by / October 29th, 2013 /

A Month In: Hip-Hop – October

Jay Z’s barney over alleged racial profiling by department store

Jay Z has found himself at the centre of a dispute between high end department store Barneys and two African-American customers who claim that in two separate incidents, store clerks discriminated against them by accusing them of credit card fraud. Jay is now under pressure from the hip-hop community to end his partnership with Barneys. Jigga’s new line of high end pieces were set for release at Christmas, but Jay isn’t pulling the plug on the partnership until an investigation into the matter is complete. Jay Z released a lengthy statement about the situation, saying in part: “The Shawn Carter Foundation is the beneficiary and the foundation is receiving 25% of all sales from the collaboration, 10% of all sales generated in the store on November 20th and an additional donation from Barneys. This money is going to help individuals facing socio-economic hardships to help further their education at institutions of higher learning. My idea was born out of creativity and charity … not profit. I haven’t made any comments because I am waiting on facts and the outcome of a meeting between community leaders and Barneys.”

Chris Brown’s latest legal scuffle

Another month in hip-hop means yet another row involving Chris Brown. This time the alleged scuffle took place outside the W hotel in Washington D.C after two men approached Brown to get a picture taken with him. Brown then allegedly used a gay slur before throwing a punch at the alleged victim. According to TMZ, Chris was arrested on felony assault charges after allegedly attacking a man on the 27th October. Reportedly law enforcement officials said that Brown did not appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident. The alleged victim did not throw a punch at Brown and the two did not know each other. It has also been claimed that Brown’s body guard was arrested after the alleged altercation.

The ‘Bad’ doctor

Conrad Murray, the former doctor convicted of causing Michael Jackson‘s death, has been released from jail having served less than two years of a four-year sentence for involuntary manslaughter. Jackson died on 25th June 2009 after receiving a lethal dose of the anaesthetic propofol from Murray. The medical physician, 60, had been sentenced to serve four years behind bars, but a change in California law allowed his jail term to be significantly reduced. The former doctor’s medical licences remain suspended or revoked in the US states where he previously practised medicine, however his legal team are working on having Conrad’s medical licence reinstated. Rumours suggest that Murray has penned a book during his sentence about his life and his time with Michael Jackson. It is said that most of the book points blame at others and justified his treatment of the late singer. Murray is also interested in doing a reality show following his life after jail.

J Cole to play Vicar St

MC and producer J Cole is set to take the stage in Vicar St on 11th December. The German-born rapper, who was raised in North Carolina, was the first artist signed to Jay Z’s Roc-A-Fella Records. Cole, a long time fan of his now mentor Jay Z, used to wait outside Hov’s offices in hope that he could hand him his demo. In a hip-hop dream come true, Cole went on to contribute rhymes to Jigga’s The Blueprint 3. Cole has also produced two mixtapes and his debut studio album Cole World: The Sideline Story in 2011. Tickets (€35.50) are on sale from usual outlets.

Orlando Voorn joins forces with new Irish hip-hop label

Emerging independent Irish hip-hop label Vital Force is proud to present the new album from the legendary producer Orlando Voorn. A hip-hop fan since the 80s, Voorn has also travelled the globe as a techno DJ during which time he regularly hooked up with many talented MCs. The various collaborations resulted in the album La Cliqa, which is set for release on 25th November. The album represents the best in fluid, clever lyricism and a production style which sounds fresh and contemporary while giving an unashamed nod to the hip-hop golden age of the early noughties.