Whats up, everybody? Happy Labor
Day weekend. Weve reached the end of another five days, as we witnessed
history being made with Barack Obama officially accepting the Democratic
Partys nomination to become President (was there any other significant thing
that went down this week?)
R.I.P to Aaliyah, who left us too
soon seven years ago Monday (Aug. 25). Shout out to Michael Jackson, who
celebrates his birthday today, and the sounding boards for keeping up the work.
And now todays special The Last
Word for the week ending Aug. 29, 2008
1. Maxwell Promises a Black
Looks like Maxwells performance
of Simply Beautiful during the BET Awards Al Green tribute wasnt a fluke
after all. I dont know how or whats got him motivated, but the singer is
coming back to regain his status in R&B and neo-soul.
Not only is the 35-year-old
crooner putting together a trilogy of albums titled Black Summers Night, he is personally guaranteeing his resurfacing by
embarking on his first tour in six years. The outing, which kicks off Oct. 8 in
Boston, will stop off in New York City and Los Angeles before concluding Nov.
21 in Philadelphia.
As it stands now, there is no
release date for Black Summers Night,
nor any additional information on the project, a spokesperson told Billboard. With Maxwell coming out of hiding and hints of DAngelo
hitting the studio, it looks to be an interesting future in store for us music
fans. But this three-album project does have to make you wonder if this means
that it will be more than half a decade before Maxwell blesses us with another
Three albums can definitely keep
your name out there for a good minute or five. Maybe Maxwell should team up
with DAngelo for a new collaborative album and a tour called Lost and Found,
because after they drop their albums, we may never hear from these guys again
until VH1 digs them up for whatever reality show they create on long lost
2. John Legend Reveals Origin
of Name; Shares Music Wisdom
With a pair of multi-platinum
albums and five Grammy awards, its a safe bet to say that things are working
out for John Legend, who is preparing to release his third album, Evolver, in October.
While fame comes with a ton of
fans and potential women to spend his spare time with, the singer is grateful
for the ups and downs he experienced on the way to stardom while getting people
to lend an ear to listen to his music.
…that whole grind is just part
of how you get discovered, how you develop yourself as a performer, Legend
told MTV News while counting Jazmine Sullivan, Jill Scott, Bilal and Kanye West
among those who hustled like him to be a household name. “I think it makes
everything I do now more worth it, because I put in all that time and all that
Obviously the grind paid off, but
would you believe that Legend was close to embracing his star status under his
government name, John Stephens?
John Legend is a nickname that
some friends started calling me, and it kind of grew into my stage name, the
crooner admitted. Legend is something that I never would have chosen for
myself originally. It grew to the point where more people in my circle would
know me by that name than by my real name. I had to make a decision.
I was just like, You know what?
Let’s just go for it. People are going to pay attention and I’m going to either
live up to my name or I’m not, Legend continued. My bet was on me trying to
live up to the name.
And the rest they say is history.
3. Chante Moore Gets Song
Jacked by Diddy
You gotta hand it to P. Diddy.
Hell do anything for his woman. Even it means taking a potential hit song from
one artist and giving it to the apple of his year.
Just ask Chante Moore. In an
interview with NPRs Tony Cox, the songbird revealed that her Rodney
Jerkins-produced song If I Gave Love, was slated to be the follow-up to her
hit Chantes Got a Man. But those plans went south after Moores record label
realized a similar song Jerkins crafted for Diddys then girlfriend, Jennifer
Lopez, was slated to be the first single for the actress/singer/dancers debut
album On the 6.
We should have been aggressive
instead of backing off our single, Moore admitted. And we backed off of it
because J. Lo had such a machine at the time. We should have just stepped out.
Needless to say, Jenny Lo found
success with the tune, which was renamed If You Had My Love and specifically
requested by Diddy.
I heard that it was because Puff
Daddy walked in and heard my song and said, I want that song. [Rodney] was
like, Yeah, it’s already taken. We wrote that for Chante, the 41-year-old
vocalist recalled. And [Puffy] was like, Yeah, mmm hmm, I want that song. So
Rodney wrote really the same song,
Despite the shady business, Moore
has moved on with her latest album Love The Woman. The release features the first single, which is
ironically titled It Aint Supposed To Be This Way.
Maybe its me, but since this all
went down in 1999, do you think that Chante is still bitter. Dont be
surprised to find J. Lo stranded in the middle of the block starring in the
video to her rivals new cut, called Chante Beats that A**. That triathlon
training may come in handy for matters like these.
4. R. Kelly Encounters South
African Legal Situation
Why does it seem like court cases
and R. Kelly go together like Batman and the Joker?
According to media sources,
everyones favorite (il)legal crooner is once again at the center of another
episode as he gets set to be questioned by police, who feel he made more than $130,000
in profits from a touring scam in South Africa in 2005. All this without
setting foot in the country to perform!
Authorities want to speak to Kelly
after they confirmed that the person behind the scam, Busiswe Zakwe, deposited
money into his personal bank account. E! Online reports the confirmation was
reached after police found a deposit slip in Zakwes office that proved the
transaction took place. Although they confirmed that the bank accounts match,
authorities admit that they are unsure where the money is. Which is why they
want to bring Kells in for questioning.
Zakwe, is accused of milking
thousands of dollars out of investors, who she tricked them in to believing
that they could reap the benefits of ticket sales if Kells performed in the
country. The scammer, who was charged with fraud, is expected to appear in
court on Sept. 10.
Kelly, who has denied having any
knowledge of the scam, released a statement on Tuesday (Aug. 26), saying:
There is absolutely no truth
to the reports that R. Kelly received money from a South African woman accused
of swindling investors by convincing them to invest in a non-existent R. Kelly
tour in 2005. Mr. Kelly has no knowledge of this woman, has never received any
money from her, and has not been contacted by any law enforcement authorities
regarding the matter. He will, of course, cooperate fully with any legitimate
investigation of this matter, since he has nothing to hide.
I guess well have to wait and see
how this one ends up. The question is why cant Kells stay out of trouble long
enough to concentrate solely on what brought him to our attention in the first
place? Im sorry. I forgot legal bills dont pay themselves.
5. Terrence Howard Gets
Inspired From Stalking; Anticipates Uphill Battle for Musical Acceptance
We all know that artists received
their motivation to make hits from a variety of different ways. Some drink,
some smoke, some f**ck for tracks. But Terrence Howard has brought a new
dimension to the process as he shared the inspiration behind No 1 Fan, a song
featured on his upcoming debut album Shine It Through.
According to the New York Times, the song was generated from Howards refusal to move on
after the end of his relation with Lori McCommas, the mother of his three
children. And while breaks are good fodder for classic material, this
particular parting has a twist, which involves Howard stalking his ex.
I wrote that song (No 1 Fan) as
a stalker, the actor told the Times.
It was raining, and I was sitting there in front of the house, watching her
come home from a date after we were divorced. I was imagining what she did on
this date, and watching her giving him a kiss. I went home and wrote this
As you can see, Terrences album
has something a little different for the listener. In fact, thats what the
entertainer was shooting for as he admitted that he hated DJay, the character
he played in the film Hustle and Flow
that paved the way for his Oscar nomination. But that didnt stop his record
company from assuming they would get a Hip-Hop album from him after the success
of his/3-6 Mafias Its Hard Out Here for a Pimp.
Instead, Howard delivered a
product that showcased his other musical tastes. And with that comes the
realization that certain consumers may not initially warm up to what he is
bringing to the table.
My own people, Black people,
theyve become accustomed to this Hip-Hop sound, Howard stated. If it doesnt
have a driving beat, I dont know if theyll hear it right away. I think I have
to go to a different crowd first.
It will be interesting to see what
happens with Terrences music. Hopefully, hell be able to find an audience for
what hes trying to put out. In the meanwhile, we can rest easy knowing that he
has joined the ever-growing list of crazy, deranged folks who were unable to
just let it go. At least all the stalking could generate some dollars to put in
the gas tank so he can keep tabs on the next woman who breaks his heart.
In Other Words
* Legendary R&B diva Chaka
Khan will be honored with the Rhythm & Blues Foundation’s Lifetime
Achievement Award. The recognition will happen Sept. 9 at the Foundations 20th
Anniversary Pioneer Awards gala, which will be held at the Kimmel Center for
the Performing Arts in Philadelphia. Other honorees include Bill Withers, Teena
Marie, singer-songwriter Sugar Pie DeSanto, The Whispers, Kool & the Gang
and soul icon Donny Hathaway.
* Looks like Raven-Symone is done
with the major labels. The 22-year-old actress/singer has left Hollywood
Records in order to chart a new course as an independent artist after landing
at No. 159 on the Billboard 200.
* R&B songstress Tamia is
marking a milestone in her singing career with the release of her first live
album. The project, which was recently recorded at the Lincoln Theater in
Washington, DC, will feature Tamia singing her hits You Put A Move On My
Heart, Stranger In My House, Officially Missing You, Can’t Get Enough
and I’m So Into You’ as well as covers of Sheila E’s The Glamorous Life, Jordin
Sparks and Chris Brown’s No Air and Musiq Soulchild’s Love. At this time,
there is no word on when the live album will be released.