Phoenix-Trying To Be Cool Remix ft. R. Kelly

rkellyphoenix
Erm. What?! Having been unaware that they once performed on stage together, R. Kelly popping up on a remix of French band Phoenix’s excellent single was beyond unexpected. A massive surprise, but it’s always fun to hear acts of such distant genres come together in this format, and in this case it actually ends up working quite well.

The original is one of my favourite alternative/alt pop tracks in recent times, and as hard as you might try, it’s one of those songs that so inescapably positive you’ll rarely be able to skip it. Throw that bubbly production under R. Kelly’s refined vocal output, and you’ve got a layer of smoothness and warm familiarity to add to that liveliness, rounding the track off rather nicely. It’s difficult to imagine if you’re well-accquainted with the original, but Kels’ vocals legitimately blend in so well here, as he takes over on hook duty and also lends a verse to proceedings; the impact is so effective that admittedly, part of me wanted to hear him take over on vocals for the entire track. That’s pretty greedy though, as this is a superb little refresh of an already-enjoyable track, and one that might just push it toward the kind of mainstream spotlight that this sort of track would thrive underneath. A strong original, a fun video, a likeable dance remix, and now a big name official rework. That, my friends, is how you roll out a single. Hit iTunes for the download.

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Trae Tha Truth-Tha Blackprint (Mixtape)


Talk about label craziness. ABN representative and Grand Hustle-affiliated Trae Tha Truth drops a brand new tape for the hip-hop heads, hosted by Maybach Music Group’s DJ Scream. Any other labels want in here?

Clearly, everyone wants to be associated with Trae. It’s easy to spot why as his very unique delivery makes him instantly stand out from the crowd, and clearly Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, T.I., Young Jeezy, R. Kelly and many more agree given that they all makes appearances on the tape. Almost every track has a big name attached to it, and here’s to hoping Trae can hold his own and prove he belongs up with those names. Grab the enormous 20-track mixtape for free below.

Trae Tha Truth-Tha Blackprint

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R&B Fridays: Episode 122


Whilst the hip-hop world has been extremely busy this week, it’s been a slower week in the R&B world. Hence, there’s only the one post to catch up on from the week gone by, with a smooth, very enjoyable effort from one of the better entities to emerge from Odd Future, The Internet, though I expect many R&BF fans will also be interested in the latest single from Drake’s upcoming album.

Get your fingers at the ready, and get to clicking below for this week’s gooey treats.

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R&B Fridays: Episode 100


Centenaries are a rare thing in many walks of life, so I speak for both past and present, writing and non-writing members of the OTU team when I thank you sincerely for your dedication to our online presence. Whilst various weekly serials have come and gone, this has stood strong for 100 weeks, so we genuinely thank you for your support here in R&B Fridays. Having been introduced in our very first week, this also marks our 100th week online, so thanks again for all of your support in getting us this far.

As it’s a milestone episode, it felt like the right decision to award Frank Ocean the honour of representing this occasion. I can hear your outrage: ‘why not a staple of the episodes, like Lloyd or Usher?’. Well, we like to look forward, and frankly (sorry) I feel he’s really going to dominate this series for the next 100 episodes, and deservedly so.

Click below for your regular weekly instalment: two days late, in keeping with tradition! I’ve also got a little extra something to celebrate the occasion coming shortly after this…
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R. Kelly-When A Woman Loves Live

Nearly four minutes of absolute brilliance from R. Kelly here, performing his 2010 single When A Woman Loves, live on the Later with Jools Holland show. R. Kelly is clearly in his zone, as the simple setting and live band give him the opportunity to show off his prowess as a performer, with his powerful and celestial vocals stealing the show. Channeling the spirits of soul singers from the past, R. Kelly evokes nostalgia and goosebumps as he keeps it in our conscious he is a master of his craft.

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R&B Fridays: Episode 93


Another short episode in terms of new tracks, but that’s the price we pay for me being forced (Murray’s been begging me) to deliver this on time. However, I’ve opted to use this ‘free space’ to throw in something a little different: I’ve included a couple of throwback tracks that you may be unfamiliar with, but are certainly worthy of attention. Would love to hear some feedback on them too, as I’d like to incorporate throwbacks more often!

This week’s recap is Chris Brown heavy, with a feature on both Keri Hilson’s latest video and Big Sean’s first video from his debut album, as well as a brand new video of his own from F.A.M.E. There’s also a new video from Lloyd, and a great track that didn’t make Frank Ocean’s brilliant mixtape.

Done? Good. Click below for R&B Fridays: The 93rd edition.
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R&B Fridays: Episode 89


Genuine reason on the delay this week: I wasn’t happy with the amount of good quality material as of yesterday afternoon, but the R&B/pop world has delivered in the last 24 hours or so to make sure that situation has improved.

Not too much to recap on from the past week, with only the three related items: UK starlet Jodie Connor released her newest single, fellow homegrown upcomer Jaya released a new video featuring two prominent MCs, and Mike Posner let loose of official visuals for his collaboration with Lil’ Wayne.

Click below for this week’s R&B fix.
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R&B Fridays: Episode 87


Is it me, or is it taking pretty long to get to episode 100?! I feel like we’ve been in the 80s forever!

Either way, the R&B/pop keeps coming thick and fast with another well-proportioned episode for you this week. Four R&B-related OTU items for you from the week gone by: the latest video from the Dirty Money trio, the first mixtape offering from Dirty Money’s Dawn Richard, visuals for Sean Garrett and J. Cole’s collaboration, and finally the official remix of Chipmunk and Chris Brown’s collab, also featuring J. Cole.

Click on for music and a whole pile of related text.
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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.

Want some? Come get some.
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Lloyd ft. R. Kelly & Young Jeezy-Lay It Down G-mix


Ajay posted the original remix here a few weeks back, and Lloyd now brings Young Jeezy and R. Kelly onto the joint, and in my opinion they move the track to another level.

R. Kelly really takes to the track comfortably and pretty much makes it his own, which was inevitable based on his recent form. His verse also raised a smile, and from the sounds of it he pretty much laid it down freestyle. Jeezy’s flow is perfect for a joint like this and he’s always going to be a welcome addition, whilst Lloyd’s new verse really helps to freshen the song up.

Lloyd ft. R. Kelly & Young Jeezy-Lay It Down G-mix

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R&B Fridays: Episode 79


Yes, I know it’s Sunday but better late than never eh?

I’ll not waste too much time up here, so here’s the catch-up: great video from Jamie Foxx and Drake, a great cover from Ellie Goulding, Tinchy Stryder’s latest single, the newest visuals from Dirty Money’s album, a mixtape of all-new material from Sammie,  Chrome’s debut solo single, and a big collaboration from Keri Hilson and J. Cole.

Let’s go. Click below for episode 79.

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R. Kelly-You Are Not Alone


Yep, the Michael Jackson song. You may or may not know that R. Kelly was the man behind the lyrics, as Kelly penned it back on the back of some personal issues. The rest is history.

Interestingly, Kelly’s released his own version of the track, 15 years later, as a bonus addition to his hugely-anticipated Love Letter album (which you can stream). It’s a fantastic effort that does justice to the original version, though that was unlikely to ever be in question with the vocal power of Kelly. Definitely worth a listen.

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R. Kelly and The Roots Perform Ignition

Another nice musical piece from Jimmy Fallon’s show, as Kelly and The Roots hook up for web-exclusive performances of Ignition and Step In The Name of Love. Both are enjoyable performances of his early-00 hits, and ably backed as ever by The Legendary Roots Crew.

Also, be sure to click here and view the performance from the actual show, with the song of choice being Number One Hit from his upcoming Love Letter album. It’s another top track from the album, and another very enjoyable performance with some fantastic vocal work.

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R. Kelly-Love Letter Album Stream


Really looking forward to hearing this album. The tracks we’ve heard so far have been nothing short of superb, and there’s a growing feeling that Kelly is really back to his best on this album.

Shouts to Jared on the heads-up here, as R. Kelly has made the album available for stream 2 weeks before it’s actual release date. I always find that when artists do that, it’s a pretty strong sign of confidence in the material, and hence would recommend giving this a listen. Click here to listen to the stream, and look out for the album on December 14th.

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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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R&B Fridays: Episode 75


A more digestable episode this week, which makes a nice change for us all having had a few extended instalments in recent weeks.

Outside of this episode, it’s been a fairly quiet week for R&B, with just the three notables: a video for Rihanna and Drake’s collaboration, new music from UK upcomer Talay Riley, and the latest drop from Trey Songz’s upcoming mixtape.

Click below for the 75th instalment of R&B’s favourite weekly episodical.

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R&B Fridays: Episode 74


Bumper episode this week, with 20 tracks making the cut. It’s been a pretty busy time for R&B, hence I’ve let plenty of big R&B/pop tracks loose early this week.

The recap: Drake’s full version Fall For Your Type, Rihanna and Nicki Minaj’s first collaboration, a diverse track from Christian Rich, Trey Songz and Keri’s remix of a Dirty Money track, the final version of a great Lloyd track, and some ‘new’ Michael Jackson music.

A lengthy catchup, and it’s followed by a big episode: click below to get involved.
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R&B Fridays: Episode 71


Stacked episode this week, with some huge mainstream singles alongside great material from underappreciated artists. Quality wise, it’s one of the strongest R&B Fridays of recent months for sure: one of those where you could easily grab everything on offer.

The recap: Mastered version of Lloyd’s latest, Willow Smith’s debut video, Ne-Yo covering an MJ classic, Rihanna’s newest video, and finally the anticipated video for Chris Brown’s new single.

Click on for the longest running weekly episodic in the history of the universe.
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R&B Fridays: Episode 66


Full of big names this week, with contributions from Trey Songz , the new single from Akon and more. You already know what’s coming next…let’s recap on the last week:

A great new track from Gyptian, visuals from Rydaz-N-Rtist, a snippet of Chris Brown’s upcoming work, Kelly Rowland’s latest video, and finally a raft of performances from the VMAs.

I’m very proud of this episode. I’m pretty happy with almost every track, and as a result it’s reduced down to around 15 tracks. Very digestable, and hence easy for you to give most of it a shot. Click on and agree with me, all of you. Thanks.

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R&B Fridays: Episode 65


19 tracks from 19 different artists this week tells you that this episode is stacked with variety. Mostly established names too (at least in the R&B Fridays series!), so this is definitely one to be getting involved with.

As per usual routine, let’s catch up with the R&B week gone by: the new Rihanna single, Ne-Yo’s latest video, hugely anticipated visuals for Bruno Mars’ debut single, the official tracklisting for Bruno’s debut album, much-delayed video from Auburn, and finally the latest collab from Taio Cruz and Tinchy Stryder.
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R&B Fridays: Episode 63


Lots of great stuff this week, swelling it up to delicious proportions. Before you slam your face into the meal, get accquainted with these appetisers: Dirty Money and Drake collaborate, the announcement of Bruno Mars’ album, lots from newcomer Justin Michael, Usher’s newest video, Sean Garrett’s Inkwell mixtape, the video/audio for 3OH!3′s latest single, Cee-Lo’s amazing new song, and the final version of a Drake reference track.

Plenty of stuff there, and plenty of stuff below. This has to go down as one of the strongest R&B Fridays in recent memory too, there’s nothing I wouldn’t recommend from this week’s batch. Entrance below.

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Album and Single Artwork

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R&B Fridays: Episode 60


I REALLY need to remember to do these. I prepare them all week, setting up playlists and filtering songs, but come Friday I end up being massively distracted and completely forget all my hard work.

You’ll forgive me after the click though, of that I’m sure. I’ve made sure all the big hitters are involved in this milestone episode. Don’t believe me? Prepare to look (even more) like a fool.

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R. Kelly/Ludacris - Tongues


Another one to warm you up for tonight’s imminent R&B Friday, this is also a very good track that I’m sure will be liked by many of you. Produced by Bangladesh (who produced Lil’ Wayne’s A Milli hit), Ludacris provides a show stealing verse.

R. Kelly – Tongues ft. Ludacris

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R&B Fridays: Episode 56 Part II - The Leftovers


Right, seeing as today has been pretty slow – I’ll let loose the tracks that didn’t make it in Friday’s jam-packed episode. I won’t bother putting much (any) analysis into these tracks, as most of them aren’t really my thing. By which I mean that a lot these songs are mostly of the slow type of R&B, which I’m sure a lot of you will like…loads. Click on for the goods.

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R&B Fridays: Episode 53


Consistency is the key, and like last week there are 18 tracks for you to check out. Pretty much full of names you should be familiar with by now,  giving everything a go this week is made a lot easier in that respect.

Savour these episodes-next week could be my last R&B Friday for a few weeks as I’m going away. What/who will substitute for them you ask? Wait and see. Still one more to go after this one though!

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R. Kelly-Sign Of A Victory Performance At The World Cup

In case you missed it during yesterday’s opening ceremony, be sure to check out R. Kelly’s great performance of the official World Cup anthem, Sign of A Victory.

Not sure why the video is from German TV, but this is the one that was emailed to me, so I’m sticking with it. Doesn’t really make much difference I suppose. Audio is here if you missed it before.

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R&B Fridays: Episode 52


18 tracks from 18 artists this week, with a bunch of the biggest names in R&B/pop/soul making the cut.

As per recent routines, I’d recommend checking over the R&B posts from the week gone by: Dirty Money want your love, Trey Songz is already taken, Lloyd has dropped 3 guest features this week, and Ciara recruited Andre 3000 for a Ride remix.

Next stop of the tour: click below.

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R&B Fridays: Episode 49 (Also, My 1000th Post!)


49 episodes in, and the fantastic material still keeps coming. The common theme of recent weeks has been a frightening consistency in the quality, as we’ve seen some superb R&B tracks being let loose in anticipation of the summer. Whereas previous R&B Fridays have been a bit of a struggle to fill/review, the past few weeks have certainly made my (busy) life a lot easier!

This week is no different, and you’ve got some very good stuff to look forward to in your immediate future from the likes of Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, Amerie and many more. Not as many lesser-known names as there usually are, instead we’ve got the more established names looking to make their mark. Click on to let them know if they got it right.

Edit: This is my 1000th post on this site, on the eve of my final University exam. Celebrations aplenty!

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