Rihanna. Pop queen. Chart-topping musician. Leader of the galaxy. We’ve all been waiting for #R8 and Rihanna has told us time and time again that we will get it when it’s ready. She’s beginning to sound like every Caribbean mom that hits you with a wooden spoon when you ask her when’s dinner ready for the fifth time. Who knows when she’ll drop this album. It could be tomorrow, it could be October [Rihanna-ween]. One thing’s for sure, the wait has been painful. Here are some of the side effects of a Rihanna-less life.
1. HungerIt’s been so long. We just want something sweet!
2. Anger Rih, where have you been? We need this album. The whole thing. All of it. Come through!
3. Loss of BreathSometimes it’s easy to forget to breathe when all you want is American Oxygen on a full-length LP.
4. Indifference It’s whatever. It’s just music. It’s just an album. I’m over it, Rih. Forget you!
5. FearDid Rihanna see my mean tweets about me not caring? Or how about my incessant Instagram comments? I hope she doesn’t see them and drag me with an iconic clapback?
5. ThirstWe are thirsty. Replenish us, Robyn! This pop music drought is serious.
6. ConfusionAlright, girl. It’s been a minute. What’s going on? You don’t want my monies?
7. Hope + Faith. Haith.It’s gonna come. Some day. And that alone is good enough?
8. AssuranceWhenever it comes, it’s going to be AMAZING and outshine every insignificant flop star that put out music this decade.
Ms. Fenty would never put out a basic album. She needs to make sure it has zero flaws.
But can we flash forward to the booty shaking when we first listen?
The ‘Bessie’ biopic premiered on HBO Saturday and it definitely is a must-see. Seriously, if you have HBO GO, go and watch that thang. Now, I’m going to be honest, I didn’t’t know much about Bessie Smith prior to watching the flick, other than the fact that she was a musical icon in the day. But who knew she was such a bad ass? And claps for Queen Dana Owens Latifah for embodying Smith in this iconic role, freed areolas and all.
So, Bessie was not the one to mess with. It felt like half of the movie was her letting everyone know how things were going to go. In the words of the colorful woman I met on the train who yelled at the entire subway car from Flatbush to Times Square, “these bitches think they running me, but I’m running them ALL. MUAHAHAHAHA.”
Anywho, here are five moments from the movie that knocked my socks off. Disclaimer, there are well over five moments, but you’re going to have to watch the movie to witness it all.
1. She put a smackdown on anyone who disrespected her.
When a sleaze ball gets grabby, strike one is in order. But when he calls you a fat bitch, game over. Unfortunately this vengeful encounter landed Bessie in the hospital with major knife wounds, but it was obviously worth it. NO REGRETS?
2. She’s always on *top*
Now when Richard, played by Mike Epps, popped on screen, I thought, “Oh my gosh, it’s Uncle Buck.” Then things got a little thirty. Yes, there was an attraction between Richard and Bessie, but she was taken, so nothing was going to happen with them… right? WRONG. Bessie gets what she wants, and can ya blame her? She’s a queen for godsakes.
3. Her one liners are everything!
Throughout the movie, plenty of men tell Bessie what they think she should do, how they think she should act, and where they think her career should be going. But can anyone really tell Bessie how to live? Hell nawh. This has got to be one of the best lines of the movie.
“I can give it as hard as I can take it, and I don’t mind going to jail.”
Another great quote she made when her husband got mad after she bought a house:
“I ain’t see your name on my bank book.”
4. She stopped the KKK’s foolery
Bessie was there having a good time, singing and whatnot. Then here comes the Ku Klux Klan practicing their racism and whatnot. Fire, guns, axes. They were ready for a fight. Pff, they *thought* they were ready, but Bessie doesn’t roll like that. One kick and she had they running away scared. Fools.
5. She will throw a drink in a stranger’s face if she has to.
*Cue scene* Hey Bessie, I was thinking of a writing a book called, “N*gger Heaven.” What do you think? *throws drink in guy’s face* Come on, dude. Are you out of your mind or nah?
I just came to a conclusion about Beyonce. Everyone’s saying she didn’t need to promote her album.
But truly, she really did.
*the pepsi deal*
*the lip-sync debacle*
*the live performance at the press conference*
*the destiny’s child super bowl reunion buzz*
*life is but a dream*
*H&M/standing on the sun*
*turnt on the dream’s album (yawn – his album, not the song)*
*part 2 (on the run)*
*the countless leaks of random info (that was usually false)*
Everyone was waiting for her to say something about music in 2013. But it all sounds like a heavily sly and intricate plan. Not your traditional press tour, but this could have been one of the most carefully strategized covert operations pop music has ever seen. The CIA can take some tips from this.
Meanwhile, Pepsi is like, “I paid for all this shit.”
Keke Palmer has waned in and out of the spotlight since her debut in “Akeelah and the Bee,” alongside Forest Whittaker in 2006. Since then, she’s starred in Madea’s Family Reunion, completed a tenure at Nickelodeon with her own sitcom and TV movie along many other miscellaneous acting credits. She even dropped her first album when she was 13.
Now 20, it’s obvious she’s transitioning into womenhood, in her personal life and in the TV screen. After a buzz worthy role on VH1’s TLC film, “CrazySexyCool,” Palmer’s team has wasted no time in introducing some new Keke fans to her beautiful voice , while also treating her old fans with her usual sweet vocals.
Like her most recent work on the 2012 self-titled EP, Keke Palmer, Palmer’s performance rides through “Work Like You Love Me” like summer water at an amusement park. Sometimes she trickles in, other times her vocals come gushing out. She gives and she takes. You can sway to this song. You can twerk to the song. You can even woo a potential lover with this song. Imagine. Sit still. Envision your crush across the room and just give them those bedroom eyes (bedroom cuddling eyes of course, you ain’t easy). Now reel them in. This song is a reeler. Good job, Keke.
“Work Like You Love Me” is available on iTunes now. Buy it like you love me.
Her Goodies were once kept safe in a jar, but now they’re Super Turnt Up.
Yes, Ciara Harris, the princess of Crunk, the mistress of the dance floor, the champion of booty shaking music has returned. And this time, things are looking up.
If you asked me a year ago about Ciara, I would have replied with a sarcastic “who?” Or directed you to the closest Billboard chart she didn’t make it on. I was always fan of her music (besides Goodies), but she was in a major slump and everyone could tell.
Plagued with record label issues, Ciara’s last album debuted at 44 on the charts. Number like these would put any musician out of work. Instead, she got another record deal and decided to start over. Although I had hope for her, things seemed bleak with three failed singles, however Body Party changed things.
Even though Body Party broke top 40, it peaked at just 25, and in Ciara’s prime she would have at least hit top 10. Nonetheless, it was still an improvement from her previous singles. But part of me feels like Ciara’s career woes say less about Ciara, and more about the state of R&B. It seems like the music industry is in a weird phase where dark, trap beats have consumed urban radio and dubstep-stuffed dance floor anthems have taken over mainstream top 40 music. While there are exceptions to this like Robin Thicke and Bruno Mars, we’re currently living in a world where the Ashantis, Keyshia Coles, and Myas can barely survive. Some could say these women are tired and older. But unlike other genres there have been no new hopefuls successful enough to step up and replace their late 1990s/early 2000s successors.
For every Britney, Madonna and Cher, there’s a Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez. And we’ve seen artist like Frank Ocean and Miguel transform the R&B genre to something now called “progressive R&B” (which I’m not 100% for), but when was the last time you’ve seen a young R&B female vocalist take over the radio airwaves. What does this mean for urban music? I’m not sure. But I do know that the music industry is constantly changing and going through cycles. We’ll see where it goes next.
Ariana Grande’s follow-up single, “Baby I,” is not only an certified sentence fragment, but is also a killer hit.
In the wee hours of Sunday night, Grande released her second single from her debut album. Her fan base, often referred to as Arianators, could very well consider the tune their mid-summer night’s dream come true. Within the first hour, the track jumped to number 3 and has been sitting pretty at number 2 ever since.
Her first single, “The Way” debuted at number 10 on the Billboard hot 100 charts and also happened to feel like a sentence that is complete. Could this be a pattern for Ariana? Maybe her next single could be something like, “True to” or “He Makes.” Or maybe “This Day Was.”
Production-wise, the summer R&B pop song shimmers with pop sparkles with heavy R&B instrumental undertones, essentially the best of both worlds. The trajectory of Ariana’s successful music career is quite surprising. Yes, her vocals are unmatched, but you don’t really see many Nickelodeon stars hitting the big time on the music charts. There are comedic greats like Kenan Thompson, entertainment execs and hosts like Nick Cannon, and the recent tabloid nexus Amanda Bynes. But Ariana is reaching new territory for Nick alumni.
Grande has recently gotten a lot of comparison to Mariah Carey, but I’m infidelity feeling Christina Aguilera, circa “Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You) in this new song. I can just see a 90s inspired music video with an all white backdrop surrounded by a bunch of dancers in baggy jeans and neon sweats suits.
No doubt, “Baby I” is sure to thrust Ariana once again into the spotlight and send her well on her way to super stardom. And with a debut album slated to drop September 3rd, nothing can stop this powerhouse vocalist.
His 12th solo album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, has proven to be one of the most talked about albums of the year. In fact, with a million records already sold to Samsung, MCHG has topped the charts with over 500,000 sold in the first week. But the album also shows that when it comes to style, HOV, too, has much to talk about.
The 16-track record marks a new journey for Jay-Z. As he manages his rap career and various business endeavors he also tackles the role of being a caring husband and supportive father (something he never had). He also looks back at his dark past of drugs, violence and hardships. Through all of this Jay-Z happens to share growth and a matured sense of style and fashion. For instance, while the most of the rap game has been popping molly, Jay proclaims, he’d be much more comfortable wearing Tom Ford instead.
In “Picasso Baby,” he gives a shoutout to Italian designer, Roccardo Tsci and Givenchy. “Roccardo Tisci Givenchy clothes, See me thrown at the Met. Vogue’ing on these ni***s” Jay-Z has been spotted wearing Givenchy designed clothes on numerous occasions, while Tisci designed the album artwork for Jay-Z previous collaborative album with Kanye West, Watch the Throne.
The song “Tom Ford” could very well serve as the style mecca of the album. Jay-Z spends over three minutes proclaiming the fashion designer’s name, “Tom Ford, Tom Ford, Tom Ford.” He then goes on to say, “Spend all my Euros on tuxes and weird clothes.” And let’s not forget the hook where Jay-Z seems to separate himself from most rap lyrics in 2013 “I don’t pop molly, I rock Tom Ford.” Molly has become popular trend in the hip-hop world and it’s seemed like every rapper endorsed the use of the recreational drug. But Jay-Z would rather be wearing a designer tux. Fashion is his drug.
In the Rick Ross assisted track, “FuckWithMeYouKnowIGotIt,” Ross shares a footwear oxymoron. While he pays homage to athletic shoe and apparel giant, Reebok, he also mentions Nike’s swoosh slogan immediately after. “Reeboks on, I just do it, n***a.” Very clever Rozay.
Jay-Z recruits R&B vocalist Frank Ocean to sing the hook on appropriately named track, “Oceans.” Ocean sings “I hope my black skin don’t dirt this white tuxedo.”
Okay, time for some accessories. Jay-Z sets his eyes on a Rolex Sky-Dweller Watch in “F.U.T.W.,” Fuck Up the World for short. Rose gold, his choice. “High Yellow sky dweller and the rose gold.” He then alludes to the late king of pop and all-around style icon, Michael Jackson. Well not exactly him, but his socks, describing them as “trill.” “You know a n***a trill as Michael Jackson socks.”
He then grabs his shades in “Part!! (On the Run)” with his wife, Beyoncé, by his side. In a sequel to their 2002 duet, “’03 Bonnie and Clyde,” he raps “Blind me baby with your neon lights, Ray Bans on, police in sight.”
Jay-Z continues to explore his fashion evolution in the song when he raps, “This ain’t grey sweat suits and white tube socks, This is black leather pants and a pair of stance, Socks is my synopsis is clear.”
Besides commending Miley Cyrus’s twerk skills in “SomewhereInAmerica.” Jay-Z compares himself to Michael Jordan’s sneaker empire, “I’m just bringing it back, Like Jordan Packs.” He does so again in “Crown” when he says “Jordan 1’s and dungarees.”
“BBC” seems to be the second-most fashion filled song on the album (behind Tom Ford). It also happens to be the most crowded, featuring guest vocals from Pharrell Williams, Swizz Beats, Beyoncé, Nas and Justin Timberlake. There must have been a party in the studio that day. A fashion party.
With lines like “To the polo fleece to the bombers,” “Fila sweats, 88 I rocked a mock neck” and “peep the features Unlaced Adidas,” “BBC” is all about style. A few other lines like “Bally shoes, Gucci sneakers” and “Versace plates for Basquiat, Collab from Versace place” exemplify much more expensive taste.
Closing out the album, Jay-Z dedicates a track to his one-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy Carter. He does this while also name-dropping a major brand. “Baby needs Pampers.” You probably won’t see anyone rocking Pampers on the red carpet any time soon, but they are a vital fashion choice every parent is thankful for.