Monday, June 28, 2010

Make room crooners, El DeBarge is back!


It was like stepping into a time machine, except we didn't have to travel anywhere to witness an amazing performance from original R&B crooner, El DeBarge.

The 49-year-old singer - yeah, he certainly didn't look his age - belted out 80's hits "All This Love," "Rhythm of the Night," "Time Will Reveal" and "I Like It" at the annual BET Awards like he never left the stage.

He made his return by smoothly spinning around on a stool and in an instant, El DeBarge was back.

The surprise even overshadowed the current R&B crooners - Usher, Chris Brown, Trey Songz and Tyrese - who also performed on the show.

El, who hasn't released an album since 1994, also performed his new song, "Second Chance," last night. He has an album slated to drop in September.

And we're all waiting.

Welcome back, El!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Drake-a-mania runs wild


He's 23. He gained initial fame for his role on a teenage Canadian television series. And believe it or not, he's standing tall as one of the hottest rapper's in the game.

Drake's debut album, "Thank Me Later," nearly went gold in its first week. He sold an impressive 463,000 copies. Pretty good considering it was leaked well in advanced.

He signed more than 500 copies of the album at the Best Buy in New York's Union Square on the day of his album release. I was able to speak to the former "Degrassi: The Next Generation" actor briefly after the signing. CLICK HERE for the story




But it wasn't long before the 'best day he ever had' turned chaotic.

A free concert featuring Drake at New York's South Street Seaport was shut down after more than 25,000 unruly fans showed up. The beautiful outdoor concert with ships in the background was called off before Drake even arrived. Restless fans threw flower pots, chairs and bottles as cops swarmed the popular New York City attraction.




Drake's response to the riot:

"I am humbled by the crowd that showed up in support of my performance," the Toronto native said through his spokeswoman. "Unfortunately, the show was canceled by the NYPD due to overcrowding, leaving me without the chance to give my fans a real show."



Drake on the release of his album:

"I can't even believe it's happening," he told the Daily News after the signing.

"It's crazy, it's like the beginning of my journey, although I've come so far already.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/2010/06/15/2010-06-15_drake_celebrates_release_of_new_album_thank_me_later_in_union_square.html#ixzz0sAyapqDw

Monday, June 14, 2010

Too much Ciroc for Diddy and Fab at the PR parade?



Diddy always know how to make an entrance, but he almost made a tragic exit at the annual Puerto Rican Day parade in New York City.

The 40-year-old hip-hop mogul and Ciroc poster boy cruised down 5th Avenue on the Hot 97 float yesterday, and nearly took an awful spill.

Of course, instead of standing on the float and waving the Puerto Rican flag in a safe location, Diddy decided he would party wildly atop the cab of the flatbed truck.

The not-so-smart decision nearly resulted in Diddy being splattered along 5th Avenue.

He came close on several occasions to falling onto the pavement, and at one point he fell down on all fours on top of the cab. The fall led to members of the Diddy entourage to hold on to his clothes while he was standing dangerously atop of the cab.



The rain began to fall, but Diddy continued to live on the edge, and did his famous dance moves.

But the cops had seen enough. They finally intervened and told the "Hello, Good Morning" rapper to get down. And he did.

However, in typical Diddy fashion he did not act alone. He was joined by Brooklyn rapper, Fabolous, who also performed while standing on top of the cab of the truck.

Fab also teetered a few times and nearly fell face first off the cab. Members of the entourage also held on to Fab's polo to keep him from 'bodying' himself. That's the last thing Fab needs is more damage to his grill. #imjustsayin



The jammed packed float also featured the ladies of Dirty Money, Rick Ross, Busta Rhymes, Red Cafe and Cassie.

Thankfully, the hip-hop stars ended the soggy parade without injury. Good thing because I'm sure they would have blamed it on the alcohol - Ciroc Coconut and pineapple (Coco Loso), to be exact.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Summer Jam: Drake, Nicki and Trey are the future



If last night's Summer Jam was a magic eight-ball, I think it just told fans that Drake, Nicki Minaj and Trey Songz are the future of hip-hop and R&B.

Like it or not, they were the headliners of the show and they are among the hottest in the game.

Minaj, who at one point had orange hair, made three separate appearances throughout the night at the New Meadowlands Stadium.



She joined Drake for "Bed Rock," Ludacris on "My Chick Bad" and Usher during "Lil Freak." The Southside Jamaica, Queens native also performed with reggae artist, Gyptian, for the remix of "Hold Yuh."

The only thing worth noting from all of those appearances was her final exit from the stage. Minaj, who is openly bisexual, brought Cassie out on stage at the conclusion of "Lil Freak," and held hands with her as they left the stage. Hmmm....



It would have been better if they kissed. At least it would been something people would talk about the next day at work or school. I guess she really did take "Cassie away from Diddy" as she says in the song. SMH.




This year's spectacular was a solid show filled with the usual recipe of "surprise guest performers." But most of the surprises were pretty predictable, and not mind-blowing AT ALL. Could have used a pregnant Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz on stage, Jay-Z performing "Light It Up" with Drake or Kanye West performing "Power." It would have even been nice to see a video message or phone call from jailed rapper Lil' Wayne, who now calls Rikers Island his home.

The biggest surprise was Cam'ron's return to the Summer Jam stage. But it was a huge disappointment that he wasn't up there with Jim Jones and Juelz Santana for the much anticipated Dip Set reunion.

Instead, Cam and his protege Vado performed "Speaking in Tongues" during the DJ Khaled set. Khaled brought out practically everyone who currently has a hit song on Hot 97, which sponsored the concert. Rick Ross, Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, T-Pain and Fat Joe were among those who joined the "We the Best" DJ on the packed stage.

In other news, the two-year streak of Jim Jones and Juelz Santana closing out Summer Jam is OVER!

That honor went to Grammy Award-winning singer, Usher, who performed nearly his whole catalog during his set.

It felt like we left Summer Jam, and then we were transported to an Usher concert filled with strobe lights, pyrotechnics and confetti. Usher also set a Summer Jam record for the MOST dancing EVER done on a Summer Jam stage in the long history of the annual concert.

Usher sent many fans packing during his high-energy set, which also slowed down with his new single, "There Goes My Baby."

I overheard one disappointed female concertgoer say, "He ain't Trey." (Referring to popular R&B crooner Trey Songz)

Damn, #shotsfired!!!!

However, she's right.

Trey Songz provided the sex appeal for the ladies during his bare-chested performance. He pulled one concertgoer on stage, and made her "Say Aah" before performing the hit song.


Songz gyrated his way through "Neighbors Know My Name," and received some of the biggest crowd reaction of the night.

And we should all get used to it - Trey Songz is the real deal, and he is the future.


FOR MORE SUMMER JAM COVERAGE: click here