I was first introduced to Jhené Aiko on Kendrick Lamar's "Growing Apart." Her voice is gentle and somewhat tinged with a sultriness that often encroaches on cutting aggression. Aiko understands where to emphasize her voice, wrapping it around the lyrics to achieve a hypnotic mix of hip hop and R&B. Souled Out, the debut from the singer is made up of mid-temp melodies that emerge as freestyles, rather than songs. This is not a bad thing because Aiko has stated that her process of recording music is one of letting it unfold rather than rushing.

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Originality is such a hard thing to come by these days that it’s no wonder you’ll see so many movies, TV shows and music that look and sound the same.
 When is the last time you heard a song or movie that you couldn’t compare to something else prior? Probably never. That doesn’t mean that originality or creativity has died, but just means that people have a brand new way of seeing things. One of the greatest movies of all times, Star Wars is often compared to Star Trek. They have forums of geeks and nerds sighting the familiarities between these two, I’ll save you the time and say that I’ve seen all the Star Wars series and none of the Star Trek franchise despite their many TV shows and spin-off movies but I'm aware of how they tend to overlap each other in some aspects.


Blacc Hollywood is the fifth studio album from Wiz Khalifa - the rapper known for creating chill songs about getting high and living the high life. Being more of a fan of his mixtapes because he seems to offer more impactful, heavy-hitting rhymes on those, listening to Blacc Hollywood solidified my opinion even further.


Being born in the 90’s certainly touched the new up and coming triple-threat artist Jo’zzy aka @dopebyaccident in a special way. She’s the protégé’ of super producer Timbaland and a talented singer/songwriter/rapper. Not only is the 90’s an inspiration and influence, but a way of life for this 24 year old; whose real name is Jocelyn Donald. She says of new single “Tryna Wife”, “It’s just nostalgic music and only the beginning. Some of today’s R&B and Hip-Hop can be so watered down and cookie-cutter, but my style of music makes you think of the 90’s.”


"They only get to see a certain part of your life and it’s not even fifty percent. It may be about fifteen percent of your life that these people are getting to watch so that’s never a good thing because you become this fifteen percent of what people get to see and there’s way more to most of us that are on that show..."  ~Bambi


“One thing I feel that happens a lot on the urban side of music, not as much on the mainstream pop side of music is that if artists don't come out for a few years, we forget that we loved them. This was not just some song I liked, but this was my favorite group in the world. I feel like the urban audience, we don't hold our stars up like the pop audience do. Their stars will put out an album tomorrow and it will still be double, triple, quadruple platinum…”  
~Brandon Casey of Jagged Edge 


 
 

 

 

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A Family Business by Brandy and Ray J is a record that attempts to showcase the rich tapestry of the Norwood fam, while giving glances into the vocalics that both singers still have left to exhibit.
The opener, "Family Business" reprises the theme music that echoed from their reality saga that played on VH1. Ray J is solo on "Turnin Me On," which is one of the gaffes on the album. His vocals sound ungrounded as if he didn't know what to do with the provided beat. The sweet and tender "Talk To Me," does make up for the ho-hum qualities of its forbearer as the listener peers into the world of the Norwoods. Their father, gospel singer, Willie Norwood assists them on the commanding ballad.
Brandy revisits similar ranges from her best-selling albums on "Lifeguard," which is by far one of the best songs to rise from the soul of the singer in quite some time. "Ready to Roll," seems to tear a page from Fergie's "Glamorous" with its vibe, but does not measure to what it appears to mimic. There are several different landscapes presented on A Family Business such as "My Family" performed by Brandy's daughter, Sy'rai and Rain Smith, the daughter of Brandy's daughter's father as well as an appearance from Tasha Scott with the song “Gone.”
A Family Business is across the board in its presentation, taking several different styles and meshing them together. It does a phenomenal job of showing how Brandy and Ray J have grown vocally, but does not satisfy the musical palate that many were looking to receive from a family we've come to know.
Album Picks:  "Talk To Me" &  "Lifeguard"
A Family Business  receives a PA
Rating:
P…Horrible
PA…Tolerable
PAR…Good
PARL…Kinda Great
PARLÉ… Classic

A Family Business by Brandy and Ray J is a record that attempts to showcase the rich tapestry of the Norwood fam, while giving glances into the vocalics that both singers still have left to exhibit.


The opener, "Family Business" reprises the theme music that echoed from their reality saga that played on VH1. Ray J is solo on "Turnin Me On," which is one of the gaffes on the album. His vocals sound ungrounded as if he didn't know what to do with the provided beat. The sweet and tender "Talk To Me," does make up for the ho-hum qualities of its forbearer as the listener peers into the world of the Norwoods. Their father, gospel singer, Willie Norwood Sr. assists them on the commanding ballad. 


Brandy revisits similar ranges from her best-selling albums on "Lifeguard," which is by far one of the best songs to rise from the soul of the singer in quite some time. "Ready to Roll," seems to tear a page from Fergie's "Glamorous" with its vibe, but does not measure to what it appears to mimic. There are several different landscapes presented on A Family Business such as "My Family" performed by Brandy's daughter, Sy'rai and Rain Smith, the daughter of Brandy's daughter's father as well as an appearance from Tasha Scott with the song “Gone.” 


A Family Business is across the board in its presentation, taking several different styles and meshing them together. It does a phenomenal job of showing how Brandy and Ray J have grown vocally, but does not satisfy the musical palate that many were looking to receive from a family we've come to know and love.

Album Picks:  "Talk To Me" &  "Lifeguard"

 

A Family Business  receives a PA  

 

Rating:

P…Horrible

PA…Tolerable

PAR…Good

PARL…Kinda Great

PARLÉ… Classic

 

 

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