MIAMI — On Monday, R&B group 3LW proved that rappers aren’t the only acts who can make headlines at the Source Awards.
After Wyclef Jean cruised by them on the red carpet atop his motorcycle, the recently re-formed trio announced they’d just made another big change. Adrienne Bailon, Jessica ‘J’ Benson and Kiely Williams have signed a new label deal.
“OK, this is the big news right here,” J, the group’s newest member, said as things quieted down. “We were just signed, so now we are definitely [with the] So So Def [imprint] and [its distributor], Arista.”
“That’s right, we’re really excited,” Adrienne added. “[We’re] working with Jermaine Dupri. J.D. is actually gonna be doing four or five tracks on the album. We are moving to Atlanta for a certain amount of time to finish the album. It’s gonna be so much fun working with him.”
For fans who’ve been tracking 3LW for the past few months, the announcement comes as no surprise. The group, formerly signed to Epic Records, has been negotiating with Dupri for some time now. A few months ago, the producer/label exec said he wanted to sign the girls because he saw their potential and thought all they needed to really take off was the right team behind them.
So far the women have completed 10 songs with a few different producers, according to their publicist, and will probably reach out to a few more beatmakers when they finish up their new album, Phoenix Rising, with Dupri in ATL. While in the Dirty, the songbirds also want to hook up with the mouth of the South, Ludacris, for a remix of their first single, “After This,” which they recently debuted at the Lady of Soul Awards.
“[The song] is about a girl who goes to a party,” Adrienne said, “and she’s basically asking the guy, ‘Well, where are you going after this? Before we hit the [parking] lot, you gotta tell me what you’re thinking about. What are you planning on doing?’ So I think it has good message, but it’s a fun song. It’s got an incredible track. It’s gonna be hot.”
The members also mentioned that they’ve got a song they’d like a certain Queens MC to contribute his slick talk to.
“We actually have a song that we wanna put 50 [Cent] on,” Adrienne said, openly soliciting the rapper. “So if you’re [listening] 50, it’s called ‘Gangsta.’ ”
“We want you, man, we want you,” J interjected. “We need you.”
“You gotta be on it,” Adrienne said. “It’s all about you.”