The Last Word: Kim Kardashian To Release An Album, Akon Goes On Trial, and VIBE Responds to Robin Thicke’s Remarks On Racism

What’s good, everyone? Nothing much to say about this week aside from John McCain making this year’s Presidential election even more historic with his running mate Sarah Palin being the first woman Vice Presidential candidate since Geraldine Ferraro to make run for the White House and Hurricane Gustav sparing a Katrina-like repeat on New Orleans […]

What’s good, everyone? Nothing

much to say about this week aside from John McCain making this year’s

Presidential election even more historic with his running mate Sarah Palin

being the first woman Vice Presidential candidate since Geraldine Ferraro to make

run for the White House and Hurricane Gustav sparing a Katrina-like repeat on

New Orleans as tropical storms Hanna, Ike and Josephine create a trio of

potential disasters for the rest of the country.


Shout to the sounding boards for

pushing me into a memory or two while taking in the nightlife.


And with that, it is with profound

gratitude and great humility, I accept your nomination for…the Last Word for

the week ending Sept. 5, 2008.


1. Usher Plans a Night for the



For many singers, performing in

front of a packed house of fans is one of the things that makes being famous

worthwhile. Which is why Usher is going the extra mile for his female

supporters with his “One Night Stand” tour. Although specific dates are still

being hammered out for about 15 “intimate” venues, the crooner is confident

that the ladies will have a lasting memory.


“There’s only a few artists that

can pull that off,” Usher told the Associated Press. “I feel like I’ve had such a connection with my audience.

This album I felt was definitely the type of one that was more intimate. So

what better way to get up close and personal than to make it all women?”


And as his latest release, Here

I Stand

, showcases the player vibe of the

past and the mature mindstate of the present, Ushers knows his fans. “The

ladies like to see that masculine build,” said the singer. “They question if I

still got it.”


Good question. Musically, I think

Usher still has it. But with Chris Brown, Ne-Yo and the ever-present Justin

Timberlake, it’s probably a challenge to keep that crown. Ladies night may be

cool, but Ursh may want to bring everybody on board to hold on to the belt.


2. R. Kelly Tour Promoters Pay



In the latest episode of Case

Magnet: The R. Kelly Chronicles, our hero

once again finds himself at the mercy of the courts as fellow R&B hitmaker

Ne-Yo literally gets his payback with a $700,000 judgment in his favor from a

Los Angeles Superior Court judge.


The ruling is the aftermath of

drama surrounding Ne-Yo’s appearance on R. Kelly’s tour last year. After the

young crooner was dropped from the outing after two shows, a war of words

emerged as Ne-Yo maintained he was let go because he garnered a better response

from crowds, while Kelly’s people cited contract related issues. Nevertheless,

Ne-Yo ended up suing the tour’s promoter Row Entertainment Inc.


Billboard reports that Los Angeles Superior Court judge Malcolm

Mackey ordered the company to pay Ne-Yo and his touring company $700,320.


Score one for Ne-Yo. Maybe this

tired beef between him and Kells can die quietly. One case down; an infinite

number to go for Kells. Like I said last week, the Pied Piper and courts go

hand in hand like Batman and the Joker. Somebody get me when entertainers keep

their money in their pockets, not in the college fund of their lawyer’s



3. Kim Kardashian Considers A

Career in Song


Within the last few years, Kim

Kardashian has become a topic of conversation among folk. If it isn’t about

that infamous sex tape with Ray J, then it’s regarding her infamous backside

(notice a common word there?).


Now, Kardashian may add another

side to the talk with the revelation of a possible singing career. And if

you’re wondering who would top Kim’s list of collaborators, say no more.


“I’d say a little bit Michael

Jackson in there,” the reality show starlet shared Wednesday (Sept. 3) with

Hyla on the Yo on E! satellite radio

show. “I would love to work with, like, Timbaland as a producer and maybe

Justin Timberlake.”


Sounds interesting, ha? Whether or

not we hear the song stylings of Kardashian remains to be seen. The celebutante

is currently focused on doing her best as one of the new cast members for the

new season of Dancing With the Stars.


As a result, the she says that,

“There’s nothing in the works now,” as far as possible music projects music

projects go. I guess I’ll have to wait a little longer for Kim’s long awaited

sing-a-long remakes of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” and Trina’s “Pull Over.”

Stay tuned. If Paris can make a song and get a bit of airplay, then Kim can

probably do the same. Makes you truly wonder…


4. Akon’s Smackdown Goes to



Looks like Akon’s audition for the

WWE is being revisited in court.


According to media sources, the

35-year-old hit machine will go to trial on charges he tossed a fan offstage

during a concert last year.


Akon is accused of tossing a

teenager off stage during the June 2007 concert at a minor league baseball

stadium near Poughkeepsie. The singer made a brief appearance in court with his

lawyer on Wednesday (Sept. 3) as he asked for a jury trial. Akon pleaded not

guilty in December to misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of a minor

and second-degree harassment, a violation.


He is set to reappear in back in

court for trial Dec. 1 unless a deal is reached.

“We are pleased that Judge Epstein

adjourned the case to a date certain for either a trial or a negotiated

resolution,” Akon’s attorney Andrea Zellan said in a prepared statement. “Akon

looks forward to putting this incident behind him, and in the meantime he will

continue to meet every requirement set forth by the court.”


In the meantime, I wouldn’t be

surprised to find Akon making a surprise appearance on WWE Smackdown. If he can

toss a fan off stage with ease, what do you think he’ll do to Triple H? Can you

smell what the Kon is cookin’?…maybe not.


5. VIBE Magazine Responds to

Robin Thicke’s Racism Claims


More than a week after Robin

Thicke claimed race played a role in him not getting the cover of VIBE magazine, the publication’s editor-in-chief is speaking

out on the controversy.


According to reports, Thicke was

interview by VIBE earlier this summer

in support of his forthcoming album Something Else. As the interview went along, the singer reportedly asked

why he couldn’t be on the cover of VIBE.

The magazine’s response was

“We don’t put white artists on our



Needless to say, Thicke was

disappointed with VIBE’s reaction as he

expressed his love for the publication. “If there’s one magazine that I’d want

to be on the cover of, it’s VIBE,” he

told Billboard. “The only white artist

they’ve had on the cover was Eminem. I guess if that’s what it is, it is what

it is.”


And with that comes VIBE editor-in-chief Danyel Smith, who issued her reaction to

the drama in a statement. “We have a great deal of respect for Robin Thicke and

his music, and we remain flattered by his desire to be on a VIBE cover. A VIBE

cover is a huge milestone in any artist’s career – recent cover stars include

Young Jeezy, Mariah Carey, 50 Cent, Usher, Senator Barack Obama, Eminem, Lil

Wayne, and Robert De Niro, to say nothing of our 15-year history. We wish

Thicke the best, and we’re glad he discusses his thoughts on race and R&B

in the new October 2008 issue of VIBE.”


So who’s at fault in this? Or is

there anybody at fault at all? With a Black man running for president, the race

card will be front and center in a lot of different ways, but this is a

different spin on the whole thing in itself. So the question is does Mr. Thicke

– with all the soul and good music he’s put out in the last few years –

deserve to join Em as one of the only white artists to make the VIBE cover or should he stick with just being featured in the



What say you?


In Other Words…


* Two-time Grammy nominated

songstress Ledisi is bringing her voice to the theater as she stars in the Lynn

Ahrens-Stephen Flaherty musical, Once on This Island. The Billy Porter-directed play premiered Wednesday (Sept.

3) and will run through Sept. 14 at UCLA’s Freud Playhouse.


* Popular gospel music duo Mary

Mary will release The Sound, their

first new studio album in years. The Columbia Records release, which features

the pop-infused praise and empowerment lead single “Get Up,” is slated to hit

stores Oct. 14.


* Add Christina Aguilera to the

list of celebrities hawking their own fragrance. The diva has launched a new

fragrance, Inspire, and reveals that the scent a natural extension of herself. “I

love makeup. I love playing around with different styles of hair, different

elements of beauty,” Xtina told USA Today.

“I love fragrance. I actually collect perfume bottles. I thought it would be

really fun to create a fragrance, from the bottle design to the actual scent.”


* Mel B is getting a little

animated for a new Virgin Media ad. The former Spice Girl sports her trademark

leopard print catsuit in the animated commercial, which will be shown on movie

screens. “I’m over the moon with my animated alter ego and the advert really

made me giggle. It’s definitely fresh and original,” Mel B said about the ad,

which is for Virgin Media’s Movies’ On Demand service.


* Britney Spears continues to be a

force. Despite a disastrous performance at last year’s MTV VMA’s, the singer is

opening the show again (although she’s not performing). Now Shaggy wants a piece

of Brit, as he expressed a desire to collaborate with the pop diva.


“Imagine Britney Spears doing a

hardcore dancehall record, have her doing the ‘Dutty Wine’ (legendary dancehall

song),” the reggae star told WENN, adding that he would love to take Spears out

of her comfort zone and introduce to her the reggae scene.


I don’t know about this. Britney

doing reggae could be the same as Kellie Pickler doing rap music. Somehow, the

two just don’t mix.