Monday, August 3, 2015

Second Listen: "Back & Forth" (Aaliyah)

Back in 1994, Aaliyah released her debut single "Back & Forth, which was lifted from her then forthcoming debut album Age Ain't Nothing but a Number. Written and produced by R. Kelly, it spent three weeks at number-one on the U.S. Billboard Hot R&B Songs chart, and peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming her first single to hit the top-ten.

"Back & Forth" would go onto be ranked second on the 1994 year-end chart of Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs and would usher in a groundbreaking career that was cut too short. With that said, take a second listen below to "Back & Forth" and Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "Emotions" (Ariana Grande)

While Ariana Grande has been pronounced the "new Mariah" due to her stunning and soaring vocals, a few years ago, she heightened these comparisons with her cover and release of Mariah's classic #1 hit single "Emotions."

With that said, with Mariah just recently wrapped her Vegas residency stint and Ariana is in the midst of her first world tour with The Honeymoon Avenue Tour, I thought it would be nice and appropriate to (re)visit Ariana's brilliant cover below.

Cut: "Take It Back" (Toni Braxton & Babyface)

Babyface and Toni Braxton released their Motown collaborative album Love, Marriage, & Divorce last year and one of my favorite cuts from the GRAMMY-winning album has to be "Take It Back."

Featuring a breezy instrumentation, the lyrics and vocals of the song are able to take centerstage of the Babyface, Toni, Daryl Simmons and Antonio Dixon co-written track. While it is unclear if "Take It Back" will serve as a single or not from Love, Marriage, & Divorce, I hope it is given single consideration as the acoustic guitar-led track is a true standout from the album.

With that said, take a listen below to "Take It Back" and if you haven't checked out Love, Marriage, & Divorce, there is no time like the present in my book!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Second Listen: "I Wish" (Carl Thomas)

Back in 2000 Carl Thomas released his #1 R&B hit single "I Wish" off of his debut album Emotional. Peaking at the summit of the Billboard R&B charts back in 2000, the song stayed atop the chart for six straight weeks and would go onto become Thomas' signature hit.

With that said, take a second listen below to Carol Thomas' "I Wish" and Enjoy!

Song of the Day: "A Long Walk" (Jill Scott)

"A Long Walk" - Jill Scott
  • Writers: Jill Scott & Andre Harris
  • Producer: Andre Harris & Vidal Davis
  • Record Label: Hidden Beach
  • Released in 2000 from Who Is Jill Scott?: Words & Sounds Vol. 1
  • Peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart

Live Audio: "I Love The Lord/ "I'm Your Baby Tonight/I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)" (Monica & Brandy)

During the 2012 BET Awards, Monica and Brandy were called upon to offer their vocal services to honor their late friend and mentor Ms. Whitney Houston.

Monica opened up the tribute with an impassioned rendition of "I Love The Lord" while Brandy sped it up a bit with her thumping performances of "I'm Your Baby Tonight" and "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)."

With that said, take a listen to Monica and Brandy both honor the late Ms. Whitney Houston through song below and Enjoy!

Remix: "Breathe (SevnthWonder Bootleg)" (Toni Braxton)

A few years ago, a friend of my Tarica sent me this sublime remix by Sevnth Wonder in the form of "Breathe (SevnthWonder Bootleg)" and I've been jamming to it in rotation ever since.

Sampling Toni's vocals from "Breathe Again," Sevnth Wonder infuses an upbeat tempo and pitches Toni's vocals in a way that really create a new masterpiece in my book. Therefore, take a listen below to "Breathe (SevnthWonder Bootleg)" and Enjoy!

Rare Performance: "A House is Not a Home" (Luther Vandross & Aretha Franklin)

I don't know if you can tell or not, but I am a stan for Luther Vandross. With that said, while reliving a lot of the great moments in his career today, I rediscovered his sublime and rare duet with Ms. Aretha Franklin on his iconic "A House is Not a Home," originally performed by Ms. Dionne Warwick.

While Dionne recorded the original, even she admits that Luther has the definitive version of this classic and his duet with the Queen of Soul on it is something everyone should see.

Therefore watch Luther and Aretha's powerful duet on "A House is Not a Home" below and Enjoy!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Song of the Day: "Fabulous" (Jaheim)

"Fabulous" - Jaheim
  • Writers: Berkeley, Brown, Carstarphen, Gist, McFadden, Muhammad, Whitehead
  • Producer: KayGee
  • Record Label: Divine Mill/Warner Bros.
  • Released in 2002 from Still Ghetto
  • Peaked at #28 on the Billboard Hot 100 & #7 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks

Cut: "Veins" (Jazmine Sullivan)

If reality shows are over dramatic and often times inauthentic, Jazmine Sullivan's third album Reality Show is the total opposite offering up a raw, harrowing and introspective view of some of the tales we might see flashed on our TV screens.

A self-noted reality show fan, Jazmine Sullivan might've been inspired by the content on our screens, but she takes it a few steps further offering some deep lyrical content and powerhouse vocals that only this legend in the making possess.

With that said, one of my favorite cuts from her new album Reality Show has to be "Veins," which opens up with a few powerful lines: "Writings on the wall, but I can't see the words it's right in front of me but my vision is blurred...".

Offering one of the best albums I've heard in a minute, Jazmine's return warrants more acclaim both critically and commercially in my opinion and "Veins" is just a tip of the iceberg that is Reality Show.

Take a listen below to "Veins" and if you like what you hear, go and support Jazmine by picking up her new album.

Live Audio: "Break The Shell" (India.Arie)

While it is unclear where this live audio of "Break The Shell" was captured from, I'm glad it was because India's live rendition of "Break The Shell" is even better than the recorded version on her album SongVersation in my opinion.

With that said, take a listen below to this captured live audio "Break The Shell" and if you haven't gotten India's SongVersation album yet, please go out and support this brilliant piece of music!

Second Listen: "Dance Tonight" (Lucy Pearl)

Released in 2000 from the supergroup's self-titled LP Lucy Pearl, "Dance Tonight" would go onto peak at #5 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart and was even nominated for a Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.

Lucy Pearl of course for those who are unaware featured Raphael Saadiq, Dawn Robinson (En Vogue), Ali Shaheed Muhammad (A Tribe Called Quest DJ and producer) and originally D'Angelo was slated to be in the group but dropped out due to other commitments and so Dawn Robinson was brought in.

With that said, take it back to 2000 with "Dance Tonight" below and Enjoy!