All Articles Tagged "maxwell"
We almost don’t even need to ask “pass or play” on this one. This song, the meshing of Keys’ and Maxwell’s vocals is pure perfection. A stark deviation from the new style of music Keys has been promoting for the past several months, “Fire We Make” is slow, smooth and sultry. And now there a visuals conveying that same sentiment.
The video, set in a steamy New Orleans bed and breakfast, features Keys and Maxwell yearning for each other.
I do have to note that Maxwell and his lips are looking particularly scrumptious in this video. We know he doesn’t want to be considered a sex symbol but he shouldn’t dismiss God’s masterpiece.
Anyway he also sings flawlessly in this video so check he and Alicia out and let us know what you think of this song. Are you passing on it or playing the mess out of the track?
This past weekend I had the opportunity to meet my baby nephew for the first time. His mother, my sister, had been doing well but working very, very hard to take care of this baby boy by herself while her husband works overseas, and to help her pamper herself after months of being on diaper duty, I wanted us to go get our nails done–on me. Living in New York, the options for a nail salon are pretty unlimited, but as for a GOOD nail salon, that’s another story. I have a huge fear of a clumsy or lazy nail tech somehow managing to cut me to the point that I get an infection, something like the ones you read about or see on those scary health and science channels. And after my sister spoke about getting a huge gash on her foot a few years back and watching a nail tech massage my hands with an uncovered cut a few months ago, I wanted to do some REAL research.
To my dismay, however, I found that on a Sunday night, most of the nail shops were too far out and/or closed by 6 or 7 p.m. Bummed out, we headed to the train from an Indian restaurant in Brooklyn, only to run up on a nail bar two stores down. And when I walked in, I was ecstatic to hear Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite playing over the sound system, cookies and sandwiches on a plate in the corner, folks relishing good conversation, and see black faces doing all the work. A black owned nail salon!? Scooooooore. No disrespect to anybody who works at a nail salon that is owned or has employees of a different background, but I sometimes feel not all that welcomed or appreciated when go to other shops. Either people are speaking in another language in my face, or they’re not really speaking to me at all.
The decor was fancy, the prices were pretty good (I got a mani-pedi for $28) and the people who worked there were very nice and took time (kind of a long time) to be meticulous about their work, especially when it came to the manicures. The woman who did my nails even asked me about myself and offered tips on how to preserve my nail job for more than a few days (apply a clear coat on top of your manicure every two days). The owner, a bubbly, tall black woman, introduced herself to us, and seemed very appreciative of our business–something you don’t see very often.
In the end, I walked out with my nephew and sister, are nails both in a spicy form of orange, and for one of the first times in a long time, I looked at a black-owned business with glee and thought, “I’ll be back.”
I try my hardest to spend my money at black owned businesses, including hair salons, restaurants, accessory purveyors and more, but sadly, the quality of the things sold, the work done or the person who provides the service is not up to par sometimes. I’ve waited more than two hours before to get my hair done. I’ve had a woman poorly cut my hair into a mushroom cut when she didn’t want to be honest about the fact that she couldn’t line me up worth a damn. I’ve had people low-key yell at me when I didn’t pick up my food order fast enough, and gone to businesses that said they would be open at one time, and left me locked out in 90 degree heat in the summer (and then had no air condition when I finally got in that joint). For every genuinely great place of business owned by a committed, hard working black woman or man, there are few I doubt can even take themselves seriously with employees who spend more time talking than working, and care more for their time than yours.
Going to this particular nail bar was great for me, and I do intend to go back. But just the whole experience in itself, with the fun black women doing waxes, giving massages, painting nails and doing everything with a smile and a “Hey girl, hey” look, reminded me of how great we can be when we take things REALLY seriously, listen to customer thoughts and complaints, try and grow from them, and try to provide people with the type of service we ourselves would want. It’s so easy to tell one another to “buy black,” but at the same time, those we’re buying from need to make us want to, and the happy-go-lucky lady who owned this shop definitely persuaded me. Besides, I just really want our entrepreneurs to succeed, because if we can’t support those who tailor their goods and services for our skin, our hair, our tastes and our needs, who else will?
One Hot Summer: Beyoncé Set To Headline Essence Music Festival, Along With Maxwell, Jill Scott, Brandy…And Keyshia Cole
If you were looking for a reason to head to New Orleans in July for the 19th annual Essence Music Festival this year, this new lineup of theirs is sure to have you thirsty to get to NOLA. Recently announced to headline this year’s festival is the ultimate diva, Beyoncé. Adding another date to her already jam packed Mrs. Carter tour schedule, Bey will take the Superdome stage one mo’ ‘gin for fans, and everyone seems excited, including Essence Communication President, Michelle Ebanks, who says, “We are incredibly excited to welcome Beyoncé back to the 2013 ESSENCE Festival line-up. She is truly the ultimate ESSENCE woman.” Homegirl will of course headline one of three concert nights that is happening July 4-7, but her specific show date has not been pegged yet. In any case, keep those four days open in your schedule.
Ironically, Bey is a headliner, as is Keyshia Cole, who has had a lot to say as of late about homegirl’s former Destiny’s Child bandmate, Michelle Williams. Jill Scott is also a big headliner for the festival, as is my husband Maxwell, Brandy, Charlie Wilson and many more talented folks (including the very slept on Les Nubians, who are an amazing group!). Check out the many acts who have so far been slated to perform during the 19th annual Essence Music Festival come summer, and get more info on another sure-to-knock-the-lights-out-performance by Beyoncé at Essence.com.
Will you be there July 4-7, and who would you be excited to see?
With the large number of Haitian-born celebrities and Haitian-American (and Canadian) stars doing it big, we couldn’t pass on the chance to highlight some of our favorites–and a few we actually didn’t realize were repping Haiti. They are a variety of singers, rappers, actors and artists, but they all have one thing in common (besides being black of course), they go hard for their favorite country (or at least one of their favorites…). Enjoy!
And be ready to click…
If you hadn’t heard, my imaginary husband is indeed a Haitian brother. While his father was raised in Puerto Rico and was of Pentecostal faith, the singer’s mother grew up in Haiti and was Baptist. When helping to raise money after the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010, Maxwell spoke about his Haitian roots and his work before the catastrophe to help the fight against hunger. His song, “Fistful of Tears,” was used to help in the relief effort.
Pictures might be able to tell a thousand words but most times they’re only giving you about 100 and people start filling in the other 900 with their own assumptions. That’s what seemed to be going on when a pic popped up of Jennifer Williams and Maxwell of all people hugged up last week. Jen tweeted the pic along with these words, “Me and @_MAXWELL_ last night! Thank u for the bubbly! Fun times..” Immediately people wondered just how fun those times were but as is the case with most celeb speculation it was all pretty circumstancial.
Now there seems to be more social media evidence that the reality TV star and R&B sex symbol could be more than just friends. Yestderday, Jen sent out this generic tweet.
“I hope my boo feels better soon.”
I know, pretty vague, but if it weren’t for the fact that Maxwell is sick, we wouldn’t think twice about it. On his timeline, he posted a pic of two bottles of Theraflu along with this message:
Busted! Of course Jen might be being sarcastic or she could just be trying to get some headlines, and then there’s always the possibility Maxwell is just be her friend-boo, but it’s always fun to speculate about odd matches like this. Jen definitely needs a come-up after Eric and I don’t recall Maxwell having a lady friend any time in recent history. Maybe these two are really making it do what it do.
What do you think about this potential pair?
More on Madame Noire!
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The Burden of Being a Male Sex Symbol: Can An Artist Sell Sex And Still Have Their Music Taken Seriously?
Didn’t you dig the way I rubbed your back girl?
Wasn’t it cool when I first kissed your lips?
Was it enough to penetrate your dark world?
Or were you embarrassed about the way you freaked?
For those who don’t know, those are the opening lyrics to the alluring and jam-worthy song, “Till The Cops Come Knockin‘” by Maxwell. Not only is it one of my favorite songs by the sultry singer, but with him writhing on the floor in the video in front of his muse, it was definitely one of my favorite videos by the brotha too. In fact, pretty much anything Maxwell does, I’m a huge fan of. Though I got on the Maxwell train late in life (I was still in elementary school–not even junior high–when he dropped Urban Hang Suite), that hasn’t stopped me from having all of his CDs on my computer, and it didn’t stop me from running to the store the day BLACKsummers’night was released after his eight-year hiatus. You could say that in the eight years he had the chance to do his own thing, cut off his hair and live life like any every day 9-5 working individual running errands and trying to mind their business, I had eight years to get fully acquainted with his amazing work–and his fine self.
Being a big fan, and one who often does the Evening Eye Candy slideshows on Monday nights for the site, I decided to show Max some love. In the slideshow, I tried to do a progression of what he looked like early in his career, to what the brotha looks like now–still fine and aging like a fine wine. But to show pictures of the past, you have to be reminded of the loveliness that was his afro. Many men have worn an afro and looked…aight, some hot, but there was something about the way it added to Maxwell’s personality that was just so alluring. It helped him stand out in a time where male R&B singers and rappers damn near looked the same. I didn’t want to ask the same obvious question of, “Isn’t he fine, ya’ll?” when I posted the picture on Facebook and Twitter, so I posted an old pic of the man and asked our followers if they loved him with the fro, without the fro, or love the brotha no matter what? I meant no harm by the question, and I knew it would start a good conversation.
Flash forward to near the end of that week when my co-worker text me to let me know that Maxwell, the REAL thing, tweeted MN about the slideshow. I was standing in a dressing room at H&M jumping around in excitement. My text went something like this:
ME: “SAY WHAAAAAAAAAAAAT!? What did he say???”
FRIEND: “Cuz you asked the fro question…He said “we gotta move forward, nothing worse than using a visual crutch…makes the music cheaper, a stunt” Loool cuz our followers were blowing his timeline up!”
I definitely wasn’t expecting that response, and knowing that the question possibly upset one of my favorite singers, I felt pretty bad. But that was until my friend gave me the real deal: “We love him but needs to stop playing. How you gon’ sing songs about sex and then think women aren’t going to look at you? Boy please. Since when has music been just about the auditory?”
After she shared her opinions with me, I thought she had a profound point. In my mind, I see nothing wrong with singers and artists selling sex–even if just occasionally–to fans to get them entertained, excited, and on their side. But I have a problem when these same artists talk about how they feel the attraction towards their looks, body, booty or whatever, is a distraction from their talents and music. Nicki Minaj once said that she wasn’t trying to be sexay (spelled like that on purpose), yet homegirl can be seen rolling around in the world’s tiniest bikini in her video to “Starships,” or popping her booty RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA in videos like “Stupid H*e,” and “Dance A** (Remix).” You can’t be a sex symbol if you keep your clothes on and your booty still, folks. I’m just saying.
Let’s face it, gone are the days when R&B music would top the Billboard 100 without sounding like a mix of techno or house music. Sure, you have artists like Usher and Chris Brown throwing out a few dance-worthy tracks here and there, but that’s nothing compared to the overload of pop music on the radio everyday (some of it Brown and Usher contribute to). Don’t take this the wrong way, the whole dance-meets-pop music thing can be fun sometimes, but don’t you ever miss hearing that those classic R&B vocals and tracks from back in the day? The “Come and Talk to Me,” “Candy Rain,” “Groove Me” type of joints we used to act a fool to? And while these crooners did talk about sex from time to time, that’s not ALL they talked about every time you listened to them (C’mon Trey, it’s getting old). Sadly, it appears that none of today’s most popular artists are capable of providing the type of classic music we reminisce over, and would rather spend their time dancing in skinny jeans talking about how they’ll “beat it up.” *Sighs* Let’s have a look at some of our favorite male R&B artists that no one has been able to match in recent times. This is who we like to call the real men of R&B Music.
Talk about a man that could sing to me any day…The platinum-selling singer has been catching our eye, ears and hearts since ’96, back when he was telling us not to wonder, and that yes, we could do a little somethin’ somethin’. Years and both a hiatus and a massive hair cut later, the Brooklyn-born brother finally came back to us and proved that he was still capable of dampening underwear everywhere. And with that return, we were reminded of the delicious-ness that is this man. Time to take a walk down memory lane to remind you in case you forgot. Enjoy!
First things first: THIS IS NOT A WHERE ARE THEY NOW? if you were wondering. Check back at the end of the week.
Anywho, while most actors, singers and more have chosen to let folks in on every single aspect of their lives thanks to their affiliations with social media sites like Twitter, Tumblr pages, reality television shows, and their quest to make errands a chance for a paparazzi photo op, there are a slew of big name artists who would balk at all that exposure. Some of the biggest names in entertainment over the years dropped albums, TV shows, had huge roles in movies and more over the years, only to disappear off of the face of the earth when the press and the people were calling for them. Why? Well, after reading the most recent issue of GQ, which profiled the rise, fall and re-emergence of D’Angelo, folks like Questlove eloquently explained it as “a crazy psychological kind of stoppage that prevents them from following through. A sort of self-saboteur disorder.”
Or maybe they just weren’t feeling folks all up and through their business and wanted to live like normal folks. Whatever motivates these artists to dip in and out of public view only they know, but we’re always happy when they come back. Here are a few, aside from the obvious Lauryn Hill and D’Angelo, who decided to step out of the spotlight when they were huge, but decided to come back later (before disappearing for a bit again).
Platinum-selling soul singer Maxwell will soon kick off his first shows since 2010, touring LA, Atlanta, and Newark over the summer.
The Grammy award-winning superstar, praised by critics for his sultry performances, has announced this will also mark the first time ever that he performs his four best-selling albums (Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite, Embrya, Now, and BLACKsummer’snight) in their entirety.
Maxwell and his eleven piece band will be debuting tracks from all four albums that have never been performed live.
An artist widely recognized for having re-vamped the sub-genre of “neo-soul,” Maxwell received across-the-board rave reviews following his last tour in 2010, Maxwell & Jill Scott: The Tour.
For the complete story and tour dates, visit TheGrio.com.
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