By: Will “Deshair” Foskey It’s amazing to think that the overwhelmingly talented R&B superstar, Monica has already clocked a little over a decade in the industry, but she has. I can still remember as if it was yesterday when the young songstress stepped onto the scene equipped with vocal control and range beyond her years, and a feisty attitude to match. In 2006, Monica has returned with her fourth U.S. album “The Makings of Me…” Her second single ‘A Dozen Roses (You Remind Me)’ was released to all major video outlets on November 16, and is already receiving positive reviews that can be the springboard Monica needs to climb the Billboard Top 200 charts. In this conversation with Monica, we talked about the makings of her new album, as well as why she feels that she have staying power in both her music and in life itself. So what was it like being in the studio recording this time around? Monica: I was in the studio throughout my entire pregnancy. I found out that I was having a boy, so I became really emotional and attached to him, which in return got me in touch with my own feelings. I was then able to dig into places, write and talk about things that in the past I just might have kept to myself. What was the story behind your first single, ‘Everytime the Beat Drops’? Monica: My first single was a representation of where I’m from. It is a real party, feel good record because that’s what we do here (Atlanta). Snap music is very relevant here, but it’s very different from what I’ve normally done. The rest of the album is more R&B soul. I really have a phenomenal array of producers who sat down with me and created amazing music from Tank, to Sean Garrett, to Brian Cox, to the Underdogs and of coarse Missy and Jermaine. We took our time to create what I wanted ‘The Makings of Me…’ to be. So what exactly did you want “The Makings of Me…” to be? Monica: I wanted this album to be a musical diary, where I didn’t have to talk so much about the things that have happened to me. You can hear it in the music. You can hear the storylines and the tragedies. But most importantly, you get to hear how I bounce back. I don’t become my circumstances and I don’t live in my past. So with everything that has happened in my life, I try to talk about it so that people that may have been there; maybe going there; or may have ended up there can see that there is a way out of that struggle. I know that this is not exactly a question for you to answer, but I’d love to know your perspective on why you feel that your fans have remained so loyal to you over the past 10 years. Monica: To me, it’s the honesty that people know me for. I think that if people thought that I was portraying an image that really wasn’t me – that if I was singing songs that really wasn’t me – that I was singing about subjects that I didn’t know about, people wouldn’t trust and believe that what I say is sincerely from my heart. I walk my listeners through some of the mistakes that I’ve made and present to them some of the things that have happened to me. I’ve never been ashamed or have been the type to pretend that I didn’t date this person – to pretend that I didn’t hang in this area – or to pretend that I didn’t get into trouble. I believe in putting myself out there and allowing for people to get to know me for who I really am. I want for those who listen to my music to take me as I am. My career is a blessing, because if the people didn’t allow for me to come back, I wouldn’t have come back. My fans expect for me to be honest with them, so that’s what I continue to do. And I love music too. I didn’t just get into this for the fame. I was eleven years old when I met Dallas Austin. I was thirteen years old when my first album dropped. I didn’t want to be a star and I didn’t want to be rich. I just wanted to sing. I think that it’s that energy that allows for people to see me differently when they hear my music. I still just want to sing. “The Makings of Me…” is in stores now
By: Hot Gossip Gal Not yet anyway. Rumors circulated that G-Unit was being dropped from Aftermath…but 50 and gang ain’t going nowhere. They may have been told to shake their ship up as album sales haven’t been anywhere near what they once were, but for now they are staying where they are. A couple of side notes though, why is 50 Cent getting 25% of Games album, damn 50 has Game by the balls it would appear. If that is the case, no wonder 50 doesnt really be caring about what Game says, more buzz about the Doctors Advocate, the more 50 hears ker-ching? I did however hear a lil rumor that 50′s manager and bizz buddy, Sha Money may be making a move to Sony to help re-structure the now dismantled Urban music division. Will keep you posted on that one peeps.
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno Every year there’s some sort of new hip-hop movement going on like ATL’s Crunk music or Houston’s Screwed music. In 2006, it was the Bay Area’s Hyphy Movement that was a force to be reckoned with. Thanks to folks like E-40 telling us to take a look at the movement, learn how to ghost ride the whip and “get dumb”, the hip-hop subculture is starting to make its way east. Now to continue in support of the movement, TVT Records has announced Hyphy Hits, a 20-track collection of Hyphy’s hottest songs from the likes of A’z, Nump, Messy Marv, Mac Dre, Mistah F.A.B. and more. The album will hit stores on January 9. Here’s the track listing: 1. The A’z “Yadadamean” 2. Messy Marv “Get On My Hype” 3. Keak Da Sneak “Super Hyphy” 4. Nump “I Got Grapes” feat. The Federation and E-40 5. Dem Hoodstarz (Band-Aide & Scoot) “Getz Ya Grown Man On (The Remix)” feat. San Quinn, Mistah F.A.B, Clyde Carson and Turf 6. Twisted Black “I¹m A Fool Wit it” 7. Furious “Take You Down” feat. E-40 8. Balance “Grind” 9. Mac Dre “Feeling Myself” 10. Da Muzicianz “Go Dumb” feat. The Federation 11. The Team “Hyphy Juice” feat. Clyde Carson 12. Shake Da Mayor “Stunner Shades” 13. Mac Dre “Get Stupid” Remix feat. Miami 14. Mistah F.A.B. “Super Sic Wit It” feat. Turf Talk & E-40 15. Sky Balla “Big Payback” feat. Keak Da Sneak 16. BabyFace Assasins “Everybody Know My Name” feat. Keak Da Sneak 17. The A’z “Same Thang” 18. Keak Da Sneak & The Farm Boyz “AllnDoe” 19. E-40 “Gouda” feat. B-Legit & Stressmatic of The Federation 20. D.B.’z “Stewy” feat. E- 40
By: Rizoh Former Making The Band 2 co-star Chopper (born Kevin Barnes) has inked a deal with Cash Money Records, according to MTV News. The New Orleans native, formerly signed to Diddy’s Bad Boy South, slammed his ex-boss for neglecting him after Hurricane Katrina dismantled his city last year. "When that happened [Hurricane Katrina], I didn’t get no phone call from Diddy," Chopper said. "He didn’t call me and say, ‘Are you all right?’ He didn’t say, ‘I got these Sean John clothes and can make sure your family at least has clothes on its back.’ He didn’t do none of that. So at the end of the day, I felt played. That’s why I wanted to disband myself from the Bad Boy situation." The 21-year-old rapper is putting finishing touches on his forthcoming solo debut, Fast Life, which will feature collaborations with Lil Wayne, Chingy, Soulja Slim, and Princess of Crime Mobb. Chopper was pulled over in July for speeding. Police later found he had prior charges, stemming from an incident where he allegedly robbed two men at gunpoint. According to Chopper’s lawyer Paul Gardner, the rapper faces 90 years in prison if found guilty. He’s due back in court next February.
By: Hot Gossip Gal We all know that the music industry is one of the most ageist industries, so why all of a sudden are people shocked that Beyonce might be 32? According to Miss Jones from Hot 97 she has ‘proof,’ you know actual legal documentation that Beyonce is 32…wow. I mean if it is true..Beyonce you looking good for 32 Mami and if it isn’t true..well Jonesy why do you care? Everybody trying to bring B down…talk about paying the price for fame.
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno Lately, Ice Cube has been touring like crazy in promotion of his last album, Laugh Now, Cry Later. He’s currently finishing up his U.S. tour and is now lining up dates in Canada. This time however, Cube will be bring Snoop Dogg along with him so he can push his new album, Tha Blue Carpet Treatment. The Canada dates start on January 12 in Victoria, BC at the Save on Foods Memorial Center and will run until January 23 in Winnipeg, Manitoba at the Winnipeg Convention, Centre. Here’s the current itinerary: JAN 12 Victoria, Canada Save On Foods Memorial Center JAN 13 Vancouver, Canada Vancouver Pacific Coliseum JAN 14 Kelowna, Canada Prospera Place JAN 15 Prince George. Canada Prince George Multiplex JAN 17 Edmonton, Canada Rexall Place JAN 18 Calgary, CanadaCalgary Stampede Corral JAN 19 Red Deer, Canada Enmax Centrium Arena JAN 20 Lethbridge, Canada Enmax Centre JAN 22 Regina, Canada Brandt Centre JAN 23 Winnipeg, Canada Winnipeg Convention Centre
By: Hot Gossip Gal Jamie Foxx in bed with Oprah and Gayle? No, not really. But he did crack a joke at a tribute to Will Smith about being in bed with the two BFF’s on Sunday night. This just adds fuel to the fire about the two ladies being an item when they have continuously denied. Now I am sure the Mighty O is shaking her head in disapproval at Jamie’s attempt at humor. All I can say is The Chapelle Theory is always in my mind…be warned Jamie as The Foxx Theory may sound like a movie for now but keep cracking those jokes and you could be living it just as Dave did.
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno Domingo’s name may not be heard as much as say someone like Just Blaze or Kanye West but he’s definitely put in just as much work. Producing for the likes of Big Pun (“Dream Shatterer”), KRS-One (“The MC”), Rakim (“Watch This”), Fat Joe (“Success”) and even Eminem (“Hustlers & Hardcore”), Domingo is called upon to get that gritty and grimy underground hip-hop sound. Now the producer is gearing up to drop his debut album, The Most Underrated on February 13, 2007. Produced entirely by Domingo, the album features appearances from Big Daddy Kane, Canibus, Ras Kass, Kool G Rap, Guru, Heltah Skeltah, The Beatnuts and a host of others. Here’s the track list: Welcome Bed Stuy Represent feat. Big Daddy Kane Exactly feat. Joell Ortiz Hurt Nobody feat. Heltah Skeltah All Clap feat Canibus Major Game feat. Guru Cold World feat. Termanology Bootleg Interlude Next Dose feat. Rugged Intellect & Ras Kass Get Live feat. Beatnuts 100 Roundz feat. Kool G Rap Next Up feat. Deacon the Villain 2 Step feat. Born Unique Caught Between Worlds (Remix) feat. Non-Phixion What’s That feat. Precise
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno Known mostly for his silly skits on Dipset mixtapes and his appearances on Cam’Ron’s projects, Freekey Zekey is also a stout business who has just secured a deal between Asylum Records (Lil Boosie, Cadillac Don) and Diplomat Records that will distribute his new album, Book of Ezekiel and launch a new label, Dipset South, in Spring 2007. "At the end of the day it’s about getting that cake," Freekey Zekey said of working with Asylum execs Todd Moscowitz and Joie "Joey I.E." Manda to hammer out a deal. "You’ve got to capitalize on the right time – everything is timing.We were all sitting in the studio, and Cam was discussing what was going on with his deal, and they cut him off like, ‘What’s popping with Zeke? Let’s get it rockin!"They were happy, and of course a smart person, a hustler like Todd and Joey I.E., they knew-’We might as well get him now before someone else gets him.’" The label will launch after Zekey drops his album and they are currently looking for artists. Don’t worry though, you don’t have to be southern to get a deal with the new imprint. “When you say Dipset South, it’s only because it’s based there,” Zekey said. “We don’t limit it to being in the South with Southern artists. Anything could happen – we could have country music or R&B or elevator music. It’s worldwide as far as a record label.” In the meantime, you can keep an eye out for a new mixtape from Zekey to prelude the spring release of his album.
By: Hot Gossip Gal OK so not only is Ms. Guerra turning her hand to rapping, next year she is hoping to launch her career as a pop star. Having made it as a video gal and as one of the most recognized pieces of eye candy throughout the world, Vida is now in pursuit to be the lead singer of an all female group which she hopes will rival Danity Kane and The Pussy Cat Dolls. Obviously her back up group has to compliment her, but not rival her ) when it comes to looks and body, ‘I want hot girls with great bodies," the Cuban hottie stated.
By: Rizoh If you thought Nas was the only rapper facing criticism for his hip-hop savior stance, then think again. MTV News reveals that Lil’ Wayne recently fired off some harsh words to erstwhile idol Jay-Z. In the new issue of Complex magazine, Weezy declares: "I’m better than him. I’m 24 years old. I’m 13 years deep with five albums and 10 million records sold." Wayne (born Dwayne Carter) also suggests that Hov should have stuck to his retirement plans. "I don’t like what he’s saying about how he had to come back because hip-hop’s dead and we need him," said Wayne. "What the f*ck do you mean? If anything it’s reborn, so he’s probably having a problem with that. You left on a good note, and all of the artists were saying, ‘Yo, this is Jay’s house. He’s the best.’ Now he comes back and still thinks it’s his house. … It’s not your house anymore, and I’m better than you." Jay-Z celebrated his 37th birthday yesterday (December 4th). The music video for his new single, "Lost One," also debuted on MTV the same day.
By:Hot Gossip Gal Well the Dream girl has planned her man a four day trip to St. Barts/Anguilla to celebrate his birthday, but supposedly the birthday celebration is actually a decoy for a wedding. So are the hottest couple in music finally taking their vows? I hope so. Beyonce and Jay Z have been dating for over four years and rumors circulated that their relationship had come to an end when Jay released Lost Ones. But it takes a lot to knock these two down. But on a lighter note…Solange, Michelle and Kelly as bridesmaids? I just hope Vera Wang steps in on the dress as Mommy Dearest has been known to be a bit hit and miss on the designing front.
By: Rizoh Socially-aware rap crew The Coup and indy-rap maestro Mr. Lif saw the tour bus they were traveling in flip over and explode in flames yesterday (December 4th) about 40 miles away from San Diego. Though, details of the accident are still emerging, reports indicate that everyone made it out alive. According to a message on Mr. Lif’s website, the remaining shows on the North American tour have been canceled. "The tour bus ran off the road for a 30 foot drop," said Lif on his website. "Everyone is alive, but four need extensive hospitalization and surgery. We appreciate all concern and would like to thank everyone who was planning to attend our shows." The official Def Jux website notes that DJ Big Wiz (Def Jux), Zarha (friend and merchandise assistant to Mr. Lif) and SILK-E (The Coup) sustained the most serious injuries. Mr. Lif, Metro, The Coup are battered, but relatively unscathed, according to the label’s website. The bus and all merchandise were destroyed in the fire. Stay tuned to MrLif.com and DefinitiveJux.net for information regarding rescheduling.
By: Hot Gossip Gal OK so that has spoiled my thoughts of the most blinged out baby shower in the A. It has been officially denied that Ms. Jackson is with child, as her reps had this to say when asked if she was "No, she is not pregnant and she is not canceling her tour." Janet is getting on a bit and when that biological clock starts ticking women get a bit antsy, so these rumors have to be hitting a nerve with her. The singer did say however on the topic "I’d love to have children. It’s just up to Jermaine, what he wants to do."
By:Rizoh Tennessee rap group Three 6 Mafia have settled a case brought by a man who alleged that their song caused a violent attack on him. Ramone Williams, then 19, claimed he suffered serious injuries at a Pittsburgh concert in 2003 when fans took the lyrics of the song "Let’s Start A Riot" too seriously. Williams said he was tossed to the floor, struck with a chair, and kicked in the face during the attack. He also suffered a fractured jaw as a result of the incident. However, Williams received an undisclosed financial settlement from the Oscar-winning group last month. Three-6-Mafia became the first rap group to win an Oscar award, when their song "It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp," from the film Hustle & Flow clinched the Best Song trophy.
iHipHop Blog Team