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    Danity Kane: Show Stoppers, Pt 2
    Thursday. 9.14.06 10:29 pm

    AHHA: After seeing members of previous seasons of Making The Band struggle with success following the show, are any of you concerned with your group and the way it will develop after the show is done?

    Dawn: No, we watched the previous shows of Making The Band and we love them, we still see them around - Babs and Ness - but we find our situation a little bit different just because we're trying to take over a new realm [of] urban pop. We're five girls, it's very different, and to each their own. We look forward to their solo projects and things like that, but we look at our situation as our situation, and we're looking toward our future and every situation is a new beginning.

    Aubrey: We're really confident with our talent, abilities, and work ethic. All five of us are confident in that, you can achieve anything when you believe you can.

    AHHA: Who from the rejected girls do you wish were still with you?

    D. Woods: Well actually we stay in contact with quite a few of the girls, I know Aubrey and Aundrea are still in contact with some of the girls from the very first season.

    Aubrey: I talk to Malika all the time.

    AHHA: Oh good. How is she?

    Aubrey: She's good. She's hustling, she's the same old Malika that everyone fell in love with. You can't not love her, bottom line she's great.

    D. Woods: We have talked about this all the time, you know the people that we miss [like] 'Oh we need to call such and such, I wanna call her up, what's she doing? But you know what? If she was in this group it would be a whole 'nother story.” It's like the chemistry that we have and [that] we've developed is very unique, and I don't think we would be at this point and as smoothly as it can go; 'cause it's been a very rocky road just with all the elements thrown at us.

    AHHA: What do you guys think about [Diddy’s previous girl group] Dream, or what did you think about Dream when they were out. Why do you feel that they didn't make it?

    Shannon: Every group that's come before us has fought battles and now we don't have to fight because they fought for us. They've paved the way and been an inspiration. Why they didn't succeed or continue to succeed, everyone has a different story. I think one major misconception, or even one major problem that falls with girl groups, is ego - where you’ve got the one lead singer, which of course we don't have. We have five lead singers and that's something that Diddy's proud of and that he was aiming for to make it different; and we are so individual from appearance to personalities to style of singing. We're not feuding with each other, so I think that we just have a different make up that is gonna send us a different direction.

    Aubrey: As an individual in a group, what I've seen in most other group situations is there's some certain individuals that never get to get their message across, they never get to feel like they've been heard. You can do that for a little while and the money and popularity may keep you in it for a little while, but that fades real quick when you're feeling trapped. The money and the fame that you've gained may not be worth it, because it may not be all that you thought it was, or maybe you have enough to get away and feel like you can do something else. As a group, we're able to communicate what our individual messages are, but then also come together as a group with our group message. I feel like to anybody who criticizes girl groups or compares us to girl groups [and thinks] that we're gonna fail, that's your answer. Solid, simple as that. We all get a say and we all get a piece of us that's being viewed by the world and none of us feel like, “Can you let me talk for five seconds, girl? Can you let me have a note?” We're all getting that chance.

    AHHA: What is the best advice that Diddy has given you on ways to preserve your sexy?

    Aundrea: [laughs] Keep your toes painted, your toes and your nails have to be done.

    Aubrey: Less is more, that's his biggest one.

    Dawn: He feels like you don't have to try to be it - if you're it, you're it.

    Aubrey: It's a lot about swagger

    AHHA: This year there are quite a few people coming out with albums. Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Omarion - various people that are kind of in that same urban pop crossover type of music. What sets you apart from those artists, and what are you doing to market yourselves to stand out?

    Dawn: We're a group, that's number one. We're interracial and we're trying to be international, so that's another great thing to look forward to. It's very fresh and new, because even though Destiny's Child was out and the Pussycat Dolls and all of those girls were out, it hasn't been this diverse look of different color and different sound. Then of course, the fact that we have the five girls that sing lead. It's automatic.

    D. Woods: I think also, we don't think so much, “Ooh, how are we gonna be set apart?” I think we think more along the lines of , “What are they bringing and how can we add to the scene?” - we just love music so much and we respect all [of their music].We've come across different ones you've named a little bit and just had conversations with them. We're kinda just really excited about a movement, a music industry rebirth, because it's gettin' a little monotonous right now. So we're just kinda thinking, “Hey he's bringing a little bit of this and that's okay because we're on this little page right here,” and it's just gonna make listeners, fans and viewers really excited to be inspired by our music, come to our shows and make their own music hopefully.

    Dawn: Yeah 'cause there's room in the industry for everybody. It's not like, “They're coming out, we can’t come out.” There's room for everybody.

    AHHA: Even though artists don't necessarily like to be held to being role models, I'm sure you do recognize that young girls all over the world are watching you, they look up to you and they're going to stand in front of you and cry just because they've seen you on TV. How conscious are you of how you present yourselves and your music to your fans?

    Aundrea: Extremely. I know that is something that we all understand so much. I looked so much up to Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson. They were such huge influences. I know that we wanna be those types of people that the girls are in their rooms trying to sing the songs that we're singing. We understand that the way we look and how we carry ourselves, other girls are going to do that. That's so important to us to put out a very positive image and one that their parents can be okay with, stuff like that is so important to all of us.

    Aubrey: We represent every type of woman too, there's no kid out there that's gonna feel like, “Oh they're really not my style.” We've got every extreme in this group, from ultra conservative to ultra crazy. Not that that's the only aspect of our personality, but we represent all aspects of womanhood and some represent certain qualities more than others. Either way we don't hate on that, because all that does is bring more people in to hear a message that maybe they wouldn't normally have flocked to - based on somebody who maybe they did flock to. And maybe they can get a broader message because we all have such different messages.

    AHHA: What are people getting on your album?

    Aundrea: It's a fun album

    Dawn: That's the great thing, it's fresh. It's fresh new music, to me it's not even about the beats and the sound it's all about the energy that we bring to the record. It's so different because our tones, just coming from so many different backgrounds to that make that work and to make the sound that we've brought together - it’s a new sound. There's a little bit of everything, it's not all urban, pop or R&B. We can touch every person out there and that was our goal - to be able to grab everybody.

    Aubrey: You've never heard anything like it, when have you ever heard five people lead in a multiracial group, all with different sounds? That's like putting a Christina [Aguilera] with an Alicia [Keys], with a Beyonce. They've established themselves individually first, but all of us are very talented women coming together and giving you such extreme sounds. It's something that [makes] people go like, “I don't know about all that.” It's crazy and we were even skeptical like, “Is this gonna work?” When we got in the studio the first time and actually gelled and blended as a group the sound was just very unique. It's not obvious, and it's not something you heard a million times, it's not a voice you've heard [before]. We're definitely a record that you can listen to for a long period time, because there's such a different amount of sound on it.

    AHHA: Out of all of [the producers] you worked with, if you had to go through three of them who really do you feel you gelled with the best and brought the best out of you in the studio?

    D. Woods: I really feel like Timbaland and his crew really, really helped us find a really great sound and used us in a very creative way, we are like instruments - because he's so musical, and he has all of these different polyrhythms and everything. They just put us in there, and we're another bassline or another [set of] strings - instead of him doing strings on the MPC, we was the strings. We really had fun in the studio with them, so that energy that we had, and the chemistry with the personalities transcended to the record. I would have to say also [Bryan] Cox and his team, we really gelled with [them] and had a great time creating, and they really brought us out vocally, pushed us vocally.

    Dawn: Of course, you know, the man Rodney Jerkins, just because he is great at what he does, when he comes in and the room gets quiet and it's like, “Let's work.” It’s just very intense. His presence is very intense. And Jim Jonsin is just crazy.

    Danity Kane: Yeeeeaaah! Jim Jonsin.

    Dawn: You wanna talk about swagger? His swagger is so crazy.

    Aubrey: He brought us pink air force ones!

    Dawn: He walks in, and it's like L.A. to the fullest. He walks in, and he’s just so fun. His team Super and Typewriter, they're writers, two women. It was great to finally work with women, that was mad energy too.

    Aubrey: He loved us like daughters, he was just awesome.

    Dawn: He did "Showstopper"[which is] our single, and another joint on our record called "Heartbreaker" and it's is mad pop. So he did an urban record and then flipped it and gave us a pop record.

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    Danity Kane: Show Stoppers, Pt 1
    Thursday. 9.14.06 10:22 pm
    By Dove ~Sheepish Lordess of Chaos~


    Click here to check out Danity Kane’s AHHA exclusive acapella of “Ride For You”

    In the “sell or die” climate of today’s pop music scene, Bad Boy’s girl group Danity Kane had their skeptics. Two previous seasons leading up to Making The Band 3 failed to spawn a group with longevity. Sure, O-Town had their run, but if you watched Ashley Parker Angel’s show, it’s quite apparent that being former member of a formulated pop group can be more trouble than it’s worth. The second run of the show was a virtual train wreck of dysfunction. Granted, some members of Da Band are still doing their thing on their own, but Diddy’s heartfelt attempt to make a successful cross-genre group was futile.

    As Making The Band 3 ran through three full seasons of seemingly endless trials and tribulations, it was ultimately Aubrey, Aundrea, D. Woods, Dawn and Shannon who were chosen to fulfill the dream. Despite the odds and unnerving criticism leading to the album release, Danity Kane came out on top, debuting at Number One on Billboard’s Top 200 in their first week.

    We spent some quality time with the ladies to talk about their new lives in the spotlight… or shall we say, their time under the microscope.

    AllHipHop.com Alternatives: You guys all came from different performance backgrounds before you came to Making The Band, yet a lot of people question your authenticity. Anywhere from the media to just regular viewers, people will say “They just got lucky” or “I can do that too.” How do you guys address that criticism?

    D. Woods: Well, we'll let them know that it's not an overnight success, we're not a fly-by-night sensation. Yes, the process of putting this group together and recording our album has been very quick, because a lot of times you'll get signed and you'll sit at your label for a long time; we were signed and then right away started working and now we're being put out. Yes, that process has been very fast, but the process to get to the show, our individual paths and coming through - we had a lot of doors slammed in our face. Those situations didn't work out the way we wanted to back then, but it was only in preparation for this situation right here.

    AHHA: Given the criticism that's been thrown at you from different angles, particularly watching you go on Miss Jones show [during the season of MTB3], how have you developed your thick skin? What kind of process has it been for you emotionally to have to deal with the fact that people are going to be purposely mean to you?

    Aubrey: I feel like the thick skin has developed slowly but surely, I've been doing this for three years - the rest of the girls came in season two. We're all developing our thick skin, because struggle and overcoming fears creates strength for the next time it comes to you. The only way that you can ever be a better person and a stronger person is through that struggle. And as much as everyone despises struggle and feels like there's no other place in the world that they can turn to when they're in those low moments in their life, those are the moments that really generate their character, and that really make them who they are. All of the superstars and names that we've been inspired by - Prince, Madonna, Mary [J. Blige], all of those artists [have] been through struggle. They've overcame it; they've faced adversity, they’ve faced fear and insecurity and they've risen above. It's about that soul, that strength, that power that they have as a person.

    All of us are developing that so quickly because we've been forced to live out all of these insecurities in front of millions of people every week, and that's not an easy thing to do. It's not easy when you're alone crying in your bed at night by yourself, [laughs] it's definitely not easy when you have mass media. Getting back to your question in situations like Miss Jones or anything, I mean you can not imagine - Miss Jones hasn't even said the worst of what's been said. She's really just like good entertainment for 20 minutes when we go to her. That was shown as over-dramatic on the show for good television purposes, but that's not even anywhere near what we have been through, or have seen or will continue to see in worse ways. So for us it's just [that] we've come to a place where we learned to accept what we believe could help us grow as better people, and then moreso focus on the positive - focus on what we do and focus on what is working in our favor and follow that light. If we constantly worry about all of the other stuff we're gonna be becoming part of that.

    AHHA: How much have you guys had to work together with each other, because you didn't come in all being friends, just to help each other through those months?

    Aundrea: It's a growing process, and we've all [been] coming into this because it was a competition and we had to change our mindset that we weren't competitors anymore. Now we're a group, the living 24/7 together helps because now we know each other 24/7. I know different things about each of the girls, and it's like sisters. You're gonna butt heads, but then you're gonna be okay and you're gonna have your happy moments. It's a family, and you just have to learn to grow with that, really a lot of compromise and taking things with a grain of salt. From criticisms, knowing who you are and knowing who these four other girls are.

    AHHA: Do you think that being all in the same boat forces you to come together?

    Shannon: Definitely, as D [Woods] was saying, we've all been doing this type of stuff our whole lives so we all have a very professional aspect to our character and respect for each other. That's really what a lot of it comes down to is respecting each other. My choice to be here is affecting all of their lives and their decisions, individually being a part of this group is affecting each other's lives. So you have to be a team player to be in this situation.

    AHHA: When you guys have situations with lineup and songs changes and you're removed from tracks, has it caused any tension within the group?

    D. Woods: I would say no, once you get past that feeling of, “Aww man, I really wanted to try that” you can’t take that out on the next person because it wasn't her decision or it wasn't my decision, or anyone's decision in the group [when it comes down to] who should do what. You know, these are things coming from the powers that be, so we kinda just have to respect their vision and go with it, and then just comfort that person like, “Girl that's only just one song” or, “You know he's gonna change his mind next song.” He's gonna change his mind because Diddy changes his mind quite a bit [laughs] and just let it ride, let her do it, try the next one and just step up your game improving yourself and telling yourself, “Okay you aint gonna take me off the next song.”

    Dawn: The great thing which is really good about this album, and that's why I think we're all pleased with it is, because at first we were starting off that way. That was the thought, but the thought process has changed, because now when producers come in they already know, because there aren't any lead singers in this group, so the formats have changed. Each song everyone is putting in 100% in the album, so the great thing about that is that created a sound for us.

    AHHA: That’s good that you were able to take control of that, because on the show there was a certain type of, for lack of a better word, “sonning” going on.

    Aubrey: Even in that [on the show] you don't get to see all of the footage, like those producers at the very end were like, “You guys are one of the best artists, you are so efficient.” We're such hard workers, we never give up on anything. When it's three-o-clock in the morning and they're just like, “Yeah yeah yeah it sounds good,” we're like “No let me do it again.” You don't get to see a lot of the glory that we have had in the studio because this is a TV show and they do need those suspenseful moments in order to have a victory at the end. But every producer that we worked with is very impressed with our work ethic and our vocal ability as a group, and every single one that came in was like, “I wasn't expecting much, honestly this is a reality TV show and you guys are a bunch of girls that were thrown together. I didn't really know what to expect.” Based on the TV show you don't hear our best vocal moments, you don't hear our best group moments really.

    AHHA: They’re looking for the drama.

    Aubrey: Yeah, because that’s what that's about, and that's an okay thing, but it's just you can't really get so wrapped up in it that. You're not really seeing us as artists beyond that right now in the game.

    AHHA: Aubrey, you showed people from the start that both your singing and dancing skills were above par. In the third season you really broke down in a lot of ways. That's not an abnormal thing to happen under the circumstances, but how have you coped with that since then, and gotten past the feeling that you're just a pretty face?

    Aubrey: I think throughout that process, that idea or that concept has been thrown at me in different situations. Some people don't mind and they're just happy being that and that's fine. I know tons of people that are that, it definitely is said so much that it almost comes off seeming like I think it's a negative thing which I don't. But for me personally I wanna be more than one-dimensional. I've worked so hard in my life to prove to myself that I could go to law school, that I can own my own charity, that I can do all of these things where people were like, “Oh she's just doing it, she doesn't need to do it,” and it's not one thing or another. It's just like I wanted to prove to myself that I can be more than just that one dimensional thing, and I have successfully done it in so many areas, so it is very frustrating for me that I'm not always given the ability to do that; because I would do it in a second. For me it was a big learning lesson in not getting what you want, and things aren't always fair. That was probably one of where my biggest insecurities were, wanting to be able [to do those things].

    So it wasn't necessarily how it was portrayed as like having to deal with a specific note, or [being kicked] off a song or vocal tone or thinking I'm the worst singer ever or anything like that. It has a lot to do with my fear of not being able to really, really prove that I can do something for myself. For this group I wanna be legitimate to my group members, I want them to feel like I really stepped up and did something that I was scared of or that they weren't sure that I could do.

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    Jim Jones "Flys High" On New LP, Lands On BET & MTV
    Thursday. 9.14.06 10:13 pm

    Thursday - September 14, 2006 by Alexis Chase
    Jim Jones

    Jim Jones is scheduled to drop his latest album Hustler's P.O.M.E. on November 7th on Diplomat/Koch Records.

    The CEO of Diplomat Records and Director of A&R at Warner Music Group is ready to step back into the limelight as an artist. This fall, Jones is poised to release the follow up to last year's album, Harlem: Diary of a Summer, which debuted in the #5 spot on Billboard's Hot 200 Chart.

    The album features appearances by Rell, Juelz Santana, Lil' Wayne, Jha Jha, Max B, Cam'ron, Hell Rell and Stack Bundles. The first single off Hustler's P.O.M.E. is "We Fly High." P.O.M.E. is Jones' acronym for Product of My Environment.

    "Biggie said along time ago,'More money, more problems,' and now I truly understand what he was talking about. I named the album Hustler's P.O.M.E. because it's just my definition of being a hustler. When you are coming up on the streets you got to hustle to survive or else you'll be left out in this cold world. That's all we got and that's what my music depicts. It depicts stories of everybody comin' up. Sometime it's hopeless, but you got to stay focused. I know we all got felonies and can't get no jobs, so we on the street corners doing the daily, and that's what we call hustlin'. Stay tuned for some powerful music," Jones said via statement.

    While the video for "We Fly High" is already in rotation on BET, Jones will appear on "106th & Park" tomorrow, Friday, September 15th for its debut there.

    Co-directed by Jones and Dale Restighini (RAGE) the video has been selected as MTV Jamz' "Jam of the Week" and MTV2's "Making The Video." "We Fly High" is scheduled to air the week of September 25th.

    Jones has previously directed his videos for "Certified Gangsta" and "Crunk Muzik", Cam'ron's "Oh Boy", "Hey Ma" and "Get 'Em Girl/Killa Cam," State Property's "When You Hear That," several videos for Juelz Santana as well as his A Day in the Fastlife DVD which was released this June, among others.

    The tracklisting for Hustler's P.O.M.E. is listed below:

    1. Intro - feat. Max B

    2. So Harlem - Feat. Max B

    3. Bright Lights - Feat. Max B

    4. Emotionless - Feat. Juelz Santana

    5. Reppin' Time

    6. Pin TheTal - feat. Cam'ron, Juelz Santana, Max B

    7. Get It Poppin - Feat. Jha Jha

    8. We Fly High

    9. Love of My Life - feat. Max B

    10. Weather Man - feat. Stack Bundles, Lil Wayne

    11. Don't Push Me Away - Feat. Rell

    12. Pour Way - Feat. Hell Rell

    13. Don't Forget About Me - feat. Max B

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    Jay-Z On Comeback Album: "It's more in the vein of The Black Album than The Blueprint ..."
    Thursday. 9.14.06 10:07 pm

    Thursday - September 14, 2006 by Jolene "foxxylady" Petipas
    Jay-z - EW

    After months of being tightlipped about his comeback album, Jay-Z recently revealed details of his highly anticipated opus to Entertainment Weekly magazine for its latest issue.

    In a candid interview, which was conducted just weeks ago in New York City, the Brooklyn bred rapper turned Def Jam President divulged to EW the album's contributors and discussed how he got back into recording.

    "It wasn't like a defining moment" said Jay-Z about his decision to record the album titled Kingdom Come. "Something, when you love it, is always tugging at you and itching, and I was putting it off and putting it off. I started fumbling around to see if it felt good."

    According to Jay (born Sean Carter), Kingdom Come will feature production from Timbaland , Kanye West , Dr. Dre , Coldplay front man Chris Martin and most likely Rick Rubin.

    Possible features on the album include Eminem and Beyonce.

    "It's more in the vein of The Black Album than The Blueprint ," explained Jay about Kingdom Come's sound . "I've been experimenting with things, different types of music."

    Kingdom Come will mark Jay's first solo release since 2003's The Black Album. During his three year hiatus, he has made guest appearances on remixes with Kanye, Rick Ross and Young Jeezy as well as songs with Beyonce, Mary J Blige and Pharrell Williams among others.

    "Clearly he is one of the biggest rap legends and the news of his return is huge, so we wanted him for the cover," Entertainment Weekly Senior Editor, Rob Brunner, told SOHH exclusively. "Luckily, he agreed, so it was a win-win for us both."

    The latest issue of Entertainment Weekly will be available on newsstands on Monday (September 18) while Jay-Z's Kingdom Come is reportedly slated for a November 14th release.

    As SOHH previously reported, Hov is currently on a world tour and will be using his global trek to visit regions plagued with unsanitary water. MTV will document and broadcast his journey in November.

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    Thursday. 9.14.06 10:02 pm

    check it out.

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    Those To Keep An Eye On... Grind Time and Willie The Kid
    Thursday. 9.14.06 9:53 pm
    George Bush don’t like blacks? no shit, sherlock/And his daddy’s CIA flooded the hood with rocks/And his momma said the woman oughta feel at home\ getting raped in the bathroom in the Superdome/The comment Kanye made was damn near right/But Bush hate poor people be it black or white. -- Killer Mike from "That's Life">


    Yeah, Killer Mike is still on his grind, and the whole Grind Time formation is really taking flight, not only in the city but throughout the South. The Grind Time leap into prominence is happening as we speak.

    It's been a long grind for Mike but it's common knowledge that Patience is a Virtue and Grind Time Rap Gang is one to keep an eye on. Hit the Grind Time myspace page to hear "That's It" in it's entirety as well as some other exclusives. (And yeah Mike, I see you kept that download button on a hush...You know Atlanta needs that. Put in the air pimpin, mixtapes or something?)

    And another cat to really keep your eye on is Willie The Kid. DJ Drama has a serious gem in son, and the sky is the limit for him. He's something to deal with and with Drama pushing his muzik expect big things soon.

    Check for that Dead Presidents mixtape featuring Willie The Kid and La The Darkman.

    And just a little info to run with,Tyler Perry has opened up Tyler Perry Studios, a state of the art film studio here in Atlanta. He bought the property for $7million-plus and now Madea is making big moves with it.

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