Monday, February 29, 2016

Cut: "Forever That Man" (Candice Glover)

Back in 2014, American Idol winner Candice Glover released her debut album Music Speaks and while it didn't get its just due in my opinion as the album is a solid body of work, I still revisit it from time to time.

With that said, earlier today I was doing some work and decided to have Candice's album on in the background and when her cut "Forever That Man" came on I had to take a moment to appreciate her powerhouse and controlled vocals.  Co-written by Glover, "Forever That Man" is a solid ballad that truly deserved the single's treatment as the album only received one single.

As we await new music from Candice, who I assume is no longer with 19, revisit this solid cut below!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Amazing Cover: "Say A Little Prayer" (Lianne La Havas)

During her Blood Solo Tour here in the States to support her Blood Solo EP which just recently dropped, Lianne La Havas covered the Queen of Soul's Ms. Aretha Franklin's iconic classic "Say A Little Prayer."

Performed and recorded at The New Parish in Oakland, CA on Feb 9th, 2016, Lianne's sweet soprano glides effortlessly across her own amplified guitar licks. Take a listen below and Enjoy!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

New Joint: "Time" (K. Michelle)

I don't know about you, but ever since K. Michelle previewed "Time" on her hit VH1 reality show My Life, I have been waiting for her to release it ahead of her third album More Issues Than Vogue, which is slated for release on March 25th.

With that said, my prayers have been answered as K. Michelle has released "Time" as the latest iTunes single from her forthcoming album. Take a listen to her sublime ballad "Time" below and if you haven't preordered More Issues Than Vogue, there is no time like the present.

Monday, February 22, 2016

New Video: "Work" (Rihanna ft. Drake)

Earlier today, Rihanna released the official video of "Work," her fourteenth #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. Rihanna also becomes the 1st Black female to top the Billboard Hot 100 with "Work" as lead artist since she did it with "Diamonds" in 2012. This gap on the charts is a bit surprising in my opinion and speaks to a larger issues regarding Black female musical production and the lack of attention/acclaim that these women often receive for their work.

With that said, Rihanna does not only give you one video but two for "Work, and she flawlessly captures the vibe in both videos. With that said, watch the official videos for "Work" below and Enjoy!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Podcast: "The Grammy Family" (The Backbeat)

In this week's episode of The Backbeat, Marcus and Kyera delve into the 2016 GRAMMY Awards where they talk about their favorite performances of the night as well as some of their disappointments. In addition to their favorite performances, we get into Taylor Swift's clapback to Kanye West's "Famous" from The Life of Pablo. Then we get into a track-by-track review of Kanye's latest LP and then come back to the GRAMMYs to shame them about their lack of inclusion and celebration of Black female artists.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Album Stream: "Nostalgia Movement No. 1" EP (Ledisi)

It feels like it's been forever since 2014's The Truth and to tide us over until her next studio album, Ledisi has released a three-track EP entitled Nostalgia Movement No. 1 which features her own take of some classic cuts.

The first song from her EP is "Settle For My Love," originally written and performed by Patrice Rushen and remixed by BNB Production with vocals from both Ledisi and Brittany B. Following comes Ledisi's take on The Isley Brothers' classic "I Once Had Your Lovin' Baby( And I Can't Let Go)," which was remixed by Erick Walls. Ledisi then closes out her set with the Natalie Cole smash hit "I've Got Love on My Mind," which Rex Rideout remixed for this sublime EP!

Take a listen below to Ledisi's sublime Nostalgia Movement No. 1 and Enjoy!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Live Clip: "No More Drama" (Mary J. Blige)

With the GRAMMY Awards airing live tonight on CBS, I thought it would be nice to revisit some of the best performances to ever grace the stage.

With that said, in 2002, Mary J. Blige lit up the stage at the Staples Center with a high-octane performance of her anthem "No More Drama." One of her first post-9/11 performances, Mary channeled the feeling and time into her emotive performance that took the energy to another level that night.

Watch Mary's performance of "No More Drama" below and Enjoy!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Song of the Day: "Can We Talk" (Tevin Campbell)

"Can We Talk" - Tevin Campbell
  • Writers: Babyface & Daryl Simmons
  • Producer: Babyface
  • Record Label: Warner Brothers Records
  • Released in 1993 from I'm Ready
  • Peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 & #1 on the Hot R&B Singles chart

Friday, February 12, 2016

New Joint: "Ain't You" (K. Michelle)

K. Michelle is gearing up to release her third studio album More Issues Than Vogue, slated for released on March 25th and ahead of the album's release, K. Michelle has released a new single "Ain't You."

Available now via pre-order on iTunes, along with the set's lead single "Not a Little Bit," "Ain't You" is another solid joint from one of music's underrated singer/songwriters.

With that said, take a listen below to "Ain't You" and lookout for More Issues Than Vogue on March 25th and get into these lyrics including one of my favorite passages "I done dodged so many ceremonies. Could have had 50 mill in alimony."

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Live Audio: "Alfie" (Whitney Houston)

During Whitney Houston's The Bodyguard World Tour, Houston often performed a sublime rendition of the standard "Alfie," made famous by Whitney's cousin Dionne Warwick. With that said, as we continue to honor her legacy, I though it would be right to offer up this live audio that was ripped during one of her 1994 concerts.

Take a listen below to her sublime rendition of "Alfie" below and continue to remember Whitney for her talent and the gift she blessed us with throughout the years.

Amazing Cover: "I Will Always Love You" (Zapp & Shirley Murdock)

Back in 1996, Roger and Zapp released their compilation album The Compilation: Greatest Hits II & More which featured some of Zapp's lesser-known singles and album tracks  and some joints from Roger Troutman. With that said, the famed group featured Shirley Murdock ("As We Lay") on their rendition of the then mega-hit and future iconic "I Will Always Love You," which just a few years earlier was made into the biggest song of Whitney Houston's career.

Who would've thought a country song originally by Dolly Parton would go through so many soulful iterations and end up in this funky gospel-tinged Zapp cut. Either way you feel, take a listen below to Zapp & Shirley Murdock transform "I Will Always Love You" and Enjoy!

Cut: "Memories" (Whitney Houston)

What I love about Twitter are the musical conversations I get into with a lot of fellow music lovers and a few months ago while talking about jazz and Whitney Houston, I was reminded of her phenomenal 1982 lead vocal on the brilliant "Memories."

Featured on Bill Wasel's experimental jazz-funk band Material's album One Down, "Memories" was Whitney Houston's first recorded lead vocal before she would go onto make her groundbreaking self-titled debut album Whitney Houston in 1985.

With that said, take a listen below to Whitney Houston's 1982 cut "Memories" as honor her legacy on the anniversary of her passing.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Song of the Day: "Step by Step" (Whitney Houston)

"Step by Step" - Whitney Houston
  • Writer: Annie Lennox
  • Producer: Stephen Lipson
  • Record Label: 
  • Released in 1997 from "The Preacher's Wife" soundtrack
  • Peaked at #15 on the Billboard Hot 100 & #29 on the Hot R&B Singles chart

Second Listen: "If This Isn't Love" (Jennifer Hudson)

I was listening to Jennifer Hudson's third studio album JHUD earlier today and I thought it would be nice to revisit some of her earlier discography including her Jennifer's single "If This Isn't Love."

While it was released after the momentum of her debut album had subsided a bit, the single still managed to peak at #5 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and #63 on the Hot 100 chart.

Take a second listen below to "If This Isn't Love" and Enjoy!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

New Video: "Formation" (Beyoncé)

Out of nowhere like a thief in the night, Beyoncé yet again stuns the world with her new video for "Formation." Whether this is for the lead single for her forthcoming sixth album, or just Beyoncé having fun, what is clear is that she continues to get better and better.

Taking directing credits for her most visually stunning video in her discography set in New Orleans, Beyoncé came to slay and that she does visually, lyrically, and with choreography. "Formation" is destined to be a hit and possibly performed tomorrow during the Super Bowl halftime show so start memorizing choreography now!

With that said, watch Beyoncé's new video for her new song "Formation," which features Big Freedia giving some testimony below and get your coin ready for the single and possible album release out of nowhere.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Live Clip: "Remember The Music" (Jennifer Hudson)

Jennifer Hudson has been taking Broadway by storm with her powerhouse performance as Shug Avery in The Color Purple Musical and during a moment off from the stage, Jennifer took to a rhersal space to offer up a sublime performance of "Remember The Music."

Lifted from Empire's first season where Jennifer Hudson guest starred in a multi-episode arch, Jennifer's piano-led ballad allowed her powerhouse vocals to command centerstage. Maybe it's just me, but her already impressive and powerhouse vocals have just gotten better since her American Idol and Dreamgirls days.

With that said, watch Jennifer Hudson's impressive performance of "Remember The Music" below and Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "I Will Always Love You" (Keke Wyatt)

Yesterday, Keke Wyatt took to YouTube to honor the late Ms. Whitney Elizabeth Houston also known as "The Voice" with her #KekeCovers series. Leaving the following message, Keke wanted to honor one of her inspirations and one of the greatest of all-time.
February 11, 2016 marks the four-year anniversary of the passing of one of the greatest voices of all times, Ms. Whitney Houston. She was my inspiration and a vocal force to be reckoned with. In honor of the musical legacy she left behind, I'm paying homage to Whitney with my next installment of #KekeCovers.
With that said, watch Keke's sublime cover of the Whitney Houston Bodyguard classic "I Will Always Love You" below as we continue to honor the late, great Ms. Whitney 'The Voice' Houston.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Song of the Day: "Be Ever Wonderful" (Earth, Wind, and Fire)

"Be Ever Wonderful" - Earth, Wind, and Fire
  • Writers: Maurice White, Larry Dunn
  • Producer: Maurice White
  • Record Label: Columbia Records
  • Featured on 1977's All n' All

Cut: "Light On" (Rebecca Ferguson)

Been getting back into Rebecca Ferguson as of late and while she has yet to officially release her sophomore album Freedom here in the States, she did release a new song this year, "Light On" overseas.

A powerful ballad, the instrumentation on "Light On" fits Rebecca's powerhouse husky vocals perfectly and allows her best asset, her vocal prowess take center stage. Written by Alexander Geringas and Nikki Leonti and produced by Geringas, it was released at the tail end of 2013 in German and is such an underrated gem in my book.

Take a listen to "Light On" below and Enjoy!

Remix: "Say It" (Chrisette Michele)

2016 is turning a big year for GRAMMY-winner Chrisette Michele as she gets ready to release her forthcoming album Milestone, get married, and drop a mixtape steady Gang Mix, which is slated for release on February 27th.

With that said, to build buzz for her forthcoming mixtape, Chrisette released her own smooth take on Tory Lanez breakout hit "Say It," which samples the Brownstone classic "If You Love Me."

With that said, the remix is said to be featured on Chrisette's February 27th mixtape Steady Gang Mix, and after Tory's disappointing performance of his single on Jimmy Kimmel Live! (maybe he was under the weather or nervous), her take is a welcomed remix in my opinion.

Second Listen: "Hollywood" (Rufus ft. Chaka Khan)

Back in 1977 Rufus released their platinum album Ask Rufus and the second single from the set "Hollywood" would go onto become a solid hit for the group peaking at #3 on the Hot Soul Singles chart and #32 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Though the lead single "At Midnight (My Love Will Lift You Up)" would go onto become the biggest hit from Ask Rufus, "Hollywood" in my book is the biggest classic from the album and is such a solid thumper that deserves a second listen. Therefore, take a second listen to "Hollywood" below and Enjoy!