Saturday, May 31, 2014
During Patti LaBelle's PBS special "Patti LaBelle - Live! One Night Only," she performed an amazing cover of the Ashford & Simpson classic "Is It Still Good To Ya?" along with her close friend and former president of her fan club Luther Vandross.
In my opinion, these two together, can do no wrong and this goes down in my book as one of the most underrated duets and covers to occur in the past 20 years. With that said, check out their passionate duet after the jump and Enjoy!
Yesterday on Twitter, I discovered this brilliant mashup of Tamia's semi-recent hit single "Beautiful Surprise" with Musiq Soulchild's "Don't Change." Entitled "Beautiful Change," AudioSavage gave Tamia's "Beautiful Surprise" the slow jam/ballad treatment, transforming her solid mid-tempo banger into a touching heartfelt ballad.
Utilizing Tamia's vocals from "Beautiful Surprise" and transposing them over Musiq Soulchild's classic cut "Don't Change," AudioSavage really changes up the vibe and feel of "Beautiful Surprise" transforming it into the brilliant Beautiful Change."
With that said, take a listen to it below and if you like what you hear, cop the free download here.
"B.U.D.D.Y." - Musiq Soulchild
- Writers: Taalib Johnson, Calvin Haggins, Kenton Nix
- Producers: Lab Ratz
- Record Label: Atlantic Records
- Released in 2007 from Luvanmusiq
- Peaked at #36 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart
Reposting this sublime cover because I really can't believe that 1) Sasha hasn't been signed to a major deal and 2) that we don't have a cover of "Going in Circles" from her that we can purchase, because I need this in my record collection.
Was trolling through YouTube last night and stumbled upon this phenomenal performance by Sasha Allen. While I am not too familiar with her, she appeared on this past season of NBC's The Voice, co-starred in the indie film Camp, and has been in the industry for a minute, having been signed to both Elektra Records and Artista.
While she hasn't found her big break yet, there is no denying her raw vocal talents and her cover of The Friends of Distinction's classic hit single "Going in Circles" proves that her talent truly knows no bounds. I am shocked that someone hasn't signed her off of the strength of this performance alone, let alone what appears to be a great showing on last season's The Voice.
Either way it turns out, one cannot deny Sasha's innate vocal prowess and you can watch her murder The Friends of Distinction's "Going in Circles" from Joe's Pub below and Enjoy!
Donny Hathaway's last studio album 1973's Extension of a Man offered up some of the best material from the famed crooner and one of the cuts from his classic LP has to be "Love, Love, Love."
Sampled by Jay-Z for his hit "Girls, Girls, Girls," "Love, Love, Love" was released as the lead single from Extension of a Man, but is often forgotten as one of the gems from his discography. With that said, take a listen to "Love, Love, Love" below and Enjoy!
After releasing her holiday album A Mary Christmas last year, Mary J. Blige is back with another new joint entitled "Suitcase," which is the first single off the soundtrack to the highly anticipated forthcoming comedy Think Like a Man Too.
With that said, Mary has recorded an entire concept album inspired by the film and some of the highlights from the Mary J. Blige helmed soundtrack include a remake of the Shalamar's classic hit "A Night to Remember," The-Dream-assisted "Vegas Nights," as well as her Pharrell featured "See That Boy Again."
Therefore, take a few minutes and listen to Mary J. Blige's new joint "Suitcase" and lookout for the soundtrack for Think Like a Man Too when it's released June 17th.
Back in 2008, Jill Scott released her second live album Live in Paris and the accompanying live CD/DVD combo proved to be a winner for Scott going to to gold status. With that said, the set is filled with numerous highlights for me and one of those happens to be her powerful performance of "Rasool."
Featured on Jill's sophomore album, 2004's Beautifully Human: Words and Sounds Vol. 2, "Rasool" is a powerful tale that needs to be hear now more than ever as culture seems to be stuck in a moment that Scott was referencing almost a decade ago with the original release of "Rasool."
With that said, take a listen below to her powerhouse live performance to "Rasool" and hopefully you get the word.
Back in 2008 Solange released her sophomore album Sol-Angel & the Hadley St. Dreams and it quickly became one of my top 5 favorite releases from 2008. Though it didn't received the type of commercial or critical acclaim that it deserved, Sol-Angel & the Hadley St. Dreams featured a distinct sonic quality that mixed 60s and 70s classic soul with techno and electric-synth pop of the 80s.
With that said, one of the standout joints from the set is Solange's soulful opus with Bilal "Cosmic Journey." Spanning over six minutes the joint deserves a listen or two and if you don't have it, you should pick up her sublime sophomore effort. With that said, take a second listen below to "Cosmic Journey" and Enjoy!
Friday, May 30, 2014
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's release of Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse earlier this week and Ariana finding her first #2 single on the Billboard Hot 100, I thought it would be nice and appropriate to (re)visit Ariana's brilliant cover below.
Earlier today, Ariana Grande finally unearthed her highly anticipated throwback video for her hot single "Problem," which is currently perched at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and looking to dethrone Iggy's "Fancy," which currently occupies the top spot.
With that said, I am sure interest and buzz will further increase in Ariana's Iggy Azalea featured "Problem" with her throwback 50s video that also features a cameo appearance from Big Sean, who is featured on "Problem" with him whipser the pre-chorus.
Therefore, watch Ariana Grande's new video for "Problem" and Enjoy!
While it's been a few months since Miguel's new joint "Simplethings" was released from HBO's critically acclaimed series Girls' original soundtrack, Miguel has just unearthed a video for his guitar-led joint.
Featuring the Grammy-winner walking around the streets of Los Angeles in search of his woman, it's a solid video to accompany "Simplethings" and will hopefully tide us over a bit as we wait his follow-up to 2012's Kaleidoscope Dream, as Miguel was recently spotted in the studio with DJ Premier.
With that said, peep the official video for Miguel's "Simplethings" below and Enjoy!
Featured as the second track on Destiny's Child's sophomore album The Writing's on the Wall, "So Good" is one of my favorite Destiny's Child songs and also happens t be one of LaTavia Roberson's favorites as well, of the original lineup and current R&B Divas: Atlanta fame.
Cowritten by Beyoncé Knowles, LaTavia Roberson, Kelly Rowland, LeToya Luckett, Kandi Burruss and produced and co-written by Kevin "She'kspere" Briggs, "So Good," is a slept on joint within Destiny's Child's discography and I thought it would be nice to revisit it below.
While we've all been eagerly awaiting Luke James' delayed debut album Made To Love, since his breakout hit Grammy-nominated single "I Want You," the rising singer/songwriter has been busy perfecting his forthcoming debut album and is slated to release a new single "Options" this coming Tuesday, June 3rd.
With that said, yesterday, Luke James took to his personal YouTube channel to release a preview of his new single "Options," which features Rick Ross and it sounds like he's working with a solid summer jam on his hands. Therefore, take a listen below to this preview of Luke James' "Options" below ahead of its June 3rd release on iTunes.
Yesterday, Ariana took to her Instagram account to release a video preview of her highly anticipated video for her hit single "Problem," which is currently sitting pretty at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 behind Iggy Azalea's "Fancy."
Slated for release sometime later today, you can be sure that I will be posting her throwback visual for her hot new single "Problem" and who knows if the added video views will help fuel "Problem" to take the #1 spot next week from Iggy's newly crowed #1 hit single on the Billboard Hot 100.
Either way, peep the preview below and stay tune for the official music video!
With the loss of Aundrea, Danity Kane is now a trio and Dawn, Aubrey and Shannon are holding nothing back on their Tyga-assied single "Lemonade," which they released earlier this month, much to the adoration of their fans.
Now, an official lyric video has been released to accompany their the Stereotypes produced single, which I am sure will aid in boosting it up the charts as Danity Kane are currently on their "comeback" tour before I am sure they officially start pushing their new project.
With that said, peep Danity Kane's new lyric video for their joint "Lemonade" below and Enjoy!
Thursday, May 29, 2014
"Shine" - Luther Vandross
- Writers: James Harris III, Terry Lewis, Bernard Edwards, & Nile Rodgers
- Record Label: J/Epic/Legacy Recordings
- Released in 2006 from The Ultimate Luther Vandross
- Peaked at #31 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
- Originally recorded for the soundtrack to the movie The Fighting Temptations, but failed to make the final cut.
Am I the only one that thinks American Idol needs to do an all-star season of some of the season's top talent to help raise the profile of some of the slept on talent from the hit reality show? Well if it was to ever come to fruition, Latoya London and Tamyra Gray would be two of the singers I would want to be involved.
With that said, back in 2005, Latoya London release her debut album Love & Life and the final track on her debut project was her stirring rendition of the Eric Carmen classic "All By Myself."
Having performed a riveting cover of "All By Myself" on the third season of American Idol, London's recorded interpretation is just as phenomenal and warrants a few listens as she knocks it out the park.
With that said, take a listen below to Latoya's sublime cover of the Eric Carmen classic joint "All By Myself" and Enjoy!
Back in 1995 ahead of Faith Evans' debut album Faith, the now classic joint "You Used to Love Me" was released to radio as her debut single.
Written by Evans herself and produced by Diddy and Chucky Thompson, "You Used to Love Me" would go onto peak at #24 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #4 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.
"You Used to Love Me" would also go onto become Faith's first gold single and you can revisit "You Used to Love Me" below with a second listen!
Back in 2001 with the release of Alicia Keys' debut album Songs in A Minor, she included a special song "Caged Bird," which riffs on and modified the words from Maya Angelou's "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings."
As we honor her legacy and mourn the loss of Dr. Angelou, I thought it would be nice to revisit this cut from Alicia Keys as she stays true to the theme and spirit of the originally powerful song. With that said, take a listen below to Alicia Keys' "Caged Bird" below and Enjoy!
Jhené Aiko has released a new version/remix to her joint "Stay Ready (What a Life," which is lifted from her sublime debut EP 'Sail Out.' Produced by The Fisticuffs, this new version of"Stay Ready (What a Life)" has replaced Kendrick's verse with Jhené's rap alter ego J Henny aka J Hennessy taking on the words written and originally performed by Kendrick.
With that said, time will tell if this is the first and only appearance from J Henny, or if she will on Jhené's debut album Souled Out, due later this summer. Therefore, take a listen below to this remix/new version of "Stay Ready" and Enjoy!
Earlier tonight, TV One aired the latest episode of their hit reality show R&B Divas: Atlanta and Latavia kicked off the episode with a meeting with non other than hitmaker ATL producer Jazze Pha where he tries to help Latavia figure out what she's trying to do.
In addition to Latavia's tough love meeting with Jazze Pha, Meelah takes her son to therapy, giving us a deeper look into her personal life as well as how autism has impacts her family life. Meanwhile Syleena is putting the finishing touches on her demo and plays some of the joints for Wayne, while Keke, Monifah and Syleena find out officially that they are indeed not nominated for a Grammy for their work with Faith Evans on their compilation album. In addition, Monifah puts the finishing touches on her wedding while the rest of the divas have a rehearsal for their one night showcase, even though Angie is missing.
With that said, peep the latest episode of R&B Divas: Atlanta below and Enjoy!
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Jhené Aiko continues to build/raise her mainstream profile and following her appearances on Saturday Night Ride and Conan, Jhené appeared on Monday's The Ellen DeGeneres Show and performed her current hit single "The Worst."
As "The Worst" continues to rise on the charts, Jhené has been busy putting the finishing touches on her highly anticipated debut album Souled Out, which is expected for release sometime this summer. With that said, you can watch her solid performance of "The Worst" below and Enjoy!
I don't know about you, but I still can't get over D'Angelo's Red Bull Music Academy interview from last week and I have been reliving some of his great music and came across this solid live audio from D'Angelo in the process of revising his music. Featured on the mixtape 'D'Angelo Live,' "Feel Like Making Love" is the ninth cut lifted from his 2011 set.
Featuring a variety of recordings that were compiled together into one seamless set and mixed by the capable hands of Sam Champ, you can take a listen below to "Feel Like Making Love" as we all eagerly await D'Angelo's forthcoming third studio album.
Was talking about Detroit with some friends last night and it just so happens that I've been listening to some classic Motown hits these past few weeks and one of those gems has to be The Supremes' classic hit "You Can't Hurry Love."
With that said, below you will find a rare recording of the trio with an alternate rendition of their classic hit. While the melody is changed a bit on this recording, you still get the same vibe on "You Can't Hurry Love" and you can check it out below!
I was procrastinating on YouTube yesterday trying to avoid doing some reading and came across Gregory Porter's sublime rendition of the Donny Hathaway classic "Someday We'll All Be Free."
Lifted from Gregory Porter's performance at the LantarenVenster in Rotterdam, Netherlands from back in 2012, Gregory proves why all of the buzz and breakthrough success that he has been receiving is clearly warranted.
Therefore, watch Gregory Porter's performance of "Someday We'll All Be Free" below and Enjoy!
Back in 1976 The Spinners dropped what would become their last #1 hit on the then Billboard Hot Soul Singles chart entitled "The Rubberband Man."
Written and produced by the Spinners go to crew Thom Bell and Linda Creed, the song was inspired by Bell's son, who was teased for being overweight and Thom Bell wrote the song to make his son feel good about himself. With that said, take a first or second listen below to "The Rubberband Man" and Enjoy!
I was trolling YouTube late last night today and stumbled upon/rediscovered this rare performance of Kelly Price and Shirley Murdock sharing the stage together on Shirley's original "As We Lay."
Kelly offered up a sublime cover of this classic tale on her sophomore LP and during Essence Music Festival 2011 Kelly and Shirley offered up a rare live collaboration in the Ford Superlounge.
With that said, catch these two legendary singers exchange verses after the jump with their powerhouse voices and Enjoy!
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
On the deluxe edition of Heather Headley's sophomore LP In My Mind, she featured two piano-led renditions of her biggest hits, one being the title track to her second album. With that said, Heather just nails it for me in this ripped live audio of her stunning performance of "In My Mind" and luckily for you, you can listen to it after the jump!
While I haven't heard anything from Angel in a minute, I feel as though the UK artist-on-the-rise has been busy in the studio working on some bangers for his forthcoming sophomore album.
While he premeired "US" at the end of 2014 and it was set for official release this past February, I haven't heard anything from Angel and as we await more musical updates, I thought it might be nice to revisit his sublime cover that he did a few years ago where he transformed Dance/Pop UKer Cheryl Cole's "Call My Name" into a solid acoustic vocal performance.
While Cole is not know for her vocal prowess, Angel truly transforms Cole's "Call My Name" into an uptempo that showcases off his solid pipes. Peep Angel's amazing cover below and Enjoy!
Back in 1993, Mariah Carey released her future diamond-certified album Music Box and to help promote the album, Carey held an intimate performance at Proctor's Theater and performed her future fourth single "Anytime You Need A Friend."
While the song peaked at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100, it is an often forgotten about Carey classic and this rare performance of a younger Mariah Carey cooing it out is on point to say the least. With that said, watch her powerful performance of "Anytime You Need A Friend" below as we celebrate the new release of Mariah's Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse.
What happens when you team up two of R&B's best voices on a new duet? Well Kelly Price and Ruben Studdard have an answer to that with their smooth new mid-tempo "Back 2 Love," which follows Kelly's thumping "It's My Time," as the second official single lifted from her forthcoming album, Sing, Pray, Love Vol. 1: Sing, due June 3rd.
Featuring the catchy and infectious chorus "Gotta get back to love / Gotta get back to trust," Ruben croons out this simple hook while he and Kelly both riff on top of it, making for an enjoyable mid-tempo banger that I am sure will be heating up Adult R&B Radio ASAP.
With that said, take a listen below to "Back 2 Love" and if you like what you hear, lookout for Kelly Price's upcoming album, Sing, Pray, Love Vol. 1: Sing, when it's released next Tuesday, June 3rd!
Monday, May 26, 2014
With today being Memorial Day here in the States, I thought I would take it back to the funkiest rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" ever to be realized in my opinion. Back in 1983 at the NBA All-Star Game, Marvin Gaye let into his now legendary performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Though every artist who sings the National Anthem traditionally performs it how it was written, Marvin Gaye turned it into his own soulful opus that had the crowd and viewers up out of their seats grooving. As we all wind down our celebrations here in America, please watch and enjoy this phenomenal performance!
"It Seems Like You're Ready" - R. Kelly
- Writer: R. Kelly
- Producer: R. Kelly
- Record Label: Jive
- Featured on 1993's 12 Play
A few years ago, Tiffany Evans was working on her sophomore album with Columbia Records and she released the lead single from the set entitled "I'll Be There." During that time, she also was a part of a book project, Saving Our Daughters and used the opportunity to cross promote both her new single and book.
With that said, she stopped by New York's Fox 5 Morning Show to promote the book and single and performed a riveting rendition of "I'll Be There." Therefore, take a few minutes and (re)visit her touching performance of "I'll Be There" below and Enjoy!
I had on my Whitney Houston playlist last night and one of the highlights from it has to be Houston's collaboration with Mariah Carey on "When You Believe." Originally lifted from The Prince of Egypt soundtrack, the Houston and Carey collaboration is one of epic vocal proportions, showcasing both songbirds' vocal forces.
Written by Stephen Schwartz and produced Babyface, "When You Believe" would earn Schwartz an Academy Award and is sometimes a forgotten gem in both Carey's and Houston's discography. With that said, take a listen to this cut below and Enjoy!
Back in 2007, Guy Sebastian released a covers album in the form of The Memphis Album and while no official singles were lifted from his fourth LP that would go onto double platinum status in Australia, Guy did release an official music video for his solid cover of Wilson Pickett's "In The Midnight Hour."
While he hasn't really broken here in the States, he does have a solid core fanbase here and hopefully we'll be hearing more of him here in the States later this year. With that said, you can take a listen below to Guy's cover of Wilson Pickett's "In The Midnight Hour" and Enjoy!
Back in 1982, Vanity 6 released the second single from their self-titled debut album Vanity 6 and the 80s charged song was no other than "Nasty Girl." Written and produced by Prince for his protégé girl group Vanity 6, Prince gave the songwriting credit to lead singer Vanity, although he was the writer and composer.
Backed by The Time, due to the song's explicit lyrics, "Nasty Girl" was met with resistance on mainstream American radio, peaking within the U.S. Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart. It did however become a sizable hit on U.S. R&B radio and it hit number hitting #7 on the Hot Black Singles chart. Take a second listen to "Nasty Girl" below and Enjoy!
Sunday, May 25, 2014
During the 1998 at the the 9th Billboard Music, Whitney Houston appeared on the telecast to promote her album My Love Is Your Love as well as the set's second single, "Heartbreak Hotel," which had just recently hit airwaves before the trio's performance.
Featuring Kelly Price and Faith Evans on Whitney's Soulshock & Karlin produced hit single, which eventually went onto peak at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was a very impressive #4 on the Year End Billboard Hot 100 chart is still a classic in my book and you can watch the trio's performance of it below!
"Real Love" - Mary J. Blige
- Writers and Producers: Mark C. Rooney and Mark Morales
- Record Label: Uptown Records
- Lifted from 1992's What's the 411?
- Peaked at #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot R&B Singles & Tracks and #7 on the Hot 100
Ledisi stopped by The Queen Latifah Show earlier this week and during her time on the show, Queen's crew caught up with Ledisi for a behind the scenes Q&A where she opens up about her latest album The Truth, what it means for her to be on The Queen Latifah Show as well as her current single "Like This."
In addition, Ledisi opens up about some of the artists who have inspired her, who she looks forward to seeing perform at ESSENCE Music Festival while she'll be performing there on the main stage, and much more. Peep Ledisi's interview below and if you haven't picked up a copy of her new album The Truth, it's in-stores now!
Been getting back into some Mariah Carey as of late and her 2005 "comeback" album The Emancipation of Mimi has been on repeat as I await the release of her forthcoming fourteenth album Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse.
The album brought Mariah Carey much commercial and critical success, and one of the standout cuts from the album for me has to be her James "Big Jim" Wright co-written and produced joint "I Wish You Knew."
The throwback vibe of the record mixed with Carey's Grammy-winning vocals and pen crafted a timeless joint and my book and you can take a listen to it after the jump!
At UNCF's 30th Anniversary An Evening of Stars Tribute, Patti LaBelle was the legend being honored and at the end of a wonderful tribute, Patti got up and belted out a phenomenal version of "A Change Is Gonna Come."
While the TV version shows Patti accepting her award and then going into a spirited rendition of this classic, you never get to see and hear the entire song. Therefore, take a listen below to this live audio that was captured the night of the original Tribute back in 2008 that allows you to hear the entire version that Ms. LaBelle laid down that night and Enjoy!
Just a few hours ago, I was up until 4am and of course Melanie Fiona's powerful joint "4 AM" from her sophomore LP The MF Life came into my head as there was no real reason why I was still up at that hour.
While I was just restless having been out grinding to the early am, Melanie Fiona's 2011 cut "4 AM" testifies about another time of sleepless night and is one of those joints in my book that should've been bigger than it ended up being. With that said, take a second listen after the jump to "4 AM" and Enjoy!
During the MOBO Awards in the UK several years ago, Mary J. Blige performed a stirring rendition of Elton John's classic ""Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word."
While Blige has recorded her own rendition for the "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason" soundtrack, I still prefer her live interpretations of this Elton classic as she really leaves it all out there on the stage. Watch her sublime interpretation of "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word" below and Enjoy!
Saturday, May 24, 2014
The Phoenix of Philadelphia Ms. Patti LaBelle celebrated her 70th birthday today, so I thought it would be appropriate to revisit her impassioned performance of her classic cut "You Are My Friend."
With that said, below you will find a phenomenal performance of "You Are My Friend" from Patti LaBelle during her Live! One Night Only special from PBS where she sang her face off, as she always does. Therefore, take a few minutes and let Patti bless you with her sublime performance of "You Are My Friend" below and Enjoy!