New Music: J. Cole, Nicki Minaj, Migos, 21 Savage
Today turned out to be bigger than expected. J Cole dropped his album, and let me just say I am simply blown away. We’ve known for a while that he isn’t like most rappers, but the growth, and overall quality level is just out of this world.
For the first time, he featured artists on his album, and they fit so perfectly. Verses from a personal favorite (Lil Baby) and one from someone I have kept my eye on (21 Savage), lets just say I was in for a real treat, and they delivered. From a lyrical aspect, this album puts things into a different perspective. It makes you think about choices made, possible outcomes, and so many more different life altering things. This album is simply labeled as a classic.
Nicki Minaj went on a week long “promo” if you will, hinting at dropping something today. From a series of naked pics, to glam shots, which she looks amazing, and tweeting about “Fractions“. All of this, just to release her mixtape “Beam Me Up Scotty” to music platforms. She added 3 songs to it. Let’s just call it what it is, underwhelming.
The mixtape included 3 new songs on it, and to be honest all of them could’ve been kept. They lack replay value. If you ask me, she got bodied by her younger self. The original mixtape is better than all the noise she put on those songs. She had a feature with Wayne and Drake, which for me, Wayne had the weakest verse. If you compare Wayne to himself about 10 years ago, it’s clear he’s declined. But if you compare him to his peers like Kanye, Jay Z and other GOATS…. he should probably stay out of the booth. Nicki and Drake both gave solid verses, but nothing spectacular. The other 2 new songs, they were just….they could’ve been kept in the vault.
21 Savage released an EP in support for the newest installment of SAW, “Sprial“. Not much to say, it’s 21. Nothing to write home about.
Migos is also back. They released the first single from Culture 3. Straightenin is the title. The song shows lack of growth. Same sound as before. The song is making no noise, and I imagine they might’ve struck some sort of deal to perform it as part of Khaled’s Billboard Music Awards set next week. I’ve always said, these musicians have to really take stock in the reality of who they are. If the failure of their solo music wasn’t a clear indication, this flop single should be. They’ve had a fun run, but the general public has moved past that sound.
LaTocha Scott Causing More Chaos on Queens of R&B??
Have you guys been tuned in to Queens of R&B on Bravo? If you have, and you’re caught up, then you know that Xscape group member, Latocha Scott, has been accused of stealing money to the tune of 30k+ from her sister Tamika Scott.
It doesn’t even end there! According to Kandi Burruss on a recent live, there’s more to come that came out during filming that will affect the entire group.
As a fan of the group, it’s actually quite hard to watch, because after seeing the group reconcile a couple years back, I was hoping for more grown woman actions moving forward and possibly a new song or two. And yet here we are… stuck in the same cycle of LaTocha using the group to catapult her solo career. Tune in to Bravo on Sundays to get into the show.
Janet Jackson Documentary, Keyshia Cole Biopic & ‘TLC Forever’ Doc Announced by A+E Networks
An outpouring of R&B film projects are coming soon, thanks to A&E and Lifetime.
A+E Networks has greenlit Janet Jackson’s new documentary chronicling her upcoming Together Again tour, alongside a TLC doc and a Keyshia Cole biopic starring the R&B singer herself.
Titled Janet Jackson: Family First, the doc is a continuation of the legendary singer’s wildly successful 2022 documentary, which brought in 21 million viewers to the networks, according to the press release, and will be executive produced by Jackson herself and her brother Randy Jackson.
“I was touched by the love and support from the wonderful fans who enjoyed the documentary last year,” Janet said in a press release. “I am excited to continue to share my story and welcome fans into my life and the ‘Together Again’ tour. Thank you for your never-ending support, and I hope you enjoy the next chapter.”
Janet Jackson: Family First will also give an inside look at the reunion of the Jackson family band for their first performance together in 40 years. “In this next chapter in the documentary, Janet and I are thrilled to welcome viewers on the road with us as we embark on the ‘Together Again’ tour, celebrating the milestone of 50 years of Janet’s career with fans across the country,” Randy said in the release. Directed by Ben Hirsch, the documentary is currently being filmed, with no release date shared yet.
Janet’s Live Nation-produced tour kicks off April 14 in Hollywood, Florida, with rapper Ludacris as opener for all 33 dates. Other stops include Atlanta, Memphis, Nashville, New York, Atlantic City, Milwaukee, Dallas, Los Angeles and Portland, Ore., before coming to a close June 21 in Seattle. The tour will be a celebration of Janet’s 50 years as an entertainer, featuring songs from some of her most critically acclaimed albums, including 1993’s janet and 1997’s The Velvet Rope.
The Cole biopic, titled Keyshia Cole: This Is My Story, will feature the Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter playing herself. In addition to making her acting debut, Cole is also serving as executive producer of the film. Keyshia Cole: This Is My Story is set to air Saturday, June 24, at 8 p.m. ET as part of Lifetime’s celebration of Black Music Month.
Also in June, Lifetime and A&E will simulcast TLC Forever, a new two-hour documentary telling the story of Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas, who comprised the best-selling American girl group of all time, according to the RIAA. In 2002, Lopes died at age 30 in a car accident during a trip to Honduras. Directed by Matthew Kay and executive-produced by Academy Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams, TLC Forever will cover the celebratory moments as well as the darkness, controversy and tragedy throughout TLC’s unprecedented run.
Metro Boomin Sells Portion of Publishing Catalog to Shamrock for Close to $70M
The producer, writer and artist has worked on hits like “Bad and Boujee,” “Heartless,” “Congratulations,” “Creepin’,” “Knife Talk” and more.
The producer, writer and artist has worked on hits like "Bad and Boujee," "Heartless," "Congratulations," "Creepin'," "Knife Talk" and more.
Producer, songwriter and artist Metro Boomin – a.k.a. Leland Tyler Wayne – has sold a portion of his entire existing publishing catalog to Shamrock Capital for close to $70 million, sources close to the deal tell Billboard.
News of the sale arrives on the heels of his second album HEROES & VILLAINS, which was released on Dec. 2, 2022. The record was peppered with some of the biggest names in music, including features from Young Thug, Travis Scott, Future, Don Toliver, Chris Brown, A$AP Rocky, Gunna, and late Migos member Takeoff. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200albums chart, making it his second album in a row to hit No. 1 as an artist.
As one of rap and R&B’s most defining creatives, Metro Boomin has helped craft hits like “Bad and Boujee” by Migos, “Mask Off” by Future, “Congratulations” by Post Malone, “Bank Account” by 21 Savage, “Father Stretch My Hands, Pt. 1” by Kanye West, “Jumpman” by Drake and Future, “Heartless” by The Weeknd, “Waves” by Kanye West, “Child’s Play” by Drake, “Tuesday” by iLoveMakonnen, and many more.
The multi-hyphenate musician has had 99 total entries on the Hot 100 chart as a producer, including two No. 1s and 10 top 10s. As an artist, Metro Boomin has 46 total entries on the Hot 100. He has spent 18 weeks at No. 1 on the Rap Producers chart and three weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100 Producers and Hot 100 Songwriters charts.
Representatives for Shamrock did not return Billboard’s requests for comment. A representative for Metro Boomin declined to comment.
Shamrock was founded in 1978 as Roy E. Disney’s family office and has since become an active, powerful buyer in the music catalog investment space. It’s most notable investment being that of Taylor Swift’s Big Machine catalogwhich the firm bought from Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings in 2020. In 2021, Shamrock expanded into the lending space with a $196 million debt fund to loan money to IP owners in entertainment.
Last month, on Feb. 2, 2023, Shamrock Capital announced that it raised $600 million in a new fund (Shamrock Capital Content Fund III) aimed at acquiring film, TV, music video games, and sports rights.
Metro Boomin’s deal, along with other recent hip-hop acquisitions — like Juice WRLD’s sale to Opus Music Group for a nine figure sum, Dr. Dre’s Shamrock and UMG deal for an estimated over $200 million, and Future’s publishing catalog sale to Influence Media Partners between $65-75 million — have proved that the genre is fueling new investor interest.
Those who have been skeptical of rap catalog sales often point to the genre’s short history, which may indicate sharper — or still unknown — decay curves from other genres like rock and pop. Decay curves, which are based on past performance of other songs in the genre, refer to when the song levels out into a predictable state of income generation.
But the 50th anniversary of hip-hop special at the 2023 Grammy awards and its continued dominance on streaming platforms may reveal that rap is ready to become another sought-after genre for buyers.
“There are certain names that have been around for a long enough period that they are now of an evergreen standard,” City National entertainment banking leader Denise Colletta recently told Billboard. “Those household names in hip-hop will continue to resonate with audiences.” – Billboard
03.25 – Latto – 777 (album)
03.25 – Kanye West – Donda 2 (All Platforms)
TBA – Cardi B – TBA
TBA – Monica – Trenches
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