, Drake is currently charting higher than both Whitney and Mariah, having released So Far Gone within two weeks of both divas' albums. Oh yeah, and Universal forked over a $2million advance for the kid! Making this story all the more spectacular is the fact that Drake played "Wheelchair Jimmy" in Canadian teen soap Degrassi High - which should have seen him promptly laughed-out of Hip-Hop altogether. Alas, he remains our next in line.

4. Rihanna / Cassie Nude Pics Leak:
2009 saw nude photos leak of both Rihanna and Cassie, each baring their chesticles [and much more] for the whole world to see. Like Rihanna's new album, the photos were definitely Rated R. But what bugged me out about this "scandal" is the fact that it wasn't a scandal at all. With zero public outrage, mainstream media seemed to breeze over both stories. I'm positive this would've been deemed controversial a decade ago, complete with media circus and backlash from family groups. After all, Rihanna and Cassie are role models. These non-scandals demonstrated just how our culture is changing.

5. Death Row Records Purchased by Canadian Company:
Canadian company WIDEawake Entertainment purchased Death Row Records out of bankruptcy in February for $18million. Death Row's former CEO was Suge Knight; the over-sized African American ex-footballer from LA with a criminal past [and present] whose idea of negotiating involved dangling rappers over hotel balconies. Death Row's new CEO is Lara Lavi; a stocky, Caucasian soccer-mom and folk singer from Canada whose idea of negotiating involves threatening to revoke television privileges. The Death Row saga continues...


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