Sweet Tooth: Keri Hilson’s BET Performance

keri-hilsonBET

During the BET Awards that aired this past weekend, singer/songwriter Keri Hilson took home the award for Best New Artists, beating out other hopefuls, Kid Cudi, Jazmine Sullivan, Ryan Leslie and M.I.A (a new artist??). Although I ride for Jazmine and Ryan, I think the award was well-deserved for Miss Hilson who has worked hard to bring her sound to the mainstream and to be a relevant artist. I read many comments about Miss Hilson’s Sunday performance which I was excited to see. Most people said it was either “really hype” or “a hot mess”, so I had to judge for myself. I was surprised. I think Keri should receive some credit for a) bring a lot of energy to the show and b) channeling  some MJ-style (and even some Elvis) dance moves and gestures. Her dancers were on point as well. Keri closed the show with an accapella reditition that was very….spririted. My favourite part was how they mixed in Kanye’s verse from Knock You Down to reflect the Michael Jackson reference – nice job!

Did y’all like it?

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Published in: on June 30, 2009 at 2:04 am  Comments (3)  
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Oldie Butta GoodieBar: BET Awards Edition – Aaron Hall’s I Miss You

Sadly, I missed the BET Awards that aired this past Sunday (I know – what kind of music Blogger am I?). But this is BET – we all know I will catch it again during one of its many repeats. Aside from the wonderful MJ tributes and performances, there was a theme of revival of the R&B of yester-year. From the tribute to the OJay’s, New Edition preforming and Guy appearing, I sense there is some nostalgia in the midst. And the best kind of nostalgia – the R&B kind. I wanted to share this video of Aaron Hall’s, I Miss You. I have never been too much of an Aaron Hall fan (please see my Jodeci post) but I did come across this song while rummaging through some 90s R&B a while back and it really struck a chord with me. The video has the same effect the video for R.Kelly’s Down Lo (Nobody has to know) had. The events in the video enhanced the feelings of the song, making it more than just a love song. It now embodies the feelings of hopelessness one feels when they have lost someone they love. I thought it was appropriate as well.

Enjoy!

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Published in: on June 30, 2009 at 1:26 am  Leave a Comment  
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Pour a Lil’ Choklit Liquor – R.I.P The King of Pop Michael Jackson (1958 – 2009)

MJ.RIP

Naturally everyone in the world is shocked and saddened by the death of the Musician the world knows as Michael Jackson. We all know his story, from his many incredible accomplishments to his darker days and many criticisms. As usual, in the ChokLit Factory, we will stick to the music.

I was introduced to Michael Jackson at a young age. I was 3 or 4 years old, one of my earliest memories. I was at daycare and our supervisors came in and told us if we clean up the room and put our toys away, they would let us watch the new Micheal Jackson video. Naturally, we all lost our minds and hurried to clean up the room. As promised, they popped in the videotape of  Thriller. As soon as I watched Michael trembling and shaking as he morphed into a Werewolf, I let out the loudest scream and covered my eyes. I had to be consoled – I had not expected to see my favorite pop star become an all-to-real ghoul!

As I got older, I was able to watch Thriller in its entirety, and his other videos as well. I had his tapes, I had the video compilation, I recorded his videos and tirelessly learned the dance routines to Remember the Time, Black or White, Scream and many others! I tried to do the Moonwalk, many times. The older I got, the more I appreciated his art and the more I wanted to learn more. I even played my Dad’s old Jackson 5 records and jammed hard to them!

For me, Michael was the embodiment of an entertainer. His music and visuals were like no other and his celebrity was surely like nothing we had seen before him. Sadly Michael will also be remembered for his many eccentricities, the pedophilia associations, the plastic surgery and the ‘Wacko Jacko’ moniker. Many people will try to bring his image down to Earth and to taint it. But the rest of us know better.

R.I.P Michael. Enjoy the videos!

Michael Jackson – Thriller

Michael Jackson – The Way You Make Me Feel

Michael Jackson – Black or White

Michael Jackson – Bad

Michael Jackson – In the Closet

Michael Jackson & Janet Jackson – SCREAM

OF course you can visit the YoutTube Channel to watch whatever video you like. He really was the GREATEST.

Published in: on June 26, 2009 at 2:40 am  Comments (3)  
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Now Playing: R.Kelly Mixtape – The Demo

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DJ Skee & DJ Drama present  R.Kelly – The Demo (Download)

So I am horribly late on this…but I finally did get around to listening to The Demo– R.Kelly’s first and only official Mixtape CD. I haven’t led on to my CF readers too much, but I used to be a HUGE R. Kelly fan. Pure FANatic. I can’t say I am no longer a fan, just that R.Kelly hasn’t been the same. Ever since being acquitted, or even since being accused seriously of the charges of child molestation. Since the charges emerged in 2002, Kelly had been working at a fever pitch. He had managed to crank out a new CD of new material at least once every year or 18 months. He would appear on other artists’ tracks; having various production credits as well as songwriting credits. He would revive careers for artists like B2K, Ron Isley and Charlie Wilson.  He would write and produce for seemingly every R&B artist out; Ciara, 112, Trey Songz, Joe – even Britney Spears.  Jive Records was pushing out The Pied Piper’s albums as soon as Kelly could craft them. Then lambs fans like myself would scoop them up like it was his last great album before going Upstate. But the homie never went Upstate.

Then something else happened; 42-year old (as of 2009) Robert Kelly became 23-years old again. His 2007 album, Double Up was a hip-hop compilation album chock full of club anthems where Kelly would trade bars with artists like Chamillionaire & T.I over some bass-heavy beats. This would signal the beginning of the trend of R.Kelly reverting to a more hip-hop influenced style of R&B, much to the distaste of his fans.

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Published in: on June 25, 2009 at 4:26 pm  Comments (1)  
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Hot ChokLit! Ciara feat. Missy Elliot – WORK video

CiaraWorkNow don’t get mad at me if your favourite mindless music video channel is not playing this video to death – unless you live in the UK. The single for Work featuring a noticeably slimmer Missy Elliot was released only in the UK, though if successful, it will be released in the US at a later date. Currently Ciara is prepping her newest Single, Like a Surgeon, which is my ChokLit Jam (after, Tell Me what your Name Is).

I must say, this video is HOT. From the treatment of Ciara posin’ up in the hot sun at a construction site, while rocking some furocious couture; to the scene with Ciara and her hard-working dancers gettin’ stank with it in a sand pit at the construction site, complete with work belts and baggy jeans. Kudos to director Melina (also directed Beyonce’s Diva, Keri Hilson’s Energy & Ashanti’s Good Good), wicked Choreographer Jamaica and Ciara’s dancers that are stay crunk. I wasn’t a fan of the song too much, but the video definitely upped the hype factor of the song – I can see this being played in a club for sure.

I wish Ciara continued luck with this project. Her CD Fantasy Ride has sold about 150,000 copies to date in the U.S. I know my sister bought it claimed she was very dissappointed. But I’ve also heard some people like the CD and bump it often. Also, this is Ciara’s most successful CD overseas, so I can see why she is promoting it heavy across the pond. Ciara’s management and label are playing it smart; records don’t sell nowadays so you have to commit to building your Brand. Then keep building it. You can’t let them see you sweat just because your sales are dismal.

Did ya’ll like it?

Published in: on June 24, 2009 at 2:17 am  Comments (1)  
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Melt In Your Ears: Rihanna vs. James Fauntleroy – Te Amo

My pals over at PlainGold love James Faultleroy. But who is he to you?

Fauntleroy is a singer/songwriter who used to work with The Underdogs (Tyrese, Olivia). He now works with a production team called, The Y’s. He is well-known for writing Jordin Spark’s No Air, Chris Brown’s Superhuman, and co-writing Ciara’s Love, Sex,Magic. Most of his songs tend to be up-tempo ballads. He is currently very popular with European acts and Pop artists who want a little bit of an Urban edge. Here is a new song Fauntleroy wrote for the Princess herself, Ms Rihanna. The song is a really nice song; it is sweet and seductive with a flamenco flavor. Rihanna does a good job vocally and adds flair to the track with her infamous Bajan accent. She is singing about a woman in this song, which is an interesting twist. Fauntleroy usually sings his songs as demos first, as a guide for the Artist. I like both versions, but we know Rihanna will make it a hit. This is definitely a good look for her.

James Fauntleroy – Te Amo

Rihanna – Te Amo

Which do you like better?

Published in: on June 23, 2009 at 1:50 am  Leave a Comment  
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Before They Blow-Pop! More Young Steff!

slowjukin

I am still feelin’ this 20-year old singer/dancer phenom who’s hit record Slow Jukin’ has failed to pop off in the Mainstream R&B world, despite its popularity online and in other countries. Upon looking through his site, I’ve seen a lot of live footage of Young Steff’s performances and was pleasantly surprised. This kid has a near perfect Falsetto; I would love to hear what he could come up with if he collaborated with TheDream & Tricky Strewart.  Here is a behind the scenes look at the very well done video for Slow Jukin’ which was directed by Fat Cats and features choreography by one of our faves, Jamaica. The lead dancer, Rachel and Young Steff school us on how to ‘Slow Juke’. Young Steff actually made up the dance, while Jamaica smoothed it out for the ladies’ version. Check it out!

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Black Licorice: Lady Gaga – Paparazzi video

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By now you must know I have a soft spot for Ms Lady Gaga :). I think the girl is really talented and she absolutely REEKS with Swag (if swag was a fragrance)! About 3 weeks back, Gaga released her new video for her single Paparazzi. Perez Hilton raved that the video was “Epic” so I had to check it out. But I had the sound on mute for some reason (Sidenote: ya’ll should try watching videos on mute, it makes you appreciate the visuals more!). I found the video highly entertaining and over-the-top but in a good way. Gaga has come a long way, starting off her career with raunchy lower-budgeted videos like Just Dance. She now has a big budget video complete with exaggerated storyline, full-out dance sequences and several costume changes.  And I must mention, her dance sequences are on-point!

Still, it wasn’t until today that I actually heard the song for the first time and I was pleasantly surprised! I actually really like this song – it is perfect Pop music: catchy, up-beat and danceable.  With Gaga’s overtly sexual visuals in this video, she really is solidifying herself as the Madonna of the new Millennium. And I ain’t mad at her! No way! Check the video below! Did ya’ll like it?

*Side Note: The video was directed by Jonas Akerlund who has worked with Madonna & Prodigy. Also, this single Paparazzi is her new single released in the UK.

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Published in: on June 19, 2009 at 1:35 am  Leave a Comment  
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Sweet Tooth: Twista – Wetter

So I am officially slow. List to this new track by Chicago rapper Twista featuring local songtress, Erika Shevon.

Twista feat. Erika Shevon – Wetter

Does it remind you of another song? A Janet song perhaps? I was murdering this song the other day on my laptop; had it on repeat, no shame in my game. Then my girl Cinnamon piped  up, “Yah thats that Janet sample”.

“What sample? A Janet song? Nah, u trippin'”

“NO! Its Janet! You don’t hear that? You say your an R&B fiend dont you? You don’t hear it?”

She then proceeded to Youtube to find the song. After a couple bad attempts (definitely not sampled from Again from the Poetic Justice soundtrack!), she found the song:

Now do you hear it? It took me a couple listens – hence my slowness. The similarities seemed very sutle at first…but then it became very obvious. Now that’s out of my system, I’m feelin’ this song! Twista used his token formula: catchy R&B-tinged hook + Twista’s faster-than-a-speeding-rapper rhymes + sexually explicit lyrics = a Twista-certified hit! I tend to get turned off by Twista’s extremely detailed lyrics of his sexual exploits; they are too graphic for my virgin ears and paint too graphic a picture! But I’m feeling this still. Maybe because we are all still lookin’ for our ‘Daddy’…or maybe not.

Enjoy the video below. If you are looking for the actual singer Erika, wait near the end when they show the Black girl with the shorter cut. Can’t let the video chicks get all the shine!

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*Update: I originally posted the bootlegg YouTube version, but looks like Twista re-did the video with an Erick White treatment and it looks 10x better. Plus Ericka appears properly this time and looks great! A much improved video!

What did ya’ll think?

Published in: on June 18, 2009 at 12:50 am  Leave a Comment  
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Butta of the Week!: Mariah Carey – Obsessed

As promised, Mariah Carey has released her new Single, Obsessed, off her upcoming album, the Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel.

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And everyone is whispering (loudly) that Obsessed is a diss track aimed at Eminem! And I must say, it is pretty scathing! Didn’t know MC had it in her! The song is not the best on first listen, but after a couple more listens, I became a fan (I have to give Terius & crew more than one listens!). The music itself is quite plain and uneventful and it lacks the catchiness of Touch my Body, but still, this song entices me more than  Touch did for some reason.

It definitely sounds like a diss track to me and Mariah is fully justified. TheDream co-wrote the song and he crafts quite a few jabs in there:

I’m up in the A- you’re so so lame
And no on here even mentions your name
It must be the weed, it must be the E
Cuz you be poppin, hood, you get it poppin

Also, this is what Dream had to say about the song:

“The most anticipated is the Mariah project, and she just released a fire record in the building today. And we have been blasting it out all day. It’s just f**king retarded. I don’t think anybody is going to expect her to come out punching like she is going to come out. But she got a record.It’s going to light the blogs up too because you don’t know who she talking about, what she talking about, but she talking about something. And remember The-Dream told you first. So you can start that up right now. Mariah Carey has a record, and somebody’s going to be very upset. I said that.”

Remember a couple weeks back husband Nick Cannon had some choice words for Mr. Mathers regarding some recent comments Enimen made about MC. Mariah mostly kept quiet until now. A very interesting first Single choice indeed. Peep the music below & lemme know what you think!

Mariah Carey – Obsessed

Published in: on June 18, 2009 at 12:10 am  Leave a Comment  
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