ChokLitFactory Exclusives: Top R&B Albums of 2009 + Producers of the Year

In addition to the top songs of 2009, we added a list of the top albums as well as the top producers that kept the unique beats coming this year. We are going to keep these lists pretty short & sweet and in no particular order.

Top 10 R&B Albums of 2009

Maxwell – Black MidSummer’s Night

Mariah Carey – Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel

TheDream – Love Vs Money

Chrisette Michelle – Epiphany

R.Kelly – Untitled

Alicia Keys –  The Element of Freedom

Pleasure P – The Introduction of Marcus Cooper

Ryan Leslie – Transition

Trey Songz – Ready

Whitney Houston – I Look to You


R&B Producers/Songwriters of the Year:

The Dream & Tricky Stewart – These are the official go-to guys for Urban Pop & R&B these days. You want a hit record? You hit up these two. 2009 was no different for the Producing pair who racked up hit records for Fabolous (Throw it in the Bag), Snoop Dogg (Gangsta Love), Rihanna (Hard) and Mariah’s full album. We will definitely be hearing more from this pair in 2010.

Los Da Mystro – One of my favorite producers, Los has recently branched out from doing songs for TheDream, producing R.Kelly’s Like I Do and Trey Songz’ I Invented Sex. You may also remember Los’ work from the Dream’s Walking on the Moon, Rockin That Sh*t and My Love.

Ryan Leslie – Not only is Ryan Leslie an incredibly gifted artist and songwriter, he is an amazing producer as well. Aside from producing his dedicated work on Transition, Leslie has also contributed tracks to Chris Brown’s Famous Girl and Mary J. Blige’s Said and Done for 2009.



Milk Dudd: Mariah’s two new videos with Nikki Minaj & Ne-Yo

As much as I love me some Mariah *straighface* , I had to name this post Milk Dudd. Last month I reported that Mariah would be releasing a remix album to her Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel album that was a solid effort but failed to catch on commercially. Next I heard, Def Jam was cutting the strings on promotions for Angel, but would still move forward with the Remix project. They released Up Out My Face feat. Nikki Minaj and Angels Cry feat. Ne-Ye  some weeks back. Now we have the videos to accompany the music. Ummmm the jury’s out for me on this project – it is getting the side-eye from me. Nick Cannon directed both videos…and it looks like Mariah possibly paid for both videos. Mariah and Nikki are definitely very cute and animated, bringing life to their song. With Angels Cry however, I couldn’t get past the first minute…without yawning. See what you guys think.

*Sidenote: I wonder how Nikki’s album is coming along. She is EVERYWHERE these days!

Mariah feat. Nikki Minaj – Up Out My Face Video

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Mariah feat. Ne-Yo – Angels Cry Video

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Published in: on January 28, 2010 at 1:17 am  Comments (2)  
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ChokLitFactory Exclusives: Top 25 Songs of 2009 Part II

So we hit you with the first 15 hot ones of 2009, and now we have the top 15. This group of songs are a bit more uptempo and more well-known songs from either veteran artists or  newcomers who broke through with a hit record. Included in the list of newcomers is Keri Hilson who rose from her role as a resident songwriter to being a resident hit -maker and artist. Melanie Fiona also made a name for herself in 2009, hoping to make an even bigger name for herself in 2010. But instead of me spoiling the suspense, keep reading the find out who makes it to number one!

14. The Dream – Rockin’ that Shit – TheDream is another artist who had a great year professionally and personally. Not only did he marry his pregnant sweetie, Christina Milian, he was promoted over at Def Jam due to his ability to score hits for Def Jam’s many artists. In 2010 TheDream will release his last solo album *tear* Love King. Rockin That Shit was the ish when it was released early last year. Heavy syths and a thumping bass complement Terius’ soft vocals. TheDream can create a melody like a beast and this song exhibits this. And if you don’t remember, the remix to this song was even better.


13. K’Jon – Oceans – Detroit native K’Jon scored a big hit with his serene feel-good song Oceans. In it, K’Jon uses the metaphor of sailing with reaching one’s goals and happiness in life. A very nice song, with some nice vocals from K’Jon.


12. Keri Hilson, Kanye West & Ne-Yo – Knock you Down – We predicted this song would be Keri’s last chance to hit it big and that’s just what happened. Knock You Down is Keri’s biggest hit to date, in North America and abroad. Alongside the Chris Robinson-directed video with guests Kanye and Ne-Yo making appearances, this song helped solidify Keri as a force in the Industry to be reckoned with.


11. Dirty Money – Love Come Down – Diddy has really been feeling himself musically lately. While working on his latest album, Last Train to Paris, he hooked up with former Danity Kane member Dawn Richard and singer/songwriter Kaleena to form the group, Dirty Money. Since their formation, the group has been releasing some really promising music, the best being Love Come Down, a homage to the Total days of Bad Boys with Kaleena providing some sexy vocals over a banging beat and a Jay-Z sample from H to the Izzo.

Keep reading for the remainder of the list!


ChokLitFactory Exclusives: Top 25 Songs of 2009 – PART I

The wait is OVA! We finally have the long-awaited LIST of 2009 for all you ChokLit fiends haha!

2009 was a decent year for R&B music and Urban artists. Unfortunately, we did not see a lot of new roads being paved or new acts breaking through, though  artists like K Michelle, Young Steff and K’Jon made some decent headway. 2009 was really the year of the veterans. Maxwell hit us back just like he said he would with a much anticipated album, Ne-Yo showed the us how to be a Gentleman, Mimi showed us she was imperfect, Alicia fell in love while R.Kelly came back for his crown. Meanwhile, in the Urban/Pop world, Rihanna brought some heat, Beyonce maintained her crown, TheDream survived the sophomore slump, while Ryan Leslie quietly retained his genius. Lets get on with the list already! Let me know your thoughts on these!

25. Charlie Wilson – There Goes My Baby – Besides being a homemade tribute to Snoop Dogg and his wife’s marriage, Charlie Wilson lands the perfect song for his syrupy drawl with this hit song. Written by Babyface and originally recorded by Calvin Richardson, Charlie definitely does the song justice.


24. Musiq Soulchild – So Beautiful – Musiq managed to lie mostly under the radar this year with the release of his album Onmyradio during the end of 2008. I blame his lead single Radio that didn’t go over well with fans. Luckily, So Beautiful was that type of song that his fans were waiting for. One of those feel good, chill & reminisce songs. So Beautiful is a great addition to Musiq’s catalog.


23. Ne-Yo – Never Knew I Needed – During an impromptu interview about the meaning of the title song to The Princess & the Frog movie, Ne-Yo explains, “It is about two people who feel like they know what they want…know what they need in life, then realize through meeting each other that they don’t know what they need…the realization becomes that what they need is love and they find that with each other“. That is a pretty spot-on description of the relationship of the two main characters from the movie. Ne-Yo writes and performs the song and does a very good job writing a clean, PG-rated song with substance. The soundtrack to the film was released in November 2009.


22. K Michelle – Fakin’ it – Memphis-bred K Michelle has made a bit of a presence for herself oh the Mixtape circuit with songs like Self-Made featuring Gucci Mane, but her standout track has been Fakin’ It. It features Missy Elliot as a musical co-signer and is produced by up-and-coming production team Hitz Committee. In the song, K Michelle sings about faking ‘it’ for the man she loves but who is clearly clueless in the bedroom. The message is not Choklit-approved, but the song is dope!

*Sidenote: Here is some footage of K Michelle doing a stripped-down performance that showcases her talent. This is an Artist!!! Great voice!


21. Young Steff – Slow Jukin’ – Even though newcomer Young Steff had a serious hit on his hands with this song, and we  sung our praises for the young 20 year old dancer/singer, his career did not really jump off as we had hoped. Still, Young Steff has a bright future ahead of him. Slow Jukin is that song them 16-year olds be playing while slow-grinding on each other, tryin to act all grown. While all the 25-year olds be gettin’ their grind on behind closed doors 😉

Keep reading!!


Hot ChokLit: 50 Cent & Governor Mix up a HIT!

I’ve been gushing about this song and video for so long, I forgot to actually post on it : P I know you all must have seen the video or at least heard the song by now so let’s discuss the Highs & Lows!

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Highs: 5o and newcomer Governor (previously signed with T.I’s Grand Hustle Ent) bring the SEXY! *Whew* Most former 50 haters can’t hate on his new grill and his buff but lean physique. Also 50’s confidence oozes through the screen…I’ll stop now. No, I’ll continue. I will be doing a feature on Governor, my new-found favourite new Artist. Governor’s small part singing part on the song’s hook and bridge were enough to keep me interested in the song.

Lows: Poor Vivica. Yes she redeemed herself recently by stepping out in Atlanta with her new, younger man. But the first time I saw this video I shook my head and said, Vivica, you played yourself!

Highs: Chris Robinson directs a visually appealing, urbanized and slick video. With some eye candy courtesy of video vixen Tahiry and actress Tamala Jones and an artistic scene where 50 and his G-unit soldiers nod their black fitteds to the beat, the video is seamless and original.

Lows: The story suffers a bit at the end when Vivica blows up the building 50 is in…yet he appears at the end of the video only to wipe her tears….mmmm ok… Governor looks good in his scene 🙂

Pour a Lil’ ChokLit Liquor: R.I.P Teddy Pendergrass

On January 13th, 2010, we lost one of the great R&B performers of the genre, Teddy Pendergrass. To the hip hop generation (myself included), Pendergrass was often associated with T-Pain antics (“Teddy Bend-her-ass-down”) and Jaheim, to whose voice many say compares to Teddy’s. His famous song Wake Up Everybody, who he performed alongside his band Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, has been covered many times by other artists, including when it was re-recorded by Babyface for the 2004 Democratic Presidential campaign. Pendergrass also recorded the massive hit, If You Don’t Know Me By Now with his band before splitting from them and going solo.

Once solo, Pendergrass became a renowned sex symbol, performing hit songs Close the Door, Turn off the Lights and my favourite, Love TKO. At the peak of his success, Pendergrass suffered a car accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down in 1982. This was a fact I had no idea of! Thanks Wikipedia!

Teddy definitely brought the sexy back in his heyday and was one of the founders of R&B sex symbols that we wish we know today. His voice was velvety and smooth with a baritone that make most women clench their loins #toomuchinformation Enjoy my favourite Teddy Pendergrass song Love TKO below. May he rest in peace!

Butta of the Week: Omarion – Speedin’ video

After releasing two hip hop-themed buzz singles, Omarion has finally released the real R&B track we were hoping for.  Well, its more of a pop & B collabo, but still a good one.

In Speedin’, Omarion sings about a love gone wrong and trying his hardest to get back into his lover’s heart again. The music is dramatic with the help of  drums, an electric guitar and screeching tire effects throughout the song. Omarion gives a stirring vocal performance that makes you wonder why he didn’t release this song as his lead single. Ollusion is in stores right now! Go cop that ish!

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Published in: on January 18, 2010 at 1:11 am  Comments (1)  
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Sweet Tooth: Keke Wyatt – Who Knew

A few years after releasing her single Put Your Hands on Me (to which no album materialized), Keke Wyatt has returned with a new single, Who Knew and a new partnership with her new label, Shanachie Entertainment .  I’m happy to see Keke has moved on past her personal issues with her husband a few years back. Keke has an amazing voice – PERIOD. She had dueted in the past with Avant on two hit songs, My First Love and Nothing in this World.  My favourite vocal performance was Keke’s cover of If You Only Knew from her 2001 gold-certified album, Soul Sista. In 2004 Keke joined Cash Money Records and released Put your Hands on Me in 2005.

I like Who Knew, although it does not seem like something that will catch like fire.  But Keke has a fanbase in the R&B community so she will be shown some love. Keke is looking great nowadays! She has lost a lot of weight since her debut album and looks happy and healthy. What did you guys think of the video? The lead man was previously a lead in Beyonce’s Irreplaceable video.

Published in: on January 11, 2010 at 1:50 am  Comments (2)  
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ChokLit’s Choice: Ryan Leslie

I knew Ryan Leslie released a new album last year, but sadly I did not see any promotion for the album or for its two released singles, You’re Not My Girl and I Choose You. Recently I added I Choose You to  the ChokLitpod and its been in heavy rotation. So much so that I had to do a post on this guy. Ryan is consistently making some stellar music. The Washington, D.C-based singer/songwriter/producer has made enormous leaps and bounds musically and artistically since he emerged behind the production scenes of his ‘star’ artist, Cassie. Since then, we have been able to witness his growth as an Artist.

I Choose You is one of those songs that blends the music with the lyrics seamlessly and perfectly. Over solo keyboards and violins, Ryan sings,

You introduce me to life, that I’ve never known
When I’m by your side that’s when I’m feeling home
And my only attempt is to make you smile, I promise…

Over the others, over my pride
Cuz you’re the best thing, in my life
I choose you
I choose you

Ryan Leslie – I Choose You

The song is 2 min and 50 seconds of subtle brilliance. Leslie’s album Transition was released only 9 months after his debut solo album Ryan Leslie in 2009. Transition was written, produced and arranged by Leslie who crafted it following a relationship he had in the Summer of 2009, with a woman he met while at rehearsal.

Also check out his video for You’re Not My Girl. It features a fresh take on lighting and colors, as well as some some interesting dance moves by Leslie. One of the dancers in the video, the female with the blond in her hair was also one of the principle dancers on the set of Trish’s video for  Best Day of My Life. She is from Toronto. Check the video out!

Melt In Your Ears: Amerie feat. Fabolous – More Than Love video

Happy New Year to everyone! I had a wonderful Christmas holiday back in my hometown of Edmonton with my family, which was great! Cold, but great. I was even able to gather some new music for the CF from my visit since my Edmonton peoples do know their music every now and then! I was also able to do some listening of some albums like Alicia’s newest effort, R.Kelly’s Untitiled and Robin Thicke’s album. I have my work cut out for me for reviews. I spent New Year’s with some friends in Detroit where I currently am. Looking forward to crafting the list for the best of 2009 on the ChokLit Factory and to hearing all your thoughts.

Until then, check out the new video for Amerie’s third single, More Than Love featuring Fabolous on the track. Amerie hasn’t had the best reaction from her fourth release Love & War she dropped a few months back. Something about Amerie is not catching on with the mainstream. I personally think she was lacking a hit song, but I’m sure many would disagree. Nonetheless, I still enjoy her music and her lyrics. More Than Love has Amerie questioning whether Love is enough to make a relationship really work (It isn’t.) Fabolous plays his part well in the song and video, but nothing groundbreaking here folks! Check out the video below.