R. Kelly’s Black Panties may not be an appropriate stocking stuffer for everyone on your Christmas list, but next year, he plans to give a gift that the whole family can enjoy. The R&B icon is working on his first Christmas album, and he gave Rap-Up TV the exclusive details.
“I’m working on a Christmas album right now called the 12 Nights of Christmas and it’s gonna be a lot of lovemaking,” said Kellz. “I come with that bearing gifts.”
He started recording the album last year, but doesn’t plan to release it until 2014. “I started it last Christmas actually, but I don’t believe in just putting out a Christmas album just to sell records. It has to be the next ['This Christmas']. In order to get that and capture that moment, you have to take a couple of Christmases and then you come with it.”
In the meantime, he has contributed a new holiday song called “Christmas I’ll Be Steppin’” to The Best Man Holiday soundtrack.
He also revealed that he has seven or eight albums worth of material waiting to be released including the follow-up to Black Panties. “My next album is halfway written already,” revealed Kellz. “It’s gonna be another 12 Play album. It’s gonna be that type of album because there’s been a lovemaking album drought…and I’ve come to save the day.”
Twenty years since making his debut, R. Kelly remains one of the most influential and consistent hitmakers in the game. Before his 12th solo album Black Panties drops tomorrow, the R&B genius sat down with Rap-Up TV for an exclusive interview. In Part 1, he discusses his recent collaborations with pop superstars Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, and Bruno Mars, and his latest work.
“Black Panties is mixed with 12 Play, TP-2.com, and a bit of the Born Into the 90′s album,” he said of the project, which features everyone from 2 Chainz to Kelly Rowland. “It’s got all those elements in there, but of today.”
He collaborated with Justin Bieber on his #MusicMondays single “PYD.” The two met up a year ago after discovering they were staying in the same hotel.
“I was lovin’ his music, he was lovin’ mine, so we said, ‘Man, we got to do something together,’” said Kellz. “He finally sent me a track and it was ‘PYD,’ and I put my verse on it and the rest is just history.”
He was so pleased with the results that he’s enlisted the teen idol for his next album. “He’s gonna be doing something on my next up-and-coming album,” revealed Kellz.
Last month, the Chicago native shared the stage with another pop powerhouse, Lady Gaga, at the American Music Awards. “I feel like I met my match when I met Gaga,” he said. “She got a lot of balls. She got a lot of nerve. She’s not afraid to express her music through her vision.”
The two shot a video for their collaboration “Do What U Want,” which Kellz describes as “retarded,” adding, “If you put the two together, you got bi-polar maybe or something like that. … It’s gonna be off the chain.”
If that wasn’t enough, he also guests on the remix to Bruno Mars’ “Gorilla,” which he admits was a challenge at first.
Additionally, he hinted that Bruno may be featured on an upcoming remix of his. “I’ve been talking about, once the album gets going, gettin’ some of these guys that called me. I’ma call them up and say, ‘Hey man, you owe me a favor, dawg.’”
Alicia Keys, Ariana Grande, and Tamar Braxton are just some of the superstars who have called on Sevyn Streeter for her songwriting skills, but now the rising star is making a name for herself beyond the credits.
On Tuesday, the 27-year-old singer released her debut EP Call Me Crazy, But… The former RichGirl member, who is signed to Chris Brown’s CBE label, caught up with Rap-Up TV during the L.A. stop of her tour with K. Michelle to discuss her first solo offering.
“It’s basically talking about the cycle of a relationship, the ups, the downs, the good, the bad, the ugly,” she said of the seven tracks.
She sparked rumors of a romance after co-starring with Tristan “Mack” Wilds in the video for “It Won’t Stop.” “We had a really good time,” said Sevyn. “I felt like I was getting my acting chops on a little bit. He’s such a great actor.”
Chris Brown not only signed Sevyn, but he’s also been hands-on with her project. “He’s very involved. I swear I can call and ask him for advice about anything,” she said. “It doesn’t matter, it could be a video, it could be choreography or whatever, he’s always gonna have some kind of advice for me.”
She has written songs for his upcoming album X including “Fine China” and the title track. “I’m not quite sure what other records are on there, but I wrote some more so let’s have our fingers crossed.”
Sevyn recently had the honor of performing one of the songs she wrote, “Gone,” with Kelly Rowland at BET’s “Black Girls Rock!” “It was a dream come true. Honestly she didn’t have to do that and she’s a sweetheart for that and I just can’t thank her enough,” said Sevyn, who admits that the two share a resemblance.
So who’s left on her wish list of collaborators? “I would love to write for Beyoncé,” said Sevyn. “I would love to write some stuff for Usher, Jennifer Lopez, Miguel, the list goes on.”
Danity Kane’s comeback is in full effect. After announcing their first show in five years, tickets sold out in 24 hours. The ladies will perform their hits and new material for the first time at L.A.’s House of Blues on December 16.
In Part 2 of our interview, Aubrey, Dawn, Shannon, and Aundrea discuss their upcoming album. The group has been in the studio with hitmakers including The Stereotypes, Da Internz, The Underdogs, Ester Dean, James Fauntleroy, Dem Jointz, and Rob Knox.
They are also hoping to work with Miguel and Pharrell. “Pharrell is pretty phenomenal,” Shannon told Rap-Up TV. “We’ve always had Pharrell on our list.”
Aubrey shared an embarrassing story about running into The Neptunes hitmaker at the VMAs. “I fell through a chair and landed on his lap,” she said. “There’s a lot of women that try to get in Pharrell’s lap and it just naturally happened for me.”
Diddy discovered the girls on MTV’s “Making the Band,” but he won’t be involved in the next chapter of their career. However, they still wish him well.
“We wish him the best and we hope that he wishes us the best. Hopefully we’ll see him at the Grammys in a year,” said Aubrey, adding, “Maybe he’ll bring us cheesecake.”
Prior to reuniting, they were pursuing solo careers, but they’ve put them on hold to focus solely on Danity Kane. “We’re back in Danity Kane. We’re here, we’re focused,” said Aubrey. “We left our solo careers and all the things that we pushed and believed in and fought for and we are committing to this situation and this group and we plan on having a long career.”
Danity Kane is back! Five years after topping the charts with their album Welcome to the Dollhouse, Dawn Richard, Aubrey O’Day, Aundrea Fimbres, and Shannon Bex sat down for one of their first interviews since announcing their return at the VMAs in August. Speaking exclusively to Rap-Up TV, the platinum girl group opened up about getting back together, D. Woods’ decision not to return, and their comeback concert.
“I think for us it was time. We were ready,” said Aundrea. “It kinda started as a phone call, a text to each of us and then we went to lunch and it was like no time had passed. It was like, ‘OK. Let’s do it.’”
They have been overwhelmed by the response. “We were all having our phones blow up and felt to ourselves the power of our fans, this amazing group of people that has stuck by our side through all this fuckery,” said Aubrey.
While DK’s fifth member D. Woods decided not to return, there’s no ill will. “We wish her the best,” said Dawn. “We asked who wanted to be here and those who wanted to show up, showed up. It’s nothing more than that. We want people to see this for what it is and know that this is Danity Kane.”
On December 16, the foursome will play their first show together in five years at L.A.’s House of Blues. “I’m super nervous,” admitted Aubrey, while Dawn added, “I think you’re supposed to be jittery and nervous about something like this. This is not just us standing on the stage, this is us coming together and headlining, coming together and giving new music.”
In addition to their hits, they will perform new material for the first time. “We’ll be able to actually perform new stuff and see the response of our fans,” said Dawn. “It’s one of those things where we feel so bad that we’ve had to consistently not give enough, but everything happens in time and now we’re giving the best of us. New music and some old goodies.”
Kendrick Lamar made headlines when he brought out Lil’ Kim at Power 105.1′s Powerhouse, but the Queen Bee was also supposed to hit the stage with K. Michelle. Rap-Up TV caught up with the “V.S.O.P.” singer, who explained why the moment never came to life.
“The time at Powerhouse got moved up,” she said. “So you know us women, we take a long time to get ready and the time was so back-to-back, there was no room to move. She didn’t make it to hit the stage with me in time. I was bummed, but the show must go on.”
Despite the mishap, the ladies remain friends. “She’s always been a K. Michelle fan and I’ve always been a Lil’ Kim fan,” she said.
They are even planning to collaborate on a new song. “I’m actually having her work on it this week,” said K during her show at L.A.’s House of Blues last week.
There has been a lack of collaborations between females in music. When asked why, K put it bluntly: “‘Cause they bitches.”
She continued, “We don’t see a lot of collaborations between female artists because they’re really chickenheads. It’s so catty, like, ‘Oh, you got my wig.’ Girl, shut up. What are we doing here? Let’s make music. Rappers can come together and collab. It’s rare that you see females come together. I’m definitely for the collabs with all the great female artists that are out now.”
However, you will see female unity on her upcoming VH1 show “No New Friends.” “It’s basically about my life as an artist, a mother, and a businesswoman,” said the “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” star. “You guys get to see, not just the pop-off K. Michelle, curse you out, but you get to see really all of me.”
K. Michelle is currently on her “Rebellious Soul” tour with Sevyn Streeter and Tiara Thomas, and is gearing up for a Christmas edition of her album Rebellious Soul.
K. Michelle has been packing venues on her first headlining tour. Rap-Up TV caught up with the R&B songstress backstage during the second stop of her “Rebellious Soul” tour at L.A.’s House of Blues this week.
“It’s really amazing because when they said I was doing a tour on my own I got scared,” she said. “I was like, ‘No one’s gonna be there.’ So for both nights to be wall-to-wall, it’s been ridiculous and very humbling.”
The tour also features Sevyn Streeter and Tiara Thomas, the latter of which will join her in Dallas on Nov. 11. “Female artists can be very catty, and I wanted to do some newbies that could really bring something to the table,” she said of her supporting acts. “Tiara Thomas, we both have the same manager and her writing is amazing. And Sevyn is one of the best new writers that I’ve heard.”
After topping the charts with her debut Rebellious Soul, the “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” star is planning to release a Christmas version of her album just in time for the holidays.
“There’s gonna be a Rebellious Soul, it kinda is like Christmas,” she revealed. “I didn’t want to do a full out Christmas album, I don’t know if I’m a Christmas artist right now, but I wanted to give out a gift to my fans for Christmas.”
The re-release, tentatively due later this month, will include two original songs and three Christmas covers including her soulful remake of “O Come, All Ye Faithful.”