OFFICER RICKY FINALLY COMES OUT: Rick Ross Fesses Up In May XXL Cover Story, “Yes, It Was Me In Those Pictures”

via Thisis50

With his third solo album, Deeper Than Rap, slated for an April 21st release, Rick Ross is gracing the cover of XXL magazine’s upcoming May issue.

On Denying Being A Correctional Officer

“Me not answering or addressing that situation has nothing to do with my career. I’ve accomplished enough, and I’ve made enough money for me to be good… Yes, it was me in those pictures. But I’ma tell you this. Me taking that job, I was doing my job. You understand what I mean?”

WOULDN’T IT HAVE BEEN EASIER TO ADMIT THIS IN THE BEGINNING??

Chris Brown Withdraws Name from Kid’s Choice Awards

nickelodeon

TMZ reports:

Chris Brown is officially letting Nickelodeon off the hook, and taking himself off the list of nominees at the upcoming Kids’ Choice Awards.

In a statement, his rep says: “Chris very much appreciates the support of his fans and the honor they have paid him in the way of nominations for Favorite Male Singer and Favorite Song.

Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding the incident last month has shifted the focus from the music to whether he should be allowed to be among those nominated.

While Chris would like to speak to his fans directly about this and other issues, pending legal proceedings preclude his doing so at this time. Once the matter before him has been resolved, he intends to do so.”

source: Thisis50

Social Network Platform NING Receives $60 Million In Funding

The King of Ning

Coinciding with a cover story this month in Fast Company, Ning, the social network platform that plays hosts to customized social-network sites such as Thisis50 and The Urban Blogger, has just announced it has secured $60 million in its fourth round of funding raising its value to half a billion dollars. The funding is in response to their rapid growth rate. The CEO Mark Andreesen is reporting that they are including 1,000 new sites on their network a day and they are home to over 230,000 sites at presstime. In a nod to the strength of Hip Hop, they are openly acknowledging that Thisis50 is their most famous social hub. Makes you wonder if Curtis has any stock in this company. Also noted was their need to secure funding in case of financial uncertainty this winter, in light of the pending recession.

Social Networking Is The Wave Of The Future…Take Note

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Reuters ran a thorough expose on the social networking phenom, citing the inclusion of superstars like 50 Cent who have created their own networks via Ning. Even though artists maintain healthy followings via Myspace and Facebook, they don’t have access to the most vital aspect of their following, the fans email. With sensitive data like email and demographics, a social networking site can then be monetized by commercializing access to advertisers.

Identified as “next-generation” fan and web sites, social networks are becoming hubs where artists can not only have an intimate connection with their fanbase but they can also directly market to them, effectively excluding the middleman. Now portals such as Facebook and Myspace are looked at as “funnels” which help strengthen the membership on personalized social networks, like the Ning supported Thisis50.
Gina Bianchini, CEO of Ning summed it up best when she said, “They take and use services where they don’t know the users, don’t have access and don’t have full control, and funnel those fans to something they do control.”

Ludacris, the Pussycat Dolls and Ice Cube are cited as artist that have jumped on the bandwagon early and cemented their spots in the blossoming social network field. Ice Cube’s venture, UVNTV is a slightly different service, that allows its members to host their own TV channel. That service, which includes Snoop and Cube amongst its content providers, will be up and running by January 2009. CLICK HERE to read this informative piece on why social networking is the wave of the future. Get familiar, knowledge is power!