Rappers’ death and shooting makes week’s biggest news

As always, with the good comes the bad. This week, many musicians paid their respect to those who passed. And those still living made the most of life by tackling all of their dreams, and not limiting themselves.

Hip-hop said farewell to a loyal member of the rap game. Rapper/producer Jay Dee of the trio Slum Village died Feb. 10 in Los Angeles of Lupus.

The 32-year-old rapper, born James Yancey, just released his latest solo album titled “Donuts” and was in the middle of a tour to promote the album when his health failed.

The viewing was held Monday at Forest Lawn Mortuary with the funeral held the next day. Yancey produced tracks for artists like Busta Rhymes, A Tribe Called Quest and Common. Common and Q-Tip are some of Yancey’s friends who are planning a memorial concert in his honor.

Busta Rhymes is still in the news regarding the shooting death of his bodyguard, Israel Ramirez. As reported in last week’s Hiss, the rapper’s bodyguard was fatally shot during the filming of Rhymes’ new video “Touch It (The Remix).”

No arrests were made at the video shoot; among the 500 people attending the shoot – no one came forward as a witness.

Busta Rhymes issued a statement, but it wasn’t intended for police. The statement was directed to the family of the victim, offering words of comfort in the difficult time. Authorities in New York believe that the shooting was the result of an argument between Swizz Beatz and Tony Yayo and his group G-Unit, and are interested in speaking with Yayo and his associates, but the New York rapper refused.

As side for the negative news, the Hip-hop community has been making strides in a positive direction.

Two New York rappers are expanding their business ventures beyond making music. Juelz Santana and LL Cool J both are currently working on new clothing lines.

LL Cool J, whose real name is James Todd Smith, is heading in a direction urban wear seldom goes. He is creating an elegant line of clothing that is a break from the traditional Hip-hop attire

He premiered the Todd Smith men’s and women’s clothing lines during New York’s Fashion week. Jeremy Brandrick of Dolce & Gabbana was an integral part of the design team for the men’s line, and Matthew Priestly, previously with Marni, will be the head designer for the women’s line.

Santana is going in the opposite direction of the Todd Smith lines in terms of fashion. The rapper’s clothing company Z-line is due next fall. Then, he will launch Mazia, a clothing company licensed by Z-line Clothing Inc.

Santana believes that his company will succeed better than other brands because others only “attempted to duplicate what we do naturally,” he said; but “they haven’t gotten it right.”

Maybe in the upcoming years, the stars will be strutting down the Grammy’s red carpet in the rappers’ new clothing lines.

This year’s stars and performances – not the fashion – dominated the 48th annual Grammy awards.

Kanye West, John Legend, and Mariah Carey were big winners in awards. They each won three statues. West’s awards were for Best Rap Album, Best Rap Solo performance for “Gold Digger” and Best rap song for “Diamonds From Sierra Leone.” West’s protégé, John Legend, won Best New Artist, Best R&B album for “Get Lifted” and Best Male R&B Vocal for “Ordinary People.” Carey won Best R&B song for “We Belong Together,” Best Contemporary R&B album for “The Emancipation of Mimi” and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for “We Belong Together.” The performance definitely reminded anyone who’d forgotten just why they received their Grammys.

Although the music industry experienced tragic losses they continue to move forward.

Compiled by Kamaria HopkinsSource: www.bet.com, www.allhiphop.com, www.vh1.com