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Usher - 'Love In The Club' (Part II) (ft. Beyonce & Lil' Wayne)Fresh off the chart-topping success of Usher’s ‘Love In The Club’, ‘Part II’ has surfaced featuring Beyonce and Lil’ Wayne. New vocals, new production, new everything. I’m actually feeling this a lot more than the original. Awesome.

Hit or Miss?

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R&B star Mario continues to shine on Dancing With The Stars. Check out his performance of the Rumba with partner Karina on this week’s show:

SMH at Len Goodman calling them ‘the Strumpet and the Giggalo’. In any case, it’s good to see Mario doing his thing.

Any thoughts?

The video for Alicia Keys’ new single ‘Teenage Love Affair’ made its debut today. Inspired by Spike Lee’s movie ‘School Daze’, the video serves as one of Alicia’s best clips to date. The engaging concept captured the essence of the song’s lyrical content fantastically. Seeing the stunningly beautiful Alicia get her little choreography on, a rarity, was also nice touch. Great song, even better video.

What do you think of the video?

Swizz Beats & Mashonda SplitAccording to AllHipHop.com, super producer Swizz Beats and wife of four years R&B singer Mashonda are to divorce. The news comes just a year after the couple welcomed their first child Kassem Jr. Check out the report:

A representative for Swizz Beatz didn’t specify the reason for the separation, but stated the split was “on amicable terms.”

“Their union was one shared in love and deep admiration for one another. For the last seven months, the two have been working on establishing a formidable friendship, being great parents to their son, and remaining great supporters of each other’s careers,” a representative told AllHipHop.com. “The couple has asked that their privacy be respected at this time.”

Despite a looming divorce, the pair will move forward with their entrepreneurial and musical efforts.

Swizz is presently working on a follow-up album to his 2007 sophomore CD, One Man Band Man.

Mashonda is expected to launch an upscale swimwear line, a new venture in music, and hopes to found an arts-based school for children.

That’s a shame. Word has it that, despite the ‘we’re still friends’ statement put out, the split is in fact very messy. I’m beginning to wonder if industry relationships can actually last the distance…

Your thoughts?

Competition: Danity Kane - Soundcheck Give-Away That Grape Juice have teamed up with Wal-Mart Soundcheck to celebrate the recent Gold certification of Danity Kane’s awesome new album ‘Welcome To The Dollhouse’. The ladies performed an exclusive in-studio set for the original online concert series earlier this month (click here to watch).
We are giving you the chance to win a fantastic Danity Kane / Unilever prize pack, which includes a copy of ‘Welcome To The Dollhouse’, iTunes downloads, as well as several Unilever beauty products. To be in with a chance of winning, answer the following question correctly:

Member D.Woods, initially, went by her real first name. What is it:

a) Shaniece

b) Wanita

c) Neither, it’s a trick question

Email your answer as well as your full name, age, and *full* address to [email protected]. Please be sure to put ‘Danity Kane Comp’ as the subject. Winners will be selected randomly from all correct answers. Competition ends Sunday 27th April. Good luck!

Fergie - 'Labels Or Love' As earlier reported, Pop star Fergie recorded the opening number to the much-hyped ‘Sex & The City’ movie (in theatres May 27th); the track itself, ‘Labels Or Love’, surfaced today. Sampling the popular show’s theme tune, the song will most appeal to fans of the Fergie/Black Eyed Peas sound. Pretty decent. I must say though, I’m more looking forward to Jennifer Hudson’s confirmed contribution to the soundtrack.

Hit or Miss?

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Estelle Covers BLEU Magazine‘American Boy’ singer Estelle features in the Spring 2008 issue of BLEU Magazine; the UK sensation is the first artist to receive a double cover in the magazine’s history.

Speaking exclusively to BLEU Magazine’s contributing writer Lenox Magee, Estelle dishes on how the UK does not know how to promote black artists. She also addresses the Lauryn Hill comparisons:

“I think they compare me to her (Lauryn Hill) because I’m dark-skinned and I sing and rap. But, if they’re saying the music is just as great, then compare me all day because I’ll be really happy about that.”

The issue hits newsstands across the US on April 29th, as does Estelle’s great new album ‘Shine’.
Estelle Covers BLEU Magazine Estelle Covers BLEU Magazine
Estelle Covers BLEU Magazine

Your thoughts?

Mariah Carey - 'Bye Bye' (Remix) (ft. Jay-Z)This Jay-Z assisted remix of Mariah Carey’s current single ‘Bye Bye’ surfaced just a few hours ago. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that I’m not sold on the original version, but this doesn’t really do much for me. Unlike Mariah’s past remixes, which oft are equally as good, if not better than the originals, this is kinda blah. On a more positive note, the track is worth a listen, if only to hear Jay’s untouchable flow.

Hit or Miss?

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Mariah Speaks On Leona Comparisons Diva Mariah Carey, whose latest effort ‘E=MC²’ is set to top the US charts this week, spoke recently on the comparisons between herself and UK singing sensation Leona Lewis:

“Honestly, there has been so many, ‘This is the new her,’ and I’m like, ‘OK, show me the new her. Can she come and work for me and be my double?’ And I’m not particular talking about this girl Leona, because I only heard her once and I didn’t really hear a true similarity, particularly in the style of music. It is what it is and critics have compared me to so many people who are not really singers, and they’re certainly not writers”. {Source}

Is it me or does she come across kind of catty here? I mean, not for a long while has a voice like Leona’s risen to prominence, yet Mariah seems to see this as a bad thing. Yes, she’s worked incredibly hard to reach the status she enjoys today, but I’ve never been a fan of the whole veterans feeling threatened by the newcomers thing.

Your thoughts?

Beyonce & Jay-Z Sign Marriage LicenceWhile Beyonce and Jay-Z continue to remain tight-lipped about their much-talked about wedding two weeks ago, the pair made a very public declaration of their union. This past Friday the pair finally signed their marriage licence – before it expired, according to PEOPLE.com:

Scarsdale Town Clerk Donna Conkling tells PEOPLE the license – which lists the wedding date as April 4 – was received on Friday afternoon. The couple applied for the license just three days before the ceremony.

Interesting. It’s a bit puzzling as to why they left it so long to sign the document – which usually is signed at the actual ceremony….

Any thoughts?

Janet Tour to Kick Off September 11th In news that will, no doubt, please Janet Jackson’s army of fans, the Pop superstar has confirmed to E! Online that her much-anticipated world tour will start on September 11th. According to the ‘Feedback’ singer, promotion for the her album ‘Discipline’ is on-going, with tour rehearsal commencing in a months time. {Source}
While it’s great to see Janet pressing on with promotion and the tour, I sure as hell hope that Def Jam/her people have some plan in place to help shift some more units of the record. After all, healthy album sales, for the most part, equal good ticket sales.

Will you be checking for Janet’s tour?
Fergie Preps 'Dutchess' Re-ReleaseAccording to MTV, Fergie is set to re-release her multi-Platinum smash ‘The Dutchess’. Boasting several new tracks including her collaboration with Nelly, ‘Party People’, as well as ‘Labels & Love’ – the theme of the much-anticipated ‘Sex In The City’ movie, the revamped LP will hit stores on May 27th.
In response to the question of why she decided to re-issue the record, the Black Eyed Peas front-woman was surprisingly candid with her explanation:

That’s what everyone’s doing nowadays, I hear,” she laughed. “The label came to me and said this would be a good idea, and I thought, ‘Well, OK, if this is another way for me to put out these songs that I’ve been wanting people to hear, then great.’ The music business is changing, and this repackage thing is a new way for people to put out songs that they want people to hear, so I’m cool with it.”

Well, at least she was honest. It still baffles me as to why the label would re-issue an almost 2 year old album. Surely everyone who wanted it the first time has it already?

Your thoughts?

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