Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
To say that Michelle Rhee and Kevin Johnson rolled out their relationship carefully is an understatement. Last winter, the D.C. schools chief declined to say whether she and the mayor of Sacramento -- a longtime friend and close political ally -- were dating.
Not even after we saw them holding hands during the inauguration! ("I don't comment on my personal life," she said at the time.)
But seems as though they're officially a couple now. In fact, she confirmed for us, they're engaged.
Rhee, 39, spoke Wednesday night at a Democrats for Education Reform/DC School Reform Now event downtown, and a pretty sparkly thing on her left hand caught the eye of more than one audience member. Seems fitting, since this is a relationship we've largely followed via sightings of the two at various policy-wonk confabs.
They seem to have bonded over education reform. Johnson, 43, is a former NBA star who transitioned into politics as the founder of a charter school -- Rhee served on its board -- before winning his first race last year to become mayor of his home town. Rhee also served on his transition team.
When she was tapped by Mayor Adrian Fenty in 2007 to become schools chancellor, Johnson testified at her confirmation hearing. (Rhee left the board of his St. Hope Academy after starting her job here.)
What next? It's the obvious question for any bicoastal power couple, especially with both careers so closely tied to separate cities. Rhee, who is divorced with two kids, has had a tumultuous couple of months, at odds with D.C. Council members and teachers over her budget cuts and firing of nearly 400 staffers. The never-married Johnson, meanwhile, is still in the first year as mayor and dealing with the drip-drip-drip of one of those annoying municipal scandals (a city employee who allegedly handed out illegal permits to developers).
But Rhee told us she's not leaving D.C. They plan on a long engagement -- no wedding date set, and none envisioned in the near term -- and will keep this a commuter relationship for a while.
CONGRADS AND HOPEFULLY THE SCHOOL SYSTEM CAN GET BETTER NOW!
Friday, November 20, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
After several push backs, Attention: Deficit—the debut CD from XXL Freshman alum Wale—finally hit stores last Tuesday (November 10). Seven days later his first-week stats are in, and unfortunately the CD failed to top any of the big dawgs from their top spots on The Billboard 200 sales charts.
According to the Nielsen SoundScan, the disc landed at the no. 21 spot, with 28,100 units sold. With all the hype surrounding the release, a guest spot on Jay-Z’s Blueprint 3 tour and a gig fronting the official house band of the 2009 MTV VMAs, many believed the Interscope rapper would have a bigger first week.
XXLMag.com spoke with Wale’s manager, Daniel Weisman, who claims that the label under shipped the disc to stores, much like what happened to fellow “Class of 09″ MC Asher Roth. ”Wale’s the type of artist who is bigger than the metrics (radio) say he is,” Weisman said. “That puts the label in a tough position in terms of physical distribution and because of twitter we are able to hear direct feedback from the fans about the problems they had actually finding the CD. But 64% of Wale’s sales came from digital outlets which makes sense for Wale. It’s a testament to Interscope and their confidence in Wale’s brand that they put the record out without a big single.”
The other only new hip-hop release to enter the charts this week was Wyclef Jean’s new collaborative effort with DJ Drama. The rap vet’s street CD, From the Hut, to the Projects, to the Mansion, debuted at no. 171, selling 3,300 discs. Drama—who executive-produced the extended EP—described it to to XXL as “Wyclef’s first all-around hip-hop project since The Carnival.”
Continuing his dominance at the head of the rap pack is Brooklyn rap giant Jay-Z. Despite falling one spot to no. 16 BP3 managed to ring up 33,000 more albums to his overall sales figure this go-round. After 10 weeks, the rapper’s latest opus has sold 1,271,200 units.
Four spots down at no. 20 is the Black Eyed Peas. The E.N.D. pulled in another 28,200 in sales this week, making its total tally stand at 1,356, 200.
Next week look for 50 Cent’s long-awaited fourth solo album Before I Self Destruct to make a huge impact on The Billboard 200. —Elan Mancini