Dungeon Family PART ONE (pg. 6)

Organized Noize cemented their credentials with En Vogue’s 1996 No. 1 R&B hit “Don’t Let Go (Love)” and TLC’s 1995 Top 10 pop hit “Waterfalls.” “To date, that’s the biggest song TLC has done,” T-Boz says. “There’s no other crew like the Dungeon Family.”

Their accomplishments are still recognized by younger producers. “Organized Noize was one of the first camps out of the South to gain worldwide respect in the hip hop worlds,” says Christopher “Drumma Boy” Gholson, 25, who’s made hits for Rick Ross and Young Jeezy. “They’ve collaborated with the best from Macy Gray to Curtis Mayfield, and influenced producers such as myself.”

By the mid-1990s, the production trio of Rico Wade, Ray Murray, and Sleepy Brown was charging upward of $80,000 for a beat and top music executives had them on speed dial. Rico says then-Elektra CEO Sylvia Rhone paid Organized Noize $1 million to write 10 songs and Interscope Chairman Jimmy Iovine gave them $1.5 million to write and produce another 10 songs. “Back in the ’90’s, it was nothing for a million-dollar budget to go across the table,” says Murray. “But we were some of the first producers to be getting $100,000 a song.” Rico says L.A. Reid owns half of their publishing. “It’s a fucked-up contract,” he says. “[He] still make money on my songs from 1993.”

Organized Noize’s arrangement with LaFace was a production deal, meaning that they were paid to write and produce tracks for LaFace Records, a subsidiary of Arista. But in 1997, Iovine offered Rico the chance to start his own label trough Interscope––a joint venture similar to the arrangement Puffy Combs had through in Bad Boy Records. “I was Jimmy’s golden boy,” says Rico. At the time, Interscope was severing ties with Suge Knight’s lucrative but controversial Death Row Records. Rico felt a tug of loyalty for LaFace co-founder L.A. Reid––now chairman of Island/Def Jam, who still says, “Rico is like a son to me”––but Interscope’s $20 million offer was too good to pass up.

“Iovine said, ‘You ain’t got to touch a drum machine! You ain’t got to do nothing!’” Rico says, his eyes glittering. “He tried to get me to help him run his staff. Like, ‘Help me tell Dr. Dre how to get his shit together.’ He was offering me a dream.” In fact, the job offered was CEO of Organized Noize Records, and Rico accepted it in 1998. The Interscope deal and the frequent trips to Los Angeles drove a wedge between Organized Noize and the rest of the Dungeon Family: “People were telling me, ‘You’re a star, Rico. You don’t need them cats in Atlanta.’” His priorities shifted. That same year his mother was seriously injured in a car crash, adding to the stress.

“It all went downhill,” says Cool Breeze, who was supposed to be first in line at the new label. “Rico didn’t rap, didn’t sing, and really wasn’t producing at the time. But Rico’s our boy, so everybody got behind him and said, ‘We want him to speak for us.’” Meanwhile, Organized Noize Records signed a singer named Lil Will, a quirky rapper named Witchdoctor, and Andrell “Kilo Ali”, 35, a legend of Atlanta bass music. “After all the money spent, there was no Cool Breeze contract,” Breeze says bitterly.

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Dr. Dre Released From Hospital, Will Receive 24-Hour Home Care

Dr. Dre was released from L.A. Cedars Sinai Medical Center on Friday (Jan. 15), nearly two weeks after he suffered a reported brain aneurysm. Ice T confirmed the news tweeting, “Just FaceTimed with @drdre. He just made it home. Safe and looking good.”

The 55-year-old music mogul will remain under 24-hour care for the next few weeks as medical professionals continue to monitor his progress. Doctors are still unclear on what caused the aneurysm.

Dre’s hospital release comes days after new details were revealed in his divorce from estranged wife, Nicole Young. According to court documents publicized this week, Nicole accuses Dre, birth name Andre Young, of putting a gun to her head in 2000 and 2001. She also details other alleged abuse incidents in 1995 (before they were married) and in 2016, when he allegedly punched her in the face and kicked down her door.

The Grammy winner has denied Nicole’s abuse claims.

Nicole and Dre tied the knot in 1996. The pair share two adult children, Truice and Truly. Nicole filed for divorce last summer.

In addition to demanding that Dre cover her legal fees, Nicole wants the court to take the abuse allegations into account when “awarding support and fees.” Dre has already agreed to pay $500,000 of Nicole’s legal bills and $2 million in temporary spousal support.

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Cardi B Lands Leading Role In Comedy ‘Assisted Living’

Cardi B is making her way back to the big screen. The Bronx native officially landed her first leading role in the upcoming Paramount comedy, Assisted Living.

According to Variety, Cardi will play a small time crook struggling to find a hiding place after her latest heist fails. Her character, “Amber,” disguises herself as an elderly woman and hides out at her grandmother's nursing home. The film is described as a “raucous comedy” similar to Mrs. Doubtfire and Sister Act.

Paramount acquired the rights to Assisted Living in 2019. The film’s script was penned by This Is Us writer, Kay Oyegun.

Cardi, 28, made her film debut in the 2019 celeb-heavy stripper flick, Hustlers. The “WAP” rapper appears to have hinted at her Assisted Living role in a recent interview with Billboard where she dished on filming scenes for Fast & Furious 9.

“After ‘Hustlers’ I filmed a little bit for 'Fast & Furious' so I felt like ‘I’m ready for this,’ I knew what to expect,” she explained. “But the characters were a little different so I was like ‘Oh wow, I’m going to need more acting classes.’ I’m planning on doing a movie this year and I’m going to be the lead role so I’m like ‘I need to execute this flawlessly.’”

Besides film, Cardi was a judge on the Netflix completion show, Rhythm & Flow, and landed her own Facebook Watch series, Cardi Tries.

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Wendy Williams Reveals She Was Date Raped By ‘80s R&B Singer

Wendy Williams revealed that she was date raped by  ‘80s R&B singer, Sherrick, early in her radio career. The talk show host shared the story with reporters while promoting her Lifetime biopic Wendy Williams: The Movie on Tuesday (Jan. 12).

“He mesmerized me with his twinkling eyes,” she recalled. “He flipped the interview around to where he was interviewing me — I was just gaga over this man and he asked me to go to an album release party with him that night.

“Before the party, I was date raped by him,” said Williams.

Sherrick, born Lamotte Smith, was a member of the group Kagny, whose song is featured on The Last Dragon soundtrack. He signed to Warner Bros. Records in 1987 and scored a marginal hit with the single “Just Call” off his debut self-titled album. Sherrick struggled with sobriety but declared himself “drug-free” before dying of unknown causes in 1999.

Williams says that she was raped in Sherrick’s Washington D.C. hotel room and it, unfortunately, wasn’t her first time being sexually assaulted. The New Jersey native had been date raped in college. “Those types of things happen to girls all the time and they’ve been happening a lot, to a lot of our mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and their great-great-grandmothers too.”

From the sounds of it, Sherrick's widow doesn't exactly believe Williams' story. She not only questioned Williams' account but wondered why she waited so long to go public, and why she didn't call police at the time of the incident.

“As I will never minimize or dismiss the horrid actions of sexual assault, I am saddened that Ms. Williams feels the need to publicly make these allegations when the man she is accusing is no longer on this earth to defend himself,” Lynne Conner Smith said in a statement to Page Six.  “Our family does not know Ms. Williams and are not aware of any relationship or encounter they may have had.”

The sexual assault will be chronicled in the film, as well as other details from Williams' life -- like her rise to talk show fame, her battle with drug addiction, and marriage to ex-husband Kevin Hunter.

Wendy Williams: The Movie premieres on Lifetime on Jan. 30.

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