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According to a tweet from hip-hop journalist Reggie “Combat Jack” Ossé, pioneering hip-hop producer Larry Smith has passed away. Smith, who was best-known for his work with Run-DMC and Whodini, had recently been in ill health. He suffered a stroke in 2007 that left him confined to a nursing home as a “ward of the state.”

Smith began his hip-hop career playing on one of the genre’s earliest hits, Kurtis Blow’s 1979 “Christmas Rappin’.” He continued working with Blow on the even bigger hit “The Breaks,” which he co-wrote and played bass on.

It was a short step from working with the Russell Simmons-managed Blow to Run-DMC. It was with the Queens trio that Smith did his most iconic work. Despite his extensive experience with live bands, Smith decided to strip away everything but a drum machine for the group’s first single, “It’s Like That” b/w “Sucker MCs.” The result was one of the single most powerful and influential moments in hip-hop history.

He continued to work with Run-DMC on their debut full length, and is generally credited with introducing the electric guitar to rap with songs like “Rock Box.”

After that success, Smith moved on to work with Whodini, producing their iconic songs “Five Minutes of Funk” and “Friends.” However, as the 1980s wore on, the producer found that the new sample-based sound was phasing him out of the industry. He told author Brian Coleman that “I just couldn’t bring myself to sample. I was totally against it. As a musician, I just couldn’t use something that I didn’t create myself. The only reason I jumped out the game was because of my ego.”

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Last night (Dec. 18), Chris Brow shut down the stage at The Supper Club in Hollywood, but fans were raving about another performance that night. Amber Rose was seen twerking on CB with all her goodies. Now we’re no strangers to how well Amber can move her blessings.In fact she recently posted a video to her Instagram of her and her good friend Blac Chyna working out their assets.

The newly single ladies turned up the crowd as they showed off their skills and moved their bodies to the music. Now before you get any ideas, Blac Chyna didn’t dance with Chris Brown, only Amber. Tyga is one of the Virginia singer’s best friends.

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Christmas comes early for Chris Brown and Tyga fans. Over four years since releasing their Fan of a Fan mixtape, the “Deuces” duo returns with “Ayo,” the first single off their upcoming joint album of the same name, due next year.

The fellas holla at the shorties with the “real hair” on the bouncy banger (think “Loyal”). Tyga kicks things off, declaring himself the “black Richie Rich,” while Breezy thirsts for Ice T’s wife Coco (“This don’t concern Ice”) and recalls his stint in rehab (“Rehabilitation just had me worried ’bout fu**in’”).

In addition to Fan of a Fan, Tyga plans to release The Gold Album: 18th Dynasty independently early next year.

He will join Chris and Trey Songz on their “Between the Sheets Tour,” which kicks off in January.

Drop the top and ride out to the club-ready cut below.

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Sony Pictures has made official what has been painfully obvious to everybody since yesterday morning, when hackers threatened to blow up movie theaters if The Interview was released next week. The studio has officially scrapped its release plans. Sony had little choice here, after the major theater chains announced earlier today they would not display the film given the threatening circumstances. Here’s the statement:

“In light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show the film The Interview, we have decided not to move forward with the planned December 25 theatrical release. We respect and understand our partners’ decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theater-goers

“Sony Pictures has made official what has been painfully obvious to everybody since yesterday morning, when hackers threatened to blow up movie theaters if The Interview was released next week. The studio has officially scrapped its release plans. Sony had little choice here, after the major theater chains announced earlier today they would not display the film given the threatening circumstances. Here’s the statement:

“In light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show the film The Interview, we have decided not to move forward with the planned December 25 theatrical release. We respect and understand our partners’ decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theater-goers.”

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Kimora Lee Simmons is six-months pregnant and was seen strutting her baby bulge in St. Barth’s this week.

Since her surprise marriage to banker Tim Leissner earlier this year (that she still hasn’t confirmed herself),  Kimora Lee Simmons has not made many social appearances.  Even with the announcement of the $1 Million scholarship fund she created at the Fashion Institute of Technology two months ago, there wasn’t much fanfare.  And now we know why.  Kimora’s been busy focusing on delivering a healthy baby.

The baby will be the couple’s first child, joining big sister Ming (14) & Aoki (12), whom she shares with Russell Simmons, and big brother Kenzo (5), whom she shares with Djimon Hounsou.

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YBF reports,

Marsha Ambrosius was tapped for a performance in London’s Clapham Grand for her “Friends and Lovers” tour stop. The songstress then surprised fans by bringing her for former bandmate/spoken word artist Natalie Stewart!

The dynamic duo performed a few of their hits before screaming fans, including their infectious “Say Yes” and closed the show with their 2002 hit single, “Floetic”.

This is huge considering the Grammy-nominated group broke up back in 2007 to pursue solo careers. Neither of the two have found substantial success (but Marsha has definitely released some amazing music and accumulated some die hard fans) and we personally like them together, so concertgoers were in for a real treat last night.

Marsha teased there would be special guests joining her on stage during her tour, but no one had any idea there would be a Floetry reunion.

flowetry reunite

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Sandra Rose reports,

A Texas judge threw the book at Pilar Sanders, the obstinate ex-wife of NFL legend Deion Sanders, for violating a child custody agreement by not returning his children to him on time. Pilar was booked into a Dallas jail on Tuesday where she will serve out a seven day sentence.

“Pilar hasn’t seen the children since August,” Sanders, 47, told Sandrarose.com via phone last month.

Deion said police were forced to kick in a door at Pilar’s residence when she refused to return the children to him after a visitation.

Deion sued Pilar last month after she took to Twitter.com to publicly disparage him via Tweets and audio links.

“My children are happy,” said Deion, who portrayed his ex as a desperate women who wants to derail his hit reality TV show on OWN Network, Deion’s Family Playbook, featuring his fiancée, producer Tracey Edmonds, and his extended family.

Pilar Sanders appeared in court in suburban Dallas without an attorney for a hearing requested by Deion Sanders’ attorney Rick Robertson who requested changes to the divorce decree and an injunction to stop her from disparaging her ex-husband.

As part of the ruling from Collin County District Judge Ray Wheless, Pilar Sanders’ visitation rights were suspended indefinitely and she was ordered to remove all statements that are damaging to her ex-husband, Robertson said.

“We won on all parts,” Robertson said.

Pilar Sanders was not immediately available for comment.

Check out what she posted on social media about her ex-husband Deion Sanders…

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TODAY Show reports,

In November 2011, TODAY aired a Jeff Rossen hidden-camera investigation that revealed some locksmiths charging hundred of dollars for a simple job. Three years later, the Rossen Reports team set up the same scenario to see if things had changed.

Hidden cameras were installed at a suburban house in West Hempstead, New York. As in the 2011 investigation, a licensed locksmith installed simple locks on the home’s door, which he said any real locksmith would be able to pick easily. Posing as a homeowner locked out of their house in the rain, a TODAY producer summoned several locksmiths to the home,

Rather than picking the lock, the first locksmith drilled through it right away. He was happy to sell the faux homeowner a new one for $170. Afterward, when Rossen revealed himself and asked why the locksmith hadn’t tried to pick the lock first, he replied: “Because it was an emergency.”

The next locksmith also pulled out his drill, and ruined another lock. His price tag: $210. “Are you trying to rip this woman off?” Rossen asked him afterward.

“No I’m not. I cannot pick that lock,” the locksmith replied before speeding off.

In fact, nearly every locksmith who came charged more than $200. The last one tried to shimmy the door open without trying to pick the lock, then pulled out his drill. He charged a whopping $415.

“The lady is outside in pouring rain; you think I’m going to stand for half an hour trying to pick the lock?” the final locksmith asked Rossen afterward. “In the rain? ”

“You think it takes about half an hour to pick the lock?” Rossen replied. “We’re going to have our expert show you.”

pick lock

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nicki on today

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