Saturday, July 5, 2008

Chris Brown the hottie

Chris Brown came to my town Saturday night and he had the crowd in a frenzy especially the young ladies. Chris is just the latest in a long line of r&b heartthrobs in the music industry and he's just absolutely handsome and gorgeous. So for selfish reasons I'm going to post a picture of him from this weekend. I wish him a very long and successful career.

Friday, July 4, 2008

A Song that says we can make it

There have been a few gospel songs that cross over to grab an R&B secular audience usually during times of economic hardships. So it comes as no surprise that the latest song to achieve that feat is Marvin Sapp’s “Never Would Have Made It” which is steadily climbing the R&B/Hip-Hop charts. In a time when massive unemployment, foreclosures, repossessions are just the tip of the iceberg of a recession this song has an inspirational message that gives the hope as bad as things are you can make it.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Songs about death and loss

On May 21, 2006 at 6:30 p.m. I lost my brother. He wasn’t supposed to die before me I am more than 14 years older than him. People who you can remember clearly before they were born and being almost too nervous to hold them for the first time they are suppose to go after you but that wasn’t the case here. From his boyish appearance to his warm smile Kevin was the peacemaker especially when it came to dealing with our dad.

With my dad and I both being strong minded opinionated Leos, Kevin had a way of being that bridge that would encourage us to make amends and not let things keep us apart for too long. He was kind, friendly, and too many times too wanting of people to like him to the point that he would get used. More than anything he was only 22 and hadn’t tasted what life was or could offer. Nobody is perfect and Kevin had his ups and downs and challenges but more than anything I took for granted time. Time that I thought we would have because certaintly at age 36 and he being only 22 i didn’t think that time would stop for us but it did and not with expectation. I talked to Kevin on a Tuesday afternoon with the last words i’d ever hear from him being I love you too and by Sunday night he was gone, no more I love you’s, no more let’s get together, and no more crazy late night calls just the only reminder of his voice was calling his cell phone until that too was gone forever.

People tell you that with time you can go on and each day gets better but there are times it’s as if it was yesterday that he died. There are moments without any reason i completely breakdown and have a good cry, the grief is too raw and thinking about him for too long just reminds me that i have to live in a world that he doens’t exist in. I will always think of the baby I rocked to Madonna’s ‘Material Girl’ or the little boy who sat at a Michael Jackson concert at the age of 4 and was scared of the fireworks but got excited when he saw the performance of the song ‘BAD’ or the young man he was respectful to all adults, who wanted us to go on a roadtrip to California that we never got around to.

Finally, I will miss those last plans we made to spend Father’s Day of 2006 doing something with our dad and him comforting me in my grief when in March of that same year i’d just lost my stepdad. Kevin used to make me laugh, he used to do things to irritate me in a sibling way, and most of all he used to make me feel like sometimes that he needed to be protected. In the end though all I had left was seeing him after he’d past away and being the wonderful selfless man he’d been in life, he was a organ donar having helped eight families. God bless them, I still miss my little brother.

One of his favorite artists was Mariah Carey, her song 'One Sweet Day' sums up best how deep the lost is and another song that i listened to for quite some time after his passing was T.I.'s 'Live In The Sky' I hope both songs move you as they did me. Warning: T.I.'s song has explicit cursing.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

My favorite male groups of all time

There are plenty of male groups I am a huge fan of but if I were to narrow it down it would be the original Temptations, and Earth, Wind & Fire. The original Temptations were form in Detroit with Eddie Kendricks, David Ruffin, Paul Williams, Melvin Franklin and the only living original member Otis Williams. Their tremendous run of eight R&B no.1s before David was replaced was never matched by the future lineups that came after and that group is considered by many to be the greatest male R&B group ever.

My other favorite all time group is Earth, Wind & Fire. I think that’s largely due to knowing how much of a huge fan my mother was of them and played them a lot when I was a very young child. While The Temptations biggest success came in the 1960s, Earth, Wind & Fire became massive stars in the 1970s. This group which was formed in Chicago, was headed by Maurice White, and featured numerous lineup changes but the two vocals that always stood out where Maurice’s and Philip Bailey. Besides being some of the best musicians they also put on awesome stage performances that many groups of that era borrowed from.

Honorable mention of groups I loved include the Jackson 5/Jacksons, the Commodores, the Ohio Players, the Whispers and the O’Jays.

Monday, June 30, 2008

My favorite female r&b girl groups

There have been countless female r&b girl groups I’ve been fans of and so I’ve decided to pick my favorites from different decades to illustrate my wide range in tastes. From the 1960s, I pick the Supremes made up of three young girls from Detroit Michigan name Diane, Mary and Florence who epitomized the ultimate in girl groups and wore dazzling costumes and who racked up an astonishing 12 no.1 pop hits that will never be matched. From the 1970s, my favorite girl group would be the Emotions a female trio from Chicago who had beautiful harmonies and some of the biggest hits when they worked with Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire.

My favorite group from the 1980s career began in the 1970s but they peaked in the 1980s and it’s the Pointer Sisters who hail from Oakland and during the 80s racked up an impressive seven top 40s with my favorite among them being ‘Jump(For My Love)’ and my favorite group from the 1990s is En Vogue. Also from California like the Pointer Sisters, En Vogue came from San Francisco and had their first three singles hit no.1 on the Billboard R&B chart, arguably they are one of the last great female groups in R&B and as other came and went during the 1990s, they left the most lasting impression. Since then no female group exists in the 21st century and hasn’t been formed during this decade, it leaves a huge void and is part of the obvious problem that has crippled the music industry as it is today. There doesn’t seem to be any signs of any female groups that will come along in the foreseeable future so I’ll have my memories of all of the great ones that I’ve mentioned here and countless others I am a huge fan of to continue to enjoy their music.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Al Green the man

The BET awards were a mixed bag this year but truly the old skool artists made the show watchable and the best performer of the night was the one and only legendary Al Green. For a guy that is 62 years old his performance was inspiring and awesome and sent chills up my spine. True raw soul singing can never be topped and Mr. Green is still the man check out the links below to see why he is one of the greatest soul men and one of the very few that is still with us to be enjoyed.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Stevie Wonder a musical genius of all geniuses

Stevie Wonder a musical genius of all geniuses

In honor of Motown turning 50 this year I will from time to time talk about various Motown artists so I will start it off with Stevie Wonder. I could sit here all day and talk about the musical brilliance of Stevie Wonder. He’s my all time favorite singer/musician and so today I celebrate him. The first song I ever heard by Stevie was ‘Superstition’ and my love affair began there. So sit back and enjoy Stevie from 12 year old prodigy to mega superstar that he became in the 1970s.