Kelly brings it home, with feeling

Posted: Tuesday – October 13, 2009

Like Marvin Gaye and Al Green, the legendary lovermen whose songs set the mood before he took the stage, R. Kelly has a potent sway over women. He inspires them to do all kinds of things, from scribbling their phone numbers on pieces of paper tossed onstage, to dabbing his sweaty brow, to hurling their pink panties in his direction. And that’s just the stuff we can mention in a family newspaper.

When the R&B superstar took the stage at the Citi Wang Theatre Friday night, playing to a glaringly small crowd that filled maybe a third of the 3,600 seats, it was clear this was an evening for the fairer sex. Hence his new tour’s title: “Ladies Make Some Noise.’’

And they certainly did during the uneven but wildly enjoyable show that momentarily transcended all the scandals that have kept R. Kelly in the public eye more than his music has in recent years.

True to his theatrics, he strutted onstage with a hype man amid two roped-off sections of female fans and launched into a mashup of hits, including Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights’’ and Snoop Dogg’s “That’s That.’’

Kelly acted shocked to tell the crowd he’s been at this for 20 years, but he’s well aware of his legacy. “Have you ever made love to my music? Make some noise,’’ he crooned in all earnestness. (Survey says: A lot of people at the Wang had.)

When Kelly wasn’t in slow-jam mode with his band and backup singers, he tended to breeze through his songs in a start-stop sequence that diluted their original glory. Still, the parade of hits was impressive: “Bump ’n’ Grind,’’ “Ignition,’’ “I’m a Flirt,’’ “12 Play,’’ and current single “Number One.’’

But Kelly essentially upended his performance down the stretch, suddenly making the earlier portions feel hurried and inconsequential. Until then, he had been establishing an intimate groove, but the last few songs found a focus and clarity that shot the entire concert to another, and exhilarating, level.

After a touching video homage to his mentor, Michael Jackson (including private footage of the late icon dancing to “Ignition’’), Kelly returned in a charcoal suit and red suspenders. Unleashing his inner soul singer, Kelly scored with a pair of Sam Cooke hits (“Bring It on Home to Me,’’ “A Change Is Gonna Come’’). They were the perfect setup to two of Kelly’s own R&B classics, “Step in the Name of Love’’ and “Happy People.’’

By the time the final spray of confetti wafted down, the ladies had held up their end of the bargain. They had spent an hour and a half making some noise for a man who, in typical fashion, had just loved them and left them.


Michael Jackson’s New Song Debuts Online

Posted: Monday – October 12, 2009

As promised, Michael Jackson’s “This Is It,” the first song from his new posthumous documentary was released online at 12:00 AM Monday morning. The documentary carries the same name, and the song is played during the closing sequences of the the movie, which opens Oct. 28th for a limited two-week run.

The documentary was created using rehearsal footage for his London comeback tour. Jackson died on June 25th due to what the Los Angeles County coroner has said was acute propofol intoxication. Propofol is a powerful anesthetic not typically used outside hospitals.

An investigation into Jackson’s death is still ongoing, but the coroner has already labeled it a homicide.

Listen to the song below. To be honest, it sounds very Michael Jackson-ish.


Spike Lee Leads Michael Jackson Birthday Celebrations

Posted: Saturday – August 29, 2009

Today (August 29), famed director Spike Lee is leading one of many worldwide birthday celebrations in honor of the late King of Pop Michael Jackson.

Lee, who worked with Jackson for the video “They Don’t Care About Us,” had originally scheduled his event for Brooklyn’s Fort Green Park. However, due to an estimated minimum of 10,000 attending, the celebration had to be moved to the larger Prospect Park.

Lee has promised to deliver an old-school styled block party with an exclusive MJ soundtrack spanning his career in the Jackson 5 through his last studio album Invincible.

Also appearing at the tribute will be Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz to officially declare August 29 Michael Jackson Day, and the Reverend Al Sharpton.

For Lee, the passing of Jackson was akin to losing a brother.

“I was born in 1957; he was born in 1958. And so I grew up, literally, with Michael Jackson,” Lee told Time Magazine. “We both reached adolescence at the same time. And I had a big Afro like he did, and I hoped that the girls would like me the way they liked Michael, but that wasn’t happening.”

On TV, fans can catch tributes throughout the day on BET, TVOne, and E!.

In Mexico, over 10,000 fans have signed up for a record-breaking dance-off to “Thriller.”

Michael Jackson’s body was scheduled to be buried today; however the process has been postponed until next Thursday (September 3) due to disagreements amongst the family.

Spike Lee’s Michael Jackson Birthday Tribute will continue until 5PM.

If he had lived, Michael Jackson would be celebrating his 51st birthday.

“And when the groove is dead and gone/Yeah, you know that love survives/ So we can rock forever…” “Rock With You”


Rapper 50 Cent Removes Tattoos For Film Career

Posted: Tuesday – July 14, 2009

Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson has opted to have some of his very prominent tattoos removed, to better accommodate his burgeoning career in Hollywood.

“I took some of the tattoos off because on the movie set, if we got a six o’clock call time, I have to be there two o’clock the night before,” 50 Cent told “I gotta go through four hours of make up before we go ahead and play the role. So, I just took it off my arm. My right arm.”

The G-Unit founder has not completely done away with his tattoo. He still bears the two on his back, the signature “50 Cent” and “Southside” tattoos.

The move may be working for 50 Cent as he stars in upcoming film Streets Of Blood.

The drama, which stars Val Kilmer, Sharon Stone and Michael Biehn, portrays the street gangs and corrupt law enforcement in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans.

Outside of Hollywood, 50 Cent’s current single “Ok, You’re Right” from his highly anticipated album Before I Self Destruct, continues to receive heavy radio rotation.

The rapper also recently dropped his new mixtapes, War Angel and Forever King, the latter being dedicated to the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson.


Mase's Return Inspired By Michael Jackson's Death

Posted: Monday – July 6, 2009

The death of Michael Jackson has inspired a return to rap by rapper-turned-preacher Mase.

“I’m excited. Mike [Jackson] passed away. It lit a fire under me and made me want to go in the studio and do something,” Mase told DJ Self of New York’s Power 105 FM after the legendary pop singer died.

Still, Mase said that he knows nothing of about contemporary rappers and needed help finding out Hip-Hop’s top talents.

“I asked my lil’ nephew and said, ‘Who is the hottest thing out there?’ He said ‘Drake, Drake.’ I said I gotta see what record he got and I said I’m going to jump on a joint.”

He said he eventually got the re-make to DJ Self to break the record.

“You know I stay with a couple [rhymes] under my sleeves. I just need a place to play them,” Mase said.

“I just love both of them. I know we had a lot of bad altercations and stuff like that. I got love for the family, man,” the Harlem-bred artist said. “At the end of the day, my kids are supposed to know their kids. Their kids are supposed to know mine.

Jim Jones called into the station and apologized to Mase for their past exchanges which were very public.

“I just wanted to tell you I tip my hat to you. I apologize to you for anything I ever done when I was younger,” Jim Jones said in a brief conversation with Mase. “I’m good like a fresh pair of [Air force] 1′s,” Mase concluded.


Michael Jackson Memorial Set; Custody Battle Breaks Out

Posted: Friday – July 3, 2009

A memorial service for Michael Jackson has officially been confirmed and will take place this Tuesday (July 7) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, where Jackson rehearsed for an upcoming tour.

Organizers are giving away 17,500 tickets to fans lottery style, who must register at

Of those 17,500, only 11,000 will be able to actually go inside of the Staples Center.

The other 6,500 will watch the event from a simulcast being broadcast at neighboring Nokia Theater.

“If you do not have a ticket, if you are not credentialed, not only will you not be allowed at these venues, you will not be allowed in this area,” Los Angeles Police Department assistant chief Earl Paysinger said. “Watch it on TV.”

In related news, California State Attorney General Jerry Brown has officially launched an investigation into Jackson’s prescription drug use and how he received powerful anesthetic drugs like Diprivin (also known as Propofol).

The drug was found in Jackson’s house and is suspected of being the substance the caused the 50-year-old pop superstar to go into cardiac arrest.

A custody battle has also broken out over Michael Jackson’s three children. Debbie Rowe, who birthed Jackson’s two children Michael, 12 and Paris, 11, has confirmed that she will seek custody of the children, who have been in the care of Jackson’s mother Catherine since Jackson’s death last week.

Rowe will also reportedly seek custody for Prince Michael II aka Blanket, although she is not the child’s biological mother.


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