Billboard Bits: 'Wordz From The Street,' the Gossip, Qtrax
Layzie Bone and Bizzy Bone from Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, the Last Poets, Mr. Mixx from 2 Live Crew and Yo Yo are joining up-and-coming artists from inner cities across the country for "Wordz From the StrLayzie Bone and Bizzy Bone from Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, the Last Poets, Mr. Mixx from 2 Live Crew and Yo Yo are joining up-and-coming artists from inner cities across the country for "Wordz From the Street," an independent album based on the book "The Words," by author Lee Cantelon. The set is to be released later this year.
"The Words" is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. With that in mind, "Streets" tells the stories of hip-hop artists as "Gospels from the streets." Says Cantelon, "I went looking for a book that contained just the words of Jesus outside the New Testament, thinking surely such a thing existed. When I failed to find one, I began cutting up the Bible and pasting Jesus' words into a notebook."
Bigg Slice, Pangy, Blaxmyth, Oblivion, Skim and Pat's Justice are among the young artists on the album. For more information, visit Pinlight.com.
-- Mariel Concepcion, N.Y.
The Gossip's Columbia/Music With a Twist debut, "Live in Liverpool" will arrive April 15. The CD/DVD collection draws from the trio's July 9, 2007, concert in the English city and features tracks like "Standing in the Way of Control" and "Listen Up."
Additional highlights include the group's take on Wham!'s "Careless Whisper" and Aaliyah's "Are You That Somebody." The former Kill Rock Stars act will tour the U.S. and Europe this spring in support of the release.
-- Katie Hasty, N.Y.
In an effort to regain momentum after its disastrous launch-that-wasn't, Qtrax has unveiled licensing deals with a number of music entities, but none of which is a major label.
The company has extended existing licensing deals with EMI Music Publishing and SonyATV Music Publishing, and named TVT Records as the first label to make its catalog available via the Qtrax service.
The ad-supported service was meant to go live in January, heralded by a splashy and expensive launch event at the MIDEM music industry conference, boasting a catalog of 30 million tracks from the four major and independent labels. Soon after, it transpired that licensing deals had yet to be finalized on much of that catalog.
To date, Qtrax has yet to finalize a licensing deal with any of the four major labels.
-- Antony Bruno, Denver