ChokLit’s Choice: Monica Returns with Everything To Me

I know I am late on this one. Singer Monica has been televising her latest adventures back to relevance with her television show, Still Standing, on BET. Monica and her producers, namely Bryan Michael Cox who has been overseeing the project, have been steadily trying to craft that Hit for Monica that her Label would approve. I’ve enjoyed most of the material I heard from the project, but I understood the Label’s hesitation at moving forward. Monica is one of those solid artists from the 90s that struggle to find relevance today in an Industry that feeds on scandal, sex appeal and stunts, sometimes moreso than talent itself.

Luckily, Monica was able to team up with Superproducer Missy Elliot who has an uncanny knack for producing for women in R&B, specifically for Monica. Not only did Missy Executive Produce Monica’s last hit album, After the Storm, including its hit first single, So Gone, she also produced my favorite track off of Monica’s Makings of Me album, A Dozen Roses (You Remind Me).

Monica has officially released her first single off her album Still Standing, called Everything to Me. The song was produced by Missy Elliot and features a sample from Deneice Williams’ Silly of Me. Williams is a popular singer, songwriter and producer who found fame during the early 70s and 80s. She began as a backup singer for Stevie Wonder and Minnie Ripperton. Everything to Me borrows the music from Silly of Me, while Monica sings new vocals. Everything is getting a lot of radio love and airplay, though the song is also drawing critics who say Monica shouldn’t have touched the Classic and can not compare to William’s version. My take: I never knew who Deneice Williams was before this song. (I will hand in my R&B fan card – next week) Williams has a great voice and I enjoy her version, but Monica definitley did her thing! Take a listen at both songs.

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Pour Out A Lil’ ChokLit Liqour: R.I.P Aaliyah

Aaliyah

Tomorrow will mark 8 years since we lost R&B songstress Aayilah Dana Haughton aka Babygirl. Luckily some of us were able to know Aaliyah and her music before her life was tragically cut short when her plane crashed in the Bahamas back in 2001. Aaliyah was 22 at the time and had just released her third studio album, titled Aaliyah. The album would go on to sell over a million copies and would be applauded by many critics as being one of the best albums of 2001 – if not the best R&B album of that year. The most I can remember of Aaliyah was her very musical maturity and her image uniqueness. Unique is a cliched term in the music industry nowadays, but Aaliyah really did have It. When her video was on, everyone took note. She was mysterious without removing her sunglasses, sexy without showing her ass and talented without having a big voice. Her style was admired but could never be duplicated and her music was timeless. I can always bump her album One in  a Million anytime of the day and not skip a track.  Aaliyah always had great videos to accompany her music, along with tomboyish yet sexy dance moves courtesy of her choreographer Fatima Robinson. The video I wanted to highlight today is Four Page Letter. This is one of my favourite Aaliyah songs and videos. The song itself is vulnerable and sexy courtesy of Timbaland & Missy Elliot’s dream production team that also included singer/songwriter Stephen ‘Static’ Garrett.  This video has Aaliyah peering through the forests during a medieval-set world looking for her warrior lover who has been writing her love letters since being captured (at least that’s my take on it).  Who else can pull off this kind of video? Peep the video below and some links to other memorable videos.

Make sure you leave any comments of your favourite Aaliyah memories.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

R.I.P Babygirl.

Other memorable videos:

Aaliyah – One in A Million

Aaliyah – Try Again

Aaliyah – At Your Best

Hot ChokLit! Ciara feat. Missy Elliot – WORK video

CiaraWorkNow don’t get mad at me if your favourite mindless music video channel is not playing this video to death – unless you live in the UK. The single for Work featuring a noticeably slimmer Missy Elliot was released only in the UK, though if successful, it will be released in the US at a later date. Currently Ciara is prepping her newest Single, Like a Surgeon, which is my ChokLit Jam (after, Tell Me what your Name Is).

I must say, this video is HOT. From the treatment of Ciara posin’ up in the hot sun at a construction site, while rocking some furocious couture; to the scene with Ciara and her hard-working dancers gettin’ stank with it in a sand pit at the construction site, complete with work belts and baggy jeans. Kudos to director Melina (also directed Beyonce’s Diva, Keri Hilson’s Energy & Ashanti’s Good Good), wicked Choreographer Jamaica and Ciara’s dancers that are stay crunk. I wasn’t a fan of the song too much, but the video definitely upped the hype factor of the song – I can see this being played in a club for sure.

I wish Ciara continued luck with this project. Her CD Fantasy Ride has sold about 150,000 copies to date in the U.S. I know my sister bought it claimed she was very dissappointed. But I’ve also heard some people like the CD and bump it often. Also, this is Ciara’s most successful CD overseas, so I can see why she is promoting it heavy across the pond. Ciara’s management and label are playing it smart; records don’t sell nowadays so you have to commit to building your Brand. Then keep building it. You can’t let them see you sweat just because your sales are dismal.

Did ya’ll like it?

Published in: on June 24, 2009 at 2:17 am  Comments (1)  
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Oldie Butta GoodieBar: The GoldMind Edition – Nicole Wray & Torrey Carter

Watch me as I get my Late 90s Nostalgia swag on real quick – Where were you when you first heard these songs?

I was snooping around a friend’s room the other day, peeping her CDs (I believe she must have stopped purchasing CDs in 2001, like the rest of North America!) when I came across a CD single for a guy called Torrey Carter. He had a smooth baby face and was wearing a blue bucket-style Kangol hat.

torrey11

Take That

His face was not familiar to me at first, but the CD was for his debut single, Take That and featured Missy Elliot. This guy was a Goldmind artist! This started to jog my memory: Take that, Take that, Torrey Carter…who is this Cat again?

Finally I gave in and typed the name and song into Youtube. When the video came up and I heard the familiar strong guitar lick and Missy’s voice blaring out the speakers, “Bang this joint!” That was IT! I was nodding my head harder than a head banger – This was the Jaaaaammmmm!

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