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…)

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…)

Melt in Your Ears: Chrisette Michelle – What You Do Video

chrisettevideoChrisette Michelle finally blesses us with the video for her second single, What you Do. In the video Pooch Hall aka Derwin from The Game plays her love interest whose actions speak louder than his words. The video, directed by Ray Kay, is nothing special, but it captures a nice feel of New York city nights, with Chrisette riding around town in a taxi cab or playing passionately on her piano. Chrisette displays another form of the shaved head-sides haircut that is all the rage with the hip female set, except hers is more feminine since it is not fully shaved. The video makes me appreciate the song more, although if feels like What you Do was released so long ago! Chrisette looks great!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Photo courtesty of Rap-up.com

Published in: on July 21, 2009 at 1:09 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , , ,

Now Playing: Chrisette Michelle – Epiphany

chrisetteepiphany

I must admit, there is not much I  knew about Ms Michelle. I’ve done my best Google search to dig up some dirt on her, but most of the information I could find on her is the token PR fodder. Not that there is a problem with that. So, no, she hasn’t stabbed her husband with a kitchen knife, doesn’t have any nude pics floating around and she is not romantically linked to any of the Rappers she has collaborated with – including the Game, Nas, Jay-z or Kanye. Whew. Maybe that’s why we may have almost missed Chrisette on our ChokLit Radar. Side Note: She does have a new blonde-streaked haircut though. Its pretty cute.

In fact, Chrisette’s current claim to Blog fame is her trumping of crunk-popstar Ciara for the Number One spot on the Billboard & iTunes charts, her fist week out, for her sophomore album, Epiphany. Since I’ve already posted one of Chrisette’s videos and her second single, I told myself (and my readers) that I would give Chrisette the good ol’ college try, this time around. I can safely say, I was not prepared for what I about to hear. Epiphany is one of the best Contemporary R&B albums I have heard in a long time. I’m not even going to sugar-coat this. Not only can this girl blow, she has an enviable producing and writing team that needs to be acknowledged.

Chrisette officially appeared on the scene with her debut album I Am, back in 2007. The album was not a commercial success, though it was Certified Gold. Chrisette was nomiated for various awards including two Grammys. However, Chrisette began to express an interest in exploring a more youthful, uptempo sound for her next album. So this time around, she decided to start from scratch and worked with a new batch of producers & song-writers including Ne-Yo, who executive-produced the project and wrote 7 of the songs; Rodney Jerkins, Claude Kelly, Bei Maejor, Jayms Madison (All I ever think about) and Chuck Harmon. This was definitely a good move on Chrisette & her Label’s part; the album has a very youthful, but cohesive, testimonial feel to it. The music on Epiphany incorporates a lot of drums, guitar licks and snaps – similar to what you would expect from a Ne-Yo album. But the beautiful melodies, masterful backup vocals and Chrisette’s sassy but succinct voice give the music a new life; very polished yet extremely heartfelt. The album opens strong with the title track, Epiphany (I’m Leaving), a song about that exact moment when you realize things are indeed over.  Notebook follows, a beautiful song that shows Chrisette’s vulnerability, setting the mood for the album. The second single What You Do is next, a duet with Chrisette & Ne-Yo that has her finally telling ol boy, “No more, ‘I’m sorry‘”

(more…)

Published in: on May 18, 2009 at 4:48 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , , , ,

Music News ROLO: Chrisette’s First #1 & Ciara’s Dissapointment

chrisette2

First off, ChokLit Kisses go to my girl Chrisette Michelle! She has scored her very first #1 Album! **Applause** Her sophomore CD, Epiphany is getting a lot of love from R&B fans, so good for her! It topped the Billboard charts this week with 83,000 units sold. Mind you, according to Billboard, this is the slowest-selling number one album in Neilsen’s 18-year history! That means ya’ll really ain’t tryin’ to buy your traditional CDs anymore huh? Do you prefer iTunes instead, or is LimeWire your BFF?  Anyways, it is always good when good music catches a break every now & then. I am working on getting my hands on the CD so I will update you all on what I think about (though I hear really good things!) Has anyone heard Epiphany yet? What do you think?

Ciara.jpgelle

Now the bad news. Last week I heard rumblings of Ciara & Chrisette battling it out for the number one spot and I was a little surprised… But sadly, Ciara had to bow in at number 3 on the charts with under 81,000 units of Fantasy Ride sold. The Hannah Montana soundtrack came in second. I should also mention that Ciara’s previous effort, Evolution, sold 338,000 copies in its first week out, beating out Chart-Champ Eminem! So this is a huge disappointment for Ciara and her fans and her Label who suffered a setback when Go Girl did not take off and Fantasy Ride took a tumble. All the push-backs let an uneasy feeling with her fans (including myself) and gave Fantasy Ride a premature bad rap. Then the lackluster singles released for the actual project still left people wanting more. She did get a boost with her Justin Timberlake feature, but many fans complained Love Sex Magic sounded like a leftover from Justin’s previous effort FutureSex/Love Sounds.

(more…)

Published in: on May 14, 2009 at 2:14 am  Comments (4)  
Tags: , , , ,

Melt in Your Ears: Brandy,Chrisette, Nikki Minaj

New Music straight outta the ChokLit Factory! Let get it!

Still grindin..

Still grindin..

Brandy – Love You the Most

The biggest sign that shows I am slackin on my CD purchases? I haven’t copped Brandy’s newest album. **Dodging Tomatoes** I know, I know, my Bad. I’ve heard very good things about her latest effort, Human. Unfortunately, it hasn’t performed the best on the charts – but the good news is, Brandy is supposedly working on some new material for her next project!  On this track, Brandy is staying true to her musical formula of well, just singing. No dancing, booty-shaking or stripping from this 90s Diva! But Homegirl is still making great music! Take this new track floating around the ‘Nets, Love you the Most. Very somber, easy track that showcases Brandy’s flowing vocals over the soothing beat. Brandy sounds beautiful on this song!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Ms Michelle

Ms Michelle


Chrisette Michelle feat. Ne-Yo – What you Do

See, I told ya’ll I would keep up with Chrisette this time! Here is a new song she recorded with Ne-Yo, which I believe is her Second Single. Its a laid-back song, a bit of a duo with her and Ne-Yo. I’m liking this; Chrisette is so listenable as a female artist – I would see myself just sitting back and letting her full Album play. Of course Ne-Yo pens another hit! Take a listen!

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

This is one of the Better pics I could find!

This is one of the Better pics I could find!

Nikki Minaj – I Get Crazy *Note: Link may not be downloadable.

I’ve heard the name, but never knew what Nikki Minaj was about. After visiting her Myspace, I was pretty impressed with the self-described Wonder Woman. Homegirl could give Lil Kim Yung Cho a run for her money! Nikki hails from Jamaica, Queens and is a singer, rapper, songwriter and actress. Her Go Hard freestyle (ok, its def NOT a freestyle!) is BADNESS! Also check the track she did with Drake(all on her Myspace), Best I ever Had – song is Dope. Nikki is co-signed by Wheezy and can back it up! Plus, she looks like a video vixen…where Lola Luv at? Don’t think she got nothing on Nikki! Check out a track she recorded with Lil Wayne, I Get Crazy. I co-sign this Chick as well!

Published in: on April 22, 2009 at 1:06 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , , ,

Melt in Your Ears: Chrisette Michelle – Epiphany

I know this video is MAD old…think it came out in March (ok, not that old), but I’ve been avoiding watching the actual video for some reason. What is it about Chrisette that makes me want to issue a raincheck to check out her music at a later date? But when I do get around to listening to her, I’m really feeling her! Her first album was received well, but was mostly looked over by even a lot of R&B heads. Why is that, I wonder?

Nonetheless, Chrisette is back with a new album, Epiphany, which will hit stores in May. This is her first single and video, which co-stars the Hottest thing out of Hip Hop right now, Toronto’s own, Drake. (Y’all know about Drake right? He sings some of his own hooks too! I just got up on dude, post will follow!)

Chrisette looks beautiful in this video as she sings about reaching an Epiphany where she realizes, this Drake dude, ain’t the one! Chrisette sounds amazing in this song as well, I actually really like her voice. The song is cute and memorable as well. I really hope I remember to at least download this track to my iPod…

What do ya’ll think?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Published in: on April 16, 2009 at 3:15 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,