2015 Grammy Review

Musics biggest night, The Grammy’s, has come and gone and social media has created a lot of buzz surrounding the show from the red carpet to the usual Grammy snubs. This review is not a play by play of the show being that I wasn’t fully interested. A lot of the performances were very somber and nothing made me jump out of my seat. Anyway, here are my highlights.

sam smithFirst of CONGRATS to the biggest winner of the night, Sam Smith. He won 4 Grammy’s: Best New Artist, Best Pop Vocal Album, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year. His feat reminded me of Adele as they both capitalized on breakups to make amazing music.

FAVORITE Performances:

tumblr_njholmKhZ41r7mjwxo1_500The first performance that I loved was Hozier’s ‘Take Me To Church’ alongside Annie Lennox who then performed ‘I Put a Spell On You.’ I’ve heard Hozier’s song before, not any of his other music, but I do like his voice. Annie Lennox MADE the performance with her energy. I absolutely loved it.

giphyThe second performance that I loved is of course from Sia. She brought Maddie Ziegler along with her, of course, and added actress Kristen Wiig. I’m upset ‘Chandelier’ didn’t win anything. I guess she’s invisible to the Acaedmy. 1000 Forms of Fear is still my favorite album of 2014. I’m for any and all things Sia. Unfortunately Sia didn’t win any Grammy’s DESPITE ‘Chandlier’ being an amazing song with amazing performances.

I’m not discussing all performances simply because there’s nothing for me to discuss. I will say that I did like the Target ad being Imagine Dragons performing ‘Shots’ (click HERE for that review) LIVE from Vegas. Other performances were ok. I did like Katy Perry’s ‘By The Grace of God,’ and Miranda Lambert’s, ‘Little Red Wagon,’ but that’s about it.

Performances I DIDN’T Like:

There was talk of Pharrell performing a different version of ‘Happy’ which shouldn’t have been allowed based off the title of the song. He came out looking like a hotel Bell Hop speaking the lyrics and having it spoken in different languages, excuse me, creepily whispered in different languages before the song took a dark turn. What was supposed to be ‘Happy’ sounded like something that belonged on a soundtrack to a scary movie.

Another performance that I didn’t like was Rihanna’s with Paul McCartney and Kanye West. they all came out in suits and what not and did the song. As I stated in my review (click HERE for that), I don’t see this as a comeback track, but I’ll stick around for what’s coming.

Speaking of albums, Album of the Year went to Beck for Morning Phase. Other nominees in the category were: Beyoncè (Beyoncè), Sam Smith (In The Lonely Hour), Pharrell (G I R L), and Ed Sheeran (X). Kanye was about to go on stage and interrupt as he did to Taylor Swift at the VMAs, but he had a change of heart. Beck invited him to come back, but talk about another awkward moment. He did rant in an interview after the show saying:

And Beck needs to respect artistry and he should’ve given his award to Beyoncè.

I can’t sit here and completely agree with that although it would’ve been great to see Beyonce win an award she’s never won before. I will say that every artist has their own form of artistry and that it’s the people who pick the artist as the winner, no the artist that should get the backlash. Another artist that had something to say about Grammy snubs was Trey Songz. He tweeted (see right):

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In certain areas of music, I will say that there are a lot of artists that could be nominated yet they do get snubbed in one way or another. There’s not a huge presence of R&B aside from Beyoncè. Speaking of she won Best R&B Song for ‘Drunk In Love’ and fans watched her perform ‘Take My Hand Precious Lord’ as the introduction to the final performance of the night, ‘Glory,’ by John Legend and Common. The song on the Selma soundtrack was performed by Ledisi, a Grammy nominee, but she just sat back and watched as Beyonce did what she should’ve done.

Also Kendrick Lamar might have been snubbed last year in the Best Rap Album category, but he ended up winning not one, but TWO Grammy’s this year for his track ‘i’; Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song. Better late than never.

Overall while the show moved rather quickly with few interruptions, it wasn’t all that entertaining to me. I love that there were a lot of performances, just not any that were upbeat enough to make the crowd dance like last year. Another thing was that these artists need to work on their acceptance speeches and keep them from 30-45 seconds. If you’re nominated you should have a speech prepared just in case.

Click HERE for full list of winners. Until the next award show…

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.

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY EMINEM! #LIBRASEASON

Eminem_11-15-2013Happy Birthday to one of the greatest of all time, the real Slim Shady, EMINEM! He has redefined hip hop over the years and is one of the most celebrated rappers.

His first album, Infinite, was released in 1996 and over the course of nearly 20 years he has released 8 studio albums, and starred in a movie about his life that has become quite the classic. For the success of 8 Mile, Em snagged an Oscar for Best Original Song for the track ‘Lose Yourself’. Aside from an Oscar win Em has won other awards including: 14 AMAs, 17 BMAs, 13 VMAs, 10 TCAs, 10 WMAs, and an astounding 13 Grammy’s. Five of those Grammy wins were for Best Rap Album.

It’s amazing what a career Eminem has had and while he’s seasoned in the game his fans are still there and so are his lyrics. Not many rappers can lyrically add comedic relief to their music. Can’t wait to see what else he has in store.

HAPPY HAPPY 42nd BIRTHDAY EM! Listen to some of my favs below:

 

MMF Celebrates Black History in Music, Feb. 28

On February 28, 1984 Michael Jackson swept the 26th Annual Grammy Awards with 8 wins of the success of his 1982 album, Thriller. He took home: Album of the Year, Record of the Year (‘Beat It’), Best Recording for Children (‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’), Best Pop Vocal Performance Male (‘Thriller’), Producer of the Year (along with Quincy Jones), Best R&B Vocal Performance Male (‘Billie Jean’), Best Rhythm and Blues Song; songwriter (‘Billie Jean’), and Best Rock Vocal Performance Male (‘Beat It’).

Here’s a compilation of his acceptance speech at the 26th Annual Grammy Awards.

Thriller was released on November 30, 1982. The album only featured 9 songs so for him to have won 8 Grammys for the album it’s like a Grammy per song! In addition to the 8 Grammy wins he won 8 AMAs, a special Merit Award, and 3 The video for ‘Thriller’ was more of a motion picture with their even being a special on the making of the video.

Jackson’s videos ‘Beat It’ and ‘Billie Jean’ are noted for breaking the color barrier on MTV. During the early 80s not many black artists were played except for a few. When ‘Beat It’ aired on MTV it was still not played on a high rotation. In fact, ‘Billie Jean,’ was not put into medium rotation (2-3 times a day) until it peaked on the Billboard Hot 100. Although those two songs set the tone for what what was to come with breaking the color barrier on the station the release of ‘Thriller’ was what really eliminated the barrier.

The album was inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records on February 7, 1984 as the world’s best-selling album. On August 21, 2009 the album was certified platinum 29x by the RIAA having sold 29 million copies in the U.S. and over 20 million outside the U.S. The album is still iconic to this day averaging 130,000 in the U.S. yearly.

Below is a playlist of the album. ENJOY!

Then & Now Thursday (V.7) — Pharrell

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There’s no denying that Pharrell’s 20+ year career has taken on a new life. This past summer, his hits ‘Get Lucky’ and ‘Blurred Lines’ took him to another level. His track ‘Happy’ from the Despicable Me 2 Soundtrack has taken on a new life as well nearly a year after its initial release. So much life that the track has been nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song and has become his first solo track to top Billboard‘s Hot 100. On top of that Pharrell has hit the covers of GQ, Billboard, and has performed ‘Happy’ just about everywhere. So it’s safe to say that an album would be in the works while he’s still hot, and he’s doing just that. His second sophomore album, G I R L, is set to be released March 3rd and Pharrell claims this is his best work yet.

It all started back in 1992 when Pharrel wrote a verse for Teddy Riley for Wreck-N-Effect’s, ‘Rump Shaker.’ Around that time he and friend Chad Hugo teamed up with two others and formed an R&B group, The Neptunes. In 1994 he and Hugo took the production route and remained under the same name. Throughout the 90s the duo helped produce for Blackstreet (‘Tonight’s The Night’), Mase (‘Lookin’ At Me’), and N.O.R.E. (‘Superthug). Throughout that decade they really honed in on what would become the ‘Neptune sound’ and their first full feature production was Kelis’ first album, Kaleidoscope.

The new millennium did not slow down The Neptunes as they continued to grind and add artists to their rolodex. They went on to produce for Britney Spears, Nelly, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Madonna, Shakira, Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Lopez, and dozens more.

The Clipse were the first artist signed to Star Trek Entertainment (Arista) and their debut album, Lord Willin, spawned hits ‘Grindin’ and ‘When The Last Time.’

During this time he did release an album overseas as part of N.E.R.D. and in 2003 released The Neptunes Presents…Clones which featured the hit, ‘Frontin” featuring Jay-Z.

That album coincided with his production on Jay-Z’s, The Black Album, having produced tracks ‘Change Clothes,’ and ‘Allure.’ His 2006 album, In My Mind spawned the hit ‘Number One’ featuring Kanye West. In his recent GQ interview he discussed his mindset at the time for the album and how it wasn’t his greatest work.

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I wrote those songs out of ego. Talking about the money I was making and the by-products of living that lifestyle. What was good about that? What’d you get out of it? There was no purpose. I was so under the wrong impression at that time.

Throughout his career Pharrell is best known for his music, but he’s also dibble dabbed in fashion with a clothing line of his own and recently has set a new trend with the Vivenne Westwood hat that has become his new trademark. He’s won 7 Grammys and with his new album G I R L he could add some more gold to his collection in 2015.

I instantly knew that the name of the albumwas called G I R L, and the reason why is because women and girls, for the most part, have just been so loyal to me and supported me. There is no breathing human being on this planet that did not benefit by a woman saying yes twice. Yes to make you, and yes to have you. Point-blank.

Enjoy the playlist below of Pharrell’s biggest hits.

MMF Celebrates Black History in Music, Feb. 21

On February 21, 1990, Living Colour, became the first all African American band to win in the category for Best Hard Rock Performance for their song, ‘Cult of Personality’ at the 36th Annual Grammy Awards.

They also won the following year in the same category for their song, ‘Time’s Up.’

Living Colour is a NYC band made up of Vernon Reid, Corey Glover, Muzz Skillings, and Will Calhoun. Dough Wimbish would later replace Skillings. Their debut, Vivid was released in May of 1988 peaking at #6 on the Billboard 200. It’s second album, Times Up, was released in 1990 and peaked at #13 on the Billboard 200.

‘Cult of Personality’ is well known among WWE fans with wrestler CM Punk using their song for his intro since 2011. They also performed live for his Wrestlemania 29 entrance.

Pharrell Announces New Album + Release Date

Pharrell Announces New Album + Release Date

Oscar-nominated and Grammy winner, Pharrell Williams, is already on a roll and his track ‘Happy’ along with his Robin Thicke/Daft Punk collabs has given him new life so the next practical thing would be to release an album. Pharrell is doing just that and this will be his second solo album since 2006s, In My Mind.

His new album, G I R L, will feature 10 tracks, one of which will be ‘Happy,’ and is available for order on iTunes with a release date of March 3, 2014.

I’m excited to hear new music from Pharrell and there is no track listing as of yet, but the release date will be here before we know it.

Aside from making music he teamed up with Mastercard for Mastercard’s “Priceless Surprises” to surprise one of his fans. Check out the vid below: