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New Music Tuesday...

Excuse my extreme tardiness but so much as been going on in the camp I've barely had enough time to blink and keep my eyes open!!! But on with the previously stated, surprisingly all the music worth mentioning today is exceptional and a couple of artists even won a new fan over...

Depending on who is listening - upon first listen there isn't anything remotely different about this Mary CD. It's a semi-polished voice (heavy on the auto shade) over great/okay - mediocre but bangin' tracks that blend a unique sound that only MJB tha "VIP" possesses (take notes Keyshia Cole)

But all that goes out of the window when you think about Mary now vs. the Mary we knew 17 years ago. I remember it like it was yesterday when a sloshed and completely hammered MJB had the blond do, the dark lipstick that matched dark shades and a dark personality to go along with the voice that sang every note but the right one.

While we know Mary for her ghetto swagger a lot of fans didn't buy into her new positive affirmation for her own life when that started with the "Mary" CD circa 99 - but "Growing Pains" gives us a raw introspective look inside the woman that has come from the bottom and went straight to the top.

"Growing Pains" - a blunt narrative that inspires not only young women - but anyone who has been through anything dramatic and lived to tell about it. The inspiration, strength and power that Mary is giving us vocally makes her story more passionate, real and it truly makes everyone empathize with her because she too, just as us have been there before. She talks about everything from her marriage to what being a black woman is all about.

The album has platinum success written all over it and it is truly a classic masterpiece that can be played 10 years from now...but wait, that's any Mary CD. I think more people will like the fact that her realness and her ability to sing a story with such passion resonates louder than a catholic mass bell in the center of the Vatican.

I stamp my name all over this shit...there are so many great tracks I couldn't limit them to 5 so I'll have to do seven: Feel Like a Woman, Just Fine, If You Love Me?, Talk to Me, What Love Is, Shake Down, Till The Morning. THIS CD IS A BANGER...MARY J. BLIGE SERVES US YET AGAIN!

To me Chingy was destined to be a one hit wonder! He always comes out with that one banger for the summer or the spring...and then he flops, his album is trash and he falls out with Luda. On his 4th Effort "Love it or Hate it," which should have included a spot for lukewarm - he follows his same formula, one or two great songs and a bunch of other shit that doesn't make sense. While I can credit Ching-a-ling for not talking about his money, cars, cash or hoes, I don't credit him on having that appeal that makes him different from any other rapper that is on a commercial level. There is a talent there, the look is there...but something isn't clicking. Maybe you can figure it out? The only songs that are great are the ones with guest appearances...go figure!!!

Standout Tracks: Gimme Dat w/Luda & Bobby Valentino, All Aboard w/Steph Jones, Spend Some $ w/Trey Songz and Fly Like Me w/Amerie

I've always enjoyed Jaheim low-key...just like him. I've never really been into his music, but that Jaheim jam came on the radio at the right time...remember that song Just in Case? Banger!!! So a few weeks ago, I was in my kitchen cooking dinner and on comes his song "Never" on the radio...and I stopped because there was something about the tone and the sincerity in his voice that made that song worth listening to...not hearing, but listening to. It was such a beautifully penned song - admitting his faults and committing to one woman. It made me feel great to be a black man in an odd sense, even though I date men. Somehow that one song made up for the dogmatic wrap that black men get and maybe the reason why Jaheim is the self-proclaimed "Voice of R&B." That statement is a bit far fetched, but it does give him the ground work for his own spot in R&B, but not the marquee sound.

While his music is enjoyable and his voice is warm as Hot Chocolate on a brisk winter night - he does have all the right elements for a perfect R&B CD that is a classic - a classic that wont get supreme recognition because of Chris Brown and Ne-Yo...but his CD is not to be slept on.

One would think that because the male R&B talent is so scarce or repetitive Jaheim would have greater success - but some artists are content being the "hood star" or the modern day Teddy P, Jaheim conveys that and that worries me because he has the talent and the appeal to have greater success...he just needs to soften up that look a bit.

His CD is perfect for a late night groove session, candles and a hot bath or the backdrop for a small group of friends on a Friday night with the bottle of red wine. I stamp my name on this CD and wish him greater success than GOLD.

Standout Tracks: Hush, Have You Ever, Lonely, Never, I've Changed, Just Don't Have A Clue.

Lupe Fiasco...Jill Scott? Kanye West? His name rings a bell, but people never really got into him...I didn't until he presented us with "The Cool" a melodic blend of socially conscious branded Hip-Hop that separates him from the other socially conscious dynasty of rappers like Common, Talib Kwali and Mos Def. I can't figure out what it is...well YES I CAN...mainstream sound, underground message, while his counterparts have an underground sound with an underground message. So why can't Lupe carve his own path? He's missing the one thing that Kanye has...

Lupe has this talent and this swagger that is present all up and through his tracks that doesn't come off as arrogant. Unlike the other "conscious" hip-hoppers he isn't talking about burning incense and other bullshit - he's actually inspiring people to be who they are and change what they are doing to enhance their life to the best of their abilities...

I have to admit that I wasn't sold - but this is the perfect CD to play on a Saturday around the house or on your way to a mellow event. Even though it's hip-hop it doesn't have that grimy feel to it. It's good quality music that makes you appreciate hip-hop artistry at it's finest and I stamp my name all of this banger!!! Lupe Fiasco is the most underrated rapper in the game.

Standout Tracks: The Coolest, Superstar, Paris, Tokyo, Hi-Definition, Gold Watch


Ladynay said...

I like Lupe. Love Jaheim. Chingy needs to sit down. Not shocked Mary gave us Mary.
If the formula still works don't change it right?

Valentino said...

I aint know all those came out. Are we surprised at Mary...we woulda bought the cd if she had only 2 tracks just wailin on a hot beat...Hmmmmm @ Steph Jones...

BuddahDesmond said...

I really enjoyed Lupe's first CD. He's very underrated. But he'll get just due hopefully sooner than later (not over a decade like in Common's case). I love Jaheim too. I'm glad to see he's back with new music. I'll be checking that out real soon. Though I've only listened to it once, Mary's new CD is another masterpiece. It does have a bit more of an edge musically than The Breakthrough. (Not able to say which of these two CDs is better but they're both masterpieces in their own right.) She gets the utmost love for doing it her way. And overcoming the many struggles and obstacles she's faced (and acknowledging that she's still a work in progress, as many of us are).