Katy Perry, Super Bowl XLIX, Halftime Review

I love doing reviews and the Super Bowl Pepsi Halftime Show is included. Two years ago it was Beyoncè, last year Bruno Mars (click HERE for that review), and this year KATY PERRY! I’m a huge fan of her music and I was interested in seeing not only what she’d perform, but how she would do it.

I had expected for her to perform:

  • ‘Firework’
  • Roar’
  • ‘California Gurls’
  • ‘Dark Horse’
  • ‘Last Friday Night’

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Out of those five, she performed four. Not too shabby for my predictions. She came out to “Roar’ on a  geometric lion in a fiery two piece. Switch over to ‘Dark Horse’ with the same geometric themed set and then insert Lenny Kravitz jamming to ‘I Kissed a Girl.’ She didn’t show too much skin, but she dropped it for Lenny. She then had an outfit change into a beach ball inspired two piece and performed ‘Teenage Dream’ and ‘California Gurls.’ The set for that reminded me her ‘This Is How We Do’ video (click HERE for to check it out) with the dancing shark, beach balls, surf board, and palm trees.

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Just when you thought it was over, it wasn’t. She kept going and I don’t mean that in a good way. She then brought out Missy Elliot who performed not one, not two, but THREE SONGS: ‘Get Ur Freak On,’ ‘Work It,’ and ‘Lose Control.’ No pop when she came out. Katy threw on a dope hoodie and even did a little choreo during ‘Get Ur Freak On.’ Just a little two step. Missy took me back with the hits though. I surely rapped along.

If you got a big _ let me search it

Once Missy was done Katy came back out and did ‘Firework as she floated through the arena on a Star that looked like something from a kids show. I was ok with her other outfits, but I didn’t like the star dress. She could’ve just done all sequins or something.

Overall the performance was pretty boring. Boring as in I wasn’t all that interested. There was no pop from the crowd, no buzz. I love that she brought out Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliot, but this new generation doesn’t know who they are. No one seemed to scream when Missy came out.  Lenny Kravitz wasn’t a surprise because they kept saying through the first half that he’d be a part of the performance. How do you bring out someone and have them do three songs and you’re the headliner? She could’ve started rapping or something.

It just wasn’t what I expected and when it was over I was ready for the game to come back on. She did too much and while it’s great to bring out other stars during her set, it was just too much music. Never thought I’d say that, but it was. I would’ve preferred for her to elongate the songs she performed.

Russell Wilson took a shower and changed into a new uniform during Halftime. That pun right there shows that I could’ve been doing something else. Eh, it was alright. It wasn’t horrible, just not great compared to her predecessors.

Last year the game was a dud with a great Super Bowl performance. This year it was reversed. Still a fan of KP, just not this performance. Until next year…

Single Review: Rihanna, ‘FourFiveSeconds’

rihanna-fourfiveseconds-coverRihanna is back with new music and unfortunately it’s not what I expected. This is her first track that’s not promo from her 2012 album, Unapologetic (click HERE for that review). She teams up with Paul McCartney and Kanye West for this track.

The track is titled ‘FourFiveSeconds’ and while lyrically it’s nice, this is not what I was expecting for Rihanna music. Rihanna has a formula that her fans are no stranger to. She can do the pop, reggae, and ballads. I see that she’s trying out something different, but I don’t like it. I had similar feelings when I first heard ‘Diamonds’, but that song grew on me. I don’t see this one doing the same.

Kanye comes in and sings like he’s been doing on a lot of his tracks. Not any auto tune. No singing from Paul McCartney, he’s playing the guitar. When looking at the artwork it looks edgier than what the song really is.

Lyrically, as noted, it’s a nice song. Musically it fits the song, but I’m not feeling it. I wanted a upbeat song from Rihanna and if Kanye was going to be on it I wanted him to be spitting bars, not singing. This sounds like something for a movie soundtrack. Vocally Rihanna sounds great. Personally, I just don’t like the song.

When I think of a comeback, I think of something hard hitting and will soar on the radio. Radio play equals buzz which hypes fans for the album. Then again there’s been plenty of songs on the radio to soar yet the album would be a flop. Maybe this is a just an experiment from her. Who knows what will be on the album.

You can listen to the track HERE and it’s available for purchase on iTunes.

Single Review: Lil Wayne, ‘Drunk In Love (Remix)’

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Lil Wayne has released his mixtape, Sorry for the Wait 2. No surprise that since the album didn’t drop a mixtape was released. What better way to connect with the fans and keep a buzz than free music.

I’m not vocally comparing Chrisitna Milian to Beyonce because there is no comparison. No shade to Christina, she has a nice voice, but it’s not for ‘Drunk In Love’. She didn’t even showcase her vocal ability. I didn’t expect it to be a cover. When I saw Lil Wayne was releasing a mixtape I wasn’t surprised to see that she was featured.

This song is just REALLY too much for me. They took a song that subliminally talked about sex metaphorically using surfboards and what not. Now their version is straight up fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck. They took the sexiness out of the song. For a song that was sleek it’s now trash.

No surfboard, the skateboard. While the objects are one in the same, one with wheels one without, I’m not pleased. I listened through to write the review, but I’m good on this. I don’t care about the sex life between Christina Milian & Tunechi. Not interested at all. He can keep this. I’m over it.

As for the mixtape overall I haven’t really given it a thorough listen. From what I’ve heard it’s the typical Lil Wayne. I’m still interested in seeing how this whole YMCMB issue plays out. Fans couldn’t get Tha Carter V so this had to tie them over.

Listen to the mixtape HERE. ‘Drunk In Love’ track 10:

 

MMF Flashback — Destiny’s Child, The Writing’s on the Wall

Welcome to another edition of MMF Flashback. In this series I pay review albums that have been released already from various artist. These albums have reached some type of milestone and are very instrumental in the artists particular growth or debut. Be sure to check out my first two installments:

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In this edition I’ll be reviewing Destiny’s ChildThe Writings on the WallIt was July 28, 1999 when Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland, LeToya Luckett, and LaTavia Roberson released their sophomore album and follow-up to  their self-titled debut. The album spawned hits: ‘Bills, Bills, Bills’, ‘Bug a Boo’, ‘Say My Name’, and ‘Jumpin’, Jumpin”. It debuted at #6 on the Billboard 200 in August of 1999 with 132,000 copies sold in its first week. By the end of the year, less than six months after its release, the album had sold 1.6 million copies. 2000 was a huge year for the album as it went on to sell an additional 3.6 million copies and became the tenth best-selling album of the year. The album went on to spend 99 consecutive weeks on the Billboard 200 from its 1999 release to Spring 2001 and was certified 8x Platinum by the RIAA in November of 2001. To date it has sold over 11 million copies.

The success from the album didn’t stop there as the group went on to win two Grammys, Best R&B Vocal Performance by Duo or Group and Best R&B song, both for ‘Say My Name’. They also won an American Music Award for Favorite Soul/R&B Band/Duo. Although the drama amongst the change in members still lies with the name Destiny’s Child there’s no denying that with an album like this it helped to cement their popularity, gain airplay and chart presence, plus emphasize the vocal ability of Beyoncé.

I wasn’t even a teenager (almost 9) when this album was released, but with my older sister six years older than me this was the music that she listened to in rotation. I remember the ‘commandments’ that was after each track. Listening to it as a young adult the album blends Hip-Hop and R&B very well and is more urban than the direction that the ladies took once they became a trio. The sound of music changes with time and Destiny’s Child has been able to modify their sound to the current sound. In the late 90s, R&B was still relevant and Hip-Hop always found it’s way to the forefront. In fusing those two sounds plus lyrics of wanting no dead beat guy, love, no love, cheating, having fun, etc. each of the 14 songs (excludes into and outro) was great at adding a different element.

If I had to choose JUST one I would have to say my favorite is between ‘Bills, Bills, Bills’ and ‘Jumpin’ Jumpin”. I know, the radio smashes. The album overall is interesting to listen to 15 years later when I have a different sound of music. 

Reminisce and listen to the album below:

NEW MUSIC TUESDAY [7.15.14]

Another tuesday and there’s NEW MUSIC of course. As for albums Jason Mraz, Yes!, and Marsha Ambrosius, Friends and Loversare both available online and in stores. ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic is back with the parodies on his latest album, Mandatory FunBe sure to check out  ‘Blurred Lines’ parody, ‘Word Crimes’, below:

Well other than the albums above it seems to be Nicki Minaj Tuesday. Two of her collabs dropped today. The first is her feature with Cam’ron titled,’So Bad’ and the video drops tomorrow (7.16). He posted a snippet of this on his Instagram a while back and the full track has finally surfaced. I really want to see the video before I go into a full review.

The other feature she has is Rae Sremmurd’s, ‘No Flex Zone’, and Nicki SLAYS! She’s really promoting the fact that she can rap and that her mediocre yet clever rhymes on her pop tracks were just an experimental phase. The features don’t stop there. She’ll be featured on the remix to August Alsina‘s, ‘No Love’, which has yet to drop. In the meantime check out her latest collabs below, plus her collab with Future, ‘Rock Star’.

https://soundcloud.com/hottestinstrumentals/camron-so-bad-ft-nicki-minaj

https://soundcloud.com/nickiminaj/no-flex-zone-remix-feat-nicki-minaj

https://soundcloud.com/hiphoppage/future-rockstar-feat-nicki-minaj

Estelle is back with a  new track titled, ‘Conqueror’. I really like this track and this is back to what I see her singing aside from her track ‘Make Her Say (Beat It Up)’. This is a different sound for her and goes beyond the traditional R&B sound. Her new album, True Romance, is set to drop November 4th. In an interview with USA Today, she discussed the direction of her latest creation:

“I had to figure out who I was again. I had ask to myself questions like, ‘What kinds of things do I like?’ “This album is about the time in between breaking up with someone and becoming happy again. That time that you’re just existing. No one goes straight to happiness after a breakup.”

 

The video drops Monday (7.21). In the meantime, take a listen below:

https://soundcloud.com/youknowigotsoul/estelle-conquerer

New Artist Spotlight: Nyms & Kayne

I love reviewing/sharing new music and this time I’m sharing a duo by the of Nyms & Kayne. As always, be sure to click the links.

HeadphonesThe duo began initially as solo artists, but have come together and have released their first EP tiitled, Catch Me If You CanThey describe their sound as ‘Urban Pop’ and after listening to the four tracks of the EP, I would agree.

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The four tracks: ‘Catch Me If You Can’, ‘She Got You’, ‘Save Me’, and ‘Leave’ are a great introduction of the versatility of the two. ‘Catch Me If You Can’ and ‘Leave’ showcases the collaborative effort between the two while ‘She Got You’ and ‘Save Me’ showcases their individuality. You get a taste of their sound and style within four tracks which is amazing.

My favorite out of the four

Check out Nyms’ lyric video to the track, ‘She Got You’ ,below:

For more on Nyms & Kanye be sure to check out their social media listed below:

Video Review: John Legend, ‘You and I’

John Legend is back with his latest video for his new single, ‘You and I (Nobody In The World)’. I’m so pleased to watch yet another video with CONCEPT!

The video begins with Legend’s wife Chrissy Teigen  getting ready for what seems like a night out with her beau. Throughout the video it switches from women of all ethnicities and ages as they seem to struggle with appearance. Legend’s voice and lyrics stand true to show just how beautiful every woman is regardless of whether she has an illness, injury, deformity, etc. She doesn’t always have to go above and beyond to appear how society thinks she should. Natural beauty is to be admired.

You don’t have to try
Don’t try
Don’t try
You don’t have to try

It was disturbing to read a lot of the comments on YouTube about this video as people were very harsh and judgmental. One person commented there weren’t enough black women represented and many commented on the women who showed her breast which were clearly cut off. This is why people, not just women hide. This is why people mask their pain which in turn can lead to suicide. It’s a shame that people are so cruel. I know that they justify their comments by having a right to their own opinion and freedom of speech, but the insensitivity is out of this world with what people write and say.

Beautiful video by John Legend. You can find this track on Legend’s latest album, Love In The Future

Check out the video below:

Album Review: Trigga (Deluxe Edition)

trigga-cover I’m no stranger to reviewing music from Trey Songz and I’ve decided to do a full out album review for this LP. Be sure to click the links below to check out my reviews to some of Trey’s previous works:

Before I get into the review let’s talk pricing of the album. Of course it’s available in stores and online. Via iTunes you can get the standard or deluxe editions. The standard edition comes with and is $8.99 and the deluxe comes with 17 tracks for $10.99. I will say that for an iTunes copy that’s pretty cheap as albums can value up to nearly $15 upon first release. Over on Amazon it’s the same price the perk is when you buy a hard copy you receive the MP3 right along with it. The Target version features three bonus tracks in addition to those on the deluxe edition: ‘Hard to Walk Away’, ‘Serial’, and ‘Sneaky’. Those three bonus tracks are featured in the two-disc set which values for $14.99. All depends on what you want, I just like giving prices. As always though, I recommend the deluxe, more BANG for your BUCK. Now on to the review. (Be sure to click the links the links above.) As for this album I was very hesitant as to how I would like it.

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I honestly haven’t loved an entire Trey Songz compilation since Ready. When I heard that he’d be titling his sixth album, Trigga, I figured that he’d be rapping all over it being that Trigga is his alter-ego. I’m so glad when listening that the album didn’t consist of all that. Leading up to the album he released singles: Na Na‘, ‘SmartPhones’, ‘What’s Best for You’,  ‘Foreign’ and ‘Change Your Mind’. The five tracks are the perfect example of what the ‘Trey Songz Formula’ consists of. He has the club bangers, the sexual innuendos, the breakup to makeup, and at times not caring if his female interest has a man or not. (Click the track links above for the reviews I’ve already done.)

My Top 5 —

  • ‘Cake’
  • ‘SmartPhones’
  • ‘Foreign’
  • ‘Love Around The World’
  • ‘Y.A.S’

On this album he’s also teamed up with Nicki Minaj, ‘Touchin, Lovin’, and I must say that I like ‘Bottoms Up’ better. This track could easily make its way to the clubs and have some good airplay the song is just not anything spectacular. It sounds like the the current mesh of music on the radio right now like like ‘Loyal’, ‘Don’t Tell Em’ and ‘Main Chick’. There’s nothing really original, but I do appreciate Nicki getting back to basics with her rhymes and actually rapping with thought and Trey plays up the Notorious B.I.G./R. Kelly classic, ‘F*ck You Tonight’. Decent track, not my favorite though.

As for that ‘Foreign (Remix)’ with Justin Bieber, Trey Songz did NOT need to include that. Biebs did not add anything to the track and it’s just a waste. It should’ve been a version leaked or something. It didn’t need to be on the album. His track with Juicy J, ‘Late Niight’, is a banger. I can see it doing well on the radio and once it gets to the clubs it’ll do great there too.

Overall I love this album WAY more than Chapter V. There were just too many songs on Chapter V that I could do without. I really like this one. Is there anything super special or experimental on this album? No. Trey definitely stuck to what he knows, but it turned out great. I’ll be honest. I’m not completely in LOVE, but I do like this one quite a bit. Congrats on having the #1 album in the country. On another note, I would love another Trey Songz mixtape for old times sake.

Take a listen to the album in its entirety below (via Spotify):

Album Review: In The Lonely Hour

British singer-songwriter, Sam Smith, has released his debut to the states In The Lonely Hour and it’s doing well on the Billboard 200 as it debuted at #3 and the following week ranked at #2. I’ve been hearing his music on the radio for quite some time I just never placed the sound with his name. I knew that I had to give his album a listen and give a review after hearing his rendition of Whitney Houston’s, ‘How Will I Know’. His voice is AMAZING!

In The Lonely Hour is available online and in-stores and via iTunes it’s $7.99 for the standard (10 tracks) and $10.99 for the deluxe (14 tracks). Amazon offers the album as well $10.49 for digital and $11.23 (odd price) for the audio CD. Both of those prices are for the deluxe and the standard is the same as iTunes, $7.99. Target of course has a special edition which features three bonus tracks: ‘Reminds Me of You’, ‘Stay With Me’ (featuring Mary J. Blige), and ‘In The Lonely Hour’. What’s missing on the Target edition is a track titled ‘Make It To Me’ which is featured on both iTunes and Amazon versions. Not sure why that was cut. The standard version for Target is $13.09 and the deluxe is $16.99. I say wait for a sale.

My Top 5 —

  •  ‘Good Thing’
  • ‘Not In That Way’
  • ‘Leave Your Lover’
  • ‘La La La’
  • ‘Latch (Acoustic)’

This album is so 60s and I love it. His voice is just so soothing. Everything blends together nicely

Take a listen to the album in its entirety below (via Spotify):

Video Reviews: T-Pain, Reginae Carter

T-Pain has cut the dreads and is back with another track which in my opinion does not match the caliber of ‘Up Down’. He’s back with more of a ballad titled, ‘Love Suicide’. The song discusses how he’s with this girl and then all of a sudden she changes and he assumes she’s cheating which is revealed int he video that she is instead it’s not with a man, it’s with a woman. He’s standing on top of a building outside of her apartment window contemplating on committing suicide as ‘people’ look on and try to catch photos/videos on their phones. The song isn’t horrible, but the video is. Everything about the video is fake. It’s not believable and T-Pain keeps dancing to the beat. Acting is CLEARLY not his forte. Then he gets this rapper to come in near the end of the song and he’s dancing outside of her window to the beat, yet again. It’s just not believable. The cuts in and out from him on top of the building is just sloppy. The concept could’ve gone somewhere, but it didn’t. The video gets a thumbs down from me, but the song is pretty cool. Not a radio hit, but it’s good.

Check out the video below:

In the latest edition of ‘Weezy Wednesdays’, Lil Wayne spotlights his daughter and her latest single ‘Mind Goin Crazy’. After reading comments on blogs and YouTube, people are going a bit too hard on the 15-year-old. I know, I know. Her father is Lil Wayne, she’s surrounded by greats, BUT at the end of the day it’s her music and her sound. Now this is not a hit like Willow Smith’s ‘Whip My Hair’ which is one I’ve seen her compared to musically with this single. I think it’s great that she’s experimenting even though her singing is infused with auto-tune. I think it’s great that she has a platform to do so and yes there are youngsters with better vocals, better rhymes that do not have a father by the name of Lil Wayne, but this girl seems to have her head on straight. To me she seems like a very bubbly person from what she shows on Instagram and at the age she is she has every right to be care free.

Now the video and song is what I can see high schoolers bumping to as in they all seem to be ‘Reginaetors’. I wouldn’t say it’s horrible, but at certain points I am trying to piece together what she is saying because not all of it makes sense. I guess she got that from her daddy. I’m not counting her out just yet as this is just her first single. Who knows what’s to come next.

Overall, it’s nice to see that her project is coming to the light and not just talk that she’s signed to Young Money. There’s actually a product now. She’s teamed with Hairfinity and her album is set to be called Being Reginae. Check out her video and Hairfinity webisode below: