Below are pics of Rihanna on the set of her new video ‘Umbrella’. The video was shot last Friday in Los Angeles. Def Jam are real serious about this girl; the video looks like it’s gonna be her best yet. Can’t say I’m liking the song much, but I’m anxious to see the video now.


It’s being rumoured that Ashanti has parted ways with The Inc Records- the label that catapulted her to stardom in 2002. The ‘Only U’ singer has apparently been in negotiations with Jive Records (home to Justin Timberlake, R. Kelly and Ciara) for ‘some time now’. Reps for Jive state that ‘if the deal is finalized, Jive can offer her up to $15-20 Million for a four-year contract’.
I say she should take the money and run! As much as I liked Murder Inc (yeh and what?…lol), they are basically over. The fact that she is working completely outside of the INC for her new album kinda made me suspect that something was wrong. Also, INC owner, Irv Gotti, has been recently quoted as saying ‘Ashanti is doing her own thing’ in response to questions about her status with the label. What does this mean for her new album, ‘Incredible’? Will it ever see the light of day?
Teen R&B star, Chris Brown has shed some light on his upcoming sophomore album, ‘Exclusive’ (due September). Producers on the album are set to include Bryan-Michael Cox, Scott Storch and Brown, who co-wrote some of the cuts on the album, describes the CD as having a ‘more mature/edgier sound’- including songs of a sexual nature. ‘I’m not trying to go overboard and lose my (younger) fans though’ Brown told Billboard.
Considering he is almost 18, I always expected his 2nd CD to be more ‘adult’. Even though I find his voice kinda nasal, I’ve always liked that his music manages to stay age-appropriate while still appealing to the older listener. It’s good to see he’s doing the same thing this time around.
{Click pics to enlarge}

Judging by these new promo shots, Kelly really seems to have stepped up her image; she’s looking ON-POINT. She’s upped the sex-appeal on that first pic and I’m guessing the second is supposed to symbolise her coming out of her shell? Either way, the pics are great. ‘Ms Kelly’ drops June 26th.

What do you think?
Source: Lovin’ Destiny’s Child
Beyonce – Green Light (Remix) (ft. Young Buck)
I’m kinda liking this remix version of Green Light more than the original. The production is more grittier and it has an old-skool feel to it. Young Buck’s verse is decent and it meshes well with this more Hip-Hop sounding remix. Definitely one of the better Beyonce remixes I’ve heard.

LISTEN: Green Light (Remix) (ft. Young Buck)

B5 – Hydrolic (ft. Bow Wow & Diddy)
It’s been a while since I heard anything from B5 and I assumed they just disappeared (like many of Diddy’s artists). However it seems they are pressing ahead with a sophomore album (due June 19th) and ‘Hydrolic‘ is one of the featured tracks. While the track is pretty good and the production is on-point, the vocals sound kinda ‘little boys-tryna be grown’. Something about the harmonies and vocal arrangement reminds me of 112, though (a good thing).

LISTEN: Hydrolic (ft. Bow Wow)

Pretty Ricky – Push It Baby (Remix) (ft. Sean Paul)
Nowadays any track Sean Paul features on turns out hot; this one is no different. The original version of ‘Push It Baby’ (minus Sean Paul) was included on Pretty Ricky’s current album ‘Late Night Special’; this version is much better. Each of the group’s members drops a verse and Sean Paul sings on the hook. Definitely the right choice for the 2nd single. Great track.

LISTEN: Push It Baby (Remix) (ft. Sean Paul)

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’.



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)


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’


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.
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