ASHANTI'S NEW SINGLE: "SWITCH" FEAT NELLY PLUS R&B UPDATE INSIDE
Ashanti's new single"Switch" has leaked and she decided to do a Beyonce and Kelis by releasing a song with her man (it was bound to happen eventually). The song (which you can download here) is in deed catchy but I just don't feel it is ominously overpowering or strong enough to be a lead single from upcoming new album The Declaration (due this October):
Not really feeling it. I just don't think their styles work as is the case with Janet and Jermaine Dupri - some things are best left in the bedroom. I'm definitely impartial to whatever Ashanti puts out these days because I am in no means an Ashanti fan. Whilst she impressed me with sophomore album Chapter II, her last project Concrete Rose was just horrible which was a shock because lead single Only U and its beat was just mad infectious. Now that's a lead single which was hot. As for her debut, I was too emotionally drained about Aaliyah's untimely death to even pay much attention to it but after the shock had died down, and I found it in myself to listen, I just started asking myself why I subjected my ears to this crap in the first place. To me, it was just evident that at that time, Ashanti was the new IT girl put on the scene to replace Aaliyah but without the talent - a pretty hook singer who can't sing or dance but uses samples consistently just to get ahead. "Oh, she'll go away, she'll fade", I use to tell myself. It's funny cos people use to say that about Britney Spears and she's been here for almost a decade now and still going strong (her new album which will drop next year is slated to be one of her best and she's working with the hottest producers). How wrong I was though because Ms Douglas is about to release her fourth studio album. She's fallen off considerably over the years - not selling as much as she use to and people realising that she's all hype and then, haha - that petition. Judging by the reviews though, I'm in the minority and don't think this new track of hers is all that hot (although it does have growing potential). But Ashanti has come into her own as an artist and has definitely evolved with incorporating new sounds and producers to her latest offerings:
Ashanti says her new Universal Motown album, "The Declaration," represents her sense of freedom at this stage in her career. "I'm steering my own ship and taking the lead on everything. You can definitely hear the growth; I'm working with producers I've never worked with before." Those producers include Polow Da Don and Babyface. The new album is due in October.[Source]
Babyface? Now this is one offering I gotta hear. Stay tuned on that one. Anyway, proceed for your latest R&B scoop.
Usher has FINALLY confirmed the news that urban bloggers have known and reported on for months now - that his fiancee Tameka Foster is pregnant with his first child:
"We are extremely excited at this point in our lives planning our wedding and the joy that comes with expecting our first child together," the couple said in a statement released to the Associated Press Wednesday. "We hope people will be happy for us and respect our privacy during this happy period in our lives."[Source]
This fall will be one of the busiest for Usher as not only will he be releasing a new album, but he will marry Foster in November and the baby will be due around that time as well. However, in the recent Essence interview which I posted last week, Foster was VERY tight-lipped about her pregnancy only hinting that she definitely plans to have kids with Usher. And now it appears that those plans were taken well in advance. So not only is Foster expecting her FOURTH child, but she has also cemented her meal ticket in the process. Usher's mama will be pleased. Her first grandchild is somebody's fourth child. I'd be pleased too. Ha.
Here are some HQ pictures of Mariah Carey waving to fans as she arrives at Hotel de Crillon in Paris, France on Wednesday, June 27, 2007:
Mariah is in Paris to perform at the One Mighty Party event at Disnleyland Paris TOMORROW. In other Mariah news, she has added man of the moment Polow da Don as one of the list of producers that will be working on her upcoming new album due out this fall.
Mel B was spotted at the airport in London with her director boyfriend Stephen Belafonte, daughters Angel Iris and Phoenix Chi, her mama Angela and Mel's younger 26-year old sister Danielle Brown:
Mel stays rocking her trademark leopard skin and tight pants. It was definitely a family affair. I wonder what her younger sis Danielle has been up to lately (outside of modelling) and I also wonder if she's still dating Wayne from former R&B boyband Another Level. I haven't heard about this chick in a hot minute. Apparently, Melanie was in London to start more work on that Spice Girls reunion. Not that Mel needs the money anymore (with last week's DNA test proving that Eddie Murphy is Angel's father). She will be getting a large lump-some of child benefit (reportedly £10 million).
And here's the first OFFICIAL photo's of the Spice Girls reunited:
Yup. It's official alright. Girl Power is back. And Mel B is killing ALL of them in this picture (when did her ass get so big?). The Spice Girls will be playing 11 concerts all over the world, but nothing won't happen until Emma Bunton (Baby Spice) gives birth to her first child this summer. Jade Jones from former R&B boyband Damage is the baby's daddy. Sporty Spice (Mel C) is the ONLY Spice Girl who doesn't have kids. I use to love the Spice Girls back in high school and Mel B was and STILL is my favourite.
After the BET Awards hype, Amerie was spotted leaving the Ritual Nightclub this week in Hollywood, California:
She is looking crazy crazy hot. Love that hairdo on her and the way the bangs flick across her face like that. Pure hotness.
Here is a brand new picture taken from Ciara's new video Can't Leave 'Em Alone. To my knowledge, the video was supposed to have premiered this week. But it was pulled off Yahoo Launch because supposedly, Ciara and 50 Cent wanted to go public with their ahem, relationship (still don't buy it) at this week's BET Awards (they were sitting together at the event) and the timing was way too conflictive:
Whether 50 is getting his "candy" from Ciara's "shop" remains to be seen, but if this is true, we can also add another R&B songstress/Rapper relationship to urban's high rank dating system. Move over Beyonce/Jay-Z, Kelis/Nas, Janet/JD, Ashanti/Nelly, Keyshia/Young Jeezy and Christina/Dre. We may have a hot new couple in town.
More pictures of Rihanna at Jermaine Dupri's BET Awards afterparty:
I just wanted to stress how amazing Rihanna looks in this Zac Posen dress. This designer fits Rihanna like a fucking glove. No wonder this is like the millionth Zac Posen dress she's been spotted in. If in a bet, and I predicted the amount of times Rihanna (and notoriously Zac Posen wearer Christina Milian) would attend an event in a Zac Posen dress, I'd be a rich woman by now. Marvelous. Rihanna (and Christina Milian) obviously know what works for them and it's definitely Zac Posen.
Nicole Scherzinger was also there:
She looked nice. In other Nicole news, she has completed shooting the video for her first solo debut single "Whatever You Like". The track was produced by Polow Da Don and Sean Garret and will feature rapper T.I. Her solo debut album Her Name Is Nicole is set to drop in September.
Blu Cantrell also attended another BET Awards afterparty:
Looking slightly better than usual, but that's not saying much.
Three video's that premiered this week include Amy Winehouse'sTears Dry On Their Own, Kanye West'sStronger and former B2K member Lil Fizz'sBeds/Go Hard:
In the vid, corny ass Ray-J puts in an appearance. This track is the lead single taken from Lil Fizz's upcoming debut album Payday.
And here's Amy's new vid:
The track "Tears Dry On Their Own" is very Motown-influenced and the third single taken off her brilliant album Back To Black.
Also, check out R&B songstress Cassie in Kanye West's new video "Stronger":
Taken from Kanye's upcoming new album Graduation. She looked nice in the video but is that the only thing she's good at? We will see more of her "improvement" when she drops that album in October.