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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Now or Laters? Ciara is comin… Usher & Will.I.Am pair up for OMG

Ciara must be almost complete with her fourth album sessions with TheDream & Tricky Stewart because she has already filmed a video for her new single Ride It featuring Ludacris. She is moving full steam ahead with this project despite rumours that her Label isn’t 100% behind the project and Ciara had to foot the bill to record the album. Here is a real bootlegg video preview for the stans fans.

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*Sidenote* Ciara may just be back for real this time, Ride It sounds hot!…Get it Ci!!

In the meantime, Ciara also leaked this track Speechless she recorded with TheDream. Some people aren’t feeling it, but I actually really like this song. We could have done without Dream’s vocals on this one though…What do you guys think?

Ciara featuring TheDream – Speechless

Verdict: We like it NOW! Ciara is coming back with the Goodies!

Everybody may love Raymond, like Nikki Minaj insists, but we will have to see once the numbers for sales of his latest effort come in. Raymond Vs Raymond is in stores now. I’ve liked what I’ve heard so far from the project, but from what I’ve been hearing from fans, they are slightly divided. We will have a Album Review for Usher’s new album soon.

In the meantime, Usher has hooked up with Black Eyed Peas frontman and producer, Will.I.Am for another single for his album called OMG. This song has already been getting some major play over in the UK apparently. Caution: This is not the typical Usher jam you may be used to hearing. OMG definitely has a Euro Pop feel to it with auto tune, stadium-echoing cheering and sporadic bass. The Anthony Mandler-directed clip is the best Usher video I’ve seen yet for the project. The style, the movement and choreography is on point. My only gripe is that Usher looks either vacant or uncomfortable in the video…but he’s been like that lately. I’m not mad at Ursh for trying to get that dance/pop money since the ‘Urban’ R&B crowd has labeled him a has-been and have disowned him while they still wait for a miracle from Chris Brown…

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Hot ChokLit! *New Video* Usher featuring Nikki Minaj – Lil Freak

image via PitchFork.com

Just in time for the release of his sixth full length album Raymond vs. Raymond, Usher has released the anticipated video to his hit second single, Lil Freak. Polow Da Don produced the song we first previewed here, using a sample from Stevie Wonder’s Living for the City, which I never caught at first. A lot of Stevie’s music is being sampled lately, which just showcases his music’s never-ending appeal.

The Lil Freak video was directed by TAJ. The plot centers around a young woman who wanders into an underground club of some sorts where Usher is watching. He sends his girl Nikki out to recruit the female. The video is described as having some similar elements as the the Saw movies. Nikki is entertaining in her Cruella Deville wig and exaggerated facial expressions. Ciara and Jamie Foxx make very brief (and pointless) cameos, while Usher appears very vacant in the video and the only dancing we see from him is some writhing he does near the video’s end. Nonetheless, I like the video!

What are your thoughts?

Raymond Vs. Raymond hits stores this Tuesday, March 30th. Hopefully we sill have a review for the album before then 🙂

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Sweet Tooth: Usher – Hey Daddy (Daddy’s Home) Video

Usher released the video for his buzz single (now updated to official first single) Hey Daddy (Daddy’s Home). This song has grown on me since first hearing it a good month or so ago, so I was excited to finally see the finished product. Usher and director Chris Robinson have a good formula so they once again collaborated for this project.  The video lead, French model Noemie Lenoir plays Usher’s beautiful love interest, who he is eager to come home to, but ends up neglecting near the video’s end (a spoiler?). Meanwhile, Usher is seen rehearsing with a bevy of long-legged rhythic ladies for a show he will be performing. The dance moves are a little less than what I expect from Usher and co, though the ladies do put on a good show. The video aims at giving a more ‘realistic’ insight into the life of an R&B superstar, with many ups and a glimpse of the downs. It will be interesting to see what else Usher has in store for his forthcoming album, Raymond vs. Raymond. Enjoy!

*Sidenote: Although there is a radio remix to Hey Daddy featuring Plies, he was not invited to the party on this one.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Published in: on February 3, 2010 at 11:25 pm  Comments (4)  
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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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Still in the W(Rapper): Usher’s Raymond vs Raymond Album Material

courtesy of Essence.com

So I’ve been taking some slight shots at Usher lately, since I have been skeptical of his return to greatness after his last lackluster (IMO) effort from last year. I had been hearing some very wack material that just wasn’t Usher Raymond caliber type music!n Luckily, his team is really pushing out some decent music lately and some of it has been catching my ear. So I thought I would share and see what ya’ll think!

Trey Songz, Usher & Keri Hilson – I Invented Sex Remix

This is one of the better remixes I’ve heard in a while and a good look for Usher who is looking to get back into sex symbol status that is currently being occupied by Songz Yuuup himself. Usher’s voice and demeanor is playful and sexy on this track and he coos, “Arch your back girl, Us-her back girl” this song stays in the ChokLit-Pod!

Usher feat. Nicki Minaj – Little Freak

I’m not even sure this song can be played on the radio – its that hot! Polow provides a nice beat for Usher to get real dirty on. In this song he is not even beating around the bush – Usher is lookin for a straight menage with some freak-groupies. He sings, “If you f*ckin with me, really f*ckin with me, you’ll let her put her hands in your pants, be my little freak” (Ow!) Minaj returns the favour as she describes scouting the club “looking for a cutie, a real big ol’ ghetto booty/I really like your kitty cat and if you let me touch her…”  The song’s riskay subject matter is saved by Polo’s production and Nicki’s personality that oozes through this track.

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Music New ROLO: New music from Usher & Pharrel, RichGirl and Christina Milian

Greetings to my ChokLit Fam! We will make this new music update quick!

Usher1Usher & Pharrel Willams – Certified

The man Usher Raymond is looking to make his REAL comeback after his failed marriage and failed album. I still stay up late at night wondering why Usher created his last album the way he did. Well, not literally. I just wonder how he had managed to fall so far after being one of the biggest R&B stars in the world. Moving mountains on, Usher has been recording in the Studio with Neptunes headman/producer extraordinaire, Pharrel Williams. They recently released this song, Certified onto the ‘Nets. I like the song ok, I hope it is a signal of better things to come from Mr. Raymond. Last I heard, his new album Monster will hit stores October 2009. Do we like it?

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ChokLit Factory Exclusive: Why do Men Front on R&B?

This is a bit...intimidating

This is a bit...intimidating

Disclaimer: This article is purely based on my opinion and does not represent ALL men, so if this does NOT represent you, speak your piece!

So I was having a music conversation with a male friend the other day – one of my favourite topics of conversation. He was flipping through his collection of current music he is listening to (which consisted of year-old hip hop mixtapes). He was bumping Young Jeezy, a lot of Rick Ross, Lil Wayne – definitely some of my faves. But then the player shuffled to The Dream’s I Love Your Girl Remix featuring Young Jeezy and I had to pause. The conversation went something like this:

“I Love this song! (girlish squeal!) The Dream is the ish!”

“Yah it’s cool”

“You bump R&B too?”

Hesitation. “….Nah!”

“Forreal? You don’t bump ANY R&B? How come?”

More stuttering. “Just not my thing, that’s for the Females”

He really made the word, Females, sound like the lowest form of the human race right there. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my Hip Hop; I used to go hard with Hip Hop before the recession, but I always need some good R&B to relax, contemplate, get into my happy place or get into the mood…

But really though, what is the deal with men not being into R&B? We all know that R&B is aimed at women. I would estimate that 80% of R&B music buyers are Female. So naturally, you will have your artists like Trey Songz, Usher and even D’angelo that will appeal to women based on their looks, bodies and voices. They will sing the songs that women want to get intimate to, dance the way females will find irresistible and will conduct themselves in ways that will be considered, strictly for the ladies. But does this mean that your Homeboy should be considered Gay if he bumps Usher’s Trading Places?

usherabs

Although R&B music is mainly marketed towards Women, I think there is a bigger picture. It is the most mainstream of Urban music because R&B can appeal to the masses. This music celebrates, promotes and caters to Love. And who doesn’t want to experience Love, right? No matter how Hard you claim to be, you know you got your heart broken once before, and you had to Let it Burn when you found out you Had it Bad. Gangsta or not, I know you couldn’t get enough of the Brown Suga last night, when a special friend had you asking, How Does it Feel? So please, make me this Promise fellas, and embrace the R&B. If not in public, at least in Private with your Boo – she will Love you Long time for it!

Lola B!

©The ChokLitFactory 2009

Published in: on April 17, 2009 at 1:27 am  Comments (6)  
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Music News ROLO: We got the Nu Nu in R&B music, Catch Up!

Another treat for ya’ll, some more music! Nothing too groundbreaking, but pleasant enough…check it out!

First we have Monica’s Once in a Lifetime, released a week or so ago onto the ‘Nets. Monica released Still Standing last year, but it didn’t make too much of an impact on the charts. This track,produced by Brian Michael Cox doesn’t particularly grab me, and nothing about it sticks, but it is a nice song. Some people are comparing it to Mary J. Blige’s Be Without You. Maybe after a couple of listens…

Monica – Once in a Lifetime

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ChokLitFactory Exclusive: Top 25 R&B Songs of 2008 Part II

 My apologies for the late post. Life is working me hard right about now…But lets keep this moving.

Last post, we had Ne-Yo, Trey Songz and Lloyd holding their own on the list. While Beyonce and Keyshia Cole held it down for the ladies. Now we’ll get more upbeat as the next set of songs showcase songs that had us Rockin that thang up in the clubs. We’ll start things off with a ChokLitFactory fave, Mr. Nash.

*Players are fixed! They should play fine now!

17 – The Dream feat. Young Jeezy  – I Luv Your Girl Remix

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#17

This track released as TheDream’s 3rd single was a monster hit for Mr. Nash. Me, having the privilege of being in the ATLfor the summer of the song’s release, can attest to the hit factor of this song. The chorus was catchy as sin and the playful “Ahhh…Ah Ah Ah Ah!!” sent ladies everywhere in a tizzy up in the clubs.

TheDream feat. Young Jeezy – I Luv Your Girl

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16 – Slim feat. Ryan Leslie & Fabolous – Good Lovin’ 

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#16

Ryan Leslie is a friend to the ChokLitFactory in my mind; gotta give respect where respect is due. And Slim is well known as well, for his uniquely soft voice and his success with the former R&B Group, 112. So this song already contains two of my favourite artists. The groove is sexy and plays well against Slim’s vocals. Def a hit!

Slim feat. Ryan Leslie, Fabolous – Good Lovin
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