Aside from the ice grill she gives the camera in Murder
Inc.'s "Down 4 U" video, Whitney Houston the woman whom Irv Gotti calls
the quintessential "down ass chick" is giving people those old familiar
chills, according to one of her collaborators.
"She's singing better than I've heard her sing in years," boasted Kenneth
"Babyface" Edmonds over the weekend at the Essence Music Festival in New
Orleans. "Her voice is in tip-top shape and it's back to goose-bump time. When she's
in the studio, I'm really excited about how she's going at it. She's going at it hard.
She's very focused.
"There are some classic Whitney things and some things that have a pop flavor as
well," added 'Face, who's writing and producing for the project. "The main thing
I can say about her is that she is singing her butt off right now."
Irv Gotti, Rodney Jerkins, Platinum Status (IMX) and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis have all
come forth in the past several months and said that they, too, were producing on the album
(see "Between Toilet Pranks, IMX Produce Music For Solange, Whitney, Mya," and
"Jam And Lewis To Hit The Studio With TLC, Mariah, Whitney Houston"). Tweet has
also said she's written a song for the LP.
Houston's spokesperson at Arista Records, who was unavailable for comment on Wednesday,
previously divulged that the singer's next album should be out this fall (see "For
The Record: Quick News On Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Whitney Houston ...").
Exactly what music makes the cut has yet to be seen, though Houston does have obvious
favoritism toward one of the album's contributors: her husband, Bobby Brown.
Tuesday afternoon on New York radio station WBLS, on-air personality Wendy Williams played
"Whatcha Lookin' At," a track Williams said Brown produced. A voice similar to
his can also be heard singing some background parts and adlibbing.
"My following is real strong/ You got the heart to show the world what I do/ Now I'm
turnin' the cameras back on you/ Same spotlights, the ones who gave me fame/ Tryin' to
dirty up Whitney's name," Houston scoffs on the track.
She then laments about people who've been "messing with [her] reputation" and
"concentration" and don't "even have no education" on the chorus,
singing, "I feel your eyes on me/ You been telling lies on me."
Shaheem Reid, with additional reporting by Curtis Waller