R&B Fridays: Episode 82

Once again, it’s not quite a Friday. However, with the busy Christmas/New Year period over, hopefully these will be back on regular schedule from next week!

The past week has seen some pretty interesting R&B/pop pieces: Duck Sauce came through with a great remix of Chromeo and Elly Jackson’s single, the well-respected Jackie Boyz dropped off a mixtape, Marsha Ambrosius delivered an incredibly thoughtful video, Eminem remixed Dirty Money’s Hello, Good Morning, and we were also treated to two more Dirty Money remixes. Click below for this week’s instalment.

Bobby Valentino-What’s Your Name ft. Magazeen
-Bobby V kicks this week off with a remake of Rihanna’s huge What’s My Name, bringing Magazeen along to add a dancehall flavour. Big fan of this version, as Bobby takes to this beat perfectly with some laidback vocals, and certainly stamps his authority on the track: it makes for a very welcome refresh to the heavily-rotated original. Enjoying Magazeen’s addition too, as the Maybach Music member adds a reggae twist that further improves this remake.

Mishon-Get Low
-Decent midtempo jam from Mishon here, and one of those that works in both a club and personal environment. The production and vocals both hover between those two ‘styles’, and it results in a solid all-rounder. Maybe would have been better placed going with the club style more given the lyrics, but the production is decent regardless.

Dirty Money-Someone To Love Me (Remix) ft. Mary J. Blige & Lil Wayne
-Another remix liberated on Diddy’s Twitter, Mary J. Blige and Lil’ Wayne hop onto the (seemingly official) remix to the track. The original was the most hip-hop oriented track the DM crew have released, yet Mary takes to this bass-heavy production perfectly with her soulful tones, and gives those bass notes a much jazzier vibe. Wayne comes through with a half-decent verse too for a change, and makes the beat really work for him. Definitely worth a listen.

Paul Oakenfold-Raise Your Hands ft. Miguel
-Mistakenly credited as a David Guetta track elsewhere on them internets, dance legend Paul Oakenfold (I feel a throwback post coming on…) hooks up with rapidly-rising singer Miguel for a nice little dance number. The Oakenfold beat comes off as the ultimate winner here, as it doesn’t sound like the pop-electro stuff Guetta and co. are putting out, and instead sounds a little more rooted in the late 90′s-early 00′s trance style, which is frankly a great thing. Miguel comes through with some real energy in his ever-smooth vocals, and rounds off this track very well. Potentially an enormous track.

Michelle Williams-If You Wanna Go
-The perenially-underrated member of Destiny’s Child comes through with some nice solo material here, delivering a very memorable slow jam that showcases her vocals well. A catchy and simple piano melody makes up the primary melody which allows Williams to really take control of the track with her lyrics and vocals, a decision that most certainly pays off: Good lyricism, solid vocals and a very memorable hook makes for a top slow jam that shouldn’t be slept on.

Jeremih-I Get Lonely Too ft. Drake
-Indi and I discussed Drake’s R&B mixtape this weekend, and realised that it probably won’t see the light of day. Oddly, this track (re)surfaced this weekend too, accompanied with the rumour that Jeremih has taken this track off Drake’s hands and is using it himself. Whether that’s true or whether this is just a remix is unclear, but it’s decent stuff either way as Jeremih takes on this atmospheric production nicely, though maybe not synergising with the beat quite as well as Drake’s softer tones do.

Tank-If It Wasn’t 4 You
-I’m not sure what the last 6 months of R&B would have been like without Tank. He’s been the most consistent performer without doubt, and manages to keep his sound fresh with every track. This one is possibly the most uptempo track we’ve heard from him in recent months, with a pounding, driving drumbeat marking a slight change in his beat selection, whilst his vocals clearly have a much more positive and energetic inflection throughout. Some artists can’t make that transition from slow jams and retain the quality, but Tank does so with consumate ease, delivering an uplifting R&B track that further enhances his position as one of the best in the game.

Jazmine Sullivan-I’m Not A Robot
-So, this week Jazmine announced a hiatus from music. It’s quite disappointing given that she’s a talented vocalist, and a relative newcomer, but the stresses of the industry aren’t for everyone it seems. This track seems to address that situation, coming across as a real plea for help from Jazmine, with some open and honest lyrics that give you an insight into her decision. Hopefully, she’ll be back sooner rather than later.

Mohombi-Coconut Tree ft. Nicole Scherzinger
-One for the younger pop heads. Mohombi’s stock seems to be rising by the day, and he snares the lovely Nicole Scherzinger for arguably his most high-profile collaboration to date. A very upbeat and uptempo effort, the production boasts some diverse influences with a few dance synths lurking amongst a Shakira-esque percussion that will certainly get some feet moving. Nicole’s vocals are a particular highlight, with her sultry style suiting this beat superbly (sibilance!).

Mario-Taste The Difference
-Surprisingly, this isn’t an advert for Sainsbury’s. Instead, it’s a slow jam of a very high calibre from Mario, as he comes through with some desperate, emotional vocals that suit this eclectic production nicely. The beat is made up of a likeable blend of guitar, thumping bass and other small additions from a wide range of sources that makes for an interesting and varied listen.

Bobby Valentino-Gotta Get Dat Money ft. CyHi Da Prynce
-Bobby’s working pretty hard these days with a mixtape and album coming soon, and shows no signs of letting his standards slip. A Spanish guitar delivers a very ear-catching contribution here, with its ‘freestyle’ nature adding a relaxed and open feel to the track, whilst supported by more rigid bass and percussion work. Good work from both artists on the vocals, with Bobby coming through on a typically smooth tip, and CyHi delivering another enjoyable verse.

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