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Hip Hop Pick Of The Week: Can’t Leave Without It-21 Savage

This song is the property of 21 Savage.

Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, known professionally as 21 Savage, is an American rapper/songwriter/producer from Atlanta, GA. Abraham-Joseph began rapping following the death of a friend, naming himself after the event, although Savage came from Instagram predictions. His music career was initially subsidized by the uncle of a deceased friend, who payed for studio time in 2013. On November 12, 2014, 21 Savage released the single “Picky.” It was featured on his debut mixtape, “The Slaughter Tape”, which was released on May 25, 2015. On July 2, 2015, 21 Savage released the collaborative project “Free Guwop” with Sonny Digital. It was a tribute fellow rapper and influence Gucci Mane. In June 2016, Abraham-Joseph was named one of rap magazine XXL’s “Freshman Class” of 2016. He has released the albums “Issa Album” (2017), “Without Warning” (with Offset and Metro Boomin) (2017) and “I am > I was” (2018).

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R&B Pick Of The Week: Hello Happiness-Chaka Khan

This song is the propety of Diary Records, In.

Yvette Marie Stevens, known professionally as Chaka Khan, is an American singer/songwriter from Chicago, IL. She was introduced to jazz as a child by her grandmother. As a preteen, she became a fan of R&B, and at age 11, formed the female group the Crystalettes, which included her sister Taka. In 1970, she was asked to replace Baby Huey of Baby Huey & the Babysitters. The group disbanded a year later. While performing in local clubs, Stevens was spotted by two members of the band Rufus and became the band’s lead singer. Rufus went on to have such hits as “Tell Me Something Good”, “You Got The Love”, “Sweet Thing” and “Once You Get Started.” In 1978, Stevens released her debut solo album “Chaka.” The album featured the single “I’m Every Woman.” As a solo artist, Stevens scored with the  hits “Clouds”, “What Cha Gonna Do For Me”, “Papillon”, “Through The Fire” and “I Feel For You.” She has released the albums “Chaka” (1978), “Naughty” (1980), “What Cha Gonna Do For Me” (1981), “Chaka Khan” (1982), “Echos Of An Era” (1982), “I Feel For You” (1984), “Destiny” (1986), “OK” (1988), “The Woman I am” (1992), “Come 2 My House” (1998), “Classikhan” (2004), “Funk This” (2007) and “Hello Happiness” (2019).

Hip Hop Spotlight: Red Room-Offset

This song is the property of Quality Control Music, LLC.

Kiari Kendrell Cephus, known professionally as Offset, is an American rapper from Lawrenceville, GA. He is also a member of the rap ensemble Migos.  Migos was formed by Offset, Quavo and Takeoff. They gained recognition after the release of their single “Versace.” In 2015, the trio released  their debut album “Yung Rich Nation.” In 2017, their single “Bad And Boujee” became an internet phenomenon, spawning several memes with the lyrics rain drop, drop top, which were performed by Offset. As a solo artist, Offset released material and collaborated with several artists, including Metro Boomin.

R&B Spotlight: Home-Omari Ft. Anthony Hamilton

This song is the property of Omari Hardwick.

Anthony Hamilton is an American singer/songwriter/producer from Charlotte, NC. Hamilton began singing in his church’s choir at age 10. He came to the attention of mainstream audiences after his appearance on  the Nappy Roots single “Po Folks”, which was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration in 2003. Hamilton also collaborated with Nappy Roots on the singles “Sick & Tired”, “Push On” and “Organic.” He also appeared on The Humdinger single  “Down N’ Out.” Hamilton was also featured on the Jadakiss single “Why”, which was nominated for a Best Rap/Sung Collaboration Grammy in 2005. He also sang on two Tupac remix singles. He has released the albums “XTC” (1996), “Coming From Where I”m From” (2003), “Ain’t Nobody Worrying” (2005), “The Point Of It All” (2008), “Back To Love” (2011) and “What I”m Feeling” (2016).

Inside The Industry

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Grammy Award-winning  R&B singer/songwriter Anthony Hamilton lends his soulful vocals to “Home”, the new single by actor Omari Hardwick. The track shows the world a different side of the “Power” actor, as he gives fans a look into his artistic soul. Hardwick spent two years in the studio fusing his pen around hip hop and R&B and “Home” is the result. In the accompanying video, written, produced and directed by Hardwick, the multi-talented entertainer gives fans an in depth look into his mind and musical vision. Of course, Hamilton brings Hardwick’s first release to life by delivering powerful, emotion filled vocals. Fans can see Anthony Hamilton at the Kings Theater In New York on January 19. Tickets can be purchased at kingstheater.com or Ticketmaster.com. Rapper Nas has released the music video for the single “Everything”, a collaboration with Kanye West and singer/songwriter/producer The Dream. The tragic short film centers around a grandmother and her grandson. During a trip to the Bodega, the grandson gets into a confrontation with the store owner, who accuses him and his friends of stealing. The police are called, and the grandson and his friends flee, but he gets killed. Nas, who sports a dashiki, narratives the heart wrenching story. “Everything” appears on Nas’ latest album “Nasir.” Veteran R&B singer Monica Brown has returned to the spotlight with the single “Commitment.” Serving as an anthem for women, the track shines through with Monica’s glowing delivery as she outlines the bare necessities to please her. Monica previewed “Commitment” during an appearance on VH1’s “T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle.” It’s unclear if she intends to release an album. In 2016, the singer left RCA Records amicably after two decades. He last album was 2015’s “Code Red.”

Hip Hop Spotlight: Close Friends-Lil Baby

This song is the property of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Dominique Jones, known professionally as Lil Baby, is an American rapper from Atlanta, GA. In May 2018, Jones released his debut album, “Harder Than Ever”, which reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart. The album featured the singles “Southside” and “Yes Indeed”, featuring Drake. The latter reached No. 6 on the U.S Billboard Hot 100.

R&B Spotlight: One With Heaven-Carl Thomas

This song is the property of New Earth Energy.

Carlton Neron Thomas, known professionally as Carl Thomas, is an American R&B singer from Chicago, IL. He began his career as a member of the R&B group The Formula. He later branched out, moving to New York, where he sang in clubs during open-mic nights. During one performance, he caught the eye of Sean “”Puffy” Combs, who signed him to Bad Boy Entertainment in 1997. In 1999, he released his debut single, “I Wish”, which topped the R&B charts for six weeks. On April 18, 2000, he released his debut album “Emotional.” A second single, “Summer Rain”,  was released soon after. On March 23, 2004, Thomas released his sophomore effort “Let’s Talk About It.” Although the singles “She Is” and “Let’s Talk About It” charted, the album didn’t do nearly as well as his previous one. On May 30, 2007, Thomas released his third effort “So Much Better.” He  released the album “Conquer” in 2011.

Celebrity Birthdays

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Happy birthday

Singer/actor Rahsaan Patterson 45

Singer Mary J. Blige 48

Singer Charles “Chuck” Barksdale (The Dells) 84

Remembering singer/songwriter Charmayne “Maxi” Maxwell (January 11, 1969-February, 27, 2015-Brownstone)

Remembering rapper Henry “Big Bank Hank” Jackson (January 11, 1956-November 11, 2014-The Sugarhill Gang)

Remembering musician Clarence Clemons (January 11, 1942-June 18, 2011-The E Street Band)

Inside The Industry

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Sam Smith and Normani have released a new single titled “Dancing With A Stranger.” On the 80’s inspired R&B track, the duo showcase their impressive vocals as they croon about a failed relationship. The collaboration came about after an encounter at a recording studio where Smith was writing with Stargate and Jimmy Napes. Normani was in the  studio next door, and being that both are long time fans of one another, it seemed only fitting that they join forces to create the single. “Dancing With A Stranger” is the first new music from Sam Smith in 2019 and follows the single “Promises”, a duet with Calvin Harris. Smith has sold over 20 million records since the release of his debut album, “The Lonely Hour”, in 2014. Meanwhile, Normani launched her solo career with the release of the single “Love Lies”, a collaboration with Khalid. “Love Lies” reached No. 1 on Top 40 Radio and was certified double platinum in the United States. It was the first single Normani released following her success with the group Fifth Harmony. Since then, she’s released several singles, including “Waves”, featuring 6LACK. Normani also collaborated with Quavo and Kehlani. She’s currently working on her debut album. This March, she’ll join Ariana Grande’s The Sweetner World Tour. R&B veteran Tank kicks off 2019 with the single “Dirty.” On the sensual ballad, co-written with frequent collaborator J. Valentine and produced by Cardiak, the R&B General blends the trap sound with his brand of R&B, which makes for a spine-tingling offering. Tank delivers his  smooth vocals and the right amount of emotion, making “Dirty” a perfect addition to your bedroom playlist. Tank had a lot to celebrate in 2018, including the success of his single ‘When We” and his eighth studio effort “Savage.” “When We” held the No. 1 spot on both the Billboard and Mediabase UAC charts for 13 weeks, earned Mediabase’s #1 Urban AC song of 2018 and was nominated for iHeart Radio R&B Song of the Year. “When We” is the only R&B single to crack the Billboard Hot 100. Atlantic Records signee Raiche has released the music video for her new single “Complicated.” “Complicated” samples the Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes classic “I Miss You” while showcasing her powerful vocals. “Complicated” will appear on Raiche’s forthcoming EP, “Drive”, due out March 1. The track is the follow up to the 23-year-old’s 2018 single “Money Pies.” Veteran R&B singer Carl Thomas returns to the airwaves with the single “One With Heaven.” In the accompanying music video, Thomas is see standing in open lands, including a desert, as he croons about being in a great place. Thomas’ last release was the 2014 holiday single “Christmas In Paris (Yuletide Nights).” Prior to that, it was the 2011 album “Conquer.” Hopefully, the singer/songwriter will release another album soon. Following her first collaboration with Tory Lanez, rapper Bhad Bhabie returns with the music video “Babyface Savage.” The video shows the 15-year-old and the Canadian navigating through the dangers of an enclosed area protected by barb wire on all sides. Bregoli’s rhymes are arrogant as ever. Lanez continues to showcases his rapping ability after putting his skills to the test against lyricist Joyner Lucas during a competition that took place at the end of 2018. Meanwhile, Bhad Bhabie continues to improve as she goes along. She has a bright future ahead of her.