She Is Focused

December 28, 2009

2009 Best in R&B, Hip-Hop and Dance

Filed under: Chat 'bout,Flashback,New Music — Felicia @ 12:50 pm

Musically speaking this year had some pretty good albums and loads of disappointments. I for one was looking forward to a banger from Amerie, but her album In Love & War seemed to slip the radar. So did R. Kelly’s Untitled for reasons we won’t discuss. Keri Hilson had a pretty good year with In A Perfect World… and Trey Songz finally got his due diligence with Ready. Of all the great R&B singles that were released, breakout artist Melanie Fiona still ranks pretty high on my list of favorites with “It Kills Me”.

In the Hip-Hop sector Jay-Z of course still holds the top spot with a great album from start to finish with The Blueprint 3 and Drake and his bevy of mistakes had a really great breakout year also. My Hip-Hop crown goes to Juelz Santana for “Back To The Crib”. I can’t get this song out of my head. The song was released earlier this month and features Chris Brown.  I’m sure we can expect to hear more from Juelz at the top of 2010.

I really got back into Dance/House music again this year with the help of David Guetta. The DJ from France has been around for a while now, but the release of his album One Love on Astralwerks/Gumprod received a lot of play here in the States with “When Love Takes Over” and my jam “Sexy Bitch”. The latter takes the cake here.

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She Is Focused’s 2009 Rewind

Filed under: Chat 'bout,Flashback — Felicia @ 12:16 pm

Happy Holidays to all! It’s already been said over and over but this year came and went like a speeding bullet. We’ve also seen many ups and downs this year. Most noticeably the sudden deaths of many of our beloved entertainers came as such a continuous shock. But the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away and for good reason.

Below are some of the events of 2009 that were most memorable to me. Feel free to share some of your moments as well:

Barack Obama becomes President (January 2009)

2009 was off to an amazing start with the swearing in of our 44th president and first family, the Obamas.

Chris Brown & Rihanna Incident (February 2009)

I questioned putting this one on the list, but it was definitely a hot topic earlier this year when Chris Brown assaulted then girlfriend Rihanna. Pictures surfaced, accusations were made from both ends, television appearances were made, then albums were released.

New Mexico Abolishes Death Penalty (March 2009)

Instead of carrying out the death penalty, New Mexico instead will issue life sentences to prisoners becoming the second state to do so since 1976.

U.S. Pledge $40 Million for Afghanistan Elections (March 2009)

In any other normal circumstance this news will not even cause me to blink twice, but considering many Americans have begun losing jobs left and right in this country, and our plummeting economy, it was a little strange to see that this was squeezed into the U.S.’ budget.

H1N1/Swine Flu Surfaces (April 2009)

Swine Flu has suddenly emerged and become global pandemic. The vaccine was created and while many people were a little weary of getting treated, the two people who were treated later discovered that the shot didn’t contain a high enough dosage.  

Sonia Sotomayor Nominated as Supreme Court Judge (May 26)

Sonia Sotomayor is nominated to the Supreme Court becoming the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice. She was later sworn in on August 6, 2009. (more…)

December 15, 2009

December Releases (pt. 2) – Alicia Keys & Robin Thicke

Filed under: New Music — Felicia @ 11:28 am

Alicia Keys The Element Of Freedom J-Records

Ms. Keys is releasing her fourth album The Element Of Freedom today under J-Records which will undoubtedly become a success as its predecessors. The 14-track album which contains the hit singles “Doesn’t Mean Anything” and “Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart” features Beyonce and Drake along with production from Kerry “Krucial” Brothers, Swizz Beatz, Noah “40” Shebib and Jeff Bhasker. You can catch Alicia performing on The Today Show this Thursday.

Robin Thicke Sex Therapy – The Experience The Neptunes

It’s hard to believe that Robin Thicke is already on his fourth album as well. His debut album was released back in 2003titled Beautiful World but it didn’t get much burn. His last three albums all seemed to piggy-back off of each other which helped to bring Thicke to the forefront of R&B. His latest effort, Sex Therapy – The Experience features collaborations with Jay-Z, Kid Cudi, Estelle, Snoop Dogg and lots of others. I typically don’t care when an artist floods their album with guest appearances, but I’m hearing good things about this album. If the first single “Sex Therapy” is any indication of how the album flows, I definitely look forward to checking it out.

December 14, 2009

Missy’s Hot Boyz

Filed under: Flashback — Felicia @ 12:04 pm

Song: “Hot Boyz”

Album: Da Real World (1999)

Label: Goldmind

Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott emerged on the scene wearing a garbage bag in “Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” and causing heads to do a double take. The boisterous producer, songwriter, singer, rapper has made quite a name for herself on other artist’s albums alongside her production cohort, Timbaland.  She initially came from behind the scenes and to the forefront with her debut album, Supa Dupa Fly followed by her follow-up two years later, Da Real World.

Although Missy never really had that classic R&B diva look, her music still broke barriers across the board. Her sophomore album produced the hit record “Hot Boyz” which still gets radio play 10 years after its release. The record features Nas, Q-Tip, Eve and vocals by Lil Mo. Definitely one of my top Missy records to date. Although she’s a bit peculiarly, she definitely has a style all her own that others won’t dare duplicate; it works for her.

December 8, 2009

December Releases: Chris Brown, Snoop Dogg, Clipse and others

Filed under: Chat 'bout,New Music — Felicia @ 5:32 pm

Big day for album releases today. I was surprised to see a couple of these albums today. Either I’ve been living under a rock or the promotion for these artists has been extremely poor. Let’s jump right in:

Chris Brown

Graffiti

Jive Records

Chris Brown’s talent cannot be denied. He’s still a very young artist and this is his third album since his debut back in 2005. Most of the album seems to reflect on his past and very public relationship with his ex, but if you can look past the begging and pleading for forgiveness, you will see that he’s definitely grown a bit as an artist. I love the first single, “I Can Transform Ya” produced by Swizz Beatz. I really don’t see this album doing too well because it seems a little too soon after his legal troubles and his fans are still torn on whether to forgive and forget, and ban him for life.

Snoop Dogg

Malice N’ Wonderland

Priority

This has got to be Snoop’s millionth album. His catalog is so long (no pun intended, no seriously), that there was no way I going to research how many albums we’ve seen from the West Coast veteran since 1993’s Doggystyle. While I’m not a fan of West Coast Rap, Snoop has always released music even I can take pleasure in.  I’m not feeling “Gangsta Luv” with The Dream. Quite frankly I think that song’s whack. But “I Wanna Rock” is my ish and a great way to close out 2009’s list of top songs. Good job Calvin!

Gucci Mane

The State vs. Radric Davis

Warner Bros. Records

Gucci’s one of those artists that’s truly a known unknown. He’s been releasing underground music for several years with great reception in the South. 2004-2005 is when he first started seeing a taste of mainstream recognition with his huge single “Icy” followed by the contagious “Freaky Girl” from Hard To Kill”. Fast-forward to 2009; Gucci Mane had a stellar year. I would even go so far as to say this was his year. He’s had collaborations with many big names including Mariah Carey, Lil Wayne, Omarion, Mario and several others. The State vs. Radric Davis is classic Gucci whose been releasing his mixtapes and taking shots at haters for years, however with his recent legal trouble, here’s hoping that his new fan base will be loyal enough to keep him afloat. I highly doubt he will be gone and forgotten pending his release from potential jail time. (more…)

December 7, 2009

Lykke Li’s “Little Bit”

Filed under: Chat 'bout,Get To Know — Felicia @ 12:46 pm

Artist: Lykke Li

Song: “Little Bit”

Album: Little Bit (2007, 2008)

I’ve heard of Swedish artist Lykke Li at the top and her songs were pretty cool. She has a really sheepish girl-next-door sound but takes center stage when she sings. Although she’s been recording for some time her debut album, 2007’s Little Bit is what gave her that first bit of recognition. It was released under her own LL Recordings Label. After signing with Atlantic Records she re-released Little Bit followed by her second album, Youth Novels in the Spring of 2008. A remix was done to her big hit “Little Things” which features Young Money artist Drake. The track also appears on Drake’s So Far Gone Mixtape. I really like this collaboration because not only does it show Drake’s multiplicity, but it exposes Lykke Li to a broader audience who she has yet to reach.

Since the release of her second album she’s been touring and working on new material. You can listen to “Little Things” which features Drake here. The original song/video is posted below.

December 1, 2009

President Obama To Deploy Additional Troops

Filed under: BBC News,Chat 'bout — Felicia @ 5:12 pm

Tonight President Barack Obama will be giving a speech this evening at the West Point military academy on the deployment of 30,000 additional troops needed in Afghanistan.  Presently 68,000 troops are already in place and the President promises that a withdrawal of US troops will commence by the end of his term in 2012. After several months of meetings with top advisers, the president will be sending over the troops made up of 9,000 Marines and 21,000 regular soldiers.

The war which has been on-going for 8 years now under the Bush administration is been passed down to our current president, and it’s a situation that he was well prepared to handle upon announcing his run for presidency. Once of President Obama’s main points of speech during his campaign was the withdrawal of our US troops. So naturally an announcement made to send over additional troops does not sit very well with many Americans.

According to the BBC News website, an unnamed NATO diplomat told AP news agency on Tuesday that President Obama had asked European allies to contribute between 5,000 and 10,000 new troops to Afghanistan. But President Nicolas Sarkozy’s special envoy to Afghanistan told AFP news agency France had ruled out sending more troops, although Paris might send military trainers. On Monday, Britain confirmed it was sending 500 more troops, taking the UK’s total deployment there to 10,000.

Unsurprisingly President Obama’s approval ratings have began to decline, although he hasn’t completed a full year of presidency just yet. Tonight’s speech may possibly add more to this decline. One of the reasons I voted for President Obama was due to his persistence concerning bringing our troops home. I’m trying to remain unbiased and wait to hear what the president has to say about the additional troops being sent over.

World AIDS Day: Be Aware, Get Tested

Filed under: Chat 'bout,Studies Say... — Felicia @ 3:31 pm

Today is World AIDS Day which is held each year on December 1st in accordance with the promotion of getting yourself tested and raising awareness of this continuously rising epidemic. AIDS, which is acquired through HIV infection is said to have killed more than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007. Today roughly 33.2 million people worldwide live with HIV and the numbers continue to increase.

World AIDS Day was created by James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter, officers for the Global Progamme on AIDS at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. Both officers took the idea of creating an actual day to spread awareness of AIDS to the Director of the Global Progamme on AIDS who approved the recommendation and consequently implementation that the day be recognized each December 1st beginning in 1988.

In this day and age where sex sells and young people try their damndest to be mini replicas of their favorite actor, actress, singer or artists, it’s difficult to get the message of abstinence across. Because our young people are actively engaging in intercourse, it’s important that we instead advise of the importance of safe sex practices. Unfortunately despite the continuous rise of this disease, people of all ages continuously have unprotected sex resulting in all sorts of STD’s including HIV/AIDS.

My message to you would be to please practice the use of safe sex and more importantly go out and get tested. Getting tested is not a fad; it’s something that should be done for your health and well-being. Later on tonight Alicia Keys will be holding a YouTube concert tonight at 8pm est to aid in the awareness of the importance of getting tested. Spread the word!

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