The Atlanta rap duo Outkast is nominated for several Billboard Awards, including Artist of the Year, for their hit record Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. Outkast dominated the American Music Awards this year, taking home three, as well as the MTV Europe Awards, where the duo stacked three more trophies onto their catalog. Other hip-hop artists nominated for Billboard Awards include rappers Kanye West and Jay-Z, and R&B singer Usher. Alicia Keys is also up for an outstanding 12 awards. Usher and St. Louis rapper Nelly are scheduled to perform at the awards, hosted this year by American Idol presenter Ryan Seacrest. Winners are determined based on their rankings on Billboard's weekly music charts.
Philadelphia rapper Eve has reportedly refused to have Hilton Hotel heiress and socialite Nicky Hilton appear on her UPN sitcom Eve, after Nicky’s sister Paris allegedly made racist remarks, according US Weekly magazine. "Nicky was politely uninvited from appearing,” a source told US Weekly. “A lot of the cast members didn't want anything to do with her or her family,” A representative of the show also affirmed that Nicky was up for a guest appearance but it "didn't work out".
West Coast native C-Bo, currently in prison, is expected to release a greatest hits collection through his West Coast Mafia Records. The album will feature tracks from his records Tales from the Crypt,Gas Chamber, Till My Casket Drops,Autopsy and C-Bo The Mobfather: The Return of the Bald Headed Nut. C-Bo signed a deal with distributor Navarre last year that allowed West Coast Mafia Records to deliver their own records to stores nationwide. Bo's solo artist, Mr. Spade, who has appeared on songs with Tupac, Spice 1, WC and Tha Dogg Pound, is also set to release his debut album Real Talk.
Barcode Records recently introduced a new urban music publication called Rhyme & Reason Magazine, which examines the many facets of hip-hop culture with interviews, news and reviews. A free promotional mixtape, hosted by a celebrity guest, is provided with each copy. The premiere issue also includes a 'Collectors Edition' mini-pack—a 32-page magazine enclosed in a CD case, featuring interviews with Mase, Lloyd Banks, MC Ren of N.W.A. and Jadakiss among others. Rhyme & Reason Magazine will be released quarterly, and the first issue is in stores now.