This week's major hip-hop releases find reggae star Beenie Man collaborating with Wyclef Jean and Mya, and Eminem and Janet Jackson contributing new songs on a movie soundtrack.
Beenie Man's Art & Life and the "Nutty Professor II: The Klumps" soundtrack are scheduled to go on sale Tuesday. Beenie Man (born Moses Davis), who has been recording music since he was 8, took the hip-hop scene by storm with his 1997 album, Many Moods of Moses. Nominated for Best Reggae Album at the 1999 Grammy Awards, the disc included the hit "Who Am I?" and was followed by two more releases in '99 Ruff-N-Tuff and The Doctor, which was nominated for a Best Reggae Album Grammy this year.
Art & Life features two singles that have already hit radio airwaves: "Love Me Now," a collaboration with Wyclef Jean featuring a sample from Naughty by Nature's 1991 party hit, "O.P.P.," and "Girls Dem Sugar" (RealAudio excerpt), a duet with rising R&B star Mya that brings back the "zim zimma" refrain from "Who Am I?"
The album also taps into other musical genres, ranging from the gospel-tinged sample of the Staple Singers' "I'll Take You There" to Cuban jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval's guest appearance on "Tumble."
Jay-Z, Jackson, DMX, Eve and Eminem all contribute to the soundtrack for "Nutty Professor II: The Klumps," an Eddie Murphy sequel due in movie theaters July 28.
The mix of new R&B, pop and hip-hop songs begins with Jackson's "Doesn't Really Matter," a love song co-produced by Jimmy Jam. Jay-Z, featuring Memphis Bleek & Amil, performs "Hey Papi" (RealAudio excerpt), backed by intricate production work from Timbaland, who co-wrote the song with Jay-Z.
The soundtrack also includes Brian McKnight's "Thinkin' Bout Me," Redman and Eminem's "Off the Wall," Eve's "Let Me Be" and "Thong Song Uncensored," Sisqó's reinterpretation of his current hit with help from rapper Foxy Brown.