In celebration of Ne-Yo’s 32nd birthday, I thought I’d highlight my favorite album of his, Because of You. The album was released May 1, 2007 and four singles were released: ‘Because of You’, ‘Do You’, ‘Can We Chill’, and ‘Go On Girl.’ It debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 and became his second #1 album. In My Own Words debuted at #1 as well. The album sold 251,000 copies in its first week which was about 50,000 less than his debut. The album went on to win Best Contemporary R&B Album at the 2008 Grammy’s.
Out of the 12 tracks my top 5 would be (in no particular order):
- ‘Because of You’
- ‘Leaving Tonight’ (feat. Jennifer Hudson)
- ‘Make It Work’
- ‘Do You’
- ‘Say It’
- BONUS – ‘Go On Girl’
My friend was so obsessed with Ne-Yo that anytime I would be with her this album would be playing in rotation. At the time I was about sick of hearing it, but there’s no denying that this is every bit of R&B classic, to this generation at least. I love an R&B album that does not have many features and this one only features two: ‘Crazy’ with Jay-Z and one of my favorites, ‘Leaving Tonight’, with Jennifer Hudson. The album touches on just about everything and hones on his skillful writing of love songs. There’s the breakup tracks (‘Go On Girl’/’Leaving Tonight’/’Ain’t Thinking Bout You’), let’s hold on tracks (‘Do You’/’Make It Work’/’Angel’), the love songs (‘Crazy’/’Because of You’/’Can We Chill’) and he wouldn’t be an R&B crooner without singing about sex (‘Say It’/’Addicted’/’Sex With My Ex’).
While I’m not the biggest fan of his latest music, this is definitely one for the books and even seven years later I can still listen to it from beginning to end, reverse, and on shuffle. I would love another Ne-Yo album like this. His music stands alone to not have to keep up with what’s currently on the radio.
CLICK HERE to purchase and listen below (via Spotify):
Tinashe will be releasing her debut album, Aquarius, October 7th and the artwork, release date, and track listing have been confirmed. The album will feature 18 track including her lead single, ‘2 On’, featuring Schoolboy Q. In addition to ‘2 On’, the album will feature and her latest single ‘Pretend’ featuring A$AP Rocky (CLICK HERE for review). Check out the tracklisting below:
- ‘Bet’ (feat. Devonté Hynes)
- ‘Cold Sweat’
- ‘Night Fall’ (Interlude)
- ‘2 On’ (feat. Schoolboy Q)
- ‘How Many Times’ (feat. Future)
- ‘What Is There To Lose’ (Interlude)
- ‘Pretend’ (feat. A$AP Rocky)
- ‘All Hands on Deck’
- ‘Indigo Child’ (Interlude)
- ‘Far Side of the Moon’
- ‘The Calm’ (Interlude)
- ‘Feels Like Vegas’
- ‘Thug Cry’
- ‘Deep In The Night’ (Interlude)
- ‘Bated Breath’
- ‘Wild Night’
- ‘The Storm’ (Outro)
Listen to ‘2 On’ and ‘Pretend’ below:
Usher performed his latest single, ‘She Came to Give It To You’ LIVE at the VMAs this past Sunday (8.24) and the visual has arrived along with a new single ‘Believe Me’ (review on its way). The theme of the video is an underground club. He was into a corner store, walks to the back and there’s men playing cards as he makes his way past them moving to the club part. That part of the video isn’t anything that I haven’t seen before as Trey Songz featured a similar concept in his ‘Na Na’ video (CLICK HERE for that review). Initially upon seeing still shots from the video I thought it looked a lot like ‘U Don’t Have to Call’, but I am surprised and really enjoyed it.
Getting back into the review, once Usher gets into the club, the beat drops and he is dancing his ass off. He’s performing the song with a band at certain scenes and at other times he’s singing in shadows with a dancer. The choreo is really nice and while it’s nothing crazy I love the vibe of the moves with the sound. As I stated in track review, this vibe reminds me of Earth Wind and Fire. I love how he was able to build on the groove and make it modern.
Insert Nicki Minaj who doesn’t make her appearance inside the club, but she’s in the TV room which was shown earlier in the video. She raps and does her thing and then she and Usher have cute little still shots in the video. Other than the short Pharrell cameo, Usher’s love interest in the video was Taylour Paige from Hit The Floor. Kudos to Usher on this one. I really like it.
Coldplay has released another visual from their album Ghost Stories, this time around for ‘True Love’. CLICK HERE for my review of ‘Sky Full of Stars’. For this video it did take me a while to fully understand what was going on as I was blindsided by the inflatable suits.
Looking past that, the song talks about what true love really is. There’s inflatable girl that wants to be a ballet dancer, but they immediately turn her away. She lives in a trailer. Then theres inflatable guy (Chris Martin) who tried to get on the bus, but was turned away because of his size. He’s a janitor where the ballet is performed.
Throughout the video the man dances around as he cleans the stage. Then the lady gets mail with an invitation to a ballet, the same ballet the man is the janitor at..When the lady walked in she was immediately judged and looked at crazily as she sat in the seat. Once the ballet was over she remained in her seat and the man came out and danced around stage. The ended up dancing together and then there was a fast forward to the duo having a ballet show of their own.
The overall message that I got was that people are always judged from their appearance. People never know how another person is unless they actually take the time to get to know them. In taking the time to get to know someone you can find if someone loves you for you or for other advancing reasons. Similar to the end of the video there is always someone out there for you regardless of your appearance and that is true love.
Check out the video below:
I haven’t really enjoyed a Flo Rida song, since, ‘Wild Ones’. Everything else was eh. Radio overkill definitely added to the annoyance of hearing his music. To see the evolution of his career from ‘Low’ to major commercial success with hits such as ‘Wild Ones’ on Pop radio has been a sight to see. His sound has always had that pop feel though. His latest track features Sage The Gemini (‘Red Nose’) and it sounds like it could’ve been a song for Jason DeRulo. The song has a nice vibe to it and I could definitely hear this being a radio smash. It is currently featured on the soundtrack for Neighbors and is the leading single for his 5th studio album, The Perfect 10.
Flo Rida hasn’t had sales quite like his first album, Mail On Sunday (2008) which spawned hits ‘Low’, ‘Elevator’, and ‘In The Ayer’ and debuted at #4 on the Billboard 200. With a track like this it could make moves on the airwaves with the right push, but it needs to happen fast. A track like this could easily be lost in the mix and be forgotten by the time his album is released.
Listen to the track below:
Welcome to another edition of This Week In Music (#TWIM). As always be sure to click the links. First up, let’s recap what’s been covered so far this week:
As for what else has been happening this week, Lil’ Kim has sure been adding more fuel to the fire with her never ending beef with Nicki Minaj. Being that Remy Ma has been released you’d think we’d be hearing more and more from her. Well, ever since that ‘Flawless (Remix)’ dropped with Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj, Lil’ Kim has been dropping something ever day. The question is not as far as does she still have the talent. The question is, “Is Lil’ Kim of any relevance?” It’s very hard for females in general to empower each other. It’s always some form of competition. Fans have been wanting Nicki & Kim on a track for ages. With the beef between the two I doubt that will ever happen. She’s done her ‘Flawless’ Remix, but she didn’t stop there. She went on to do ‘Identity Theft’ with Nicki’s face as the artwork. With pictures provided via Kim’s instagram, it’s true, Nicki Minaj did swagger jack. The only difference is that Nicki Minaj took it to a whole different level. Her looking like a CLOWN majority of the time is what got her noticed. Who knows how this whole Lil’ Kim thing is gonna go down. Any other time she’s gone at Nicki, it’s been swept under the rug. I honestly see this time no different. For those interested, her mixtape, Hardcore 2K14, drops 9/11 and she’ll be going on a MIXTAPE TOUR! A mixtape tour, if anyone was interested.
MOVING ON —-
The beef doesn’t stop there this week. For anyone that were fans of Danity Kane, you’ll have to live in the memories of the Bad Boy days because they have officially broken up, again. It all started with five to be put back together without D. Woods bringing them down to four. Then Aundrea dropped out to start her family leaving Dawn, Aubrey, and Shannon. They dropped their single ‘Lemondade’ and while I was excited to hear they were joining together again the buzz around their reunion was short-lived. Just shy of year after announcing their reunion, t’s all over. What ended it? Well rumor has it that Shannon and Aubrey were recording and having private meetings behind Dawn’s back. Dawn walked into one of those private sessions and yeah, everything went downhill. There was a statement released via the DK website by Aubrey and Shannon that Danity Kane was indeed over. This is also after Shannon and Aubrey made a video saying happy birthday to Dawn and saying they had made it through the “storm.” Here’s a snippet of the joint statement between Shannon and Aubrey via the DK site.
“We know it must be devastating for our fans to have spent the last twelve months supporting our every move, and for that we cannot apologize enough. We share your frustration and anger! We spent a year living on each other’s couches, sacrificing any solo opportunity that came our way, finally finished our comeback album, and were days away from filming three music videos for you that would have played out as a short movie. We lived on calls, traded endless e-mails, and sat in meeting after meeting to bring together an amazing team of producers, agents, directors, and styling teams with no manager in place. We were at the finish line. We wish, more than anything, that our time, our team’s time, and most importantly your time as fans, was not taken for granted and carelessly disregarded. If this ending was in our control, please understand that we would have done everything in our power to move things forward. You have become our family, and regardless of these unfortunate circumstances, we hope all of you treat one another as family, as we have built connections that cannot possibly be conveyed in words. Our journey, and the love we have built together as fans and artists, is a truth that all of us will forever hold close to our hearts. ”
No statement has been released from Dawn regarding the situation and who knows if fans will ever get one. Maybe one day the album that’s “completed” will be released. Clearly Dawn is deemed to be ‘selfish’ according to the other two. To read their full statements CLICK HERE.
Until next time..
Beyoncé will be joining the likes Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake as she will receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at this years VMAs and YES she will be performing. Her last performance was in 2011 when she announced her pregnancy after performing ‘Love on Top.’ CLICK HERE for my review of that performance. Check out the announcement of her to receive the award below:
Beyoncé leads the list of nominees this year with 8 nominations. Overall she’s won 15 VMAs. Be sure to check her out Sunday, August 24th, at 8pm LIVE on MTV.
Check out Queen Bey’s previous VMA performances below:
‘Baby Boy’/’Crazy In Love’ – 2003
‘Ring The Alarm’ – 2006
‘Single Ladies’ – 2009
‘Love on Top’ – 2011
I remember hearing Jhene Aiko for the firs time on B2K’s, ‘Tease’ (Pandemonium!) and here she is nearly 12 years later ready to release her official studio debut and has really become one with her sound. Her debut Souled Out is the followup to her 2011 mixtape, Sailing Soul(s), and her 2013 EP, Sail Out which spawned the radio smash ‘The Worst’. Souled Out will feature tracks ‘To Love & Die’ and ‘The Pressure’ both featuring Cocaine 80s. The album hits stores/online September 9th.
The artwork has been revealed for Keyshia Cole‘s, Point of No Return, and she’s back with the video for her track ‘She’. While it has been said that Keyshia is talking about a female lover she talked about the concept of the song on 106 & Park.
“It’s about self love to me, and going through my divorce, you have to give yourself a little self love because you’re used to somebody being there every night and they’re not.”
The video features a different side of Keyshia Cole which really isn’t displayed. She’s in lingerie dancing for someone whose in a suit, hat and lounging in a chair. As the video goes on its clear to see that she’s dancing for herself. It’s interesting to see that side of Keyshia. The gold ensemble that she had on at 1:50 was gorgeous. The video overall was way better than the others she’s released. I understood the concept of it and I hope that from here on out they only get better.
Check out the video below:
Ne-Yo has released the visual for his latest collab with Jeezy, ‘Money Can’t Buy.’ Ne-Yo explains the track as:
“‘Money Can’t Buy’ is about a woman that represents all those qualities that money can’t buy—integrity, class, style, a woman who knows her worth. I needed the video to kinda represent moments that money can’t buy with a woman that money can’t buy.
Let’s get into the review of the video. While I understand the concept of the song the video is just bland. It does stick to the point of the song, which is a plus, but there’s nothing spectacular about it. It begins with a few sexual scenes which could lead to a concept for another video. It then flips to Ne-Yo on top of a roof standing in front of a beautiful all white Maybach while his lady pulls up in a drop top Chevy Camaro. Jeezy is in all black rapping elsewhere and then back to the concept. His girl rides out instead of Ne-Yo driving. They go to a corner store and then a kiddie birthday party. Overall the video is just boring. The concept could’ve been built on. Again, nothing spectacular.
The track is the lead single off Ne-Yo’s upcoming album, Non Fiction, expected to be released sometime this fall. In a recent interview with NYCs, “The Breakfast Club”, he discussed the vibe of the album.
“I came on home with this one. This album is 99.999998% R&B, meaning I can’t completely abandon that fanbase ’cause they kept the lights on for a very long time. I still got some stuff that can live in that [pop] world, but there’s so much R&B on this album.”
I haven’t really enjoyed a Ne-Yo album since Because of You and that was released in 2007. Hopefully this is all R&B. Ne-Yo is pretty boring to me now, but I won’t knock the fact that he’s talented and can make radio hits. Only time will tell how this turns out.
Check out the video below: