Rihanna is back! Ms Fenty released her new Single to the Internet yesterday to mixed reviews. Russian Roulette, written by singer/songwriter Ne-Yo is a bit unexpected from the Umbrella singer. The song is her first singer on her new album entitled Rated R. She definitely has improved on her vocal skills, which is always nice to see and hear from an Artist. The lyrics are very well-written as well. I listened to the song last night and I wasn’t blown away, but thought it was Ok. Today, when writing this post, I played the song again to get a more organic reaction to the song. I must say, the song improves vastly upon each listen. You appreciate it more. Also, though the chorus is not catchy, it has that same emotional yearning Rihanna achieved with her other hit song, Take a Bow. I can safely say I am excited for Rih’s Rih’s return, especially after such a tumultuous year. Methinks there may be a new Queen in town…
ChokLit’s Take: This song reminds me of No One. And just like No One, it took me a while to warm up to it. Alicia looks great in the video, and that’s about all I can say right now. It is a nice song, but I’d rather watch paint dry. And I mean that in the nicest way possible!
ChokLit’s Take: LoL. I like Mario this time around because he gives me so much to comment on. Can I mention homie’s hairline without sounding like a hater? I’m just sayin…it looks like he’s using Jamie Foxx’s barber..but Mario does look better with the hair. Thinkin Bout You is the Runners-produced follow-up to his smash hit, Break-up. Needless to say, this isn’t the best follow-up song. J Records must have known this. Does this mean we cannot expect much from the album? Thinkin’ Bout You doesn’t scream Single material to me is all. Mario always drops the ball, in my opinion on his second single. It is what is holding him back from the Usher-status. But I will still hold up for a third single from Mario. The video is nicely styled and is directed by Chris Robinson. It features the beautiful Audra once again as well as a beauty straight of Bollywood. Mario is taking it international, I guess.
The Internets are a-buzz with Whitney Houston’s latest performance on British TV show X-Factor from last week. Ms Houston preformed her hit song, Million Dollar Bill for the live audience. Unfortunately for Whitney, her bra straps suffered a bit of a malfunction as they snapped (gasp!) during her performance. But that was not the worst part. Whitney is STILL not looking in good shape! I’m sorry, as a fan, I really cannot afford not to notice it. I mean, she looks great. But her singing, while on key, was sporadic and she realized very heavily on her back-up singers. The notes she did manage to belt out were surprisingly quite good..they were just the wrong ones. She missed the last big note of the song and left that one up to her backup singer (who is NO Whitney). During her hastened small talk with the show’s host after her performance, Whitney looked a little belligerent and confused. She mentioned that she would be touring in April. Of course, we all know the tour is the real moneymaker these days, so if she cannot get it together by then, she will not make the tour at all. I for one hope she can because I will be in line for tickets when she does!
For some reason I was reminescing on this group the other day. City High consisted of three artists, Ryan Toby, Robbie Pardlo and Claudette Ortiz. All three met each other in high school in Jersey city, where they formed City High. Later they were signed by Wyclef Jean and released their popular single What Would you Do, back in 2001. Caramel was their second and most popular single released off their self-titled debut album. I posted this song on my Facebook page and got a pretty favorable reaction. I always liked Claudette’s voice. Alongside her beauty, her voice had a really nice tone to it. She seemed poised for super-stardom, but I think drama and jealously led to the group’s demise. Claudette married group member Ryan Toby and gave birth to 2 sons with him. Last year I read a VIBE article that hinted Claudette’s return to the music scene (alongside her husband who had been attempting a return for years). According the Wikipedia’s report, Claudette recently gave birth to another child that was not her husband’s. Do not quote me on this rumor. Regardless, this is a really cute song that showcased the savvy hood-meets-pop music production style that was Jerry ‘Wonder’ Duplessis. I hope to hear more from Claudette in the near future!
Please forgive me, but sometimes I can not resist a Rick Ross video. Yes, they seem to all feature Dade County’s finest dressed in his best mob boss attire, with many bikini-clad Miami women flaunting all over Ross and his R&B-featured guest. But 8 times out of 10, I do enjoy the song, so here we go again. Lay Back is not particularly catchy, but the production is pretty solid and Robin’s voice sounds great on the track as well. I noticed how animated Mr. Thicke is acting in this video! I have never seen him so coordinated and lively! I got a chuckle the first time I saw the video, but now I have to give him his props. Maybe his wife versed him in some much-needed lessons in Swag. Nevertheless, Mr. Thicke wears it well. Lay back is the first single from Ross’ new group Maybach Music from his joint Label with Def Jam. How do ya’ll like the song?
Tierra Marie has been steadily working on her re-introduction to the Urban music scene for some time now. After being unceremoniously dropped by Rocafella Records, Tierra regrouped in her hometown of Detroit before being signed again by Interscope and working on her comeback. On the blogs, she had earned the nickname T-Error for her decidedly failed attempt at female R&B stardom. I support Tierra because I think she actually has a very nice voice and has great command of it. But the poor thing needs a hit badly! In her new song Sponsor, Tierra is singing about her man who is able to sponsor most of the things she wants but cannot afford at the time. Also known as a sugar daddy. I read on another blog about Tierra referencing being in a student-type of situation in the song, hence the need for a ‘sponsor’. Maybe that justifies the basis of the song. Oh well. The song was penned by ATL-based songwriting team, The Clutch. The song is actually quite good, but most of her songs are good. Just not sure if it has the umph she needs. What say ya’ll?
Lately, I’ve been feeling my boy Kellz again. Maybe it was the constant complaining I did about his Mixtape, or the fact that I still bump it in my Choklitpod everyday every now and then. Or maybe it was his official single done with Hot girl of the moment Keri Hilson, Number One. It’s not the most original song or topic, but it works in many ways and on many levels. This is the remix of the song, that was hyped up on Kelly’s website R-Kelly.com. I was disappointed that this ‘remix’ was only the original song dubbed over a new beat instead of the entire song being re-worked. Usually Kelly is infamous for re-working entire songs to reveal ridiculously good remixes. Cases in point: Bump&Grind Remix, Down Low Remix, Friend of Mine Remix, Feelin’ on Yo Booty remix, and the Fiesta Remix. Nonetheless, I really do like the original song but this new sped up, trippy remix is still quite enjoyable. Listen below!
Dancehall Singjay Mr. Vegas is back with another dancehall hit. Actually, he’s brought us two this time! The clip, directed by longtime collaborator Jay Will aka Game Over, is their slickest production to date. The video starts off with the tune, Gallis, about a man who is juggling too many women. Of course there is a hype dance move to accompany the bouncy song. This time Vegas experiments with some Autotune that gives the song a T-Pain meets Sean Paul vibe. And it works!
The next song that the video cuts to, Sassa Step, is my favorite. It is a tribute to the late, great Michael Jackson (complete with a spot-on impersonator!) with a Beat It-style dance ensemble. Mr. Vegas follows a Hot gyal in a black dress around as the battling crew takes a break out of gang-banging to dance it out! The dance in this one is infectious as hell! Check it out and lemme know your thoughts!
Here’s another oldie buttagoodie. Kelly Price has a beuatiful voice. But as we all know, that’s not all you need to make it in this business. Price has suffered with her weight issues for a long time before she finally changed her routine and made the change to remain in good shape for life. But that is not what this song is about. Friend of Mine is a song about the age-old tale of the ‘best-friend’ who betrays the Code and gets dirty with her girl’s man. It is the ultimate betrayl and it hurts like Hell. In the video, Kelly is pouring her eyes out on the phone with her godfather (played and sung by Mr. Bigg himself, Ronald Isely) as she explains to him what happened. Her man/husband (played and sung by Robert Kelly) has done the ultimate betrayl by sleeping with her best friend. This is one of many soap opera-like songs Kelly had penned before he created the wildly popular Trapped In the Closest series. My favourite line of this song is when Mr. Bigg calls the cheating R.Kelly on the phone as he lays in bed,
“This is Mr. Bigg,”
“How you doin’ Mr. Bigg” sings Kelly in a high-pitched squeal. Lol i love it!!