Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Song of the Day: "Luxury: Cococure" (Maxwell)

"Luxury: Cococure" - Maxwell
  • Writer: Musze
  • Producers: Musze
  • Record Label: Columbia
  • Released in 1998 from Embrya
  • Peaked at # 16 on the Billboard Hot R&B Singles chart

New Video: "Problem (Lyric Video)" (Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea)

Another day, some more new material from Ariana Grande as her single "Problem" continues to soar at radio and a digital retailers. Projected to sell 300,000 digital copies in its first week, "Problem" is probably slated for a top ten debut on the Billboard Hot 100 and depending on airplay, could really make a huge impact, becoming her biggest single to date.

With that said, the official lyric video to problems has hit the net via RollingStones and this lyric video features both Grande and Azalea, potentially from the official music video clip, that I am sure we will see within the next few weeks as the single builds at radio and potentially digitally as well.

Therefore, peep the official music video for "Problem" below and Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "The Impossible Dream" (Luther Vandross)

Back in 1994, Luther Vandross released his covers album "Songs" and in tandem with its release, Vandross released a a PBS concert special that highlighted several of the covers on the album.

One of these covers was Vandross' impressive take on the broadway classic "The Impossible Dream" and you can watch his sublime take below!

Second Listen: "Over It" (Katharine McPhee)

I was talking with a friend earlier today and for some reason, Katharine McPhee's "Over It" came into my head and I recited it to her in a joking matter that "I was over your lies, And I'm over your games."

With that said, I thought it might be appropriate, at least for me, to revisit Katharine's lead single "Over It" from her self-titled debut album Katharine McPhee. Eventually going gold, her single "Over It" was written by Josh Alexander, Billy Steinberg,  and Ruth-Anne Cunningham and is a catchy song that brings me right back to 2007.

"Over It" debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 48 on the chart for the week ending February 17, 2007. It peaked at number 29 on the Hot 100 and also peaked at number 21 on Pop Radio.

Take a listen below to Katharine McPhee's "Over It" and revel in the nostalgia!

Interview: Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande stopped by On Air With Ryan Seacrest after the release of her new hit single "Problem," featuring Iggy Azalea and the rising 20-year-old artist opened up about what "Problem" is about, how excited she is for her new album, in addition to how she got introduced to rapper Iggy Azalea

In addition, Ariana Grande opens up about her fangirl mentality towards Jim Carey, her forthcoming performance at iHeart Radio Music Festival, and so much more.

With that said, peep Ariana Grande's interview below and lookout for her sophomore album later this summer.

Rare Performance: "Four Women" (LaBelle)

One of the numerous musical highlights in LaBelle's storied musical career was their cover of the iconic Nina Simone classic "Four Women."

While I am unclear as to when the following recorded televised performance of LaBelle was captured, Patti LaBelle in addition to Sarah Dash and Nona Hendryx were in rare form on this spirited rendition.

With that said, take a few minutes and get into LaBelle's rare and phenomenal cover of the Nina Simone gem "Four Women" and Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Live Video of the Day: "Shining Star" (Earth, Wind & Fire)

This past Thursday, legendary group Earth, Wind & Fire stopped by The Arsenio Hall Show and while the iconic group was there, EWF performed one of their numerous classic jams, "Shining Star."

I don't know about you, but when an EWF jam drops, its  a requirement in my household to get up and dance, especially if its an uptempo jam. With that said, watch Earth, Wind & Fire's phenomenal performance of "Shining Star" below Philip continues to outsing future generations.

Song of the Day: "It Kills Me" (Melanie Fiona)

"It Kills Me" - Melanie Fiona
  • Writers: Andrea Martin, Robert Littlejohn Jr., Leon Carr, Earl Shulman
  • Producer: Andrea Martin
  • Record Label: SRC, Universal Motown
  • Released in 2009 from The Bridge
  • Peaked at #43 on the Billboard Hot 100 & #1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart

Live Clip: "The Man" (Aloe Blacc)

Last night on CBS's Late Night with David Letterman, Aloe Blacc stopped by The Ed Sullivan Theater to perform his breakout hit single "The Man," which is lifted from his latest album Lift Your Spirit.

With that said, Aloe offered a spirited rendition of his breakout top 5 Billboard Hot 100 single "The Man," and you can watch his performance go down below.

Second Listen: "Got 'til It's Gone" (Janet Jackson ft. Q-Tip)

As we get ready to enter into May and spring is in full bloom, I thought it would be a good time to revisit the Janet Jackson classic joint "Got 'til It's Gone," which was lifted from her sixth album, 1997's The Velvet Rope.

Featuring rapper Q-Tip and folk singer Joni Mitchell, who contributes a sample of her song "Big Yellow Taxi," "Got 'til It's Gone" was written by Janet, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, and René Elizondo, Jr., with Q-Tip and Mitchell having written their own verses, and produced by Jackson, Jam & Lewis.

Peaking at #36 on the Billboard Hot 100, "Got 'til It's Gone" is a classic 90s jam with a message that rings true everyday and you can take a second listen to it below!

New Joint: "Call My Name" (Avery*Sunshine)

A few days ago, Shanachie Entertainment released artist-on-the-rise Avery*Sunshine new single, "Call My Name, which is lifted from her highly anticipated forthcoming album The SunRoom, which is slated for release on May 27th.

While The SunRoom isn't slated for release for almost a month, Avery has been on the road in association with ESSENCE Magazine bringing her brand of soul music to the ears of everyone through the United States. With that said, take a listen below to Avery's new joint "Call My Name" and lookout for her in a city near you with her current tour.

Amazing Cover: "A Change Is Gonna Come" (Beyoncé)

I don't know about you, but I can't wait to get my tickets for Beyoncé and Jay-Z's co-headlining tour On The Run later today and as we all get ready to purchase our tickets, I thought it'd be nice to revisit a performance from Beyoncé's 2013 tour The Mrs. Carter Show.

Last year, Beyoncé brought her The Mrs. Carter Show to The Palace of Auburn Hills located just outside of Detroit and the Grammy-winning songstress performed an impassioned rendition of the Sam Cooke classic "A Change Is Gonna Come"to honor the Motor City, which recently filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

With that said, Beyoncé and her team have now uploaded a montage performance of her tribute to the D and you can watch it all go down below!

Monday, April 28, 2014

New Joint: "Tomorrow" (The Roots ft. Raheem DeVaughn)

Having just recently released the official tracklisting to their highly anticipated eleventh studio album ... and then you shoot your cousin, due May 19th, the legendary Roots crew has now released the lead single from the project, their Raheem DeVaughn assisted joint "Tomorrow."

Featuring a piano-driven instrumental, Questlove, Black Thought, and the rest of the The Roots crew along with Raheem DeVaughn offer up a brilliant new joint in the form of "Tomorrow."

With that said, take a listen below to "Tomorrow" and Enjoy!

Live Video of the Day: "Alright" (Ledisi)

While Ledisi was making her promotional rounds to promote her recently released album The Truth, she stopped by Yahoo! Music and performed some of her greatest hits, including her major label debut single "Alright," which started it off.

With that said, Ledisi even got caught up in the moment of performing her acoustic rendition of "Alright" and went off towards the end. Watch Ledisi's sublime performance of "Alright" below and Enjoy!

Song of the Day: "All Night Long (All Night)" (Lionel Richie)

"All Night Long (All Night)" - Lionel Richie
  • Writer: Lionel Richie
  • Producers: Lionel Richie & James Anthony Carmichael
  • Record Label: Motown
  • Released in 1983 from Can't Slow Down
  • Peaked at #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Black Singles 

Second Listen: "I Want You" (Avila Brothers)

This is clearly one of my favorite underrated gems and always leaves me wondering what the Avila Brothers are up to as this was one of the best joints of the 2000s in my opinion. Back in 2005 the Avila Brothers released The Mood: Soundsational and one of the standout joints from the set was their reinterpretation of Marvin Gaye's "I Want You."

Using the perfect sample from Marvin's classic "I Want You," the Avila Brothers craft their own "I Want You" which is one of the most underrated songs to drop in the 2000s. Take a second listen to the Avila Brothers' "I Want You" below and Enjoy!

New Joint: "Fall In Love" (Keke Wyatt)

With the third season of TV One's R&B Divas: Atlanta in full swing, Keke Wyatt is taking the opportunity to release some new music with her forthcoming self-titled EP 'Keke,' slated for release tomorrow, Tuesday April 29th.

Led by the emotive ballad "Fall In Love," 'Keke' features seven new joints from the powerhouse songstress including her Pusha T assisted joint "Rain" and "Remember," which features Nitty Scott MC.

With that said, if her lead single "Fall In Love" is any indication what Keke has in store for us from her upcoming EP project, let's just say she's working with a winner. Therefore, take a listen below to "Fall In Love" and Enjoy!

Behind the Scenes: "Pretty Hurts" Video Shoot (Beyoncé)

This past Saturday, Beyoncé released a behind-the-scenes feature of her recording the official music video for her joint "Pretty Hurts," which will serve as the latest official single from Beyoncé's fifth self-titled album BEYONCÉ.

With that said, peep the official behind-the-scenes feature of Beyoncé shooting the official music visual for her fourth single, the Sia penned "Pretty Hurts" below and Enjoy!

New Joint: "Problem" (Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea)

Just a few hours ago, Ariana Grande officially released her lead single "Problem," which is lifted from her highly anticipated sophomore album. While information about the release of her sophomore album have been kept under-wraps, her single "Problem," which features Iggy Azalea has been teased about for the past week.

With that said, within minutes of it going live on iTunes for official download, "Problem" shot up to #1 on the charts, becoming the first single to topple Pharrell's "Happy" since it perched itself on top of the charts weeks ago. Therefore, take a listen below to Ariana's new single "Problem" and Enjoy!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Live Video of the Day: "Problem" (Ariana Grande)

Earlier tonight, Disney Channel aired the telecast recording of the Radio Disney Music Awards and Ariana Grande opened up the show with the premiere performance of her new single "Problem," which features Iggy Azalea.

With that said, below you will find Ariana belting out her new single "Problem" from a fan recorded clip of the performance along with her bevy of dancers. Already a #1 hit on iTunes, dethroning Pharrell's "Happy," "Problem" is the lead single from Ariana's highly anticipated sophomore album and you can peep her performance below!

Song of the Day: "Twisted" (Keith Sweat)

"Twisted" - Keith Sweat
  • Writers: Keith Sweat, Eric McCaine, Athena Cage, Lavonn Battle, Tabitha
  • Producers: Keith Sweat and Eric McCaine
  • Record Label: EastWest
  • Released in 1996 from Keith Sweat
  • Peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Hot R&B Singles chart

Remix: "DuckTales" Theme Song (Scott Bradlee Quartet ft. POW!GRL)

When I heard earlier today that someone redid the 90s cartoon DuckTales' theme song into a quiet storm R&B slow jam, I didn't know how to feel. While I watched DuckTales as a kid the mixture of classic R&B 90s slow jams with DuckTales just didn't seem right.

With that said, keyboardist Scott Bradlee's Saturday Morning Slow Jams project took on the challenge of the cartoon theme songs and reimagined it with the assistance of POW!GRL into something I just went over to iTunes and purchased!

With that said, peep their reimagining of the DuckTales theme song below as well as the original to refresh your memory.

Cut: "Lose Myself" (Marsha Ambrosius)

Back in 2011, Marsha Ambrosius released her debut solo album Late Nights & Early Mornings and one of the standout joints from her LP has to be her rearrangement of the Lauryn Hill penned and original "Lose Myself."

While Lauryn Hill's rendition was featured on Surf's Up (Motion Picture Soundtrack), Ambrosius'  smooth silky soulful take of "Lose Myself" is a welcomed cover from Late Nights & Early Mornings.

With that said, take a listen below to Marsha's smooth cut and cover of the Lauryn Hill original "Lose Myself" and Enjoy!

After Midnight: Lauryn Hill

I've been posting and reposting Steven Lopez's phenomenal painting series "After Midnight" for almost two years now and it appears as though the series is being reincarnated as "After Midnight Soul."

With the first painting in this updated series as none other than Ms. Lauryn Hill, Steven Lopez once again breaths some light into his creations and you can watch his phenomenal process below!

Live Clip: "In The Morning" (Ledisi)

One of my many favorite songs within Ledisi's discography is her powerful and fiery ballad "In The Morning." If you've never seen Ledisi live, then you are sadly missing out on something special as she goes all the way in during her shows,  especially on "In The Morning."

With that said, below you can find a powerful rendition of "In The Morning" from Ledisi's appearance in Central Park back in 2009. Watch it all go down below and if you haven't seen Ledisi on tour yet, it's not to late to catch her as she is currently headlining her own tour aptly entitled The Truth Tour because her vocals and talents are nothing but the truth!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Live Video of the Day: "I Blame You" (Ledisi)

A few days ago, Ledisi stopped by Yahoo! Music to perform a few songs from her vast discography to help promote her recently released album The Truth.

Opting to perform the set's lead single "I Blame You," Ledisi's acoustic version of her hit single from The Truth is a riveting rendition that truly showcases off her Grammy-nominated vocals as well as her phenomenal tone.

With that said, watch Ledisi's performance of "I Blame You" below and lookout for her as she is currently on the road headlining her own show The Truth Tour.

Song of the Day: "Novacane" (Frank Ocean)

"Novacane" - Frank Ocean
  • Writers: Christopher Francis Ocean, Christopher "Tricky" Stewart, Victor Alexander
  • Producer: Tricky Stewart
  • Record Label: Def Jam
  • Released in 2011 from nostalgia, ULTRA
  • Peaked at #87 on the Billboard Hot 100 & #17 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs

Remix: "If I Ruled The World (Stwo & Fitz Remix)" (Nas ft. Lauryn Hill)

Back in 1996, Nas released It Was Written and one of the classic joints lifted from this LP has to be his collaboration with Ms. Lauryn Hill on "If I Ruled The World (Imagine That)." With that said, a few months ago, I stumbled upon a solid remix via producer/DJ STWO and fellow producer Fitz in the form of "If I Ruled The World (Stwo & Fitz Remix)."

Adding a soulful vibe to the original, STWO and Fitz craft an alternative to the harder original beat via Rashad Smith/Trackmaster. With that said, take a listen after the jump to "If I Ruled The World (Stwo & Fitz Remix)" and if you like what you hear, cop the remix for free while supplies last!

Live Clip: "Clown" (Emeli Sandé)

Emeli Sandé has been quite lately, as I am sure she is busy working on crafting an amazing followup to her blockbuster debut album Our Version of Events and while we eagerly await to hear what she's been cooking up in the studio, I thought it would be nice to revisit one of my favorite performances from her.

Lifted from Emeli Sandé's live CD/DVD combo Live at Royal Albert Hall, this performance from Emeli offers up some of her best live vocal performances from her to date and with "Clown" being my favorite cut from her album, it seems like the perfect performance to revisit.

 With that said, watch Emeli's touching rendition of "Clown" below and Enjoy!

Live Audio: "You've Got A Friend" (Donny Hathaway)

Donny Hathaway is in my top 5 male vocalist of all time hands down and his live audio cover of the classic "You've Got A Friend" is one of the numerous songs within his discography that place him so highly on my list of favorite singers.

With that said, take a listen below to Hathaway crooning out a sublime live rendition of "You've Got A Friend" on this spring summer Saturday and Enjoy!

Second Listen: "Come Over" (Aaliyah)

Was going through a playlist I had and Aaliyah's "Come Over" came on and I thought it would be appropriate to take a second listen to the her last solo single. This song is one of the six previously unreleased tracks on Aaliyah's first posthumously released compilation album, I Care 4 U. It was released in US as the third single from the album.

"Come Over" charted well, peaking at #32 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #9 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, thanks to its heavy rotation on radio stations. With that said, Aaliyah's vocals for "Come Over" are actually lifted from a demo version of the original version sung by Changing Faces which appeared on their 2000 album Visit Me.

Take a second listen after the jump to "Come Over" and Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "Inner City Blues" (Angela Winbush)

Back in 1994, Angela Winbush released her self-titled album Angela Winbush and one of the standout joints from her album for me was her cover of the Marvin Gaye classic "Inner City Blues."

While no one will ever offer a better rendition that Marvin's original from his iconic What's Going On album from 1971, there is no denying that Angela put together a solid effort on her Angela Winbush album.

Therefore, take a listen below to Angela Winbush's cover of "Inner City Blues" below and Enjoy!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Song of the Day: "Still" (The Commodores)

"Still" - The Commodores
  • Writer: Lionel Richie
  • Producers: James Anthony Carmichael, Commodores
  • Record Label: Motown
  • Released in 1979 from Midnight Magic
  • Peaked at #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Hot Soul Singles chart

Amazing Cover: "What's That Got to Do With Me" (Sly and the Family Stone)

The legendary funk group Sly and the Family Stone have celebrated their monumental career and Sly's 70th birthday with am anthology entitled Higher!

Featuring several of the groups' remastered singles, are recordings and vaulted recordings, one of those vaulted recordings has hit the net and it is in the form of Sly and the Family Stone's take on the Jim and Jean hit "What's That Got to Do With Me."

With that said, you can take a listen after the jump to their sublime cover of "What's That Got to Do With Me" and lookout for Higher!, which features 77 tracks in addition to a 100 page booklet when it's released August 27th.

New Joint: "Fuck It All" (Elle Varner)

Another week, another new joint from Elle Varner and while it is the fourth and final release in her four letter word series, "Fuck It All" is another solid joint from the Grammy-nominated songstress.

With that said, her sophomore album 4 Letter Word, which will be executively produced by her frequent collaborators Pop & Oak, is slated for release later this year and therefore, take a listen below to her new joint "Fuck It All."

Playback: "Like This" (Ledisi)

While Ledisi is currently on the road on her headlining tour The Truth Tour, which is in support of her latest album The Truth, the multi-Grammy nominated songstress and her label have announced that "Like This" will be serviced to radio as the second official single off of her latest album.

Following her sublime joint "I Blame You," "Like This" is a solid mid-tempo from Ledisi that should do perfectly on Adult R&B and hopefully crossover to the mainstream R&B charts and maybe, just maybe get some pop love.

With that said, take a playback to Ledisi's new single "Like This" and if you haven't checked out her new album The Truth, what are you waiting for?!

Live Clip: "Forever, For Always, For Love" (Lalah Hathaway)

During her tour in support of Where It All Begins, Lalah Hathaway found herself in Paris at New Room towards the end of last year. Of course amidst her set, Lalah performed her brilliant rendition of the Luther Vandross classic "Forever, For Always, For Love."

Originally recorded for the Luther benefit album, Lalah has transformed this song into a standard in her sets and a fan favorite. With that said, watch her powerful performance that includes her phenomenal band riffing for a grip after the jump and Enjoy!

Live Audio: "You Send Me" (Aretha Franklin)

During the early 1970s, Aretha Franklin often performed a cover of the Sam Cooke classic "You Send Me" during her sets and of course, the Queen of Soul set it off with her iconic soulfully soaked vocals.

With that said, below you will find a sublime live audio rendition of the Queen of Soul belting out "You Send Me" with a phenomenal accompaniment of her background singers and band. Listen below and Enjoy!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

TV Rewind: "Mary Mary" Season 3 Ep. 9

Earlier today, the latest episode of We TV's hit reality show Mary Mary aired and during the ninth episode of the third season, Tina deals with her marital issues, Erica's confronted with the pressures of a growing solo career mixed with Mary Mary's schedule, Erica suffers some vocal issues and so much more.

With that said, peep the latest episode of Mary Mary below as Erica and Tina deal with both their personal lives and professional careers in a balance we all attempt to master.

Song of the Day: "Lately" (Tyrese)

"Lately" - Tyrese
  • Writers: Derek Allen & Tyrese Gibson
  • Producer: Derek Allen
  • Record Label: RCA Records
  • Released in 1999 from Tyrese
  • Peaked at #56 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #12 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart 

Live Audio: "Only If For a Night" (Florence + The Machine)

Florence + The Machine released their own Unplugged album two years and on the brief set, Florence + The Machine included a powerful rendition of the first song off of their sophomore album Ceremonials entitled "Only If For a Night."

In true Florence fashion, she keeps it rather slow and showcases off her trademark vibrato. While the recorded rendition of "Only If For a Night" is great, I think Florence's live rendition offers up a different take that I personally prefer. With that said, take a listen below to "Only If For a Night" and Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "Endless Love" (Ledisi)

A few years ago, Ledisi honored Lionel Richie at UNCF's An Evening of Stars and blew the roof off the joint with her powerful rendition of the Lionel Richie and Diana Ross duet "Endless Love."

With that said, you can peep her sublime take on "Endless Love" below and if you like what you hear, go and check her out on her current headlining tour The Truth Tour where she is slaying stages across the continental USA.

Second Listen: "All the Things (Your Man Won't Do)" (Joe)

Back in 1997, Joe released his second album All That I Am and his set featured his classic smooth jam "All the Things (Your Man Won't Do)." "All The Things (Your Man Won't Do)"would go onto peak at #2 on the Hot R&B Singles chart, while peaking at a  #11 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Originally featured on the Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood soundtrack, "All the Things (Your Man Won't Do)" is the breakout joint that really cemented Joe's career after he was dropped from his original record label after his 1993 debut album.

With that said, take a second listen after the jump to "All the Things (Your Man Won't Do)" and Enjoy!

Cut: "A Life That's Good" (Lennon and Maisy Stella)

Instead of airing a new episode of ABC's Nashville, the show's producers opted to showcase the talent of the show through a prerecorded live concert of some of Nashville's great hits. With that said, "A Life That's Good" was rightly chosen as the final song and the cast that was gathered that night performed a solid version of "A Life That's Good."

While Lennon and Maisy Stella weren't present for the telecast and therefore didn't perform "A Life That's Good," I thought it would be nice to (re)visit their phenomenal recorded and original rendition of this phenomenal joint. Therefore, take a few minutes and listen to the sister duo's "A Life That's Good" and Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

TV Rewind: "R&B Divas: Atlanta" Season 3 Ep. 1

Earlier tonight, TV One kicked off the third season of their hit reality series R&B Divas: Atlanta and the Divas come together again after the blowup that occurred at Keke's birthday party to try and rebuild their relationships.

With that said, a few Divas haven't returned for the third season but Meelah Williams from 702 and Latavia originally from Destiny's Child fame have joined this season to round out the cast.

During the first episode, Angie gathers the Divas during a grateful tea to hopefully get a show off the ground and we get to know the latest Divas as well as the originals a bit better. Therefore, watch the latest episode of R&B Divas: Atlanta below and Enjoy!

Live Video of the Day: "Get Up On It" (Keith Sweat feat. Kut Klose)

Several years ago Keith Sweat went on his Sweat Hotel Live tour and of course for the Atlanta DVD recording of the show, he brought out his protégés Kute Klose to perform their classic cut hit "Get Up On It."

With that said, watch the four of them work it out below of their classic hit quiet storm jam "Get Up On It" and Enjoy!

Song of the Day: "Every Little Step" (Bobby Brown)

"Every Little Step" - Bobby Brown
  • Writers & Producers: L.A. Reid, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds
  • Record Label: MCA
  • Released in 1989 Don't Be Cruel
  • Peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot Black Singles chart