The Soundtrack of My Life

the music that keeps me going…

My Favorite Albums of 2012

happy new year!

Since I didn’t do any “Whats in my Earbuds” posts throughout my musical adventures I figured I’d kinda recap the year in terms of new music that I’ve been listening to, and my personal favorites. Now this isn’t a “best of” because  I just like what I like, and… of course you can tell ME what you think is best but that doesn’t mean I’ll agree, or vice versa. I mean, I’m not an authority. Just a girl with an opinion.

There was a LOT of decent material to hit the streets in 2012. And to be clear, by decent I mean it didn’t absolutely suck. Pretty low bar set there right? Catchy tunes full of popular catchphrases, clever wordplay, solid vocals and/or lyrics. The issue at hand is that, most of it isn’t very memorable.

This is the first time I’ve noticed  that as music consumers, we listen to an album the entire leak week: the 4 or 5 days or so before it’s in store release, maybe throughout the official release week, and by the time 15 days or so if that long have passed, we’re off it. On to the next! This is a horrible for music consumption! But who’s to blame? Maybe us fans for having short attention spans? But HOW did this happen? Has to be the ease of access via technology. We no longer have to WAIT to release day and go to a brick and mortar record store. EYE still buy CDs from time to time, but it’s usually a purchase among other purchases at Target or Best Buy. Rarely do we make specific trips for albums anymore.  I also blame artists for making such disposable music;  for making mixtapes better than their actual studio albums, but that’s another topic. Just save that material and put it on the album–I KNOW THATS SOOOO EASIER SAID THAN DONE, BUT LET ME VENT. Record labels should allow artist to be their creative selves and put out the music they REALLY want on their albums so they don’t NEED  mixtapes to do that. But I’m old and maybe I just don’t want to accept this is the new way of life for artists. I don’t need all these “mixtapes” though. I really don’t.

Also, it must be noted that Spotify really got its burn in my life in 2012.  I’m not so quick to download new projects anymore before previewing them on Spotify first. A couple artists don’t want us to be great with Spotify–I’m looking at you Rihanna and Taylor Swift (yes I was curious to hear what the hype was about, not enough to dl or pay for it though :-P )– and want to force you to buy their music–or you know, just not stream it. WHATEVS.

One of the highly anticipated releases in 2012 was Frank Ocean’s Channel ORANGE. I had been a fan of his since Nostalgia/Ultra and wanted to catch him live in DC this year –but his show sold out in less than 48 hours. I wasn’t very moved with his features on WTT to be honest. But I liked the previous “album” and the songs I’ve heard under his former moniker Lonny Breaux, so I definitely was looking forward to Channel ORANGE. “Thinking Bout You” was a song I immediately liked. I listen to albums in tracklisting order and on shuffle. I need to know if the music flows  as formatted and if it also sounds good in the mix of their other projects and my other randomness. One thing about me when I love an album–I listen to it so much and its seems like every couple days or so I discover a new “favorite” song. My favorites on this album went in this order: Thinking Bout You, Sweet Life, Pilot Jones, Pyramids. I think I tweeted last week sometime how “Pyramids” still does it for me, well actually the whole album does. I’m not hyping him because its the “in” thing to do, but rather because I still listen to this album and rarely skip a song when they come on shuffle. Its solidified its place on my list.

Emile Sande:  Our Version of Events

I have to thank a couple of my fellow musical girlfriends for putting me on to Emile. Its very rare that I just buy an album off iTunes willy nilly but I heard one song of hers and did that. That song was “Hope.” I wanted more. I really really felt drawn to her vocals and at the time of this release it was all I listened to. Even now, when my music shuffles to any of these songs I don’t hesitate to take them in. I also love “Clown” “Maybe” and  “Breaking the Law”

Nas: Life Is Good

Oh Nasir, my homie, lover friend (in my head). We didn’t think you could do it. Well, true fans KNEW you COULD, but we didn’t think you would. You made a solid album with production that truly matched the lyricism. You made an album with just the right amount of features, allowing us to remember what we love about you, yet staying relevant. 2012 was definitely your year, sir. I actually regret not buying a ticket to see you in DC. Or going to stand with the groupies when you performed at The Park. Okay not really but I heard you were worth the price of admission at DAR Constitution Hall. Nas “The Don” “Bye Baby” ” Black Bond” “Cherry Wine” obvious radio Swizz Beat joint “Summer on Smash” and all. I LOVE THIS ALBUM. whew!

Miguel: Kaleidoscope Dream 

It began with the first Art Dealer Chic. As soon as I heard “Adorn” I knew it was a hit. Unfortunately its been played soooo much on radio, I’ve long been over it. I’m not sure if Miguel knew this would happen but I’m glad it’s the first track on the album so you can skip it and move on with your life lol. When I heard “Use Me” on the Water Preview I knew then that Miguel was not playing around!  “…All” reminds me of someone special and just the whimsical yet simple view of doing whatever makes you happy. Like the Frank Ocean album, this one provided weekly favorites. Without even listening to the album in its entirety, “Arch & Point” was my first fave–and actually the last song I blogged about before my hiatus. other favorites are “The Thrill” “Where’s the Fun in Forever” and “Do You.”  Actually there is not a song I don’t like…and while it has not topped his debut in my affinity, it lends nicely to his musical catalog.

Joss Stone: The Soul Sessions Vol. 2

This is a cover album like her 2003 debut. When I tell you the very first time I queued this up in Spotify I PARTIED at my desk at work. Classic soul jams by a SANGER. If you love classic music you’ll love this album, I mean there is no way around it. Instant mood lifter! “The Love We Had (Stays on My Mind)” is my favorite. I don’t have much to say because it’s not original music but that doesn’t mean it’s not great.

Kendrick Lamar: good kid MAAD City

I really wasn’t checking for KDot much. I kinda explain that reasoning regarding new rappers later in the post but I heard Section80 and even though I enjoyed it, it wasn’t like WOW he’s my new favorite person. That is NOT to say it’s not good, it’s just that at the time I wasn’t really in a space to really appreciate it. I’m moody with music as I am with life and maybe I was in a deep soul music mood. I can’t call it. So when GKMC came out I’ll admit I really hopped on it purely because of the buzz. And then I loved it!! It immediately gave me an Outkast ATLiens vibe. I appreciate the cohesiveness of the tracks and the story its telling. I actually felt like I KNEW Kendrick because of this. Concept albums aren’t for everyone, and actually aren’t always done well but I liked this a lot. Of course “Poetic Justice” was an immediate banger to me, sample alone. and yall know I “do” Drizzy. “Backseat Freestyle” “Sing About Me”  “Swimming Pools” (a great lead single, btw) and “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” round out my favorites.

Brandy: Two Eleven.

Miss Norwood came back on the scene with a banger! “Put it Down” was a bubble gum pop song that I didn’t think suited her OR MY age– but I must admit in true radio spin fashion, it grew on me. Hands down my favorite single on the album is “Wildest Dreams.” considering she just got engaged I’m gonna assume this song was written about her Beau. I’m happy for her like she’s my big sis that after many ups and downs in love found the real thing. Other favorites include “Music” “Do You Know What You Have Here” “What You Need” and “Slower”. The auto-tunesy vocals aren’t really my thing, I wish she’d sang full out more on this album but I do appreciate the writing and production. very well done.

Honorable Mentions:

Keyshia Cole: Woman to Woman

you didn’t expect this right? ha! me neither. Really, I’ve been down for Keyshia since she was singing she “changed her mind” with Kanye West. What can I say, I needed me a hood R&B chick to sice my life and she did it. Keyshia Cole is the kind of artist if you loved her first album, or even the second you kinda hoped she’d continue to put out quality R&B gems, and then she didn’t. We were more familiar with her for her family drama and tv antics than her music. Her third album was actually pretty good to me, but I may be the only one that thinks so. The fourth? lets forget that exists. She became real sporadic giving in to typical features for radio spins but nothing really meaty enough or catchy or inspiring. And lets not make any mistake, Keysh is not a power vocal singer but she doesn’t have to be. She just has to give me some gems that make me want to sing along to in the car. As soon as I heard “Trust and Believe” I knew she accomplished that. The album flows well and is typical relationship ups and downs but like I said, thats all I need from my homegirl. You also have to be impressed with her vocal improvement, well at least I am.Other  favorites include:  “I Choose You”  “Wonderland” “Stubborn” and “Zero”

Melanie Fiona: The MF LIfe

So many people either really like Mel or really are indifferent. I like her. I enjoyed her debut and when MF Life came out I listened to it constantly. Then… I stopped. not sure why. Probably just going through the rigmarole of previewing new music and didn’t come back to it. Mel can sing, and while I’m still not sure why she doesn’t get the shine she deserves or isnt’ marketed that well, this is a solid album. Every time I hear “Bones” I get chills. “Rock Paper Scissors” “The Wrong Side of a Love Song”  and “I Been That Girl” yesss ma’am! I used to think Mel was boring until I saw her perform live. Now I know she’s got the skills she just needs to work on her packaging.

Robert Glasper Experiment’s Black Radio was really really good. Because of the R&B and hip hop features, I think it can be included in the genre. It’s not an album I listened to much in recent months as it was released earlier in the year, but I have revisit it from time to time, and unlike many of the others mentioned, the music is timeless. I adore the cover of “Cherish The Day” by Lalah Hathaway which I was initially iffy on. Another favorite is “Ah Yea” with Chrisette Michelle and Musiq. I REALLY wanted a special appearance by one or both of these artist at the Glasper show I went to JUST to hear this song. ah well.

I pretty much listened to most if not all of the mainstream R&B and hip hop releases this year. I’ve heard Elle, Rozay, Usher, Alicia Keys, Lupe, Meek Mill, GOOD Music, etc. but none of these got super replay value in my life.  Okay the first two have, but just not enough to be favorites. I have favorite SONGS on those albums, like “I Don’t Care” is theeee best Elle Varner song to me. I enjoyed her album and her earlier mixtape Conversational Lush a lot. Her voice starts to grate on my nerves though. I appreciate her music more on shuffle, lol. Rick Ross isn’t a favorite– not because it’s not good, but because it sounds like everything else he’s done and Teflon Don is the only album I’ll claim as a favorite of his in my life. People are also telling me this Rihanna album is dope but eh… they all have started to run together too me. A new album every 9-10 months is WAY TOO MUCH. “Power it Up” knocks in the club though.

I admit that I stay in a particular lane with my regular spins just based on whats on my iPhone/iPod/iTunes, but this year I did branch out into other genres thanks to Spotify. Some days you just want to mix it up a bit and get out of the R&B or Rap lane. It wasn’t all released in 2012 but I listened to A LOT of Quadron, Lana Del Rey, Kimbra, Gotye, Allen Stone, Gary Clark Jr. to name a few. And I’m still discovering more. My ears need something fresh and I’m enjoying the process.

This was also the year of the EP it seems like. I love any good music so I’ll take it I guess, but 5-7 songs just don’t do it for me! However a couple favorites were Solange’s True  and Daley’s Alone Together. His cover of “Love is a Losing Game” is everything.

I will also admit I don’t really listen to many “underground” rappers because… well I don’t know why. This year has just been as I said before full of listenable but not memorable music. I lose interest quickly with rappers unless it’s just remarkable to my ears. And I’m kinda lazy too. So unless someone (some of you?) drops a link directly on me I prob won’t know where to look. or care to. I did recently listen to the latest Action Bronson joint though…  and I checked out Dom Kennedy’s Yellow Album and Long Live ASAP (both which I liked) and the latest offering from Pac Div. so that’s something!

For 2013 off the top of my head I’m looking forward to the new projects from J. Cole, Jhene Aiko,  Alice Smith, Justin Timberlake (a girl can dream right? I heard he’s recording!) and actually The Dream. I think he has something coming out this year. I love that bitter black man music. lawd knows I do!

I know this was long. I’m sorry. I’ve had a lot to say, it been awhile. :-)

What are your favorites from 2012? I listed studio albums but you can share mixtapes/EPs as well. What are you looking forward to this year?

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2012: What a Year!

Happy Holidays friends!

its been awhile I know, no need to dwell on that. I’ve been around…

I just wanted to take a few moments to talk about how great this year was for me. One thing I MAY love just as much as cooked food, is live music. And in 2012, I absolutely set a record in my life for live music.  Outdoor festivals, intimate dinner shows, club performances, and concert arenas!!! I did it all. Warning this post is kinda long–there is a lot to cover.

Since my birthday is in the fall, I spent the majority of 2012 commemorating the changing of the guard: I turned 30. and while it didn’t seem that major to me at the time, upon reflecting on this year I can say I’ve had wayyyyy more good times, great times even than bad and I’m gonna just go ahead and make the correlation there–the 30s have been good to me thus far. Now 31 years old, I’ve continued to learn more about myself, and I just really have to look back and reflect on all the awesome moments. Epic memories that will be treasured. I’m not totally where I want to be but I’m on my way! and I’ve had a great time on the journey thus far.  This blog is my way of capturing some of it, the musical moments at least.

I started off 2012, January 1st to be specific at The Fillmore in Silver Spring, MD to see Wale. Now there was a time that this dude was my FAVORITE new rapper–somewhere around 2009. In 2011 I saw him at Merriweather Post Pavilion as an act for Lupe Fiasco’s LASERS tour. I dug his show so I was curious to see him solo. I was surprised to see all the hipsters and teens in the crowd but I guess I shouldn’t have, huh? The Ambition album had been out awhile and he did a good mix of songs from that, his studio debut as well as his mixtapes (read: his better material). The events that took place at this show with my girl and I cannot be exposed (lol) but just know it was a wild, humorous day, that lended to a great concert going experience and we had a ball.

This blog would be incomplete if I did not include the numerous performances of DC’s own Black Alley. I moved to this area late 2010 and got put on to them in 2011. Going to see Black Alley perform is one of my regular highlights in 2012 whether it be Stadium on Wednesdays, Bar 7 on Thursdays, or Indulj on Fridays we were in the place jamming to this soul garage band. I really was pressed to buy their CD Soul Swagger Rock Sneakers. It was sold out at EVERY show I went to. I eventually copped it on iTunes and it did NOT disappoint. In addition to their weekly club gigs, I saw Black Alley perform at the NY Ave Beach Bar and on the Navy Pier for an All White Party in the summer among other local bands. great times. One of my absolute favorite songs that Black Alley covers is Katy Perry’s “ET.”  In my opinion its better than the original. I also like their cover of FUN’s “We Are Young”.

The spring was pretty ho hum but ooooh we turned it up in May at Drake’s Club Paradise tour at the Verizon Center. This show had a full cast of all the hot rappers and while we didn’t get there in time to see 2Chainz, we saw performances by Meek Mill, Waka Flocka Flame, J. Cole, and “Mr. Marvin’s Room” himself, Aubrey Graham aka Drake. He did not disappoint. He also brought out these artists during his set to do various collabos such as “Amen”  “Round of Applause” and “No Lie”. I was totally miffed that J. Cole and Drake did NOT perform “In the Morning” together, that made no sense to me. Cole had a pretty high energy set (I was surprised) and he did that song solo. errr. why?  I am not a  Waka fan so while he has party jams they didn’t really translate well live to me. So yea, that was my cue to sit down and rest my feet before the party really got live. All in all people seem to really love or hate Drake and I lean on the love side. He did a great job of making it feel like “a club” and I mean dude has party anthems–how can you NOT party? I danced and totally felt the vibe. great show.

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In August I attended the annual Summer Spirit Festival that takes place at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD. I missed this show last year because they cancelled it for some reason so I was excited to go this year. A plus was that it fell on my boo TT’s birthday so this wrapped up her bday festivities. its a outdoor lawn concert in the heart of summer so… it was HOT!! scorching even. And I decided to wear a black tshirt–what was I thinking?? smh. I had fun though. Acts included Eric Roberson (I had seen better sets of his); Estelle– a REALLY good set! and she sounded SUPERB LIVE. I was impressed; Chuck Brown Tribute Band (they were soooo dope! and you know the dc area crowd favorites); Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings — LISTEN. my first time seeing them live and jeez! that Sharon Jones ROCKED. ROCKED I SAY! she was having a full on party on that stage by herself. The Dap Kings provided great musicianship that really epitomized what I love about live music. Common performed also and he was his usual fahn self.

The headliner was no other than my boo thang Erykah Badu. *sigh* she hurt my heart yall. She performed like what 5, 6 songs? changed the melody up on too many of them and just didn’t seem into it. and didn’t even perform her best hits. I went home and immediately played Mama’s Gun to keep her in good standing in my life cuz I wanted to quit her that day. I’ve seen her do much better before so I’ma just let this go…

Labor Day weekend we redeemed ourselves missing 2Chainz at Club Paradise when we caught his show at the 9:30 Club in DC. Now, I admit I was not the biggest Tity Boi fan until he put out “Spend It” and got on a few features this year but hey. This was definitely his year and his show was high energy from beginning to end. It was also my first time in the 9:30 Club. His album hadn’t even been out a solid week I don’t think and he performed ALL THE SONGS, and the crowd knew them all (including me, lol). He definitely turned up and I had a great time. I think this had a lot to do with the timing of me seeing this show. He’s not the kind of artist with timeless music that you’d want to hear live over and over but I enjoyed myself in that moment.

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Later in September I visited the Howard Theatre in DC to see Miguel. Howard Theatre was recently renovated and reopened earlier this year I believe, and they  have some great shows!!! If I was rich I’d just post up there daily. I mean, they ALWAYS have someone good coming there, and the prices are pretty reasonable–anywhere from $20-50 bucks. If you are in the area I definitely recommend you peruse their website and attend a show or two, or three. lol. I thought the theater was beautiful and while this show was standing room like many of the others, its visually gorgeous not a hole in the wall.

Now, I can admit that am an official Miguel stan. I wasn’t before this show–ok yes I was. His first album was R&B perfection to me.  I also saw him for the first time during the LASERS show and I knew he could rock. But THIS SHOW??  This show was about a week or so before his sophormore album came out and I am not lying I ran to the stores to buy it after seeing him live. He WOWED ME. I had previously heard most of the tracks due to the preview EPs he put out but yea, hearing them performed live sold it for me. His voice sounds just like the cd’s, his guitarist was dope sauce and just! AMAZING SHOW. lots of fun. Miguel is like a young Prince–he blends genres, he’s kinda androgynous, he’s sexy in a weird way… I dig him. A LOT. I’ve anticipated and enjoyed every single thing he’s put out and I can only hope for more greatness in him.

In October just a couple days after my bday, I met friends at The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA to see the Robert Glasper Experiment. If you haven’t heard their latest album Black Radio please check it out! It was a tad disappointing they didn’t have any special guests to sing their songs (they are a eclectic jazz band that incorporates all genres; Glasper is a pianist) but it was quite an enjoyable show. The music is just so intoxicating. He recently released a Black Radio Remix EP but I haven’t yet checked it out.

090412-music-stevie-wonder

In November I got the opportunity to go see MR. STEVIE WONDER at the Norfolk Scope for an Obama campaign rally. Listen. I drove from Maryland that same afternoon and went back the next day, it was that serious to go see that living legend Stevie. We rocked out too! Even though Stevie likes to remix his songs (to my chagrin) changing the lyrics to make them relevant to the situation, I enjoyed myself. and it was free! gotta love free.

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3 days later I went with a girlfriend to The Hamilton to see Alice Smith. I wrote a blog about her not a couple years ago wondering where she had been so of COURSE I had to go see her. It was my first time seeing her live and SHE DID NOT DISAPPOINT. That woman can SANG! Now I am not gay but I was so close to the stage and she was so gorgeous and awesome and I’m not lying I kinda fell in love with her there. yea. She said she has a new album coming out in February and I sincerely hope so because I need more of her in my life. After that show I listened to her 2006 debut daily for about a week afterwards. Yes, she did that. I love when an artist moves you like that. She and Miguel are my top shows this year.

So after that great show we immediately found out Emily King was also coming to The Hamilton. What a coinkydink she was also in that same blog post!!! Her 2007 debut East Side Story was one I played TO DEATH. She also put out an EP last year, and a single here and there so I was curious to see her live. She played the guitar along with many of the songs, and it was just a very mellow show. She did a couple covers but mostly performed songs from the Seven EP. Good times! The Hamilton has become my fave venue in the DC area so far and I look forward to more shows in such a visually pleasing, intimate setting.  I also have enjoyed experiencing up and coming artists that open in these smaller venues. I haven’t spent much time discovering new artists but as a soul music lover its good to know so many people are still out here grinding and dedicated to sharing great music with the world!

So that’s my year. as it wraps up, I look forward to ending it in true music lover fashion: on December 31st I will be back at the Fillmore to see THE LEGENDARY ROOTS CREW. I saw them in December last year and they never disappoint so this is the perfect way for me, to end such an awesome year. I now know where all my money has been going. lol. And on shoes, can’t forget the shoes. :-)

This post was long, but it was overdue! Happy holidays music lovers. Maybe this post will inspire you to check out more live music in your area, discover some new artists, or revisit some old favorites. Here’s to more great times in 2013. Maybe I’ll be inspired to blog about them, or not. But don’t give up on ya girl!!   :-)

Did you attend any awesome concerts this year? discover any new artists? let me know!! 

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We Can Skip Dinner Head Straight For Dessert…

…when it feels so good then it just comes natural…

hey yall.

just came out of hiatus to show yall  the visual for my favorite song at the moment… enjoy.  the best songs are always TOO SHORT!!! this song has seriously been listened to on repeat and every day since I downloaded the Art Dealer Chic Vol. 2. Miguel is everything to me. I haven’t been disappointed with anything he’s released…

baby arch your back…and point your toes…

happy freaky friday :-)

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I Will Always Love You…

So. on Saturday we lost Nippy. I still can’t really believe it. I happened to be out with friends and therefore a bit out of touch with my lifeline known as Twitter. I got a text, and so did another friend so we passed the info around the table. Then the waitress came over and asked us if we had heard. We pulled out our fancy smartphones; facebook and twitter had the internet going nuts. WHITNEY HOUSTON DIED?!

Wait a minute. Not my Whitney that I just had an 80s pop dance party in my office last week? She and Madonna (affectionately known as Madge for those that are familiar) ARE 80s and 90s popular music– ASK SOMEBODY! These women sang ANTHEMS. And Nippy? voice of an angel.

As an 80s baby, I have very fond memories of listening to Whitney growing up. One of the albums I remember being played in our house, when I mentally recollect my Mom’s LP collection I always think of is Whitney Houston. The salmon colored case, her tall slender body in a swimsuit on the back I believe. Its an image engrained into my mind, it is MY CHILDHOOD.

I can honestly say, her music continues to be a part of my life’s soundtrack. I have never stopped listening. A couple years ago I downloaded what I consider to be her best albums: the debut, Whitney, and I’m Your Baby Tonight. These three represent the greatness of ’85-’90. I was barely school age when these released, but they have proven to lyrically and sonically stand the test of time.

Now, some of my favorites by the Icon, Ms. Houston.

You Give Good Love” MY personal favorite. This is my singalong song right here!!!  Being the hopeful romantic I am, this song represents what I only hope to have one day. I’ve said several times I will sing this to my future husband, horrible vocals and all. I’ll have the track in the background to help me along… She looks absolutely beautiful in this video. *sigh*

Count on Me” this is a great song, one of my favorite duets. It makes me think of my sorority sisters when I hear it :-)

Greatest Love of All” this song makes me think of assemblies in elementary school for some reason. I’m pretty sure we sang this or heard this in music class or something. Hearing this song is when I knew Whitney had a voice that is unparalleled and unmatched. “I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadows…”  this is a motivation song. let me add this to my theme songs playlist right now!!!!!

^^ FIERCE.

Heartbreak Hotel” one of her late 90s R&B hits that will never get old. Nippy, Kelly and Faith! great vocals. Can’t go wrong with a woman scorned song…

Saving All My Love For You“:  The “I’m in love with a taken man”song. Excellent vocals. “no OTHER woman, is gonna love you more!!!!” This is the stuff great pop songs are made of…

All the Man that I Need“: I really just had church playing this song over and over.

Why Does it Hurt So Bad” ok, yall know Waiting to Exhale had to be represented on this here list!!! “when I think of all the pain you put me through, leaving you was the best thing for me!” this song, this song…

I Wanna Dance with Somebody“: this is little skinny Reecie dancing around the house full of energy watching videos on MTV. I ain’t know nothing about “feeling the heat” with somebody, I just wanted to dance…

and lastly, of course the song that catapulted Whitney into Icon status. You know you’re a bad chick when you make someone else’s song your own!! Dolly Parton can not deny!!!!! She’s eating well off of Whitney’s cover right here. I promise as soon as “iiiiiiiiiif I…” hits my ears, the tears swell in my eyes.

Rest in Paradise Whitney, we miss you already. Thank you for sharing your God-given gift with us. You were cherished your time on this earth and your music will live forever.

Love a lifetime loyal fan.

What are your favorite Whitney Houston songs?

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Happy New Year!

I try to write a new year reflective post every year to post on January 1 since I actually started this blog on New Year’s Day 2009. But dah well, didn’t happen.

I actually wasn’t sure when I was going to blog again because I really had no desire to at all.  Today’s song brought me out of my hiatus I suppose.

I declared 2011 the “year of friendships” and I successfully actualized that goal. Last year I spent time nurturing and loving those close to me, and I will continue that in 2012. It wasn’t the easiest year emotionally: I spent more time than necessary doubting myself, confused about the actions of others, and just all around a bit more unsure than I had been in my personal life in a long time. DESPITE all of that, I had some REALLY good times. I finally found my footing in a new city, and had one hell of a summer. I turned 30 years old, which ushered in the fall season in style as I celebrated with loved ones and have memories that will last a lifetime.

The last month of 2011 was probably the hardest of all, as I lost a very close friend of mine to complications from Sickle Cell. I had never lost a close friend before and its still very hard for me to accept at times, but we said our final farewell,  in this lifetime last Wednesday.

My heart is still heavy, but my spirit is no longer unsure. She is Home, she is no longer in pain, and knowing that makes me smile. And even through the tears, I DO SMILE.

While doing my morning rituals this morning, I happened upon the Steve Harvey Morning Show, and as soon as I heard the horns come in on this song, my eyes filled with tears. This was OUR song, one in particular I avoided listening to since I first heard my Cryssy left this earth. I wanted to share it with you all today because despite how it makes me miss her so, it is an excellent song. It is a song I have always loved. At first it reminded me of my childhood, but from now on it will remind me of her.

She and I bonded in many ways, but one way in particular was through music. She also was a regular reader and commenter of my blog. Today’s post, and song is for Cryssy. in 2011 we spent lots of time together, and I’m grateful for those experiences, those moments. The last was at her 32nd birthday party. I let her know how much she means to me, and for that I have no regrets.  This extended version (our favorite) is just for you.

I may be just a foolish dreamer
But I don't care
'Cause I know my happiness is waiting out there somewhere
I'm searching for that silver lining
Horizons that I've never seen
Oh I'd like to take just a moment and dream my dream
Dream my dream... 
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I'd like to fly far away from here
Where my mind is fresh and clear
And I'd find the love that I long to see
Where everybody can be what they wanna be
I'd like the greet the sun each morning
And walk amongst the stars at night
I'd like to know the taste of honey in my life
Well I've shared so many pains
And I've played so many games
But everyone finds the right way
Somehow
Somewhere
Someday...
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I know that we don’t know each other well…

But I can’t believe I’m wasting your time, oh no
So tell me what to do
For the love of you tonight…

Cuz I’ve been holding back what I feel
Love’s so real
But I can’t wait another minute
I can’t wait another minute
Cuz I’ve been holding back all I feel
I’m for real
Cuz I can’t wait another minute
I can’t wait another minute for your love…

I love this song. Came on last night while I was in the midst of my nightly beauty rituals and I had to put it on repeat. I think I may have featured this on a previous Throwback Thursday post but so what. It’s my favorite Hi-Five song and reminded me how much I miss boy bands/groups. I miss the 90s (and previous decades) when it was cool to sing about how much you liked a girl, and wanted to get to know her better. Not just how much you would like to see her naked…but I digress. Those harmonies were awesome.  RIP Tony Thompson, you and the rest of Hi-Five definitely remain a force in my life’s soundtrack. 20 years later this song still does it for me. Thanks for the memories and the feel good vibes.

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I’m not quite sure as to what is going down…

but I’m feeling honky dory about this thing that I found…

You can tell all videos during the early 90s had that same “look” about them. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was filmed in that same alley way as MJB’s “Real Love.” They both were Uptown/MCA artists.

This is hands down my favorite Heavy D song… how can you not want to dance when you hear this?!?!

Do you remember when MTV was actually a music channel? And it was a cornerstone of your youth (depending on your age) and your musical exposure? Well, they used to have this CD series called Party to Go. The club version of this song was on Volume 2.

As I mentioned in previous posts, I was a member of Columbia House and BMG in high school so I had/have CDs for days. I dont know why I even remember this, as I haven’t seen this CD in years. but I do know that this song has always stuck with me (yes it is on my iPod as several other Heavy D songs).

I will never forget his music as a part of my youth and more than anything it was clean so your parents liked it too, and made you want to dance. Just feel good vibes.

I also have this joint on my computer:

Click the cover and thank me later.  Below is another favorite by Heavy D & The Boyz thats featured on this album.

And just because, another featuring a group I ADORED back in the day, some of Heavy’s protege’s. Soul For Real. this was a party jam as well!

and another 90s jam featuring the Overweight Lova

RIP Heavy D.

5 Comments »

When I’m without you I’m cool…

…but I’m so much better with you… 

Me and you is like peanut butter and jelly! 

I want it all or nothing baby, cuz I will always love you baby. cuz you’re my future… 

I dare you to listen to this song only once!!! Marsha Marsha Marsha!

she did that. Well, she and 9th Wonder. If you haven’t copped The Wonder Years yet, please do. Its a great listen.

my other favorite new boo love song is by the homie Jermaine. featuring one of my favorite VA artists, Missy “Misdameanor” Elliott.

This song gives me an old 90s vibe, but I dig it. I could tell from the Missy sample on Friday Night Lights with “Best Friend” that he was a fan, so I’m glad he was able to get the feature. Especially since Missy hasn’t had any new music or features in awhile.

all I’ve been listening to in terms of new releases, has been The Wonder Years, Cole World: The Sideline Story, and Phonte’s Charity Starts at Home–I told yall a long time ago I loved me some him, so that’s a given.  Keeping with the theme of the post, one of my favorites from that project here:

I know most of yall have heard these CDs–right? if so, what are your faves?!

5 Comments »

I guess I got my swagger back…

…Mama said that I killed a man
Well I guess I got the dagger back
It’s the Roc bastards we are BACK!
In the heezy
Jiggaman, B. Sieg to M-Easy (what up fam?)
Oschino and Sparks and Freeweezy (holla!)
Mickey, Mallory, Chris and Neef, hey!
All I need is the love of my crew
The whole industry can hate me I thugged my way through
And all…I…need is a chick to hold a jimmy like
Meth and Mary, like, Marvin and Tammi, unnnh…
Now understands we can’t be stopped
From blowin’ Swisher Sweets outta candy drops
Like we underground kings, ridin’ dirty
A ni*ga been focused since I said hi to 30 (what up?)
Young ni*gas ya’ll can’t hurt me
Better watch and observe me
And learn how to earn better, I burn cheddar
I set fire to your empire
I blow smoke in your face, burn rubber off the rim tires
Yes I-ah…Jay I-ah…
Double G-A livewire ni**a holla back!

This song still goes hard.

Funny how ten years later nobody in this crew still rocks. Armadale no longer exists. But Hov is still going strong. He’s now a married man, about to be a father. 10 years is a long time. The decade between the 20th and 30th years old has been probably the most significant in my life thus far. That is when you go from kinda sorta like an adult to a real adult.

This song was played during my morning commute this week and got me a lil hype. I’m turning 30 on Sunday. Wow. Well, not really wow. I knew the day was coming long as the Lawd saw fit to wake me up each and every day!

But seriously. I’m happy to have lived this long. I  know quite a few that didn’t make it. Not doing any dramatic reflective bday posts because its a “landmark” year so if you’re curious to know what will be going through my head, peep my previous birthday post here. Ain’t nothing changed! I’ll be rapping that Nas lyric until the day I die.

Maybe I’ll do another celebration soundtrack post like last year. I started the festivities Wednesday night and I already have a few songs in the mental rotation!

Now, a random age rant: In my opinion 29 is a funky age and I’m glad to be leaving it behind. 26 is a throw away year, like just one more than 25. 27 rolled off the tongue real cool–youre over 25 but so much BETTER!!!! 28 sounds great–I mean its like the epitome of “late 20s” to me, not too young or too old. If I was the type to lie about my age, I’d probably always say 27 or 28. And 29–well 29 is just eh, IMO. I’m so ready to say goodbye to my 20s. They say you are only as old as you feel. WELL! I  feel every bit of 29 about to be 30 even though people tell me I still look 17 :-) They also say with age comes wisdom. While that not true for everybody, with age does come more experience and that is always something worth living for and learning from!

So that’s all I got. A random Jay song thats 10 years old that reminded me of the next journey of my life. Felt like talking about it a lil bit…

Also, I contributed to a post today over at Single Black Male. check it out!

have a good weekend! I will ;-)

3 Comments »

I Give Her That Insomnia…

’cause off with the lights, then off with her clothes

and I keep her up like no doze

I give her that insooooooomnia

til I feel her body tremble like an earthquake.

the more I give, the more that she takes…

giving her insoooooooomnia…

listen. (no really listen, click the picture above to hear) its not even Friday. But this song right here?

so I’ve stated several times on this blog that Raheem is my favorite male singer. On my commute today, this song came across my ipod while on shuffle. Prior to it, I was listening to my other fave Teedra Moses.  I was reminded how in high school my ABSOLUTE favorite singers were MJB and R. Kelly. Anything I could even imagine I was going through in my teenage angst or jubilance, these two would have a song about it, and I could find a track to fit any mood I had.

In my more recent adult life, I feel like that void has been now filled with Teedra and Raheem. Neither of them have that “worldwide, mainstream” appeal of my fave 90s R&B artists, but they both have good followings, and decent sized catalogs of material.

With Teedra, she’s had label issues that have hindered her 2nd studio album production, but Raheem just genuinely enjoys putting out music! 3 studio albums–all of which have had to grow on me since I hold The Love Experience to SUCH a high standard. But the mixtapes–THE MIXTAPES? usually I fall in love with on immediate listen.  Its easy to do especially when he covers current and older popular radio hits. But in the case of The Art of Noise, its original music.  I’ve reviewed a few on here before, but honestly its not until I listen to his music in shuffle format on my iPod that I am really able to digest lyrics with fresher ears, revisit melodies and remember why it is I love him as an artist so much. He is just that talented. The song above inspired my ability to do that.

Yall remember how he had the internets going nuts with that “She’s Single” joint–I won’t subject anyone to that kind of heat today–it is still early in the work week, so below is a more upbeat track not quite as “freaky”.

Featuring fellow DC artist Tabi Bonney.

please don’t be distracted by this video (lol–which I didn’t even know existed) this song BUMPS!!!!

maybe yall are familiar with these joints, or maybe not. But if you are a fan of Raheem you need to cop that The Art of Noise. It was a nice addition to my Radio Rah collection in 2009.  The “Fever” was featured on Mr. February x March Madness. 

4 Comments »

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