This Week In Music (V.17): NEW MUIC + NEWS

Welcome to another edition of This Week In Music. Click the links below to catch up on some of the news/new music of the week thus far:

Now for this edition. I usually start with new music, but I’m starting with news first this week.

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Whitney Houston and Aaliyah biopics are both in the works with Lifetime. It is known that Angela Basset will be executively producing the Whitney Houston film as well as Yaya DeCosta portraying Whitney. Bobby Brown will be played by Arien Escarpeta. Well it has been announced that Whitney Houston’s voice will not be used in the film. Her songs will be sung by Deborah Cox. I love Deborah Cox as an artist, but I do not know if she matches Whitney vocally. I think that her voice is beautiful at what she does, I just don’t know if it will match up to covering Whitney Houston. This is not her first time working with Whitney Houston’s voice as the two collaborated for the track, ‘Same Script Different Past’.  I’m interested in hearing it regardless. Great opportunity for her. I Will Always Love You: The Whitney Houston Story will premiere on Lifetime sometime next year.

alexandra-shippIt’s also know that Zendaya Coleman dropped out of the Aaliyah biopic, but the film production must go on and a new leading lady has been chosen. Alexandra Shipp has been casted. and is best known for her roles on House of Anubis, Switched at Birth, and Awkward. The 23-year-old’s rep released a statement on Shipp being casted:

“Aaliyah has always been an inspiration to Zendaya. She was honored to portray her and pay tribute to her. If she is going to do it, she wants to do it right.”

I knew that it wouldn’t take long for them to cast another girl. What shocked me was that this biopic is going to be executively by Wendy Williams/Wendy Williams Productions (Happy belated 50th Birthday) along with Debra Martin Chase. I’m not sure how this movie is going to pan out, but I will be staying tuned and updating as the film evolves. Aaliyah: Princess of R&B (how original of a title) begins production later this month and will premier in the fall. The storyline is based off the biography by Christopher Farley, Aaliyah: More Than a Woman. For me I hope the film will be on point with how close the premiere date is and how far off it is for the Whitney Houston biopic premiere.

460x-1In other news, Beyoncé will have a spot in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. She is currently slaying fans across the country alongside her hubby Jay Z with the On The Run Tour. Her success never ends and the accolades keep coming as well. Her outfits are ones that are mimicked and admired and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has noticed and her clothing will be showcased at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame exhibit.

460xMuseum curator, Meredith Rutledge-Borger, stated:

“When we looked at the depth of the amount of stuff that she was willing to send, we just thought, ‘The only way we can really showcase these items is to put them in the Legends of Rock area in the museum,’ which really is the spot that we have to pay tribute to legends of rock, which Beyonce has proven herself to be.”

Outfits will include her Super Bowl performance outfit, her gold glove and black leotard from ‘Single Ladies’, her outfit from ‘Crazy in Love’, plus more. Beyonce will be eligible for induction in 2022 as a member of Destiny’s Child and in 2027 as a solo artist.

yegqLastly, Kanye West has graced the latest cover of GQ magazine with a title that reads: “Kanye West Tells Us How to Grow Up, Survive a Wedding, Stay Outrageous, and Dress Like a God.” He covered GQ before in 2007 for the ‘Man of the Year’ issue. Check out the cover of the fashionisto to the left.

It wouldn’t be an edition of ‘This Week In Music’ without featuring new music. Be sure to click the links above! There’s been a lot of music put out this week and while I would love to highlight it all, I’ll just highlight the music that caught my eye.

Jeremih teamed with Shlomo for a collaborative EP titled, No More. It features six tracks and was a gift from Jeremih to fans on his 27th birthday. Aside from this EP, Jeremih is working on his third album, Thumpy Johnson, which features his DJ Mustard/YG assisted track, ‘Don’t Tell Em’. CLICK HERE to download No More.

Tinashe is still riding high off her Schoolboy Q assisted track, ‘2 On’ as she gears up to drop her debut, Aquarius, in September.  She’s teamed with David Andrew Sitek for a track called ‘Xylophone’ and it’s not as hard bumping as ‘2 On’, but it shows that she’s more than just urban music. Take a listen below:

https://soundcloud.com/drpepperstudio/david-andrew-sitek-x-tinashe-xylaphone

 

 

This Week In Music (V.13): Videos, Biopics, & MORE

There’s been a LOT going on this week, hence why my posts have been sparse, but as always welcome to another edition of This Week In Music. Let’s jump to chart news quickly. Please be sure to click links that’ll take you directly to the album/track.

As for the Billboard 200, Jack White’s Lazaretto came in at #1, Miranda Lambert (Platinummoved to #2, and Frozen is in at #3. Iggy Azalea’s, ‘Fancy‘, is still atop the Hot 100 for 4th week and ‘Problem‘ still sits in at #2. Magic!’s, ‘Rude‘, moves up for spots to #3. Over on Billboard you can vote in the 2014  Mid-Year Music Poll. Click here to do so.

Back to Iggy Azalea for a moment, she is very busy on the charts and not just the pop one. She’s teamed with Hustle Gang General, T.I., for their latest collab ‘No Mediocre‘. I reviewed the track, but be sure to check out the video below. As for my thoughts, it was okay; nothing special.

Keeping along the lines of new videos this week, Trey Songz has released a new video for yet another single off Trigga titled, ‘Foreign’. I wasn’t really expecting to like this song as much as I do, but it’s catchy, the beat is there, and Trey Songz in the video is a major plus. The video starts the same as his ‘SmartPhones‘ video did and then he heads to a video shoot where he dances around with various women which matches every word he says, he likes his women foreign. Check out the video below. Trigga hits stores/online July 1st.

Mary J. Blige released two videos this week in support of the Think Like a Man Too Soundtrack. The soundtrack features 14 original songs from Mary J. Blige. The first video released was the cover of Shalamar’s ‘A Night to Remember’. The video featured a cameo from style ICON, June Ambrose. Then there’s the video for ‘Suitcase’ which was AMAZING! I’m very happy about this MJB compilation and YES a ‘My Top 5’ will be coming soon. Check out both videos below:

nwa-castNow switching gears a little bit let’s get into TWO biopics that will be coming soon, well in 2015. The first is that of N.W.A. titled Straight Outta Compton. Dr. Dre will be played by Corey Hawkins, Cube by his son O’Shea Jackson Jr., and Eazy E by Jason Mitchell. The film will be directed by Gary Gray, production starts this summer, and is set to hit theaters August 14, 2015.

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Moving on to the next biopic and one of the most controversial stories of the week is that of Zendaya Coleman begin casted to play Aaliyah in the upcoming biopic about her life. Now the controversy is that Zendaya is not ‘black enough’ to play Aaliyah. No her skin tone is not spot on to that of Aaliyah’s but it just utterly rude to make a comment as such. Personally, I feel the same way about Aaliyah having a biopic straight to TV (Lifetime) as I am with Whitney Houston’s going straight to TV. Artist of a certain caliber need to go to a theater. Even if it’s for a few private screenings, etc.,I think a movie screening is appropriate as well. Now Aaliyah’s family is fighting the production of this film not as far as casting, but as far as the movie not being on a theatrical level yet being put straight to TV. Aaliyah’s family is very territorial over her name, as they should be, BUT if this movie is gong to be stopped for going to Lifetime it’d be great to get one in theaters sometime soon.

 

angiemartinez-newheader copyLastly, it all comes down to the HEADLINE for me of the week: ‘Angie Martinez Resigns from Hot 97’. after studying broadcast journalism, primarily radio, throughout college I’ve been obsessed with the formation of radio and my favorites have always been Wendy Williams and Angie Martinez. I loved that Wendy Williams asked any and everything not caring and not holding back and then there was Angie Martinez who was like every superstars friend as her essence just radiated that. After 25 years on Hot 97 and the past 15 as the Voice of NY from 3pm-7pm (The Angie Martinez Show), she has resigned and moved on to RIVAL Power 105.1. Her friends at Hot 97 seem to understand,I mean not that they have a choice. The difference between Hot 97 is like comparing it to that of a local grocery store and Walmart. There’s local attention then theirs global. Moving from Hot 97 to Power 105.1 expands Angie Martinez’s brand as its owned by Clear Channel. No word on her start date just yet, but she’ll be taking over the 2pm spot currently held by DJ Prostyle and then she’ll be on the sister station Miami’s 103.5 FM (The Beat of Miami). Congrats to Angie for making such a huge move.

 

 

Beyoncé Shares Her Memorial Day Playlist

Queen Bey has decided to share some of her favorites for Memorial Day via her official website. Enjoy the list below:

  1. Earth Wind and Fire- September
  2. Frankie Beverly and Maze- Joy and pain
  3. Mtume- Juicy Fruit
  4. Michael Jackson- Rock With You
  5.  Aretha Franklin- Chain of Fools
  6. Marvin Gaye- Got to Give it Up
  7. Stevie Wonder- Superstitious
  8. A Tribe Called Quest- Bonita AppleBum
  9. Aaliyah- Back and Forth
  10. Total- Can’t You See
  11. Solange- Losing You
  12. Too $hort- Blow the Whistle
  13. Juvenile- Nolia Clap
  14. Kanye West- We Major 

Chris Brown Announces Release Date for X + NEW MUSIC

Chris Brown Announces Release Date for X + NEW MUSIC

Chris Brown has been semi-lowkey in the media as of late, but that hasn’t stopped him from working on his music. In an interview last year with Rolling Stone he talked about what was to be expected from his new project:

I tried to stay away from the Euro beats, and not go totally pop. Instead, I wanted to take the Quincy Jones approach. The record pays homage to the Stevie Wonders, the Michael Jacksons, the Sam Cookes. I wanted to put that classic essence of R&B and soul with the new age of music now.

The album was supposed to be released last July. With only few tracks reeled, ‘Fine China,’ ‘Don’t Think They Know,’ and ‘Love More,’ it was unclear as to when an album would be dropped. Well Chris just released a tweet (now that he’s back on social media) stating:

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Who knows if this album will stick. Chris has been on tracks with a  slew of people and if that’s any take on what his album will sound like then eh, it’s nothing special. Chris Brown has never been the ultimate R&B singer, but his music pops (no pun intended). I’m interested in seeing if he’s going to follow in that ‘visionary’ album plan he talked about in the interview.

May 5th marks Chris’ 25th birthday and this album was said to be his last. I’m not too sure about that. Aside from that he’s in the studio working on Fan of a Fan 2 with Tyga. Here’s their new track, ‘B*tches’.

Then & Now Thursday (V.4) — Music to Acting

There are not many artists that have successfully made the transition from music to acting and vice versa. I will be highlighting those that have and discussing a few that have not lived up to the hype.

LL Cool J began his career in the mid-80s with his debut album, Radio. He was known for his Kangols, tone body and his signature of licking his lips. He was also one of the first rappers to merge R&B and Hip Hop and got a lock of flack for it during his time, but now that trend is a hit. Over the course of his 20+ year career he has released 8 studio albums and 2 compilation albums in 96 and 09 and has won 2 Grammys along the way.

His acting career began in simultaneously with that of his rapping career and starred in minor roles and took his talents to TV starring in the show, In The House, in 1999. He has gone on to appear in several other movies such as: Deep Blue See, In Too Deep, Deliver Us From Eva, Rollerball, S.W.A.T., and others. He returned back to TV as a star on the NCIS spin-off, N.C.I.S.: Los Angeles and has been there since 2009. He’s also been the Grammy host for the past 3 years as well as the Grammy Nominee show host.

Jamie Foxx began his career doing stand up in the late 80s and landed his first huge role on In Living Color in 1991 where he remained for 4 years. After his time with In Living Color he released his debut album, Peep This. He did not dwell so much on the album and went back to acting and appeared on TV shows and movies here and there before landing his own show, The Jamie Foxx Show in 1996. During that time he appeared in movies such as: Booty Call, Any Given Sunday, Player’s Club, Ali, and more.

The turning point in Foxx’s career was his starring role in Ray in 2004. This role rejuvenated his career in a way making him more assessable to roles other than comedy. He won an Academy Award for his role and released his second album, Unpredictable, that same year. Foxx juggled both music and acting and won a Grammy alongside Kanye West for ‘Golddigger’ and won a Grammy for his solo work in 2010 for his hit ‘Blame It’ featuring T-Pain. Foxx is currently back in the acting world and recently starred in the hit, controversial movie, Django Unchained and will be appearing in upcoming movies The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Annie, and Horrible Bosses 2.

Grammy award winner, Will Smith, is more so best known for his show, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, than anything else in his career. Aside from acting, Will was a ver popular rapper in the 80s becoming the first to win in the first Grammy award in the Rap category alongside DJ Jazzy Jeff in 1988. His acting career has him 4 Golden Globe and 2 Academy Award nominations. He’s starred in movies: Independence Day, Enemy of the State, Wild Wild West, Ali, I Am Legend, and more. He starred alongside his son Jaden, in the Pursuit of Happyness and starred in movie series Bad Boys and Men In Black.

There are other artists who have done the transition successfully such as Jennifer Hudson,Tupac, Aaliyah, Tyrese, Ludacris Justin Timberlake, etc.  Aaliyah and Tupac’s lives were both cut short, but they both were very impressive on the big screen and musically.

You even have the Disney stars that are doing too bad for themselves such as Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, and Miley Cyrus.I have realized that the transition either works or it doesn’t and it’s more so men having better chances with landing roles than women.

Beyoncé is one to me that he acting chops don’t seem as organic and natural. She’s such a perfectionist it seems like she tries really really hard, some times too hard. I’m not saying that all the movies she’s been in were horrible, but I think that she’s a better performer than she is an actress. All of the movie roles she’s taken on has been with her singing primarily minus Austin Powers in Goldmember and Obsessed.

There’s more, but those were just some that always stood out to me that could juggle successfully both acting (TV/Movie) and singing.

Chris Brown, X, Artwork + Tracklist

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There has been NO LEAD on when this album is being released. It was supposed to be released last summer, then last fall, but with everything going on in Chris’ life right now I can see why the album has had such a delay. Don’t count him out though. He’s getting radio play for ‘Love More’ and his feature on August Alsina’s ‘I Love It (Remix)’ with Trey Songz and some others. Here’s what he had to say about the album concept and title:

The direction I wanted to go for this album was the same base I went for the first album. I had a humble mindstate of going in the studio with any producer, any writer, and trying to make a great project. I kinda put the Quincy Jones formula on it, put all of the different producers locked into one studio, and just try to make a great project. I’ll be 24 when the album comes out, so X is the 24th letter in the alphabet. It also means the roman numeral for X. I’ve been doing this for 10 years now. My birthday is 5/5/89, five and five is 10.

Here’s the tracklist (via Rap-Up)

  1. ‘Add Me In’
  2. ‘Autumn Leaves’ (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
  3. ‘Don’t Think They Know’ (feat. Aaliyah)
  4. ‘Do Better’ (feat. Brandy)
  5. ‘Feel That’
  6. ‘Fight 4’ (feat. Onibaku)
  7. ‘Fine China’
  8. ‘Home’
  9. ‘Lady In The Glass Dress’
  10. ‘Love More’ (feat. Nicki Minaj)
  11. ‘Loyal’ (feat. Lil Wayne & French Montana)
  12. ‘Counterfeit’ (feat. Rihanna & Wiz Khalifa)
  13. ‘Something Special’ (feat. Rick Ross)
  14. ‘X’
  15. ‘Wildcat’

Then & Now Thursday (V.1) — Aaliyah

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It’s been nearly 13 years since Aaliyah’s tragic passing and today would have been her 35th birthday.

I remember growing up and listening to Aaliyah and her last album, Aaliyah, was one of the first CDs that my mom bought me from a music store, Coconuts. Following her death my mom bought me her compilation CD, I Care 4 U.

Her voice was so angelic and her smooth demeanor made her a trend setter before the phrase ‘trendy’ was even in. So many artists such as Rihanna and Ciara especially have followed in her footsteps whether it be through her dancing or her style.

Although her life was cut short she made an impact not only in music, but in film and in the lives of many. If she were here today I feel she would have had a prolific acting career being that at the time of her untimely passing she was on the road to stardom.

 

Rest in Peace Aaliyah (01.16.79 – 08.25.01)