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Controversial R&B star Chris Brown is looking to re-claim his place in the industry, making a comeback with ‘I Can Transform Ya’ – the lead single from his 3rd studio album ‘Graffiti’ (due November). The swagger-heavy track, which was produced by Swizz Beats, is a gritty club banger, which sees the singer ride over a busy, rock-tinged beat, along with Lil’ Wayne, who for once doesn’t sound like he was flung on there ‘for the sake of it’. Definitely feeling this one, particularly as Chris and/or his team smartly opted to stay away from any of the drama with the billy goat (and no, I am in no way condoning his actions). I can’t think of anything more contrived than a ‘I’m sorry’/public sympathy-designed track to launch his comeback. Anyway, without going off-topic, it’ll be interesting to see how well this does…

Hit Or Miss?



Check out this video of Beyonce performing career-definer ‘Crazy In Love’ at At F1 Rocks Singapore Asia in Singapore last night.

Say what you want about ol’ Bouncy, but she’s snatching wigs of them other chicks left, right and centre! Once again, she’s showing why she is the best out there. Awesome performance!

Randomness: While typing the above about ‘Crazy In Love’ being Beyonce’s career-definer, I was wondering if the majority agree? Suggest say ‘Single Ladies’ instead?…

What do you think of the performance?



amerie 4

Check out a stunning looking Amerie in the latest issue of YRB magazine (no, I’ve not heard of it either lol). But really though, what are the first words that comes to mind when looking at this shoot? Because for your boy Sam it really is ‘Amerie, you better work!!!’. Kinda has me wondering why these pics weren’t used for a more substancial publication or promotional purposes. In any case…flawless.

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What do you think of the pics?


Britney 3

Pop superstar Britney Spears is celebrating her 10th year in the music industry with a new compilation titled ‘The Singles Collection’. Featuring all her singles to date, the record hits stores November 24th via Jive and will be proceeded by the Max Martin produced new cut ‘3’, which you can listen to below.

With ‘Blackout’ and the sound Britney went for with that record pretty much standing as her finest musical moment (IMO), it’s a little hard to digest the so-so/’doing-it-for-the-sake-of’ music she’s been churning out recently. No, it’s not bad, yet nothing I imagine I’d been itching to hit ‘play’ on again. Yawn.

Hit or Miss?

Ciara Readies 4th Album With The-Dream; Almost Complete
According to our good friends over at Rap-Up.com, Ciara has spent the last few months recording her 4th studio album with hitmakers The-Dream and Tricky Stewart. The record is said to be almost complete!

Christopher “Tricky” Stewart and his songwriting partner The-Dream have been secretly spending the summer in the studio producing the entire follow-up to Ciara’s Fantasy Ride. Stewart broke the news to Rap-Up.com in an exclusive interview. “We’re doing the whole project,” he reveals. “We’re pretty good into it at this point. We’re about 14 songs deep right now.”The 23-year-old ATLien relocated to the West Coast to work on the album with Tricky and Dream, who crafted “High Price” and “Like a Surgeon” off this year’s Fantasy Ride. “She came out to L.A. to work with us. We’re out here making this record ’cause it feels good and the vibe is good,” says the Grammy-winning producer.

The as-yet-untitled effort will feature danceable tracks that have become Ciara’s signature. “This record obviously is gonna have tempo to it, but I think it’s gonna have even more substance than the last record,” Tricky discloses. “She dances and we always want to bring out what she does that other people don’t.”

Although Fantasy Ride boasted collaborations with a who’s who of the industry including Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown, and Ludacris, the “Love Sex Magic” singer will be riding solo this time. “This album we wanted to take a few steps back and make it more about her, so the only feature is Dream. But the features that we do on this record will be remixes.”

The hitmaker even shared a couple song titles with Rap-Up.com. “I love ‘Speechless.’ I love this record called ‘Gifted.’ Those are two of my favorites. ‘Speechless’ is the record with her and Dream together.”

While there’s still the possibility of a release by the end of the year, it’s looking like 2010 will mark Super C’s return. “It’s a little up in the air, but there’s a chance that it might come this year. That was the goal, but at the same time, we didn’t want to rush anything. I think it’s looking more like a next year thing.”

Ciara is pulling out all the stops to make this her best work yet. “Right now, she’s on her grind, coming back, trying to make a better album than she made last time and get back to that mark where everybody knew that she was in the top tier of the female business.”

This definitely feels like it came out of nowhere; it’s a welcome surprise though. While ‘Fantasy Ride’ wasn’t a masterpiece, I definitely feel the project didn’t garner the success should have. What ever the reason for the album’s hate-to-say-it ‘tanking’, it’s great to see Ms. Harris dust her self and not waste time on redeeming herself with a new record. Here’s hoping she, The-Dream and Tricky serve up the hotness.

Your thoughts?


R&B singer Mya is doing the damn thing on Dancing With The Stars! Check her performance this week, in which she danced the Jive. I’m really hopeful her stint on the show injects some much-needed life into her career.

Your thoughts?

Mariah's Memoirs

Tomorrow marks the US release of Mariah Carey’s ‘Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel’ LP – although it’s pretty much common knowledge that it “surfaced” online two weeks ahead of release.

As regards my take on the album, it’s like I’m between a rock and a hard place, hence the lack of review at present. On the one hand the album delivers in that it isn’t as sickeningly commercial and fast-food music in the vein of ‘E=MC2’; yet, save for a few standout tracks (see: ‘More Than Friends, ‘Angels Cry’, ‘Up Out My Face’ and ‘I Want To Know What Love Is’), the rest of the album is a slow-snooze-fest. In as much as I seem to go in on Mariah, I actually kinda feel sorry for her. Critiqued for being too commercial, she re-engaged with a more mature sound, yet the output of that is largely monotonous and boring – some would argue it’s as if poor Mimi can’t win either way. How true that is, I don’t know. What I do know is that it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the Mariah of yesteryear, who was able to deliver both timeless contemporary ballads as well as quality club smashes, which managed to effortlessly sit beside each other on one album (see: ‘Butterfly’ and ‘Emancipation of Mimi’) seems to have much difficulty duplicating the same winning formula today. It’s as if today she can only do one well at any given time/album, with even that proving one hell of a rarity these days. Oh Mimi…

Anyway, more so than anything, we’re eager to hear what you think of ‘Memoirs’. Hit or Miss? Does it live up to your expectations? Favourite tracks? Least Favourite track? First week sales predictions?…

Your thoughts?

Amerie In Love and War

Peep the official album cover for Amerie’s Def Jam debut ‘In Love & War’ (due November 23rd). Loving it!

What do you think of the cover?



Sugababe Keisha Buchanan

With the UK music industry still in shock over the departure of Keisha Buchanan from country’s biggest girl group, the Sugababes, new reports are suggesting the industry’s top hitmakers are lining up to work with the talented vocalist, particularly Ne-Yo:

Having been humiliated after she was forced out of the Sugababes, Keisha Buchanan may soon have the last laugh — R&B star Ne-Yo is desperate to work with her.

We can reveal that the US singer, 29, who has written hits for Beyoncé, Rihanna and Leona Lewis, contacted Keisha about working on material for her solo career.

Earlier this week, the 24-year-old singer, the last original member of the group, announced she had been forced to leave. Keisha has now been replaced by Eurovision runner-up Jade Ewen.A source told us: “Keisha has known Ne-Yo for a few years. They are close friends and have worked together on Sugababes material. So when he heard she had left the group he contacted her and told her he wants to work with her. Keisha is also good friends with Jermaine Riley from FDM, who is signed to Ne-Yo’s label. When he heard of the split he told her to call him as he had some big news.”

Mutya Buena, 24, an original Sugababe who left in 2005, has hinted she would like the founding line-up — which included Siobhan Donaghy — to reform. The source added: “Mutya is keen on the old line-up getting back together, but Keisha wants to try to make it solo and she thinks Ne-Yo is the perfect guy for the job.”

Speculation over the Sugababe split led to rumours that Keisha was bullying the other members, a claim she fiercely denies. Today Sugababe Amelle Berrabah, 25, said: “Problems started in the last few months, but it was a long time coming.”  {Source}

I’m definitely hoping this is true; ever since news broke that Keisha had been ousted, yet has a solo deal, I’ve been sizing up the prospects of her solo LP. While some may be sceptical of her chances as a solo artist, I must say I’m very optimistic. As well as her undeniable talent, Keisha has also done a great job over the years of networking with her industry peers, hence if handled correctly and given the opportunity to work with the best (which I’m sure her label Island wouldn’t say no to, particularly in the case of Ne-Yo), she could really be a force and, as the article suggests, have the last laugh. Definitely looking forward to this project…

Your thoughts?


Diddy

Following several weeks of industry mumerings, it has been confirmed that Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs is leaving Warner / Atlantic Records, and reportedly joining Jimmy Iovine’s Interscope label. Perhaps most shocking, however, is that his Bad Boy imprint will REMAIN over at Atlantic, hence after launching the careers of Day26, Cherri Dennis and everyone’s favourite ‘sanger’ Cassie, the mogul is leaving them behind to persue his career elsewhere. Ouch. Peep the report below:

With his contract wrapped, Sean “Diddy” Combs is ankling Warner Music Group/Atlantic Records as an artist, a source confirmed Friday.

Much-rumored departure does not affect WMG’s joint venture with hip-hop impresario’s imprint Bad Boy Entertainment and its acts, which will continue to move through Atlantic.

Bad Boy catalog remains at WMG in perpetuity.

Combs had not been prolific during his five years with WMG: He issued one album, “Press Play,” in 2006. Set debuted at No. 1 nationally.

Recent industry scuttlebutt has placed Combs’ forthcoming album “Last Train to Paris” at Interscope.

Implying a new Bad Boy-styled imprint may be in the offing, Combs said in a statement, “Now that the term of the Warner deal has ended, I have elected to accept an opportunity to move my recording career and future label venture to another company.”

{Source}

With next to no one really checking for Diddy as an artist (I mean come on now…), the real story here lies with the fact that Day26, Cassie and co are set to remain over at Bad Boy. If there was ever a time I was certain an act was set to be dropped, it’s now – unfortunately. That said, for some reason, I feel we’ll probably be seeing the oh-so-talented Cassie have her contract bought out and her make the move over with her lover boss.

Your thoughts?


Keri Hilson is currently on this side of the pond to promote her album ‘In A Perfect World’, as well as co-host the 2009 MOBO Awards this coming Wednesday. The R&B star stopped by GMTV yesterday for a chat, as well as to perform her current UK single ‘Energy’.

While the performance wasn’t bad and I love the song, I’m really gonna need ‘Miss Keri Baby’ to not look like she’s having bad cramps when singing. Compare her facial reactions to that of her backing singer; she looks like she’s in pain. On the bright side, she sounded pretty good – she’s becoming a much more consistent live performer.

Your thoughts?


Alicia Keys - 'Doesn't Mean Anything' (New Single)

R&B star Alicia Keys’ 4th studio album is titled ‘The Element if Freedom’ and will hit stores December 1st, it has been confirmed. {Source}



While I’m liking her new single ‘Doesn’t Mean Anything’, it isn’t moving me in that some of her past hits have; a grower perhaps? Here’s hoping the album delivers; either way, I’m sure it will do well, as I see Ms. Alicia is looking for them Christmas sales LOL. On a more serious note, she apparently is releasing the album on December 1st as it is World Aids Day More power to her.

Your thoughts?


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