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DMC Says 'Larry Smith's Musical Arsenal Equals Dr. Dre's'

Who is Larry Smith? Since the start of VIBE’s Greatest Hip Hop Producers of All-Time tournament that’s been one of the most frequently asked questions by fans not familiar with the man who has been cited as rap’s first studio superstar.

But Run-D.M.C.'s Darryl “DMC” McDaniels says Smith more than deserves the nod.

“I want the world to know when you talk about the best producers like Jam Master Jay, DJ Premier, Swizz Beatz, and Dr. Dre, you have to add Larry Smith,” DMC tells VIBE. “I feel so bad because when Run-D.M.C. got inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame [in 2009] I wanted to take that platform to mention Larry. Because there would be no hip-hop as we know it today if it wasn’t for Larry Smith.”

Indeed, Smith’s contributions to hip-hop are truly impressive when you figure that his mammoth beats, rocking guitars, and punchy synthesizer sound was competing with the non-rap dominating likes of Michael Jackson, Prince and Madonna. Among the former Orange Crush bassist’s landmark works: Run-D.M.C.’s “Sucker MC’s,” “It’s Like That,” “Hard Times,” King of Rock,” and “Rock Box” as well as Whodini’s “5 Minutes Of Funk,” “The Freaks Come Out At Night,” “One Love” and “Friends.”

“He did both of Run-D.M.C.’s first two albums (Run-D.M.C., King of Rock), and he did Whodini’s biggest singles… Come on!” DMC exclaims. “Larry Smith’s musical arsenal equals Dr. Dre's. I know Jermaine Dupri knows that because he was touring with Whodini in those days.”

Unfortunately, in recent years, Smith has had to battle debilitating health issues. “He had a stroke, but he’s still with us,” DMC says of Smith’s current state. “Physically, it’s not all good. But spiritually, historically and mentally, he can express himself through his music. Think about the body of work that he did. I think Larry’s notoriety gets lost because of Rick Rubin. People still think that Rick produced the first two Run-D.M.C. albums. But there would be no Raising Hell without those first two albums.”

As for DMC, the legendary MC is set to release his second solo album The Origins Of Block Music, due out this summer. “This is a more of rock-centered album,” DMC says of the upcoming release. “I have a lot of live instrumentation on it, but I still had to make three hip hop joints because people still want that “I’ll cut the head off the devil and I’ll throw it at you” DMC music too.”—Keith Murphy


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Prince’s Sister Sells Percentage Of His Estate To Private Equity Fund: Report

Prince’s sister has unloaded a portion of her one-sixth share in her late brother’s estate. Tyka Nelson filed court documents confirming that she sold some of the estate to Primary Wave IP Fund, The Blast reported on Monday (Dec. 3).

“I have the opportunity to consult with separate legal counsel and financial advisors and have been fully advised by my legal counsel and financial advisors of the rights I enjoy as an heir to the Estate and the legal, financial, and personal implications of entering into the Expectancy Interest Transfer Agreement,” Nelson stated in court documents obtained by the website.

At Nelson’s request, Primary Wave IP will now be involved in “all matters” regarding the estate. Primary Wave has reportedly requested to keep the details of the acquisition sealed.

Nelson allegedly owes more than $850,000 in legal bill from multiple law firms that worked on the music legend’s estate issues. Prince died without a will in 2016. His estate was split between six heirs, including Tyka and his half-siblings, Sharon Nelson, Norrine Nelson, John Nelson, Alfred Jackson and Omarr Baker. Jackson, 66, died earlier this year.

Founded in 2006, Primary Wave is one of the largest independent music publishing, talent management, branding and digital marketing companies in the country. In recent years, the company has acquired the catalog of jazz great Count Basie, and a portion of Bob Marley’s music catalog.

In other Prince news, the estate recently announced a special collaboration with Call & Response, the fashion line created by Toronto design duo Cathy Robinson and Lori Marcuz who dressed the Purple One from 2011 until 2016. The collection of hand-crafted custom jackets, vest and hand-dyed tunics is inspired by Prince’s 1999 album.

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Jason Kempin

Ming And Aoki Lee Simmons Stun In New Baby Phat Campaign

After a successful collaboration with Forever 21 earlier in the year, Baby Phat is gearing up to launch a new collection with the fashion franchise. Ming and Aoki Lee Simmons, who have been integral to BP's relaunch, star in the  brand's latest ad campaign.

The sisters channel mom, Kimora Lee Simmons, in the glam shots which debuted on Tuesday (Dec. 3). The photos include an image of Ming, 17, and Aoki, 19, in matching pink and black mini dresses and faux fur stoles, while stroking brown felines.

Baby Phat by Kimora Lee Simmons (Spring/Summer 2020 Ad Campaign)(Featuring Ming & Aoki Lee Simmons) pic.twitter.com/MQ2DdzTE5c

— ً (@NYGELSARTORIAL) December 5, 2019

Despite selling out pretty quickly, fans were unhappy with the lack of nostalgia in the designs, namely the Baby Phat velour track suit which will be making a comeback in the 20/20 collection.


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Track suits? Check ☑️ Sign up for our emails at babyphat.com to be the first to know when they drop.

A post shared by Baby Phat (@babyphat) on Dec 4, 2019 at 3:21pm PST

In March, Kimora Lee revealed that her daughters inspired the urban streetwear brand's relaunch. “I think it’s a huge opportunity to teach by example: to always keep growing and pushing yourself to evolve,” Kimora told Refinery 29. “Baby Phat is our family business in a lot of ways, and I’m excited for them to participate in a hands-on way to rebuild it alongside me.”


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R. Kelly Hit With Bribery Charge Over 1994 Marriage To Aaliyah

R. Kelly faces a new charge involving his 1994 illegal marriage to Aaliyah. According to the superseding indictment filed in a Brooklyn federal court on Thursday (Dec. 5), Kelly is accused of bribing an official to obtain a fake ID to marry the then underage singer.

Aaliyah is referred to as “Jane Doe #1” in the indictment. The documents state that “on or around August 30, 1994,” Kelly “knowingly” bribed a public official to get a "fraudulent identification document" stating that Aaliyah was 18.

The next day,  27-year-old Kelly married, 15-year-old Aliyah in a secret ceremony. The marriage was annulled shortly after Aaliyah’s parents fund out about it.

Kelly’s lawyer, Steven Greenberg, told the Chicago Tribune that the indictment didn’t immediately appear to “materially alter the landscape.” Greenberg noted that he was still “reviewing” the documents.

Douglas Anton, another Kelly attorney, called the charge “ridiculous and absurd.”

Kelly already faces federal racketeering, kidnapping, forced labor and sexual exploitation charges in New York. The indictment also accuses him of headlining an “Enterprise” that recruited “women and girls to engage in illegal activity” with him. The R&B singer and “other members of the Enterprise” traveled throughout the U.S. and abroad to secretly recruit and groom the victims, the document states.

Kelly, 52, remains locked up in Illinois on federal charges in a separate 13 count indictment.

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