Archives For lil wayne

The cross-section between sports and music has never been as cool as it is now: Jay Z represents athletes, the Toronto Raptors signed Drake to consult on marketing matters and Carrie Underwood is back as the face and voice of NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.”

But the relationship between artists and athletes extends past the major American sports; action sports like skateboarding also enjoy a solid rapport with some of the biggest names in music.

Case-in-point: professional skateboarder Ryan Sheckler. The 25 year-old grew up in the spotlight alongside music artists on MTV with his reality show “Life Of Ryan.” In that sense, he can relate to musicians like Justin Bieber a little better than your average athlete. The two spent last Thursday skateboarding and filming two music videos. Earlier this month, Bieber tweeted a photo of Sheckler to promote his new single, “What Do You Mean?”
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“He’s a really cool kid,” Sheckler said of Bieber. “A lot of people have their opinions about the dude but he’s a solid guy and yeah, he’s one of my homies.”

Another hitmaker with an appreciation for ollies and flip tricks is Lil Wayne. The hip hop artist’s passion for the sport led him to create his own fashion line of apparel, Trukfit.

“Wayne and Bieber, they just have the heart for it. They’re not doing it as some gimmick,” Sheckler explained; he called in to “Ralphie Tonight” to promote last weekend’s Nike SB Street League Skateboarding stop in Newark, N.J. “They actually really love skateboarding and they’re getting a lot better, day-by-day. Practice makes perfect.”

It certainly is not uncommon to see Wayne out-and-about with his board; the rapper was even spotted a few years ago skating around the parking lot of The Woodlands ahead of his concert at Montage Mountain.

“I think they realize that skateboarding is fun,” Sheckler continued. “To learn at your own pace, to do what you want to do… you can just be an individual and it’s freedom.

“I back Wayne and Bieber skating so hard man. It’s cool.”

The artists’ affection for the sport may also be a reflection of the times; as every league competes for television money and ad revenue online, skateboarding has seen an expansion past ESPN’s “X-Games.” Fox Sports 1 broadcasted Sunday’s event live from the Prudential Center.

These and possibly other reasons lead Sheckler to believe that skateboarding’s future is bright.

“I see skateboarding eventually in the Olympics,” he predicted. “People are actually realizing that skateboarding is a sport.”

And for pros like Sheckler, that might end up being the coolest cross-section of all.

The times are certainly changing, and if anyone in music has experienced that, it is rapper T.I. TIP has sold almost 7 million albums and 15 million singles in the U.S. alone. Yet the Atlanta-native currently finds himself without a record label and on a tour with Lil Wayne that is selling tickets in some markets for as low as $10.

“This is what we call a paradigm shift in society right now,” T.I. explained over the phone in an interview with “The Ralphie Show.” “This is a generational shift where new people are coming in to power and there’s a new day and age; a new way of doing things.”

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The “Whatever You Like” artist notes that anyone in business has to adapt to a changing climate.

“I’m in a very unique position where I have artists, including myself, I have producers, I have writers under my wing,” he said. “For me to go to any distributor and walk in any building and give them instant market share, and give them instant credibility, instant relevance, and also an already-made superstar, that’s going to take a considerable investment.”

With the feasibility in this day and age of recording and releasing music independently, especially under an already-known name, there’s no reason to believe that T.I. is simply showing a poker face. He told me he’d like to release Trouble Man II: He Who Wears The Crown by this December. If there’s no deal in place with a record label, the rapper insists that he’ll release it without a major label. Coincidentally enough, the first single, “Wit Me,” features his summer tour-mate.

“Wayne was in Atlanta man, and he hit me,” T.I. recalled. “I think he might have hit me about 5 in the morning, say he was on his way to the studio. So I was just up watching TV at the house and I was like, ‘Hell man, I’m not going to let him out work me, I’m going to the studio too!’”

The two superstars listened to tracks from T.I.’s Hustle Gang in-house producers. A beat produced by Cordale “Lil C” Quinn stood out from the rest, and shortly after hearing it both Weezy and TIP started cutting verses.

“We didn’t get out of there that morning… might have been about 9:30 in the morning,“ he said. “And (Wayne) was still working!”

T.I. says that Lil Wayne is “doing good” following reports that speculated various conditions of his health.

“He’s in awesome spirits,” TIP said. “One thing I can say, it has nothing to do with drugs, because I’ve been around him several times, shooting the video and on personal time and I haven’t seen him around or doing anything anywhere related to any kind of narcotics. I can attest to that.”

Kelly Clarkson recently told The Associated Press that the only pop artist that has ever said “yes” to collaborating with her is Chris Daughtry. When asked about this on “The Ralphie Show,” the singer revealed two of her failed attempts.

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“Either Bruno Mars or Lil Wayne, I had different songs for both of them,” Clarkson said in an interview that aired Thursday night on 95.5 PLJ’s “The Ralphie Show.” “It was just kind of a cool, random thing.”

Clarkson has no hard feelings for either artist as both were in the midst of touring at the time. The original “Idol” winner admitted that the road schedule for pop music stars is the biggest reason why she hasn’t been able to link up with any.

“So I know a lot of people are busy,” she said. “But, everyone can’t be busy right?”

The singer has better luck linking up with country artists; she duets with Vince Gill on her new Greatest Hits: Chapter 1 album.

“When the (record) label brought (the idea of the compilation) up to me, I was like, ‘Seriously? I’m not over,’” Clarkson recalled. “Usually, like a ‘Greatest Hits’ would be like someone older that’s like, ‘And this is what we’re doing because we can’t do anything else.’”

Clarkson’s perspective on the project is what prompted the “Chapter 1” in the album title.

“The past decade is going to be so different from the next decade for me,” Clarkson also said. “Your 20’s are just so difficult, and like very much a roller coaster ride. There’s some awesome things in there, but there’s also some like, ‘Oh God, please let me get to my 30’s.’”

The artist won “American Idol” when she was 20, and spent the next 10 years selling over 25 million albums across the world. The success came with its downfalls: a relatively public feud with RCA Records head Clive Davis and an empty search for love. As the 30 year-old Clarkson looks ahead, both seem to be in the rear-view mirror. The singer is currently dating Brandon Blackstock, her manager’s son and Reba McEntire’s stepson.

“We have a new house together, so it’s our first Christmas together, like in the new house, and we’re pretty excited,” said Clarkson. “We’re trying to do some first Christmas traditions.”

As for a possible engagement, Clarkson told Ellen DeGeneres that she and Blackstock “were totally going to get married.” In hindsight, she admitted to me that the fleeting moment of gushing about her beau led to a bit of embarrassment.

“I had such a girl moment!” Clarkson said, also noting that she didn’t think that she would be talking about her personal life on the show. “It’s awesome to be the youngest in my family and everyone’s married with children, and I’m like the black sheep that travels the world alone.”

BABY MAKING MUSIC UGHHHHH!!!

I stopped by WBRE’s “PA Live!” for my weekly segment, “The Ralphie Report.” This week, I talked about the upcoming Gym Class Heroes show at East Stroudsberg University, along with new music from Joe Jonas and Taio Cruz.

I appear every Thursday on “PA Live!” – a new, daily show on WBRE that airs weekdays at 4 p.m. The show is co-hosted by Dave Kuharchik and Monica Madeja.

They should just sign Joe Jonas to YMCMB. Seriously.

Lil Wayne continues to reinvent how he sells and markets his music. Of course, Tha Carter III‘s commercial success is widely attributed to the release of free mixtapes leading up to the album. Now, Wayne drops the Tha Carter IV, and his next single isn’t on the standard edition of the LP! “Mirror” is the second of three deluxe edition tracks and it features the smooth vocals of Bruno Mars.

There were three big changes this year to the MTV Video Music Awards: no host, the red carpet went from white to black, and all of the arrivals were inside at the Marriott, which is next door to the Nokia Theatre.

Save those, it was another star-studded event in Los Angeles, which set a network record for the largest VMA rating in the show’s history.

– While I was updating on my Twitter and Facebook as celebrities walked by, I missed Beyonce’s big announcement that her and husband Jay-Z were expecting their first child. I did get a quick work with the former Destiny Child star, who told me she was looking forward to her performance later that evening.

Beyonce’s choreographer, Frank Gatson, elaborated a little more.

“Simple and sweet,” he said of the expecting mother’s forthcoming performance. “She’s performing, ‘Love on Top,’ my favorite song off her new album.”

Gatson was unaware if the late announcement of Beyonce’s performance was due to a late addition or simply, “saving the best for last.” Of course, the impending pregnancy and announcement, which occurred during the MTV VMA preshow, could have also played a role.

– Lil Twist, one of Young Money’s youngest rappers, said that the camp was aware of Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV leaking this past week, but shrugged his shoulders when asked for a reaction.

“Nah, it doesn’t affect us,” Twist said. “Whatever, it comes out tonight at midnight.”

Weezy wrapped up the VMAs with an explosive performance, and then celebrated his album release at a private party in Hollywood.

– I was fortunate enough to attend the In Touch Weekly “Idols and Icons” VMA after party on Sunset Boulevard. Amongst some of the celebs there: “Entourage” and adult film star Sasha Grey, a fit-looking Kendra Wilkinson, Kat DeLuna, and my buddies Hot Chelle Rae – who divulged that the band’s follow-up single to the smash, “Tonight Tonight” will feature New Boyz.

– Andrew Dice Clay is making a comeback, in large part to his current arc on “Entourage.”

“I wanted to do it right away,” said Clay on making the decision to join. “I’ve always been a big fan of the show.”

If you watch the HBO show, you know that Dice’s classic line thus far is: “Dice does the f**king.” Was that his mentality back in his heyday?

“I still think that way,” the comedian responded.

– We all know that DJ Pauly D is usually “DTF” – but recently he took a break from his “Jersey Shore” antics to join Britney Spears on tour. The Rhode Island-native says he would talk to Spears every night.

“It was amazing,” he gushed of the experience. “The best thing I’ve ever done in my life.”

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I mean… okay, this was just TOO easy. Ralphie F. Baby FTW!

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Lil Wayne likes to refer to himself as “Weezy F. Baby.” But what does the “F” stand for?

Ok, front door, easy enough.

Finisher as well? Not sure I want to know the meaning behind that. No way he can be talking about anything else…

Okay, I give up. Clearly the “F” is for freaking impossible to figure out.