Melt in Your Ears: Maxwell’s Fistful of Tears & Melanie Fiona’s Ay Yo!

Maxwell’s new video for Fistful of Tears has arrived. The song is being released to raise awareness for Breast Cancer as April is Breast Cancer Awareness month.

The video itself is pretty anticlimactic as it is a performance video of Maxwell performing on a retro-inspired soundstage. The video, shot in black and white was directed by Phillip Andelman. This is a great song for a great cause and a good Single choice for Maxwell.

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Also, up-and-coming Artist Melanie Fiona is earning her stripes as she releases a fourth single of her well-acclaimed album, The Bridge, titled Ay Yo! I’ve been following Melanie on Twitter and she is currently on tour with various artists including Trey Songz and Alicia Keys. She has been doing some live performances across various Cities in the US and has been earning fans everywhere she goes. Ay Yo is a laid back jam with some nice live instruments to compliment Melanie’s vocals. The lyrics are pretty inspiring as well, talking about reaching one’s goals and dreams. To follow her recent Grammy nomination, Fiona was also nominated for some Junos (Canadian version of the Grammy). She’s doing big things!

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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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Suga & Steez: The 2010 Grammys Award Show

Although I had a great time twittering with my followers on my Twitter Sunday night, overall, the Grammy’s were terribly boring. I had more fun with the AMAs a couple months back. But there were some noticeable highlights on the show.

The Michael Jackson Tribute where Carrie Underwood, Celine Dion, Usher and others sang trubute to the King. Usher was a bit weak on his vocals, but Carrie surprised with some impressing ones.

Image courtesy of JustJared

Jennifer Hudson shows off her post-baby hot body alongside her pipes for the MJ Tribute.

Image courtesy of JustJared

Beyonce wins big at the Grammys, taking home 6 trophies – the most ever won by a female artist in a single night. She preformed a Medley of, If I Were a Boy and Alanis Morisette’s You Oughta Know. I found the performance a bit bland, but Beyonce killed on the vocals, as usual.

Lady Gaga showed up like this but gave a solid performance alongside special guest, Elton John. I liked the overall theme of her show; performance-wise, she never disappoints! She should also be happy she took home two Grammys: Best Electronic Dance Album & Best Dance Recording for Poker Face.

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Published in: on February 2, 2010 at 11:21 pm  Comments (1)  
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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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Hot ChokLit: Maxwell – Bad Habits

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We almost missed this one. Maxwell has debuted the very hot and seductive video for his second single,  Bad Habits. It stars Actress Kerry Washington. Currently creeping up on the number one spot Pretty Wings is occupying on the Billboard Hot R&B charts, Bad Habits is proving to be the slow burn of the ’09 Summer. In the video, Maxwell is completely under the spell of a particularly convincing seductress (Washington) who has led him to cheat on his spouse in a dark, humid hotel room. The sexy mood of the video matches the song perfectly. Take a deep breath and release.

Published in: on August 10, 2009 at 11:26 pm  Comments (2)  
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Melt in Your Ears – Maxwell’s Bad Habits & BET Performance

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Maxwell will release his highly-anticipated album Black Summer’s Night next week so he is currently receiving some much-needed publicity for this project. He recently released his second single off the album, Bad Habits. This song has an organic feel to it, starting off with some bass guitar and drums, then climaxing to loud trumpets. Maxwell begins the song singing in a high falsetto before he settles into his more comfortable tone. The song has Maxwell lamenting that his Lover is his bad habit – one he is trying to break. I know people can relate to that; being around someone you know is no good for you, but you cannot control yourself enough to let them go.  This single was a good choice; it is more gritty and livelier than Pretty Wings, but it works nonetheless.

Maxwell – Bad Habits

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Published in: on July 1, 2009 at 1:01 pm  Comments (2)  
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Music News ROLO: Trey Songz Disses the King, Mariah’s New Album, Maxwell’s next Single

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So everyone is going crazy over the new Trey Songz diss track aimed at the reining King of R&B, R. Kelly. D.O.A Kellz is Trey’s new publicity stunt song to promote his new album, Ready, hitting stores this August. Apparently, Trey’s first two released singles have not drummed up enough attention for his project. I am a bit saddened by this, because I would drink Trey’s bathwater really like Trey and think he is a great artist – and I hate when good artists have to resort to these tactics (Keri Hilson…anyone??). In the song, Trey gripes that nobody wants to hear R.Kelly doin’ auto-tune, asks why Kellz cut his braids off (Trey laughs, “who you tryin’ to be, ME?”), claims Kellz is tryin’ to bite TheDream, calls T-Pain a “copycat” and even takes a slight dig at Pleasure P (but why?). Also, Trey laments, “Shout out to C.breeze, you still a friend to me” …No comment.

*Side note: Didn’t R.Kelly write & produce the song Grub On, off Trey’s last album? That was one of the better mid-tempo jams on Trey Day. That being said, I co-sign with Trey that I cannot stand R.Kelly tryin’ to do the T-Pain/Ron Browz/TheDream thing. You are a LEGEND, Stay in your damn lane! I’m done!

Listen to the track below!

Trey Songz  – D.O.A Kellz (DISS Track!)

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