Singing legend Whitney Houston made a surprise appearance at the Swarovski Fashion Rocks event here at London’s Royal Albert Hall yesterday (October 18th). Houston, whose appearance had not been announced prior to her walking on stage, dazzled in a white Valentino diamond-encrusted dress to introduce the final catwalk show of the night.
When arriving on the red-carpet, alongside daughter Bobbi-Kristina, Houston delivered the following message: “I know it’s been said before but I want to say it again – thank you for your support and, yes, I will always love you.”
As the pic shows, she looked stunning. Next year needs to roll around fast, as I can’t wait to hear if she’s still got ‘it’ in her to silence the naysayers.

What do you think of the pic?
Since announcing the ‘N*gga’ as the title of his forthcoming album, rapper Nas has been facing mounting criticism from leaders in the black community including as Rev. Jesse Jackson. In light of the controversy, the ‘Hip Hop Is Dead’ rapper has modified the album’s title to ‘N*gger’ (from ‘N*gga’). Still, Nas – real name Nasir Jones – had choice words for his critics:

“I’m a street disciple,” Nas told MTV News. “I’m talking to the streets. Stay out of our business. You ain’t got no business worrying about what the word ‘nigger’ is or acting like you know what my album is about without talking to me. Whether you in the NAACP or you Jesse Jackson. I respect all of them … I just want them to know: Never fall victim to Fox [News] . Never fall victim to the sh*t they do. What they do is try to hurry up and get you on the phone and try to get you to talk about something you might not know about yet.

“If Cornell West was making an album called Nigger, they would know he’s got something intellectual to say,” Nas continued. “To think I’m gonna say something that’s not intellectual is calling me a nigger, and to be called a nigger by Jesse Jackson and the NAACP is counterproductive, counter-revolutionary.”

Though I can see more of where he’s coming from with his reason for naming the album as such, I still think it’s controversy not worth generating.

What’s your take on the CD’s title?
Pop icon Janet Jackson has finally spoken out on why she never toured with her last album ’20 Y.O’ despite saying otherwise at the start of the project. Speaking on the Tom Joyner radio show last Friday, she had the following to say:

“I was supposed to go on tour with the last album and what had happened, which most fans don’t know, is that I got with the new label and they asked me if I would be willing to consider not going on tour and going back in the studio and doing a new album and then revisiting going on tour. So I said, ‘OK,’ and stopped doing the rehearsals, which is what I was doing while I was filming ‘Why Did I Get Married?”

From this, I’m guessing a new Janet tour is likely in the works. As one of the (seemingly) few that enjoyed ’20 Y.O’, I’m anticipating Janet’s new release. Here’s hoping she delivers and reclaims her musical relevancy.

Your thoughts?
{Image Credit: Kevipod}

In somewhat of a surprising move, 50 Cent and Lil’ Kim have collaborated once again for this new track ‘Wanna Lick’ (Magic Stick – Part 2), the sequel to the 2003 original. This their collaboration for the forthcoming G-Unit LP ‘Shoot To Kill’ (due in December) is kinda unexpected, considering their much publicized ‘beef’ a few years back. Anyway, about the track, it’s pretty good. Not sure if it tops the original, but still decent all the same.
Hit Or Miss?

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In what seems like an on-going trend in the R&B world this year, yet another album has seen it’s release date pushed back. Ashanti appeared on the Doug Banks radio show today, announcing that her forthcoming album ‘The Declaration’ has been delayed until early next year. What’s more she confirmed that the video for the CD’s lead single ‘Hey Baby’ (After The Club) has NOT yet been shot (contrary to reports) and instead will be filmed shortly.
Unlike Mariah and some of the other heavy-hitters whose albums have been pushed back this year, Ashanti really isn’t in a position to be moving her release date all over the place. ‘The Declaration’ is seen by many in the industry and the public alike to be her ‘make or break’ album after somewhat of a career slump. Whether she’ll bring ‘it’ on this LP will be interesting to see.

Your thoughts?
Fox News is reporting that Mariah Carey’s much-anticipated new album has been pushed back from December 4th to February 2008. No reason was cited for the delay. Carey’s as yet untitled CD is now slated to feature in a ‘Diva Showdown’ with big releases from both Janet Jackson and Madonna in and around that month. {Source}
I’m guessing it makes sense, but all these album push backs are becoming real annoying. Having said that, anyone could have seen this happening a mile away; a December release date with no confirmed title and no single in sight. Oh well, here’s hoping the wait is worthwhile. So…
Whose album will do better: Mariah, Janet or Madonna?
The BET Hip Hop Awards took place this past Saturday (October 17th) in Atlanta’s Civic Centre. Check out performances from the show which aired yesterday:

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What do you think of the performances?

With Chingy’s new studio album ‘Hate It Or Love It’ set for a December 11th release, new promotional pics of of the rapper have surfaced. As you can see he looks noticeably different.

What do you think of the pics?

With Nelly set to release his new album ‘Brass Knuckles’ on November 13th, the video for the set’s first single ‘Wadysname’ premiered yesterday. I’m really liking the song and this Chris Robinson directed video. The girls were really getting it some of the scenes! Jamaica (Laurie Ann’s replacement on Making The Band) choreographed the vid.

What do you think of the video?

With the last week’s album sales having now been tallied up, it’s not good news for Jennifer Lopez. The singer’s latest effort LP ‘Brave’ (billed by many as ‘make or break’ for her career) has sold a terribly poor 54,728 copies in it’s first week. It stands as the worst charting album Lopez has ever released. {Source}
There really hasn’t been a better time to get pregnant! Still, though the CD flopping (so badly) will not leave people’s minds, she may have a chance at success after laying low for a while or better still putting out a half-decent album. Haters can jump off Kelly Rowland’s back now lol.

Why do you think ‘Brave’ flopped?

Nicole Scherzinger is still trying to push those singles/album of hers; this time here in the UK on daytime show GMTV. Providing that the song is trash (sorry, call me a hater or whatever), she did a great job…lipsynching. At this point, any hope of the album being any good is lost (for me), but she always has the Pussycat Dolls to fall back on, I guess.

What do you think of the performance?

The much anticipated new video from X Factor winner Leona Lewis finally hit UK screens today. ‘Bleeding Love’ has been enjoying immense radio airplay here in the UK and the video seems set to make the song a smash. Though I have my reservations about the song (too 90’s Mariah for me), the vid is pretty good. Leona’s debut album ‘Spirit’ is set to hit stores in Europe on November 12th. A Stateside launch for the singer is planned for early 2008.

What do you think of the video?