Remember the days when we couldn’t wait to turn on the radio?

The music that played across the airwaves was music that made us smile and reminisce…music that snatched our souls and made us yearn for more…music that made you want to fall in love and stay in it….music that just made you feel good!

Today, most of us barely listen to the radio for a few reasons.

Music today has lost so much substance, meaning, value and the lyrics are so degrading and misogynistic, you can’t help but wonder if the music actually reflects the dynamic between men and women, which has changed for the worst. It has gotten so bad over the years that we keep the radio off so that our kids doesn’t become exposed to such negativity.

Let’s go back to the days when music meant something.

There were love songs like “On Bended Knee” by BoyzIIMen, “With You” by Tony Terry, “Soon as I Get Home” by Babyface, “Can We Talk” by Tevin Campbell, “Yearning For Your Love” by The Gap Band, “P.Y.T” by Michael Jackson, “Nothing Compares to You” by Prince, “A Long Walk” by Jill Scott, “Brown Sugar” by D’Angelo, “I Need Love” by LL Cool J, “Pretty Brown Eyes” by Mint Condition, and ANYTHING by Luther Vandross.

There were conscious, supportive, and happy songs like “Lost Ones” by Lauren Hill, “Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin, and “Brotha” by Angie Stone”.

You can’t even change the dial on the radio without hearing demeaning lyrics, which in many cases, us women dance to at the club, as long as the beat is right!

It used to be rap artists that were the primary musicians with misogynistic lyrics. Unfortunately, lyrics of such nature has carried over into the R&B scene. Titles like “These Hoes ain’t Loyal”, and R&B songs with the word “bitch” thrown in a few times, A lot of these R&B songs are no longer pleasant to our ears or our hearts.

We, as fans, want to support these artists because they are talented. But, how can we spend money on a project that teaches their fans, particularly the young and impressionable ones, that treating women with misogynistic behavior is okay?

As a fan of music and an observer, I am convinced that the music of today has shown us the true dynamic between men and women in these modern times. I’m convinced the true dynamic between women and men is partly the reason dating has become hard to do.

But that’s a whole new blog post

 

The bottom line is I don’t want to turn on the radio and hear “you stupid ass bitch, I ain’t fuckin’ with you!”, whether it’s censored or not. That particular song is not “R&B”, but that’s not the point, for those who wants to point that out.

I’ll either keep it on one station I’m satisfied with or listen to my customary playlist.

I see Ne-Yo, and Pharrell, and John Legend, and Jill Scott, and Kem, and Tyrese, and Ledisi, and Fantasia, and Musiq Soulchild, and BJ The Chicago Kid, and Kenny Lattimore, and a few other artists who are keeping R&B alive, safe, pleasant, and worth spending money on to add to our music collection.

Meanwhile, we search the internet for other talented and unknown artists who are missed under the radar, because the over-saturation of pop and unpleasant R&B has taken over the airwaves.

I understand that times change with each generation.

I understand that the generations under mine like the music they’ve grown accustomed to listening to.

However, that doesn’t change the fact that what they listen to lacks substance.

 

 

 

CeeLo Green’s Alter Ego, Gnarly Davidson, wants you to know he has a crush on “Jay-Z’s Girl”.

We all know that Hip-Hop mogul Jay-Z’s girl is his wife, mega superstar, Beyoncé, which makes for a comical song and visual that pokes fun at Beyoncé’s adoring fans. “Jay-Z’s Girl” is a spin from Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl”. The John Colombo-directed video stars CeeLo’s stand-in, “Little Fun” as Beyoncé’s admirer.

Check out the hilarious visual below!

For the past ten years, I have noticed a decline in groups. When I say groups, I mean those 4, 5, and 6 member groups that effortlessly snatched our souls single after single. Those groups that give us a recollection of memories today, bringing us back to the days when music had substance and the radio was LIFE! I miss those days when our R&B groups used to sang their ASSES AWFFF, while either doing a choreographic routine or gyrating their hips on somebody’s stage!

TODAY….it’s like R&B groups have become a thing of the past. While I can appreciate the solo artists out there doing their thing (namely Ne-yo, Monica, and Jill Scott…just to name a few), I’m convinced that nothing gets your five senses jumpin’ like a good solid soulful R&B group!

 

 

 

 

 

  Groups were heavy duty in the nineties! From The Whispers to BoyzIIMen, my generation was definitely blessed to grow up as young adults during a time where music was created to transform you; lift you up, make you smile like your first love, and make you feel good like Saturday mornings. That’s what groups did for us!

Our girl groups sang lyrics that girls in love could only dream about saying and our boy groups were our perfect boyfriends in our heads. Groups gave us options to choose “our favorite”. Groups gave us an inside look at how a song can be created so beautifully with unified voices. Groups made us confident with singing their songs out loud with our friends without caring if we sounded terrible.

The vocal groups that dominated the nineties has left a tremendous impression on us. So much so, that we see how the vocal group phenomenon have all died down by the domination of pop and hip hop. Groups are indeed a thing of the past and I’m sad about all of it!

Today, the music that stay on rotation at our local radio stations  is music birthed by computers, as opposed to five part harmony. The demise of vocal groups took place when the popularity of R&B music left. It hurts my heart to see that the music industry struggles to keep it alive. There’s a much need for groups today, considering the fact that the industry is saturated with solo artists who prefers to either work by themselves or throw in a “featured artist” on a couple of singles.

It’s like groups have faded away into a distant memory. We miss the harmony, the matching outfits, the charisma, the package of talent displaying the individuality of each member collectively, and the overall feeling they gave us when singing our favorite tracks.

There’s a saying when you begin to miss an old lover.

I want that old thang back

R&B music and the groups that sang them made me feel all giddy.

I remember the days when I couldn’t WAIT to rip open that new CD I had purchased, just to hear that 3,4,5 part harmony blasting from my stereo’s speakers. I can’t even remember the last time I experienced that.

Where have R&B groups gone?

Will they ever come back?

 

Singer/actress, Letoya Luckett, is back on the music scene with brand new music and a brand new look to match!

The former member of Destiny Child, who rocked a shoulder-length wrap with a bang for many years, is now rocking a cute pixie cut and showing it off in her newest visual.

“Bak 2 Life” is the latest single from the forthcoming album,  ‘Until Then’. The Michael Vaughn Hernandez-directed visual to Luckett’s hot new single is an 8-minute movie that tells the story of a couple at odds. In one scene, Letoya’s character meets Cynthia, her man’s “best friend”, for the first time. The meeting turns into an uneasy moment for Letoya, as she watches the two inappropriately embrace. The plot thickens when Letoya suspects that her man is a little too friendly with his female best friend. The video ends with a heated argument between LeToya and her man, resulting in her leaving the relationship.

The scene with the girlfriend meeting the best friend has circulated throughout the internet, having fans asking themselves what they would do if they were in that situation.  The treatment conceptualized behind this thought-provoking visual provides a cautionary tale for those who are dealing with someone who has a best friend of the opposite sex.

Press play below!

What would YOU do if you were Letoya’s character?

I remember how us black folks used to say “(s)he sound black!” when we were introduced to a Caucasian singer with a soulful voice. We never realized how absolutely ignorant that was to say but in some of our defense, it was only natural for us to react in such a way because we were pleasantly surprised that a non-black person could belt notes so soulful and with so much feeling.
According to Wikipedia, Rhythm & Blues (R&B) is a genre of popular African-American music that originated in the 1940s. The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African-Americans, at a time when “urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a heavy, insistent beat” was becoming more popular.

 

 

 

Today, R&B’s popularity has reached its’ highest peak with the help by some of today’s biggest entertainers, and guess what….NONE of them are black. I think it’s safe to say that R&B is no longer a “black thing”. In fact, our talented white entertainers are proving that soul has no color.

teena-marie-robbery-cover

I  want to dedicate this post to the late great Teena Marie. I was a kid when I discovered that she was white when my mother brought home her classic album Robbery. I was truly amazed because her music exudes a passionate soul that I thought only a black woman could vocalize. Her singing skills were impeccable, to say the least. I loved how her African-American fans embraced her & “adopted” her as their blue-eyed sister of soul. Since my discovery of Teena, I hold on to that memory when I’m introduced to a Caucasian R&B singer. At this day in age, when urban culture is becoming widely popular & accepted, the development of R&B singers goes far & beyond the kid from the projects now. The love of urban culture & the birth of R&B singers are also developed in predominantly white neighborhoods.

 

 

How do you feel about white artists labeled as R&B singers?

I saw 6lack (pronounced Black) as a music suggestion on Facebook, and I’m so glad I took it!

Because of 6lack’s soul-snatching debut studio album, ‘FREE6LACK’, he’s been named by Rolling Stone last year, as one of the 10 new artists to watch for.

The first single, “PRBLMS”, has put this rising Atlanta artist at the top, thanks to his bangin’ beats and unique sound. Since the official release of “PRBLMS”, the 23-year-old racked up thousands of streams on Soundcloud and earned a spot on the top five on iTunes R&B and soul charts!

Honestly…the entire album is worth your money. The 11-track project is full of bold lyrics accompanied with grimy, but sensual melodies.

This dude will be around for a while, so get used to his name.

 

It’s always a shame when a popular and successful group break up. When the ORIGINAL EnVogue split in the nineties, I felt betrayed! I wondered why a group of sistahs who seemed so in tune, in more ways than one with one another, would go through an ugly breakup.

 

Terry, Cindy, Maxine, and Dawn made up the group that was one of the hottest girl groups in the 90s with chart-topping hits like “Hold On”, “Lies”, and my fave, “Don’t Go”! These women could blow; it’s like their vocal pipes were made of happiness and potpourri! They were like four Beyonces and ALL of them could sing lead!

In the video clip you’re about to watch, you’ll be taken back to the days when BET was fun to watch. Before ‘106 & Park’‘Video Soul’ was the premier video countdown show to watch. Every music artist you can think of sat on ‘Video Soul’ couch, including EnVogue.

Watching the video, you’d think nothing would break these women up. They appeared to be drama free and full of promise!

envoguespit

Maxine and Dawn VS. Cindy and Terry

After the group’s split which was reportedly the result of management issues, a legal war started for the group’s name! Cindy and Terry, who reportedly owned the name EnVogue, sued Dawn and Maxine for stealing the EnVogue name and started another group. They even toured under the name, but Cindy and Terry said NOPE!

NOPESIGN

The judge sided with Terry and Cindy. Dawn and Maxine…well….

“It’s been difficult,” Maxine tells Juicy Magazine. “… and it’s been difficult mainly because I feel like all the years I spent there and what I helped to build – you know, 30 million records sold – and what my input…and to just have nothing to show for it. For a long time…it’s been two-and-a-half, going onthree years now since this whole thing happened, but I was mostly angry for most of that time. It’s not until this year really that I totally embraced the idea of putting it behind me and starting out on my own and starting from scratch. Before that, my mind was in the mode that I’m still in a group, I’m not giving up, I’m going to get some more girls, and I’m going to go out there, and I’m going to be in this En Vogue too. I am a third, I own a third, [and I] own a right to use the name too. That’s how it was originally – that trademark has my name on it too in the Library of Congress. My name is on that trademark, and so that was the thing. It was a big deal to me to first of all, to be forced out, and then my intellectual property to be taken away from me. It just really, honestly, pissed me off.”

As for Dawn…

 

Q: Why did En Vogue really break up?

Being a part of one of the most successful female groups of all-time was a beautiful experience and the camaraderie we shared was awesome. Unfortunately, due to business not being handled properly, I decided to leave. We didn’t have proper management in place.

Q: Describe your situation in Lucy Pearl and how did the group come together?
A: Few people know, I’ve known Raphael Saadiq since I was 16. We both hail from the bay area and we used to perform in local clubs where Raphael played bass and I sang. After I left En Vogue, Raphael came to me with a splendid idea, he wanted to form a trio. We developed the concept, likeness and sound for a group, (together), and we named the group ‘Lucy Pearl.’ During this time, I was on the verge of signing a 7-year, 7 album solo deal with RCA Records and I asked a music executive at the label-can I still sign with you as a solo artist and still do Lucy Pearl because Lucy Pearl is only a one off? He said, no. So I sacrificed my solo project to join Lucy Pearl. It was the right decision because the R&B division at RCA folded a few months later and several artists were left without a contract. At first, the project was exciting. Unfortunately, like En Vogue, lack of good business and the fact we had no manager, contributed to me leaving Lucy Pearl. Before we went on tour in the UK, I lost my house because of-lack of pay. Read more of Dawn’s interview at Panache Report

 

EnVogue now consists of a trio, Cindy Herron, Terry Ellis, and Rhona Bennett, who had a recurring role as “Nicole” on ‘The Jamie Foxx Show’.

en vogue now

This goes to show that all good groups must come to an end….unless they’re managed properly. Not discrediting Rhona’s talent or the success EnVogue has now, but just like The Temptations, there’s something special about the dynamic of the ORIGINAL members.

After a long hiatus in the music biz, singer/actress and former Destiny Child member, Letoya Luckett, is back with a hot new single called “Back 2 Life”.

The single is off her upcoming album, ‘Until Then’.

 

Sampling Soul II Soul’s classic “Back to Life (However Do You Want Me),” LeToya sings about a failing relationship.

“Maybe we’ll survive,” she sings over an airy trap-inspired instrumental. “Maybe it’s a lie / To keep our love alive / But I know you want to ride / So, I gotta get back to life / Back to reality.”

Could this be art imitating life?

Back in August, the 35-year-old divorced life coach and relationship expert, Rob Hillman, after only two months of marriage.

You can now catch Letoya NOT ONLY on stage but on your television set, as part of the cast for Fox’s hit show, ‘Rosewood’. She is also set to play Dionne Warwick in a biopic.

Get into “Back 2 life” below!

Solange’s new album, ‘A Seat At The Table’, serves organic soul with black girl magic, feeding fans’ insatiable desires to have their inner souls SNATCHED!

Take me back, girl! TAKE . ME . BACK!

‘A Seat At The Table’ is the 30-year-old’s 4th studio album and is sure to give fans exactly what they’ve been missing in most of today’s R&B. The 21-track album reminds us of the vinyl classics we used to anticipate placing our needle on. By the end of the first track, I wanted to burn some incense, do yoga, and love more of the woman I am!

In a press release, Knowles described the album as “a project on identity, empowerment, independence, grief, and healing.”

This entire album is on iconic levels. Congratulations, Solange, on an incredible album!

As if the new album alone isn’t enough, Solange drops to beautiful visuals to two of her album’s singles, “Cranes In The Sky” and “Don’t Touch My Hair”.

Get into them both below!

Get ‘A Seat At The Table’ on iTunes & Amazon 

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