The Last Word: Michael Jackson Gets Acquitted, R. Kelly's New Beast Puts Everyone on Blast, and Amy's Contagious Skin Disease

How’s life everyone? Finally, the weekend is here, and it couldn’t get

here quick enough. We got voters wanting more of the Hillary vs. Barack

battle, after giving Hil the upset in the Texas and Ohio primaries,

Brett Favre, retiring from the NFL after starting 275 straight games as

the Green Bay Packers’ premier quarterback for 17 years, and a new study

published Wednesday (March 5) by the International Journal of Sexual

Medicine that says the best sex should last seven to 13 minutes and

three minute sex is considered "adequate." What do you think about that? Thoughts

and prayers go out to rapper Juvenile, who lost his four-year-old

daughter Jalani in a fatal shooting, and the family of music producer

Steve "Static Major" Garrett, who died recently at the age of 32 and

the family of Style Wars director Tony Silver, who passed away last

month. Shout out to Patrick Swayze, who is hopefully staying

strong in spite of being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (we’re all

pulling for you) and the sounding boards for bringing a ghost from the

past back into the present. So now we have here...the Last Word for the week ending March 7, 2008. 1. Akon Wants Acquittal via Michael Jackson As

the go-to music guy of the moment, Akon is in hot demand. No wonder

Michael Jackson recruited him to remix his classic tune "Wanna Be

Startin Somethin" for the 25th anniversary edition of the landmark Thriller album. Now,

the King of Pop is returning the favor by making a cameo on Akon’s

forthcoming album, Acquitted. According to reports, although Jackson

has finished recording his part of the song, it was unclear whether all

legal issues were handled. Still, Akon is confident the track will rank

up there with his other big hits. "It's a worldwide record,"

the crooner recently told MTVNews, adding that he is hopeful the

Jackson collabo will make the album. "The record is so huge. It's too

big. [Michael's] the only person I could have collaborated with. The

other [songs] on the album are huge though." As far as when Acquitted will hit stores, Akon promised that fans won’t have a long wait on their hands. "We're trying to get it out by the first week of May," he said. "The album is practically done now." And while he is focused on completing work on Acquitted, Akon is already thinking ahead to his next opus. "My fourth album is called Double Jeopardy,"said

the singer, who is adding to his resume as the executive producer for

the re-release Latin pop star Kat DeLuna’s debut album 9 Lives. "I'm

already on it. It's all set up. If they want all the records now, it

would take me 30 days to put it together." 2. R. Kelly Beasts Out on the Haters There

was no way to avoid this item. The story of the week has to be the new

R. Kelly track that surfaced this week, titled "I’m a Beast." No

doubt the man has a lot of anger built up that he’s finally released.

And listening to the track, it could easily be noted that Kelly is

going hard at a few people with his rapping and singing. Who he has in

the cross hairs, is up for grabs. Speculation has been running rampant

over who is in fact being targeted by the song since it hit the net on

Monday (March 3). The singer doesn’t name names, but

with lines like "Why I gotta hate on you?/ Look at me, I'm rich, boy/

You need a steering wheel the way you riding my d***, boy," it could be

said that he may be talking about Ne-Yo. The two are currently involved

in a war of words over Ne-Yo’s dismissal from Kells’ Double Up Tour.

Kelly claims the dismissal was contract related, while Ne-Yo maintains

that jealousy over his crowd reaction was the primary factor. Kells

doesn’t stop there as he seems to still harbor ill will for a certain

former Def Jam President. It’s no secret that Jay-Z hasn’t been on

Kelly’s Christmas list for quite some time. Add to that a line that

states "Say you's a 'go getta'/ Go get your own s***, boy," you could

easily throw Young Jeezy in the mix. But since their collaboration "Go

Getta" was a certified hit, what sense would it make for the Grammy

winner to vent on or any of the possible targets. You could even say

that Kells is talking about Regina and George Daniels, former good

friends who are now warring with the man over his relationshiop with

their young daughter. Truth

is, no one knows who the person or persons are that Kelly is blasting.

Maybe the names will be revealed on a remix to the song. After, all he

did joke about doing that at the end of "I’m a Beast." So

let the theories begin. I’m sure you have your own guesses as to who

the song is about. Take a listen for yourself and let me know. The big

question is who’s going to respond... Any ideas? 3. Janet Jackson Ditches Mom for Prince Life

for Janet Jackson is good. With her latest album Discipline holding

down the number one spot, Miss Jackson seems to be back in the high

life again. But things were not always cool for Janet, who

admitted to growing up in a "very religious world" as a Jehovah’s

Witness. Still the singer admitted to sidestepping the confines of her

religion when she attended a Prince concert with her mom. " a

kid I loved Prince and The Time, one of my favorite groups, and would

listen to them all the time even though you’re not supposed to do

that.," Jackson said in a recent Parade magazine interview. "When I was

16, I was promoting my first album and I went with Mother to see The

Time’s concert with Prince. I did not want to sit next to Mother

because I knew they were dirty. Dirty or not, Janet knew she

had to do something to avoid seeing what Katherine Jackson would do

once Prince and Co. started getting raunchy and funky. "I was

trying to be cool and calm, but oh my God, I was sweating bullets! How

am I going to sit at this show and watch Vanity Six and Prince and The

Time and sit next to Mother? She’s going to think, ‘Good Lord, what is

my baby into? She really needs more of God in her life! Where did I go

wrong?’" the songbird continued. "I could just hear Mother blaming

herself for everything! Luckily, I got someone else to swap seats with

me so I was able to enjoy the show and have the same great time I

would’ve had if I were there without Mother." And there you have it - another case of finding an accomplice to run interference while you let out your inner freak 4. Mint Condition Returns to a New e-Life '90s soul group Mint Condition is gearing up to bring fans a new offering of music.

reports the collective, which is best known for their hits "Breakin' My

Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)" and "What Kind of Man Would I Be," will

re-emerge on the scene with its ninth album titled e-Life. The

release, which is a joint venture between Mint Condition’s label

CagedBird Records and Image Entertainment, will include collaborations

with Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Phonte from Lil Brother and Anthony

Hamilton, who appears on the album’s first single "Baby Boy, Baby

Girl." It is the follow up to the group’s 2005 album, Living the Luxury

Brown. Plans are currently being made for Mint Condition

to embark on a spring U.S. promo tour, in addition to stops in Europe

and Japan. The collective is also searching for new talent for the

label, including an experimental jazz combo in which they will appear. Look for Mint Condition’s e-Life to hit stores on May 6. 5. Amy Winehouse Confronts Skin Issues Just when things were going well for Amy Winehouse, up pops another problem. A

spokesman for the embattled singer confirmed to People magazine that

she has been diagnosed with impetigo, a bacterial skin infection that

causes pimple-like lumps. According to the Mayo Clinic’s web site, the

condition is "highly contagious, and scratching or touching the

sores is likely to spread the infection to other parts of the body as

well as to other people." Despite the bad news, a friend of the

24-year-old Grammy winner told People that "She's fine. She's not

hiding away. She's never been one to care what people think." Winehouse

is currently taking prescribed antibiotics to treat the condition. In

the meantime, Amy can take comfort in knowing that a two-CD, deluxe

edition of her "Back to Black" album is sitting atop the U.K. album

chart. Let’s hope Amy

goes easy on the presciption drugs. Making money and having good skin

is cool, but having all of that while maintaining your addictions with

a new source is downright sad. Let the music provide the high, not the

chemicals 6. Ruben Studdard Is this Season’s American Idol Sandman Although

he doesn’t have a cane and tap shoes, Ruben Studdard will be the one

ushering in the departure of those who will not be around to sing

another week on American

reports that the seaon two Idol winner will perform the "farewell song"

that the show plays when losing contestants are voted off the top 12.

This season’s farewell tune will be a remake of Kenny Loggins' "Celebrate Me Home," produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. "[Lewis

and Jam] were on my list of producers to work with, and to have the

opportunity was a blessing," Studdard said. "If they tell you something

is hot, you can probably rest assured that other people are going to

like it."According to 19 Entertainment U.S. head Iain Pirie,

recruiting Ruben for the song came after the warm reception he

received following an appearance on last season's American Idol finale.

Studdard is currently in negotiations to perform the song during "Idol

Gives Back," the show's midseason charity effort. The

Idol return comes months after Studdard ended 2007 with a pink slip

from J. Records. Despite this, the singer still maintains ties to

Idol’s 19 Entertainment, which manages him, and the company’s

subsidiary 19 Recordings. That alliance paved the way for his return. If

Studdard plays his cards right, he could end up like Daniel Powter. His

song "Bad Day" ended up selling 1.9 million copies and becoming the the

top digital download of 2006 after being used as the Idol farewell song

for season five, according to Nielsen SoundScan.In the

meantime, fans can look for Studdard to hit the recording studio as he

prepares to work on a new album. "I need to get into the studio, go

there and kind of trip out for a while," he said.