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This is the official cover for Rihanna’s new album ‘Good Girl Gone Bad’. I’m liking it. She is going for a more adult/sophisticated look and it’s working. The CD drops June 5th.

{No, this isn’t the album cover}

Our friends over at Rap-Up have had the chance to listen to Kelly Rowland’s ‘Ms Kelly’ album. Check out their preview below:

1. “Like This” featuring Eve
Produced by Polow Da Don
Co-written by Sean Garrett and Kelly Rowland

We’ve all heard this song by now. It’s our favorite track on the album and definitely was the right choice for the first single. Kelly did another song with Eve last year called “Gotsta Go” which did not make the album.

2. “Comeback”
Produced by Scott Storch
Co-written by Kelly Rowland

Catchy, upbeat song and the first of two Scott Storch produced tracks on the CD. On the hook, Kelly sings: “I got that comeback, that hubba bubba…I got a lifetime warranty, guarantee you’ll never leave.”

3. “Ghetto” featuring Snoop Dogg
Produced by Tank
Co-written by Kelly Rowland and Tank

We were told that it was between this and “Work (Put It In)” for the second single. Kelly and her label were going back and forth and finally Kelly told them that she wanted this to be the second single. The smooth, mid-tempo R&B cut features Snoop Dogg. Kelly sings: “Rock your Timbs, sag your jeans, ice your grills, it’s all good with me…That’s what my baby wants, that’s how we be gettin’ it done.” Snoop has a rap in the intro and the middle of the song.

4. “Work (Put It In)”
Produced by Scott Storch
Co-written by Kelly Rowland

This is our second favorite track off the album after “Like This.” This would get our vote for the second single, but “Ghetto” with Snoop is probably a safer choice. The upbeat, fast-paced song has a drumbeat and is a definite club banger. Kelly sings: “No turning back from this party…See all that you can see…Do it baby do it, get it in.”

5. “Flash Back”
Produced by Charlie and Kenny Bereal
Co-written by Kelly Rowland

You might have heard this song already. It was leaked to the Internet a while ago. Kelly sings: “I wish I could relive the past.” The album version is pretty much the same as the one that’s on the net. The instrumental reminds us of the Main Street Electrical Parade at Disneyland.

6. “Every Thought Is You”
Produced by Loren Dawson and Rockwilder
Co-written by Kelly Rowland

Another song that has already hit the net. This mid-tempo number is one of the more forgettable tracks.

7. “The Show” featuring Tank
Produced by Tank
Co-written by Kelly Rowland and Tank

Slow jam, baby making music. This is a duet between Kelly and Tank where they compare making love to putting on a show. Kelly sings: “I’m getting out my show clothes, so hot when I rock those…I’m setting the stage on fire.” We get to hear a grown and sexy Kelly Rowland.

8. “Interlude”
Produced by Billy Mann
Written by Kelly Rowland

This interlude goes into “Still In Love With My Ex.” Kelly says, “Never thought we’d break up for the better…”

9. “Still In Love With My Ex”
Produced by Soulshock & Karlin
Co-written by Kelly Rowland

We can’t help but think this song is about Kelly’s ex-fiancé, football player Roy Williams. The album version of the song is different than the one that was leaked last year. It’s more upbeat and there’s now a guitar/rock feel to it. “I’m so sorry, please forgive me,” Kelly sings.

10. “Love”
Produced by Mysto & Pizzi
Co-written by Kelly Rowland and Solange Knowles

One of the standout tracks. Mid-tempo love song with lyrics like, “It’s a cold, cold world out there…And when it rains it pours out there…The grass ain’t greener on the other side…I knew you would return once you saw the real deal.” Mysto & Pizzi have worked with Cassie and Nina Sky. Kelly co-wrote this one with Beyoncé’s sister Solange who wrote two tracks on 2002’s Simply Deep. Look out for Solange’s album this September.

11. “Better Without You”
Produced by Charlie and Kenny Bereal

Another song that was probably influenced by Kelly’s ex. Guitar-driven track where Kelly talks about moving on from her past relationship. “I’m pursuing my goals,” she sings.

12. “This Is Love”
Produced by Billy Mann

Love, independence, and maturity seem to be the reoccurring themes throughout the album. This is the third song with “love” in the title. This pop ballad features strings and a guitar. Sample lyrics: “You take my imperfections and turn them into art.”

I’m really liking the tracklist; some of the songs that I was feeling from the unreleased ‘My Story’ album have been left on i.e. ‘Flashback’ and The Show’. The Scott Storch tracks sound like their gonna be hot too. All in all, I’m pretty hyped for this album. She seems to have come hard with this project and I’m hoping she does well. ‘Ms Kelly’ drops June 26th.

NY Daily News is reporting that R&B star Alicia Keys has pushed back the release of her third album from June to October. The official reason given by her spokesperson was that there were ‘scheduling conflicts’ with her blossoming acting career. However, it is rumoured that the singer is unhappy with the promotions situation at her label, J Records. Ken Wilson, the promotions director Keys ‘trusted and relied on’ was fired from the Clive Davis owned label.

Whatever the case, there are definite problems over at J Records. Solid albums by previously successful artists such as Fantasia and Monica severely underperformed due to bad promotion. It was as if the label’s artists would pop-up a month before their album would drop. With no single out now, Alicia would have been in the same situation come June. The label need to sort themselves out if they want their artists to actually sell; it’s not good when the top artist isn’t happy. It kinda makes me worry for upcoming J Records releases from Whitney Houston and Jennifer Hudson.


Ciara – Do It

This unreleased track was featured as a bonus on the European version of Ciara’s sophomore CD, ‘The Evolution’. ‘Do It’, which was produced by Will i Am (of the Black Eyed Peas), is the type of up-tempo song you would expect from Ciara. While it’s decent, it sounds like something that would fit in better on her first album ‘Goodies’.

LISTEN: Do It

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Ali & Gipp – Almost Made Ya (ft. LeToya)

Some of you may recognise Ali from Nelly’s group ‘St Lunatics’; he still is a member of the group, however he’s doing his own thing at the moment with Gipp from Goodie Mob. Jermaine Dupri produced the track and it samples Brandy’s ‘Almost Doesn’t Count’. I’m really liking this one alot. Lyrically, the song is engaging (2.31: ‘it ain’t yours!’) and LeToya delivers on the hook.

LISTEN: Almost Made Ya (ft. LeToya)

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T.I – Big Sh*t Poppin’

This is scheduled to be the lead single from T.I’s upcoming album ‘T.I vs T.I.P’ (due July 3rd). As with the 1st singles from his last few albums, ‘Big Sh*t Poppin’ doesn’t dissappoint. The Mannie Fresh produced track is a banger; it’s bass-heavy. T.I’s flow is on-point too.

LISTEN: Big Sh*t Poppin’

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Trey Songz – Fly Together (ft. Jim Jones)

As I said before, I’m really liking Trey’s new material; it’s like he’s done a complete U-turn from the music he was making on his last album. This new song, which features Jim Jones, is pretty good. Eric Hudson, who produced Omarion’s ‘Entourage’, also produced this.

LISTEN: Fly Together (ft. Jim Jones)

This remix of ‘Push It’ is the 2nd single from Pretty Ricky’s sophomore album ‘Late Night Special’. Though the original is o.k, this version is much better (mainly because of the Sean Paul feature). As much as I think Pretty Ricky are a joke, I have to admit that their singles are good. The video is kinda interesting too, I guess they were trying something different with the concept.

As you may have noticed, new tracks from Ne-Yo’s sophomore CD ‘Because of You’ have been leaking pretty quickly. Having now listened to the album in full, I can say that he has definitely managed to avoid the ‘sophomore slump’ by delivering a pretty solid album. After listening to the earlier leaked tracks and snippets, I felt that Ne-Yo hadn’t really pushed himself creatively and was just dishing out more of the same. However, the album has proven me wrong as there are quite a few great songs that aren’t typically his style. Though I’m unsure whether this tops his fantasitc debut, ‘Because of You’ (due May 1st) is definitely worth a buy. Check out some of my highlights from the album (which I haven’t posted already)…

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R&B singer Ashanti has been out of the limelight for some time now, however reports suggest that she is on the verge of making a comeback. According to her publicist, the ‘Only U’ singer has just finished recording with super producers Pharrell Williams, Polow Da Don, Nephew and LT Hutton. Collaborations with Robin Thicke, Snoop Dogg and Jim Jones are also complete.
I’m actually kinda anxious to hear her new material. I felt her last album, ‘Concrete Rose’ was her best, but kinda got ignored. She seems to have branched out from only working with her INC label-mates i.e. Ja Rule and is switching things up a bit. It’s also cool how she’s laid low for a while before dropping a new album (Rihanna and co should take note); it makes the anticipation for the project more. The currently untitled album is scheduled to hit stores later this year.

Fabolous – Make Me Better (ft. Ne-Yo)This track is from Fabolous‘ upcoming ‘From Nothing To Something’ album (due June 12th). As with most of Fabolous singles, there is a feature artist- this time it’s Ne-Yo. The Timbaland-produced song isn’t bad, however it’s not that good either. Ne-Yo’s singing on the hook sounds uninspired and the track doesn’t really go anywhere.

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Naturi (Formerly of 3LW) – Real Chick (ft. Lil’ Kim)

Some of you may remember Naturi from her time in R&B group 3LW; depending on which side you believe – she left or was kicked out. Whatever the case, Naturi was replaced in 2002. While it’s good to know she hasn’t disappeared altogether, she needs to go back to the studio if this is all she can come up with. After listening to this one several times, I still dunno what the hell she’s singing about. On the plus side, Kim’s rap is kinda good. I hear Naturi is working with Jermaine Dupri and Nelly, so hopefully her future material is better than this.

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Aaliyah – Girlfriends
This rare track by the late Aaliyah has only just hit the net. I’m unsure as to what time-frame it’s from. ‘Girlfriends’ is a nice mid-tempo song, however I can see why it was never included on any of her albums; it’s just not an album-worthy track.

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Nina Sky – Clothes Off (ft. Daytona)
One-hit wonders, Nina Sky are back. After the massive success of their 2004 song ‘Move Ya Body’ they kinda disappeared. ‘Clothes Off’ is rumoured to be the duo’s new single from their upcoming sophomore album ‘The Musical’ (due later this year). It’s a relaxed uptempo track and is pretty good.

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I’m not gonna lie, I kinda like this one. As annoying as his voice can become, he has been surprisingly consistent with great singles and features. The video isn’t saying too much, but it’s ok. The song, which features Yung Joc, is currently sitting at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Check it out…

Ciara performed her latest single ‘Like A Boy’ on the Jimmy Kimmel Show earlier this week. As usual she was great with the choreography; I’ve noticed that she has improved on her live vocals too. Though I felt there was little artistic ‘evolution’ on her current album ‘Ciara: The Evolution’, she has definitely stepped up her live performing. In earlier performances she would either lip-sync or sound a hot mess; now she has found an equal balance with the dancing and vocals. Anyway, check out the performance…the Matrix part was cool…

I posted a small clip of this song last week and now the full version has hit the net. I’m liking this one alot; it’s a typical Jermaine Dupri production and Bone Thugs are back at their best. It doesn’t rate as high as their past collaboration with Mariah ‘Breakdown’, but is good in it’s own right. Check it out…

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American Idol winner, Fantasia, made her debut in the Broadway show ‘The Colour Purple’ last night. From the look of these pics, Tasia did great in her leading role as Celie. I love the film version and would definitely like to check out the Broadway show, should I get the chance.






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