Sunday February 23rd, 2003
New CD's this past week:
- R. Kelly - Chocolate Factory
Short news stories this week:
'Always Remember' Aaries
Look out for the sister duo Aaries, who are
actually twins, and their
debut album "Always Remember" in stores Spring 2003. Many may remember
Aaries, who are signed to Atlantic Records, from singing background for
Musiq during his "Aijuswanaseing" album. Aaries' first single off their
debut album is called "Strangers To Lovers", a smooth ballad,which
contains a big portion of the classic"In The Mood" by Tyrone Davis.
New LSG Album Coming Summer 2003
Gerald Levert, Keith Sweat, Johnny Gill ...
each is a superstar in his
own right, with millions of records sold and dozens chart-topping hits.
These three stars shine together as LSG on a very special album "Levert,
Sweat, Gill". As you would except from these three artists, the album is
a masterpiece of modern R&B, with Gerald, Keith and Johnny trading
soaring leads and coming together in a honey-smooth harmonies. Along
with the smash #1 single "My Body", the double platinum album features
guest appearances by LL Cool J, Faith Evans, Coko of SWV, Gerald's
father, Eddie Levert Sr. and others. Be sure to check out the highly
anticipated new album from LSG ... Gerald Levert, Keith Sweat, Johnny
Gill ... Coming Summer 2003. Stay tuned for more information.
J. Lo And Dru Hill Added To 'Soul Train' Music Awards Lineup
Jennifer Lopez and R&B supergroup Dru
Hill are the latest musical acts
to be added to the lineup for the 17th Annual Soul Train Music Awards
ceremony, which will be broadcast live from the Pasadena Civic
Auditorium on March 1 at 8 p.m. ET.
In addition, actor-comedians Chris Rock and Orlando Jones have also been
confirmed to take part in the show. Lopez, Rock, and Jones will present
awards, while Dru Hill will perform.
"The major stars now being confirmed
as presenters represent delightful
additions to our previously announced and quite spectacular performance
lineup, including Mariah Carey, LL Cool J, Queen Latifah, Justin
Timberlake, Nelly, Dru Hill, and much more," said the show's executive
producer Don Cornelius.
Cornelius added, "We're extremely excited, overall, by the star power
participating in this year's live show and we would rank J. Lo, Chris
Rock, Orlando Jones, and the very smooth supergroup Dru Hill among the
very hottest on our 2003 wish list!"
R&B singers Ashanti and Amerie lead the list of nominees for the 17th
Annual Soul Train Music Awards. Each singer earned three nods, and the
two will face off against each other in the best female R&B/soul single
and best female R&B/soul album categories. Ashanti was also nominated in
the R&B/soul or rap album of the year category, while Amerie got an
additional nod in best R&B/soul or rap new artist category.
Several artists--including B2K, Timberlake, Musiq, Nelly, and
Floetry--each earned nominations in two categories. In addition, Nelly
is slated to receive the 2003 Sammy Davis Jr. Award for entertainer of
the year, while LL Cool J and Dionne Warwick will both receive the 2003
Quincy Jones Award for outstanding career achievements in the field of
entertainment. The event will be hosted by Queen Latifah and Arsenio
R. Kelly Opened Up The 'Chocolate Factory' On Tuesday
Embattled R&B superstar R. Kelly
appears to be poised to pick up right
where he left off before he was indicted on child-pornography charges
last year. The singer released his latest album, Chocolate Factory,
on Tuesday (February 18).
The set's lead single, "Ignition," is Number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100
singles chart. A remix of "Ignition" and "Step In The Name Of Love" are
also among the 17 songs included on Chocolate Factory.
In addition, Kelly will include a limited-edition bonus CD that will
feature six songs from his Loveland set, which was shelved following his
indictment last year. That CD will include "Heaven I Need A Hug" and
"The World's Greatest."
In January, while in Miami to shoot a video for "Ignition," R. Kelly was
arrested again. The new charges against the singer stemmed from 12
digital images that were discovered at his home during the execution of
two search warrants in June of 2002, according to Polk County (Florida)
authorities. The images allegedly depict sexual activity by a female who
is under 18 years of age, and several images that also show Kelly
involved in sexual conduct with the female minor.
Polk County law enforcement searched Kelly's home in Davenport, Florida,
last June when they arrested the singer in support of a 21-count
indictment issued by the State's Attorney's office in Cook County,
Illinois. Kelly was arrested and eventually freed on $750,000 bail. The
Illinois indictment stemmed from a videotape anonymously delivered to
authorities in Chicago that depicted the singer having sex with a woman
who appeared to be a minor. Kelly was charged with allegedly producing
and disseminating child pornography, and with soliciting a minor to
participate in sex acts on tape or film.
Despite his pending legal situation and an abundance of negative press,
Kelly kept busy by penning hits for the likes of Truth Hurts, Syleena
Johnson, and B2K, whose latest chart-topper, "Bump Bump Bump," was both
written and produced by Kelly.
And it appears that Kelly's fans are ready for a new album. Motown
Records president Kedar Massenburg shared his thoughts with AP, "He's
probably more popular now than during 'I Believe I Can Fly' in 1996. R.
Kelly has constantly been known as a creative genius. He's still out
Musiq, Angie Stone, Questlove & Others
Featured In Nu Classic Soul
Musiq, Angie Stone, Amel Larrieux,
Questlove, Scratch, Donnie, Aaries,
and visual artist Mike Thompson are the stars of a new series of
Coca-Cola ads. The ads featuring several of today's biggest neo-soul
stars was initiated as part of the "Coca-Cola...Real" marketing
The first spot, titled "Session," features an impromptu a capella jam
session with Musiq, Larrieux, Aaries, and Scratch performing a revamped
version of the jazz track "Compared To What." The spot began running on
Monday (February 17) until Wednesday's (February 20) episode of American
The second spot, titled "Inspiration," will premiere February 24. The
spot will feature graffiti artist Mike Thompson spray-painting a family
portrait of all the neo-soul artists featured in the ad series.
The final spot, "Mountain Music," will feature Angie Stone, Questlove,
and Donnie at a karaoke sing-off. Stone will perform a special version
of Alabama's "Mountain Music."
In addition to the ads, the soft-drink giant will bring the Coca-Cola Nu
Classic Soul Lounge--a live show featuring the participating
musicians--to Los Angeles on February 28 and New York City on March 12.
Jermaine Dupri Partying Again, Thanks To Arista Deal
Despite Jermaine Dupri's recent IRS woes,
JD looked far from a man in
the throws of financial difficulties during Atlanta's NBA All-Star Game
weekend. He was ballin' out of control, hosting a bevy of parties and
acting like the perfect ATL ambassador.
Having so many of his b-ball and rapper friends in town wasn't the only
reason for Dupri to be jubilant. He has a new distribution deal for So
So Def, and Arista CEO Antonio "LA" Reid recently made Dupri a senior
vice president of his company.
"My job with Arista now is to be, like, the person on the street always
after talent," JD explained in between parties. "When I had So So Def at
[Columbia], I put out more records on new artists than a lot of these
companies. A lot of these companies continue to keep regurgitating the
same artists over and over. And that's cool, but take pride in finding
new artists. A lot of labels are nervous about that, they're scared.
They don't know how to break them. So I'm going to bring that to the
Dupri, who'll also be executive producing albums for Arista, will have
to keep his eyes wide open from behind his Versace shades when looking
for the next big thing. Not only does he have to discover acts for Reid,
but he also has to replenish So So Def's roster.
"Da Brat and Fundisha are moving with me [to Arista]," Dupri said of his
lineup change. "Jagged Edge and Bow Wow, they're going to stay at
JD said he'll probably be working with his two former acts in some
capacity, but his role in their careers will be drastically lessened.
"I feel like I've developed them enough that they should be all right,"
he explained. "They have a formula, each one of the groups has a
formula, but at the same time it's kind of hard to walk away from your
kids. That's like basically what I'm doing. But businesswise it's
something I had to do. I had to make my move and they had to make
theirs. We're all in the business, and that's part of the business."
Dupri is already handling his business at Arista. He's signed a new MC
from Atlanta named Bone Crusher who's building a buzz in the South with
his debut single, "Never Scared," featuring Killer Mike and T.I.
"He was the first signing to So So Def/Arista," Dupri said. "His name is
basically [about] ... if he falls on you he'll crush your bones. He's a
big guy. Kind of an animated dude, he reminded me of Busta Rhymes, but
in a bigger, bigger shell, basically. And as of right now, he's got the
#1 record in Atlanta, the hottest record out here."
Bone Crusher's album is due this spring. There are no release dates for
Da Brat or Fundisha yet.