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.

Fabolous – Make Me Better (ft. Ne-Yo)This track is from Fabolous‘ upcoming ‘From Nothing To Something’ album (due June 12th). As with most of Fabolous singles, there is a feature artist- this time it’s Ne-Yo. The Timbaland-produced song isn’t bad, however it’s not that good either. Ne-Yo’s singing on the hook sounds uninspired and the track doesn’t really go anywhere.

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Naturi (Formerly of 3LW) – Real Chick (ft. Lil’ Kim)

Some of you may remember Naturi from her time in R&B group 3LW; depending on which side you believe – she left or was kicked out. Whatever the case, Naturi was replaced in 2002. While it’s good to know she hasn’t disappeared altogether, she needs to go back to the studio if this is all she can come up with. After listening to this one several times, I still dunno what the hell she’s singing about. On the plus side, Kim’s rap is kinda good. I hear Naturi is working with Jermaine Dupri and Nelly, so hopefully her future material is better than this.

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Aaliyah – Girlfriends
This rare track by the late Aaliyah has only just hit the net. I’m unsure as to what time-frame it’s from. ‘Girlfriends’ is a nice mid-tempo song, however I can see why it was never included on any of her albums; it’s just not an album-worthy track.

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Nina Sky – Clothes Off (ft. Daytona)
One-hit wonders, Nina Sky are back. After the massive success of their 2004 song ‘Move Ya Body’ they kinda disappeared. ‘Clothes Off’ is rumoured to be the duo’s new single from their upcoming sophomore album ‘The Musical’ (due later this year). It’s a relaxed uptempo track and is pretty good.

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I’m not gonna lie, I kinda like this one. As annoying as his voice can become, he has been surprisingly consistent with great singles and features. The video isn’t saying too much, but it’s ok. The song, which features Yung Joc, is currently sitting at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Check it out…

Ciara performed her latest single ‘Like A Boy’ on the Jimmy Kimmel Show earlier this week. As usual she was great with the choreography; I’ve noticed that she has improved on her live vocals too. Though I felt there was little artistic ‘evolution’ on her current album ‘Ciara: The Evolution’, she has definitely stepped up her live performing. In earlier performances she would either lip-sync or sound a hot mess; now she has found an equal balance with the dancing and vocals. Anyway, check out the performance…the Matrix part was cool…

I posted a small clip of this song last week and now the full version has hit the net. I’m liking this one alot; it’s a typical Jermaine Dupri production and Bone Thugs are back at their best. It doesn’t rate as high as their past collaboration with Mariah ‘Breakdown’, but is good in it’s own right. Check it out…

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American Idol winner, Fantasia, made her debut in the Broadway show ‘The Colour Purple’ last night. From the look of these pics, Tasia did great in her leading role as Celie. I love the film version and would definitely like to check out the Broadway show, should I get the chance.

It has been reported that Remy Ma has officially been released from her deal with Terror Squad/Universal. The New York rapper apparently requested that she be granted the release after the poor performance of her debut solo album ‘There’s Something About Remy’ which sold a disappointing 75,000 in it’s opening week. Speaking of her next move, Remy had to say:

I’m sitting in meetings all day, everyday politicking my own label, with me being my first artist…I have so many other projects involving films, TV and endorsements, but most important is my album.

Ok then, whatever you say lol. Ma’s release was inevitable after she called out her fellow Terror Squad member Fat Joe on radio last year after her album flopped. What happened to the female rap group Ma, Jackie-O and Shawna were supposed to be in?


Here’s the video for Bobby Valentino’s new single ‘Anonymous’ (ft. Timbaland). I’ve liked the song for a while now and I’m glad the video turned out cool. It’s nothing innovative or ground-breaking, but serves its purpose. Where was Timbaland? Check it out…

This is the full version of a new Ne-Yo track called ‘Make It Work’. I posted a snippet of this a few days ago, saying that I think it will be a standout track on his new album ‘Because of You’. After hearing the song in it’s entirety, I feel that Ne-Yo MUST release this….it’s fiyah, no lie. As always with Ne-Yo, the harmonies are ON-POINT and the hook is real catchy. I don’t think I’ve been so impressed with a Ne-Yo track since ‘When Your Mad’. ‘A-yo A-yo Oh’…you’ll know what I mean when you hear it LOL

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Rihanna has dropped a new mixtape in the lead-up to the release of her new album ‘Good Girl, Gone Bad’ (I still can’t take that name seriously). This track is featured on the mixtape and will most likely make the album’s final cut. The Bajan singer spoke about working with Ne-Yo not too long ago and this seems to be the finished product.
The track, ‘Hate That I Love You’ is guitar-driven and the harmonies are very similar to most of Ne-Yo’s tracks. Same with the instrumentation; I could have sworn I heard Ne-Yo’s ‘Sexy Love’ in this track. It’s a decent song and I can see it doing well in both the Pop and R&B markets. I’m still yet to hear a Rihanna track that will be relevant in the next 5 years though.

What you think?

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This was too funny; it aired last night. Kelly was set up by her friend, tennis star, Serena Williams. I guess her manangement see any publicity as good publicity, because Ashton (the host) slammed Kelly pretty hard at the beginning. Time will tell if she can shake off the pereception that some have of her. Anway, check it out…