Lil Wayne Mistakenly Pronounced Near Death By Gossip Blogs After ODing On ‘Sizzurp’

Lil Wayne suffered a near-death experience last week, at least on the Internet. TMZ reported the rapper suffered a seizure on Tuesday and by Friday was doing so poorly he was getting his last rites. Yesterday, friends of the rapper wanted to clear things up: He’s not dying, he just ODed on ‘sizzurp’ (AKA prescription strength cough syrup).

 

It also started when Lil Wayne was hospitalized on Tuesday after allegedly suffering a seizure while filming a music video in L.A.   The rapper, who has a history of seizures, was released several hours later. 

But on Friday Weezy was back in the hospital, this time after allegedly suffering more seizures following a "Sizzurp binge." TMZ reported his mom hopped a plane to come to L.A. because "it doesn’t look good." Wayne’s bodyguard reportedly "found him in his room, on the floor and unconscious." The rapper reportedly had his stomach pumped to remove the codeine, was breathing through tubes and had been placed in a medically induced coma. Although he was still tweeting, somehow.

Now US Weekly says TMZ got it blown out of proportion, saying the rapper was "fine": "He drank too much sizzurp to get a better high. He needs rehab but he’s not close to death or anything. He’s fine and just coming down off the high."

To recap: no last rites, just rehab. And no more sizzurp. 

Email me at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter.

Linkage: Jesse Tyler Ferguson Supports Illinois Same-Sex Marriage, Emmy Rossum Is Just Too Pretty

Bow-tie enthusiast and Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson stopped by Chicago yesterday to lend his support in the fight for same-sex marriage, the legislation for which may pass in the Illinois General Assembly before the session ends on June 9. Said Ferguson: "A lot of people who were not comfortable with marriage equality … turn on the television and see a show that has a lot of different families in it — and one of those families just happens to be gay. They’re realizing they have a great time watching the show, then they’re watching a gay couple that’s having a lot of the same problems and issues they have. They realize ‘Oh they’re not so different from me.’ And at that point, we’re in their living rooms." [Chicagoist]

South Korean screenwriter Young Il Kim has penned a film titled Rodham about, well, duh. [Politico]

Speaking of questionably titled biopics, jOBS, starring Ashton Kutcher, will close out the Sundance Film Festival and see an April theatrical release. [Deadline New York]

If you were rooting for Lil’ Wayne in your office Worst Tattoo of 2013 pool, it looks like you’re coming out ahead already. [Crushable]

Zooey Deschanel in Glamour: "I want to be a fucking feminist and wear a fucking Peter Pan collar. So fucking what?" Do you, girl! [Jezebel]

EGOT winner Mel Brooks gives some solid advice on how to make all of your creative dreams come true. [Fast Company]

Look, I get that times are tough but if you’re willing to let your boss fart on you then maybe you should just go on unemployment? [The Gloss]

If you expect Kathy Griffin to apologize for trying to perform oral sex on Anderson Cooper during the pair’s annual New Year’s Eve hosting gig, you can, well, suck her dick. [EW]

Emmy Rossum (or, as I like to call her, The Poor Man’s Jennifer Love Hewitt) claims she was almost not even considered for her role in Showtime’s Shameless because she was too pretty. It’s a little early in the year for this, yes? [The Frisky]

"[W]e eagerly await the BuzzFeed post, 10 Reasons We Raised $20M to Write More Things Like “Pretty Japanese Girls React to Drinking Poop Wine.” [Observer]

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Luke James Talks Writing Songs, the State of R&B, and ‘Whispers in the Dark’

Fresh off his packed-house performance at SOB’s in New York, and in the glow of his recently and readily downloadable, smooth-operated mixtape Whispers in the Dark, Luke James is not just your next R&B heartthrob: he’s suited up to be one of the next great masterminds of music with both production and singing talents in spades. As "Who Is Luke James" is the seducing veneer of his internet presence (follow him on Twitter at @whoislukejames), you’ll be well advised to directly listen to his incandescent collection of abundant affection, compassion, and empathy for the open-hearted.

I talked to James about the making of what you’re about to hear, his take on the state of R&B, movies that remain influential to his craft and how James wishes to be understood as a kind of Prince the Redeemer for the forgotten sake of letting love rule for the new year and in later days. (And to reiterate again, ladies, he is a dreamboat.)

I did a little research and I came across the fact that you were a songwriter before you launched your solo career. I was curious to know what were some of your favorite songs you’ve written for other people? Like you almost wished you kept that song for yourself!
I loved the Justin Bieber song "That Should Be Me" that I co-write with The Messengers. Great record. I dealt with the song, so naturally it was a great feeling. And it kind of felt like something I would want to do as an artist myself. There’s one I did with Chris Brown: "Crawl." Love that one. And the song I did with Tank off of his latest album, "This I How I Feel." It has a really good vibe.

So you are Grammy-nominated this year! I wanted to know, how does it honestly feel like to be nominated. Keep it real! Are you truly happy just to be recognized, or do you really just want to win?
I’m thrilled to be acknowledged, especially for this gift and this talent I’ve been working so hard on. To be acknowledged and be seen as a vocalist and performer, and to be in a category of Best Male R&B Performance, is awesome, and especially by the Grammy committee—that’s the height of our music business. It’s awesome.

And specifically for a song that the fans online have been referring to as a "panty-dropping" single! I read comments and the female fan base is just growing. They seem to really appreciate and adore your appreciation of women all-around.
Wow! I’ll definitely try to keep that going!

Tell us more about the album title Whispers in the Dark. It’s enigmatic enough to lead someone to think, "Well, what does he mean by that?" But also, it makes sense in that if you’re in the dark, you’re not trying to make a lot of sense—most likely—so, it can be interpreted quite a few ways.
Well, Whispers in the Dark is a line I used in a song I have on my official album, and the song is basically like, “Whispers in the dark tend to you call you where you are.” Put it like this: at night, I deal with my demons, whatever that is, good or bad, and it’s usually those voices you hear that make you recognize them; they’re calling you. I’m speaking from personal experience, but I feel like other people can relate to having those voices in your head and usually that happens when you’re alone, and that nighttime. That kind of vibe and of the unknown. You can’t see what’s there. [Laughs] Does that make sense?

Yeah, yeah it does! And I figured that, too. I just wanted to hear from you directly on and from the album’s perspective. I had my own idea?
And what was that?

Whispers in the Dark to me meant… just a very secretive moment whether with yourself or with someone, and you wouldn’t necessarily mind getting caught, either. And it doesn’t have to something physical that is happening. Just in the sense that someone just caught you; someone could potentially catch you.
Well, that’s exactly right! There are so many different ways of taking it. People always ask me about my music, “What do you want people to take from it?” It’s whatever makes them happy. Whatever feels good to them. As long as they take something.

That definitely leads to the next question, and it’s kind of a two-parter. I did see the video for "Make Love to Me," which I enjoyed and I peeped that Kelly Rowland cameo! But from watching it, I knew I wanted to ask you: do you consider yourself an old soul? While watching it, I was thinking, this is some Gerald Levert, Barry White, with a little bit of Marvin Gaye, and you kind of remind me of Prince, too.
I’ll take that!

And I thought of that because it’s not like today’s contemporary R&B where—and this is where the second part comes in—everyone seems to have an opinion on the state of R&B. Trey Songz said this; I interviewed Ne-Yo about it and he said it lacked soul; but when I was watching your video, you’re modern, but you also seemed to be harkening back to the greatness of traditional R&B, and I was just wondering about your thoughts on that. 
I pride myself on feeling. I can’t do it if I can’t feel it and I guess that exhibits through me. My thing is if I feel it, people can feel it. Also, I’m from New Orleans, and you’ll meet a lot of people of New Orleans, everybody from people we know like Lil Wayne to everyone else, that’s just the way people are raised. The way that city is, that part of town. It’s a very laid-back, soulful kind of place and I think naturally, that’s just how we are, I’m not the only one; it’s the upbringing. I’m surrounded by older people. I was just put on to a lot of things a lot of classic music early on and I guess it just came a part of me. That’s just how people are from New Orleans. And I also just really respect classic, great music of the past. They really laid out the foundation for actual feeling and in giving yourself completely without repercussions. It’s just saying, "I’m hurting." And people want to hear that.

And the state of R&B… I feel like you can’t judge art. Everybody has an interpretation. And this is a business. People got families to feed. So if you’re not buying the organic-feeling songs that everybody professes they want, but they’re not supporting it and want to freeload on, you can’t get mad at that person for switching to something sellable for the moment at least because it is a business. If you buy that kind of music, people will make what I like to call those personal songs. And when creating them, you’re taking a chance because not everybody’s going to play it, but in actuality, everybody cries. But I guess radio, and the labels, they aren’t willing to give it a chance. People haven’t been supporting that in the past. It takes a whole union of people to do it. One person can’t do it alone. One person can’t be speaking some knowledge and then other people are just trying to have a good time. Everybody has to be on the same, be promoting the same feeling. Let’s make music that you can feel and they will. Let’s say or teach somebody something. What’s going on? Let’s actually talk about what’s going on aside from the club. There’s life after the club.

Do you feel your music is more sexual, sensual, or atmospheric? How would you describe it?
It’s very emotional. Highs and lows. Ups and downs. I like "sensual." "Sexual" seems so physical. But I do think it’s a little bit of both. The mental, it’s soulful, and can be a physical thing. I would love for anyone listening to my music to start [feeling it] on the inside.

As for the songs on the mixtape, which ones were difficult to create? Or took a lot out of you emotionally?
The song "Oh God." I had that song, that composition from Danja. He had produced it. I had to live with it. When I first heard it, I had a structure, melody, and hook idea. But it just wasn’t happening for me and I had to put it back in the oven. Just wait for it to come to me. And one day I went back into the booth, and did it. It was tough.

And now a common question. What can we look forward to from you next year in 2013?
Oh, man! Hopefully a lot more Luke James! I am still working on the project [my debut LP]. Everyday, everyday. I’m learning something new, so I’m just going to keep recording until the official release date. Keep promoting myself and hopefully join this new movement of great music and new faces that are coming and just helping music transition to a more beautiful place where everyone is somewhat pleased. I’m also getting into acting and hopefully that will be something that will jump off.

TV or film first?
I would love to do film.

What are some of your favorite movies?
Mo’ Betta Blues. The Lost Boys. Purple Rain. Glory. I like different genres of movies. I like Manhattan by Woody Allen. I love his movies because they’re kind of cerebral. He’s almost like a contrast to Spike Lee, yet I find their films similar.

Both often based in New York City…
I like Spike Lee movies too. That’s where I’m at.

Is there a genre of music that you haven’t toyed with and experimented with yet and would like to? Because again, from the video and mixtape, I was thinking it was jarring to me—in a good way—how it sounded so different from stuff I hear today and it’s why I compared you to those legends. And I thought, "I wonder if he would ever do a song with David Guetta?"
With the music, I always want to take it to another level. Another foundation. It’s got to be like a dream. Where else can you take it? That’s how I want my music to feel. I like a vibe, and I don’t care if it takes seven minutes long to express it. It’s music. So, I don’t know… maybe alternative. I like to think of my music as classic R&B with the alternative and spiritual. I merge those things. Like Coldplay has a lot of soul. You can tell those boys went to church. Those songs just take you somewhere. Those chords, and how Chris [Martin] sings certain lines and what they say. And I just think my interpretation is all of that. I think everything I love you hear it in the music. And when the actual album comes out, you’ll hear more of where I want to go.

Last, last question! You touched on this earlier, but possibly explain more. What do you want your female fans—and male fans, too—to get from you?
One thing I want to say is that it’s OK to feel. We live in such a numb world, but it’s still a feeling because we know it’s numb. We fight it, but it’s OK to express your feelings and know what you want. Go for it. Life is too short to not fully live. I’m learning how to be in the moment and just say like, "Wow. I’m nominated for a Grammy. This is awesome." To really bask in it instead of being like, "OK. Nominated for a Grammy. What’s the next thing?" I’m trying to hold in on my feelings and become one with it. So, if I had anything to say to both the guys and the girls is that it’s OK to feel. It’s OK to rock side to side and say, "Oh my God, I love this." It’s OK to scream. At shows, people can be so uptight! And I move around a lot because I get so into my music. But also, I’m hoping I can help you guide your way out of that very thing you’ve been used to, to this new thing that is not really new. You expressed yourself when you were a child. You weren’t afraid to cry and express your feelings. Now that you’re older, we have this tough skin so we don’t show anyone we’ve got feelings. We’re human. And once people become more humanized, the world will be a better place, more full of love. If that makes any sense. Let’s make this fun again. Have fun, dammit!

On The Verge: Piano Gladiator ELEW & His Rockjazz

When a new genre of music is created, the world takes notice. And in Eric Lewis’ case, the music industry took more than notice; with the creation of his own style of rockjazz, he’s set the scene on fire in a controversial, stormy way that suits the man and the brand that he is. Merging rock guitar techniques with pop and ragtime, and putting it all on the piano, Lewis – known onstage as ELEW – has outraged the jazz world, while awing the pop/rock world – especially when he plucks and beats the heck out of the piano’s insides and shield. Outfitted with armor on his wrists, a suit, and a vivacity that defies merely sitting on a piano bench, but standing and rocking the entire time he plays, ELEW’s renditions of pop/rock anthems and original songs on his latest record introduce a sound we’ve never heard before. As ELEW prepares for his Friday, Nov. 9th show at Le Poisson Rouge, he shared what gets him high, his favorite distraction, and when he played for a legendary celeb.

You’ve said you’re a huge fan of comic books, and that you feel superhuman and supercharged when you get on stage. What are some pre-show rituals you’ve adopted that you’ll use for Friday’s show? 
My workout. I call it "the ninja run.” I run through the forests of Riverdale with my hand in front of myself, like a karate chop or shark fin. I take on the ninja mindset. Like characters in Mortal Combat who intersect physical performance with the supernatural, I try to make my mind as much a weapon as my body. Before I play, I focus on combining my passion with precision, and vice versa.  

In a day, how do you balance working out with practicing and performing?
If I’m not exercising, I’m practicing, and if I’m not doing that, I’m playing chess. Or watching Dexter. I used to practice the piano all the time, but now the game has shifted to a perceptual challenge of the mind, and sometimes it’s very exhausting and painful. The improvisation I learn from chess is similar to what I use in music. But in chess, I’m going against someone. In music, it’s subjective to the audience, and it’s ultimately a battle with myself. But there’s such an ecstasy to it. 

Is there anything else in your life that gives you that kind of ecstasy?
Women. I’m a hopeless romantic. Being an entrepreneur, too. I have so many ideas for what I want to do next, so the power of creating those ideas is euphoric.

You crawl into the piano, plucking the strings like a guitar and beating the wooden case like a drum. Do you actually play these instruments?
I do know how to play the drums, and I played the violin for a year as a kid, but when I noticed horn players putting different objects in horns to make different sounds. I started experimenting. The things I do aren’t new exactly, but how I do it is. My way of branding it is. Alexander Graham Bell didn’t invent the telephone, but he invented the way he branded it. With my music, you want to dance to what’s going on. Playing without a piano bench and wearing armor – no one’s ever done that. I love to move, and I really want to rock.

You toured with and opened for Josh Groban for most of last year. What’s the #1 lesson you learned from him?
To be elegant. Touring with him made me re-record my latest record. Hearing the elegance of his presentation, delivery, and repoire made me want to re-record my music with that kind of professionalism. He’s so in touch with his brand, style, what it is he’s adding to the music scene, and he knows how to nurture it and present it elegantly.

What’s your ideal vision of the future for ELEW?
I want to be legendary. Yanni, Herbie Hancock, and Elton John, all wrapped into one. Hard-hitting. I want to collaborate with Lil Wayne and dubstep artists, and be like John Carpenter was to Halloween – write the story and the music for my own horror film. I want to create a comic book movie, a music festival. And I’d like to improve my chess game.

You’ve cultivated a fanbase of celebrities like Hugh Jackman, Obama, and Leonardo DiCaprio. Tell me your favorite celebrity story.
Al Pacino asked me to perform at a party he was having at his house. I started playing a crazy rhythm people could dance to, and suddenly Al jumped on one side of the piano next to me and started to play. I put his fingers on some of the notes as if we were playing "Heart and Soul," and we started playing and rocking together. 

Al Pacino

Pusha T Consummates Lil Wayne Beef With ‘Exodus 23:1’ Video

Here follows a brief summary of the recent beef between Pusha T and Lil Wayne: Last week, Pusha recorded “Exodus 23:1,” a song that was filled with somewhat subtle digs at Wayne and his Young Money stable. (Subtle as in, you’d have to care in the first place to point them out.) Nonplussed, Wayne responded with “Ghoulish,” filled with outright slams like “Fuck Pusha T,” among others. Today, Pusha went all in by releasing a video for “Exodus,” which shows him cavorting around the hood with a bunch of drug-ingesting ne’er-do-wells. Committing to a video means Pusha’s sticking with this feud, rather than facilitating a one-off diss to get the rap blogs moving at the speed of hype. It doesn’t mean people will be any more likely to buy his album when it drops this summer, but it’s a nice attempt.

Obviously, things can only escalate from here. Wayne will record a video for “Ghoulish,” which will mock the “Exodus” video by replacing all of the neighborhood burnouts with dudes in ghost makeup. Pusha T will record a freestyle over the “A Milli” beat but change the hook to “I’m Silly,” while Wayne will turn Clipse’s “Mr. Me Too” into “Mr. Long Poo.” (Asked to legislate, Weird Al Yankovic will declare a parody tie.) They’ll each record new diss tracks, recording more and more rappers to the cause: Nicki and Drake with Weezy, Meek Mill and Big Sean with Pusha T, 2 Chainz straddling the middle like the crowd-pleading crossover star he is. Eventually, the two will be requested to reconcile by Russell Simmons, who will introduce them at the MTV Video Music Awards to a squealing, euphoric crowd. There, everyone will watch as Wayne and T embrace, then make out with raw, unbridled passion. This summer is going to be fantastic.

A Brief History of Sampling Lawsuits, Now With More Beastie Boys

MCA’s family and friends have hardly had time to grieve for the recently deceased rapper, and already the Beastie Boys, the group that brought him, along with Ad-Rock and Mike D., to fame, are back in hot water.

Hip-hop label Tuf America filed suit against the Beasties, claiming that the group improperly sampled the 1982 Trouble Funk song “Drop The Bomb” among others on cuts from albums including Paul’s Boutique and Licensed to Ill.

According to All Hip-Hop, “Tuf America said they did a thorough sound analysis of the tracks in question and concluded that the Beastie Boys illegally incorporated elements of the songs without permission. To complicate the matter, Tuf America claims The Beasties and Capitol Records continue to profit off the album, by way of anniversary and commemorative releases of Licensed To Ill and Paul’s Boutique, which was released in 1989.”  

Sound analysis? Yikes! But the surviving Beasties might not want to worry too much about this, after all lawsuits over sampling are a dime a dozen these days.

Last year superstar producer Timbaland was sued not once but twice for sampling—once involving Nelly Furtado’s “Do It,” below—with both cases going in his favor (albeit because the works weren’t properly copyrighted in the U.S.). Of one of the lawsuits, Tim said, ““It makes me laugh. The part I don’t understand, the dude is trying to act like I went to his house and took it from his computer. I don’t know him from a can of paint. I’m 15 years deep. That’s how you attack a king? You attack moi?”

Also last year, litigious soul singer Syl Johnson, who once took Cypress Hill to court, sued Jay-Z and Kanye West for what he considered use of part of a song of his, “Different Strokes,” for the song “The Joy.” He claimed that after he denied West permission to use his music, West just went ahead and did so anyway. Kanye and Jay released a statement saying it wasn’t the case, but the duo ended up settling with Johnson after all.

Throughout the ages, Lil Wayne has had plenty of trouble with the law. But in 2008, it wasn’t guns or cars or drugs that got him in trouble, but sampling. South African-born musician Karma-Ann Swanepoel took Wayne to court, saying he had illegally sampled her track “Once”—and only approached her with a contract for the right to do so after the song was released. In turn, Weezy turned around and sued the track’s producers.

Morning Links: Lil Wayne Talks New Album, Axl Rose Declines Rock Hall Induction

● Lil Wayne revealed in an interview with MTV that he’s got a record full of love songs, written mostly during his stint at Rikers, ready for an album that he calls DEVOL, "’cause that’s ‘loved’ spelled backwards." But, as "How To Love" Weezy will have you know, "what I mean by ‘my version of love songs’ is meaning, they’re not saying ‘I love you,’ they’re saying, you know?" [NahRight]

● Looks like Britney Spears and her husband-slash-conservator-to-be are in for quite the pay day if that X-Factor judging gig works out. [E!]

● Archie Comics’ Sabrina the Teenage Witch is headed to the big screen as a live-action (like the Melissa Joan Hart television show) superhero (not like the Melissa Joan Hart show) movie. [JustJared]

● Per his own lengthy request, Axl Rose will not be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during this weekend’s ceremony, because, among other reasons, he believes it is not “somewhere I’m actually wanted or respected.". [ArtsBeat]

● Why must we always make martyrs of the “little blonde innocent girl"? And, The Book Bench asks, could Rue’s "beautiful death" in Hunger Games bring this tradition up-to-date? [NewYorker]

● Zac Efron can unhook a bra with just one pinch-and-slide. "That’s my move," he says. [BuzzFeed]

Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Chris Brown & Nicki Minaj Spit (Hot Fire) on DJ Khaled(‘s New Song)

DJ Khaled has the most stacked Rolodex this side of Lorne Michaels, which has allowed him to organize a steady string of All-Star collaborations between today’s hottest artists while hanging out in the background, calmly sipping a Four Loko. On his new song, "Take It to the Head," he collects Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown and Lil Wayne to rap what most rappers rap about on his tracks: how incredibly awesome they all, all of the time. But what else is there to talk about after working all winter, as Khaled says in the beginning? Listen to it after the click, via Spin.

"All my bitches is stylin’ / Beaches and eatin’ Italian," Nicki rhymes, whipping up the image of an all-expenses paid vacation for her entourage to Ibiza or Nice or somewhere else amazing. Take us with you! We will blog on command. "Take It to the Head" will show up on Khaled’s Kiss the Ring, which is coming out this summer.

Morning Links: Lindsay Lohan Lays Low, Stacy Keibler In Talks To Join ‘X Factor’

● With just ten days left of her probation period, Lindsay Lohan has put herself under house arrest to avoid any further trouble. Better late than never. [NYDN]

● The Pretty Reckless front woman Taylor Momsen says she’s "done done done" with acting. "It’s good to finally be able to focus on music and not have to work on 10 jobs at once," she said, putting Little J to rest once and for all. [StarPulse]

● If Jay gets his way with Live Nation, Beyoncé’s come back will be big time and — more importantly! — as soon as this year. Hope somebody’s put in a call with the babysitter. [Page Six]

● Lil Wayne has been asked to mow the now unruly lawn in front of his Kenner, Louisiana mansion. [CBS]

● The original cast of Teen Mom are no longer teens and thus this upcoming fourth season will be their last. Moms they’ll be forever, though. MTV says they are "thankful to these brave young women for sharing their stories and helping to make a positive impact on teen pregnancy prevention." [USAToday]

● George Clooney’s gal Stacy Keibler is in talks to join The X Factor‘s judges panel, where sources say she will shine because she "looks fantastic and has bags of charisma." [Page Six]

● There could be no better elixir for your SXSW hangover than this free Titus Andronicus "odds and sods" mixtape. [CoS]