Friday, October 31, 2014
Last year, BET aired the official telecast of Black Girls Rock and if you weren't familiar with who Alice Smith was before the show, I am sure you were familiar after as she set it off with her "star turning" performance during the telecast.
While Alice has been in the game since the mid-2000s, she just recently released her sophomore album She back in 2013 and on her LP, she covers Cee-Lo Green's Melanie Fiona assisted duet "Fool For You."
With that said, Alice tore the roof off of Newark's NJPAC with her powerhouse rendition of "Fool For You" which truly showcased off her phenomenal pipes. Watch her riveting rendition of "Fool For You" below and Enjoy!
"Never Felt This Way" - Brian McKnight
- Writers and Producers: Brian McKnight, Brandon Barnes
- Record Label: Mercury
- Featured on 1992's Brian McKnight
- Cover by Alicia Keys for her debut album Songs in A Minor
Earlier this year,Gary Clark Jr. released a remix of his joint "Blak And Blu" with Big K.R.I.T., which is lifted from his mixtape, which is composed of unreleased joints and reworkings of some of the music from his breakout 'debut' album Blak and Blu.
Blak and Blu: The Mixtape is hosted by D-Nice, and will feature the likes of Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Robert Glasper, Bilal, Talib Kweli, and of course Big K.R.I.T.
Take a listen below to the remix of "Blak And Blu" below from Gary Clark Jr. and Big K.R.I.T. and lookout for Gary Clark Jr. as he is slated to perform during the Grammys this sunday.
Sam Smith has had a breakout 2014 with his debut album In The Lonely Hour and while he came onto a lot of people's radars this year with his breakout hit single "Stay With Me," he came onto my radar and a few others a few years ago. Originally featured on Disclosure's 2012 hit single "Latch," that also took off oddly here in the States in 2014, this is how Sam Smith's profile and vocals first came to my attention.
With that said, for his 'Nirvana' EP, which he released at the top of this year, Sam included an acoustic live rendition of his breakout hit collaboration "Latch" that he did with Disclosure. Offering a smooth take of the 2012 hit single, Sam's acoustic version of "Latch" is brilliant in my opinion and you can take a listen to it below.
Back in 1984, Michael Jackson released "Thriller," the seventh and final single from his sixth studio album, 1982's Thriller. Written by Rod Temperton and produced by Quincy Jones, "Thriller" received positive reviews from critics and became Jackson's seventh top-ten single on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart from the album, peaking at #4 and peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot Black Singles chart.
With that said, as we celebrate Halloween, I thought it would be nice to revisit Jackson's "Thriller" as it was ranked number one on "The Top 10 Halloween Songs" list by Billboard. Therefore, take a few minutes below to enjoy the spooky music video for Jackson's "Thriller," which was adapted by American Werewolf In London director John Landis and Enjoy!
Ahead of Tina Turner's fifth studio album 1984's Private Dancer, she released the set's lead single "Let's Stay Together," in 1983. A cover of the Al Green classic, Tina Turner's sublime rendition would go onto peak at #26 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the US Dance chart.
With that said, take a listen after the jump to Tina Turner's sublime rendition of "Let's Stay Together" and Enjoy!
Thursday, October 30, 2014
With Brownstone official reuniting on TV One's hit reality show R&B Divas last year, I thought it would be appropriate to revisit one of the group's signature songs "Grapevyne." Lifted as the third single from the group's platinum-selling debut album From The Bottom Up, "Grapevyne" would go onto peak at #6 on the Billboard Hot R&B Singles Chart in addition to a respectable #46 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Though it did not match the crossover success of their second single "If You Love Me," it is remembered as one of the group's signature tunes and you can revisit it with a second listen below!
Yesterday Faith Evans released the official followup to her Missy Elliott and Sharaya J single "I Deserve It" with her new joint "Good Time," which is also lifted from her forthcoming sixth album Incomparable.
Featuring Problem who helps continue the party vibe from Faith's lead single "I Deserve It," the new single and video for Faith's "Good Time" features Faith in the club once again riding the beat like she always does with her soulful vocals.
With that said, peep the official video below and lookout for Faith's forthcoming album Incomparable when it's released November 24th and features additional appearance by Keke Wyatt and Karen Clark-Sheard.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ U.S. debut performance, Lauryn Hill took to CBS's Late Show with David Letterman this past February to pay tribute to the Fab Four with a sublime performance and cover of the groups Abbey Road classic "Something."
While Ms. Hill has winding down her tour, hopefully 2015 proves to be the year for the long awaited followup to Lauryn Hill's 1998 classic album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Either way it turns up, it's great to see the eight-time Grammy winner, back out there performing.
With that said, watch Lauryn Hill's performance of "Something" below as we celebrate The Beatles and their incredible legacy in music.
While Danity Kane might have come up short and disbanded before the release of their highly anticipated third and now farewell album DK3, their label is still promoting in the aftermath of the group's breakup and a few days ago released the official video for the set's single "Rhythm of Love."
While Aubrey, Dawn, and Shannon don't appear in the official video which was directed by Dan Fisher, actors enact the underlying message of the song in a cute video. With that said, take a few minutes and enjoy Danity Kane's new video and Enjoy!
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
I was going through some of Beyoncé's live performance on YouTube earlier today and revisited her powerhouse rendition of "I Care," the Frank Ocean penned ballad which is lifted from Beyoncé's phenomenal 4 album.
Armed with the power of her voice and her band, this performance from Roseland of "I Care" is one of my favorites from Beyoncé's 4 era and as we being to enter into the BEYONCÉ era, I can't wait to see live performances of some of her cuts including my personal favorite "Rocket."
With that said, watch Beyoncé's performance of "I Care" below and Enjoy!
"My Love" -Jill Scott
- Writers: Jill Scott, Adam Blackstone, & Steve Mckie
- Producers: Adam Blackstone & Steve Mckie
- Record Label: Hidden Beach
- Released in 2007 from The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3
- Peaked at #31 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs
Before Love And War, Tamar's breakout sophomore LP, Tamar released her self-titled debut album Tamar back in 2000 as a then solo artist-on-the-rise.
With that said, the second single from the project was the power ballad "If You Don't Wanna Love Me." While it peaked at #30 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart, "If You Don't Wanna Love Me" became a moderate hit for the powerhouse vocalist and while we help honor and celebrate her birthday today, I thought we should take a second listen to "If You Don't Wanna Love Me."
Therefore listen below to "If You Don't Wanna Love Me" and Enjoy!
Earlier today, K. Michelle took to Twitter to reveal to fans the name and album cover of her highly anticipated forthcoming sophomore album Anybody Wanna Buy A Heart?.
Slated for release December 9th, Anybody Wanna Buy A Heart? follows K. Michelle's critically acclaimed and commercially successful debut album Rebellious Soul and is led by the set's first single "Love 'Em All."
With that said, peep the teaser trailer for her forthcoming album which she debuted on Revolt TV earlier today and lookout for Anybody Wanna Buy a Heart? when it's released December 9th.
Back on Valentine's Day, unannounced, JoJo released a Free EP '#LOVEJO' onto her official SoundCloud page for a free download to honor Valentine's Day in addition to celebrating being signed to her new label Atlantic Records after being signed to Blackground for several years unable to officially release new music.
Now back in the studio working on her first album in eight years, the highly anticipated followup to The High Road, '#LOVEJO' is a phenomenal EP that was produced by Da Internz and features the standout sublime cover of the Anita Baker's classic "Caught Up in the Rapture."
Anita Baker in my book is an artist one should not cover lightly and covering one of her most iconic joints, such as "Caught Up in the Rapture" is dangerous territory in my book. With that said, JoJo and Da Internz brilliantly constructed a perfect cover of "Caught Up in the Rapture" that both pays homage to and reimagines this classic joint at the same time.
With that said, take a listen below to JoJo's sublime interpretation of Anita Baker's "Caught Up in the Rapture" and Enjoy!
We lost The Godfather of Soul, Mr. James Brown over seven years ago and during a recent trip back to The Apollo Theatre in Harlem, me and my tour guide were reminiscing about James Brown and his connection to The Apollo.
With that said, back in 1962, James Brown cut his live album Live at the Apollo and of course he performed his the song that became his first appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 aka "Try Me." Written by James, the James Brown and the Famous Flames tune is one of the numerous standouts from his vast discography and this live recording from the Apollo from October 24, 1962 still rings true today in my book.
With that said, take a listen below to James' live rendition of "Try Me" as we continue to remember and honor the legacy of The Godfather of Soul, Mr. James Brown.
In July of 1982, Evelyn "Champagne" King released her future hit and classic single "Love Come Down." Produced by Morrie Brown and written by Kashif, "Love Come Down" was the first single released from her multi-platinum, number-one R&B album, Get Loose.
Peaking at #1 on both the Billboard Hot Black Singles chart and the Dance charts, "Love Come Down" would also go onto peak at #17 on the Billboard Hot 100. and become a solid top twenty hit for Evelyn "Champagne" King.
With that said, take a listen below to this solid cut "Love Come Down" below and Enjoy!
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
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 and Enjoy!
While Ariana Grande filmed the official music video for her latest single "Love Me Harder" with The Weeknd a few weeks ago, the famed songstress has released an official behind-the-scenes feature detailing the filming process to increase anticipation for the upcoming visual.
While no official release date has been released for the upcoming debut of the "Love Me Harder," the song has already gained traction on the charts, becoming the third single released from her #1 set My Everything.
Peep the official behind the scenes feature below and lookout for the upcoming music video soon.
Estelle takes us on the road with her with the new video for "Something Good," the latest single off of her forthcoming album True Romance, which is due February 17th, 2015.
"Something Good" is a great throwback retro house jam from Estelle and hopefully radio will gravitate towards this because it is just what we need in my opinion as we move further into fall.
With that said, peep the official music video for "Something Good" below and lookout for her forthcoming album True Romance when it's released February 17, 2015, via Established 1980 Inc/BMG.
A few days ago in Buffalo, New York, Kelly Clarkson continued her cover domination as she took on Taylor Swift's current pop smash "Shake It Off." Opting to slow it down at the beginning and take it to church, Kelly continues to prove that there is nothing her soulfully soaked vocals can't cover.
I don't know about you, but I really wish she'd release these covers she does because oftentimes they are better than the original in my opinion, case and point Kelly's rendition of "Shake It Off." Either way you feel, take a listen below to Kelly's sublime cover and Enjoy!
Back in 1989, my born year, Vandross recorded a potential live album that seems to of been scratched. With that said, take a listen to "Promise Me," which a fan lifted through some connections to Vandross.
As always, Luther's vocals are flawless and are even better then the studio version. Let Vandross take you to that smooth mellow place below and Enjoy!
I don't know about you all, but I have been loving Tinashe's debut album Aquarius and while it has been having a slow burn on the charts, I am sure that as radio embraces her further and casual listeners discover her sound, that she will find even more commercial success past "2 On."
With that said, one of my favorite cuts from her album has to be her slow jam "Bated Breath," which Tinashe cowrote with producer Ritz Reynolds. While I am sure that "Bated Breath" will not receive the single treatment after Tinashe's solid A$AP Rocky assisted single "Pretend," it is one of the best joints on the album and you can take a listen to it below.
Monday, October 27, 2014
I was fortunate to witness the greatness of the Queen of Soul, Ms. Aretha Franklin back in 2012 at Nokia Live here in Los Angeles and while I knew she probably wouldn't perform my favorite cut from her "Angel," I held out a bit of hope. Sadly I was right, but Ms. Franklin's set did not disappoint and she truly rocked the house last night with her sublime set.
With that said, I though it would be nice to watch Ms. Aretha Franklin crooning out a rare live performance of this touching classic. Peep the Queen of Soul sanging a phenomenal rendition of "Angel" after the jump from her Showtime special back in the '90s and Enjoy!
"SoBeautiful" - Musiq Soulchild
- Writers: JR Hutson and Musiq Soulchild
- Producer: JR Hutson
- Record Label: Atlantic Records
- Released in 2009 from OnMyRadio
- Peaked at #8 on the U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs
Released back in 2008 under Epic Records, Human would be Brandy's first and only release with the Sony label and while the LP didn't prove to be a commercial success to the scale that people expected from Brandy, it offered up a cohesive album in my opinion that featured a lot of standout tracks from Brandy, including the Frank Ocean penned "Locked (Locked In Love)."
Though "Locked (Locked In Love)" was a bonus track on the deluxe edition of Human, the mid-tempo from Brandy showcases off her sublime vocals in addition to a strong melody. With that said, take a listen below to "Locked (Locked In Love)" below and Enjoy!
Back in 2005, Amel Larrieux released her album Bravebird and the first single "For Real" from her sophomore effort was co-written and produced with Laru Larrieux.
Though it peaked at #45 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks, "For Real" is one of the standout joint from Larrieux's discography and you can take a second listen after the jump!
Back in 2008, Chanté Moore released her fifth studio album Love the Woman and while the set encompasses contemporary R&B, jazz, and pop, the standout moment for me from her album was Chanté's cover of the Nancy Wilson classic "Guess Who I Saw Today."
While it wasn't released as a single Chanté's rendition of "Guess Who I Saw Today" modernized this beloved standard and is such a highlight within Chanté's discography if you ask me. With that said, take a listen below to Chanté's powerful rendition of "Guess Who I Saw Today" and Enjoy!
Destiny's Child's "Say My Name" is one of the most epic joints from the late 90s/early 2000s and roughly two years, Cyril Hahn crafted a sublime free remix to DC3's classic joint.
With that said, take a listen below to "Say My Name (Cyril Hahn Remix)" and if you like what you hear, cop the free download, while supplies last!
Sunday, October 26, 2014
"Wrong Side of a Love Song" - Melanie Fiona
- Writers: Melanie Hallim, M. Kahane, G. Soule
- Producer: Jack Splash
- Record Label: SRC, Universal Republic
- Featured on 2012's The MF Life
- Nominated in 2013 Grammy Award for Best Traditional R&B Performance
Back in 1969, Bonnie Bramlett and Leon Russell (with a songwriting credit also given to Delaney Bramlett) co-wrote "Superstar" and while it's been a hit for many artists in different genres and interpretations in the years since, the best known version is by the Carpenters in 1971.
With that said, you know I had to bring it back to Luther Vandross' sublime cover of "Superstar." Lifted from his 2003 live album Live at Radio City Music Hall, Luther spent almost thirteen minutes with the assistance of Nat Adderley Jr. crooning out one of the best vocal performances to ever be captured to date in my opinion.
Just don't take my opinion on the sheer aw-inspiring vocals of the late Luther Vandross, take a few minutes to check out his powerhouse performance of "Superstar" after the jump and trust me, you won't regret it at all!
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!
Back in 1998, Brandy released her sophomore album Never Say Never and while her debut album too her to tremendous heights, Never Say Never rose her stardom to another level.
With that said the Rodney Jerkins and Fred Jerkins III produced cut "Put That on Everything" is one of those classic Brandy joints that true fans of "the vocal bible" know and as we eagerly await to hear what she's been working on musically, I thought it would be appropriate to take a listen to Brandy's solid cut.
Therefore, take a listen below to "Put That on Everything" and Enjoy!
Saturday, October 25, 2014
"Right Now" - Al B. Sure!
- Writer: Al B. Sure!
- Producers: Kyle West and Al B. Sure!
- Record Label: Warner Brothers
- Lifted in 1992 from Sexy Versus
- Peaked at # 47 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Hot R&B Singles chart
I've still been jamming out to "Fill Me In (Sango Remix)" for a few years now and thought I would bring it back for those who missed it the first go around and can still cop the free download.
Craig David's breakout debut album Born To Do It featured his classic first hit single "Fill Me In" and while it's been over twelve years since "Fill Me In" was first release, a solid remix of his classic joint has hit the net in the form of "Fill Me In (Sango Remix)."
With that said, take a listen after the jump to "Fill Me In (Sango Remix)" and if you like what you hear, cop the free download while supplies last!
Tamia's country-tinged rendition of "Still" on her latest release Beautiful Surprise was just the potential tip of the iceberg of Tamia "crossing into" country music as a phenomenal cover of the Patsy Cline classic "Crazy" has hit the net via the Grammy's ReImagined series.
With that said, after the jump you will find a powerful performance from Tamia as she coos out a special and powerful rendition of "Crazy" and Enjoy!
Chaka Khan was honored last year at the world famous The Apollo Theater for her career milestone accomplishments that capstones the year of her being in the entertainment business for over 40 years! With that said, Mary J. Blige of course came and performed "Sweet Thing" in honor of Ms. Khan, but I wanted to take it back for a second listen to the original 1975 recording of Rufus featuring Chaka Khan.
Lifted from the group's LP Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, "Sweet Thing" is one of those evergreen songs that never gets old and always gets you in the groove. Therefore, take a listen below to "Sweet Thing" and Enjoy!
While Chrisette Michele released her fourth studio LP Better last year, I thought it would be appropriate to revisit her first album I Am and one of my favorite cuts from her debut effort.
Back in 2007 Chrisette Michele released her debut album I Am and among the numerous standout joints from the effort, the nearly 7 minute opus "Is This the Way Love Feels" is one of the highlights from the album.
Friday, October 24, 2014
Back during the 1998 Essence Awards, Patti LaBelle was honored and part of Essence's honoring of Patti included a musical tribute that included a stirring medley rendition from her "goddaughter" Mariah Carey.
Opting to perform Patti's classic "If Only You Knew" which then transitioned into "Somewhere Over The Rainbow," Mariah proved why she is considered by many one of the best vocalists and Mama Patti soaked up and enjoyed every minute of it.
Watch Mariah's powerful medley rendition below and Enjoy!
"Free Yourself" - Fantasia
- Writers: Missy Elliott, Craig X. Brockman
- Record Label: J Records
- Released in 2005 from 2004's Free Yourself
- Peaked at #41 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #3 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart
- Nominated for two Grammy Awards Best R&B song & Best Female R&B Vocal Performance
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, hopefully Ledisi will be hitting the road again soon as her The Truth Tour this past spring was truly the truth.