August Alsina:: Testimony

I remember listening to TLC when I was young while living in Korea, I had no internet,  and didn’t have a lot of money to really buy CDs. I was watching AFKN (American TV station in Korea) , saw the music video and fell in love. Ever since then, my favorite music genre was R&B. I went to the states and it was a heaven. I had Destiny’s Child, Brandy, and Aliyah. For a while, Mario, Craig David, Ne-Yo, Usher and other R&B artists kept my CD player busy. I was driving to Canada from New York for 8 hours, I remember purchasing Ne-Yo’s album and put on Because of You on repeat for 8 hours. Trey Songz, Chris Brown made me drive down to NYC to see their shows. There aren’t a lot of artists who are doing R&B anymore. I miss it but I know not a lot of people are into it as much as before. I had Frank Ocean and John Legend but I had to hear Pitbull once in a while because I was forced to. 

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I was checking itunes album chart and found out about August Alsina. I thought it was interesting because he was number one on the album chart and it’s not EDM. Then few days ago, I read an article about this artist that his debut album “Testimony” debut on Billboard 200 at number 2. I went on Spotify (sorry) listened to the whole album and today, I just purchased his whole album plus  previous EPs. I hardly really purchase whole albums on itunes unless they are Pharell, Drake or Frank Ocean. August Alsina sold more than 63000 copies the opening week. 

New Orleans artist August Alsina is just 21 years old who’s under Radio Killa (The -Dream) and Def Jam. Initially , he approached me as an artist who sounds like the old Chris Brown.
I feel like..he is probably the only R&B artist who is singing about real struggles, and problems today. He talks about his childhood, drug abuse, growing up in the hood, and of course love. His songs are honest and it’s about his life which made me open my wallet to actually purchase the whole album. A lot of the R&B song are about sex and some songs don’t even make sense to me. 

“The date of the the album’s release, April 15th, holds special meaning to Alsina because his brother was shot and killed on that same day a few years ago. On the album’s intro, “Testify,” he sings about how his brother’s death has inspired him to keep grinding. “Heard my brother got gunned down, and it hurt me to my heart/ So I kept grinding’, kept pushin’, he told me to go far.” In fact, a large portion of the album’s subject matter is about the struggle, and Alsina’s past days on the corner selling dope. It hasn’t always been easy sailing for the singer, as he describes on the following track, “Make It Home”.

The album Testimony is definitely a strong debut for August Alsina. All the songs are well presented, produced, well ordered too. Of course I have some favorite tracks but I did not skip a track. Some people won’t agree and probably don’t like the genre but I can’t help myself repeating the whole album since yesterday. If you like R&B, you absolutely must check August Alsina out!

August Alsina-I Luv This Shit (Explicit) ft. Trinidad James

 

NEW Music From Keyshia Cole: “Rick James” (HOT or NAH??)

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The old K.C. is back and in full effect! Keyshia Cole is known for belting out heartfelt lyrics, but over the years some of her fans insinuated after getting married that they didn’t like the “happy” Keyshia as much as the “old” Keyshia who sang about heartbreak, pain, and relationships.

As of late something has brought the old K.C. out of hiding on her new track “Rick James.” It’s a catchy track about her slapping up a female (in Rick James fashion) who her man cheated on her with. It also refers to Dave Chappelle’s “Rick James” skit (w/ lines such as “feet up on your couch”, “slap a bitch like Rick James”). “There’s a lot of speculation around the track since Keyshia unfortunately has experienced marital problems as of late.  Nonetheless, I’m glad to see that she’s back on the scene…

artworks-000073959311-d6t7sn-originalChorus:

Why does it matter now?
Who can do you better?
Feet up on your couch
Yeah bitch I’m Rick James
Yeah bitch I’m Rick James
Yeah bitch I’m Rick James
Slap a bitch like Rick James
I’m Rick James

 Peep the vid below featuring Juicy J:

What do you think? Banger or nah??

Coachella Highlights: Part I

It’s that time of year for the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival!  The festival features two consecutive weekends of music held in Indio, California.  One of the great things about Coachella is the opportunity to see some of your favorite vets perform as well as new and up-and-coming acts from diverse musical backgrounds! Catch a few of my fave Coachella highlights below:

Solange and Beyoncé

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Solange Knowles, affectionately known as Solo by her fans, covered Erykah Badu’s “Bag Lady” during her set at Coachella.  She then performed some of her own tunes, including Sandcastle Disco (one of my faves from her) and her latest single “Losing You.”  The biggest surprise of the night was when her big sis Bey took the stage alongside her!  Looking like a scene straight from one of Solo’s music vids, Bey popped up and the twosome danced in sync to “Losing You.”

Peep the vid below:

OutKast

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Outkast_Coachella_2(Weekend 2 at the Coachella Festival)

Andre 3000 and Big Boi of the critically acclaimed Southern Hip-Hop group, OutKast reunited on stage for the first time in seven years at Coachella! They were the headliners during the first weekend and the duo performed again this past Friday.  During the first show, they performed 27 songs and was joined onstage by Janelle Monáe and Future. After mixed reviews from the initial comeback performance at the festival, they revamped their production and performance issues for their set on Friday and received more praise from festival attendees this time around.

Vid below from the first performance:

 

 

Mannnn I Miss 90s R&B!!

90s cassette

 

Hands down, one of my favorite musical eras during my lifetime thus far is the 1990s!  During the 90s it seemed that R&B was truly at its prime!  The innovativeness is still unmatched.  This era gives me a feeling of nostalgia…it reminds me of great times! Everything about it just felt good! The music was a fusion of sounds including New Jack Swing, Hip Hop Soul, Neo Soul, Funk, and of course traditional Rhythm & Blues.

Artists could really sing, dance, write classics, and were musicians as well. The emotions that they were able to conjure up is priceless. They were multi-faceted artists and made timeless music!

Below check out a handful of my favorite 90s R&B songs!! Feel free to share some of yours as we take a walk down memory lane.

 

Sade’-Cherish The Day

 

Aaliyah—4 Page Letter

 

Mary J. Blige-Be Happy

 

Jodeci-Forever My Lady

 

Ghost Town DJ’s-My Boo

 

Montell Jordan-This Is How We Do It

 

Soul 4 Real-Candy Rain

 

Does anyone else miss the 90s? 

 

 

 

 

BK…Bridget Kelly

Bridget Kelly

During early February of 2009, I was a concertgoer at Jay-Z’s The BluePrint 3 Tour stop in Greensboro, NC.  Jay-Z is on stage performing one of his huge hits at the time, “Empire State of Mind” with this girl who comes out and everyone starts screaming and going crazy because we thought it was Alicia Keys, but it was some unknown singer named Bridget Kelly. Who is Bridget Kelly??

Bridget Kelly who is often referred to as BK, signed to Roc Nation in 2008 to her first major recording and publishing deal. Bridget honed her performance skills early in her career, having toured with JAY Z (Blueprint 3 Tour), Estelle (BET Music Matters Tour), and performing at this year’s Essence Music Festival in New Orleans. She also released a remix to singer Miguel’s song “Quickie” that garnered her some attention in September 2011. During October of 2011, BK also released her eight song EP, “Every Girl”. The EP contained the stand out single “Thinking About Forever.”  BK can also add to her list of accolades, Grammy winner. She is a Grammy-award winning songwriter, penning the song “Einstein” from Kelly Clarkson’s Stronger album, which won Best Pop Vocal Album at the 2013 Grammy Awards.

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“With her debut single, “Special Delivery,” Bridget does just that, delivering honest, heartfelt lyrics, over powerful vocals, singing about the struggle of coming to a crossroads in a relationship and the difficult decision of ending it and moving on.”


Check out her video for “Special Delivery” below:

BK initially sang the song “Thinking About You” (her version was entitled “Thinking About Forever”) that was made famous by singer Frank Ocean.  Frank Ocean initially wrote the song for BK during a studio session with her and Roc Nation producer, Shea Taylor.  According to Bridget, Frank decided that he wanted to take the song back, and ultimately he leaked his demo version of it. Since Frank was a more known artist at the time, his version became more popular and was a hit for him (See the 2nd video below at the 3:17 mark to hear her side of the story)…I think that her version is pretty dope too! It will be included on her upcoming album,”Something Different” along with the singles “Special Delivery” and “Street Dreamin” that features Kendrick Lamar. Bridget Kelly will be an artist to watch in 2014!

BK’s acoustic version of “Thinking About Forever”/”Thinking About You”

Bridget Kelly gives the scoop on the Frank Ocean penned “Thinking About You”/”Thinking About Forever” at the 3:17 mark

Check out the “Every Girl” EP here!!

Sources:
http://www.bridgetkelly.com
Complex Magazine

A Breath of Fresh Air…Luke James

Two words…Luke James. I wholeheartedly believe that this guy is the next big thing for R&B music. I’m a huge fan of Luke James! His voice will give you chills. In an industry, where it is becoming more common for people to look the part than to have the talent to succeed..Luke is in a lane of his own..Let’s start by giving you a glimpse into this guy’s background…Luke James I Want You

He attended high school with music artist Frank Ocean, in New Orleans (St. Augustine High School). Prior to venturing out on his own as a solo artist, Luke was a part of the duo, “Luke & Q” which garnered the hit single “My Turn” in 2006. The duo split up shortly thereafter because they mutually agreed to part ways since they did not get the recognition that they both were seeking. Luke then focused on honing his songwriting skills, and wrote songs for Britney Spears, Keri Hilson, Chris Brown, and Justin Berber.

In 2011, he was personally selected by R&B singer Beyoncé Knowles to appear as a dancer in her “Run The World (Girls)” music video. In 2013 he was personally chosen by R&B singer Beyoncé Knowles to be an opening act for her Mrs. Carter Show World Tour. Luke’s long-term manager, choreographer Frank Gatson, has been pivotal in his affiliation with Beyoncé Knowles and Destiny’s Child since he has served as a long time choreographer for the two acts.

Luke and Bey beyonce-luke-jamesUnder the management of record producer Danja, James released his first mixtape, #Luke, in 2011 as a free download. The mixtape’s critically acclaimed single “I Want You” earned him a Best R&B Performance nomination at the 2013 Grammy Awards. He released his second mixtape Whispers in the Dark as a free music download in 2012. His debut studio album, Made to Love, is slated for release in 2013.

Check out some of his music below…

“I Want You” music video

“I Want You” live performance video

Click on the links to stream or download his mixtapes..you won’t regret it!
Whispers in the Dark
Luke

Resources:
Singersroom
Vibe Magazine
GlobalGrind
B.E.T.