Sunday March 10th, 2002
New CD's this week:
This week new albums from Brandy, who is
already scoring with the first single "What
About Us" and a live album from BeBe Winans recorded live at the BET studios on
Short news stories this week:
Ashanti - An Overnight Sensation
Four months ago this week, Ashanti had
never appeared on The Billboard Hot 100. She
made her chart debut the week of Nov. 17, 2001, as the featured artist on Ja Rule's
"Always on Time," which just completed a two-week run at No. 1. Fast forward to March
2002, and Ashanti has pulled off a rare feat, one that may not have been seen since the
Beatles did it in 1964.
The week before "Always on Time" advanced to No. 1, two more songs by Ashanti
entered the Hot 100: "What's Luv?" by Fat Joe featuring Ashanti and "Foolish," the
artist's first solo effort. For the week ending March 9, "What's Luv?" jumps 23-15 and
"Foolish" rockets 51-29. That means Ashanti's first three chart entries are all in the top-
30 portion of the chart at the same time.
With "Always on Time" moving down the chart, it's unlikely that Ashanti will be able to
match what the Beatles accomplished in 1964. The A-sides of their first three chart
entries, "I Want to Hold Your Hand," "She Loves You," and "Please Please Me"
occupied the top three positions on the Hot 100 the week of March 14, 1964.
"Foolish" is first solo single from the upcoming debut album of the first lady of Murder
Inc. and uses the familiar sample from El Debarge "Stay With Me" which was previously
used on Notorious B.I.G. "One More Chance" and JVC Force "Big Trax".
Jay-Z and R. Kelly Move Up Release Date Due To Heavy Bootlegging
Jay-Z and R. Kelly have moved the release
date of their new album, Best Of Both
Worlds, from March 26 to March 19, to combat the heavy bootlegging of the album. A
bootleg version of the album has made its way onto the streets including the following
songs: "Intro," "Shake Ya Body," "Somebody's Girl," "Green Light," "Take You
Home," "Pu--y," "It Ain't Personal," "Get This Money," "Shorty," "Streets," "Break-up
To Make-up," "Honey, " "Naked," and "Come To Daddy."
Several of the songs have also turned up on radio, but the official two lead singles from
the set are "Take You Home With Me a.k.a. Body" and "Get This Money." Jay-Z and R.
Kelly have yet to shoot a video for either song, and have been dogged by the negative
publicity caused by allegations that Kelly engaged in videotaping sexual escapades with
underage girls. Several explicit videotapes of the R&B star have been circulating on the
Internet and on the bootleg VHS and DVD circuit.In related news, Jay-Z will soon
release the video to "Song Cry," the latest single from his double-platinum set, The
Blueprint. The video was recently shot in Los Angeles with director Sanaa Hamri.
Toni Braxton Back In Studio
Producer Rodney Jerkins is reported by
VH1.com to be in the studio with singer Toni
Braxton and that the two are making "hit after hit." The upcoming Braxton album is due
to hit stores in the fall.
Musiq To Release 'Juslisen' On May 7
Musiq, formerly Musiq Soulchild, will
release Juslisen--the follow-up to his platinum
2000 debut, Aijuswanaseing--on May 7. The Philadelphia-based singer will head to New
York to shoot the video for the first single, "Halfcrazy," on Sunday and Monday (March
10 and 11). Some of the producers who work with Musiq on the new set include Ivan
Barris, Carvin Haggins, Darren Henson, Keith Pelzer, 88 Keys, June, James Poyser,
Pitchback, Andre Harris, and Vidal Davis.
The tentative tracklisting for Juslisen includes: "Intro," "Newness," "Caughtup,"
"Stopplayin," "Religious," "Babygirl," "Halfcrazy," "Time," "Future," "Reallove,"
"Onenight," "Previouscats," "Solong," "Bestfriend," 'Dontchange," "Motherfather,"
Former Soul II Soul Singer Do'Reen Dead
Former Soul II Soul singer Do'Reen was
killed on Friday (March 1) after she was hit by
three cars while fleeing a store she had allegedly shoplifted from in Shorham, West
Do'Reen's death followed a confrontation with associates of the store where she was
shopping. After being approached, Do'Reen ran out of the store with the alleged
contraband in hand and was struck by the vehicles.
Born Doreen Waddell, the 36-year-old singer worked with Soul II Soul on the its 1989
album Keep On Movin', providing lead vocals on the songs "Feel Free" and "Happiness."
She leaves behind one 4-year-old son.
Erykah Badu's Background Singer Karen Bernod To Open For Mos Def
Karen Bernod, who has sang background
vocals for Erykah Badu, D'Angelo, Whitney
Houston, and other notables, will share the bill with acclaimed hip-hop artist and actor
Mos Def on March 24 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center's Prudential Hall.
Bernod's work has received favorable response from the press. Vibe magazine called her
voice "stunning," adding, "the veteran backup singer boasts a three-octave vocal range
that she manipulates with ease."
The neo-soul artist, who has also been compared to Ella Fitzgerald, will perform material
from her debut, Some Othaness For U. In addition to singing background vocals on
Badu's Live album, she has also performed with Luther Vandross, Incognito, Chaka Khan
and Vanessa Williams.
New Aaliyah Single To Be Released From Timbaland & Magoo Album
Hip-hop duo Timbaland & Magoo are
preparing to release a remix of Aaliyah's "I Am
Music" as the second single from their third album, Indecent Proposal. The new version
of the song will appear on a revamped issue of Indecent Proposal, due out on April 23 on
Blackground/Universal Records. The original album was released on November 27 on
"We are excited about the opportunity to jumpstart our new relationship with Universal
with one of our cornerstone acts," says Jomo Hankerson, president of Blackground
Records. "We also get the chance to get this project up near the top of the charts where it
In September, a month after Aaliyah was killed in a plane crash, Timbaland spoke to us
about the impact the singer had on his music: "Yeah, it's hard man, because I was close to
they family, not just her. (I've been) thinking about her mom and her dad, just stuff like
that. And working with another female...I doubt if I ever, like, have that magic that I had
with her. So as far as...I'm like good with R&B, but I doubt it because she was the magic
as far as female vocalists."
Alicia Keys, Luther Vandross, Mary J.
Blige, Ronald Isley & More Performing At
Luther Vandross, Alicia Keys, Mary J.
Blige, and India.Arie are among the artists tapped
to perform at this summer's Essence Music Festival. The three-day festival featuring
comedic and musical performances will take place July 4-6 at the Louisiana Superdome
in New Orleans.
Vandross, Keys, India.Arie, Cedric the Entertainer, and Gerald Levert are scheduled to
perform on the Thursday, July 4 opening night. Blige, the Isley Brothers featuring Ronald
Isley, and Faith Evans are on the bill for on Friday, July 5, while Maze featuring Frankie
Beverly, Steve Harvey, Al Green, and Angie Stone are set for Saturday, July 6.
Etta James, the Brothers Johnson, Me'Shell Ndegeocello, the Ohio Players, the Roots, De
La Soul, Oleta Adams, Tyrone Davis, and Glenn Lewis are also scheduled to perform at
the festival, which will feature main stage performances and "superlounge" stages set up
in the hallways of the Superdome. The festival will also include empowerment seminars
featuring political, religious, and social leaders at the nearby Ernest N. Morial
Convention Center. For more information about the festival that attracted some 200,000
people last year, please go to essence.com. Tickets can be purchased at ticketmaster.com.
Raphael Saadiq Explains New Single 'Be Here'
Raphael Saadiq's single "Be
Here," the first release from his solo debut Instant Vintage
due out May 28, is expected to hit radio on March 12. The founding member of Tony
Toni Tone and Lucy Pearl says the song, featuring D'Angelo, is about desiring to spend
time with a loved one.
Though missing the company of a significant other can be a depressing thought, Saadiq
tells us that the song has a "happier feeling." "It's not a sad song," he said. "It's just
saying, 'You should be here. It's sad if that person can't be there. But it's just trying to say
that if the person is not too far, that you should be here. You know, 'We should be
together, instead of being away.' Almost like the cats in Afghanistan. Their wives
probably say, 'We wish you could be home.'"
The following is the track listing for the album: "Doing What I Can"; "Body Parts"; "Be
Here," featuring D'Angelo; "Still Ray"; "OPH"; "You're The One That I Like"; "Excuse
Me," featuring Angie Stone and Calvin Richardson; "Charlie Ray"; "Different Times,"
featuring T-Boz; "Tick Tock"; "People"; "Tek 1," featuring Hi-Tek; "Faithful," featuring
Battlecat; "Make My Day"; "Blind Man"; "Tek 2," featuring Hi-Tek; "Uptown," featuring
Leslie Wilson of Newbirth; "What's Life Like"; and "Skyy, Can You Feel Me," featuring