The Best You Never Heard: Destiny's Child, 3LW, Jamelia & KandiThis week’s The Best You Never Heard serves up unknown to the masses cuts by Destiny’s Child, 3LW, Jamelia and former Xscape member Kandi. Do you have any suggestions for future instalments? Drop me an email at [email protected]


Destiny’s Child – Gots My Own


Though a very solid effort, one thing that till this day puzzles me about Destiny Child’s 2004 LP ‘Destiny Fulfilled’ is that a sizable proportion of the bonus, international only etc tracks could easily have featured on the album – most especially considering it’s overly generous track list size (11 tracks). Perhaps, one of the best of these tracks is the Rodney ‘Darkchild’ Jerkins produced ‘Gots My Own’. The song, which is very much in the vein of DC’s ‘Independent Women’ stance, is great IMO primarily because its Old Skool feel is so far removed from your typical Darkchild production, and moreover the expected Destiny’s Child sound. Also, the ladies’ unmatched harmonies/vocal arrangements work particularly well here.


Listen: Gots My Own



3LW – Feelin’ You (ft. Jermaine Dupri)

With new member Jessica in tow, 3LW looked set to make another attempt at hitting it big in 2006, under the label guidance of Jermaine Dupri’s So So Def imprint (which at the time was an off-shoot of Sony). For one reason or the other, their ‘comeback’ album ‘Point of No Return’ was shelved (See: The Cheetah Girls); the girls did, however, release ‘Feelin’ You’ as a single (albeit an under-performing one). With top notch production courtesy of JD himself, the song managed to blend the their soft vocals with a befitting beat that still possessed that trademark JD ‘knock’. Great one for the summer.


Listen: Feelin’ U (ft. Jermaine Dupri)




Jamelia – Beware Of The Dog



Many in the industry were initially touting UK R&B star Jamelia as our answer to Beyonce. Indeed, as well as her imaging, videos (See: ‘Superstar’) etc, the fact she was doing it so BIG over here at the same time as the Destiny’s Child front-woman, no doubt further fuelled the comparisons. However, with her last LP, 2006’s ‘Walk With Me’, the mother of 2 switched things up radically sound-wise, serving up an album full of R&B tinged Pop/Rock/Dance tracks – one of the standouts being ‘Beware Of The Dog’. With it’s hard hitting, rousing feel, the song isn’t far removed from some of the better cuts on Rihanna’s ‘Good Girl Gone Bad’ CD. Good stuff.

Listen: Beware Of The Dog


Kandi – I Need
Some of you may remember Kandi as one quarter of 90’s R&B vocal group Xscape. Having gone on to pen smashes for the likes of TLC (‘No Scrubs’) and Destiny’s Child (‘Bills Bills Bills’), she launched an ill-fated solo career, which in all fairness to her, did spawn the moderate hit ‘Don’t Think I’m Not’. Fast forward to 2006 and with talk of a new album in the works (which has yet to materialize), she dropped ‘I Need’ as a buzz single. Detailing the stress of her day to day life (“Got my baby daddy talking to me sideways, got a stack of bills sittin’ that I ain’t paid”), there really is no other way to describe this other than R-E-A-L. Lyrically the track is as engaging as they come; the beat goes hard too.

Listen: I Need



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

Mariah Carey is still in Japan doing the promo rounds for her new LP ‘E=MC²’. Check out her performance of ‘Touch My Body’ at Japan’s Music Station:

Wow….that was terrible…as in like really really bad. It was a sad sight and an even sadder listen. This officially has me thinking that the performance of ‘I’ll Be Loving You Long Time’ at the MTV Japan VMA’s earlier this week was lip-synched. I mean, this is the first time she has sung ‘Touch My Body’ live unsupported by all her studio/backing wizardry and it sounded like a train-wreck. So how was she able to turn in such a tone-perfect performance all on the same promo trip? Suspect as hell.

Anyway, back to this performance; she evidently didn’t sound appalling all the way through, however the parts that were bad, were cringe-worthy. I dread to hear what her voice will sound like in 6 months, speak less a year. Some may think I’m over-dramatizing but if her voice continues its downward spiral, who knows what her future studio recordings will be sounding like. SMH…

What do you think of the performance?

Ashanti recently performed a selection of new cuts from her new LP ‘The Declaration’, as well as a few hits from her back catalogue, for Walmart’s online concert series SoundCheck in New York. The setlist included:

* You’re Gonna Miss
* In These Streets
* The Way That I Love You
* Girlfriend
*Only U
Great performances! From the material to the vocals, to the performances etc, I’m sure even Ashanti’s biggest detractors have to admit she’s definitely upped her game this go-round. My only gripe is that they still haven’t changed that horrid choreography for ‘Only U’…urgh. That aside, she definitely did her thing. ‘The Declaration’ hits stores June 3rd in the US and June 9th here in the UK.

What do you think of the performances?
Check out this new promotional shot for Pretty Ricky’s forthcoming album ’80’s Babies’ (due August 26th via Atlantic Records). It’s the quartet’s first pictorial showing with new member 4Play (first from the left), who I’m sure many of you know, replaced lead member Pleasure at the top of the year.

What do you think of the pic?
R&B crooner Tyrese’ 2002 smash ‘How You Gonna Act Like That’ serves as this week’s From The Vault video. Till date the single stands as the 29 year old’s biggest hit (having peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100) and for good reason too. Vocally raw and emotive and lyrically engaging too, the song stands as one of this decade’s best (pure) R&B cuts IMO:

Having delivered such a stellar effort with this, it’s kinda baffling as to why Tyrese has since been unable to release anything worth listening to (shudders at the thought of his last LP ‘Alter Ego’. Word has it he’s currently on a break from music (and is still signed to J Records). Here’s hoping he finds his musical mojo during his downtime and hits us with great cuts like this upon his return.

Your thoughts?

Murphy Signs On For New Beverly Hills Cop Movie Following the worldwide success of the latest Indiana Jones flick, it is being reported that Eddie Murphy will once again star in the movie franchise that catapulted him to stardom almost 25 years ago, Beverly Hills Cop:

The 47-year-old is set to star as crime fighting police detective Axel Foley in the fourth installment of the hit “Beverly Hills Cop,” Reuters reported.

Murphy reportedly approached Paramount Pictures about the idea and filming is expected to start next year with a summer 2010 release date, according to Reuters.

Brett Ratner, whose work includes the “Rush Hour” movies, is in negotiations to direct the film, while Lorenzo di Bonaventura of “Transformers” was tapped to produce the flick, Reuters reported.

The first “Beverly Hills Cop” debuted in 1984 and was followed up with two sequels — the last of which premiered in 1994. {Source)

Here’s hoping this movie is actually good. Despite garnering praise for his role in Dreamgirls, Eddie, no doubt, dropped the ball in the critically panned ‘Norbit’. This may just be his redeeming gig…

Will you be checking for the new Beverly Hills Cop?
New Solange Promo Shot {Click pic to enlarge}

A burgeoning star in her own right, Solange Knowles is currently prepping the August 26th release of her sophomore effort ‘Sol-Angel & The Hadley Street Dreams’. This new promotional shot for the set recently surfaced on her official Myspace page. It’s hard to ignore the similarities to ‘Big Sis’ in this one (in terms of posture); not a bad thing at all, as it’s evident that Solange is taking what she’s seen and putting her own stamp on it. Her album is definitely one I’m anticipating for the 2nd half of the year.
The video for Solange’s new single ‘I Decided’ premieres on BET’s Access Granted this coming Thursday (June 5th).

What do you think of the pic?
Mariah Carey was one the performers at the MTV Japan’s 2008 VMA which took place yesterday. Check out her performance of ‘I’ll Be Loving U Long Time’ below:

Having been largely underwhelmed by many of Ms. Cannon’s performances as of late, I must say I really enjoyed this. ‘I’ll Be Loving You Long Time’ is one of the few tracks that I gravitated toward on ‘E=MC²’, so it’s great to see her do the song justice live – most especially vocally. The ending high-notes were a great touch. More performances like this, please.

What do you think of the performance?

The video for Madonna’s latest single ‘Give It 2 Me’ premiered today. Both the song and vid are kinda underwhelming coming off the brilliance of ‘4 Minutes’. IMO ‘Hard Candy’ has tracks that are more deserving of the single treatment such as ‘Candy Shop’ and ‘Dance 2night’.

Your thoughts?

R&B star Usher continued along the promo trail for his new album ‘Here I Stand’ by performing a set for Good Morning America’s Summer Concert series this morning live from New York City’s Bryant Part. The 29 year old performed ‘This Ain’t Sex’, current single ‘Moving Mountains’ as well as the #1 smash ‘Love In This Club’:

Despite the fact that I’m not all that impressed with Usher’s latest material, there is no denying his unmatched performing skills. Good stuff.

What do you think of the performances?

Ashanti & JoJo Appear At Inspiration Awards Ashanti & JoJo Appear At Inspiration Awards
Ashanti seems to be everywhere these days. The 27 year old singer attended the Step Up Women’s Network’s 10th Anniversary Inspiration Awards Gala in New York last night .She is really some of these other R&B chicks a run for their money in the looks department. Not sure about the frock though.
Teen star JoJo, 17, performed at the event too:
Ashanti & JoJo Appear At Inspiration Awards Ashanti & JoJo Appear At Inspiration Awards

What do you think of the pics?
50 Cent's Long Island House Burns Down; Possible Arson A raging fire broke out at a Long Island, New York home owned by rapper 50 Cent early this morning. Speaking to TMZ, the local fire department have labelled the fire ‘highly suspicious’. Check out the report below:

The fire broke out at the six bedroom, five bath house in Dix Hills, NY around 5:00 AM. Six people, including the rapper’s ex Shaniqua Tompkins and their 10-year-old son Marquise, were in the house. They all were transported to the hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.

The Chief of the Dix Hills Fire Department tells TMZ that dogs are currently searching the burned out rubble, as the intensity of the fire made it highly suspect. The Chief says they’re searching for what substance possibly could have been used as an igniter.

The house has been the subject of a bitter dispute between Fiddy, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, and Tompkins. The rapper reportedly bought the home — one of the biggest cribs in the area — for a cool $2.4 mil in January 2007. Last month he tried to evict Tompkins and Marquise from the house, demanding she pay him $4,500 a month in rent.

Story developing …

UPDATE 10:25 AM ET: Suffolk Police tell us they received a call at 5 AM. An off-duty police officer was driving by and stopped to help rescue the victims inside the house. We’re told injuries to all six victims — including Tompkins — are non-life threatening and they have been treated and released from the hospital. While they are currently investigating the fire’s cause, we’re told 50 Cent is not a suspect at this point.

Without doing the inevitable finger pointing, this is the most suspicious ‘ish’ I’ve heard heard in a long while. I mean 50 & Shaniqua were seen having a heated arguement on a New York street just this Monday; 50 even had to be restrained. SMH…

Your thoughts?