Janelle Monáe's career seemed to be taking off when she was featured on Purple Ribbon All-Star's Compilation "Got Purp? Volume 2" in 2005. The singer whose music fuses rock 'n roll with R&B and funk, later went on to record tracks for Outkast's film Idlewild while developing an avid cult following.

Rumor has it that Sean Combs signed Janelle to Bad Boy Records which means the earth angel's promising career might as well be over. There is only one artist on Bad Boy Records who gets any kind of promotion - and it's been that way for some time now.

10 years ago, a contract with Bad Boy practically guaranteed fame and riches. Today, not so much.

Today a contract with Bad Boy means your career is mothballed indefinitely. That's a shame because Janelle is very talented and unique. The music industry needs artists like Janelle to take music in a different direction. She could have been a contender.

Janelle Monáe on Myspace

A "rare" 2007 greeting card featuring embattled Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, his wife Carlita and their 3 sons is the subject of an intense bidding war on eBay at this hour.

The current bid stands at $154 and was said to be placed by the Mayor's former lover Christine Beatty who wanted the greeting card to remember him by since he hung her out to dry has reportedly taken up with another woman who isn't his wife.

Beatty resigned her position as the Mayor's chief of staff yesterday after text messages revealed the extent of her sordid relationship with the Mayor. Po' thang.

Ciara and Lynn Whitfield star in the remake of Mama I Want To Sing. If you haven't seen the trailer yet, click here.

The movie also stars Patti LaBelle, Juanita Bynum, Hill Harper, Ben Vereen, Kim Porter and Ralph Tresvant. Mama I Want To Sing opens in theaters nationwide on April 11.

Thanks to Wilson Morales for the link! See the hi-res version here.

Well, surprise, surprise: I actually got an invite to something other than the opening of an envelope.

LA Reid will host an exclusive listening party for Janet Jackson's new CD "Discipline" at a private location in NY next Wednesday (don't worry LA, I'm not coming). The invite says Cocktails & Hors D'ouvres will be served to invited guests. Yummy.

If you weren't one of the lucky ones to receive an invite, check out VH1's exclusive preview of the album here.

Shout out to Amina at Think Tank Marketing!

A source tells me Rihanna will be in town tomorrow. This is not confirmed but I'll let you know if I hear more.

Meanwhile, Rihanna graced the H&M store in NY today with her presence. Rihanna teamed up with H&M stores and Designers Against AIDS to help launch the "Fashion Against AIDS" Collection which includes tank tops, t-shirts and hooded sweaters.

The "Fashion Against AIDS" collection will be available at select H&M's stores starting February 2008.

A source just informed me that the Diva Whitney Houston has been added to the lineup at the Plymouth Jazz Festival in Trinidad and Tobago. The Caribbean's biggest Jazz festival runs from April 25 to 27.

Shakira is headlining the festival which includes appearances by Diana Ross, Rod Stewart and Smokey Robinson. Remember, this is from a source. It hasn't been confirmed yet, but I'm booking my flight now!

Vivica A. Fox returns in Three Can Play That Game

Rashan Ali (left) stars in Three Can Play That Game

Vivica A. Fox is back as relationship expert Shante Smith in the straight-to-DVD sequel to the hit movie Two Can Play That Game. Three Can Play That Game features Hot 107.9's Rashan Ali in a supporting role. The movie was filmed in Atlanta over the Summer and features many local actors.

Here's the synopsis of the movie:

This time, the story begins with Byron Thompson (George), a blandly conservative guy, undergoing a dramatic change of fortune when a makeover by his girlfriend (Lewis) turns him into an overnight reality television star. Afraid that Byron's newfound popularity with the females will lead him astray, Tiffany enlists the help of relationship expert Shante Smith (Fox), who advises Tiffany that her only option is to force Byron into marriage. Meanwhile, not wishing to lose access to the new surplus of sexy women Byron's stardom has spawned, Gizzard (Rock), Byron's best friend, clashes with Tiffany and Shante and the battle of the sexes is in full swing.

Click to watch the trailer

So John Gibson was right after all. The truth about actor Heath Ledger's serious drug habit has come to light a week after he was found dead in his Soho apartment. A video circulating the Internet shows Ledger attending a party where drugs are openly used and passed around.

The national media tried it's best to turn Ledger into a saint even though it was a well known fact that Ledger was a drug addict. Ledger took so many illegal drugs that he was literally bouncing off the walls, too wired to sleep. He tried every sleeping pill on the market and often complained that the pills didn't work.

The reason the media bent over backwards to sensationalize Ledger's death is simple: he played a gay cowboy in the film Brokeback Mountain. And as you know, gays run the national media.

For that same reason the video has been pulled from national TV shows such as Entertainment Tonight - once again highlighting the bias within the news media. We wonder if the media would exercise such censorship if Will Smith was found dead surrounded by pills and there was a video of him doing drugs.

Click to watch video

Forbes named singer/entrepreneur Beyonce richest woman in R&B based on her concert grosses, merchandising revenue, album sales and other business interests.

According to Forbes, Beyonce, who came in #5 on the list and #1 in female urban music, earned an estimated $27 million dollars in revenue thanks to endorsement deals and sales of her multi platinum album B'Day. (Source)

As some of you know, I have NO love for the groupies on Lipstick Alley. I think the majority of them need psychological help and the rest of them are like the gawkers who can't drive by a auto wreck without slowing down and causing major traffic jams. I left that board years ago because I am not attracted to the ghetto mentality that the board attracts.

This video is an answer to the Alexyss Tylor video that I posted yesterday. It's a very sad commentary on the status of groupies and jump offs in our community. We have to do better than this.

According to a report on Billboard.com, ousted Def Jam president Jay Z did not drop his Roc-A-Fella artists as some have suggested.

"Beans and Freeway didn’t get dropped," says Beanie Sigel’s manager, Mark Byers. "I just got off the phone with L.A. Reid talking about the next video for ‘Rain’ featuring Raheem DeVaughn that we’re about to release. We’re re-launching Beanie’s project and releasing a ‘Rain’ remix with State Property."

I have a few questions:

  • When is LA Reid going to be bounced from Def Jam like a bad check for wasteful spending?
  • Is his contract that iron clad that they can't break it?
  • Who's going to watch a Beanie Sigel video?
  • And finally, aren't the brass at Island Records tired of LA Reid throwing good money behind bad rappers?


Click to enlarge

Rihanna Tops the Charts with Milk

Chart topping singing sensation and Grammy nominee Rihanna knows how to wow crowds with her incredible voice and presence. She also knows that in order to keep up with her busy performance schedule she needs to stay in top shape. That’s why she includes milk in her daily diet along with exercise to help her stay fit and healthy.

Rihanna is the latest celeb to join the ‘Body by Milk' campaign created to encourage teens to drink 3 glasses of lowfat or fat free milk everyday, and eat right to stay lean and healthy. Other celebs modeling the famous 'stache in the campaign include Amanda Bynes, Hayden Panettiere, Beyoncé Knowles, and the cast of High School Musical 2.

The ad copy reads, "Drink it in. Pop star? Not exactly. Milk is more my move. Some studies suggest that teens who choose milk instead of sugary drinks tend to be leaner and the protein helps build muscle. So shut up and drink." The ad debuts on February 5, 2008 in Teen Vogue.

Check out Rihanna's new ad, an exclusive interview with the singing sensation and get FREE Rihanna MP3's, as well as music from other hot artists just by logging on to www.bodybymilk.com.

Source:
Lauren Nelson
Weber Shandwick

Read more »


Photos: Splash News

If you're not familiar with Kat Deluna don't worry, you will be. She's about to be all up in your grill if her handlers have their way. Never mind that Kat's only claim to fame seems to be a song she made called "Whine Up" that I've never heard before.

Never mind that the song didn't crack the top 100 on Billboard charts. You see, she has "the look" and that seems to be all you need to make it in the music industry these days. The freckle faced 21-year-old from the Dominican Republic has made appearances in the requisite rap videos and she's been featured in all the right national magazines and MTV's TRL.

All she needs now is a little controversy and she's a bonafide starrah.

So here's a note from music industry execs to all you talented African American singers with negroidian features and nappy hair who can put Whitney Houston to shame in the vocal department: Wendy's is hiring.

I don't know if Oprah Winfrey is going to like this. It's actually a tribute to Oprah in the form of a full figured bronze sarcophagus which was favored by Egyptian royalty when burying their dead. The artist, Daniel Edwards, is the same one who created the controversial pregnant Britney Spears sculpture.

Photo spotted on Drewreports.com

I am told this is not Sean Kingston. But whoever it is took the cartoonish fake "bling" jewelry favored by rappers to another level! Anyone who has touched a real diamond knows there is no such thing as a colored diamond. That crap you see rappers wearing is all man made. More power to them if wearing that junk boosts their little egos.

Congratulations to comedian Lil' Duval and his girlfriend Mrs. Lil' Duval who gave birth to a baby girl. Lil' Duval, real name Roland Powell, was a finalist on BET's Coming to the Stage. From there he went on to tour with Cedric the Entertainer and quickly became rapper T.I.P.'s favorite comedian hosting Grand Hustle's Comedy nights at the Uptown Comedy Corner here in Atlanta.

All day yesterday I received angry emails from my loyal readers wanting me to put a certain site on blast for reportedly disrespecting one of our most respected and loved poets - Maya Angelou. Allegedly, this site referred to Ms. Angelou in a post titled "H* sit down."

First of all, I warned you guys about that site last year. At the time I told you that, unlike FUBU, that site is not by us or for us.

Yet you continually supported that site even when it referred to us as b*tches and h*s. Apparently it was ok for them to continually degrade our sistas and ridicule our culture, so why is it a problem now? Hmmm?

Personally I don't visit sites that degrade black women. When they call one of us a b*tch or a h*, they are referring to all of us. Respect yourself first if you want others to respect you.

Leona Lewis is the talented British star who some say will change the face of pop music when she is unleashed on America in the coming months. We like her already. She exudes a charm and grace that is missing in today's music. Expect to see Leona everywhere this Summer. Leona won the British version of American Idol and her first single is "Bleeding Love."

MTV and Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx have teamed up to create another foolish urban reality TV show. From G's to Gents casts Jamie as a sort of Andre Leon Talley of comedy who fine tunes roughnecks into smooth gentlemen. Presumably Jamie will teach young thugs how to act civilized and not show their asses - literally.

- Are you a hustler?
- Do you have the passion and skills, but can’t catch a break?
- Is your self-worth measured by the number of fights you’ve won,
girls you’ve slept with, or weight of bling around your neck?"From G’s to Gents" will take 15 young "G's" and polish them up. Taking lessons in everything from Style and Grace, Etiquette, Chivalry, and Business Skills, the men will LEARN that with the right tools every G has the ability to be a true Gentleman – and a real shot at finding success.

The Stakes: The G that makes it to the end of the competition will win a large cash prize and the opportunity to make their dream job and lifestyle a reality.

Music producer Stevie J., real name Stevie Jordan, is engaged to Whoopi Goldberg's daughter Alexandria Martin. Both have made trips down the aisle with previous partners.

The couple, who has dated on and off for the last six years, got engaged in December 2007 after he presented her with a diamond engagement ring and matching bracelet. "I'm to the place right now in my life where I am fully happy with the man I have become. I know none of this would be possible without God first and a beautiful partner like Alex. I am looking forward to planning out a great life for us," said the groom-to-be, before adding: "And she can cook a mean f----g steak!" (Source)

V-103's king of afternoon radio Ryan Cameron is branching out with a new TV show debuting next Monday on Starz Network. The new late night show features guest appearances and live performances by music's heavy hitters. As you know, urban shows need our support to keep the lights on. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, if you don't already have it, please order Starz Network at 800.313.8108 even if for only one month!!!

Make sure you mention you're calling to order "the Ryan Cameron Show" and specifically use this number (800.313.8108) because the network is tracking how many new subscribers the show attracts vs ratings. PLEASE SUPPORT AN URBAN SHOW... you know we need it - and, it's actually a really good show. For a preview clip, go to www.ryancameronuncensored.com.

Excellent synopsis of the war between Omar Little and Avon Barksdale which span 3 seasons of HBO's The Wire. Perfectly edited by Wire10110101 who combines 30 scenes which tells the story of Omar robbing Baltimore drug dealers for fun and profit, and Avon Barksdale who runs his drug empire with an iron fist and murder in his heart.

Part 1 begins with Omar and his robbing crew hitting one of Avon's stash houses. Avon retaliates by putting out a hit on Omar and then torturing and murdering his lover Brandon. Stringer Bell sets up Omar by hiring professional hit man Brother Mouzon. Stringer is himself set up by Avon. Part 5 ends with the murder of Stringer Bell by Omar and Brother Mouzon.

For those who have never experienced The Wire, you now get to see what you've been missing.

Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Danity Kane's D. Woods is featured on one of this month's covers of King magazine. DK, the manufactured group she's a member of is also featured on a cover but I'll pass. When will the music industry catch a clue that the reason their industry is in the sewer is because they chose sex over substance?

Addicts of HBO's hit series The Wire know Maestro Harrell as Randy Wagstaff, the kid who hustled candy during the 4th Season. When Randy Maestro isn't acting he plays the piano and sings a little. His crooning caught the ear of Jermaine Dupri who signed him to So So Def/Island Records in 2005.

JD and Island Records held a showcase last week where he put his new roster on display for executives of the label including LA Reid. Of course I wasn't invited, of course.

There's a video floating around the Internet of Randy Maestro and JD's other acts performing during the showcase. Time will tell if Maestro, 16, has the pipes to make us forget him as Randy the candy kid on The Wire.

Read more »

According to reports, Jennifer Lopez is in a NY hospital about to pop. The Latin diva joins other Hollywood actresses who seek the services of fertility doctors specializing in multiple births.

Hospital officials denied that the Bronx-born superstar who is expecting twins was at the medical center. Two hospital sources, however, said she was "in the house" and had checked in under a false name. (Source)

Marc Anthony's rep insists J-Lo is not in labor. Yesterday, rumors were rampant that J-Lo had given birth to her twins.