Music News ROLO: The Essence Music Festival this July – Get Your Tickets Now!

This July, Essence Magazine will be celebrating its 40th Anniversary with its New Orleans-based concert series, the Essence Music Festival (EMF). This year, female music royalty, including Janet Jackson (July 2nd), Alicia Keys (July 3rd) and Mary J. Blige (July 4th) will be the headliners.

Other performances at the show will include Monica, Raphael Saadiq, Keri Hilson, Gladys Knight, Trey Songz and many more! In addition, there will be informative seminars and art expos by local New Orleans vendors. The weekend will be a great experience for R&B fans.

The good news, is that tickets are on sale right NOW! You can purchase single day tickets if you only want to attend the festival a day at a time. Tickets for single days per person range from $53 – $212. Full festival weekend tickets range from $159 – $636. Head over to Essence right now to learn more about the Festival and to purchase tickets.

Keep in touch with the ChokLit Factory over the next few weeks as we will be providing more information on the festival as well as giveaways!

Music News ROLO: Usher’s Still Got It, Nicki Exits Rihanna’s Tour, Maxwell Prepares next Single

After months of negativity and doubt hovering over his project, Usher showed the naysayers wrong by delivering big on his newest effort, Raymond vs. Raymond. The album sold a respectable 329,000 copies in its first week which, even though sales are less than the 423,000 albums Here I Stand sold in 2008, is still a good look for Usher who has suffered a decline in popularity in the past 2 years. Usher’s prodigy/artist Justin Bieber is sitting comfortably at #2 on the Billboard charts after besting R&B Great Monica during her first week of sales. Bieber sold 290,00 copies last week. Off the strength of her lead single, Everything To Me and her reality show on BET, Monica debuted high on the Billboard charts her first week out, though sales have dropped her to #6 this week.

Good look for the R&B Artists this week…

Rihanna announced earlier this week that she was heading out on tour this Summer for her Last Girl on Earth headlining Tour.  She announced she would be hitting the road with singer Ke$ha and Rapper/Entertainer Nicki Minaj. Sadly, Nicki tweeted today that she would have to drop out of the tour:

This sucks for Nicki and the Tour. I’m a fan of Rihanna, but Ke$ha on the bill? No, thanks. I wonder what the real reason behind Nicki passing up this great opportunity…

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Music News ROLO: TheDream readies LoveKing Album & Video via Twitter

I’ve been meaning to do this post for a minute. If you follow TheDream like I do on Twitter, you pretty much get the scoop on all of the promotion for his latest album LoveKing. He’s already shot the video for the first single, LoveKing with Director X, who we haven’t seen do much in a while… The video looks hot! Watch the preview below.

A few days ago, Dream did a live Ustream of the filming of another of his videos. The song sounds great, but I guess it was accidentally leaked because the cameraman got scolded by a label rep for streaming live video of music that has not been released yet…Oops! She then tells him to mute the sound which is pretty pointless. Luckily, the video is still up if you want to check it out.

According to his Twitter, Dream will be releasing four singles and four videos before the album drop in May. He will record the Love King Remix video featuring Ludacris April 1st.  Other possible cameos on the album include T.I and Young Jeezy. Get it Dream!!

LoveKing video preview:

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Published in: on April 1, 2010 at 3:38 am  Comments (1)  
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Music News ROLO: *Ladies Love* New Music from Mariah, Monica & Shanell!

Mariah continues to work on her Remix Project titled Angel’s Advocate and the singles continue to leak. Ribbons was one of my favorite uptempo songs on Memoirs and I’m definitely feeling the remix with Ludacris and TheDream both lending verses. Ludacris can still kill a Remix like no other!

Mariah will finally release Angel’s Advocate March 30th, where she will be going up against Usher’s Raymond Vs. Raymond, among others. The album will feature all new remixes as well as duets of songs from her Memoirs album.

Mariah Carey featuring Ludacris & TheDrem – Ribbons (Remix)

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Since Atlanta can be called the Mecca of R&B for the new Millennium, it is only natural that it births this brand of New R&B ushered in by artists such as TheDream, Janelle Monae and Shanell. Now signed to Lil Wayne’s Young Money Label, Shanell is getting the chance to showcase her talent. I like to describe her music as Trip Pop. It just sounds new age, 80s-inspired and something Prince may approve of. Here she teams up with Lil Wayne (her rumored beau ) and fellow artist Mack Maine for Deadliest Catch. I’m feeling this joint right here! It’s sexy, fresh and different, but in a good way. What do you guys think?

Shanell featuring Lil Wayne & Mack Main – Deadliest Catch

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Music News ROLO: Trey Wakes the Neighbours & Ciara Got that Bank!

Trey Songz has released yet another video off his popular Grammy-nominated album, Ready. I still liked Trey Day better than this album, but I’m glad Trey is getting his well-deserved shine, even if that meant him having to whore himself as the ultimate sex symbol for the ladies…no complaints here, I guess. I read someone comment on a blog that Trey was coming for R.Kelly’s spot since his songs evoke that same freaky-as-I-wanna-be mentality that R.Kelly used (and still uses today) to get people’s attention. We can safely say many children were concieved from Kelly’s music in the 90s so I guess time will tell how successful Trey’s music is in doing the same.

Trey filmed Neighbours Know My Name with Victoria Secret’s model Jessica White. I heard she was rumored to be Ne-Yo’s new girlfriend…maybe not after this video!! The red-light special look of the video was definitely a good look.

Image courtesty of Exposay.com

Do the ladies love Trey’s new video? And do the fellas love Jessica White?

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image via StraightFromTheA.com

Aside from globe-trotting, being a fashion muse for couture houses and appearing at various club openings and parties, Ciara has been hard at work on her fourth album with TheDream(Team) and Tricky Stewart. I predict some Heat will result from these studio sessions. However, this new track released from these sessions, In The Bank must have been the debris used to start the fire…that didn’t catch on. But we must remember, this is just a BUZZ record. It is meant to get people talking, curious and even to get us ‘hating’ on Cici.

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Music News ROLO: New Music from J.Holiday and Nivea!

We’re got some promising new music on the R&B scene. J.Holiday is coming back strong for a third effort and Nivea is gearing up for a new album on the strength of her pain. Listen in!

Singer/songwriter J.Holiday returns to the music scene with another sensual and sexually charged song titled Pretty Body. Coming on the heels of TheDream’s release of Love King and the fact that both tracks were produced by the same person, does not fare well with fans. The main difference is J.Holiday’s voice which is arguably smooth and sexy as always. His vocal performance alone should shed some much-needed attention on this song, though I’m not sure it will.  Check the video interview below courtesy of Reader Mr. Knowvember, who is a big J. Holiday fan. Around the 5:00 minute mark J.Holiday does an impressive impromptu song from the dome.

J.Holiday – Pretty Body

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Nivea has been garnering some good buzz lately after the release of her video and song for the Say Something Remix she recorded with ATL rapper Rasheeda. Now prepping for her own album release, Nivea has released her own single, Love Hurts to capitalize on said buzz. Her new album will be titled Purple Heart and is rumored to drop in a couple months. No word on if the album will be released through her label Jive.

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Music News ROLO: Jay-z is NOT a Fan, Sade nearly does 500K, TheDream readies LoveKing

I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday! I was lazy as hail all day 😉 But let’s get some news out of the way.

According to US Magazine, Jay-z was not impressed with the latest efforts to re-vamp Michael Jackson’s famed ‘We Are the World‘ benefit song into a 2010 version to help benefit the cause for Haiti. The song/video debuted at the Opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. It featured a unique group of artists ranging from Kanye West (wearing his best MJ impersonation jacket),to the Jonas brothers, Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Hudson, Jamie Foxx and Justin Bieber who opened the song. Justin. Bieber.

About the re-make, Jay-Z quipped,

I know everybody is gonna take this wrong: ‘We Are the World,’ I love it, and I understand the point and think it’s great. But I think ‘We Are the World’ is like [Michael Jackson‘s] ‘Thriller’ to me. I don’t ever wanna see it touched,”

I agree with Jay-Z. If you haven’t seen the video, watch the 2010 version here. I actually liked the effort and liked some of the vocal arrangements, but between Wyclef screaming like a fool and Lil Wayne, Akon & T-Pain’s auto-tuned mess, I was left shaking my head. Plus we all know the God MC told us Auto-tune was dead back in ’09…

Jay-Z continued,

I’m a fan of music. I know the plight and everything that’s going on in Haiti. I applaud the efforts: Millions have been raised] through text [donations] to Haiti. So I appreciate the efforts and everything, but ‘We Are The World’ is [musically] untouchable like ‘Thriller’ is untouchable. Some things are just untouchable. It was a valiant effort, but for me, it’s gonna be untouchable.

And in true Jay-z fashion, he was able to reflect the situation on himself:

I think it’s time for us to make a new [song]. I tried to do that with ‘Stranded,’ [the tune Jay Z, Rihanna and U2’s Bono and The Edge premiered at the ‘Hope for Haiti Now’ telethon]. I didn’t try to make ‘We Are the World,’ but I tried to make our take on how we felt.

If you haven’t heard the song Stranded, click here. I actually really like this song.

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In other R&B news, Singer Sade has pulled a Maxwell; she has returned from her 10-year hiatus to triumphantly return the number one spot on the charts with her newest effort, Soldier of Love.

Image courtesy of Sade.com

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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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Music News ROLO: 4th Quarter Music Plus Videos by 50cent & Ne-Yo, Jay-Z & Alicia, Chris Brown

So I mentioned I would try to keep up with everything so lets run the Music ROLO!

First off, My dude over at The Doc Report did a nice Rundown of the what we should expect music-wise for the fourth quarter(year end) in music. There are some exciting releases from artists like Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Shakira and Britney Spears all being released November 23rd (which he dubs ‘Super Monday’). Also Amerie and Ryan Leslie are releasing albums today (November 3rd)! R.Kelly will be dropping Dec. 1st, while Usher will battle Robin Thicke and Gucci Mane come December 8th. And of course the last push before Christmas will see releases from Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige, Lil Wayne and Rihanna’s ex, Chris Brown. Heavy. Make sure you check out the list in its entirety. I didn’t even know about some of these…Usher, are you really ready to come back for the crown again?? Hmmmm.

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50 Cent & Kelly Rowland make beautiful music together – oh yeah, and Ne-Yo!

Cute video and a good look for Ms Rowland who looks cute as ever! Kelly has the most beautiful skin! I thought the song was going to be better than this – more hood, gutter 50, but this is actually a nice change for him. And damn, he is lookin right in the video too! Maybe its the new grill? Ne-Yo is forgettable to me in this song. Why is that?

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Music News ROLO: New videos by Alicia Keys, Mario & Melanie Fiona!

Here’s a couple of new videos for ya’ll to catch up on! Click on the links below to watch!

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Alicia Keys – Doesn’t Mean Anything

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!

Mario – Thinkin’ Bout You

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.

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