ALL HAIL THE QUEEN! MARY SMASHES THE COMPETITION.....
Mary J. Blige bid adieu to 2005 in grand fashion with the release of The Breakthrough, her seventh studio LP. Although the R&B songstress was facing stiff competition from Oscar-winning actor/Grammy-nominated singer Jamie Foxx and one of rap's most respected figures, the late Notorious B.I.G., Blige claims the Billboard albums chart title belt for the third time in her career, according to the latest SoundScan figures.The Breakthrough earns the distinction of being Mary J.'s best week-one sales performer with 727,000 copies sold. 2003's Love & Life debuted atop the albums chart with sales of 286,000, while 1997's Share My World, which also opened at #1, sold just over 240,000 copies.The Breakthrough, which features duets with Jay-Z, Bono and Raphael Saadiq, crushed Foxx's second-place-finishing Unpredictable, which moved close to 598,000 copies. Biggie's latest posthumous outing, Duets: The Final Chapter — a disc boasting collaborations between the departed hip-hop legend and Tupac, Eminem, Jay-Z, Diddy and Blige, among others — opens at #3, scoring nearly 438,000 sales.The Blige, Foxx, and Biggie albums dropped during a monumental week for album sales overall, though only one other new release — Ryan Adams' 29, which opens at #144 with 26,000 copies sold — hit the chart.Gift-giving procrastinators rushed out to record stores, giving Billboard's Top 200 a 4.6 million shot in the arm. Total sales for the 200 biggest-selling albums came in at nearly 13.9 million, up from last week's 9.4 million. All but 11 albums (five of which were released the previous week and suffered the inevitable second-week sales slump) on the latest chart experienced sales increases, ranging from 3 percent to as much as 97 percent.Eminem's Curtain Call: The Hits slipped from #1 to #4, but surged 33 percent to finish with close to 430,000 sales. The greatest-hits disc has scored nearly 1.2 million scans in three weeks of release. Carrie Underwood's Some Hearts clings to the top 5 thanks to a 48 percent sales spike that pushed total sales of the "American Idol" winner's debut over 1.5 million. Finishing at #6 is Mariah Carey's The Emancipation of Mimi, which jumps 52 percent in sales with 290,000 copies sold. Mimi has moved 4.8 million copies since its April release.The 20th Now That's What I Call Music! collection claims the chart's #7 slot with 283,000 scans, followed at #8 by Kenny Chesney's The Road and the Radio with sales of 269,000. Nickelback's All The Right Reasons shot up 38 percent with 265,000 scans to take the #9 slot. And the original "Idol," Kelly Clarkson, rounds out the top 10 with 230,000 plus copies of her newest album, Breakaway, flying off store shelves. Her disc enjoyed a 27 percent upswing in retail interest.The chart is riddled with numerous sales landmarks, giving several artists the one gift on their list that Santa couldn't make good on. Madonna's Confessions on a Dance Floor cleared the million-sold milestone, landing at #17 with week-six sales of 158,000. Fall Out Boy's From Under the Cork Tree takes the chart's #18 spot, with 157,000 plus scans — enough to push the "TRL" heartthrobs past 1.5 million copies sold. Hilary Duff's Most Wanted collection, which claims #36, crossed the million line with 97,000 scans. And Green Day's American Idiot, in at #20, scored sales of 145,000 during the Christmas sales rush, helping total sales of the disc to pass 5 million. Read More...Collapse...
Continued Raz interview CM: How long was shooting? Raz: Just one day.
CM: What can we expect from your character? Is he masculine or feminine? Raz: He’s masculine,
CM: A concern that I hear about often are that a lot of gay black men don’t feel the characters are accurately portrayed on the show. The four main characters are more feminine then is to be desired, so that’s why I was wondering how your characters mannerisms were going to be and how were you going to potrayed. Raz: Yeap, well even if they would have asked me to play a feminine role, I would have played that role, I’m an actor. Jaime Foxx played Shanaynay. Give me a role and I’ll kill it.
CM: Actually Jaime played Wanda, Martin played Shanaynay. Raz: Oh yea, good looking out.
CM: How did your family feel about you playing a gay role, particularly your father? Raz: They are very supportive, of all my career decisions. They know that I meditate a lot in what I do. Life is like chess if you treat it like that, then you’ll do pretty good.
CM: Your vibe is different then what I expected. You seem to be very spiritual and a lot more mature then I thought to be only 21 years old. Raz: I think people forget that we are all apart of a universe. I was hurt as a child, and thethings that I have been through with my father, and my moms. My spirituality is a way for me to express myself, and my way of helping other kids who have been through the same exact things that I have been through. CM: Well since you just mention that and Clik magazine does have gay youth subscribers, tell me about your childhood. Raz: I grew up in foster homes, group homes. I have been mislead and misguided in different situations in life that kids go through, by being taken advantage of by a higher power(adults). Children don’t know better and can easily have a child do this, or a child do that, who doesn’t know better and that’s wrong. I want to speak forpeople who cant speak for themselves. In life people have tried to micromanage things through me, but I was so smart with my street knowledge to become a master, and at times people get afraid of the truth,and now I can reveal to the world who I am, and what I stand for. Yea that was my cousin (Chris Stokes) went on T.V. and told folks that I was the Michael Bivins of B2K, but that was because god was starting to reveal to me certain things about business, and that’s what we want to start doing is educating the youth. You need to be aware of your surroundings and what’s going on. In today’s society 50% of our youth are infected with HIV and AIDS, and other STD’s and it’s a sad situation especially when it’s a man made disease, and with our youth being ignorant and trying to ignore it, when they get infected,and now they started crying wishing I would have…But just know that the lord loves you and Raz loves you.
CM: How often do you read the bible? Raz: I grew up with the bible, but I break it up between religion, and spirituality. I like the word, but you have to know how to separate the two.
CM: Have you ever been arrested? Raz: Yes, a few times. Some for false allegations and some I deserved to be arrested for.
CM: Gay rumors are often spoken about almost every actor at one point or another, and your no exception. With the sudden image change i.e. the Mohawk, and thumb rings, and now you playing a gay role on television people are now more certain then ever that there is something going on with you.
CM: What’s behind the new image? Raz: I’m just trying to reinventing myself. I thought about where I am at in my career, so I thought the new image would be cool.
Raz: Right they used to call us B2”gay” but I am just so healthy and thankful to be in the position that I am because there are so many people who need guidance, and need asking in there life to tell them what to do.
CM: And with that said the answer to my questions would be………that Raz B is…? Raz: Straight! I love pussy you feel me!!!!!