Posts Tagged ‘Bruno Mars’

Bruno_Cardi

Time to pull out your favorite Cross Colours outfit. Bruno Mars and Cardi B are bringing the heavy nostalgia in their new video for “Finesse (Remix).” After grooving in a painting room, Bruno and Cardi take¬†it to the In Living Color set for some throwback routines.The only thing missing was JLo showing up for old time’s sake. Bruno has been channeling the New Jack Swing sound since the 24K Magic album, and that trend continues here. You could literally place this song on the Strictly Business or Boomerang soundtrack and it would fit perfectly.

As for Cardi, her album rollout is being handled masterfully. This song will undoubtedly be another Top 10 hit for the Bronx princess.

 

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bruno-mars_thatswhatilike

I hope you have your dancing shoes ready. Bruno Mars is a ball of energy in his new video for “That’s What I Like.” The song is off his smash album 24K Magic. See if you can keep up in your living room.

Snoop Dogg¬†is happily married, has three children and turns 40¬†next week on¬†October 20.¬†This things alone should disqualify him being on a track called¬†“Young, Wild and Free.”¬†But¬†since¬†marijuana¬†is being celebrated,¬†the Doggfather¬†can have a say. This happy go lucky track will be included¬†on the soundtrack to Mac and Devin¬†Go to High School.

Aside from Beyonce’s huge pregnancy announcement, there was an actual award show that took place¬†last night¬†on MTV. While there were no iconic moments that happened, many of the artists turned in very good live performances. Read on to see who elevated their games and who feel flat.

BEYONCE “LOVE ON TOP”

Is that a baby glow? Nope, that’s just Beyonce’s regular look. Bey went old-school with this performance for “Love On Top.” Even with the background dancers, this was centered strictly on her vocals over theatrics,¬†something most of her colleagues cannot do. Don’t expect anyone to take her spot even with the baby on the way.

GRADE – B+

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JAY-Z & KANYE¬†WEST “OTIS”

This set wasn’t expected. But with Beyonce¬†giving the¬†VMAs¬†huge pub by announcing her pregnancy, it’s the least MTV can do. Jay and Ye got off to a great start with the pyro effects and stage walk. Funniest thing was someone yet again trying to crash a Jay-Z MTV performance. What would’ve been awesome is if they had come¬†out in that Mad Max Maybach.

GRADE- B

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LADY GAGA “YOU AND I”

You see the confused faces in the audience? I was equally dumbfounded. I didn’t know if that was Gaga, a cracked out Andrew Dice Clay, or K.D. Lang.¬†These types of intros work good on concert tours. Here, it just runs too long. It takes a minute for your mind to get into the song, which¬†was executed well,¬†after that beginning.

GRADE- B+

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CHRIS¬†BROWN “YEAH 3X/PROTECT YA NECK/TEEN SPIRIT/BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE”

I was never a Chris Brown hater, but I can’t say I was much of fan either. Lately though, he’s caught my attention with the music he’s been putting out (Boy In Detention). Anyone who can incorporate classic Wu-Tang and Nirvana into their performances in 2011 is ok in my book. The¬†stage flying took this over the top.

GRADE- A

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PITBULL “GIVE ME EVERYTHING”

This is the first and only performance of the night where my attention started waning. I think most people would have struggled following that Chris Brown set. The song being meh probably didn’t help either.

GRADE- C

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ADELE “SOMEONE LIKE YOU”

Adele has a great voice and she nailed this. All the slick production on this show made her work stand out even more.

GRADE- A

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LIL¬†WAYNE “HOW TO LOVE/JOHN”

Wayne got clowned¬†heavy last night for those leopard print skinny jeans. Mixing the mellow “How to Love” with the hard-hitting “John” was a nice¬†contrast of styles. However, it never quite connected with the audience.¬†It would have come off much stronger if Rick Ross joined him on stage for his part. Overall, not great but not terrible.

GRADE – C-

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BRUNO¬†MARS “AMY¬†WINEHOUSE¬†MEDLEY/VALERIE”

Far as male singers go, Bruno Mars was a good pick for this Amy Winehouse tribute. His voice sounded great and the overall presentation was an excellent nod to Amy’s big band jazz roots from the attire to the swing rhythms. Even Tyler the Creator was loving it. Well done, sir.

GRADE- A

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YOUNG THE GIANT “MY BODY”

Never underestimate the benefit of a lively crowd. The song is nice, but the crowd’s energy in the pit put this on another level. This is the good-natured vibe that results in tipsy girls hugging random people at shows. Extra points for the stage diving.

GRADE- B+

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COBRA STARSHIP “YOU MAKE ME FEEL”

It’s hard for me to tolerate these dance-pop anthems outside of working out. The singing at times is strained but let’s¬†face it, you don’t listen to these songs expecting Patti LaBelle level vocals.¬†I did¬†like how they traveled to different stage areas.

GRADE – B-

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Disagree? Vote on who was your favorite performer on last night’s VMAs!

 

 

Regular readers of this site will recall I was not feeling this song when it dropped a few months back. The video does litte to change my opinion. The rhymes are straight but the cheesy and formulaic synth-pop production makes it a difficult listen. That probably means it will be a radio hit. I’ll be one of the happiest people on earth when these Hip-Hop synth ballads go out of style.

The 2011 BET Awards are in the books. With events like this, the music is unfortunately secondary. However, the show provided some standout performances that shouldn’t be overlooked in light of the fashion gaffes and other head-shaking moments that have come to characterize any BET live event. Let’s get right into it.

ALICIA KEYS

Ms. Keys doesn’t have any new music to promote, so she went with performing some of her old hits, starting off with a Bruno Mars duet version of “A Woman’s Worth.” Bruno Mars vocals were better than Alicia’s, but he didn’t blow her off the stage. Rick Ross popped in randomly for a quick medley of “Maybach Music 2” before Keys went into “Fallin’.” Maybe she didn’t have much time to prepare, but the overall feel of the performance was very ho-hum and mailed in.

GRADE- C

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CHRIS BROWN

Breezy also took to the medley format for his catalogue. For all his embarrassing personal moments, Brown’s a natural performer, so the dancing and showmanship was there. Busta’s a natural on stage and got the crowd going with his frenetic verse on “Look At Me Now.” Aside from some of the vocals being garbled because of breath control, not too much to complain about here.

GRADE- B

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AFTER 7 & THE FIVE HEARTBEATS

I bet you a lot of people there thought the Five Heartbeats were a real group. This was a nice nod to the 90s and After 7 always comes correct with their vocals. Being that it was BET, I was half-expecting them to be funny and have Michael Wright’s unstable character Eddie Keane do something crazy.

GRADE- B+

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JILL SCOTT “ROLLING HILLS”

I thank the music gods for Jill Scott. Her talent would excel in any era, as evidenced by this period performance of “Rolling Hills,” off her new album The Light of the Sun. Jill looked radiant and her voice was vibrant and clear. Appreciate her talent while she’s here.

GRADE – A

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MARY J. BLIGE

When the image of her magnum opus My Life flashed in the background, I knew I wouldn’t have many complaints. The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul kicked off her set with a nice rendition of her Mary Jane Girls-inspired “All Night Long.” Hearing this, “Joy,” and “Real Love” again was a reminder of how far a lot of R&B has fallen these days. But the best moment was Mary bringing out Anita Baker for a duet of “Caught Up in the Rapture.” Who would’ve thought their vocals would compliment each other so well? Having Khaled come on after Baker was a mood killer, but it’s minor complaint.

GRADE- A-

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BET MEMORIAL TRIBUTE

BET has taken a lot of hits over the last few years for messing up tributes at award shows. This time, they got it right. Everyone got covered from the recently deceased M-Bone of Cali Swag District, to Teena Marie and Gil Scott Heron. Every one was paid tribute by one of their peers. The censors ruined Warren G and Snoop Dogg’s “Regulate,” but made up for it when Queen Latifah delivered a flawless rendition of Heron’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” That poem is one that requires precise phrasing and delivery. Latifah didn’t miss a beat, and the classic work had a whole new power and perspective coming from the voice of a woman. Ledisi was absolutely phenomenal performing Teena Marie’s “Out On a Limb.” If you weren’t watching the screen, you’d swear it was Marie singing that track in the beginning. Well done.

GRADE- A

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TREY SONGZ AND KELLY ROWLAND

With a new hit song under her belt, Kelly Ro has her best chance to truly step into a spotlight of her own. Not sure what she was thinking with the church hat, as the audience needed to see more of her face. The raunchiness here was for the most part PG-13.

GRADE- B

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CHERRELLE AND ALEXANDER O’NEAL

Don’t know if Alexander O’Neal was tipsy, but he was pretty much out of it for this entire song. Cherrelle looked great and held things down vocally. Classic song and a surprise moment. I’m sure a lot of households were grooving when this hit.

GRADE- C+

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BIG SEAN & CHRIS BROWN

Not great, but not horrible either.¬† This was just an overall average set with nothing to distinguish it from the evening’s other proceedings.

GRADE- C

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PATTI LABELLE TRIBUTE

This fool Ceelo had Patti’s mannerism’s down! What a way to kick off a tribute. Only Ceelo… Looking like a young Angela Bofill, Marsha Ambrosius did an excellent job performing “If Only You Knew,” causing Ms. LaBelle to later state that Marsha was a “bad heffa.” Shirley Ceasar amazingly one-upped Ceelo’s outfit, showing that secular folks have nothing on the anointed when it comes to fashion. Those who are familiar with Patti and Shirley’s music know they’re kindred spirits when it comes to singing spasms. With that said, I’m surprised Fantasia did get an invite.

GRADE- A

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BEYONCE

When you talk about live performing and singing, Beyonce remains unrivaled. You never hear her vocals sound winded even after dance routines. That lets you know she’s in real shape, not just comestically. Bey wasn’t even in the country, having her Glastonbury performance streamed over for BET. C’mon Beyonce, you could have at least let little sister Kelly Rowland have the BET Awards.

GRADE- A

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DJ KHALED FT. DRAKE, RICK ROSS & LIL WAYNE

No clue why this ended the telecast. After Beyonce, the show’s over.

GRADE- C

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THE POWER OF THE BOOTY

Despite the good performances, the talk of the show on Twitter was former 106 & Park host Free’s stunning backside. In my own household, even my woman was in awe. Those of us who kept track of Hip-Hop in the early 2000s were well acquainted with Free’s assets, but natural age and weight has made her even more voluptuous. The thickness appreciation talk even extended to gospel singers Mary Mary and actress Tracee Ellis Ross. It got so bad that while handling post-show interviews, BET made sure that Free was seated for most of the segments. Who’d have thought an ass discussion in Hip-Hop would happen with Nicki Minaj being an afterthought? The lesson? Never underestimate the power of the booty.

“Always down for the catchweight¬†like Pacquiao…”

 

If you’re an emcee on a major label, there’s a 99.9% chance you will be including at least one synth-heavy ballad on your album. Despite that sound probably making¬†your ears bleed at this point, it’s a¬†proven money-maker¬†that will be¬†standard procedure for the time being. Most artists we grudgingly¬†understand doing it since they don’t have the power to completely dictate the direction of their work. That’s not the case with Enimem, which makes it all the more head-scratching that he and Royce da 5’9 would take this route on their Bruno Mars-assisted single “Lighters.”

Bruno Mars does¬†what’s expected on a track like this; Eminem¬†tries to “upgrade” the beat with the power of his flow.¬†However, nothing to overcome the woeful genericness¬†of the beat. If you enjoyed most of the production on Recovery, your tolerance for this sound may be¬†a lot higher. This is new territory for Royce. Nonetheless, he shows his emcee chops and sounds natural along with adding¬†engaging personal content. Most memorable is his hope to become successful enough to allow his father, who is ailed by a bad back,¬†the ability to retire.

For longtime fans, this is the last way you’d expect a Bad Meets Evil project to sound. Hopefully, this will be just a¬†one-shot deal for the radio and not be an indicator we have another Lasers¬†type album on deck.

EMINEM¬†& ROYCE¬†DA 5’9¬†FT. BRUNO MARS “LIGHTERS”

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