Saturday, December 31, 2011

Interview: Anthony Hamilton

ThisIsRnb caught up with Anthony Hamilton recently for their new series "Rhythm & Blues" and during Hamilton's brief interview, the crooner opened up about his latest single "Woo" produced by Babyface. Peep Hamilton open up about the creation of the joint and his thoughts behind the lyrics below and Enjoy!

Live Video of the Day: "Hear My Call" (Jill Scott)

Jill Scott's "Hear My Call" is such a truth telling moment and is easily one of my top 5 songs of 2011. With that said, Scott performed a stunning rendition of this torch ballad during BET's "Sunday Best" earlier this year and offered an even better performance, in my opinion, then that is recorded on her sublime fourth album "The Light of The Sun." Armed with just her voice, emotions, and a talented accompanist, Jill glides over this powerful opus of truth to craft a touching and haunting performance of "Hear My Call." Watch her off the charts performance below and Enjoy!

Song of the Day: "Before I Let Go" (Frankie Beverly & Maze)

"Before I Let Go" - Frankie Beverly & Maze
  • Writer: Frankie Beverly
  • Producer: Frankie Beverly
  • Record Label: Capitol Records
  • Released in 1981 from "Live In New Orleans"
  • Peaked at #13 on the Billboard Hot Soul Singles

Live Audio: "Turn Me Loose (Unplugged)" (Ledisi)

Gotta end and start your new year off on a good musical foot and therefore I've brought out one of my top groves which is Ledisi's sublime unplugged rendition of "Turn Me Loose," which is featured on the deluxe limited edition of her latest "Pieces Of Me." Words honestly can't describe how happy I am to hear this live unplugged rendition of "Turn Me Loose," every time it comes up during my playlists and hopefully this is only a taste of a potential 2012 live project of sorts. Either way it turns out, I am just glad I have a legit unplugged recording of her saning instead of the bootleg youtube rips I've done in the past. Take a listen below to "Turn Me Loose (Unplugged)" and for this alone, picking up a copy of her deluxe limited edition of "Pieces Of Me" would be in your best interest!

Mashup: "Killing Me Softly"/ "I Need A Doctor" (Angel)

Artist on the rise Angel has put together a rather phenomenal mashup of The Fugee's take on the Roberta Flack classic "Killing Me Softly" with Dr. Dre's Eminem and Skylar Grey assisted "I Need A Doctor." Recorded in a barbershop with just an acoustic guitar and Angel's vocals, this mashup is a great introduction to the budding singer/songwriter and hopefully we will be hearing more from him in the new year. Peep his great covers and mashup below and Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "Out On A Limb" (Ledisi)

As 2011 winds down and we look forward to the possibilities of 2012, one artist that got some of her just dues this year was my girl Ledisi! Led in my opinion deserves all the success and accolades that have come her way thus far and more due to her her sublime vocal chops and welcoming personality.

Blessed with a once in a lifetime voice and a sublime personality to match, this legend in the making truly has offered some of the most memorable vocal performances over the last few years and the "amazing cover" of the 2011 in my book has to go to her rendition of Teena Marie's "Out On A Limb," which is lifted from the 2011 BET Awards. Armed with just her voice and a solid band, Ledisi let's her voice take you to the rafters effortlessly and if you haven't seen her amazing cover you need to aquatint yourself with it below!

Year End Favorite Albums: 2011

Below you will find a brief outline of my top 5 albums to drop this past year. While a lot of great records were released within 2011, these 5 as well as the honorable mentions stood out to me as some of the best vocal, sonic, and lyrical work to debut this year. The list is not numerical in order of "most favorite" as the field this year was so tight and definitely offered a variety of great albums depending on your mood. 2011 was also the year for the ladies in my book as my top 5 is occupied by 5 sublime releases from some phenomenal female vocalists.  Peep the list below and Enjoy!

1. "21" - Adele

While other artists attempted to stake claims to 2011 and there were many, Adele came out of what seemed like nowhere to the mainstream public to seize the day with her sublime sophomore effort "21". From the lead single and first song on the effort "Rolling In The Deep," to the last track and second single "Someone Like You," "21" played like a true body of work and not a copy and paste job that is too often done during this era of singles fame. In addition to Adele's two chart-toppers, "Rumour Has It," "Set Fire To The Rain," "Don't You Remember," "Turning Tables," and "One and Only" are other standouts from the effort and the unmentioned songs are also great additions to her growing discography.  In addition to offering up some of the best music of the year, Adele's "21" is also the best selling album of the year surpassing 15 million units sold around the world and counting!

2. "The Light of The Sun" - Jill Scott

It had been a minute since Jill Scott released a body of work (2007's "The Real Thing: Words & Sounds Vol. 3") and lord knows I was craving some new material from my girl Jilly from Philly as she always delivers vocally and lyrically with her efforts. Possessing one of the best pens in the game, Jill Scott certainly delivered with 2011's "The Light of The Sun" from the thumping buzz single "Shame" to the highly emotional torch ballad (and one of 2011's best) "Hear My Call." Jill as in all of her records had something for everyone and has the unique ability to craft a sonic masterpiece that appeals to different aspects of music while maintaining her vocal and lyrical integrity. Other standouts from the record for me include "Blessed," "Le BOOM Vent Suite," "Making You Wait," "Missing You," "When I Wake Up,"  her Anthony Hamilton assisted "So In Love" and clearly "So Gone (What My Mind Says) ." Essentially the whole album is diesel and is one of those bodies of work that can and should be listened to in a continuous loop.

3. "Pieces Of Me" - Ledisi

Ledisi always delivers in my book and just when you think you've figured out what Ledisi is all about sonically, she drops another tightly crafted album that explores other vocal and musical aspects of her music. 2011's "Pieces Of Me" is no different and while I wasn't expecting a new album from Led until 2012, partly due to me still rocking with 2009's "Turn Me Loose," I am always glad to get a fresh new album from Ledisi because she always brings it vocally and lyrically for me. With that said, the whole album is a sonic masterpiece in my book and I will be highly surprised if she doesn't snag at least one of her 3 Grammy Award nominations for this album. From the title track and lead single "Pieces Of Me" to the final official track "I Gotta Get To You," the album plays seamlessly and the various bonus tracks are just an added treat to this musical feast. "So Into You," "Bravo," "Stay Together," "Coffee," "Hate Me,"  "Shut Up," "Shine," and the John Legend written cut "I Miss You Now" are all favorites and have all been and still are in heavy rotation in numerous playlists of mine.  Honestly you can never go wrong with a Ledisi album because with a voice like hers you can do no wrong.

4.  "4" - Beyonce

It takes a lot of guts to change up your sonic approach to music while at the top of your game and Beyonce's "4" definitely took the charge with this one moving away from her urban pop club ready hits to more of an artistic album that offers up her best vocal and lyrical effort to date in my opinion. Opening up with the power ballad "1+1," Beyonce offers up her most raw and emotional vocal performance that rates as one of, if not her best vocal recording thus far. In addition to "1+1," Beyonce charges in new sonic directions with the alternative "I Miss You," Motown throwback "Love On Top," and Fela inspired "End of Time." In addition to these exciting new sonic charges, Beyonce even gives fans some throwback R&B love on the Andree 3000 assisted "Party" and Boyz II Men sampled "Countdown." Though not her most commercially successful effort, it's her most artistic and critically acclaimed album to date and I think she is helping lead the charge in refreshing R&B music, which has seen a decline in recent years. B's "4" is definitely a sublime record and hopefully fans of the diva's early work will get hip to her best work to date because you can tell she truly put a lot of effort into crafting such a powerful album.

5. "Late Nights & Early Mornings" - Marsha Ambrosius

Though "Late Nights & Early Mornings" was thought to of been scheduled for a late 2010 release, fans of the former Floetry songstress were finally treated to her sublime solo debut in March. Propelled by the lyrically and vocally phenomenal Grammy nominated "Far Away," Marsha proved that she just isn't a classic songwriter for the likes of Michael Jackson, but that she saved some of those gems for her own solo debut. Even Marsha's highly underrated lead single ""Hope She Cheats On You (With A Basketball Player)" was a great addition to radio and her Kim Kardashian reference proved to be even more poignant as 2011 comes to a close. Other highlights from this body of work include "With You," "Your Hands," the title track "Late Nights & Early Mornings," "Anticipation" and the Lauryn Hill penned "Lose Myself." Offering up one of the greatest lyrical minds in the game paired with an amazing vocalist, Marsha Ambrosius' "Late Nights & Early Mornings" is a great debut solo album that truly matched both of her sublime gifts.

Honorable Mentions 

Amy Winehouse - "Lioness: Hidden Treasures"
Anthony David - "As Above So Below"
Anthony Hamilton - "Back To Love"
Eric Roberson - "Mister Nice Guy"
Frank Ocean - "nostalgia, ULTRA"
Jessie J - "Who You Are"
Jill Scott - "Hidden Beach presents The Original Jill Scott From The Vault Vol 1."
Kelly Clarkson - "Stronger"
Kindred the Family Soul  - "Love Has No Recession"
Lalah Hathaway - "Where It All Begins"

Live Clip: "Someone Like You" (Adele)

There is no denying that 2011 belong to Adele and her standout performance of the year for me occurred during the 2011 BRIT Awards where she cooed out the best live rendition of "Someone Like You" to date, in my opinion, with just her and her pianist. While a lot of today's most popular acts hide behind elaborate staging, dancing, and heavy background singers, Adele lets her voice shine through in this simple, powerful, and highly emotional performance.

Adele gives me hope that her breakthrough might allow more breakthroughs of talented singers in 2012 as the landscape of talent within popular music has seemed to of taken a nosedive in recent years. Either way you feel about it, Adele's performance of "Someone Like You" from this year's 2011 BRIT Awards stands out as one of the best performance of 2011 hands down and my favorite performance from Adele. Watch it below and Enjoy!

Second Listen: "So Gone (What My Mind Says)" (Jill Scott featuring Paul Wall)

One of the most underrated albums of 2011 has to be Jilly from Philly's "The Light of The Sun." Though it was overlooked this year in all major and R&B/Soul categories at the Grammy Awards, Jill put together one of the best albums this year and it was a welcoming addition to her discography following 2007's "The Real Thing: Words and Sounds, Vol. 3" (which was still on repeat until Jill dropped this latest classic). With that said, one of the standout joint from her sublime set was her Paul Wall collaboration "So Gone (What My Mind Says)."

Though on paper it might now seem like a great sonic mixture, "So Gone (What My Mind Says)" is one of  those joints that will be playing for years and the musical marriage of Scott and Wall works effortlessly on this joint that has now gone onto become the set's latest single. With that said take a first or second listen below to "So Gone (What My Mind Says)" and Enjoy!

New Video: "I Wanna See You" (Verse Simmonds)

Just before new years Verse Simmonds has released the official visual for his latest joint "I Wanna See You." Peep the official video below for his new joint "I Wanna See You" and lookout for more music from him come the new year.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Live Video of the Day: "Turning Tables" (Adele)

As 2011 comes to an end, the year of Adele will likely continue well on into 2012 as the songstress is a lock for several Grammy Awards come February. With that said, I think we should recall some of her great performances over the past few months while she was promoting her tremendous sophomore album "21." Therefore, watch her phenomenal performance of her touch ballad "Turning Tables" from her AOL Sessions experience earlier this year.

Behind the Scenes: "A Special Surprise" (Jennifer Hudson)

Jennifer Hudson's staff surprised her with her new microphone stand during her rehearsals for her most recent appearance during Vh1 Divas Celebrate Soul and below you can watch as JHUD timidly sees her present. Watch it below and Enjoy!

Song of the Day: "Stay in My Corner" (The Dells)

"Stay in My Corner" - The Dells
  • Writers and Produces: Wade Flemons,  Bobby Miller, & Barrett Strong
  • Record Label: Chess Records
  • Rereleased in 1968 from "There Is"
  • Peaked at #10 from Billboard Hot 100 & #1 on Hot Black Singles

Trailer: “SMFU (Save Me From U)" (Dawn Richard)

RapUpTV caught the first exclusive look of Dawn's forthcoming solo debut video for her joint "SMFU (Save Me From U)," which is slated for a January 5th debut on BET's 106 & Park. With that said, peep the official trailer for the upcoming visual below and lookout for the new video come the new year.

Interview: Anthony Hamilton caught up with Anthony Hamilton recently to discuss his latest musical offering "Back To Love." During the interview Hamilton talks about the inspiration behind the title of the album, why "the love" is missing from mainstream music, what some of the tracks on his new album mean, how he's transformed from being a cheater, opens up about his wife, why he decided to work with Keri Hilson, and much more. Peep the two part interview below and go out and cop his latest album "Back To Love" as it's in stores now!

New Joint: "Get Out Your Way" (Sam Hook)

Songwriter and singer on the rise Sam Hook seems to have another new joint out this time entitled "Get Our Your Way," which is a solid mid-tempo acoustic guitar led joint that dropped just in time for those working on some new years resolution. With that said, take a listen below to "Get Our Your Way" and Enjoy!

Live Clip: "If It's Love" (Kem featuring Ledisi)

One of the hotests and most visited posts this year has been Kem and Chrisette Michele's duet "If It's Love" and while the duo haven't performed it live together per my knowledge, Kem and Ledisi have teamed up multiple times and below you can peep one of there many times crooning it out. Watch it below and Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "Yes Indeed" (Marsha Ambrosius)

A few years ago, Marsha Ambrosius recorded a sublime cover of the Lady T classic "Yes Indeed," which was off of Teena's "It Must Be Magic." Though Marsha has yet to release her take on "Yes Indeed," she played her recorded take back in December of 2010 shortly after the tragic passing of Teena Marie. This is one of the best covers of a song that I have heard hands down and I truly hope it's featured on Marsha's forthcoming sophomore effort as she truly delivers a sublime rendition on this classic. With that said, her take on "Yes Indeed" deserves a listen or two because Marsha really kills this Teena joint while putting her own spin on the classic. Listen below and Enjoy!

Live Audio: "I'll Make Love To You" (Boyz II Men)

Take a listen to this live audio of Boyz II Men performing their hit and classic "I'll Make Love To You". Lifted from their performance from Hamburg, South Africa back in the 1990s, Boyz II Men was in fine vocal form like always and really bring it in this audio. Listen below and  Enjoy!

Second Listen: "Ugly Part of Me" (Avery*Sunshine)

Avery*Sunshine has been building a steady fan base since her self-titled debut album "Avery*Sunshine" dropped last year. While the collection is full of some amazing songs, "Ugly Part Of Me" is my favorite joint from the record and is one that deserves to be given a first if not second listen by music lovers. Ms. Sunshine is one of the real ones out there and her smooth cooing voice on "Ugly Part Of Me" if just one side of this rising songstress. Take a listen below and Enjoy!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Remix: "Fireworkz" (Tyrese featuring T.I., Big Sean & Busta Rhymes)

Tyrese's club ready anthem "Fireworkz" has been given the remix treatment just in time to ring in 2012 with verses from Big Sean, T.I., and Busta Rhymes. With that said, peep the official remix below and Enjoy!

Live Video of the Day: "Think Of You" (Ledisi)

Several months ago Ledisi stopped by SiriusXM's Heart and Soul to promote her now three time Grammy nominated album "Pieces Of Me" and during her time at SiriusXM, Led performed "Think Of You", which is lifted from her debut major label project "Lost & Found". With that said, watch Ledisi's sublime acoustic rendition of her smooth classic jam below. I swear she can sing the phone book and you would be on the edge of your seat listening intently. Watch her croon out "Think Of You" below and Enjoy!

Song of the Day: "Nature Boy" (Nat King Cole)

"Nature Boy" - Nat King Cole
  • Writer: eden ahbez
  • Record Label: Capitol Records
  • Released in 1948
  • Peaked at #1 the Pop Charts

Interview: Miguel

Part 2 of MusicUKnowTV's interview with Miguel from his show at LA's Club Nokia has just hit the net and during the conversation Miguel opens up about his religious upbringing, falling in love with music at a young age, writing his first song, growing up in a biracial family, playing instruments, and much more. Peep the interview that is inter-spliced with clips of Miguel performing and Enjoy!

Live Audio: "The Way He Makes Me Feel" (Jennifer Holliday)

Back in 1984 Jennifer Holliday took to the 1984 Oscar telecast to perform a stirring rendition of the Oscar nominated ballad "The Way He Makes Me Feel". Lifted from the soundtrack to the Oscar nominated film "Yentl", Holliday stepped in for Barbra Streisand to perform the powerful rendition of the classic song. Take a listen below to Jennifer Holliday's take on "The Way He Makes Me Feel" and Enjoy!

Second Listen: "God Put a Smile upon Your Face" (Mark Ronson)

On Mark Ronson's 2007 album "Versions", the brillant producer created a fresh take on the Coldplay single "God Put a Smile upon Your Face" with the help of the Daptone Horns. With that said, take a first or second listen below to their soulful and funky take on "God Put a Smile upon Your Face" and Enjoy!

Live Clip: "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" (Heather Headley)

I've been a fan of Heather Headley's since I first saw her in the original Broadway production of "The Lion King" and I have followed her musical career ever since. With that said, Headley has been touring with Andre Bocelli these past few years and during her stint on the tour this year Heather performed a sublime rendition of the classic "Somewhere Over The Rainbow". With that said, you can watch her amazing performance below of this classic and lookout for possible new music from Heather come 2012!

Behind the Scenes: "T.S.I. [Part One] Recording" (Nelly Furtado)

Nelly Furtado has been hard at work on her forthcoming 2012 album "T.S.I. [Part One]". With that said, below you can check out two behind the scenes features both which see Nelly discussing her work with different producers (Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins & Salaam Remi) Peep the behind the scenes looks below and lookout for her upcoming album when it drops in 2012!

New Joint: "Ride To Freedom" (SBTRKT)

SBTRKT has been making moves through his sleek production and DJing and a new joint seems to of risen from his vault entitled "Ride To Freedom". Currently the B-Side to his single "Hold On," "Ride To Freedom" is a sublime instrumental amalgamation. With that said, take a listen below to "Ride To Freedom" and Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "Pretty Wings" (Daley)

Uk artist on the rise Daley has been making some sonic waves over in the UK for a minute and one of his amazing covers that he's been performing on and off is his take of the Maxwell hit and destined classic "Pretty Wings". With that said, Watch Daley's phenomenal acoustic take on the ballad below and Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Live Clip: "With You" (Marsha Ambrosius)

Marsha Ambrosius' solo debut album "Late Nights & Early Mornings" is definitely in my top 5 albums of this past year. With that said, her joint "With You" is one of the standout tracks from her sublime album and you can check out this live clip of Marsha performing her smooth bedroom jam "With You" from a performance at SOBs below. Watch it below and Enjoy!

Live Video of the Day: "Bound to You" (Christina Aguilera)

Back in 2010 Christina Aguilera made her feature film debut in the movie musical "Burlesque" and one of the highlight moments from the film was Christina's sublime ballad "Bound to You.". With that said, below you can watch her perform an emotionally riveting rendition of the torch ballad below and lookout for a new album from Christina come 2012!

Song of the Day: "Tell Me It's Real" (K-Ci & JoJo)

"Tell Me It's Real" - K-Ci & JoJo
  • Writers: Rory Bennett Rory and Joel Hailey
  • Producer:
  • Record Label: MCA
  • Released in 1999 from "It's Real"
  • Peaked at #2 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and US R&B/Hip-Hop Songs

Interview: Robin Thicke

Billboard's "The Juice" caught up with Robin Thicke to answers several fan submitted questions about love, sex, and relationships since Thicke confesses to being a bit of a love doctor. With that said, peep the Q&A below with Thicke and Enjoy!

Second Listen: "Boogie Nights" (Heatwave)

Y'all don't even know but Heatwave's "Boogie Nights" is one of my ultimate jams and even though I posted it as a second listen a few weeks ago, this song really knocks hard. Sonically and vocally this joint is on point like no other joint and really just makes you want to get up and grove! With that said, take a first or second listen to "Boogie Nights" below and Enjoy!