Mariah Carey attended the VH1 Save The Music Foundation’s 10th Anniversary Gala earlier this week (September 20th) at the Lincoln Center, New York City. The renown diva was honoured for her contributions to the Foundation, which donates instruments to public schools and helps fund music education programs.
In other Mariah news, Def Jam head LA Reid confirmed that Mariah’s forthcoming new album will hit stores on December 4th and not November 20th as first announced. The ‘We Belong Together’ singer will now go head-to-head with Ashanti, whose new CD ‘The Declaration’ also drops on December 4th. As much as I’m rooting for an Ashanti comeback, Mariah has this one hands-down. Anyway, a press release detailing the album’s title and other information is set for release next week.

Your thoughts?

Following the surprise announcement of Jay-Z’s forthcoming ‘American Gangster’ LP earlier this week, the CD’s lead single has surfaced. Though not a bad track, Jay will have to do better than this if he is to convince people the project is worthwhile. Put simply, the Def Jam president has fared much better on other tracks – in terms of his delivery. What’s more Pharrell’s efforts on the production side of things come across kinda weak. I’m starting to think Jay would have been better off retired (for real); his ‘out-of retirement’ LP ‘Kingdom Come’ didn’t live up to expectations and this new track doesn’t indicate his new material will be anything to rave about.

Hit or Miss?

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The video for Ja Rule’s new single ‘Body’ premiered yesterday (September 20th) on BET. Considering Ja is attempting to restore his tattered career, this single/video is unlikely to generate any interest around his upcoming album ‘The Mirror (due November 13th). The vid is kinda ‘blah’ and doesn’t really go anywhere – the same will be the case for Ja’s career if he doesn’t fix up soon.

What do you think of the video?

R&B star Ne-Yo is hoping for success with new single ‘Can We Chill’ – the third single to be released from his ‘Because of You’ album. Despite the initial good performance of the album’s first single (also called ‘Because of You’), things have somewhat fizzled since. I’m not too sure this song or video will help push the album any further. Why the label haven’t put out the more radio-friendly ‘Make It Work’ still confuses me.

What do you think of the video?
In somewhat of a surprising news, it has been announced that Jay-Z will release a new full-length album on November 6th. Titled ‘American Gangster’, the CD’s theme was inspired by the upcoming Denzel Washington movie of the same name (set to hit theatres November 2nd). The rapper was reportedly taken with how much the film mirrored past aspects of his life and subsequently decided to record an album with a similar concept. Be on the lookout for the album’s first single – the Pharrell produced ‘Blue Magic’ – which should be debuting anytime from now. {Source}
Image Credit: Kevipod
The legendary Aretha Franklin has teamed up with Fantasia for what is an awesome slow jam. ‘Put You Up On Game’ sees the two vocal power-houses trade verses on the cheating ways of men. The track is the first single to be lifted from Aretha’s upcoming album ‘Jewels In the Crown: All Star Duets with The Queen’ – which will also feature John Legend, Mary J. Blige, the late Luther Vandross and more. I really fell for this track as soon as I heard it and I’m really anticipating Aretha’s CD.
Hit Or Miss?

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Rihanna continues her assault on the magazine circuit, this time covering the Canadian version of Fashion Magazine. The Bajan beauty is really looking great here.

What do you think of the cover?
The album cover for Chris Brown’s upcoming album ‘Exclusive’ has been revealed. I’m liking the whole 80’s throwback vibe to the pic. ‘Exclusive’ hits stores November 6th.

Also check out new promotional pics for the album:
What do you think of the cover / pics?
R&B star Ashanti is doing the promotional rounds this week to support the ‘Resident Evil: Extinction’ movie which she stars in. On Tuesday, the singer appeared on BET’s 106 & Park and today she dropped by MTV’s TRL. Say what you want about her, but she’s looking on-point! ‘Resident Evil: Extinction’ opens in theatres on September 21st.

MTV TRL – September 19th
BET 106 & Park

What do you think of the pics?

R&B star Usher is the latest in a long line of celebrities to launch his own line of fragrances. The vid above shows the four commercials for his ‘Usher He/She’ brand. Aside from the ads being so-so, I’m surprised he’s jumping on the fragrance-line bandwagon: doesn’t everyone have one nowadays?

Your thoughts?

It has been confirmed that the Queen of Hip Hop/Soul, Mary J. Blige, will release her new album ‘Growing Pains’ on November 20th. The CD will be the follow-up to Blige’s hugely successful 2005 effort ‘The Breakthrough’. What’s more, it has also been confirmed that the first single is the titled ‘Just Fine’ – the track is scheduled to debut next week (September 26th)! ‘Growing Pains’ is set to feature contributions from the likes of Bryan Michael Cox, Babyface, Ne-Yo and The Game. Interestingly, Mary will be going head-to-head with Mariah Carey’s upcoming album which also drops on the same date (November 20th).
I’m kinda surprised by this, as, even though I knew Mary has been recording, I didn’t think she was ready to drop her album just yet. Still, I always welcome any new Mary material; here’s hoping she delivers like she did with the last.

Are you checking for Mary’s new album?

The video for R. Kelly’s latest single ‘Rock Star’ (ft. Ludacris & Kid Rock) debuted on Yahoo Launch yesterday (September 18th). I’m really feeling the single choices from Kelly’s current LP ‘Double Up’ so far; ‘Rock Star’ is an album highlight. It’s a shame, then, that the video doesn’t really do the track any justice. Budgeting must have been an issue, because the video comes across real cheap – especially for an artist of his caliber. There’s no positive spin to put on this one; a case of good song, ruined by a crappy video.

What do you think fo the video?