Hip-Hop veteran LL Cool J performed his brand new single ‘Baby’ along with The Dream on So You Think You Can Dance this week. Great song, great performance.

‘Baby’ is featured on LL’s 12th studio album ‘Exit 13 – due September 9th.

What do you think of the performance?

Ne-Yo Covers 'Take A Bow' Ne-Yo stopped by the UK’s top Urban radio station 1Xtra earlier today to promote his upcoming ‘Year of The Gentleman’ LP. The talented singer/songwriter also performed a rendition of Rihanna’s #1 smash ‘Take A Bow’. I’m really liking his take, on the otherwise, so-so track.

Hit or Miss?

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With Bow Wow set to release his seventh studio album ‘Pedigree’ in the coming months, the video for the LP’s first single ‘Marco Polo’ made its debut today. Featuring Soulja Boy, both the song and video get the ‘blah’ treatment from me; Bow’s gonna have to up his game if he’s looking for any notable kind of success with this record. Yawn…

What do you think of the song / video?

Some 6 months after ‘Damaged’ dropped, Danity Kane finally premiered the video for their second single ‘Bad Girl’ on FN’MTV just a few moments ago. Undeniably, the ladies’ biggest budget effort to date, the video is their best IMO. That said, something still feels kinda lacking with this one…not sure what it is, but it’s something. Anyway, feature artist Missy Elliott as well as Day26’s Qwanell make cameos.

What do you think of the video?

Teairra Marí Speaks Out On Jay-Z & MoreIn a recent interview with, former Princess of The Roc, Teairra Marí spoke out the current status of her relationship with one-time mentor Jay-Z:

AHHA: Is there still a relationship at all with Jay-Z?

Teairra Mari: There is no relationship there at all. I haven’t heard from him since that time. I think I sent him a happy birthday message because his birthday is two days after mine, like two years ago and since then it’s been nothing. And I don’t want it to be – Actually, it’s fine because I was a young girl. If you could come into a young girl’s life and then just throw her on the curb, you put this father presence on and then be like, “I’m done with it.” I don’t want a relationship like that.

Ouch. She seems a lil burned by the way things went down and rightfully so. Label or no label, it wasn’t right the way her so-called ‘father’ dashed her to the side like that. Anyway, she also discussed her dislike of the direction of her first LP:

AHHA: With your first album, Roc-A-Fella Presents Teairra Mari, do you feel that project accurately depicted where you wanted you career to go and what you wanted your sound to be?

Teairra Mari: I was 17 and I had a parental advisory sticker on the album. I was totally against that. I was pre-instructed to do what I did. They wanted me to be that rebellious, young teenager. At the time I was going through a rebellious stage so I guess I could see it, but the curse words I didn’t totally understand it, like a cursing 17-year-old girl. I just did what I was told because I believed in those people.

I always did wonder, what right-minded label exec would have a 17 year old singing about ‘do I need to tell a n***a how to touch me'(on ‘Make A Girl Feel’}. Here’s hoping Teairra’s latest effort brings her the recognition she deserves.

Any thoughts?

The video for ‘Dope Boys’, the official second single to be lifted from The Game’s forthcoming ‘L.A.X’ album premiered today. Though the video is standard-fare, the song -which features Travis Barker- goes harder than hard. IMO, the Compton bred MC is really coming with his ‘A’ game this go round, further silencing the naysayers who believed he couldn’t deliver the goods post G-Unit. Good stuff.

What do you think of the song / video?

'Year of The Gentleman' CoverPeep the official album cover for Ne-Yo’s forthcoming effort ‘Year of The Gentleman’ (due September). Good stuff.
Our recent interview with Ne-Yo will be up mid-next week. apologies about the delay, you’ll know why it’s necessary when it’s posted. In the meanwhile, click here to see Ne-Yo give That Grape Juice a shout-out (also under the spotlight section too)

Your thoughts?

Rowland Wants 'Deeper' & 'More Inspiring' 3rd LP Speaking with the UK’s Daily Star, Kelly Rowland shed some light on the direction of her forthcoming solo LP – her third:

Kelly Rowland has said she would like to collaborate with UK singer-songwriter Kate Nash.

The former Destiny’s Child star also claimed that she is interested in working with Alphabeat, The Script and Guillemots.

“I definitely want a new sound so I am jamming in the studio with amazing musicians who just love music,” she told the Daily Star.

“I’ve asked The Script to do a duet and The Guillemots have given me one of their tracks to listen to.”

She continued: “I would love to do something with them or Alphabeat, and Kate Nash is dope.”

Rowland also revealed that she is hoping her third LP will be “deeper” and more “inspiring” than her first two solo albums. {Source}

Is it bad that, Kate Nash aside, I know nothing of the other names mentioned lol? Anyway, I’m glad Kelly is trying new things this go round. What exactly is meant by ‘deeper’ and ‘more inspiring’ will be interesting to see, however I’m hoping Kelly doesn’t completely turn her back on her inner diva. I’m really looking for Kelly to serve up the same sass, attitude and stage-presence she’s been doing recently and more widely seen during her last Destiny’s Child stint.

Random tidbit: I’ve always hoped Kelly would release something ‘Lose My Breath’-ish on a solo tip…

Your thoughts?
R&B singer Trey Songz recently dropped the video for ‘Missin’ You’, the fourth single to be lifted from his sophomore effort ‘Trey Day’. Check out the vid below:

Though I commend Trey for soldiering it out with this project, both the song and vid are kinda ‘blah’ to me. That said, I hope he starts to garner the praise he deserves as an artist – he’s too underrated IMO.

What do you think of the song / video?
The Game - 'My Life (ft. Lil' Wayne)'Check out this new cut from The Game’s still unreleased ‘L.A.X’ LP titled ‘My Life’. Featuring man of the moment Lil’ Wayne, the mid-tempo, piano-driven track -said to be a future single- is solid in its own right, yet notable more so for certain lyrics:

A shot at Eminem?:
“All the pictures of me and Em, I burned them”

Reaches out to Kanye over mother’s passing:
“Since you helped me sell my dream, we can share my mama now”.
All in all, a great track.

Hit or Miss?

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Foxy Brown Talks Jay-Z In the latest issue of XXL Magazine Foxy Brown tearfully opened up about the current status of her relationship with long-time friend and collaborator Jay-Z:

“A lot of things have happened over the years between Jay and I,” she says of the man who signed her to a multimillion-dollar deal at Def Jam in 2005, nine years after their classic duet “Ain’t No Nigga” gave him his first radio hit.

“But there’s an unbreakable bond that will never die. 50 wanted me to be part of his team so bad. He was like, ‘Look, I’ll do it with Jay, half and half.’ And, of course, Jay said no. At one point, 50 asked, ‘Why do you have so much loyalty to this Nigga?’ Jay and I have history. There are things that he could have done better, as far as his loyalty to me, and I’m sure I’ve made mistakes that he felt he could’ve prevented.” Foxy chokes up. “When I lost my hearing, Jay gave me the respect to go heal myself. He stuck with me along the way. But there are times when I just really needed him, and it wasn’t even about Foxy Brown and Jay-Z. It was just like, ‘I need you to help me save my life,’ and he just wasn’t there.”

The tears are streaming down her cheeks. “I would never denounce him in public. That’s just how I feel. But I’ve been incarcerated for eight months, and Jay’s been everywhere, and he hasn’t mentioned one thing about, ‘Tell her I love her. Tell her to be strong.’ That broke my heart more than anything. When they sent me to jail, I just knew he would be there-everyone came. But he never showed up… My mother always says, Jay also said this, in the tru life freestyle ‘Inga, when a person shows you who they are, believe them. Been showing me all through the years and you just don’t wanna believe it.’” {Source}

Though I’m a firm believer in there being 3 sides to every story (her side, his side and the truth), I can’t help but kinda sympathize with Foxy. Here’s hoping she gets herself together (which is seeming to be the case already) and remind us all why she is who she is – her talent.

Do you agree with Foxy?

Timbaland Enlists Beyonce, Rihanna & Co For 'Shock Value 2' Hit-maker Timbaland recently sat down with MTV to speak about the follow up to his 2007 LP ‘Shock Value’, which is aptly titled ‘Shock Value 2’. Beyonce, Rihanna and Jay-Z are just some of the big names the super-producer has lined up to appear on the album:

“Shock Value is really like the Now [That’s What I Call Music!] compilation,” he said. “That’s my goal for this — not [to showcase] me as an artist. Of course I’ll do my little part, introduce some people. It gives me room to go tour across the world. People request me. I put on a show. I put on a musical show.

“Right now, I have a song with Madonna that I didn’t put on her album. I saved [it] in case I wanna do one for me,” he revealed. “Of course I’mma do one with Beyoncé. Of course I’mma do one with Jordin Sparks, Rihanna. It’s a lot of people. I’mma do one with Jonas Brothers. I’mma try to have 10 major ones.”

On the hip-hop side, Timbo said he’s looking at T.I., already has T-Pain and expects Jay-Z. “Jay was really on the last one, but he wanted to change [the song],” he said. “I said, ‘Look, man, I gotta put out an album. You’re killing me.’ “

This, most definitely, is already shaping up to be better than its predecessor.

Randomness, I know, but wouldn’t it be something if Timbo had Beyonce and Rihanna on the same track ala ‘Scream’ with Keri Hilson and Nicole Scherzinger? Cheesy I know, but that really would be ‘shocking’.

Your thoughts?

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