Album: 11:11 Reset
Artist: Keyshia Cole
Record Label: Epic
Keyshia Cole is back, and man can we just say that it has been a long time for us since we’ve heard pure R&B music like this. As a Keyshia Cole fan, all I can say to Keyshia is welcome back! Not to long ago, Keyshia blocked me on twitter for saying that her last album wasn’t her best work. But hey, I was honest, and it was MY OPINION.
But this album here, I think the world will be saying that this is the album they have been wanting from Keyshia. It sounds like she is picking up where she left off on the third album, and on her way back to on Woman To Woman. This album sounds so connected to Keyshia, it’s honest, it’s emotional, its KEYSHIA!
The album starts off with a blessing from one of today’s biggest DJs, DJ Khaled, on Cole World. It moves into the song Unbothered. This song is cute, but def an album filler. Nice way to set the mood, it made me turn the speakers up a little bit and get me a glass of wine. Following this we get the 4 previously released songs You, Incapable, Best Friend, and Vault. No need to explain how those go, if you’ve been listening you know they were amazing releases. I will be honest though, Best Friend had to take a minute to grow on me, and Incapable sounded like the wrong song to actually start the movement. I personally think You would have had more of an impact if she didn’t have such a gap in between the song and the rest of the album release date, but i do understand that her decision to oin Love & Hip Hop was possibly the reason for that, and I think that was the perfect decision! Then we move into the Young Thug featured Act Right. Keyshia’s voice on this song is really everything, it sets the perfect mood. I’m not to crazy about the lyrics, they aren’t bad but they aren’t very remember-able. Thug’s verse was just ok for me, although it does compliment the beat very well, I’m just not really crazy about the lack of talent in today’s rap scene. Right Time starts out with HIT written all over it. Easily one of the best songs and sure to be a fan fav on the album. If released at the right time to radio, this song could spearhead the tour and possibly do quite well at radio. Emotional is a standout track! She previewed it on Love and Hip Hop, and her fans have been buzzing over it ever since. Ride, what can I say? Keyshia wouldn’t be KEYSHIA if she didn’t bring the Oakland vibe. She pays homage to the late Tupac, as she sampled his “Hail Mary“. Oh and it doesn’t stop there, she features up and coming Oakland rapper, Kamaiyah. What better way to pay homage to an Oakland legend without introducing more Oakland?! I’ve been watching Kamaiyah since her cyher for XXL, and I think she is definately going to be one to watch, if handled correctly. The album ends with Too Short giving Keyshia her props.
All I can really say is YES! Downside of the album, there’s only 11 tracks, 2 of which are interludes and 4 were already released, so I really only get to hear 5 new songs. This usually wouldn’t be a problem, but the way Keyshia takes her time with albums, this is gonna have to hold us over until like 2020. Another downside is that she released this 4th quarter, so it misses Grammy cutoff, I think this album would have been a very strong contender at the next Grammy Awards in the R&B categories, but now since it’s released so late this year, and she has to wait a whole year to be considered…it may be over looked. On the upside, we have a dope ass body of work that is cohesive and exactly what R&B has been missing!
Carl Crawford Speaks Out About The Megan Thee Stallion Situation
Things are heating up as Carl Crawford speaks out about his deal with Megan Thee Stallion, and how she may not be as much as a victim as she claims.
CATCH UP: Megan Thee Stallion has went public about the unfair deal that she signed when she was 20 and just getting started. She states that when entering the deal she didn’t comprehend everything in the contract, BUT she signed it anyways. After signing with Roc Nation back in September, they pointed out some things in her contract that she didn’t understand and she simply requested that the label renegotiates her contract. Megan also stated that she wasn’t allowed to drop music because of the label. First, she alleges that she’s only been paid $15,000 from the label after earning more than a billion streams and selling over 300,000 individual track downloads, which equates to an estimated $7 million.
Megan has sine went to court and had a temporary restraining order placed on the label. The judge ordered 1501 Entertainment “to do nothing to prevent the release, distribution, and sale of Pete’s new records,” along with forbidding any interference with her or her career over social media or through her collaborators or associates
The Facts: Both side have said that in Megan’s contract, she is in a 60/40 deal. They’ve both also said that she did receive 15k from the label.
Carl’s Claims: Carl claims that Megan is flat out lying, and he has the receipts to prove it. Carl states that Megan signed with ROC Nation behind his back, and he found out about it in the media like the rest of the world did.
When it comes to Megan’s Contract:
“Let’s talk about your contract. It’s a great contract for a first-timer,” he offers. “What contract gives parts of their masters and 40% royalties and all that kind of stuff? Ask Jay-Z to pull one of his artists’ first contracts, and let’s compare it to what Megan got… I guarantee they won’t ever show you that.” via Billboard
Carl states that he had nothing to do with Megan’s contract. He says Megan’s mother (who passed last year) and T. Farris actually negotiated her contract with his lawyers and they came up with the numbers. Megan is in a 360 deal where there was a 70/30 split, with the label getting the 70%. The only reason that makes sense is because they also gave her a 60/40 split on her masters.
Now to put that in perspective, that is quite a solid deal, being that most artists don’t own any of their masters, especially not on their first album/works. It took Rihanna like 7-8 albums before she owned all of her masters. Chris Brown as well.
Carl also addresses the fact that she states she’s only been paid 15k.
How she been paid $15,000? As soon as we signed to 300, I wrote her a check for $50,000, and it’s signed with her name on the check. We can show you the proof. That’s another thing — I got all my receipts. They know it. I got all the receipts. We gave her a $10,000 advance when we first signed her and gave it to her mother. I don’t know what happened [with that]. 300 gave us a $200,000 check when we first signed. I gave her $50,000 of it. I didn’t have to give her that. That was mine at the time.
Now let’s be honest, when you look at Megan Thee Stallion, in comparison to other female rappers on the come up, she did have some kind of money behind her. Everything from the features with Wale, the EP buzz around Tina Snow, and the “payola” deal that had Hot Girl Summer being played on iHeartRadio every hour on the hour the day of it’s release…. and securing the biggest debut and chart position of her career. Lets just say she didn’t get all that because of her talent. Not saying she isn’t talented, BUT talent only gets you so far.
Lets just sit back and see where this goes…
Trey Songz Facing $10 Million Lawsuit for Alleged Sexual Assault
Trey Songz is looking at a multi-million dollar lawsuit for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman.
Per documents obtained by The Blast, Songz (birth name Tremaine Neverson) is being sued by an unnamed Georgia woman. According to the lawsuit, the incident took place on Jan. 1, 2018. The singer reportedly invited her to Miami’s E11even night club after celebrating New Year’s Eve at Diddy’s house. It was in his VIP section at E11even where the assault is said to have taken place.
“[Songz] sexually assaulted and battered Jane Doe by proceeding to forcefully place his hand under her dress, without her consent, and attempting to insert his fingers into Jane Doe’s vagina without her consent or permission,” the lawsuit reads.
The victim went on to claim she was not the only woman subjected to assault. Per the documents, another woman confided in her that Songz put his hands down her pants as well. The second victim told the unnamed woman that Songz forcefully touched her butt without consent.
“Neverson intentionally created an offer of bodily injury to Plaintiff by force under circumstances that created a well-founded fear of imminent peril in Plaintiff and Neverson had the present ability to effectuate his attempts to produce bodily injury towards Plaintiff when he reached under her skirt and attempted to insert his fingers into her vagina,” the lawsuit claims.
Songz alleged attack has led the Jane Doe to seek more than $10 million from the artist. These damages are the result of the assault and battery as well as intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
This is not the first time Trey Songz has been tangled up in a legal battle regarding a woman. In September, the alleged victim of a domestic assault at the hands of Songz dropped her lawsuit. Andrea Buera claimed that the assault took place during All-Star Weekend in 2018. The singer’s legal team claimed that he acted in self-defense and Buera eventually ended her lawsuit.
Now I’m not one to victim blame, but nowhere am I reading that she ever said “no” or “stop”. Maybe the two of them was vibing and he got the signals crossed. Was he wrong? Sure! BUT, at what point of drinking this sexy man’s liquor, being in his section, going to party privately with him, did you let him know that sex wasn’t gonna happen? How do you let this man get his hands under your dress and into your vagina…and never say no or stop? Trey is a sex god, and any woman getting this type of treatment from him should probably assume he is trying to get sex from her…so you might wanna let him know it aint gon happen.
Lizzo Named TIME Magazine’s “Entertainer of the Year”
BY SAMANTHA IRBY
PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAOLA KUDACKI FOR TIME
Surely, in the year of our lord 2019, you know who Lizzo is. I mean, even if you don’t think you know, girl—you know. Her song is in that Walmart commercial with the dancing cart people, and another one is in an ad for GrubHub, and I swear I was watching a football pregame show and heard strains of the piano riff from her song “Good as Hell” twinkling in the background. She’s on the soundtrack at your Zumba class, her voice is blaring from the headphones of the guy across from you on the train, and your daughter is locked in her bedroom scream-singing, “I just took a DNA test/ Turns out I’m 100% that bitch,” from Lizzo’s No. 1 hit, “Truth Hurts,” in her mirror right now.
But right now, Lizzo, 31, is with me—literally—tucked away in a studio on a dead-end street on a warm December afternoon in Dallas. I didn’t get dressed up, because what does a regular person wear to meet Lizzo? I don’t own any diamond-encrusted booty shorts or full-length feather coats. Is it even legal to introduce yourself to Lizzo while wearing yoga pants you bought two years ago at Kohl’s? She, meanwhile, is head to toe in Gucci, hair laid and lips glossed, flanked on either side by her gorgeous glam team. Lizzo is everything you want her to be: loud, fun, effervescent, all the synonyms you can use for the words loud, fun and effervescent.
And I want to know everything: Can she still run to the store in her pajamas to buy groceries? (No, but she’s always had them delivered, even pre-fame.) Can she walk through an airport without a dozen giddy wine moms throwing themselves in her path while shouting her lyrics at her? (She travels with security now. People can be weird.) Also: How do you ask someone, Why them, or Why now, without making them want to punch you?
But I have to ask: Why was this the year—after nearly a decade on the road, performing shows for next to nothing, living in your car, being your own hype man—that you racked up more Grammy nominations than any other artist? “I’ve been doing positive music for a long-ass time,” she says. “Then the culture changed. There were a lot of things that weren’t popular but existed, like body positivity, which at first was a form of protest for fat bodies and black women and has now become a trendy, commercialized thing. Now I’ve seen it reach the mainstream. Suddenly I’m mainstream!” She laughs. “How could we have guessed something like this would happen when we’ve never seen anything like this before?”
She’s right. Lizzo does represent something new. Her sound is relentlessly positive and impossibly catchy: bangers that synthesize pop, rap and R&B, with hooks so sharp it feels like they’ve been in your brain forever. Her lyrics are funny, bawdy and vulnerable: reminders to dump whatever idiot is holding you back and become your own biggest fan. (Even the viral four-second clip of her in a rainbow dress saying, “Bye, bitch!” and cackling as she rides away on the back of a cart is superior to many artists’ entire musical output this year.) Attending a Lizzo concert feels like worshipping at the church of self-love, if your preacher was a pop star living joyfully in a big black body, delivering a sermon of self-acceptance that’s as frank as it is accessible. At a time when Instagrammers are shilling flat-tummy tea or pretending to eat a giant cheeseburger, Lizzo sells something more radical: the idea that you are already enough.
That is particularly appealing this year, with the Internet a scary toilet, measles somehow making a comeback, and everyone just meme-ing themselves through it because no one can afford to go to therapy. In 2019, Lizzo was a beam of light shining through doom and gloom, telling us to love ourselves even if the world doesn’t always love us back. We needed her.
“Who is that glamorous fat bitch?” It was summer 2014, and my homegirl and I were squinting at the shattered screen of a busted iPhone in an empty grocery-store parking lot like two losers. She’d pulled up one of Lizzo’s music videos, knowing that keeping up with new music is hard when you’re not a Cool Teen. We tried to block the glare from the lunch-break o’clock sun as we watched this babe with bejeweled nails dancing with a shirtless dude in the desert while rapping. “Minuscule to me, I’m a big deal to you; I picketh thee off, like a bug betwixt my shoe.” I paused the video, my jaw against my chest. “Did she just say betwixt?” I’m in!
In 1989, when I was young and outcast and looking for even a shred of representation to make me feel less weird and alone, my options for fat-black-lady role models were Nell Carter, Marsha Warfield, and Shirley Hemphill from What’s Happening!! Imagine the kind of adults who are going to grow out of kids with access to Lizzo. Now that she’s a megastar, everything she does is news—especially her tendency to post nude photos, which she does frequently and with great enthusiasm. “I think it’s healthy to have a relationship with your naked body, even if no one ever sees it,” she says. “But I’ve always felt the need to share it.”
Seeing her body as I’m casually scrolling through Instagram is like a shot of emotional adrenaline. Open my largest vein and pump that photo of her naked in a bathtub filled with Skittles directly into it. It feels revolutionary, even now, to watch a fat woman love herself so openly. We’ve been conditioned to expect the “good fatty”—the “Excuse me, I’m so sorry, look at me eating a salad!” kind of fat girl who feels like she has to perform some sort of disordered eating to get love, let alone fame. Lizzo loves her back rolls and doesn’t care whether you do too. (Though you should!)
While it may feel like Lizzo is suddenly everywhere, she’s actually been grinding for over a decade. Born Melissa Jefferson in Detroit, she’s a classically trained flutist (instead of becoming a quiet first chair of the Minneapolis orchestra, she plays the flute onstage in a bodysuit while hitting the shoot) and rapper (plus singer!). Growing up, she says, she was always called “different.” “And different was not a compliment back then.” (Lizzo is a combination of an early nickname, Lissa, and Jay-Z’s song “Izzo.”) As a young artist in Houston, where she moved when she was 10, she recorded and performed constantly—Lizzo was in an electro-soul duo called Lizzo & the Larva Ink and then an all-female rap group, the Chalice, which appeared on a 2014 Prince song. Her road here has been long. Lizzo has toured as a solo artist since 2013 and been signed with Atlantic since 2016.
Then, this spring, her self-empowerment anthem “Truth Hurts,” originally released in 2017, appeared in the popular Netflix movie Someone Great and went on to top the Billboard Hot 100. She performed in front of a giant inflatable butt at the Video Music Awards and carried a tiny Valentino purse down the red carpet at the American Music Awards, spawning a million memes. Her third album, Cuz I Love You, earned her eight Grammy nominations. Each moment helped cement her as the defining entertainer of this year. It also made her a bigger target. “I have to bite my tongue on certain things,” she says. “When people challenge my talent, they challenge whether I deserve to be here. They challenge my blackness. I’m like, ‘Oh! I can easily just let your ass know right now in 132 characters why you’re f-cking wrong.’”
In general, I reject positivity. I’m a lifelong pessimist whose Spotify playlists are all called, like, “Songs to Cry To” and “Life Is the Pits.” And yet even I, a hard-hearted monster, have found it hard to resist Lizzo’s aural sunshine.
Part of what makes Lizzo so relatable—and so important—is that even as she preaches self-empowerment, she’s candid about the struggle. This year wasn’t easy for her. “From March to … now!” She laughs. “I was experiencing a little bit of unhappiness. I was not happy with the way I felt to my body. I didn’t feel sexy, and I didn’t know when it was going to end. There were times when I would go onstage and be like, ‘Y’all, I’m not going to lie. I’m not feeling myself.’ Sometimes I’d break down and cry. Sometimes the audience would just cheer to make me feel better. I was getting sick a lot. I was like, What the f-ck is going on? I need to fall back in love with my body.” She’s working on this, along with the newfound pressures of celebrity, in therapy. “I didn’t want to be famous,” she says. “I wanted to be like Brandon Boyd from Incubus! I just want to go to the farmers’ market.”
It’s a good reminder: omnipresent as she may be, Lizzo is just a person who feels like garbage sometimes and lives on the same actively dying rock hurtling through space as the rest of us. She’s not a walking inspirational infographic. She knows that part of being enough means acknowledging your imperfections. Which is why it’s such a relief to know that she gets down sometimes—because I know when she gets back up she’s going to bring us with her. Bye, bitch!
TBA – Cardi B – TBA
TBA – Monica – Chapter 38
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