Pras Recording With Young M.A... And Jeremy Renner?
Pras Michel hosted a pre-Oscars party at Tiffany & Co. in Beverly Hills on Feb. 23, and the Fugees member discussed a new musical project centered on the Haitian meringue style known as kompa. "It's an album I'm doing as a celebration of Haiti," said the 44-year-old. "I've got Ne-Yo and Migos on the album. I've got Jeremy Renner, the actor, doing a song. He's an incredible man." Pras intends to release a single featuring rapper Young M.A. this spring: "It's called 'Pump Faking,' and it's about people who act like they're [helping] the poor but they're really not about the poor." A portion of the song's proceeds will go to the J/P Haitian Relief Organization, founded by Sean Penn.
Justin Bieber Gets Emotional For Mayweather
"Give it up for the champ," Justin Bieber said of Floyd Mayweather during the boxing great's 40th birthday bash at the JW Marriott in Los Angeles on Feb. 25. Bieber capped a night of performances that included Bobby Brown singing "My Prerogative," Fat Joe rapping "All the Way Up," and Doug E. Fresh performing a rap medley. Mariah Carey strode onstage to sing "Happy Birthday" to Mayweather alongside a five-layer cake. The rest of the party's decor was just as lavish, with crystal chandeliers, an ice sculpture and white Bengal tigers in cages. Yet Bieber, a longtime friend of Mayweather's, delivered the night's most moving moment after performing "What Do You Mean?" and "Where Are U Now." "I love this guy," said Bieber, his voice catching. "I look up to him."
The Breaks Director Dishes on Real-Life Inspirations
The buzz is building about the real-life inspirations for the characters on The Breaks, VH1's new series set in the world of 1990s hip-hop. Director Seith Mann, who wrote the pilot, won't say exactly what record exec he had in mind when he created manic label head Barry Fouray, but he confirms that actor Wood Harris "drew on" Damon Dash, who co-founded Roc-A-Fella Records with Jay Z. Mann laughed when Mayor's Office of Entertainment and Media Commissioner Julie Menin renamed 44th and Broadway "The Breaks Way." At the reception, Mann wouldn't "confirm or deny" that he modeled the imperious Juggy Aaron, played by Evan Handler, on music impresario Clive Davis. "But," he grinned, "that's a very good guess." Mann also said that, if the series gets picked up for more seasons, Diddy could become "a very powerful influence on some character," who believes the '90s were "the golden age of hip-hop."