The Soundtrack of My Life

the music that keeps me going…

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. 

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What’s in my earbuds…sexy

so!

this has been a good time for music. I have been previewing a lot of new music lately. Chrisette Michele and Jazmin Sullivan both have studio albums released today: Let Freedom Reign and Love Me Back, respectively. This blog post is not a full through review as I need more time to develop my thoughts on all the music I’ve been bumping lately, but just a quick overview of what I’m checking for–so that you all can check for it too, ya dig? or not, whatever your flavor.

over the weekend I also acquired Chris Brown’s new mixtape In My Zone 2 and from first and second listen I must say it is pretty good!

yesterday I also happened to get into the latest mixtape release from my lova Raheem DeVaughn. Now anybody that knows me knows that I love him so. He is my modern day Marvin Gaye. yes. it is that serious to me and I don’t care if you don’t agree. I talk about R&B a lot–it is my favorite music genre, true pure soul music I should say. but I love R&B of all facets. I got love for Robin Thicke, Foreign Exchange, I mean older 90s stuff like Dru Hill and 112. and lets not even talk about classic groups like EWF, Isleys, Maze & Frankie Beverly, etc. On the more recent front I got love for Bruno Mars. A man singing about love with a good voice does it for me. so anyway, back to Raheem.

His new mixtape Jackin4Beats is much like his Mr February x March Madness joint I reviewed earlier this year with how he covers current songs and/or spins the beats for his own pleasure. Whether its Night and Day, or Prototype, Bonita Applebum, or even more recently on this mixtape Trey’s Can’t Be Friends, he delivers.

Speaking of Trey, he released a mixtape of the same concept #lemmegetdatbeat. So about 4 songs in? hated it. But I shouldve done some research prior to d/l’ing and I wouldve known its all his rap alter ego Trigga and I’m so good on that. I am a Trey fan from way back, when his remixes were featuring local VA artists that nobody but 804 folks knew. I still bump I Gotta Make it/Trey Day/Anticipation heavily. but that’s about it. I’ve been told the 3 Ps or whatever CD is better than Ready but I’m just not interested in listening to it yet. He’s heading quickly to overexposure and I’d like to preserve the love I have left for my 804 homie as is, for now!

so last night I’m up pretty late on twitter and my lova Rah drops this new vid and tags it #twitterafterdark. now I see this often and I don’t typically engage sexy talk with celebs cuz I think its hella corny. but I decided to see what he was talking about! soooooo glad I did. just earlier in the evening while previewing the new mixtape I tweeted:

“so @368hustlers version of Single is real sexy like. but of course…”

so color my surprise when I see he has a video for it! and HAVE MERCY what a video it is. I couldve saved this for #freakyfriday but to be honest I couldn’t wait. I watched it about 4 times last night on my blackberry. and I HATE watching vids on the phone. Trey said he invented what?! who?! no sir. Raheem did that, and if he aint invent it he is definitely showcasing his interests and talents on this here vid. check it out if you dare, its not work safe really.

but back to jackin 4 beats, lemme hold that beat and the like. I dig the concept. Actually I prefer Trey’s remakes of popular songs more than his recent original material #shots #sowhat, and I appreciate what these mixtapes do, they gear you up and make you excited for a studio album. I just hope the studio album is good too. Rappers have recently proven that mixtapes are where they choose to flourish and shine–Wale’s More About Nothing is still my fave this year, yes topping Friday Night Lights, but not by much.

With R&B, you need to be equally consistent with both avenues, IMO. I have always heavily critiqued Raheem’s albums in particular because I am that much of a fan, and I ADORED The Love Experience. That CD still sets the standard that he has YET to reach again. Some of my favorite songs by him are on that album. And when Love Behind the Melody came out and while I was hooked on all things “Love Drug” I admit it took about a year for that CD to grow on me individually and for me to truly stop comparing the two albums. Then The Love & War Masterpeace came out this year and I probably won’t love it until next year. That’s just how I am sometimes.

I will always dig Raheem. He talks about love in a romantic way, he talks about sex in a sensual, erotic way that isn’t crass and you can tell he adores the female frame. He makes music for women that love men that love women. Not just tolerate them, not just want to sex them, but LOVE THEM. And for that,  I love him and will always support his music.

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What’s in my Earbuds: New Music

There have been a lot of new releases lately. So many that they all kinda got away from me. I had to make a conscious effort to really listen in order to give some serious feedback. A few peeps have been asking me for reviews of various artists so I figure I could write a comprehensive post of all that I’ve been listening to lately to get a feel for what to check for. Now mind you a few of these have not passed the “whip test” yet so maybe things will change–riding in the car is always necessary for me to get a real feel for the music.

As you all may remember I was pretty disappointed with musical releases in 2009. While Jay Z and Wale grew on, even the Trey Songz is a bit more tolerable (still prefer Anticipation or his older cds) the rest of the big projects from my favorite artists that I anticipated for 2009 were a bust for me. yeah.

first up, my babe Raheem’s The Love & War Masterpeace. He came strong with the Mr. February x March Madness mixtape and it got me exciteable for the new project.  Well. First off let me say all the interludes with Cornel West grated on my nerves! grrr. Too much talking. I love the poetry of Malik Yusef, so that I didn’t mind, but Cornell just got to me after awhile. I was like enough already.

Standout tracks to me are: B.O.B., Microphone, Mr. Right, Fragile, I Don’t Care. and of course I love Bulletproof. I feel the same way about it as I did when Love Behind the Melody first came out: this is NOT as good as the previous release! hmph. But LBTM had lots of secret gems I didn’t really get to feeling initially because I was so caught up in comparisons. I know I shouldn’t do that, but I do feel The Love Experience is a classic. Its really hard to top.

Next is Monica’s Still Standing. I wanted this sooooo bad! I love Mo and since Amerie disappointed me BIG TIME last year, I just felt another jinx in my spirit. Its too good to be true…this CD is gonna suck! I was pleasantly surprised. It really doesn’t suck, and I’m so glad my gut feeling was wrong. “Everything to Me” is my favorite song right now. Really crept up on me, like WOW. I can’t stop singing it and I have not grown tired of it yet, no matter how many times I hear it on the radio. This CD is a lot more solid than The Makings of Me and After the Storm. My favorite is The Boy is Mine, and nostalgia makes it hard for a new CD to ever top an older one for me (see the two next artists for a further examples) but this one is really REALLY good. Standout songs are: One in a Lifetime, Superman, Believing in Me (lawd this song!) and Love all Over Me.

Ms.  Badu, Ms. Badu. You had the internets going NUTS with all that junk in the trunk! so funny just a week ago I was quoting Booty and I even mentioned in my post on theme songs, she wasn’t toting like she is now when she wrote that song…but boy is she now! Anyway, not gonna dwell on her ass–on to the music. I LOVE Baduizm and as I posted last week, Mama’s Gun is my favorite. I also enjoy Live. The memories make it hard for me to love newer music because the old stuff…well there’s a HISTORY. Its like an old lover…they do you SO right, its so familiar. Why get used to someone new when you have the comfort of old? I digress. The music matured with me, so it’ll always be sentimental. Having said that, as Ms. Badu stated on 106 & Park yesterday (yes I watch daily, don’t judge me) where pt. 1 was the more conscious, political side of her brain, pt. 2 is the more romantic, emotional side. I dig that. Standout tracks are: 20 Feet Tall, Out My Mind, Gone Baby, Turn Me Away (Get Munny), Fall in Love (Your Funeral) and my favorite–way before the the video Window Seat.

whew, and lastly, Usher. *sigh* where do I begin? Have I blogged about how much I used to adore him? Well if not its worthy of its own post. His first two cd’s were soundtracks to my teenage love affairs (one with Mr. Raymond himself–in my mind). His first cd, with cuts like “I’ll Make it Right”, “The Many Ways”, “Can U Get With It”, “Think of You” were bangers. This 14 year old, like Monica with a voice waaay too mature for his age with lyrics just as grown.  My Way is my favorite.  Confessions was when he peaked musically, with breakup songs (Throwback being a favorite), sexy songs (Can U Handle It, That’s What It’s Made For),  fun songs (Yeah, Bad Girl–a personal anthem) AND love songs–the true to life relationship album really worked for him…THEN. Raymond vs. Raymond, not so much.

I agree that those that say Usher may just have lost his touch. In my opinion, two artists that have eclipsed him musically–Trey Songz and Ne-Yo. They dropped solo debuts after Confessions and have been on a roll ever since–both are better at doing what they do right now than Usher is! Ne Yo has the sappy romantic songs LOCKED UP as far as mainstream R&B to me, and is vocally as strong. Trey is sanging folks out of their panties (granted most are under 25) about neighbors knowing his name and inventing sex. Even though Ush had me excited on the remix for a minute…its a damn shame when your own music isn’t that good.  Anyway, the standout is There Goes My Baby. I love this song! its exactly how I want him to sound in 2010. Others I like so far are Okay and Mars vs. Venus.  Lil Freak and Daddy’s Home grew on me also. His voice is still amazing and I love it. *sigh* I’ll work on this CD some more, perhaps it will grow on me.

so there it is, what I have been bumpin! what do you think of my standout track choices–agree? disagree? not feeling the albums? loving them? let me know!

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Whats in my earbuds pt. 5

*I actually own these! and they don’t hurt my ears!*

I realized I haven’t done one of these posts in a minute. And to be honest its because I’ve been listening to a lot of older music and nothing really stood out to me to the point that I wanted to hear it over and over, thus making it post worthy. I’m gonna try to do these more often, so hopefully I’ll be inspired more often.

Top of my list is the new Raheem Devaughn mixtape Mr February aka March Madness, my inspiration. I’ve been listening to this since last Friday and I’m loving it as expected. Some of my favorites are: I’m Good (gotta love that Neptunes beat), Slow Dance, Bonita Applebum, Know What I Mean (the 50 cent have a baby joint), and Love Experience Pt. 2. If you loved the original “The Love Experience” song from his first CD, you will like that one. It also includes an unplugged version of one my favorite songs from The Love Experience, the underrated “Until”

He even has a remake of Luther Vandross’ “Never Too Much.” It’s a jazzy effort, but I love Big Lutha like my play uncle so I can’t say its comparable in anyway. He actually sings it a bit too slow, IMO. There are a few other remakes but I’ll let you peep those for yourself when you download it, the link is embedded–overall it doesn’t disappoint.

Unthinkable (I’m Ready) -Alicia Keys ft. Drake This song has been on radar for a few weeks now and I always play it a few times. I have acquired her new CD  awhile ago and haven’t finished listening to it–I’m just not that interested to be honest. I’ve already told yall how I feel about Keys, I like her, and love her earlier works.

Understanding -Kidz in the Hall -Another track I’ve been on for over a month or so. when the LRG The Professional Leisure Tour mixtape dropped. I even had a lil back and forth with Naledge on twitter about the song, which basically started with a “me likey” on some #FreakyFriday ish even though it wasn’t even a Friday– however….could your pretty peach be dessert after dinner…”   yeah, its official. LOL

We Major – Kanye West.  After cosiging my homies on twitter that this was his best CD, I’ve been all over Late Registration again, which is my favorite. I love this damn song. “feeling better than head on a Sunday afternoon,  better than a chick that say yes too soon.” Plus it has Nasir on it toooooo! Another song I can’t get enough of is “Late”.  I’ve loved that song since the leaks before LR came out.

My Flame -Zo! ft. Phonte: I love the just visiting too EP, and this is one of my favorite tracks. Just smooth mellow vibe. if you are fans of the Foreign Exchange crew, check this out too if you haven’t already.

No Ceilings the entire mixtape. I don’t do Wayne at all but he kills this and I’ve been listening on and off since to it since October, still hype off it.

You remix -LLoyd ft. Andre 3000 & Nas. I’ve been on a Lloyd kick lately–he’s one of my guilty pleasures. I posted last year about how I feel he’s totally slept on, and Street Love was seriously one of my favorite CDs to come out in 07. this song, the return of 3 stacks?! loves it still. glad I decided to revisit. “I said what time you get off, she said when you get me off.”

pretty random mix; just a few things in heavy rotation over here! I haven’t heard anything too new new other than the Raheem that I’m loving like that. so let me know what have y’all been on lately? Now that my iPod mystery has been solved (just needed a new usb cord to port music) I’m ready to add some new stuff!

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That New New…

“they call me New New, because I rock the new, NEW shit….”

I haven’t been in a mood to write really, but I have been in a mood for music! its an iffy mood though. I’m a hip hop head, lots of hip hop out, but I want to be in a more soul mood. just hard for me to get into something really really good right now.

one NEW cd I am digging is Laura Izibor’s Let the Truth Be Told. I looooove her voice. I actually heard her first on the Steve Harvey Morning Show.  See, black radio ain’t so bad (*insert side eye*) They often play her song “From My Heart To Yours” and it took me a while to realize the artist. so I found a lil buzz on her and I actually paid for her bonus track CD from iTunes. now, Reece is kinda like a pirate (shhh! don’t tell nobody…else) so me buying this is kinda like a big deal. I may go in the store and buy a copy too. That’s how much I like it, and her. Her voice and sound reminds me of Emily King–but they don’t sing the same, if that makes sense. little inflections vary, I’m not a vocal coach or a singer so I don’t know what its called exactly, pitch maybe? tone? either way its not the same, but the SOUND is similar. yeah, the sound. If you like EK, you might dig LI.

Speaking of dope females, there’s this chick Melania Fiona, that has a hot single out I like. (you might want to click that link to see the video–I’m just saying).  She’s supposed to be making a mixtape with ?uestlove–and I looooooooooves dude so I’m checking for that and its not even out yet. I’m on the lookout for it though.

I just recently  heard of Chester Gregory from two favorite blogs I read regularly: Stuff Fly People Like and Soulbounce, so I’m checking out his new mixtape  called Breakbeat Karoake.  Heard a couple of the tracks so far and its nice.  he’s covering classic beats, so definitely check it out. He already has a name for himself on Broadway, and a lot of big names are holding him down. If I really really dig this mixtape I may purchase his current CD out too, on iTunes called  In Search of High Love.

I also have this Raheem Devaughn mixtape in rotation, came out last week or so? The Art Of Noise.  yeah, well ya’ll know Raheem is my man….so I was all over it. I’m looking forward to his double disc coming out later this year.

Of course I’m waiting for the new Maxwell. I will be getting me a HARD COPY cd of BLACKsummer’snight. yes indeedy, I will. gonna put the cover and whatnot in that big old cd book I have that ‘s collecting dust in my spare bedroom.

I have not heard all of the new Wale Mixtape yet, but I looove Wale, and love 9th Wonder, so I’m on it. I’m previewing it as I type this…..so far heard the joints with Curren$y, K’Naan, and Bleek….shout to my homie Streetz for hooking me up with the link!

Also, some gems for my fam. I’m checking for group called Allmanact. My homeboy from waaaay back in the day is an emcee in this group and bought the CD to support my fam. I’m waiting on it snail mail–I know I couldve got a digital download, but eh, I wanted a real copy. check my folk out, because well, they are nice, and I asked nicely too.  check the link and see for yourself!

that’s the new new, that I’m checking for right now! anybody else you think I should be on, please let me know. If you know  me you know what I’m into and what I’m not–so dont’ send me no Soulja Boy, Gucci, or OJ. I’m just saying! kthanx. I’d love some more soul music, and less hip hop, but if its rap and not those three people just mentioned I MIGHT give it a whirl…..

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I keep it tight like ziplocks….

I love love love me some Raheem Devaughn. If I am so lucky to get married I want him to sing at my reception–cuz I’d for sure rock out! I love live music and he just does it for me. I mean of course not more than my future husband, but–On second thought he need not come because if he sings You or Believe or Ask Yourself or Love Drug we might have to leave the reception to get some of that work, you know? whew! *fanning myself*

but when Love Behind the Melody first came out I was like eh…this is no The Love Experience…..but then this song…..shit. THIS SONG? had me soooooooo open.  “so hooked, so sprung, so open”.  and I know what that’s like…to be so addicted to some good stuff. man, I’ma try to keep it pg 13 up in here but……you know what its like when you just wanna cry its so good? you just roll over and be like “shit!” then don’t have nothing else to say…lol.  like don’t even talk to me, just give me some more! I think this song speaks on that…not the actual act, but just the sentiment in general.

You appear as though you’re from Columbia.
You’s keep it tight for me like Ziplocs.
And I just got high when we lip lock… and you just got high when we lip lock.
So you search for me with a flashlight, in the daylight… cause I’m you’re get right.
So no one serves you up girl like I can.
I’m your Mr. Midnight pusher man.

I’m your drug (ooh I’m your drug); and you can’t kick it (you can’t kick it)
You gotta have… cause you’re so addicted

I got you hooked, got you hooked, got you open)
Cause I’m your drug (yea yea, but it’s a two-way street)

See you’re my drug

and I can’t kick it (I gotta have you)
You got me so addicted

See you’re my drug

See my urge gets fulfilled when you come through.
I love every little bit of ounce of you.
See you’re back for more and I’m reeing up.
You’re floating now; that’s that good stuff.
And that’s all day (I’m stone, she’s stone)
And all night (We bang, we bone)
Now hurry back soon when I’m in demand

cause I’m your pusher man.

^^ the other  “love drug”

this man said “you search for me with a flashlight in the daylight” I mean its gotta be that good good for you to be doing foolishness like that. man!

well boo, now I need to call my pusher man…

“excuse me as I kiss the sky….”

another addiction song right here

hit me.

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