Saturday, January 31, 2015

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

Earlier tonight D'Angelo and The Vanguard took to 30 Rockefeller Plaza where they shut down the SNL stage with two riveting performance. My favorite from D'Angelo's set at SNL though has to be his powerful rendition of "The Charade."

Lifted from his sublime Black Messiah LP, "The Charade" speaks so much to this moment right now and is so needed to be heard. With that said, watch D'Angelo's performance of "The Charade" from SNL below and Enjoy!

Song of the Day: "Poison" (Bell Biv DeVoe)

"Poison" - Bell Biv DeVoe
  • Writer: Elliot Straite
  • Producer: Dr. Freeze
  • Record Label: MCA Records
  • Released in 1990 from Poison
  • Peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 & #1 on the Hot R&B Singles Chart

Second Listen: "Keep It Between Us" (Kelly Rowland)

While Kelly Rowland is getting ready for motherhood, I am still stuck jamming to her smooth cut "Keep It Between Us" from her third studio album Here I Am.

While "Motivation" really went hard on the charts from Here I Am, Kelly semi released "Keep It Between Us" from the LP and it really is my favorite release from her third solo album. With that said, you can take a second listen below to this solid cut and Enjoy!

Remix: "I'll Be Around (DJ Apt One Edit)" (The Spinners)

I recently rediscovered DJ Apt One's sublime remix of The Spinners' classic "I'll Be Around" and while we get into the last day of Janurary, I thought it would be appropriate to revisit this jam cause good music is the perfect way to ease back in.

With that said,  take a listen below to DJ Apt One's remix of "I'll Be Around" below and if you like what you hear, cop the free download while supplies last.

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

Back in 1993 Whitney Houston had a concert stop in Kolding, Denmark and she blew the roof off of the venue with a phenomenal live rendition of her classic "All The Man That I Need."

While the audio recording isn't crystal clear, you can hear Whitney in all of her shinning glory hitting the highest of high notes and the lowest of lows.

Listen below to this sublime live rendition of "All The Man That I Need" and revel in The Voice during her golden era as we continue to honor the legacy of Whitney Houston and Enjoy!

Cut: "I Changed My Mind" (Keyshia Cole)

As Keyshia Cole gets ready to celebrate ten years strong in the music industry, I thought it would be nice to revisit her debut single "I Changed My Mind," which kicked off her debut album The Way It Is and an illustrious career.

Produced by Kanye West and written by Keyshia Cole, John Legend and Kanye, "I Changed My Mind" vocally samples from Solomon Burke's "Get Out of My Life, Woman" as well as samples "The Chronic (Intro)" by Dr. Dre, in which Burke's sample is already embedded (Dr. Dre can be heard over the top of the sample saying "Yeah nigga...").

With that said, as Keyshia gets ready to release her new album, I thought it would be nice to revisit this cut that started it off.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Live Video of the Day: "1994 AMA Medley" (Whitney Houston)

Back in the 1990s, award shows would let the phenomenal Whitney Houston perform medleys of her hits and covers because there was and will never be anyone like The Voice.

With that said, watch her sublime medley after the jump from the 1994 AMAs where Whitney performing rousing renditions of the Porgy & Bess classic "I Love You Porgy," the Dreamgirls' showstopper "And I Am Telling You," and her hit "I Have Nothing" from The Bodyguard.

Watch Whitney's powerhouse medley from the American Music Awards from back in 1994 in a performance that I am sure hasn't been matched since on the AMA stage.

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

Cut: "We Gon' Fight" (Jennifer Hudson)

Was revisiting Jennifer Hudson's discography last night as I get ready for her forthcoming third album JHUD and during my relistening, I rediscovered Jennifer Hudson's "We Gon' Fight," which is lifted from her Grammy-winning self-titled debut album Jennifer Hudson.

While it didn't receive the single's treatment, "We Gon' Fight" is a dope record from Hudson that really shows off the power and emotive capability of her pipes. With that said, take a listen after the jump to Jennifer's cut "We Gon' Fight" and Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "Love Is A Losing Game" (Daley)

My favorite tribute to the late Amy Winehouse still remains UK singer on the rise Daley's phenomenal rendition of  "Love Is A Losing Game." Though no one can touch Amy's acoustic demo version of the track in my mind, Daley's take is a heartfelt tribute to the late soul singer and it truly deserves a listen or two.

"Listening to this song brought me to tears today, I wanted to pay my respects. Such a loss to music. May she finally rest in peace." – Daley

With that said, take a listen below and Enjoy!

Second Listen: "Fallen" (Mya)

Released as her second single from Moodring, "Fallen" was a nice smooth joint that went rather overlooked back when it was released in 2003. "Fallen" in my opinion was one of Mya's finest records and hopefully her next album will feature more songs in line with "Fallen" instead of the dance/pop trend that a lot of her peers are currently doing.

Either way, take a second listen to her "Fallen" below and hopefully it will encourage you to revisit Mya's phenomenal LP Moodring, as it was such a sublime album from the famed singer/songwriter that warrants further attention in my book.

Live Audio: "Sweet Love" (Marsha Ambrosius & Ledisi)

A few years ago, VH1 offered up one of the best lineups for their VH1 DIVAS special in years and one of the highlights from that night in NYC has to be the duet between Marsha Ambrosius and Ledisi on Anita Baker's "Sweet Love."

While it is unclear why Ms. Baker, who was scheduled to appear on the show was unable to perform with Marsha and Ledisi, the two legends in the making offered up a performance even Ms. Baker couldn't be mad at.

With that said, take a listen to their riveting performance from that night of "Sweet Love" and Enjoy!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Song of the Day: "You Are My Friend" (Patti LaBelle)

"You Are My Friend" - Patti LaBelle
  • Writers: Patti LaBelle, Armstead Edwards & James "Budd" Ellison
  • Producer: David Rubinson
  • Record Label: Epic Records
  • Released in 1978 from Patti LaBelle
  • Peaked at #66 on the Billboard Hot-Selling Soul Singles chart

Amazing Cover: "Simply Beautiful" (José James)

Last night I was talking with a new friend about music and he brought up the brilliant José James and how he was gearing up to release another album, this time a tribute to the late Billie Holiday and therefore, I thought it would be nice to revisit one of my favorite covers from the underrated crooner.

With that said, rediscovered José James's involvement in Capitol Studios' 1 Mic 1 Take series where the famed crooner opted to take on the Al Green classic "Simply Beautiful" for his performance in this acoustic guitar led cover.

Watch José's impassioned acoustic rendition of "Simply Beautiful" below and Enjoy!

Second Listen: "Angel in Disguise" (Brandy)

"Angel in Disguise" is a dynamic mid-tempo lifted from Brandy's sophomore album Never Say Never (1998) towards the top of 1999. Written by LaShawn Daniels, Fred Jerkins III, Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins, Isaac Phillips, Nycolia Turman, and Traci Hale, the Darkchild-produced mid-tempo track was an airplay single release only and charted before the second single "Top of the World."

Peaking at number 72 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, it became Brandy's first single to chart without an actual single release or a video. On the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart the song peaked at #17, becoming Brandy's 8th consecutive top twenty single. Interestingly enough the song features backing vocals from Joe and never recieved the official music video treatment.

With that said, take a second listen below to Brandy's "Angel in Disguise" and Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Amazing Cover: "I'm Here" (Jennifer Hudson)

Back in 2010, Oprah Winfrey was honored during the Kennedy Center Honors and during her tribute, Jennifer Hudson took the stage and performed an amazing cover of The Color of Purple's powerhouse ballad "I'm Here."

Truly a class act, Hudson transforms this uplifting power ballad and makes it her own in a way that has had me wanting her to release her own recorded rendition. With that said, watch Jennifer Hudson's sublime performance of "I'm Here," which she was requested to perform from Oprah herself below and Enjoy!

Second Listen: "Nobody's Supposed to Be Here" (Deborah Cox)

Back in 1998, Deborah Cox released her biggest single to date, "Nobody's Supposed to Be Here," which was lifted from her platinum-selling sophomore album One Wish.

Written by Montell Jordan and Anthony "Shep" Crawford,  "Nobody's Supposed to Be Here" reached the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 on September 29, 1998. It then peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 on November 24, 1998 and spent eight weeks there, making it one of the longest stays at No. 2 for any single in the chart's history and the highest-peaking single of Cox's career.

With that said, with more attention on Deborah Cox due to her involvement in the Whitney lifetime biopic, I thought it would be nice to revisit her biggest hit "Nobody's Supposed to Be Here" below!

Playback: "Lose Control" (Ledisi)

Yesterday on Twitter Ledisi thanked radio for playing her joint "Lose Control," which is lifted from her 2014 LP The Truth, and while it is unclear if it will serve as the third official single from the set, hopefully it will as she attached what looked like an official single cover to her tweet.

With that said, while Ledisi just released The Intimate Truth EP a week ago and is gearing up for her The Intimate Truth Tour, that kicks off next month, I thought it might be nice to take a playback to "Lose Control," in hope that it's officially released as a single from Ledisi's amazing album The Truth.

Therefore, take a playback below to "Lose Control" and Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Song of the Day: "Shine" (Luther Vandross)

"Shine" - Luther Vandross
  • Writers: James Harris III, Terry Lewis, Bernard Edwards, & Nile Rodgers
  • Record Label: J/Epic/Legacy Recordings
  • Released in 2006 from The Ultimate Luther Vandross
  • Peaked at #31 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
  • Originally recorded for the soundtrack to the movie The Fighting Temptations, but failed to make the final cut.

Live Clip: "Stupid Girl" (Jazmine Sullivan)

After a three year hiatus from the music scene, the soulful songstress Jazmine Sullivan stopped by the WBLS studios to give them a special live performance, which includes her powerful mid-tempo "Stupid Girl" from her new album Reality Show.

With that said, peep her powerful performance below and Enjoy!

Second Listen: "Brown Skin" (India.Arie)

Back in 2001, India.Arie released her second single "Brown Skin" from her debut album Acoustic Soul and the Carlos "6 July" Broady produced joint heated up the airwaves during the fall and subsequent winter months of 2002.

Featuring a 'grown and sexy' message accompanied with India's sublime vocals and some seductive instrumentation, "Brown Sugar" is still in rotation at radio stations and on my own personal playlists over a decade later.With that said, take a second listen to India's thumping "Brown Skin" below and Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "Didn't Cha Know?" (Tiffany Evans)

Last year during another edition of Tiffany Evans's Tiffany Tuesdays music release series, Tiffany opted to share an acoustic cover of the Erykah Badu Grammy-nominated classic single "Didn't Cha Know?," offering her own twist on the iconic joint.

With that said, watch her sublime acoustic cover of the Badu classic below as we all eagerly await new music from Tiffany later this year.

Cut: "Hypnotic Love" (Maysa)

The song that Maysa is probably known the best for, or at least in my book, is the smooth joint "Hypnotic Love."

Lifted from her album Smooth Sailing, this is the song that introduced me to Maysa and is one of those smooth jam cuts that one shouldn't forget about. With that said, take a listen below to "Hypnotic Love" and Enjoy!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Live Video of the Day: "My Man" (Diana Ross)

Back in 1972 the Billie Holiday biopic "Lady Sings the Blues" was released as well as the accompanying soundtrack which boasted numerous Holiday classics interpreted by Diana Ross.

Though the pairing of these two iconic voices may seem odd on paper, Diana Ross channeled the spirit of "Lady Day," and the accompanying soundtrack to Lady Sings the Blues would go onto become one of Ms. Ross' most successful solo records. With that said, what I would regard as Ms. Ross' best recorded live performance to date would be her 1979 Caesar Palace performance of the classic "My Man."

Dripping with emotion and a sublime vocal performance from Ross, her live cover of this standard is my favorite performance from Diana Ross hands down. Watch it 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

Cut: "Don't Let Me Down" (Amel Larrieux)

I rewatched Beyond The Lights recently and I was struck by the usage of Amel Larrieux's "Don't Let Me Down" during the film, both for its poignant usage in the film, but also what it means in a larger context within our society as our communities continue to cry out about the injustices occurring.

As we continue to gather our thoughts, emotions. and actions regarding what's currently taking place here in the States, take a listen below to Amel Larrieux's "Don't Let Me Down."

Live Audio: "The Man That Got Away" (Dinah Washington)

The Complete Roulette Sessions covers the eight albums' worth of material Washington recorded between March 1962 and October 1963 (just two months prior to her death at age 39).

This particular song, "The Man That Got Away" was released in 1962 on the album titled, Drinking Again and you can take a listen below to her live recorded performance of "The Man That Got Away," during her session at  Bell Sound Studios in New York City.

Second Listen: "Little Things" (India.Arie)

Back in 2002, India.Arie released the lead single "Little Things" from her second studio album Voyage to India. Peaking at 389 on the Billboard Hot 100, "Little Things" earned India her first Grammy Award for Best Urban/Alternative Performance.

While she just recently released her fifth studio album SongVersation, I thought it would be appropriate to revisit "Little Things" below.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Cut: "Any Love" (Luther Vandross)

Back in 1988, Luther Vandross released his sixth studio album Any Love and the title-track "Any Love," which was co-written by Vandross and Marcus Miller would go onto become Luther's fourth #1 single on the then Billhoard Hot Black Singles chart while peaking at #44 on the Hot 100.

In addition to scoring Luther his fourth #1, the song was nominated for two Grammys at the 1989 Grammy Awards including Best R&B Song as well as Best Vocal Performance, Male. With that said, take a listen below to Luther's cut "Any Love" and Enjoy!

Live Clip: "Tell Them" (Ledisi)

A few days ago, Ledisi performed at Andrae Crouch's home going celebration after his passing and the song she performed was the poignant "Tell Them."

As most of us get the word today this Sunday, I thought it would be appropriate to watch Ledisi's powerful rendition of "Tell Him" from a few days ago and Enjoy!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

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

Second Listen: "Teach Me How to Be Loved" (Rebecca Ferguson)

Rebecca Ferguson released her debut album Heaven in the middle of 2012  in the States and although she was unable to properly promote her debut LP, Heaven debuted rather well at #3 on the US R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and #23 on the Billboard Top 200 with sales of 12,000.

With that said, one of the numerous standout tracks from her debut effort is the tender ballad "Teach Me How to Be Loved" and although it didn't received the single's treatment in the UK or here in the States, it is a stunning ballad that deserves to be heard. Therefore, take a first or hopefully second listen to "Teach Me How to be Loved" below and Enjoy!

Live Audio: "Superstar" (Luther Vandross)

Was jamming to some Luther last night and you know I had to bring it back to Luther Vandross' greatest captured live audio performances on his 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" below and trust me, you won't regret it at all!

Rare Performance: "I Turn To You" (Christina Aguilera ft Tevin Campbell)

During The Alma Awards back in 1999, Christina Aguilera made her primetime television debut alongside Tevin Campbell who joined the then rising powerhouse vocalist on her ballad "I Turn To You," which would go onto peak at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

While Tevin Campbell and Christina Aguilera might seem like an odd pairing, their vocals fit perfectly with one another on Christina's power ballad and hopefully one day, these two will find themselves sharing the stage again as Tevin is one of a few male vocalist who can actually keep up with Christina's vocal prowess.

Watch it all go down after the jump with this rare performance and Enjoy!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Live Video of the Day: "Everlasting Love/ Ain't Nobody" (Ledisi)

I was going through some of my favorite Ledisi performance earlier today and her 2013 BET Honors performance where Chaka Khan was honored is definitely in my top 10.

A student of Chaka Khan, Ledisi's powerful vocals fit perfectly with Khan's classic hits "Everlasting Love" and "Ain't Nobody" and highlight both the superior vocals needed to interpret a Chaka Khan classic as well as Ledisi's legend-in-the-making vocal prowess. With that said, and you can watch it all go down below and Enjoy!

Song of the Day: "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" (Lauryn Hill)

"The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" - Lauryn Hill
  • Writers: Lauryn Hill and Tejumold Newton
  • Producer: Lauryn Hill
  • Record Label: Columbia Records
  • Featured on 1998's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

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: "4 AM" (Melanie Fiona)

Just a few hours ago, I was up until 4am and of course Melanie Fiona's powerful joint "4 AM" from her sophomore LP The MF Life came into my head as there was no real reason why I was still up at that hour.

While I was just restless having been out grinding to the early am, Melanie Fiona's 2011 cut "4 AM" testifies about another time of sleepless night and is one of those joints in my book that should've been bigger than it ended up being. With that said, take a second listen after the jump to "4 AM" and Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "The Reason" (Heather Headley)

Back in 2004, the title track to Hoobastank's sophomore album The Reason would go onto peak at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the group's biggest hit to date.

Fast-forward eight years and Heather Headley has breathed new life into this classic ballad from Hoobastank with the release of her fourth studio album Only One in the World.

While it was never released as a single, it is one of my favorite songs from Heather's Only One in the World and her discography as a whole and warrants a listen below of her sublime cover.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Remix: "Hey Love (Classixx Remix)" (Quadron)

Quadron's joint "Hey Love" was one of my jams this past spring and summer and now the Dnaish duo who are comprised of singer Coco O and producer Robin Hannibal have released an official remix to their sophomore album Avalanche's second single.

Entitled "Hey Love (Classixx Remix)," the joint is official remixed by Mayer Hawthorne's producers Classixx and has a very house/funk groove vibe that has translated this infectious drum-led single into another sublime joint in its own right. With that said, take a listen below to "Hey Love Classixx Remix)" and Enjoy!

Cut: "Take It Back" (Toni Braxton & Babyface)

Babyface and Toni Braxton released their Motown collaborative album Love, Marriage, & Divorce last year and one of my favorite cuts from the GRAMMY-nominated album has to be "Take It Back."

Featuring a breezy instrumentation, the lyrics and vocals of the song are able to take centerstage of the Babyface, Toni, Daryl Simmons and Antonio Dixon co-written track. While it is unclear if "Take It Back" will serve as a single or not from Love, Marriage, & Divorce, I hope it is given single consideration as the acoustic guitar-led track is a true standout from the album.

With that said, take a listen below to "Take It Back" and if you haven't checked out Love, Marriage, & Divorce, there is no time like the present in my book!

Amazing Cover: "Get Lucky" (Jazmine Sullivan)

I HATE YOU Jazmine Sullivan for turning out "Get Lucky" the way you did in London last year and not giving us a recorded rendition for us to rock. Although I must say her latest album Reality Show is perfection and an added track, even "Get Lucky," might've messed up the flow.

With that said, 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, I hope has her cover of "Kiss From A Rose" at least will appear on an album one day.

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 last year and Enjoy!

Second Listen: "Rock Steady" (The Whispers)

Back in 1987 The Whispers released their instant classic "Rock Steady," which was lifted from their eight studio album Just Gets Better with Time. Produced by Babyface and LA Reid, the song would go onto peak at #1 on the Hot Black Singles chart and #7 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Still one of those jams that will get everyone up at a party, "Rock Steady" is one of the greatest jams from the 1980s in my opinion and arguably of all time. With that said, you can take a second listen to it below to The Whispers' "Rock Steady" and Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Live Audio: "Charlene" (Anthony Hamilton)

Anthony Hamilton is one of the best male vocalists currently in the game right now and his 2005 EP "Comin' From Where I'm From Live & More" proves this wholeheartedly.

With that said, the second joint off of "Comin' From Where I'm From Live & More" is Hamilton's impassioned rendition of his breakout single "Charlene" and you can take a listen to his live rendition from Atlanta below!

Song of the Day: "Quickie" (Miguel)

"Quickie" - Miguel
  • Writers: Miguel Pimentel, Mac Robinson & Brian Warfield
  • Producers: Fisticuffs
  • Record Label: RCA
  • Released in 2011 from All I Want Is You
  • Peaked at #62 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #3 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart

Cut: "Papers" (Usher)

Back in 2009, Usher released "Papers" as a buzz single for his sixth studio album Raymond v. Raymond. Written by Usher, Alonzo "Gorilla Zoe" Mathis, Sean Garrett and Zaytoven, and was produced by the latter two, it was released to U.S. urban and rhythmic radio stations on October 12, 2009, and subsequently available for digital download on October 16, 2009.

The song received positive reviews from critics who compared the track to his previous work, and embraced the lyrical content of the song. The song peaked at number thirty-one on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, giving Usher his tenth number one song on the chart.

With that said, take a listen below to Usher's cut "Papers" and Enjoy!

Live Clip: "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.