Jay-Z & MJB To Tour Together

7 02 2008

Camel & Willona Woods are about to hit the road on the “Heart of the City” tour. Umm, I might have to check that out. I know J. Holiday would probably give his left nut to get on that tour, and Keyshia Cole would give up her Black ‘N Milds for 3 weeks for a spot on that joint!

Jay-Z and Mary J. Blige will tour this spring in what will be one of the most potent urban music bills in recent memory. The “Heart of the City” outing begins March 22 in Miami.

And while a full itinerary is still coming together, the artists are confirmed to hit markets such as New Orleans, Houston, Las Vegas, Boston, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Tickets go on sale Feb. 15.

Blige and Jay-Z have been close collaborators since 1996, when she appeared on his early hit “Can’t Knock the Hustle.”

Here are the initial Heart of the City tour dates:

March 22: Miami (American Airlines Arena)
March 26: Baltimore (1st Mariner Arena)
March 27: Uniondale, N.Y. (Nassau Coliseum)
March 28: East Rutherford, N.J. (Izod Center)
March 30: Philadelphia (Wachovia Center)
April 2: Toronto (Air Canada Centre)
April 3: Boston (TD Banknorth Garden)
April 5: Greensboro, N.C. (Greensboro Coliseum)
April 6: Washington, D.C. (Verizon Center)
April 16: Los Angeles (Hollywood Bowl)

You know what, I think it’s safe to assume that Jay-Z just loves being an artist too much to really & truly care about having a desk job. Dude enjoys his celebrity and being “Jay-Z,” and in a corporate position, he just becomes Sean. Rumor now is that he’s angling to maybe get his own label at Warner Bros. Do we really need a new Memphis Bleek or Peedi Crack record though Jay!?

And you’ve not lived until you’ve seen Mary J. Blige channel Patti LaBelle and a crazed church mother with the Holy Ghost LIVE. MJB in a concert is an experience — home girl is no joke with the emotion. Last concert I went to with MJB, she had folks crying, thanking Jesus, snatching off wedding rings, all kinds of foolishness. And her band is hot to death. I’ll def be trying to hit up that L.A. show, the Hollywood Bowl is a great sounding venue!

Kinda like this. Shouts to Rich!

Posted by The IPS

Popularity: 26% [?]

Mary Lets Loose On ‘Tyra Banks Show’

31 01 2008

Mary J. Blige went on “The Tyra Banks Show” and talked about a bunch of random stuff, like her fear of snakes, her wish for longer hair (zzzz), and having sex on planes (LMAO!). My favorite moment was when she told Tyra she goes to the bathroom standing up (yes, standing up) while she’s in public bathrooms. WTF?! She really let loose here and was open and pretty funny. This was fun to watch, even though she looked like she was rolling her eyes at the very beginning.

Posted by J

Popularity: 37% [?]

Mary Denies Steroid Allegations

16 01 2008

Mary J. Blige is slamming allegations that she took steroids to enhance her body or appearance in any way, while the others accused have stayed quiet and tried to figure out a way to spin this mess.

The singer’s spokeswoman Karynne Tencer tells the New York Daily News, “Mary J. Blige has never taken any performance-enhancing illegal steroids.” (Source)

I know when Mary heard this news she was like “Aw, hell naw!” and picked up the braid ponytail from her dresser and slapped Kendu with it. He probably ordered them to try and stay and shape with her because you know she be kicking his ass on the regular. “Kendu! Bring mama some Liptons, and it better be cold this time or you know it’s gonna be problems.”

Posted by J

Popularity: 26% [?]

Throwback of the Day: Mary J. Blige - “I Can Love You” Feat. Lil’ Kim

14 01 2008

This is probably one of my Top 3 Mary J. Blige songs. I loved the Share My World album…it’s definitely my favorite Mary album. (Keywords: my LOL)

This is also one of my favorite Mary videos as well, cause Kim looked SO right in this joint! Man…*tears in a bucket for Kim’s old body laying in a ditch somewhere*. Mary with her no dancing self LOL, I swear Mary had that some “gangsta swagger” step for all of the 90’s until she made that video for “Family Affair.” Then she bust out the good asymmetrical wig and got her Beyonce’ on, but she still even then didn’t let that “two-step & swang side 2 side” step go.

The dark feel/lighting of the video, the sets, I don’t know…I just loved this joint. Even Kim’s verses were hot man. We all know Mary ain’t a singer’s singer, but she holds it down 95% of the time. And you haven’t experienced soul and R&B until you’ve seen Mary LIVE. I swear she makes you forget all them bad notes and it’s like…church. It really is. Folks crying and got they hands raised.

I thought Pastor Kearney was gonna come out and start laying hands when I saw her last live! Folks was laid out. I almost started speaking in tongues LOL. It was a trip!

All hail Queen Mary LOL!

Posted by The IPS

Popularity: 18% [?]

Mary J., Timbaland, 50 Cent, Wyclef & Tyler Perry Named In Steroid Scandal

13 01 2008

Mary J. Blige, Timbaland, 50 Cent, Wyclef Jean and Tyler Perry have been named in relation with a steroids trafficking case in Albany, NY that has already landed athletes like Barry Bonds and Marion Jones in hot water.

Information has surfaced recently showing those stars are among tens of thousands of people who may have used or received prescribed shipments of steroids and injectable human growth hormone in recent years. Law enforcement officials have said they have no evidence in their sprawling multistate probe that customers, including Blige or other entertainers, violated any laws. Instead, they are targeting anti-aging clinics, doctors and pharmacists who prescribed the drugs.

Still, medical experts say that use of steroids and human growth hormone — an estimated $10 billion-a-year operation worldwide — reaching into the entertainment industry illustrates how pervasive steroids use in the United States has become. It is not unique to athletics, where performance-enhancing drug use has marred many sports. For many celebrities, the lure of hormonal drugs is their supposed, unproven anti-aging effects.

While Congress is preparing to focus on baseball players alleged to have taken the drugs, medical experts are warning that steroids and human growth hormone are being illegally prescribed nationwide at an alarming rate under the misconception they will aid healing, enhance looks, strength and speed, or slow aging.

Records shared with the Times Union and information from several cooperating witnesses on Long Island indicate Blige and other stars were shipped prescribed human growth hormone or steroids — sometimes under fictitious names — at hotels, production studios, private residences, an upscale Manhattan fitness club and through the Long Island office of Michael Diamond, a chiropractor affiliated with the celebrities, sources said.

“In the end the story is less about the entertainers and the athletes and more about the people who are providing them with the drugs,” Olshansky said. “They can’t get those drugs without somebody with a degree giving it to them.”

Still, big names draw interest, including in Congress, where hearings are set to begin this week on a report issued last month by former Sen. George Mitchell that exposed widespread steroids abuse in professional baseball. (Source)

This shit is crazy! I guess some of them are less surprising than others (50, Timbaland) but wow! Mary?! Tyler Perry?! This same paper had a breakdown on specifics for each of the celebrities’ implied usage (see the jump).

Posted by J

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Popularity: 27% [?]

MJB Getting Her Ferris Beuller On With Vibe

8 01 2008

Speaking of Danyel Smith, I guess this was her coup d’état to get Mimi Valdes‘ job… promise to reshoot Murry and make her happy after that disaster of a cover a couple years back. I mean, no, she’s not looking like ET in this but it’s not exactly a fantastic cover either. And this is coming from a Mary stan. I dunno, it’s aight. But Vibe has become sooo tacky lately. They are going for the whole “tabloid” direction which I think is a mistake. They have those Us Weekly/People Magazine-type “Celebrity Sightings” sections now which is just wack. Ugh! These magazines are being bastardized to no return! Anyway, I digress.

I actually think the topic of this article could be interesting — if executed properly. I might have to buy this wait for the scans to hit the ‘net. But talking to Lloyd about his first time (YUCK!)? A special on School Daze? Who’s really checking for that? This reminds me of the In Living Color clip where Spike Lee runs a convenience store and customers were returning the complimentary copy of School Daze, LMAO!

Posted by J

Popularity: 16% [?]

New Music: Lizz Wright, Sterling Simms, Mario & Mary J. Blige

20 12 2007

Lizz Wright - “Leave Me Standing Alone” (download)

One of my favorite vocalists ever, Lizz Wright, has released a new song called “Leave Me Standing Alone.” Lizz is SORELY underrated and deserves much more acclaim than she is getting right now. Check out her song “Salt” — man, a great song. Looks like she has a new album coming out (ok, I’m excited) in February next year, and is offering this song as a free download. Check it out, her silky smooth contralto is reminiscent of Toni Braxton but with a more polished, jazzy sound and feel. And you can understand her words, contrary to Toni. LOL. Some more new music to explore, courtesy of AHM!

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Popularity: 23% [?]

FYI: Mary On Track To Sell 600K Next Week

20 12 2007

Mary’s wig called and told me to thank everyone for purchasing her latest album.

Queen Mary’s latest release “Growing Pains” is on track to sell at least 600K+ (hit stores this week), but not enough to beat out The Almighty YT’s representative Josh Groban’s Christmas album “Noel,” which has been selling faster than you can say “50% off everything at Wal-Mart!” His album has increased in sales and stayed at #1 for the last 4 weeks I believe, bucking the trend of debuting at #1 and falling down the charts with dangerous speed.

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Popularity: 18% [?]

New Music: Mary J. Blige - “Shakedown” Feat. Usher

5 12 2007

Mary J. Blige - “Shakedown” Feat. Usher

Now see, OK…Miss Mary Mack had me with “Work That” and “Just Fine” was even starting to grow on me. I am still waiting to hear a HQ version of “Grown Woman Complex,” but my gut tells me I’ll like that.

And then she goes and does THIS.

Don’t get me wrong, Mary sounds fine. Usher however phoned his performance in via satellite from the closet that Strong Arm Steady keeps him in though. He doesn’t SOUND bad, but Mary’s “emotion” swallows Usher up and spits him out, beard and all.

But “It’s a shakedown, I’m robbing you for your love…” WTF this sounds like a Danity Kane leftover. I almost thought Diddy was gonna bust out, “yeah, can’t stop won’t stop, take that take that, shakedown baby.” This song suffers from Tamia-itis (yeah I gave it a name, what!?) by having an annoying vocal part (the “hey” with the echo on it…WTF!).

I don’t know, she’s complaining about “growing pains” and all, but she’s too grown for tepid filler tracks like this. If they hadn’t been able to secure Usher’s release from the bosom on Maneka, this would have been an iTunes “bonus track” if you get my drift LOL.

Posted by The IPS

Popularity: 25% [?]

New Music: Lupe Fiasco, Omarion/Bow Wow, Q-Tip, Maroon 5/Mary J. Blige

3 12 2007

Q-Tip - Feva

Tip is rumored to be working on a new solo joint and things have been peeking out here and there. I like this joint though…the beat is kinda heat to me. I just love Tip’s voice honestly, so anything new from him just makes me reminisce. I still listen to “Vivrant Thing”, what!?

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Popularity: 36% [?]

Video: Mary J. Blige - “Work That” iPod Ad

21 11 2007

iPod+iTunes ad: Work That-Mary J. Blige

Download The Song Here

Over the years I’ve grown into a Mary stan, because after seeing her live a couple of years ago, she made me a believer. Despite the lack of vocal finesse that Mary started off with, she’s grown into a powerhouse of raw emotion and pure emotion emoted through R&B/soul music with a touch of hip-hop and crossover sensibility.

On that note, I’ve been looking forward to Growing Pains for a couple of months now, despite “Just Fine.” That song still hasn’t grown on me, but the reasoning behind it HAS. Now with “Work That”, Mary once again proves why she’s still around and is still a successful artist.

From the style, to the talent, to the music, she evolves yet stays in essentially the same vein. Joy and pain has been the central hallmark of her musical output, and in this cycle, it’s all joy.

When I saw her at the AMA’s on Monday, I was so happy! She was happy, dancing, you could tell she really felt it. Put on your good wigs and pull out your “What’s The 411?” albums and posters, Mary’s back!

Posted by The IPS

Popularity: 28% [?]

That Wig Is GREAT!

31 10 2007

Click for full-size image

WHAT! WORK THAT! Mary is stuntin’ on you hoes, ok?!

This shot looks like one of the 1980 Ebony Fashion Fair ads. All it needs is the cities the fair is coming to at the bottom!

I really love this. Mary is showing ‘em why she is the Queen of Hip-Hop/R&B Soul and I for one am giving her her props. Ole’ girl has come a long way, and this album is jam packed. Hopefully, it’s jam packed with wall to wall hits!

All Hail The Queen!

Beyonce’ take note: you don’t ever see Mary’s wigs looking a mess!

Posted by The IPS

Popularity: 18% [?]

Video: Mary J. Blige - “Just Fine”

25 10 2007

Mary J. Blige- Just Fine (Music Video)

Well, Mrs. Mary Mack turns it OUT with her new dancing abilities LOL! Who woulda thought Mary could still bust a step? I ain’t seen that much dancing since the “Real Love” video. Keyshia Cole, eat yo’ heart out!

I think this video is a tribute of sorts…like, the parts where there were three of her? Chaka Khan’s “I’m Every Woman” video. The end with her in the suit doing those MJ-esque moves? “I Wanna Rock With You” by Michael Jackson. I’m sure there are a couple more, but I ain’t had my morning coffee yet.

I just really don’t care for this song. It sounds like a bonus track leftover from the “Reflections: Greatest Hits” album. “Be Without You” was such a strong first single from “The Breakthrough,” and this just doesn’t do it for me. Quite honestly, this video didn’t help either.

But Mary LOOKS GREAT and her fashion game is always on point. So props to Mary for holding it together all this time. Though that note she holds at the end is kind of atrocious to my ears!

I will be buying this album for sure — and just skipping over this track.

Posted by The IPS

Popularity: 14% [?]

Mariah & Mary Say “No Thanks!” to Diva Face-Off

1 10 2007

Mariah Carey and Mary J. Blige have opted not to release their albums on the same day in November, despite previous reports to the contrary. Mariah’s as-yet-untitled album will be released by Def Jam on November 20, while Mary’s Growing Pains will be released November 27 on Geffen. (Source)

Are you checking for either album? Who do you think has the upper hand?

Posted by J

Popularity: 8% [?]