Michael Jackson may soon top the charts again — posthumously! A new album of The King of Pop’s music called "Xscape" is going to be released by Epic Records on May 13.
The eight tracks, overseen by label head L.A. Reid, are said to be "contemporized" by a number of Jackson’s former studio allies including lead producer Timbaland, Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins, Stargate, Jerome "J-Roc" Harmon and estate executor John McClain.
One of the songs, "Slave To The Rhythm" (not to be confused with the ‘80s Grace Jones hit), can now be heard in the background of a new commercial for the Xperia Z2 Sony smartphone.
It will be interesting to see if this project is accepted better than the last two albums released since the star’s death five years ago. It should also be noted that there are still no signs of Jackson’s work with Black Eyed Peas conceptualizer Will.I.Am, who once told the BBC that the songs "demanded all the people to the dance floor."
RESTARTING ENGINES: Production has resumed in Atlanta on “Fast & Furious 7.” Filming was shut down Nov. 30 due to the accidental death of series star Paul Walker. Shooting for the next eight weeks will focus on actors Vin Diesel, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Tyrese Gibson, Djimon Hounsou, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Korean action king Tony Jaa, and Brit tough guy Jason Statham.
THE KING OF SEQUELS: And the crown goes to Ice Cube with the news he’s about to man the chair again in the upcoming "Barbershop 3" (along with the rumored participation of Cedric the Entertainer and Queen Latifah).
June will see the release of the follow-up "22 Jump Street," with Cube essaying the precinct captain again. While that is in theatres, he’ll be busy filming "Ride Along 2" with Kevin Hart! With that done, you’d have to wonder if the long-awaited "Friday" finale will finally get off of the ground!
"I don’t really consider myself a Black man in Hollywood. I live in Brooklyn … and on purpose.
“At the most base level, what an actor represents to the film industry is an investment. Depending on the risk profile, an investor needs 1,000 reasons to commit and one reason not to. That means you’ve got to do more work on your own and that the machine is not going to necessarily do the blocking for you.
“The machine rarely accepted my code. That can be frustrating, but you just have to be aware." – JEFFREY WRIGHT ("Boardwalk Empire") speaking to the Associated Press on the struggles of being an African-American actor in film
WHO GETS TOP BILLING?: On the heels of a sellout show at New York’s Radio City Music Hall in January, Los Angeles is about to experience one of the largest gatherings of old school hip-hop artists ever.
The "Masters of Ceremony Hip Hop Reunion" tour will hit town July 18 at the Nokia Theatre. Performing live will be some of the best-respected pioneers of the culture including DMX, EPMD, Rakim, Naughty by Nature, Big Daddy Kane, Special Ed, Slick Rick, Doug E Fresh, Biz Markie and more! Tickets prices range between $49.50 and $95.
TASTY CONCERTS: R&B Divas: LA star Kelly Price will perform for attendees of the 14th annual KJLH Women’s Health Forum on April 5 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Check-in begins at 7 a.m. Visit: KJLHradio.com to register.
In honor of National Poetry Month and their ninth anniversary, the collective Spoken Funk is bringing the legendary Def Poetry Jam star Black Ice in from Philadelphia. The show hosted by Tony winner Poetri, will also feature filmmaker Tyler Perry, and comics David Arnold, Ed Mabrey, Matthew Cuban and Brett Riley, winner of the Compton "Roc da Mic Comedy Competition."
It takes place Sunday, April 6 at The HaHa Café Comedy Club in North Hollywood. Call 661-SPOKEN-5 for details.
HAPPY: Pharrell Williams will be bringing his big hat, wardrobe and hit-making skills to one of the big chairs next season on NBC’s "The Voice." He’ll be replacing Cee Lo Green who stepped down officially last year. Meanwhile, Williams will perform selections from his just released G.I.R.L. album as the musical guest on "Saturday Night Live," April 5th.
TASTY CLIPS ON TV: ARSENIO HALL (SYN) – April 4: Don Cheadle, Naturally 7, and Billy Dee Williams (who dropped out of "Dancing With The Stars" this week due to health reasons); THE TONIGHT SHOW (NBC) – April 4: Anthony Mackie; THE LATE SHOW (CBS) – April 4; Prince protégé Liv Warfield; ELLEN (SYN) – April 7: Nene Leakes, Aloe Blacc; REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ATLANTA REUNION (BRAVO) – April 7; WENDY WILLIAMS (SYN) – April 8: Naomi Campbell; LIVE w/ KELLY & MICHAEL (SYN) – April 10: Tracy Morgan
Look for a joyous twist when BET airs "Celebration of Gospel: Forward in Faith," on April 6. The stars of the field will certainly be represented with Yolanda Adams, Donnie McClurkin, Tye Tribbett, Tamela Mann, Erica Campbell, Dietrick Haddon and The Rance Allen Group.
New though is the addition of several R&B singers who may have church backgrounds but are rarely seen performing in the genre. Among that group are Charlie Wilson, Eddie Levert, India.Arie, Kem, Chante Moore, Lalah Hathaway and SWV! The performances for the show that was taped earlier are said to be phenomenal. Actress Taraji P. Henson hosts.
We reported in an earlier edition on the disappointing record sales of reigning "American Idol" champ Candice Glover’s new album, MUSIC SPEAKS. Now we know the Beaufort, SC native is not fazed at all.
"It doesn’t matter if I sell one album or if I sell a million albums," she told ABC Columbia’s Monique Hurt Williams. "As long as I connect with somebody and help through music or with my story, then I’m doing the right thing."
Glover, who was visiting young ladies at the SC Department of Juvenile Justice, also described former judge Simon Cowell as "just as mean on TV as he is in person." She encountered him during her first audition at age 19.
"He really didn’t like me," she said. "He told me I would basically be a lounge singer like in a hotel lobby and that’s all I would be." Two auditions later with a different set of judges she became the first woman to win in 6 years!
CLIPPETTES: Stoner comic legends Cheech & Chong are saying they’re going to make movie comeback about senior citizens going to a Burning Joint festival!…
The fourth season of FX’s hit "American Horror Story" will be set in the ‘50s at a carnival’s freak show. Gabourey Sidibe and Angela Bassett will be returning as new characters…
Rolling Stone magazine is giving rapper Rick Ross an advice column. Forward your questions to email@example.com with ASK A BOSS in the subject line and it may be chosen for upcoming issues …
“The Intouchables" star Omar Sy, who next will be seen as Bishop in "X-Men: Days of Future Past" has been cast in "Jurassic World"…
“When NBC’s "State of Affairs" premieres, it will feature Alfre Woodard as the President of the United States…
"Braxton Family Values" and "SWV Reunited" have been renewed for another season by WE TV…
Add Macy Gray to Lee Daniels’ "Empire," the FOX pilot starring Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson…
A prequel trilogy is rumored to be in the works for "The Matrix"…
Nicole Richie is getting a VH1 reality show based on her popular web series to be called "#CandidlyNicole." Lionel Richie’s daughter was previously featured on "The Simple Life" and "Fashion Star"…
Boris Kodjoe is the newest cast member of ABC’s fall series, “The Club”…
Tip T.I. Harris is down with the Kevin Hart/Will Farrell comedy "Get Hard."
TASTY QUIP FINALE: “Christina Milian, Nicole Scherzinger, Selita Ebanks and um…oh yeah, Kim Kardashian! This was easy!” – NICK CANNON to Power 105’s Big Boy on celebs he got busy with.
"Tasty Clips" is an entertainment column published in The Wave to update readers on the activities and accomplishments of Black celebrities and artists on television, in music and at the movies. To reach Bill Vaughan, send email to tasty firstname.lastname@example.org.