Thursday, July 31, 2014

Live Video of the Day: "I Believe in You and Me/I Will Always Love You" (Whitney Houston)

Everyone needs a little live Whitney Houston in their lives every now and then!

During the 2004 World Music Awards, Whitney Houston appeared after a hiatus to honor her longtime mentor Clive Davis and performed two of her classic covers "I Believe in You and Me," and her standard "I Will Always Love You."

As we continue to honor Whitney Houston's legacy, I thought this live medley performance would be appropriate to continue honoring Houston. Watch her sublime performance after the jump and Enjoy!

Song of the Day: "Say My Name" (Destiny's Child)

"Say My Name" - Destiny's Child
  • Writers: LaShawn Daniels, Rodney Jerkins, Fred Jerkins III, Beyoncé Knowles, LeToya Luckett, Kelendria Rowland, and LaTavia Roberson
  • Producer: Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins
  • Record Label: Columbia Records
  • Released in 2000 from The Writing's on the Wall
  • Peaked at #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 & Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart

Live Clip: "Bang Bang" (Jessie J)

Jessie J has been on a full court press with her promotion for her new single "Bang Bang," which is lifted as the first single for her forthcoming third studio album and this past Tuesday, she stopped by Elvis Duran and The Morning Show in New York City to offer up the first live performance ever of "Bang Bang."

Since Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj were of course mia, Jessie performed the track solo with some acoustic accompaniment and took on Ariana's part sans Nicki's rap. With that said, watch Jessie belt it out below and Enjoy!

Second Listen: "Emotional" (Carl Thomas)

Back in 2000, Carl Thomas released his debut album Emotional and the title-track "Emotional" was the third and final single from his first LP. Containing a sample of "Shape Of My Heart" by Sting, "Emotional" would go onto become Carl Thomas' second biggest hit, peaking at #47 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #8 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart.

With that said, take a second listen below to Carl Thomas' classic hit single "Emotional" and Enjoy!

Live Clip: "In Love With Another Man" (Jazmine Sullivan)

Back towards the end of June during the BET Awards weekend here in Los Angeles, Debra Lee hosted a pre-BET Awards dinner and none other than Jazmine Sullivan was called upon to entertain the group gathered there that evening and of course the powerhouse Grammy-nominated songstress offered up some aw inspiring vocals.

Case-and-point was her riveting performance of her cut "In Love With Another Man" where Jazmine's honey-coated contralto vocals insight testifying from the audience throughout her phenomenal performance. With that said, watch Jazmine Sullivan's sublime performance below and Enjoy!

New Joint: "My Love" (Syleena Johnson)

R&B Diva: Atlanta star Syleena Johnson is gearing up for her solo comeback after her Musiq Soulchild collaborative project, with her forthcoming album Chapter 6: Couples Therapy and the set's lead single is her just released joint "My Love."

Written and produced by Pierre "The Maven" Medor, Syleena sings about some issues she's been having with her lover. Slated for released on October 14th, Chapter 6: Couples Therapy features which production by Kris "Kajun" Johnson, Pierre Medor,  R.Kelly and DJ Wayne Williams.

With that said, take a listen to Syleena's new joint "My Love" below and Enjoy!

TV Rewind: "R&B Divas: Los Angeles" Season 2 Ep. 3

Last night, the third episode of season two of R&B Divas: Los Angeles aired on TV One and Chrisette Michele opens up a lot during this episode planning a walk/hike for the ladies and having some one-on-one time with Leela James as well as Michel'le where she mentions that she has also been abused in past relationships.

In addition, Lil Mo gets to work on some new music, drama from Chanté Moore's recording session still looms in the air and the divas attempt to move forward on the Puerto Rico project. With that said, take a minute and watch the latest episode of R&B Divas: Los Angeles below and Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Live Video of the Day: "Wild" (Jessie J)

Last year, Jessie J released her sophomore album and while it didn't get released Stateside, it did spawn a minor hit here with "Wild." With that said, as "Bang Bang" is slated to make a huge impact next week on the charts, I thought it would be nice to revisit "Wild."

Performing an acoustic cover of her  single "Wild," which was lifted from her then forthcoming sophomore LP recently for the folks over at The Sun for their Biz Sessions and of course the vocal powerhouse that is Jessie J offered up a riveting performance.

Opting to coo out an acoustic rendition of "Wild," instead of a full blown production, I actually prefer when Jessie sings "Wild" acoustically and hope that an acoustic mix will find its way from her camp soon. With that said, watch it all go down after the jump and Enjoy!

Song of the Day: "Rub You the Right Way" (Johnny Gill)

"Rub You the Right Way" - Johnny Gill
  • Writers: James Harris III, Terry Lewis
  • Producers: Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis
  • Record Label: Motown
  • Released in 1990 from Johnny Gill
  • Peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 & #1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks

Interview: Jessie J

Fresh off a flight and earning her first #1 single on the iTunes Top 200 Singles chart, Jessie J arrived at Hot 97 to open up about her collaboration with Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande, her situation and troubles she's faced in the industry, and much more.

Jessie also opened up about loving to dutty wine, performing at the MTV Video Music Awards, and living a bit of a somber lifestyle, especially when she is working. Peep her interview below and lookout for her third album when it's released later this year!

New Video: "Electric Lady" (Janelle Monáe)

Earlier today, Janelle Monáe lifted the latest video from her album The Electric Lady, in the form of the album's title track. Released as the latest single from her sublime body of work, the official music visual for "Electric Lady" features a college Greek life themed visual with Janelle being a part of a sorority herself.

Featuring cameos by Estelle, Esperanza Spalding, Monica, Kimbra, T-Boz, and TI, the official video for "Electric Lady" is a fun and funky visual that takes a lot of us back to our college days. Peep Janelle's new video for "Electric Lady" below and Enjoy!

Set: "Fantasia & Friends: Diamond & White Affair" (Keke Wyatt)

To help celebrate her 30th birthday, Fantasia entered into her dirty thirties with a birthday bash/concert that included several sets from her friends and family, that would then cap off into her own thirty minute set.

With that said, Keke Wyatt joined some of her fellow divas at the Howard Theatre in Washington DC to help celebrate Fantasia's birthday at the Fantasia & Friends: Diamond & White Affair and during her brief set, Keke performed her new single "Fall In Love" and her cover of the Patti LaBelle classic "If Only You Knew."

Watch Keke belt it out below of "Fall In Love" and "If Only You Knew" and hopefully Keke will be coming to a city near you, because I don't know about you, but I really would like to see Keke in concert and witness her sheer raw vocal talents first hand

New Joint: "Being With You" (Smokey Robinson ft. Mary J. Blige)

Smokey Robinson is set to release his first new set of music since 2010's Now And Then next month on August 19th with his forthcoming duets album Smokey & Friends via Verve Records.

Featuring a who's who in music including the likes of Elton John, Steven Tyler, Sheryl Crow, John Legend, John Mayer, Miguel, Aloe Blacc, CeeLo, Ledisi and Jessie J, among others, the set features covers of Smokey's own solo hits, hit songs with The Miracles and some classic hits he penned for others throughout his career.

With that said, Mary J. Blige is featured on the set and has joined Smokey for a duet of his mega solo hit single "Being With You," which was lifted from his 1981 album of the same name. Mary and Smokey coo effortlessly over "Being With You" and you can take a listen below to the magic the two create on this contemporary rendition of his 1981 classic.

New Joint: "Hope This Makes You Love Me" (Tank)

Yesterday, Tank unearthed another single from his forthcoming album Stronger, which is due August 12th, roughly a year after his outing with supergroup TGT on their debut album.

With that said, Tank's latest single comes in the form of the sublime ballad 'Hope This Makes You Love Me" and is another standout from the famed crooner who previously released  "You’re My Star," the title track "Stronger" and "Dance With Me" to raise the buzz and profile of Stronger.

With that said, you can take a listen below to "Hope This Makes You Love Me" and if you like what you hear, if you cop the pre-order of Stronger, you can immediately download "Hope This Makes You Love Me" and the other singles before the project is released on August 12th!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Live Video of the Day: "Sumthin' Sumthin': Mellosmoothe (Cut)" (Maxwell)

There are some joints that are just so dangerous that listening to them with that special someone could result in a nine-month surprise and Maxwell's "Sumthin' Sumthin': Mellosmoothe (Cut)" is definitely one of those joints aka an instant bedroom classic.

With that said, Maxwell's 'Mellosmoothe (Cut)' rendition of "Sumthin' Sumthin'" was featured on the Love Jones soundtrack from back in 1997 and during this era, Maxwell had a special on BET to help promote his debut album Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite. Offering several sublime performances, including a steamy rendition of "Sumthin' Sumthin': Mellosmoothe (Cut)," you can watch his phenomenal crooning on "Sumthin' Sumthin': Mellosmoothe (Cut)" below.

Song of the Day: "Beneath Your Beautiful" (Labrinth feat. Emeli Sandé)

"Beneath Your Beautiful" - Labrinth feat. Emeli Sandé
  • Writers: Timothy McKenzie, Emeli Sandé, Mike Posner
  • Producer: Labrinth, Da Digglar
  • Record Label: Syco
  • Released in 2012 from Electronic Earth
  • Peaked at #1 on the UK Singles (Official Charts Company) and #88 on the Billboard Hot 100

Cut: "I Don't Know Why, But I Do" (Chrisette Michele)

Chrisette Michele's third album Let Freedom Reign was extremely slept on and the public truly missed out on some timeless material off of the songstress' album.

One of those cuts is the Jazmine Sullivan and John Legend penned ballad "I Don't Know Why, But I Do" which is a powerful song that has that John Legend sound written all over it.

With that said, take a listen to the sublime cut from Chrisette Michelle below and enjoy her wonderful vocals on "I Don't Know Why, But I Do."

Remix: "I Wanna Be Down (Follow Me Remix)" (Brandy)

Nicknamed by many as "The Vocal Bible" due to her husky tone and impeccable runs, Brandy is a producer's dream singer and making a remix or mashup to any of her songs fun. With that said, while listening to The Read earlier today, a sublime remix to Brandy's "I Wanna Be Down" came on and I looked through the internet to see if I could find it. While I did not, I stumbled upon an equally brilliant take of Brandy's debut single via the hands of Follow Me.

Entitled "I Wanna Be Down (Follow Me Remix)," the house beat fits perfectly with Brandy's youthful vocals and though a times the instrumentation and the vocals seem a bit off, it's a dope remix in my book that warrants a listen and a cop of the free download below!

Live Audio: "Dr. Feelgood (Love Is a Serious Business)" (Aretha Franklin)

There is nothing better then hearing a live recording of The Queen of Soul during her golden era.

With that said, take a listen to Ms. Franklin getting down on her classic "Dr. Feelgood [Love Is A Serious Business]." This nearly 8 minute opus is full of classic Franklin wails and runs that will have you feeling real good.

Therefore, take a listen below to the Queen of Soul's sublime live rendition of "Dr. Feelgood [Love Is A Serious Business]" and Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word" (Fantasia)

While Fantasia is hard at work on her forthcoming fifth studio LP, I am reminded of one of my favorite performances from the Grammy-winning songstress what I would love to hear a recorded version of on her new album.

Back in 2004 freshly off of her American Idol win, Fantasia took to the Kennedy Center Honors to perform a touching tribute to Elton John. Watch after the jump as Fantasia performs her emotionally poignant rendition of "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word" and even brings Elton John to tears.

Second Listen: "Love Gun" (Melody Thorton)

Take a second listen to Melody Thorton's take on Cee-Lo Green's "Love Gun." Originally expected to appear on Melody's upcoming solo project, Cee-Lo instead used it on his album "The Lady Killer" with the Paradisco Girls' Lauren Bennett.

While I prefer Melody's version to the one used on Cee-Lo's album, the song as a whole is a nice catchy song and proves to really showcases Melody's phenomenal vocals. Listen below and Enjoy!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Live Video of the Day: "Lady" (D'Angelo)

Back in 1995, D'Angelo released his debut album Brown Sugar and the third single lifted from the set, "Lady," would go onto become his biggest chart hit to date, peaking at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming his only top ten hit so far and #2 on the Hot R&B Singles & Tracks chart.

With that said, D'Angelo of course performs his iconic joint "Lady" throughout his career and below you will find a performance of "Lady" during the mid 1990s where D'Angelo really slays the stage, for lack of some better words.

Song of the Day: "Without You" (Monica)

"Without You" - Monica
  • Writers: Jamal Jones, Mansur Zafr, India Boodram, Jazmyn Michel, Kesia Hollins
  • Producers: Polow da Don, Mansur Zafr
  • Record Label: RCA
  • Released in 2012 from New Life
  • Peaked at #91 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs

New Joint: "Bang Bang" (Jessie J ft. Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj)

After teasing us all with the announcement of a super collaboration between Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj a few weeks ago and releasing some snippets of it last week, the powerhouse anthem "Bang Bang" has finally hit the net featuring a hot verse from Nicki and solid vocal showings from both Ariana and Jessie.

Produced by Max Martin, Savan Kotecha, and Ilya, is it too late for the song of the summer to get released? Either way you feel, the first official single lifted from Jessie's forthcoming third album and featured on Ariana's upcoming August 25th sophomore LP My Everything is slated to blow up radio and the charts when digital downloads impact tomorrow.

With that said, according to HITS Daily Double, the trio will perform the song for the first time at the MTV Video Music Awards here in Los Angeles on August 24.

Take a few minutes and get into the the infectious "Bang Bang" below and lookout for it to impact iTunes and all other digital platforms later tonight!

Second Listen: "1+1" (Beyoncé)

Back in 2011, Beyoncé released her fourth studio album 4 and while it would become one of her most critically acclaimed albums, Beyoncé was unable to fully promote and roll out the album accordingly due to a leak that seemed to of pushed up the release of the project.

Despite minor hiccups, 4 would become Beyoncé's fourth consecutive studio album to debut atop the Billboard charts here in the States and offer some of Beyoncé's best vocal work to date in my opinion, including her riveting ballad "1+1," which was lifted as a promotional single from the project.

Going onto peak at number 57 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, "1+1" was written and produced by The-Dream, Tricky Stewart and Beyoncé and is one of my favorite joints in her ever-growing discography. With that said, take a second listen below to "1+1" and Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "Human Nature" (Laura Mvula)

While Laura Mvula was on the promo trail to build buzz for her then forthcoming debut album Sing to the Moon, she hit up BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge and offered up the mandatory cover and her acoustic take on this classic song is one of my favorite covers from 2013.

Opting to go with the late Michael Jackson's "Human Nature," Laura's sweet and smooth vocals fit effortlessly on the melody of Jackson's classic song. Watch her amazing acoustic cover of Michael Jackson's "Human Nature" below and Enjoy!

Cut: "We the People Who Are Darker Than Blue" (Curtis Mayfield)

Been jamming to some Curtis Mayfield lately and wanted to revisit one of the classic cuts from the legendary Mayfield's vast discography that epitomizes soul music in my book.

Back in September of 1970, Curtis Mayfield released his self-titled debut album Curtis and while it is best remembered for joints such as "Move on Up," and "(Don't Worry) If There's a Hell Below, We're All Going to Go," one of those cuts from the album is his raw joint "We the People Who Are Darker Than Blue."  With that said, take a listen below to this stirring gem and Enjoy!

Rare Recording: "The Secret Garden" (Patti LaBelle, Teena Marie, Pamela Williams)

Back in 1996, saxophonist Pamela Williams remade the Quincy Jones classic "The Secret Garden (Sweet Seduction Suite)," which was originally performed by  Al B. Sure, James Ingram, El Debarge, and Barry White.

Lifted from Williams' Saxtress album, she was joined by the legendary Patti LaBelle and  Teena Marie on an often forgotten about remake aptly entitled "The Secret Garden." Peep this rare recording of it below and Enjoy!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Live Clip: "Lady/He Loves Me/Outstanding" (Avery*Sunshine)

Back in 2010, Avery*Sunshine opened up for Ledisi during one of her tour stops and during Avery's set, she performed a sublime medley of hits from the likes of D'Angelo, Jill Scott, and The Gap Band.

Merging the D'Angelo classic "Lady," Jill Scott's evergreen ballad "He Loves Me (Lyzel In E Flat)" and the iconic Gap Band's "Outstanding," Avery*Sunshine sets the stage on fire with her brand of soul and I really hope she records her medley of these three classic hits one day because this Avery*Sunshine creation is truly the jam.

With that said, take a few minutes and take in Avery*Sunshine's phenomenal medley below.

Live Audio: "Bridge Over Troubled Water" (Aretha Franklin)

Back in 1972, the Queen of Soul, Ms. Aretha Franklin recorded a live album in Philadelphia entitled Oh Me Oh My: Aretha Live in Philly, 1972. The set boasted a phenomenal live showing from Ms. Franklin and one of my all-time favorite jams from her, "Bridge Over Troubled Water" was included on this live LP.

With that said, after the jump you will find the live audio of Aretha accompanying herself in addition to crooning out a sublime rendition of "Bridge Over Troubled Water."

Amazing Cover: "Love Won't Let Me Wait" (Luther Vandross)

Luther Vandross was the premier balladeer in music in my humble opinion. What he could do with his voice is still unmatched by any male vocalists and I truly believe Luther is the best male vocalist that ever did his thing.

Case and point includes Vandross' amazing cover of the Major Harris hit "Love Won't Let Me Wait." While "Love Won't Let Me Wait" was a huge hit for Harris back in 1975, Vandross' quiet storm interpretation of the hit turned the song into something else entirely, which is a testament to his arranging as well as his phenomenal vocal skills.

Check out this live performance of "Love Won't Let Me Wait" by Luther after the jump to get a taste of what makes him such a legend. Watch and Enjoy!

Song of the Day: "I Like" (Guy)

"I Like" - Guy
  • Writers: Gene Griffin, Aaron Hall, Timmy Gatling, & Teddy Riley
  • Producers: Gene Griffin and Teddy Riley
  • Record Label: Uptown/MCA
  • Released in 1989 from Guy
  • Peaked at #70 on the Billboard Hit 100 & #2 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks

Cut: "Quickly" (John Legend ft. Brandy)

While John Legend is still promoting his 2013 released album Love in the Future, I thought it would be appropriate to revisit one of the standout joints from his last solo album Evolver, which featured none other than "the vocal bible" herself Brandy.

Entitled "Quickly," their duet which was my favorite cut from Legend's 2008 third album and though it never received the single's treatment, I would still love to see the two of them perform this live one day. Therefore, take a listen below to their cut "Quickly" and Enjoy!

Rare Recording: "Bedda at Home (Acoustic Version)" (Jill Scott)

Back in 2004, Jill Scott released her sophomore album Beautifully Human: Words and Sounds Vol. 2 and on the European and Japanese editions of the album, there is a "bonus track" in the form of "Bedda at Home (Acoustic Version)."

While the original "Bedda at Home" on Beautifully Human: Words and Sounds Vol. 2 is drum heavy rendition, this acoustic version of "Bedda at Home" strips back the instrumentation a bit allowing Jill's powerhouse vocals to take center stage.

With that said, take a listen below to "Bedda at Home (Acoustic Version)" and Enjoy!

Second Listen: "Lady" (D'Angelo)

Released as the third single from D'Angelo's sublime debut album Brown Sugar, "Lady" was co-written and co-produced with Raphael Saadiq and would go onto become the biggest hit from the effort, peaking at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

With that said, take a hopefully second listen below to "Lady" as we all eagerly await the release of D'angelo's forthcoming third album.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Second Listen: "Deep Inside" (Mary J. Blige)

Back in 1999 Mary J. Blige released her fourth album Mary, which featured some now classic joints from the famed songstress. With that said, one of the standout joints from Mary, was her third single "Deep Inside," which featured a brilliant sample of the Elton John bar classic "Bennie and the Jets."

"Deep Inside" would go onto become a top ten hit on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs peaking at #9 and is still one of my favorite joints from Blige. Take a second listen below to "Deep Inside" and Enjoy!

Live Video of the Day: "10 Seconds" (Jazmine Sullivan)

I've been in a Jazmine Sullivan mood as of late and have been revisiting some of her live performances and one of the videos I rewatched recently was Jazmine Sullivan's powerful rendition of her single "10 Seconds." Lifted from her appearance on The Wendy Williams Show, Jazmine lays it out in her short rendition of "10 Seconds" and you can watch it all go down below!

Song of the Day: "I Need A Dollar" (Aloe Blacc)

"I Need A Dollar" - Aloe Blacc
  • Writer: Aloe Blacc
  • Record Label: Stones Throw Records
  • Released in 2010 from Good Things

Amazing Cover: "Crazy" (Daniela Andrade)

I was watching Suits earlier this week and during one of the scenes of the show, a sublime acoustic cover of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" was used during one of the pivotal scenes and immediately tracked the rendition down using Shazam.

To my surprise, it was a recent cover done by artist-on-the-rise Daniela Andrade, who I personally had never herd of or about before. With that said, take a few minutes and indulge in Daniela Andrade's rendition of Gnarls Barkley's iconic hit single "Crazy" below and Enjoy!

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 2012. 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 below and Enjoy!

Live Audio: "Inner City Blues" (Marvin Gaye)

My favorite Marvin Gaye joint hands down his is poignant song "Inner City Blues," which is lifted from his monumental and historic album What's Going On.

With that said, below you will find the live audio of his performance of this stunning joint from his 1972 appearance at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC from his May 1st performance at the venue. Listen below to Marvin's sublime rendition of "Inner City Blue" and soak it all in.

New Video: "Look Up" (Daley)

A few days ago, UK crooner Daley released a music video for his latest single "Look Up," which was produced by none other than in-demand producer Pharrell Williams.

Lifted off of Daley's debut album Days & Nights, the video for "Look Up" gives fans a day-in-the-life of Daley in Los Angeles ranging from hitting the studio, going to Amoeba Music, to performing at El Rey Theatre, it's a solid visual and you can watch it below!

Behind the Scenes: "Options" Video Shoot (Luke James)

Luke James has been building his career for a few years now, first coming into most people's attention with his breakout hit singe "I Want You," which earned him his first Grammy-nomination and now, he's released a new single, "Options," which features Rick Ross and is lifted from his forthcoming debut album Luke James.

With that said, a few days ago, Luke released a behind-the-scenes feature of him shooting the official video for "Options," so you can peep the behind the scenes clip which was helmed by director Yolande Geralds, who also collaborated with Luke James on his videos for "Dancing In The Dark" and "Exist Wounds."