Category Archives: News/Events

Janet Jackson – Unbreakable New Album October 3, 2015 & Tour

Janet Jackson - Unbreakable (2015)

Janet Jackson – Unbreakable

Pre-Order ‘Unbreakable’ Today On Itunes and Receive Instant Downloads Of New Title Track and First Single ‘No Sleeep (Feat. J. Cole)’

Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation record label and its distribution partner BMG have set an October 2, 2015 date for the wide release of the superstar’s first studio album in seven years, Unbreakable. The album is now available for pre-order on iTunes with instant downloads of the new title track and the first single off the album, ‘No Sleeep (feat. J. Cole).’ Pre-order started on September 3rd, 2015. Additionally, fans can stream the new title track today onYouTube.

The initial single release, “No Sleeep,” raced to #1 on Billboard’s Adult R&B chart and has returned to that position this week for both Urban AC and Adult R&B Charts. The album and single constitute a historic re-teaming of the iconic performer, now a holder of 46 record chartings with producer/songwriter superstars Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. The “Unbreakable” release comes on the 30th anniversary of their groundbreaking collaboration on her “Control” album.

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Unbreakable Track Listing (in sequence)

  • Unbreakable
  • Burnitup! (Feat. Missy Elliott)
  • Dammn Baby
  • The Great Forever
  • Shoulda Known Better
  • After You Fall
  • Broken Hearts Heal
  • Night
  • No Sleeep (Feat. J Cole)
  • Dream Maker/ Euphoria
  • 2 B Loved
  • Take Me Away
  • Promise
  • Lessons Learned
  • Black Eagle
  • Well Traveled
  • Gon B Alright

Macy’s Celebrates the Soul Era of Fashion with June Ambrose and Johnetta Boone

IMG_2846Chicago’s fashionistas assembled at the historic Macy’s on State Street on February 19th to see fashion queen and stylist to the stars June Ambrose and costume designer Johnetta Boone for Macy’s Black History Month Celebration focusing on the “Soul Era” of fashion.

Moderated by Chicago journalist Robin Robinson (wearing local designer Barbara Bates), Ambrose and Boone gave their insights and expert opinions on the 70’s soul era and today’s fashion. Boone said during the 70’s, there was an explosion of designers going to Africa and bringing back the styles they found. Ambrose added that during that time everything was over the top and there were more African-American designers then than there are now.

Ambrose and Boone also discussed their respective starts in fashion. Ambrose was originally in the financial world as an investment banker and Boone got her big break as the costume designer for the 2004 film The Notebook. They both agreed that stars like Beyoncé, Solange and Ledisi and Janelle Monae are embodying the soul era.

When asked what their “I made it” moment was, Ambrose said she still feelsIMG_2840 like she’s working towards it, she said when she started, she didn’t think about being celebrated, I thought about making a difference. She said she wanted to be seen and heard, she never thought about the money or getting a publicist. She wasn’t thinking about those things, she said” I was thinking about how do I make this amazing so it can lead to future jobs, how I do I use this to build my brand, how do I recognize the power of my skill set, how do I make a difference in a person’s life.”

Boone added that the reason that you don’t see African American costume designers winning Oscars is because no one goes to see African American movies We need to support one another to be successful. Ambrose said she uses her digital platform to mentor to up and coming stylists and she’s very grateful for that platform.  The ladies ended with discussion stating anything is possible and asking attendees to think about what kind of legacy are they going to leave behind.

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The event also included fashion from the 70’s, make overs by Fashion Fair Cosmetics and a photo opportunity with Ambrose and Boone.

More photos posted on UnRated Magazine instagram page. 

KRS-ONE Performs at the Shrine in Chicago (Review)

By Brand Gilliam

20150117_011724A high level of energy descended upon Chicago’s Shrine nightclub in anticipation for the arrival of the legendary KRS-ONE.

PNS (Molemen) commanded the turntables and kept the crowd at a feverish pitch playing golden era Hip-Hop and an onslaught of Reggae and Dancehall tunes while waiting for the show. Then, around 12:30 a.m., The Blastmaster aka The Teacha aka I Am Hip-Hop took command of the stage like Moses holding the Ten Commandments. A controlled chaos ensued as the 50 year old emcee and 28 year Hip-Hop veteran, Lawrence Parker, aka KRS-ONE, gave an adrenaline-charged 40 minute performance.

He kicked things off with a bundle pack of old school classics from albums Criminal Minded (1987), By All Means Necessary (1988), Edutainment (1990), Return of the Boom Bap (1993), KRS-ONE (1995), and I Got Next (1997). After about 15 minutes ripping the mic non-stop, KRS-ONE declared “Now I am ready to start the show”. KRS-ONE saw a fan in the crowd holding up a piece of paper which said Invaders; a Mexican empowerment anthem released in 2013.

20150117_011728From breath control to freestyle skills, crowd command, stage presence and song selection, his simple yet awe-inspiring performance was 100% on point. KRS-ONE frequently broke into off the dome freestyles which came effortlessly to him. KRS-ONE never lost the full attention of the crowd or the electrifying momentum that he had built on stage. The only down side about the performance was that it was only about 40 minutes long and that he and the DJ (PNS) did not seem to be on the same page when it came to the sound levels. Also he ended the performance rather strangely… he went to sign a fan’s album cover and just ran off stage. The fans were puzzled and did not know if the show had ended or not. The host came out and said that the show was over and about 5 minutes later KRS-ONE came into the crowd to take pictures and sign autographs.

KRS-ONE’s high power performance would put 98% of these so-called rappers to shame. I have been to a lot of rap show/concerts and the only other crew that I have seen equal and/or surpass the energy of a KRS-ONE performance is Public Enemy.

Overall the performance was an “A+”. Although the two and half to three hours of waiting in a packed shoulder to shoulder crowd… for a 40 minute performance with an abrupt ending was a “D-“.

 

KRS-ONE performed at the Shrine in Chicago on January 16, 2015

Photos by Brandy Gilliam

Ne-Yo to Release Non-Fiction on January 27th

NeYoSuperstar hitmaker NE-YO returns with his first album in two years, Non-Fiction, which will be released in the U.S. on January 27, 2015 by Motown Records/Compound Entertainment. The international release will follow on February 16. See below for track listing.

Non-Fiction finds NE-YO collaborating with some of the most talented names in music today. Juicy J is featured on the new single, “She Knows,” which was produced by powerhouse pop guru Dr. Luke (Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus). Billboardhailed the track as “spare and hard-hitting” while Complex praised its “traditional R&B style.”

“This track is dedicated to the kind of strong, confident woman who demands attention when she walks in the room. All you can think of is, ‘yeah she knows.’ She knows she is beautiful. She knows all eyes are on her. She knows how to command the room,” explains NE-YO. “Dr. Luke’s production is incredible and J brings his club swag to the track. No matter what the song is about, he can always take the subject matter home.”

Other featured artists include Candice, David Guetta, Jeezy, Charisse Mills, Schoolboy Q and T.I. Time of Our Lives,” NE-YO’s new collaboration with Pitbull, appears on both Non-Fiction and Pitbull’s new album.

The pre-order for Non-Fiction launches today. Fans who pre-order Non-Fictionon iTunes, Google Play, or Amazon will instantly receive “She Knows” feat. Juicy J“Money Can’t Buy” feat. Jeezy and “Religious.” Non-Fiction will be available in standard and deluxe configurations. The iTunes and Target editions of the deluxe album will each contain two additional tracks exclusive to those retailers.

As its title suggests, every song on Non-Fiction is derived from a true story. Some are NE-YO’s own personal tales while others were submitted by fans on social-media platforms like Twitter and Instagram.

“I didn’t just want to tell my story. I like letting people try to guess which is which!” explains NE-YO. “I’m a storyteller: with this album, I wanted to put a magnifying glass on that. I wanted Non-Fiction to feel cinematic: each track gives listeners something entertaining, yet if they take their time with it, they’ll discover different dimensions and subplots.”

NE-YO was joined in the studio by production mainstays from throughout his career such as Shae Taylor and Stargate plus new associates Key Wayne and Glass John and members of his own Compound Music production team, including Corporal. DJ Camper (JAY Z, Kanye West, John Legend) also worked on many tracks.

The new songs are the kind of ultra-relevant narratives blended with powerful hooks that NE-YO became renowned for – both on his own hits like “So Sick,” “Closer” and “Miss Independent” and tracks he’s helped craft for Rihanna, Beyoncé, Celine Dion, Carrie Underwood, Whitney Houston, Pitbull, Ciara and many others.Non-Fiction follows his late 2012 release, R.E.D. (Realizing Every Dream), which received stellar reviews. USA Today noted, “There isn’t a more natural singer/songwriter in contemporary R&B than NE-YO” and The Washington Post hailed him as an “extremely gifted and versatile songwriter.” NE-YO‘s first three studio albums debuted at No. 1 on the SoundScan chart and were all certified RIAA Platinum. He is a three-time GRAMMY® winner and a two-time winner at the BET, MOBO and Soul Train Music awards.

Track Listing – Non-Fiction

Standard Edition

  1. Run feat. Schoolboy Q
  2. Integrity feat. Charisse Mills
  3. One More feat. T.I.
  4. Who’s Taking You Home feat. David Guetta
  5. Time of Our Lives with Pitbull
  6. Coming With You
  7. Good Morning
  8. Make It Easy
  9. Money Can’t Buy feat. Jeezy
  10. Religious
  11. She Knows feat. Juicy J
  12. She Said I’m Hood Tho feat. Candice
  13. Story Time
  14. Congratulations

 

 

Chris Brown & Trey Songz Between the Sheets Tour

BETWEEN THE SHEETS TOURMulti-platinum selling artists Chris Brown and Trey Songz upcoming BETWEEN THE SHEETS TOUR will kick off in 2015. Produced and promoted exclusively by Live Nation, the BETWEEN THE SHEETS TOUR will take the two entertainment heavyweights to 25 cities across North America starting Jan. 28, 2015 in Hampton, Va. at the Hampton Coliseum, with additional dates lined up in Brooklyn, Atlanta, Dallas, Philadelphia,Chicago, Toronto, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Tyga will be a special guest on the tour. A full list of tour dates is below.

Tickets for the general public went on sale Monday, Nov. 17.

Grammy award winning singer/songwriter Chris Brown recently made his sixth #1 album entry on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop chart with his latest release X (RCAS Records). The album also debuted at #2 on Billboard’s Top Albums chart, marking his sixth album debut within the Top Ten.  X sold over 140,000 units in its first week while Spotify streams of the album continue to rise. With his incredible national television debut performance of the album’s title track on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and recent much-buzzed about performance of “New Flame” with Usher at the iHeart Music Festival, combined with the ongoing chart-topping success of “Loyal,” there’s no question why the talented Chris remains a mainstay at top of the charts.

His latest album, Trigga, debuted at #1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart and is the sixth studio album by the Grammy-nominated entertainer/artist known as Trey Songz. The album was released onJuly 1, 2014, by Songbook and Atlantic Records. Following the release of his fifth studio album Chapter V (2012), which also debuted #1, Songz made his acting debut in Texas Chainsaw 3D and Baggage Claim in (2013). The same year Songz began work on his sixth studio album collaborating with artists including Nicki Minaj, Mila J, Ty Dolla $ign, Justin Bieber and Juicy J.

BETWEEN THE SHEETS TOUR
All dates and venues below subject to change.

Wed Jan. 28 Hampton, VA Hampton Coliseum
Thu Jan. 29 Brooklyn, NY Barclays Center
Sat Jan. 31 Baltimore, MD Royal Farms Arena (on sale Nov. 22)
Tue Feb. 03 Atlanta, GA Phillips Arena
Thu Feb. 05 New Orleans, LA Smoothie King Arena
Fri Feb. 06 Dallas, TX American Airlines Center
Sat Feb. 07 Houston, TX Toyota Center
Mon Feb. 09 Charlotte, NC Time Warner Cable Arena
Tue Feb. 10 Greensboro, NC Greensboro Coliseum
Thu Feb. 12 Sunrise, FL BB&T Center
Sat Feb. 14 Columbus, OH Nationwide Arena
Sun Feb. 15 Detroit, MI Joe Louis Arena
Wed Feb. 18 Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center
Thu Feb. 19 Worcester, MA DCU Center (on sale Nov. 22)
Sat Feb. 21 East Rutherford, NJ IZOD Center
Sun Feb. 22 Washington, D.C. Verizon Center (on sale Nov. 22)
Tue Feb. 24 Montreal, QC Bell Centre (on sale Nov. 15)
Wed Feb. 25 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
Fri Feb. 27 Rosemont, IL Allstate Arena
Sat Feb. 28 Cincinnati, OH U.S. Bank Arena (on sale Nov. 24)
Sun March 01 Nashville, TN Bridgestone Arena
Tue March 03 Minneapolis, MN Target Center
Fri March 06 San Jose, CA SAP Center
Sat March 07 Las Vegas, NV Mandalay Bay Events Center
Sun March 08 Los Angeles, CA The Forum

 

 

French Montana And Jeremih Co-Headline “Set It Off Tour”

French MontanaBad Boy/Interscope recording artist French Montana announces dates for the upcoming Set It Off Tour.  French will be co-headlining with Def Jam recording artist Jeremih, for ten* of the sixteen stops.  The national tour will start in Fort Lauderdale onDecember 1, and wraps on December 22, in San Francisco, CA.

French Montana is currently in the studio putting the finishing touches on his sophomore project, Mac & Cheese, which will be released on December 16.  The Moroccan born, Bronx bred rapper blesses his fans with a taste of what’s to come on his new single “Don’t Panic.” The DJ Mustard produced track is accompanied by an intense, hard hitting video directed by Eif Rivera.  With a slew of chart topping singles and a top 10 debut record, Montana proves to be one of hip-hops most talented artists. For more information, visit http://www.frenchmontanamusic.com/tour

 

Date City  Venue
Monday, December 1*  Fort Lauderdale, FL  Revolution
Tuesday, December 2*  Orlando, FL  Firestone Live
Wednesday, December 3*  Charlotte, NC  The Fillmore
Thursday, December 4*  Sayreville, NJ  Starland Ballroom
Friday, December 5  Providence, RI  Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel
Saturday, December 6  Clifton Park, NY  Upstate Concert Hall
Sunday, December 7  Baltimore, MD  Sound Stage
Monday, December 8*  Boston, MA   House Of Blues
Tuesday, December 9*  New York, NY  Best Buy Theater
Wednesday, December 10*  Washington, DC  The Fillmore
Thursday, December 11  Norfolk, VA  The Norva
Friday, December 12  Stroudsburg, PA  Sherman Theater
Saturday, December 13  New Orleans, LA  Lakefront Arena
Sunday, December 14  Chicago, IL  Double Door
Friday, December 19  Phoenix, AZ  The Press Room
Saturday, December 20*  Las Vegas, AZ   Brooklyn Bowl
Sunday, December 21*  Los Angeles, CA  Club Nokia
Monday, December 22*  San Francisco, CA  The Regency

 

“Rico Suave,” And Family Gear Up For New Comedic Docu-Series “Suave Says”

Suave SaysGerardo – and his famously chiseled torso – rose to the top of the music charts in the early 1990’s thanks to his hit single “Rico Suave.” Now VH1 is giving you a sneak peek into his crazy family life in the new comedic docu-series “Suave Says” premiering on Wednesday, December 3rd at 10PM ET/PT.  When fans eventually moved on, so did Gerardo Mejia, who transitioned into a career as a powerful music executive and a lay pastor, married a beauty queen and started a family. Now the former heartthrob is teaming up with VH1 as he passes the music torch to his children and manages a loco home life with “hot mom” wife Kathy, rapping son Jaden, and daughters Bianca, a fashionista, and Nadia, an aspiring singer and “Miss Malibu” title-holder. Rounding out the hectic Mejia household is Gerado’s mom, Mama Mejia.

After living out his own rock-n-roll dreams, “Rico Suave” went to work behind the scenes, becoming one of Interscope Records’ most valuable A&R executives and credited with bringing fellow Latin singer Enrique Iglesias and others into the mainstream. But reconciling a pop star past with modern parenting isn’t easy, as Gerardo and Kathy have discovered with kids who want to follow in their father’s famous footsteps. Add to that Kathy’s inclination to be a best friend to her son and control his budding love life and home life for the Mejias is never easy, even when it’s suave.

Follow @SuaveSaysVH1 on Twitter and use hashtag #SuaveSays and #MyLocaFamily to talk about the show and on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/SuaveSaysVH1.

Beyond the Lights Premiere’s at 2014 Chicago International Film Festival

bythewoodDirector Gina Prince-Bythewood (pictured left) gives movie goers a look behind the flashing lights of fame with her latest project Beyond the Lights.

Bythewood wrote and directed this film that tells the story of music’s next big star Noni, a bi-racial young women raised by a single mother, who has the voice of an angel. On the verge of succumbing to the pressures of her stardom, Noni meets someone that helps her see who she is and helps her find her true voice.

The film screened during this year’s Chicago International Film and writer, director Bythewood was on hand to discuss how the film came to light in 2007 when she started writing it. Bythewood said Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland served as her inspiration for Noni and the film. She said the messages she hopes people take from the film are to choose life and be true to your002self. The film stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle) as Noni, Nate Parker (The Secret Life of Bees), Minnie Driver (Good Will Hunting), and Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon).  Beyond the Lights hits theaters on November 14th, 2014.

Photos by Dan Locke

Chris Brown, Jodeci, Jeremih And More Confirmed To Take The Stage During Soul Train Awards 2014

100814-soul-train-awards-show-page-thumbnailCentric announced a lineup of hit-making performers and presenters for Soul Train Awards  2014. Leading the charge for his first Soul Train Awards  performance is the multi-talented Grammy Award winner, Chris Brown, who leads the show with seven nominations. In addition, the reunion we’ve all been waiting for is going down as the platinum selling group Jodeci is scheduled to sing a medley of hits before ending with a sneak peek of their new single, “Nobody Wins.” Chart-topping international fan favorites Aloe Blacc and Nico & Vinz will keep the audience entertained with upbeat performances of their catchy sing-a-long hits. Jeremih, Lisa Stansfield, Kem and Liv Warfield round out the list of rhythm and soul singers set to captivate viewers during this year’s show. Presenters Trey Songz, Boris Kodjoe, Laila Ali and Wolf Blitzer will join host Wendy Williams on stage at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on November 7, 2014. The show airs on CENTRIC and BET Networks on November 30, 2014 at 8PM ET/PT.

This year’s theme will celebrate the history of dance, from the classic Soul Train line and the electric slide, to the Dougie and this year’s breakout, the Nae Nae. To bring the dance theme to life, Soul Train Awards 2014 has brought in award-winning choreographer Fatima Robinson and her 12 seasoned dancers to lead the show.  Additionally, Grammy Award-winning producers 1500 or Nothin’ are back again as music directors for the show and will keep the party rolling throughout the night.

For show information, please visit BET.com/SoulTrain, the official site for Soul Train Awards 2014. Follow Centric on Twitter (@CentricTV), Instagram (@CentricTV) and Facebook.com/CentricTV. Be a part of the Soul Train Awards conversation using #SoulTrainAwards.

T.I.’s New Album ‘Paperwork’ to be Released October 21st

T.I. deluxe coverGrand Hustle/Columbia has announced the upcoming release of hip hop trailblazer T.I’s Columbia Records debut, Paperwork, executive produced by Pharrell, and due to hit retail platforms and digital outlets on October 21st.  Beginning today, fans can pre-order the highly anticipated new album on iTunes: http://smarturl.it/paperworkdlx. All those who pre-order Paperwork will receive the album’s kickoff hits “No Mediocre” (featuring Iggy Azalea) – a Top Ten smash on Mainstream R&B/Hip Hop charts and currently in Top 5 at Rhythm radio – and “About The Money,”(featuring Young Thug) which has also been a mainstay of urban and hip hop charts for nearly two months. The album track “New National Anthem” featuring Skylar Grey is also available to download for pre-ordering fans. On October 7th, another special instant grat will be offered – the title track “Paperwork” featuring Pharrell.

Most recently, T.I. gave an all-out performance of “About The Money” at the BET Hip Hop Awards.  Taped in Atlanta, the show is scheduled to air on BET October 14th.  The live rendition is but a taste of the 15 track opus (tracklisting below,) with the special Deluxe edition of Paperwork featuring 3 exclusive songs.

One of the most buzzed about albums of the fall, T.I. has described his first Columbia release as ‘of a stellar nature,’ and a golden opportunity to apply all of his diverse strengths to his music.   Globally recognized as a visionary artist and groundbreaking multi-platform entrepreneur, his stewardship of innovative label Grand Hustle, and multiple TV, digital and branding endeavors has made him a catalyst for some of the industry’s most exciting creative partnerships.

T.I. gathered only the best and the brightest for his triumphant solo return.  Paperwork was  Executive produced by Pharrell, and features multiple star-studded collaborations and guest appearances on the album, including Chris Brown featured on “Private Show,” Usher featured on “At Ya’ Own Risk,” and The Dream featured on “Let Your Heart Go (Break My Soul),” among others.
Throughout his career, the multi-platinum Atlanta-native has set the standard by which all other hip hop icons are measured, achieving four Billboard Hot 100 #1’s, and selling more than 14 million albums and 30 million singles. One of the most honored artists working today, T.I. has been awarded 11 Billboard Awards, 9 BET Hip Hop Awards, 3 GRAMMY® Awards, 3 BET Awards, 2 American Music Awards and an MTV Video Music Award. His standout collaborations with some of music’s biggest artists include Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke, Lil Wayne, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Destiny’s Child, Britney Spears, B.O.B., Drake, Christina Aguilera, Kanye West and Swizz Beats. His label imprint Grand Hustle, founded in 2003, enters its second decade of operations as a platinum-plus foundry for some of the most innovative hip hop talent in the world.
T.I.’s success in the visual realm has carried over to movies and television, with the versatile star experiencing remarkable success as an actor, appearing in the hit film Identity Thief and playing a guest starring role in the SHOWTIME series HOUSE OF LIES.  He is also slated to appear in the upcoming Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell comedy GET HARD due out early next year and has been cast in the MARVEL film ANTMAN with co-star Paul Rudd. His VH1 unscripted series, T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle is already in its third season, capturing T.I. as he balances a thriving career, wife Tameka “Tiny” Cottle and their loving, blended family of six children.  The series continues to be one of the highest rated shows on VH1.

Tracklisting for Paperwork:
1.     King
2.     G’ Shit ft. Young Jeezy & WatchTheDuck
3.     About The Money ft. Young Thug
4.     New National Anthem ft. Skylar Grey
5.     Oh Yeah ft. Pharrell
6.     Private Show ft. Chris Brown
7.     No Mediocre ft. Iggy Azalea
8.     Jet Fuel ft. Boosie Badazz
9.     Paperwork ft. Pharrell
10.   Stay ft. Victoria Monet
11.   About My Issue ft. Victoria Monet & Nipsey Hussle
12.   At Ya’ Own Risk ft. Usher
13.   On Doe, On Phil ft. Trae The Truth
14.   Light Em Up (RIP Doe B) ft. Pharrell & WatchTheDuck
15.   Let Your Heart Go (Break My Soul) ft. The-Dream

Deluxe Edition Only:
16. Sugar Cane
17. I Don’t Know
18. You Can Tell How I Walk ft. Rick Ross

For more information visit: www.tipaperwork.com