Monday, June 30, 2014

Live Video of the Day: "Easy/All Night Long" (Lionel Richie)

Last night, Lionel Richie was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2014 BET Awards here in Los Angeles at Nokia LIVE and a part of his acceptance of the award included a medley of some of his hits throughout the year.

Kicking it off with "Easy," Lionel proved he still has it vocally and then of course he transitioned into his evergreen classic "All Night Long," which still gets the groove going if you ask me. With that said, take a few minutes and relive Lionel's performance from the 2014 BET Awards below and Enjoy!

Song of the Day: "I Wanna Sex You Up" (Color Me Badd)

"I Wanna Sex You Up" - Color Me Badd
  • Writers: Dr. Freeze, Color Me Badd
  • Producer Dr. Freeze
  • Record Label: Giant Records 
  • Released in 1991 from C.M.B. and New Jack City Soundtrack 
  • Peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 1000 & #1 on the Hot R&B Songs

Album in the Works: "My Everything" (Ariana Grande)

Ariana Grande is gearing up to release her sophomore album My Everything, less than a year after releasing her sublime debut album Yours Truly. With barely any downtime, Ariana has pegged August 25th the date that she releases her forthcoming LP that is set to feature appearances by Big Sean, The Weeknd, A$AP Ferg, Childish Gambino, Zedd, Chashmere Cat and Iggy Azalea, who appears the set's hit single "Problem."

Featuring twelve tracks, the standard edition of My Everything features production from  Ryan Tedder and Benny Blanco ("Why Try"), Max Martin, Rodney Jerkins, Pop & Oak, and even One Direction's own Harry Styles, who wrote "A Little Bit of Your Heart." The deluxe edition, will feature three additional tracks, though the details on those have been kept underwraps so far.

With that said, peep the official tracklisting for My Everything below and lookout for its release August 25th!

Second Listen: "Freak Me" (Silk)

Back in 1992 Silk released their debut album Lose Control, and soon released their second single "Freak Me" in February of 1993. "Freak Me" would go onto peak at #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot R&B Singles chart become the groups' most memorable hit.

With that said, take a second listen below to "Freak Me" and hopefully their mini reunion last night at the 2014 BET Awards means we will be hearing more of them as we continue to move through 2014.

Live Clip: "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" (Adrian Marcel)

Last night, Adrian Marcel had a star is born moment at the 2014 BET Awards when he performed a brief cover of the James Brown classic "It's a Man's Man's Man's World." Selected as one of 2014's Music Matters artists, Adrian was given less than a minute of stage time, but with what he had, he took full advantage and definitely made some new fans I am sure.

With that said, take a minute and watch Adrian's sublime mini cover of Brown's "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" and lookout for Adrian Marcel as he is one of BET's Music Matters artists and will be touring the country soon!

Amazing Cover: "Lionel Richie Tribute" (John Legend, Ledisi & Yolanda Adams)

Last night during the 2014 BET Awards, Lionel Richie was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award and part of BET's honoring of the music icon was a sublime tribute medley that included John Legend, Ledisi and Yolanda Adams.

John Legend kicked off the medley with a solid rendition of "Hello" and "Still" while Ledisi livened the crowd up with a cover of The Commodores classic "Brick House." After Ledisi rocked the stage, Yolanda closed things out with a powerful rendition of Lionel's "Jesus Is Love" that rocked Nokia Live.

Watch all of the spirited tributes below from the 2014 BET Awards and Enjoy!

Live Clip: "Walk It Out/It’s Your World" (Jennifer Hudson)

Last night here in Los Angeles at Nokia LIVE at the 2014 BET Awards, Jennifer Hudson walked it out with a performance of her Timbaland assisted single "Walk It Out" that melded into a new joint from her in the form of "It's Your World."

Featuring a throwback disco vibe on "It's Your World," JHud's latest joint appears to be an R. Kelly production as I hear his voice in the background vocals and it also has that R. Kelly feel to it. With that said, watch Jennifer Hudson let her vocals take centerstage with her performances of "Walk It Out" and "It's Your World" below and Enjoy!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Live Video of the Day: "You & I/The Worst" (John Legend & Jhené Aiko)

Earlier this evening here in Los Angeles at Nokia Live at the BET Awards, John Legend performed his latest single "You & I, which is lifted off of his Gold-certified LP Love in the Future and the official followup to his smash hit #1 "All of Me."

In addition to performing "You & I," John Legend welcomed Jhené Aiko to perform her breakout hit single "The Worst" and John even chimed in a bit towards the end of Jhené's song. Therefore, take a few minutes and watch their performance below and Enjoy!

Live Clip: "BET Medley" (Usher)

Earlier tonight at Nokia Live here in Los Angeles, the 2014 BET Awards aired and Usher offered one of the most talked about performances of the night. Going through his arsenal of hits that span a career of almost 20 years, Usher had the crowd on their feet.

Offering what I thought was one of the best performances of the night, Usher's hits medley will take you back to early hits like "Nice & Slow" and will even give you a few bangers from his Confessions era. With that said, peep Usher's BET medley 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 

Amazing Cove: "Love and Happiness" (Luke James & Estelle)

During BET Music Matters tour stop in Nashville, TN roughly two years ago, Estelle brought Luke James back on stage to duet on the Al Green classic "Love and Happiness" and the two really set off the place with their vocals and performance.

With that said, watch the due's sexy performance of the Al Green classic below and make sure you tune in tonight to the BET Awards 2014 as they air live tonight from Los Angeles.

New Joint: "Tough Love" (Jessie Ware)

After bursting onto the scene back in 2012 with her debut album Devotion, Jessie Ware has released a new single, that I assume is lifted from her forthcoming sophomore album. While she released her new joint "Tough Love" twelve days ago, I always say better late than never and Jessie isn't officially releasing this new joint until August 4th anyway.

With that said, Jessie's new joint "Tough Love" was co-written byherself and BenZel (Benny Blanco and Two Inch Punch) and produced by BenZel. Featuring a familiar sound for Ware, she's experimenting with her vocals a bit on this one and you can be the judge of how she did.

Second Listen: "Case Of The Ex (Whatcha Gonna Do)" (Mya)

Back in 2000, Mya released "Case Of The Ex (Whatcha Gonna Do)," which was the second official single from her sophomore album Fear of Flying. Written by Christopher "Tricky" Stewart and his songwriting partners Traci Hale and Thabiso "Tab" Nkhereanyne, "Case Of The Ex (Whatcha Gonna Do)" was originally envisioned as a rap song, but clearly things changed.

Released as the second single from the album following the underperforming "The Best of Me," "Case Of The Ex (Whatcha Gonna Do)" would go onto peak at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #10 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. "Case Of The Ex (Whatcha Gonna Do)" was fended off from the number one position on the Billboard Hot 100 by Destiny's Child's “Independent Women Part 1” and is still Mya's biggest hit on the charts.

With that said, take a second listen after the jump to "Case Of The Ex (Whatcha Gonna Do)" and Enjoy!

Album Cover: "My Everything" (Ariana Grande)

Ariana Grande is getting ready to release her sophomore album My Everything on August 25th and now the powerhouse vocalist has unearthed the cover art and a few more details about her album.

Speaking to Ryan Seacrest about the album and official cover art, Ariana opened up telling him that "I feel like each song is so strongly themed that I just wanted to have a very simple overall cover."

As the first single, the Iggy Azalea featured "Problems" still lingers in the top five of the Billboard Hot 100, after peaking at #2, Ariana is counting down the days until she releases the set's second single "Break Free," which features Zedd. Having already shot the music video, Ariana revealed a clip that
clearly pulls inspiration from the 1960s sci-fi film Barbarella.

Speaking further with Ryan on the video, Ariana stated that "It's inspired by Jane Fonda in Barbarella and Star Wars and space...It's more throwback, campy." With that said, peep the official album cover above and peep a behind-the-scenes clip of the video for "Break Free" as Ariana counts down the days until its official release.

A Cappella: "Stop On By" (Ledisi & Rashaan Patterson)

Grammy Award nominated singer/songwriter Ledisi and her pal, acclaimed music wunderkind Rahsaan Patterson decided to show their raw vocal prowess during a break from filming The Bridge at AOL Studios in Beverly Hills back on October 4, 2007.

The two vocal powerhouses sang on spec -- Bobby Womack's classic 'Stop On By' before seeing Chaka Khans sister/manager Tammy McCrary in the hallway.

Ledisi posted a snippet of this video on her Instagram last night and reminded us all of this brilliant a cappella performance of "Stop On By. With that said, as we honor the legacy of the late Bobby Womack, I thought it would be appropriate to (re)visit this classic below!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Live Video of the Day: "This Time" (John Legend)

One of my favorite songs in all of John Legend's vast discography has to be the fourth single from his third album Evolver "This Time." While it did not chart here in the States, "This Time" is a phenomenal piano ballad from the multi-Grammy winning crooner that is often slept on in his discography in my opinion.

With that said, below you will find a sublime live rendition of "This Time," where John accompanies himself on piano from somewhere overseas. Therefore, take a few minutes and watch John croon "This Time" below and Enjoy!

Second Listen: "Teach Me Tonight" (Dinah Washington)

Back in 1954, Dinah Washington recorded and released her rendition of the Gene De Paul and Sammy Cahn standard "Teach Me Tonight." In my opinion, and in the heart of America,  Dinah created the definitive version of the classic standard.

Her version would even go onto peak at #4 on the Rhythm & Blues Records charts. With that said, take a few minutes to revisit this classic recording of "Teach Me Tonight," and Enjoy!

Song of the Day: "I Want Her" (Keith Sweat)

"I Want Her" - Keith Sweat
  • Writers: Keith Sweat and Teddy Riley
  • Producers: Keith Sweat and Teddy Riley
  • Record Label: Elektra
  • Released in 1987 from Make It Last Forever
  • Peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks

Album Stream: "The Return" (Day26)

Day26 is back after a few false starts at a return, the original five members —Robert Curry, Brian Andrews, Willie Taylor, Qwanell Mosley, and Michael McCluney— have all gotten back together and in the studio to offer up a solid new EP in the form of 'The Return.'

Released for free, the EP is led by the single "Bulls#!t" and features a solid cover of Silk's classic "Lose Control." With that said, you can take a listen below to the entire eight track EP from Day26 below and if you like what you hear, you can click here to cop the free download!

Amazing Cover: "Do Me Baby" (Meli'sa Morgan)

Back in 1985, Meli'sa Morgan released her debut single "Do Me Baby," which also served as the title-track to her debut LP Do Me Baby. Originally lifted in 1982 from Prince's 1981 LP Controversy, Meli'sa Morgan's rendition would actually be the first charting rendition of "Do Me Baby"

Peaking at #1 on the Hot Black Singles chart, "Do Me Baby" because a signature song for Meli-sa throughout her career and some still believe that she is the originator of this grown-and-sexy joint. With that said, take a listen below to her sublime rendition of Prince's "Do Me Baby" and Enjoy!

New Video: "Options" (Luke James ft. Rick Ross)

After releasing the lyric video to Luke James' Rick Ross assisted single "Options," the Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter is back with an official video for his latest single from his forthcoming debut album Luke James.

Making his directorial debut, you be the judge if Luke pulled it off in the director's chair for his new video "Options." I don't know about you, but I think he did, but you can peep the official video for Luke's "Options" below and be the judge yourself.

Behind the Scenes: "On The Run Tour: Rehearsals"

Beyoncé and Jay Z kicked off their On The Run Tour in Miami this past Wednesday and after setting it off in the 305 with their two-and-a-half hour show, Beyoncé and Jay Z have released a behind-the-scenes feature showing fans a glimpse of the tour prep that the duo went through.

During the three-minute clip, Beyoncé works on some choreography with her dancers, works on the set list and stage design with Jay, experience some of the pyrotechnics, and even offer up a cameo of Blue Ivy Carter doing what she does best.

With that said, peep the behind-the-scenes feature on Beyoncé and Jay Z's On The Run Tour below and Enjoy!

Interview: Bridget Kelly

Rap-UpTV caught up with Bridget Kelly this past Thursday night at the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards and during her brief interview, Bridget revealed that after six years with Roc Nation, she is no longer with the Jay Z label.

Mentioning that she split with the label amicably, Bridget spoke about her long-awaited debut album, which she's slated for a September release and how each song will be like "I Won't Cry," where is transitions to another song midway through the track.

With that said, peep Bridget's interview from the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards below and lookout for Bridget's debut album this September!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Song of the Day: "If You Think You're Lonely Now" (Bobby Womack)

"If You Think You're Lonely Now" - Bobby Womack
  • Writers: Bobby Womack, Patrick Moten & Sandra Sully
  • Producer: Bobby Womack
  • Record Label: Beverly Glen Music
  • Released in 1982 from The Poet
  • Peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot Soul Singles chart

Live Video of the Day: "If You Think You're Lonely Now" (Bobby Womack)

Sadly, earlier today, we learned that the iconic Bobby Womack passed away at the age of 70. While his cause of death is currently unknown, I thought it would be best to revisit his most remembered and iconic song "If You Think You're Lonely Now."

Best known for his classic 1981 hit "If You Think You're Lonely Now," from his fifteenth studio LP The Poet, Bobby Womack's "If You Think You're Lonely Now" is one of those timeless classics that comes along ever once in a while. Watch his sublime performance of his cut below as we honor and remember the late Bobby Womack.

Interview: Sebastian Mikael

Sebastian Mikael stopped by Power 105.1's The Breakfast Club earlier this week and Sebastian Mikael stopped by and opened up about the importance about performing live and opening up about his ex-girlfriend who held him down in Sweden.

In addition, Sebastian opened up about preferring the US to his home country of Sweden, how he got signed through YouTube performing original material, getting to work with Wale and Rick Ross on his debut album Speechless, how it is being signed to Slip-N-Slide, meeting Trick Daddy, how he linked up with Teyana Taylor, and much more.

Peep Sebastian Mikael's interview with The Breakfast Club below and Enjoy!

Live Clip: "Do You Know What You Have?" (Brandy)

Brandy was the headliner this past weekend at Baltimore's African American Festival and of course the legendary Brocka shut it down with her iconic pipes and performances. With that said, one of the highlights from the night had to be her performance of the slept on "Do You Know What You Have?," which was featured on 2012's Two Eleven.

Even Brandy was feeling the performance and joint that night, asking the crowd if they thought it would've made a great single. Therefore, watch Brandy rock the stage and kill it on "Do You Know What You Have? below from Baltimore's recent African American Festival and Enjoy!

Preview: "Rebellious Soul Musical" (K. Michelle)

K. Michelle's brilliant debut album Rebellious Soul is getting the musical treatment thanks to VH1 and while details of its release haven't been fully released yet, Idris Elba is involved as the directed of the set and I bet we will be getting the musical closer to the end of summer, if not the beginning of fall.

Either way it turns out, I'm excited to see what K. Michelle and her creativity have in store for us with the story that she is going to tell through this musical. With that said, peep the preview of K. Michelle's musical below via her Instagram and if you haven't purchased her debut album Rebellious Soul yet, go and and support this sistah!

Second Listen: "Words" (Anthony David ft. India.Arie)

Back in 2008, Anthony David released his biggest hit to date entitled "Words" off of his Universal Republic debut Acey Duecy. The duet features a strong vocal showing from both David and India.Arie and I am surprised it didn't get more love than it did.

With that said, take a first or hopefully second listen below to Anthony David and India.Arie's powerful duet "Words" below and Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "Get Lucky" (Jazmine Sullivan)

Jazmine Sullivan'w turn out of "Get Lucky" in London a few months ago was everything, and still is as we hopefully start a slow countdown to her highly anticipated third album Reality Show.

Her runs and scats during the breakdown of the Daft Punk monster smash hit transform "Get Lucky" into an uptempo funky jazzy smooth jam that has me yearning to hear both a recorded official version from Jazmine as well as a bonus cut live version from her. While I know that this will never happen on her forthcoming third album, one can hope for a cover of this and "Kiss From A Rose" one day!

With that said, watch this phenomenal live clip of Jazmine breaking it down on Daft Punk's Grammy-winning monster smash hit single "Get Lucky" from her 'comeback' show in London from March 30th below and Enjoy!

New Joint: "Birthday Girl" (Raleigh Ritchie)

Produced by Sum Punk and Paulie Herman, Raleigh Ritchie's new joint "Birthday Girl" is a brilliant new joint from the Game of Thrones actor. Most people know Raleigh or better known as Jacob Anderson, as the actor who portrays Grey Worm, the commander of the Unsullied, but he is also a skilled singer/songwriter.

Currently building a music profile in the UK, hopefully this time off from Game of Thrones will allow him to grind in the studio for a bit. Even though this isn't a new joint per-say as Raleigh informs us via his Twitter profile, it's still a great joint nonetheless and you can take a listen to "Birthday Girl" below!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Live Video of the Day: "Love and War" (Tamar Braxton)

ThatGrapeJuice's series The Splash caught up with Tamar Braxton when she was recently in London last year and during her time with the UK blog site, Tamar performed her sublime self-titled lead single "Love and War," which is lifted from her sophomore album Love and War.

Stripping it down to just some acoustic cords and her powerhouse vocals, Tamar offers up a different take of "Love and War" that really showcases off her vocal talents. With that said, watch her performance below ahead of hopefully a performance from her at the BET Awards.

Second Listen: "Who Would I Be" (V)

Back in 2006 then Jill Scott background singer V released his debut album The Revelation Is Now Televised. The album as a whole was slept on hard by both critics and listeners and one of my favorite cuts from the album "Who Would I Be" went completely unnoticed.

With that said, take a second listen to this smooth joint "Who Would I Be" from the talented V below and Enjoy!

Song of the Day: "Forthenight" (Musiq Soulchild)

"Forthenight" - Musiq Soulchild
  • Producers: Orthodox & Ransum
  • Record Label: Def Soul
  • Released in 2003 from Soulstar
  • Peaked at #18 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs

Remix: "Get Her Back (DJ Mustard Remix)" (Robin Thicke)

While Robin Thicke is getting ready to release his new album Paula this Tuesday, which is his ode to his currently estranged wife Paula Patton, as it's rumored Thicke has cheated on her since gaining A-List status from "Blurred Line," his latest single "Get Her Back" has received the remix treatment via DJ Mustard.

The in-demand producer turns the ballad into a more club ready joint and you can take a listen to "Get Her Back (DJ Mustard Remix)" below and Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye)" (Jennifer Hudson)

Back during Jennifer Hudson's American Idol days, she covered the Gladys Knight and The Pips classic "Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye)" for the traditional Idol's album and as always JHud nails it. With that said, as rumors have begun to swirl about Jennifer joining the judge's table at American Idol, I thought it would be appropriate to take a listen to her sublime cover after the jump!

Behind the Scenes: "Jazmine Sullivan's Reality Show: Spirit (Ep. 2)" (Jazmine Sullivan)

Grammy-nominated songstress Jazmine Sullivan answered a lot of people's prayers when announced her return from her 4-year hiatus earlier this year and now that she is putting the finishing touches on her highly anticipated third album Reality Show, Jazmine has been opening up about the album and why she took her break.

In her latest webisode from Jazmine Sullivan's Reality Show entitled "Spirit," Jazmine talks about why she stepped away from music months after releasing her sophomore album, the dangerous behaviors she thought she would find solace in, and how she found herself through God. In addition, Jazmine previewed a new joint "Veins," which sounds like an absolute winner in my opinion.

Therefore, peep the latest episode of Jazmine Sullivan's Reality Show below and Enjoy!

New Video: "B.A.N.S." (Sevyn Streeter)

Yesterday, Sevyn Streeter released the official video for her Da Internz and Eric Bellinger helmed "B.A.N.S.," which is lifted from her debut EP 'Call Me Crazy, But….'

With that said, Sevyn and some of her girlfriends commiserate over the BANs in their lives and you might recognize some of their faces. Therefore, peep Sevyn's latest video for "B.A.N.S." below and Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Live Video of the Day: "Distant Lover" (Marvin Gaye)

On July 7th, 1980 at the 14th Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, Marvin Gaye performed one of his most enthralling sets ever to be captured on tape.

Released later that year Marvin Gaye - Live in Montreux 1980, was a live then VHS which showed the soul legend barring all of his emotions on stage. With that said, watch this live performance of Marvin Gaye crooning out a phenomenal version of his classic "Distant Love" below and Enjoy!

Song of the Day: "Human Nature" (Michael Jackson)

"Human Nature" - Michael Jackson
  • Writers: Steve Porcaro & John Bettis
  • Producer: Quincy Jones
  • Record Label: Epic Records
  • Released in 1983
  • Peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 

New Joint: "Often" (The Weeknd)

Earlier today, The Weeknd decided to gift his fans with a surprise release of a new joint entitled "Often."If you follow The Weeknd, then this should come as no real surprise as the singer/songwriter typically releases new music out of the blue.

With that said, The Weeknd croons about what's going down in his bedroom and even sings "I usually love sleeping all alone / This time around bring a friend with ya" on the newest release from the Toronto hailing singer.

Therefore, take a few minutes and listen to "Often" which has a rather infectious hook and dope beat in my opinion.

Amazing Cover: "Like A Virgin" (Daley)

UK artist on the rise Daley covered Madonna's iconic "Like A Virgin" on his EP "Those Who Wait," and last year, the crooner performed the cover live at The Royal Albert Hall for a benefit concert for Teenage Cancer Trust. With that said, you can peep his smooth performance of "Like A Virgin" below and Enjoy!