Let’s be honest. Nineties R&B remains one of the only genres in music where, “Oh, girl! That’s my song,” is said compulsively without a trace of irony. But while three- to five-part harmonies reigned supreme back in the day, so did bitter fallings out between members and labels. Even TLC was touched by group conflict before the unexpected death of their beloved bandmate Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes. But through the loss, remaining members T-Boz and Chilli stuck it out to the tune of 20 years as their latest compilation album suggests. Meanwhile the shelf life for most groups born in that glorious era was over before you could say 1999. We count down the ones that devastated us and our tape decks most.
Kaleidoscope Dream is the magical sophomore album by Miguel, an LP in which he infuses the sounds of rock, soul and funk into the expanding box that is modern R&B. On “Adorn,” which is currently No. 1 on the Hip-Hop/R&B charts, he croons about love and intimacy over the funky bass line. “‘Adorn’ is romantic, but it’s dirty at the same time,” he told us the day his album dropped. “It’s all the highs of love with all the coolness of the party.” Then there’s “Use Me,” “Do You,” “Arch & Point,” and “Pussy Is Mine” that explore the beauty of intimacy. While “Do You” is as much about the sensuality (“Do you like hugs? Do you like love?”) as it is about sex (“I wanna do you like drugs tonight”), the provocative “Pussy Is Mine” is completely about Miguel’s friend with benefits making him feel like it is all his. Read more…
As we’ve been noting all week, it’s
Coitus Cuffin’ Season, and there’s an elephant in the room that needs to be addressed. As you woo your Cuff targets over the next few months, it’s important to stay confident and keep your eye on the prize. Flowers and romantic candlelit dinners are cute and all, but if you’re looking to successfully procure a lasting relationship partner who’s not shy in the bedroom, you’ve got to make sure that you’re ready to, borrowing wisdom from Cuban Link, make it hotter than lava when you climb up in the cama.
Don’t worry, you got this! And if you’re a smidge apprehensive, I got you. Monday we made some suggestions for dealing with Hopeless Romantics, and yesterday we brought up the topic of reeling-in the Distracted Workaholics. Today’s lesson though, is a bit more intimate. And naughty. And for you conventional types, potentially offensive. Below you’ll find Doin’ It Well: Bagging A No-Holds-Barred Freak, a Spotify playlist molded to rev your sexual engines in preparation for what happens “Between The Sheets.”
If we were to put together a complete list of songs that sampled the work of James Brown, it would easily run over a thousand songs. Of course, the magic that he made on wax is why RollingStone.com labeled him “the most sampled man in the biz.” No one executed funk and soul the way James Brown and his band did.
The man, perhaps best known for classic hits like “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World,” “I Got You (I Feel Good)” and “Say It Loud,” would have turned 79 years-old today. With that in mind, we’d like to wish a happy birthday to the Godfather of Soul! In honor of this special day, we’re giving you this list of 10 incredible songs that never would have been if it wasn’t for the work of JB.
1.”Otis”- Jay-Z and Kanye West
Ye and Jigga were watching the throne alright. James Brown’s musical throne, that is. Along with the Otis Redding (how noble of them to name the song after him) sample of “Try a Little Tenderness,” Brown’s “Don’t Tell a Lie About Me and I Won’t Tell the Truth on You” can be heard right when Kanye appears to be beautifully screaming. Yep, that’s James Brown screaming all over a smash record by two of hip-hop’s biggest stars.
Last week, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of A Tribe Called Quest’s seminal album, The Low End Theory, and after spending quality time with the LP, it became clear that many artists may have snagged sonic gems from the trendsetting hip-hop quartet over the years. If you’re a fan of rap music, you already know that sampling and re-working existing songs is commonplace in the creative process; similar to contemporary art’s idea of the “readymade,” producers will lift elements from one song and add them to a new canvas to re-envision their use. But what happens when the same thing is done with lyrics?
One little-known fact: Lil’ Wayne’s“A Milli” is a slowed-down sample of one of Phife’s lines from a remix of “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo” off Tribe’s first album, 1990’s Peoples’ Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm. Sometimes referred to as swagger-jacking, a rapper re-purposing the bars of artists before him or her can in other circumstances be seen as a salute-beckoning sign of respect. And in Tribe’s case, it should be! In addition to sitting down with ATCQ for their first joint interview since 1998, we also got to chat individually with in-and-out, behind-the-scenes group member Jarobi White to scoop his brains for memories on the group’s incredible second album. In honor of its Album-Versary, we present you with Jarobi’s exclusive interview clips, and the Top 5 Recycled Lines From The Low End Theory.
VH1 Classic Celebrates The Jewish New Year With 24-Hour Rush Marathon
Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown tonight, and on VH1 Classic, that means one thing: the return of Rush Hashanah! Classic Albums: Rush 2112 & Moving Pictures kicks off the celebration at 7PM ET/PT, followed by the premiere of Rush: Time Machine, a brand-new concert film in which the band plays Moving Pictures in its entirety, at 8PM ET/PT. The Rush marathon continues with Beyond the Lighted Stage, R30, Rush In Rio, and more. [VH1 Classic]
Hold On For New Music From En Vogue
After being stunned by continuing fan support after their appearance at the 2008 BET Music Awards, En Vogue reunited in earnest, but after a successful tour, their appearances got more sporadic. But rumors of new recordings got a big corroboration when the quartet was named as one of the performers at New York’s CMJ Music Marathon next month. [Sound of the City]
The 2011 VMAs are airing live from Los Angeles on Sunday night, and the latest addition to the evening’s already-stellar lineup is Tony Bennett. The 85 year-old (!) will captain what’s sure to be an emotional tribute to recently-deceased singer Amy Winehouse. Introducing a slew of performers who are currently being kept confidential by the folks in MTV’s ivory tower, we’re excited to see that Bennett, who had recently collaborated with Winehouse on a duet due this fall, “Body and Soul,” will make an appearance on the notoriously youthful VMA stage. While the majority of the MTV audience’s demographic was not yet even a twinkle in their parents’ eyes when Bennett took home his first Grammy in 1963, this certainly isn’t the first time an elder statesman has been booked on MTV’s annual celebration of the year’s best music videos. Want to see what we mean? Check out our list of the Top 5 Oldest People To Appear On-Camera at The VMAS!
5) George Clinton, 52 Years-Old (1993): George Clinton presented the Best R&B Video award alongside West Coasters Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre in ’93. Then 52 years-old, the funk innovator and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee must have been pretty psyched to hand Moonmen over to the lovely ladies of En Vogue. And the Funky Divas were most likely equally as pleased!
4) Lou Reed, 54 Years-Old (1996): Making a cameo with house band(leader) Jack White of Raconteurs, Lou Reed of The Velvet Underground was well into his fifth decade at the ’96 Video Music Awards. Hosted by Dennis Leary, big winners that night included Coolio, Alanis Morrisette, and Smashing Pumpkins.
3) Diana Ross, 55 Years-Old (1999): Who could forget the jiggle heard ’round the world? When Mary J. Blige accompanied Lil’ Kim, Lil’ Kim’s breast, and Motown sensation Diana Ross to present the award for Best Hip-Hop in ’99, all hell broke loose! The then-55-year-old Rosstook it upon herself to, on live television, cup and jiggle Kim’s pasty-covered, partially-exposed boobie.
Fifteen years ago, Spice Girls released their first single in the UK and set the pop world ablaze with a sassy little tune called “Wannabe” that introduced the duel concepts of Girl Power and zig-a-zig-ahhhhh. Eventually hitting #1 in thirty countries across the world, Spices Scary, Ginger, Posh, Sporty and Baby parlayed the “Wannabe” phenomenon into fame and fortune, selling twenty-three million copies of their debut album Spice and seizing the throne for the best-selling girl group in history.
Because we’re sentimental when it comes to all things pop culture, other fave ?lady jams started flooding our memory bank and got us thinking that, well, sometimes they can get a bit raunchy. However, to us, that’s the beauty of girl groups: They balance with one foot on the empowerment soapbox, and the other foot on the soapbox that reads “gimme some.” Maybe we have it all wrong, but?this list of ten anthems that say “come hither” all while commanding some R-E-S-P-E-C-T will bring you back in time and get you set for a (hopefully) spicy week.
10. Dream, ?He Loves U Not?
Puffy’s Bad Boy girl group?pre-Danity Kane was sort of flop-ish, but their single wasn’t! And while the lyric “he’s into what he’s got” might be somewhat tame, it serves it’s purpose to give off a “there’s more where that came from” warning to ladies trying to steal their men.
9. Destiny?s Child, ?Lose My Breath?
“Put it on me deep in the right direction,” demands Kelly Rowland in this uptempo Destiny’s Child track. Serving as both an aphrodisiac and a challenge, the entire song begs the question of the ladies’ male suitors: “Can you keep up?”