New Music Tuesday: Disclosure, Jason Derulo, Future & More

Disclosure-Holding-On-2015-1200x1200-300x300I’ve decided to keep it simple for  Tuesday post, although I’m off my blogging schedule, and share some new music. First up, Disclosure. Disclosure is best known for their smash ‘Latch’ featuring Sam Smith and this time around they’re back with a  new track titled,’Holding On’ featuring Gregory Porter. I’ve listened to it a few times and I don’t find it as mainstream as ‘Latch,’ but then again not everything needs to be mainstream. Not my fav, but a nice listen. Check it out below:

fuckupsomecommasaTwo remixes have dropped. The first is that of Ariana Grande’s, ‘One Last Time,’ featuring Fedez. This version was re-released for the Italian Market. As for who Fedez is, he’s a singer/rapper. The other remix is that of Future’s gibberish, ‘F*ck Up Some Commas.’ He’s enlisted the help of Big Sean and THE BOSS Rick Ross.  for this one.I still love the song even though it took me a while to decipher what the hell Future was saying. Listen to both tracks below:

Rob Thomas is working on a new album since 2009s,,. The first time I heard Rob Thomas was his smash ‘This Is How a Heart Breaks.’ What could be a super cool song has basic lyrics and melody. Granted that could be catchy, but there’s nothing outstanding about this song. I could hear the music in  a commercial or something, but not constantly on the radio waves. Listen below:

Lastly Jason Derulo is on quite a roll as he’s gearing up to release his new album and follow-up to Talk Dirty, This time he’s teamed up with J. Lo for a track titled ‘Try Me.’ Now I’m not in love with this one as much as I am with ‘Want You To Want Me,’ but I could hear this one the radio simply because J.Lo is featured.Everything is 4 drops June 2nd.  Listen to the track below:

Original v. Cover [V.10]: Whitney Houston, ‘I Have Nothing’

If you were never vocally impressed by Ariana Grande, her cover of Whitney Houston’s, ‘I Have Nothing,’ will make you a believer.

Continue reading “Original v. Cover [V.10]: Whitney Houston, ‘I Have Nothing’”

This Week In Music (V.25): Kanye, Rihanna, Big Sean + More

Welcome to another edition of This Week In Music (my usual intro) and this week I’ve finally come up with a schedule for the blog that I want to share PLUS music news of the week. So expect a post every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Now let’s get into the news.

kanye-westFirst up, Mr. West has announced via Twitter that his new album will be titled So Help Me God. Kanye is now trainer to having themed album titles. I mean look at his first three: College Dropout, Late Registration, and Graduation. His last album had the controversial title Yeezus along with the track ‘I am a God.’ As for what’s to be fettered on this album it’s safe to assume that ‘Only One’ (click HERE for video review) and ‘All Day’ will be featured on the album. As for the tracklist that is circulating, it’s been confirmed that it’s fake. Come on, as secretive as Kanye is, it’s a given that the tracklist would be fake. No date as to when the album will be released, but the video for ‘All Day’ is on its way. In the meantime, check out his Brit Awards performance below:

Kanye isn’t the only rapper that has a new album on the way. Kendrick Lamar has a date set for his album which is available for pre-order on iTunes, but the only confirmed track thus far is ‘The Blacker the Berry’ (click HERE to listen). His Grammy winning single ‘i’ is not included on the imaginary list so who knows if it will be on the album. The yet to be titled album drops March 23rd.

dark-sky-paradiseThird times a charm for G.O.O.D Music artist, Big Sean, as Dark Sky Paradise lands in at #1 on the Billboard 200. This marks his first #1 album on the Billboard 200 selling 173,000 copies. His previous works Finally Famous and Hall of Fame did not exceed 100,000 sales. The album features 15 tracks on the deluxe edition (more bang for your buck) with features from: Drake, Kanye West, Chris Brown, Ty Dolla $ign, John Legend, Jhené Aikp, Lil Wayne, PARTY NEXT DOOR, and his booskie Ariana Grande. It also features the smash hit ‘I Don’t F*ck With You’ featuring E-40′ and ‘Blessings’ (click HERE and HERE for those reviews). CONGRATS BIG SEAN!

rihanna-american-oxygen-340x330Wrapping up this week is Rihanna who has teased three new tracks off her upcoming album R8. Is that really the title or is everyone calling it that? Moving on, the three new tracks she’s teased via her Instagram are ‘Higher’, ‘Towards the Sun’ (from her upcoming movie Home), and the anthem for this years NCAA March Madness, ‘American Oxygen’. I did hear ‘Towards the Sun’ on the radio. The ‘Higher’ snippet is another slow track. I’m still waiting for her to release some party music. Who knows when her album will be released, just hopefully sooner than later. Check out the NCAA promo below:

That’s it for this week. Until next time…

2015 NBA All-Star Performance Review

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Photo Cred: Tumblr

I’m not that much into basketball as I used to be, but the All-Star game is a big deal and I thought I’d review the performances. The show opened with Christina Aguilera who took a different route than performing her own hits and performed hits that paid tribute to the mecca, New York City. She performed a medley of: ‘New York, New York,’ ‘On Broadway,’ and ‘Living for the City.’ It didn’t stop there and she brought out Nas after singing a bit of ‘New York State of Mind’. Enter Nas coming out and spitting a few bars from his ‘NY State of Mind’ (Illmatic).  Aguilera then came back with the Rockettes as she sung the hook to Jay-Z/Alicia Keys’, ‘Empire State of Mind.’ She ended the set with what she started with, ‘New York, New York.’ Vocally Christina sang at a comfortable lower octave, but had a stellar closing and reached every note with ease. Great way for her to come back into the spotlight.

No formal performance for the players to come out as in previous years. The National Anthem was sung by Queen Latifah and the Canadian National Anthem was sung by Tamia.

unnamedAs for the half-time performance headed by Ariana Grande, I was bored. Bored not because I’m not a huge fan, but because it was boring. She performed every hit she’s ever had:

  • ‘Problem’
  • Love Me Harder’
  • ‘The Way’
  • ‘One Last Time’
  • ‘Bang Bang’
  • ‘Break Free’

I’m glad there was a  ton of music for her to perform and she had enough time to put on a mini-concert as she didn’t speed through her songs. I will say that I’m still not a fan of her voice and she sounded nasally as usual, but I could understand what she was singing. For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, she usually doesn’t annunciate her words.

The attire should not go without mention. It’s a basketball game so there was a play-up on the warm-up gear for the guys and the sexy cheerleader for the girls. It looked like she was representing the Brooklyn Nets, but based of the NY Knicks colors, black & white sufficed. As for her the girl backup dancers I liked their skater skirts, crop tops, knee high socks and Addidas. Of course it wouldn’t be signature Ariana Grande without her ponytail.

Photo Cred: Tumblr
Photo Cred: Tumblr

The downside to the performance was that the energy wasn’t there and no real energy came until Nicki Minaj came out in a skirt, bedazzled top, and boots. She looked great and matched Grande’s fly with the ponytail (TWINSIES). Nicki spit her bars in ‘Bang Bang’, but her fake smile didn’t show that she really wanted to be out there. It wouldn’t be Nicki though without a little grind plus the two step. Her grind almost knocked over Ariana, but in turn she just slapped Nicki’s butt. I see Ariana was trying to give “sexy,” but it was just looked to forced standing next to Nicki.

I will say that instead of performing her slow tracks Ariana could’ve brought out more stars. I also know that other stars can outshine a performance so I can see why not many were brought out even though she had three other options other than Nicki: Mac Miller, The Weeknd, and her beau Big Sean. Overall I give props where props are due. She performed all the way through with no mishaps. Only thing is that it could’ve been more energy.

Single Review: Big Sean x Drake, ‘Blessings’

Big-Sean-Blessings-2015-300x300I’m really excited about Big Sean‘s latest project. His first track, ‘I Don’t Fuck Wit You’ featuring E-40 (click HERE for that video review) was a smash although I was late on that bandwagon. This time he’s teaming up with Drake, someone else who has a highly-anticipated album on the way.

So to break down the vibe of the song I absolutely love it. I was hesitant to listen at first based off the title, but I actually enjoy the song. I was thinking the theme of the song would be similar to that of ‘Guap’ as far as a cheesy beat, but this beat is dope.

Big Sean spits about life, how far he’s come, and how people come in and out of his life. People leave you when you’re down and then try to wiggle their way back in when you’re on top as if they’ve been there the whole time. Oh, the circle of life. Of course, similar to his last track, he throws a shot as his ex, Naya Rivera.

This is that late night workin’ after three
Man this why my old girl was mad at me

I wonder just how many more tracks he will include her in. I’m over it, but for a track like this I get it.

Here come Drizzy who I thought would demolish Sean lyrically, but this song had a great balance. My favorite of his bars are the beginning:

Look, I ain’t gonna say that we back or nothin’
Cause that implies that we’re back from somethin’

Big Sean comes back on at the end talking about how he’s holding everything together on his end and all he can afford for him and those around him. The song is about all his blessings and he spits all about it.

Overall I could definitely hear this taking over the airwaves. The beat is super dope and I would love to hear some other rappers jump on it. I’d be interested in hearing Nicki Minaj’s take on it. Conceptually this track has been done before as rappers use their lives as a muse. Their creativity that they’re entitled to, but I really like this one. I’ve always loved Big Sean’s metaphors and Drake is Drake.

I wonder if this will be the project forBig Sean to get him more buzz past just singles. He puts out really great music, but can this be “the” album? Who knows. Regardless, I’m interested in listening.

Listen to the track below:

Grammy Performers

It’s three weeks until the grandest stage of them all in the world of music. The 57th Annual Grammy Awards airs on February 8th. CLICK HERE for the list of nominees. Here’s who’s slated to perform:

  • PicMonkey CollagePharrell
  • Sam Smith
  • Madonna
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Ariana Grande
  • Usher
  • AC/DC
  • Erich Church
  • Miranda Lambert

I’m interested in seeing what Madonna will perform. Whether it be something new or a medley. Same with Pharrell, he could take the same route. Then again he’ll probably perform ‘Happy.’ Beyonce and Jay-Z opened the show last year and I can’t wait to see who opens up this year (insert that Madonna medley; wishful thinking). Sam Smith will probably perform ‘Stay With Me’, maybe ‘I’m Not The Only One.’ Usher hasn’t had much of  a buzz with any new music so I’m curious as to what he’ll perform.

Stay tuned for Grammy updates and as always I’ll be doing a review of the performances. CLICK HERE for my review of last years show.

This Year in Music: 2014 Favorites

It’s been quite a year in music and for the first time since I’ve started blogging it’s been a slow one. Of course there have been albums released and artists making their way back to the forefront, but it’s been a lackluster year for me which could probably be seen in my reviews. I love to review albums, singles, and videos from artists that I have grown to love over the years. I will not be covering every music accomplishment of the year, just my personal favorites. Also no celeb drama will be included. You can click HERE if interested in what I think about the flood of celeb breakups. Anyway, let’s get into it. As always be sure to click the links as it will lead you to the reviews that I have done. In total I have reviewed 16 albums, 33 singles, and 51 videos; grand total 100. Not to shabby.

Favorite Albums of the Year

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I take my time with album reviews and try to connect and find some meaning to the way the artists have compiled the tracks and the overall sound of the project. Some shined, some disappointed, and some made me fall in love again.

Two albums that I loved this year were Magic!’s, Don’t Kill the Magic and Sia’s, 1000 Forms of FearAs for a soundtrack I LOVED the Think Like a Man Too Soundtrack with 14 original tracks from Mary J. Blige. (I still have yet to see the movie).

While she didn’t release an album this year, JoJo’s Valentine’s Day EP, #LoveJo, can be added to my favs. Her cover of Anita Baker’s, ‘Caught Up In The Rapture’, is one for the books.

sia-chandelier-video-2Video of the Year

Yes I was on a Sia craze this year and her video gets video of the year for my picks goes to her heartfelt ‘Chandelier’ video, As I stated in my review I envisioned an interpretive dance video for the track and I was so happy for that to be the outcome. I absolutely love it and if she didn’t release anything else that entire year that song and video would really suffice. My other two picks are Janelle Monáe’s sorority inspired video, Electric Lady and Queen Bey’s, ‘7.11.’ (Again, click the links!)

1. Sia, ‘Chandelier’

2. Janelle Monáe, ‘Electric Lady’

3. Beyoncè, ‘7/11’

Honorable Mentions – Katy Perry, ‘This Is How We Do’ / Coldplay, ‘Sky Full of Stars’

magicArtists That Didn’t Make It Past Their Lead Single

As I loved both Don’t Kill the Magic and 1000 Forms of Fear, there was nothing played except from the lead singles, Rude’ and ‘Chandelier’, from each compilation respectively. I could see the Issue with Magic! as they released a reggae track yet not much reggae was found on their album. As for Sia, she’s an incognito artist, but her album was absolutely beautiful. Sia is nominated for _ Grammy’s for ‘Chandelier’. Unfortunately ‘Rude’ just might be the greatest thing that happened for Magic! I can’t wait to see them perform in 2015 alongside Maroon 5 on tour.

Songs I Don’t Want to Hear in 2015

The radio has a way of making your ears bleed when they play the same songs on five different stations at the same time in rotation. Two songs that I do NOT want to hear in 2015 are Iggy Azalea’s, ‘Black Widow’, and Ariana Grande’s, ‘Break Free.’ It’s been a great year for those two young ladies, but the radio played out those songs to no end. I thought ‘Fancy’ was bad, but I would rather hear Taylor Swift’, ‘Shake It Off’ followed by ‘Blank Space’ then ‘All About That Bass’ over and over then to hear ‘Black Widow’ and ‘Break Free’.

Artists I Can’t Wait To Hear From in 2015

Well this one is a no brainer, RIHANNA! There were rumors of her releasing her with studio album as a surprise this year, but I pretty much guarantee that she will be releasing one next year. Hopefully we won;t have to endure an entire year without Rihanna music and that it will hit right around Spring, Summer the latest. I absolutely LOVED Unapologetic (Click HERE for that review) and it was one of my favorites last year.

Speaking of Rihanna, how could I forget the return of Adele. It’s been nearly 4 years since the release of her multi-platinum album, 21, and I can’t wait to hear more. There’s been rumors of the album being titled ’25’ which makes sense as both her 1st and 2nd album had numeric significance. I just can’t wait to hear more of her amazing voice.

Lastly,  I’m excited to hear more from is Meghan Trainor. When I first saw her ‘All About That Bass’ video on Facebook I thought it would be just another fad, BUT Meghan has soared to the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 and can now add Grammy-award nominee to her list of accomplishments and her debut,, hasn’t even been reeled yet. I loved her EP, Titleand I can’t wait to hear her album.

Albums I Need to Listen to at the Top of 2015

There’s two albums in particular that I didn’t get around to listening to upon their releases and that’s Taylor Swift’s, 1989and J. Cole’s, 2014 Forrest Hills Drive. I’m not sure when I will be doing a review of those too, but expect in sometime in January. Definitely need to give those two a listen. Also congrats to both on their album sales.

Welp, that’s it. It was a long post, but I think I covered my favs. Stay tuned for my follow-up post of some of my favorite songs of 2014. Click HERE if you’re interested in seeing what my non-music favs were of this year and CHEERS to 2015. More reviews to come starting tomorrow.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Album Review: The Pinkprint

91ZUimoZgtL._SL1500_Nicki Minaj released her long-awaited third studio album, The Pinkprint, on December 15th. The standard album features 16 tracks, deluxe 19 tracks, and the iTunes edition features a bonus track, ‘Truffle Butter’. The regular and deluxe of the iTunes edition both feature ‘Truffle Butter’, only difference is you get _ tracks fFeatures include: Ariana Grande, Beyoncé, Drake, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, Jeremih, Meek Mill, Lunchmoney Lewis, Skylar Grey, and Meek Mill.

The album overall has definitely grown on me. I wasn’t completely a fan as I heard ‘Pills n Potions’ followed by ‘Anaconda’. When she released ‘Pills n Potions’, I was thinking, is this how you come back to the scene? In between that ‘Lookin Ass’ dropped, even though it didn’t make the album, followed by her dope bars on ‘Chiraq’. After that I was ready for more and ‘Pills n Potions’ was irrelevant. Then she released ‘Anaconda’ and I thought, is this her way of including a hip hop classic yet still having a pop vibe? The first track, ‘All Things Go’ was a life update followed by heart break, ‘I Lied’ an ‘Crying Game’, before getting into some radio friendly tracks especially her smash with Beyoncé. The middle of the album before getting into ‘Pills n Potions’ was a little bit of this and little bit of that. ‘Trini Dem Girls’ is a nice track that I didn’t expect to like as much as I do.

Rumor has it she had a thing with Meek Mill which she denies, but he is featured on the album on two tracks ‘Buy a Heart’ and ‘Big Daddy’. My favorite from the two would be ‘Buy a Heart’. That’s another track I could hear on the radio. Both tracks because of the beat and the feature could definitely hit the airwaves. ‘Big Daddy’ is definitely more so for the hip hop heads. After ‘Grand Piano’ Nicki gets back to the bars on ‘Shanghai’, but I’m not a fan of the beat. I get the theme of it based on the title, but eh. To end the album, unless you have the iTunes version, ‘Win Again’ is alright. I would’ve liked a bigger punch to end it because Nicki does have bars. When you add in ‘Truffle Butter’ from the iTunes version THAT is a way to end an album. The beat, the bars, the total package. Dope song. Why is it titled truffle butter? That I have yet to figure out.

Side note, it wouldn’t be a Nicki album if she didn’t rap about “sonning” someone. That was one thing that annoyed me lyrically is that there had to be like 4 or 5 tracks that she said that just in different ways. After the first two times I had to check my Spotify to make sure I didn’t have the track on repeat.

My Top 5 —

  • ‘The Crying Game’
  • ‘I Lied’
  • ‘Grand Piano’
  • ‘Truffle Butter’ (feat. Drake & Lil Wayne)
  • ‘Feeling Myself’ (by default; “Pretty on Fleek, Pretty Pretty on Fleek”)

Tracks I DON’T Like —

  • ‘Favorite”
  • ‘Pills n Potions’
  • ‘Shanghai’

At first I didn’t like ‘Get on Your Knees’ featuring Ariana Grande, but as the beat builded it wasn’t so bad.

Click below for reviews that I have done of previously released singles:

I would’ve liked better transitions of the tracks as I like albums that flow with themes. I’m not saying she should’ve chose different tracks, but going from a track like ‘Grand Piano’ to ‘Big Daddy’ is a jump. It shows that Nicki is versatile, but the transitions could’ve been better as in placement of songs. Rating wise, I give the album a solid 4/5. 

Check out my review to The Pinkprint Movie HERE and as always click the links above. Listen to the album below via Spotify:

2015 Grammy Nominees

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It’s been quite the year for music, album sales might not show it, but there’s been a lot of newcomers and the usuals that have topped the charts. The 2015 Grammy nominees were announced by Pharrell and Ed Sheeran LIVE on CBS today (Friday,12/5). Album of the Year will be announced on an hour long special , “A VERY Grammy Christmas” on CBS 9 ET/ 10 PT.

Here’s some of the nominees (from my fav categories):

RECORD OF THE YEAR

  • Iggy Azalea x Charlie XCX, ‘Fancy’
  • Sia, ‘Chandelier’
  • Sam Smith, ‘Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)’
  • Taylor Swift, ‘Shake It Off’
  • Meghan Trainor, ‘All About That Bass’

SONG OF THE YEAR

  • ‘All About That Bass’
  • ‘Chandelier’
  • ‘Shake It Off’
  • ‘Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)’
  • ‘Take Me to Church’

BEST NEW ARTIST

  • Iggy Azalea
  • Bastille
  • Brandy Clark
  • Haim
  • Sam Smith

BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM

  • Coldplay, Ghost Stories
  • Miley Cyrus, Bangerz
  • Ariana Grande, My Everything
  • Katy Perry, Prism
  • Ed Sheeran, X
  • Sam Smith, In The Lonely Hour 

BEST URBAN CONTEMPORARY ALBUM

  • Jhene Aiko, Sail Out
  • Beyoncé, Beyoncé
  • Chris Brown, X
  • Mali Music, Mali Is…
  • Pharrell Williams, Girl

BEST RAP ALBUM

  • Iggy Azalea, The New Classic
  • Childish Gambino, Because The Internet 
  • Common, Nobody’s Smiling
  • Eminem, The Marshall Mathers LP2
  • Schoolboy Q, Oxymoron 
  • Wiz Khalifa, Blacc Hollywood 

 

The 57th Annual Grammy’s will air LIVE on Sunday, February 8, 2015. Check out the full list of nominees HERE.

Stay tuned for a post later featuring the Album of the Year nominees.

 

All-Female Top 5 for the 5th Consecutive Week on the Hot 100

picI initially blogged, nearly a month ago, that the ladies had dominated the top 5 of the Hot 100 (CLICK HERE for that post). For the 5th consecutive week the ladies are still ruling over the top 5 and have set a record with the success.

In at #1 is Meghan Trainor‘s, ‘All About That Bass’ followed by Billboard’s Woman of the Year, Taylor Swift in at #2 with ‘Shake It Off’. In at #3 is Iggy Azalea‘s, ‘Black Widow’, featuring Rita Ora, #4 is Jessie Js ‘Bang Bang’ featuring Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj, and at #5 is Nicki Minaj‘s ‘Anaconda’. Congrats to Nicki as it was announced this week that ‘Anaconda’ has gone platinum.

The other longest feat for women in the top 5 of the Hot 100 happened in 1999. Monica‘s (‘Angel of Mine’), Britney Spears (‘…Baby One More Time’), Deborah Cox (‘Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here’), Cher (‘Believe’) and Brandy‘s (‘Have You Ever’)in the top 5 at that time.

Be sure to click the song titles (in blue) to get to my reviews of the most recent track and to purchase the others click the red links. Enjoy the top 5 videos below: