Now Playing: Rihanna – Rated R

After a very tumultuous and challenging year in her personal life, Rihanna has returned to her music with the release of her fourth album, Rated R. As you must know by now, Miss Sunshine has definitely left the building and the good girl has officially gone bad. Lucky for Rihanna and her fans, the music she is producing during this transformation is actually quite good!

Rated R is a dark album with a sinister but triumphant feel to it. Wait is Ova is a coyly written song full of  warning shots to potential performers laying in wait, vying for Rihanna’s current spot. Hard featuring Young Jeezy, has Rihanna demanding respect while she reminds us how gangstalicious she is. Who told you Barbados was all palm trees and beaches?

The album has its share of bravado, but some songs also find Rihanna very somber and open. In Stupid Love, she realizes her error in trying to hold onto something that was not working:

Trying to make this work
But you act like a jerk

Silly of me

To keep holding on
But the dunce cap is off…”

Clearly she is referencing her recent failed relationship and the results are that her fans are able to see Rihanna as a person. Russian Roulette, despite its controversial subject matter, remains one of the strongest songs on the album. Its brooding and eeire tone was the best way to prepare us for Rated R.

Rihanna – G4L

Rihanna – Rude Boy

Rihanna – Photographs

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Butta of the Week! Mary J. Blige – I Am

I saw Mary perform this song at tonight’s AMAs and I thought to myself, how did we miss this at the ChokLit Factory? I am really loving this song. In the song, Mary sings about nobody being able to love her current Lover better than she can. Sometimes in a relationship, one person can be caught thinking they can get better elsewhere and often fall victim to the 80/20 rule, thinking the grass is greener on the other side. Sometimes that is the case, but most times it’s not. Sometimes we can take what we have for advantage until we have lost it. But once you lost it, its gone!

Mary wrote this song alongside talented songwriter Johnta Austin (who also co-wrote Mary’s other hit song, Be Without You) and produced by Stargate. This song will be released as Mary’s third single from her forthcoming album Stronger with each Tear.  So far, the album sounds like it will be a solid one; we can’t wait!

You can download I Am, starting tomorrow on iTunes!

Mary J.Blige – I Am

Published in: on November 23, 2009 at 2:43 am  Comments (1)  
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Still in the W(Rapper): J.Lo ‘s new Buzz Video – Fresh out the Oven + Louboutins Single

I didn’t think we would be hearing from J.Lo so soon after her last album Brave, for the lack of a better term, flopped. But she will be releasing a new album called Love? this March. Fresh from the Oven is a buzz single J.Lo released that may not even be on her album. I am not a fan of J.Lo’s singing ability or music, but she does make some entertaining pop music. That is what this song is. The video offers a lot of repeated visuals which gets a bit repetitive at times, but overall I enjoyed the video. It was directed by Jonas Ackerland. Thoughts?

This is J.Lo’ s official single, Louboutins, which is produced/written by TheDream & Tricky Stewart. This is J.Lo’s official first single, and the song she preformed when she tripped on stage at tonight’s American Music Awards. This song is catchy and a good pop track for Jennifer.  I’m wondering if J.Lo get free Louboutins for Life now…

J.Lo – Louboutins

Sweet Tooth: Janet Jackson & Toni Braxton show these young’ns how its done!

Don’t call it a comeback, but Janet & Toni are comin’ at these young guns with a vengeance!

Janet Jackson released her video for her newest single Make Me this weekend. Janet looks youthful and sexy in the video – I think this is best I’ve seen her look in a video in a while. The song reminds me of her ‘All for You‘ days circa 2001. The video was directed by Robert Hales (Robin Thicke’s Magic). Janet has released her second Greatest Hits album, titled Number Ones, this past week.

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Ok, so – I’m a Toni fan! I used to love her music, from Secrets to The Heat, Toni used to run tings!! After her successful run on Dancing with the Stars (do you guys watch? I can never bring myself to watch it!), Toni has reinforced her sexy and is back with a new song and video featuring Trey Songz, who is on fiyah these days. Toni & Trey caused a stir a couple weeks ago when they made out onstage at the Soul Train awards, then a few days later, Toni and her husband Keri Lewis split up after 8 years of marriage.

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Published in: on November 22, 2009 at 2:14 pm  Comments (6)  
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Sweet Tooth: Robin Thicke’s Sex Therapy video

Robin Thicke releases the video his sexy hit, Sex Therapy. In the video Robin is by beautiful women while in a Victorian-style mansion. The decor and style of the video is very avant-garde sexy and is an interesting look for the song. I think I would call the setting, trashy opulence.  I believe I recognize one of the models as Top Model Winner Saleisha Stowers. Good for her. I liked the video, what did you guys think?

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Published in: on November 18, 2009 at 11:53 pm  Comments (1)  
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Milk Dudd: Alicia Keys – Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart Video

If you all have been paying attention during the past couple weeks, you may have picked up on my obsession with Alicia’s second single, Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart.  Since I heard it the first time, I knew it would become a number one hit! I even provided updates on the video’s progress with a preview video a week ago. All in anticipation. But there is such a thing as too much anticipation. Sadly, Alicia’s video falls very flat for me. The Hancock/Rogue from X-Men concept is a different take on the song, but still does not do it any justice. Syndrome’s usual animated style of direction is not even used here. Of course Alicia looks great, but this video is beyond boring for me and the ending only slightly intrigued me. Also Alicia’s purple jumpsuit at the end is a big no-no for me. Her stylist can only seem to get right 50% of the time. Hopefully this will be an example of the song doing well despite the video being a stinker. But that’s just my opinion – what did you all think?

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Published in: on November 18, 2009 at 2:02 am  Leave a Comment  
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HOT ChokLit! Beyonce & Lady Gaga – Video Phone Remix

Funny story, I was on debating on Twitter and literally laughing my ass off thanks to Freshalina’s antics for so long last night, I didn’t have time to post on one of the most anticipated videos of the past….couple months. The current Queen B has paired up with the reigning Queen of Extra on the remix to Sasha Fierce’s Video Phone. The song is the same, just with a new verse sung by Gaga and perhaps a newer verse by Beyonce as well (I can’t tell). Interestingly enough, I was planning to do a post on the idiocy of the lyrics in this song….but perhaps I feared the wrath of the B stans and fell back. Regardless, this beat song has grown on me and I love Gaga’s verse on this! Not sure why but I love when she says “Hubbba Hubbba” as well as the overall tone of her voice.

Beyonce gets real duurty in this video too! She makes Rihanna’s barely there getups look like Sunday church attire. The choreography is fierce and director Hype Williams borrows the same stylist from the GoldDigger video he did for Kanye to make B into a fierce-looking Bettie Page. WERK!!!

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Published in: on November 18, 2009 at 12:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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Oldie Butta Goodie Bar/Chew On This! Aaliyah sings about a Choosey Lover – Where dey at?

After leaving Jive Records in 1996, Aaliyah teamed up with producers Timbaland and Missy Elliot to produce her next album, One in a Million. For that album, Aaliyah recorded a remake of the Isley Brothers’ 1983 hit, Choosey Lover (track 6 on the album).

Here are some lyrics:

Choosey Lover, Boy I’m So Proud Of Ya.
I’m So Glad You Chose Me, Baby.
And I’ll Make You So Happy.

Thought I Had A Love, But I Was Kidding Myself, Baby.
By The Time I Learned The Truth About It,
He Was Sleeping With Someone Else.
But Not You, Baby.

………

Cause You’re givin Me…..givin Me Security, Baby
And You Proven What You Said…(Ohh)
Never Worried About You Baby, Jumpin In And Out Of Bed.
Ohhhh, But Not My Baby.

I used to bump this song all the time, but really began to fully understand the real meaning of the lyrics during the past 2 or 3 years.  According to this song (and my own definitions) a Choosey Lover is someone who simply is a selective or picky person who takes much thought and effort into choosing a mate. They weigh the benefits and negatives aspects of a person, whether it be their past (it matters), their ambitions in life, their morals (very important in my opinion) or the way they treat people in general.

I find with a lot f my friends or acquaintances – men and women, happen to wave or ignore the pursuance of these admirable qualities in a mate and offer various excuses for doing so. These include: ‘hey its hard to find a man/woman out here!’;  or, ‘hey, beggers can’t be choosers!’; or my favorite, ‘I don’t want to die alone!’

To counter these arguments I would argue that when you take care in the kinds of people you choose to bring into your life, you can save yourself from extra drama being brought into your life. And yes, you do have to take a chance, a leap of faith if you will, when choosing to enter into a relationship with someone, I think taking more care into the actual choosing of your mate will determine the level of drama, happiness and heartbreak you will endure as a result of the union.

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Music News ROLO: Live performances from Melanie Fiona, Mariah Carey & Keri Hilson – whew!

So, I’m about to hit ya’ll with a lot of videos right now, but you can thank me later for getting you caught up.

The ladies of R&B and Urban music have been very busy lately doing performances, releasing videos and doing interviews. But as I’ve said before, this is the fourth quarter so bishes be on that promo trail!

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Melanie Fiona visited 106 & Park last Tuesday and shut the house down with her performance of her latest single It Kills Me. I do love this song and Melanie’s vocal performance on it as well. She definitely showed the kids of 106 what true talent is. Gwan girl!

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Mariah Carey stopped by David Letterman on Friday to perform one of my favorite songs off her latest album (check out my album review of Memoirs here) , H.A.T.E.U.  This is a tough song to sing live but Mariah does it justice, hitting all of her impossibly high Soprano notes. If you haven’t checked out her latest album, what are you waiting for? Cop that ish!

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Mariah also spoke with Dave about her role in the movie Precious and her small beef with Eminem. Ms Carey comes across so likeable and handles Dave’s questioning quite well. Have a look!

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Butta Of the Week! Dirty Money’s ‘Love Come Down’ video

Dirtymoney

For some reason I was a bit reluctant to watch the video for Dirty Money’s newest single, Love Come Down, but I finally came around to it and I gotta say, I’m feelin this joint! Diddy and co reunite with director Hype Williams for a slick video that includes light vs. dark contrasts, a requisite dance troupe and spirited performances by all three group members. Kaleena really stood out in this clip for me; she is giving me Total circa 1998 in this video. A pure original Bad Boys vibe! Also her vocals on this track are perfect for the song – now I see why she was chosen for the group! Dawn surprisingly doesn’t do much for me appearance wise, though I am digging her vocals on this as well. Diddy plays his part as the dancing thug mogul and reminds us that grills Neva went outta style! Or something. this video makes me wanna get up and dance right quick – so Diddy has done his job! This song will be featured on Diddy’s newest effort Last Train to Paris. Note to aspiring artists trying to sign with Bad Boy: if you want your video/project/album to ever be released or to have a substantial budget, you must either join a group with Diddy or be sleeping with him. I kid, I kid!

*Sidenote: For a laugh, check out Diddy’s posin for us at 0:24 HA!

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