Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wedding ring is off, Usher is back on track!


It looks like all Usher needed to do was get a divorce to get him back to making music that people actually want to hear.

On his new album, Raymond v. Raymond, the 31-year-old singer delivers a very calculated mix of sensual ballads and uptempo party tracks that he desperately needed to try to remain relevant.

His divorce from Tameka Foster last summer appears to be the key that makes this album much better than his previous release, Here I Stand. While that album was moderately successful, it was lackluster and only produced one standout hit ("Love in This Club").

Usher roars back on his first album without the wedding ring making music that helped him become a household name. But not without a boost from some of hip-hop's biggest acts to put him back on heavy rotation on radio stations.



The raunchy and always animated Nicki Minaj puts the freak on "Lil Freak," and rapper Plies knocks down the door on "Hey Daddy (Daddy's Home)." Both songs are infectious, radio-friendly and widely popular. It's just what Usher needed to do instead of putting people to sleep "Moving Mountains" on his last album.

Rappers T.I. and Ludacris also chipped in on tracks, "Guilty" and "She Don't Know," respectively. It's clear Usher was pulling out all the stops and making all the necessary phone calls to make sure his sixth studio album did not flop.

Perhaps the best songs on the 15-track album are his trademark slow-jams, "There Goes My Baby" and "Mars vs. Venus."




The will.i.am produced "Omg" isn't half bad. The song has potential to be a big hit, despite some rather juvenile lyrics.

"Honey got a booty like pow, pow, pow / Honey got some boobies like wow, oh wow / Girl you know I'm loving your, loving your style," he sings on the track that also features the popular Pea.




The pop-friendly song, like most of the album, seemed like a desperate attempt to get back some of his fans that he may have lost.

On "Papers," Usher sings about his public divorce.

"For you I gave my heart and turned my back against the world / 'Cause you were my girl, girl, girl / I done damn near lost my mama, I done been through so much drama / I done turned into the man that I never thought I'd be," he sings on the chorus.

Glad he addressed this in a song, but I could have done without it, personally. Nice try. The message was good, but the song is not anything I want to hear in my car or on the radio.

This album is far from great, but it's certainly a step in the right direction for the man many look to as the apparent heir to Michael Jackson's King of Pop throne.

If you thought Usher was gone after his last album, think again - he's back!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Erykah Badu keeps fans waiting, but doesn't disappoint


Don't you badu that again!!

Fans waited patiently for Erykah Badu on Saturday night at her "secret" concert in New York City. However, the singer didn't show up until early Sunday morning - 1:30 a.m. to be exact.

No reason was given for her showing up so late.

However, the Grammy Award-winning singer didn't cheat her fans. She performed hits - old and new - over the course of an hour and a half set. The show, held at Good Units in the basement of the Hudson Hotel, was over by 3 a.m.




The advertised start time of the show was 9 p.m. Opening acts included MNDR, the Tony Castles and Spank Rock. Fans even started booing and signally for Spank Rock to get off the stage when he performed "Shake It Til My Dick Turns Racist." The crowd was beyond restless.

When Miss Badu finally arrived she wore a trench coat and kicked off her highly anticipated show performing "20 Feet Tall" off her new album.




Her fifth album, New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh), is slated to be released on Tuesday, March 30.

She closed out the show with "Window Seat," the first single off her new album. (The video for the song was also released on her Web site on Saturday - check it out at www.erykahbadu.com)




Overall, Badu did not disappoint. She sounded great, and she treated long-time fans to some Baduism, including hits "On and On," "Other Side of the Game" and "Danger."

--------------
Notes:



-Spotted: Damon Dash was in the building for the show. He seemed to be enjoying himself as he looked down onto the stage from the balcony area.

-Cost: General admission for this "secret" show was only $20.







Sean Paul with a new cut at the Nets game


Sean Paul looked like he had lost a bet.

The reggae superstar sported a new mohawk at Friday's Nets game at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J.

Most of us still remember the "Get Busy" artist when he had long braids.

But my guess is that he lost a bet with a friend and they told him he had to get a mohawk and sit courtside to watch the worst team in the NBA.

I also thought Sean Paul might have been at the game recruiting dancers for his newest video. Who knows!?

Oddly enough, the Nets would defeat the Detroit Pistons on this night.






Thursday, March 25, 2010

C'mon son: Rap song called "Obama"


What rhymes with Sosa and Gaga? I got it - OBAMA!

At least that must have been what rapper Tony Yayo was thinking when he made this ridiculous song named after the president.

A video for the song, "Obama," was released Wednesday on ThisIs50.com.

Yayo, known for being a close friend of 50 Cent, only refers to Obama on the hook of the track.

"I got that white, that Sammy Sosa/ X pills call them Lady Gaga/ Dope bags is stamped Obama/ We gettin money, gettin money," he raps.

The video, which appears to have been shot in a lavish New York City hotel, was directed by 50 Cent.


Tony Yayo - "Obama" Official Music Video - Directed By 50 Cent from Thisis50 on Vimeo.

The Wedding is OFF: Eva and Lance Gross split

There will be no wedding bells for actor Lance Gross and top model Eva Marcille.

The couple, only five months away from their wedding, have officially called it quits.

Gross, 28, known for his role on Tyler Perry's sitcom "House of Payne," confirmed the news for his nearly 40,000 followers on Wednesday night.

"Yes it is true," tweeted Gross, who stars in new movie, "Our Family Wedding" with America Ferrera.

Marcille, 25, a previous winner of the popular Tyra Banks show "America's Next Top Model, hasn't tweeted anything to hint at the break-up.

But she did tweet the titles to two very popular ballads, "I will always love u," and "Pretty wings."

The pair did release a joint statement to Essence.com, which said, "Lance Gross and Eva Marcille have mutually decided to end their relationship. The split is completely amicable and both parties remain friends."

The split comes two weeks after Gross was on the Wendy Williams Show taking about his wedding plans.

"We are having a big wedding," he told the talk show host on March 10.

They were set to wed on July 17.

Check out Lance Gross on the Wendy Williams Show:

Diggy walking a mile in his own shoes, not his father's


Diggy Simmons, the son of Rev. Run, has signed to Atlantic Records.

He told the Daily News he got the opportunity on his own.

Check out the story: click here.

(Pictured: M.Feenz and Diggy)

Friday, March 19, 2010

All the way turnt up: Nice weather, fresh playlist

It's 70 degrees so you already know what that means.

Roll down the windows in your car and crank the volume on your stereo all the way up.

But you can't ride around blasting any outdated Beyonce. And as much as we love her off the wall music videos, letting everyone know you like Lady Gaga might not be the best decision either.

So here's some tracks for your "it's nice outside" playlist..... (in no particular order)




1. Lloyd Banks feat. Juelz Santana- "Beamer, Benz or Bentley"

Something about this beat that just goes hard. Perfect for blasting through any neighborhood. I know I was driving down Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn with the stereo all the way turnt up!!

I would also strongly recommend "Nissan, Honda, Chevy" by Joell Ortiz and "Trina, Kim or Nicki" by Maino.




2. Wacka Flocka Flame feat. Diddy, Rick Ross and Gucci Mane - "Oh Let's Do It" (Only the REMIX!)

The remix does this song way more justice than the original. Diddy is the king of the remix so it's only fitting that he does his thing to kick off this version of the popular song. I have to give Diddy respect for his verse. He KILLED it! Rick Ross and Gucci Mane also added their flare to the otherwise simple and catchy track. Again, this is song that deserves to be all the way turnt up.

I would also recommend "Oh Let's Do It" by Fabolous.




3. Joell Ortiz - "Call Me"

This easy-going track is perfect for a nice weather day. It's a smooth and classic example of traditional hip-hop storytelling. Ortiz gets some help on the track from R&B singer, Novel, who sings this song on to the playlist. You can't help but feel this track.




4. Ghostface, Method Man and Raekwon feat. Alicia Keys - "Our Dreams" (Remix only)

Wu-Tang Clan members came back on the scene with "Our Dreams." But the song went to new heights when they got A-Keys to sing the hook. A-Keys really adds some magic to this track. She brings her bag of tricks, much like she did on the Jay-Z "Empire State of Mind." But there is no denying "Our Dreams" is a dope song. Not to mention, the song includes a sample from the Michael Jackson song, "Almost There." How can you go wrong with this!? Keys sings, "No matter how hard / the task may seem / don't give our plans / don't give up our dreams / No broken bridges / Can turn us around / Cause what we're searchin' for / Will soon be found."




5. Ludacris feat. Nicki Minaj - "My Chick Bad"

This beat is bananas!! Ludacris ripped this track. As for Nicki Minaj, I could care less for her on this. But she had some memorable and animated lines, as usual. "Runnin down the court / I'm dunkin on 'em/ Lisa Leslie!!!" raps Minaj. Nothing new with her. Nonetheless, worthy of being all the way turnt up.

I would also recommend the "My Chick Bad" remix featuring three female rappers - Diamond, Trina and Eve. Yeah, Eve's back!




6. Usher feat. will.i.am - Oh My Gosh

Usher is back!! This catchy uptempo track is perfect for being all the way turnt up. We can thank will.i.am for making this one. It definitely sounds like a Black Eyed Peas song, so if you like them, you'll certainly like this.

7. B.O.B. feat. Bruno Mars - "Nothing On You"

Dope song. Needs to be on everyones playlist. Hands down, volume up!

8. Fabolous - "Body Ya"

Fab put it simply: "If looks could kill then my style might body ya. Buh-buh-body ya!!!" This track goes hard!!! All the way turnt up certified!!! Check out the whole Fab mixtape, The Funeral Service.




9. Drake - "Over"

Drake is certainly killing the game and not leaving any condolences. This is his first single off his debut album, which is bound to be extremely successful. Lil' Wayne will certainly be smiling from his cell.

10. 50 Cent - "Do You Think About Me"

This is another one of those smooth rap tracks that is easy to listen to. Fifty - or Fiddy - slowed it down and did this track for the ladies. It's a mellow track. Good for cruising around the city on a nice day. Blast this at a reasonable level. Not too much though. LOL.

11. Alicia Keys - "Unthinkable"

The best song on A-Keys latest release. The song is written by Drake and is perfect for a nice weather day. It's slow without being overwhelmingly sappy. It's a great song to relax you while sitting in some rush hour traffic. A-Keys did her thing on this.

12. Maino - "Bring It Back DJ"

The "Hi Hater" rapper makes the list with "Bring It Back DJ."

I would also strongly recommend Maino's "Get 'Em Tiger (Tiger Woods)," especially in light of the text messages that have been released.




13. Wiz Khalifa - "This Plane"

Wiz is putting Pittsburgh on the map. Dope track with a futuristic sound. If you like Kid Cuddi and Lupe Fiasco, you'll like this. Add it to the list!

14. Jay Electronica - "Exhibit C"

As everyone knows, Jay killed this track. The song samples the soulful "Cross My Heart" by Billy Stewart.

15. Chris Brown - "Famous Girl"

C-Breezy did his thing on this one, and the track is worthy of being turnt up. Probably my favorite track from the lackluster Graffiti album.

I would also recommend the entire Chris Brown "In My Zone" mixtape - specifically "Big Booty Judy."

16. Birdman feat. Lil' Wayne and Drake - "4 My Town"

This makes the list because of Drizzy and Weezy. Enough said.

17. Fat Joe feat. Jeezy - "Slow Down"

Beat is crazy. Another sample. Another hit.




18. Red Cafe feat. Fabolous - "I'm Ill"

This track is crazzzzzzzzy. Like Fab's Hideki Matsui reference. Too bad he's no longer a Yankee. Fab killed it, as usual.

19. Ludacris feat. Ciara and Pit Bull - "How Low" (Remix)

Luda does it again with this one. Ciara and Pit Bull aren't the most in demand folks for a remix, but they fit well. Hot track - remix or not. For some reason they don't play the remix on New York radio. Maybe they're waiting for a version with Nicki Minaj. I hope not. LOL.

I would also recommend the other "How Low" remix with Twista and Rick Ross.



20. Gyptian - "Hold Yuh

This is for the reggae heads. Get into it!


BONUS TRACK: Roscoe Dash and Soulja Boy - "All the Way Turnt Up"

The song is a bit annoying if you listen to it enough. But if you can stomach it, put it on your list. I won't be mad if you leave it off though.




Friday, March 12, 2010

Memorable Prison Music Videos


What is it about music videos with a prison theme?

They are all usually horrible. However, Lady Gaga's "Telephone" video, which was partially based out of a prison, wasn't half bad. It was probably one of the best of the bunch. Although that's not saying a whole lot.

But I just couldn't watch the opening minutes of the Gaga video without thinking about some other prison-themed music videos.

Let's take a trip down memory lane.....please, feel free to comment with your own memorable prison music videos.

------------------

The worst prison music video came from a very famous musical family.

Jermaine Jackson's "Dynamite"

There were so many things wrong with this video. From Jermaine Jackson's neon outfit/earrings to awkward dance routine between prisoners and security guards. I could go on, but I'll stop. After all, it was 1984. The video, directed by Bob Giraldi,
was a weak effort to follow in the footsteps of his little brother, Michael. Giraldi also directed the Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney video, "Say Say Say." Yet another good song with a silly video.




While I'm talking about the Jackson family. I'll share a prison video from the late King of Pop.

Michael Jackson's "They Don't Really Care About Us"

Jackson went hard with this song, filled with a deep message about problems facing the world. Maybe that's why he selected a prison for the theme. The video wasn't terrible. Thankfully, he didn't break into a dance sequence with the inmates.




Of course, I couldn't forget Miami rapper, J.T. Money, who gave birth to his one and only hit from a prison cell.

J.T. Money's "Who Dat" (featuring Sole)

This was crunk before there was crunk. The song was catchy, but the video was a bit awkward. I remember watching this, just wondering who the hell was Sole? We would later find out that she was the main squeeze of singer, Ginuwine. Nonetheless, I think J.T. Money had a lot of fun making this video, and we'll always remember it. Even if it wasn't that great.




Do you remember any noteworthy prison-themed music videos?

Please share.


Gaga and Honey Bee KILL it in new video



Wanted: a gagalicious singing duo for mass murder.

Lady Gaga and Beyonce teamed up once again in the new video for "Telephone," and they killed it. Literally!



The nearly ten minute mini movie, which made its debut yesterday, went from the prison yard to a very "deadly" diner.

Of course, it featured some outrageous Gaga outfits, including one that proved she doesn't have a penis!!

And Gaga wasn't shy in her prison yard debut either. She even shared a passionate kiss with a tough leather-wearing female inmate.


If that wasn't enough, Beyonce traded in her "Sasha Fierce" alter ego in exchange for a new alias -- "Honey Bee" (as Gaga called her).

The Gaga-Bee duo gave Thelma and Louise a run for the money, especially with their dance routine to close out the over-the-top video.


They were last seen fleeing in a fire red and yellow Pussy Wagon.

This wasn't the first time the divas teamed up. Gaga joined Beyonce for the remix of her hit, "Video Phone," and it looks like this may not be the last time we see the pair.

The video ends: "To be continued...."

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

C'mon Son: Promoters cashing in on B.I.G.'s death


Somebody was trying to cash in on the death of Notorious B.I.G. and Diddy says it wasn't him.

Last night, a tribute party for the late Notorious B.I.G. was held at The Lab in Brooklyn. But some would-be partygoers were shocked when they were asked to pay $100 to enter.


Soon Diddy was bombarded with tweets from upset fans and he had to respond to clear his own name. Mainly because the party was heavily promoted as Diddy's first ever party in Brooklyn.

"I just heard the club is trying to charge 100 dollars. I am 3 blocks away!!! I am not promoting the party. I'm not making money from this," he tweeted after being accused of turning the tribute into a payday.

"As soon as I get there I will tell them to stop trying to overcharge people. Sorry to all who were inconvenienced. I will fix," he tweeted.

For some reason, I believe Diddy when he says he wasn't making money off this party.

But someone was.

After all, there were a grand total of SEVEN names listed as party promoters for this tribute party. And there was no mention of this party being a college fundraiser for the two children of the "Juicy" rapper. Because it wasn't!



Maybe if the organizers did something *good* with the proceeds, people wouldn't feel so bad about spending $100 to get in. Instead these greedy promoters are trying to stuff their own pockets.(FYI - advance V.I.P. tickets for the party was only $30)

Empire Entity, Showcase NYC, Joe Jaxson, Jinglin Baby, MTA Playaz, Tree City and Real Hustlaz were among promoters whose names appeared on the party advertisements.

Shame on ALL of them. It has been 13 years since B.I.G.'s death, when will it stop?

Party Promoter
Joe Jaxson

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Lil' Wayne's Top 5 Pre-Prison Plans

It looks like Lil' Wayne will finally face the music on Monday at criminal court in New York. That's assuming nothing crazy happens between now and then.

His sentencing was delayed after a fire broke out at the Manhattan Criminal Court building on Tuesday. Prior to that, his sentencing was postponed because he had to get some work done on his 'gangsta grillz' --- otherwise known as his teeth.

On Monday, hopefully, he will be sentenced to a year in prison for a gun possession charge in 2007. (I say hopefully because I would hate to see this prolonged for some other ridiculous occurrence.)

Dwayne Carter has already made the most of his extra days of freedom. On Tuesday night, he joined Nicki Minaj, Drake and Jeezy, performing his verse on "I'm Going In" at the sold out Jay-Z concert at Madison Square Garden.




He's also taken to the Internet. He recently started tweeting and he spent Friday night on UStream shouting out his fans and chomping away on some dinner.

But what else does Weezy have up his sleeve before he leaves us??

He's already shot several music videos that will air in his absence. So we can cross that off the list of things to do.

Here's a list of his top 5 pre-prison plans for this weekend:



5. Starts writing his "For Dummies" book: "Making a Rap Sensation for Dummies." The book, completely written by Weezy, will include chapters: "How to take a rich kid from Canada and a hoodrat from Queens and make them rap superstars;" "How to get your rappers on every song on the radio;" and "How to write lyrics for clueless wannabe rappers."



4. Sneaks into the air traffic controller tower at JFK Airport to give directions to pilots. "This is Weezy F. Baby, bitch, I'm going INnnnn!" The disturbance causes massive terror alerts at airports and results in major delays. Funny how that didn't happen when two little kids were up there recently with their father.




3. Teams with Wyclef Jean in fundraisers for Haiti. Wayne cuts his famous locks for charity and takes on a new look to go with his orange jumper. He also announces he's selling his sperm on eBay, allowing him to fulfill his wildest dream of having sex with every girl in the world. Wayne already has four kids.



2. Gets some 'nookie' from Snooki. Self explanatory. That's if he hasn't already. And if that doesn't work out he can always chase down Gabby "Precious" Sidibe. She'll be in need of some comforting after her Oscar loss on Sunday. He'd certainly go out with a bang!




1. Puts the final nail in the coffin of Gov. Paterson's political career. Weezy will hold a press conference at the Apollo Theater and announce it was Paterson who got him the gun. It will also be revealed that Paterson was slated to attend Weezy's concert with his son, but he got Yankee tickets instead. The revelation will force Paterson to finally resign.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The OLDEST 'How YOU Doin'!?'


The official greeting of The Wendy Williams Show has without a doubt reached all audiences, including my 95-year-old grandmother!

Gladys Willis turned 95 on Feb. 26 and at her birthday party in the Bronx, N.Y. on Saturday, she took the popular 'how YOU doin' greeting to another level!!

In just minutes, she was able to execute the three-word catch phrase with help from her daughter, Reba, and granddaughter, Dawn.

Unfortunately, my grandmother doesn't know who Wendy Williams is and she's never seen the show. But she made easy work of the Wendyism, thus becoming the oldest to ever do it!!!

I'm sure Wendy would be proud.

Enjoy!! Tell a friend!