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    Monica Ain't Nothing But... Tweet
    Tuesday. 8.29.06 10:25 am
    Monica Ain't Nothing But... Tweet Do you remember the first time you heard "Don't Take It Personal (Just One Of Dem Days)" by Monica. That album was release July 18, 1995. Back then she was young and sassy yet sophisticated. Then Arista Records executive Clive Davis had done it again. He plucked a young girl from Atlanta obscurity similar to the way he plucked Whitney Houston from all her Newark glory and “packaged” her for a career as golden as her voice. Back then Monica sang songs that many criticized as being too mature. The rumor mill said that, “There is no way she can be 14.” Three years later (July 14, 1998), Monica released The Boy Is Mine, her sophomore CD. With favorites like “Misty Blue,” “Street Symphony,” “Angel of Mine” and of course the title track, a duet with Brandy. Monica went on to earn a Grammy Award despite how silly everyone thought it was for her to name the CD The Boy is Mine knowing that most of the world considered the chart-topping song to be Brandy’s since it too was the first single from her album which was released a full month earlier (June 9, 1998). The media perpetuated a feud between Brandy and Monica. Rumors flew that two didn’t get along or that Brandy had her vocals turned up higher than Monica’s on her album’s version of the duet. However rumors or no rumors, feuds or no feuds, they pulled of a flawless performance of the song on the 1998 MTV VMAs. Somewhere around the new millennium things got kind of… shaky. There was a suicide of a loved one, a baby, a marriage and a little something that was to become the gift and curse of Monica’s subsequent CDs… MISSY ELLIOT! (not in any particular order) When Monica released “So Gone” from After The Storm I immediately gave both her and Missy kudos. Missy had ushered Monica into a maturity that seemed fitting. Monica spread her wings a bit and let her “urban” sensibility surface a bit more. She was rapping on her first single. She even stopped covering the tattoos (covering them was something I think was more the label’s idea than hers). But After The Storm kinda came and went… like the tide, never making the impact that her nemesis Brandy did with Full Moon — the most perfect album in it’s category in all of 2002. Full Moon is a masterpiece but that is an argument for another day. (if you blank space, blame YouTube) All of this should bring us to the present. Monica is set to release her fourth studio album. She has received lukewarm reviews to the first single, “Every Time the Beat Drops.” Her original Sept 26th released date has been moved back a bit so that “Beat Drop” can either marinate or drop off the face of the Earth. I am sure the label will release another single before releasing the album. And if my instincts are correct, she will release one of those horrible Missy Elliot-produced singles. Which one you ask???? Take your pick. They are all mediocre to horrible in that there is no sense of growth. Rather than being a worldly Grammy Award winner, Monica comes off more like a talent show winner at the local Teddy T (ask Dig what the Teddy T is). A good friend of mine made a comment that Missy is stuck where R&B is concerned. Her concoctions for Monica… the Monica…. Clive Davis’ Monica… ain’t nothing but Tweet-esque tracks. Play any of the new Monica and then play Tweet’s second CD… Notice any similarities? Someone in the comment section said it best, "Monica should try to cultivate Mary J. Blige's audience, rather than let her blueprint be the antithesis of her groundbreaking success." Besides… we don’t see or hear from Tweet these days for a reason. She too should have cut the Missy strings one album sooner.

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    Rumor:Mary J. Blige Accepts the Truth
    Tuesday. 8.29.06 10:23 am
    And speaking of accepting people for who they are, Mary J. Blige's new single "Take Me As I Am" seems to have reinvigorated energy around her uber platinum cd, The Breakthrough. When I first heard the song, I thought that it was just good. Mary is on her grown woman and her feel good, SOHH this was her way of saying love it or leave it alone. (regular old IE is best... ya'll know the drill) STANDBY="Loading Windows Media Player components..." TYPE="application/x-oleobject"> WIDTH="300" HEIGHT="300" ShowControls="1" ShowStatusBar="0" ShowDisplay="0" autostart="0"> Well, video can really make a radio star in the sense that I actually want to hear this track eventhough Mary's album is losing momentum on my playlist. Mary comes for the job in this new video. I've loved Mary playing numerous roles in her videos ever since "Your Child" from the Mary album. Note to Beyonce, this is how The Blacks prefer their cinematography. What is your opinion of the song and has the video changed your thoughts? Recently I was thinking that this coming 2007 Grammy season will have a huge impact on Mary's career. Mary had better be the person doing that pose, that I venture to say Michael Jackson made famous in the 1984/1985 era when he was holding eight Grammy Awards, most recently we've seen this Grammy sweep with Lauryn Hill, Alicia Keys and of course Beyonce back in 2004. This year is Mary's year. They have go on ahead and officially place their stamp of approval on not only Mary's past accomplishments, but on the direction in which she is moving (i.e. recording with Bono and them). But time will tell. It's way too early to speculate when we are expecting releases from Beyonce, Janet Jackson and John Legend. Not to mention this year's success stories: Chris Brown, NeYo and Jamie Foxx

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    Rumor: NeYo Admits He Is Gay
    Tuesday. 8.29.06 10:20 am
    SOHH NeYo is geigh!?!?! Yesterday I received an email officially declaring that the Def Jam scribe sat down to pee. Here are a few excepts... The newly famed singer/songwriter has came out of the closet and announced that he is gay. The multi-platinum recording artist sat down for the October issue of Essence Magazine last week and announced the shocking news stating, "Yes, I am gay, and I have always been." After several internet rumors have been circulating around the internet. He also said, "You now this world we live in is full of judgement, resulting in one of the reasons why it took me so long to come out of the closet." Earlier this month, a man by the name of Derrick Johnson claimed that he had an intimate relationship with the singer during there teen years in high school. The statement went on to say that Def Jam offered dude money to keep his antics behind closed doors and under wraps. As well it stated that he was proud of his limp wrist and "he doesn't care anymore, he was tired of living a lie and is ready to come clean. Quoting, "the music industry can either except me for who I am, or desert me." The full interview with the magazine is expected to hit stands mid-October. Within minutes of receiving this reader submitted statement, SOHH.com verified that this isn't anything but an internet rumor. Yes, this is a rumor. What we have verified is that NeYo's background dancers "work it down dick to jaw" to quote Lil Kim. Read more here.

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    allhiphop news
    Monday. 8.28.06 9:18 pm
    Hurricane Katrina Survivors, Activist Convene For One Year Anniversary By Remmie Fresh Date: 8/28/2006 5:30 pm xml Survivors of Hurricane Katrina, community activists and elected officials still reflect, organize and plan action in the aftermath of the tragedy. In recognition of the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the catastrophe that devastated New Orleans and the surrounding Gulf region, writer/community activist Kevin Powell and other community forces will convene for an insightful meeting of the minds called Hurricane Katrina: One Year Later. "We are doing Katrina: One Year Later as a way to remember the tragedy of late August 2005, and to stress to folks that all is not well, still, with Hurricane Katrina survivors," Powell told AllHipHop.com. "Families are scattered all over the country, hotels [and] places like New York City have moved to sue survivors for back rent, and New Orleans remains a city still devastated by debris and death." Katrina survivors, community leaders, elected officials, and other organizations intend to pack Brooklyn's Hanson Place Central United Methodist Church to face the policies, politics and glaring disparities in the aftermath of Katrina. "People can do something by helping survivors find jobs, housing, or by helping, in some way, to defeat the Bush administration's agenda and the Republican control on Congress," Powell continued. Additionally, Powell charged that while the Hip-Hop community has done much in the past for Katrina victims, help work was needed for those afflicted by the catastrophe. "As far as us Hip-Hop heads go, we need to step up again. A number of the displaced Katrina survivors are teenagers, 20-somethings, and 30-somethings," he said. "and we need to understand that a young person like [displaced student] Brandi Kilbourne needs help. To me, Hip-Hop in its pure form is about looking out for each other. Will the real Hip-Hop heads stand up, then?" But, the challenges are not limited to Hip-Hop as society on a whole must come to terms of what Katrina truly means. "I say the challenge for us on this one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is to understand the difference between charity and justice. Charity just means we feel something for a moment, give money or time, then change the channel in our minds. Justice means we are committed in our bones not just to money, material things, status, and all of that, but to helping people who are less fortunate," he concluded. The Hurricane Katrina: One Year Later memorial service takes place today (Aug. 28) at 7 p.m at the Hanson Place Central United Methodist in downtown Brooklyn.

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    Allhiphop reviews
    Monday. 8.28.06 9:16 pm
    dlewild (Film) Artist: Movie Review Title: Idlewild (Film) Rating: Reviewed by: Oyama Caviness xml "The A's" dynamic duo strikes again. This time not in record sales, but with their big screen debut Idlewild (Universal Pictures). With the help writer and director Bryan Barner, once again Outkast takes you on a magical ride, this time to Idlewild, GA where two small town friends get caught up in big time gangsta drama. Idlewild tells the tales of gangstas and hustlers in a creative, corky way. Andre Benjamin and Antwan Patton do not give overly impressive acting performances simply because their characters Percival and Rooster, respectively, are not a far stretch from the Andre 3000 and Big Boi you all know as Outkast. However, a stellar cast with the likes of Ben Vereen, Cicely Tyson, Ving Rhames, and Terrence Howard make Idlewild worthy of any Hollywood accolades it may receive. The compelling and layered storylines keep the audiences attention throughout the film. Percival, an unpopular, timid musician finds a love who encourages him to reach his true potential and follow his dreams. Rooster, the outgoing, street smart performer who looks out for Percival, maneuvers through grimy gangsta politics while trying to maintain a stable family structure. Bryan Barber, the mastermind behind many Outkast videos including the award winning "Hey Ya" pushes the visual envelope with captivating "church" (the club in the movie) scenes. Outkast favorites like "Bowtie" and "Church" are performed with uptempo swing choreography from Tony winner Hinton Battle and touched with subtle ATL flava reminiscent of the the "The Way You Move" video. Throughout the film, fast paced scenes are contrasted by slow motion isolation which takes the cinematography to a level in line with the box creativity of Outkast themselves. Unfortunately for viewers that are not die hard Outkast fans, the musical performances may seem a bit corny at times. These musical elements, which serve as the soundtrack and upcoming Outkast album, are edited brilliantly between scenes which only add to the dramatic storyline. A steamy sex scene between Percival (Andre) and his romantic interest Angel (Paula Patton) more than make up for any disappointments-an added treat Andre 3000 groupies are sure to enjoy. Overall, Idlewild is an entertaining musical told in a bizarre fashion that only Outkast could manage to pull off.

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    Hip-Hop Rumors: Beyonce Gets Defended, The Game, Ne-Yo and Pluto!
    Monday. 8.28.06 9:14 pm
    BEYONCE'S DADDY LETS THE HATERS KNOW... OK, I have a heart! I don't publish everything I hear! Time to come clean. There have been a few bad reviews of Beyonce's B'Day album and we've all heard that Mr. Knowles is supposedly trying to get the Sept. 5 (Plug 1) pushed back. Some of these rumors even said that Mr. Knowles himself wasn't satisfied with B'Day (more plugs). I heard he tried to cancel her world tour, an assertion that's not true, and even tried to get Shakira and Chris Brown on a revised version of the opus. I even heard that he leaked the album to the internet to sabotage the effort. Well, he's come back to address all the rumors. Read below and don't forget, there's more to today's rumors. This is almost a rant, by Mr. Knowles. Matthew Knowles responds to the rumors: "It is apparent that there is a consistent plan by some to create chaos around Beyonce's B'Day album release on Sept 5 in the US. First, it was a petition against the single, "Deja Vu", then a rumor regarding conflict between Beyonce and Rihanna, seizures caused by the "Ring the Alarm" video, putting out a single to compete with LeToya's album and now to add to all the ridiculous rumors, is my plan to postpone the release of her B'Day album. What will be next? Beyonce's cut off all her hair? Dyed it green? Maybe she's singing the songs in reverse with some hidden subliminal message! Unfortunately what it shows is that anyone can go on the internet and create rumors and the media in some cases will pick up these stories and run with them which influence the consumer's perception. Beyonce has sold over a 140 million records as an artist. Over half sold outside of America. 2500 responses for a petition on the internet (which really represents often the same people responding 2-3 times) go online with a petition regarding "Deja V u", and it's national news? Think about that for a minute. 140 million records sold versus 2500 responses about a video. Does that really equate to a major concern? The answer is No! I couldn't be happier with where "Deja Vu" is on the charts. It's a Top 10 song on Billboard 100 and #1 on this week's R&B charts. Mid week numbers in the UK is trending at #1 for the "Deja Vu" single for this week. Records have broken in Japan regarding ringtone sales of "Deja Vu." It is one of the most ever streamed videos at Yahoo. "Ring The Alarm" was added to TRL on its first day of airing and it is on the R&B charts this week which gives Beyonce two singles on the charts at the same time. Our plan is to have three singles on the charts together. For this album we have a unique strategy. Rather than concern ourselves with purely chart positioning we are focusing on the combine audiences who are listening and are aware of the singles on the album. That strategy is based on the combine belief of Beyonce, SonyBMG and Music World. This is unique, creative body of work on B'Day (spelling corrected B'Day) and every song is a potential single. After all what do we know? Some weeklies reviewed "Independent Women" and gave it a "D-" and Beyonce's first album "Dangerously in Love," a "D". And just for the record, Beyonce's success or failure for me is not based on the number of records she sells. For me it's based on how proud I am that she is a genuine good person (Ask anyone who's worked with her). That she always has a kind word for others. That she is respectful and honest. That she gives back to her community and that she has so much love for her family. That she has grown to be such a leader. And lastly, she has the confidence not to be bothered by these planned distractions." Pop your collar, Mr. Knowles! That's how a father should be for his daughter! THE 2006 VMA'S ARE UPON US AND... ...50's having a party! This joint is supposed to be all the rage and he's co-hosting it with LL Cool J. Now, I heard that it has been made it very clear that Lil' Kim, Irv Gotti and others are not to be allowed inside his jam. I'm not sure why they would go, because those people have no love for 50 either. I'm not invited either, but I'm a friend of all. WITHOUT TLC, CHILLI MOVES ON My homey hit me with a bit of info that I had never heard before. I've been told that the TLC superstar has signed with Akon's Konvict Music and is all set to release her new album in the beginning of 2007. Lets get that buzz up, if this is true! LEAVE NE-YO ALONE! You know some people = I'll tell you. So, there are these pictures of Ne-Yo allegedly getting his "Mr. Wanker" done up by some video chick. But, the funny thing is some people believe it and I can't fathom why. I won't support this rumor by posting the pictures. Clearly this is a case of some dude that has a huge noggin (pause) like Ne-Yo taking pictures of himself getting serviced. It just isn't him, but it sure looks like him. Shout out to Amazing Asian, but I don't think that is the homey. I'M DOWN WITH PLUTO. You know what? Some astronomy crew up and decided that Pluto is no longer a planet. Bump that, fam. Pluto IS a planet, I aint trying to hear that, nine planets like Wu Tang. Does freakin' Saturn have a Disney character named after it? Hell to the no. Cats kill me and it is clear that they are just bored, that's all. If Pluto aint a planet, why are they trying to visit it with their lil doo-dads? Pluto never hurt anybody - stop fronting. QUICKIES Mike Tyson has decided to return to boxing, but this time he's coming to PRIDE Fighting Championship. I don't think this is real fighting, because PRIDE dudes get really brutal. Rumors are swirling that legendary producer and cultural icon Quincy Jones, 73, is dating Heba Elawadi, a 19 year-old woman. No word on what she does, only that she is from Egypt. More Jay-Z/ Beyonce rumors. I'm hearing they are planning a $3 million wedding. Let me know when there's some concrete leads. According to bossip.com, The Game is dating Kim Kardashian, daughter of the late, great attorney Robert Kardashian. You might remember the Kardashian name as he defended O.J. Simpson when he was accused of murder. I heard these two have had a thing longer than people really know. Speaking of The Game...

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