Whats good, everyone? Nothing
much to say about this week aside from John McCain making this years
Presidential election even more historic with his running mate Sarah Palin
being the first woman Vice Presidential candidate since Geraldine Ferraro to make
run for the White House and Hurricane Gustav sparing a Katrina-like repeat on
New Orleans as tropical storms Hanna, Ike and Josephine create a trio of
potential disasters for the rest of the country.
Shout to the sounding boards for
pushing me into a memory or two while taking in the nightlife.
And with that, it is with profound
gratitude and great humility, I accept your nomination for…the Last Word for
the week ending Sept. 5, 2008.
1. Usher Plans a Night for the
For many singers, performing in
front of a packed house of fans is one of the things that makes being famous
worthwhile. Which is why Usher is going the extra mile for his female
supporters with his One Night Stand tour. Although specific dates are still
being hammered out for about 15 intimate venues, the crooner is confident
that the ladies will have a lasting memory.
There’s only a few artists that
can pull that off, Usher told the Associated Press. I feel like I’ve had such a connection with my audience.
This album I felt was definitely the type of one that was more intimate. So
what better way to get up close and personal than to make it all women?
And as his latest release, Here
I Stand, showcases the player vibe of the
past and the mature mindstate of the present, Ushers knows his fans. The
ladies like to see that masculine build, said the singer. They question if I
still got it.
Good question. Musically, I think
Usher still has it. But with Chris Brown, Ne-Yo and the ever-present Justin
Timberlake, its probably a challenge to keep that crown. Ladies night may be
cool, but Ursh may want to bring everybody on board to hold on to the belt.
2. R. Kelly Tour Promoters Pay
In the latest episode of Case
Magnet: The R. Kelly Chronicles, our hero
once again finds himself at the mercy of the courts as fellow R&B hitmaker
Ne-Yo literally gets his payback with a $700,000 judgment in his favor from a
Los Angeles Superior Court judge.
The ruling is the aftermath of
drama surrounding Ne-Yos appearance on R. Kellys tour last year. After the
young crooner was dropped from the outing after two shows, a war of words
emerged as Ne-Yo maintained he was let go because he garnered a better response
from crowds, while Kellys people cited contract related issues. Nevertheless,
Ne-Yo ended up suing the tours promoter Row Entertainment Inc.
Billboard reports that Los Angeles Superior Court judge Malcolm
Mackey ordered the company to pay Ne-Yo and his touring company $700,320.
Score one for Ne-Yo. Maybe this
tired beef between him and Kells can die quietly. One case down; an infinite
number to go for Kells. Like I said last week, the Pied Piper and courts go
hand in hand like Batman and the Joker. Somebody get me when entertainers keep
their money in their pockets, not in the college fund of their lawyers
3. Kim Kardashian Considers A
Career in Song
Within the last few years, Kim
Kardashian has become a topic of conversation among folk. If it isnt about
that infamous sex tape with Ray J, then its regarding her infamous backside
(notice a common word there?).
Now, Kardashian may add another
side to the talk with the revelation of a possible singing career. And if
youre wondering who would top Kims list of collaborators, say no more.
I’d say a little bit Michael
Jackson in there, the reality show starlet shared Wednesday (Sept. 3) with
Hyla on the Yo on E! satellite radio
show. I would love to work with, like, Timbaland as a producer and maybe
Sounds interesting, ha? Whether or
not we hear the song stylings of Kardashian remains to be seen. The celebutante
is currently focused on doing her best as one of the new cast members for the
new season of Dancing With the Stars.
As a result, the she says that,
There’s nothing in the works now, as far as possible music projects music
projects go. I guess Ill have to wait a little longer for Kims long awaited
sing-a-long remakes of Sir Mix-a-Lots Baby Got Back and Trinas Pull Over.
Stay tuned. If Paris can make a song and get a bit of airplay, then Kim can
probably do the same. Makes you truly wonder
4. Akons Smackdown Goes to
Looks like Akons audition for the
WWE is being revisited in court.
According to media sources, the
35-year-old hit machine will go to trial on charges he tossed a fan offstage
during a concert last year.
Akon is accused of tossing a
teenager off stage during the June 2007 concert at a minor league baseball
stadium near Poughkeepsie. The singer made a brief appearance in court with his
lawyer on Wednesday (Sept. 3) as he asked for a jury trial. Akon pleaded not
guilty in December to misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of a minor
and second-degree harassment, a violation.
He is set to reappear in back in
court for trial Dec. 1 unless a deal is reached.
We are pleased that Judge Epstein
adjourned the case to a date certain for either a trial or a negotiated
resolution, Akons attorney Andrea Zellan said in a prepared statement. Akon
looks forward to putting this incident behind him, and in the meantime he will
continue to meet every requirement set forth by the court.
In the meantime, I wouldnt be
surprised to find Akon making a surprise appearance on WWE Smackdown. If he can
toss a fan off stage with ease, what do you think hell do to Triple H? Can you
smell what the Kon is cookin?…maybe not.
5. VIBE Magazine Responds to
Robin Thickes Racism Claims
More than a week after Robin
Thicke claimed race played a role in him not getting the cover of VIBE magazine, the publications editor-in-chief is speaking
out on the controversy.
According to reports, Thicke was
interview by VIBE earlier this summer
in support of his forthcoming album Something Else. As the interview went along, the singer reportedly asked
why he couldnt be on the cover of VIBE.
The magazines response was
We don’t put white artists on our
Needless to say, Thicke was
disappointed with VIBEs reaction as he
expressed his love for the publication. If there’s one magazine that I’d want
to be on the cover of, it’s VIBE, he
told Billboard. The only white artist
they’ve had on the cover was Eminem. I guess if that’s what it is, it is what
And with that comes VIBE editor-in-chief Danyel Smith, who issued her reaction to
the drama in a statement. We have a great deal of respect for Robin Thicke and
his music, and we remain flattered by his desire to be on a VIBE cover. A VIBE
cover is a huge milestone in any artist’s career recent cover stars include
Young Jeezy, Mariah Carey, 50 Cent, Usher, Senator Barack Obama, Eminem, Lil
Wayne, and Robert De Niro, to say nothing of our 15-year history. We wish
Thicke the best, and we’re glad he discusses his thoughts on race and R&B
in the new October 2008 issue of VIBE.
So whos at fault in this? Or is
there anybody at fault at all? With a Black man running for president, the race
card will be front and center in a lot of different ways, but this is a
different spin on the whole thing in itself. So the question is does Mr. Thicke
with all the soul and good music hes put out in the last few years
deserve to join Em as one of the only white artists to make the VIBE cover or should he stick with just being featured in the
What say you?
In Other Words…
* Two-time Grammy nominated
songstress Ledisi is bringing her voice to the theater as she stars in the Lynn
Ahrens-Stephen Flaherty musical, Once on This Island. The Billy Porter-directed play premiered Wednesday (Sept.
3) and will run through Sept. 14 at UCLA’s Freud Playhouse.
* Popular gospel music duo Mary
Mary will release The Sound, their
first new studio album in years. The Columbia Records release, which features
the pop-infused praise and empowerment lead single Get Up, is slated to hit
stores Oct. 14.
* Add Christina Aguilera to the
list of celebrities hawking their own fragrance. The diva has launched a new
fragrance, Inspire, and reveals that the scent a natural extension of herself. I
love makeup. I love playing around with different styles of hair, different
elements of beauty, Xtina told USA Today.
I love fragrance. I actually collect perfume bottles. I thought it would be
really fun to create a fragrance, from the bottle design to the actual scent.
* Mel B is getting a little
animated for a new Virgin Media ad. The former Spice Girl sports her trademark
leopard print catsuit in the animated commercial, which will be shown on movie
screens. I’m over the moon with my animated alter ego and the advert really
made me giggle. It’s definitely fresh and original, Mel B said about the ad,
which is for Virgin Media’s Movies On Demand service.
* Britney Spears continues to be a
force. Despite a disastrous performance at last years MTV VMAs, the singer is
opening the show again (although shes not performing). Now Shaggy wants a piece
of Brit, as he expressed a desire to collaborate with the pop diva.
Imagine Britney Spears doing a
hardcore dancehall record, have her doing the Dutty Wine (legendary dancehall
song), the reggae star told WENN, adding that he would love to take Spears out
of her comfort zone and introduce to her the reggae scene.
I don’t know about this. Britney
doing reggae could be the same as Kellie Pickler doing rap music. Somehow, the
two just don’t mix.