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: T.I. x Pharrell, ‘Paperwork’

T.I. is back with yet another single off his upcoming album and this time it’s the self-titled track ‘Paperwork’ featuring Pharrell. He discussed the track in an interview with MTV News:

“…it pretty much kinda sums up the tone of the album. The cinematic presentation of it all. When you listen to the album, top to bottom, it kinda sounds like the score to a movie and I think ‘Paperwork’ is the perfect introduction to that.”

As a die hard T.I. fan I will not hesitate to say that I do not like the track. I would be sugar coating this review and being biased if I did not explain my true feelings about the track. Musically, it’s different from what T.I. usually releases, but he loves that kind of music so I’m not really surprised in that aspect. For those who have followed T.I.’s music, he’s no stranger to discussing the shortcoming in his life and on this track it is no different. The song sounded like it could’ve been a part of his debut movie, ATL. I’ve tried to play as if this is a great move for T.I. and find ways to like the track, but I’m really just not a fan of it. In knowing that Pharrelll would be producing I was expecting a harder more upbeat track from the two. I love T.I.’s songs with a message and I absolutely love his track ‘New National Anthem’ (CLICK HERE for that review), but this one not so much. It’s boring to me. In his description of the track yes I get the motion picture vibe of it, but it’s not my cup of tea. I’m a bit disappointed as I was anticipating something different.

Despite that, of course I WILL be buying the album because I’m a fan. For the most part everything I’ve heard so far I’ve pretty much enjoyed. Be on the lookout of rmy review. Paperwork IN STORES 10.21.14. Listen below:

 

Single Review: Nicki Minaj, ‘Anaconda’

51xWNC7aC0L._SL500_AA280_Nicki Minaj has been jumping on track after track, ‘No Love (Remix)’‘Bang Bang’. ‘Flawless (Remix)’, plus more and now she’s finally releasing another single off her upcoming album The Pink Print. There was ‘Lookin’ Ass’, ‘Pills N Potions’, and now the audio for the controversial artwork to ‘Anaconda’.

The track is really nothing extravagant to me. I guess I was expecting something more hard hitting. I feel like she hasn’t fully figured out the sound that she wants and while she has the freedom to experiment based off singles she’s released nothing sounds cohesive. This time around she samples Sir Mix-a-Lot‘s, ‘Baby Got Back’, and while I’m all for samples I just find nothing ‘OMG’ about this track. It’s not horrible, but Nicki has done better. Her freestyles to ‘Chiraq’ and ‘No Flex Zone’ sound better than this. The track was supposed to drop last week (7.28), but Nicki is no fool to marketing. There’s a buzz around her collab with Beyoncé so why not drop the new single. Again I’m all for experimenting it’s just that the song didn’t live up to the artwork.

Take a listen below and CLICK HERE to purchase:

Video Review: Janelle Monae, ‘Electric Lady’

Janelle Monae has released the video for her track ‘Electric Lady’ off her latest album, The Electric Lady, which was released September of 2013. Let’s get into the review.

Introducting … Electro Phi Beta from South Atlanta.

Untitled3

Janelle Monae is getting ready to head out with her Soros. She takes a pic of her ladies on her fancy Samsung watch which of course links to her phone, she jumps in the car (a Cadillac) and pops in this cool ‘Electric Lady’ 8-track and the next stop is the Sorority House. UntitledThere’s a party going on (duh) and near the end of the video it hints at it being a bit of a Probate introducing new members into Electro Phi Beta. The albumni of the Sorority that were skyped in on the wall (so cute) were: T-Boz, Esperanza Spalding, Estelle, Monica, and Kimbra.
Untitled2The party goes on as this fraternity rolls in and they get there dance on with this choreo that I keep playing back so I can learn it all. It gets later and later and Janelle breaks into rap and then the Neos. I assume they’re Neo’s as their faces are covered with cool futuristic (oversized) visors and their shirts are numbered. [For those who don’t know, Neos are the abbreviation of Neophytes which are new pledges in a sorority/fraternity.]4 Just when you think it’s over, here comes the cameo from the King of the South, T.I., with his baseball cap, ‘Blurred Lines’ two step, and a red solo cup. Lastly, shoot to the outside where the band comes and there’s Majorette Monae.

Janelle Monae is just so gorgeous in this video. She sticks to the black and white and adds a pop of color with her pink crop top. Her letterman jacket is super dope with the quilted sleeves, JM monogram, and Electric Lady embroidered on the back. Then as majorette she sticks to the same black and white outfit except with her purple hat & cape. Her HAIR, boy that fro.

I give this video a 5/5 for sure. I haven’t been rating videos lately, but this one sure deserves it. So much though and concept behind it. This has been on a favs list before, but here it is nearly a year later back on top of my rotation. Major props for this one.

This is a super DOPE video and too bad Solange isn’t it. She would’ve been great as the DJ at the party.

Check out the AMAZING video below:

Single Review: T.I. x Iggy Azalea, ‘No Mediocre’

iggy-azalea-murda-biznessThe King of Hustle Gang, T.I., has teamed with its First Lady, Iggy Azalea, for a radio friendly track (and possible smash with the right push/marketing) ‘No Mediocre’. As a DIE HARD T.I. fan (check my archive) I’ve always been in support of his music and his career in general, but some of the stuff he’s been putting out lately has not been of interest to me. None of it was radio qualified anyway. Listen to what you hear on the radio. None of the tracks T.I. was releasing was in that lane. It all comes down to the beat to be honest.

Here he is with this track ‘Mediocre’. The beat is catch, the hook is catchy, yet T.I.’s bars BORE me. It’s all generic. Same thing said time and time again just over a different beat. Overall I can dig the track and Iggy did her thing. Now when you read comments on various blogs/YouTube they say she’s throwing shade at Nicki Minaj (blah, blah, blah).

SIDEBAR — Now I like Nicki and Iggy and the only thing they have in common is that they rap. They are in two different lanes musically. I can see Nicki free styling, Iggy not so much. There’s nothing wrong with that. I’m just glad to see another female MC getting shine. No shade whatsoever to Nicki, but just like someone paved the way for her, she’s paved the way for others. Giving credit where credit is due, no Iggyy  might not have grown up listening to Nicki being that they’re not too far off in age, BUT Nicki made it cool to merge Pop & Hip-Hop. She got a lot of flack for it, but she made it work.

Ok, back to the track. As I said, overall I can bump to it. We’ll see how this pans on the radio. Take a listen below:

This Week In Music (V.10): Music News + Track Hits/Misses

There’s been SO much new music released this week and I’ve been waiting to talk about a lot of it for this post in particular. Some were hits and some were misses. Unfortunately a lot that I listened to were straight misses for me which was disappointing from certain artists being that I enjoy their previous work. Let’s get into it.

iggy-azalea-ft-charli-xcx-fancy-full-song-lyrics-listen-nowQuick chart news, Congrats to Iggy Azalea for having ‘Fancy’ reaching the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. Simultaneously, her collab with Ariana Grande, ‘Problem’, sits in at #2 making her the _ solo artist over all to have achieved this chart position. Also be sure to check out my review of the video for ‘Problem’ here.

In other music news, Beats by Dre was indeed purchased by Apple this week for $3 billion dollars. With that deal Dr. Dre is officially the WEALTHIEST Hip Hop artist and the first to reach the billion mark. Yes, Dre has surpassed Diddy with this move. CONGRATS! Nearly two months ago I posted, Forbes 5 Wealthiest Hip Hop Artist: Race to 1 Billion, and I said that Diddy would be the first reach the billion mark due to his steady incline yearly with all his business ventures. This deal just goes to show that all it takes is one deal. Diddy is next up though, but Dre. wins the race.

Now for the music. There’s been a slew of music released from: Justin Bieber, 50 Cent, Ne-Yo, Common, Jhene Aiko, Tyga, and others. Let’s get into the misses of the week. I was really interested in hearing new music from Ester Dean, Day26, and Ne-Yo, but after hearing their ‘comeback’ tracks they’re very lackluster and leaves me disappointed and uninterested. Ester Dean is an amazing songwriter, but this track she released ‘Twerkin 4 Birkin’ is horrible and in my eyes downgrades her talent.

 

Then there’s Day26. Danity Kane got back together as a foursome, now it’s down to three so I knew it was only time before Day26 would resurface. Their new track, ‘Bullsh#!t’ just doesn’t do it for me. Being that they’re an R&B group I didn’t really expect them to come out with a radio hit like that of Danity Kane. I knew a slow jam would be coming. Lyrically the song isn’t all that great. There’s potential vocally of course, but new material is needed.

 

Lastly, Ne-Yo is back after he said he was done and is gearing up to released a new album in September titled, Non Fiction. His new track ‘Money Can’t Buy’ features Jeezy and while it’s not horrible I’m just not feeling it. I would prefer to hear Ne-Yo by himself. Jeezy wasn’t really needed, but in this R&B world, you’re more likely to hit the radio with a  rapper assisted track. The song isn’t a complete miss, I’m just disappointed lyrically from Ne-Yo because this song concept is nothing new. He could do better.

https://soundcloud.com/motownrecords/ne-yo-money-cant-buy-featuring-jeezy-explicit

 

Yes an artist has the right to do whatever they feel and who I am to judge on their creativity. I just expect more conceptually from artists and a certain point. Now for the tracks that I’m feeling this week. Mary J. Blige came back with a track called ‘Suitcase’ and it’s another breakup song. It’s Mary’s signature though at this point. I like the vibe of it. Jhene Aiko released her collab with her rapping alter ego J Henny titled Stay Ready’ and I like this one more than her radio smash, ‘The Worst.’ I really really love the vibe to this one. Next up is Justin Bieber. I was a bit hesitant to listen to his new track ‘Looking for You’ featuring Migos, but I really really like it. Just goes to show don’t count a track until you give it a full listen. Take a listen to my hits of the week below:

https://soundcloud.com/dushdiamond/mary-j-blige-suitcase-2014

 

 

New Music: Wale, ‘Razor Freestlye (Bad Guy)’

It’s clear that Wale is a WWE fan after his scuffle during a WWE event back in March. It’s been a minute since I’ve heard solo Wale since he’s been jumping on other tracks. Well he’s back on his game and has pays homage to his wrestling over the theme music for Razor Ramon (Scott Hall). He mentions: McMahon, Flair, Eric Bischoff, Curt Henning, Curtis Axel, Sin Cara, Daniel Bryan, Heath Slater, The Rock, and more.

As a wrestling fan I really appreciate this ‘ode’ to wrestling. Listen to the track below: