If the widespread use of techno beats and cheesy lyrics weren’t enough of an indication, R&B music today simply isn’t what it used to be. The R&B acts of the 80’s and 90’s set the bar high (Jodeci anyone?), and the timeless vocals, iconic fashion and -- of course -- the dance moves, simply can’t be forgotten. While you can find amazing R&B groups in recent history, most of us are 80s-90s babies, so we decided to put together a list of some of the best acts of that time period. Join us for a trip down musical memory lane, won’t you?
It was borderline impossible to choose one video to feature from Boyz II Men’s crazy catalogue of hits back in the 90s. Simply put, Boyz II Men was one of the biggest R&B acts of the 90s. From Motown Philly to End of the Road to One Sweet Day to On Bended Knee....these dudes were everywhere. At the height of the group’s popularity, they could literally do no wrong. Ooooh baby, the I’ll Make Love To You video had it all! Signature crazy vocals, super soft mood lighting, carefully coordinated outfits in the hallway, then look! They’re in a driveway! Ahhh, the simple setups of music videos back then. We miss it. Today, three out of the four original members (minus Michael McCary, aka Mr. Deep Voice with the Cane) can be found opening for New Kids on the Block on the Package Tour (ouch), and soon they’ll be taking up a residency at The Mirage in Vegas.
OK, let’s pretend that 2:28 where Nokio pours hot candle wax down his chest while holding his neckpiece in his mouth never happened, shall we? Good, glad we’re on the same page. Questionable videos and blonde hair aside, Dru Hill was once a force to be reckoned with. Sisqo’s signature wail was hard for anyone to compete with, and he stole the shine from the rest of the group most of the time, which ultimately led to his short-lived solo career (thong-th-thong-thong-th—no). The group tried to pull it back together, but member switch outs and failed albums that no one paid attention to left the group dead in the water. Luckily, they left us with enough great material to keep the memories of their glory days alive.
Let’s have a moment of silence for the demise of one of the greatest female R&B acts of all time. Listening to their music today will make you pine for the girl group action of yesteryear. En Vogue was the perfect mix of strong vocals, attitude, style and beauty. Unfortunately, internal differences between the group (including lawsuits against one another…yikes) lead us to believe a reunion isn’t in the cards. That being said, we can all try to keep the En Vogue love alive at karaoke.
Cuz my heart starts beating triple time… Was there a female alive in the 90s that didn’t know this song backwards and forwards? SWV was one of the top female R&B groups of their time, and have since made attempts to put out new music. As recently as last year, they released a single and appeared on Wendy Williams. But is anyone checking for them? Not really. Still, there aren’t many acts on the radio these days who can belt out a song or have it resonate the same way these ladies can.
If you were looking for babymaking music back in the day, these were your guys. Jodeci was so crucial to the game that they influenced R&B performers, whether it be groups or solo acts, for years to come. They tried to reunite on stage last month at a show in the UK, and apparently sucked so bad they were booed off the stage. But we still love them for all their shirtless videos and for being sensitive thugs.
Total was more known for their guest stars and cameos than their own music, but you could find their vocals on tracks from Biggie to Missy to LL Cool J to Mase and beyond. They added a soulful vibe to every track and made short hair sexy. We probably won’t see Total back together again, but they are a quintessential component of Bad Boy's heyday.
112 is one of my favorite things Diddy ever did. Slim’s unique voice (let’s be real – it was pretty nasally, wasn’t it?) was a bit of an acquired taste for most people, but once you got used to it, 112 was absolutely one of the smoothest sounding groups of the 90s. They have since disbanded, and have made a couple attempts to reunite in recent years, but apparently a couple of them keep holding out to focus on their “solo careers.” Let us know how that turns out.
We all know what happened to TLC, and there’s just no way for that group to ever get back together without Left Eye. Even though you can’t help but feel a twinge of sadness over Left Eye’s untimely death when you listen to their music, classics like Waterfalls, Creep, No Scrubs, Lets Talk About Sex and this song mean they will always stay in our hearts and our rotation.
I never had a problem disliking Taylor Swift because she was always “Country.” They say that Country music is the most popular genre. Now I don’t know who “they” are, but I’m pretty sure they’re the same liars that tell us that kale is delicious, and we probably want to eat it in chip form now too. Way to ruin chips. But then, Taylor Swift had to get all mainstream on us, and the earth shifted on its axis. Now whenever I hear “I Knew You Were Trouble” on the radio, I begrudgingly have to stop. Why? Because it is just so damn catchy and innocuous. Taylor doesn’t even sing. She talks her way through this entire number, and somehow I'm not even bothered by that. I mean she is faking it Rebecca Black-style, and yet, I’ll still “Ooo” along. Damn her.
Tegan and Sara is the musical equivalent of driving through the pouring rain in an old Volvo station-wagon. Its crass, depressing, filled with teenage angst - and yet despite all that - provides you with a small ounce of fun. The sisterly duo, however, has recently put their trademark sound through the ringer. But it came out the other side drenched in an undeniable pop-synth sheath that can get you through even the worst day at work.
Robyn certainly has gone through a transformation over the last 15 years, but it is hard to forget her late ‘90s Show Me Love phase. Seventh-grade me was way too cool for that brand of generic pop. That said, I do have to give it to her. No song better travels from the club dance floor, to your own bedroom dance party in nothing but undies and a bra, better than Dancing on My Own. Lena Dunham got one thing right when they featured the song on HBO’s Girls episode 3. Bad mood, good mood - sometimes girls just wanna dance with their best friends.
Its Whitney, B*%ch. Unwieldy hair. Giant bows. Saxophone interlude. An incomparable voice. Cheesy lyrics. It’s terrible and amazing, all at the same time. I’ll dance to it anytime.
No one quite does a sappy ballad like Seal. If there was one song that was played to death throughout my adolescence, and can remind me that no one wanted to dance with me in middle school, it was this one. I get misty every time. But then again, who doesn’t love a good, cathartic cry...
Speaking of crying, that b*%ch Sia haunts my dreams with this tearjerker. With its sweeping strings and driving piano melancholia, when I listen to Breathe Me, I cry until I don’t even know what I’m crying for. She’s gone a little pop-y these days, but before Sia was writing hooks for Ne-Yo, she ripped our hearts out with this track. Don’t get me wrong here, I am in no way ashamed of my love for Sia - just don’t tell anyone how weepy I get at the song’s crashing crescendo, okay?
With an eclectic style that won’t be tamed, Dezi Paige explores a range of musical styles in her debut, the recently released, Tall Tales. Paige was born to the into a Psychedelic Rock family; she is the daughter of David Getz, the drummer of Big Brother and the Holding Company, where Janis Joplin cut her teeth. With a best friend kind of ease about her, Paige shared with me how her father’s early influence and her world travel have informed her musical styles. I recently spoke with this up-and-coming Rock/Soul artist and asked her 10 questions about her life and her music:
1. What’s in heavy rotation on your iPod right now?
One of my favorites is Tame Impala, Lonersims. Jack White. Ty Segall, with his Twins album. I am loving Beach House. My friend India Shawn released an EP called Origins and my friend Rich King is an amazing artist out here in LA and he released an EP.
2. Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a small town called Fairfax [California], which is in west Marin County. It’s this funky little hippy-dippy town. It’s really special.
3. Your dad famously drummed for the psychedelic rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company, which also featured an up-and-coming Janis Joplin. Do you find a lot of your influences come from your Dad? Or are you musically spurred by other artists that you might have grown up listening to?
That’s a great question. I think I naturally was influenced by Janis and Big Brother and the Holding Company. [My father] also started me early on The Beatles. Big Brother was probably one of my very very musical first influences. I heard the music from Cheap Thrills like Piece of My Heart, Down on Me, and all those other classic Big Brother songs, so many times just tagging along to these shows when I was little had a big influence on me. That early psychedelic rock.
4. You have this one interlude track on your mix-tape called Beginnings. It’s a clip of a little girl, maybe five years old, which I assume is you, recording with her father. Can you tell me about your first experiences playing music?
Yeah (laughs)! Yeah that’s me, you’re right. Its actually funny, I didn’t realize a lot of people would not realize it was me. I thought it was so obvious. I’m glad you got it. My memories are kind of blurry, but I guess that’s when you could say a started writing and singing. You know, I was like six years old. I would go to the downstairs of our house, that’s where my dad had all his instruments and recording equipment. I remember putting on these big ol’ headphones and sitting there and just kind of singing freestyle -- a stream of thought thing. And he still has all of it.
5. Now I read that you went to UCLA. I’m just going to lay it out there - I’m a USC Trojan, along with many of the other Made Woman ladies. So I’m just going to call a universal truce. But in all seriousness, can you talk a little bit about your time in school - were you a music major? How did you find your college experiences influenced your progression as an artist?
Funny enough I was not a music major, I was a dance major. I was accepted to the World Arts and Culture program at UCLA.
I find inspiration from all forms of art. Especially because I’ve been a performing arts person my whole life. Dance, acting, music, it’s all related to me. It definitely influenced my music. I came back into music about halfway through college. It’s hard to pinpoint and describe but college is definitely a character builder. The amazing thing that I really appreciate I got to do through this program is to go to Senegal to study dance and language there. All these things, you may not realize what it means at the time but there’s a power in it, definitely, it all is influential and inspirational.
6. The name of your debut album is Tall Tales. What does Tall Tales mean to you?
Well, Tall Tales (The Sky is Falling) is the name of one of the songs on the project. It probably is my favorite. That song really meant a lot to me and it embodied a theme that is a thread throughout the project. Tall tales a are mythical stories. They’re lies, but they contain an element of truth in them. I wrote it after I had been in a situation that left me heartbroken. Looking back on love, and the innocence with which you look at love at certain points in your life, and then having that - those dreams - crushed for you. There’s an element of truth sometimes, but it’s not what you thought it was.
7. You have a lot of musical influences on the album and you tread a lot of cover material in your mix-tape as well (Bob Marley, Coldplay). What genre do you find the most fun to perform?
I love all genres and that’s why my project is eclectic, like you said. I love mixing them all. Different styles of music speak to you at different times in your life, different days of your life and that’s why it’s so beautiful. Last year I was in a really rock n’ roll state of mind. That was what really got me going.
8. There is a lot of pigeon holing in the music business, for women especially. You know, “She’s a Britney type,”or an “Alicia Keys type,” or “A Beyonce”, etc, What do you think is important for women to do in order to set themselves apart in the business?
I think for women, it goes for men as well, to set yourself apart think about what do you have to say. What is your voice? What is your contribution? Be authentic. Be honest. I think that will always set you apart. I think there's still too much in the industry of chasing current musical trends when, in my mind, what has always won and stood the test of time throughout the history of music, is an authentic voice.
9. You’ve worked with some great artists already in a relatively young career - JR Hutson produced Tall Tales, you’ve worked with Frank Ocean who just had a huge year with his Grammy noms - Who would be a dream collaboration for you?
As far as producers go, for a long time I’ve really wanted to work with Salaam Remi and Mark Ronson, and also Dangermouse. Greg Kurston. He worked on The Shins last project and does a lot of indie and pop/rock stuff. A dream collaboration would also be Stevie Wonder. He is my idol.
10. Should we keep an eye out for any upcoming shows or tour plans?
I am currently organizing a show, that has been long delayed, for the end of March in Los Angeles. I’ll be posting details on all of my social media sites.
Justin Timberlake’s return to music has been a whirlwind. First, he dropped “Suit & Tie,” then followed it up with a full album announcement, a “lyric” video that honestly could be a standalone video if he wanted it to be, a show at DirecTV’s Super Bowl party, and then an incredible performance at The Grammys this past Sunday. What you may or may not have heard is that Justin went straight from The Grammys to The Palladium in Hollywood to perform a sold out show for approximately 4,000 fans. He only announced this show via his Facebook and Twitter with minimal fanfare, and the tickets went on sale the following day; selling out quickly. I was lucky enough to catch the announcement and snag tickets. I knew it was going to be amazing to see him in such a small venue doing a sort of comeback-to-music show, but he still managed to blow my mind.
With MW’s own Serena Watson as my date, we arrived about an hour and a half before doors were scheduled to open at 9:00 p.m. We were stunned to see that there was already an overwhelming number of people waiting in line outside. Had we known that Justin wasn’t actually going to hit the stage until 11:30, we would have come a lot later than we did. However, the aching feet complaints went out the window when we finally made it inside and the lights went down as his band started to play “Like I Love You.” Justin hit the stage in full force, effortlessly gliding through the song like he never even left the music scene. Being that the stage is a lot smaller than something you would see in a big arena, noticeably missing were the backup dancers and signature elaborate choreography, not that anyone gave a flying f#*&. Justin could have stood up there and warbled the phone book and it would have been exciting. I mean, he’s BACK, yall! His 16-piece band and backup singers were the perfect accompaniment to him as he took us through his biggest hits. Next up was “My Love,” followed by “Cry Me A River.” Then he broke into a rendition of Juicy J’s “Bands A Make Her Dance” for a hot minute, which was as awesome as it sounds.
At this point Justin treated us to some new music, going into “Pusher Lover Girl,” which you heard if you watched him perform at The Grammys. A decidedly soulful song, it had the crowd attempting to sing along by the end even though we barely knew the words. And the hits kept on coming, as Justin went through everything from “Senorita” (which he jumped over to the piano to play along to) to “Lovestoned” to a funky rendition of “FutureSexLoveSound.” He also treated us to another new song, called “That Girl,” which is sure to be a fan favorite.
Showcasing his versatility (or maybe just the fact that he kicks ass), he then launched into INXS’s “Need You Tonight.” Other highlights included a trademark JT beatbox break, the music from Jay-Z’s “Just Wanna Love You (Give It To Me)” weaved into “Rock Your Body’s” chorus, and a classic rendition of Jackson 5’s “Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground),” where his backup singers joined him at center stage to help him perform J5’s original choreography. As a diehard MJ fan, I especially appreciated this. And when I say appreciated, I mean I screeched like a banshee throughout the entire thing. And that’s all, folks.
Just kidding! Justin did the end of show fakeout, and came back for his encore to perform “Suit & Tie,” which his good buddy Jay-Z joined him onstage to perform. Oh, did I forget to mention that in the highlights? While the crowd went completely apeshit watching this heaven-sent colliding of worlds, the two of them looked like they were genuinely having a good time sharing the stage. I like to imagine that they carpooled together from The Grammys with Jessica Biel and Beyonce, gossiping about shenanigans they saw backstage. But I digress. As Jay-Z left the stage and we figured that was probably it, Timbaland came out and did “Sexy Back” with him. What better way to end the show than to remind us exactly who brought Sexy Back....and more importantly, who’s bringing it back again? Justin then bid us all adieu, promising that this was just the beginning of his triumphant return to music: “It's going to be a fun year. I hope to see all of your drunk faces when I come back on tour at the Staples Center." You can bet your sweet ass you will, Justin.
The biggest takeaway from this amazing night was that Justin is exactly where he needs to be. He looks at home when he’s onstage performing, his voice live sounds just as amazing as it does on wax, and it all just looks effortless for him. While he’s proven that he can do it all, music is where he shines the brightest. Please don’t leave us like that again, Justin. Music, and all of us, need you exactly where you are.
Full Set List:
Like I Love You
Cry Me A River
Pusher Lover Girl
INXS - Need You Tonight
End of Time
Rock Your Body
J5-Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)
What Goes Around
Suit & Tie
"Numb" - Rihanna ft. Eminem -- This song is perfect to listen to while getting ready to go out. There's not much going on by way of lyrics (she says "I'm going numb" for most of the song), but this song is really just all about the vibe/beat. My only complaint is that Eminem's contribution isn't longer.
“Daylight” - Maroon 5 -- I love this track! It’s a great "get-you-in-the-mood" song for a romantic holiday season. Gotta listen to the tunes that remind me why this is the best time of the year.
"Super Rich Kids" - Frank Ocean -- Love the "Bennie and the Jets" nod and the low-key vibe. This selection is perfect to throw on during a late-night work session. I don't think it's possible to get tired of this one.
"Till Dawn (Here Comes The Sun)" - The Weeknd -- I'm a huge Weeknd fan and this is one of three new tracks on his big studio release of remastered tracks from old albums he put out on his own. He sings about being "the other guy" to a woman who comes to him whenever she fights with her boyfriend, and how he's waiting for the night that she's still in his arms when the sun comes up. This is his signature moody type of track, full of vulnerability and longing. And amazingness.
“Paradise” - Coldplay -- I know it's not brand new but it’s one of my faves. They are musical geniuses and the song totally pumps me up.
“I Want You” - Luke James -- This song has been out for a while but whenever I hear it on the radio I turn it up and sing along karaoke style. The soulfulness gets me every time. Gotta love hearing a guy hit those high notes with such clarity and strength. And the lyrics! I thought love songs were dead. Thank you Luke James.
“Miles” - Dawn Richard -- The varying tempos, poignant lyrics and her sultry voice make this song one of my new favorites. Plus I respect that her new EP, Whiteout, offers a fresh take on the traditional Christmas album. Dawn’s music always keeps me on my toes!
When I arrived in London for the first time this July, one of the things that immediately struck me was how music-oriented UK culture seemed to be. Sure, we all know the Beatles, Queen and Adele, but British music has deep roots beyond what’s considered “popular” or mainstream music. Many times as Americans, we think of the Brits as being overly “proper,” tea-sipping ladies and gents, who would frown upon urban culture as we know it. I was happy to find that—on the whole—nothing could be further from the truth.
I was further pleased to get a chance to meet a budding member of this British music phenomenon, a young East London up-and-comer named Crystal King, during my visit across the pond. We met up at the low-key Strongroom Bar in Shoreditch, subtly tucked away in an ivy-covered alley. Over “chips” (a.k.a. fries, in the States) and a soundtrack of classic rock and roll tunes, Crystal and I chatted it up about music, growth, Olympic performances, business ventures and her forthcoming EP. And let me tell you, she has a lot in store.
But first, let’s back up a bit. Born in Newham, London—near this year’s Olympic stadium, Crystal finds it hard to remember a time she wasn’t involved in music. Having a dad who was a songwriter didn’t hurt, I’m sure. “I always sang and did extracurricular performances; anytime I could sing I was singing,” she explained. What started as a hobby—picking up instruments like the violin, piano, keyboard and percussion along the way—soon turned into something more serious. As she got older, she started to focus more on the vocal side of things, and was signed to a small record label at 15 years old. “That was the first time I started taking [music] seriously, as a career. But even then I wasn’t ready. I didn’t know who I was, I hadn’t found my voice yet. I was still growing but thinking I knew it all.”
Now in her mid-twenties, she’s really honing in on her sound. But don’t think she’s wasted any time along the way. This crooner has supported the likes of De la Soul, Dru Hill and fellow British singer Ed Shiran. She’s also put a business venture or two under her belt, founding Celebrity Creations Management, a creative management and events management agency that puts on events for the music, fashion and film industries.
And just a week before we met, Crystal performed on the Olympic Big Screens live stage in Stratford: “It was really, really good. And it made it even better that it was in my own borough, so I saw local faces that I knew as well as tourists and stuff. Probably one of the best things I’ve done up to date.” You can check her again in a week or so when she performs for the Paralympics on September 8th.
In addition to her career, giving back to her community is a huge focus. “I’ve done a lot of mentoring and teaching young girls to sing. Teaching them about knowing themselves and where they want to go. I do that kind of stuff and give back just inside my borough, alongside my own music. I’ve started that journey but hopefully I can do it on a bigger scale one day soon. To take it international would be great one day!”
The experiences over these years have no doubt influenced the story and sound that’s reflected in her music today—a story that she plans to bring to the public this September with her EP entitled The Complexity of Crystal King. In this effort, she will blend her unique mix of self-described “Indie pop acoustic soul,” with traces of her own musical influences like Erykah Badu, Lauren Hill, Pink and Madonna sprinkled throughout. “I’m drawn to people who are authentic as well; their voice, style—as soon as you hear them you know it’s them. And if you can be 50-odd and still be rocking it like you’re 27, you’re doing something right!” she said with a laugh.
At the time we spoke, she had already released singles Summertime and Flying High, but was still adding a couple of tracks to the EP; with plans for a full album coming shortly thereafter. “There’s lots of studio coming up!” Her goal with the EP is to set the stage for who Crystal King really is as an artist. “I wanted to show a bit more maturity in my songwriting and vocals. It’s an artist-defining record that shows people who I am and where I’m going. This is a songwriter singing about life, not necessarily so much about love. It’s more about dreams, where you want to go, what you want to do with your life and how you’re going to make it manifest.”
Her mom, the Made Woman that inspires her the most, has much to do with her approach to life. “She does so much; she’s definitely the reason I am the way I am as an entrepreneur, a business woman. She runs her own businesses, she does social care, she looks after a lot of people… She’s probably one of my biggest inspirations in terms of females. She keeps me grounded and supports everything I do.”
She dreams of collaborating with the likes of Erykah Badu (“she’d probably bring out the epic side of me”) and songwriters like John Legend and Emilie Sande. “People like that. Oh, and Busta Rhymes!” Clearly there’s no explanation needed for that one.
Check back for updates on the release date of The Complexity of Crystal King, and in the meantime, follow her YouTube channel and check her out--blowing--on the acoustic version of Davin Rich-produced “Thinkin’ Bout Yo Body” below.
Two weeks ago, when 24-year-old Frank Ocean posted a letter on his tumblr page confessing his love for another man, the singer suddenly became more known for having the audacity to admit to such a love than for the critically acclaimed mixtape he released last year, or the dope songs he helped create with hip-hop royalty, Jay-Z and Kanye West. In a moment, which pronoun Ocean chose to use to describe the person he loved became bigger than his music. Fortunately, Ocean’s music can withstand the spotlight that has come with all of the new hype.
Ocean’s debut album, Channel Orange, is a masterpiece. That’s not to say Channel Orange will go down as one of the greatest R&B albums of all time, but it's easily one of the greatest albums of the year--especially since the market has been saturated with so-called R&B artists churning out pop and dance tracks ad nauseum. At this year’s BET awards, legendary soul crooner Frankie Beverly urged young artists to write what they want to write and to not “fall for the flavor of the week”. Ocean must’ve learned this a long time ago because he’s been delivering strong R&B joints since Nostalgia, Ultra and it’s continued on with Channel Orange.
With tales of love given but not returned, Ocean demonstrates that he is a crafty storyteller. Some have likened Channel Orange to an indie movie but I think it is more television than film. Listening to this album is like flipping channels on a lazy Saturday afternoon. One moment there are glimpses of 90210 on tracks like “Super Rich Kids” where he boasts about “Super rich kids with nothing but loose ends” and on “Sweet Life” when he dares to ask the rich and spoiled, “Why see the world, when you got the beach?” The next, it feels as if you’re tuned into an episode of Breaking Bad – with drug ballads and warnings about the price of addiction. On “Lost” he moans, “She’s at the stove / can’t believe I got her out here cooking dope”.
The jazz and blues sounds from New Orleans, Ocean’s hometown, have definitely influenced him but in many ways Channel Orange is a Southern Cali album. It's warm, laid-back, and smooth like the Los Angeles area where most of the album was recorded. It features production by Pharrell Williams and assists from John Mayer and André 3000, but surprisingly, the best feature is from Ocean’s fellow Odd Future member, Earl Sweatshirt, on “Super Rich Kids”.
There aren’t any terrible songs on Channel Orange but Ocean isn’t as clever on “Crack Rock” and “Forrest Gump” as he is on the rest of the album. He’s at his best when he’s speaking about the highs and lows of love which makes his songs relatable, no matter what sex he’s confessing his love to. The strongest tracks are “Bad Religion” and the 10-minute long “Pyramids” which travels from Egypt to the strip club.
With Channel Orange, Ocean proves he can make any subject sound good. The singer’s falsetto is reminiscent of Usher circa 2004, while some of the melodies are clearly sprung from the seeds planted by a young Stevie Wonder decades ago. Admittedly, Ocean’s vocals aren’t up to par with the best, but he's putting in work that might make his name uttered along with the greats anyway. His unbridled truth on this album is simultaneously chaotic and mellow but, put together, it somehow all makes sense.
What would summer be without fun, friends, a mimosa or two, and—of course—great music! Wherever your life takes you this summer, be sure to have your soundtrack ready. If you’re having some trouble putting together your own mix, let Made Woman help provide some inspiration with a few tracks we picked out.
“Dancing in the Moonlight”-Toploader
Summer nights are perfect for making memories with friends, family or that special someone. Let this song by Toploader play and invoke carefree vibes in you and your loved ones.
Uh oh! Usher is going back to his soulful roots with this one. Is he moving away from techno beats for good? No telling. But this track reminds us that he can always make us want to dance.
“We Are Young”-Fun. ft. Janelle Monae
Act as young as you feel and let the merriment commence. Now don’t go and start an all out bar fight, but don’t be afraid to take a walk on the wild side!
“Get Me Bodied”-Beyonce
Calling all ladies! Single or not, don’t forget to have a night on the town with your besties this summer. Show the world what you’re working with and how you rock it!
“Anything We Want”-Fiona Apple
Fiona Apple’s shaky yet powerful vocals captivate you as the cryptic melody tumbles along. I love how she embraces the ambiguity and create music so uniquely her own.
“California Love”-2Pac ft. Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman
When you think of great weather and parties, California always comes to mind. This classic is guaranteed to take to you back and remind you of a different time in hip hop.
Kimbra is definitely an up-and-comer to watch. If you’re sick of “Somebody that I Used to Know” at this point, you’ll enjoy hearing her on this upbeat throwback track.
“Let's Go”-Ne-Yo & David Guetta
Another song with a great club beat, this is sure to keep the hot summer spots packed. How could you hear this and not want to dance?
“Off to the Races”-Lana Del Rey
While Lana Del Rey is known for her slower, somber melodies, something about her music and visuals just scream “summer.” This is one for your more low-key summer moments.
Azealia’s flow and fresh blend of hip hop and house makes her one of the coolest female emcees out right now. You can’t help but pick up her confident, carefree vibe when you listen to this one. She does have a mouth on her, though, so this one isn’t for the faint of heart!
What’s in heavy rotation on your iPod? Tell us in the comments below!
Cee Lo is one of those rare artists whose career in the music industry defies all reason. He’s approaching 40, black, round, and his most popular song to date is called “Fuck You.” While it’s true that he’s
sold out ventured into more commercially palatable territory, my decade-plus fascination with him has not waned. He never ceases to entertain. So I thought it only fitting to compile, in no particular order, the top 5 reasons that I love Cee Lo.
1. This interview with Keri Hilson. Tell me he’s not the creepy uncle that hits on his nephews’ girlfriends at family outings!
2. He played Rollo Goodlove on the Boondocks. No further explanation needed.
3. He adds ridiculous amounts of comedic value to The Voice, including petting a fluffy white cat while critiquing contestants (the cat has its own Twitter account, by the way), crying regularly and wearing the Rollo Goodlove wig.
4. He had something to do with the creation of these songs:
Follow the Light
Trans DF Express
Dro in Da Wind
Fool for You
5. He once looked like this:
And this (#FightOn):
Seriously though, as much as Cee Lo’s antics (and outfits) are over the top, to me he’s always managed to ride that fine line of crazy without letting it overshadow his talent and amazing musical contributions. If Cee Lo is involved, you know you’re in for pure entertainment. How can you not love that!?