Please forgive the stop-start nature of our post frequency this week. We’ve got some rather large plans in the offing, but I’ve found the time to let you know that this song is terrible.
He’s been delaying Stadium for what seems like forever, and whilst it’s hardly an album I spend every waking hour concerned about, it’s surely a bit of an annoyance for those who do actually like the music he puts out. Purported lead single after lead single find their way to us, and this is the latest in that string, and the weakest by far. Unlike a few of the other leaks, this is just wafer thin in almost every area: the lyricism is lazy, the vocals are more Autotuned than usual and still monotonous, foregoing that classic soaring delivery he’s best at, and the production doesn’t seem to bother making any distinction between the hook and verse, with one blending into the other.
It feels rushed and badly thought-out, and that’s not a criticism aimed at its mainstream targeting; in fact, I’d be surprised if even chart fans bothered with this. Back to the drawing board for Akon, and look out for yet another lead single in about 6 months.
It’s been a while since Akon dropped off a new project, and to set things up for that heavily-delayed fourth album Stadium, he drops off 13 tracks to tie the fans over until that LP’s released.
I’ve not heard anythng from this tape so I’ve got no judgements to offer here, though the list of features does contain mostly rappers, which suggests we could be in for a more hip-hop themed tape than the usual Akon fare. Sadly, the likeable Hurt Somebody isn’t on this one, but nonetheless the R&B heads will be looking to grab this one to see what sort of form he’s in before that album drop. Free grab below.
The hook master of the mid-2000′s comes together with the go-to hook man of 2012 (though he contributes a verse instead), as Akon returns to the music scene courtesy of a French Montana assist.
The track seems to have Akon back on his motivational, ‘rise and grind’ style, which I’m sure was the preferred period of his material for most non-mainstream fans. Featuring yet another stadium status hook, Akon brings forth some hip-hop inspired lyricism alongside his trademark deliveries, and whilst its hardly groundbreaking, it’s a surprisingly refreshing listen in today’s dance-dominated environment.
The video is fairly gritty and violent, with the feature scenes being Akon involved in a cage fight with a Kimbo Slice-alike, giving the video the edge and sense of realism that has been sorely lacking from his material over the last few years.
It’s certainly a more grown-up clip, and will undoubtedly appeal to those who longed for the Locked Up version of Akon to return. Worth a watch for sure, and let’s hope he sticks with this lane.
An interesting collection of ‘mid-rangers’ this week, as 3 of the 4 included artists are of the sort who regularly release material and frequently collaborate with big name artists, but don’t quite seem to have fully nailed down a spot in their respective lanes. There’s always plenty of talent floating around in that middle ground, and inevitably it’s where we find the next big stars: time will tell if any of these guys are to be that breakout artist.
Very slick video here from Asher for the probable lead single from his upcoming Is This Too Orange album.
A very eye-catching, visually engaging video, the track is taken into a new direction with this very unique visuals. Asher becomes part of a living comic and the production represents that with a nice blend of sharp colours and filters for an animated-style look on the whole video, whilst Asher plays the role extremely well throughout, with a variety of facial experessions and mannerisms enhancing his character. There are some good moments in the story itself too, a particular favourite being the ‘sharks in suits’ scene, clearly a thinly-veiled jab at the label problems Asher’s had in the years since his debut album.
Superb artwork. A very solid music from this collaboration, and one that’s expected to be a single from Asher’s upcoming second album.
Asher and Akon have a good chemistry that meets somewhere in the middle of their respective styles: it’s not too poppy, but also doesn’t come on the slightly gritter hip-hop tip Asher’s been on at times recently. The result is an uplifting track that infuses a motivational vibe into every aspect, with a rousing hook from Akon accompanied by a lively production, and surrounded by some enjoyable flows from Asher. Accessible for the mainstream fans, but should also go down well with Asher’s backers.
When it matters, I’ll come through for you: 1 episode away from breaking all kinds of R&B records, and I’ve finally turned up on time. With this miracle taking place, what could I possibly serve up in next week’s edition to trump this? (great, I’ve just hyped something I haven’t come up with yet).
Lots of slow jams and collaborations in this week’s episode, some of which are certainly noteworthy not only for their lineup, but also as they’re potentially quite prominent singles from upcoming albums.
Swizzy’s #MonsterMondays is a little confusing this week. It’s being labelled with a big Ruff Ryders Indy logo, and I’m not entirely sure what that’s meant to represent. There were rumblings a few months ago of a Ruff Ryders reunion, so I’m not sure where this fits in but there we are.
The track is pretty much everything you mainstream heads could want: catchy Akon hook, very energetic, club friendly production and simple verse work. I’m not really enjoying it as the beat seems stuck in that awkward spot between old school and modern, and hence comes off as a 1999-2001 era reject. It’s just too formulaic for my liking, but I expect the mainstream fans will enjoy it.
Genuinely tried to get this out yesterday, but once again we suffered from a lack of material. I’ve managed to half fix that problem, though this is still a shorter episode than you’re probably used to.
All good things come to an end, and my recent run of posting these on time has been broken. The football fans out there will also note that another streak was broken today, but we are NOT getting into that.
To me, the early hours of ‘Saturday’ count as Friday, so welcome to the first on-time R&B Friday in a few weeks!
Not a great deal to recap on this week, with the only notables being another official remix to Lloyd’s Lay It Down, and an all-British collaboration from Alesha Dixon and Jay Sean. However, it’s more than made up for with this week’s episode: with almost 20 tracks from the likes of Trey Songz, Pitbull and many more, there’s lots to enjoy and keep you going until next week.
Will R&B Fridays ever be on time? That’s the question.
I’ve more than compensated though, throwing in almost 20 tracks for you to enjoy this week. There’s no skimping on the big names either, as there are some strong contributions from some of the bigger stars in the R&B/pop world. No real recap this week as the music industry has all but shut down, though the Alicia Keys version of Devil In A New Dress is a must-download.
They’re back! The Lonely Island return with a hilarious effort, and keep the same formula as another worryingly good production is accompanied by laugh-out-loud lyrics. Akon seems to be having a great time and does exactly what T-Pain did on I’m On A Boat, poking a little fun at himself and the pop industry, and his famed vocals and background adlibs are put to good use (specifically ‘manuuuree!‘).
The video maybe isn’t as ‘immediately’ funny as their previous two ‘big’ tracks, but you’ll find more and more with each watch: parodying Katy Perry’s chest fireworks from the Firework video at the end is up there as a highlight! It’s got a few good cameos too, notably Jessica Alba (who looks awesome as usual), and John McEnroe. Welcome back guys!
Interesting line-up here. Dre’s publicly praised Slim Da Mobster, and mentioned that he may get him on Detox, whilst Kobe enjoys co-signs from some of hip-hop’s biggest names, most notably the feature on Eminem’s most recent album. He also popped up almost 2 years ago on a supposed Detox reference track with T.I., and has a slew of other big features to his name.
Having said all that, I’m not entirely sure what part Kobe plays on this remix as the only addition I picked up was Slim’s verse, unless he’s a previously-unlisted feature for background vocals. Slim’s verse is decent though, and it’s probably worth grabbing just to get some exposure to his music, as I’ve not really heard much about him to date. Click here to see the official video for the original if you haven’t already, and here for the Game remix of the track.
The comeback is in full effect. It’s been 10 years in the making, but we’ve got some official visuals from Dre from the upcoming Detox album for his recently-released head-nodder Kush.
The video is everything you’d expect from both Dre and this style of song: lavish, extravagant and essentially a pretty huge party, with Dre typically calm amidst the chaos: With extravangance (and of course, kush!) being the theme of the track, the synergy between the two is perfect. Not too much to analyse otherwise, as Dre keeps it simple and effective for his return.
One aspect I like throughout the video is the lighting, as it really alters the feel of track throughout the various scenes. In particular, the futuristic light effects in the last 30 seconds are quite captivating and add an energetic vibe to the closing stages, in contrast to the more relaxed feel that seems to accompany Dre throughout the video. Audio for this can be grabbed here.
When a rough version of this track leaked back in 2008, I was a pretty big fan of it, and this final version is even better. The 08 version didn’t really have many MJ vocals and was Akon-dominated, but it’s a nice duet here as Akon trades in the Autotune for a much more melodic style.
It’s an MJ track all over, with the feelgood vibes and positive outlook emanating throughout. The video plays on that superbly, with a simple mixture of youth and classic Michael Jackson concert footage furthering that blissful innocence to the point of tugging on your heartstrings. Definitely worth a watch, and certainly worth a listen. Be sure to grab that album next week.
A little info from a fairly reputable source on Dre’s upcoming album. As of right now, the release date is early February 2011, although that will inevitably be delayed. I’d predict late March.
Features are rumoured to include Jay-Z (although not on Under Pressure, which is said to have been scrapped), La Roux (or just Elly Jackson), Game, Akon (on Kush, assumedly) and of course Snoop Dogg and Eminem. I personally expect there to be a few more features, probably from lesser-known artists, including Kendrick Lamar who he name-checked in an interview recently.
Edit:Bringing this back to the top as it’s confirmed that Dre is pushing this as a single, click right here for the CDQ (production on this sounds utterly amazing now). Official artwork for the single to the left now too.
No, your eyes are not deceiving you: this is the rumoured first single from Dre’s mythical Detox album. After various leaks and reference tracks, we finally have a finished song intended for us to hear right now. First impressions? The beat on this is top class, much more like that classic Dr. Dre production we’re used to. The song itself is a little over the place though, with Akon fulfilling the Nate Dogg role, who unfortunately is in no condition to sing (or much else for that matter) due to a stroke.
I could play this track in my car for sure, and at the end of the day that is what you want from a Dre track, whether it compares to the hit singles from his 2001 album or not.
The tracklist for the first (and probably not the last) posthumous album of unreleased MJ material.
1. Breaking News
2. Hold My Hand ft. Akon (A version of this leaked in 2008)
3. Hollywood Tonight
4. Keep Your Head Up
5. (I Like) The Way You Love Me
6. Monster ft. 50 Cent(What?!)
7. Best Of Joy
8. (I Can’t Make It) Another Day
9. Behind The Mask
10. Much Too Soon
Couple of finalised and mastered versions of tracks originally found in the two most recent R&B Fridays. The Akon track does benefit from being of a better quality, although it still does take time to get adjusted to it. Nicole’s track already had a big, atmospheric feel to it, despite the quality, and that is only increased and emphasised with the upscale in quality. It should be a pretty big single for her, so be sure to grab the better version.
Over the last 70 episodes, we’ve delivered music from your favourite acts, introduced you to some new and exiciting ones, and of course given a new lease of life to otherwise forgotten artists. To celebrate that, I’ve ensured this week’s episode covers all of that ground nicely, to keep everyone satisfied.
Not much to recap on this week, besides two big video premieres from Rihanna and Lloyd. Click on to grab a chunky, 20+ track episode that’ll keep you going for a while.
New singles from Keri and Rihanna headline this episode, along with plenty of other tracks from a range of talented artists. Before that, the customary recap: a great track from UK newcomer Talay Riley, Drake’s lead track from his upcoming mixtape, plenty of R&B-related artwork, and finally the official video for Keri Hilson’s Breaking Point.