Monday, June 27, 2016

Prince Tributes Save the 2016 BET Awards

For those who missed the 2016 BET Awards night, below are the highlights of the show . . .

(click on title links to view performances)

Most of the performances weren't even worthy of me posting the links.  Desiigner, the "rapper" who sings that song Panda was a damn joke!  He jumped around the stage and audience the entire time. . . I guess he forgot the memo that he had to actually perform and rap too, smh!

Alicia Keys was doing way too much over there, tryin to be E. Badu with that beat machine.  She should've just performed In Common in its original form or at least kept the beats machine to a minimum and sequed into the song.

The only performances you need to know about are below:

Beyonce opened the show with a powerful performance later joined by Kendrick who as usual spit some dangerous rhymes.

Maxwell was good but was it just me or did anybody see his right hand shaking during several moments of his set?  I'm not gonna say what I thought it looked like and put those negatives vibes out there but I hope he's okay.

Jhud did the damn thing and I liked how she made the song her own.  Very emotional driven performance.

That performance right there was EVERYTHING, especially when she performed one of my favs I Would Die 4 U.  Definitely one of highlights of the show.

This was a great way to close out the Prince tribute and the show.  Sheila ROCKED!!!  And yes, that was Prince's ex-wife Mayte dancing on stage.

The performances that happened before commercials showcasing up and coming artists like Anderson .Paak who performed Come Down were great.  I liked how they they increased their airtime to play this go around. #BETgotthememo

To view all performances, click here.


Once again, it's the Best Group category that continues to confuse me.  All the nominees were not groups but collabs! #kanyeshrug

To view all the winners, click here.

Overall Show

If it wasn't for the Prince tribute, the show would've been a bust.  Great strategic move of BET for spreading the tributes through the show so people had to watch the entire thing.  However, they should've kept all the tributes together which would've flowed better and made it more cohesive.

Tracee and Anthony were entertaining hosts.  I continue to love their energy and chemistry together.

Jesse Williams speech as he accepted the Humanitarian award was EVERYTHING.  He continues to speak the truth.  If he didn't hear it or even need to hear again, click here.  There are rumors going around he is set to play Harry Belafonte in a biopic. . .sounds good to me if true!

Monday, June 13, 2016

TV One Debuts First Feature Film on R&B Singer Miki Howard

On Sunday, TV One debuted its first biopic production focusing on the R&B singer Miki Howard.  TV One had featured Howard on their TV series Unsung and if you saw it, this film served as an extension that offered a little bit more detail.  If you didn't see the Unsung special, this movie gave you a great picture of Miki's life and career. Teyonah Parris played Miki along with Darius McCrary as Gerald Levert, Gary Dourdan as Miki's first real love interest and father of her 2 sons, LisaRaye as famous music exec Sylvia Rhone, Vanessa Bell Calloway as Miki's mother, and Indira Khan, Chaka Khan's real life daughter who played Khan.

Here are some of my observations from watching:

  • According to this, Howard hung out a lot with Chaka Khan (who knew?) and it was Khan that turned Miki on to drugs or at least did it with her often
  • Due to her not having a stable family, Miki longed for love and an instant family.  As a result, her need to be loved, should found herself in undesirable relationships.
  • I know it must be pressure to play your mom, but Indira was killing me with doing Chaka's laugh, lol.
  • Apparently, the first label Howard was on kept comparing her to Whitney Houston when Miki just wanted to be noticed and promoted as herself.
  • Miki was a fighter when it came to the direction in her career and love life.
  • Darius did a decent job playing Gerald Levert
  • One thing that was irritating was the network would cut to commercial at weird moments like in the middle of an action.

Overall, this was a great debut effort by TV One and I hope this will not be the last.  Lifetime, take notes!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Monday, June 6, 2016

Ashanti & Ja Rule Reunite for Joint Tour

Seems like this summer is the time for a resurrence of past music that allows us to reminsce about when music was great.  Diddy started it with his Bad Boy Reunion Tour and now Ashanti and Ja Rule, who have toured overseas together, bring their show to the states with a series of dates.  People will be taking back by hits they have as solo acts but also ones they have together like Leaving (Always on Time Part II). Down For You, and Mesmerize to name a few.

Click here for ticket info

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Reflecting on 6 Years of MusicLife

Today marks the 6th year blogiversary of J9's MusicLife!  Wow, I never imagined this day would be a reality.  In 6 years, some of the things accomplished. . .

Over 1,200 posts
220 FaceBook Likes
280 Twitter Followers
72 Concert/Musical Reviews
23 Interviews

I'm very humbled to be able to continue my goal in providing my musical opinion to those who listen. There are times when I think nobody reads my posts but then I receive a sign like recently, when a friend tagged me in a FB post referencing a recent post I shared and said that she does read them.  Things like that brings me back to reality and reaffirms the reason I do this blog. . . for moments like these!

During this 6th year, here are 6 Reflections on some posts I've done. . .
  • I love watching biopics or documentaries of artists because I get to know them on a deeper level than just their music.  After watching the Netflix doc on Nina Simone, I learned so much about Simone has a person and insight on her life.  I was able to reflect on this in a post and showcase how Nina continues to influence the music today.  Check out the post here.
  • Due to the opportunity in my 5th year to participate, with other media outlets, in conversations with Tyrese as he promoted his Black Rose project and voice his views on the state of R&B, I received many other opportunities from his team to interview him as well as others in the industry.  Check them out here.
  • In an interview, Jill Scott interview referenced the Bill Cosby situation and how she was having difficultly not separating his accomplishments and positive impacts from his negative personal problems.  This got me thinking about the same debate with music artists who have found themselves in a similar situation where you have to ask yourself. . can you truly separate the art from the artist.  Read the full post here.
  • There are times when I hear a song and elements of it remind me of another song.  Oftentimes, it takes several listens and "it's on the tip of my tongue" moments to figure it out.  One of those times happened during this year between a recent Tamia song and hearing a Beyonce song in it.  Find out about the connection here.
  • There is nothing like a live performance that brings a song to life and moves you.  This happened when Jazmine Sullivan performed a fav of mine at this year's Black Girls Rocks! show.  She used this opportunity as a vehicle to celebrate the beauty that exists in all shapes and sizes of women.  Read that post here.
  • Recently, I was able to reunite with ChinaBabe to do a joint Analyze This post on Beyonce's Lemonade.  While many outlets chose to give their take on the album right away, I tend to let things marinate to gain a full picture and then give my thoughts.  It was nice to work as a team w/ China again creatively.  Check out the post here.

Thanks to all my MusicLifers for rolling with me for 6 years. . . here's to another great year!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Singer vs. Entertainer

Watching Sunday's Billboard Awards (don't judge me cause I watched) and seeing people perform like Britney Spears and then Celine Dion confirmed I needed to write this post that has been in my head for a while. . . .comparing The Singer vs. The Entertainer.

The Singer:  A person who has great vocal ability and could carry a show just with his/her voice.  They don't need added things like dancers or special effects.

The Entertainer:  A person who may or may not have the best vocal ability but need that added support of dancers and special effects to carry a show.

Britney was clearing the Entertainer as she lip-synced her entire performance but it was filled with dancers and great choreo and effects.  I don't think people even cared that she wasn't singing.  With Celine, although she did have some effects, I was mostly drawn with her incredible vocal delivery.

These definitions were created on the basis of if someone were to see these artists in concerts, what would they be looking forward to experiencing. . .hearing an amazing live vocal delivery or seeing an amazing visual performance.  I'm not saying one is better than the other per se, just saying it's really a preference thing in some cases.

Do you agree with my assessment?  Who would you put in those categories?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Bad Boy Artists Reunite for Upcoming Tour

The reunion show, featuring Lil Kim, the Lox, Mase, Faith Evans, Mario Winans, 112, Total, Carl Thomas and French Montana, started out as just one NYC show on May 20 to celebrate the birthday of Notorious B.I.G.  Then I guess Diddy realized it had to be bigger than that and turned it into a tour. The Bad Boy Records era was during a time when hip-hop music was on an amazing musical high.  This just might be one of the most epic concerts of the year

Tour Schedule

Aug. 25 - Columbus, OH - Schottenstein Center
Aug. 26 - Cincinnati, OH - U.S. Bank Arena
Aug. 27 - Chicago, IL - United Center
Aug. 31 - Kansas City, MO - Sprint Center
Sept. 2 - Detroit, MI - The Palace of Auburn Hills
Sept. 3 - Baltimore, MD - Royal Farms Arena
Sept. 4 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
Sept. 6 - Toronto, ON - Air Canada Centre
Sept. 8 - Atlanta, GA - Philips Arena
Sept. 10 - Miami, FL - American Airlines Arena
Sept. 11 - Tampa, FL - Amalie Arena
Sept. 14 - Dallas, TX - American Airlines Center
Sept. 15 - Houston, TX - Toyota Center
Sept. 16 - San Antonio, TX - AT&T Center
Sept. 18 - Nashville, TN - Bridgestone Arena
Sept. 20 - Charlotte, NC - Time Warner Cable Arena
Sept. 22 - Washington, DC - Verizon Center
Sept. 23 - Philadelphia, PA - Wells Fargo Center
Sept. 24 - Boston, MA - TD Garden
Sept. 25 - Newark, NJ - Prudential Center
Oct. 1 - Las Vegas, NV - MGM Grand Garden Arena
Oct. 2 - Glendale, AZ - Gila River Arena
Oct. 3 - Los Angeles, CA - The Forum
Oct. 6 - San Diego, CA - Viejas Arena
Oct. 8 - Oakland, CA - Oracle Arena

Click here for ticket info


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