Sunday December 1rst, 2002


New CD's this past week:

- Hil St. Soul - Copasetic & Cool (UK releases)
- Syleena Chapter - Chapter 2: The voice
- Dru Hill - Dru world order
- K-Ci & JoJo - Emotional


Short news stories this week:

Hil St. Soul 2nd album out now

Hil St Soul's latest album strays from the humbly-mellow vibe they introduced with
2000's Soul Organic, but the fabrication of funk, RnB, classic soul and a hint of gospel on
Copasetic and Cool adds up to a lively Brit offering that scores points for its quality and
exclusion of two-step beats.
Hilary Mwelwa's rich vocals does the job on party anthems like All That, That Way, Blue
Tears, and Reach as One and renders a nice mix with the likes of the emotive Alright and
Pieces. Women can relate to Hilary's woes of men-trouble and love, and her frank
honesty in her lyrics gives this opus a realness that's often lacking in RnB today. There's a
definite hip-hop flavour circulating on this disc, and the Mustaq-remix of All That
follows in tradition of the current trend of East-Asian melodies backed by hip-hop beats.
Copasetic and Cool is a tight mix and is practically faultless, save the odd tracks that
serve as remixes of other cuts on the album, and could have been left out for more
original songs. Nevertheless, this deserves to make regular rounds on the CD player and
is set to make Hil St Soul a household name.


Beyonce Transforms Into Bohemian, Motherly Nightclub Singer

Fans of the fast-talking Foxxy Cleopatra may want to steer clear of next
year's "The Fighting Temptations." For her latest picture, Beyoncé
Knowles left the flashy outfits and exaggerated dialogue of "Austin
Powers in Goldmember" behind.
"The 'Goldmember' clothes were ridiculous," Beyoncé said between takes
on the set of "The Fighting Temptations." "Every day it was like playing
dress-up. They had all of the cool fabrics and everything. It was great.
[But in] this movie [my character] is a real person. She's very earthy,
she's very bohemian. She really dresses a lot like me, so the styling is
really cool. And she has a son, so she's really motherly. So that's in
the wardrobe."
Beyoncé said after "Goldmember" became such a success, scripts came
charging her way. "I was basically looking for the perfect script and
the perfect director, because I'm not as experienced. This is only my
third movie, and I still want to make sure the director is giving me
great direction."
"The Fighting Temptations," which began shooting in August, is being
headed up by Jonathan Lynn, whose credits include "My Cousin Vinny,"
"The Whole Nine Yards" and "Clue."
"When I found out Jonathan was doing it, I was like, 'Perfect,' because
his past work is so great," Beyoncé said. "And I met with him and he
made me feel really, really comfortable. I also feel comfortable because
I [am] able to sing in the movie again, and before I did a movie that
was all acting, I wanted to do another one to get more confident.
"What attracted me to this movie [also] is the music is incredible," she
said. "It's a lot of gospel music in the movie, and that's the most
powerful music there is. Also, Cuba Gooding Jr. is a genius at his
craft, and I've learned a lot from him [and] I knew I would. I knew I
would have to challenge myself to hang with him."
The Fighting Temptations" stars Gooding as a New York ad executive who
sets off for the South to claim a large inheritance - one that comes
with a catch. As a requirement of his late aunt's will, Gooding's
character must create a successful gospel choir before he can nab the
dough, so he sets about organizing one built around a nightclub singer
played by Knowles.
"She's actually kicking butt in this movie," Gooding said of his
co-star. "She's really got such a natural ability to just say the lines
and bring realism to the dialogue. And no one's seen her before like
[they will] see her in our movie. I mean, you've seen her in the
commercials, you've seen her in the 'Austin Powers' movie ... but she's
got to deal with a little bit of emotion in our picture."
Also starring Mike Epps, Faith Evans and Steve Harvey, "The Fighting
Temptations" is scheduled to hit theaters in August 2003.

Toni Braxton Is Happy, Naturally

A couple years ago there was a rumor that one of Toni Braxton's breast
implants had burst open. Well, now Toni tells Blender magazine that
those stories were blown outta proportion. Toni said that "nothing
exploded" but she had the implants removed after her doctor discovered
scar tissue. Now, Toni says she no longer needs surgical enhancements.
Toni stated, quote: "I'd always wanted big boobies, see," she explains
in December's issue of Blender, "but after I had my first child, I got
them naturally."

India Arie Confesses

India Arie admitted onstage that she was upset about not winning a
Grammy earlier this year. (You probably remember that Ms. Arie had
seven nominations, more than any other artist, but still went home
empty-handed.) During her concert in L.A. last Friday, India talked
about being unhappy with the Grammy shut-out, but she added that
"everything happens in divine order." India also wowed the crowd with
her interpretation of Minnie Ripperton's "Loving You." She even hit the
high notes! Other musical surprises in India Arie's show included her
singing Sade's "Sweetest Taboo" (India told the audience that the last
time she performed in L.A. she was Sade's opening act). She also sang
Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors" and then played the song on the flute.
That was dope because even though she's been playing flute since she was
a kid, India Arie never took any lessons!

Bobby Brown To Face Trial

Bobby Brown will have to go to court to defend himself regarding a 1996
traffic infraction. On Monday (November 25), a Georgia judge dismissed
Brown's motion to drop the charges, instead setting a trial date of
January 21. Defense lawyer Xavier Dicks argued unsuccessfully that the
infraction was so long ago that the witnesses in the case might not be
In 1996, Brown was stopped in DeKalb County on a speeding violation, and
at the time he failed to produce a driver's license or proof of
insurance. A hearing on the tickets was set for 1997, but Brown never
showed up.
Earlier this month, Brown was pulled over in nearby Atlanta for
speeding, and he again failed to produce a driver's license or proof of
insurance. While being booked in Atlanta, authorities discovered the
outstanding bench warrant in neighboring DeKalb County.

Dru Hill Member Says Reunion Sparked By Fans

Dru Hill--which now comprises Sisqo, Nokio, Jazz, Woody, and new member
Scola--is set to release its third album, Dru World Order, on Tuesday
(November 26). The set's first single, "I Should Be...," is Number 27 on
the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart.
Groupmember Nokio recently told us about why the group reconvened for
its latest set: "We made our album because people asked us to make our
album. You know, we were supposed to release our album a couple of years
ago, even though we were supposed to do it, it was kinda like the timing
wasn't right--the sun, the moons, the stars weren't lined up. It just
didn't feel like it was time."
Nokio continued: "It got to the point where people in the street, people
in the industry--you know, from artists to executives, you know, just
all over--were just, like, 'Man, you know, I really miss ya'll. Man, I
really think it's you know time for ya'll to make an album.' And then
once we decided to do it, everything fell into place. So, I mean, we
make music that's timeless. We make records that stay around, so I think
that when it's like that, you really just gotta wait until the people
want you."
Dru World Order features the production of Warryn Campbell,
Featherstone, Brian Michael Cox, Pajam, the Neptunes, Dru Hill, Andre
Harris, and Vidal Davis, as well as guest appearances by N.O.R.E. and
Chinky of Lovher.

TLC not thinking that far ahead, just want to deal with the present

T-Boz and Chilli say that it's too hard to think about the future of TLC
when they have their hands full taking care of the present. During a
recent BET Radio Satellite Tour, the two surviving members said that
their main concern is promoting their new album, "3D," because it was a
project that Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes was excited about before her untimely
death earlier this year. T-Boz said, (quote) "It's really important for
us to make this album last for Lisa-we just want to do that." T-Boz went
on to say that the next single, "Turntable," is "more-so dedicated to
Lisa, because it deals with a lot of issues that going on in the world
-and also what [TLC] is going through." Both Chilli and T-Boz went on to
express uncertainty about whether or not they'll continue recording more
studio albums as a duo, in the future. When asked if they plan on doing
so, they answered, (quote) "I don't know about that. It looks like we'll
put out a TLC 'greatest hits' album, and that's it." ˇ
In other TLC news, Chilli and Usher seem to be building a great
relationship as a couple. In Usher's interviews, he has been promoting
the new TLC album-as well as his own CD. During a recent BET Radio
Satellite Tour, Usher reflected on how he and Chilli ended up being
boyfriend and girlfriend. He said that-at the time when he was working
on his album, "8701," he asked Chilli to make a cameo in his video, "U
Remind Me." From there, her 'cameo' turned into a role as a 'leading
lady.' Usher said that their friendship then led to a relationship as
time went on. A week after Usher's interview at the BET Radio studios,
Chilli elaborated about their relationship by saying, (quote) "I'll say
that he is really in good with my family and that my family loves him
too. So, we're off to a great start.


News 2002

News 2001