Instagram Photos Of The Week: Beyoncé, Ashanti, Jason Derulo, Elle Varner, more

Check out some of the top photos posted this week on Instagram below. Be sure to follow us on Instagram (@ratedrnb)!


Ashanti reunites with Ja Rule in the studio.


Beyoncé made headlines when she debuted her new hair cut late last week. We love her new look!


Former Destiny’s Child member LaTavia Roberson surrounded by gifts from her baby shower. “Me & my little 1 got so much! We have a lot to b thankful for,” she wrote.


Jason Derulo poses on an NYC rooftop.


K. Michelle rocking her “Pretty Rebellious Soul” t-shirt before heading to her album signing in ATL. “Rebellious Soul” drops August 13.


Elle Varner strikes a pose in a convenient store. “That face you make when you know you don’t need something in the store but you buy it anyway,” she wrote.

Keithan is the founder/editor-in-chief of Rated R&B

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Brandy and Daniel Caesar Hit the Studio

Could producer Darhyl “DJ” Camper be the mastermind behind a Brandy and Daniel Caesar duet? According to Instagram, yes. The newly married musician shared studio moments on Thursday (April 19) as he had “revival” with “The Vocal Bible” and “Get You” crooner.

We haven’t heard much solo music from Brandy besides “Beggin and Pleading” and 2012’s Two Eleven, which deserved much more. Back in 2015, Camper revealed he and Brandy were working on a five-track EP. “It’s something refreshing. I’m not putting Brandy in the club. You won’t hear Brandy in the strip club or in elements like that,” said Camper. “When you think of Brandy now, think of stadium status or arenas. Think of like the movie 300 with the Romans. It’s going to be big and classic. That’s what I’m having her around this time around. If you think Coldplay is big, watch what Brandy does.”

As the new kid on the block, Caesar is enjoying his stroll around the music business. He recently released the music video for “Best Part” featuring H.E.R. and even charted on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart with his single “Get You” featuring Kali Uchis.

We can’t wait to hear more about this collaboration from this musical trinity.

Revival.

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DC x DC

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Beyoncé Extends HBCU Scholarship for Second Year

Beyoncé continues schoolin’ life. After saluting historical black marching bands during her history-making Coachella performance on Saturday, the mother-of-three has extended her BeyGOOD Initiative’s Homecoming Scholars Award program (previously named Formation Scholars Award program) for a second year.

The program will award $25,000 to one student from Historically Black Universities and Colleges: Xavier University, Wilberforce University, Tuskegee University and Bethune-Cookman University for the 2018-2019 school year.

Ivy McGregor, Director of Philanthropy and Corporate Relations at Parkwood Entertainment, which houses BeyGOOD, shared, “We salute the rich legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. “We honor all institutions of higher learning for maintaining culture and creating environments for optimal learning which expands dreams and the seas of possibilities for students.”

Beyoncé launched the scholarship program in April 2017 to celebrate the one-year anniversary of 2016’s Lemonade, her second visual album. This year’s award program is open to all qualifying students at the four universities. The attached disciplines will include literature, creative arts, African-American studies, science, education, business, communications, social sciences, computer science and engineering. All applicants must maintain a 3.5 GPA or above. The universities will determine the finalists and winners, with receivers announced this summer.

4 Songs from Mariah Carey’s ‘E=MC²’ That Should Have Been Number One

Ten years ago, Mariah Carey’s faithful Lambs across the world were pulling out their TI-89 calculators to solve the equation E=MC², the title of her 11th studio album.

The album came three years after The Emancipation of Mimi, Carey’s comeback album and the best-selling album of 2005. The legendary diva won many awards for her 10th studio album, including three Grammy Awards. The accolades that probably meant the most to Carey were her two number one singles: “We Belong Together” and “Don’t Forget About Us.”

The latter tune helped Carey bag her 17th Hot 100 chart-topper, tying her with Elvis Presley for the most number one singles by a solo artist. She beat the rock and roll king’s record two months before the release of E=MC² with her sexually fantasizing single “Touch My Body.”

Speaking to the Associated Press in 2008, Carey praised herself for surpassing Presley.”For me, in my mind the accomplishment is just that much sweeter,” she said. “In terms of my ethnicity, always feeling like an outsider, always feeling different … for me it’s about saying, ‘Thank you Lord, for giving me the faith to believe in myself when other people had written me off.'”

What’s baffling though is that following the commercial success of “Body,” the five-octave Chanteuse pumped out three more singles (“Bye Bye,” “I’ll Be Lovin’ U Long Time,” and “I Stay in Love”) but none were fortunate enough to be inducted into Carey’s hall of fame of No. 1’s.

Yes, an artist’s name alone isn’t enough to sell a single. Without backing from radio stations and proper promotion, the chances of a single swimming versus sinking are slimmer than Carey’s ‘90s waistline.

But in all fairness: Carey’s E=MC² album potentially had the right formula to equate her 19th number-one single on the Hot 100 and continue her reign as the undisputed queen of the No. 1’s.

Now as we playback E=MC² (and mimic her iconic finger twinkle) on its 10th anniversary, here are four songs that should have topped the Hot 100.

1. “I’m that Chick”

Credits: Mariah Carey / Johnta Austin / Mikkel Storleer Eriksen / Tor Erik Hermansen / Rod Temperton (Writers); Carey and Stargate (Producers)

Who’s to blame for Carey’s dreamy number, “I’m That Chick” not being worked as a single and skating to the No. 1 spot on the Hot 100?

Revisiting the disco era and Michael Jackson’s “Off the Wall,” the confident singer tiptoed on the dance floor to enjoy nightlife. Like Usher, Carey found love in the club and used some of the best metaphors to let him know she is everything and more. She also referenced two hip-hop legends Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G. to get her point across.

“Take this seriously / Like Pac, all eyes on me / That’s right you are intrigued (I’m that chick you like),” she sings lightly. “I do’s it naturally / Hypnotize like Biggie / But you ain’t havin’ dreams / I’m that chick you like.”

“I’m That Chick” had just the right amount of attitude to dance its way to number one.

2. “I’ll Be Lovin’ U Long Time”

Credits: Mariah Carey / Aldrin Davis / Mark DeBarge / Crystal Johnson / Etterlene Jordan (Writers); Carey and DJ Toomp (Producers)

It goes without saying that Carey’s flirty single “I’ll Be Lovin’ U Long Time” was shamefully robbed from basking in number one glory — and this was long before T.I. was enlisted for the remix.

Borrowing remnants of DeBarge’s “Stay With Me” for the hook and playful production, the jaunty love song heard Carey reassuring her then-husband Nick Cannon that it’s not a game and she’s here to stay.

From its timely release just ahead of summer to its proper video treatment and catchy lyrics, the cutesy tune had many qualifications to become a hit on the Hot 100. However, DJ Toomp co-produced ditty didn’t get close the top slot. It only reached No. 58.

3. “For the Record”

Credits: Mariah Carey / Bryan-Michael Cox / Adonis Shropshire (Writers); Carey and Cox (Producers)

Tell me one good reason “For the Record” wasn’t released as a single?

Bridging the sounds of a beautiful violin and a meek keyboard, Carey wanted to rewrite history with a former mate who foolishly let her go. Even though he’s moved on, she decided to let his mistake of leaving her sink in more by reminding him of how far her love went for him.

“For the record / You’ll always be a part of me, no matter what you do / And for the record / Can’t nobody say I didn’t give my all to you,” she sang.

As history shows, the New York native has an impressive track record with slow to mid-tempo songs (“Dreamlover,” “Always Be My Baby” and “Don’t Forget About Us”) leading the Hot 100. “For the Record” would have been in good company — just saying.

4. “Side Effects” featuring Jeezy

Credits: Mariah Carey / Jay Jenkins / Crystal Johnson / Scott Storch (Writers); Carey and Storch (Producers)

Carey has been fully capable rocketing herself to the top slot of the Hot 100 without any guest appearances. Out of her 18 number-one singles, she has 13 without a featured artist(s). But for her E=MC² era, we’re sure Mimi’s Lambs wouldn’t have minded her calling on hip-hop’s Snowman to release their blazing collaboration.

Blended with a knocking beat and techno effects, Carey had taken her final dose of torture from her unruly lover. Although she finished her prescribed bottle of heartache and pain, she still had to deal with the aftermath of the dissolved love affair.

“I kept my tears inside ’cause I knew if I / Started I’d keep cryin’ for the rest of my / Life with you I finally built up the strength / To walk away don’t regret it / But I still live with the side effects,” she sings.

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