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I Love Music: The Mary J. Blige Edition.

 

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Image: wikipedia.com

 

Mary J. Blige is an American RnB singer whose first albulm, ‘What’s The 411?’ was released in 1992.

 

5 Reasons Why I’m A Mary J. Blige Fan:

  1. Her vocals are top-notch and could put you in either an upbeat mood or a melancholy state of mind (which are quintisential effects of RnB music).
  2. The video for her song, ‘Family Affair’ featured Dr. Dre (the hardcore and generally angry-looking Rapper) dancing…and even smiling. Miracles do happen.

 

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Dr. Dre. Image: Pinterest.

 

3. She was the queen of blonde and red wigs long before Beyonce made her presence known on the music scene.

4. I remember watching a very candid interview of hers years ago where she said that she’d had to make a deliberate effort to change her circle of friends and acquiantances because they were toxic and encouraged negativity in her life. This has resonated deeply with me up till this day.

5. Even though I generally enjoy her music from the late 1990s to the early 2000s, Mary J. Blige’s music from any era embodies the core of rhythm and blues which shape classic RnB songs.

 

My favourite Mary J. Blige songs are:

Real Love.

Everything.

-I’m going Down.

-Not Gonna Cry.

-No More Drama.

-Family Affair.

One (with U2).

-As (with George Michael).

911 (with Wyclef Jean).

-Be Without You.

-Just Fine.

-All That I Can Say.

 

Are there any Mary J. Blige fans out there? Let me know in the comments!

 

Thanks for reading.

 

Ivie.

 

***All videos are from Youtube***

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hip Hop.

Catchy word play that doesn’t stop.

That’s how one could define Hip Hop.

But if Rappers didn’t swear non-stop,

Would they still make hits, or just flops?

I’m here for the heavy baselines when the beat drops,

And the intelligent lyrics which make my heart stop.

Words about life, hardships and running from the cops,

It’s quite a change from listening to sweet pop.

I’m not a Rapper, I don’t drive drop-tops,

I don’t wear Gucci, I just wear flip-flops.

But I can marvel at the excesses and bejewelled cups,

And at the money for private jets they cough up.

Biggy Smalls and Tupac: they were at the top,

The list of legends is too long; I really can’t name-drop.

At home, in your car or even at the barbershop,

You’ll find youself nodding when you hear that Hip Hop.

Written by

©Ivie M. Eke 2017.

I Love Music: The Mase Edition.

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Photo: amazon.com

Mason Durell Betha (popularly known as Mase) is a Hip Hop artist whose music was very popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

 

5 Reasons Why I’m a Mase Fan:

 

  1. He’s cute and has dimples when he smiles (yes, this is an important fact. Don’t judge me).

 

  1. His rap lyrics were (mostly) of the ‘I’ll treat you better than your man treats you’ than the ‘don’t mess with me’ variety.

 

  1. He often broke into dance spontaneously with a level of passion which overshadowed his actual skills as a dancer.

 

  1. He and Puff Daddy (Now Diddy or Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs) were responsible for the musical soundtrack of my late teenage years.

 

  1. Even in the baggy clothes which he wore that were fashionable in the late 1990s/early 200s, he still managed to look cool.

 

Some of my favourite Mase songs are:

 

All I ever wanted (feat. Mya).

If you wanna party.

I like it (with HarlermWorld).

Get ready (feat. Blackstreet).

Welcome back.

Breathe, Stretch, Shake.

Tell me what you want (feat. Total).

Mo Money, Mo Problems (with Puff Daddy and The Notorious B.I.G).

Can’t Hold Me Down (with Puff Daddy).

Been around the world (with Puff Daddy and The Notorious B.I.G).

Hold Me (with 112).

You should be mine (with Brian McKnight).

Horse and carriage (with Cam’ron).

 

***All videos are from Youtube***

I Love Music: The Missy Elliot Edition.

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Photo: amazon.com

I was recently feeling nostalgic for 1990s RnB music, so I went on Youtube with the intention to watch a video or two.

Before I knew it, I found myself in a Youtube hole as I watched video after video of the musician, Missy Elliot.

Missy Elliot is an American recording artist and a force of nature.

She sings.

She raps.

She dances.

She is awesomeness personified.

I believe that the first Missy Elliot music video which I ever watched was for ‘The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)’ in 1997 (I seriously can’t believe that it has been 20 years already!

The video was colourful and kind of weird. Missy’s lyrics were playful and witty and the video featured cameos from Hip Hop and RnB artists like Lil’ Kim, Yoyo, Da Brat, Total and Diddy (then known as Puff Daddy). The song was produced by the legendary Timbaland and the video was directed by Hype Williams.

There was no other video like it at the time, and for me ‘The Rain’ symbolises Missy’s uniqueness and creativity.

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Photo: genius.com

Here’s a list of my favourite Missy Elliot songs:

-The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly).

-Sock it to me (with Da Brat).

-She’s a bitch.

-Hot Boyz (with Nicole Wray, Nas, Eve).

-All in my grill (with Nicole Wray).

Cold rock a party (with MC Lyte).

-Can We (with SWV).

Ladies’ Night (with Angie Martinez, Lil Kim, Left Eye and Da Brat).

-Party to Damascus (with Wyclef Jean).

-Work it.

-Lose control (with Ciara).

-Get your freak on.

-What about us (with Total).

-One minute man (with Ludacris and Trina).

-Take away (with Ginuwine and Tweet).

-Fighting Temptations (with Beyonce, Free and MC Lyte).

Here we come (with Timbaland and Magoo).

 

I think I’ll just stop here; this list is much longer than I thought it would be!

Are there any Missy Elliot fans out there? Let me know in the comments!

I LOVE MUSIC: THE MYA EDITION.

 

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Mya Harrison. Photo: genius.com

 

Mya Harrison (popularly known simply as Mya) is an American RnB singer.

Mya is one of my favourite RnB singers and I really enjoy her music which was popular in the late 1990s to the early 2000s.

One of her most memorable music videos is for her song, ‘Case of the ex’ which was released in the year 2000. The video had everything I needed from a Music/Rnb video:

Catchy lyrics? Yes.

Sweet vocals? Yes.

Choreographed dancing in the desert? Yes.

Did I ever question why Mya was confronting her music video boyfriend about his ex-girlfriend in the desert? No, I did not.

She has several other songs which I enjoy but I noticed that I did not hear much about Mya for years until I watched a video recently where she explained her absence from the music scene.

I would describe her vocals as very sweet and soothing with an attitude. She is also a great dancer, and her uptempo songs usually have energetic dance routines. I hope she continues to bring out good music.

Here are a few of my favourite Mya songs:

Ghetto Superstar (with Pras and Ol’ Dirty Bastard).

Take Me There (with Blackstreet and Mase).

Free.

Case of the ex.

Lady Marmalade (with Pink, Lil Kim and Christina Aguilera).

My love is like…wo.

Falling.

The best of me.

 

Are there any Mya fans out there? Please let me know in the comments!

***All videos are from youtube***

 

 

 

I Love Music: The Mariah Carey Edition.

 

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Photo: youtube.com

 

I am a big fan of Mariah Carey’s music.

 

I have been enjoying her music for more than twenty years (it’s a mind-boggling fact to realize!).

 

Even though I have enjoyed listening to her more recent songs (e.g. #Beautiful featuring Miguel), my focus is often on her music from the early 1990s through to the late 2000s.

 

Thinking about Mariah Carey’s songs often takes me on a journey down memory lane:

 

‘Vision of love’ and ‘Anytime you need a friend’ remind me of watching MTV in Lagos in the early 1990s.

 

‘Always be my baby’, ‘Honey’ and ‘Fantasy’ remind me of secondary school, when I listened to music on the radio or went for the school social nights which were brimming with fun and hormones.

 

‘Breakdown’ reminds me of waiting to get admission into the University and wondering what my future would be.

 

Mariah Carey is a treasure and her music will always have a special place in my heart.

 

I really enjoy her ballads, but my favourite Mariah Carey songs are actually her Hip Hop collaborations, my favourite being ‘Breakdown’ featuring Bone Thugs-n-Harmony

 

If I had to pick my top 10 Mariah Carey songs, they would be (in no particular order):

Heartbreaker (feat. Jay Z).

Without you.

Whenever you call (feat. Wanye Morris).

We belong together.

Emotions.

Breakdown (feat. bone Thugs-n-Harmony).

Shake it off.

Sweetheart (feat. Jermaine Dupri).

Against the odds (feat. Westlife).

Thank God I found you (with Joe and Nas).

 

Are there any Mariah Carey fans out there? Let me know in the comments!

 

Ivie.

I Love Music: The Wyclef Jean Edition.

 

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Wyclef Jean. Photo: genius.com

 

Wyclef Jean is a Haitian-American Musician. I first became aware of him in the early 1990s when he was a member of the Hip Hop group, The Fugees along with Lauryn Hill and Pras Michel.

 

By the time he released his debut album, The Carnival, in 1997, I was already a big fan of his intelligent lyricism, his sense of rhythm and his sense of humour.

 

His musical sound is definitely eclectic (or as he titled one of his albums, Ecleftic). Wyclef’s music, especially his first album, did not have the standard Hip Hop or RnB sound which I had grown accustomed to in the mid-late 1990s. He created his very own sound.

 

 

For me, Wyclef a.k.a The Preacher’s Son embodies creativity and the willingness to explore one’s talent, even if it doesn’t look like everyone else’s.

 

Here’s a list of my favourite Wyclef songs:

We trying to stay alive.
Guantanamera (with an awesome rap verse from Lauryn Hill).
Gone Till November.
If I was President.
Diallo.
Peace God.
Any other day (with Nora Jones).
911 (with Mary J Blige).
Two wrongs (with Claudia Ortiz).
Party to Damascus (with Missy Elliot).
Hips Don’t Lie (with Shakira).

 

Are there any Wyclef fans out there?!

 

 

***All videos are from Youtube***

I Love Music: The Usher Raymond Edition.

 

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Usher Raymond. Image: wikipedia.org

Usher Raymond (popularly known simply as Usher) is an American RnB singer and all round entertainer.

 

I believe the first song of his which I ever heard was ‘U make me wanna’ way back in 1997 or 1998 (my memory is quite fuzzy). When I watch that music video now, I am struck by how young-looking he was, and how great the quality of his vocals was at that age (he was about 19 years old at the time).

 

Did I mention that he’s a very handsome man?

 

 

Sometimes I wish that my life was an Usher Raymond video where I would do nothing but execute complicated dance moves, make sexy faces and sing passionately about love won or lost.

 

My favourite songs of Usher’s are from his ‘8701’ album which he released in 2001. I however still enjoy listening to his more current songs, and the video for his song ‘No Limit’ is a current favourite of mine.

 

Here’s a poem I wrote using Usher Raymond song titles (the song titles are in bold font). I imagined him saying these words to a pretty lady…

Happy reading!

***

 

My Boo…You’re such a good kisser.

U remind me that there’s no limit.

I was wondering…can you help me?

I was so caught up in my confessions.

And when I reached the climax of moving mountains,

I had to focus on taking things nice and slow.

So now, I want to make love in the club.

But I know you’re a bad girl; you’ll just let me burn.

You don’t have to call, but when you do a U-turn,

And if I want to,

We can still twork it out

And start a new flame.

©Ivie M. Eke 2016

 

***All videos are from youtube.com***

I Love Music: The Toni Braxton Edition.

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***Image: Wikipedia***

Toni Braxton is an American RnB singer who had several hit singles in the 1990s and early 2000s.

 

One of the first videos of hers which I watched in the 1990s was ‘Breathe Again’, which I still watch from time to time. Aside from her melancholic and sultry vocals, the video was (and still is) mildly aspirational for me: I too wanted to run through a garden maze, chasing after a handsome guy with precisely-cut cheekbones.

 

(Don’t say that I don’t have life goals).

 

No contemporary RnB music compilation would be complete without Toni Braxton’s songs, which describe heartbreak, cheating spouses, heartbreak, seduction, heartbreak, love, and more heartbreak.

 

I know that she released an album recently with Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, but her earlier songs are still my favourite, and they include the following:

Breathe again.

7 whole days.

Another sad love song.

How could an angel break my heart.

Un-break my heart

You’re making me high.

He wasn’t man enough .

The heat.

You mean the world to me.

Hit the freeway.

Please.

Spanish Guitar

 

Let me know in the comments if there are any other Toni Braxton fans out there!

 

Thanks for reading.

 

Ivie.

 

***All videos are from Youtube***

I Love Music: The Brandy Edition.

 

Brandy

Photo: genius.com

Brandy Norwood (known by her stage name, Brandy), is an American RnB singer and songwriter.

The first Brandy song I ever knew (which is still a favourite of mine) was ‘I wanna be down’ , which was released in 1994.

Brandy’s music remains relevant when I think about contemporary RnB music, and I have enjoyed watching her perform as an actress as well, especially in the TV series, Moesha.

 

 

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Brandy in the music video for ‘The Boy is mine’. photo: un-ruly.com

 

 

 

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photo: herinterest.com

 

 

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photo: pinterest.com

 

Aside from her music, I am a big fan of Brandy’s sense of style, especially when it comes to her hair and makeup. Braids never looked so good!

 

My favourite Brandy songs are:

I wanna be down.

I wanna be down (remix feat. MC Lyte, Yoyo and Queen Latifah).

Baby.

The boy is mine (feat. Monica).

Almost doesn’t count.

Afrodisiac.

Top of the world (feat. Mase).

U don’t know me.

Talk about our love (feat. Kanye West).

Another day in Paradise (feat. Ray J).

Wow.

Have you ever.

Best friend.

 

Thanks for reading!

© Ivie M. Eke 2016.

 

***All videos are from youtube.com***