Saturday, February 28, 2015

Song of the Day: "Beneath Your Beautiful" (Labrinth ft. 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

Second Listen: "Will It Go Round in Circles" (Billy Preston)

Back in 1973 Billy Preston released his #1 hit single "Will It Go Round in Circles," from his seventh studio album Music Is My Life (1972). Though it peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and would go onto become one of Preston's signature songs, it peaked at a surprisingly #10 on the R&B charts.

With that said, take second listen to "Will It Go Round in Circles" below and Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "Silky Soul" (Musiq Soulchild)

Back in 2009, Musiq Soulchild covered the Frankie Beverly and Maze classic "Silky Soul," which was off of the tribute album Silky Soul Music... An All-star Tribute To Maze F/ Frankie Beverly. Lifted as the first and only single from the project, Musiq definitely did his thing on this joint and to me is one of his best covers I've heard in the last five years

Either way you feel, peep his solid cover of "Silky Soul" below and hopefully 2014 will bring us see some new music from Musiq Soulchild as it's been a minute since we've heard from his musically.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Song of the Day: "On Our Own" (Bobby Brown)

"On Our Own" - Bobby Brown
  • Writers: L.A. Reid, Babyface & Daryl Simmons
  • Producers: L.A. Reid & Babyface
  • Record Label: MCA
  • Released in 1989 from Ghostbusters II soundtrack 
  • Peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Hot Black Singles Chart

Remix: "Friend of Mine" (Kelly Price ft. Ronald Isley & R. Kelly)

Back in 1998, Kelly Price released her debut LP Soul of a Woman and a remix of her song "Friend of Mine," became the biggest hit from the album and of Kelly's career thus far.

Featuring R. Kelly and Ronald Isley, in the remix, Isley takes on the fictional role of the singer-protagonist's Godfather ("Mr. Biggs"), taking her husband (R. Kelly) to task for cheating on her with her best friend.

With that said, take a listen below to this phenomenal remix of "Friend of Mine" and Enjoy!

Live Audio: "Wings" (Birdy)

Back in September of 2014, Birdy released her EP 'Breathe' here in North America ahead of the 2014 release of Birdy's second album Fire Wihtin. While the said, her EP featured five songs, including three from Fire Within (two studio versions and one live version), one song from the Australian Special Edition of her first album, Birdy, and one live version of a song from that her debut.

With the audio of her song "Wings" finding its way into several movie trailers recently, I couldn't help  but search the net to figure out what this haunting ballad was and when I discovered it was from Birdy, I knew their would be a sublime live rendition, as she tends to record live versions of her singles as well.

With that said, below you will find the video recording of her recording her live take of "Wings," which was featured on her recently released EP 'Breathe.' While I couldn't find just the audio, it's nice to watch Birdy actually record her brilliant take from Abbey Road. Therefore, take a listen or watch her sublime live performance of "Wings" below and Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "Giving Up" (Aaliyah)

While the remake of the cult classic Sparkle starring Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston is currently out on DVD, Aaliyah was originally pegged to star in the remake with Houston and she recorded an amazing cover of the Donny Hathaway classic "Giving Up" for the project before her tragic death.

With that said, this cover showcases off Aaliyah's amazing vocals and proves that her vocal prowess hadn't even peaked at her tender age of 22. Take a listen below and Enjoy!

Second Listen: "My Little Secret" (Xscape)

Back in 1998, Xscape released their second single "My Little Secret" from their third album Traces of My Lipstick. Produced by Jermaine Dupri and co-written by Dupri, LaTocha Scott and Manuel Seal, Jr., "My Little Secret" went onto become the group's last major hit before they eventually disbanded. With that said, take it back with a second listen to Xscape's "My Little Secret" below and Enjoy!

Rare Performance: "If This World Were Mine" (Luther Vandross & Cheryl Lynn)

Luther Vandross' sublime duet with Cheryl Lynn on the Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell classic "If This World Were Mine," is in my book the most overlooked duet in the past 30 years of music. While a sizable groups od individuals are aware of this brillant remake and classic, it seems as if its brilliance has been lost and more recent generations.

With that said, peep their rare live performance of "If This World Were Mine," which is lifted from a performance at "Soul Train" back in the day and Enjoy!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Song of the Day: "I Like It" (DeBarge)

"I Like It" - DeBarge
  • Writers: Randy DeBarge, El DeBarge, & Bunny DeBarge
  • Producers: El DeBarge & Iris Gordy
  • Record Label: Gordy
  • Released in 1982's All This Love
  • Peaked at #31 on the Billboard Hot 100

Second Listen: "Running Away" (Roy Ayers)

Roy Ayers is a pioneer of the jazz-funk and his joint "Running Away" from his 1977 album Lifeline is a fine example of his sonic works. "

Running Away" is definitely in my top 100 songs of all time and Roy's infectious instrumentation and catchy hook make this song the perfect addition to any set list. Take a second listen below and Enjoy!

Rare Performance: "At Last" (Aretha Franklin ft. Lou Rawls)

I was trawling through YouTube earlier tonight and rediscovered this brilliant duet between the Queen of Soul, Ms. Aretha Franklin and the legendary and late Lou Rawls. While I had  seen their duet of the Etta James classic "At Last," luckily through the power of YouTube I was able to rewatch it earlier tonight and share it with you all.

Lifted from the Rhythm, Love and Soul concert from back in 2003, these two legends prove easily why they are considered such even while taking on such an iconic and challenging song such as "At Last." With that said, watch their performance below and Enjoy!

Live Audio: "Fallin'" (Alicia Keys)

Alicia Keys' Unplugged album featured the famed singer/songwriter at her best in my opinion showcasing off bother her phenomenal soulful vocals and her excellent piano skills.

With only two albums under her belt at that time (Songs in A Minor and Diary Of Alicia Keys), Alicia pulled from her then growing discography and of course performed her #1 hit single that started it all. Why she hasn't recorded another Unplugged album is unbeknownst to me as she has released three albums since.

With that said, take a listen below to Alicia Keys' amazing live rendition of her first #1 hit "Fallin'" and Enjoy!

Live Clip: "Night Time" (Marsha Ambrosius)

While promoting her sublime sophomore album Friends & Lovers last year, Marsha went on a mini tour to support the album and of course she performed her banger "Night Time."

One of the highlights of the night, Marsha really gave it to her fans raw and unapologetic (just how we like it)  and really touched a lot of people.

With that said, during her tour stop in ATL, Marsha really let loose on he rendition of "Night Time" and you can watch it all go down below!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Second Listen: "Promise Me" (Luther Vandross)

Back in 1982, Luther dropped his second LP Forever for Always for Love to much critical and commercial acclaim. With his sophomore album, Luther solidified his places as the greatest male R&B singer of his generation by far and in my opinion the best male vocalist to grace the microphone.

With that said, there is a smooth mid-tempo cut off of his sophomore album entitled "Promise Me" which is one of the numerous gems from Vandross' discography. Therefore take a second listen to this exceptional joint after the jump and Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "Be Thankful " (Omar ft. Erykah Badu)

Take a listen below to Omar's and Erykah Badu's collaboration on the William DeVaughn classic "Be Thankful for What You Got".

Lifted from Omar's Best By Far which was released in 2000, Badu and Omar exchange versus and share the chorus in this updated version entitled "Be Thankful." Check it out below and Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Live Video of the Day: "Doubt" (Mary J. Blige)

Last night on the BET Honors telecast, Mary J. Blige honored the honorees with a special performance of her joint "Doubt," which is my personal favorite joint from her recently released album The London Sessions.

With that said, peep Mary's sublime performance of "Doubt" below from the BET Honors and if you like what you hear, go and support Mary and cop her new album The London Sessions which is in stores now.

Song of the Day: "Crown Royal" (Jill Scott)

"Crown Royal" - Jill Scott
  • Writers and Producers: Jill Scott and Lee Hutson, Jr.
  • Record Label: Hidden Beach Recordings
  • Featured on 2007's The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3

Remix: "He's Mine [LNTG Rework]" (Brandy & Monica)

I just recently discovered LNTG's remix to the 1990s Brandy and Monica classic  "The Boy Is Mine" with "He's Mine [LNTG Rework]." Released over a year ago, "He's Mine [LNTG Rework]" is a solid reworking of the 90s classic and transforms "The Boy Is Mine" into an altogether new joint.

With that said, take a listen below to LNTG's "He's Mine [LNTG Rework]" below and Enjoy!

Live Audio: "Shit, Damn, Motherfucker" (D'Angelo)

Back in 1998, D'Angelo limitedly released his first live album Live at the Jazz Cafe on EMI Records. Originally recorded on September 14, 1995 at Jazz Café in London, England, due to the folding of D'Angelo record label in 1998, Live at the Jazz Cafe had limited distribution and remains out of print to this date.

With that said, one of the highlights from the Live at the Jazz Cafe has to be D'Angelo's solid rendition of "Shit, Damn, Motherfucker." Therefore, take a listen below to his live rendition of "Shit, Damn, Motherfucker" after the jump and Enjoy!

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.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Amazing Cover: "I Have Nothing" (Jessie J)

Last month, Jessie J was touring the UK on her Sweet Talker Tour in support of her third album and during her set, Jessie J offered a riveting rendition of the Whitney Houston The Bodyguard classic "I Have Nothing."

Paired with just an acoustic guitar, Jessie J really lets her voice shine for me when she performs acoustically and her rendition of "I Have Nothing" really let her voice take centerstage. With that said, peep Jessie J's cover of "I Have Nothing" below and Enjoy!

Live Video of the Day: "I Can't Let Go" (Jennifer Hudson)

Last night at the Oscars, Academy Award and GRAMMY winner Jennifer Hudson graced the stage with a sublime performance of her former Smash standout ballad "I Can't Let Go."

Performed on the NBC's show second season, Jennifer Hudson had a guest arch on the cancelled cult favorite show but last night brought further attention with her riveting rendition of "I Can't Let Go." With that said, peep her sublime performance from the Oscars last night below and Enjoy!

Song of the Day: "Just the Two of Us" (Grover Washington Jr. & Bill Withers)

"Just the Two of Us" - Grover Washington, Jr. & Bill Withers
  • Writers: Bill Withers, Ralph MacDonald & William Salter
  • Record Label: Elektra Records
  • Released in 1981 from Winelight
  • Peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100
  • Won Grammy Award for Best R&B Song

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."

Second Listen: "For Real" (Amel Larrieux)

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!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Live Video of Day: "I Look To You" (Whitney Houston)

R. Kelly originally penned Whitney Houston's last hit "I Look To You" 10 years before she eventually recorded and released the song as single from her last studio album I Look To You.

A powerful song with religious undertones, Houston performed one of, if not the best live renditions in my book during her trip overseas in Germany when she was visiting Wetten Dass.

With that said, watch Whitney's sublime performance of "I Look To You" from Wetten Dass below as we continue to honor her legacy.

Song of the Day: "Next Lifetime" (Erykah Badu)

"Next Lifetime" - Erykah Badu
  • Writers: Erykah Badu & A. Scott
  • Producer: Tone the Backbone
  • Released in 1997 from Baduizm
  • Peaked at #3 on the Billboard US Hot R&B Songs Chart

Live Clip: "Dreamgirls Oscar Medley" (Jennifer Hudson, Beyoncé, Anika Noni Rose)

With the Academy Awards slated to air tonight, I thought it would be appropriate to revisit the Dreamgirls medley that was lifted from the 78th Annual Academy Awards.

Featuring Jennifer Hudson's Oscar-and-Grammy-winning voice, Beyoncé's Grammy-winning vocals, and Anika Noni Rose's Toni-winning voice, this trio took the then Kodak Theater to another place. Watch the medley that includes "Love You I Do," Listen" and "Patience" below and Enjoy!

Second Listen: "Roll Out" (Labelle ft. Wyclef Jean)

Back in 2008,  Labelle released their comeback album Back to Know which reunited the famed 60s and 70s soulful trio together back on record for the first time in decades.

With that said, the lead single from the album was the Wyclef Jean assisted "Roll Out," and the mid-tempo joint really gave Labelle a refreshed sound. Therefore, take a second listen below to Labelle and Wyclef Jean's collaboration on "Roll Out" and Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "Giving Up" (Jennifer Holliday)

Jennifer Holliday is best known for originating the role of Effie White in the original broadway production of "Dreamgirls," which would later win the powerhouse vocalist both a Tony and a Grammy for her show-stopping number "And I Am Telling You."

While Holliday is still known primarily for this joint, one of my favorite songs in her discography is her cover of the Donny Hathaway hit and Gladys Knight & The Pips original "Giving Up." Having originally been write by Van McCoy and recorded by Gladys Knight & The Pips, Holliday infuses her legendary pipes into this classic and turns it into a near 9 minute soulful opus.

Take a listen below to Jennifer Holiday's sublime rendition of "Giving Up" and Enjoy!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

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

Earlier this week, the second episode of R&B Divas: Los Angeles's third season aired and Leela James was back from touring overseas.

In addition to the return of Leela James, we were introduced to one of the new cast members, Chrisette revealed her big business decision to launch her own imprint on Capital Records, Leela catches up with Lil Mo and Chrisette, and Chrisette throws an Angel themed party.

Peep the latest episode of R&B Divas: Los Angeles below and Enjoy!

Song of the Day: "Pony" (Ginuwine)

"Pony" - Ginuwine
  • Writers: Static Major, Elgin Lumpkin, Tim Mosley
  • Producer: Timbaland
  • Record Label: 550/Epic
  • Released in 1996 from Ginuwine...the Bachelor
  • Peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart

Amazing Cover: "I Still Believe" (Mariah Carey)

I've been getting back into Mariah Carey's discography thanks to the release of her latest album Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse and revisited Mariah's impeccable cover of "I Still Believe," originally a hit for Brenda K. Starr.

Lifted from her #1s album back in 1999, Carey re-recorded the song as a tribute to Starr, as she had been Starr's background singer in the late 1980s and Starr actually helped jump start Carey's career by handing a demo tape to then Sony Music Entertainment executive Tommy Mottola, who then signed Carey's first recording contract.

With that said, take a listen to Mariah Carey's sublime rendition of "I Still Believe" below and Enjoy!

Live Audio: "Mr. Intentional" (Lauryn Hill)

Saw Ms. Hill last night here in New York City and I got my entire life. With that said, I wanted to revisit one of the songs she performed last night.

Lauryn Hill's 2002 MTV Unplugged special offered a sublime and raw live set  from Hill in the form of MTV Unplugged No. 2.0. Recorded in 2001, Hill's Unplugged set gave fan a glimpse into the artist and woman behind the music with new material primarily performed by just Hill and her acoustic guitar.

 "Mr. Intentional" was one of the numerous standout joints Hill sang that night and you can take a listen to her phenomenal live performance below.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Song of the Day: "Lost Ones" (Lauryn Hill)

"Lost Ones" - Lauryn Hill
  • Writer: Lauryn Hill 
  • Producer: Lauryn Hill, Che' Guevara and Vada Nobles
  • Record Label: Ruffhouse, Columbia Records
  • Featured on 1998 The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

Live Clip: "If You Dare" (Jazmine Sullivan)

Jazmine Sullivan stopped by ABC's Good Morning America earlier today to promote her new single "If You Dare," which is lifted as the third official single off of her recently released album Reality Show and promote her Reality Show Tour which kicks off March 1st in New Orleans and will wrap in Las Vegas on March 29th.

Rocking it out with her and her band, Jazmine crooned out a sublime thumping rendition of "If You Dare" and hopefully an official music video will soon follow the release of her single and a real push as radio because Reality Show is one of the best albums I've heard in years.

With that said, peep her performance of "If You Dare" below and Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "Call My Name" (Angel)

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 2013 and it was set for official release last 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!

Second Listen: "No More Rain (In This Cloud)" (Angie Stone)

Back in 1999, Angie Stone dropped Black Diamond, which featured the smooth Gladys Knight and The Pips sampled joint "No More Rain (In This Cloud)." One of those evergreen classics in my book, I never get tired of hearing "No More Rain (In This Could)."

With that said, take a second listen below to this silky smooth sublime joint from Angie Stone below as we all await new music from the famed songstress as we await for the followup to 2012's Rich Girl.

Live Audio: "Deja Vu" (Shanice)

On February 22nd, 2011 at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, Shanice Wilson took to the stage to perform during the Wild & Peaceful: A Tribute To Teena Marie tribute concert on behalf of the late Marie.

During her stint at the tribute show, Shanice performed a sublime cover of Lady T's "Deja Vu" and you can listen to her performance below in addition to some comments Shanice made about her close relationship with Teena Marie. Listen below and Enjoy!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

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

Melanie Fiona's "It Kills Me" from her debut album The Bridge has been stuck in my music rotation as of late and though I'm not going through anything deep, it's just one of those dope songs that matches powerful vocals to a strong instrumentation.

With that said, back in December of 2012, Melanie brought her show to the Howard Theatre in DC and of course she performed her #1 Grammy-nominated hit "It Kills Me" from Chocolate City. With that said, watch her powerful performance below and Enjoy!

Song of the Day: "Shit, Damn, Motherf*cker" (D'Angelo)

"Shit, Damn, Motherf*cker" - D'Angelo
  • Writer: D'Angelo
  • Producers: D'Angelo and Bob Power
  • Record Label: EMI
  • Featured on 1995's Brown Sugar

Live Clip: "All In Love Is Fair" (Jennifer Hudson)

This past Monday, Jennifer Hudson stole the show during the CBS telecast of Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life — An All-Star Grammy Salute performing a powerhouse rendition of the Stevie Wonder classic "All In Love Is Fair."

Oddly enough, Jennifer performed "All In Love Is Fair" years ago with Wonder himself during the 2009 Vh1 Divas but I must say this rendition was much more controlled and powerful in my opinion. With that said, peep her performance of "All In Love Is Fair" below and Enjoy!

Live Audio: "This Little Light of Mine" (Sam Cooke)

I was having a conversation last night about who I thought were some of the best male singers of all time and no surprise, Sam Cooke was among my top 6 of all time for not only being a vocal trailblazer  but for also having such a sharp and clear tone.

With that said, back in 1964, Sam Cooke recorded and released his live album Sam Cooke at the Copa and one of the numerous standouts from this collection is his rendition of "This Little Light of Mine." Thankfully someone has uploaded it online and you can take a listen after the jump to Sam's sublime rendition.

Second Listen: "Wish I Didn't Miss You" (Angie Stone)

I've been in an Angie Stone mood lately and revisiting some of her classic hits and albums and of course there is her sublime sophomore album Mahogany Soul which featured Angie's infectious hit "Wish I Didn't Miss You."

Sampling the O'Jay's "Back Stabber," the song was therefore written and composed by Ivan Matias, Andrea Martin with sampling credit going to Leon Huff, Gene McFadden, John Whitehead. Peaking at #79 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #31 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart, "Wish I Didn't Miss You" would become her third biggest chart hit, but probably her most iconic song when it comes to her discography.

With that said, take a hopefully second listen below to "Wish I Didn't Miss You" from Angie Stone and Enjoy!