Tag Archives: Rihanna

Celebrity Cyber Report – Kobe Bryant, Leslie Jones, Questlove

Kobe Bryant and Jeff Stibel

Kobe Bryant and Jeff Stibel

Kobe Bryant, the Black Mamba himself, has jumped from the basketball court to the venture capital game. According to the Wall Street Journal Bryant has teamed up with investor Jeff Stibel to launch a $100 million fund for tech companies. Bryant and Stibel share a history having invested together informally. This history includes deals with 15 companies since 2013. Bryant and Stibel have decided to make the relationship official naming the Los Angeles based VC fund ‘Bryant Stibel’.

The WSJ reported that the $100 million fund is focused on tech, media and data companies and it is expected to last “the next few years.”  Bryant and Stibel are funding  ventures themselves, and “aren’t seeking outside investors yet,” according to the report.

Bryant became skilled using social media to connect with fans directly and told the WSJ that he believes he has a flair for identifying promising entrepreneurs.

“It’s the inner belief that a person has that will to endure no matter what the obstacle may be. It’s that persistence, the entrepreneur doing what he or she truly believes in and truly loves to do,” he said.

Bryant is following in the footsteps of other black athletes who have taken up the tech investment game. Others include Shaquille O’Neal, and current players Carmelo Anthony and Steph Curry.

New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony lauched Melo7 Tech Partners while Curry is involved with content management startup Slyce, among other projects.

See also: Celebrity Cyber Report – Drake & Carmelo Anthony

Leslie Jones

Leslie Jones

Racist hackers are continuing their attacks on actress/comedienne Leslie Jones prompting an investigation by the Department of Homeland Security.

Jones, who is currently starring in the remake of the 80’s blockbuster ‘Ghostbusters’ has been subject to continued attacks online since July The attacks were sparked by Breitbart tech blogger Milo Yiannopoulos who incited his Twitter followers to harass Jones on Twitter. The activity resulted in Yiannopoulos getting banned from the social network.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is part of the DHS, is investigating the harrasment. It is unknown why ICE  is taking on the case when last year’s “Fappening” hack was investigated by the FBI.

ICE Spokeswoman Rachel Yong You told Reuters the investigation is ongoing. “In order to protect the integrity of the case, no further details are available at this time.”

Hackers attacked Jones’ website and inserted a picture of the gorilla Harambe on the site and what appeared to be explicit photos of the actress, along with pictures of her driver’s license and a passport. There were also images of Jones with stars like Rihanna, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West.

Jones has stayed off social media since the attack, but many of her famous allies including Monica Lewinsky, Katy Perry and, most notably, Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, have shown support for her on Twitter.

See also: Leslie Jones Target of Racist Trolls

QuestloveQuestlove, band leader for theThe Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon is launching a new show on Pandora online radio.

The show titled ‘Questlove Supreme’ will stream weekly for three hours and be produced by the late night band leader.  The show will feature select songs, candid interviews and music history lessons that mimic his class at NYU.

Questlove was also named by Pandora as the company’s first Artist Ambassador and Strategic Advisor.

The first episode of “Questlove Supreme” is scheduled to air on September 7 at 1 p.m. ET and will feature in-depth conversations with actress Maya Rudolph and Grammy Award singer Kimbra.

Celebrity Cyber Report – Rihanna Bans Pokemon at Her Concerts.

RiHanna

Rihanna

Seems everyone is going nuts for Pokemon. The game has become an worldwide phenomenon and people are basically losing their minds over the game.  Some people have been robbed and even killed playing Pokemon Go. The craze has gotten so bad that a Pittsburgh hospital has contacted the makers of the game to ask that all of its locations be removed from the app.  In Washington D.C. National Mall and Memorial Parks officials have posted on Facebook reminding players of the wildly popular new game to be respectful of just where they’re hunting Pokemon.

But singer Rihanna wants no part of it especially at her concerts. Recently Rihanna brought her ‘ANTI’ world tour to Lille, France. There she took the opportunity during her sold out concert to make sure fans were focused on her. “I don’t want to see you texting your boyfriends and your girlfriends,” said the star. “I don’t want to see you catching any Pokémons up in this bitch!”

The message got through as thousand of smart phones quickly disappeared from site.

Celebrity Cyber Report – Drake, Carmelo Anthony

drake-cut-his-beard

Drake

According to Billboard, rap artist Drake has broke out with his his first solo hit “One Dance.’ The cut is one of two singles from his new album Views. The second cut  ‘Pop Style’ reached the top spot on the newest edition of the Billboard Hot 100. ‘Views’ skyrocketed to the top with first week sales of over 1 million units. Drake shattered the record for first-week streaming totals even though it was available exclusively on Apple Music.

Drake is an accomplished artist but has never had a number one hit he could call his own. Nine other Drake songs have made it to the top ten and come temptingly close but fell short only reaching the number two spot.  These include 2009’s  ‘Best I Ever Had’ and 2015’s monster hit ‘Hotline Bling.’ Drakes exclusive deal with Apple iTunes contributed to the album missing out on the top spot . Drake’s only other number one hit was laid on Rihanna’s 2010 “What’s My Name?” and this year’s “Work,” both rose to the top spot.

The most amazing fact of Drake’s recent success is that he sold a million units of ‘View” in less than five days on Apple iTunes and its subscription streaming service.

‘Views’ was released on April 29 and had 191 million plays by the following Tuesday blowing Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’ out of the water. The biggest difference between the two releases? The services they each chose to exclusively stream through.

Let’s look at the numbers. Beyonce released “Lemonade’ through her husband Jay-Z’s Tidal music service. Drake through Apple. So its not hard to understand why Drake’s new album became so popular so quickly. He got a helluva of a lot more from Apple Music’s three times larger subscriber base than Jay-Z’s Tidal.  Apple simply had more ears to pump Drakes music into. Drake is riding high on Apple iTunes and launching a summer tour.

‘Melo’

carmelo-anthony-photo

Carmelo Anthony

Preparing himself for life after basketball Knicks star Carmelo Anthony is setting his sites on the tech industry. Anthony has partnered with Stuart Goldfarb to promote technology entrepreneurship forming Melo7 Tech Partners a venture capital fund.

Anthony and Goldfarb hooked up socially and soon began discussing a business venture. Anthony has had a long time interest in technology and said, “The money is enticing but it’s also the thrill of being involved with businesses and companies changing the world today. Tech is changing the world in everything we do, whether it’s sports, fashion, music…. regardless of what it is tech is changing the world.”

The NBA New York Knicks are using Catapult , a wearble device to collect data and analytics on the team’s performance. “In the NBA everything is data. Everything is data driven,” said Anthony.

But ‘Melo‘ as he is known, maybe looking at some cutting edge technology investments. According to Goldfarb virtual reality and augmented reality devices are technologies that spark investment interest from the fund.

“For me the most interesting thing is fan engagement,” Anthony said. Virtual reality could give fans at home an opportunity to experience a game as if they were courtside,” he said. “And who wouldn’t want that?”

 

 

 

 

Tidal Music Continues to Struggle

tidal-share.239a2bdcTidal music streaming service is still struggling to find its place in the music streaming game. Jay-Z’s baby is taking some serious body blows and its days could be numbered. Tidal has again had to shake up its leadership in the hopes surviving in this hyper competitive market. To make matters worse the company is currently fighting a lawsuit over royalties.

According Norwegian Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv  two of Tidal’s top executives, Chief Operating Officer Nils Juell and Chief Financial Officer Chris Hart have been shown the door.

Jay Z spent $56 million in 2015 to acquire Tidal. Since that time it has seen three CEOs and a host of high-level executives jump ship. After only two months Senior Vice President of Label Relations Zena Burns departed. Then former Chief Investment Officer Vania Schlogel also took a walk.

Inside the company things are getting pretty ugly. Tidal’s was once valued at $250 million. Now that number is about $100 million and Tidal is looking ripe for the picking as some companies are looking to purchase it.

Samsung, the Korean tech giant, has been eyeing Tidal for over a year.  Tidal and Samsung have been been rumored before to be ready to conclude a deal but nothing has happened. According to the New York Post the company is in negotiations to purchase the company again. Samsung has ongoing relationships with several of Tidal’s artists including Rihanna. Samsung spent $28 million to sponsor Rihanna’s new album and tour.

But Samsung is not the only player in the game. Google and Spotify are also eyeing the struggling music service. Tidal, for all its struggles, does have a nice artist collection and potential buyers see them as nice additions to their streaming offerings.

Current CEO Jeff Toig, who came over from struggling Sound Cloud,  has begun laying off staff and consolidating operations in the New York office. Tidal is also facing accusations that it failed to pay out royalties on time resulting in a class action lawsuit. Yesh Music hit Tidal with a $5 million lawsuit claiming the company stiffed them and John Emanuele​, a member of The American Dollar.

Tidal responded in a statement denying any knowledge of Yesh’s complaint. “Tidal is up to date on all royalties for the rights to the music stated in Yesh Music, LLC and John Emanuele’s claim and they are misinformed as to who, if anyone, owes royalty payments to them.”

Tidal has also fumbled the release new music. Critics blasted the company over the botched release of Rihanna’s latest album Anti, and Kanye West’s exclusive launch of his latest release “The Life of Pablo”  on Tidal. The criticism has been so harsh that some say this may go down as the worst release effort in the history of recorded music.

Jay-Z may have bitten off more than he can chew with Tidal. Music streaming is a highly competitive business and Tidal needs to get some traction quick. But that’s not to say the game is over. Jay-Z only paid $56 million for a company now worth $100 million. If he sells it for that much he still comes out a winner.

 

 

Celebrity Cyber Report – Kanye West

Kanye_West_at_the_2009_Tribeca_Film_Festival

Kanye West

Rapper, entrepreneur, magazine publisher and husband to Kim Khardasian, Kanye West is working as hard as ever. West will take over Madison Square Garden to stage a show celebrating the launch both his Yeezy Season 3 clothing line and his new album entitled T.L.O.P. The name was a mystery until E0nline.com revealed that it means “The Life of Pablo.” Now the only question is; who is Pablo?

West will live stream the event on Jay-Z’s  Tidal music service starting at 4:00PM EST Thursday afternoon. The show will be available to both subscribers and non-subscribers. The announcement caught many by surprise since it was believed that the only way to see the show would be to buy a ticket or see the show in a theater.

Tidal music service, an artists owned streaming media company simply refuses to die. It is a testament to Jay-Z’s determination as a business man. Kanye’s  streaming concert, exclusive to Tidal, is the latest success for the struggling company. These recent splashes have been a direct result of the artists who co-own the service.  Sultry  Rihanna launched her new album ANTI on the service two weeks ago, and Beyoncé, Mrs. Shawn Carter, released her new single“Formation” on Tidal just a day before her stunning Super Bowl performance. All this was provided for free to anyone.

Back to Kanye, like many of the brother’s in the hip hop game West is exercising his entrepreneurial interests by also kicking off a magazine or “Zine“as he has labeled it.  West threw a party at a Manhattan parking garage, (that was last night and you missed it!) to celebrate the Zine and his previous fashion collection Yeezy Season 2. After all this the rapper is scheduled to appear on Saturday Night Live on February 13th for his first post-album performance.

Celebrity Cyber Report – P-Diddy, Rihanna and Drake

P-Diddy’s New Album

p-diddy-in-suit

Sean “Puffy” Combs

That rapper with many names, P-Diddy, Puff Daddy, Puffy, or just Diddy, is releasing his latest mix tape on iTunes this Friday. The new collection, entitled ‘MMMfor “Money Making Mitch”, was released free on November 4th. Both rapper and businessman, Sean Combs has decided to celebrate his 46th birthday by getting back to his roots, New York, and its unique hip-hop sound. In addition to the mix tape Combs also released a black and white documentary explaining how the new release took him back to the streets of Harlem where he got his start in the hip-hop genre.

P-Diddy surprised his many fans by releasing ‘MMM’ on Spotify and Apple Music for his 46th birthday. “MMM is a thank you to my fans and is just the beginning, a prelude to what will be my final album, No Way Out 2.”  Final album!  Wait…what?

Diddy brought together  a super star collection for the ‘MMM’ release that includes collaborations with Future, Travis Scott, Big Sean, Wiz Khalifa, Pusha T, French Montana, Ty Dolla $ign, Lil’ Kim, Jadakiss, and others.

Combs interviewed with Billboard magazine and explained that ‘MMM’ is his way of “reintroducing himself” before he puts out his next full-length CD. “MMM is returning back to my roots and my style of production, hip-hop soul with that R&B side and flavor to it.  A real New York hip-hop sound.”
No release date has been announced for what maybe Combs final work but look for it in 2016. The question remains; is this really his final album? What’s his next career move? Only the ‘Puff Daddy’ knows.

Rihanna’s New Album

RiHanna

Rihanna

Singer, song writer, actress and sex symbol Rihanna is coming out with her latest album on Friday…allegedly. But where can you find it? The new release entitled “Anti” is coming exclusively to Tidal music service. Tidal is the troubled music service purchased and managed by Jay-Z and owned jointly by many different artist. The songstress has not named an official release date.

Along with the new album release is a new mobile only website called ANTIdiaRy that allows her fans to hear short clips of the albums tracks.

Although the track list has not been officially released it is rumored that her most recent single cuts including Bitch Better Have My Money, FourFiveSeconds and American Oxygen are likely to be on the new album. Rhianna has also announced a U.S. and European tour in the spring and summer of 2016.

Drake Ain’t Dead

DRakeIf it’s one thing the Internet is good for and that is spreading bad information. The latest Internet lie is that Drake, the Canadian born singer, rapper and music producer is dead. He ain’t!

No one is sure where the lie originated but the sad part is that many legitimate news sources have fallen for the hoax including Yahoo News. The lie was originally found on the Buzzfeed Community post. The site has since pulled the story. It gets even more ridiculous when you find out that a Facebook page sprang up named “R.I.P Drake” and received more than a million likes! Really?

 This not the first time Drake was declared dead and probably not the last. Oh, and did you hear that Lamar Odom is dead? No he’s not! African American Cyber Report rule # 10; Everything on the Internet is real; just not always true.