247 The Sound Entertainment News Archives for 2023-09

Teddy Pendergrass' Christmas Album To Make Streaming Debut In November

Teddy Pendergrass’ final studio album and the sole holiday LP in his discography is headed to digital streaming platforms this November.

This Christmas (I’d Rather Have Love) will make its digital debut on Nov. 3 for its 25th anniversary. The infectious album is a soulful blend of the late crooner’s original recordings—“Happy Kwanzaa,” “I Won’t Have Christmas,” “Christmas and You”—and the album’s title track, “This Christmas (I’d Rather Have Love).” It also includes his unique spin on holiday classics like “Little Drummer Boy,” “Oh Holy Night,” “Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” and “The Christmas Song.” 

To celebrate the announcement, Craft Recordings has already made Pendergrass’ rendition of “Joy to the World” available (listen below).



The Philly native wrote his first and only Christmas album on the heels of his starring role in the gospel musical, Your Arms Too Short to Box with God, and it arrived just before he published his memoir, Truly Blessed. On This Christmas (I’d Rather Have Love), Pendergrass worked with Grammy-winning songwriter-producer Reggie Calloway and songwriter/producer Jim Salamone.

“What a thrill to realize that Teddy’s album is being re-released! So many great memories are attached to the creation of this timeless work,” Salamone shared in a statement about the digital release. “It will be very satisfying for people to be able to enjoy this record every Holiday season.” Daniel Markus, Pendergrass’s co-manager added, “Teddy was very proud of this album. He put it all together himself with some help from the Calloway Brothers (of Midnight Star fame) and Jim [Salamone].”


Pendergrass’ final album was released in September 1998 and debuted at No. 83 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Following the singer’s death in January 2010, This Christmas (I’d Rather Have Love) saw a spike in popularity and it peaked No. 43 on the Holiday Albums chart.



Drake's "American Slaves" Lyric On "Slime You Out" Causes Backlash

Drake and SZA surprised the world last week when they announced their first-ever collaboration “Slime You Out.” While the track’s release came with much excitement, a specific 6 God line now has him facing backlash.

In “Slime You Out,” the two superstars croon about their lovers who have done them wrong and have them feeling spiteful. In the 36-year-old artist’s first verse he sings, “Whipped and chained you like American slaves,” in reference to buying cars and jewelry for a woman he was involved with. This quickly became the overwhelming topic of discussion.


“‘Whipped and chained you like American slaves..’ nobody in the studio told Drake that line was awful??” one user wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, accompanied by the popular meme of a man taking off his headphones. Another user quoted the line, tagged the Toronto rapper on X, and posted a cartoon meme of a woman covering another woman’s mouth with the caption “Bi**h learn to shut up.”












Another user questioned how SZA could hear that line and agree to join the record. “SZA heard Drake say ‘Whipped and chained you like American slaves’ and said ‘Yeah, I need to get on that!'” they wrote, accompanied by a video of a woman saying “You’re an idiot, you’re a clown, and you’re a loser. How dare you?”

Frazier Tharpe, Senior Entertainment Editor at GQ, acknowledged that Drake tends to be hypercriticized generally, but in this instance, it’s warranted. He was especially baffled at the fact the father of one specifically stated “American” slaves in the line. As of now, neither artist has made a statement about reactions to their record. “Slime You Out” came out just one week before Drake’s forthcoming album For All The Dogs was supposed to be released. Early Saturday morning (Sept. 16) he shared a flyer to his Instagram story announcing that the album was being pushed back from Sept. 22 to Oct. 6.



“Okay my dilemma I am faced with is I either cancel shows to finish the album or I complete the mission and drop the album before the last show,” he wrote. “I owe you all these memories we are building and anywhere we have missed to date we will be spinning back for sure.” He closed the message announcing the album’s new date and saying “It’s only right…” Check out the announcement and listen to “Slime You Out” above.


Teyana Taylor Confirms Separation From Iman Shumpert Amid Cheating Rumors

Teyana Taylor has spoken up following rumors of husband Iman Shumpert cheating on her, revealing that the pair are actually separated and on great terms.

“AHT AHT! Not too much on my bestie!,” the Harlem native, 32, began in defense of her children’s father. “In all fairness, Iman and I are separated and have been for a while. To be 1000% clear, ‘infidelity’ ain’t one of the reasons for our departure.”

The Fashion Week staple went continued, “We are still the best of friends, great business partners and are one hell of a team when renting our 2 beautiful children. Most importantly we are FAMILY & in the 10yrs together, 7yrs married we ain’t ever played with or about THAT. We just keep y’all asses out the group chat lol, which is the reason we’ve been able to successfully & peacefully separate without all of the outside noise.” 


Taylor went on to explain why she chose to address their relationship status with the public, deeming it “unfair” for false “narratives” to ruin anyone’s reputation.

“The only reason I’m even sharing THIS part of the chat is because the narratives are getting a little out of hand & it’s unfair to all parties involved. I hope this provided some clarity for y’all. Okay AunTey taking y’all back out the chat bye!”


The “Closer To God” singer took to Instagram to set the record straight following a week of social media rumors surrounding NBA pro Shumpert potentially stepping out on Teyana with an artist of his. The whispers became so prominent that Kelly Price felt the need to speak up for Taylor after a blogger disparaged her marriage. “Teyana is not a side piece, she’s not a side h*e, she’s a wife,” Price, 50, began. “I went through it, but this is not about me. I listened to this blogger go off on Teyana. I’m actually emotional, I was venting to my husband because I get so angry when I see this kind of thing. We always talk about Black needing to support Black, Black needing to do this. I just listened to a female Black woman who is a blogger go in on Teyana Taylor, basically calling her all kinds of things. You know, the fact that she speaks up for her family. When there are allegations out there, that she comes to the defense of her family and… her husband. What else is she supposed to do? She’s a wife, they have a family, they have a home, they own businesses together.”

“If anything is worth fighting for, it is your family, and especially if it can be saved,” Price continued. “I just don’t understand why wives get attacked so bad and side b***hes get praised.” News of the Shumperts’ separation comes two days after reports of Jeezy filing for divorce from TV host Jeannie Mai.


Irish Grinstead, 702 Group Member, Dead at 43

Irish Grinstead, a member of R&B girl group 702, has died. She was 43 years old.

LeMisha Grinstead, Irish’s sister and fellow 702 member, revealed the news with an Instagram post Saturday (Sept. 16). “It is with great sadness that I have to let you know that my beautiful sister and friend has passed away this evening.”

She went on, “She has had a long battle and she is finally at peace. That girl was as bright as the stars! She was not only beautiful on the outside, but also within. Sharing the stage with her was a joy I will cherish for the rest of my life! We, the family ask for prayers and respect for our privacy as we grieve an outstanding loss to our family. Love always, Misha.”



Fellow member Kameelah Williams also took to the social media platform to express her grief. “Devastated & heartbroken. I struggled with this post because to me this isn’t real,” the singer began. “There’s a lot I want to say, but there’s no way to say what your heart hasn’t fully accepted. It’s hard to acknowledge this is even happening. I know you’re feeling better now and hugging your twin Orish which makes me smile, cus I know how much you missed her.

“You & I have known each other since we were kids and we’ve laughed, cried, celebrated, and everything in between which is why I just don’t want to believe this,” she went on. “You’ll always be my ‘IBG’ & I still love you my forever lil sis!!! Rest easy.”



Both Kameelah and LeMisha were offered condolences by their fans and peers, including Missy Elliott, who wrote, “Prayers for you and Misha and the rest of Irish family for strength during this time.”

Xscape member Tiny Harris offered, “Man I’m so sorry for your loss…this really hit home!! May her soul RIP,” while SWV’s LeLee Lyons shared her own post in honor of the R&B songstress.

“Words can’t express how this feels. Sending My condolences to this family, and everyone who loved Irish and was a part of her journey. @corytaylorva@itsmeelah @lemisha_the_gemini I pray you guys find peace and understanding at this time. What an unexpected pain!”

702 is known for classic R&B records including “All I Want”, “Steelo,” “Get It Together”, the Pharrell Williams-produced “I Still Love You” and more.



Halle set to drop debut solo EP "before the end of this year"

Halle has announced that her debut solo EP will “definitely” be released “before the end of the year”.


The news comes a month after the actor-singer dropped her debut solo single ‘Angel’ on August 4. The ethereal operatic pop ballad was her first release since she and her sister Chloe announced they were pursuing solo careers in 2021, taking a break from their Grammy-nominated group Chloe x Halle.


Since then, she has starred in two high-profile Hollywood roles in two, The Little Mermaid – which has now grossed over $465 million (£372,218,550) – and the upcoming The Color Purple remake.


In a chat with Cosmopolitan earlier this week, when asked if anything she learned on movie sets will also be useful in her music career, she replied: “Absolutely, because I worked my whole childhood [and] there are things I didn’t get to experience.



“Ariel was my college experience,” she continued. “She was the one to say, ‘Look, look what you have in you. You can.’ Nettie was the same type of lesson, almost in a spiritual way. These characters are speaking to me and teaching me. It’s cool to learn things about life through their eyes. And all musical inspiration really just comes from life experiences.” Now in a relationship with YouTuber-turned-rapper DDG, the Atlantan reflected: “Love has been a really big one for me too, because that’s something I’m experiencing for the first time, and it’s, like, ‘Whoa’ in your brain. It’s just fireworks, a spark for creativity.” This prompted the interviewer to ask whether Halle would be getting “personal” on her EP: “I don’t really talk about my personal stuff… This has been a really beautiful transformative time for me… It’s like, what the heck did I just experience and go through? A whirlwind of amazingness. You never know what you’re capable of until you’re put through it. I was very creatively inspired, and then from there, I fell in love.” She confirmed that “sound-wise, [the record has] a little modern R&B-ish, with all the jazz elements and hints of pop” that she loves.

When ‘Angel’ was released, Halle said in a statement that the song “is so very special and near and dear to [her] heart” as it was her “climb[ing] out of those feelings, a mantra and promise to [herself] that the work I’m doing here on earth matters and that I matter.” When Chloe X Halle was together, the duo were signed to Beyoncé‘s Parkwood Entertainment label in 2013. They went on to release two albums – 2016’s ‘The Kids Are Alright’ and their second album ‘Ungodly Hour’. The latter was critically acclaimed and nominated for Best R&B Album at the 2021 Grammy Awards. Now they’ve broken up, Chloe has released some viral hits such as ‘Have Mercy’ and ‘Treat Me’ and dropped her debut solo album ‘In Pieces’ last year. “The biggest difference is that I had to learn how to believe in myself on my own,” the 23-year-old said when asked about her first time releasing a body of work without her sister. “Every time we’re working together, she’s the voice of reason, and she [was] the confidence for us both. She goes, ‘Keep going. Keep riding it, Halle. You’re doing great. You’re doing great.’ You know?” Elsewhere, The Color Purple and Halle’s portrayal of Nettie in the iconic film – produced by Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, and Quincy Jones – will be released in cinemas this Christmas.

Diddy to Receive Global Icon Award at 2023 MTV Video Music Awards

Sean “Diddy” Combs will be presented with the Global Icon Award at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards, celebrating his “unparalleled career and continued influence that has achieved unrivaled global success in music and beyond.”

For the past three years, the MTV Video Music Awards has honored a global artist or band for their success, including previous recipients Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Combs is the first Black artist and solo act to receive the Global Icon Award, inspired by MTV’s Europe Music Awards (EMAs).

Combs will perform for the first time in 16 years as part of his honor. He last took the stage in 2005 when he hosted the show from Miami and performed a medley of the Notorious B.I.G. songs alongside Snoop Dogg. 



Combs has been nominated for four other awards, aside from his Global Icon Award. These nominations include Best R&B and Best Collaboration.

Combs has been nominated in each of the latter categories for his contributions on “Gotta Move On (Queens Remix)” featuring Bryson Tiller, Ashanti and Yung Miami, and “Creepin’ (Remix)” with The Weeknd, Metro Boomin, and 21 Savage.

Nominations for the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards were announced in mid-August. SZA received eight nominations, which made her the most nominated R&B artist. Prior to the announcement of the Album of the Year and Song of the Summer nods, she had received six nominations.

Other nominees include Beyoncé, Chlöe, Chris Brown, Alicia Keys, Lucky Daye, FLO and more. Additionally, Shakira will receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.

The 2023 MTV Video Music Awards will air live from New Jersey’s Prudential Center on Sept. 12 at 8 p.m. EST.

Circling back to Combs, he will release The Love Album: Off The Grid on Sept. 15 via Love Records. The 23-song, star-studded album will feature guest appearances from Babyface, The Weeknd, Mary J. Blige, John Legend, Herb Alpert, Jazmine Sullivan, The-Dream, K-Ci Hailey, H.E.R. and more.



A post shared by LOVE (@diddy)

Combs is currently boasting on social media about “I Like,” his collaboration with Blige. It appears to sample “Don’t Go” from her 1994 sophomore album, My Life. None of Combs’ previous 2022 singles, “Gotta Move On” with Tiller or “Sex In The Porsche” will appear on The Love Album: Off The Grid. He has not commented on their omission. The former song went No. 1 at R&B radio and on Billboard’s Adult R&B Airplay chart. The Love Album: Off The Grid is the follow-up to Diddy’s 2006 Press Play, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. It will mark his first project as a lead act using the Diddy moniker. He previously released 2015’s MMM as Puff Daddy & The Family and 2010’s Last Train to Paris as part of his group Diddy – Dirty Money.


Queen Latifah Has Younger Fans Shook Following Her Recent National Anthem Performance

Queen Latifah has set the tone for football season after performing the National Anthem at Sunday night’s (Sept. 10) game between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants.

The Oscar-nominated actress had to remind a few people that her résumé is long and her talent is limitless. Ahead of the 22nd anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the New Jersey native took centerstage at MetLife Stadium with an emotional rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Without a hair on her head out of place, Queen rocked a crisp ivory-colored suit and was backed by a choir and a firework finale.


Despite it being assumed common knowledge that the Grammy-winning rapper was multifaceted, some were just finding out about her vocal range. One Twitter user wrote, “I didn’t know Queen Latifah could ‘sing.’ Did anybody else know?” Singer Rob Milton commented with a video of The Equalizer star singing a cover of Nat King Cole’s “Lush Life.”




Another user tweeted, “People are JUST finding out that Queen Latifah sings? Have they not seen Chicago or Hairspray? Or saw that she released two jazz albums? Or even when she played Bessie Smith in that HBO movie?” One person chimed in, “Queen Latifah literally sang the theme song on Living Single, has two jazz albums, and has been in many a Broadway musical. You all cannot be serious.” However, an A24 employee summed things up as best as possible with this bottom line: “I know that we all love queen latifah, but she really doesn’t get enough credit for being one of the most multidimensional talents of our generation.” Others rallied for Queen to partake in a Super Bowl Halftime Show as a solo act or alongside Missy Elliott, MC Lyte, Eve, and Lil Kim as an ode to the Queens of Hip-Hop. Though the 2024 halftime performer has yet to be announced, fans are also campaigning for Usher after Rihanna kicked off Apple Music Halftime Show this past February and announced her second pregnancy with her son, Riot.




Busta Rhymes And Coi Leray Make A Clean Getaway In "LUXURY LIFE" Music Video

Busta Rhymes and Coi Leray explore their acting talents in the music video for “LUXURY LIFE.” Directed by Benny Boom, the creative visual draws inspiration from the 1994 film Pulp Fiction.

“Aye, you gon’ hold me down mama?” rhymes the Brooklyn rap veteran to kick off the Swizz Beatz-produced track. “Best believe in me daddy, now what you ’bout to do?” responds the Boston-bred chart-topper.

“LUXURY LIFE” is the second collaboration between the two musicians. Earlier this year, Busta Rhymes added a guest verse to Coi Leray’s “Players” which samples his 1997 hit “Put You Hands Where My Eyes Could See.” The collaborative effort follows Busta Rhymes’ “BEACH BALL” featuring BIA. “Me and Busta did this song months ago, he called me up, he’s like ‘Listen Bia, I’ve got this song. You gotta do this part. It’s only your voice that’s gotta do this part,’ so I went to studio right away, I did it. And to perform with Busta during Hip-Hop 50…this is crazy. It’s unreal,” shared the “WHOLE LOTTA MONEY” rapper with Billboard of the link-up.


The rap song samples “Seven Minutes of Funk” from The Whole Darn Family, most commonly recognized in JAY-Z’s 1996 hit “Ain’t No N**ga” featuring Foxy Brown




Both tracks precede a pending album from the Grammy-nominated act. Earlier this year, he confirmed the project will be executive produced by Timbaland, Pharrell Williams, and himself.

“I just want to take the time to say that I appreciate my brother Busta Rhymes for his longevity, his distinctive style [and] voice. I wish everybody a long career like Busta Rhymes. He’s the biggest deal,” elaborated Swizz Beatz of his frequent collaborator.

Judge Dismisses Copyright Case Over Megan Thee Stallion, Cardi B's "WAP,"

A judge has dismissed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Megan Thee Stallion, Cardi B, and more over explicit lyrics in the rappers’ songs “WAP” and “Thot Sh*t.”

According to legal affairs journalist Meghann Cuniff, the suit was issued by Denise “Necey X” Jones, who apparently has some ties to rapper/songwriter Pardison Fontaine, né Jordan Kyle Lanier Thorpe.

Thorpe co-wrote the critically-acclaimed song, “WAP,” and is the ex-boyfriend of Thee Stallion.


U.S. District Judge Andrew L. Carter dismissed the case where the plaintiff claimed the “WAP” lyric, “pu**y so wet,” was taken from her 2019 song, “Grab Em by the Pu**y.”


The Judge ruled that the lyric is “neither original nor unique to the Plaintiff,” as the phrase is “employed frequently in popular culture and other Hip-Hop songs.”

Further in the dismissal, Judge Carter pointed out that the lyrics aren’t similar, as he noted that the expressions are “plainly different” and even though two words of the lyric are identical, someone “cannot exercise a monopoly over this two-word phrase.”

Jones also claimed that a lyric in “Thot Sh*t” was from her song, too. She accused the Traumazine rapper of using her line, “I got that ni**a wild’n,” to create the lyric, “why you in the club with ni**as wild’n.” In the suit, Jones attempted to make a connection between Thorpe writing “WAP” for Cardi and Meg and also the Section 8 rapper dating the Houston rhymer. The Judge referenced other songs that have used the expression “ni**as wild’n” in some sort of fashion, mentioning Rick Ross’ “Phone Tap” and QUE’s “OG Bobby Johnson.”


Claims have also included allegations that Megan and Cardi were mocking her in the music video for “WAP” — as her stagename is from star of the 1997 film B.A.P.S. The title for the single is notably a play on the cult classic, where the main characters are Halle Berry as Nisi, and the late actress Natalie Desselle who played Mickey.


Kanye West's Butt Exposed

Kanye West’s butt cheeks were exposed during a recent boat ride with his wife, Bianca Censori. TMZ reports that the Chicago artist was on a trip visiting Venice, Italy, when the butt slip happened. Ye and Censori could be seen cuddling on a boat in multiple pictures, with Kanye looking directly at the paparazzi in some of the photos. In other shots, the producer appeared uninterested in fixing his trousers. Onlookers recognized the pair and began recording the couple’s day in the Italian city.

The footage went viral on X/Twitter, with some people speculating that the outspoken figure was engaging in sexual activity with his wife. “Girl, I know damn well that Kanye West did not just get a blowjob out in public in Venice,” one person xweeted. “Well, Kanye’s [wife] is either sitting at his feet because she gets motion sickness or she’s making sure he enjoys his boat ride,” someone else quipped. 


Other social media users called him a hypocrite for saying the industry perpetuates sexual deviancy while he is seemingly engaging in sexual acts in public.

“Yo, this is [f**king] disgusting, and Kanye West has KIDS who have ACCESS TO SOCIAL MEDIA. He wants to blame the industry for [over-sexualizing] children while he’s publicly fornicating in front of Paparazzi. He is the problem he pretends to hate.”



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