Camila Cabello, Bebe Rexha and Dua Lipa, are just a few female talents that had breakthrough success, over the past year. I speak of these three in particular, because whenever I heard their music prior to knowing who they were, I was like I need to know these artists! A lot like in the realm of Halsey and SZA last year.
Lenny is dropping his new album “Strut” on September 23rd! Rockin’ since 1989, his debut album, was “Let Love Rule.” I remember his then wife, Lisa Bonet, coming to visit us at WBLS to promote her man’s new music. We played it while she sat with us in the studio, and chatted about his musical vision, when NOBODY else did. Although his sound wasn’t traditionally that, of what one would hear on an R&B station, we supported him. We were ‘BLS, we played Queen and INXS – why? Because it was Dope!
If you haven’t heard yet, Lil’ Kim is pregnant. A fan more so of her presence in hip-hop than her music, I met Lil Kim when she was promoting her first album “Hard Core.” At four feet and eleven inches and chocolate brown skin, her FUNKY reputation had preceded her. The reserved young lady I met, was not the wild child I expected.
Katy Perry’s new single “Roar” will surely take the number-one spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart next week. The song was held off from taking the top of the chart by Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” which holds the position for an 11th week. The hit tune, featuring T.I. and Pharrell, leads “Radio Songs” for a seventh week according to Nielsen BDS reports. Thike’s track barely held off Perry’s “Roar,” which went from 85 to Number-2, following its first full week of single sales.
My impression was that Robin Thicke’s big hit “Blurred Lines” was meant to be an awesome tribute to Marvin Gaye’s 70s smash “Got To Give It Up.” Sampling and re-creating classic hits has been such a mainstay for the music industry for the past 30 years now, that I thought most people had probably stopped taken notice of it. Not Marvin Gaye III, who it appears will be taking legal action against Thicke, who initiated a lawsuit against the Gaye family.
P!nk’s new single “True Love” parallels the theme of her new movie “Thanks for Sharing.” A story about recovering sex addicts, P!nk plays “Dede”, one of several participants in a twelve-step program for sex addiction. In the process,”Dede” may actually find ‘true love’ for the first time. The video for “True Love” has been getting a lot of attention, as it’s reflective of the entertainer’s actual life.
Who’s Hot in Hip-Hop? Where’s Real Hip-Hop At? Questions those seeking always hear and will pose from time to time. It’s ALIVE and doing just fine. While there’s only some that appeals to me, ALL of it never did. There’s “rappers” out there that want to dis MCs for combining singing with rap, when rap is what R&B is today. I enjoy both, those that give it to me straight and those that flow with a melody.
Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Sean “P-Diddy” Combs have entered in to the world of television. My initial reaction was “Great”, but we’ve been here before. Don’t get me wrong I’m happy, ecstatic, overjoyed that two of our most successful moguls in entertainment are about to grow their existing respective empires – good for them. However, we’ve had such a poor showing on a very short list of accomplishments thus far with Black Television.
Two of music’s favorite children made their transitions recently. One was once considered the Queen of the Blues, the other a Master of Funk. I’m speaking of Etta James and Jimmy Castor, two people in music that may not have always been top of mind as artists via the mainstream, but certainly loved and highly respected among their fans and peers.
One who started out as a hair stylist and a staff writer for Motown Records in the late 60s, these days is known as one of the architects of FUNK. To honor his contributions and innovative approach to music, Berklee will grant the musician a Doctorate of Music degree on February 16th.
It’s been awhile since friends and lovers of Van Hunt and D’Angelo have heard new music from them. Two of R&B’s best talents to come to prominence in the past twenty years, I find myself craving new music from these two musician/ singer/ songwriters.