R&B Fridays: Episode 96

Plenty of new material this week, in what has been a very active week for the R&B and pop scene. Well, that’s probably a half-truth as there’s only really the one post to recap on from this week’s posts, with the official visuals for Nikki & Rich’s breakout single with Fabolous surfacing.

Very interesting lineup in this week’s episode, with man-of-the-moment Frank Ocean lining up alongside such current luminaries as Chris Brown, Trey Songz and many more. No throwback this week as there has been quite a chunk of new material to get through, but there’s lots of good stuff to get into regardless. Click below to collect your winnings.

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Diddy-Dirty Money-LoveLove vs. HateLove Mixtape

Very, very interesting project here. The Dirty Money trio let go of an official mixtape release, comprised of both unreleased material from recording sessions, and remixes of tracks from their hugely successful (and pretty enjoyable) Last Train To Paris album.

One of the tracks from this actually surfaced a day or two ago (I was saving it for R&B Friday!), and was a very listenable R&B-style remix to their club anthem Ass On The Floor, retooled by The-Dream and Tricky Stewart. On that basis (and of course, the style of their album), I expect this mixtape to provide some pretty solid R&B work in a fairly empty scene right now. Download link below, tracklist even further below that.

Diddy-Dirty Money-LoveLove vs. HateLove Mixtape
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Diddy-Dirty Money: I Hate That You Love Me Video

Probably one of the best tracks on their Last Train to Paris album, the Dirty Money trio let loose of yet another video from the project.

I was actually quite glad to see this album has recieved fairly widespread critical acclaim, as I still see a few vituperative comments about the mainstream style they’ve gone with: facts are, they make it sound far, far less generic than most mainstream acts, and certainly do a good job of adding a more mature, edgier feel to the R&B style. I’m a big fan of how they acknowledge the gender roles in the group by ‘responding’ to one another in their verses, which adds a new and rarely-used dimension to the music.

Solid production on this track, being made up primarily of a quick piano loop that’s captivating and lively, whilst Kalenna and Dawn deliver in spades with the vocals as they switch between smooth, laidback verses to energetic, passionate choruses with relative ease. The video is pretty simple, with specific colour blocks used for the three seperate ‘scenarios’ giving it a consistent feel that emphasises the audio appropriately. LTTP available on iTunes now!

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Dirty Money-I Hate That You Love Me (Chuckie's Marquee Remix)

Oddly, I was actually in the process of finally listening to Diddy-Dirty Money’s Last Train To Paris album yesterday, and lo and behold  Diddy had liberated a remix by one of Netherlands’ finest, Chuckie.

The original is definitely one of the stronger tracks on the album, and this remix completely alters the R&B/pop feel of the track into a huge electro/dance effort. The first third of the track is very heavy on the electro synths, and almost verges on techno at times, but it’s within the middle portion that the track really shines as the superb vocals of the original are layered over a piano-driven melody that supplements the club vibe of the track nicely. Worth a listen for the electro heads.

Diddy-Dirty Money-I Hate That You Love Me (Chuckie’s Marquee Remix)

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R&B Fridays: Episode 83

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.

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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.
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Dirty Money and Eminem-Hello, Good Morning Remix (No Tags)

Leaked a few days ago with tags all over it (you know how much I hate those), here goes the tagless version for you lovely folk to enjoy.

Essentially, it’s the same club banger the original was, but with the added intensity and quality of an Eminem verse. He comes through with a much more humorous and light-hearted lyrical set here, though still manages to cram in some nice wordplay and high-speed flows. Solid remix, and definitely worth grabbing for the jovial Em verse.

Dirty Money-Hello, Good Morning Remix ft. Eminem

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Dirty Money-Ass On The Floor Remixes

Two very different remixes Diddy liberated recently on Twitter of Dirty Money’s single.

The first is an electro remix by Felix Da Housecat, and certainly doesn’t skimp on the dance vibes. I’m not too keen on the version, but purely because I preferred the more relaxed synths of the original, and frankly I’m not the biggest electro head in the world. However, those who do like that sort of music will definitely enjoy this a great deal. The second is actually a mash-up with the ubiquitous Pon De Floor, and matches up (in terms of tempo) quite nicely. Being a mash-up, those drifty synths are left in for the most part, with the odd burst of Pon De Floor‘s melody giving the track a stronger club vibe. Arguably, that melody is a bit overbearing for this sort of track, but it’s worth a listen either way.

Dirty Money-Ass On The Floor (Felix Da Housecat Electro Remix)

Dirty Money-Ass On The Floor (Pon De Floor Mashup)

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Dirty Money, T-Pain and Gucci Mane-Loving You No More Remix

Diddy just let this one loose on Twitter, and I assume it’s the official remix to the track. Once again, a T-Pain remix has become part of the official remix (Black and Yellow being the other example), and it’s a good thing as his remixes have been very good in recent weeks.

We do also have to deal with a Gucci Mane verse, though in honesty it’s not too terrible and does fit in line with the track fairly well. However, it has to be said that Pain’s contribution is certainly the highlight, as he throws in a new intro, as well as retaining his contributions to the hook and adlibs.

Dirty Money-Loving You No More Remix ft. T-Pain and Gucci Mane

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Dirty Money and Swizz Beatz-Ass On The Floor Video

The SIXTH video from the Dirty Money album (and it’s not even out until tomorrow!), and once again they’ve got it just right. Say what you want about Diddy, but when it comes to R&B and mainstream hip-hop, he’s absolutely nailed it down with incredible consistency this year.

I’m a huge fan of this track, and fully believe this is Swizzy’s best production of the year. The airy synths are contrasted superbly by a speedy percussion that you wouldn’t normally associate with the synth/melody style, and its held together by fantastic vocals. That blend of variation is visualised perfectly with dark, winter landscapes mirroring the atmospheric synths, and the energy of the production represented by the movement and passion of all involved artists.

Yet another fantastic audio-visual combination from these guys, and I’m genuinely surprised at just how right they’ve got this project. Audio is available here.

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R&B Fridays: Episode 78

Flying ever quicker towards that milestone 100th episode, episode 78 stops off at many of your favourite artists, having already done so a few times this week: we were given the new Michael Jackson video, R. Kelly then covered one of MJ’s biggest hits (as well as turning back the clock with some live performances), and Tinie Tempah unleashed his latest video.

However, it’s been the upcoming names that have really shone this past 7 days, with Jesse Boykins releasing the highlight of this week’s R&B/soul and Theophilus London adding a modern spin to Tweet’s Oops, courtesy of a Lindsay Lohan assist.

Cast your eyes and cursors downwards for more meaty (or soya) chunks of music.
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Dirty Money-Someone To Love Me Video

By my count, this is the 5th video from the album so far, with at least two others (Ass On The Floor and Lookin’ For Love) in the works. Unbelievable effort really, and they’ve all been relatively decent which certainly makes it worth making more. Given that the album is recieving widespread praise too, there seems to be no reason to stop pushing the project.

This track is probably the most ‘hip-hop’ I’ve heard thus far from Last Train To Paris, being driven almost solely by a simple, open percussion line and a soul-sampled hook. Very minimal production, but one that will certainly appeal to the hip-hop fans, with a fittingly-simple video to further enhance that appeal. LTTP is released everywhere next week.

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Dirty Money-Coming Home Video

Another very fitting video from the Dirty Money trio. Diddy, Dawn and Kalenna put together a deserted, lonely and searching video that fits with the bittersweet nature of the audio, and adds a well-rounded set of visuals to their most ‘complete’ song to date.

The isolation adds further emphasis to Diddy’s rhymes, which as mentioned when reviewing the audio, are surprisingly heartfelt and sincere. Not packing videos with complex storylines and thematics tends to retain the identity of the audio/lyrics, and doesn’t muddle that image with additional messages: it’s the right move for this track, as the simple and effective visuals add weight to the tone and vibe of the track.

Audio can be found here.

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Dirty Money ft. Swizz Beatz-Ass On The Floor

Swizz Beatz hits us up with his latest Monster Monday track, this time with Dirty Money taking the spotlight, and I can’t really say I’m much of a fan of this in all honesty. The track to me seems to be a little over-produced if anything, and its definitely a case of less would be more. However, it has to be said that I’m starting to warm to Swizz’s hooks, and once again he’s delivered one that’s bound to stick in your head throughout the day.

Download the track for free from here

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R&B Fridays: Episode 76

Whilst the rest of the music world seems to have taken a much-needed breather this week (album releases aside), there’s been no shortage of new and/or unreleased R&B and pop material in the 76th instalment of R&B Fridays.

The week has already seen a great new video from Tank, two new remixes from T-Pain, a captivating video for Bruno Mars’ Grenade, the UK’s own Chipmunk working with Chris Brown, another release from Trey Songz’s upcoming mixtape, Keri Hilson and Kanye West getting together for a new remix, Keyshia Cole and Nicki Minaj’s collabo video, and the unexpected release of a John Legend and Estelle EP.

Lots up there, and lots down below. Click on.
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Diddy, Dirty Money & Skepta – Hello Good Morning Grime Remix [Video]

Official video for what was a massive moment for Grime music, and Skepta himself. Hopefully we will see some more US hip-hop artists collaborate with our compatriots, we’ve seen B.o.B collab with Giggs, and recently Jay-Z has given Tinie Tempah the thumbs up, so I’m sure we’ll see more of that happening over the next few years. What I would personally like to see is these same US artists helping to break the UK ones over in the US, without our artists sacrificing their true sound.

Anyway, the video itself is pretty decent, for what is very much a ‘dark’ club track we have some scenes in a club and scenes out in the streets to give the song that added feel of authenticity. A few cameos too from what I saw, (Chipmunk and possibly Rodney P!?).

Audio can be squirrelled from here.

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Dirty Money and J. Cole-I’m Coming Home

It’s always exciting when this happens. Although this demo actually leaked before the final Dirty Money version, it only struck me what it was after listening to the DM track.

Aside from having Cole on the verses in place of Diddy, the track is the same from a production and hook standpoint. It’s interesting how a change of personnel can really alter the feel of a track: it feels much closer to a hip-hop track with Cole involved, and it’s a shame they didn’t retain at least one of his verses. Quite surprisingly though, Diddy’s 2nd verse is probably stronger than Cole’s by virtue of having a much more personal touch. However, Cole does a great job with his first verse, and as previously stated adds a much stronger hip-hop vibe.

J. Cole-I’m Coming Home (Demo) ft. Dirty Money

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Dirty Money-I'm Coming Home

Premiered at a Major League Baseball game earlier today, the latest release from Last Train To Paris represents a marked change in direction for the trio.

Production-wise, a strong pop/R&B undercurrent manifests itself as an uplifting, motivational effort, with that core built on by some bittersweet raps from Diddy: many of the lyrics are regretful and reflective, particularly in the first two verses, but are delivered with a positive inflection that masks the gravity and emotion of them. Creatively, it’s the best move for this track as it meshes with the upbeat flavour of the production, adding consistency and flow to the track and allowing for a better segue into the comparative optimism of the final verse. It also builds to a well-delivered hook, as Dawn and Kalenna come through with uplifting, memorable vocal work. One of the stronger tracks from the trio, and probably the most rounded as a song.

Dirty Money-I’m Coming Home

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Dirty Money and Drake-Loving You No More Video

A strong choice for their next single, the Dirty Money trio and Drake drop off a decent video that fits the audio nicely.

The track has a very lonely, inner voice feel and that’s emphasised well here with the various isolated Diddy scenes, alongside the blank, lifeless colour schemes and scenery utilised throughout. I’ve developed a lot of appreciation for Drake’s verse in this track, and if you actually give it a good listen it’s got some very poignant lines: specifically, I really liked ‘how come every time that you’re suspicious I’m a liar?’.

Audio can be smuggled out of here.

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Artwork for Singles

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Dirty Money and Drake-Loving You No More

Drake/Dirty Money fans will remember a track called Hurt leaking a long time ago. Many felt/feel that track was/is Dirty Money’s best track thus far (although I preferred Hair Down), so you’ll be pleased to hear that this is the final, mastered version of Hurt.

It comes with not only a title change, but various changes in the track itself including some small adjustments to the beat, better backing vocals and the inclusion of new verses. A really good track that you should definitely look to get.

Dirty Money-Loving You No More ft. Drake

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Quick Blast: Maino and Dirty Money

Haven’t heard the original, haven’t heard this yet either but that doesn’t mean I should hold it back from you right?

Maino-Don’t Say Nothin Remix ft. Dirty Money

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A Historic Moment For Grime Music

EDIT: Back to the top because we now have the CDQ version of this below.

It’s been talked about for months and last night it was premiered on radio. Skepta is the lucky artist to have got the nod for the remix, and he’s completely transformed the track into a bonafide grime effort. Grime’s never been my thing, but I don’t mind this.

It has to be said that Diddy has single-handedly just elevated the profile of grime music, and I expect that this remix will be looked upon in the future as a turning point for the genre. It’s never had the kind of material co-sign of this calibre/status, and I hope UK music benefits as a result. You can grab a radio rip of the remix below, but be warned that it’s full of rewinds and DJ tags. Still, you can piece together the song and we’ll bring you the official version as soon as we can.

Dirty Money-Hello, Good Morning (Grime Remix) ft. Skepta

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Dirty Money, Rick Ross and Nicki Minaj-Hello, Good Morning Remix Video

Visuals for the official remix to Dirty Money’s smash hit. Gave this a quick run-through, and I have to admit that I love Nicki Minaj. She’s genuinely very funny, her facial expressions never fail to amuse. She’s not bad to look at in this one either.

Her flow on this is pretty ridiculous too, and whilst her rapping isn’t always amazing, she deserves credit for her versatility as she doesn’t just stick to one flow unlike most mainstream rappers.

Audio is here.

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Random Hip-Hop News Snippets

-Drake’s next album may be titled Moments.

-Kanye is set to continue his ‘comeback’ by performing at the BET Awards on June 27th. New song(s)? Maybe.

-Diddy/Dirty Money’s album Last Train To Paris has been pushed back to late September.

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Tinchy Stryder and Tinie Tempah Remix 'Hello, Good Morning'

Diddy/Dirty Money go international for the latest remix of their hit Hello, Good Morning. I try and support UK hip-hop where I can, but it’s no secret that I just don’t like these two guys as rappers. They overshadow the real talent out there with mundane and generic pop music, that could literally be performed by anyone. Nothing unique.

However, for all my criticism, I do have a sadistic interest in seeing what they can do over this beat given that T.I., Diddy, Rick Ross and Nicki Minaj have all dropped verses on it. Either they’ll step up and look alright, or be outed for being terrible. Fair play to Diddy for recruiting some UK guys though. Just pick better ones next time?

Dirty Money-Hello, Good Morning Remix ft. Tinchy Stryder and Tinie Tempah

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Dirty Money-I Want Your Love

Another slice of uptempo R&B from what could end up being quite a decent album. I’ve enjoyed most of the leaks from it thus far, and this one joins that list. Great vocals from the ladies as always, and Diddy does seem to suit this style quite well.

Wouldn’t be surprised if this ended up being a pretty big track for these guys, as its got all of the right ingredients: good verses, catchy hook and a nice beat. I’d personally have no problems hearing this one in a club!

Dirty Money-I Want Your Love

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Quick Blast: 3 New Ted Smooth Remixes

By now, you should be fully aware that Ted Smooth drops some crazy remixes. He often picks an old school beat to blend a new school track with, and these are no different. 3 tracks that are very popular right now, and 3 spins on them that will make them accessible to many more: Find Your Love + Shook Ones pt.2? Why not!

Drake-Find Your Love (Ted Smooth Remix)

B.o.B-Nothin’ on You ft. Bruno Mars (Ted Smooth Remix)

Dirty Money-Hello, Good Morning (Ted Smooth Remix)

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Album/Mixtape Artwork

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