Sunday August 25th, 2002
New CD's this week:
None to report this week
Short news stories this week:
Kelly Price, Dave Hollister, Glenn Lewis Tour To Kick Off Next Month
Kelly Price, Dave Hollister, and Glenn
Lewis will hit the road on
September 25 for the Hennessy Privilege Music Tour.
Lewis will make his acting debut in the film Chambermaid that stars
Jennifer Lopez and is due out by the end of the year. Lewis portrays
himself, and performs two songs that are scheduled to appear on the
soundtrack for the film. Additionally, Lewis teams with Amel Larrieux
for the song "What's Come Over Me," the third single from the Barbershop
Hollister, who will make his Motown Records debut on October 15 with
Things In The Game Done Changed, will also appear on the Blackstreet
album, Level II, due out on November 12.
Price's third album, Priceless, is scheduled to be issued on October 8.
Dave Hollister Says New BlackStreet Offering Isn't Really A Reunion Set
R&B singer, Dave Hollister, who
recently signed with Motown Records, is
gearing up for the release of his third solo effort, Things In The Game
Done Changed, on October 15. The first single, "Baby Do Those Things,"
was produced by Brandy's husband, Robert Smith.
Recently Hollister's name has surfaced in conjunction with the new
BlackStreet set, Level II, which is scheduled for release on November
12. Hollister and Levi Little, another original member of BlackStreet,
are slated to appear on "Bygones."
Hollister shared that the new BlackStreet set isn't really a reunion
album and that "Bygones" hadn't been recorded: ["It's actually not a
reunion album unless I'm on it, you know what I mean? Or unless me and
Levi is on it, so it's not really a reunion album because you know
reunion means original. You know what I mean? So it ain't a reunion
album, it's a BlackStreet album, you know, with two of the original
cats, you know, doing a song on it, if my money is right. If the money
is right then it will be done, if not, it won't."]
Hollister did make it clear that he would definitely like to appear on
"Bygones": ["It's not even final yet but we're working on it. It's being
worked on. It's something that I think is definitely going to happen.
And it's definitely something I want to do, but I don't need to do it,
you know what I mean? I just want to make that clear that it's something
that I want to do, if for no other reason but me wanting to do it, you
know what I mean, and the fact that I do miss the guys."]
Gerald Levert Discovers 'The G Spot' With New Album Next Month
Soulful R&B vocalist and songwriter
Gerald Levert will offer fans a new
album on September 24. Titled The G Spot, the album features 13 tracks
and is executive produced by Gerald with Randy Bowland.
Levert's continued devotion to the soul music tradition was evident in
the recording of the new album. He brought all his musicians and
technicians to rehearse in Philadelphia, home of the world-famous Philly
Sound engineered by producers Gamble & Huff, to soak up what he called
the city's musical "vibe." The cover art for The G Spot itself pays
tribute to the sexy album covers of the 1970s, especially those of the
Ohio Players. The album includes the single "Funny"; the track "Too Much
Room" features New Orleans rapper Mystikal while "Oh What A Night"
sports a guest appearance by veteran jazz artist Roy Ayers.
"I never try to be something I'm not. A lot of my peers have spent their
time always trying to climb whatever trend is out there to keep up with
the new cats," Levert says. "I've always felt I owe it to my fans to
extend my reach, not imitate what someone else is doing."
The G Spot, Levert's seventh solo album after his success with the
three-man group Levert, is the follow-up to 2001's Gerald's World, which
was his highest-charting album to date. Gerald's World bowed on the
Billboard R&B albums chart at Number Two and on the Top 200 Albums chart
at Number Six. In addition, Levert has sold more than 8 million albums
worldwide, and as an artist, writer, or producer has landed 14 Number
One R&B hits.
The track listing for The G Spot is: "Too Much Room" featuring Mystikal,
"Since You Ain't Around," "Wilding Me Out," "Funny," "The Top Of My
Head," "Oh What A Night" featuring Roy Ayers, "Closure," "Raindrops,"
"Your Smile," "Backbone," "Catchin' Feelings," and "All That Matters."
Jermaine Jackson Argues Brother Michael Isn't Having Money Problems
Michael Jackson has taken several cheap
shots from the media, as he
continues his quest to prove Sony Records personally sabotaged his
Invincible album. While Jackson canvassed New York City to speak out
against the label and its head Tommy Mottola, reports began to leak to
several news organizations that the singer's tirade stems from his lack
LAUNCH recently asked brother Jermaine Jackson to clarify whether or not
the "King of Pop" is experiencing financial problems: ["When you're
through with somebody--and these reports and these things we know where
they're coming from--when you're finished with someone and their time is
up, you want to paint them out to be the worst, broke, down-and-out, you
want to find every thing, derogatory statement that you can say about
that person. That's exactly what's going on right now. But the fact of
the matter is, Michael is not broke."]
And while Jermaine argues that Michael is monetarily stable, last
night's installment of the syndicated show Extra ran a piece stating
that parents Joe and Katharine Jackson may lose their family home. Extra
went on to say that the elder Jacksons are fighting to save their home
in bankruptcy court.
3LW Become 2LW: Naturi Says She's Out Of Group
It seems that three little women are now
down to two.
On Wednesday (August 21), 3LW's Naturi Naughton, with her lawyer in tow,
told New York City radio jock Wendy Williams that she has been forced
out of the group.
With just over one month to go before the release of the trio's second
album, A Girl Can Mack (see "3LW Working Overtime Before Macking" ), a
number of canceled appearances had fueled rumors of discord between
Naughton and the other members, Kiely Williams and Adrienne Bailon.
Naughton said she had received repeated complaints about her
performance, her image and her loyalty to the group from 3LW's
management, which, coincidentally, is run by Kiely's legal guardian,
Michelle Williams - no relation to the Destiny's Child member.
Naturi, 18, said that the dealbreaker (or triobreaker, as it were) came
when Kiely threw a plate of food into her face after a particularly
heated argument in South Carolina, prompting her to immediately fly back
to her hometown in New Jersey.
At presstime, there is no official response from the remaining
two-thirds of 3LW. Naughton claimed that an understudy has already been
training to replace her.
The group's label, Epic Records, and their road manager declined to
Dru Hill Getting Ready To Make Girls Scream Again
Nokio discusses reunion disc, Dru World
Order, due November 12.
While B2K were driving adolescent girls into a tizzy across town at
Madison Square Garden, Tamir "Nokio" Ruffin was sitting in Soundtrack
Studios, remembering the days when his name used to roll off girls' lips
with the frequency that the names Omarion, J-Boog, Lil' Fizz and Raz-B
"It was crazy," Nokio said with a laugh after devouring a takeout
seafood dinner. "This girl came running up to me yesterday for a hug and
said, 'I was loving you way before I was loving B2K.' "
But there are no screaming girls at Soundtrack. The main room is
temporarily submerged in silence.
"I can't believe we actually have an album coming out," Nokio said of
the Dru Hill reunion disc, Dru World Order, due November 12. And not
only are Nokio, Sisqó, Jazz and the gospel-singing Woody all back in the
fold for their first LP since 1998's Enter the Dru, the guys have a new
"His name is Scola, and he's been with us since day one," Nokio said.
"He's the guy whose songs we were listening to in Baltimore, like, 'Yo,
we need to make songs like that.' We was like, 'Yo, you our boy and you
been here.'... We seen him coming up for so long, going from not being
in the right situations, you just want to see everybody come up.
Especially being from Baltimore. There aren't a lot of opportunities
down there. You gonna see his face on the album cover, the girls are
going to be screaming for [him]. He just brings a different element that
we didn't have before."
Nokio said the original members first got back together during a Dru
family tragedy, when Woody's mom died and the four of them performed at
"We went up to the pulpit to sing a song together, and that was the
first time everybody had the chance to look at each other like, 'Yo, I
miss you, dog. What's up, man? What you been doing?' The communication
was there, and it kept getting stronger and stronger. One day me and
Sisqó were on the phone talking about doing a remix to one of the songs
on his last album and that conversation turned into, 'Yo, we just need
to go make an album - let's stop playing. I went down to his crib for
eight months.' "
The duo called the rest of their squad in October and started writing.
By the end of December, they had recorded a large chunk of their songs.
"My man is itching to get onstage bad," Nokio said of Sisqó, who has cut
his cornrows down to a Caesar and is wearing his natural black hair
color. "His voice is like it never was before, he's just ready to go.
Ready to be at where we were in the beginning."
Dru Hill have indeed taken it back to their
roots for their
still-untitled first single, due in September.
"I should be your boyfriend/ 'Cause you know he's lying/ It might seem
like I'm hating/ But I'm just relating," they harmonize over a mid-tempo
track that's pampered with funk and strings.
"After we listened to it, the harmony, what we was saying, it was that
Dru Hill record that reminded you of why you like Dru Hill," Nokio said.
"It was good to be able to sit back and debate about it like, 'I don't
know what record we gonna put out because we got so many records' rather
than 'That is the only record we have. Let's put it out right now.' "
N.O.R.E. makes a guest appearance on the club banger "On Me," while
Nokio himself is the star of a ballad he refers to as "the baby father
"I wrote that song on Christmas Eve that just passed," recalled Nokio,
who sings, "While you're in bed with another man, I just want to talk to
my child" on the track. "That was the first Christmas I [didn't] have no
girl. Wasn't nobody there, wasn't nothing happening. I was like, 'Why I
ain't got no girl? This ain't like me.' It made me think about all of
the stuff I had done over the years to different girls."
"I called Scola up and started singing the first two lines," Nokio said,
"and he was like, 'I don't know what you're going through, man, but keep
going through it.' You'll listen to the album and a lot of it is girls,
relationships and everything, ... but the undertone is you could see
everything we went though. All the pain. All the nights we were sitting
around not knowing what was going to happen. ... Dealing with the fans,
'Y'all ain't never coming back.' We put that all into the record."
Besides the Dru Hill album, which he produced most of, Nokio is staying
busy with his A&R consultant gig at Def Jam, where he is overseeing
projects by 3rd Storee and Lovher. He also has his own N-tity management
and production companies, where he'll soon be laying tracks for DMX and