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Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 10:26 am
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While Keyshia Cole elbowed her way into the crowded R&B field several years ago with heartbreak songs such as “Love” and “I Remember,” the singer says she can’t stand to listen to them anymore – which explains the title of her new album, “A Different Me.”


       Currently on tour with Lil Wayne and Gym Class Heroes, the 27-year-old diva — who is also a big reality star thanks to her successful BET show “Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is” — recently sat down with the Associated Press to discuss just how different her life has become since releasing her debut album in June 2005.       

AP: On the opening track of the new CD, you introduce your “sexier” side. What does that mean exactly?

Cole: Just the mood of some of the music, and also the pictures that I took for the album packaging were a little bit sexier than normal. It’s a lot lighter and sexier, you can listen to it and it’s not so heartbroken and painful.

AP: Do you feel sexier now than before?

Cole: I just think that sexier is, I guess, the clothes that you’re wearing. I’ve always been a young lady but I just chose to do certain things or look a certain way before. I really did like the fact that I work really hard to make it here. It’s just a sexier or softer side of myself that I chose to put forth and show the world. I think it’s always been there, it’s just the point of bringing it out and being comfortable with yourself.

AP: Talk about the songwriting process when recording the new CD.

Cole: With “Love,” after I wrote that song, I couldn’t listen to it, I still can’t listen to “Love,” I just can’t. Like I don’t even listen to my own albums, which is bad because I really need to do that because I perform them all the time. It’s just that after I write it, and I felt that way and I remember that way, it’s hard for me to go back and really listen to it because I hate feeling that way. But I perform those songs almost every night so it’s something that I have to take myself back to and remember that feeling and project that feeling to the world. But that’s why I went with the “A Different Me” title because I am a traveling performer and a growing entertainer and I wanted to switch up the music and change it up and give it a different vibe because I don’t want to be on the same vibe every night singing the same type of song.

AP: Is it going to be easier to perform the new songs because the material is lighter?

Cole: I’ll see. Hopefully it brings a wider base of a crowd for me to perform in front of. To get that arena audience, I felt like I had to switch it up just a little tiny bit, and touch (on) different (subject) matters in relationships, just on a worldwide basis.

AP: What else are you doing differently?

Cole: I definitely changed choreographers, I switched by band up, I revamped my whole staging and just rehearsing and working at that because I never really incorporated a bunch of dance moves or choreography on the stage, but now I’m trying new things. I just want to live up to the title “A Different Me.” I just want to become a headlining entertainer at arenas and do it that big.


LIL WAYNE SUED OVER ‘DYING’ December 18, 2008

Filed under: General News — Ryann Hayman @ 10:44 am


Lawyers for Lil Wayne have asked for more time to produce documents in a lawsuit that accuses the artist of copyright infringement, reports the Associated Press.


       The federal lawsuit filed in May claims Lil Wayne did not get permission to sample Karma Ann Swanepoel’s song “Once” in his track, “I Feel Like Dying.” 

       According to the lawsuit, Lil Wayne’s label, Cash Money Records, tried but failed to negotiate a license to use Swanepoel’s song before millions of people purchased downloads of “I Feel Like Dying.”      

       In the Dec. 16 court filing, Lil Wayne’s attorney asks a judge in New Orleans to extend a Friday deadline for turning over documents and other material requested by lawyers for Urband & Lazar Music Publishing, reports the AP.


KANYE, LIL WAYNE TOP TIME’S 2008 LISTS December 16, 2008

Filed under: Entertainment,Hip Hip — Ryann Hayman @ 10:08 am
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Time Magazine has revealed that Kanye West’s “Love Lockdown” and Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter III” are respectively its top single and album of 2008.      

      Below are the publication’s reasons for selecting the two artists as the year’s best.


“Love Lockdown” 

• Singing in an Auto-Tuned monotone with little regard for melody, West sounds ghostly as he recounts his romantic failures in brutal detail. Just when “Love Lockdown” seems too brittle to sustain itself, humanity arrives in the form of an army of Japanese taiko drums. At first it sounds like pop-guns going off, but the drumming gets faster, warmer, wilder, and matched against West’s distant vocals “Love Lockdown” turns into a dance song about misery — far closer to “Love Will Tear Us Apart” than any hip-hop ancestor. It’s easily the most interesting pop experiment this year, and, if you grant its premise and stick with it, also the best.


“Tha Carter III”

• “Tha Carter III” is beyond sprawling, but its lack of discipline is also its point. It’s a pop showcase for Dwayne Carter, the very peculiar cough syrup-swilling New Orleans rapper who swears he improvises all of his rhymes. Whether he really does is anybody’s guess, but amid all the Auto-Tuned vocals and effects — no rapper enjoys hearing his own voice distorted more — are shrewd commercial choices (the No. 1 hit “Lollipop,” the Jay-Z duet “Mr. Carter”) and extended periods of verse that take rap back to its essence: talking. On “DontGetIt,” over a sample of Nina Simone’s “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood,” Wayne tells a 10-minute life story that meanders into an indictment of drug laws and an out-of-nowhere slam of Al Sharpton. The words are smart, but the delivery — just behind the beat, in a voice that sounds like Miles Davis lecturing on Robitussin — is hypnotic.



Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 10:38 am
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Beyonce Knowles’s current No. 1 song “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)” has been named the Best Single of 2008 in a new poll from Rolling Stone magazine.


       The publication’s “Singles of the Year” tally features Santogold’s “LES Artistes” at No. 2, Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop” at No 5, “American Boy” from Estelle feat. Kanye West at No. 7 and T.I.’s “No Matter What’ at No. 10.       

       Beyonce’s husband, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, also made the list at No. 22 with “Swagga Like Us,” a collaboration with T.I., West and Lil Wayne.      

       View Rolling Stone’s entire “Singles of the Year” list here.




Sibling duo Play-N-Skillz are in the Grammy spotlight for the second year in a row.


       Their production of Chamillionaire’s “Ridin'” earned them their first trophy in 2007 for best rap performance by duo or group. This year, their Lil Wayne single “Got Money,” featuring T-Pain, is nominated for best rap/sung collaboration.       

       Wayne’s CD, “Tha Carter III,” is also among the contenders for album of the year,” which puts Play-N-Skillz in position to pick up one of the most Grammy’s most prestigious trophies.       

       “This was a little bit more shocking than the last one,” Play tells Billboard.com. “I wasn’t as surprised for ‘Tha Carter III’ to be nominated for best rap album, but album of the year? That’s like the biggest accolade you can receive. Of course, for the song to be nominated itself was shocking. But, at the same time, it justifies all the hard work.”      

       The nomination is extra sweet for Play-N-Skillz because not only was the original version of “Got Money” lost after an engineer mistakenly erased it, but the track wasn’t even meant to appear on Lil Wayne’s album.      

       “After we remade the song, which is tough to do, we laid the chorus idea and gave it to Pitbull, but it didn’t make it to him in time,” says Play. “T-Pain ended up singing the chorus, he put it in Wayne’s hands, and the rest is history.”      

       The producers, who recently worked with Hurricane Chris, Yung Joc, Slim, Cassidy, Slim Thug and Lil Wayne’s upcoming project, are now preparing to release their own album.      

       Titled “Out the Box,” the set is slated to drop in summer 2009 via their independent label, G4 Recordz. Promotional single “Checking My Fresh” samples Jay-Z’s “Swagga Like Us” and was serviced to radio last.  The first official single, “Angel Eyez,” featuring Akon, will be released in the coming weeks.       

       Talib Kweli, Bun B, Slim Thug, 112, Yung Joc, Tego Calderon, Pitbull and Maino have all contributed guest vocals.  Play-N-Skillz will also release a mixtape in the next few months leading up to the album.



To say Lil Wayne is having a big year is an understatement. And to underscore how big a year he’s having, Wednesday evening the diminutive rapper from New Orleans was nominated for a whopping 8 Grammys, including album of he year for “Tha Carter III.” Rock band Cold Play was close behind, scoring seven nods.


     This year the announcements of the 51st Grammy nominations were made public within a new format. They were part of an hourlong live prime-time CBS concert special hosted by LL Cool J and Taylor Swift.


     While Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter III” was not regarded by critics as his greatest CD, it was the album that made him a pop superstar, thanks to massive hits like “Lollipop” and “A Milli,” noted AP writer Sandy Cohen. it also got a lot of attention because it was the only record this year to sell 1 million copies in its first week.


     Meanwhile, artist and songwriter/producer Ne-Yo didn’t do too badly either. When all was said and done, he wound up with six nominations for his “Year of the Gentleman.”


     “When I was putting it together, I was trying to do something that everybody could get into, as opposed to just my pop and R&B core group,” Ne-Yo said after the ceremony. “I was trying to do something that the world could enjoy and I think that the Grammy people paid attention to that.”


     Also nominated was new singer-songwriter Jazmine Sullivan, who has drawn comparisons to Lauryn Hill with her hit “I Need You Bad.” She scored an impressive five nominations.

     Other multiple nominees included Jay-z and Kanye West, who had six each.


     For a complete list of nominees, visit the Grammy Awards website: www.grammy.com.


     Normally the nominations are announced during a morning news conference. But because award shows in general are losing their edge, NARAS, the organization behind the Grammys and CBS decided to put on the prime-time event.


     The show kicked off with past Grammy winner Mariah Carey singing a song from her classic Christmas album, decked out in a short red minidress to give some holiday cheer. Held at the Nokia Theatre, the show also celebrated the Saturday opening of the new Grammy Museum next door.


     The Grammy Awards telecast itself will be held on CBS on Feb 8 from the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles next door to the Nokia Theater.


Chris Brown a big hit with on-demand viewers December 2, 2008

Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 1:00 pm
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 Chris Brown is in demand with on-demand viewers.

The TV on-demand service Music Choice said Monday the soul singer was its most requested artist in a one-year period ending in September. Fans ordered free plays of Brown’s videos or interviews 43 million times.

Music Choice honored Brown on its first “Most Demanded” awards show that was available — logically enough — on-demand starting Monday.

Network executive Damon Williams said teenage girls were primarily responsible for Brown’s win. He said fans would invite friends over to watch or show off the video on their cell phones.

The Jonas Brothers and Lil Wayne were big draws, too. Wayne’s “Lollipop” video was seen 12 million times.

Despite being available in less than one-third of the nation’s TV homes, Music Choice says it is behind only YouTube as a popular place for people to seek out music videos on demand.

Music Choice, perhaps better known for its suite of channels that play different genres of music, sees growth opportunity with its on-demand features, Williams said. Surveys show fewer than 10 percent of the people who have the capability of getting on-demand video actually use the service, he said.

The company just started offering music videos on-demand 2 1/2 years ago.