Friday, July 31, 2015

Live Video of the Day: "Feeling Good" (Lauryn Hill)

Last night, the legendary Ms. Lauryn Hill made a rare appearance on NBC's The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to perform her riveting cover of "Feeling Good," which is lifted from Nina Revisited: A Tribute to Nina Simone compilation album that is a companion piece to the Netflix documentary What Happened, Miss Simone.

Ms. Hill produced and contributed six songs to the compilation including "Ne Me Quitte Pas," "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair," "Wild Is the Wind," "African Mailman" "Feeling Good," and "I've Got Life," an interpolation of Simone's "Ain't Got No, I Got Life."

With that said, watch her riveting performance of "Feeling Good" from The Tonight Show below and Enjoy!

Song of the Day: "Say You Will" (Brandy)

"Say You Will" - Brandy
  • Writer: Theron Feemster
  • Producers: Ron "Neff-U" Feemster & Big Chuck
  • Record Label: Atlantic
  • Featured on 2004's Afrodisiac

Rare Performance: "If Only For One Night" (Patti LaBelle & Luther Vandross)

Back on November 28th, 1985, Patti LaBelle had a concert special entitled "The Patti LaBelle Show" and during this special, Patti brought out one of her dear friends Mr. Luther Vandross. Luther was actually the first president of Patti's first fan club for Patti LaBelle and The Bluebells and decades later seeing these two legends on one stage letting it rip is such an honor.

With that said, watch it as Patti and Luther go back and forth on Luther's classic "If Only For One Night" below and Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word" (Mary J. Blige)

During the MOBO Awards in the UK several years ago, Mary J. Blige performed a stirring rendition of Elton John's classic ""Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word."

While Blige has recorded her own rendition for the "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason" soundtrack, I still prefer her live interpretations of this Elton classic as she really leaves it all out there on the stage. Watch her sublime interpretation of "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word" below and Enjoy!

Second Listen: "Sweet Life" (Frank Ocean)

Today marks the last day of July and earlier this year Frank Ocean teased that his sophomore followup to channel ORANGE would drop this month and while there hasn't been a further confirmation or detraction from this statement, I thought it might be nice to revisit one of my favorite joints from his debut.

Written and produced by both Frank Ocean and Pharrell, "Sweet Life" from channel ORANGE  was one of the more critically acclaimed from his GRAMMY-winning set and as we await news on Frank's new album, you can take a second listen below to "Sweet Life."

Live Clip: "Dear No One" (Tori Kelly)

Tori Kelly is one of 2015's breakout artists and while she's been slowly building her career for a few years now and I have a strong bet that she will be among the artists nominated later this year for a GRAMMY for Best New Artist.

With that said, while revisiting her solid debut album Unbreakable Smile, I was once again reminded of my favorite song from her "Dear No One" and you can watch her sublime acoustic performance of it from MTV's Artist To Watch series below!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Live Video of the Day: "Blame It On Me" (Chrisette Michele)

Back in 2009, Chrisette Michele released her sophomore album Epiphany to much critical and commercial acclaim. The second single off of the effort was the emotional ballad "Blame It On Me," which in my opinion showcased off Michele's best vocal performance to that date on record.

With that said, check her out performing the emotional track after the jump from Late Night with David Letterman and Enjoy!

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

Rare Performance: "I Don't Hurt Anymore" (Dinah Washington)

Sadly there are only a few live performance of the legendary Dinah Washington's online and one of my favorites (out of the limited selection) has to be her performance of the Hank Snow joint "I Don't Hurt Anymore."

Originally recorded by Snow and Washington in 1954, the below rare performance showcases Ms. Dinah Washington belting out what would become a number 3 seller for her on the R&B charts. With that said, watch her tour de force performance below and Enjoy!

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

I've been getting back into Mariah Carey's discography lately and Mariah's impeccable cover of "I Still Believe," originally a hit for Brenda K. Starr is one of my favorites in my opinion.

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!

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!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Song of the Day: "Lately" (Tyrese)

"Lately" - Tyrese
  • Writers: Derek Allen & Tyrese Gibson
  • Producer: Derek Allen
  • Record Label: RCA Records
  • Released in 1999 from Tyrese
  • Peaked at #56 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #12 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart 

Live Audio: "A Change Is Gonna Come" (Patti LaBelle)

At UNCF's 30th Anniversary An Evening of Stars Tribute, Patti LaBelle was the legend being honored and at the end of a wonderful tribute, Patti got up and belted out a phenomenal version of "A Change Is Gonna Come."

While the TV version shows Patti accepting her award and then going into a spirited rendition of this classic, you never get to see and hear the entire song. Therefore, take a listen below to this live audio that was captured the night of the original Tribute back in 2008 that allows you to hear the entire version that Ms. LaBelle laid down that night and Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "So Amazing" (Stevie Wonder & Beyoncé)

While Beyoncé offered riveting renditions of some of Stevie Wonder's greatest hits during Monday's telecast of the GRAMMY Salute to Stevie Wonder, Beyoncé and Stevie actually worked together back in 2005 when J Records released a tribute album in honor of the late Luther Vandross entitled So Amazing...An All-Star Tribute to Luther Vandross.

One of the gems off of the album was the Stevie Wonder and Beyoncé duet  "So Amazing," which would eventually earn the duo a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. With that said, listen below to their amazing cover of Luther Vandross' classic hit "So Amazing" and Enjoy!

Second Listen: "One Hundred Ways" (James Ingram)

James Ingram's "One Hundred Ways" is one of those two-step joints that just brings a smile to your face anytime you hear it for the first time in a while.

Lifted from Quincy Jones' album The Dude, "One Hundred Ways" proved to be the launching pad for Ingram's career and would earn him the 1982 Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.

With that said, take a second listen below to the smooth classic 90s jam from Ingram and Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Song of the Day: "Let's Chill" (Guy)

"Let's Chill" - Guy
  • Writers: Bernard Belle and Teddy Riley
  • Producer: Teddy Riley
  • Record Label: MCA Records
  • Released in 1991 from The Future 
  • Peaked at #41 on the Billboard Hot 100 & #3 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart

Live Clip: "Closure" (Jill Scott)

Earlier today, Jill Scott appeared on ABC's #1 morning show Good Morning America and while the show held her sublime performance until the end of the broadcast, it was more than worth the wait.

With that said, Jill Scott is busy promoting her latest album Woman and offered up a funky rendition of her joint "Closure," which in my opinion is definitely single worthy, but then again Woman is loaded with potential hits if her label gets behind them right.

As we await the official announcement of her next single following "Fools Gold" (still waiting on a video), watch her stunning performance of "Closure" below!

Amazing Cover: "Believe" (Jennifer Hudson)

Last night I was revisiting Jennifer Hudson's discography, especially her sophomore album I Remember Me, and rediscovered her stunning cover of "Believe."

Therefore, I thought it would be fitting to remember Jennifer Hudson's amazing rendition of the Brooks & Dunn classic "Believe." Jennifer infects the song with only the passion and vocal fervor that she can and thus resulting in many in attendance tearing up with her emotionally poignant cover.

Lifted from ACM Presents: Brooks and Dunn The Last Rodeo, you can tell that the country music duo really took to her rendition to heart and hopefully you will to. With that said, watch it below and Enjoy!

Second Listen: "I Got Trouble" (Christina Aguilera)

Christina Aguilera's Back To Basics is my favorite album that Aguilera has released thus far during her career and one of the gems on the record is her Linda Perry produced and co-written joint "I Got Trouble."

 Recorded to sound as if it was playing on an actual record player, the joint is such an underrated opus that warrants several listens. With that said, take a first or hopefully second listen below to "I Got Trouble" and Enjoy!

Live Audio: "All the Man That I Need" (Whitney Houston)

Whitney Houston's posthumous live album Whitney Houston Live: Her Greatest Performances was released towards the end of last year and in my opinion, it still hasn't received the attention that Whitney's vocals command.

With that said, one of my top five songs from her discography has to be "All the Man That I Need" and her performance of it from her 1991 HBO special Welcome Home Heroes, further solidifies why she is known simply as The Voice.

Take a listen below to her sublime rendition of "All the Man That I Need" and Enjoy!

Monday, July 27, 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

Podcast: "The Anatomy of a Clapback" (The BackBeat)

In this week’s episode of The BackBeat, we talk about Jill Scott’s new album Woman, Future’s new DS2 album and get into the anatomy of a clapback. Starting off with Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift’s twitter exchange about the VMAs, we then get into Meek Mill calling out Drake for not writing his own raps on Twitter, Ghostface clapping back at Action Bronson over comments made on Sportscenter, Erykah Badu calling out the Black Eyed Peas for imitating her "Honey" video, Janet Jackson’s new video for her "No Sleeep" remix with J. Cole, as well as Michelle Obama calling on Wale to take part in a college summit.

In our Blast From the Past segment, we celebrate JLO’s birthday, Jill Scott’s debut album Who Is Jill Scott, the passing of Amy Winehouse, as well as the 20th anniversary of Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. And make sure you stay tuned to the end of the episode to hear our favorite songs of the moment.

Rare Performance: "Feel The Fire" (Peabo Bryson, Tevin Campbell & Kenny Lattimore)

Back in 1998, FOX aired a short-lived music variety show Motown Live hosted by Robert Townsend and Montel Jordan and on one of the episodes, Peabo Bryson, Tevin Campbell and Kenny Lattimore teamed up to offer up a collaborative performance of Peabo's classic hit "Feel The Fire."

With that said, watch the rare performance of "Feel The Fire" from Peabo, Tevin and Kenny after the jump and Enjoy!

Second Listen: "Flyin' High ( In The Friendly Sky)" (Marvin Gaye)

Over four years ago marked the 40th aniversary of Marvin Gaye's monumental and groundbreaking concept album What's Going On, and I've always felt that it's important for those less familiar with the album to get familiar with the album past its title track.

With that said, What's Going On is my favorite album of all time and one of the iconic joints from it has to be "Flyin' High (In The Friendly Sky)." Take a second listen to Gaye's classic "Flyin' High (In The Friendly Sky)" below and Enjoy!

Live Audio: "...Til the Cops Come Knockin'" (Maxwell)

Maxwell's "...Til the Cops Come Knockin'" is definitely a fan favorite for the crooner and below you will find a smooth breakdown of Maxwell and his band performing a solid rendition of "...Til the Cops Come Knockin'."

While I am not familiar when/where this was recorded, if I was to guess, this might be part of the international bonus track of "...Til the Cops Come Knockin'," that was released in 1997 from his MTV Unplugged album. Either way it ends up, listen below to this solid live audio and Enjoy!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Live Video of the Day: "My Love Is Your Love" (Whitney Houston)

With the passing of Bobbi Kristina Brown occurring earlier today, I thought it would be appropriate to revisit one of her numerous performances with her mother the late Ms. Whitney Houston.

The two of them would sometimes perform "My Love Is Your Love" together throughout Whitney's career and when they joined together during a taping of Whitney's world tour in Germany in 1999, Bobbi Kris offered one of the most spirited renditions of their collaboration to date.

As we mourn the loss and honor her life, I thought it would be nice to watch mother and daughter in music fellowship below!

Song of the Day: "One Sweet Day" (Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men)

"One Sweet Day" - Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men
  • Writers: Mariah Carey, Walter AfanasieffWanya MorrisNathan MorrisShawn StockmanMichael McCary
  • Producers: Walter Afanasieff and Mariah Carey
  • Released in 1995 from "Daydream"
  • Peaked #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs

Second Listen: "For Lovers Only" (Maxwell)

Back in 2001, Maxwell dropped his third album Now, which featured so many hits and classics from the crooner. With that said, one of the cuts from the album is Maxwell's smooth sensual joint "For Lovers Only."

Though never released as a single, this song is amazing and definitely deserves a first listen if not a second. With that said, take a first or second listen below to "For Lovers Only" and Enjoy!

Live Audio: "Feel The Fire" (Peabo Bryson)

Peabo Bryson and Roberta Flack released a collaborative live and recorded album entitled Live & More several decades ago and while it's a hard to find the vinyl, luckily for us it still lives on via the internet as some of the live audio performances have hit the net.

With that said, Peabo Bryson's rendition of his classic "Feel The Fire" is one of the numerous standout gems from this LP and you can take a listen to his nearly 9-minute opus below!

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

During BET Music Matters tour stop in Nashville, TN roughly three 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 relive their sublime musical moment!

New Joint: "Can't Wait" (Jill Scott)

Jill Scott's new album Woman is currently topping the iTunes Top 200 Album Charts and while it's too early to tell if it will top the Billboard Top 200 Album Charts next week, it's safe to say, she'll have the #1 R&B album and a top three debut.

With that said, one of the numerous standouts from her LP for me has to be her Andre Harris produced joint "Can't Wait," which a lot of fans are calling to be released as the set's official second single following "Fool's Gold," which we are all awaiting a video for.

Take a listen to this new joint from Ms. Scott below and Enjoy!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Live Clip: "Feel The Fire" (Stephanie Mills)

Last year, during Stephanie Mills's co-headlining gig with The Whispers at Nokia Theatre, she of course let into her vast discography that has kept her touring throughout the years and performed one of my favorite songs from it for the Los Angeles crowd.

Opting to perform her rendition of the Peabo Bryson classic "Feel The Fire," Stephanie lit the place on fire with her sublime performance of it and you can watch it go down below!

Song of the Day: "Don't Leave Me" (Blackstreet)

"Don't Leave Me" - Blackstreet
  • Writers: Teddy Riley, Chauncey Hannibal, Roosevelt Harrell, Karen Anderson, & Bunny DeBarge
  • Producer: Teddy Riley
  • Record Label: Interscope
  • Released in 1997 from Another Level
  • Peaked at #1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay Chart

Cut: "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" (Amy Winehouse)

Back in 2004, a then relatively unknown Amy Winehouse recorded a cover of The Shirelles' classic "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" for the Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason soundtrack.

Slowing its original tempo down and opting for a jazzier instrumentation, Winehouse's distinct vocals took centerstage on this sublime cover and cut that not too many people are aware of.

With that said, listen below to Amy Winehouse's cover of The Shirelles' "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" from Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason below and Enjoy!

Second Listen: "Character" (Van Hunt)

Van Hunt is a very slept on artist. With that said, Hunt's second album On the Jungle Floor featured the smooth mid-tempo jam "Character," that in my opinion is one of the top 100 songs released in the last decade.

Hunt's smokey voice  accentuates the guitar pumping track and is such a smooth and sext joint. Take a first for many and hopefully a second for some below... Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "Endless Love" (Ledisi)

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.

Friday, July 24, 2015

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

"Halfcrazy" - Musiq Soulchild
  • Writers and Producers: Taalib Johnson, Ivan Barias, Carvin Haggins, Francis Lai
  • Record Label: Def Soul/ Def Jam
  • Released in 2002 from Justlisen
  • Peaked at #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 & #2 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart