Billboard Bits: Kool G Rap, Erykah Badu/Common, Adema
News on Kool G Rap, Erykah Badu/Common, AdemaVeteran hip-hop artist Kool G Rap will issue his eighth studio album, "The Giancana Story," Nov. 12 as his first release under a newly signed deal with Rawkus/Koch Entertainment. The set features guest appearances by Capone-N-Noreaga, Blackchild, Mobb Deep's Prodigy, LES, and R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe, among others.
"The Giancana Story" is said to be filled with the gritty street-life stories for which Kool G Rap has become known. "I think a lot of niggas is gonna be amazed," the artist said in a statement. "As far as putting a song together, they're gonna hear G Rap at his best."
The album will be Kool G Rap's first since 1998's "Roots of Evil" (Illstreet/Down Low), which reached No. 43 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Members of Marley Marl's Juice Crew, Kool G Rap and partner DJ Polo released their first album, the Warner Bros. set, "Road to Riches," in 1989. It reached No. 26 on the R&B/Hip-Hop tally.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
R&B star Erykah Badu and rapper Common will be featured on the upcoming debut episode of "'N Gear," a weekly half-hour syndicated series hosted by actor/model Tyson Beckford. Set to premiere Oct. 5 (check local listings for time and station), the show will go behind the scenes of the video shoot for the pair's single "Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip Hop)."
As previously reported, the cut is featured on the "Brown Sugar" soundtrack, released yesterday (Sept. 24) via MCA. The single recently peaked at No. 34 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hip Singles & Tracks chart and is No. 82 on the Hot 100. The collection also boasts tracks by Mos Def, Jill Scott, Mary J. Blige, and Angie Stone, among others.
The story of two friends making it big in the music industry, "Brown Sugar" stars Taye Diggs and Sanaa Lathan, and features Mos Def and Queen Latifah. The film is set to open Oct. 11 in U.S. theaters.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
Hard rock outfit Adema will release an EP, "Insomniac's Dream," Oct. 22 via Arista. The set comprises the new song "Immortal," the previously unreleased "Shattered," a cover of Alice In Chains' "Nutshell," a live take of "Do What You Want To Do," and remixes of the singles "The Way You Like It," "Giving In," and "Freaking Out." A new video for "Immortal," shot in June at a show in the band's Bakersfield, Calif., hometown is also included.
"Immortal" will also be featured in the upcoming video game "Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance," due out later this year. A live version of "Freaking Out" can be found on Columbia/Divine Recordings' recent "Ozzfest 2002" compilation.
Adema's self-titled Arista debut opened at No. 27 on The Billboard 200 in September 2001 and has sold 613,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.