Sunday November 20th, 2005 HOME
New CD's this past week:
- Gimuwine - Bacl II da basics
Music news headlines this week:
New Jagged Edge Due In December
R&B outfit Jagged Edge will on Dec. 20 release its fifth album, which
features collaborations with John Legend and rapper Big Duke of Boyz N Da
Hood. The self-titled Columbia/Sony Music Urban set also boasts production
by Jermaine Dupri and tha Cornaboyz, among others.
Lead single "So Amazing," featuring Voltio, debuted last week at No. 87 on
Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Members and twin brothers Brian
and Brandon Casey serve as co-executive producers of the new disc.
"This time we stepped out on our own and fine tuned things without a lot
of outside help, did the majority of the work," says Brian. "No matter
what your forte might be, if you're a true artist you get to a point where
you want to step out of your box a little bit. So this time you're hearing
a different side of Jagged Edge. We're never going to forsake our classic
sound. We're just going to present it in a new way."
For the track "Seasons Change," the group reached out to labelmate John
Legend. "Every singer does a song these days with a rapper but how many
R&B acts get to record with another singer, and one who can deliver as
good as we can?," Brian says. "It was a great match."
Jagged Edge's last album was 2003's "Hard," which peaked at No. 3 on The
Billboard 200 and has sold 871,000 copies in the U.S., according to
Stars To Salute Stevie Next Month
Legendary singer and 22-time Grammy award winner Stevie Wonder will be
honored at the Dec. 10 Grammy Jam at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles.
The event will also feature performances by India.Arie, Eric Benet, Herbie
Hancock, Heather Headley, Slash, Chris Brown, Angie Stone, Tamia and Aaron
Neville, among others.
The bill will also boast contributions from George Benson, former Stone
Temple Pilots principals Dean and Robert DeLeo, George Duke, Josh Groban,
Raphael Saadiq, Hootie & the Blowfish and Ray Parker Jr.
Tickets are available to the general public by calling 5B Events at
310-550-9334. All proceeds will benefit the Entertainment Industry
Foundation's National Arts and Music Education Initiative.
Wonder last month broke a 10-year solo album hiatus with the Motown set "A
Time 2 Love," which has sold 198,000 copies in the United States,
according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Donell Jones Preps New Musical 'Journey'
R&B vocalist Donell Jones will issue his first album since 2002 just
before the end of the year. Due Dec. 27 via LaFace/Zomba, "Journey of a
Gemini" is led by the single "Better Start Talking" featuring Jermaine
Dupri, which can be sampled on Jones' official Web site. A video for the
track was directed by Noble Jones (Seal, Robert Randolph).
"Journey" features production from the Underdogs, Tim & Bob and Ryan
Leslie. Besides Dupri, the only other major guest appearance comes from
Houston rap forefather Bun-B on "If U Want."
The set is the follow-up to 2002's "Life Goes On," which debuted at No. 2
on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and has sold 604,000 copies in
the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Jones is in the midst of promo appearances in advance of the set, friday
Nov 18 he was at Club Gaza in Providence, R.I., and Nov. 23 he'll be at
Zoo Bar in Detroit.
Essence Music Fest Moves To Houston
Originally scheduled to return to New Orleans, the 2006 Essence Music
Festival has been temporarily relocated to Houston in light of the
Hurricane Katrina rebuilding efforts along the Gulf Coast. Tickets for the
July 1-3 event at Reliant Park go on sale Dec. 1.
The festival was held this summer at New Orleans' Louisiana Superdome and
featured performances by Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Talib Kweli and
Destiny's Child, among others.
Bobby Being Bobby: How Reality TV Helped Singer Get His Groove Back
Bobby Brown knows what people expect from him, and it’s nothing good. With
a rap sheet longer than his discography, Brown knows how the public
Now the Boston-born singer turned bad boy turned reality TV star is back
on the road as a solo artist. Rekindling his career with a three-city tour
ending tomorrow night at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut, Brown has a hunch
why he doesn’t have more gigs lined up.
“Everyone wanted to see whether I was going to show up or not, whether I
was going to be Bobby,” Brown said by phone from his bus last
week.“(Thursday) night (in Atlantic City), they saw I will show up and I
will be Bobby and I’ll put my heart and soul into it. Hopefully, there
will be more dates booked and we’ll make a big tour out of this.”
Brown’s career has been on a downslide since his glory years when he
scored nine Top 10 hits from 1988 to 1992, not coincidentally the year he
married Whitney Houston. Since then, the former teenaged New Edition star
has become better known for getting into trouble than getting on the
charts, with arrests on charges ranging from drug possession to battery.
To the surprise of many, he bounced back this year with a hit reality TV
show, Bravo’s “Being Bobby Brown,” which revealed him as a well-meaning,
if eccentric family man with an even more eccentric wife.
He didn’t do the show, he says, to put a shine on his tarnished image.
“It wasn’t even that deep. It was like, ‘Yo, I have child support. I need
money,’ ” he said.
But the show turned out to be an unexpected form of therapy for Brown and
“We get to look at ourselves and see what’s wrong with ourselves, within
ourselves,” Brown said. “We’re able to critique each other without an
His reality TV experience, Brown says, didn’t just help stabilize his
family life. It encouraged him to get back into the recording studio. He
already has completed an as-yet untitled album - his first since 1997.
After his hiatus from the musical spotlight, Brown says he’s enjoying
being back on stage. Each show is an accomplishment, proof that he’s still
capable of commanding an audience.
“I aim for the best and try to give the crowd every penny for their
tickets,” Brown said. “I sweat and bleed for them and that’s the good part
about being me. I love performing. That’s my life.”
Is “being Bobby Brown” easier when he’s performing?
“If I could be onstage everyday,” Brown said, “I’d have no need for a