Sunday February 16th, 2003
New CD's this past week:
- Kenny Lattimore & Chante Moore – Things that lovers do
Short news stories this week:
Ms. Dynamite To Drop A Little Deeper In March
As a young girl growing up in North London,
Niomi McClean Daley kept a
daily diary of her feelings and experiences. She also wrote poems about
her Jamaican family and the neighborhood in which they lived. At the
time, she had no public outlet for her private verse, until she
discovered U.K. garage, the vehicle that would transform her from Ms.
Daley into Ms. Dynamite.
"It was really popular and there were lots of young producers, but there
were no female MCs," she said last week. "So people encouraged me to
turn my poems into garage lyrics and I would MC over these garage
She almost wound up on the wrong side of the tracks. In 2000, Dynamite
started her career with the controversial U.K. two-step dance group So
Solid Crew, a 30-odd member ensemble that has gotten in trouble in
England for various drug and weapon-related offenses. Soon after, while
working at pirate radio station RAW FM, Dynamite met producer Richard
Forbes (a.k.a. Sticky) in a London club and he helped focus her dynamic
"He had some really great beats and I brought some lyrics in and it just
took the underground by storm," Dynamite said about "Boo!," her first
single. "It had a very dance flavor that the garage did not have at that
The song paved the way for Dynamite's debut album A Little Deeper, which
came out in Europe in July and was immediately hailed as a musical
breakthrough (the record comes out in the U.S. March 11). Straying from
electronic-based U.K. garage music she was weaned on, Dynamite explores
a variety of pop, R&B and dub styles that sound like Lauryn Hill and
Mary J. Blige filtered through the British sensibilities of the Streets.
"I felt that this one is a little
deeper than [anything I've done]
before," Dynamite said. "I'm talking about all these different things:
emotions, where I'm coming from, where I've been, personal experience,
things that I think are important. This is me."
When she was working on A Little Deeper, Dynamite was intent on creating
a passionate disc that reflected her interests in pop, hip-hop and
especially reggae, which is why she worked with Kymani Marley on "Seed
Will Grow" and Barrington Levy on the reggae classic "Too Experienced."
"It was really important for me to get reggae artists on there because I
love reggae music," Dynamite said. "That's something that I've grown up
listening to. My dad is Jamaican. I feel like it's in my blood, it's in
my bones, it's part of my heritage."
The first single from A Little Deeper is "It Takes More," which is about
being responsible and positive when confronted with negative influences.
It's a recurring theme on an album that opens with a declaration that
dynamite is "strictly chemical free." A video for the song was directed
by Jake Nava, who in the past has worked with Spice Girls and Tina
" 'It Takes More' is a song I wrote in relation to the negativity I see
as an older sister and as a young person who feels responsible for my
actions in terms of how people see me," she said. "I just see a lot of
negativity - sex, drugs and violence &8212; and that seems to sell a lot
more than positivity, so therefore it's constantly there and young
people are growing up in relation to what they see. I don't know whether
we are carrying ourselves right and if we are showing the future the
Whitney Houston Releases 'Try It On My Own'
Superstar Whitney Houston recently released
a new single, "Try It On My
Own," taken from her latest album, Just Whitney, which was certified
platinum in December for sales of a million copies. The singer has also
released several Thunderpuss remixes of "Try It On My Own" to dance
"One Of Those Days," the official lead single from Just Whitney,
continues to receive more than 1,000 weekly spins at urban radio
In related news, Houston canceled all scheduled appearances last week
after her father, John Houston, died at the age of 82 on February 2 at
Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. The elder Houston, who
suffered from diabetes and heart disease, died from cardiac arrest
brought about by a multiple organ shutdown.
Guy Is A Thing Of The Past
Guy--the R&B trio comprising Teddy
Riley, Aaron Hall, and Damion
Hall--released a critically acclaimed comeback album, Guy III, in 2000,
but groupmember and producer Riley recently acknowledged that the group
no long has the chemistry that made it a supergroup in the late '80s.
Riley explained to us that this change became obvious when the group
presented an award with R&B singer Ginuwine at the 2000 American Music
Awards: "I tried it with Guy and it didn't work, and people seen that.
People seen the chemistry didn't look right, you know, when they seen us
on the American Music Awards. Everybody was, like, frowns--frowned
faces, like, 'What are they doing? What is this about?' It kinda looked
like me and Ginuwine was group and they were a group."
Riley continued: "It just made me think and step outside of myself and
just say, 'Look at this--what are you doing? Go and do a solo or go and
do this Blackstreet thing again.'"
Riley will release a new set with Blackstreet, Level II, in March.
Jermaine Dupri Says Janet Jackson Helped Him Through A Difficult Time
Jermaine Dupri, who was recently named
president of black music at
Arista Records, has moved his So So Def Recordings over from Columbia
Records to Arista. Following the changeover, So So Def artists Jagged
Edge and Bow Wow remained with Columbia, while Da Brat, Fundisha, and
Dupri's new acts will be distributed by Arista.
Dupri shared in a recent issue of Honey magazine that his girlfriend
Janet Jackson helped him through this difficult period, "Regardless of
some bad stuff going on, like, this whole situation with leaving Sony
was definitely a transition. I'm leaving Bow Wow and Jagged Edge behind,
which makes me sad. It's not something I want to do. But people see me
now and they're, like, 'J.D., you act like you're so happy,' and that is
because of her."
Dupri also shared why the couple decided to go public with their
relationship, "We decided to talk about it because a lot of people came
up with bulls--t that Janet has been with this one and that one when we
were together. One time someone said something about me getting mad at
Janet for being in a club with Justin Timberlake, and that didn't really
In December, Dupri faced his share of financial difficulties when he was
hit with a tax debt in excess of $2.5 million. Federal agents raided two
of Dupri's homes and confiscated furniture, computers, and part of the
superproducer's car collection to settle his debt with the IRS.
Fellow producer Teddy Riley, who was facing $1.45 million tax debt,
recently filed bankruptcy to help restructure his finances. Riley shared
that he wished he talked to Dupri before the situation got out of hand:
"I didn't lose a thing. I still have my studio. I still have my home and
my cars and everything. It's restructuring. The situation that happened
with my man, Jermaine, you know, could have happened the same way if he
would have taken that road because he would have enough time to do
certain things. Or if he would have went to the people before you do
that or make that process, I didn't do that. If I would have went
through all of that and didn't like the process and then went through
the bankruptcy, then it would have been more time, so I did the right
Mariah Carey Releases 'Through The Rain' Commercially
Mariah Carey released "Through The
Rain" as a commercial single on
Monday (February 10). The song was the first single from latest album,
Charmbracelet, and fans can now purchase it as a single, which also
includes a special mix of "Through The Rain" by Hex Hector and Mac
In related news, Carey performed a tribute to Michael Jordan during
halftime of Sunday's (February 9) NBA All-Star Game. The singer began
the medley by performing her latest single, "Boy (I Need You)," without
rapper Cam'ron, who is featured on the studio version of the song. Carey
closed out the medley with the last verse of her classic hit, "Hero."
Carey, who began her performance wearing a classic Jordan Chicago Bulls
jersey, closed out in a custom dress modeled after Jordan's Number 23
Washington Wizards jersey.
Following Carey's performance, Jordan greeted her with a kiss on the
cheek and thanked his former teammates and the fans for making his
career memorable. Although the West won the game, Jordan finished with
20 points and became the all-time All-Star game leading scorer with a
total of 262.