I write about culture from a pro-Black perspective

I Still Wanna Ride for Brandy

Brandy Norwood.

There is no other young black artist who still engenders as much goodwill despite not having a hit song in nearly a decade as she does. People really want her to succeed again.

And it looks like Brandy wants to get it right this time too.

Of course, all the black music blogs are focusing on that “I really feel like this is my last chance” remark because it naturally leads one to question whether or not that goodwill everyone has for her might run out if the new album disappoints. I get that, though I think it’s not really the right question.

Read All »

Posted on August 4th, 2011 - Filed under Music
Tags :: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

On Kelly Rowland

Sorry Kelly, but this:

Also, this album is NOT limited, I am not allowing ANYONE to put me in a box, with sound. That’s not where I belong. The album IS consistent sonically and I am writing, creating, having fun, and healing………it’s been a BLAST!!!

doesn’t make me want to hear your album. Not if that “consistent sonic” palette is just your way of saying you’re going forward with Europop even though no one likes that idea and it doesn’t serve you well at all.

Read All »

Posted on February 5th, 2011 - Filed under Kelly Rowland,Music
Tags :: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

En Vogue is Back

Seriously – why do other groups even try?

The irony about En Vogue is that they didn’t change the game nearly as much as they probably should have.  It’s almost like every other set of girls just said “we ain’t even gonna try to compete, that ‘actually being able to all sing and harmonize and share lead vocals’ lane belongs to En Vogue and Xscape, we’ll go over here and be broke ass Supremes.”

Don’t you think?

Anywho, the point here is:

  • En Vogue is back
  • Them voices ain’t changed a bit.
  • Cindy Herron Braggs does not age (and is she taller?)
  • Dawn can sing the same song over and over for 20 years and find new wrinkles in it and make you think you’re hearing it for the first time.

Note: the fire is not a Timbaland, Pharrell, or Polow produced joint, ladies.  Call Mike City and Ray Ray NOW.

Posted on April 8th, 2009 - Filed under Music
Tags :: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Best of the Rest: 702’s Jealousy

702 Star cover art702 should have been huge stars. Jealousy is a perfect showcase for why I think this is true. The song is not single-worthy in the conventional sense, as it structurally has small ebbs and flows instead of crescendos and sweeping arrangements. It is a wonderful mood piece that gives lead singer, Meelah, an opportunity to invest a very simple melody with stunning, subtle emotional beats, much the way great blues singers do.

On this song, she reminds me of Aaliyah on her greatest songs.  With Meelah on lead, Jealousy is really about sadness.  It’s about disappointment.  Rather than perform the song as written (anger or even denial), Meelah fills the song with a sadness that gives the song emotional resonance it wouldn’t have otherwise.  Particularly with the bridge and the final adlibs, Meelah slowly, artfully breaks down.  And when the song just ends, you know there is so much left there.

A perfect piece of singing.

Best of the Rest – Full List
Best of the Rest – Explained

Posted on April 1st, 2009 - Filed under Best of the Rest,Music
Tags :: , , , ,

Career Advice by Tyler

I’ve always fancied myself something of an A&R guy.  And in that delusion, I do have some real thoughts about how some people should be running their careers.  I put together this post in case these artists happen to frequent visit this blog.

Without further ado…

Read All »

Posted on October 16th, 2008 - Filed under Kelly Rowland,Music
Tags :: , , , , , , , , , , , ,