Growing up as the child of two entertainers, you would think that Robin Thicke had an easy road to success. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, and he spent years waiting for his time to shine. That time finally came with the 2006 release of The Evolution Of Robin Thicke. Lest anyone think that the platinum-seller Evolution was a fluke, Robin Thicke has come back in a mighty way with the single “Magic” from his soon-to-be-released third album, Something Else.
A rousing feel-good track, “Magic” is one of those infectious songs that defines summer. And with his new album set to drop in September, Thicke is going to solidify the fact that he’s a singer for all seasons. I recently had the opportunity to get Behind The Groove with Robin Thicke and it was such fun speaking with him. In my interview with Robin you’ll hear him discussing the phenomenal success of “Lost Without U,” the ’70s vibe of “Magic,” what we can expect on the new CD and not giving a funk about people labeling him in between copious amounts of laughter from me–hey, what can I say, the man had jokes.
I don’t know about u guyz, but I never heard this tune before… probably because of the title and some of the previous T. I. Neptunes Fakes, so I never was really interested in checking that tune, anyways I heard that tune and it’s real and I found out that there was already a older version out in 2004 from “The Evil Empire Mixtape (04’)” and there’s also a new version on “The Throne Is Mine (JP Import) (08’)” available, but both versions are from Mixtapes and ain’t full , so I decided to edit it into one tune for The Neptunes Collectors like me.
Jennifer Hudson is gearing up to release her self-titled debut album on September 30th. The Oscar-winning Dreamgirls star says fans can expect a lot of different genres on the set — ranging from pop to R&B and gospel. Hudson told Billboard that she’s not sure how fans will react to the various styles, admitting, “It is risky, because people expect you to just do one thing. I’m going to take the chance and show what else is a part of me.”
On the set is a gospel tune called “Jesus Promised Me a Home Over There,” along with the classic “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” from Dreamgirls, and “All Dressed In Love,” which was featured in the new Sex & The City movie. The 26-year-old singer teamed up with several collaborators, including Ludacris, Robin Thicke, Rock City, Timbaland, Tank and the Underdogs. R&B star Ne-Yo wrote the first single, called “Spotlight.”
Jennifer Hudson – Jennifer Hudson (2008) (September 30th)
Producers & Guests: Robin Thicke, Rock City, Timbaland, Tank, The Neptunes, The Underdogs, Ne-Yo…
Pharrell Williams allowed a selection of female fans to get a little more than they bargained for during N¤E¤R¤D’s headlining performance on Brighton Beach yesterday (August 10th). The group, who headlined the Vodafone TBA concert alongside McFly and The Streets, wowed crowds with a storming forty minute set – which culminated in a well organised stage invasion. After what was a slow start, which wasn’t helped by the windy conditions on the seafront, N¤E¤R¤D soon gained momentum with recent single ‘Everyone Nose’.
The track, which features on their latest album ‘Seeing Sounds’, was followed by tracks including ‘Lap Dance’ and ‘She Wants To Move’. Although Williams was battling an obvious throat problem, which he tried to aid with a warm drink and thick cardigan, the singer still gave a memorable performance and gave about twenty female fans – who were all hand selected – a day to remember when he ordered his bodyguard to pull them on stage at the end of the show. As they danced around to the band’s music, Williams pulled up his t-shirt so a lucky few could show their appreciation for his well-toned body.
To mark the final issue of Volume 2 Blag, we thought, who better to grace the covers than N¤E¤R¤D’s Pharrell Williams, Chad Hugo and Shae Haley joined us at Elms Lesters Painting Rooms for a super exclusive shoot and insightful interview. You’ll never guess which legendary band the group needed to be schooled on.
Blag Vol. 2 Nø 10 will be on sale nationally and internationally from the end of August and available to order from www.blagmagazine.com from the 14th August, shipping direct to your door. Blag is an international premium lifestyle title focusing on music, film, art, culture and style. Created, owned and run by British twins Sally A. Edwards and Sarah J. Edwards who have a huge wealth of knowledge in music, entertainment and PR industries.
It seems like Natasha Ramos has been busy these days working on her forthcoming album “still untitled yet”, cuz she just added new tracks on her Myspace Site such as Natasha Ramos – It Was You and NV (Natasha/Vanessa Marquez) – Open Arms, yup “Natasha & Vanessa“.
Natasha Ramos – Untitled (2008)
Producers & Guests: Just Blaze, Darkchild, The Neptunes, Hit Boy…
– This Love
– Invisible (Neptunes)
– U Can’t Handle This
– Lady Likes
– Running Out Of Love
– I’m Feelin Myself
– Music Box
– It Was You
Although the first cut on Solange’s sophomore album, Sol-Angel & The Hadley St. Dreams, is called “God Given Name,” the singer says she doesn’t want to talk about her family. However, on the song she addresses comparisons to Bey (”I’m not her and never will be / two girls gone in different directions, traveling towards the same galaxy / let my star light shine on its own / No, I’m no sister, I’m just my God-given name”), and she even may have recently released a street track entitled “Fuck The Industry (Signed Sincerely),” which begins, “I’ll never be a perfect Beyonce…” Thank God for us, if you ask Solange about the super-stardom rivalry between her and her big sis, she’ll definitely tell you why she’s mad, son.
Robin Thicke has revealed that he has collaborated with Mary J. Blige on a Remix to his first single “Magic.” The two are planning to shoot an accompanying video for the song in the coming weeks. Thicke and Blige last worked together on “Ask Myself” off the Mary J. Blige & Friends Album. Both artists can be seen on tour together performing spot dates throughout September. Thicke’s third studio album Something Else is due September 30th.
“Set It Off” (featuring the Clipse). “This was the first official reunion we had since we did the ‘Grindin’ ‘ Remix”, Offishall said of getting back up with the Clipse. “It’s produced by my first producer I signed with — he goes by the name of the Boy Wonder. Soon as me, Pusha and Malice heard the joint, we were like, ‘We must destroy this.’ I had a joint before that’s called ‘Swag’ with myself, Pusha and Lil’ Wayne. But out of respect and honor to the Clipse, I wanted to have a joint where it was just me and the brothers. It’s just us three going in hard.”
The Clipse don’t want to leave the streets, but they have recognized that it’s time to get into that next realm of their career. So we won’t be getting a mixtape from the brothers for a while — it’s time to do it officially. “I think it’s about time for us to really focus on the music-business side of the game,” Pusha T said when we asked if the just-released Re-Up Gang LP and the upcoming Clipse album Till The Casket Drops would be their last output for a while.
“I think we been doing a lot of street-oriented, underground catering. I think now the people wanna see the Clipse in a different light. Not even in a different light … but people who champion and scream for the Clipse, they always scream, ‘I think the Clipse is better than such and such.’ But then they would be comparing mixtapes to people’s commercial albums. It’s like, ‘Yo, it’s time to put both on the same plane.’ ” “It’s time to be exposed to a wider audience,” Malice delved further. “We do what we do and always stay true. That’s just the chemistry of the Clipse: stay true to what we are.”
The quest for a wider audience meant using a wider array of producers for both the Re-Up LP and Till The Casket Drops. Timbaland, Danjahandz, Kanye West, Just Blaze and Swizz Beatz are all expected to contribute, while The Neptunes, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Sean C. and LV, DJ Khalil, The Runners, Dame Grease and Reefa have already turned in beats. “It’s gonna show our versatility as well,” Malice said. “I think we’re gonna open up to a wider audience, but keep our same fans too.” With so many signature sounds on one record, the Clipse say they’re going to count on the producers to keep a cohesive mood rather than trying to figure out similar beats. “If you set up the album in the sense of moods,” Pusha said, “I can get some of that soul and some of them drums from Sean C. and LV. I can get some of those stories from J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League. I don’t know what I’m going to get from DJ Khalil. He has something crazy. You can tell they are bringing their A-game to it.” “You can always rely on The Neptunes to come with that old school [sound],” Malice weighed in.
And if you haven’t heard the Re-Up record yet, don’t be fooled by the lead cut “Fast Life,” on which just the brothers from VA rap. The Clipse definitely give shine to Sandman and Ab-Liva. “You’re gonna see a whole bunch of family records,” Pusha added. “Everybody is damn near on everything. It’s a platform to showcase everybody and their own individual movements. I want this to be a diving board, the Clipse jump-off. Sandman, Liva, everybody springboard off the situation and keep going.” “We got a song called ‘Money,’ that’s a great club banger,” Ab-Liva said. “I think it shows us in a different light — partying and having fun, but the way we do it. It’s one of the greatest things when you get around cats whose talent level is so high, you gotta bring your A-game. I know they’re gonna bring their A-game. It’s great chemistry.”
Clipse – Till The Casket Drops (2009)
Producers & Guests: The Runners, Swizz Beatz, Rick Rubin, DJ Khalil, Sean & LV, Justice League, Dame Grease, The Neptunes, Danjahands, DJ Khalil, Reefa…
“They sent him to work with The Neptunes – like around when they started getting’ hot, coming off the NORE song – G Rap said Pharrell and ‘em only played him one track. They made a track in the studio and he was like, ‘Yo Drew, it was garbage’. He told Pharrell over and over, ‘Yo son, this is not me’, and Pharrell was like, ‘Yo, I’m your number-one fan, you gotta trust me on this G, listen to this!’ It wasn’t a G Rap song, it was a Neptunes song. G was like, ‘Yo, dog..’ and he’s that type of dude, he’s not gonna lie. He’s the most blunt, up-front dude you could ever meet.
He was like, ‘Yo, I’m not feelin’ it. I’m not writing to it, I’m not doin’ nothin’. You gotta show me something else’, and they wouldn’t play him another beat. He was like, ‘Yo, I’m outta here!’ He’d driven all the way to Virginia for that and then left. Maybe it would’ve worked, it could’ve been a big successful commercial record for him – maybe not. But he wasn’t willing to sacrifice who he was just to have some corny commercial record. That’s what you’re always up against when dealing with record companies. Thanks To Anodin
Auction house Phillips De Pury & Company is putting hip-hop’s finest blings under the hammer. Historic hip-hop jewelries from some of the industry’s stars will be auctioned on October 1. The company presents their first auction of iconic hip-hop jewelries in “Hip Hop’s Crown Jewels.” The collection includes pieces worn by 50 Cent, Biz Markie, MC Lyte, Notorious B.I.G., Diddy, Pharrell Williams, Missy Elliott, Slick Rick, Kanye West and Tupac Shakur among others.
This will be the first time hip hop jewelries are presented in an auction setting. Around 50 pieces will be offered at the company’s New York office. A portion of the auction will go to the Rush Community Affairs, rap mogul Russell Simmon’s coalition of non-profit organizations. The open-to-public auction preview is scheduled from September 22 to 30 before the actual bidding date on October 1.
Sandman of the Re-Up Gang has released his own solo Mixtape, entitled Gianormous!, available for free download at cannonsinc.com.
Sandman – Gianormous! (2008)
01 – The Whole Pie
02 – Anchor
03 – Rockin & Rollin’
04 – Confused (Skit)
05 – Confused
06 – Give It To Me
07 – Not Like That
08 – One Two, One Two (Skit)
09 – One Two, One Two
10 – Not Yet
11 – Relentless
12 – Flyness
13 – So Cold Philly
14 – Footprints In The Sand
15 – Gotta Be Fresh (Skit)
16 – Gotta Be Fresh
17 – The El Train
18 – Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha
19 – Gianormous!
20 – Snappin’
Sandman – Untitled (2009)
Here is a sneak preview of “Ven Aqui Mama” performed by the latest Star Trak Signee, the reaggeton artist “Sergio Veneno” taken from the Motion Picture “The Brave One” from 2007 starring Jodie Foster.
The show will be held at the infamous Spaceland. Known for breaking new acts, this 260 capacity venue was the first club in LA to book the Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, Art Brut, Bloc Party, British Sea Power, Clinic, Drive By Truckers, Editors, Jet, Kaiser Chiefs, Keane, My Morning Jacket, Peaches, Satellite Party (feat. Perry Farrell), Scissor Sisters, Secret Machines, Snow Patrol, Spank Rock, The Black Keys, The Decemberists, The Faint, The Futureheads, The Gossip, The Killers, The Kills, The Presets, The Rapture, The Shins, The View, and The Walkmen, just to name a few.
As i’m sure you’ve all probably heard by now, Chester French have been all over the media’s “hotly anticipated” lists, including Rolling Stones [Artists To Watch] and NME [Top 25 bands of the USA]. Seeing the band play in such a legendary and intimate venue is an experience not to be missed.
So to be in with your chance to win a pair of tickets just answer this simple question…
In our recent interview with Chester French which two groups did the guys say had the most significant influence on them?
email your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org
good luck ! *
P.S. If you want to be guaranteed a place at the show then you can buy tickets here and if you can’t make that, or if you want to check out the guys performing again, then they are playing another date at Spaceland on August 28th and you can purchase tickets for that date here
*we shall notify the lucky winners on Tuesday August 12th. All Entrants must be over 21
Two years ago no-one had heard of Danny O’Donaghue, but now he’s the toast of the music industry. Andy Welch talks to The Script’s frontman about how he wrote his own success story. He may only be 25, but Danny O’Donaghue, lead singer of hotly tipped trio The Script, has packed a lot in. A couple of years ago, Danny and his friend Mark Sheehan were happy working with other groups in an American recording studio – learning from the likes of Rodney Jerkins, who has worked with Mary J Blige, Brandy and Teddy Riley, who was not only a member of influential soul band Blackstreet, but also produced Michael Jackson’s Dangerous and Invincible albums.
While living in Virginia Beach, Danny and Mark also became friends with local heroes and R&B overlords Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, aka The Neptunes, or N¤E¤R¤D. “That time was amazing,” he says. “I believe you have to take whatever opportunity you’re given and me and Mark got the chance to go to America, so we did. “I remember this one time, we were in a hotel and Pharrell was talking to Mark. Later on, it turned out he’d given Mark a tape of beats he’d made up that he wanted us to write over. It was just amazing to be around people like that. “We got to hook up with them again recently. We hung out after a show and exchanged numbers. I think it was a milestone for The Script, hanging out with N¤E¤R¤D!” How did it measure up to Pharrell’s rider? “Put it this way, I don’t think you could bite into their fruit, your teeth would smash,” he smiles. “Too many diamonds.”
IT’S BEEN A MINUTE And Im sorry. Geez! Some of y’all have left some scary stalking shit on the my myspace email. And I love it! You crazy sons of bitches. Look y’all, I’ve been out here getting this paper. Music isn’t paying the bills. Feel me? On the real; Im just like most of y’all. Just a hell of a lot more talented and better looking. Labels got me on asshole hold for some reason. Something about Im too dope and the people won’t get it. You’re going to go over their heads. Hip hop fans are retards like that Corky kid from ABC back in the day, and blah blah blah fucking blah. I’m paraphrasing here. So, Interscope don’t want me; Star Trak don’t know what to do with me. Fuckahdee fuck fuck fuck. What’s a nigga to do? I know, give you guys more free music! Yeah that sounds good. I already paid for the shit. Fuck it. Im in so much debt already (Im so American), whats another $15k spent on friends, right? Get it before my manager hacks my page and empties the music player.. He’s going to have a fucking aneurysm because of me one day. Sorry Kass. 1st track is a New track. Check it. Download it and pass it around. COLDCHAIN-
7. “My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard/And they’re like/It’s better than yours/Damn right it’s better than yours/I can teach you/But I have to charge.”—“Milkshake”, Kelis
2. Common – The Believer
There was no denying the fact that about five years ago, Common was one of the most underrated artists in the history of the music industry. However, his 2005 album entitled Be not only saw the Chicago native achieve the commercial prominence within the business that he had deserved for entirely too long, but it also led directly to a promising acting career.
“Universal Mind Control” and “Announcement“, a few recently leaked collaborations with production masterminds The Neptunes, show Common displaying a distinct, refreshing style of lyrical delivery. With the phenomenal quality of his last two albums, Be and Finding Forever, there is no reason to believe that Common will not once again be competing for the accolade of hip-hop album of the year in 2008.
Clipse Presents… Re-Up Gang Deluxe Version Available On iTunes, Includes An Exclusive iTunes Only Bonus Track “Zen (Produced By Maestro)” & The “Fast Life” Video.
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