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Hit-maker Jermaine Dupri has told MTV News that his Pop superstar girlfriend Janet Jackson is in talks to join him over at Island Def Jam. Durpi, who was appointed President of Urban Music by label chief L.A Reid in February, had the following to say:

‘Definitely Janet will end up at Island…That’s without a doubt. L.A. always wanted to sign her regardless [of whether] I was there or not. I don’t know where that deal is — I left that in the hands of L.A. and Janet’s people — but more than likely, he’ll get what he wants.”
If handled right, I’m sure this will be a good thing for Janet. She is in need of a career resuscitation after the Superbowl incident and poor sales of her albums since. L.A Reid was part of the team that delivered Mariah’s incredible comeback album, so it’ll be interesting to see if the the same can be done for Janet.
Our friends over at Rap-Up.com have posted what has been confirmed as the Official album cover for Kelly Rowland’s sophomore CD ‘Ms Kelly’. I’m liking it alot; from the pose to the overall look…it’s on-point. The album, which features production from the likes of Polow Da Don, Rockwilder and Scott Storch, drops June 26th.

What do you think?
In the last couple of weeks, rumours have been swirling that Usher had fired his mother, Jonnetta Patton, as his manager – the role which she has held since the start of his career. The reason being due her conflict with his fiancee, Tameka Foster (38). Some even reported that she was given her marching orders on Mothers Day. In a statement made to The Associated Press yesterday, the ‘Confessions’ singer confirmed that he is no longer managed by his mother, however denied that it was as a result of any rift. Instead he claims ‘She and I are on great terms and support each other in our life’s endeavors’; he believes by separating his ‘business and personal life’ that he can have his mother strictly as his mother, ‘with no added pressure’.
It is well-known that there is a common dislike between Jonnetta and Tameka, so you just know that had something to do with this. I’m guessing there’s only room for one ‘old chick’ is Usher’s life.
According to hit-maker Jermaine Dupri, Nelly is hard at work on his new album and has a few surprises in store. JD tells MTV News:
“Nelly’s got a crazy collaboration he’s trying to put together, which is him, Janet and Mariah Carey all on one song,” JD said. “That’s what he wants. If he could convince them to do it, it would be crazy. He wants Janet to rap a 16-bar verse, he wants Mariah to sing the hook and he’s gonna do two verses. He has it all planned out. You ask him about it! This is what he wants; he’s 100-percent deadlocked into it. My two records [that J.D. has produced for Nelly so far], he’s gonna have some people on them – I won’t tell it yet. I don’t want to jinx the record”.
I’ve been hearing about a possible Mariah / Janet collaboration for some time now, but now Nelly has been thrown into the mix. For some reason, the concept seems more appealing than just the two of them. Janet rapping, though…?
Prior to now, I haven’t been feeling much of Amerie’s material. However, after hearing her latest album ‘Because I Love It’, I must say that she really delivered. Many have questioned how good the album would be, seeing as she didn’t work with longtime collaborator Rich Harrison (‘1 Thing’, Why Don’t We Fall In Love’ etc). Yet, by switching things up, Amerie has managed to carve out a great new sound for herself.

(more…)

Ne-Yo performed on the Jay Leno Show a couple of nights ago to promote his new album. He sang the album’s title track ‘Because of You’ with live instrumentation. I really enjoyed the performance; he’s a great live singer. The band were a nice touch too and enhanced the performance overall.

In more Ne-Yo news, his single ‘Because of You’ rockets from #39-#5 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, giving the singer his third top ten on the chart and his biggest hit since ‘So Sick’. Hits Daily are also reporting the singer’s latest album, also called ‘Because of You’, is on course to sell 250,000+ in its first week out- making it a likely contender for the #1 spot.

Some of you may remember Raz-B as the member who never sang in teen R&B group B2K. I’m pretty sure the only B2K track I ever heard him on was ‘Girlfriend’ and even that was a measly two lines. Like many, I just assumed that he couldn’t sing and was simply there to make up the number. However, his new solo track ‘Fire’ has proven me wrong. The mid-tempo track, which debuted at #89 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop chart, is actually decent and proves that the guy CAN sing. Raz-B’s voice sounds alot like Marques Houston; it kinda makes me wonder why we never heard him sing before. Check it out…

{Link Removed As Requested}

According to reports, Beyonce’s younger sister, Solange, is to take over as her manager once their father, Matthew Knowles, steps down in five years. The singer/songwriter has revealed that she is the heiress to her dad’s Music World empire – which also includes a music label. She has been quoted as saying “In five years I’ll be answering those calls. I’ll be the president and CEO.”
I can imagine most of you are thinking ‘what the hell has Solange ever done?’…me too LOL. However, I can’t knock her hustle; she’s kept her name out there doing movies, presenting and songwriting. She’s probably more successful than she’s given credit for. Maybe it will work. I don’t get it though; isn’t she still trying to make it as an artist?
After a long silence, Andrea Kelly, the wife of singer R. Kelly, has spoken out about the sex-abuse allegations, their history and their upcoming divorce. See extracts from this interview with Essence below. You can read the full article by clicking here. It’s a very interesting read.

On When The Allegations Broke
:

Andrea was pregnant with their son when the news broke. Instead of breaking down, she blocked everything out. She said the couple worked hard to protect the family from the outside world, and the accusations forced her to become “a lioness” for her children

On ‘The Tape’ Itself:

She also doesn’t believe that R. Kelly is the man on the tape at the center of the criminal charges. “C’mon,” she said. “Who would believe all that? That’s why they call them allegations.” But at the same time, she also says she hasn’t seen the tape and never looked for it.

On Protecting Their Children:

Andrea does, however, shift uncomfortably when talking about the case against her husband; it’s a subject she’d rather leave alone. She does not allow her children to read the tabloids and will only permit them to be in the company of people she trusts. She keeps life for them as normal as possible: playdates with neighbors, parties and trips. But Andrea says she had to cut some people off who said nasty things about her husband, and surround herself with people who she believes care for her.

I really don’t know what to think. I must say, though, that I feel she is in denial about certain things.

What do you think?
It has been reported that Mya has again pushed back the release of her new album ‘Liberation’. The CD, which was scheduled to drop on June 26th along with Kelly Rowland and 50 Cent, will now be released on August 14th (…if it’s not pushed back again).

On one hand, I think it was smart to delay the release this time because she would have got crushed in sales by 50 Cent and Kelly. Having said that, the album has been pushed back so many times already, its like: does anyone really care about it anymore?

You still holding out for Mya?

R. Kelly – Same Girl (ft. Usher)
This track is apparently taken from R. Kelly’s upcoming ‘Double Up’ album (due May 29th). ‘Same Girl’ – which features Usher- is a great mid-tempo track, with an engaging storyline (kinda like a male version of ‘The Boy Is Mine’). The song has reignited my interest in the new album.

 

LISTEN: Same Girl (ft. Usher) {UPADTED LINK}

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Chris Brown – Wall to Wall

The Swizz Beats-produced ‘Wall to Wall’ is slated to be the first single from Chris Brown’s 2nd album ‘Exclusive’. It’s a decent club track but at the same time its kinda generic- any other standard R&B artist could have dropped this one. I’m sure it’ll be a hit for him, though.

LISTEN: Wall to Wall (HQ) {UPDATED LINK }


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Olivia – Missing You
After her departure from G-Unit, I didn’t think we’d be hearing much from Olivia any time soon. However she has, apparently, started her own label and is heading into the studio with Darkchild, Ne-Yo and Missy Elliott. This new track ‘Missing You’ has a very different vibe to anything I’ve heard from Olivia before and I’m liking it alot. The track has a real ‘grown R&B’ feel to it and her voice is well-suited to this kind of music.

 

LISTEN: Missing You

Usher has sent out a warning to all those ‘imitating’ his style and not acknowledging his influence. He told MTV News:

“You got your artists who find their way through the circuit and are following and are not giving the respect where the respect is due. “If you know (you’re) following and biting, then, hey, give the respect. You can’t come around here and think that you’re really starting the game. Understand, when I came up in the game and I found a trail, I was cool. “Bobby Brown went this way, Michael Jackson went this way, Marvin Gaye, he created his little profile and he held to it. I didn’t step on those toes. “What I did was find a way and my thing and created my thing. Now you have my thing being built. So I look up, and I’m like, ‘OK, I see you all. I see you all in the videos. I see you moving, I get it, but pay the respect.

He needs to go sit-down somewhere with that talk. Yes, he is very talented and set a standard for male R&B, but he’s yet to reach the levels of influence Michael Jackson and Marvin Gaye have. If anything, I think he’s threatened by these artists he’s calling out. The careers of Ne-Yo, Chris Brown, Omarion etc are booming and I think Usher is worried his place is being taken.

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