Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"Oh Yes Oh Yes I'm Fresh as Hell"

Not only is @realchiddy one of the most unassuming Hip Hop World Record holders, he and his partner in crime @xaphoonjones are about to serve up a Denny's Grand Slam quality Breakfast in the form on a studio debut album. I'll put it this way, if their "real" debut album, that dropped about a week ago on February 21st, is half as good as both their EPs (The Opposite of Adults EP, Chiddy Bang: The Preview), I'll be satisfied.

Waaay back in July I posted their lead single off Breakfast titled Mind Your Manners. I'm not sure they could have picked a better lead single, but to be honest I haven't heard more than these two tracks and Baby Roulette so I can't really judge yet. As an aside, it's great to see more artists collaborating with @chip216 and allowing him to finally start becoming a household name. I've heard too many @chuckisdope beats where Chip goes in and rips it up to think he's anything but under-appreciated.

The production of Xaphoon Jones is a great thing to bank on for @chiddybang because as a writer and fan of their music, I always know that there's going to be a standard quality level on the instrumentals. If more bands had such a high standard of quality, I'd probably link the hell out of all of their posts too in support. For now I'll stick with Chiddy because they rep my current city to the absolute fullest...#TeamSwelly
Chiddy Bang feat Chip tha Ripper - Extra Well

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"Cause All of Us Would Be Angels for Pujol's Bread"

What a pleasant surprise today coming home to @funkmasterflex leaking @darealslaughter's new single Hammer Dance. Yep you guessed it, it's play on words paying homage to @mchammer's dance, while keeping it gangsta referring to the firearm component. The track will server as the lead single off their upcoming @shadyrecords debut Welcome to: Our House, due out May 15th.

The key takeaway here is the deadly combination of @araabmuzik producing a beat for four of the fiercest lyricists on the planet. His beats have been known to be a grimy as sink mildew and when matched with Slaughterhouse, it's a wrap. Also interesting was @royceda59 chipping in the hook instead of a verse. I say that because I would have loved to hear a full 16 from him on this beat, but what can you do, it's only one track on the album.

All in all, a rock solid start to what should be one of the my most anticipated releases this year...#ShadyAftermath

Slaughterhouse - Hammer Dance (prod by araabMUZIK)

Monday, February 27, 2012

"My Shadow Days Are Over Now"

It's been a little over two years since John Mayer pulled together an album, which makes today's release of his new single an even bigger breath of fresh air. Shadow Days is slated to be the lead single off his upcoming album Born and Raised, due out sometime in 2012.

Why reinvent the wheel if you're travelling faster than everyone else who is walking? That's my response to the music critic who says Shadow Days is just like any other, slow, twangy Mayer track. It's got what you'd expect from the lament soaked lyrics, to the bluegrass inspired piano and guitar riffs behind soft vocals. Smart is what I'd call launching a landing page on your site the day that your first single leaks. It's interesting to note, he's shying away from the arenas in favor of more intimate auditorium venues. I've seen John in concert I want to say three times in the past decade and every time, it was a big huge sold out show. I'm intrigued at the thought of him choosing to go a quieter, more reserved route on his upcoming tour.

My only request is FREE DAVID RYAN HARRIS!!! He's on my concert bucket list and when I witnessed Ernie Halter's cover of Pretty Girl, it reminded me of how great of a vocalist he is. I know @drh3 is probably making bank touring with you and playing guitar/providing backup vocals, but he's just as talented as Javier Colon and more people need to know his name rather than recognizing him on stage behind you...#My2Cents

John Mayer - Shadow Days

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Concert Review Javier Colon

If you've ever been to Glenside, PA, it's probably because you were trying to get to Philly and get swallowed up in the maze of it's northern suburbs. Even though I live near Philly, I still can't say I had ever ventured to Glenside, but when you invite a star with a great voice and put him in an old school theater that is 84 years old (Keswick Theater) and has great acoustics, I'll find a way to make it.

Luckily for me, the concert didn't start until 7:30, which gave me plenty of time to make the trip down to Philly, grab some Chipotle and even check out the Willow Grove Mall. When I arrived to Keswick with my stunning date, I was surprised to see that less than half of the seats were filled. Coming fresh off winning NBC's The Voice, I figured there would be a pretty sizeabale following for @javstwtr. Still, instead of thinking "hmm I wonder if the people who didn't buy tickets know something I don't know", I chalked it up to the event being rescheduled and considered myself lucky that the kind ushers at Keswick were allowing us to move up to the front 10 rows...#Sweet

Coming into the concert I had never heard of the two opening acts, @erniehalter and @kevin___daniel. During both of their sets, I found myself enjoying their music enough to start taking down some song titles to research post-concert. The first act, Kevin Daniel is a spitting image of @GAVINDEGRAW vocally. From the solo keyboard to the smooth, soulful voice, he's got it. Apologies for not at least partially documenting his performance, but below is his best song to date in my opinion, Better Than Gold.

Kevin Daniel - Better Than Gold

Next up was Ernie Halter, who had a stage presence and sense of humor that kept everyone well in tuned to his solo acoustic set. From his Justin Bieber story to the story of how his now wife loaned him her car to tour the country after they had just met, he was downright entertaining. I liken his voice to Marc Broussard because of the bluesy soul undertones that come from his vocals. He does a pretty damn good Gavin Degraw impression himself, but I still enjoyed his song Lighthouse the most. Below is a clip of him joining Javier onstage to cover Bill Withers's classic Use Me Up...
That brings me to the main event, where Javier was joined onstage by his band of personalities. I say that because it was really difficult to not pay attention to his bassist "Big Sexy" gyrates wildly throughout the show. I'll put it this way, if any of us liked anything half as much as he enjoys music, we'd all wake up on the right side of the bed every morning.
The great thing about seeing Javier isn't just his incredible voice, it's hearing his version of classics like Time After Time (Cyndi Lauper), Man in the Mirror (Michael Jackson) and Fix You (Coldplay). Shame on me for admitting this, but I had yet to hear his entire album prior to the concert. All I knew is that I really liked Stitch by Stitch and I wanted to hear more of his music.

Hear more is exactly what I did when he went through the majority of tracks on his new album Come Through For You. From his new track Stand Up with @ADAMLEVINE to his heartfelt Ok, Here's the Truth, he's got a lot of stuff that most people haven't heard that is awesome. My personal favorite from the concert (hands down) was his cover of Adele's Someone Like You, but a close second was his newest single A Drop in the Ocean featuring @NATASHABDNFIELD...
Even though Javier has been in the music industry for almost 10 years, it's great to see people are now starting to catch on to how talented of an artist he is. All in all, I left feeling like the intimate setting was perfect for the lineup that played and I woulds strongly recommend both Keswick Theater and Javier Colon (and company). Oh yea, did I mention the free parking? #RareTheseDays

Javier Colon - A Drop in the Ocean

Saturday, February 25, 2012

"You Say You Never Had it So Good"

All you need to know about the track below is that is is performed by @bobatl and Ryan Tedder wrote and produced it. It's a simple formula that will ultimately end up being successful without fail. To compare, it's a little more pop, sing-alogy compared to Strange Clouds, but the tone of the track sounds like a lot of stuff on his first album like Don't Let Me Fall.

If you remember, I gave his first album a 4.5 headphone out of 5 rating for it's undeniable front to back quality. By my count he's a solid 3 for 3 on single choices for Strange Clouds, but what I'm really looking forward to is the album's lesser known tracks. I say that because tracks like Ghost in the Machine and Lovlier Than You ended up being the tracks I liked most and those were two of the least publicized tracks on the album.

You better believe when his new album drops on May 15th, I will be thoroughly combing metal detector in the sand style for hidden gems. Right now I've got my eye on So Hard to Breathe featuring @iamseangarrett, which is the sequel to Don't Let Me Fall and I'm holding out hope that a finished version of 5 on the Kush will make the final tracklist. Expectations are high after the first album, but from what it's sounding like, there won't be a sophomore slump...#SamBradford

B.O.B. - So Good (prod by Ryan Tedder)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Videos of the Week Feb 24th

Great mix of different content this week with a classic @nbcsnl skit, some top notch concert videos featuring @kanyewest and @drake, ending with a @jlin7 interview where he shouts out his favorite music types. It's probably a toss up for me for most noteworthy video on this post, but it'd have to be between seeing @chuckisdope and @asherroth in studio working on music together and seeing Drake in concert. It's been too long since I've seen him live and I still haven't gotten out post Thank Me Later, so there's a lot I have to still see. I'm still trying to see @THECOOLKIDS in concert five years later, but hope to catch them opening for your boy @macmiller this spring.

As a little spoiler alert, it's looking like my concert tour this spring is going to be heavy on the electronic/dubstep. Maybe a little @nerouk, possibly some @bassnectar and most likely some @skrillex...#StayTuned
SNL Sketch Jay-Z Beyonce Baby & Justin Timberlake Plays Bon Iver

Chuck Inglish in studio with Asher Roth

Drake Performing Yolo in Nashville

Drake Performing We'll Be Fine in Nashville

Drake Performing HYFR in Nashville

Kanye's 7 Min Say U Will Freestyle in Australia (Funny/Autotune)

Jeremy Lin Listens to Mellow Christian Rock

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Gorillaz x LCD Soundsystem x Outkast

I'll put it this way, when blogs start raving about a collaboration three weeks before a track is set to be released, it's probably going to pretty big. Sure it helps to hype it up and reveal mysterious cover art, but I'm not sure I could have imagined a more interesting group of artists getting together on one track. Needless to say, when I learned that the mystery collaboration was going to be @gorillazband, James Murphy of @lcdsoundsystem and Andre 3000 of Outkast, I Googled around for at least 15 minutes (which is an eternity on Google) trying to learn about how in the hell this was happening.

I mean that in a dumbfounded, but in a good way type of tone too because I'm a fan individually of all three of them. I'd even venture to say that between James Murphy and Three Stacks, you've got two of the most independent thinking artist of my time. That means the track has to be better than a chipotle burrito to a hungover college student, right? Huge credit needs to be given to Converse for having the audacity to pull together such an ambitious Molotov of talent on one track, but I like it to combining your three favorite foods together. I mean I like peanut butter, cheese and a good cognac, but would I ever combine those three together? Ummmm...rhetorical doesn't do justice to that statement. Only really awesome thing that came out of this track is Andre's off the chain verse that set the lyrical creativity bar up a notch with his onomatopoeia based display of nonesense tied together nicely ("Asinine ass, and a gorgeous coochie").

It's interesting reading Pitchfork's interview with James Murphy and @damonalbarn of the Gorillaz. From what it sounds like, they really clicked in studio and it all just flowed well together. I honestly wish really badly that I liked the track more, I really do. Oh well, hopefully there's a round two and even if there isn't please lord...let LCD and/or Outkast get back together for one more album. Hell I'll even take a cameo concert from either, I'm not asking for much!...#2012Wishes

Gorillaz ft. James Murphy & Andre 3000 – Do Ya Thing

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Avicii and Nicky Say No to School

The short story goes like this...@avicii and @nickyromero got together and made one hell of an electronic anthem together. The song does not have a title yet, but for fun it was temporarily named ID (F*** School) until it is officially released. Honestly, I don't care if the track is called Green Eggs and Ham with a soda on the side, this dance track is absolutely disgusting. It has active, upbeat synths that melt together flawlessly throughout the track's continual energy build ups and drops.

You may recognize the sample from the French electronic duo Justice's song D.A.N.C.E.. With over 10 million views of their video for the track, I'm betting you've heard it somewhere along the way, but press play below for a refresher.

Even though Avicii will get the lions share of the credit on this one because he is the Jeremy Lin of dance music right now, don't discount the talented contribution Nicky Romero provided the track. Just over two weeks ago I posted his spot on remix of Kelly Clarkson's newest hit Stronger, which has continued to get added to any and every dance playlist I've made this month. My guess is, we'll look back at this track in about a year and go daaaaammmnnn that was a special collaboration that we should have appreciated more when it first dropped.

Call this post a big ass spoonful of appreciation before the fact...#Enjoy

Avicii & Nicky Romero feat Justice - ID (F*** School)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

"I Was Born Ready to Fight, Forever and Tonight"

It's been more than a little while since I heard something new come out of the @colinmunroe camp, so you can imagine how sweet it was to hear his new single featuring @pusha_t. No word on what new album this will land on, but where there's a lead single, there has to be an eventual album.

The most noteworthy quality of The Fight of My Life is the serene, Pure Moods quality backdrop that gives the track an otherworldly feeling to it. The energy build up from the mellow verses to the excitable hook is a suitable contrast that is intriguing and does a good job spotlighting Colin's ability as a vocalist. The distorted sample of someone saying "faaaalling" sounds like something @timbaland would do and has done in the past. Although Pusha's verse is attention grabbing off top, I wish his verse was more heavily highlighted. I feel like it's hard to understand what he's saying because the track jumps into his verse and the background claps drown out his vocals.

Still, a very formidable first single from Colin that I will continue to keep in heavy circulation on my weekly iTunes playlist

Colin Monroe feat Pusha T - The Fight of My Life

Monday, February 20, 2012

"You Blocked Me on Facebook, And Now You're Going to Die"

As I'm starting to immerse myself into the electronic/dubstep revolution that is starting to infiltrate popular music, I'm finding it interesting how some groups are setting themselves apart from others. In other words, it's has to be hard to stand out when the music your genre is known for is characterized by high octane electronically synthesized noise. Maybe I'm missing the mark on that since I'm sort of new to the in-your-face rhythms that have become the norm these days, but when everyone is working with synthesizers and bass, how do you come off as unique?

Well...the answer in the case of @knifepartyinc, modernize your message by including a dramatized, computer generated Facebook down-spiral. I can't say I've heard heard the phrase "You blocked me on Facebook and now you're going to die" before in any form of music. That's the type of subtly humorous edge that got me listening to Knife Party's new track Internet Friends. If you haven't heard of them, the group consists of Australian rock band Pendulum's band members @rob_swire and @garethpendulum. Their brand of electronic dance music is heavy on the jumpy, high pitched synths sort of like @deadmau5. Speaking of which you may remember hearing Ghosts n Stuff featuring none other than the aforementioned Rob Swire...#FullCircle

What's even more kick ass about Knife Party is that they take the liberty of remixing other awesome tracks like @swedishousemfia's Save the World Tonight, @nerouk's Crush on You and most recently, @labrinthda1st's track Last Time. You can expect the remix below to surface on iTunes March 11th, but feel free to preview below or check out their new-ish unreleased track with @skrillex titled Zoology.
Labrinth - Last Time (Knife Party Remix)
I feel like I've learned a lot in researching Knife Party and, in the process, gained a lot of upbeat new music to listen to. Hopefully you are in the same boat and if you're not and would like to buy a ticket to that boat, feel free to cop their new 100% No Modern Talking EP on iTunes for starters.

Knife Party - Internet Friends

Sunday, February 19, 2012

New Artist Spotlight: Connor Willett

I'll start by saying you wouldn't think that a blog who advertises itself as a place to hear "What's Next in Hip Hop and R&B" would be an appropriate forum to discover new acoustic music. But then again, the fact that you don't know what flavor you're going to get from me on daily basis could be a good thing and I'm betting that a lot of you who decided to subscribe to my RSS feed (shameless plug) probably share the same wide range of musical tastes. Whether it be Indie, Hip Hop, R&B, Dubstep, Electronic, Dance, Pop or even Acoustic/Rock, I am a fan of meaningful music, which is why I write about it daily.

I felt like that introduction was necessary before I introduce you to a new artist from my hometown of Bloomington, Indiana name Connor Willett. I'd characterize his sound as an easy listening blend of mellow, acoustic folk that is highlighted by his raspy, but melodic vocals. Feel free to watch him in action below performing a solo acoustic version of track Hobo Song with the production assist going to @winkypc...
Hobo Song
During the same session, he also performed his track Life in Reverse, which is just as chilled out as the song above. Although he can hold his own flying solo, he may be better known as a the vocalist/guitarist from the bluegrass inspired collective Jack Daddy Sunrise. I find it really hard distinguishing their style from the sound that @MumfordOfficial made popular recently. Anytime a banjo and fiddle are involved, there's always limitless potential in my mind.

Word has it Connor is working on his solo debut project that is set to be released in 2012. I'm hoping that my favorite track of his to date, Float Back, will be included on that effort, but only time will tell. Give it a listen and if you're interested in more of his music, feel free to visit his Connor's YouTube Channel for updates.

Connor Willett - Float Back

Saturday, February 18, 2012

"Starships Are Meant to Fly, Hands Up and Touch the Sky"

Man what a week it's been for @nickiminaj. First she turns heads at the Grammys with a performance that rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. Then she turns around the next day and releases her new single Starships on iTunes. Coincidence? I think not, especially since I had some co-workers who are not at all in touch with modern pop music tell me that they had never heard of Nicki until they saw her performance on the Grammys.

What did I think of it? I think it was a blatant attention grab in an attempt to get people talking about her. I say that because I really enjoy her music, but was more than a little confused at where she was going with the whole exorcism/Catholicism on blast shock and awe display at the Grammys. I know, I know, no publicity is bad publicity, but for me as a fan, if you're going to sell your soul to the devil and play provocateur to try and increase your reach, there's gotta be some downside. When I say downside, I mean if you want me to take your music seriously then keep making good music like your new single below and be yourself. The whole Roman alter-ego is unique, but I'm not really buying your songs when you dip into that persona. Keep doing your barbie thing and turning heads that way, it's unique enough to set you apart from the next female Hip Hop artist.

Like I said above, I'm a huge fan of your new single Starships featuring the stellar production of @redone_official. It's a great mix of vocals and dance with a candy sweet hook. Keep this up on Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded and I'll continue to keep singing your praises...#April3rd

Nicki Minaj - Starships (prod by RedOne)

Bonus: I'm not sure if this is going to make the cut for Roman Reloaded, but I'm an even bigger buyer of her new track Young Forever. Apologies for the slight tags on the track, but you can bet as soon as the full tagless version drops I will be posting the hell out of it. S/O to @thedoctorluke on production on the track...

Nicki Minaj - Young Forever (prod by Dr. Luke)(tags)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Videos of the Week February 17

Eclectic group of videos this week with @chrisbrown leading the way with his new Turn Up the Music video. To be honest, the track is growing on me with every listen. There's just no way around the upbeat, electronic influences that make the track what it is, it's a solid club track. Interesting to see the sappy, lovey dovey @realwizkhalifa and @darealamberrose romance on full display with the How Well Do You Know Your Mate game. It seems like late night TV is steppin' it up lately with the performances like the two below. Maybe it is worth staying up later for?...#ThatsWhatYouTubeIsFor
Chris Brown - Turn Up the Music (Video)

Yelawolf feat Kid Rock - Let's Roll (Live on Letterman)

Amber Rose & Wiz Khalifa: How Well Do You Know Your Mate

The Cool Kids - Rush Hour Traffic (Video)

Bon Iver Performs Perth with The Roots on Jimmy Fallon

Cassie - King of Hearts (Video)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Proof That Mike is a Bigga Beast

Tough is an adjective Southern rap has always been closely tied to through the years. From the invent of trap music that exploded from the epicenter of Southern Hip Hop (Atlanta), you haven't heard anything but tales of struggle and hustling to survive. In other words, the stories are gruff, rigid and there isn't anything you could characterize as soft.

I say all this because @killermikegto held no prisoners when he went 0-60 in a matter of seconds on his lead single Big Beast off his upcoming tag team album with @therealelp. I'm talking like NWA style, in your face, bar after bar ferocity on the mic is what you can expect below. Even better, he managed to solicit verses from the two best in the South with @tip and @bunbtrillog chipping in verses. If this is any indication of how solid Mike Bigga's new album R.A.P. Music (Rebellious African People's Music) is going to be, I've got no problem perpetuating the hype...#May15th

Killer Mike feat T.I. Bun B & Trouble - Big Beast (prod by El-P)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

"Cause We Just in the Club Getting MC Hammered"

Is it a little weird for me to hear a trap all-star like @YoungJeezy do a track whose hook includes the phrase "Baby you can have whatever you like, the tooth fairy?" I'll let that rhetorical question simmer a bit because you already know how it tastes, but admittedly, that line turned me off of the original version of I Do for quite a while. I guess if you're going to embrace pop to sell some records, might as well jump in head first, right?

I'm mostly half-hating because I'm not the biggest Jeezy fan in the first place and I feel like I've gain an even greater appreciation for Andre Benjamin's verse with every listen. Three Stacks put his foot in the door for me to like it, then @drake went ahead and kicked it open with his verse below. I'll let you follow along as you press play below...
I do, I do, I do, I do
Unh, Please put away the cameras
Cause we just in the club getting MC Hammered
And God forbid we ever trade our wisdom for the glamor
And I know I'm just a boy that a woman could make a man of
So make me one, I know that you can make me one
I just want a woman that looks 30 when she's 81
Please don't give it all away, I hope that you can save me some
The more they pass they heart around, there more jaded that they become
But this one special, so I make sure my suit will fit
The one my daddy wore in June of '85, I'm too legit
I'm just tryna get her in the mood
And having her doing all the things she'd only do when she get married
So let's do this sh**
Tell the reverend, all we missing is his blessing
Because before she popped the pu**y, she need me to pop the question
So we exchanged vows, they clapped, we take a bow
And she'll be doing tricks for daddy, when we take it to the house...
I know what you're thinking. Drake would be the one to try and marry a stripper, right? Not the first or last time we'll hear talk of that on one of his verses, but I can appreciate his candor for being ambitious enough to even entertain such an unspeakable proposition. Therein lies his underlying appeal, he can see eye to eye with the common man who think those crazy thoughts. It's not traditional Hip Hop because no rapper in their right mind would admit to such "feelings" on a track. I say cheers to treating women with respect and take note failed Hip Hop culture, the whole bitches and hoes talk is so last decade...#IntelligentRap

Young Jeezy feat Drake Jay-Z & Andre 3000 - I Do (Remix)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Skrillex's New EP is Bangin'

At work this week during a conference call with Google to iron out some site search issues at work, the topic of dubstep was brought up. Not by me, but by the Google tech in his mid-40s who commented out of the blue that he doesn't understand the type of music that his 13 year old son is listening to. As I listened to him fumble through his own explanation of dubstep as sort of a "weird, electronic noise" that does a lot of sampling of older music that he listens to (i.e. The Doors, The Beatles), I got the feeling that the seed of a movement has been planted. I say that because there are far reaching consequences when a generation younger than you grows up with and makes a genre of music "mainstream". If you're not getting my gist, @skrillex explains it better (below)...

It's a strange feeling being in your late twenties and feeling old because you catch yourself saying "that's what the kids are listening to these days." I feel like I grew up in the Hip Hop generation and my parents grew up in the rock generation. Could it be that kids 10-15 years older than me are now being considered the electronic generation? I'm not sure I'd go that far yet, but I think that it could soon reach that level with the increasing influence of progressive house and European dance in American pop music (i.e. David Guetta, Skrillex, Avicii).

So what's the point of this post? To basically proclaim that I'm no longer just testing the dubstep waters with one toe to see if it's warm enough. Now that I'm listening to Skrillex's Bangarang EP more, I'd say I'm ready to give an official co-sign to the movement by jumping in head over heels. Below are my two favorite tracks from the EP, both featuring the talented vocals of @sirahone.

The title track to the EP definitely wins between the two, but I'm starting to really like Kyoto just as much. Maybe since I'm a fan of dance and electronic music, dubstep is a logical progression that's like going from eating tilapia to salmon. The former is less fishy, more middle of the road like chicken (dance) and if you can conquer that, then the latter (dubstep) might be something you'd try despite it being a lot more bold and fish flavored. Salmon has become one of my favorite foods, we'll see if the analogy holds...

Skrillex feat Sirah - Kyoto

Monday, February 13, 2012

Twista Begins Whitney Houston Tribute

One of the aspects of Hip Hop that really annoys me is when like 15 different artists jump on a remix of an already over-played track to create a 10 minute megamix. Keep it to less than four features because I'm going to hit next track if it goes beyond that, no matter how great the beat is. There shouldn't ever be a Hip Hop track that is over 5 minutes long and having more features than needed puts that at risk.

What does this have to do with @twistagmg's tribute to Whitney Houston you ask? Well, I'm more than willing to make an exception to the bold statement I made above regarding the number of artists on a track with the tribute below. To this date, I haven't heard of any Hip Hop artist buying a card, writing his condolences on it, then passing it on to anybody willing to lend their thoughts over 16 bars. I say that because that's exactly what Twista did with the help of @traxster who did the beat. Not only did Traxster sample Whitney with class, but the heavy piano and rat-a-tat of the percussion was spot on.

I hope every rapper in Hip Hop leaves a mark on this open letter and blesses it with their own moving memories and thoughts on one of the most influential voices in R&B history. I'm crossing my fingers that a few in my live starting five like @Drake, @JColeNC and @bobatl take to the mic and celebrate her memory by joining Twista in grieving on wax. Keep it going y'all, don't be the dude who keeps passing the card because he "didn't know her well enough." You'd be fooling yourself if you weren't in some way moved by her legendary voice.

Bonus: Elton John speaks on Whitney's death and dedicates Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me to her...

Twista - Whitney Houston Tribute (prod by The Legendary Traxster)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

We'll Miss You Whitney

"If I should die this very day (very very very day)
Don't cry, 'cause on earth we wasn't meant to stay
And no matter what the people say (really don't matter)
I'll be waiting for you after the Judgement Day"
It doesn't get much worse when you see social networking start to blow up with fresh news of a celebrity death. Maybe it was because she was younger, but for some reason Whitney Houston's death hit me a little harder than Michael Jackson's death. Neither deaths were really a surprise due to the harsh lifestyles they were rumored to have lived. Put it this way, and I mean this in the most respectful way possible, when someone like Pimp C (who passed away due to an overdose of codeine) writes a song called Bobby and Whitney because everyone will immediately know that you are referring to cocaine, you're living your life on the wrong side of the tracks. ("I got Bobby by the pound, Whitney by the key" - Pimp C)

Even though the proof was in the (white) pudding (mix) and her fate was somewhat sealed as soon as she started going down the wrong path, nothing can EVER take away from her contribution to generations of music. She shaped the way we view R&B singers and helped set the bar vocally for decades to come. What I enjoyed most about her music was that it was always uplifting and positive. From I Wanna Dance With Somebody to I'm Every Woman to It's Not Right But It's Ok to I Will Always Love You, the message was always in some way inspirational.

The aforementioned tracks can all be considered classics, but my personal favorite track of hers has to My Love Is Your Love. I'll be honest in saying when I was watching the video again today, I got a little choked up when I saw her looking so healthy in the video and hearing her sing about death and waiting for the judgment day. It becomes eerie real quick and makes you really appreciate life when you think about it. The lives you've touched through your music are countless, thank you again for all you've given us through the years...#RIP

Whitney Houston - Your Love is My Love

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Javier Colon Covers Adele's Someone Like You (Live)

For the first time in quite a while I attended a concert that wasn't marked by high energy craziness (i.e. deadmau5, volbeat, ratatat, LCD Soundsystem). Instead, it was an intimate, acoustic setting where three talented individuals took the stage with not much more than a guitar and a piano. I'm going to keep my commentary short today because a more long winded review of the concert is going to follow in the next week when I'm able to get all of the media posted. I rarely let the cat out of the bag before doing a thorough review, but when @javstwtr covers @officialadele on stage for the first time and does a solo acoutic rendition of her hit Someone Like You, I'm willing to break protocol.

I'd consider it one of the many highlights of the show and a welcome surprise as part of the three song encore. I don't need to dress it up at all, the only thing I'm really urging you to do is press play below and give it a listen. Absolutely amazing and something that I was fortunate to witness in person...#Speechless
Javier Colon Covers Adele's Someone Like You

Feel free to check out Javier's new album title Come Through For You on iTunes

Friday, February 10, 2012

Videos of the Week February 10th

Considering how many damn times they play the song in concert, it's about time @kanyewesta and @s_c_ made a video for N****s in Paris! Other artists should take note that all it takes is a little creative editing and some concert footage to make a decent video. Love how we've evolved as a culture to put disclaimers for epileptics too...

I would probably pay a lot of money to be able to see Drake anywhere within a two hundred mile radius of where I live, but unfortunately it's not in the cards this year. I'll settle for the teaser (literally) promo video I guess. Still digging Wilds Ones by the way and if you haven't caught on to Eric Turner yet, then shame on you. Oh yea, Avengers are coming soon too...#SuperheroMoviesWin

Jay-Z & Kanye - N****s in Paris (Video)

Flo Rida feat Sia - Wild Ones (Video)

Drake's Practice/Club Paradise Promo (Video)

Eric Turner feat Lupe Fiasco & Tinie Tempah - Angels & Stars (Video)

Super Bowl Commercial for The Avengers (Movie)

Childish Gambino - Heartbeat (Video)

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Lights Down Low is So Upscale

With his lead single (Trouble) continuing to getting plenty of spins on top 40 radio, @BEIMAEJOR is keeping the momentum going with his follow up single Lights Down Low with @WakaFlockaBSM. For all you Wheel of Fortune fans who follow Bei on Twitter, I hope I didn't ruin it for you...
With his new Upscale EP scheduled to drop sometime in February, I'd say he's two for two in singles thus far. Would I appreciate a full length album rather than an extended EP? Probably, but hey, if he's going to stock it with tracks like the one below, all that talk about him being underrated may be coming to an end. That's not a bad thing though because from what I understand, he's a humble dude and as grounded as any other artist in the game. Makes it easier to root for artists like that ya know?

The single has yet to hit iTunes, but feel free and use this link whenever it does finally drop and feel free to support Bei on his way to the top...#OnlyAMatterOfTime

Bei Maejor feat Waka Flocka - Lights Down Low (prod by Bei Maejor)

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Benjamin Franklin Donnis Keeps it 100

Last week, Volume 1 of @donnismusic's three part Snack Pack series was a breath of fresh air and set the bar high for the next two. While I don't think Volume 2 was as off the charts dope as the first one, I'm still finding myself adding his new track Hoes to all of my new iTunes playlists. He had released a snippet video of the track last week, followed by the real thing this week. Shout out to @godspaparazzi on the beat. All I can say is can I get a tomahawk chop y'all???? Braves or Seminoles...#YouPick

The second track is pretty solid in it's own right with cameos from up and comers @jayantmusic_TPK and @iamsu. The quirky synths and rolling clap beat are cool when combined together with a little tempo. Everybody could use another fun way to say they keep it 100, right? #KeepItBenjaminFranklin

I can only hope that Volume three follows suit with the first two Snack Packs and continues to provide me with quality music to share with y'all. All I know is Bout That Life with @therealjuicyj sounds like a heat rock and I can't wait for it to drop this week...

Either way, it's about time ya boy Donnis starts to get some love for the nice streak of new music he's been releasing. You'd think a studio album would be the chronological next step, but it took Wiz Khalifa a whole lotta mixtapes before finally making it big. I can only hope for the same ending for Donnis...#2012BreakthroughArtistWatch

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

"They Point They Point They Like Daaaammnn"

Despite never really being a big fan of @E40 as a rapper, I respect the hell out of his ability to continually set trends and be that much different than your favorite rapper. He's always been at the forefront of Bay Area rap with the likes of Mac Dre and @tooshort. His goofy style isn't anything that could or should be repeated, but that's part of what makes him iconic.

The past two years 40 Fonzarelli has averaged two albums a year and this year he's going to break that streak all in one day. March 27 is when he's set to release three albums titled Welcome to the Soil : The Block Brochure 1, 2 and 3. You can expect the bangin' track below featuring @MrBangladesh himself on the beat with a few cameo verses from up and coming @2chainz and the always on point @therealjuicyj. Is anybody else reminded of Play with the quirky noises on the beat? No matter how you slice it, plenty of bass in this pond...(see what I did there??) #CornyAsHell

E-40 feat 2 Chainz & Juicy J - They Point (prod by Bangladesh)

Monday, February 06, 2012

Madonna and LMFAO Party Rock the Super Bowl

Going into last night's Super Bowl, I had very low expectations for the event and game as a whole. So I did what any other American would do and gamble to make it interesting. I had posted a couple times this past week how much I really wished both teams could lose because Giants rank up there with world's most annoying fan base and The Pats...let's just say they're always favored so what's the point of cheering for them unless you're from Boston? Needless to say I was mostly paying attention to watch the entertaining, buzz-generating commercials while simultaneously following up on the mostly random single dollar wagers I had made on various *mostly random* events like who wins the coin toss, who gets the first sack, how many field goals total, how many beer commercials, etc. Despite not winning one random bet the whole night (hard to do) and witnessing an extremely boring game (serious lack of exciting plays), I'd say the halftime show was a big bright spot.

Put it this way, when you follow the Black Eyed Peas from last year, it can be nothing but better. Still, Madonna wasn't all that enticing of a draw to me and I figured it would be mostly oldies that would keep the 30 and older crowd happy and give women a decent reason to pay attention while all the men completely disregarded the show. Before I comment, if you haven't watched the twelve minute and change halftime show, please feel free to press play below. I waded through countless terrible quality videos to find the decent one below, so feel free to appreciate if you'd like...

Yep, I didn't see all those cameos coming out of left field and I sure as hell didn't think she'd mix in much more than the oldies. I couldn't have been more wrong as @nickyminaj, @_m_i_a_, @ceelogreen and @lmfao joined her on stage for what ended up being a really solid, high energy halftime show. I'm not one to give effusive praise to a performance that I didn't think was going to be good from the start, but this would be the exception to the rule.

Even better, a remix of Madonna's lead single off her new album MDNA (due out March 26th) seemed to have surfaced in the past day, piggy backing the hype surrounding their performance last night. Hey might as well get it while the gettin' is good right? To be honest, I'm not a big fan of the middle school cheerleader anthem sounding original version of Give Me All Your Lovin', but I won't hesitate to rock out to the remix. Don't be shy with it shake your junk to it like the naked M&M last night...#BestCommercial

Madonna feat LMFAO - Give Me All Your Lovin (Remix)

Sunday, February 05, 2012

R&B Rewind: Mateo feat Alicia Keys - Say Its So

Having missed out on posting the track below back in September, I'm seeking redemption today. Back in early December @MATEOONLINE dropped his debut EP titled Love and Stadiums II and Say Its So just so happened to be the first single on the album.

You might be wondering (like I did) what the connection is between Mateo and @aliciakeys/@therealswizzz? Well, Alicia's co-writer/producer Kerry "@krucial" Brothers signed Mateo to his record label Krucial Noise back in September 2010. If you haven't heard the track, you hear the closeness in proximity sound wise to Alicia's music. The mid-tempo instrumental is smooth enough to provide a simple backdrop and get out of the way, letting Mateo shine vocally. Alicia and Swizz's contribution to the track is small, but noticeable as they do little more than inject a few ad-libs to make their presence felt. It's good marketing though, because it makes things easy on bloggers like me who like a little star power to go along with a good story.

On an unrelated note, the sole reason I am watching the Super Bowl tonight is to cheer for side wagers. I dislike both teams involved, but enjoy the city it is being hosted in and wish I could be there. Who says the Super Bowl can't be hosted in cold weather cities? #GotLuckyWithTheWeather

Mateo feat Alicia Keys & Swizz Beats - Say Its So (prod by Krucial)

Saturday, February 04, 2012

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger...and Dance More

When doing a quick audit of my site today, I noticed on the right sidebar via the iTunes widget that @kelly_clarkson's new track Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) is sitting pretty at that number one spot for the week. As a quick aside, I like having that iTunes information available as sort of pop music temperature indicator. It's sorta like checking the weather for me every now and then before I post to get a feel for what the public as a whole is indulging in of late.

As far as the track itself, I can't say I'm surprised as all at the success of the original song given the inspirational feel it gives damn near every woman who listens. One thing you can never claim about Kelly is that she'd ever short change you on the vocals, girl has got some pipes! Since I'm more of the off the beaten path type music enthusiast, I'm more concerned about what a young Dutchman by the name of @nickyromero decided to do with the track. Evidently he was somewhat inspired by the track because he flipped it into a pretty sick house remix. It's not tough to make an energetic track when Kelly Clarkson pours her heart out vocally, but Nicky did an admirable job of infusing addictively repetitive electronic rhythms while blending his own subtle background touches throughout the track. 

You're going to want a Redbull if someone puts this one on in the background and you're not already intoxicated. Y'all know what I mean, the track below is #SoberPersonProof...

Kelly Clarkson - Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) (Nicky Romero Remix)

Friday, February 03, 2012

Videos of the Week Feb 3rd

Great mix of content on this week's version of videos of the week. Couple dunk of the year nominees, with three high profile videos, a sick @rickyrozay birthday bash and some Eastbound and Down to top it off. All you really need to remember is the date February 19th. That my friends is the day that @kfuckingp comes back for Season 3 of his circuitous and hilarious journey through life. Can't wait and as Kenny would say, "This gorgeous sunset is rockin' my nuts off!"...haha. Doesn't get much raunchier than that, but I love it. Have a good weekend y'all!
Lil Wayne feat Bruno Mars - Mirror (Video)

David Guetta feat Nicki Minaj - Turn Me On (Video)

B.O.B. feat T.I. & Young Jeezy - Strange Clouds (Remix)(Video)

Rick Ross Knows How to Throw a Birthday Party..Dr. Dre Gives him a 100K Hublot

Blake Griffin's Dunk Heard Round the World

Lebron Jumps Over John Lucas For Alley Oop

Eastbound and Down Season 3 Trailer

Thursday, February 02, 2012

"I'm Leanin' Like a Kick Stand"

I'm as guilty as the next man when it comes to falling for sugar coated, repeatable Hip Hop anthems. I've been wanting to post the track below for a while, maybe close to two months, but I kept thinking to myself, do I really like this song? I mean really, actually like it? The answer to that is probably yes and no 50% of the time, but today I heard @StueyRock on Sirius XM 44 (Hip Hop Hits XL) on my way home and thought to myself, ya know what...tonight it's gettin' posted.

At this point I feel comfortable categorizing Leanin' with the Rack on Racks of the world. The type of track that you hate to love and hate that every time it plays, you can't help but turn it up. Shouts out to @honorablecnote on the beat and sexy tag line at the beginning. Heads up for plenty more from Stuey Rock, who is rubbing shoulders with a lot of your favorite Southern Hip Hop artists and producers like @reallilscrappy, @roscoedash, @therealjuicyj, @YoGottiKOM and even one of my favorites who doesn't get enough love, @djmontay. If you like what you're hearing below and would like more of a main course rather than an appetizer, feel free to check out his latest mixtape Feature Presentation.

Either way, pour it up and slow it down...#PintOfLeanOnDeck

Stuey Rock - Leanin' (prod by Honorable C-Note)

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Afrojack is Unstoppable

Having been stricken with a sudden affliction for @avicii, it's been easy to lose sight of other great elctro house DJs like @djafrojack. Like any soon to be club hit, his new single Can't Stop Me is half electronic house, half pop with the vocals provided by @shermanology. If you haven't heard of Shermanology, I'd invite you to check out their own brand of crazy dance music on a track like Only Love Can Save Me.

I've argued before and will continue to claim that it doesn't really matter what woman you plug in on a great dance beat because as long as they have a decent vocal range, they can deliver the mail. That's not to take away from the effort put in by Shermanology because I'm now listening to their music as a result of the track below and their other song with Afrojack titled Grindin'. All I gotta say is put together a good four bar hook and hit a few high notes and you're golden.

A little tip...don't give up on the track at the 3:04 mark because it picks right back up seven seconds later. That one got me the first time and you're missing out on half the track if you get impatient like me. Simply put, this will make cardio go by quicker tomorrow, which is why you should get like me and drag it to your newest playlist. Oh you don't make playlists? #GetWithTheTimes

Afrojack feat Shermanology - Can't Stop Me (Club Mix)

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