Sunday November 24th, 2002


New CD's this past week:

- Toni Braxton - More than a woman
- Craig David - Slicker than your avarege


Short news stories this week:

Jodeci Reunion Set Pushed Back To 2004

The long-awaited Jodeci reunion album is now tentatively scheduled for
release in 2004, although Devante Swing and Mr. Dalvin are rolling full
steam ahead with the preproduction process. The other members of Jodeci,
K-Ci & Jo Jo, are gearing up for the release of their fourth set as a
duo, titled Emotional, which was due out last Tuesday (November 26).
Following the release of Emotional, K-Ci Hailey will release his
long-awaited solo debut in 2003. K-Ci recently explained to LAUNCH that
Jodeci never broke up: "It's definitely happening--it's happening now.
We're in production now for the new Jodeci CD. Dalvin and Devante,
they're in L.A. They're in the studio as we speak, you know, doing
preproduction on some material. So yes, it's most definitely going to
happen, man. Everybody thought that Jodeci, was, you know, we had
splitted up. We never splitted up--we just took a break. It's something
we wanted to do cause Jodeci had a good run so we just wanted to take a
break, man. We did three albums back to back."

Rick James Speaks Out On Sexual Assault Allegations

Super Freak" singer Rick James denies the allegations that he sexually
assaulted a 26-year-old woman at his home the weekend of November 9.
James's attorney Steffeny Holtz said, "Mr. James is a very well-known
entertainer and he is a very generous person. We are always suspicious
of the financial motives of people that really have very little and come
around him and try to get things from him. That's the most likely
motivation," AP reports.
During a press conference on Friday (November 15), the 54-year-old
singer said, "I just feel sometimes that I'm in a fishbowl. Sometimes
the wrong people enter into your space, and they're money-hungry and
they're greedy."
Police went to James's home in Los Angeles, where he lives with his
current wife and child, on November 11 to investigate an allegation of
sexual assault, though no other specifics were given and no charges have
been filed.
James added, "The police have been very, very helpful in this. They,
like I, would like to get to the bottom of this and find out exactly
where it's coming from. We both have our ideas but we are both working
together to get to a resolution."
James also said he's not worried about the investigation: "Once the
smoke has cleared the air, everyone will find out that these are just
false allegations. I feel good, I'm working on albums. I'm trying to be
a father to my son and leave all the drugs alone, which if you want to
put that into play, I don't do them."
James was convicted in 1993 of assaulting two women and served two years
in state prison.

D'Angelo Arrested On Five Misdemeanor Charges

D'Angelo (Michael Archer) was arrested Monday (November 18) at his home
in Chesterfield County, Virginia on misdemeanor charges including
aggressive driving, assault, curse and abuse, disorderly conduct, and
resisting arrest, Richmond's Times Dispatch reports.
Police officers reportedly had to use pepper spray to subdue the singer,
when he allegedly resisted arrest. D'Angelo was released on his own
recognizance, and ordered to appear in Chesterfield General Court on
January 15, according to the Associated Press.
D'Angelo, 28, allegedly got into an altercation with a woman Sunday
(November 17) at a Virginia gas station. D'Angelo allegedly cut the
woman off in his SUV, and later cursed and spit on her, according to
A spokesperson for the Chesterfield Police Department was not available
for comment at press time. A spokesperson for Virgin Records, D'Angelo's
label, said that the label did not have a comment regarding the matter.
D'Angelo's last album, Voodoo, was released in 2000, and won a Grammy
for Best R&B album, as well garnering as a best male R&B vocal
performance Grammy for the song "Untitled (How Does It Feel)." In 2002,
he collaborated with Raphael Saadiq on the song "Be Here."

Brandy Makes Recording Next Album A Family Affair

The Smiths are one big happy family. Brandy, her husband Robert and
their five-month-old baby girl Sy'rai have been inseparable, spending
the past couple of weeks in the studio together.
"We're four songs into it right now," Robert "Big Bert" Smith said of
the follow-up to Full Moon last week. "We've been cutting some blazers.
We have a couple of uptempo [tracks] and a couple of ballads. We'll
probably be finished in another month and a half. As far as working in
the studio, [Brandy]'s so focused. 'Let's get these joints done. Let's
make them as hot as they can possibly be.' "
So far Brandy has only been working with her husband, but Timbaland will
be checking in behind the boards soon.
"I'm pretty much overseeing the album, doing A&R," Smith said of his
role. "[There are] going to be a few people [producing] on there. Right
now we're gonna start off with me and Tim and see where we go from
there. There's also gonna be a crazy [guest] appearance. We're trying to
be creative. It's just coming up with who and what kind of song it's
gonna be.
"We're going street this time," Smith explained of the LP's direction.
"Radio is a little more urban now. The good thing about Brandy is that
she has such a pretty voice. She's still gonna have that balance where
she has those big, pretty songs, but it's gonna be a little more street.
It's gonna be a great album."
Smith, who also produced tracks on the current albums from Kelly
Rowland, Dave Hollister and Toni Braxton, says balancing family life
with career has been no problem for the couple.
"We got a full-time nanny. It's fun. [Sy'rai's] the best baby in the
world. She doesn't cry or nothing. Half the time I'm playing with her
and recording at the same time. It's been real good. This is my first
baby. Everyday it's been something new. It's amazing to watch that baby
grow up. Brandy loves it. That's her life right there."
Smith expects Brandy's album to drop by spring 2003.

3LW Plan Auditions To Replace Naturi Naughton

3LW's Adrienne Bailon and Kiely Williams have announced plans to hold
auditions for a singer to replace Naturi Naughton, who bolted earlier
this year.
The search will begin November 30 in New York, with additional tryouts
planned in Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles in the coming weeks.
Candidates must be between the ages of 15 and 20 and have to be willing
to travel the world by plane and relocate to New York.
Though there is no word on how long the auditions will go on, 3LW are
scheduled to tour in late December, meaning any girl wanting to be down
with them had better quickly get to know "No More (Baby I'ma Do Right),"
"I Do (Wanna Get Close To You)," "Neva Get Enuf," "Ain't No Maybe" and
"More Than Friends (That's Right)," the songs to be used at tryouts.
Bailon and Williams are now in Canada filming their debut acting roles
in the Disney Channel's "Cheetah Girls".
3LW's second album, A Girl Can Mack, was released in October. Naughton,
whose vocals appear on the LP, left the group two months earlier

Toni Braxton And Jay-Z To Meet About Song Dispute

New albums from Jay-Z and Toni Braxton contain remakes of the late Tupac
Shakur's 1996 song "Me And My Girlfriend," an issue that upsets Braxton,
who accuses Jay-Z of stealing her idea.
Jay-Z's version, "03 Bonnie & Clyde," featuring Beyonce Knowles, appears
on the multiplatium rap star's The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse,
that debuts at Number One this week, selling more than 500,000 copies.
Braxton's song, "Me And My Boyfriend," co-written by Ashanti and
produced by Irv Gotti, appears on Braxton's More Than A Woman, released
Tuesday (November 19).
Braxton said there are a number of obvious comparisons between the
songs: "You'll hear that they're very, very similar. I don't understand
how it could be the same, the same hook, everything, although I borrowed
it from Tupac. I don't own the song. But I thought it was a bit
Braxton added that there has never been any drama between her and
Knowles, and that Jay-Z has made an effort to talk to her about the
situation: "Me and Beyonce never had a public feud or anything like
that. Jay-Z has tried to reach out to me, so I give him props for trying
to be a man about it. He's reached out. We're supposed to have a meeting
to talk about it. I'll let you know what happens after we talk."

Dru Hill Says Group Was Able To Bond While Recording In Jamaica

Dru Hill--which now comprises Sisqo, Nokio, Jazz, Woody, and new member
Scola--is scheduled to release its third album, Dru World Order, on
November 26. The set 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. The album was recorded primarily in Jamaica.
Groupmember Nokio shared how recording in Jamaica helped the group
creatively:"Ah man, going to Jamaica was...The experience of just being
down there, I think, was the highlight even more than the songs that we
recorded, but it's a lot of stuff that we did there that probably
wouldn't have been on the album if we hadn't gone there. You know, just
we had a whole compound, you know, and the studio was right on the
compound with us. We had six villas, a cook, you know, just the whole
works, you know? The beach was, like, five minutes away."
Nokio continued: "We just got a chance, you know, to hang out and, you
know, really just be a group and be a team, you know, more so than just
doing the music. Getting up and training, you know, going down to the
studio and the writing and everything, and just being away from
everything, and everybody having a chance to think. You know, it was
something that just carried over into whatever else was going on in
everybody else's life."

Mariah Carey Offers Contest And New Website

Mariah Carey has launched a new website ( and a monthly
sweepstakes that offers fans the chance to meet the singer at various
upcoming events. Opportunities include visiting Carey at a television
performance, concert date, or other scheduled public appearances.
Each winner and a guest will receive round-trip airfare and hotel
Fans must enter the sweepstakes at a dedicated contest website, which
can only be reached by purchasing Carey's forthcoming album,
Charmbracelet, due December 3. Once placed in a computer, the CD
provides access to the "secret" site.

Toni Braxton's 'More Than A Woman' Out Tuesday

Toni Braxton's fifth album, More Than A Woman, hits retailers Tuesday
(November 19). The album's first single "Hit The Freeway," produced by
the Neptunes, is Number 42 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles &
Tracks chart.
In addition to the Neptunes, the album also includes production from
Braxton's husband Keri Lewis, Rodney Jerkins, Chink Santana, Irv Gotti,
and Brandy's husband Robert Smith.
The album features the song "Me & My Boyfriend," an interpolation of
Tupac's "Me & My Girlfriend." Jay-Z and Beyonce Knowles's "03 Bonnie &
Clyde" is also a remake of the late rapper's song. Jay-Z and Beyonce's
version is the first release from Jay-Z's album, The Blueprint 2: The
Gift And The Curse, and is Number Six on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles &
Tracks chart.
The following is the album track listing: "Let Me Show You," "No More
Love," "A Better Man," "Selfish," "Tell Me," "Watcha Need," "Lies,"
"Rock Me," "Me & My Boyfriend," "Do You Remember When," "Always," "Lies
(Amplified)," "Hit The Freeway," and "Show Me The Way Out."
Braxton, who debuted in 1992 on the soundtrack for the Eddie Murphy film
Boomerang, released her eight-times-platinum first album, Toni Braxton,
in 1993. She released the seven-times-platinum Secrets in 1996, platinum
The Heat in 2000, and the gold holiday album Snowflakes in 2001.


News 2002

News 2001