Lil' Wayne - 'Tha Carter III' CoverWord has it the shot above is the official album cover for Lil’ Waynes much-hyped ‘Tha Carter III’ LP (due May 13th). Interesting, to say the least…

What do you think of the cover?
The Game Covers XXL Rapper The Game features on the cover of the June issue of XXL. The former G-Unit star is currently prepping the release of his third studio album ‘LAX’ for a June release.
What do you think of the cover?
Idol Gives Back 2008Popular talent show American Idol taped its annual ‘Idol Gives Back’ show this past Sunday. The star-studded event was held at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Mariah Carey, John Legend, Fergie (pictured above), Maroon 5 and Snoop Dogg were among the nights performers. The show airs tomorrow at 7.30 p.m EST/PST in the US on FOX.

In the meanwhile, check out a brief clip of Mariah Carey’s performance of ‘Fly Like A Bird’ from the show:

Any thoughts?

The video for Nelly’s new single ‘Party People’ (ft. Fergie) premiered little over an hour ago. I must say I’m really feeling both the song and it’s accompanying clip. The vid, though pretty simplistic, does the track justice. It’s great to see Nelly coming with the heat this time around; ‘Wadsyaname’ – his first attempt at at launching his forthcoming album ‘Brass Knuckles (due June 24th) – was solid, but very ‘Nelly circa 2002-2004’. Good stuff.

What do you think of the video?

Rowland Confirms She's Working On 3rd LP In an interview with UK newspaper The Daily Record, R&B star Kelly Rowland confirmed that she has indeed begun work on her third solo album. That Grape Juice first reported on Kelly’s plans to head back to the studio last month. Here’s what the ‘Like This’ singer had to say of the new project:

Q: WHAT ELSE ARE YOU UP TO AT THE MOMENT?

A: I’m going back into the studio as I’ve just started the third album.

Q: WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO COLLABORATE WITH?

A: I want to work with will.i.am. That’s the only person I have in my head right now.

{Source}

It’s great to know Kelly is moving on to the next album. I’m hopeful that lessons have been learnt, both on her part and on the part of the label with the sadly underrated ‘Ms. Kelly’ project.

While I know what my own personal hopes and expectations are for her next record, I’m pretty interested to hear yours. Fans, non-fans etc, what are your ‘wants’ for Kelly’s next album? Producers to work with? Musical direction? etc..

Your thoughts?

Leona Lewis - 'Spirit' Following the record-breaking success Leona Lewis has enjoyed here in the UK, the singing sensation releases the US version of her debut LP ‘Spirit’ Stateside today.
US folks, will you be picking up the album? My European visitors, what do you think of the record? Is Leona’s current US success deserved? Drop your views in the comments section…

Your thoughts?
Chris Brown - 'Forever' R&B star Chris Brown is set to re-release his successful sophomore effort ‘Exclusive’ in June, and has lined up ‘Forever’ as the lead single. Produced by Polow Da Don, the track sees the teen singer venture into a, somewhat, different musical direction than we’re used to hearing from him; with the song sounding more Hip-Hop/Euro-Pop than his commercial R&B mainstay. Put simply, I’m not really feeling this one. While I expected more from ‘Exclusive’, the album does boast cuts that are better than this, so I’m kinda puzzled at the logic behind repackaging it.

Hit or Miss?

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The much-anticipated video for Kelly Rowland’s ‘Comeback’ exclusively premiered literally just now on popular Destiny’s Child fansite DC3 Forever – courtesy of Music World. Whoa! Hands-down, this has to be the best Kelly video released thus far. Channelling her inner-diva, Kelly’s attitude and sex appeal were at an all-time high (she was working that choreography). Though simplistic concept-wise, the vid more than captured the song’s essence.

Granted ‘Comeback’ isn’t my favourite Kelly track, watching the video definitely has me scratching my head as to why it wasn’t made a single

What do you think of the video?

50 Cent: 'Young Buck Gone From G-Unit' It turns out the rumors of friction among Hip-Hop collective G-Unit turned out to be true:

“50 Cent revealed today that the Tennessee rapper was no longer in G-Unit the group, but would still record for the label.

‘You can look at it and see that’s Game [former G-Unit rapper] all the way. I was giving him a chance, giving him the benefit of the doubt [to remain with the group]. You can take this as an official notice right here – pretty much you can say: Young Buck is no longer in the group G-Unit, but signed to G-Unit [Records] as a solo artist’, 50 Cent told DJ Envy, a co-host on the Hot 97 Morning Show with Miss Jones.” {Source}

Maybe he’ll actually have a chance of success on his own…just a thought.

Your thoughts?

The much anticipated video for Usher’s #1 smash ‘Love In The Club’ made its debut little over an hour ago. What can I say, other than it’s ON-POINT! Having seen the preview earlier this month, it appeared as if the clip would be a rehash of his 2004’s ‘Yeah’ vid, however the full vid proves otherwise. Considering the song’s subject-matter etc, I wasn’t really expecting the level of grandeur or thought put into the vid’s concept, but I’m pleasantly surprised. The concept, the choreography, the cameos (Diddy, Kanye and Keri Hilson)…I’m liking everything. ‘Love In The Club’ is lifted from Usher’s forthcoming album ‘Here I Stand’, which originally due in June, has been pushed up to May 27th.

What do you think of the video?

The Best You Never Heard: Toni, Keri Hilson, Estelle & N2U
This week’s edition of ‘The Best You Never Heard’ serves up tracks from the likes of Toni Braxton, Keri Hilson, Estelle and R&B quartet N2U. You can drop me your suggestions for future installments at [email protected]

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Toni Braxton – Midnite

R&B songstress Toni Braxton delivered, what I feel to be, her most cohesive effort for a long while yet in the form of 2005’s ‘Libra’. Though the album only achieved mild success, tracks such as the smooth mid-tempo ‘Midnite’ highlight the LP’s more deserving (of success) nature. A great mix of ‘vintage Toni’ and more contemporary production, ‘Midnite’ definitely shows Braxton can more than hang with the current crop of female artists out at the moment.

Listen: Midnite

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Keri Hilson – Hands & Feet

As Timbaland protegee Keri Hilson continues to prep her debut ‘In A Perfect World’, we shine the spotlight on ‘Hands & Feet’ – a not-so-tact cut she had featured on the soundtrack to Usher’s 2005 movie ‘In The Mix’. From the Southern, club-ready production – courtesy of Danja – to Keri’s swagger with her delivery, this one is a winner. Despite having floated around for a few years, I hope it gets a placement on her album.

 

Listen: Hands & Feet

 

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Estelle – Free

 

 

While Estelle is perhaps most known for her recent chart topping effort ‘American Boy’ (both here at home and Stateside), the Londoner has been on her grind for several years now. Released back in 2004, when the multi-talented star was signed with Virgin, ‘Free’ stands as a great track, with an even better message. Random tidbits: Listening to this after so long kinda makes me see where the early Lauryn Hill comparisons came from; real Lauryn-like / LOL at “Put the weave down, do something with yourself”.

Listen: Free

 

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N2U – Baby Mama Love

Jermaine Dupri’s ill-fated stint as the Head of Urban at Virgin Records didn’t prove to be all bad; R&B crooners N2U were one of the first (and only) signee’s to the label under JD’s headship. ‘Baby Mama love’, taken from their 2005 debut ‘Issues’, is an awesome track on a number of fronts. With its engaging and unconventional subject-matter, as well as their stellar vocal delivery, the song stood as one of my personal favorites from that year.

Listen: Baby Mama Love

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Your thoughts: Hit(s) or Miss(es)?

LMAO. It’s kinda sad, as though exaggerated, a lot of what she’s saying is the truth – the sad truth…

Your thoughts?

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