First Try Is The Best Try/Let’s Ride Like There’s No Tomorrow/Cuz What I Got Is What You Need/I Can Give You All Of Me. -Ronni Allen
I was instantly a fan of this track by newcomer, Ronni Allen, because of the sample she used. But when I heard her voice on the song I knew for other reasons it was going to be a good one. Give me a beat I can vibe out to, some sweet R&B vocals, some cool lyrics and that’s really about all I need. It’s a new song with an older feel to it. The sample was taken from Ma$e’s “Tell Me What You Want” featuring Total, off his debut album Harlem World. The Ma$e track was definitely one of my favorites when it came out and it still is now, too.
Ronni Allen is a new songstress on the scene, originally from the island Montserrat but when a volcano destroyed the capital in 1995 her family was forced to relocate to The Bronx, New York. Her music is definitely influenced by the New York R&B sound we’ve all become familiar with. Some of her musical idols are Total, Faith Evans, SWV and Michael Jackson. I hope you all like the song as much as I do! Be sure to check my site, as I’ll definitely be posting any new releases she has coming up!
Now How You Doin’ Miss Lady? To Keep It Real, I Ain’t Tryna Sound Crazy/But I’m A Fan Of You/Now What A Man To Do?/Clear My Day Just So I Can Set Up Plans With You. -Troy
Bay Area artist, Troy of Legends Live Forever released a new set of visuals yesterday for his track “Worth It” featuring Bianca K. Shot at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, this video is the perfect representation of the summertime in California. If you’re looking for that perfect summertime ballad to ride out to as summer draws to a close, this is it. You really can’t go wrong with Troy’s smooth lyrics coupled with Bianca K’s voice over the beat that’ll instantly make you nod your head.
Peep the video below and be sure to head over to iTunes after and purchase the song too!
Never Thought That These Words Were This Powerful/Make Em Pay They Ever Doubted You. -Locksmith
Locksmith does it again. His newest video “Your Loss,” is my favorite one so far. The video displays a set of simplistic images while still managing to be intricate. It’s an interesting concept but one I immediately picked up on. I guess it all boils down to some serious irony. I wrote this post focusing on the imagery of the video coupled with the lyrics to explore another meaning.
1. This song evokes a certain air of purity. A song about chasing your dreams yet managing to stay true to oneself – something that a lot people (not just artists) struggle with. Now, think about that message in relation to all of the fake imagery surrounding Vegas.
2. Vegas is a place where some people try to prove they’re something that they might not necessarily be. A place where the norm is to “front” or “stunt” on others. (I know that’s a generalization, but it’s still an underlying theme.) Every bit of Locksmith’s song goes against that, take for example the lyric “I’d Rather Be Me Than The Facade That You Rep.”
3. Most of the time we equate being rich with money. Being rich in money doesn’t always lead to happiness though. Mo’ money, mo’ problems, right? Sure, it makes certain aspects of life easier but to be truly happy you must achieve other things, too. You can be rich in culture, spirit, mind, body, and soul. You can be rich in your values and morals and the way in which you choose to live your life. Las Vegas emits the idea of being rich in material possessions. The lyricism in Locksmith’s song doesn’t point to that, he says “You Can Be Rich Even With Out Things.”
4. In the chorus Anesha sings, “Don’t Wanna Lose My Way,” which I think pertains to losing sight of what’s important or losing sight of your dreams. It’s easy to get caught up an a fast lifestyle, especially in a place like Las Vegas. With that comes the loss of a person’s true identity.
Can you think of any others? Watch the video below and see for yourself. If you haven’t copped A Thousand Cuts yet, be sure to do so on iTunes.
I Don’t Need Fraudulent Love/This Can’t Be What God Has For Us/Whatever We Are/I Don’t Want To Be Anymore/How Can It Change?/You Said It Could Take/All Of The Strength In My Heart. -Ari Lennox
If you don’t know who Ari Lennox is, you need to find out. Get to know her. She’s a very talented singer and songwriter. I was introduced to her music while working at SOB’s in NYC. Her most recently released track is SO good. The track, “Whatever We Are” features the raspy voice of Dave James. I love the magical way their voices come together. Her voice is calm, controlled and she can really hit the high notes. Beautiful! I’m looking forward to seeing what else Ari has in store for us! And, like most artists I talk about on this blog…I would love love love the opportunity to see Ari live again, hopefully on the west coast! We need you out here.
Woke Up This Morning/Heard The TV Saying Something Bout Disaster In The World And/It Made Me Wonder Where I’m Going?/There’s So Much Darkness In The World/But I See Beauty Left In You Girl. -Justin Timberlake
I posted a status to my Facebook earlier today about how depressing the news is. I swear every time (which isn’t often) I turn on the news, it’s all about corruption, war, death, and destruction. My mind and heart don’t have the depth and capacity to be able to deal with that on a daily basis. Seriously, I don’t understand how people can live and breathe the news. But mad props for that! I made the mistake of reading the story about the Staten Island man that was choked to death by NYPD. That story struck a chord in me as do other news stories such as everything that’s going on in Palestine, the kidnapped girls in Nigeria, and that Malaysia airlines flight that was shot down in the Ukraine.
When friends talk about worldly topics, I admit that most of the time I don’t have any clue what they’re talking about. I see the headlines, but I never read the stories. I’m deeply saddened by it all and the strength to “do something” about it, is simply not in me. I don’t have that fight in me. I would rather get lost in the music. Through discovering a new artist, re-listening to a favorite of mine, or just zoning out with an album on repeat. It’s more than a hobby for me. It’s a passion and it’s engraved in my soul. It’s a part of me.
The song “Until The End Of Time” by Justin Timberlake popped in my head yesterday after I saw the picture of the 18 year old boy’s beat up face after he was caught raping a child. This is how my mind works. I see or read something and a song pops in my head. I’m all about connections and tend to make a lot of connections between music and life.
This is one of my favorite songs, ever. I remember when I first heard this song. I heard it while in my college dorm because my roommate (shout out to Erin! She put me on to a lot of good music. She definitely knows her stuff.) used to play it. One day I finally asked her, “who sings this song? I really like it!” to which she replied “I’m not tellin!” We’ve always had a sisterly type of relationship. She eventually told me, probably after making me unsuccessfully guess first. I remember being really surprised that Justin Timberlake, the pop artist, sang this song. Later, he released the version of the song that features Beyonce. See if you can make a connection between this song and something in your life. Or try that tactic with the next song you randomly come across. Enjoy!
I Just Wanna Be Somewhere Far/I’m Always Looking For That Place/Where I Can Shine Like A Star, Alone/Like The North One/Away From The Dipper, See I Differ In My Rise/I Like To Be Alone When I Ride/You Can Follow Me Home, But Just Watch From A Distance When I Shine. -Stalley
I just watched so many Stalley videos – most that I’d never seen before. I can’t help but think how hard it is to keep up with all the music that’s always readily available at any given moment. As a true Hip Hop and R&B head, I’ve found it’s become increasingly more difficult to hear it all. Not to mention that because of my passion I do find things that I really really like and listen to on repeat and subsequently in the process of that…things start falling through the cracks. It’s a never ending cycle, really. But back to Stalley, he has some dope tracks…! Anybody that knows me should know that I’ll pretty much fall in love with any hip hop song that’s laid over an old school R&B beat. Stalley raps perfectly over Charles Bradley’s “The World (Is Going Up In Flames)” (actually a song released in 2011 but it still has that “old school” feel to it – that’s for another post though) on his “Petrin Hill Peonies” track.
Yesterday, Stalley released the video for the track “Feel The Bass” from his September 2013 Honest Cowboy EP. His slow style of rap matches the slow beat on the track. It’s always nice and refreshing to hear songs that are lacking that “turn up” sound we’ve all become a little too familiar with. Watching this video and becoming reacquainted with Stalley makes me wonder how could I ever forget to keep him on my radar? But rest your weary heart, Stalley is going to stay on my radar from here on out! I’m hoping to catch him live some day, too!
Sometimes You Have To Choose And Then You’ll See/If Your Friend Is True They’ll Be There With You/Through The Thick And Thin. -TLC
I felt like posting a throwback oooooooooh on the TLC tip! This is definitely one of my favorite songs! No matter where I am or what I’m doing, when I play it I always want to get dressed in some funky clothes and just dance. Enjoy!
Credit Card Scams Got Your Paralyzed/That Fast Money Make You Seem Forever Fly/But Live In The Now, Not Illusion. -Bryant Dope
The Queens rapper does it again! Here’s his new video for “The Worlds Fucked Up.” I love the way he created this video, mad dope imagery and effects. If you don’t already have Bryant Dope on your radar, you need to add him.
Nothing Feels As Good As When You Lift Me Up/Then I Can’t Give My Heart If I Can’t Get My Trust. -Moko
Moko‘s music reminds me of something that would have been released in the 90s. It would have been something I would have jammed to. Instead, I’m jamming to her newest release, “Your Love,” which is the single off of her upcoming Gold EP. I like this chick’s style and sound! Sometimes she sounds a little like the young Mary J. Blige mixed with a little bit of the young Whitney Houston. She’s definitely been added to my radar and I’m looking forward to hearing what else she has in store for us! Below, listen to “Your Love.”
I’ve also included the live performance of a previously released song “Freeze.” Great visual! I would love the opportunity to see her live, but for now…this will have to do.
I’m Bout To Hit These N*ggas With Some Shit That’ll Light Ya Life Up/If Every N*gga In Ya Clique Is Rich, Your Click Is Rugged/Nobody Will Fall Cause Everyone Will Be Each Other’s Crutches/I Hope You Fools Choose To Listen, I Drop Jewels, Bust It. -Jay Z
Jay Z’s classic, Reasonable Doubt, turns 18 years old today! It was released on June 25, 1996. I was listening to a lot of R&B in those days, and had just started listening to some hip hop – mostly Tupac. Later on in my music listening, I discovered Jay-Z land eventually stumbled upon Reasonable Doubt. It’s now one of my favorite albums by him. “Can I Live” is hands down my favorite track off that project but a close runner up is “Feelin’ It.” I suggest adding Reasonable Doubt to your music collection – if you don’t already have it!