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.

(more…)

Advertisements

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!

(more…)

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!!

(more…)

ChokLit Factory Exclusive: Live on Set with TRISH

Trish2

Last night I had the privilege of being a ChokLit fly on the wall for the video-shoot for up-and-coming Hot Girl, TRISH. I keep singing this girl’s praises because I truly believe she will blow-pop! fairly soon.  Then I can run around tellin’ everybody, “I Told you so!” 🙂

Trish1

The video is for Trish’s single, Best Day of My Life. The song is a twisted dance/pop track that has Trish belting some fierce vocals with a vengeance! The beat is danceable, futuristic and hard hitting.  On set, Trish was decked out in her signature fire-engine red hair, bright pink lipstick, a leather red jacket and psychedelic print leggings. That paired with her 6-inch heels made her quite a sight to see. The shoot easily went on for a good 10 hours, but Trish was always polite, courteous and full of energy. On set, choreographer LutherBrown coached the dancers as they ran through the hype routine too many times to count. Toronto Stylist Janet Han was on call to make touch-ups to Trish’s outfit. Best Day’s producers Product & Whitton were on hand to support Trish, as they had produced the bulk of her material. I also spotted dancer Ponytails and many other Urban Bloggers and Toronto scenesters. While manager Wanye Samuels was running around in a feverish pace trying to make everything run smoothly; director Harv was extremely meticulous about each shot.  Best Day of my Life is a definitely a hot song and I know the video will match the high energy of the song. Peep the pictures below and see exclusive behind the scenes footage of the Luther Brown-created dance routine for Trish’s video.

(more…)

Before They Blow-PoP!: Introducing TRISH Pt. I

Trish03

We have a treat for our ChokLit Community! A new Toronto-based artist named Trish is about to make some serious moves in the Industry, and we got the Exclusive on her here in the Choklit Factory! I spotted Trish performing at a show here in Toronto. She was on the stage with two of her male dancers, and sang a couple of her songs. The crowd was the typical picky T.O crowd, but Trish was rockin’ her set out and got the crowd very interested myself included. So I was able to score an interview with the up-and-coming Stunning Singer. Peep Trish’s Little X-directed video for her single, Don’t Watch Me, and some of her music after the jump!

Vodpod videos no longer available.
Trish feat. J.Diggz – Don’t Watch Me Directed by Lil X

(more…)

Now Playing: Ciara – Fantasy Ride

ciarafantasy1

Finally Fantasy Ride has landed! Are we excited? Not overly so, but we’re glad my girl was finally able to release this long-awaited album.

I was so excited for Ciara’s new album after feeling her last album, Evolution, and hearing the concept for Fantasy Ride – a 3-disc compilation album that had three parts to it: Crunk-Town, Groove City & Kingdom of Dance. With producers like The Dream & Tricky Stewart, and Danja assigned to helm the project, my excitement levels rose even higher – it was about to be C-Season!

Sadly, things did not pop off as planned. Some of you may know that Ciara fired her longtime manager Phillana Williams and decided to sign on with Jonny Wright’s (Britney Spears & N’SYNC back in the day) Management Group.  Since then, she had released her T-Pain duet, Go Girl, to very little criitcal fanfare, and scrapped the 3-disc set ideas for Fantasy Ride. Also, regretably, Ciara has been all over the place musically and image-wise. One day her style is reminiscent of Rihanna’s goth-chic look, the next, she is reminding us of her Crunk & B days **sigh**. Ciara’s music hasn’t been any less coherent. She did release the Polow-produced Neva Ever, and brought out the hip rolls for the video, but then switched it up with Justin Timberlake in her overly sexual video for Love Sex Magic.

(more…)

ChokLit Factory Exclusive: Why do Men Front on R&B?

This is a bit...intimidating

This is a bit...intimidating

Disclaimer: This article is purely based on my opinion and does not represent ALL men, so if this does NOT represent you, speak your piece!

So I was having a music conversation with a male friend the other day – one of my favourite topics of conversation. He was flipping through his collection of current music he is listening to (which consisted of year-old hip hop mixtapes). He was bumping Young Jeezy, a lot of Rick Ross, Lil Wayne – definitely some of my faves. But then the player shuffled to The Dream’s I Love Your Girl Remix featuring Young Jeezy and I had to pause. The conversation went something like this:

“I Love this song! (girlish squeal!) The Dream is the ish!”

“Yah it’s cool”

“You bump R&B too?”

Hesitation. “….Nah!”

“Forreal? You don’t bump ANY R&B? How come?”

More stuttering. “Just not my thing, that’s for the Females”

He really made the word, Females, sound like the lowest form of the human race right there. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my Hip Hop; I used to go hard with Hip Hop before the recession, but I always need some good R&B to relax, contemplate, get into my happy place or get into the mood…

But really though, what is the deal with men not being into R&B? We all know that R&B is aimed at women. I would estimate that 80% of R&B music buyers are Female. So naturally, you will have your artists like Trey Songz, Usher and even D’angelo that will appeal to women based on their looks, bodies and voices. They will sing the songs that women want to get intimate to, dance the way females will find irresistible and will conduct themselves in ways that will be considered, strictly for the ladies. But does this mean that your Homeboy should be considered Gay if he bumps Usher’s Trading Places?

usherabs

Although R&B music is mainly marketed towards Women, I think there is a bigger picture. It is the most mainstream of Urban music because R&B can appeal to the masses. This music celebrates, promotes and caters to Love. And who doesn’t want to experience Love, right? No matter how Hard you claim to be, you know you got your heart broken once before, and you had to Let it Burn when you found out you Had it Bad. Gangsta or not, I know you couldn’t get enough of the Brown Suga last night, when a special friend had you asking, How Does it Feel? So please, make me this Promise fellas, and embrace the R&B. If not in public, at least in Private with your Boo – she will Love you Long time for it!

Lola B!

©The ChokLitFactory 2009

Published in: on April 17, 2009 at 1:27 am  Comments (6)  
Tags: , , , , ,

ChokLit Exclusive: Still on my Teedra Moses ish…

Ms Moses

Ms Moses

Now don’t say I never did nothin for ya!

As I was gushing about Ms Moses in the previous post, I decided to do a little more digging on her – since I assume some of my readers would appreciate that 🙂 I found out that not only does Teedra have a new Mixtape out, Lionhearted vol.3, she also has a bangin single out as well via her Myspace page, called Put it in the Wind. This new track is KILLIN ’em right now! This is not your everyday fly-by-night pop trash that is put out every other day (No disrespect ladies..) this is some thoughtful, entertaining, Real-Life music. I’m loving the new single – she needs to be scooped up by a major label like, yesterday!

(more…)

Now Playing: Album Review – The Dream, Love vs. Money

feb17_thedream

 I finally copped this CD today after snoopin around for it in Sunrise Records, after the HMV associate told me with a confused facial expression, “I guess we sold out of all our copies” To be honest, I was about to call it a day after that, but I hope knew my Readers are waiting on this one! Since then, I’ve had the CD on repeat as it copied itself into the iPod and the Nokia. Thoughts so far? I’m down.

Love vs. Money avoids the dreaded sophomore slump  simply because it starts off again where Love/Hate left off. Same producers, but same innovative beats; similar lyrics, but different issues; same monotone voice, but yet, more depth. So the good news is, Terrius “TheDream” Nash is evolving, but not enough to isolate his audience (*cough* Kanye *cough*) or to establish his music as groundbreaking. If you enjoyed his debut album, you will enjoy this one. You may even respect TheDream more, because you realize he is not a fluke, one-hit wonder-artist.

Surprisingly enough, I first heard about TheDream about 6 years ago when I listened to Nivea’s most recent album, Complicated. I caught his name in the production credits and also caught him rapping on a couple of her songs. His swag wasn’t exactly developed just yet, but you could tell he had talent. Even with his solid work at best on Complicated, I knew TheDream was unique. I later became a fan, like most people after hearing Shawty is the Shit, then copping his first CD and playing the HAIL out of it, along with most of my family. He was like a breath of fresh air in the music that was out at the time. Possibly TheDream’s greatest advantage over these other R&B cats is the creative control he has on his projects. A true artist.

(more…)

ChokLitFactory Exclusive: ChokLitFactory’s Top 25 songs of 2008 Part III

Ok, we are back! Finally, we get rid of all the suspense and lace you the TOP 8 songs of 2008! It wasn’t easy crafting the top 8, but I believe I made the right decisions. Some of these songs, you may not even heard of before! What would ya’ll do without me? So check ’em out, then speak on it! What do you guys think?

*Side Note: I’ve gotten rid of the players, so you all know the drill. click or hover on the link and press PLAY!
Here we GO!

8 – Raheem Devaugn – Customer

raheem

#8

Raheem started off 2008 with a hit song and a critically-acclaimed record. Customer came out of nowhere and ended up being a hit with the 106&Park crowd. And Raheem seemed to find his writing niche: highly metaphoric, sweet love songs sung to ChokLit ladies 😉 

 Raheem DeVaughn – Customer

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

7 – Jazmine Sullivan – Lions, Tigers and Bears

jazmine1

#7

 So, I’m kinda of cheating on this one…technically, this song was just released as a single in the 09, but I had to include it on the list since I first heard it performed by Jazmine in concert  back in 2008. Also because this song may get lost in the Choklit sauce, it being released so early in the year. This song is so dramatic; its music is brooding and deep, clearing the way for Jazmine’s unique vocals. And her lyrics are heartfelt and so true. Many people can attest to that feeling of being afraid of love more so than other earthy dangers. Def one of the best songs musically and lyrically, I’ve heard in years. And Jasmine got robbed blind at the Grammys too ya’ll….

Jazmine Sullivan – Lions, Tigers & Bears

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Keep Reading!

(more…)