All Articles Tagged "Two Eleven"
Maybe You Should Hire People Who Actually Understand R&B: Solange Goes In On Music Blogs Over Brandy Disses
Well if you didn’t know Solange was a Brandy fan, now you do. This weekend, Beyonce’s little sister had her fellow (wo)man’s back like no other when she sent out a slew of tweets defending Brandy’s latest album, “Two Eleven,” against poor reviews by what Solange sees as unqualified critics. From her messages, it’s clear she must have come across a critique that gave the LP a poor rating and that’s when she took to Twitter to do a little grading — or perhaps reading — of her own. Here’s what she said:
“Some of these music blogs could actually benefit from hiring people who REALLY understand the culture of R&B to write about R&B.
Some of these music blogs could actually benefit from hiring people who REALLY understand the culture of hip hop to write about hip hop.
Like you really should know about deep Brandy album cuts before you are giving a “grade” or a “score” to any R&B artist.
And ivy league credentials don’t give you any insight on “grading” a rappers body of work…when you’ve had no access to the REAL culture.
There are SO many gifted writers who truly understand. Who didn’t get hip to R&B & Hip-Hop via the crossover artist of their childhood.
Just hire them please ,so you can stop insulting peeps knowledge.
So you can stop acting like it just popped off last year for R&B. Like it just got interesting and experimental.
So you can stop praising every rapper who raps over a trap beat, but can’t form literate sentences & then you market it as some hip s**t.
And that wasn’t a rant. It was an observation and a request.
CC: every music blogger in the world.
When one follower responded to Solange’s “observation and request” saying, “Wonder if Solange could give us profound insight into REAL hip hop culture,” she replied:
“Nope,that’s why Im not a hip hop music journalist”
All in all, I’d say this was a rather rousing proclamation for people to stay in their lane — and perhaps a major push for folks to go get Brandy’s album if they’ve been sleeping on it. By the way, I wonder what the latest reviews on Solange’s EP “True” was. Bloggers beware.
What do you think about Solange’s Twitter request? Is she right?
If you can’t get enough of Brandy (aka, B-Rocka) and her comeback steez, I’m sure you’ll be excited to know that she released a new video for her single, “Wildest Dreams,” off of her Two Eleven album, which peaked on the Billboard charts at number two in October. This particular single reminds me of old-school Brandy a little bit and is worthy of a nice wop or two. It’s definitely one of my favorites off of a surprisingly dope album. A refreshing surprise that is, because Brandy’s been putting out hot albums since her self-titled debut. Anywho, in the video, Brandy put on a performance for friends and fans in a warehouse and sings in the camera wearing leather overalls and also a white dress about the real love she’s finally found in her life. Of course, the song in reality was inspired by her current booskie, Ryan Press, the guy she’s hoping will put a ring on it sooner than later. He’s not in the video, and instead, her man is played by a chocolate-y fella with locs and a very nice body (score!). All in all, I’m digging the video and I’m definitely feeling the music homegirl is dropping these days. But how about you?
Check out the video and let us know what you think!
In case you haven’t noticed, we love seeing our girl Brandy back in the spotlight promoting her new album, Two Eleven. The R&B gem had a very busy couple of weeks, and we’ve been watching and taking style notes every step of the way. We’ve already shared B’s style evolution over the years, our favorite tracks on Two Eleven, and a 3-Step beauty tutorial to get her fresh-faced makeup look at home. And we’ve been crushing on B’s tough combat boots, printed pants, and edgy accessories, too. So, you know we couldn’t leave you without a few tips to get Brandy’s stylish promo tour outfits for less!
More on StyleBlazer
Just when people, Brandy included, were ready to count this lady out, it seems that B-Rocka’s time in the music industry might not be over just yet. The singer’s new album, Two Eleven, which was released last week, pulled in about 65,000 copies to land at number three behind country singer Jason Aldean’s Night Train album, which took the number one spot, and Mumford & Son’s Babel at number two. Before you laugh at the numbers she pushed, you have to remember that the music industry is nowhere near where it used to be, what with all the bootlegging and what not, so not that many people, even some of the big names, are pushing the highest of sales anymore. And for someone who has hasn’t seen the top 10 since Afrodisiac in 2004, it’s safe to say that homegirl has come a long way–or hell, long enough. The album’s sales not only gave her the third spot in the top 200, but it also gave her the number one spot on the R&B charts. Her song “Put It Down” featuring Breezy is also number three on the R&B charts behind Miguel’s “Adorn” and the oh-so-classy “Pop That” by French Montana. The album is actually pretty good (according to our deputy editor, all of her albums are bangers, they’ve just received little exposure. I went MIA after Full Moon), especially my favorites, “Wildest Dreams and “Slower.” So don’t sleep on it or her folks! And if you’re extra cheap, at least check it out on Spotify.
Does that mean Brandy is officially back? I’ll leave that up to you to decide, but after all her ups and downs over the last few years, and to see how grateful she is to be back in the game, I won’t count her out. Congrats!
Do you think she’s back? And what do you think of the album?
From Necole Bitchie
As you all know, Brandy’s new album, ‘Two Eleven’ is in stores today and I couldn’t have been more thrilled to be able to catch up with her last week via phone to talk about the new project. I felt somewhat star struck as I reminisced on being young and watching a behind the scenes of Brandy on the set of ‘Thea’ back in 1993, and she revealed that she was about to release an album. Now, it’s been almost 20 years later and she’s still in the game, which says a lot because not many artists can survive that long.
During our interview, Brandy discussed the track listing of the new album as well as what it is like to have to reintroduce herself to a new generation after being around for so long. At one point, we started discussing why it’s important to wait until you are ready to be intimate with a guy and of course, we discussed my favorite topic; love (I almost forgot I was doing an interview.lol).
Read the exclusive interview at Necole Bitchie
“No gimmicks. Real R&B music,” is how Brandy describes her sixth studio album to Rap-Up.com.
Is it just me or does Brandy just SOUND so READY both in the press and in these last few singles she’s released? While I have to admit that the duet (“It All Belongs To Me”) with Monica was not my fave, the collab with Chris Brown “Put It Down” had me sitting in the car even after I had reached my destination just to hear the song in its entirety.
About a month ago she released “Wildest Dreams” a nod to the love she’s found with music exec, Ryan Press, and a few days ago she released two more singles off of her upcoming album, including, “No Such Thing As Too Late” and “Let Me Go.” And I must admit – I haven’t been disappointed yet.
Maybe it was watching her whole story told on VH1’s “Behind The Music.” Or maybe it’s simply because I always saw her as a vocal beast and role model from “Sittin’ Up In My Room” up to now. Maybe it’s just a solid mix of the two, but without a doubt I am completely ready for Brandy to take her place sittin’ on top of the charts again. She’s had a rough go of it with albums that just weren’t quite there sonically or were overshadowed by her serious bouts with depression, a publicly failed relationship and a tragedy of a car accident which left vicious bloggers and commenters calling her a “murderer” when in fact, she had not been completely at fault in the ordeal.
It seems the media and fans/haters alike got so caught up in her personal life that they forgot how ridiculously talented and perfectly human Brandy is. She was never a drug addict or a serial dater. She had no leaked sex tapes and never fought in public. But somehow the very human mistakes of her life were blown so enormously out of proportion that her voice and passion for her craft got lost in the melee. So yes, I’m ready for her to put it down on the charts with her new album, Two Eleven, which is set to drop today. To this day I have never heard a teenager riff with the maturity and ease that Brandy had on her debut album back in 1995. Her tone, range, honesty and humility have long been missed. She didn’t need sex to sell because she was just the beautiful girl next door who could SANG. That alone pushed her further than many of the other singers of her era.
Having called upon the talents of some of the most noted producers in the industry to work on Two Eleven, including Rico Love, Frank Ocean and Sean Garrett, Brandy is ready to put it down, not just for herself but for fans and the memory of her longtime mentor, the late Whitney Houston, whose passing on February 11, 2012 (also Brandy’s birthday) was also the inspirati0n behind the album’s title.
“It brings significance to my life… I wouldn’t say it was never there before, but now I feel like I have a bigger responsibility to not only dedicate my life to my family, but my music family as well,” Brandy shared in an interview with Hartford’s Hot 93.7.
There is a huge outpouring of support from fans worldwide as we anxiously await the full return of B-Rocka.
Are you a fan of Brandy? Are you excited for her new material?
Watching Brandy unveil her video for “Put It Down” on 106 & Park this week, it’s easy to see why the world fell in love with her in the first place. In her early thirties, she still has the sweet likeability of an innocent 15 year old that makes you want to smile with her.
That makes this that much harder.
She looks gorgeous in the video. Her close-ups are undeniable proof the woman hasn’t aged since Never Say Never in 1998. But, it wasn’t “Thriller.” And to warrant three months of hype – the song hit the blogosphere in April – it needed to be “Thriller.”
“Put It Down” is the lead single for Two Eleven, the singer’s comeback album slated for release in October. I want Brandy to win. When I heard the single, in April, I was fully on board. But, she’s not going anywhere if she doesn’t pick up the pace. By the looks of things, she and her team are living in 2001.
“Put It Down” dropped on April 26 , but was not available on iTunes until May 8. For twelve days people downloaded her song illegally. Hardcore fans may have gone back to buy the single, but the rest of us kept it moving as illustrated by the song entering Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart at number 98.
Filming for the video started on July 10th. What was Brandy doing for three months? She received a lot of attention for her July performance at the BET Awards. Brandy’s tribute to Whitney Houston was arguably one of the best performances we’ve ever seen her do. This would have been a good time to release a video. The purpose of content is to extend the conversation around your brand. It’s a great tool for prolonging buzz. But, it would be another month before we saw a glimpse of the clip.
For two weeks the four-minute clip was parceled out. Video stills on August 1, a trailer five days later, and a preview the week after online and on 106 & Park. It was a valiant effort to sustain interest in the song. But keep in mind a whole summer has taken place, countless dramas have unfolded, and Brandy is still talking about “Put It Down” repeatedly. It was the equivalent of someone who keeps interrupting your conversation talking about the same thing. If you’re not bringing anything new to the table, your content is worthless. Audiences can see through repackaging.
When a brand struggles in an area, it is a smart business move to look at what other brands dominating that area of the industry are doing and learn from their success. I want Brandy to learn from Rihanna. Rihanna has mastered the changing nature of the music industry and content in general. She doesn’t have a number one album, the classic measurement of an artist’s success, but she is the best-selling digital artist of all time. Rihanna’s last single, “We Found Love,” premiered on September 22, 2011 and was available for digital download on the same day. The music video was shot in late September, and premiered shortly after on October 19.
I don’t know what the personal issue is for Brandy, but the handling of this single reflects a strategic problem many brands, especially older ones, struggle with. Old models don’t work. The news cycle is too quick and our attention spans are too short.
The level of success Brandy once had now requires that she provide more new content, more often. When done correctly it will extend the work she puts into her music and performances. For her second single, let’s hope she gets it right.
A lot of people are excited about Brandy’s return to the spotlight. The singer teamed up with Monica earlier this year, appeasing fans of both ’90s R&B singers, and she just recently announced on Twitter that her new album, “Two-Eleven” will hit shelves August 28.
Some still have questions about why someone with her level of success as a teenager between singing and acting would disappear from the industry for so long and in an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Brandy says she paid a high price for that fame, mostly with her own self-esteem. The singer already mentioned her struggles with anorexia during her “Behind The Music” special on VH1, but she also had some other struggles to contend with. Here’s what she told the paper.
How being famous so young defined how she viewed herself
Well, I identify with success and fame and that was one of the things I had to grow from and learn from to pull myself from that place. Because what I do is not who I am, it is just the way I express myself. When I was able to take a step back from my career, I was able to really focus on who I really was as a person.
When you’re 15 and 16 you don’t really know who you are. So when you are growing up in the public eye and you have this image to uphold, you start to believe the false about you — you know, this is who I am. I’m Brandy! That’s my name, that is not who I am on the inside. That is not who I grew into as a woman.
What she discovered about the true Brandy, as opposed to Brandy the star
I am not perfect and I don’t have to be perfect. I am not above mistakes. I can make them and it’s OK. I don’t need to beat myself up for making a mistake. What people think about me really is none of my business. It’s what I think about me. So it’s just about giving yourself those positive affirmations every day. You know, telling yourself you are beautiful, telling yourself that there is a greatness in you that is ready to express itself.
I beat myself up a lot as a teenager, wanting everything to be perfect. [I'm] absolutely a people pleaser, trying to please my fans, trying to please my family, trying to please my record label — anybody that I worked with. I wanted everybody to like me. You know that will drive you into the grave. So I was able to cut that out before that happened.
What those experiences taught her about being a mother
I think the key to being a good parent is to remember that you were once a child. A lot of parents abuse their authority — you know, I’m in charge, I’m in control and it’s my way or the highway.
I’m just not like that with my daughter. It’s my job to guide her to make the best decisions possible and to let her know that mistakes are a part of life. I try to lead by example. I’m not perfect … and if I do make mistakes toward her I apologize. We have a great relationship, a great friendship. I think that’s really important to have a friendship with your children and have that open line of communication where they can feel comfortable telling you what they want to know and what they are doing and what their life is all about outside of you when you are not with them.
Her perspective and goals for the future
Now it’s about the love of what I do and the passion. Of course I still have goals. I think there is a purpose that I still have to fulfill. I was born to sing. I was born to inspire and to entertain. You know, if I’m not doing that then my life is unfulfilled. Even in the break that I took — of course it was great for my spiritual journey and personal self — but there was a part of me that wanted to be on stage. There was a part of me that wanted to reach out and touch people and sing to people. That’s a big part of my destiny so I’m back at it.
“Two Eleven” is coming out in August. I’m really excited about that. It’s just great to be back in music and do what I love to do consistently and full time. This project means so much to me. I’ve worked very hard on it. I feel like I have found that right place and the right people are in my life to help me fulfill this dream that I’ve had for a while.
What drives her
It’s the passion for the music. It’s the passion for just inspiring people and waking that greatness up within other people. You hear people say all the time, “You are one of the reasons I want to be an artist.” I want to continue to do that. I want to continue to be an example of fulfilling a dream, you know? Also, my daughter loves music. She loves what she sees and these stars she looks up to. I want to make her proud.
A lot of people out there are rooting for me, a lot of people who believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. I owe this to them.
It’s a lot of hard work and this type of work needs balance and that’s what was missing for me before, the balance. Everything has to have a balance. You fall hard when there’s no balance in your life. Like right now, I’m kind of in between pushing the single and doing the video and all the other stuff. I’m like, “Maybe I should be doing more?” Then that voice inside of me says “No, let things happen. Take it easy.” So it’s like balance is naturally forcing itself into my life [laughing]. That’s a good thing because I need to work. I need to work!
Her fans need her to work too! Will you be purchasing Brandy’s new album in August?
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It looks like a bit of a break-up is in the cards for Brandy and Monica.
Even though the two saw some success with their latest duet, “It All Belongs To Me,” it doesn’t seem like we’ll see them perform it together or go on tour as some of the fans hoped any time soon. In an interview B-Rocka did with Bark Bite, she said the talks have pretty much died down:
“Honestly we haven’t really talked about it since we stopped promoting ‘It all Belongs To Me.’ I just honestly think Monica and I are in a different place with our music. And my vibe is a little different this time around so I don’t know. I definitely feel like the fans would want a tour from us, but I don’t know, I just feel like I’m being pulled in a different direction. I’m definitely still open to it, but right now I’m looking in a different way right now for me.”
I think I get it: Monica’s latest album New Life didn’t do well and Brandy is hoping for a different fate with her upcoming album Two Eleven so she doesn’t want to keep herself associated with someone whose album flopped when she might experience that same fate. But also, can these two stop trying to make this “friendship” happen? They’re not friends; they tried to be business partners so they could both find some new success in today’s industry but it isn’t working. Let’s let it go, ladies.
Would you pay to see Brandy and Monica together on tour? Can you fake a friendship for the sake of money?