Yesterday, I spoke with Atlanta music mogul Polow Da Don about a rumor he started on Twitter.com that female R&B singers Keri Hilson and Ciara were collaborating on a single slated for Keri's next album, due to drop next Summer.
Polow told Sandrarose.com exclusively that he had a long talk with Keri, whose CD, No Boys Allowed, sold 102k in the first week. He said that as soon as the holidays are over they will head back into the studio to start working on her new album.
"As soon as [Keri's] album came out, I was like, 'yo, we did good, you know, we survived the sophomore jinx or whatever,'" said Polow. "But now it's time to go in and make the best music we ever made and just like, all the way connect with the people, and just take it to another level."
Polow got the rumor mill working overtime when he took to his new Twitter page 2 days ago and tweeted: "KERI/CIARA COLABO IN 2011."
A collabo between the gorgeous studio singers is still up in the air at this point. But Polow makes it clear that the track could become a reality after the New Year.
Polow was quick to tell me that the much-hyped animosity between Ciara and Keri was a "pretend beef." Alluding to Ciara's disappointing 37K in sales of her latest CD, Basic Instinct, Polow vowed to "do everything I can to help [Ciara] turn it around.".
"Me and Ciara, we've always been cool through everything," he said. "And then Monica, of course, we're family -- and her and Keri are real close."
Polow described his artist Keri as "humble." He said Keri still hasn't lived down the flack she received from Ciara fans about the remix that featured lyrics supposedly dissing Ciara.
"Ciara thought she was talking about her when she wasn't talking about her in particular," he said. "I had a lot to do with it. I told Ciara, 'yo, Keri didn't even want to say half the sh*t she said in that remix.' I just kept pushing it and pushing it, and then it leaked.
"Now it's a whole year and a half later, and [Keri] still has to face that remix. She still hasn't lived that down," he said.
He continued: "I could never get Keri and Ciara on the same page. Every chance I would get - every time Ciara would want something - I would say, 'well, you know, you need to do something with Keri. Talk to Keri,' and she said, 'nah, I ain't fooling with that' and then Keri would say the same thing."
Polow said he slipped into his big brother role to finally bring about a positive resolution:
"Eventually, I talked to Keri, 'cause, you know, we have a good working relationship - she's signed to my label - I said, 'yo, you have to stop being retarded and really nip this Ciara thing in the bud.' I said to the both of them, 'yo, it's somebody out there waiting on both of y'all spots," he said.
As for the rumored collabo, Polow said Keri actually laid down a verse for a demo on Usher's track "Hot Toddy" featuring Ciara and Jay Z, but it was never released.
Polow also discussed using his influence to help revive Atlanta's stale music industry and the sluggish nightclub scene with the formation of a new record label, similar to LaFace Records of the 90s.
The planned venture, with producer Timberland, will infuse capital into the local economy and create new jobs. Polow has already signed a number of young talent to his Zone 4 Inc. record label.
Click link to read more
"It's like the spirit and the morale of Atlanta is down," he said. "It's wack! We've fallen apart just like New York did. Atlanta was so powerful. If you look at everything that once was just 2 years ago, it's pretty much all self-inflicted. It's just like we destroyed ourselves. The streets are empty at 9:0'clock. Atlanta has never been this wack!"
Polow, who has always been something of a chick magnet, described the type of women he likes:
"I like pretty girls," he said. "A pretty girl to me is classy, somebody who takes care of themselves. Somebody who goes to the clubs, is free to do what they want to do. I was never the one to glorify strippers as being the quote/unquote model. I grew up at a time when a girl used to be ashamed to be a stripper. Now strippers are bigger celebrities than the celebrities," he said.
"I like all kinds of women," he continued. "I do like good hair, I will tell you that," he laughed. "If your sh*t is nappy, be creative with it, you know what I'm saying? Make it look fly some kind of way... with a short cut. I don't know, but figure it out. Do something with it.
Polow said he would lead by example by losing "50-60 pounds minimum" and cutting his beard. "I'mma make classier music, I'm about to do this whole thing. I'm just going to cut my braids, cut my beard off, clean myself up. Every event I do is going to be so fly. If you ain't fly, you can't even get in!"