All Articles Tagged "music"
Chrisette Michele Talks Being Underrated And Shying Away From The Limelight In New Documentary, ‘Journey To Better’
I will never forget the first time I heard soul singer Chrisette Michele’s voice. I was 16 years old and Nas had just released “Can’t Forget About You” as the second single off of his Hip Hop Is Dead album. I listened to the track over and over as I sat by an oversized window in my living room while I worked on my homework. Nas did an amazing job on the song, but what really drew me to it, was the unique voice of the woman singing on the hook. I eventually came to know the songtress as R&B singer Chrisette Michele. I combed the Internet, looking for details on her. I had to learn more about her! But unfortunately at the time, my Google searches didn’t uncover much. Six years later, Chrisette’s newly released web documentary Journey To Better, which can be found on her website, offers a little insight as to why there wasn’t too much information available about her when she was first “thrown” into the music industry. The New York native reveals that she intentionally flew beneath the radar because she wasn’t sure if she could “get the job right.”
The documentary begins in black and white, showing Chrisette rolling her bicycle down a sidewalk.
“I’ve been afraid. I didn’t always know if I’d be a singer. It takes time to get a job right. When you come into most jobs, you get years to work on getting promotions, raises, to become a CEO, to become great. In the music industry you don’t get that time. You kind of just get thrown out there into this world of stages and red carpets and magazines. And if you aren’t great right away, you’re kind of fired. You don’t really get a chance to come back and do it again the next day,” she begins at the start of the video.
She went on to say that having known how unforgiving the entertainment industry can be, she intentionally stayed beneath the radar.
“I knew that when I first started this, so I did tried really hard to stay just underneath the limelight, people call it underrated. I call it careful. So I kind of just snuck my way through this learning process and I took notes. I carried a composition notebook and literally took notes from everybody from Babyface to Diddy, Kevin Liles to whoever I got to be around, Jay-Z. I would hang out with publicists. People would wonder why I was hanging out the guy who does the mail or the person who does the marketing or the person who is the engineer. Why am I hanging out with the sound guy? Why am I hanging out with the lighting guy? I’m hanging out with these people because I want to learn everything there is to know about the music industry before I put myself out there.”
Chrisette finishes up by saying that she believes that her studying and hard work has paid off because she’s no longer afraid to show herself and is confident enough to call herself an artist.
Skip to the next page to watch Part 1 of her doucmentary, Journey to Better. What do you think of her decision to shy away from the limelight?
Because we don’t hear about Beyonce enough, Drake has given us this precious new gift by way of a song with the singer’s moniker in the title that has absolutely nothing to do with her. Confused? So are we. The most emo rapper around — arguably — has just dropped a new random track called “Girls Love Beyone” and it’s clear he’s back on that LL Cool J “I Need Love” tip.
Here are the opening lyrics:
I know girls love Beyonce, girls love to f**k with your conscious
Girls hate when ni**as go missing and shorty you ain’t no different
These days it’s hard to meet women, I feel like my love life is finished. I’ve been avoiding commitment, that’s why I’m in this position. I’m scared to let somebody in on this, no new friends, no no no no.
You know how this s**t goes. You got all these admirers that call your phone. You try to act like it’s just me but I am not alone. But if you’re alone, say my name say my name if no one is around you, say baby I love you…
I mean, he’d be better off naming the song “Destiny’s Child” since he sampled the whole chorus from their 1999 song. Oh and of course, you know he’s rap-singing those lines, although he brought along singer James Fauntleroy to help with the hook.
Overall, it’s a decent, typically emotional “I need a girl” Drake track that I’m sure will get plenty of play from the ladies — despite the odd name.
Check out the song below and tell us what you think. Would you pass or play?
Drake hasn’t done much press in a while but on Friday night, he dropped in on Elliott Wilson’s show at East Village Radio (EVR for short) and gave what was a really good interview. l Miss Info was cool enough to post it in its entirety.
For quite some time, Drake and Wilson discussed music in terms of where Drake is in the recording process for his new album (he’s actually dropping two singles next wee), if he’s working with new producers and how he feels about other artists and particularly, how he tends to “open his door” to new artists and give them a platform.
Awesome, right? It actually was. Well, within the last 15 minutes, Wilson started talking to Drake about how he hates the “dog and pony show” of listening parties and interviews and the media “entrapment.” Wilson mentioned how when Chris Brown goes on interviews, people always ask him about Drake. Drake, very casually, responded:
“Don’t ask me s–t about that man when I come up there (“there” being at a media outlet for interviews). And leave than man alone. Stop preying on his insecurities. His insecurities are the fact that I make better music than him. That I’m more poppin’ than him. And at one point in life th woman he loves fell in my lap. I did what a real —– would do and treated her with respect.”
Welp, there it is! Drake acknowledged that they do have a problem and either it’ll work itself out or not but that the media won’t get “anything” out of a rap battle between them because Drake “does this for real and actually good at it.” Wilson was rapping it up by saying “…yeah, you we don’t need that situation and Drake added, “I’m not thinking about that man or that girl.”
There were no subliminal messages there, folks. They don’t like each other but Drake believes that the media (and probably his own fans) hype everything up and make situations bigger than they really are.
So what’s next? Talking about each other’s mothers? Am I instigating? Sure but he did the interview and wanted people to talk so I think this is an even trade.
Check out the “messiest” part of the interview below:
Well, this is a bit of an unexpected collaboration.
On Friday, Fantasia released her second single, “Without You,” featuring Missy Elliott and Kelly Rowland from her upcoming album Side Effects of You. Co-written and co-produced by Kyle Stewart, Harmony Samuels, Al Sherrod and Missy, “Without You” is a ladies’ anthem of sorts, reminding their men that they’re lucky to have women like them in their lives.
Tasia Mae, as we affectionately call her, dropped the first verse and she is calling a spade a spade:
Really gon make me expose you for exactly what you are/And I’m feeling a little wavy so right now I don’t mind pulling your card/And as hard as you try to hide reality why, we know the truth/ so act brand new if you want to/But what you be without me, what would you be without me/ so what you blowing up just a little they knowing you a little don’t get a finger in the middle cuz my **** you would never be
Further in the song, Missy Elliott gives it to us a little “x-rated” in a way only Missy can:
“Your d**k is useless/Dude, I don’t need your sex, I’m moving to the next/ You frontin man, you stunting man, you worser than my ex/Ha ha ha ha ha, you think that Shyte funny/We know the truth boy, keep it one hunnit”
Well, if this isn’t a “talk that talk” song, I don’t know what is. Side Effects of You is being presented as an album that shows Fantasia going through a heartbreak and getting back to who she is as a woman. This track definitely sounds like she is getting her confidence back.
“Without Me” could be a big summer banger as the beat definitely knocks! Check the song out below and let us know what you think!
When Iyanla Vanzant sits down with DMX, everyone had better tune in with a notebook and pencil because it’s going to be explosive. Vanzant meets the embattled rapper on the season 2 premiere of Iyanla: Fix My Life to offer “support” around his issues with drug abuse, women, his extensive arrest record (“roughly 30 times,” he tells her), and his relationship with his family, particularly his son.
Vanzant spoke to ESSENCE.com about the episode, where she thinks DMX went wrong, and what we can all learn from him.
On where she thinks DMX went wrong in his life:
I don’t think that he went wrong. All of us have ways in which we mask and cover our pain. This is a man who is in a tremendous amount of pain. Some of us eat; some of us shop or eat chocolate. What he is doing is a less socially acceptable way to mask and cover his pain because he doesn’t have the skills and the tools to deal with it otherwise. So I don’t think he went wrong, it’s just a defense mechanism.
The breakthrough moment:
Sometimes you go on to do one thing and something else unfolds. When you’re dealing with the ravages of long-term drug abuse you’re also dealing with the impact of the entire ecology of the environment. What we discovered was that the greatest healing was for his son Xavier who had not had the ability to address what he was feeling about his father. Xavier really got the biggest breakthrough.
This was a really good interview and you can read the rest over at Essence.com. While this episode is clearly going to give us every level of entertainment we need, it is possibly the chance for us to learn something about ourselves and not just using it as a moment to laugh at someone else’s situation.
The second season of Iyanla: Fix My Life premieres tonight at 9p ET on OWN. Will you be watching?
Kelly Rowland should be really excited: she’s been busy hosting red carpet shows for major awards shows and she’s prepping for a new album.
Rowland’s new album, Talk A Good Game, is due out in June and much like her last album, she has some heavy hitters putting their stamps on songs with hopes of her cranking out hits. Her first single, “Kiss Down Below” was produced by Mile WiLL Made It (or just Mike Will) and is slowly picking up steam. Also confirmed on the album? Tracks produced by Boy Wonder, The Dream and Pharrell, who, as usual, also lends his voice in vocals. Kelly says the album will be very soulful and straight up R&B music.
But that’s not all. Kelly told Billboard that one of the songs on the album produced by Pharrell will feature her Destiny’s Child sisters, Beyoncé and Michelle. But don’t get it twisted: this is not a reunion. As Kelly simply put it:
“It’s not a Destiny’s Child track, it’s me featuring Beyoncé and Michelle.”
Kelly told not only Billboard but Power 105.1′s The Breakfast Club that the album is really about her getting to a very honest place. She has no problem “going there” in order to reveal her feelings about a lot of subjects, whether it be life, relationships or sex.
Hopefully, Talk A Good Game will give Kelly the musical boost in the United States she seems to be seeking. While her 2011 single “Motivation” was a hit, the album it was featured on, Here I Am, has still only sold about 270,000 copies.
Good luck to the gorgeous Kelly Rowland!
Are you a fan? Why do you think she isn’t a bigger artist at this point?
Just Gimme The Light: 9 Popular Boy Band Or Girl Group Members We Thought Were Going To Be The Big Solo Stars
I can’t imagine being in anybody’s group. Too many egos, too much money to be spread out, too much time spent with too many people. But the people on this list all have been in some of our favorite groups over the years, and they played their part. Smiling and waving and then eventually finding themselves going from being in the group to being out (sometimes after messy quarrels). In the end, we thought all these people should have or would have been the ones shining the most from their respective groups after parting from their band mates because of their talents, but eh…not so much. Most have still had enough success to be happy about, while others are still trying to be taken seriously as they go it alone.
If you’re an R&B/Hip-Hop music lover, 2013 is gearing up to be an exciting year for music. Although no album is official until it actually hits the market, let’s keep our fingers crossed that most of these do. Here are nine albums to be released this year.
If you’ve ever had to remove a negative comment from one of your social media streams, then you know how pungent the effects of cyberbullying can be. Willow Smith has decided to take action against these kind of online attacks by teaming up with Seventeen Magazine’s “Delete Digital Drama” campaign.
The 12-year-old-singer will be one of the celeb activists behind the initiative which seeks to empower young women to disengage from cyberbullying by deleting harsh and mean comments they see on their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages. This announcement comes just days after her mother, Jada Pinkett Smith, released a lengthy statement about online bullying towards young celebs via her Facebook page.
You can check the rest out over on Essence. Perhaps this is the reason why Jada started talking about online bullying – kind of pre-promoting Willow’s latest endeavor.
Have you or anyone you know ever been cyber bullied?
One thing for sure: he never fails to entertain us.
Last year, when we first heard about the emergence of Snoop Lion, more than a few eyebrows raised. Most people assumed that he’d just found out about a religion that openly accepts smoking marijuana and he wanted to be down. But according to the rapper, it is bigger than that: becoming Rastafarian is about where he is in his life.
In a recent interview with Huffington Post, Snoop discussed his critics, his music and where he is in his life:
On his main critic, Bunny Wailer of the legendary group, The Wailers:
I’ve done nothing but what I said I was going to do: Go to Jamaica, make a great record, intertwine with some people, build on some relationships and come back and bring something back to the community. … As far as what people feel about how I’m representing or misrepresenting, that’s for no man to judge. I’m here to do what I’m doing. This is my journey. And for those who don’t like it, I still got love for them.
If he’s converted to Rastafarianism (Snoop grew up Baptist):
I feel like I’m a part of it. I feel like I’m a part of anything that’s positive, that’s loving. And Rastafari is so connected to who I am that I feel like I’m a part of it. Because it is me. It is what I am. And through the spirit of it you want to learn more about it. … I’m just learning. So it’s all brand new to me.
He speaks on the tone of his new music which has very little cursing:
It’s a goal to have songs that represent who I am today. A lot of the songs I got represent who I was, not who I am. It is my music. I love it. It’s my baby. So I’m not going to ever denounce it. It’s just that it’d be nice to have a song about peace and love and happiness and about what’s going on in the world and about addressing some real issues, when that’s what’s important right now. As opposed to just partying all the time and having a good time. That’s not what I’m on.
If he’s serious, you’ve got to respect a person, especially an artist, who doesn’t worry about what anyone will think about where they are in their lives and does what makes them happy. Snoop also noted that becoming Snoop Lion does not mean he isn’t Snoop Doggy Dogg the Crip or Snoop Dogg (who I assume is the rapper/entertainer); in fact, he says it’s all the same.
We’ve got to wonder: If he’s Snoop Doggy Dogg, Snoop Dogg and Snoop Lion, when does Calvin Broadus step in? At home?
What do you think? Do you “accept” and look forward to the music of Snoop Lion?