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!

Sweet Tooth: *New Video* Alicia Keys – Unthinkable

I was wondering maybe
Could I make you my baby
If we do the unthinkable would it make us so crazy
Or would it be so beautiful either way I’m saying
If you ask me I’m ready…

Alicia Keys finally makes good use of her immaculate album, Element of Freedom, with the video for Unthinkable. Directed by Jake Nava, it follows the story of a couple doomed to love and the courage it takes to overcome the fear and/or stigma. The story floats between different time eras seamlessly, adding to the allure of the video. Chad Michael Murray from CW’s One Tree Hill (I know my girl BSB is a fan!) plays Alicia’s love interest.

Ok, I LOVE the video! Alicia looks classic and sexy and the storyline really tugs at the heartstrings. The scene in the convenience store is the cutest! Soooo my ethnic ladies, does this video entice you to try and date outside your race, finally? Or is it just a cute video?

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Music News ROLO: Toni Braxton’s Pulse is Dead? Drake & Kayne are Killin ’em!, Alicia readies Unthinkable Video

Toni Braxton, who enjoyed much success in the early and late 90s, released her sixth studio album, Pulse, this past Tuesday. This is Ton’s first album in five years and her first she for Atlantic records after re-signing her contract with them. Pulse received a decent amount of push from her label, including 3 music videos, a racy performance at the Soul Train Awards (where she kissed singer Trey Songz onstage in front of an audience that included her now ex-husband Keri) and talk show appearances. I must say, I missed nearly all of the promo for this Project, other than the release of Yesterday, her duet with Trey Songz. I did catch up on Hands Tied, her sultry second single off the album.

Last month, Toni commented on album sales and what it means to the Pulse project: “You just want to create, but I know if I don’t sell, I’m not going to be able to make another album.” source.

Estimates are coming in that have Pulse selling 45K – 50K records, the lowest debut in Braxton’s career. Sad to hear, I am a fan of Braxon’s music so I hope this project does well.  I wonder what God we would have to pray to, to see Toni and Babyface reunite one last time…

Check out the video for Hands Tied, which I am loving right now!

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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?

Vodpod videos no longer available.
Published in: on November 18, 2009 at 2:02 am  Leave a Comment  
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Still in the W(Rapper): Alicia Keys speaks to Billboard about Video Concept

aliciaupdo

Alicia Keys speaks to Billboard magazine about the concept of her video for Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart. This is a different treatment than I expected for this video…I’m not sure I’m feeling it based on her description, but it will be directed by Syndrome (T-Pain’s Can you Believe it, Jazmine Sullivan’s Lions, Tigers & Bears) so there will more likely be a lot of  special effects added to the final version. This is one of my favourite songs out right now so I will be disappointed if the video is lackluster 😦

I noticed Alicia is wearing the purple lipstick that is all the rage in fashion nowadays…just ask the ladies at What Women Want. I’m not 100% sold on this look, but I”m sure that will not matter. Check out the video below. Are ya’ll as excited for the video premiere as I am?

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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50kelly

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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Butta of the Week!: Alicia Keys – Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart

akeys

A few weeks back we premiered Alicia’s first single, Doesn’t Mean Anything from her new album, The Element of Freedom (great title!) arriving December 1st. The song had yet to grow on me, or on the charts in general so Alicia’s second single has been prepared in a hurry. Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart is a great song! It has a totally different sound for Alicia, with eerie keyboards that give it a cheesy 80s sound – but in a good way. Alicia’s voice is timidly quiet as she sings, “I’m gonna find a way to make it, without you…I’m gonna hold onto the times that we had” The lyrics are especially poignant as she sings about being strong enough to get through the lonely, sleepless nights without her lover no longer being in her life. The song is produced by 808 & Heartbreak collaborator Jeff Bhasker and Alicia.

Of course, all over the Internet, Alicia is catching flack left and right for her personal issues involving her relationship with producer/artist Swizz Beatz who was once (still is!) married to singer Mashonda. Mashonda and Swizz have two children together and Alicia is being viewed as a home-wrecker for being involved with a married man. People are going as far to say they will not support Alicia nor purchase her music because of her love life. They are condemning this song as a slap in the face to Mashonda who is possibly going through the same situation Alicia is singing about.  Hmmmmm. Hard for me to say, I’m no fan of home-wreckers, but as my girl Cinnamon will say, “Life is complicated” so we never will know what had transpired between the three of them involved. That being said, at the end of the day, I like the song and the ChokLitFactory is about the music so I will continue to post on Alicia’s new project. Enjoy!

Alicia Keys – Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart

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!

melaniefiona

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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