I was reading an article about the apparent break-up of Diddy and his on again/off again girlfriend Cassie. I like a little light celeb gossip every now and again so I Google-searched for the deets. As is typical- there were several articles that knew nothing but pretended they did (Hiiiii People – Killmonger voice). Of more interest to me were the couple of articles focused on a recent photo Cassie posted on her Instagram. They stated things like- Cassie shows Diddy what he’s missing, Cassie shows off her revenge body, etc. Ummmm. Have you writers ever met Cassie? By met, I mean did you know about her before you found out they were no longer an item? Had you actually ever seen her? Heard one of her songs even? Saw a video? I’m guessing the answer is no. If you had- I guarantee you would not be writing such nonsense because you would know she has been had all the physical attributes that she has. Diddy has already met them. He probably knows them well. If the rumors are true- he’s already not missing any part of her.
Who knows besides the two of them if Sean misses her? Hint- NOT YOU gossip rags. If there is any revenge, it’s probably After 10 years, I’m sure he misses more than her body and I’m sure a picture on IG won’t be the catalyst. To be honest- to suggest that Cassie is posting a picture (of what he’s already seen, duh) with interest in gaining his attention is also very misleading and off base. She seems stronger than that to me. We really must stop pushing forth such shallow agendas that make zero sense when people break up. Further, I’m sure that bodies/looks are the least of what is important when people part from one another. The rumors of Diddy’s new pursuits show us that he has a type and so far, they all look like Cassie. I hate to break it to everyone but bodies are just bodies – look around and you can find a look alike so posting a pic to show what one is missing is pretty stupid. From my seat, I wish the same for Cassie that I’d wish for any woman- that she finds the one that wants to be or is the one (IF- that is what she chooses). She is just as valuable without him as she was with him. She doesn’t need to show him anything.
As a society- we really must get back to a place of understanding that physical attributes are not really what holds couples together. Nor are those traits what makes one miss a person enough to actually care that they posted a picture. Consider- I LOVE cake, it’s the most delectable delicacy on the planet. But cake is everything except good for my fitness goals. Posting a pic of a plate of it might make me smile but knowing the end result prevents me from running back for a slice. That could be the reality of Cassie and/or Diddy and every other couple that breaks up. Maybe we can talk about that sometime.
That is that and that is all. ~Peace
I’ll be honest… I don’t support many mainstream R&B artists. They just don’t have much to say these days about anything beyond sex, sex, money, cars and oh… sex. Don’t get me wrong. This kind of music does have a purpose and place… Think pulsating and still twerking bodies in the flickering lights of a night club and on long car rides. Yes- the right playlist will get you down the road in a jiffy! Former American Idol winner Jordan Sparks has decided to throw her hat in the ring with a switch from a largely pop sound to one that is decidedly more R&B. If the fact that she has a song titled Boyz In the Hood doesn’t convince you, perhaps it is her crooning that her guy shouldn’t “double tap that hoe”. I actually laughed at that song and the accompanying lyrics. The promise ring wearing Jordin was a mere 17 when she joined American Idol and its safe to assume that she is looking toward a promise with a different focus and outcome.
Let’s get to the music! At 25 and with current project Right Here, Right Now, Jordin is attempting to prove that she is now grown and sexy and can R&B vixen with the best of them. Don’t get me wrong, she still has a couple of pop-like tracks for long time fans. This project however ventures into other waters. Songs like They Don’t Give remind me of the liberation of Janet Jackson via Rhythm Nation. On this track she is telling her love that we need not care about what others think- we got this.Yeah, Janet. There is also a reggae joint via Casual Love featuring Shaggy where Miss Sparks is telling her love interest that she’s not the casual lover type (Sidebar: Shaggy is a smart dude. He reminds me of Snoop hopping on the proper wagons to keep his name in the limelight). The song has just enough reggae swag to have you pointing your imaginary guns with a quick body whine. Jordin also features R&B newcomer (for some), Elijah Blake on Unhappy. Unhappy appears to be in response to her break up with Jason Derulo who claimed in interviews that he was never really happy with Jordin who saw him through a broken neck injury and beyond. You couldn’t tell he was unhappy publicly (I saw the interviews of you espousing your happiness Jason!), as even she missed the signs but apparently he was faking it. I digress. Tell Him That I Love Him takes a step deeper look into losing your mate to another. By the time this song, followed by 11:11 appear, I’m hoping she’s almost over him. Heart break is a mutha and I wasn’t in the mood. The project rounds out with 100 Years, a slow groove about a new love (yay for Sage the Gemini) and a head bobb’n It Ain’t You (which sounds like Tinashe’s 2 On AND All Hands on Deck).
12 tracks and all are worth a listen unless you’re like me and uninterested in break-up songs. I went on the ride with Jordin and while we were re-routed for a few minutes, we found our way to the main roads again. She’s got it all- dance beats, dope beats, reggae and slow grooves to help you get over your broken heart. All she’s missing is a diss record! Where’s the diss track Jordin?!! Anyway- Jordin is doing music her way and it’s refreshing. Go get this.
Tyrese’s 2015 release, Black Rose had me at liner notes, complete with vocal information, lyrics and a cover reminiscent of Marvin Gaye concert footage. I purchased the regular edition (the deluxe includes some stuff I don’t care about lol) and immediately popped It in for the ride home. Some folks (Tyrese included) have stated that he is bringing back real R&B. As a true fan of music I would say that R&B has never gone anywhere but what has changed are the faces of those being propped up by mainstream as current representation. This has been going on for years as somehow boy bands with mediocre voices replaced in popularity the voices of existing male groups like Boys II Men. But I digress (til another day my friends)… Tyrese does have a winner if you enjoy R&B music with smooth grooves and is of the sort where the singer can actually sing, without help from the studio gadgetry. Think of the rawness in The Five Heartbeats when Eddie King, Jr grabbed the mic and sang a capella during their first performance. Tyrese has the grit and ability to star in a remake for sure!
So, let’s get into music. Black Rose is comprised of 14 tracks including the stellar lead song, Shame (matching the ever powerful vocalist Jennifer Hudson who shines on bgvs), features from Chrisette Michelle (Don’t Wanna Look Back), Brandy (The Rest of Our Lives), Marsha Ambrosius (though not credited for bgvs on Picture Perfect) and his TGT homie Tank (Prior to You). I don’t know about you but I like to be wooed by music. A good beat is great (Tyrese has them) but add some appeal by giving me some poetry and intellect in the midst of your pursuit. That said, I’m not here for the ratchet, unnecessarily explicit lyrics that are highly over played by mainstream radio today. Tyrese brings us some balance. One thing that surprised me was that he had writing credit on every song. In fact, the Black Rose Tyrese reminds me NOT of the persona he displays via his social media accounts, but of the Lately, on-the-bus-singing-about-Coca-Cola-drinking-Tyrese of yesterday! I mean, I know he’s from the hood but he tricked me back in the day into thinking he was just a nice guy who liked to write lyrics and sing aloud on the bus like me! Black Rose is a love letter and this Tyrese is eloquently pursuing with words a love he has injured perhaps irreparably. This is evidenced on Leave where he croons- ‘if you ever leave, I would be helpless, you would be hopeless, like a sea without a beach, what would life mean?’ I don’t know about you, but I’d go back at least one more time!
This cd certainly deserves some major spin. You may find that it reminds you of some of the tone and angst experienced on a Marvin Gaye cd without stealing Marvin to make it happen (Cough! Robin Thicke!). Tyrese certainly has vocal chops and here he uses them well. On Without My Heart, he went so low and deep in tone that my passenger and I looked at each other and exclaimed “daaaaamn!” Other stand out tracks are- Waiting On You, I Still Do and the sensual Gonna Give You What You Want. The only expendable is the song Dumb Sh-t which began as a diss song toward comedian Spanky Hayes (google it). Minus that one song, this entire project could be played during any radio station’s “quiet storm” show. It covers the entire gamut of a relationship from good to bad to “oh crap, I might have messed up for good this time”. Overall, this project makes me forgive Ty for becoming Black Ty and later his horrid, relationship advice. But isn’t that what music is supposed to do- Make you forgive and forget past transgressions, dance and bob your head until you forget everything becoming putty in his hands?
Most people are familiar with songstress Goapele (pronounced gwa-puh-lay) thanks to her song Closer (to my dreams). True fans know she has had much more to offer than her 2001 (yes, I said 2001) hit. But none of them have received radio play in my city, Columbus, Ohio. We may be fashion forward but when it comes to bringing new music- radio sucks. But I digress (pretty often too). Fast forward 13 years later and Goapele has delivered a flirty, radio friendly groove titled Hey Boy. It’s a great summer jam and infectious enough to get your head bobbin. Goapele teases, ‘If you want it, I’m not trying to wait around.’ Well, Miss Goapele- neither are we! Check it out via Soundcloud here:
Side note: Hey Boy was written by British singer/songwriter, Estelle. It reminds me a lot of another song, also titled Hey Boy by Hil St. Soul (another Brit) from her Soulidified project, released in 2006. Could be total coincidence but I must investigate that connection! Don’t know Hil St Soul? Check out her song of the same title below and then cop Soulidified in its entirety. You can’t go wrong with either track!
~ Listen upside down
Woo! So hot off the presses, drummer Lil John Roberts has a new joint featuring Musiq Soulchild (one of my faves and I only have two!) and Chantae Cann. I love Chantae Cann’s voice! She can sang! And of course Musiq never fails. Lil Joh
n lets the artists do their thing on this release and together, their harmonies are magical- my sangin friends and I all agreed! Lil John has been playing the background for a minute as drummer (you may know him having been previously linked to Jill Scott, Ledisi, Saadiq and many other majors). Much as the lyrics proclaim- its your (his) time to shine! I dig the inspirational flavor of it and I’m a sucker for meaningful lyrics and a good track. What say you, listeners? I caught this on the singersroom.com and it deserves a listen. Can you dig it or nah?
If you follow him on Instagram, you know that @HOWUSEEIT aka Usher Raymond has been teasing about his new song Good Kisser for a few weeks! As soon as I saw the title, I knew that it would be full of innuendo and I was on the mark. All you need to know is “Don’t nobody kiss it like you!” and “chitty, chitty, bang-bang” and you get the gist. I likened it to Kelly Rowland’s “Kisses Down Low” but with more flavor (sorry Kelly!). Produced by Pop, Flip, JProof, Terry “Tru” Sneed, Natural and Oak, the song lets Usher display his singing prowess including the falsetto we’ve come to love. The beat is pretty dope although it reminds me of songs by Amerie and others from the early part of the 2K. I heard the song via the video which includes a shirtless Usher on percussions and also dancing again (yay!)! Check it out and share your thoughts. Is it a hit or miss? Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lQtoRFaLsA