Lecrae Talks Signing With Jay-Z Rumour

Lecrae, the 33-year-old Christian rapper, recently responded to rumors about signing with Jay-Z, and also offered his thoughts on the rapper.
The rapper born Lecrae Moore clarified rumors of him signing with rap mogul Shawn”Jay-Z” Carter in a recent Ebony.com interview.
“[Laughs] At this point in time, no,” Lecrae told Ebony. “Essentially, he was looking for some conscious artists and my name was thrown into a pool of other artists and that’s as far as it went.”
The Christian rapper let it be known that he would not consider the business move.
“Nah. For multiple reasons, but one majorly,I’m an independent artist, I’m a label owner,” Lecrae revealed. “I love my independence. I love being able to create the story.”
While many have questioned Jay-Z’s religious beliefs, Lecrae said that there were some parallels between he and the popular music mogul.
“And I want to do in many ways what Jay-Z is doing for the mainstream. He’s inspiring a lotof people to think they can do something on their own,” Lecrae said. “I want to inspire people that they can do it on their own and not compromise their faith and beliefs, as well. So, that’s what I stand for.”
Jay-Z previously spoke about his religious beliefs in a 2010 interview with New York City radio station Hot 97. The rapper said he didn’tknow where rumors that he belonged to a secretsociety came from.
“If people must know my religious beliefs, I believe in one God. I don’t believe in religion,” Jay-Z told Hot 97 host Angie Martinez previously. “I don’t believe in Christians or Muslims. I think all that separates people.I think it’s all the same God, and I don’t believe in Hell.”

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‘Lost’ in ‘Wonderland’! Naveen Andrews joins ‘Once Upon’ spinoff in major role

He’s back: Naveen Andrews is returning to ABC primetime. The actor has booked a major role on upcoming fall seriesOnce Upon a Timein Wonderland.
Andrews will play Jafar — the main villain inDisney’s 1992 filmAladdin.
The role will mark Andrews’ U.S. TV return since playing Sayid onLost,which concluded in 2010. He’s appeared in one other project, the UK seriesSinbad, which was aired stateside on Syfy, and was cast in an ABC pilot earlier this year. The super-secret casting was just announced during theWonderlandpanel, with Andrews surprising fans by taking the stage.
“I’m proud and thrilled to be back with ABC on an exciting and unique new show!” said Andrews in a statement to EW. “This role will be a real departure from any animated versions because of the layered emotions and complexities involved with making him a real three-dimensional character.”
Showrunner Edward Kitsis said on the panel that Jafar will part of the show starting with the season premiere. “We absolutely had this character in mind and we knew we wanted Naveen to play it. We asked him he said yes and we said lets save it for Comic-Con … it’s going to be very frightening.”
Wonderlandpremieres Thursday, Oct. 10 at 8 p.m.
By James Hibberd

Jim Parsons nominated for the Emmys Award!

Jim Parsons will never get tired of being nominated for Emmys
By Hillary Busis

Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons just got nominated for his fifth Emmy Award — but don’t assume that means he’s grown immune to the honor. “Oh my God, are you kidding? No!”he says, a note of incredulity in his voice. “[InHollywood,] one day you’re working and one day people are saying, ‘Who?’ So it’s always apleasant surprise.”
In fact, says Parsons, he feels more honored to be nominated with every TV season that passes. “There’s more on the air every year, there’s more choices out there,” he explains, “and when people choose you in any way … it’s really touching. I don’t know what other word to use.”
It helps, of course, that Parson was given plenty of juicy material this year. He marvelsat the wayBig Bang‘s writers developed the show’s characters and relationships in its sixth season, especially the one between Parson’s Sheldon and Mayim Bialik’s Amy: “They’ve made such strides in the growth of several characters on this show, without alienating the characters from who they were atthe beginning.” Parsons says writing like that makes his job easy — though the Academy maydisagree.
“I feel it more intensely the longer the show goes on,” he continues. “My job feels like it’s very much to show up and say what they’ve written. And I know that there’s more to it — I’m not an idiot. But I really mean that, from the bottom of my heart. That’s the core feeling that I have.”
Parsons is currently on the east coast, reprising an old Broadway role in Ryan Murphy’s adaptation ofThe Normal Heart, a drama about the ’80s AIDS crisis. “It’s been so wonderful to do something so divergent fromthe day job, as it were,” he says — especially because of the TV movie’s heavy subject matter,which tends to “create immediate camaraderie.”It might also lead to more Emmy victories next year, though Parsons isn’t counting his chickens. “The work I’ve watched has been stellar, so it wouldn’t surprise me if come awards time there was some recognition,” he says — adding, diplomatically, “but you just never know.”

Nokia’s anemic U.S. sales a low point amid weak Q2 results

 

Maybe the Lumia 1020 will turn things around?

(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

Well, it didn’t long for the good will built up by the introduction of the Lumia 1020 to wear off.

Nokia posted disappointing second-quarter results early Thursday, with revenue and unit sales that fell below analyst expectations. Its revenue fell 24 percent from a year ago to 5.7 billion euros ($7.5 billion), while its mobile device unit sales also dropped by more than a quarter to 61.1 million.

Nokia shipped 7.4 million Lumia smartphones in the second quarter, also below analyst expectations but not disastrous. In fact, that figure tops the 6.8 million BlackBerrys shipped in that company’s last reported quarter, which includes 2.7 million BlackBerry 10 devices, an indication of which platform has taken the lead in the race for No. 3 behind Android and iOS.

But focus a bit further on North America, and things continue to look grim. The company only shipped 500,000 units in the quarter, a 17 percent decline from a year ago, although an uptick from the 400,000 units shipped in the first quarter. U.S. sales likely made up a large chunk of that small number.

The results underscore a continued problem for Nokia: its weak brand and inability to generate any momentum in North America. In a quarter when it finally added a Lumia device to Verizon Wireless’s lineup, it still saw muted progress.

And in case anyone doesn’t think Nokia doesn’t care about the U.S. market, note that the Lumia 1020 launch was held in New York, just like its previous flagship device, the Lumia 920. The company has poured money into splashy launches and loud campaigns here, to little effect.

The continued stateside stagnation also calls into question Nokia’s long-standing partnership with AT&T, and whether that has benefited the Finnish smartphone maker. At the tail-end of the Lumia 1020 launch, an audience member called AT&T a “crappy partner” and asked how it would ensure better treatment.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said the Lumia 1020 would receive a more aggressive push from AT&T and Microsoft, and in an interview with CNET, he further defended the practice of sticking with exclusive deals.

“We’re very much having to make decisions where we place our bets and where we concentrate our resources,” he said. “It’s more effective to go with a specific partner.”

But after more than a year of exclusives, primarily with AT&T, Nokia still doesn’t have much to show for it.

 

 

 

 

AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega at the Lumia 1020 launch.

(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

The problem is the constant one-upmanship found in its own lineup. AT&T had the lock of the Lumia 920 and its unique low-light camera. When Verizon Wireless finally got its own, thinner version, the Lumia 928, Nokia unveiled an all-metallic version — the Lumia 925 — that would be an exclusive to T-Mobile.

Two months later, Nokia showed off the Lumia 1020, which again is an exclusive to AT&T. With the best device on AT&T, how aggressively will Verizon and T-Mobile market their own Lumia products?

Nokia insists that the exclusive strategy is the best one to get carriers interested in marketing the product, but the lack of parity between devices offers little incentive to the carriers with the inferior products to get to enthusiastic.

Even as exclusives persist, the top-selling phones — the Apple iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S4, and HTC One — are all widely available on multiple carriers.

Hopefully, Nokia eventually follows the same path and gives everyone a crack at its best smartphones. Clearly, staying on the exclusive track hasn’t panned out.

LG Optimus F3 now available on Virgin Mobile for $179.99

Prepaid carrier Virgin Mobile announced today that it will begin selling the LG Optimus F3 for $179.99.

Already available for free under contract with Sprint, the 4G LTE device is equipped with a 4-inch IPS touchscreen and ships with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean.

The handset also features a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, a VGA front-facing camera, and a swift 1.2GHz dual-core processor.

I recently took a look at Sprint’s Optimus F3 and was particularly impressed by its long-lasting 2,460mAh battery, which has a reported talk-time of 16 hours.

Additional features include NFC, the ability to record 1080p full HD video, and a microSD card slot that’s expandable up to 32GB.

For more information on the phone, be sure to check out my review of its Sprint counterpart.

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