247 The Sound Entertainment News Archives for 2023-10

JAY-Z Reveals The Origin Of Roc-A-Fella's "Diamond" Hand-Sign

JAY-Z has revealed the origin of the famous “diamond” hand-sign he first made popular during his rap career and has since become a staple within pop culture.
 

During Hov’s CBS Mornings interview with Gayle King, the 53-year-old provided insight into the backstory behind the sign, which he credits to his desire to see artists on Roc-A-Fella Records reach diamond certification.
 

“When we first started, we had a group called Christion,” JAY-Z told King when asked of the inspiration behind the iconic hand gesture. “When you sell 10 million, you go diamond, right? We believed in them so heavy, we was like, this group is going to sell 10 million records,” the billionaire recalled.

 

“So, we started putting the diamond up for Christion. That’s how it all came about. And then we started playing with it, and then we started doing it at shows. Then the whole crowd started doing it, and it stuck.”

 

 

Christión, an R&B group comprised of brothers Allen Anthony and Kenni Ski, signed with Roc-A-Fella Records in 1996, releasing their debut album Ghetto Cyrano in 1997. Led by the hit single “Full of Smoke,” the album peaked at No. 23 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and was the group’s lone album release on the label.

JAY-Z’s CBS Mornings interview, which took place at the rapper’s Book Of HOV exhibit at the Brooklyn Public Library, finds the hitmaker turned business tycoon recounting various tidbits about his illustrious career. In a clip from the interview released last week, the criminal justice reform advocate shared the backstory to how he came to be known by the nickname “One-Take Hov.”

 

 

“This was when you were recording to actual tape,” he says, referring to the tedious process of laying down vocals at the time. “So, you can’t mess up, ‘cause then you got to go all the way back and cut the tape.”

“That’s where the whole ‘One-Take HOV’ came from,” he adds. “Because if you wanted a fly chorus on this thing, you had to go to dinner. It took an engineer hours to cut the tape… fly it over here… So I start learning my lyrics really good so I could do them one time—you understand—straight down, and I didn’t waste time.”

 

Queen Latifah Shares This Hope For "Ladies First" On Will Smith's 'Class Of '88' Podcast

Queen Latifah confessed that her goal with creating her signature hit “Ladies First” featuring Monie Love in 1989 was to promote unity among female rappers, according to Will Smith‘s new podcast, Class Of ’88.

 

When the New Jersey-bred pioneer signed her deal with Tommy Boy Records in 1988, she was one of the emcees who set the standard for women in Hip-Hop. So, when she dropped her debut album, All Hail The Queen, the following year with the breakout single, it became both “hardcore” and “revolutionary.”
 

“I had to [do it] because how am I going to make myself different from my heroes [MC] Lyte, Salt-N-Pepa, [and] Sweet Tee? How am I going to do this?,” Queen reflected. “I need to carve a path that’s different from them. You know, maybe not so far, but it has to be different, you know, and so that was the goal.”

 


When speaking on the record’s actual conception, the Just Wright actress explained, “I decided to call the record ‘Ladies First,’ and so a lot of it was, ‘Why am I beefing with these girls? Why do these girls keep beefing with each other? We can do a lot more if we stood together… i.e., ladies first. Why don’t I just embrace you, and maybe you’ll embrace me and let me encourage you, you know?’ Rather than saying, ‘Why you dissing each other?’… it was more like, ‘Hey, we ladies, let’s do this together. We can do this; we can do more together!’” Throughout her career, Queen found herself immersed in rap beefs with Roxanne Shanté and Foxy Brown. However, all of that has since subsided and Queen, Roxanne, Da Brat, Latto, Saweetie, MC Lyte, and others took part in Netflix’s docuseries, Ladies First: A Story of Women in Hip-Hop, which detailed the impact of female rap artists.

 

 

The Class Of ’88 podcast tells the story of Hip-Hop’s most pivotal year through the lens of Queen, Salt-N-Pepa, Darryl ‘DMC’ McDaniels, Rakim, Fab 5 Freddy, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and more. It is now streaming on Audible and Amazon Music.

 

A Divided Family Raises Hell In Official 'Raising Kanan' Season Three Trailer: Watch

As Tommy Egan (Joseph Sikora) continues to fight for the top spot in Chicago’s drug game in Power Book IV: Force, Kanan Stark (MeKai Curtis) and his mother, Raquel “Raq” Thomas (Patina Miller), have their family divided in the new season of Power Book III: Raising Kanan.
 

The third season of the hit drama premieres on Dec. 1, but the official trailer is now ready for the streets. In the nearly two-minute preview, Raq declares that she’s done.
 

“I’m done doing what I been doing. From here on, everything gon’ be different,” she tells Stark. He asks if she believes this will mend their broken relationship, and she replies, “Like I said Kanan, we got a lot to talk about.”

 

However, this is only the beginning of their newly formed rivalry after she lost his trust last season.


Season three picks up where the explosive second season left off — in Southside Jamaica, Queens following the Mob’s coordinated hit on Raq, Marvin (Marvin Brown), and Lou-Lou (Malcolm Mays). Stark’s cousin, Jukebox (Hailey Kilgore), encourages him to give his mother another chance, but it appears he’s too far gone for reconciliation. “When you get older, you’ll understand why I did what I did,” Raq tries to explain to Stark, but he refuses to hear her out, replying, “I’m never gon’ understand none of this. I’m damn sure never gon’ understand you.” Instead, he sets his sights on figuring out his hustle while Raq seemingly finds herself working with Unique (Joey Bada$$). However, after getting kidnapped by Mob boss Stefano (Tony Danza), Raq may once again get roped back into the game as Stark faces new adversaries, Snaps (Wendell Pierce) and Pop (Erika Woods).

 

 

This season, every member of Stark’s family will confront an existential crisis as they all attempt to redefine and reinvent themselves. STARZ teased, “They won’t all be able to complete this intensely personal quest, but for those who do, the destination may reveal the most terrifying secret of all.” Power Book III: Raising Kanan will be available weekly on Fridays, starting on Dec. 1 at midnight ET on the STARZ app. Watch the trailer above.

Ciara's Most Iconic Dance Breakdowns

Ciara hasn’t missed a beat, ever. Whether she’s defying gravity with her signature back bend in heels, stirring up controversy with her sensual moves, or putting on a master class in breath control on stage, Ciara has been delivering some of the most top-notch choreography since the early 2000s.
 

In 2004, Ciara Princess Harris stormed onto the scene with her 2004 LP, Goodies. Not only did the project house fan-favorite hits like “One, Two Step” featuring Missy Elliott and “Oh” featuring Ludacris, the infectious records served as the perfect score to showcase a component that would set her apart from many of her peers: her expertise in dancing.
 

Two decades after her official debut, the Grammy award-winning songstress has continued to navigate the industry with class and grace. Currently, she is a mom of three with baby number four on the way, her third child with NFL quarterback Russell Wilson. Although she hasn’t said she’s hanging up her dancing shoes for good just yet, CiCi has plenty of material in her arsenal to show her kids that their mom always had some of the best moves in the game. 
 

To help celebrate her 38th birthday, VIBE rounded up five of Ciara’s most career-defining choreography moments. Check out the list below.

 

1. "Goodies" (Feat. Petey Pablo) Music Video (2004)

 

In addition to being her official debut single, 2004’s “Goodies” will always hold a paramount place in Ciara’s career for more reasons than one. The music video not only cemented that fly choreography would be a staple in Ci’s artistry, but it was also the very first time she executed her most important dance move ever, the infamous back bend. 
 

Inspired by the iconic scene in The Matrix, young Ciara asked herself on set, “How can I bend my body like a 90 degree angle?” It’s safe to say she has since mastered the impressive, gravity-defying motion, as it went on to become the most signature element in her routines.

“Over time, I just worked on it, and then I started to be able to get there and hold it,” she reflected during an interview with TIME years later. “I was able to get lower, lower, and lower. It became a thing where the fans, they know it to be a part of my repertoire of dance moves.”
 

“Goodies” was a commercial success, immediately shooting up the Hot 100 to No. 1, where it remained for seven weeks. Ever since the tone was set with “Goodies,” fans couldn’t get enough. To this day, they eagerly wait during every dance break to see just how low Ciara can get — and she’ll do it in six-inch heels, too.

 

2. "One, Two Step" Performance - Billboard Music Video Awards (2005)


Just a year after her official musical debut, Ciara‘s hunger was insatiable and everything was for the taking. The Texas-born talent, ready for the spotlight, took the stage at the Billboard Music Awards in 2005 to perform “One, Two Step,” her Missy Elliott-assisted standout from Goodies. Right from the first few beats, Ciara made it clear she was on a mission to show her stage presence was undeniable. Rocking a black catsuit and a sleek ponytail, the multi-hyphenate confidently led her dancers through a non-stop routine of pop-locking, gliding across the enormous stage, and of course, one-two stepping. This early in her career, she was already able to put on a masterclass of breath control, which wound up being her superpower for years to come.

 

3. "Oh" (Feat. Ludacris) Music Video (2005)


If anyone is ever curious how Ciara got her title as the “Princess Of Crunk&B,” the impact of this one car scene from her “Oh” music video alone is enough to help anyone understand. The clip sees young CiCi and her crew cruising through the city on a late night, where she links up with fellow Atlanta legend Ludacris. Things really get crazy the moment the “Promise” songbird unleashes her inner fire and slowly climbs up the red lowrider. Fitted tucked low and air forces crispy white, Ciara delivered a dance break so unforgettable from on top of the car that people are still referencing it 18 years later.

 

4. "Get Up" Performance - 'So You Think You Can Dance' Season 2 (2006)


In the midst of So You Think You Can Dance season 2, producers knew they had to call up one of the best in the business to show the contestants how it’s done. For her 2006 performance of “Get Up,” Ciara rocked a metallic bra and baggy pants, and used up every inch of the stage. This rendition in particular marked one of her most memorable televised dance breaks, showcasing her unquestionable ability to fully rock a crowd. Instead of delivering the choreography from the song’s music video in a straightforward fashion, she did so while sliding across a slanted glass bridge. Many might find the task of crawling up a narrow platform while booty-popping to be pretty difficult, but it’s Ciara, so she and made it look easy.

 

5. "Ride (feat. Ludacris) " Music Video (2010)


This number saw Ciara fully tap into her sensual side, and also wound up representing a pivotal moment in her career that had her standing on business. Despite the intentional “less is more” approach — featuring her sporting a simple black fit and dancing alone in a studio — her erotic moves were so striking that they stirred up some controversy. OG Ciara fans will remember when the songstress claimed the “Ride” video was banned from being played on BET for being “too sexual.” Directed by Diane Martel, the solo routine boasted mesmerizing body rolls and thrusts, rightfully earning its spot at No. 14 on Rolling Stone’s Sexiest Music Videos of All Time list. The Ludacris-assisted release was one of the first times Ciara fully showcased her sensuality through dance, and it was well worth it.

 

Victoria Monét Says Beyoncé And Ye Inspired Her Desire To Do A Visual Album

Victoria Monét wants to do it all, but first, the JAGUAR II singer wants to create a visual album.
 

In her new ESSENCE digital cover story, the mother of one told the outlet that she would love to release more visuals for her music and credited Beyoncé’s Lemonade and Ye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy as inspiration for her future visual album.
 

That aside, Monét also desires to become Grammy-nominated in the coming weeks and hopefully, a Grammy winner in 2024. Her goals include “creating a natural skincare and beauty line, designing hair care products, and writing for TV and film—maybe even doing some scoring for these projects.”
 


When speaking about her work ethic, the Sacramento, Calif. native admittedly multitasked while in active labor with her daughter, Hazel, to plan a surprise party for her boyfriend, John Gaines, and promote her then-single, “F.U.C.K.” “I’m hooked up to all these things. I’m having contractions, but also trying to text my team,” she recalled. Monét explained that she’s able to do it all because it doesn’t feel like work.
 


“If you asked me to work, I don’t like it,” she confessed. “I made a promise to myself when I moved to L.A. that no matter how broke I was, I wouldn’t go get a job that I hated, at an office or anything that I felt like I didn’t have a passion for. I went through it, being that stubborn Taurus—or determined, if you look at it a certain way, not to do anything less than what I came here for. Not to give up. Not to move home and take the easy way. So, because I don’t view what I’m doing as work, I think that’s why I’m so dedicated to it.”

Mary J. Blige, Vado Coast Around Italy In "Still Believe In Love" Video

Mary J. Blige is keeping her heart open. The R&B veteran returned on Friday (Oct. 27) with her latest single “Still Believe In Love,” which features an assist from Vado and an accompanying visual shot in Italy.

The freshly released clip sees the pair coasting along the European country’s shoreline and hitting up the beautiful island of Capri. Vado has the honor of setting the tone with his opening verse, spitting, “I still believe in it, fear not/ No strings attached, tongues out with your shell tops/ Like Run-DMC wore, was lovin’ you before, the G4s, yacht parties out on Capri shores.”
 

 

Then, Blige comes in with her signature vocals, as she sings about never giving up on love despite the turmoil her heart has been through. “I been thinkin’ of the time I wasted/ I been lookin’ in all the wrong places for love/ That really brought me down, yeah, I’m so sick of being sad or lonely/ Until I can find the one I know I need/ I’ll never give up on me,” she sings.
 


The 52-year-old songbird released her last solo album, Good Morning Gorgeous, on February 11, 2023. The offering boasted guest appearances from Cool & Dre, Usher, Fivio Foreign, DJ Khaled, Anderson .Paak, and Dave East. She then circled back in May 2022 to gift fans with a deluxe edition of the LP, adding on four brand new tracks. The updated version tacked on features from Ne-Yo, H.E.R., Jadakiss, Griselda, and Fabolous. Since then, the “Family Affair” crooner released an anniversary edition of A Mary Christmas, her 2013 holiday album. Revisit Mary J. Blige’s deluxe version of Good Morning Gorgeous down below. Since then, the “Family Affair” crooner released an anniversary edition of A Mary Christmas, her 2013 holiday album. Revisit Mary J. Blige’s deluxe version of Good Morning Gorgeous down below.

Kelly Rowland Denies That A Destiny's Child Reunion Is In The Works

For quite some time, there have been rumors of a Destiny’s Child reunion to commemorate the 25th anniversary of their debut album. However, one of the group’s founding members, Kelly Rowland, is putting the hearsay to rest.
 

In an interview with The Messenger, the mother of two explained, “[With] Bey wrapping up Renaissance and getting ready for her movie, Michelle in the thick of her solo projects that she’s doing, and me in my solo space and all the things that I’m doing, that’s where my head is.”
 

The “Motivation” singer did acknowledge that “there’s so much energy around DC right now,” but continued, “That’s where my heart is. That’s what I’m most excited about, with all due respect to Destiny’s Child. And should there be a space for that, we’ll see what happens. But as for right now, I’m so excited as to what I’m doing.”


Currently, the 42-year-old has been avid on the acting front. She guest starred on Grown-ish earlier this year, starred in two films in 2022, and following the SAG-AFTRA strike, she will film the next installment in the Merry Liddle Holiday franchise for Lifetime. Yet, her confession isn’t necessarily dispelling the rumors, especially after host Terrell Grice revealed the grand finale to season six of his show has been extended to a full week featuring four out of five Destiny’s Child members. Outtakes from Williams’ episode will air on Monday (Nov. 6) with LeToya Luckett‘s episode airing on Tuesday (Nov. 7), LaTavia Roberson‘s episode premiering on Wednesday (Nov. 8) and Rowland’s episode—to conclude the week of nostalgia—will debut on Thursday (Nov. 9). Now, fans are considering this to be the unofficial DC reunion and are also requesting that Beyoncé make an appearance on The Terrell Show next.

Luther Vandross' Estate To Gift Fans Unreleased 'Classic Christmas' EP

The estate of Luther Vandross and Primary Wave Music are gifting his fans an early holiday treat. Luther Vandross Classic Christmas, a previously-unreleased EP, will hit streaming on Nov. 3.

 

The three-track project includes Vandross’ soulful gems, “May Christmas Bring You Happiness,” and “At Christmas Time,” as well as a bonus a cappella version of the latter. Primary Wave and Vandross’ estate entered into a $40 million partnership in late 2021, where they acquired a stake in his publishing, master recording income stream, plus name and likeness rights.

 

David Gottlieb, manager of the Luther Vandross Estate, shared his excitement of the new EP in a statement. “Luther’s distinctive voice has been a golden thread in the tapestry of holiday music for decades,” Gottlieb expressed. “This release serves not only as a testament to his remarkable talent but also as a gift that keeps on giving, allowing his enchanting melodies to continue being a cherished part of families’ holiday traditions.”

 

 

Sean Lewis, Primary Wave Music’s Marketing Manager of Digital Strategy, added, “This is more than just a Christmas album; it’s a convergence of history, emotion, and the ever-present spirit of the holidays that Luther Vandross encapsulated in his music. In this specially curated EP, we invite listeners to become a part of a cherished journey, where rhythms and lyrics foster a renewed sense of connection and joy in this festive season. It’s a token of remembrance and a tribute to Luther’s everlasting impact.”

The EP’s main tracks debuted on Funky Christmas, a 1976 compilation album from Cotillion Records. Both were written, produced, and sang by the late crooner. The a cappella version was selected by the luxury brand, Waterford, for their holiday campaign.
 

Vandross isn’t the only man of soul to get a posthumous holiday release this year. Teddy Pendergrass’ sole holiday LP and final studio album, This Christmas (I’d Rather Have Love), will make its digital debut on Nov. 3 for its 25th anniversary.

 

 

Russell Wilson Calls Ciara "Heaven Sent," Rents Out A Waffle House For Her Birthday

Russell Wilson loves loving on his wife, Ciara, out loud. As the singer celebrated her 38th birthday on Wednesday (Oct. 25), the Denver Broncos quarterback surprised her by renting out Waffle House, making his wife of seven years, “the happiest girl in the world.”

 

“This is like next level,” said Ciara in the video of her “epic” surprise. “My honey knows how much I love Waffle House, so he rented out the whole Waffle House and I am the happiest girl in the world.” Instead of a traditional cake, Wilson also presented his wife with a stack of donuts topped with candles.

 

“Waffle & a Date…You know my heart Baby! I love you so much,” read the video’s caption.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ciara (@ciara)


Not only did the star athlete rent out one of her favorite places, he also penned a beautiful tribute to his lady on Instagram. “Happy Birthday to my Queen, @ciara. You truly are Heaven sent, the perfect mother to our children, and God’s blessing to me as we get to do life together as Husband & Wife,” wrote the 34-year-old along with a video of their life together, including their children, Future Zahir, 9, Sienna Princess, 6, and Win Harrison, 3, with CiCi’s Chris Brown-assisted single, “How We Roll,” playing in the background. Wilson continued, “We are all truly BLESSED!! I’m so grateful that God put you into my life and we’ve been able to create an amazing (growing) family. God has so much in store for you this year of life and I can’t wait to see how much good will come from your presence and joy!!!”

 

 


The “Forever” singer responded to her hubby’s tribute by commenting, “I’m so grateful for you and the beautiful family God has blessed us with! I love you sooooo much baby!” The Wilsons are expecting their third child together. They made the announcement back in August using the lyrics to “How We Roll” with a black-and-white video of her silhouette. In the song, Ciara sings, “You look at me like that again, we make another kid/You my heart I’m your rib.”

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ciara (@ciara)

Of the pregnancy, a source told PEOPLE, “She’s one of those mothers who has energy throughout her whole pregnancy. She always calls her life organized chaos — but it’s organized chaos taking it up another notch. She loves being a mother so this is what she loves doing. This is what she has always wanted, and Russ too. They’ve always wanted a lot of kids.” Ciara and Wilson share daughter, Sienna, and son, Win. However, Wilson is a great stepfather to Ciara’s son, Future, whom she had with the rapper of the same name.

TGT Officially Reunite, Says Money Will Be Split Evenly This Time

After clearing the air about their breakup and teasing a potential reunion earlier this year, Tyrese, Tank, and Ginuwine have confirmed that TGT is back.
 

The three men headlined the R&B Music Experience in Tampa on Friday (Oct. 20) and collectively, made the announcement backstage.
 

“All bulls**t aside, all business aside, I love you brothers in real life,” Tank began. “And I want nothing but the best for all of us personally and I want nothing but the best for the R&B universe. For the people who look up to us, for the people who follow us, for the people who are inspired by us, people who are just connected to us in ways we could’ve never imagined—the way we seal that legacy is to bring this motherf**ker back.”

 


The “Please Don’t Go” crooner then posed a “$15 million question” to Tyrese about the money and the “Love Transaction” singer replied, “Three splits. Down the middle. Equal.” Immediately, Ginuwine embraced him and the room erupted in applause. The news comes as their sole album, Three Kings, turns 10. On their respective social media pages, the “Differences” crooner expressed, “I knew it would happen I just want it to be perfect for each and every individual we come together to say we are Kings so let’s move forward I appreciate the love we get now let’s go!!!! #TGT #uhooo #TankGTyrese ok it’s time ok Letsgo @therealtank and @tyrese my brothas for life.”

Miguel's Most Iconic Hooks: "Coffee", "Sure Thing" And More

Miguel had his musical breakthrough in 2010, and nothing has been the same since.
 

The singer’s signature style, made up of R&B, Hip-Hop, funk, rock, pop, and several other genres, has made him one of the standout acts within his generation. There are very few who can capture the erotic and erratic nature of human beings who deal with the multi-faceted feeling of love.
 

The Grammy winner’s biggest selling point is the conviction within his music. There are many people who sing well, but Miguel truly makes you believe that whatever he is belting is true, at least for him. That’s why he has several hooks from songs that have taken over the culture, and will always be welcome on the aux.
 

The Los Angeles native doesn’t need to go too in-depth conceptually, nor does he always need an eye-opening simile. He has kept it simple throughout most of his career, winning fans over with relatable messages and undeniable grooves.
 

Join VIBE as we count down eight of Miguel’s most iconic hooks in celebration of the crooner’s 38th birthday.


 

"Coffee"

Miguel performing at iHeartRadio's Living Black Block Party, wearing a blue denim jacket, white and tan pants, and shades.
One of the best parts of developing feelings for someone new is the unpredictability of it. You might meet up for just a dinner date and end up spending an entire weekend with one another. With every experience being new, there’s the excitement of breaking down barriers and getting closer to one another. Miguel outlined that process accurately in his 2015 track “Coffee.”

 

In the pre-chorus, he expresses his desire to take on the role of a painter who crafts the new experiences a man and woman share as they get to know one another and end up in bed. “I wish I could paint our love/ These moments and vibrant hues/ Wordplay turns into gunplay/ Gunplay turns into pillow talk/ Pillow talk turns into sweet dreams/ Sweet dreams turns into coffee in the morning,” he sings.
 

The chorus itself is the man admiring the woman as she is asleep. It is that dormant state when a woman sometimes looks the most beautiful, especially when it is a novel discovery for the man, even after they have had sex. “Coffee in the morning/ I don’t wanna wake you/ I just wanna watch you sleep/ It’s the smell of your hair/ And it’s the way that we feel/ I’ve never felt comfortable like this,” Miguel sings.
 

The Grammy winner captures so much within these 12 total lines, that it would be impossible to not deem this one of his most iconic hooks. If you have ever been infatuated with someone, then you understand it completely.

 

"Quickie"

While Miguel excels at recounting the tender moments with a lover, he is equally talented at capturing one of humanity’s most innate desires: sexual intercourse. It’s not always rose petals, candle lights, and sensual music; sometimes, people just want to go at it and get their climax. That is the story of his 2010 record, “Quickie.”

He keeps it honest right from the beginning of the chorus, repeating “I don’t wanna be loved” before admitting he wants a quick session. Perhaps he had a partner to go home to, or a professional event to attend because he followed that up by saying there can’t be any “bite marks, scratches, or hickies.” He continues on, singing “I just want a quick fix/ Up in your mix, miss, send your wishlist/ I have you addicted, so mami come hit this.”
 

The calm temperament he sings these lines with conveys a sense of swagger. There is a playful nature to this entire chorus which doubles as flirtation, but also temptation. He knows what the woman wants and he attempts to trigger her to go after it. This song may not play outside, but it is the quintessential record to soundtrack a moment between two people who may not have plans for each other beyond one intense night of passion.

 

"My Piece"

When mutual feelings reach a certain point, people become willing to do whatever for their partner; defending them and the relationship falls within that category. In 2010’s “My Piece,” Miguel empowers his women to be the “shooter” in their union and believes that with her on the frontlines, they are unbreakable.
 

“You can be my piece/ Click, clack/ Click, clack,” he sings, likening his woman to a gun. “Tell them all get back/ Cause we’ shootin’/ Shootin’ them down.” And then he repeats it again. That’s literally it. It’s another simple hook, but it gets the message across. No matter what may try to tear them apart or ruin what they have, he’s got faith in the person he selected.
 

It is especially important because he is a man falling back and allowing the woman to be their line of defense. It was pretty progressive for a song from 2010, but Miguel has often been ahead of the curve when it comes to music. Besides, women usually handle things better than men, anyway.

 

"Power Trip"

There is a special chemistry between J. Cole and Miguel, and “Power Trip” may be the best example of it. Though they split the chorus responsibilities here, with the Los Angeles singer technically handling the pre-chorus, Miguel’s part is truly the most memorable.
 

It’s short, sweet, and sticky. “Would you believe me if I said I’m in love?/ Baby, I want you to want me,” he sings twice. Cole follows it up with the affirmation that “we are” and how a woman keeps him up all night, but his repetitive chorus would be nothing without the alley-oop from Miguel. His yearning inquiry shows how willing he was, and is, to put his pride aside for a woman. And it makes for one of the best Hip-Hop/R&B collaborations of the last decade.

 

"Sure Thing"

Miguel‘s 2010 hit “Sure Thing” showed how far being timeless can really get you, as it burst into the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 within the last year.
 

It is a songwriting masterclass from Miguel, and while the true art lies within the metaphor-heavy verses, his hook is an earworm, as well.
 

“Even when the sky comes fallin’/ Even when the sun don’t shine/ I got faith in you and I/ So put your pretty little hand in mine,” he sings. It’s a track where he asserts no matter what is happening in the world, as long as he and his lady are together, it doesn’t matter. Even when the stakes get very high.
 

“Even when we’re down to the wire, baby/ Even when it’s do or die/ We can do it baby, simple and plain/ This love is a sure thing.” It’s an audio hug. Such warm and reassuring delivery from Miguel, hence why it is still impactful to this very day, as TikTok users have had it soundtrack their posts. It is arguably his seminal; well, this or the next song.

 

"How Many Drinks?"

“How Many Drinks?” is interesting to look back on in hindsight. Had this record come out in this day and age, it would most certainly be used as a catalyst to cancel Miguel. And rightfully so, as the record carries implications of using alcohol to get a woman to release her inhibitions and go home with him. Given the fact one can’t rightfully give consent when inebriated, and he and the woman in the song are far from already being a couple — as it is clear they are meeting in a public space — it’s conceptually problematic.
 

That said, and certainly not to absolve the singer of any malintent, there are some feelings in this hook that men can relate to, even if that may not be a good thing. “How many drinks would it take you to leave with me?/ Yeah, you look good, and I got money/ But I don’t wanna waste my time,” he sings. Men often spot what they want, approach them, and try to utilize how easy it is to move on to someone else as a selling point for why a woman should get with them. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, and they can just easily find someone else, regardless.
 

“Back of my mind, I’m hoping you say two or three/ You look good; we came to party/ But I don’t wanna waste my time,” he continues at the end of the hook. He definitely isn’t interested to the point where he’d truly ball out on the woman, and, rather, hopes for this exchange to be swift. In the pre-chorus, Miguel admits that he doesn’t want to leave the spot alone and that they are both “grown,” insinuating he’s not here to beat around the bush, metaphorically anyway.
 

Many men don’t actually want to court women and hope it will come easy for them. In this instance, Miguel is hoping a few drinks will accelerate the process and he can get what he wants. Again, it’s not the easiest or best-aged listen in 2023, but it is memorable for the impact it had in the years following and the sheer honesty. Human nature is imperfect; he sang the thoughts many people have but wouldn’t openly admit in this era.

 

"All I Want Is You"

It is crazy how the hook that started it all, 2010’s “All I Want Is You,” was perhaps the most simple one Miguel has ever written. Again, it’s not about the complexity of the pen, but the emotion of the tongue. This was the first collaboration between J. Cole and the eclectic singer, and it displayed why people love their collaborations so much.
 

The pre-hook features the Wildheart artist marveling over a beautiful woman. “‘Cause her eyes, and those hips/ And that a**, don’t compare, at all, no/ And at best, all they do is distract me but now/ Deep down, when I face it,” he sings before getting into the true gem of the record. “All I want is you/ All I want is you, now/ All I want is you now/ Now that you’re gone, gone, gone.”
 

It’s romantic, but it also hints at “the one that got away.” Miguel emphatically sings the word “now” in each line to insinuate that he’s having a moment of clarity after, perhaps, taking her for granted before. That is confirmed in the final line when he sings “Now that you’re gone, gone, gone.” It’s equal parts recognizing he messed up and fighting to get his woman back, which often go hand-in-hand. The relatability and do-or-die stakes made this a slow-burning hit in 2010 that still rings off to this day.

 

 

"Adorn"

Last but most certainly not least, Miguel‘s submission for “Forever Cookout Music” in the form of 2012’s “Adorn.” This chorus is so great because he sings it multiple different ways throughout the record. It almost feels like he wrote something down but caught such a vibe in the studio, that it just ended up being loaded with riffs, runs, and ad-libs.
 

The first chorus is pretty standard: “Just let my love/ Just let my love adorn you (Art dealer chic)/ Please, baby (Would you be my friend, my freak?)/ Yeah, you gotta know, you gotta know/ You know that I adore you (Art dealer chic)/ Yeah, baby (Would you be my friend, my freak?).”
 

The next time it comes around, he doubles the amount of lines and gets creative. He demands that the woman let his love “dress her down,” though he extends the word “let” quite a bunch. “Ahh, le-le-le-let it dress you down,” he sings. The vocal delivery and passion here continues when he says “Don’t you ever, don’t you let nobody tell you different, baby/ I’ll always adore you/ You gotta know now/ You gotta know na-nah-now, yeah.”

 

There is truly something to be said about how using the same words, but singing them in different ways and making people believe the feelings behind them has catapulted Miguel into being a highly coveted hook guy. Other artists recognize it, too. There’s power in depth, but even more power in creating something catchy. Miguel has done this his entire career. One could say he’s let his hooks adorn the fans.

 

Brandy Unveils Cover Art, Release Date, And Tracklist For New Christmas Album

Brandy is set to release her first holiday album, Christmas With Brandy, just in time for the festive time of year.
 

The 11-track LP will debut on Nov. 10 and is her first release since 2020’s B7.
 

Her new offering will include Christmas classics such as “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” “Santa Baby,” “The Christmas Song,” “Jingle Bells,” “Someday At Christmas,” and “Deck The Halls.”
 

However, fans will be most thrilled about the Vocal Bible‘s original tunes like the album opener, “Feels Different,” which is described as a “holiday breakup anthem,” in addition to “Somebody’s Waiting,” and the album’s sole feature — “Christmas Gift,” a duet with her daughter, Sy’Rai.

 

 

Fans can hear a preview from the project in the visual teaser Brandy shared on Instagram late Thursday night (Oct. 19). When making the formal announcement after a month’s worth of speculation, the 44-year-old expressed, “I feel so blessed to be able to create an album surrounding joy, Family, love and quality divine time with the ones you love.”
 

The project was first hinted at back in September when A&R executive Jaha Johnson wrote on his Instagram stories, “One of my favorite things to do is sequence the album. Christmas will never be the same.” The post included a handful of songs with Brandy’s rendition of “The Christmas Song” playing in the background.

 

 


Christmas With Brandy comes the week before she stars in the Netflix original film, Best. Christmas. Ever. Brandy stars as Jackie who reunites with her longtime frenemy, Charlotte (Heather Graham), during the holidays in a comical twist of fate. The holiday album is currently available for pre-order digitally, along with physical copies on Brandy’s official website.

Rihanna Reportedly Plotting Massive Music Comeback After Lengthy Hiatus

Rihanna has been secretly plotting a music comeback, Mirror reports.
 

On Saturday (Oct. 21), the outlet reported that the pop star is planning a comeback tour for 2024/2025. The tour is part of a new deal with Live Nation worth up to $39 million USD. Rihanna also reportedly has “two albums” worth of music ready to release. An insider close to Rih’s camp provided more details regarding her return to the spotlight. 
 

“Rihanna is quietly planning a comeback tour after signing with Live Nation. The deal was created to facilitate a world tour, and her creative team is quietly at work in Los Angeles putting it all together as she raises her family. She’ll press play on the live show once she’s ready to go back to work and has two albums’ worth of material to release once she’s back.”
 

The singer previously contributed to the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack with “Lift Me Up.” Rihanna’s track was nominated for Best Original Song at the 95th Academy Awards and Best Original Song at the 80th Golden Globe Awards. “Lift Me Up” also won an Original Song in a Feature Film award at the 13th Hollywood Music in Media Awards. She would later perform that song live at the 2023 Oscars. 

 


In early 2023, the Barbadian songstress performed a medley of her hits at the 2023 Super Bowl Halftime Show. As for a studio album, Rihanna’s last project was 2016’s Anti. The critically acclaimed work featured contributions from Drake, SZA, Travis Scott, Partynextdoor, James Fauntleroy, Kevin Parker, and more. Elsewhere, Rih recently welcomed baby no. 2. According to The Blast, the couple named their son Riot Rose Mayers. Riot’s name could be inspired by A$AP’s latest single of the same title.

 

Cardi B Recalls Recording "Annoying" Clean Version Of "Bongos" For Pop Radio

Cardi B finally joined the popular Complex show Hot Ones for a literally spicy interview.
 

The newest episode dropped Thursday (Sept. 28), where the Bronx rapstress spoke to host Sean Evans about her Hip-Hop idols, extraterrestrials, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and more. One segment in particular that stood out was the 30-year-old speaking on what it’s like to record “clean” versions of her songs, while simultaneously taking on the “wings of death” challenge.
 

Explaining how “annoying” it was to record a radio-friendly version of her recent single “Bongos” featuring Megan Thee Stallion, Cardi said she was “over it.”




“So annoying. I was so over it,” she hilariously shared. “In [‘Bongos‘] I’d be like, ‘Ni**a, eat this a** like a plum.’ So [when] I’m doing the clean version, I’m like, ‘Baby, eat it up like a plum.’ [But] they’re like, ‘No you still can’t play that for pop radio.’ Whatever.”

“So I’m like, ‘Baby, eat these peaches and plums,'” she continued. “That sounds so corny, that sounds like Kidz Bop. But, I had no choice. So baby, eat these peaches and plums.”

The Bronx star and Houston hottie’s second collab will be it for a while, as Cardi revealed in August that she’s focusing on her next solo single and album. “I’m not going to release any more collaborations, I’m going to put out my next solo single,” she told Complex. This year so far, Cardi has worked with her husband Offset on their song, “Jealousy,” with Latto for “Put It On Da Floor Again,” and FendiDa Rappa on “Point Me 2.” The Atlantic-signee’s next album doesn’t have a title or date yet, but it will be her second studio album following her 2018 debut Invasion of Privacy. “I have a day. It’s not coming around my birthday,” the rapper told SiriusXM’s DJ Whoo Kid during his show, Whoo’s House. “It’s not coming around my birthday. It’s not. Imma let y’all know. Matter of fact, I don’t want nothing coming out in the month of October. October is my month.” Watch Cardi B’s Hot Ones interview above and her speaking on her next album below.

Victoria Monét And More Lead Spotify's R&B Rebrand, RNB X

Spotify has rebranded their acclaimed Are&Be (R&B) playlist into RNB X with Victoria Monét, Summer Walker, and Keke Palmer leading the launch.
 

Over the past year, the streaming platform has seen a nearly 25% increase in R&B streams, making R&B one of its fastest-growing genres. On the rebrand, Spotify explained in a statement, “R&B is constantly changing, taking new shapes and reinventing itself through generations and so the new and improved global R&B flagship, RNB X will reflect that — showcasing its global reach and representing that fluidity. X can mean a lot of things. X is a variable, the value we solve for most frequently in math. X could literally be anything, X is infinite— just like R&B.”
 

Spotify’s Head Of R&B Alaysia Sierra told VIBE, “When we sat down to discuss how to bring the rebrand to life, we knew it had to lead with the artists that were at the forefront of the resurgence. This is a big year for Victoria with ‘Jaguar II’ and her headlining tour, which we supported with R&B First Nights and so it was only fitting to have her spotlighted with this campaign.”

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Spotify (@spotify)


Following the release and success of her debut album, JAGUAR II, Monét broke down why she chose to partner with Spotify, streaming, and what the future of R&B looks like to her. “Spotify has been extremely supportive of ‘Jaguar II’ and its singles, so when I was asked to partner for a name change of the very playlist that met me where I was and changed so much about the dynamic of my career, I was honored and ready!,” said the rising superstar. “I also have an aspiration for acting so it was a really fun experience for me.”



The three-time Grammy nominee teased, “Streaming is the meeting place for fans and I! Spotify is a five-star date night restaurant where fans can consume all the music I have cooked up! It’s where I can get very instant feedback and stats via ‘Spotify For Artists’ too. I think because streaming is worldwide, had it not existed my music wouldn’t even make it to certain places in the world so I’m super thankful to be living in 2023 where streaming exists and thrives!” When speaking about the future of R&B, the “On My Mama” singer expressed, “I think R&B has been at the forefront of what is new and innovative for years. The DNA of R&B is forever evolving and involving! It never dies down, it reinvents, paves new streets and inspires other genres. I’m excited about the artists coming up in this version of R&B that has no limits, aren’t afraid to explore/merge sounds and are assured in their own unique presentation of it.”
Watch the Monét’s RNB X campaign video, directed by Anthony Jamari Thomas, above.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Spotify (@spotify)

 

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