Mack Wilds is having a pretty good 2013. After releasing his album New York: A Love Story in September, he's getting love all over the internets and, much to our surprise, he received a GRAMMY nod for Best Urban Contemporary Album. Last night he performed on Arsenio, where he sang his hit single "Own It." We've reviewed the song before and weren't wowed by its generic appeal, but Wilds macked his way into our fuzzy place by shimmying through the audience and charming some of the ladies in attendance. Backed by Arsenio's house band, Wilds owned his performance, hitting all his notes and keeping the audience engaged. After the performance Wilds talked to Arsenio Hall about his GRAMMY surprise (see, we're not the only ones), who he's taking to the ceremony and his relationship with Jay Z. Wilds will be performing his first solo concert at S.O.B.'s in New York City on December 23rd, but until then check out his performance on Arsenio.
Last week we told you about the song that should be on high rotation on your Christmas playlist, Mateo's "Home For Christmas." Now this week we have the visuals that accompany the heartfelt holiday tune. In the music video we see Mateo solemnly busking in the subway before making the last minute decision to take the drive in his classic BMW to see those who have his heart. This soulful R&B number along with its endearing video will have you reflecting on what truly matters at this time of year and just who you want to be waking up to on Christmas morning. Watch "Home For Christmas" right now then grab yourself a copy of the song at his official website.
R. Kelly's Black Panties was unleashed on the world (for better or worse) yesterday, but not without a few glitches in the process. Black Twitter pretty much dragged him for filth after his #AskRKelly hashtag went horribly awry as folks called into question his dubious sexual history, especially when it came to his alleged
(read: actual and factual) penchant for underage girls. Then, as if to add fuel to the fire, he dropped the sexually-charged video for his song "Cookie." The clip for the song, which I deemed one of the "unsexiest songs about sex ever," is exactly what you'd expect based on the perverse lyrics about how he "loves to lick the middle like an Oreo" (I'm sure Nabisco isn't pleased with that reference). In it, he plays a sort of deviant Jay Gatsby, surrounded by scantily clad women at his beck and call to do whatever freaky things he asks, including one lucky lady who gets to take a milk bath for Kellz' enjoyment while he dunks -- you guessed it -- Oreo cookies into it like a jubilant five-year-old. But Kelly knows his audience, and if his "Cookie" is your flavor, then you'll surely eat this (definitely NSFW) video up.
- Following a GRAMMY nomination for her single "A Little More Jesus," Erica Campbell confirmed her first solo album HELP will be released in March 2014. [EUR]
- R. Kelly had a Twitter chat using the #AskRKelly hashtag to promote the release of his new album but likely wasn't expecting questions like "Why aren't you in jail?" and other assorted shade from Black Twitter. [MN]
- Why didn't The Recording Academy acknowledge the amazing work of alternative R&B artists like Janelle Monáe and The Weeknd? [LAT]
- A rumor "Lil'" Romeo Miller signed with the New York Knicks sparked a debate about whether music stars like Common, Eminem, Kanye West, The Game or Robin Thicke have the hops for pro ball. [TSL]
When the nominations for the 2014 GRAMMY Awards were announced, super-producer Pharrell Williams found himself garnering seven nominations for work with several artists that spanned across genres. And while Pharrell has been putting in work for over a decade now, the multi-talent may owe a bit of his successful blueprint to another super-producer, Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds. Babyface pretty much ruled the '90s R&B landscape with deft songwriting and production skills. However, 20 years ago Babyface also made a significant mark as an artist with his fourth album For the Cool in You. Featuring some of the crooner's best known songs, this 1993 collection further established what was obvious from the start: When it comes to crafting love songs that move you, Babyface was that man.
December is known for many things -- the holidays, the last month of any given year and partying. People are turning up all month long to end 2013 in style, and New York City Bouncers are invited to come on out to do just that at the holiday edition of Revival with resident DJs Rich Medina and PQ holding it down as always. Joining them this month will be Hot 97's Peter Rosenberg spinning an all-vinyl set. It all goes down on Saturday, December 14th at FREECANDY in Brooklyn, and we have the hook up from Move Forward Music for a free pair of tickets. Enter to win right now or you can drop an RSVP to the email address on the flyer for reduced price admission.
The year 2007 feels like ages ago, but I do remember in the cluttered file cabinet that is my memory Wyclef Jean's hit single "Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill)." I also recall that there was a really lovely voice on it -- and, well, I'm not talking about Akon's. The voice belonged to NYC jazz vocalist and pianist Niia, who later on became a part of Wyclef Jean's touring band around that time. Flash to now and I have put two and two together that the same Niia from "Sweetest Girl" is the Niia on this new slice of melancholic soul called "Generation Blue." As she didn't get much space to show her stuff on "Sweetest Girl," on "Generation Blue" Niia is front and center and still as lovely as I remember, with a voice that immediately draws you in with its light but rich tone making it a perfect compliment to the spacious symphonic production that is led by none other than Robin Hannibal (what has he not produced this year?). Here's hoping these two continue to work some music magic for Niia's upcoming debut LP, as their previous work, the beautiful track "Made For You," adds to the fact that they do have a special musical kinship. To get reacquainted with Niia, hit the after the bounce to take in "Generation Blue" and its bewitching visual.
One of the things that makes Joya Mooi's latest Crystal Growth so gosh darn good is the live instrumentation featured on it. She continues the thread in her latest video for one of the album's cuts, "Way of Life." The video features the Dutch beauty performing alongside her backing band during an intimate live show. The fun, uptempo groove sounds just as good live as it does on the album itself thanks to Mooi's effortless vocals and the band's tight sound. She delivered the clip to fans in commemoration of her 23rd birthday on December 9th. What's better than an artist who celebrates their birthday by giving a fans a treat? Crystal Growth, which dropped November 25th, debuted at the #2 spot on the NL iTunes Jazz Top 10 chart and is currently streaming on iTunes and Spotify.
Brandon Williams won't be releasing his debut album XII until early 2014, but he wants to make sure that you remember his name for the remainder of 2013 with the release of his holiday EP Christmas Card, which we are proud to world premiere on SoulBounce today. After listening to the five-song project you'll more than likely place this into heavy rotation every Christmas from now on. Williams has gathered together some amazing musicians to bring a few of his favorite Christmas songs to life. Included on Christmas Card are "White Christmas" featuring Sherry Gay-Dagnogo and Onaje Allan Gumbs, "What Child Is This (Greensleeves)" featuring Toty Viola, "Christmas Time Is Here" and "The Christmas Song" performed by Frank McComb, Farnell Newton and Perry Hughes with an additional acoustic version featuring Allyn Johnson. All of the songs on Christmas Card expertly blend soul and jazz together and are familiar yet fresh like the first snowfall of the season. It is McComb's rendition of "The Christmas Song" that is the star on top this Christmas tree and makes you want to embrace a loved one and slow dance the night away under the mistletoe with them. The various players that Williams has amassed for this brief project are impressive, but it's his production and vision that shines like Quincy Jones during the Back on the Block era. Christmas Card is available for purchase right now for the low price of $2.99 on Brandon's website, so go ahead and treat yourself.
I'm slowly, but surely getting into the swing of the holiday season, as the tree has been put up (still not decorated yet...) and Home Alone parts 1 & 2 have been watched. My favorite music of the season has yet to be consumed, but I'm glad I waited out as Sam Sparro has rightly rung in the holidays for me with his festive new track. As we all know, Christmas is the time for
presents giving love to those nearest and dearest to us, and Sparro is all about it, as he proclaims on the cheerful "Spread A Little Love." It's short but sweet, and it's in typical Sparro electro-soul fashion complete with a synth back-beat that is easy to croon along to and up-tempo enough to bust a few moves with. In keeping the spirit bright, a joyful music video has also been released to accompany the new track and even though there is some obvious product placement going on due to Sparro penning the track for Lexus' holiday campaign (it wouldn't be Christmas without some sugar-dusted commercializing) there is a lot of fun to be had. Walk in a disco winter wonderland with Sam Sparro after the bounce and head to Sparro's SoundCloud spot to download this track for free so you can add it to your holiday playlist this year.