[Neo-Soul] “I Want You” – Erykah Badu

erykah-badu

This post is dedicated to my new-found love for Ms. Erykah Badu, the R&B and neo-soul singer with a voice like gold. I have to thank a friend of mine who re-introduced me to her music – it’s all I’ve been grooving to this weekend.

I Want You is 10 minutes and 54 seconds of pure sex. Badu throws in a mix of various rhythms and a collaboration of soul, R&B and even electric guitar at the end. Her raw and raspy vocals add even more sex appeal – if you can handle it. It’s the type of track that you don’t really want to end because it just won’t… let… go.

This musical genius of a song is almost 11 minutes long, but who’s in a rush on a lazy Sunday? Trust me, it’s well worth your enjoyment.

I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I…

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[Reggae] “No Love Allowed” – Rihanna

Rihanna

It’s been a long time since Rihanna‘s first single Pon De Replay was released on her 2005 album Music From the Sun. Her island tracks have rarely seen the sunlight since then but don’t fail to make at least one appearance on her following records.

As Rude Boy came onto the scene in 2009 and Man Down in 2011, Riri makes sure to get her hands on at least one reggae track to show off her island roots on every album she drops.

Here enters No Love Allowed, her token reggae hit on her latest 2013 album Unapologetic. The rhythm is smooth and played to a slow bass as she sings – in her Barbadian twang – about a cold-blooded lover:

Like a bullet your love me hit me to the core
I was flying ’til you knocked me to the floor
And it’s so foolish how you keep me wanting more, eh
I’m screaming murderer, how could you murder us
I call it murder, no love allowed.

Better luck with her next beau? Let’s hope so.

[House] “KNAS” – Steve Angello

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Before Swedish House Mafia, Steve Angello had already made a name for himself in the house/electro/techno world with hit tracks likes Gypsy and Tivoli.

KNAS, released in 2010, is another one of his hits that brought him fortune and fame. Although there is controversy surrounding the production of this track (he allegedly sampled this song with his only contribution being the percussion), there is no denying that the beat is off the hizzie.

The song starts off with what sounds like a ticking time bomb. Insert a few sharp, high-pitches notes and you will experience an explosive eargasm of sorts at 1:30. No kidding.

Oh. And you might want to turn up your speakers.

[Dubstep] “Make It Bun Dem” – Damian Marley ft. Skrillex

Skrillex-vs-Damian-Marley

Reggae Rastafarian Damian Marley and dubstep/electro artist Skrillex (also known as Sonny Moore) have put their heads down to create one hell of a masterpiece known as “Make It Bun Dem.” Damian shares his lyrical talent with rhyme and rhythm while Moore sets the stage for a slow, body-banging dubstep.

In other words, it’s got that rude boy bass to mash up de place.

[Country] “Better Dig Two” – The Band Perry

TheBandPerry

Born in Mississippi and raised in Alabama, the three siblings Kimberley, Reid and Neil Perry formed The Band Perry. The trio quickly found their footing in the country music industry and in no time, the If I Die Young singers achieved No. 1 singles on the Hot Country Songs, No. 1 on the country music chart and No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100. Since June 2012, The Band Perry has sold 1.3 million copies worldwide.

Their newer single Better Dig Two was released in October 2012, a song that is a little more morbid than their usual sound. But the mix of the banjo and the catchy, hard-rock sound makes it for a great country diddy. When a wedding goes wrong and divorce is the solution, this is what it’ll sound like.

[Latin] “Aguanile” – Mark Anthony

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Although a remake of  Hector Lavoe‘s original,  Marc Anthony recreates Aguanile by adding little more spice to this latin flavour, making it a salsa favourite.

A quick Wiki search will tell you that the word “Aguanile” is a term stemming from West Africa as well as the Afro-Cuban religion known as Santería (Sublime anyone?). “Aguanile” (often paired with the words “mai mai”) is used to express praise towards the saint called Oggun, the god of war and metal. The learn something new every day.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is latin dancing at its finest. Are you ready to dance?

[Top 40] “Thrift Shop” – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Wanz

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If you have yet to hear this song, please remove the rock you’ve been sitting under. Kidding! But seriously.

Thrift Shop was brought onto the scene by newcomers Macklemore, a rapper hailing from Seattle and his producer Ryan Lewis. This song, which is about shopping, is a fifth and final single from their album The Heist. And yes, it’s actually hilarious. The chorus goes something like this:

“I’m gonna pop some tags
Only got twenty dollars in my pocket
I – I – I’m hunting, looking for a come-up
This is f*cking awesome.”

Then there is a reference to R. Kelly’s bed sheets smelling like urine and then something about your grammy, your aunty, your momma and your mammy. A classic really, which still made its way to #31 on Ryan Seacrest’s Top 40 charts and the Billboard Top 100. Word.

What could be more entertaining than two white boys spitting rap, riding around on a bicycle and bearing $20 pimp jackets?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

[Soul] “Pissed Off” – Angie Stone

Angie Stone

Nominated for three Grammy Awards, four top 10 albums, a number one album, ten singles and over 1.4 million records sold in the U.S. (5 million worldwide), Angie Stone is without a doubt one of the most successful R&B/Soul singers of the century.

Once a gospel singer at the First Nazareth Baptist Church in Columbia, South Carolina, Angie Laverne Brown turned her attention to R&B, soul and neo soul. Interestingly enough, Angie dated R&B and soul singer D’Angelo in the 1990s, who also helped to produce her 1999 Black Diamond album.

When a friend of mine introduced her sound to me only a week ago, her smooth, rhythmic harmonies and slow jams were only too easy to get hooked on. You’ll see what I mean in just a second…

[Reggae] “Affairs of the Heart” – Damian Marley

Damian Marley

I was in Jamaica a few weeks ago and got to know a couple of locals pretty well, enough so to call them my friends. One of them was kind enough to share his mixed CD with me, a collaboration of both local and big reggae artists straight out of Jamrock – the first track being one of none other than Jr. Gong himself, Damian Marley.

This is not you typical slow-moving reggae jam you might be used to. In his 2012 release titled “Affairs of the Heart,” not only do we hear about a softer side of the self-proclaimed “Gong Zilla,” but we get a better taste of his genius as he gets reggae and R&B to flirt with one another.

The track starts with a sharp, high-pitched melody before the hard-hitting based swings in, but it’s not until the second verse when Marley imposes his token, Jamrock-rhyme into the rhythm. And to prove how good it is, the track was just dubbed Song of the Year, 2012 by the Jamaica Star.  

While he professes love for someone we may never know, Marley also sheds light on the superficialities of relationships, as we so often see:

“There’s people just like you and me 
We pass them in the traffic
That never fall in love and so me have it say me lucky
‘nuff a dem nuh fortunate enough to have somebody
Some just cannot see beyond the flesh and its so funny
Never get too caught up in yourself to feel the magic
True love come and pass you by in life that is so tragic
Opportunity is scarce so take it while you have it
Nuh wait ‘til you a panic.”

Listen to his advice, you might learn something. Yeah mon, irie.

[House] “Epic” – Sandro Silva & Quintino

Quintino

If you’re looking for a fist-pumper with a lot of bass, this should do the trick.

A friend of mine introduced me to this song at a pre-drink (obviously), and needless to say it was put on repeat.

This track features Holland’s Sandro Silva and Afrojack-collaborator, Quinto. It begins with what seems like a typical dance track -intz intz intz intz – and creates a simple melody before reaching a climax with a much anticipated loud and heavy-hitting bass. Trust me, it’s heavy.

If you’re in the mood to dance, turn up the speakers because this song is indeed, epic.