King Jay & Queen Mary
Mary and Jay have recorded a new joint "You're Welcome" produced by Swizz Beatz. Rumors are now swirling that Jay and Mary are working on a collabo album. Being a fan of both Mary and Jay I would love to see a Mary & Jay collabo album. "Can't Knock The Hustle" is a classic.They collaborated on the song "Turn Off The Lights", which was hard as hell!! The chemistry between the two at Jay's Madison Square Garden concert was great, Mary sang the hook on "Song Cry." How does Jay do it all? Recording artist, club owner, part-owner of the New Jersey Nets, and fledgling hotelier...YES, Jay plans on opening a hotel in Manhattan. Rumor has it he plans on starting his own label and making an album with NAS.He is also going on tour with Mary and creating an advertising agency with Steve Stoute, Translation Advertising, an agency that will help marketers reach "urban" (BLACK) consumers. At times I am disappointed with hip-hop but it has opened so many doors for African Americans. Who would have ever thought a kid from Marcy Projects would become one of the great business men of our time.Thanks Hip-Hop. Take a listen to Jay & Mary's latest collabo.
Friday, February 29, 2008
King Jay & Queen Mary
Who is Chrisette Michele? When I heard the song "If I Have My Way", I knew the voice sounded familiar but I wasn't quite sure who it was (Chrisette was featured on the Jay-Z track "Lost Ones" and the Nas track "Can't Forget About You".) I knew whom ever it was would be around for a long time. I had the same feeling when I heard Alicia's "Fallin", "Comin' From Where I'm From" by Anthony Hamilton and John Legend's "Ordinary People." I would soon discover the voice behind the song was Chrisette Michele, a chick from Long Island who had a recording contract with Def Jam. Yeah, Def Jam..I was surprised as well, but L.A Reid is the head honcho at Def Jam so it isn't too surprising. Prior to signing with Def Jam, Chrisette had toured with Kem and India.Arie (it would be nice to see more women of her beautiful dark complexion in the music game.) India.Aire offered Chrisette a gig as her opening act after witnessing her perform in New York City at the Village Underground. On Def Jam's website the 20 something year old singer songwriter states "I'm excited about finding my place amongst young composers like Alicia Keys and Jill Scott. My goal from the moment I was signed by Antonio "LA" Reid, Chairman and CEO, Island Def Jam Music Group, was to create a seamless album that mixes soul and pop in a way that will have people coming back to again and again." It is safe to say that she met her goal. If you don't have her album, I Am, you NEED to go get it, consider it a necessity along with food, water, and shelter.
Al Green's standout album I'm Still In Love With You was recorded in 1972 in Memphis, Tennessee. Al and producer Willie Mitchell along with guitarist Teenie Hodges and drummer Al Jackson, a member of Booker T & The MG's began recording in the spring and summer of '72. I'm Still In Love With You is the perfect combination of gospel, funk and straight up gut bucket Memphis soul. The title song described as "a sweet sentimental song of pure surrender" by Al in his autobiography, reached # 1 on the R&B charts. "Look What You Done For Me" was #4 on the Pop charts and a # 2 hit on the R&B charts. Ironically, the hit song "Love And Happiness" was released as a single in 1977, five years after its recording. Al's voice flows so smoothly over the guitar riffs in "Simply Beautiful", which was sampled on the Mary J. Blige song "PMS", a track from her No More Drama album. Al Green covers the country classic "For The Good Times" and turns it into a slow burning, soul churning classic, evidence of his interpretive genius. I'm Still In Love With You has stood the test of time, VIBE magazine listed it as one of its 51 Essential Albums and called it the album on which Al Green became AL GREEN.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
The "Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin, there is only ONE Queen, sits down with Cathy Hughes for a intimate interview on Sunday, March 2 at 10PM on TVOne. According to TVOne's website Aretha and Cathy "revisit the golden days of soul music as well as some career changing highs and lows, including some personal moments that gives viewers a peek at greatness." It would be nice to hear ReRe talk about those early days in Detroit, Aretha grew up with Smokey Robinson, The Supremes, many of the Temptations and Four Tops in the North End section of Detroit. After 27 years, Aretha is no longer signed to Arista Records. She is releasing an album, Aretha: A Woman Falling Out Of Love on her own label, Aretha Records, later this year.
The Wright Stuff
D' Angelo's 1995 debut album Brown Sugar dispelled the myth that good soul music was a thing of the past. It is quite obvious that singer/songwriter D'Angelo was influenced by the likes of Marvin Gaye, Prince and Curtis Mayfield, however he has a style that is his own. "Brown Sugar" and "Lady" are the hit songs we all vividly remember but the album is full of sultry seductive grooves. "Brown Sugar" sets the mood for the album, D'Angelo's smooth falsetto cruises alongside the soulful rhythms. "Jonz In My Bonz" and "Alright" are the only songs that seem to have missed the mark. "Me And Those Dreamin' Eyes Of Mine", "Sh*t, Damn, Motherf*ker" and "Crusin", a remake of the Smokey Robinson classic, showcase D'Angelo at his soulful best. D'Angelo's sophomore album Voodoo was released in 2000. He was recently featured on Common's latest release,Finding Forever, on the track "So Far To Go." Like his female counterpart Lauryn Hill, D'Angelo has practically disappeared from the music scene.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
MJB and Queen Elton perform the Ray Charles classic "Night Time Is The Right Time." If you have ever doubted Mary's vocal ability watch this video.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
New Amerykah, Part 1: 4TH World War - Erykah Badu
Discipline - Janet Jackson
Stax Does The Beatles - Various Artists
Soulsville Sings Hitsville: Stax Sings Songs Of Motown Records- Various Artists
In And Out Of Love - Cheri Dennis
The Very Best of Patti Austin: Singles 1969-1986 - Patti Austin
The Warner Bros. Years: Hits, Remixes and Rarities - Ashford and Simpson
Love Remembers- George Benson
Alicia Tops Billboard's Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums
#1. Alicia Keys - As I Am
#2. Mary J. Blige - Just Fine
#3. Keyshia Cole - Just Like You
#4. Amy Winehouse - Back To Black
#5. John Legend - Live From Philadelphia
#6. Jaheim - Makings Of A Man
#7. The Dream - Love/Hate
#8. Chris Brown - Exclusive
#9. Raheem DaVaughn - Love Behind The Melody
#10. Various Artists - Step Up 2: The Soundtrack
By the late 1960's Black artist were recording extended epics. Isaac Hayes, Stax Records singer-songwriter, was at the forefront of the movement. His second album, Hot Buttered Soul included 4 songs and was roughly 45 minutes long. Isaac transformed two well known pop songs, Burt Bacarach's "Walk on By" and Jimmy Webb's "By The Time I Get To Phoenix", into Memphis infused slow burning soul classics. Isaac is joined by the Bar-Keys on the funky ten minute"Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic" turning Hot Buttered Soul into a masterpiece.
Aretha sings "The Greatest Love Of All" at a Paris concert in 1977.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Mr. Biggs Is Really Locked Up!!!!
RONALD ISLEY 31215-112
TERRE HAUTE, IN 47808
Sunday, February 24, 2008
The little man is in a little pain.After decades of dancing, jumping and splitting on stages across the world, Prince is in need of a hip replacement. A source says "for months Prince has complained of pain every time he moves. He is totally crushed as he knows he will never be the same again." Prince has admitted himself into a private hospital and is expected to take a break from performing and recording for 2 months. During the operation, the ball and socket of Prince's hip will be replaced with titanium.
Young, Gifted and Black is considered to be one of Aretha's finest works. This is the album that includes hit songs "Rock Steady" and "Day Dreaming." A gut wrenching version of Otis Redding's "I've Been Loving You Too Long" and a breathtaking reading of "Oh Me Oh My (I'm A Fool For You Baby)" are included on the album. Aretha also recorded songs composed by Nina Simone, The Beatles, Elton John, and Gamble and Huff. Renowned journalist and music editor A. Scott Galloway commented "by 1972 it was commonplace for most people to be rendered humble before the musical gifts of Aretha......the two albums that year, Young Gifted and Black, and Amazing Grace, she crystallized the strength and beauty of black womanhood........I believe that somewhere between the earth bound reverence of Young, Gifted and Black and the heaven-bound humility of Amazing Grace, my people promoted Aretha Franklin from 'Lady Soul' to 'Queen of Soul.' "
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Listen Up......this is Mary's story
On Monday at 8p.m VH1 airs Mary's very own Storytellers. Mary sings hits from her breakthrough album What's The 411? up to her latest release Growing Pains. Mary shares the stories behind many of her hit songs. When Mary performs it is nothing short of a religious experience. Can I get a witness?
Can't Knock The Hustle
Mary J. and Jay-Z are at it again. For those of you who may remember, Mary joined Jay-Z for his debut album, Reasonable Doubt on the classic track "Can't Knock The Hustle." Mary and Jay have also collaborated on Jay's Unplugged album and Mary's Love & Life album. Now, the two music veterans will join forces on a nationwide tour dubbed "Heart of The City" tour.
Heart of The City Tour Dates
March 22 - Miami, FL American Airlines Arena
March 26 - Baltimore, MD 1st Mariner Arena
March 27 - Uniondale, NY Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
March 28 - East Rutherford, NJ Izod Center
March 30 - Philadelphia, PA Wachovia Center
April 2 - Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
April 3 - Boston, MA TD Banknorth Garden
April 5 - Greensboro, NC Greensboro Coliseum
April 6 - Washington, DC Verizon Center
April 16 - Los Angeles, CA Hollywood Bowl
VH1 "SoulStage: Erykah Badu" will air Tuesday, February 26, 2008, at 9PM. The 30 minute set will feature Erykah performing songs "Honey" and "Solider." Ms. Badu also shares the inspiration behind such hit songs as "On and On" and "The Other Side of The Game." The entire performance plus additional footage will be shown on VH1Soul.com.
Beyonce Cast As Etta JamesBeyonce has been cast as Etta James in the upcoming film 'Cadillac Man'. The film is based on Leonard Chess, the founder of the legendary blues label Chess Records. Chess was home to legends such as , Chuck Berry, Etta James and Muddy Waters. Etta James will consult with Beyonce during filming. Speaking to PageSix.com Etta James stated "It's a privilege and an honor to have somebody like that girl. I don't think she looks like me, but that's all right. They can fix that up." Etta went on to say "I wasn't as bourgie as she is, she's bourgeois. She knows how to be a lady, she's like a model. I wasn't like that... I smoked in the bathroom in school, I was kinda arrogant, so those are some of the things I would want to tell her." Adrien Brody, Jeffrey Wright and Cedric The Entertainer are also set to star the in the movie.
After seeing Beyonce's performance of "Proud Mary" with Tina Turner at the Grammy Awards, Etta felt confident that Beyonce could pull it off. I think Jill Scott would be a far better fit for this role. If you saw Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married? you know that Jill Scott can act, there is no question about her singing ability. In my humble opinion, Jill Scott can embody the spirit of Etta far better than Beyonce. Either way, I'm still looking forward to seeing the movie.
Curtis Mayfield, the Black Bach, enlisted the help of Gladys Knight and The Pips to record the soundtrack for the motion picture Claudine. Curtis Mayfield's production was impeccable and Glady's vocals were flawless.Curtis wrote songs that spoke to those in the ghetto just trying to hold on and Gladys sang with the conviction of a woman just trying to make it through another day. The album includes the hit songs "On and On", " The Makings of You" and "Mr. Welfare Man."