Laura Mvula is an artist that I have no familiarity with. In fact, I know about her from the Facebook ads that I kept seeing. From what I have read, she is from the United Kingdom with Jill Scott, Lauryn Hill, and Erykah Badu as her musical influence. Being that this is her first album, it made me ponder some things. With Sing To The Moon, I wondered if she would be original or a mash up of her influences.
After giving this album a thorough listen over the past few months, I must say that she is an original.
With a commanding voice and angelic tone, Laura can easily enchant ears with her singing. Listen to “Green Garden” and one would be grooving right along with her swaying lyrics. Also, giving “Father, Father” a listen only adds to her ability to captivate ears with her vocal abilities. The relationship strengthening “Unbelievable Dream” is so impressive due to the conviction of her voice. With a style like no other, Laura makes use of her gifts to catch the attention of her audience.
To assist the uniqueness of her vocal approach, producer Steve Brown created soundscapes that are both enthralling and enchanting. Each and every track, from the auditory delight that is “Jump Right Out” to the piano driven “Diamonds” bring music that encapsulates the ears. More than anything, the sound of that Steve Brown created is made for an orchestra and a big arena. To put it bluntly, this production is made to be heard live in person.
With an album like Sing To The Moon, Laura Mvula is winning. Her voice and vocal arrangements only make the listener concentrate. The music by producer Steve Brown beguiles the ears to take note even more. As of right now, she isn’t known stateside. However, with given time and promotion, Laura Mvula can become respected and adored.
Event Recap: Q&A Reception for New Cast of Tyler Perry’s “The Have’s and the Have Nots” & “Love Thy Neighbor” On OWN
On Tuesday, May 14, the the 135th Agency hosted a private Q&A reception for the cast of The Have’s and the Have Nots and Love Thy Neighbor. The event held at Peter Thomas’s (of Real Housewives of Atlanta) local restaurant and lounge bar ONE. The event was held to give the local media outlets in Atlanta the opportunity to find out more about Tyler Perry’s two new scripted series. Both series are scheduled to air on May 28 and 29 on the OWN Network. As you know, Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey have teamed up to air several new shows written, directed, and produced by Mr. Perry. Although Turner Broadcasting (TBS) continue to show reruns of Mr. Perry’s other shows like House of Payne on their network, Tyler is no longer affiliated with that channel.
Anyway, the atmostphere at bar ONE was quaint and a little steamy. Apparently, there may have been too many people inside because the place was very warm. Luckily, the actresses had their glam squad’s on deck to touch up their make-up. If not, paparrazi shots would have looked a hot sweaty mess. Nevertheless, delicious bite-size pickings were passed around the room and drinks flowed. The DJ did a great job at maintaining the chill vibe in the room. Overall, this was a great event for various media outlets and onlookers to get the opportunity to know more about a few familiar faces and unfamiliar ones.
Cast members who were present to field questions from The Have’s and the Have Nots were John Schneider (Dukes of Hazzard), Tika Sumpter (One Life to Live/Gossip Girls), Crystal Fox (In The Heat of the Night). Also, several from the second new show Love Thy Neighbor were in attendance as well like Patricia Lovely (first African-American ring master/UniverSoul Circus and seasoned stage play actress), Kendra C. Johnson (The Game & Empowermen Editor/PLUS Model Magazine), and Palmer Williams Jr. (House of Payne). One interesting moment occured when someone asked the cast how was like to meet Oprah for the first time. Several had stories to share. But, Palmer Williams Jr’s story of meeting Oprah in Chicago and she served him fried chicken was a little funny.
Here are a few pictures from the Q&A event:
Please be sure to catch The Have’s and the Have Nots on OWN, Tuesday, May 28 at 9PM EST and Love Thy Neighbor on Wednesday, May 29 at 9PM EST. If you’re a big fan of Tyler Perry projects, then you will surely enjoy the two new series.
Thanks Saptosa Foster and the 135th Agency for the invite!
Fat Joe, Wiz Khalifa and Teyana Taylor are all about the stacks in Fat Joe’s new song “Ballin’.” Fancy suits, mansions, jewelry and expensive cars make their rounds as the three drive home the money, money, money theme of the song in the recently released video.
“Ballin” is lifted from Fat Joe’s upcoming album The Darkside Vol. 3 which is scheduled for release for a summer release.
Check out the Elf Rivera-directed video for “Ballin” and below and look out for cameos to include the likes of Trey Songz and Scott Disick.
With the release of The Dream’s upcoming album IV Play about a week away, he getting his fans ready with the release of the video for the album’s lead single of the same name.
In the video The Dream sings about his sexual desires showing his naughty side all while surrounded by beautiful ladies that are sure to appeal to his male fans. Check out the visuals for The Dream’s “IV Play” below.
The release of French Montana’s debut album Excuse My French is less than 24 hours away and he’s getting his fans ready.
While he’s been a constant on the music scene lately, he’s making his presence even more known with the release of a new track. Check out his new song “The Gifted” which features The Weeknd. Be sure to let us know what you think about the song in the comments.
In Summer 2012, Houston rapper Slim Thug released his first book, How To Survive In A Recession. The book was a surprise to most hip hop heads who were used to seeing Slim Thug in videos with flashy jewels and expensive cars. He even premiered once on the popular MTV Cribs showing off his sprawling home and fleet of cars. Well, years later Slim Thug decided to live a debt-free life which consisted of doing away with a few materialistic things he’d worked so hard far. He didn’t downsize because he was broke. Due to the recession, he took the smart route, man’d up, and began managing his personal finances properly.
Nowadays, there are more hip hop artists investing in stocks, opening businesses, and securing a great financial future for themselves and their family. Some music videos may tell a different story. But if you listen to their lyrics, you’ll notice that many of them are offering up some great advice about business and money. Recently, MSN posted several financial related quotes spit by several of our favorite rap artists. Financial experts reviewed each lyric and believed that fans of hip hop could actually learn a thing or two if we just pay attention. In case you can’t remember what a few of these rappers said, take a look at these lesson-filled quotes expressed by 50 Cent, Slim Thug, Yung Joc, Busta Rhymes, and Common.
50 Cent says, “I used to think that if I bought stuff that showed the world how much money I made I’d be happy. But that doesn’t work. For me, success was always going to be a Lamborghini. But now I’ve got it, it just sits in drive. My Rolls Royce has less than nine miles on the clock.” (quoted from interview with Daily Mail)
Moral of the Quote – Buying expensive items do not always guarantee happiness. Some assets, like cars, depreciate in value. So it is best to invest in assets that will increase your net worth. Then to find happiness, try giving back to the less fortunate.
Slim Thug says, “I always say if you can’t buy it three times over, you can’t afford it. Don’t drive a Bentley on a Benz income.” (quoted from How To Survive In A Recession)
Moral of the Quote – Simply. Don’t live beyond your means.
Yung Joc says, “Hold off on all the jewelry and cars. Straight up…(the rap business) not a 9-to-5. You go to work 40 hours a week, you’re not going to get the same amount of money…every week because it don’t work like that.” (quoted in interview with Hollywood Heavy)
Moral of the Quote – Be smart with your money. Always have it least 6 to 12 months salary saved up for hard times.
Busta Rhymes says, “Floss a little; invest up in a mutual fund.” (quoted in his 1997 hit “Dangerous”)
Moral of the Quote – Diversify your portfolio. Never leave all your money in one bucket. Contact a financial advisor or stock broker and find opportunities to invest and grow your net worth.
Common says, “But once you get grown and out your own/Bills upon bill upon is what you have/Before you get your check then you already spent half.” (quoted in his 1994 song “Rich Man vs Poor Man”)
Moral of the Quote – Keep your bills minimal. Always store away at leat 10% of each paycheck in a separate savings account.
What do you think of the financial advice given by these artists? Do you have any advice of your own that has proven financially effective for you? If so, please share in the comments.
TM103 is scheduled to drop December 20. Young Jeezy and labels decision to push back the release date several times should insinuate that there’s some heat coming our way. Can’t wait to hear it!
To hold the fans over in the meantime, check out his new video for F.A.M.E featuring Tip:
The good folks over in the B.o.B camp sent over this hot new track, 5 on The Kush. As if it was on cue, this track was leaked on B.o.B’s birthday Nov 15. Last night, the 23 yr old celebrated his birthday big willie style at Wild Bills in Atlanta. We wonder if he was on that kush last night. lol
Regardless, birthdays are always worth it! Check out the hot new single which features Big K.R.I.T and Bun-B:
Source: TJ Chapman
The jean market is taking things to the next level…and we like it! As mentioned in our last post Fashion Trend: Foil Jeans, designers are being very creative with fabrics nowadays. Women who don’t mind creating their own look and dare to be different, here’s a new look you may want to try…animal prints. Here are a few options:
NEW YORK – November 2011 – DEWAR’S® Blended Scotch Whisky, the number one-selling premium blended Scotch whisky in the United States , proudly announced the launch of DEWAR’S MasterBlenders, a unique program featuring Latin music’s hottest DJs. The program was launched in New York at an invitation-only soiree at club PHUKET, located in Washington Heights on Monday, Nov. 7, 2011.
DEWAR’S has enlisted renowned DJs Small, San One, Anthony Rey and Shadee for the event, which also featured signature DEWAR’S cocktails – all perfectly mixed to emulate each DJs own taste and style. More details about DEWAR’s Master Blenders are available at www.facebook.com/dewarsmasterblenders.
“The marrying process of our blended scotch whisky is what gives DEWAR’S its signature flavor, much like each of these amazing DJs marries Latin rhythms to create their own signature sound,” said Fannie Young, vice president, brand managing director, DEWAR’S Blended Scotch Whisky.
“The DEWAR’S Master Blenders event combined our unique heritage and tradition with modern music. It’s a celebration of sounds, style and taste.”
Celebrities, tastemakers and whisky aficionados were in attendance at this epic affair dressed in upscale attire for an evening of masterfully mixed DEWAR’s cocktails and one of a kind sounds by the DEWAR’s MasterBlenders.
“We are excited to be working with DEWAR’S Blended Scotch Whisky,” says DJ Smalls. “As a Dominican DJ, I can speak for myself and the other Latino DJs when I say how excited we are at the opportunity to represent the Latino music industry and showcase our talents.”
More info on the honored MasterBlender DJs…
The New York bred music spinster put his career into high gear when his growing popularity caught the attention of the City’s most celebrated Spanish-Language Radio DJ and personality DJ Alex Sensation. Since then he has spun for La Mega Mezcla del Mediodia, along-side Alex Sensation, in several different venues where the dynamic duos mixing and record selection continued to impact the Big Apple’s nightlife scene. He recently joined the cable television network MUSIC CHOICE as a programmer and personality for their Musica Urbana & Music Choice Mixtape Channels.
DJ San One
Inspired by hip-hop legends Kid Capri, Funk Flex and Tony Touch and New York heroes Preci$e and Danny S, DJ San-One laid the foundation for his career at as a teen. Bedroom practice led to family get-togethers and eventually into the hottest clubs in New York City. The Harlem born DJ travels to mix for the finest venues in the United States. His mixed CDs has more than 15,000 downloads on his website. In only eight years, DJ San-One has become one of the leading DJs in the music industry.
DJ Anthony Rey
Born in Santiago, Dominican Republic, Anthony Rey aka “El Chico Mezcla,” immigrated to the United States at the age of 18. He mixes with the hottest Latino disc jockeys known in the tri-state area that host the infamous radio stations “X96.3″ and “La Mega 97.9.” Currently he is known as one of the best DJs of the New York and New Jersey club scenes, local radios stations, and Internet shows. DJ Anthony Rey is currently working on a project to give back to the community all the support they give him by sponsoring young deejays in his native Santo Domingo.
DJ Smalls is one of the top artists in the music industry and New York City club scene. Born in East Harlem, New York City, DJ Smalls (Kenneth Salcedo) started his career in the music industry in 1994. Currently a Radio DJ for the most listened to Spanish radio station in NYC, Mega 97.9 FM, he has gained an incredible following.
Source: Janice Torres PR
It’s been a minute since we’ve heard T-Pain grace the airwaves. The multi-platinum producer/artist who just a few years ago was the number one go-to guy for a “hit”, is plotting a big return with his new album, rEVOLVEr. The new album which features Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, Wiz Khalifa, Pitbull, and Ne-Yo, hopefully will give listeners more classic T-Pain ish.
Here’s the track listing…
1. Bang Bang Pow Pow – feat. Lil Wayne
2. Bottlez – feat. Detail
3. It’s Not You (It’s Me) T-Pain vs. Chuckie – feat. Pitbull
4. Default Picture
5. 5 O’clock – feat. Lily Allen & Wiz Khalifa
6. Sho-Time (Pleasure Thang)
7. Rock Bottom
8. Look At Her Go – feat. Chris Brown
9. Mix’d Girl
10. I Don’t Give A F*ck
11. Drowning Again – feat. One Chance
12. When I Come Home
13. Best Love Song – feat. Chris Brown
14. Turn All The Lights On – feat. Ne-Yo
T-Pain’s fourth studio album is scheduled to be released on December 6.
As we mentioned last earlier, here, MTV2 will premier its new show “Guy Code” tomorrow at 11PM EST. Check out the trailer below:
Source: Annick Muller/ID-PR
A true professor of acting, a legend in his own right and already having set an iconic trail, actor Morgan Freeman is set to be honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award at the 69th annual Golden Globe Awards.
Freeman who jumpstarted his career back in 1965 as an extra in “The Pawnbroker” has now worked his way to being a five-time Oscar nominee, an Oscar winner, a Screen Actors Guild awardee and a Golden Globe great for best actor. Over the years, his magnitude of talent has landed him in box office hits galore such as Driving Miss Daisy, The Shawshank Redemption, Glory, Seven, The Bucket List, Unforgiven, Invictus, and Million Dollar Baby.
Being honored with this award puts Freeman among the likes of other industry greats such as Clint Eastwood, Robert De Niro, Barbara Streisand and Stephen Spielberg.
LL Cool J and his wife Simone Smith recently hosted a charity event in an effort to raise money to support the ongoing war against cancer. The event, “Why Fashion Matters” brought in over $100k which will be used to help fund cancer research and the efforts of the American Cancer Society. Mrs. Smith who happens to be a cancer survivor herself says about the event, “I knew I wanted to do something to help. Cancer affects too many people and so many families.” The Mrs. also auctioned off items from her recently launched jewelry line SIS raising more than an additional $100K.
2 Chainz (Tity Boi or Teta Chico) has been on a tear as of late. For anyone that has been paying attention, he has been garnering a lot of attention. Being such a polarizing figure, many celebrated while others sighed and grunted in disgust. Plenty of people send him praise for his tangible lyrics and accessible style. Others, however, think of him to be a 3rd tier rhymer that has over-extended his stay in the game. Regardless of how anyone feels, T.R.U. Realigion is out for mass consumption.
To be frank about 2 Chainz, he isn’t going to win many hip hop enthusiasts/purists over. He isn’t going to be using a bunch of flows and cadences no one cares about. Nor is he going to try and construct choruses aligned with poet laureates. Hip hop quotables isn’t even on 2 Chainz’s mind. In the end, the man has little care for being looked at as a “savior of hip hop”.
2 Chainz is here to make typical street music in a grand and notable fashion. If that is his goal, he is effective to say the least; hilariously remarkable to say the most.
Throughout the mixtape, Teta Chico gives you nothing short of relished street lore. ”Addicted To Rubberbands” rides thumping bass, synths and piano keys that allows Chainz to spit his version of comeuppance/luxury rap. “Stunt” catches Chainz, with Meek Mill in tow, going in about showing off what they got. Hysterically, on “Viagra” Chainz keeps it moving with references to his Polo addiction, Jodeci and Floetry. Even if street music isn’t the choice of champions, 2 Chainz still entertains.
Do not be fooled, though; 2 Chainz does take the time to get introspective and/or tell a story. “Letter to the Rap Game” uses a M-16 produced sample molester to give hip hop an open view of his approach and mentality. It does help that he is assisted by Dolla Boy and Raekwon to round out this song. “Kesha” is the common hood love song done the 2Chainz way: big song, big sample, simple and catchy lyrics. Even through the grimey hood songs come certain aspects that allow people to see some sort of “vulnerability”.
2 Chainz feels he went from “the hottest artist in the streets without a Gangsta Grillz” to “the hottest artist in the streets”. With this mixtape, he gets to flex his muscle. For the most part, it stays consistent and entertaining. This won’t be world changing material. However, if you are looking for some street music to nourish your faith in the conviction of the streets, then this is the mixtape for you. Conclusively, keeping it real for the hood is the T.R.U. Realigion for 2 Chainz.
Article written by Mark A. Harris, contributing writer for STACKS Magazine