Weekly Roundup: Hip Hop Here, There and Everywhere

By Jorteh Senah

Hip hop tastemakers showcase their influence across several platforms. 

Jay-Z performing. Photo: Adam Glanzman.

It’s roundup time again and this week we’re lassoing hip-hop’s tastemakers. Some of the genre’s biggest names expanded their brand of urban cool to soundtracks, fragrances and even iPhones.


Jay Z
Jay-Z sitting courtside. Photo: Tom Thai.

The NBA’s Brooklyn Nets are winning games at a torrid pace and looking good while doing it, thanks to the team’s influential co-owner Jay-Z. The rapper was seminal in designing the team’s new logo and uniforms, changing the color scheme from red, white and blue to a more edgy black and white. Not surprisingly, Nets’ gear is the top seller on NBAStore.com, according to ESPN. It’s just the latest testament of Jay-Z’s Midas Touch. Here’s a video from JAY Z’s Life + Times Youtube channel that goes inside the rebranding of the Nets.


Rick Ross at the Sound Academy in Toronto. Photo: comeupshow.com.

Rick Ross

Hollywood filmmaker Quentin Tarantino has routinely looked to hip-hop to give his movies some ‘flavah.’ In the past he’s called on the services of Wu-Tang Clan rapper RZA to produce the soundtrack for Tarantino’s two-part action thriller Kill Bill. This time around, the Pulp Fiction director featured Rick Ross on the soundtrack for his new film, Django Unchained. Ross is featured on “100 Black Coffins,” which is produced by the film’s protagonist Jamie Fox. Check out the song below.


Will.i.am at Intel Booth at CES 2011. Photo: Michael Sheehan.


Pop music stars like Usher and Nicki Minaj, who have featured Will.i.am on their songs, aren’t the only ones seeking the talents of the music producer and front man for the Black Eyed Peas. London department store Selfridges collaborated with the music maven to release the i.am+ foto.sosho. The iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S accessory gives the mobile device the capabilities of a point-and-shoot camera. At a retail price starting at £199, or roughly $319, the accessory is more expensive than the iPhone 4 and only a few dollars less than the iPhone 4S.  Check out the product in this video from Engadget and decide for yourself whether or not it’s worth the price tag.


Nicki Minaj Cropped
Nicki Minaj in trademark neon. Photo: Christopher Macsurak.

Nicki Minaj

Ozzie’s came calling and Nicki Minaj obliged. The wildly popular female rapper traveled to the land down under to launch her new fragrance, Pink Friday, which debuted in Australia at the Myer department store.  After the event, Minaj tweeted about her love for her Australian fans. Here’s a video clip from her fragrance launch.

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