Ellsworth "Bumpy" Johnson, a disciplined and intelligent black gangster, runs much of Harlem and imparts his wisdom onto his former driver turned right hand man, Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington). When Johnson dies of a heart attack in 1968, the power vacuum attracts many who seek a piece of the pie. Frank dislikes the new, flashy gangsters and decides to take control. To gain money and power, he travels to Southeast Asia, and strikes a deal with a Chinese (Kuomintang) general who supplies him with pure heroin, which Frank then transports back to America.
Frank’s unique drug supply enables him to sell potent drugs (“Blue Magic” heroin) at cheap prices. He quickly makes a fortune and buys several nightclubs and apartments. He travels back to his North Carolina home and buys his humble mother a large house. His six brothers are enlisted as his lieutenants in the NYC drug trade – forming “The Country Boys,” who work together to traffic and sell dope on Harlem streets. During his rise, Frank meets and falls in love with Eva, a Puerto Rican beauty queen. Through his discipline, organization, and will to kill those in his way, Frank quickly rises to the top of the Harlem drug and crime scene.
Meanwhile, Jewish Essex County, New Jersey detective Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe) is juggling a failing marriage, his late-night law school classes and his police career. When Richie and his partner discover $1 million in unmarked bills in a car, Richie resists temptation and turns the money in. His rare honest ways make him a hated member of the force, while his rampant womanizing leads his wife to seek a divorce and custody of their son. Richie catches a break when he’s put in charge of a newly-created task force to stop drug trafficking in New Jersey and New York City. He handpicks honest cops and gets to work.
Frank’s success selling drugs, naturally, draws unwanted attention. He must make deals with the Italian mafia and fend off corrupt NYC detectives such as Det. Trupo (Josh Brolin) who extort and threaten him. Unidentified assassins try to kill Frank’s wife, further destabilizing him and worsening his unsteady marriage. Richie catches another break when his men witness one of Frank’s top soldiers shooting a woman. They use the soldier’s bad predicament to get him to wear a wire. The wire allows Richie and his task force to discover when a plane carrying drugs is landing.
When the plane lands, Richie and his men follow the drugs into Harlem’s projects and obtain a warrant. A huge group of police and detectives attack the drug apartments en masse and a large shootout occurs. Many of Frank’s drug men are killed and others are arrested. Frank himself is at church when the bust goes down, but he is arrested after the service ends. Frank and Richie finally meet, and Frank’s attempts to bully and bribe Richie are unsuccessful.
With no other options, Frank decides to rat out numerous other criminals, including his and Richie’s common enemies: corrupt NYC detectives. Numerous corrupt cops are arrested; Det. Trupo kills himself to avoid arrest. Richie, who has passed the Bar Exam, is so impressed by Frank’s confessions that he decides to act as Frank’s new defense attorney. Because of his cooperation, Frank receives a relatively light sentence: 15 years. At the film’s end, he steps out of jail onto the street, but no supporters are around to cheer or even meet him. He enters a new life, alone.
In July 1980, Cuban hitman Tony Montana (Al Pacino) claims political asylum in Florida in the United States after departing Cuba in the Mariel boatlift of 1980. At first Montana is held at a detention camp called 'Freedomtown' with other Cubans. To be released and given a green card Montana and his best friend Manny Ray (Steven Bauer) kill a former aide to Fidel Castro who has tortured to death the brother of a wealthy politically connected car dealer, Frank Lopez, who is also heavily involved in the cocaine trade. After getting their cards Montana and his friend Manny are set up to work at a corner sandwich shop when a Lopez henchman, Omar Suarez (F. Murray Abraham), offers Tony and Manny a job unloading marijuana.
Tony insults Omar by turning down the job so Omar sets him up to pick up a sample of coke from a colombian dealer, Hector. Tony, Manny, and two other Marielitos in his crew, Angel Fernández (Pepe Serna), and Chi Chi (Angel Salazar) then set out to meet Hector (Al Israel) at a seedy motel on the beach. The meeting does not go smoothly, as Tony grows irritated with Hector, who is slow to give him the cocaine in exchange for money. Suddenly, Montana and Angel are double-crossed in a rip off move by the Colombian. To convince Tony to give over the cash, Angel is dismembered in a shower stall with a chainsaw by Hector. After Angel is dead, Montana, about to suffer the same fate, is saved by Chi Chi and Manny who arrive in the nick of time to gun down Hector's henchmen in the hotel's room. Hector escapes but Tony vengefully confronts him in the street and shoots him dead in the middle of Ocean Drive, the now famous Miami South Beach boulevard. Tony and his crew then get away with both the coke and the money before the police arrive. Montana then impresses the money's owner, López (Robert Loggia), with not only the return of his cash but with a gift of the coke, a prize from the botched rip off. Frank immediately hires Tony's crew into his criminal hierarchy. But during this initial get together Tony also meets Lopez's lady, the blonde and beautiful Elvira Hancock (Michelle Pfeiffer), who will eventually become the source of tension between the two men. Thus, Montana begins his rise through the ranks of the Miami cocaine underworld.
While on business in Bolivia to help Omar set up a new distribution deal for Lopez, Montana, feeling that Frank is "soft," begins to show his defiance to López's authority when he negotiates a deal with Alejandro Sosa (Paul Shenar), the ruthless and powerful Bolivian drug lord. Sosa finds out that Omar is an informant during the trip and has him murdered to show Tony his intolerance for disloyalty. Upon his return to Florida Tony gets into trouble with Frank over the deal, who accuses him of "stealing" it. Montana then leaves López to strikes out on his own. This allows him to seek out Elvira to whom he makes an unexpected marriage proposal. Lopez is none too happy and decides to take out Tony.
But his move to assassinate Tony fails as two hitmen, hired by Lopez to kill Tony at the Babylon Club, cannot get it done. A vengeful Montana decides to take over Frank's business. That same night he and Manny kill both Frank and the cop on his payroll, Miami Chief of Narcotics Mel Bernstein, who had already shaken down Tony for a hefty monthly payment and airline tickets to London. His problems apparently solved, Tony begins a profitable relationship with Sosa, marries Elvira, buys a new mansion, and sets his sister Gina (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) up in business with her own beauty salon.
But as Montana's business grows, so does his cocaine addiction and paranoia. It is the beginning of the end. His wife, now hopelessly addicted herself, becomes distant. His banker informs him that he will be charging higher fees for washing the increasing flow of drug money. After Manny convinces him that he has a way to save money on the laundering of the coke cash, Montana is arrested in a sting operation by Manny's contact, an undercover cop. He is charged with tax evasion.
Sosa, not wanting to lose his main distributor, steps in to intervene by offering Tony a way out of going to prison. He introduces Montana to his cocaine "board of directors" a group that includes Bolivia's military chief and a mysterious American, known only as being "from Washington." We assume he is a CIA officer because Sosa guarantees that the IRS will not be able to send Tony to jail. In exchange, Montana must assist in the assassination of a journalist attempting to expose Sosa, his partners, and the ongoing corruption in the Bolivian government. Montana agrees but later has second thoughts backs when the journalist, now in New York to expose the cartel at the UN, unexpectedly picks up his wife and children. Tony, saying that the team was only supposed to kill the journalist, instead then shoots the assassin to prevent the journalist's family from being killed. Thus he seals his fate with Sosa.
Returning to Miami, Tony discovers that both his sister Gina and right-hand man Manny have disappeared. Tony has long harbored an apparent unnatural obsession for his sister and is overly protective of her for reasons that he may not understand himself. After getting Gina's address from his mother, who doesn't know who lives there, Tony goes to the house. Manny unexpectedly opens the door. Tony then sees Gina in a night gown at the top of the stairs. Enraged that another man has obviously slept with his sister, Tony kills Manny. Hysterically, Gina reveals that they had just been married. Tony has Gina taken back to his mansion where all hell is about to break loose.
In revenge for the missed opportunity to kill the journalist, who has now exposed him to the world as a drug lord, Sosa sends an assassination team to Montana's mansion to kill him. Sitting at his desk snorting from an enormous pile of cocaine, Tony realizes and regrets what he has done to his best friend. Suddenly Gina enters his office armed with a pistol to confront him with the truth about his feelings for her. She now realizes that Tony loves her in an unnatural way and demands, at gun point, that he make love to her. She begins to shoot at him while demanding he take her. A Sosa assassin hiding on the balcony, thinking Gina is shooting at him, leaps in and riddles her with bullets. Tony, enraged, throws the man off the balcony and kills him.
As his men are being killed in a gunfight inside the mansion, Tony kneels over Gina's dead body and begs forgiveness. With the assassins just outside his door, he then arms himself with an M16 assault rifle and an M203 grenade launcher, shouts the often imitated quote "Say hello to my little friend!" and single-handedly takes on Sosa's men, who by now have killed all of Tony's crew. Though extremely high on cocaine and able to take dozens of bullets, he is eventually killed when Sosa's chief assassin shoots him from behind with a shotgun.
Production and controversy
Scarface was directed by Brian De Palma, produced by Martin Bregman, and written by now famed director Oliver Stone while he battled a cocaine addiction. Stone consulted the Miami police and the Drug Enforcement Agency while writing the film, incorporating many true crimes into the film, including using crime scene photos to inspire the infamous chainsaw scene. Stone also admitted in an interview, first featured on the Collector's Edition DVD release, that he took the character's last name from his favorite football player at the time - Joe Montana of the San Francisco 49ers thus explaining why Tony does not have a traditionally Hispanic surname.
The film was originally to be filmed in Florida but it received criticism from the Cuban community, which objected to the film's representation of Cubans as drug dealers. Also, leaders in the Cuban community wanted additions to the script which would have made Tony a Castro spy and depict subsequent Anti-Castro activity against him in Miami as part of the movie's plot. After protracted negotiations over the script, the producers ultimately refused to give in to their demands, saying that the film was about cocaine and not the politics of Castro's Cuba. In order to ensure the safety of the crew and to avoid confrontations, with the exception being obvious exterior shots, the movie was filmed in and around Los Angeles.
When the film was submitted to the MPAA, it was rated X for its extreme violence and graphic language, with the chainsaw scene the primary object of concern. DePalma cut the film twice, but it still received an X-rating. After the film was rejected for the third time, DePalma, with the help from a panel of experts including real narcotics officers, told the MPAA that the violence in DePalma's film was an accurate portrayal of real-life drug dealers and that the film should be released with its violence intact to show viewers how violent the drug trade was. With a third vote of 18 to 2 in favor of an "R," the MPAA agreed. But DePalma, who felt that the differences between the two "clean" cuts he put together were insignificant, arranged to have the uncut version released to theatres with an R-rating.
The word "fuck" was used 207 times in the film.
Scarface held its premiere on December 1st, 1983 in New York City where it was initially greeted with mixed reaction. Among those in attendance were the film's two stars; Al Pacino and Steven Bauer as well as Burt and Diane Lane, Melanie Griffith, Raquel Welch, Joan Collins, her then-boyfriend Peter Holm and Eddie Murphy among others. According to AMC's "DVD TV: Much More Movie" airing: Cher loved it; Lucille Ball, who came with her family, hated it because of the graphic violence and language; Dustin Hoffman was said to have fallen asleep; writers Kurt Vonnegut and John Irving were among those who were said to have walked out in disgust after the notorious "chainsaw" scene. At the middle of the film, Martin Scorsese turned behind to Steven Bauer and told him "You guys are great - but be prepared, because they're going to hate it in Hollywood. . . because it's about them". Scarface, upon its first release, drew controversy regarding the violence and graphic language in the film, and received many negative reviews from movie critics. Despite this, the film grossed $65 million worldwideand has since gathered a large cult following. On the 2 Disc Special Edition, director Brian De Palma said that the film was well received by only one notable critic, Vincent Canby of The New York Times. However, Roger Ebert rated it four stars out of four in his 1983 review and he later added it to his "great movies" list
Taking place over the course of a decade, City of God tells the story of Cidade de Deus (Portuguese for City of God), a lower class quarter west of Rio de Janeiro. Told from the viewpoint of a boy named Rocket who grows up there as a fishmonger's son, demonstrates the desperation and violence inherent in the slums. Based on a real story, the movie depicts drug abuse, violent crime, and a boy's struggle to free himself from the slums' grasp.
The movie begins cinematically depicting chickens being prepared for a meal. A chicken escapes and as an armed gang chases after it bumps into Rocket who believes that the gang wants to kill him. The movie then flashes back ten years earlier, to tell the story of how he got himself into that position.
Three "hoodlums", "The Tender Trio", one being Rocket's brother, Goose, are terrorizing local businesses with armed holdups. In Robin Hood fashion they split part of the loot with the citizens of City of God and are protected by them. Li'l Dice is a hanger-on who convinces them to hold up a motel and rob its occupants. Li'l Dice, serving as lookout, fires a warning shot, then proceeds to slaughter the inhabitants of the motel. The massacre brings on the attention of the police forcing the three to quit their criminal ways. Each meets an untimely end, except one who decides to join the church. Goose, Rocket's brother, is slain by Li'l Dice after robbing the younger boy and his friend Benny who have been hiding out and committing crimes themselves.
Fast forward a number of years and Li'l Dice now calls himself, Li'l Zé, and along with his childhood friend Benny establish a drug empire by eliminating all of the competition except for a drug dealer named Carrot. Meanwhile, Rocket has become a part of the "Groovies" a hippie like group of youth that enjoy smoking pot. He begins his photography career shooting his friends, especially one girl that he is infatuated with, but who is dating another boy.
A relative peace has come over City of God under the reign of Li'l Zé who plans to eliminate his last rival, Carrot against the judgment of his best friend Benny, who is keeping the peace. At one point, his best friend and partner in crime Benny has decided to become a "playboy" and the "coolest guy in City of God". Eventually, along with the girl that he has wooed away from Rocket, he decides to leave the criminal life behind to live on a farm. However, he is gunned down at his going away party by former drug dealer, Blackie, who is actually aiming for Li'l Zé. Benny was the only thing keeping Li'l Ze from taking over Carrot's business, so now Carrot is in danger.
Li'l Zé humiliates a peace loving man Knockout Ned at the party and afterwards rapes his girlfriend and kills Ned's uncle and younger brother. Ned turns violent and sides with Carrot and after killing one of his men and starts a war between the two rival factions. The ensuing war creates a "Vietnam" of City of God. Jealous of Ned's notoriety in the newspapers, Li'l Zé has Rocket take photos of himself and his gang which are unbeknown to Rocket published in the daily paper. Rocket then mistakenly fears for his life believing that Li'l Zé will want to kill him for it. In actuality, he is pleased with his newfound fame.
Coming full circle, a gunfight ensues between the two gangs and Rocket is caught in the middle after being startled by Li'l Zé's request that he take a picture of the gang which had been chasing the chicken at the beginning of the film. Ned is killed by a boy who has infiltrated his gang to avenge his father who Ned killed during a bank robbery. Li'l Zé and Carrot are captured by the police. Rocket then captures on film the police shaking Li'l Zé down for money and releasing him.
The story ends with Li'l Zé being killed by a group of his own young gang members who stroll off listing people to kill and Rocket gets famous off of the photograph of Li'l Ze shot up with bullets.
Stomp the Yard is a 2007 drama film produced by Rainforest Films and released through Sony Pictures' Screen Gems division on January 12, 2007. Directed by Sylvain White, Stomp the Yard centers around DJ Williams, a college student at a fictional historically Black university who pledges to join a fictional Greek-letter fraternity. The film's central conflict involves DJ's fraternity competing in various stepping competitions against a rival fraternity from the same school. The film's script was written by Robert Adetuyi, working from an original draft by Gregory Ramon Anderson. The film was originally titled Steppin', but to avoid confusion over the 2006 film Step Up, the title was changed.
The film stars Columbus Short, Meagan Good, Darrin Henson, Brian White, Laz Alonso, and Valerie Pettiford, with Harry Lennix and, in their film debuts, R&B singers Ne-Yo and Chris Brown. Stomp the Yard was filmed in Atlanta, Georgia on the campuses of Morris Brown College, Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University, and in the MAK Historic District of Decatur, Georgia.
DJ Williams (Columbus Short) is a krump dancer in inner-city Los Angeles. He and his younger brother Duron (Chris Brown) compete in local dance competitions as members of a team known as the "Goon Squad". Primarily due to one final dynamic step from Duron, the Goon Squad win a cash-prize battle held one night at an underground krumping competition, and the losing home team responds by ambushing DJ and his teammates after the show. A fight breaks out, and the leader of the rival shoots Duron and kills him.
Arrested for assault, DJ is subsequently sent by his mother to live with his aunt Jackie (Valerie Pettiford) and uncle Nate (Harry J. Lennix) in Atlanta, Georgia, where he is to attend historically black Truth University. Nate, the physical plant director at Truth, aims to teach DJ responsibility, and puts the boy to work doing maintenance as part of a work-study program.
While waiting in the line to register for classes, DJ meets a fellow student named April Palmer (Meagan Good), whom he is immediately attracted to. After registration, he moves into his dorm room, where he meets his new roommate Rich Brown (Ne-Yo). Rich takes DJ to a stepping competition on the green between the Truth chapters of rival fraternities Theta Nu Theta and Mu Gamma Xi. The Mu Gamma Xi team, seven-time national stepping champions, easily steals the show until DJ sees April across the way and runs right through the Gammas' step line in an attempt to speak to her. A fight nearly breaks out between the freshman and the Gamma steppers, whose best stepper Grant (Darrin Henson) is April's boyfriend.
That night, Rich and his friends go out to a local club called the Phoenix and invite DJ along. DJ takes to the dance floor, hoping to impress April and upstage Grant and the Gammas, all of whom are also in attendance. Despite the animosity between DJ and Grant, the Gammas recognize DJ's skills as a dancer, and the Gamma chapter's president Zeke (Laz Alonso) invites DJ to pledge for Mu Gamma Xi. DJ turns down both Zeke's offer as well as an offer from the Theta Nu Theta chapter's leader Sylvester (Brian White).
After learning that April is a student history tutor, DJ signs himself up for tutoring so that he can spend time with her. The two slowly begin a friendship, and DJ takes April out to dinner. During their date, April discusses the importance of black fraternities and sororities with the clueless DJ, and tells him to visit Heritage Hall on the campus' Greek Row. At Heritage Hall the next day, DJ learns about the significant number of African-American historical figures and celebrities who were members of various Greek-letter organizations, and decides to pledge for the Theta chapter along with Rich and their friend Noel (Jermaine Williams). April eventually leaves Grant for DJ, angering her father, Dr. Palmer (Allan Louis), the school's dean and a Gamma brother himself.
After "crossing over" to become official Theta members, DJ, Rich, and Noel join the Thetas' step team. Dismissing their traditional step moves as old-fashioned, DJ teaches his frat brothers a few of his old krumping moves. DJ does not notice that, while he is practicing a few of his brother's old dance moves, one of the Gammas is secretly videotaping him so that their team can learn DJ's steps.
Sly disapproves of DJ's attempts to modernize the Thetas' steps, and challenges DJ to a battle at the Phoenix between his line brothers and DJ's; the new moves against the old. DJ's line brothers lose the competition due to DJ's show-boating, although Sly agrees to let DJ teach the team some new moves as a compromise.
A few of the Gammas' run a background check on DJ, and learn about his criminal past. This information is forwarded to Dr. Palmer, who has the school's Ethics Committee suspend DJ for the remainder of the year, preventing him from stepping at the nationals. Dr. Palmer later offers to reinstate DJ, with the provision that he stop seeing April, an offer DJ refuses. When April learns from her father why DJ has been suspended, she confronts DJ and learns first-hand the story behind his arrest. DJ's aunt Jackie, an old girlfriend of Dr. Palmer's, intervenes and confronts the dean herself.
The final round of the nationals stepping competition ends in a tie between the Thetas and the Gammas, and each team is required to choose a dancer for a head-to-head competition. The Gammas have secretly recorded DJ's practices, and choose Grant, who has learned all of DJ's steps, as their dancer. However, DJ, reinstated thanks to his aunt's help, shows up in time to be chosen as the Thetas' dancer. Going first, Grant does DJ's exact routine from the tape. After Grant finishes, DJ matches Grant move for move, tossing in something the Gammas didn't get on tape: the move Duron performed to win his last competition with the Goon Squad.
The Theta Nu Theta team is declared the winners of the competition, and DJ is mobbed by his frat brothers as April runs out to kiss him. The scene is captured in a still black and white photo, which is added to the wall at Heritage Hall.
Take the Lead is a movie starring Antonio Banderas, Rob Brown, Alfre Woodard, Dante Basco, Marcus T. Paulk, Jenna Dewan, Lauren Collins and also features America's Next Top Model's third-season runner-up, Yaya DaCosta. The film was released in mainstream cinema on April 7, 2006. It was filmed in Toronto, and at a number of local schools, including UTS.
Rock, the film's underdog protagonist, arrives at a school dance with a water-damaged ticket and is denied entrance by Mr. Temple (John Ortiz) and Principal James (Alfre Woodard). Rock leaves and encounters some thugs, who lead him to vandalize Principal James's car. Pierre Dulaine (Antonio Banderas), a classical dance instructor, catches Rock in the act, but Rock runs away before Pierre can question him further.
The next morning at the school, Pierre waits to see the principal as Mr. Temple discusses the detention program with Principal James. Pierre explains to the principal that he was a witness to the vandalism on her car, and eventually offers to take over Mr. Temple's detention shift, to which Principal James agrees, although she is sure that he will not last more than a day.
Pierre is led to the basement where the students who have earned detention for the remainder of the year, including Rock, are kept. His first class is disastrous due to the uncooperative personalities of the students, all of whom scoff at his efforts to teach them classical dance.
The next morning Pierre returns, much to the surprise of Principal James who later explains that Rock’s brother was involved with a gang war, and one of the casualties was a brother of LaRhette, who had refused to dance with Rock the day before. Later in detention, Rock has forged a doctor’s note excusing him from dancing.
At Pierre's dance studio, Caitlin is a student who is under pressure to learn to dance because her cotillion is fast approaching. Pierre invites Morgan, a highly trained but haughty student, to his detention session for a demonstration of the tango, which inspires the detention students to be more willing to learn. Caitlin decides to join the detention students for dance class and practices with Monster, another student struggling to learn.
Rock, who still refuses to dance, makes it clear to Pierre that he attends detention not to dance, but to be able to graduate. Later he is fired from his job for being late. He goes home and confronts his parents, who have been unable to provide him food since Rock's brother's death. His ailing father kicks him out of the house and he finds a new albeit dangerous job with some street thugs.
LaRhette, whose mother is a prostitute, cares for her younger siblings while her mother works. One night, LaRhette runs out of the apartment and to the school after one of her mother's clients attempts to rape her. She practices her dancing in the basement, and runs into Rock. They fight and are caught by security. Principle James wants to suspend LaRhette and Rock, but instead agrees to give them extra detention hours with Pierre at 7 AM each day. Pierre tells the class about a dance competition which he wishes them to enter, and this is further inspiration for the detention students to learn.
The detention basement is flooded, so Pierre takes the detention students to his dance studio to practice. They are confronted by Morgan and some of Pierre's other students. The detention students are further disenchanted by the skills of Pierre's students as well as the $200 entrance fee for the contest. However, Pierre manages to provide funds for the detention students to enter.
Caitlin is unable to enter in the competition, as her cotillion is the same night, to Monster's disappointment. The two still practice together. LaRhette and Rock will compete in waltz, and Ramos and Danjou learn to share Sasha during practice.
Mr. Temple complains about the supposed waste of resources on the dance program. He brings Pierre to a meeting with the parents' association, but Pierre convinces them to keep the dance program going.
On the night of the contest, Rock has to work. He is told that he must shoot anyone who approaches the theft operation. He shoots the sprinkler system instead, setting off the alarm and causing the thugs to run away.
At the cotillion, Caitlin makes her grand entrance down the staircase and dances with Monster, surprising her mother. After they dance they make their way to the dance competition.
LaRhette is disappointed that Rock has not arrived at the competition, where a $5000 prize is at stake. Sasha, Danjou, and Ramos perform an impressive three-person tango but are disqualified for it. Surprisingly, Morgan calls it a tie and gives Sasha her trophy.
Principal James, thrilled with the success of the program, insists on making the program permanent and expanding it to more schools. Rock arrives at the last minute to dance the waltz with LaRhette, whom he kisses at the end of the waltz.
Pimp My Ride is a TV show produced by MTV. Each episode consists of taking one car in poor condition and restoring it, as well as customizing it. The original American version is hosted by rapper Xzibit. Recently, MTV2 has begun airing episodes from Pimp My Ride UK hosted by DJ Tim Westwood, which features cars being customised in the UK, and Pimp My Ride International, featuring cars in central Europe, hosted by hip hop artists Fat Joe and Lil' Jon as well as the related CMT series Trick My Truck. This year, Pimp My Ride will be produced in Brazil.
The show picks young car owners (requirements limit participants to ages 18–28, according to the recent audition rules on the GAS website — see below) living in Los Angeles or elsewhere in Southern California. An episode of Pimp My Ride generally begins with the participant showing his or her car off, and convincing MTV why it needs to be "pimped". After this segment, the host (normally rapper Xzibit, but there are occasionally guest hosts such as Chamillionaire) shows up at the participant's house, takes a look at the car himself, makes wisecracks about the particular things that are wrong with it, and promises the owner a complete makeover of the vehicle.
After examining the car, Xzibit takes it to a custom body shop (West Coast Customs (WCC) in Seasons 1–4; replaced by Galpin Auto Sports (GAS) starting Season 5), where the shop team generally replaces most of the components and rebuilds the interior and exterior from scratch.
Each car is a custom "pimp", tailored to the personalities and interests of the owners. For example, a Need for Speed: Underground fan had his car painted to look like one specially customized in the Need for Speed: Underground 2 game, while a bowler had a ball washer installed in his trunk, and a surfer got a clothes dryer in the back of his Volkswagen van. Work usually includes new paint, accessories, chrome, tires and rims, and internal electronics (DVD players, video games, large TFT screens, and other cutting-edge accessories). Most changes are only cosmetic, and mechanical work is generally only done to enable the car to run; the show has replaced entire engines with new engines. Both WCC and GAS are well-known for putting their own whimsical touches in their work, such as the aforementioned dryer, or an electric fireplace in the trunk of another vehicle.
At the end of the show, the car is revealed to its owner, as well as all the details of the renovation and the custom features; in addition, the participant is usually given a gift somehow related to the car or the owner's hobby.
In 2007, co-creators Beresford-Redman and Hurvitz joined IMG World , an international sports and entertainment marketing company based in New York City, to "develop and produce non-scripted television shows, branded programming and other multi-platform entertainment content." They will report to Olivier Gers "IMG's newly appointed Senior Vice President, Global Head New Media and Co-Head IMG Entertainment and London-based Alastair Waddington, Executive Vice President—IMG Media and Co-Head IMG Entertainment."
Much of the appeal of the show comes from the personalities involved. The WCC employees are an eclectic mix of outgoing personalities, such as:
Owner Ryan (who was preceded by the good-natured manager Q)
The appropriately named Big Dane
Electronics (and outrageous engineering) expert Mad Mike
Tough-looking interior and fabric maven Ish
The heavily pierced tire-specialist Alex
Paint and body expert Buck (Earlier episodes feature paint and body work by Aren Fanning)
Both host Xzibit and West Coast Customs have experienced boosts in business due to the show: Xzibit has gained wider attention for his music career (as well as hosting and movie gigs), and WCC had to expand their facilities, due to the international exposure Pimp My Ride gave their work. After the third season however, WCC manager "Q" announced that he would not be willing to take a role in the show anymore. It is also shown that Paint & Body's Buck was replaced by another person named 2Shae. Q cited a desire to expand the company's business with a customs shop in St. Louis, Missouri. Ryan Friedlinghaus, the owner of WCC, was featured in Season 4 as the "lead" for discussions on what customizing will be done on the incoming cars.
Some of the show's pimped rides have found their way onto eBay, including, but not limited to, Ezra's Nissan Maxima Station Wagon,Krissy's Volkswagen Baja Bug,Jake's Buick Century,and Cristi's Chevrolet Panel Van .
During most of the television seasons, mostly Season 2, there have been many mistakes added in the television show. Instances where they are easily noticed even to the naked eye. People walking backwards in Chevy Blazer, the Ford Escort/BMW conversion having the skinned hood already done on the headlights and then discussed moments later, Mitsubishi Mirage having XZIBIT's jacket TIBIZX, and many other bloopers.
Beginning with the fifth season, the show moved to another garage, Galpin Auto Sports (GAS), as Ryan, the WCC Owner, moved his shop to Corona, California and has signed a deal with another television production company. However, the show retains Mad Mike (who apparently is a free agent who freelances with other customizers), now dubbed a "car customization specialist". The new cast includes the employees of GAS:
"Owner" Beau Boeckmann (In reality, Vice President of Galpin Auto; the owner of Galpin Auto is his father, Bert Boeckmann)
Electronics Expert And "The Wizard of Wiring" Mad Mike,
The Wheels & Tires Specialist Gyasi,
Paint & Body Luis,
Accessories specialist Diggity Dave,
On only three occasions — all season finales — did the show not "pimp" the original automobile. In the first instance,the car to be pimped was actually two halves of Ford Escorts welded together to make one car, a "cut and shut" job, and was considered unsafe. In the second instancethe participant was studying to be an auto mechanic, and WCC decided to let him "pimp" his car as a study project. In the most recent such incident,Xzibit felt the owner's car, a Nissan Pulsar, was not worth fixing, as heat from the car's engine was leaking into the cab. In all these instances, the vehicles of the participants were replaced with brand new cars, with extensive modifications made to customize each new car for the owner.
Pimp My Ride is one of MTV's most popular shows in nearly all of its worldwide subsidiaries (numbering nearly 100), and also in the U.S., where it is second place to The Real World (which is generally much less known outside of the United States). Country Music Television, also owned by MTV parent Viacom, has a show called Trick My Truck that operates on the same principle, but only customizes semi-trailer trucks.
Canada's music network, MuchMusic, also aired the show until MTV Networks signed a deal with CTV, which resulted in MuchMusic losing their rights to MTV programs. MuchMusic's sister station in Quebec, MusiquePlus, airs the show subtitled in French under the title Pimp mon char ("char" is Quebec French slang for "car").
A UK version of the show launched on 26 June 2005, presented by the DJ Tim Westwood. Carisma Automotive are the customisers for the UK version. The employees in Charisma Automotive are:
A legendary boss Jamie Shaw
Old man bald head paint expert Ronnie
Bodywork king Martin
Designer chick Pinky
Accessories brawn Richie
Audio and Multimedia punk Bluey
Wheels and tires prince Junior (Actually, Junior's first name is Stuart)
The German-language MTV Central Europe has three adaptations of the show called Pimp My Fahrrad (English: "Pimp My Bicycle") and Pimp My Whatever. On Pimp My Fahrrad , the bike shop Elbcoast Psycles redoes almost the entire bicycle, usually leaving only the frame intact. While the show could be seen as a parody of the American original, it is also a loving tribute, using all the elements of the American show with a bicycle twist (Germany's safety guidelines are among the strictest in the world, and getting a road permit for thoroughly customized vehicles borders on the impossible. Similar rules apply in most of continental Europe). It is hosted by German actor Oliver Korittke. In Pimp My Whatever ElbCoast Psychos return once more to pimp anything from a bathroom and a doghouse to a Birthday party or even someone's brother. Pimp My Whatever is hosted by MTV presenter Patrice Bouédibéla. Both shows are located in Hamburg.
The original United States Pimp My Ride is shown in English language with German subtitles.
MTV Italy also features a different version of Pimp My Ride, called Pimp My Wheels. Hosted by the Italian hip hop group Gemelli DiVersi, Pimp My Wheels turns old rusty motorscooters or motorcycles into brand-new shiny vehicles.
Pimp My Ride is currently broadcasting in almost all European countries with Pimp My Ride International, a European version of the show where cars are pimped from all over Europe in the Netherlands at All Stoff. The show is hosted by Lil' Jon and Fat Joe.
Pimp My Ride broadcasts on weekdays in the Middle East in the channel MBC Action
ِAn Arabic version has started broadcasting on MBC 1 called Dale' Sayaratak (Arabic: دلع سيارتك "Spoil Your Car").
A Maori language version airs in New Zealand.
MTV Brazil have started the Brazilian Pimp My Ride version, presented by the rock singer Jimmy London, from the group Matanza.
While Morris Brown is a real and prestigious college in Atlanta, there is no real Atlanta A&T. The filming was done at Clark University in Atlanta and at Morris Brown. The performers (aside from those from Morris Brown) were recruited from high school and university bands all over the Atlanta and Metro Atlanta area. High school band director Don Roberts was recruited to turn the performers into real, convincing bands.
One of the bands performing at the "BET southern classic" is Clark Atlanta University, whose campus is used as the setting for Atlanta A&T University in the movie.
One of the bands performing in the "BET Southern Classic" was Grambling State University's Tiger Marching Band in Grambling, Louisiana, home of the legendary Coach Eddie Robinson.
The fraternity featured throughout the film is Kappa Kappa Psi, the national honorary band fraternity. The actual Kappa Kappa Psi flag, colors, and symbols, and customary shouts and chants are used in the film. Symbols and letters for their sister organization, Tau Beta Sigma, the national honorary band sorority, can also be seen throughout the film.
You Got Served is a 2004 film written and directed by Chris Stokes, manager of its stars, recording artist Marques Houston and the members of boy band B2K. The plot concerns a group of friends, participating in a breakdancing crew, who take part in a street dancing competition. It was released by Columbia Pictures' Screen Gems division on January 30, 2004, during the Super Bowl XXXVIII weekend and was produced by Billy Pollina. It was the most-seen movie during the Super Bowl weekend with $16 million USD grossed in its first week, a record until late 2005; the movie went on to gross over $40 Million USD, but has ultimately been featured on numerous "worst movies" lists, including the IMDB's "Bottom 100" list since its release. It was filmed in Los Angeles, California from May 1 - June 25, 2003. Despite poor reviews, the film's choreographers, Dave Scott, Shane Sparks, and Robert James Hoffman III earned a prestigious American Choreography Award in 2004 for "Outstanding Achievement in Choreography - Feature Film",and the film was also nominated for Best Dance Sequence at the 2004 MTV Movie Awards. According to Sparks, a sequel, Backdown, is scheduled to start shooting in July 2007.
There has been some attempt to break the titular expression into the mainstream. The expression "you got served" has been used to describe someone or something that has either lost badly or been humiliated (or possibly both). Also, "to be served" is legalese for facing litigation, i.e. being officially warned that the process is pending against you (see Service of process); or, a reference to serving food, or one's head on a platter. The key concept is that to be "served" is against one's will - to be given something that is undesirable.
David (Omarion) and Elgin (Marques Houston) lead a promising hip-hop/streetdancing/breakdancing crew in Southern California, who participate in street dancing battles produced by a local club owner (Steve Harvey). All is well, until Sonny, a member of the crew, expresses dissatisfaction over the subordinate role the other members of the crew play.
When David and Elgin are challenged by "some rich kids out of Orange County" for five thousand dollars, they think it's easy money. They deal drugs for Emerald (a local drug lord) to cover their half, never dreaming they would lose the battle.
When Sonny (Young Rome) sells them out by going to the other side ("Wade's crew"), he teaches his new companions moves from the David and Elgin group, and in the battle they are badly defeated. Wade, crowing over his success, delivers the titular line, "You're just mad... 'cause tonight you suckas got served!"
Meanwhile, David and Liyah (Jennifer Freeman), Elgin's sister, are falling in love. At a restaurant, Liyah turns off David's cell phone immediately before Elgin attempts to call him to say that Emerald has given them a job earlier than expected. David fails to show up for the job, and Elgin is beaten and robbed.
Consequently, Elgin gets very angry at David for attempting to "hook up with his sister when he should have been taking care of business," and is also annoyed at his sister for "acting like a ho". Elgin is also worried, since he owes Emerald money to cover for the loss of his goods.
Each split up and form their own crew, but neither is as good as the original. They learn about the "Big Bounce," a $50,000 dance competition purportedly sponsored by MTV which will provide the winning crew the opportunity to perform in a Lil' Kim video. Elgin sees this as a good way to pay back Emerald.
Attempts to bring Elgin and David together, particularly by Liyah, are fruitless, and twice they nearly come to blows and have to be separated. One of the younger members of the crew dies prior to the competition; while all are saddened it is not enough to bring the warring enemies back together yet.
At the "Big Bounce" competition, Elgin's crew beats David's crew in semifinals, and then ties the finals against Wade's crew. Lil' Kim, guest referee, on advice from Harvey's character, declares a playoff competition, "straight hood," with no rules, even allowing other people to join the battling crews.
This proves the catalyst for Elgin's feud with David to end (though only after prodding by crew members and threats of forfeiting the competition to Wade), and together they defeat Wade's crew in a mesmerizing final battle using advanced powermoves of professional breakdancers like air flares, flares, split mills, and runners. They shout the "You Got Served" line in retaliation to Wade after he claims the battle settled nothing. The partisan crowd, elated, begins chanting "Served! Served! Served! Served!" getting louder and faster. Elgin accepts David's relationship with Liyah at picture's end.
Earl Simmons (born on December 18, 1970), better known by his stage name DMX, is an American rapper and actor who rose to popularity in the late-1990s.
Earl Simmons was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the second of three children. He grew up in the housing projects on School Street, in Yonkers, New York. He began rapping around the age of 13,. A local rapper eventually asked Simmons to beatbox for him. Simmons took the professional name DMX, after the Oberheim DMX, an early drum machine. He later adapted the name to mean "Dark Man X".He honed his skills during a stint at a group home. As a teenager, Simmons was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.He spent much of his adolescence and early adulthood in and out of jail.
In the beginning, Earl Simmons (DMX) had already established a reputation on the underground scene long before any record label signed him. He battled rappers from town to town and had his own group called Gangsters of the Ghetto (G.O.G) with his best friend DJ Superior and Big Jinx the third member of the team. They did a lot of live shows in the legendary school'12 and around Yonkers. This Crew created tons of mix CDs in the early 90's. Later Simmons was first signed to Columbia Records in 1992. He released one single, "Born Loser", which did not get much airplay. He was soon dropped from the label. He linked up with Pete McCormick Schaub, an A&R for Small Island Records. Eventually, he signed a management deal with Ruff Ryders. They negotiated deals with both Bad Boy and Death Row Records, but he eventually landed at Def Jam.
In 1997, Simmons earned a second major-label shot with Def Jam, and made a successful guest appearance on LL Cool J's "4, 3, 2, 1." Additional guest spots on Ma$e's "24 Hours to Live" and The LOX's "Money, Power & Respect" created an even stronger buzz. In early 1998, he released his debut Def Jam single, "Get At Me Dog". The song went gold.
It's Dark and Hell Is Hot earned Simmons numerous comparisons to Tupac Shakur for his presence on the mic, which is quite ironic because the original version of "Get At Me Dog," which eventually leaked to the internet, featured a direct diss to K-Solo. The album sold over four million copies
Simmons completed his second album before the end of 1998, and a pending buyout of Def Jam pushed the record into stores on December 15. Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood entered the charts at number one (670,000 sold in its first week) and eventually went triple platinum according to RIAA. This album made DMX the first artist to debut two albums at number 1 in a single calendar year. The single "Slippin'" became his first chart hit in the UK.
Simmons hit the road with Jay-Z, Method Man and Redman and Shaggy, on the blockbuster Hard Knock Life tour the following year. He had a song called "Jack Moves" with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, but the song never appeared on the album.
Simmons released his third album, ...And Then There Was X, on December 21, 1999. It debuted at number one on the pop charts, his third straight album to do so. "Party Up" was his biggest single since "Get at Me Dog", and became his first Top Ten hit on the R&B charts. His lead single off the album, "What's My Name?", and third single "What These Bitches Want" (featuring Sisqo) were also popular. .....And Then There Was X is Simmons' best-selling album to date, going six times platinum. Def Jam urged him to release the tracks within a month. The album sold 698,000 copies in its first week.
After resolving his legal problems, Simmons returned to the studio and completed his fourth album, The Great Depression. Released October 3, 2001, it was his fourth straight album to debut at number one. The Great Depression went platinum quickly, but was not as commercially or critically successful as its predecessors.
In 2003, Simmons released Grand Champ, his fifth straight album to debut at number one. This extended DMX's position as the only artist in history to have 5 albums (and his entire album catalog) debut at #1. After its release, he informed the public that he planned to retire, and that Grand Champ would be his final album. He later ended his brief retirement and announced his plans to record another album.
Simmons recorded his next album while switching record labels, causing numerous delays. The album was finally released on August 1, 2006 under the title Year of the Dog...Again. It missed the number one spot in the charts by only a few thousand sales. When Simmons switched to Sony, Def Jam allowed him to keep all of the tracks he had created for the album. It was reported that most of the tracks were being reworked, with updated production, but the reworked album has also been leaked. Simmons has appeared on a remix of Busta Rhymes' "Touch It". He has also released two more singles, "Lord Give Me A Sign" and "We In Here", which are included in Year of the Dog...Again.
The Definition of X: The Pick of the Litter was rumored to be the 7th solo album by DMX but instead it is a greatest hits album signed under Def Jam records. Def Jam still owns the rights to every DMX song with the exception of the songs on his Year Of The Dog... Again album.
Still after a few months of a no show, DMX still has no media updates on the internet nor does he have any news listed about his next albums (Definition of X) and (The Resurrection Of Hip-Hop). The Definition of X was released on June 12, 2007.
DMX has confirmed he has begun working on his upcoming seventh studio album. Possible guests include Eminem, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Eve, Mary J. Blige, The Game,Jahad,Nas and Swizz Beatz with production coming from Swizz Beatz, Scott Storch, J. R. Rotem and The Alchemist. He is also currently working with DJ/Producer DJ GQ on his upcoming album DJ GQ "Let Em Know".Simmons made his film debut in Belly, co-starring fellow rappers Method Man and Nas. He returned to the big screen with a minor supporting role with close friend Aaliyah and actor Jet Li in Romeo Must Die. Soon after DMX's release from jail, he starred in the Steven Seagal action film Exit Wounds, which opened at number one at the box office. He contributed the hit single "No Sunshine" (based on a rework of the Bill Withers classic) to the soundtrack. He signed a multi-picture deal with Warner Bros. in the wake of the film's success. He worked with Jet Li again in Cradle 2 the Grave, which opened at number one upon its release in March 2003. He contributed several compositions to the soundtrack, which debuted in the Top Ten with hits such as "X Gon' Give It to Ya" and "Right/Wrong."
He also starred in Never Die Alone, which was based on street novelist Donald Goines' book. He is also set to star in three upcoming films. He was set to star in Marble City, but was replaced by Ving Rhames. He has finished filming another action thriller called Last Hour which should see a release at the end of 2007. He also had a reality show on BET called DMX: Soul of a Man. He will also star in the 2007 Beast, the sequel to Belly. He is also currently shooting an upcoming film with Kris Kristofferson titled Jump Out Boys, the release date has yet to be set. He is also set to star along side Clifton Powell & Vivica A. Fox in a film titled "Father of Lies".
In 1999, during a blockbuster 'Hard Knock Life' tour stop in Denver, a warrant for his arrest was issued in connection with a stabbing and shooting of a man that attended one of the concerts, of which Simmons was later cleared; another incident occurred in May, when he was accused of assaulting a Yonkers man who had allegedly harassed his wife and stabbed her in the neck (the charges were once again dropped). More serious charges were brought that summer when Earl's uncle/manager was accidentally shot in the neck at a New Jersey hotel. Police later raided Earl's home and filed animal cruelty, weapons, and drug possession charges against the rapper and his wife; he eventually plea-bargained down to fines, probation, and community service.
In March 2000, he was arrested for aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle, speeding, failure to signal, driving without a license, failure to notify the DMV of an address change, and possession of marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, and Percocet while driving on New York State Route 33 in Cheektowaga, New York, following a concert in Buffalo, New York. He was then scheduled to appear in Cheektowaga Town Court on March 21, but failed to appear, resulting in a warrant being issued for his arrest. He later turned himself in, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of driving without a license and was sentenced to 15 days in jail and fined $400. He was also charged with marijuana possession, after turning himself in, when authorities found marijuana in a pack of his cigarettes; he was fined an additional $250.
In 2002, he pled guilty to animal cruelty for having 13 neglected pit bulls in his possession. 
In June 2003, he was arrested for using indecent language during a performance at St Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean. The country's Information Minister alleged that a contract signed before the concert stipulated the show would be with out indecent language on stage. Earl was released on bail. ($376)
In June 2004, he was arrested at JFK airport on charges of cocaine possession, criminal impersonation, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal mischief, menacing, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol while attempting to carjack a vehicle claiming to be a federal agent. 
In April 2005, Simmons was arrested in The Bronx for driving with a suspended license after his car crashed into a police cruiser.
In May 2006, Simmons was arrested at a London airport for causing a disturbance after he refused to put on a seat belt and became abusive on a flight from New York to London. He was released with a caution.
On February 2, 2007 he was arrested for driving on an expired license charge, and scheduled an appearance in a Yonkers courtroom on March 6, 2007 on that and other minor infractions.
On 23 July 2007 Simmons was stopped by police after trying to get away on an illegal motorbike without a license. Officers gave him a Section 15 warning and was scheduled to appear in court on August 1, 2007 for further questioning. 
On 31 July 2007 Simmons was stopped by police for driving an illegal motorbike and he has been reported for driving without a license and without insurance. A court date has not been set as of August 1, 2007.
On 24 Aug 2007 Acting upon an animal cruelty tip, Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies reported to having removed 12 emaciated pit bulls from Simmon's Cave Creek home. None of these dogs had access to food or water. Deputies also found the bodies of 13 dead dogs. Simmons was not at home when the raid occurred. Sources reported the deputies also removed a large cache of weapons in addition to drug paraphernalia and a large quantity of suspected drugs. At this time, DMX has not been charged with animal cruelty.
As a response to his criminal history, comedian Carlos Mencia made a sketch called Bow Down in the tv show Mind of Mencia in which he does a parody of jailed rappers DMX, Snoop Dogg, Mystikal, and Lil Kim.
Jin Au-Yeung (traditional Chinese: 歐陽靖; Pinyin: Ōuyáng Jìng; Cantonese Yale: Au Yeung Jing) also known as Jin, Jin tha MC, The Emcee, and 100 Grand Jin is an Chinese American rapper born on June 4, 1982. He is the first Asian American rapper to be signed to a major record label.
Jin was born in Miami, Florida and was raised in Miami by his Chinese immigrant parents who ran their own restaurant. In junior high, he became fascinated with hip-hop music and dreamed of becoming a professional rapper. He was inspired by artists such as Nas, Wu-Tang Clan, The Notorious B.I.G., LL Cool J, Jay-Z, Big L and other New York rappers from the early 1990s, an era now referred to as The Golden Age. When first taking up rapping, he struggled with the form of music but with much practice he realized he had talent for freestyle rap. He soon began performing for his classmates, co-workers and whoever would listen. Jin began entering freestyle battles in local hip-hop clubs where he was usually the only Asian around. He was often underestimated due to his ethnicity. Jin's talent won crowds over, and he went on to win many battles. He quickly developed a reputation as Miami's most clever freestyler. But in the hip-hop world, Miami is better known for bass music than clever lyrics. He knew this would be another obstacle to overcome in order to gain acceptance.
In 2001, he decided to move his family to Flushing, Queens, New York City. He began performing freestyles and selling his own mix tapes on the streets, in hip-hop clubs and wherever else possible. He quickly gained a huge following, just as he had done in Miami. His big break came when the BET program 106 & Park began inviting local rappers to hold battles in a segment known as "Freestyle Friday." Ready for the national exposure, he auditioned and again was underestimated due to his ethnic background. Although he lost to Diabolic, he kept his head and proved everyone wrong by winning the battles week after week. His first battle was against Hasan, who had six straight victories and was one victory away from being inducted into the hall of fame. Jin began the competition by delivering strong rhymes during his round. Hasan countered during his thirty second round with rhymes; however, with ten seconds left in the battle, Hasan lost his focus and was unable to deliver any more lyrics and stopped his performance. Jin was then declared the new champion. After winning for seven weeks straight, Jin was inducted into the show's Hall of Fame. The MCs he battled against during that period were:
That same night of his Hall of Fame induction, he announced that he had signed a deal with the Ruff Ryders. His first single under Ruff Ryders was titled "Learn Chinese". It took a sample from the 1992 song "They Want EFX", from rappers Das EFX. The second and final single for the album was originally supposed to be "I Got a Love" featuring Kanye West, but was later changed to "Senorita" because Roc-A-Fella Records didn't want to over-expose Kanye West. The album was originally scheduled to be released in the summer of 2003, but was delayed for over a year by the label. In October 2004, Jin released his debut album, The Rest Is History, which reached number 54 of the Billboard Top 200 albums chart. It sold 26,000 copies in the first week. To date, the album has sold more than 200,000 units, and both of his singles, "Learn Chinese" and "Senorita", failed to be major mainstream successes. Nonetheless, Jin's music video "Learn Chinese" was the first video ever to be played on MTV Chi.
In 2003, Jin made an appearance in the movie 2 Fast 2 Furious as a mechanic named 'Jimmy'. His song "Peel Off" was featured on the 2 Fast 2 Furious soundtrack. Jin was also featured on the American-born Taiwanese pop artist Lee-Hom Wang's 2005 album Heroes of Earth. He also collaborated with UK Bhangra artist, Juggy D, in the song "Kohl Aaja (Come Closer)", when he was in London to do some promo for The Rest Is History.
Jin held the Fight Klub battle championship until he lost the title and a $10,000 purse to challenger Serius Jones. Although often thought to have been a racially-driven battle and mass speculation of using prewritten lines by Serius, Jin lost the title. Two weeks later, Jin defeated all contestants in the Fight Klub Championship held in the Bahamas for $50,000 (Serius Jones also entered the contest, but was defeated in the 1st Round by U.K rapper Professor Green). Jin challenged Serius that same night to a rematch after the tournament was over for $10,000, but Serius was disappointed with his loss and "lack of crowd" and therefore, did not participate in the battle.
On January 17, 2005, a New York-based radio station, Hot 97, caused controversy when they released a song, "USA for Indonesia," making a joke out of the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake, which was notably offensive, especially to Asian Americans. The incident was followed by an argument between shock jock Miss Jones and co-host Todd Lynn, and Asian American co-host Miss Info, who was attempting to avoid the joke. Jin immediately wrote a song in protest, to Miss Jones, titled "Fuck the Tsunami Song."
Due to the long delay on the album, sales and where the contract was going to lead him, he decided with his manager to leave. When he left the Virgin label, he also left the Ruff Ryder label. Ruff Ryders is still active to date and Jin is in good terms with them.
On May 18, 2005, Jin revealed that he would be putting his rap career on hold in order to explore other options. To make this clear, he recorded a song titled "I Quit." The announcement was widely misunderstood to have marked the end of Jin's rap career. However, he later re-emerged under a different alias, The Emcee, and freestyled over such songs as Jay-Z's "Dear Summer." He released a single called "Top 5 (Dead or Alive)" where Jin displays his lyrical talent in explaining the history of hip-hop's greatest artists. The legendary DJ Kool Herc, who is credited as the founder of hip-hop, appears in Jin's music video. After signing with an independent label, CraftyPlugz/Draft Records, Jin released his second album, The Emcee's Properganda on October 25, 2005. Though it failed to reach the Billboard 200 charts, the album sold 7,000 copies in its first week, though it had better reviews than his debut album The Rest Is History.
The rapper was featured in the NBA Ballers: Phenom video game, where players are given the chance to battle him in a freestyle contest.
Jin had returned to battle rapping, being featured on a few Smack DVD battles. Some of his most notable battles since his return were against Shellz, Verse, Serious Jones, Professor Green and Iron Solomon. He has also performed stand-up comedy.
Jin released two albums in 2006. The first one, 100 Grand Jin is a mixtape/album that was released on August 29, 2006. The single released off the album is "FYI", for which the rapper shot and released a music video. The second album released in 2006 is Jin's third LP, I Promise. Instead of releasing the album in stores, Jin released it on November 1, 2006 through his MySpace, with the first batch being autographed by himself. It was then sold on CDBaby.com with limited copies being pressed and not autographed for people who were unable to purchase it before. The first single for this album is titled "36-24-36 ( Apple Bottom Jeans )", a song in which Jin gives praise to Asian girls. Jin shot a music video for the song in December, but it has yet to be released.
Jin was a guest judge on BET's Freestyle Friday on December 15, 2006. Jin has stated that he doesn't like Rosie O'Donnell because of her "ching chong" incident. He has also recorded a song that insults Rosie titled "You're Fired." The song features voice clips of Donald Trump and uses the beat from famous Nas diss song "Ether". The song can be found on Jin's Xanga page and the website for his ABC Jin album.
During the end of 2006, Jin worked on another album called ABC. The album was recorded almost in entirely in Cantonese. Jin officially launched his ABC Jin website on January 10, 2007. Jin premiered his music video for the first single, "ABC" on MTV Chi on January 26, 2007. The album was produced entirely by the Far*East Movement and features guest appearances from Hong Kong actor Daniel Wu and Ken Oak Band.
Recently, on Jin's MySpace, Jin mentioned that he is working on another English album. Jin premiered a song called "Open Letter to Obama" on April 24, 2007, which made him become 1st on Barack Obama's Top 8 list on MySpace.
On April 16, 2007, Jin made a tribute song to the victims of the Virginia Tech massacre called "Rain, Rain Go Away".
Jin posted October 5, 2007 his most recent song World Premier (Produced by DJ Premier), which can be found on his myspace page. (Jinspace.com)
Recently Jin has decided to make his November 1, 2006 Internet album, I Promise, available in retail stores. It will be out on October 23, 2007
Kobe Bean Bryant (born August 23, 1978(1978-08-23)) is an American All-Star shooting guard in the National Basketball Association (NBA) who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant is the only son of former Philadelphia 76ers player and former Los Angeles Sparks head coach Joe "Jellybean" Bryant.
Bryant rose to national prominence in 1996 when he became the first guard in league history to be drafted out of high school. Bryant and then-teammate Shaquille O'Neal led the Lakers to three consecutive NBA championships from 2000 to 2002. Since O'Neal's departure following the 2004 season, Bryant has become the cornerstone of the Lakers' franchise, and was the NBA leading scorer during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons.
In 2003, Bryant made headlines when he was accused of sexual assault. The charges were dropped after Bryant's accuser declined to testify, and the two sides ultimately settled the matter outside of criminal court.
Kobe Bryant was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the youngest child and only son of Joe and Pam Bryant (they also have two daughters, Shaya and Sharia). His parents named him after the famous beef of Kobe, Japan, which they saw on a restaurant menu.
When Bryant was six, his father left the NBA, moved his family to Italy, and started playing professional basketball there. Bryant acclimated to the lifestyle there and became fluent in Italian. At an early age, he learned to play soccer and at first his favorite team was AC Milan. He has said that if he had stayed in Italy, he would have tried to become a professional soccer player, and that his favorite team is FC Barcelona. Bryant is a big fan of FC Barcelona manager Frank Rijkaard and Barça star Ronaldinho.
Kobe Bryant briefly attended the International School of Basel, in Switzerland.
In 1991, the Bryants moved back to the United States. Kobe earned national recognition during a spectacular high school career at Lower Merion High School in the Philadelphia suburb of Lower Merion. His SAT score of 1080 would have ensured his basketball scholarship to various top-tier colleges. Bryant has stated that had he decided to go to college after high school, he would have attended Duke University. Ultimately, however, the 17-year-old Bryant made the decision to go directly into the NBA.
Before he was chosen as the 13th overall draft pick by the Charlotte Hornets in 1996, the 17-year-old Bryant had made a lasting impression on then-Lakers general manager Jerry West, who immediately foresaw potential in Bryant's basketball ability during pre-draft workouts. He went on to state that Bryant's workouts were some of the best he had seen. Immediately after the draft, Bryant expressed that he did not wish to play for the Hornets and wanted to play for the Lakers instead. Fifteen days later, West traded his starting center, Vlade Divac to the Hornets for the young Kobe Bryant.
First two seasons
During his first season, Bryant mostly came off the bench behind guards Eddie Jones and Nick Van Exel. Initially, he played limited minutes, but as the season continued, he began to see some more playing time. He earned himself a reputation as a high-flyer and a fan-favorite by winning the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest.
In Bryant's second season (1997-98), he received more playing time and began showing more of his abilities as a talented young guard. He was the runner-up for the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year Award, and through fan voting, he also became the youngest NBA All-Star starter. While his statistics were impressive for his age, he was still a young guard who lacked the experience to complement Shaquille O'Neal and significantly help the team contend for a championship. The 1998-99 season marked Bryant's emergence as starting guards Nick Van Exel and Eddie Jones were traded at Shaq's request. The result was no better as the Lakers were swept by the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference semi-finals.
Bryant's fortunes would soon change when Phil Jackson became coach for the Los Angeles Lakers in 1999. After years of steady improvement, Bryant had become one of the premier shooting guards in the league, a fact that was evidenced by his annual presence in the league's All-NBA, All-Star, and All-Defensive teams. The Los Angeles Lakers became perennial championship contenders under Bryant and O'Neal, who formed an outstanding center-guard combination. Jackson utilized the triangle offense he used to win six Championships with the Chicago Bulls which helped both Bryant and Shaq rise to the elite class in the NBA. Their success gave the Lakers three consecutive NBA championships in 2000, 2001, and 2002.
End of a dynasty
In the 2002-03 NBA season, Bryant averaged 30 points per game and embarked on a historic scoring run, posting 40 or more points per game in nine consecutive games while averaging 40.6 in the entire month of February. In addition, he averaged 6.9 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 2.2 steals per game, all career highs up to that point. For the first time in his career Bryant was voted on to both—All-NBA and All-Defensive 1st teams. After finishing 50-32 in the regular season, the Lakers floundered in the playoffs and lost in the Western Conference Semi-finals to the eventual NBA champion San Antonio Spurs in six games.
In the following 2003-04 NBA season, the Lakers were able to acquire NBA All Stars Karl Malone and Gary Payton to make another push at the NBA Championship. With a starting lineup of four future Hall of Fame players in Shaquille O'Neal, Malone, Payton, and Bryant, the Lakers were able to reach the NBA Finals. In the Finals, they were eliminated by the Detroit Pistons in 5 games. In that series, Bryant averaged 22.6 points per game, shooting 35.1% from the field, and 4.4 assists per game.
Conflicts and turmoil
Main article: Kobe Bryant sexual assault case
Bryant, following his arrest in 2003In 2003, Bryant's reputation was tainted by a sexual assault case in which Katelyn Faber, a young woman from Colorado, accused him of rape. With his image badly tarnished, the public's perception of Bryant plummeted, and his endorsement contracts with McDonald's, Nutella, and Ferrero SpA were terminated. Sales figures from NBA merchandisers indicated that sales of replicas of Bryant's jersey fell far off of their previous highs.
During the rape investigation, Kobe told police that "he should have done what Shaq does ... that Shaq would pay his women not to say anything" and that Shaq already had paid up to $1 million "for situations like this." This was controversial because Kobe and Shaq were teammates at the time and many thought that Kobe broke "locker-room code" by revealing confidential information, or worse, by falsely accusing a teammate to deflect attention from himself.
The rape investigation was resolved when Kobe agreed to apologize to the victim for the incident, including his public mea culpa: "Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did." Details of financial compensation to the victim were not made public.
In 2004, a dispute between Bryant and former teammate Malone became public prior to Malone's expected re-signing with the Lakers. Bryant claimed Malone had made inappropriate comments to Bryant's wife. Malone claimed the comments were in jest and that Bryant was overreacting.In the subsequent months, rather than re-join Bryant and the Lakers, Malone turned his attention to the possibility of joining another team, but ultimately decided to retire.
When O'Neal was traded, Bryant became the Lakers' leader of the team going into the 2004-05 season. As it turned out, however, his first season without O'Neal would prove to be a very rocky one. With his reputation badly damaged from all that had happened over the previous year, Bryant was closely scrutinized and criticized during the season.
A particularly damaging salvo came from Phil Jackson in The Last Season: A Team in Search of Its Soul. The book detailed the events of the Lakers' tumultuous 2003-04 season and has a number of criticisms of Bryant. In the book Jackson also calls Bryant "uncoachable."
Then, midway through the season, Rudy Tomjanovich suddenly resigned as Lakers coach, citing the recurrence of health problems and exhaustion. Without "Rudy T," stewardship of the remainder of the Lakers' season fell to career assistant coach Frank Hamblen. Despite the fact that Bryant was the league's second leading scorer at 27.6 points per game, the Lakers floundered and missed the playoffs for the first time in over a decade. This year signified a drop in Bryant's overall status in the NBA by not making the NBA All-Defensive Team and being demoted to All-NBA Third Team.
Kobe Bryant defending Michael Redd in December 2005.The 2005-06 NBA season would mark a crossroads in Bryant's basketball career. Despite past differences with Bryant, Phil Jackson returned to coach the Lakers. Bryant endorsed the move, and by all appearances, the two men worked together well the second time around, leading the Lakers back into the playoffs. Bryant also resolved his conflict with former teammate Shaquille O'Neal. The team posted a 45-37 record, an eleven-game improvement over the previous season, and the entire squad seemed to be clicking.
In the first round of the playoffs, the Lakers played well enough (3-1 series lead) to come within six seconds of eliminating the second-seeded Phoenix Suns. Despite Bryant's remarkable game winning shot in Game 4, the Lakers broke down, and ultimately fell to the Suns in seven games. In the following off-season, Bryant had knee surgery, preventing him from participating in the 2006 FIBA World Championship tournament.
Bryant's individual scoring accomplishments posted resulted in the finest statistical season of his career. The season included many spectacular individual performances including a game on December 20 in which Bryant scored 62 points despite playing only three quarters against the Dallas Mavericks. Entering the fourth quarter Bryant had, by himself, outscored the entire Mavericks team 62-61, the only time a player has done this through three quarters since the advent of the 24-second shot clock. When the Lakers faced the Miami Heat on January 16, 2006, Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal made headlines by engaging in handshakes and hugs before the game, signifying the end of the feud that had festered between the two players since O'Neal's acrimonious departure from Los Angeles. A month later, at the 2006 NBA All-Star Game, the two laughed and joked together on several occasions. On January 22, Bryant scored 81 points in a 122-104 victory against the Toronto Raptors. In addition to breaking the previous franchise record of 71 set by Elgin Baylor, his point total in that game was the second highest in NBA history, surpassed only by Wilt Chamberlain's legendary 100-point game in 1962.
Also in January, Bryant became the first player since 1964 to score 45 points or more in four consecutive games, joining Chamberlain and Baylor as the only players ever to do so.For the month of January, Bryant averaged 43.4 per game, the eighth highest single month scoring average in NBA history, and highest for any player other than Chamberlain. By the end of the season, Bryant had also set Lakers single-season franchise records for the most 40-point games (27) and most points scored (2,832), among others. Bryant won the league's scoring title for the first time, posting a very high scoring average (35.4), second only to Michael Jordan's 37.1 average in 1986-87. Bryant finished in fourth-place in the voting for the 2006 NBA Most Valuable Player Award, but also received 22 first place votes — second only to winner Steve Nash, and by far the highest number of first-place votes Bryant had ever received in his career.
Late in the season, it was reported that Bryant would change his jersey number from 8 to 24 at the start of the 2006-07 NBA season. 24 was Bryant's first high school number, before he switched to 33.After the Lakers' season ended, Bryant said on TNT that he wanted 24 as a rookie, but it was unavailable, as was 33, retired with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Bryant wore 143 at the Adidas ABCD camp, and chose 8 by adding those numbers. He had also worn number 8 as a child in Italy,as a salute to Mike D'Antoni, who was one of his early idols and wore number 8 as a professional basketball player in Italy.
Bryant scored 50 points or more in four consecutive games in 2007.During the 2006-07 season, Bryant was selected to his 9th All-Star Game appearance, and on February 18, he logged 31 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, and 6 steals, earning his second career All-Star Game MVP trophy.
Over the course of the season, Bryant became involved in a number of on court incidents. On January 28 while attempting to draw contact on a potential game winning jumpshot, he flailed his arm striking San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili in the face with his elbow. Following league review, Bryant was suspended for the subsequent game at Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks, the basis given for the suspension was that Bryant had performed an "unnatural motion" in swinging his arm backwards. Later, on March 6, he seemed to repeat the motion this time striking Minnesota Timberwolves guard Marko Jarić. On March 7 the NBA handed Bryant his second one-game suspension, leading several commentators in the media to call recent happenings into question. In his first game back on March 9, he elbowed Kyle Korver in the face which was retrospectively re-classified as a Type 1 flagrant foul.
On March 16, Bryant scored a season-high 65 points in a home game against the Portland Trail Blazers, which helped end the Lakers 7-game losing streak. This was the second best scoring performance of his 11-year career. The following game, Bryant recorded 50 points against the Minnesota Timberwolves, after which he scored 60 points in a road win against the Memphis Grizzlies - becoming the second Laker to score three straight 50-plus point games, a feat not seen since Michael Jordan last did it in 1987. The only other Laker to do so was Elgin Baylor, who also scored 50+ in three consecutive contests in December 1962. On March 23, in a game against the New Orleans Hornets, Bryant scored 50 points, making him the second player in NBA history to have 4 straight 50 point games behind Wilt Chamberlain, who is the all-time leader with seven consecutive 50 point games twice. Bryant finished the year with ten 50-plus point games becoming the only player other than Chamberlain in 1961-62 and 1962-63 to do it in one season, and won his second straight scoring title.
During the 2006-07 season, Bryant's jersey became the top selling NBA jersey in the United States and China.A number of journalists have attributed the improved sales to Bryant's new jersey number, as well as his continuing All-Star performance on the court.In the 2007 NBA Playoffs, the Lakers were once again eliminated in the first round by the Phoenix Suns.
Taipei Store Launch.On May 27, 2007, ESPN reported that Bryant stated that he wanted to be traded if Jerry West did not return to the team with full authority.Bryant later confirmed his desire for West's return to the franchise, but denied stating that he would want to be traded if that does not occur.However, three days later, on Stephen A. Smith's radio program, Bryant expressed anger over a Lakers "insider" who claimed that Kobe was responsible for Shaquille O'Neal's departure from the team, and publicly stated, "I want to be traded." Three hours after making that statement, Kobe stated in another interview that after having a conversation with head coach Phil Jackson, he has reconsidered his decision and backed off his trade request.
Bryant is a shooting guard who plays small forward on some occasions. He is considered one of the most complete players in the NBA,and has been elected to every All-NBA Team from 1999 on and featured in the last nine NBA All-Star games. Bryant was a vital part of the three most recent Lakers' championships. He is a prolific scorer, averaging 24.6 points per game for his career, along with 4.5 assists, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game. He is known for his ability to create shots for himself, and is an adept outside shooter, sharing the single-game NBA record for three pointers made with twelve. Aside from this, he is also a standout defender having made the All-Defensive 1st or 2nd Team 7 of the last 8 seasons.
In November 1999, 21 year old Bryant met 17 year old Vanessa Laine while she was working as a background dancer on the Tha Eastsidaz music video G'd Up. Bryant was in the building working on his debut musical album, which was never released.
The two began dating and became engaged just six months later in May 2000, while Laine was still a senior at Marina High School in Huntington Beach, California. To avoid media scrutiny, she finished high school through independent study. According to Vanessa's cousin Laila Laine, there was no prenuptial agreement. Vanessa said Kobe "loved her too much for one".
They married on April 18, 2001 in Dana Point, California. Neither Bryant's parents, his two sisters, longtime advisor and agent Arn Tellem, nor Bryant's Laker teammates attended. Bryant's parents were opposed to the marriage for a number of reasons. Reportedly Bryant's parents had problems with him marrying so young, especially to a woman who was not African-American.This disagreement resulted in an estrangement period of over two years, during which Kobe Bryant did not have any contact with his parents.
The Bryants' first child, a daughter named Natalia Diamante Bryant, was born on January 19, 2003. The birth of Natalia influenced Bryant to reconcile his differences with his parents. Vanessa Bryant suffered a miscarriage due to an ectopic pregnancy in the Spring of 2005. In the Fall of 2005 the Bryants announced that they were expecting their second child. Their second daughter, Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant, was born on May 1, 2006. Interestingly, Gianna was born 6 minutes ahead of former teammate Shaquille O'Neal's daughter Me'arah Sanaa, who was born in Florida.
Sean John is a clothing line founded by hip-hop mogul Sean Combs A.K.A Diddy,in 1998. The name is taken from Combs' first and middle given names.
People representing the brand include Combs himself, rappers T.I., Fabolous, The Game, basketball star Dwyane Wade, and models Tyson Beckford and Kevin Navayne.
In 2006, Sean John also launched its first fragrance, a men's scent called Unforgivable manufactured by Estée Lauder.
In late 2006, after allegations of raccoon dog fur being used in two styles of jackets, Sean John, together with Macy's, pulled all of the garments from the department stores where this product was shipped.
Cassie and Lauren London are spokesmodels for the Sean John women's collection, which Diddy said would be released in July 2007.
Rappin' 4-Tay (born Anthony Forté on March 2, 1968) is an American rapper who grew up in the crime and drug infested Fillmore District of San Francisco, California.
4-Tay made his debut on the Too $hort album Life Is...Too Short, but was arrested sometime after his 21st birthday on drug charges and served 6 months in prison. Upon his release from prison he issued Rappin' 4-Tay Is Back in 1992, and followed up in 1994 with Don't Fight the Feeling, which produced the hits "Playaz Club" (which sampled the song "Private Number" by William Bell and Judy Clay), the "Dank Season" featuring Seff Tha Gaffla and "I'll Be Around".
Rappin' 4-Tay's mainstream success has been scarce since then, but he was featured in 2Pac's All Eyez on Me album on the single "Only God Can Judge Me" and Master P's West Coast Bad Boyz II compilation in 1996 and 1997, respectively. 4-Tay was also an original member of Bay Area supergroup T.W.D.Y. in 1999. In 2003 Rappin 4-Tay dropped "Gangsta Gumbo" with the single "Burning, Burning" gaining much popularity around the Bay Area. He has recently released his latest album "That's What You Thought" in 2007.
The Spinners are a Detroit, Michigan-based soul vocal group active since 1954 (see 1954 in music), and most popular during the 1970s. The group still tours as of 2006.
The Spinners are known in the United Kingdom as The Detroit Spinners or The Motown Spinners because a Liverpool-based folk band had taken the name "The Spinners" in Britain during the 1960s.
In 1954 a group of friends in Ferndale High School in Ferndale, Michigan, just outside Detroit, came together to make music. Billy Henderson, Henry Fambrough, Pervis Jackson, C.P. Spencer, and James Edwards called themselves The Domingoes. James Edwards lasted only a few weeks; he was replaced by Bobbie Smith, who sang lead on most of the Spinners' early records. C.P. Spencer left the group shortly afterwards, and would later go on to be a member of the Voice Masters and The Originals. He was replaced by George Dixon. The group would also rename themselves The Spinners at this time.
1961-1971: A decade in the wilderness
The Spinners first hit the charts in August of 1961 on Harvey Fuqua's Tri-Phi Records, with "That's What Girls Are Made For," peaking at number 27. Bobby Smith sang lead vocal on this track, coached by Fuqua (legend has it that Fuqua sang the lead, but that legend has been debunked by both Fuqua and Smith). The group's followup, "Love (I'm So Glad) I Found You" (with lead vocals by Smith), would reach number 91 that November, but none of their other Tri-Phi singles charted.
James Edwards' brother, Edgar "Chico" Edwards, would replace Dixon in the group in 1963, at which time Tri-Phi and the entire artist roster was bought out by Berry Gordy of Motown Records. The Spinners were then assigned to the Motown label.
In 1964, they made their debut at the Apollo Theater and won instant acclaim, a rare feat at the time. But with the exception of "I'll Always Love You," which hit #35 in 1965, success mostly eluded them during the 1960s. After "I'll Always Love You", they released one single a year from 1966-1969 inclusive, but none charted on the Billboard Hot 100.
With commercial success virtually non-existent, during much of this decade the Spinners would be used by Motown as road managers, chaperones and chauffeurs for other groups, and even as shipping clerks. G.C. Cameron replaced Edgar "Chico" Edwards in 1967, and in 1969, the group switched to the Motown-owned V.I.P. imprint. (The label name is somewhat ironic, given that V.I.P. was generally considered a substandard imprint behind Motown, Gordy, Tamla, and Soul).
In 1970, after a five-year chart absence they hit #14 with writer/producer Stevie Wonder's composition, "It's A Shame", and charted again the following year with another song Wonder wrote and produced, "We'll Have It Made" from their new album Second Time Around. However, these were their last two singles for V.I.P.
Shortly after the release of Second Time Around, legend has it that Atlantic Records recording artist Aretha Franklin suggested the group finish out their Motown contract, and sign with Atlantic. The group made the switch -- except for Cameron who elected to leave the group and remain with Motown as a solo artist. Singer Philippé Wynne then joined The Spinners as Cameron's replacement and the group's new lead singer.
The Hit Years with Philippe Wynne
When The Spinners signed to Atlantic in 1972, they were a respected but commercially unremarkable singing group who had never had a top-ten pop hit -- despite having been a recording act for over a decade. But under the helm of producer and songwriter Thom Bell, The Spinners would chart five top 100 singles (and two top tens) off their album The Spinners , released in 1972, and go on to be one of the biggest soul groups of the 1970s.
"I'll Be Around" was their first top ten hit, but it was actually the B-side of the first single, "How Could I Let You Get Away". Radio airplay for the B-side led Atlantic to flip the single over, with "I'll Be Around" hitting #3 and "How Could I Let You Get Away" reaching #89.
Follow-up singles "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love" (#4, March 1973), "One of a Kind (Love Affair)" (#11, June 1973), and "Ghetto Child" (#29, September 1973) would cement the group's sudden hit-making reputation -- as well as that of Bell, who was beginning to be recognized for his contributions to Philly soul or "Philadelphia Sound", a precursor to disco.
Following their Atlantic successes, Motown also issued a "Best of the Spinners" LP which featured selections from their Motown/V.I.P. recordings. They also remixed and reissued the 1970 B-Side "Together We Can Make Such Sweet Music" as a 1973 A-Side. In the midst of all their Atlantic hits, it crawled to number #91 US.
The group's 1974 followup album, Mighty Love, would contain three Top 20 hits, "I'm Coming Home," "Love Don't Love Nobody," and the title track. Their biggest hit of the year, however, would be a collaboration with Dionne Warwick (then billed as "Dionne Warwicke"). Their joint effort "Then Came You" would reach #1 in October -- the first chart-topper for either artist. Bell later noted, "Dionne made a face when we finished [the song]. She didn't like it much, but I knew we had something. So we ripped a dollar in two, signed each half and exchanged them. I told her, 'If it doesn't go number one, I'll send you my half.' When it took off, Dionne sent hers back. There was an apology on it."
The band would hit the Top 10 twice in the next two years with "(They Just Can't Stop It) Games People Play" (which would lead to a nickname of "12:45" for bass singer Jackson, after his signature vocal line on the song), and "The Rubberband Man."
 The Post-Wynne Years
Wynne left the group in 1977, to be replaced by Jonathan Edwards. Though this version of the group had minor hits from 1977-79, they failed to hit the pop Top 40 for two years, and parted ways with producer Bell.
The group did manage several big hits in 1980, charting with medleys of "Working My Way Back to You/Forgive Me, Girl" (#2 in March) and "Cupid/I've Loved You for a Long Time" (#4 in July), but a third trip to the well proved one time too many, when "Yesterday Once More/Nothing Remains the Same" failed to break Top 40. The group's last Hot 100 pop hit was a remake of Willie Nelson's "Funny How Time Slips Away," peaking at #67 in 1983. The following year, the group had their last R&B hit with "Right or Wrong".
After some years spent collaborating with Parliament/Funkadelic and working solo, former Spinners member Philippé Wynne would die of a heart attack while performing in Oakland in 1984.
The Spinners now
The Spinners in concert at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, California on March 18, 2006.After their chart career ended, The Spinners continued touring for decades. Even though their last hits were over 20 years ago, the bright lights of their 1972–1976 run of the charts continues to provide for the current members. They are big draws on the oldies and nostalgia concert circuits, and continue to play the music that made them famous.
A voice from their past, G. C. Cameron, would rejoin the group as lead vocalist from 2000 to 2002, (replacing Jonathan Edwards, who left due to illness) but he left them in 2003 to join The Temptations. Frank Washington, formerly of The Futures and The Delfonics, is now the lead vocalist.
In 2004, original member Billy Henderson was dismissed from the group after suing the group's corporation and business manager to obtain financial records. He was replaced by Harold "Spike" Bonhart. Today, the group is actively touring with three of its original members (Jackson, Fambrough and Smith) along with Washington and Bonhart.
In their recently released box set The Chrome Collection, The Spinners were lauded by David Bowie and Elvis Costello. The Spinners were inducted into The Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999. On July 27, 2006, The Spinners performed on The Late Show With David Letterman to several standing ovations.
Original member Billy Henderson died due to complications from diabetes on February 2, 2007 at the age of 67.