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R&B Music

rihanna fourfiveseconds

Rihanna, Paul McCartney, Kanye West Debut ‘FourFiveSeconds’

Now here’s an odd duck trio.  Paul McCartney, Kanye West and badgalriri, Ms. Rihanna herself, have debuted their latest single, “FourFiveSeconds.” First of all, let’s pause.  Former Beatle Paul McCartney is suddenly breaking into hip-pop. Not that he hasn’t done so before; Sir Paul dipped his toe into hip-hop earlier this year with “Only One,” his collabo with Kanyeezy earlier this year. Way to stay relevant, icon. But back to […]


willow smith interdimensional tesseract

Willow Smith Releases Spacey Mixtape ‘Interdimensional Tesseract’

Very few R&B/soul/hip-hop artists launch their acts by going to space.  Erykah Badu touches down on the zodiac, Andre 3000, and Janelle Monae from time to time, but it is a rarified bunch.  Well, Willow Smith, the zodiac’s newest member, has just joined the space age.  The 14-year-old prodigy of Will and Jada Smith recently dropped her three track mixtape called Interdimensional Tesseract.  Inter-what?  Exactly.  For those of you still […]


Beyonce Drunk In Love

Beyoncé Leads the Pack at 2015 Grammys

Other R&B and hip-hop artists well represented

The 2015 Grammy Awards are upon us, and guess who has been nominated more than any other artist? That’s right, Ms. “7/11” herself – Beyoncé.  She’s probably spinning, spinning, spinning with her hands up right now.  (“I know you care!”).  Or she’s just taking it in stride.  After all, Beyoncé has now become the most nominated female in the history of the awards (52 noms / 17 wins) – even […]


beyonce 711

‘7/11’ Video Promotes ‘Beyoncé’ Platinum Edition

Beyoncé is teasing us with a new song from the re-release of what history may show to be the greatest surprise release of all time—2013’s self-titled album Beyoncé.  In the new Platinum Edition box set, the “visual album” will feature the entire original track list, footage of live performances from the Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, remixes, and even a couple of new songs.  “7/11” is one of those newbies, and Beyoncé‘s going […]


Jazmine Sullivan

Jazmine Sullivan to Return with ‘Reality Show’

Remember that girl who sang that big woman-scorned anthem, “Bust Your Windows”? She was sultry, soulful and super pissed. That song, which topped the Billboard charts and won a Grammy nomination, was fire. And that girl was Jazmine Sullivan. The revenge-fantasy song was featured on her Grammy-nominated debut album, Fearless. She followed it up with one of my faves, “Lions, Tigers & Bears,” and another chart-topper, “Holding You Down (Goin’ […]


tinashe aquarius

Tinashe ‘Aquarius’ – Album Review

RCA (2014)

As I wrote in my previous article, 21-year-old LA native Tinashe is the hottest young thang jumpin’ out of the R&B gate today. But does her new album, Aquarius, live up to the hype? Yes, it does—but it’s kind of a bait-and-switch. The girl draws us in with her bouncy fly-girl “Mya”-like persona, but she keeps us still with her moody, mysterious, pioneering vision. She’s not who I thought she […]


tinashe aquarius

Who is Tinashe?

She loves to get “2 On,” and now she’s about to get her first one on with the October 7th release of her debut album, Aquarius. This is all good for R&B’s newest sweetheart, Tinashe, who is a dance step away from being the next Mya. Bright sugary voice mixed with explicit lyrics, sultry attitude and Ciara-level dance moves – and yeah, you get Tinashe. “2 On” shot to # […]


Jennifer Hudson JHUD

Jennifer Hudson ‘JHUD’ – Album Review

RCA (2014)

I always felt like Jennifer Hudson never really had a hit single that matched the vocal ferocity of her performance of “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” in Dreamgirls. But with the release of her third studio album, JHUD, the Dreamgirl finally has some material worthy of her. Maybe it’s the free-bird Donna Summer-channeling vibe she brings to the project. Maybe it’s the “I Got This” diva swag […]


chris brown x

Chris Brown ‘X’ – Album Review

RCA (2014)

I’m just going to assume that Chris Brown’s latest effort, X, is totally about his ex, Rihanna. This collection of sad, reflective, as well as upbeat dance songs gives you two sides of the embattled singer – his somber Dr. Jekyll and his bouyant Mr. Hyde. Jail has apparently humbled and matured the 25-year-old. First, we see a sensitive young man trying to reshape his image and move past his […]


chris brown x

Soulful New Songs Leaked for Chris Brown’s Upcoming Album ‘X’

With only a couple of days until Chris Brown’s highly anticipated sixth album, X, drops (September 16), several soulful singles have appeared, providing insight into the possible state of Chris Brown’s own soul. Officially, we have “New Flame,” featuring Rick Ross and Usher. Unofficially, we have “Autumn Leaves” and “Drunk Texting” featuring Jhené Aiko. In “New Flame” Usher and Breezy are dressed in snow white finery, surrounded by a pool of fine […]


MTV VMA

Beyoncé, Pop Princesses Rule Video Music Awards

Well, it was definitely ladies’ night last night. The 2014 Video Music Awards was a tribute to all the female pop stars in the Hollywood-verse. From moon mans, to extravagant showmanship, to emotional breakdowns, to Beyoncé’s 15-minute set and Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award (presented by none other than hubby Jay Z) – the night played it safe, but was still one to remember. (Click here to watch all the […]


jhene-aiko-souled-out

Jhené Aiko To Release “Souled Out” Debut Album

She sailed into the music scene like a gentle, barefooted breeze.  A Japanese/African-American/Native American singer who specializes in soft soul and sultry rap, Jhené Aiko stands out in a packed crowd.  With a charming knack for calm, she has even been compared to the likes of Sade.  Last year, Jhené released her EP, Sail Out, which was well received by critics.  Now she is slated to release her debut album […]


essence festival

Essence Festival Hits New Orleans July 4th Weekend

This Independence Day weekend marks the 20th anniversary of one of the most beloved and celebrated events in black music (not to mention the hottest ticket in town): the Essence Festival! Kicking off in New Orleans on July 3rd, the Essence Festival (formerly called the Essence Music Festival) promises performances from some of the biggest black stars and icons in the business: Nas, Prince, Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, The […]


Janelle Monae

Janelle Monae, Stevie Wonder Rock Electric At The Hollywood Bowl

Arch Androids rejoiced last Sunday when the mother of space age afro-punk and sci-fi hip-hop took the stage.  That would be none other than Janelle Monae. Monae, 28, of “Q.U.E.E.N” fame, is one of those rare talents that comes along once in a generation—a marvelous singing voice matched with a mighty vision (think the female Andre 3000), fancy footwork (James Brown style), her signature black / white suits (her “uniform”), […]


michelle williams say yes

Michelle Williams’ “Say Yes” Reunites Destiny’s Child

Michelle Williams’ latest single “Say Yes” (from her upcoming album Journey to Freedom) is an airy, inspiring ode to Jesus green-lighting your whole life.  Not only does it uplift the listener’s spirits, it reunites one of the greatest girl groups of all time, Destiny’s Child.  In support of their sister, Kelly Rowland and Beyoncé Knowles join Michelle on her latest single, all of them claiming their authority in Christ by […]


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