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!

Pour A Lil ChokLit Liquor: B.I.G’s Last Chance (R.I.P)

“Baby here I am
All I need is more chance
I can help you find yourself
Cause you don’t need nobody else”

Although the mortal life for greater-than-life Rapper Notorious B.I.G aka Biggie Smalls ended 13 years ago, his music, spirit and legacy arguably lives on. Especially in today’s age as many argue Rap music has taken a downward nosedive in its lyrical content and overall relevance. Biggie was always my favorite Rapper, even back when I didn’t understand most of the metaphors and references he used. I would still sneak out his CDs from my older brother’s collection and would listen to the tracks in my room. I admit I would often skip most of the more lyrical songs for the danceable tracks, practicing all my twerk and bounce skills in front of the mirror #dontjudgeme. Still, I loved Biggie’s swag; his art of storytelling, his commanding voice and his undeniable flow.  I especially loved how Biggie could guest spot on an R&B song like my 112’s Only You and give it INSTANT cred and classic status.

In June of 1995, Bad Boy Records released the remix to One More Chance (originally found on the Ready To Die album), replacing R&B group Total with Biggie’s wife and up and coming Bad Boy artist, Faith Evans. I should note, Faith (along with Mary J. Blige who also sang on the hook) KILLED this hook. Her voice is so smooth. One More Chance samples DeBarge’s 1983 hit Stay With Me. The song was sampled many times, most noticeably for Ashanti’s hit song, Foolish and its Remix Unfoolish back in 2002.

First things first, I Poppa freaks all the honies
Dummies, playboy bunnies, those wanting money,

Those the ones I like cuz they don’t get nathan
But penetration, unless it smell like sanitation

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!!

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Melt in Your Ears: New videos from Mary, Mariah and Rihanna

The Bish is back!! Ok guys, thanks for sticking around and continuing to check the site out during my absence.  So lets get right back into it, because I’ve missed a whole lot!

First off we have Mary’s newest video for her second single, I Am. Mary looks great in the video, showin us how to really do the blond highlighted bang! Mary’s new album, Stronger With Each Tear is out right NOW! Go cop that ish!

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Next we have Ms Mariah and her video for H.A.T.E.U. I feel like I’ve already seen this since I’ve been seeing promo pics of Mariah in this swimsuit for weeks now…I just think this video is ridiculous. This is literally a swimsuit covershoot or a homage to Victoria Secret’s 2010 collection. The video has no story and no purpose. I love Mariah’s music, but these lackluster videos really have to stop. Ok I’m done. Wait – TheDream’s version was better. There, I said it.

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Butta of the Week! Mary J. Blige – I Am

I saw Mary perform this song at tonight’s AMAs and I thought to myself, how did we miss this at the ChokLit Factory? I am really loving this song. In the song, Mary sings about nobody being able to love her current Lover better than she can. Sometimes in a relationship, one person can be caught thinking they can get better elsewhere and often fall victim to the 80/20 rule, thinking the grass is greener on the other side. Sometimes that is the case, but most times it’s not. Sometimes we can take what we have for advantage until we have lost it. But once you lost it, its gone!

Mary wrote this song alongside talented songwriter Johnta Austin (who also co-wrote Mary’s other hit song, Be Without You) and produced by Stargate. This song will be released as Mary’s third single from her forthcoming album Stronger with each Tear.  So far, the album sounds like it will be a solid one; we can’t wait!

You can download I Am, starting tomorrow on iTunes!

Mary J.Blige – I Am

Published in: on November 23, 2009 at 2:43 am  Comments (1)  
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Melt In Your Ears: Mary J. Blige & Taraji Can Do Bad all by Themselves

taraji

Over the weekend I took in the Tyler Perry flick, I Can Do Bad All By Myself with some good friends. We caught the late show in the ‘hood’ movie theater so we noticed the audience was a lot more ‘livelier’ than usual. Taraji P. Henson did her thing in the movie, playing a selfish, emotionally void drunk club singer who has to face her challenges when an unexpected event lands her deceased sister’s kids on her doorstep. Although this movie still has its token Madea moments, Taraji’s character is the main star and Tyler does not skimp on the drama aspects at all. Overall, the movie was very entertaining – like we expected it to be. Mary J. Blige makes a cameo as Taraji’s friend Tonya, and does some real spirited singing in the movie. She sings the title song in the video below; it is a very well-written song and carries a strong message as well. According to the movie credits, Mary as well as Ne-yo wrote lyrics for this song. The below video is just a snippet, but you get the gist of it. This soundtrack sounds like a good one! Did anyone else catch this movie? What did ya’ll think of it?

*Side Note: I forgot to mention that this may be the first time Mr. Perry has opted not to have all light-skinned children for his children actors. Also, I believe his screenwriting skills may be improving. So kudos…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Melt in Your Ears: Trey Songz’ Anticipation, Omarion, Mary J. & Drake

We got some new music for the R&B folk!

TreySongz Anticipation CoverTrey Songz – Anticipation

The Prince Trey Songz is back with another promotional Mixtape before his August release of his new album, Ready. He released Anticipation onto the web last week and the response has been overwhelming. I’ve gotten halfway through so far, but the material is decent. So far from what I’ve heard, its strictly for the ladies! Trey sounds great but I’m worried his material is fleeting – how many songs can you make about pickin’ up a hot girl at the club, taking her home and bangin’ it out?. I just hope Trey has a lot more to talk about come Album time. You can download the full Mixtape by clicking on the link above.

*Update:  I’ve listened to the entire Mixtape and it is a very solid effort by Trey. He actually has some really good material on here, I was impressed.

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Sweet Tooth: Musiq Soulchild & Mary, Mint Condition

Music & Mary

Music & Mary

I was watching BET Jazz late the other night, and became really reminiscent of Midnight Love, which I used to watch religiously until it was cancelled in 2005. It was the best way to stay up-to-date on all the newest R&B. Its departure basically made me look to the Internet in the search for R&B. So forgive of my lateness on these videos, but I saw them the other night and wanted to post them.

Videos & more after the jump!

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Published in: on March 9, 2009 at 4:01 am  Comments (3)  
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ChokLitFactory Exclusive: Is Whitney Houston the G.O.A.T of Contemporary R&B? PART III

 whitneysmile1Thanks for tuning in, now we are getting to the good stuff! Back in 1995, Whitney decided to go back to her R&B roots (her family comes from a long list of R&B royalty) and paired up with Babyface and the Greats in the game for her Soundtrack to the “Black-Women-Power” movie, Waiting to Exhale. Easily one of the most well-orchestrated, well-written albums of the 90s, the soundtrack boasted hits from Mary J. Blige “Not Gonna cry”; Toni Braxton ”Let it Flow”;  Brandy “Sittin up in my Room”; Faith Evans “Kissing you”; Chaka Khan “Funny Valentine” and of course, the G.O.A.T herself, Whitney, “Exhale(Shoop Shoop)” and “Why does it hurt so bad”.  The soundtrack was another huge success, selling 7 million copies in the U.S and 13 million worldwide. This is a favourite of mine.  I still bump this CD every other day. This CD, in my opinion, epitomized 90s R&B and showcased the genius of Kenneth ‘BabyFace’ Edmunds and his partner, Antonio ‘L.A’ Reid.  Some notables tracks below after the jump!

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Published in: on February 20, 2009 at 6:15 am  Comments (3)  
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