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As reported earlier this week, producer Mahogany has premiered this previously unreleased Mariah Carey track (it will not be featured on her new album). ‘I Feel It’, a track from the ‘Emancipation of Mimi’ recording sessions, is a pretty decent song and I’m liking it’s overall old skool vibe. Despite having a similar sound to some of the ‘Mimi’ album tracks, it doesn’t really measure up and I can see why it was left off the final tracklist. Still, it’s good hearing new(ish) Mariah material in the run-up to the release of her new album – slated to drop November 20th.

What do you think of the track?
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American Idol winner and burgeoning Broadway star Fantasia performed on the Good Morning America Concert Series yesterday (July 13th). The singer performed her #1 hit ‘When I See U’ and ‘I’m Here’ from ‘The Color Purple’. Check out the performances:

When I See U (Live On GMA)

I’m Here (Live On GMA)

As tends to be the case, she nailed both performances. Vocally she delivered with a rawness unachievable by most of her peers. Looking ahead, Fantasia has confirmed that ‘Only One U’ will serve as the third single from her self-titled sophomore CD. After the success of ‘When I See U’, it’s great to see Fantasia select another solid slow jam as a single (one of the best tracks on the album) -it’s evidently the kind of music people are feeling from her. Click here to listen to ‘Only One U’.

What do you think of the performances / single choice?

50 Cent seems to be dropping videos so fast nowadays. Not to be confused with the next official single ‘She Wants It’ (ft. Justin Timberlake), ‘I Get Money’ is the latest street single from 50’s upcoming album ‘Curtis’. The sub-par video isn’t really what’s in question here (after all, it’s only a street/buzz single), it’s the song – it’s garbage. With the news today of the album being pushed back yet again (from September 4th to September 11th), 50 is gonna need a miracle for the album to be a hit. Most of the his new material hasn’t been saying much.

What do you think of the song / video?

After months of speculation, it has been announced that superstar Janet Jackson has, in fact, signed with Island Def Jam. Jackson’s hit-maker boyfriend Jermaine Dupri confirmed the singer’s move to the label – where he resides as the President of the Urban division – via Billboard.com. Check out extracts from the article:

“She’s on Island, but it’s more or less [Def Jam CEO Antonio “L.A.” Reid’s] project,” Dupri says. “I let him deal with that on a day-to-day basis. He’s going to A&R that project, too. Janet’s record is one that he’s wanted to do for a long time. He’s very passionate about it.

As for the direction of Jackson’s as-yet-untitled album, Dupri says, “I don’t really know what he’s got in mind at this point. His past record isn’t shabby so I’m going to let him do what he’s going to do. I’m going to do [the new] Mariah [Carey album], and we’re going to make it seem like we’re in competition to see who’s going to have the biggest album of the year.”

In other Janet news, more producers have confirmed their involvement with her project. Speaking with Rap-Up TV, hit-maker Polow Da Don (Promise, Buttons, Like This etc) had the following to say: ‘We’re gonna put her back in the club. I sent her some tracks and she said off the top, she’s like, “I want the hard stuff. I want to dance, I want uptempo, I want club, I want hip”. Producer’s Scott Storch and newcomer Syience (who produced Beyonce and Jay Z’s ‘Hollywood’) have also submitted tracks for the album.

Janet really seems to pulling out all the stops to make sure this new CD is a success; new label, great producers and a hungry team behind her. All the pieces seem to be falling into place for what could be one of music’s biggest comebacks.

What do you think the new Janet developments?

Danity Kane’s Dawn Richard has confirmed earlier reports that all is not well within the group. The starlet posted the following message on her MySpace bulletin:

To answer all the rumors thats been out there about Aubrey and D. Woods pursuing their solo careers. We support them in their decision. However, myself, Aundrea, and Shannon are choosing to continue in our efforts to make Danity Kane the best for our fans who love us and what we represent AND the respect we have for our group.

THANK YOU SO MUCH
AND PLEASE CONTINUE TO SUPPORT

Despite already knowing something was up, it still comes as a surprise. Kinda iffy about the new line-up (IMO D. Woods was the centerpiece of the group), but it may work. The best thing to out of all of this is that Aubrey’s gone – she served no purpose. It’ll be interesting to see how this whole situation turns out.


What do you think of Danity Kane’s new line-up?
The New York Post is reporting that R&B singer Fantasia will continue to star in the Broadway adaptation of ‘The Color Purple’ until January 2008. After gaining rave reviews from critics for her portrayal of leading character Celie, the shows producers announced today that the 2004 American Idol winner has extended her stay – which was suppose to run through until October this year.
In other Fantasia news, her single ‘When I See You’ spends its third week atop of the Billboard Hot R&B & Hip Hop chart. The song is the singer’s biggest hit to date.
It’s great that her career is again on the up. Genuine talent nowadays is a hard find and artists like Fantasia are rare. More power to her. Can’t wait for her next album.

Your thoughts?
Following Rihanna’s recent success here in the UK, it has been announced that the Bajan star will be touring the UK this December. The 11 date tour will hit all major UK cities including London’s renown Wembley Arena. Tickets are set to go on sale tomorrow (July 13th) and will be available from www.gigsandtours.com / 0871 2200 260. Considering her questionable live performances, I’m kinda surprised she’s actually touring. Then again, with her album sales lower than expected, the label have to make their money back somehow.
In other Rihanna news, her single ‘Umbrella’ is set to enjoy its 9th week at #1 on the Official UK Singles chart, according to mid-week sales. Who is still buying this song?!

Will you be going to see Rihanna?

Keyshia Cole’s video for her new single ‘Let It Go’ (ft. Missy Elliott & Lil’ Kim) premiered last night on BET’s Access Granted. The song is lead single from the star’s upcoming album ‘Just Like You’ (due September 11th). Though the ‘club video’ concept has been done so many times before, I still think the Benny Boom directed video turned out pretty good – it definitely fits the overall vibe of the song. All three ladies are looking great too. I’m a little surprised by how good Kim looks in the vid; even with the botched, surgery she’s still looking on-point.

What do you think of the video?

It appears there may be truth to the rumours of Danity Kane splitting. TMZ caught up with member Aubrey O’Day, who was looking slightly worse-for-wear outside a Hollywood restaurant. O’Day called out Diddy for essentially ditching the group. In what comes as, somewhat of, a surprise, Aubrey didn’t deny the reporter’s question of whether she is set to join the Pussycat Dolls. {Click here to watch the video}.

With the recent reports of D. Woods leaving the group to pursue acting (as reported by Wendy Williams), along with Dawn’s recent solo material, the news is hardly shocking. Still, it’s ridiculous seeing yet another Bad Boy act left out in the cold by Diddy. Despite the fact that the group’s album was certified Platinum, he opted to wrap theirs up and promote his own CD instead. With Bad Boy’s lacking roster, Danity Kane, showed the most potential. In spite of the rumours, member Dawn insists the group is still together and will be recording another album. Whatever the case, things are not looking good for the girls.

What do you think about Danity Kane’s potential break-up?
So the numbers are in, and its not particularly good news for Kelly Rowland. According to Hits Daily Double, the Destiny’s Child singer sold approximately 83,000 copies of her new album ‘Ms. Kelly’ in its opening week. Despite charting at a respectable #6, the sales will obviously come as a disappointment to Kelly and her fans. There inevitably will be fresh calls for Kelly to leave the Knowles camp and spread her wings elsewhere. For, perhaps, the first time I agree.

Unlike many, I don’t lay blame on Matthew Knowles or Beyonce; in fact I don’t lay specific blame on anyone. However, there are a number of factors that have contributed to the current situation. Fact is, Beyonce is a major money generator for the label, explaining why they pump so much promotion and funds into her. Kelly, on the other hand, didn’t fare so well with her debut effort ‘Simply Deep’, hence she would not have been as high a priority with the label. It’s all business – Kelly most likely understands this too. Having said this, by not giving Kelly the platform to do better – via inadequate promotion – the label were (in)directly hindering her chances of success from the outset.

According to industry sources, Matthew Knowles and Music World, stepped in when they realised the label weren’t handling the project as it should – hence the recent increased presence of Kelly on TV, radio and magazines. Therefore, accusations of Matthew trying to sabotage the project etc are unfounded. Still, for many – as the sales show – his interjection may have come too little too late.

So what does the future hold for Kelly Rowland – the solo artist? I expect it to be business as usual – the video for the album’s 2nd single ‘Comeback’ is set to be shot in the coming weeks. Assuming the following singles achieve major-moderate success, the album may continue to sell steadily (ala Amy Winehouse); a re-release similar to that of Robin Thicke may also be a step in the right direction. Looking further ahead, it may be in her best interest to quietly (without controversy) leave the Knowles’/Music World and start afresh elsewhere – which may be inevitable if the label decide to let her go. I’m sure Kelly’s Destiny’s Child repertoire will ensure other labels’ interest. ‘Ms. Kelly’ proved that Kelly can deliver and is on par with her industry contemporaries; all she is in need of is the platform to showcase her full potential. There’s a time for loyalty and a time for business – now’s the time for Kelly to handle her business.


What do you think Kelly should do next?
The 2nd single to be lifted from Eve’s upcoming album ‘Here I Am’ (due August 7th), has surfaced. Produced by Swizz Beats, ‘Give It To You’, featuring Sean Paul, is a Caribbean tinged uptempo track – perfect for the summer. E-V-E’s first single ‘Tambourine’ has grown on me considerably and with the debut of this great new track, I’m anticipating her album all the more. Be on the lookout for the video in the coming weeks.

Hit or Miss?


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To celebrate the release of Kelly Rowland’s sophomore effort ‘Ms. Kelly’, an album release party was held in New York last night. The whole Destiny’s Child / Knowles crew came out to celebrate with Kelly. A slightly off-looking Beyonce rocked a ‘Ms. Kelly’ t-shirt to support her long-time band mate. It’s nice to see the love being reciprocated.

What do you think of the pics?

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