Friday, May 29, 2009

Trey Songz to Release Mixtape

On June 15, 2009 Trey Songz will release his original demo that landed him a deal with Atlantic Records. “Genesis” will include songs like “About the Game,” a track that was featured on the Bathing Ape website and on the Coach Carter soundtrack prior to his first album “I Gotta Make It.”

Trey Songz is known for being very personal in the sense that he allows his fans to experience certain aspects of his life that are otherwise unavailable to the general public. He will take this even further when he releases “Genesis,” which is a mixtape comprised of his original demo that struck him the deal with Atlantic records in 2004. This mixtape will be available for free download as Trey shares even more of himself with his fans. In support of “Genesis,” Trey Songz is in the works of planning a mixtape tour where he will also perform songs from his highly anticipated third album “Ready,” which will be available in stores and online on August 4, 2009.

Look out for an exclusive interview with Trey Songz in Gloss Magazine Online's July issue!!

For more information on Trey Songz, visit his website at or . Also follow him on Twitter @songzyuuup.

Music Review: Eminem "Relapse"

By Bonita Holmes

After a four-year hiatus, Eminem is back and more expressive than ever with the release of his sixth studio album "Relapse." It seems that Eminem hasn't lost his touch, making "Relapse" his fifth consecutive # 1 album selling 608,000 during the first week.

Throughout the album, Eminem revisits some very emotional periods in his life and speaks out about his drug addiction to cough syrup and prescription medicines, the death of his best friend Proof and a second attempt at marriage with his ex-wife Kimberley Scott. The title of the album itself represents Em coming face to face with his addiction and relapsing back into the hip hop world, or maybe relapsing back into depression.

In the song “My Mom,” Eminem continues to express his anguish towards his mother, blaming her for his drug addiction and emotional distress. Many of Em's songs from previous albums expressed how he felt growing up without a father and witnessing his mother abuse drugs. On the this album, Em admits in the song "Insane" that he was molested by his stepfather. On the very popular song titled “Beautiful,” Eminem raps about still being one of the best rappers despite disappearing from the entertainment world for a few years.

Many of the songs on the album have a funky hardcore beat which complement the new sound Em has adopted. He does a great job of touching on various subjects besides his personal triumphs.

Many fans and other rappers and artists wonder if this is the last album for Eminem who once again collaborated with his longtime friend, labelmate and producer Andre “Dr. Dre” Young. With "Relapse," Eminem has more than proven that despite tough times and years spent away from his passion, that he still has what it takes to make good music. You could even say that he's reclaiming his thrown.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Music Review: Ciara "Fantasy Ride"

By Brittany Rodgers

After numerous delays, Ciara has finally released her third album, “Fantasy Ride.” The road to release for this album had been a little rocky due to a variety of tracks being leaked. After so many of them were spilled onto the Internet, some songs were deleted from the album, which was a main reason why it had been pushed back so many times.

The theme of "Fantasy Ride" is based on a super-hero cartoon character/alter ego named “Super C,” also known as Ciara. Honestly, with all of the "swagger-jacking" controversy going on between Ciara and Beyonce, it wasn’t a good look for her to make an alter ego of herself, which can be comparable to Beyonce's other side Sasha.

Ciara is well-known hit songs like “Goodies,” “Like a Boy,” and “2 Step,” which defined her when her style was laid back. Now, she shows that she is more grown up and mature in her music.

“Fantasy Ride” is a mixture of romantic, pop and club songs. Producers who worked on this album were The Y’s, Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins and R&B singer/songwriter The Dream.

The opening of the album starts off good with “Ciara to the Stage,” which is kind of reminiscent of her song “Promise” from her previous album "Evolution." Later on throughout the song, Ciara brings out her rapping skills, making the song even better.

The next couple of tracks have featured artists. Ciara latest single “Love, Sex and Magic,” featuring Justin Timberlake, is a club banger.

Ludacris is also featured, and although they have worked together previously, “High Price” isn’t one of their best songs together. On this track, Ciara talks about buying whatever she likes, singing in a Opera tone of voice.

Some of the strongest songs on the album are “Like a Surgeon” (it kind of reminds you of “Like a Boy”) which was produced by The Dream. Another one of her hit singles is “Never Ever” featuring Young Jeezy. Towards the end of the album, “What’s your Name?” is a decent love song with a nice tempo.

A couple of the tracks on the album have a very pop sound and could be played solely in the club, like the song with Missy Elliott called “Work." It has a very techno sound but is good for dancers. Not too many songs have been played featuring Chris Brown but him collaborating on “Turntables” might help him in the pop community. In this song, Ciara tells Chris Brown to be her DJ for the night; it's strictly for the clubs.

As previously stated, The Dream also produced a couple tracks on "Fantasy Ride." He produced and is featured on “Lover’s Thing.” This song definitely has that Dream signature sound. It also sounds like his song “Rub My Back.” He also produced “Keep Dancin on Me,” which is not an attention grabber.

Two songs that have potential are “G is For Girl (A-Z),” which is almost similar to Beyonce's song “Diva.” Here Ciara goes down the alphabet telling what each letter stands for. For Ciara, ‘G’ stands for a gangsta girl. Ciara tells people to kiss her swag in her song “Pucker Up,” produced by Darkchild. Instead of saying kiss her behind, Ciara is saying pucker up your lips.

Ciara definitely introduced her album with a good song but ended it with the boring “I Don’t Remember,” in which she croons about being intoxicated and not remembering anything.

Ciara has a new album, new style and new personality now. Her last two albums were successful and showed the dancing Ciara. This album shows that Ciara has matured and that she has a different edge to her singing.

Overall “Fantasy Ride” is something new to Ciara fans and should be rated a 6.5 on a scale from 1-10.

Music Review: Chrisette Michele's "Epiphany"

By Stormi Texas

Grammy award winning R&B singer and Island Def Jam recording artist Chrisette Michele has come back with the release of her sophomore album “Epiphany.” The album, which debuted at number one on the Billboard charts, was produced by fellow R&B singer Ne-Yo.

This album is very different from her debut album, "I Am," as it has more of an R&B/Soul feeling versus that classic throwback overtone. Many R&B stations have been giving the first single “Epiphany” a lot of air play.

Listening to the album, it's easy to see that Chrisette has changed vocally with more slow and upbeat songs, like “Blame It On Me,” which is a mellow tune and “Playin' Our Song,” which is more of a dance hit. There are hardly any features on "Epiphany," although Ne-Yo joins her on the song “What You Do.”

Overall "Epiphany" is a really good album. She will definitely win over some new fans who may not have particularly liked the sound on her first album. Listeners will be sure to find a favorite song that they can relate to. "Epiphany" is a different and uplifting work. Chrisette may even see a couple of Grammy nominations from this album.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Other Side of Jay-Z

By Alyce Maddocks

Recently, rapper and music mogul Jay-Z has said that Obama’s presidency will bring a fresh perspective and a new role model to our young gangsta rap loving youth. The artist stated that, “Obama represents so much hope for blacks and Latinos. The hope that he represents is bigger than any of the huge problems he could correct; when you have positive role models, you can change your life for the better. The day Obama became elected, the gangsta became less relevant.”

That seems at first glance, like an inspirational message to send America. The problem is that many people are looking at Jay-Z’s past albums and messages and finding his new inspirational outlook a load of crap. In previous situations, the rapper has promoted violence, mistreating women and the drug trade, so many are wondering where the sudden turnaround came from.

Besides promoting all the things he now seems to stand against, Jay-Z has been known to down rappers who don’t incorporate drugs, sex and hustling into their music. Artists like Common, Nas and others who are politically conscious normally don’t sell as many records as gangsta rappers like Lil’ Wayne and 50 Cent. Reportedly, this is the reason Jay hasn’t rapped about things that are above the thug life. In his song “Moment of Clarity,” Jay-Z speaks about ‘dumbing down for his audience’ to make money and how he‘d ‘rhyme like Common Sense’ but making money means appealing to the gangsta audience. Now, instead of dissing those with a different message than the mainstream, he seems to be complimenting them on their flow of truth and alternative ideals.

With all of this knowledge, do you think Jay-Z is just riding the Obama wave for attention, or does he actually want to start speaking up about more than just ho’s and all the like?