She Is Focused

August 31, 2009

Celebrity Friends Remember DJ AM

Filed under: Chat 'bout — Felicia @ 1:13 pm

DJ AM2009 has been a year of great losses. Farrah Fawcet, Michael Jackson, Sen. Edward Kennedy, Johnny Carter of The Dells & Flamingo and the list goes on. This past Friday everyone heard the news of celebrity DJ, DJ AM’s death. No solid evidence of the cause of death has been proven just yet despite the drug paraphernalia that was found close by his side. Over the weekend celebrity friends have addressed their condolences via Twitter. This is what some had to say:

“Don’t know how i am gonna play 2night but i am for AM. My brother is gone. i love u and miss u, i’ll never forget all the good times we had,” – Travis Barker

“Adam and I were friends since I was 15. He had a heart of gold and was one of the kindest, funniest and most talented men I have ever met” -Paris Hilton

“The shock of DJ AM has me at a loss for words…his joyous spirit was a gift to us all,” Demi Moore

“We’re supposed to lose our friends to time, at an age when we’re ready to agree to the terms of having lived a long life. Not now.” – John Mayer

“DJ AM Rest In Peace” – Diddy

“I  can’t believe this.. i’m in shock. why? why? r.i.p. adam,” Lindsay Lohan

“R.I.P. . I’m sorry to loved ones. So unexpected” – Pete Wentz

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Mr. Red Karpet now available on iTunes

Filed under: New Music — Felicia @ 12:55 pm

JerzJersey bred, L.A. based producer, DJ and now artist, Nu JerZey Devil releases Mr. Red Karpet which is available now on iTunes. I’ve recieved my copy and a review will soon follow. In the interim, check the video below on how you can fly out to L.A. for the album release event and party with Jerz and the rest of the Black Wall Street/Livelihood Entertainment members.

August 28, 2009

Blue-Eyed Soul, Late 80’s – 00’s

Filed under: Flashback — Felicia @ 12:26 pm

Blue-Eyed Soul refers to R&B and Soul performed by white musicians. Long before Justin Timberlake and Robin Thicke hit the scene there were others that paved the way proving that certain genres of music doesn’t specifically apply to a particular group. I was listening to a Taylor Dayne record recently and was wondering what ever happened to her. She had such an amazing voice. Here’s a highlight of some of my favorite blue-eyed soul artists that made a great impact to R&B:

Taylor DayneTaylorDayne

Memorable songs: “Tell It To My Heart”; “Love Will Lead You Back,”

Born Leslie Wonderman, Taylor Dayne was considered more of a Pop artist, but a soulful one at that. She signed with Arista Records in 1987 shortly after college and she was an instant success. She was formerly a member of two sepearate groups, Felony and Next. However neither group really took off. Since her 80’s – 90’s reign, she’s since worked on movie soundtracks as well as appearing in an Elton John Broadway musical. She also released a new album, Satisfied (Adrenaline) in 2008.

Lisa StansfieldLisa Stansfield

Memorable song: “All Around The World”

I can honestly say I was shocked to see the woman behind this voice. Released from the album, Affection, “All Around The World” was one of my favorite songs when I was younger. I used to think it was weird how her vocals sounded like it wanted burst through her larynx. Manchester, England native Lisa Stansfield scored a platinum hit with this record that was released in 1990. This is probably the only song I have memory of from Lisa, and she hasn’t really made much of an impact since the 90’s musically. Her 2004 album The Moment seemed to have gone unnoticed, and she also tried a hand at acting appearing in a 1999 movie called, Swing.

Teena MarieTeena Marie

Memorable Songs: “Square Biz”, “Lovergirl”, “Fire And Desire”

Lady T, La Doña, Rick James’ lady love, were some of the names R&B sensation Teena Marie is referred to. She met James while working at Motown Records, and their professional and person history started from there. It wasn’t until her second album, Lady T in 1980 that her fans and critics saw that this powerful voice belonged to a white woman. From that point she didn’t seem to miss a beat and she continued to churn out hit album after hit album. Her romps with James have been questionable over the years, but they definitely made great music together as seen on the hit record, “Fire And Desire”. Marie recently released an album in June called Congo Square which features the single “Can’t Last A Day” with Faith Evans.

August 26, 2009

August Album Releases (Pt. 2): Colbie Caillat, Letoya & Matisyahu

Filed under: New Music — Felicia @ 2:56 pm

BreakthroughColbie Caillat Breakthrough (Republic)

Breakout singer/songwriter Colbie Caillat first emerged in 2007 with her debut album, Coco which turned out to be a great success. Now the California native is back with her sophomore follow-up, Breakthrough to solidify her success. Her simple alternative pop/rock insignia shines through with this album as like the first. I heard a few songs from her first album and it pretty good. I’ll definitely give this one a listen when I have some down time.

Letoya Lady Love (Capital) Letoya

You know you’ve come into your own when you’re no longer known as that girl from that group. You’ve also made a come up when you can drop your last name, and with a second solo album under her belt, Letoya is proving that she’s more than just a former girl band member. Initially slated for a 2008 release, Lady Love was finally released to the masses yesterday and features a host of notable names assisting with the production. Again I thought her first album was great, so I will be checking out Ms.Luckett’s new release.

MatisyahuMatisyahu Light (Epic)

Hasidic Judaism follower Matthew Miller, p/k/a Matisyahu releases not his first or second, but third Reggae/Dancehall inspired album, Light. Nope, no typo. His debut album, Shake Off The Dust…Arise was release back in 2004 and garnered a light buzz for the West Chester native. I’m not entirely familiar with his music and have only heard a handful of his songs, his sound is astonishingly pretty good. I think the problem here is all about the packaging. There are a lot of people still unfamiliar with this Reggae star whose songs they may have heard, but would never believe the man behind the music. Producer David Kahne had a heavy hand with with the production of Matisyahu’s latest release, so hopefully we will hear and see more from him this time around. Third time’s a charm. It’s a shame artists like this don’t get as much shine as some of the garbage that’s in constant rotation on the radio.

August 24, 2009

Original vs. The Remix

Filed under: Chat 'bout,Flashback,Island Vibes — Felicia @ 3:53 pm

Puff Daddy and a slew of other producers preceding him and following behind his heels have taken songs that were done many years their senior, chopped it up and created the remix. Most people get bent out of shape about a new artist trying to come up (and sometimes established artists) remixing older songs. Sometimes you have to admit that the remixed version smashes the original version out the water. Although I’m sure it may be hard for the originator of the songs to give these new artists their props (ahem, Etta James) the proof is in the pudding.

I compiled a few songs that were remixed over the years and have given my opinion on which version sounds a lot better. Who do you think did the song the most justice? Original vs. The Remix (part one):

“Tainted Love” Original: Gloria Jones (1964) vs. The Remix: Soft Cell (1981)

Gloria JonesWritten by Ed Cobb back in the 60’s, Gloria Jones released this melodic soul tinged song which was one that was bigger than the era in which it was released. Although Jones was considered a soul-singer, Soft Cell’s rendition of “Tainted Love” turned the song into a pop smash in the 80’s. Soft CellIt was one of the most popular songs during that time in both the States and the U.K. where the duo originates. I personally love Soft Cell’s upbeat, pop version a lot better. So Ms. Jones, kindly take a seat on this one…please? What do you think?

Gloria Jones version:  Tainted Love

Soft Cell version: Tainted Love

“Die Without You” Original: P.M. Dawn (1992) vs. Wayne Wonder (1993)

P.M. DawnThe motion picture Boomerang starring Eddie Murphy and Halle Berry probably put this song on the map more than anything else. Til this day a lot of people haven’t even heard of P.M. Dawn. They weren’t the most popular group, but they spawned a few notable hits with “Die Without You”, “Set Adrift On Memory Bliss” and even “Sometimes I Miss You So Much”. Still don’t ring a bell? Ok maybe I’m their only fan. (more…)

August 20, 2009

Philadelphia Freeway

Filed under: Flashback — Felicia @ 4:42 pm

FreewaySong: “Alright”

Album: Philadelphia Freeway 2003

Label: Roc-A-Fella

One of my favorite records from Freeway’s entire catalog of music is “Alright”. It still gets constant spins on my iPod. It’s one of those songs that you can blast on your speakers when taking a long road trip; you and all your boys in the car bobbing your heads, and not think anything funny about it. Philadelphia Freeway was a pretty good album from start to finish, but this track is my favorite. Not necessarily because it’s one of the slower more melodious tracks, just because it’s repeat-worthy despite the typical “keep your head up” subject matter. Am I the only person who didn’t know Allen Anthony on the hook had his own version here?

Follow this link to see the official Freeway version.

August Album Releases: Sean Paul, Lloyd Banks & DJ Whoo Kid, Joe Budden

Filed under: New Music — Felicia @ 3:54 pm

Imperial Blaze - Sean PaulSean Paul Imperial Blaze ,VP/Atlantic

Sean Paul is back from his four year hiatus, at least on the international sector with Imperial Blaze. The first single, “So Fine” has been getting a lot of spins along with the second “Press It Up”. The entire album is available in stores and iTunes now. I think I look forward to watching Sean Paul try to dance in his videos more than anything else.

Lloyd Banks & DJ Whoo Kid Money Moves The World , Shadyville Records

Original G-Unit member who hasn’t pissed off the man in charge yet, Lloyd Banks alongside DJ Whoo Kid releases Money Moves The World this month. Seems like it’s been a while since we heard from banks. The 27-record album features Ron Browz, Red Café, Uncle Murda, Tony Yayo and others.

Joe Budden Escape Route , Amalgam Digital, Inc.

Joe Budden releases his fourth album Escape Route this month. He’s been churning out albums left and right lately as he just had a release back in February with Padded Room which didn’t garner much fame. As a member of the group Slaughterhouse which also had a release about a month ago, Budden has been keeping very busy with bringing himself back into focus. I won’t even mention the mishap with a certain member of Wu-tang.

August 18, 2009

Has R. Kelly Been Forgiven?

Filed under: New Music — Felicia @ 4:05 pm

RThe Pied Piper of R&B is finally crawling from behind the shadows that were cast upon him back in 2002 with the now infamous allegations that were thrown his way. R. Kelly no doubt is a very talented singer/songwriter/producer who has been churning out hit records for almost two decades. It’s really difficult to appreciate him for any of his newer works because the allegations that he was hit with were pretty hard to swallow.

Despite radio stations instantly removing him from rotation, his fans still proved their dedication with the release of 2003’s Chocolate Factory. It was initially set to be released as LoveLand, but due to heavy bootlegging most of the songs were deleted and the name of the album was changed. Although C.F. didn’t sell as much as his previous efforts, it still produced hits like “Ignition” and “Step In The Name Of Love”; the latter still being a wedding favorite.

R. Kelly is readying himself once again to release another album. 2007’s Double Up didn’t really garner as much attention as I’m sure Jive Records has expected, even they were still riding with him after the smoke cleared. The first single from his anticipated album simply titled Untitled features Keri Hilson and is called “Number One”. I haven’t made up my mind yet on my feelings towards R-ra, but I have to give credit when credit’s due. The man is very talented. If you haven’t seen the video already, enjoy:

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