Friday, October 30, 2009

Finally a 50 Cent Track Worth Listening to....

Off 50's upcoming album, Before I Self Destruct. If you look at the tracklist of his new album, there's definitely a on paper to be excited about with a track by Timbo, three by Dre, one by Storch, as well as a Primo cut.

Unfortunately, 50 has set the bar a little too high for himself in saying:

“I'm excited. The new album Before I Self Destruct is out November 23rd, I had a longer period of time to make this album, so I think this is the one fans could say is better than Get Rich Or Die Trying.”

Needless to say, I'm not giving him a snowball's chance in hell at selling over 13 million copies. But, take it for what it's worth, the track is well put together with a couple hot verses...hopefully Em keeps this up so that Relapse 2 won't be as big of a flop as Relapse. Dre absolutely carried the weight on this track with the dramatic strings throughout the song. Check it out:

50 Cent feat Eminem - Psycho (prod by Dr. Dre) Hoooottt!!!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New Ne-Yo - Never Knew I Needed

"You were the best thing I never knew I needed....

Ne-Yo - Never Knew I Needed Hooot New R&B!!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Emotionally Charged New Singles...Chris Brown and Rihanna

By now we all known how it went down between Chris and Rihanna that fateful night where they went from America's hottest young couple, to another sad example of a high profile domestic violence case.

Since then apologies have been made, physical scars have healed and although much of his fan base has eroded due to his violent act, I predict that America will continue to be the forgiving country it has always been and slowly warm up to CB's music again. He'll continually be haunted by his mistake (as he should be) and be fighting an uphill battle with public appeal...

With that being said, both Chris and Rihanna are now turning to music to vent about what went down. The first instance of this will be when you hear Rihanna's new single Russian Roulette, which is extremely vivid depiction of the struggle that anyone goes through in a domestic violence riddled relationship. The chorus tells it all:

"And you can see my heart beating
You can see it through my chest
And I’m terrified but I’m not leaving
Know that I must must pass this test
So just pull the trigger"

The theme sticks with you in a very honest, I've been there sort of way and I'd argue that although she's accurately comparing staying in a battered relationship to rolling the dice by playing Russian Roulette, the brutal imagery with the gunshot at the end of the song may be a little much for the younger demographic of her fans. Just sayin', I was a little taken aback the first time I heard it, but hopefully it has the desired effect of shedding some light on domestic violence...give it a listen:

Rihanna - Russian Roulette First Single Off Rated R!!!

On the other side of the fence, we have CB, who is doing his best to get back in the game with a hot first single with Captain Cameo, none other than Weezy F. Check the video if you haven't seen Transform Ya:

Put it this way, he did what he needed to do to get himself back on the radio with the track(I mean honestly even if people hate on him, they'll make the excuse that they like it because of Lil Wayne, let's be honest). The second single is him putting in his time with an "I want you back and I'm willing to rebuild from the ground up" effort with his song Crawl.

"Everybody sees it's you
I'm the one that lost the view
Everybody says we're through
I hope you haven't said it too

So where do we go from here
With all this fear in our eyes
And where can love take us now
And we've been so far down
We can still touch the sky"

Needless to say, it's a slow to mid-tempo ballad that shows his softer side. He's always done a great job at crafting slow jams, so this is right up his alley and will definitely have some radio appeal. He's 1 for 2 in my opinion on singles on his new album Graffiti with this single being the less successful of the two. Check out Crawl:

Chris Brown - Crawl Second Single off Graffiti!!

As a bonus, here's a continuation of his song Crawl as he continues to lament the end of his relationship with his song So Cold, saying:

"If you ever see her
If you ever meet her
If you ever get a chance to sit down, talk to her
Then tell her it's so cold
It's so cold, it's so cold
Here without her
And tell her I miss her
Tell her I need her
Tell her I want her
I really want her to come back home, back to keep me warm
Tell her I'm sorry, I'm really sorry
Can you forgive me?
Please forgive me
And come back home, keep me safe and warm"

Check out the track, it's a much better effort at a single as Polow lays a picturesque piano beat to set the vibe for an "I'm missin you" "I'm so lonely and cold" type track.

Chris Brown - So Cold (prod by Polow Da Don) Great Ballad!!!

Needless to say, both young artists are using the experience as an emotional springboard for their new albums. As a result, we as fans get an out pour of emotionally charged music from two extremely talented pop stars. I'm betting both albums will end up being one of their best and I hope that as we fans benefit from their inspired work, they will also grow and continue to mature musically and in life through all this...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Who Rocked it Better? B.O.B. or Wale...The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony Sample

The Verve

B.O.B. Wale/Colin Munroe

DJ Toomp

Ah yes one of the more notable songs of the late 1990s. In fact, I bet you didn't know it was ranked as the 382nd Best Song of All time by Rolling Stone Magazine. Pretty lofty ranking in my opinion, but personally my fondest memory of this song came at the end of the film Cruel Intentions:

What a great movie, big fan of both Sarah Michelle and Reese, but that's not what this post is about...

What's important here is that an extremely underrated producer (DJ Toomp) did a great job at taking the sample and tweaking it ever so slightly in an attempt to make it sound "Hip Hop." First of all if you're unfamiliar with DJ Toomp, here are a few of his most notable productions: What You Know About That - T.I., Can't Tell Me Nothing - Kanye West (bonus: video feat Zack Galifianakis)...funny), Good Life - Kanye West, I Luv It - Young Jeezy and most notably my favorite T.I. song Dope Boyz. As you can tell his sound is dependent on a heavy bassline and attention-grabbing synth/percussion that usually results in a LOUD, not-to-be-messed with sound.

Add to Toomp's beat two top 10 members of the Hip Hop Freshman Class of 2009 and you've got yourself a decent battle for best song. Give them both a listen...

The Original Song:

The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony Classsssic!!!!

The new tracks sampled by DJ Toomp:

Wale feat Colin Munroe - Bittersweet Life (prod by DJ Toomp) Hottttt New Single!!!!

Born Wit It feat B.O.B. - Stack Ur Paper Up (prod by DJ Toomp)
New B.O.B.!!!!

GWDJ Verdict: While neither will surpass the massive radio play the original song by the Verve got, I do believe Wale's version of the track will become a notable single and get his and Colin Munroe's name out to pop culture. I really liked B.O.B.'s verse on his version of the track, but Wale's verses are very well put together and in general I believe Wale > B.O.B., but both are rising stars that are soon to be household names. Wale/Colin/Toomp did the sample justice and I personally can't press next every time the song comes across the iPod.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Top R&B Slow Jam of October: One Call - Crash (prod by Darkchild)

Who in the world is One Call you ask? Well if you went with new boyband, you're right and even better they're formed with...yep you guessed it, ex members of boybands. I know, you can't even make something that crazy up right?...haha.

The members of the group include two former members of the new version of Menudo group (Chris Moy and José Bordonada Collazo) along with former member of NLT, Justin Thorne, and non-boyband affiliated newcomer Anthony Gamlieli.

Anyways, this track is a picturesque lullaby that has Darkchild's hand prints allll over it. I'd argue you could have plugged in just about any R&B act here and the song would have been great, but I also don't want to take away from the powerful vocals provided by One Call. The do an excellent job of painting a picture of looking out for that girl that you know has lost perspective and just needs to take a deep breath, step back and relax, knowing that you're there for them and they're not alone in whatever they are going through. Guys you know what I'm talkin' bout, that feeling you get when you see a girl close to you get really overwhelmed by something in their life...almost to a point where you feel like saying, "yo slow down B, there's no good reason to stress, it'll all eventually work out, life's too short to waste it worryin' about what could happen especially when you'll always have me in your corner." Unfortunately that message oftentimes falls on deaf ears and a some continue to fear they're gonna crash and aren't willing to let you take a hold of the wheel because they don't want you to get hurt and be a part of collateral damage as a result of the crash ...

...but that's neither here nor there, either way don't sleep on this one, One Call does the slow jam justice by giving the track the emotional depth it needs to hit home with the audience.

Give it a listen, it's one of Darkchild's better slow jam, piano ballads...

One Call - Crash (prod by Darkchild)
Great Slow Jam!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Jason Derulo - Whatcha Say (Acoustic Version)

Now that everyone is fully aware of Jason Derulo's potential and have done their absolute best to ware out his hit Whatcha Say on the radio, as it currently sits at the #4 single on Billboard, just ahead of Run This Town by Jay-Z (to give a little perspective).

Anyways just in case you were sick of the original version and crave the organic, piano/acoustic feel of songs because it strips away the production and shows true talent, here's J Derulo's spirited "candlelight" version of Whatcha Say. Although JR Rotem did much of the legwork in producing a beat that is cocaine to radio waves, I would argue this version does more for his credibility because he gets to show off his vocals more. I also really enjoy the fact that they found a way to keep the sample in the acoustic version, so that it maintains that high quality feel, but is different enough that you feel like you're getting something different and in some ways better.

Check it out...

Jason Derulo - Whatcha Say (Acoustic Version)
Better Than the Radio Version!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New Timbaland: Shock Value 2...COMING SOON!

With Timbaland's Shock Value 2 set to be released on November 23rd, there is a lot of good music to be excited about in the near future. We have a Fray, Daughtry, Keri Hilson and Chris Brown, One Repblic and most notably a Drake collabo to look forward to on the album.

We've been mostly teased with snippets, but now there are two really quality tracks floating around that deserve more than a few listens. The first being the first single, titled Morning After Tomorrow that showcases a disgustingly well put together beat by Timbo and the up and coming, sexy French artist SoShy (yea I know, heads up Keri Hilson). Give it a listen and please mind the beat ride out at the end...ridiculous what Timbo can do with that Beaterator...

Timbaland feat SoShy - Morning After Tomorrow (prod by Timbaland) First Single off Shock Value 2!!!

The second track has been out for a while now, but recently a higher quality version found its way on the net, so do yourself a favor and pay some homage to Timbo's creativity with this rolling, booty shakin, percussive massacre...with a lil Teddy Pain on the top...

Timbaland feat T-Pain & Missy Elliot - Talk that Shit (prod by Timabaland) Crrrazzzy Beat!!!

The track I'm most excited about (for obvious reasons) is the collabo with Drizzy Drake titled Say Something. Drake is definitely on more of an R&B tip with this track and it's weird hearing him on an attention grabbing beat. I'm not sure if I like it as much honestly, it's kinda like mixing peanut butter and salmon...great separately, but I dunno. Jury is still out on this one, I'm not writing it off yet and I'll probably end up liking it, but for now, take the 2 min snippet for what it's worth....

Timbaland feat Drake - Say Something (prod by Timbaland)
Collabo of the Month!!!

And just cause I'm feelin' generous, give Timbo's collabo with Shakira and Lil Wayne a listen. This track was initially slated for Shock Value 2, but now it's supposed to be Shakira's second US single despite it being conspicuously missing from her album?? Guess that was probably planned to get people to buy the Deluxe Edition? Anyways give it a listen...

Shakira feat Lil Wayne & Timbaland - Give It Up To Me (prod by Timbaland)
Hootttt R&B!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Classic Drake....Say U Will Freestyle in Concert

What made me most upset when I witnessed Drizzy tear his knee up on stage was that I was not going to get a chance to see him craft a "Philly" version of his Say U Will Freestyle that eminently fades into one of my favorite and most introspective tracks of him, Say What's Real.

Anyways here are three different renditions of said Freestyle. It's a shame that the whole video of his Homecoming concert in Toronto is nowhere to be found anymore on the internet because I will gladly admit spending 45 minutes of my time watching it in it's entirety.

Say U Will Freestyle in Toronto at his Homecoming Concert

Say U Will Freestyle in New Haven, Connecticut

Say U Will Freestyle live in Chicago

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

October Remixes: Imogen Heap, Kid Cudi, David Guetta, Jay Sean feat Lil Wayne

Lots of good remixes came to my attention this are a few:

Imogen Heap - Hide and Seek (RAS Remix) Hot!!!

David Guetta Ft. Akon, Lil Jon & Francisco - Sexy Bitch (Hotfingaz Remix) Hott!!!
Kid Cuid - Day n Nite (Crookers Remix) Hottt!!!

Jay Sean feat Lil Wayne - Down (Remix) Remix of the Month!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Entourage Season 6...Different, But Better Than Expected

First of all if you haven't watched Entourage, you need to. At least give it a chance and please don't use the excuse that you don't have HBO because as we all know, you can watch anything online for free these days.

As far as Season 6 is concerned, it was definitely not what I was expecting. I envisioned another Vinny Chase + Ari Gold driven Season that would be dominated by Vinny's struggle or rise again to the top of the movie industry. That wasn't even close to the main theme this season as the writers decided to invest heavily in the supporting characters and somewhat elevate them to "star" status, in some ways putting them on Vinny's level.

It starts off with Turtle, whom before Season 6 was on the bottom of the totem pole when it came to being more than an auxiliary member of the Entourage crew, and we didn't really know more about him other than he could drive Vinny around and he hustled to make ends meet. After a season dominated by his dream come true relationship with Jamie Lynn and his out of nowhere motivation to go back to school at UCLA, he was abruptly left with his heart on his lap by Jamie at the end of Season 6. I look forward to Season 7 and seeing where Turtle goes with his college journey and seeing if he stays in touch with Jamie. Despite Turtle being heart broken on TV, he's still he's still managing to out kick his coverage in real life,as he has been dating Jamie Lynn Siegler for almost a year now. Go Turtle!

...which brings us to our next Season 6 pimp/relationship car wreck Eric Murphy. For me he stole the show this season and for the most part was the main character. So many episodes were spent detailing his move from his own Management company to Murray Berenson's company and his roller coaster dating live involving Sloan and Ashley. Midway through the season I asked you all whom E would end up with and 58% of you accurately chose that he would eventually end up with Sloan.

To be completely honest, I really liked E with Ashley because I had always though he was over-extending himself with Sloan and they had never really been on the same page the way E and Ashley seemed to be. Too bad, like so many relationships, trust became an issue and it ended violently with E breaking it off with Ashley. Needless to say, the finale was epic with E's proposal just when you thought there was no chance in hell they would ever work out, which provided a feel good ending to a great Season. We'll see how engaged life turns out in Season 7, but I anticipate E's role in Season 7 being more about his career life than chasing after women...that is unless he starts getting a bored with Sloan and adding gas to that spark he has with his new secretary. Now 87% of you thought Sloan was clearly hands down sexier than Ashley, which I reluctantly agree with...but the plot thickened at the end of Season 6 with Kate Mara, or Brittany as she is known on the show, joining the show. Her influence could make his new engagement to Sloan a little more interesting because she is lil red-headed dime piece in my humble opinion.

Exhibit 1:

Let's just hope she manages to be less psycho than Ashley so that it will be an interesting Season 7.

Now I couldn't go through a Season 6 review without mentioning Johnny Drama. He has always been good for the one liners throughout the first 5 seasons, but this season he seemed to actually make something of himself when he ended up with a holding deal after being turned down for his Melrose Place gig. It seems like Season 6 all Drama really did was play the skeptical friend who tried standing up for every single crew member of Entourage. He stood up for Vinny with the stalker, stood up for Turtle when he thought Jamie was getting hit on and continued to constantly badger E about his Sloan/Ashley dilemma. I hope he continues to get more lines in Season 7.

I also really liked the whole Ari and Lloyd subplot. As usual, Ari had the best lines of Season 6, here is a 5 minute clip of Ari's best Season 6 lines:

I can't wait for his conquest to take over the world in Season 7 since he just took over Terrance McQueick's agency. I also gotta give Perrey Reeves (Ari's wife) some credit, she plays her character well, putting up with all of Ari's crap and still managing to reel him back to real life and keep his ego in check on an episode by episode basis.

All in all Season 6 was a very pleasant surprise and solidified my belief that Entourage is the best show on TV right now hands down.

Last thing, for those of you who missed the end of the credit tirade that Matt Damon went on at the end of Season 6, go ahead and check it out, it's hilarious. You won't get it unless you watched the episode, but its still funny and great acting.

Side Note: Interesting rumor that Vinny chase is hooking up with Ari's wife in real life.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Concert Review: Daps and Lbs. to Asher Roth

You ever go into a show thinking "ya know what this concert has some potential to be good"...then you start thinking of the potential things that could make the concert noteworthy. Let's list the possible ingredients for a tasty show:

1. They gotta play your favorite least a couple, to add to likability and make you feel like you got what you were paying for.

2. The venue has to be fitting for the concert...i.e. acoustic artists, sometimes better in a more intimate setting...and Hip Hop concerts, generally overrated for big venues.

3. The biggest and most underrated aspect of the concert is the crowd. Are they actually fans of the artist? Is it going to be overly crowded? Will it be hard to get around to get drinks or go to the bathroom?

3.5 The energy of the performer(s) is a big aspect too ...and I listed it as 3.5 because a lot of the time the performer feeds off the energy of the crowd and whether or not they are into the show. Don't you hate it when you know the artist just isn't into though? I've been to a few concerts where it has seemed like the artist mailed it in and there really is nothing worse than that.

4.Timing. When I say timing I mean a couple things. First, does the main act come on at a predictable time? (we've all showed up too late and missed part of the show or have been left waiting til 1 AM waiting for the main act to make an appearance).
Is the act waaay too short? (leaving you wanting more and feeling like you didn't get your money's worth). Is this at the beginning or end of the tour? (we've all seen the first act of a tour and said man that show is going to be a lot better towards the end of the tour).

5.Intangibles. This can be anything from the warm up act that you haven't even heard of that ends up stealing the show to a hometown show for an artist or you had such great seats that you felt so big time it didn't matter if you expected Jay-Z and got Soulja Boy cause you were right there practically on the stage.

I needed to preface my review of Asher Paul Roth's concert at Crocodile Rock on October 9th with those ingredients because I was lucky enough to be in attendance at easily one of the top 10 best concerts I have ever seen. You may ask, well that doesn't say much who all have you seen? To list a few, Lenny Kravitz, Black Crows, Citizen Cope, John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band, Lil Wayne, Puddle of Mudd, Trapt, O.A.R., Marc Broussard, Counting Crows, Wyclef, De La Soul, Black Eyed Peas, Lupe Fiasco, The Roots, Freeway, Young Jeezy, 311, Howie Day, Gavin Degraw, Fall Out Boy, Will Hoge to name a few...

Why was it so good you may ask? Mostly because it was a hometown crowd (Ash is from Bucks County, literally less than 45 mins south of the venue), a small, relatively intimate, non-crowded venue filled with fans that were very familiar to his music.

The closest comparison I can give you as far as venue and crowd is concerned is the final battle from 8 mile. And that is not because it's convenient to compare him to Eminem, that's definitely not what I'm trying to do, it merely provides the canvas I'm trying to paint here with everyone following Asher's every command throwin' their hands in the air from left to right as he killed all our favorite cuts from the start with his best tracks like Lark on my Go Kart to Roth Boys , to Be By Myself, to my personal favorite Sour Patch Kids even to his verse from his newest single with Keri Hilson titled She Don't Wanna Man.

Track after track he stole the audience's attention, refusing to give it back til he was done makin' sure everyone was havin' a good time. He even took us on a lil journey through PA to his younger days of Blunt Crusin, which truth be told wasn't even close to one of my favorite cuts from Asleep in the Bread Aisle, but that quickly changed after hearing his rendition of the track.

Yea it helped that I was about 10 feet away from him with an unimpeded view with plenty of easy access to relatively cheap ($4 at a concert isn't bad these days) drinks, but I could have been wedged in a crowd of people and still enjoyed the show, which ended (of course) with him playing I Love College.

We all thought it was the end of the show until he blessed us with the fresstyle that helped him get noticed enough to end up blessing us with a classic mixtape (Greenhouse Effect) shortly after. If you're not sure what freestyle I'm talking about then shame on you, do yourself a favor and give his A Millie freestyle a listen here.

All in all it was the perfect storm for a great concert. I got to hear most of my favorite cuts from Asher (although I would have appreciated hearing Fallin' and maybe even his verse from Change Gon' Come, but that's a little picky), I had a great seat in a fitting venue where the crowd and energy was 100% what Hip Hop should embody - nothin' but positive energy with people gettin' hype enjoying great music.

A+ Ash, keep doin' your thang man, you've earned my respect and I look forward to you furthering your stance as one of the true up and coming emcees in the game.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Who Rocked it Better? Beyonce or Brandy - Slow Love

Real tough call on this one...two of R&B's best goin' after the same ballad. I'm guessing most will pick Beyonce just because of name recognition and popularity, but you can't discount Brandy's vocals, she's been known to drop a few notable ballads.

Beyonce - Slow Love (prod by Stargate)
Brandy - Slow Love (prod by Stargate)

GWDJ Verdict: Gotta push on this one, too hard to call...which is why I'm pretty glad they made this into a ballad. Huge fan of the ballad nonetheless, you don't hear many female duets and this one is absolutely on point. Best of both worlds in my opinion. Great track, give it a listen.

Beyonce & Brandy - Slow Love Duet (prod by Stargate) Great Duet!!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Windows 7 is Here

Occasionally I like to chime in on tech related items and with Windows 7 now being released for retail use on October 22, I thought I'd donate my two pennies.

First of all I am fully aware of the skepticism that comes with another release of a Windows operating system. I for one was guilty of riding the XP bandwagon for years, mostly surpassing the release of Windows Vista. Like many other people, I wasn't in a rush to warm up to the changes that Vista promised to bring, especially when the changes had a fairly negligible impact on my personal computer experience.

With this new release of an operating system, Microsoft not only has to deal with users questioning why Windows 7 (which is very similar, both in build and look to Vista) is going to be that much better than Vista (which was less popular than XP to begin with), they also have to deal with a much larger demographic of users who have abandoned Microsoft altogether for Mac's operating System Leopard or the newly released Snow Leopard. Mac has continued to stay ahead of the curve as far as security and susceptibility to viruses is concerned, which is why I don't blame the average user for switching to Mac.

(*As an aside I dislike dealing with Macs on a daily basis because since they are scarce in an business office setting and as a result don't usually play well with corporate networking and other PCs. For the average user, though, Macs are great and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend buying one).

Here's the thing though...after I finally gave Windows Vista Ultimate a chance when I installed it on a PC that could handle Vista's specs with a 2.67 GHz dual core processor with 4 GB worth of RAM, it ended up being a really good decision. I am now a fan on Vista because as long as you have the right hardware backing it up, it can be a really solid operating system.

...which brings me to what I'm posting about, Windows 7. If you are a student or at least have a .edu email address, there is no reason why you shouldn't take advantage of Microsoft offering you Windows 7 for only $29.99. If you're interested, feel free and go use your .edu address to go and cop it for that low $29.99 price. The offer is good until January 3rd, 2010, so you've got a few more months to think about.

I can personally say, if you have at least 2 GB worth of RAM under the hood, you will not regret installing Windows 7. I was one of those nerds who downloaded a release candidate of Windows 7 last year and used Windows Virtual PC to test drive it in both 32 bit and 64 bit. I have gradually used it more and more and I think it deserves some more love because as long as you can keep an open mind and get away from that crutch that is Windows XP, you will end up liking Windows 7.

And if you're not sold on the whole $30 for an operating system that will cost regular consumers $199 then go here and download a free Windows 7 90 day trial, license key and all.

And while you're at it, use that .edu address to get a copy of Office 2007 for only $60.

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