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Hear & Now

This week on the music beat, including the lastest on Eminem, Jay-Z and R. Kelly

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It’s Show Time Could Eminem be growing up? That’s the early word on his upcoming album, at least according to mentor/producer Dr. Dre. ”It’s a lot more serious this time,” says the good Dr. ”There’s not as much playful stuff on it.” Dre also tells us that the new CD is titled The Eminem Show and could be out as soon as April. ”I’m gonna finish up his project soon,” he says. But while he may be less juvenile, don’t expect easy listening. ”It’s crazy,” says Dre of the album. ”It’s him being him.”

World’s Collide In other hip-hop news, two of music’s biggest stars are teaming up for an unusual collaborative album. Titled The Best of Both Worlds, the CD is a joint effort by multiplatinum artists Jay-Z and R. Kelly; a single, ”Honey,” has already gone to radio. Announced at a Jan. 24 press conference at Manhattan’s Waldorf-Astoria hotel, the album’s impending release had been kept unusually quiet. ”We started recording before we let anybody know about it,” says Jay-Z. ”We didn’t want the publicists trying to out-publicize each other. We wanted to take care of the music without any distractions.” This will be Jay-Z’s fourth release in the past year and a half. Isn’t he afraid of oversaturating the market? ”I don’t believe in that,” he says. ”If I hear a new album by someone I like, I’m gonna pick it up every time. I’m not gonna say, ‘Again?’ The news comes out every day.” Worlds, on the other hand, comes out March 26.

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