Hows everything going, everybody? Happy 4th of July! It
was a short week as former vice president Al Gore officially endorsed Barack
Obama for President, while jazz singer Rene Marie caught a lot of attention for
singing the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” when
she was asked to perform the “Star Spangled Banner.”
Venus and Serena Williams facing each other
for the first time since 2003 in the Wimbledon final, and paparazzi made the
trek to France to stake out the hospital where Angelina Jolie is planning to
have her twins.
Congratulations to former American Idol contestant Paris Bennett, who is expecting her first
child. Shout out to the sounding boards for being geared towards independence
when thinking on freedom.
So here’s another fine mess…the Last Word
for the week ending July 4, 2008.
1. Stevie Wonder Talks About Freaky Possibilities on Record
Say the name Stevie Wonder, and many things
come to mind. Legendary singer, activist, humanitarian. No questions the man
has an enviable string of hits that will outlive most artists careers, let
alone the artists themselves.
So picture for a minute what would happen if
the great Stevie Wonder decided to channel R.Kelly and unleash his inner freak
in song? Sounds interesting, but dont expect Wonder to travel down that road
“I don’t think I would do a song that
said can we $%*! right now or anything like that. I don’t think I would do
something like that, or a song that said certain things, whether it be 30 years
ago or right now,” the singer told the Associated
Press when asked if he ever wanted to as much freedom to get raw on record
back in the day.
“I don’t see myself as doing that just
because there are other ways to say what you wanna say without saying it
like that. That’s private business… I’m not an advocate of giving everything
No surprise there, but it does make you think.
What if Stevie went there and sang “Part-time Lover” from a different
viewpoint? Or maybe even “I Just Called To Say I Love You” as “I
Just Called to Say Id F**k You?
Good thing Mr. Wonder put the freak on a leash
and left the kinky stuff to those who use his influence to paint a sensual
picture of whatever episode theyre starring in. Makes you feel so overjoyed.
2. Amy Winehouse Gets Waxed by Madame Tussaud
The living soap opera that is Amy Winehouse
continues to roll on as the embattled diva is now striking a chord with the
folks at Madame Tussauds wax museum.
The famous museum is planning to unveil a wax
figure of Winehouse later this month in London. Look for the figure to feature
sailor tattoos and Amys trademark beehive hairdo.
The figure will join the fellow waxed
likenesses of Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix at a
gallery of pop and rock stars. Madame Tussauds general manager Edward Fuller
had nothing but kind words when relaying the joy in creating the wax figure.
“She is a real icon in modern British
music, a continual award winner, and an internationally recognized star widely
requested by our guests,” he told The
Just what weve been wanting. A life-sized model
of a talented but drug-addicted singer that never met a tabloid she wasnt
featured in. If they really wanted to get the wax figure just right, why not
make the beehive a little messed up, feature marks on the arms and lets not
forget that essential crack pipe.
Im just saying. Lets let art truly imitate
life, why dont we?
3. George Clinton and El DeBarge Become Gangsters of Love
I never thought I would see the day when a
member of the DeBarge family would join forces with George Clinton, but it
looks like Dr. Funkenstein has recruited El DeBarge for his upcoming album George Clinton and Some Gangsters of Love.
The two along with Sly Stone, appear on a
reworking of Marvin Gayes “Ain’t That Peculiar.” The new project
features a variety of cover songs, as additional guest stars Carlos Santana,
RZA, System Of A Down bassist Shavo Odadjian, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and
gospel singer Kim Burrell all do their part to help Clinton, who admitted that
the album “started out with me doing some doo wop songs” before his
friends started dropping in to contribute in their own way.
Among the songs covered by Clinton are Shirley
& Lee’s “Let the Good Times Roll” with the Chili Peppers, Barry
White’s “Never, Never Gonna Give You Up,” Johnny Ace’s “Pledging
My Love,” Shep & the Heartbreak’s “A Thousand Miles Away,”
Bobby Rydell’s “Kissin’ Time,” Ruby & the Romantics’ “Our
Day Will Come” and the Impressions’ “Gypsy Woman,” with Santana.
The only new song is the Burrell-featured “Mathematics of Love.”
All of this comes on the 40th anniversary of
P-Funk as Clinton shared plans of putting out an album of new P-Funk songs in
4. Rodney Jerkins Practices Reinvention With Britney Spears
As one of the best-known producers in music
today, Rodney Jerkins track record speaks for itself. So why is the beatmaker
putting in work to elevate Britney Spears back to the pop queen throne? (Other
than the paycheck, of course).
To hear him tell it, Jerkins is hard at work
with the troubled songbird on some “very dancey, really up-tempo,
aggressive, catchy, and hook friendly” stuff for two songs on her
“I’m trying to reinvent her and reinvent
myself with her project,” the producer recently told Rap-Up TV.
With Britneys well-documented partying, public
flashing and personal issues, you would think that working in the studio with
her would be a task and some change, but Jerkins told People that she has been professional during their sessions as
“[Britney] walked in at 8:30 and was out by 10:30” when comparing her
work ethic to artists who take a long time to record their material.
So what does that equal? Maybe a solid return
to the charts, Rodney says. “It’s about to be her time again.”
Well see the jurys still out. After all,
everybody loves an underdog, right?
5. Lyfe Jennings Sings for The Cause
Having a voice in todays music industry is a
good thing. Using that voice for a good cause is priceless. Media sources
report that Lyfe Jennings has joined forces with Music World Entertainment and
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for a new HIV/AIDS
The singer will work with the program during
his Baby Im a Star tour, which kicked off last week in North Myrtle Beach, SC.
The initiatives goal of the alliance is to promote awareness, education and
testing across the United States in response to the HIV/AIDS crisis among
For Jennings, the chance to put his talent to
work for a worthwhile effort was a no-brainer.
“I have to use my voice to help raise
awareness so that we can really bring an end to this thing,” he said.
“This disease has affected all of our lives, but we can definitely do
things to prevent its spread and to protect ourselves.”
6. New Edition Unite With New Kids on the Block for Full Service
For all the 80s babies (even you Pretty
Ricky) and obsessive boy band admirers out there, here is something to talk
about. New Edition has hit the studio to record a song with none other than New
Kids on the Block
People.com reports that the collabo titled
“Full Service came just days after Ralph and the boys were honored with
the Golden Note Award at the 21st annual ASCAP Rhythm and Soul awards. It is
slated to appear on NKTOBs as yet untitled comeback album.
According to the songs producer, RedOne, it
was New Kids resident bad boy Donnie Wahlberg who came up with the idea for
the supergroups to unite. In fact, he sat on it for a few months until he found
the right song to get everybody on.
And if youre wondering how the track sounds,
RedOne revealed that there were no egos or attitudes involved in the recording
as it came off as “very universal and melodic and has both sides in
it.” “The R&B, which is New Edition and the pop side for New
Kids. It’s very uplifting. Right away you start feeling good and every part
feels natural to each one of the guys.”
And if I didnt answer the other big question,
here it is. Bobby was not involved in the all-star track. But werent these
guys beefing with each other back in the day? After all, lets face it. NKOTB
did resemble NE in style and image. But they took it to the other level when
they became an 80s phenomenon.
So thats gotta result in some jealousy, right
“The thing people were going back and
forth with was we’d been doing what we were doing for the longest [but] we
couldn’t get cartoons and things that the white guys were getting. It was like,
‘wow,'” he said. “But the guys themselves, we have mad love.”
I guess anything is possible. Maybe that
Hangin Tough For a Candy Girl tour can jump off
In Other Words…
* Keyshia Cole continues to make a name for
herself, as she is now hooked up with the nations largest
African-American-owned hair care company to be the face of Luster Products
Inc.s Brand Smooth Touch.
* Usher wants to take playing Marvin Gaye
beyond his portrayal of the R&B icon on the TV show American Dreams. According to WENN, the crooner is hoping to play
Gaye in a big screen version of Gayes life. “I want to be the person who
tells the story of Marvin Gaye because I understand the conflict he had as a
man,” Usher said. Well see what happens.
*Nicole Scherzingers duet with Sting, titled
“Power’s Out,” has been selected as the music for a Revlon
advertising campaign featuring actress Jessica Alba.
* Looks like the Commodores arent the only
old school group getting back together. Labelle, the R&B trio featuring
Patti Labelle is working on a reunion album that will hit stores on Sept. 23.