Posts in Category: R&B Music

R&B Group Fifth Harmony Announces Hiatus

It’s official: Fifth Harmony will disband at the end of the year. Just months after original member Camila Cabello left the girl group, the now four-member R&B group Fifth Harmony released a press release announcing their intentions to put the band on hiatus.

The singers cited the need for authenticity as a driving factor in their decision to disband. Their press release declares:

“After six years going hard, non-stop, we also realized that in order to stay authentic to ourselves, you, we do need to take some time for now to go on a hiatus from Fifth Harmony in order to pursue solo endeavors.”

The five young women met while competing in the television show X-Factor in 2006. Their group finished in third place, and they went on to achieve enormous success. All three of their album releases charted in the Billboard Top Ten, and they’ve sold over seven million digital singles?

This won’t be the last you hear about Ally Brooke, Dinah Jane, Lauren Jauregui and Normani, however. Like Camila Cabello, the singers have already signed record deals of their own, which means you can look forward to many more hits like “Work From Home” in the future.

The end hasn’t arrived yet, however. Although the girls will part ways by the end of the year, they plan on fulfilling any remaining tour dates they have scheduled. That means there’s still time to catch the group performing live if you want.

While the singers haven’t offered any timetable on when Fifth Harmony might get back together, their use of the term ‘hiatus’ suggests that this split is not a permanent one. In the meantime, you can look forward to a number of exciting solo albums to be released in the next couple years.

A New R&B Tune From Toni Braxton

R&B singer Toni Braxton has released a new single called “Sex and Cigarettes,” and a review of the track, along with a link to the music, can be found on the Rolling Stone Magazine website. The song is the title track of a new Braxton album, her first solo record since 2010.

The song itself highlights Braxton’s considerable vocal talents. Most of the tune is simply Braxton singing over a piano with strings rising and swelling at times in the background. Personally, I think the song would be stronger if the strings weren’t there, and I feel the same way about the reverb and other studio ad-ons that give the music a processed effect it doesn’t need. Braxton has the kind of powerful voice the requires a bare minimum of backup instrumentation and production.

The lyrics of the song deal with infidelity. The narrator is, understandably, frustrated and heartbroken because her lover isn’t even trying to hide his infidelity but is rather coming to their bed reeking of “sex and cigarettes.” The subject matter is a bit more graphic and adult than that of some of Braxton’s previous hits, and I think it’s great that the singer is discussing serious life issues through her words.

In conclusion, Toni Braxton has been on the music scene since the 1980s and has been releasing strong music the entire time. Personally, I think it’s great that she is still releasing original music and not just resting on her laurels by touring as a retro act.

Migos and Quality Control – Expanding the Base

With its recently released video, Migos, an Atlanta-based trap-rap group, has enough buzz and airplay to claim the title of 2018’s biggest hip-hop act. For starters, Migos has the most hits so far heading into the summer. Additionally, the group recently appeared on SNL, so far rap’s only act to do so this year. Overall, Migos’ fan base continues to grow.

MTV News’ Charles Holmes recently gave a description of the rap group’s newest video (Walk It Talk It) in this article. Holmes details the trio’s latest three videos: Ric Flair Drip, Stir Fry, and Walk It Talk It. All three productions, each released in the last few months, are from songs released off Migos’ lastest album, Culture II. More importantly, each video seems distinctively crafted with one effort in mind: expand and diversify the fan base.

Migos wants to be the biggest worldwide musical act. Pierre “Pee” Thomas, the CEO of Quality Control (QC), which signed Migos, recently said as much in an interview with Complex News. While Pee left out the specific tactical details, that now seems clear: 1) make dynamic and interesting music, 2) pump that music via diverse and groundbreaking video productions, and 3) flood the airwaves (radio, TV and social media) with the wares.

As QC’s Pee says, the goal for the label and Migos is “world domination.” The CEO is dead serious, and that seriousness is demonstrably clear from what has transpired so far this year. Without question, Migos has racked up an impressive slate of hits in the last two years. They are the absolute face of hip-hop at the moment. And, they show no signs of slowing down. In fact, things feel like they are just getting started.

An article from Billboard said of QC’s management that they were, “…the smartest guys in Hip-Hop.” Look for more to come from Migos this year. On this pace, they will put out a new, groundbreaking video this time next month.

Sade Returns to R&B on A Wrinkle in Time Soundtrack

It’s been almost eight years, but R&B queen Sade is officially making a comeback. She wrote an original song for Ava DuVernay’s Wrinkle in Time film, which opens this weekend. The soundtrack also features new music from Demi Lovato, Sia, Chloe x Halle and Kehlani.

On February 20, DuVernay announced the upcoming song via Twitter, writing: “I never thought she’d say yes, but I asked anyway. She was kind + giving. A goddess. We began a journey together that I’ll never forget. Proud to announce that Sade has created an original song for WRINKLE IN TIME. It’s entitled ‘Flower of the Universe.’ And it’s a dream come true.”

“Flower of the Universe” is finally here. Produced by No I.D, the track showcases Sade’s laidback contralto vocals. It’s a song about unconditional love, and you can check it out via Vevo.

And don’t miss the long-awaited film, A Wrinkle in Time, due out on Friday, March 9. In addition to an all-star-studded soundtrack, the adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s classic time-traveling young adult novel, helmed by Selma director Ava Duvernay, features a diverse cast. Among the cast listing, you’ll find Oprah, Mindy Kaling, and Reese Witherspoon. The film’s screenplay writer, Jennifer Lee, penned the famous Disney film Frozen.

The film stars 14-year-old Storm Reid as Meg, a young girl who ventures into space to find her lost father, who disappeared after discovering a new method of time travel. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Reid described Duvernay’s creative process as “hands-on.” But, she added: “She let us add our creative input to the film.”

Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg To Feature On Herbie Hancock’s New Album

Younger music fans may not know much about Grammy and Academy Award-winning keyboardist and composer Herbie Hancock, but that may change now that the 77 year old jazz legend has grabbed Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, and a host of other contemporary artists to contribute to his new album.

Rolling Stone recently revealed that Hancock has brought in a who’s who of modern hip-hop and jazz artists to keep his sound fresh, saying that he “never wants to stop learning” and that he’s excited about bringing his music to an audience of “global citizens.” In addition to having the vocal work of Lamar and the ever-prolific Snoop Dogg, Hancock has also enlisted the help of multi-genre bassist Thundercat, hip-hop and electronic producer Flying Lotus, jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington, among others. Many of these artists were major contributors to the direction and sound of Kendrick Lamar’s 2015 album, “To Pimp A Butterfly”, a critically acclaimed album that brought experimental jazz and unconventionally dark production to the forefront of hip-hop.

The admiration between these groups is not just a one-way street – Hancock has also appeared on several of his contributors’ albums over the years, including Thundercat’s 2015 “The Beyond / Where Giants Roam” and Flying Lotus’s 2014 “You’re Dead!”. Likewise, Hancock’s classic instrumental hit “Rockit” has been a massive influence in hip-hop, with the song being sampled more than 70 times since its release in 1983.

With so much love and respect between the two generations, it makes sense that the music community is starting to get excited for the release of this project. There’s no word on the release date yet, but here’s to hoping we can get our hands on it soon.

Bruno Mars Dominates R&B and Overall at 60th Grammys

The 60th annual Grammy Awards aired January 28th. Though much of the talk surrounding the ceremony centered on performances, messages, and speeches pertaining to our current political landscape, the real outcomes were about Bruno Mars from top to bottom.

Bruno Mars was nominated for nearly every category of note at the 2018 Grammys, in the R&B genre as well as cross-genre. There were four main categories for R&B. Bruno Mars garnered a nomination in three, and took home three wins.

Best R&B Performance went to him for “That’s What I Like.” He also won Best R&B Song for “That’s What I Like”, sharing credit with writers Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus and Jonathan Yip. Finally, Best R&B Album went to Bruno Mars for 24K Magic. The lone category in his genre where he failed to grab a nomination was for Best Traditional R&B Performance. Childish Gambino won there, but he couldn’t overshadowed Bruno Mars’ dominance.

And that dominance extended beyond his own genre. Bruno Mars was also up for the biggest categories of the evening. The three that mean the most are Album of the Year, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year. Mars’ 24K Magic was up for Album and Record. His “That’s What I Like” was up for best song.

There was stiff competition in each though, as one would expected. Despite that, Bruno Mars won all three categories, sweeping the competition. He bested Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, and Lorde for best album. He took down the “Despacito” juggernaut for best record and best song. It was an all-around superb evening for Bruno Mars at the 60th Grammy Awards.

R&B News

Ringing in the new years often times means reflecting on the past year. 2017 was a major year of growth for the R&B industry and all of the artists involved. New artists were introduced to the industry and already established singers and song writers contributed more to R&B. Just like 2017, 2018 has also been predicted to be an amazing year for the R&B industry. The future of R&B seems to be very promising. A lot of new hot tracks will soon be hitting the market. The big question that everybody is wondering is who will create the top hits of 2018? Forbes recently released an article titled “The Most Anticipated R&B Albums of 2018” (https://www.forbes.com/sites/hughmcintyre/2017/12/21/the-most-anticipated-rb-albums-of-2018/2/#c2a46772c9cd). Jennifer Hudson, Mariah Carey, Tinashe, Twenty88, Frank Ocean, Ne-Yo, and Ciara are a few of the R&B artists who are anticipated to be extremely successful in 2018. Jennifer Hudson, who recently released “Remember me” with her new recording company, is expected to create top hits with her new producers. Fans are raving to hear something new from Mariah Carey since she has not released anything new recently. Due to the excitement of fans Tinashe has become a rising star over the past few years. Tinashe’s fans can not wait to hear what the artists creates this year. Twenty88 is the perfect blend of hip hop and R&B. Since Twenty88’s first release in 2016 fans have been dying to hear more. It has been said that Frank Ocean already has new music ready to hit the charts whenever he is ready. Nobody knows when exactly, but Ne Yo is predicted to drop some new tunes at some point in 2018. Stating that after switching labels she is going to be different and new fans are excited to see what Ciara has in mind. Nobody knows exactly what the future holds for the R&B in 2018, but surely this year will bring even more success for the industry, (https://www.fuse.tv/2018/01/anticipated-hip-hop-rb-albums-2018).

Cassie’s New Single is Out!

The songstress Cassie is out with another hit. Her new single, “Don’t Play It Safe,” is set to make a debut today.

She is far from playing it safe in this new video. The video includes visuals of animals, like lions and tigers. The beautiful singer and her captivating voice are both showcased in the new video.

Cassie is best known for her song “Me and You,” which made the billboard charts. She has since taken a break from the music industry, to focus on more business related pursuits. However, she is not back, with new music, and fans cannot wait to hear what else she has in store.

Cassie has recently been noted to talk about her new album. She is working with fresh producers that are experienced in producing a unique quality and high sound. Cassie is excited about the new landscape that she is embarking on, and we heard the new single as well.

She has been featured on social media and on other outlets, promoting her new single.

“Don’t Play It Safe,” is a new opportunity for fans to get in touch with Cassie and the raw talent that she has offered since she hit the ground running as a new artist.

If you would like to see the video and its spectacular arrangement, please click here.

Cassie has been spotted celebrating the release of her new single, with gal pals, in Hollywood, CA. The singer is not only known for her fantastic pipes, but also for her elegant style. Of course, she looked amazing as usual!

Congratulations Cassie! We wish you all the success for your new single!

Recent News Article About Rap and R&B Music and Album Reviews

N.E.R.D is back on the scene with a new track with Rihanna called “Lemon”. Many hip hop fans have been looking forward to seeing this act hit the stage again. In this hot collaboration, Rihanna shows that she knows how to get down on a funky hip hop track. This may lead to N.E.R.D. helping Rihanna come out with a hip hop album.

Kendrick Lamar continues to rock the microphone in the hip hop world. NERD dropped their new single “Don’t Don’t Do It”. Fortunately, this hot single features one of the hottest hip hop artists around today. This track was influenced by the talented Pharrell.

The overall sound of this new song has a unique texture and vibe that can capture your attention with ease. The track starts off with a laid back beat and smooth lyrics written by Frank Ocean. The track suddenly switches to a hard beat as Pharell says, “Don’t Do It.” It’s also important to note that there are guitar strings and hard-hitting drums in the background.

At the top of the song, Kendrick blesses the track with his platinum voice. It’s easy to see that Kendrick has no problem with blending in with the song and hitting his stride. Kendrick managed to hit 100 bars on the track within a matter of seconds. How many rappers can say they can hit 100 bars on a track within seconds?

The sky continues to be the limit for these talented music stars. Hopefully, they will continue to entertain us with their flair and voices.

Jay-Z is Still Focused

The weight of a marriage can crush anyone when the pieces fall apart for a normal working-class couple. This may be elevated a thousand times over for people like Jay-Z and Beyonce that are in the spotlight. As a musician, however, Jay-Z found an outlet in his music. He was able to present a whole new way for people to look at what he was going through, and this is all neatly packaged in his “4:44” album.

Jay-Z has taken a lot of big steps to keep his private business private, but after his wife released an album that was almost autobiographical for this year. Jay-Z felt compelled to bring things full circle with his album. Both of these are grammy-nominated albums, and it appears that Jay Z is opening up even more about how many of these songs have been made. People were expecting Kanye West to arrive on production, but West is more of a side story that Jay-Z comments on and not a producer.

The production is not the same for Timberland, Just Blaze or Kanye West production from the past, but people will instantly recognize this album as something that they are familiar with.

Jay-Z creates more crafty storytelling moments here, and he presents a lot of issues about race in America in addition to the relationship issues that he touches on. Jay-Z takes on a lot of subjects on an album that is less than 60 minutes in length. He is building a strong end of the road type of body of work as he inches towards 50 years old.

Many people may have assumed that she had nothing else left to contribute to rap, but these songs show that Jay-Z is just as focused and even more aware of his surroundings right now.