[Hip Hop & Dance] “Ready or Not” – The Fugees vs. Lucas Chambon Remix

This trend of mixing old school hip hop and R&B tracks with new dance and electric sounds is on the up, and this mix I found is an absolute GEM.

French producer Lucas Chambon takes The Fugees‘ “Ready or Not” and creates higher vocals to start the verses and then switches to an alto in the chorus. The more laid back, chill beats sends you into some awesome, ambient trance, making you question whether you’re still at work at 3:30 on a Thursday afternoon or inside a lounge somewhere on the beach in Miami…

One can only dream!

 

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[R&B + Dance] “No Diggity” – Blackstreet vs. Bondax Edit

The Friday before the much anticipated August long weekend deserves the right kick off, so we’re mixing an old school classic with new school electronics today.

English group Bondax throws their familiar piano tones and transcending vibes against Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” track to make one cool and sexy remix. Hey-o hey-o hey-o hey-ooooooo!

[R&B] “What They Do” – The Roots

The Roots

Let me tell you about one of the best shows I’ve seen so far this year… or maybe ever.

This past June, The Roots came to Toronto during the Luminato Festival, an outdoor concert series where a variety of artists come to perform right next to Roy Thompson Hall.

You may have heard about The Roots for their gig on Jimmy Fallon, where they’ve been starring as the in-house music group for the Late Night Show since 2009. But even more noteworthy is their ranking on About.com, sitting 7th out of the 25 Best Hip-Hop Groups of All-Time.

The Roots’s sounds are buried in soulful rhythms paired with smooth, funky and, sometimes, harder-hitting rap lyrics. Then you’ve got the guitar soloists, the piano player, the tuba player and the famous drummer with the token afro pick, otherwise known as Questlove. Their entire set consisted of their hits, including “Break You Off,” “You Got Me” and of course the well known “The Seed.”

And to top off an already amazing night, our group managed to meet the tuba player, the guitarist and Questlove himself at the after party.

So without further ado, here’s one of my favourite tracks from The Roots, known as “What They Do” – the perfect track on a chill, Saturday afternoon.

Top 5 Hip Hop and R&B Concerts in Toronto this Summer

Drake

If you’re looking to get your groove thang on this summer, here’s a list of the top 5 must see hip hop and R&B shows to hit Toronto this summer.

1. OVO

Toronto’s very own hip hop king Drake is hosting his 5th annual OVO Fest this year with surprise guests. Being at last year’s show, there hasn’t been any other concert that has yet to have topped the list. With surprise guest appearances from TLC, J. Cole, Miguel, A$AP Rocky, The WeekndFrench Montana, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, P.Diddy and Mase (can you believe it!?), it’s no wonder that tickets this year sold out in 2.5 seconds.

Drizzy has made some magic this year and will reunite Outkast members Andre 3000 and Big Boi in this summer’s show. Much to the dismay of hip hop fans – Outkast went on hiatus in 2006 to pursue separate solo careers. But with their reunion in Toronto, it has been the most anticipated and talked about hip hop event this year. You won’t want to miss this.

Date: Sunday & Monday, August 3-4

Location: Molson Canadian Amphitheatre

 

2. Lauryn Hill

Ms. Lauryn Hill, the queen of hip hop and R&B, has returned from her hiatus (and a slight detour into imprisonment) to grace us with her unforgettable tracks. L. Boogie up in here!

With her self-imposed exile and sporadic touring in the early and mid 2000’s, there has been some apprehension and disappointment among her fans about her lack of presence. But to be able to see one of the most influential women in hip hop (besides the current queen Erykah Badu), there’s something about seeing a legend. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill has to be one of the best albums ever released, and the much anticipated wait for her stage presence in our city has finally arrived.

Date: Saturday, July 21

Location: Sound Academy

 

3. Maxwell

It’s common today to refer to Maxwell as our generation’s Marvin Gaye. Maxwell has both the voice and musical talent to make the most soulful and sensual sounds. Best known for tracks like Get to Know Ya, Matrimony, Ascension and of course his recent collaboration with Alicia Keys in Fire We Make, this show is going to be one of the best soul and R&B concerts Toronto has yet to see.

Date: Saturday, July 5

Location: Massey Hall

 

4. Slum Village

Although newly familiar with this group, a friend of mine introduced me to Slum last year with the reggae infused track Closer. One thing led to another and soon hits like TaintedTell Me ft. D’Angelo and Fall in Love featuring the late J. Dilla were working their way onto my playlist. Their soulful sound, slow jams and occasional dance tracks are the perfect mix for a chill summer evening.

Date: Saturday, July 19

Location: The Rockpile West

 

5. Rakim

Also newly introduced to Rakim, Toronto is bringing back one of hip hop’s original influencers. Beginning his career in the rap duo with Eric B., Rakim shortly after became known as one of the golden age hip hop artists most famous, influential and skilled emcees ever. Nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (!), The Source ranked Rakim as #1 on their list of Top 50 Lyricists of All Time. That’s one hell of a compliment.

If Rakim is on your list this summer – which he should be – keep an ear open for Paid in Full, When I be on the Micand Guess Who’s BackYou’ll understand why he’s up there with Nas.

Date: Friday, July 4

Location: Phoenix Concert Centre

 

What other hip hop and R&B concerts will you be checking out this summer? Let us who you’re headed to see!

[Rap] “The Recipe” by Kendrick Lamar Ft. Dr. Dre

Kendrick Lamar

I only discovered Kendrick Lamar this past year but I quickly became a fan shortly after, hearing tracks like “B*tch Don’t Kill My Vibe,” “Poetic Justice,” “Swimming Pools,” “Collard Queens,” “She Needs Me,” “No Makeup” … the list could go on. But when I found “The Recipe,” I think I had this song on repeat for a week.

The one and only Dr. Dre makes an appearance on the track, which debuted as a single from his first major label good kid, m.A.A.d city in 2012. The song gives props to some of Lamar’s favourite cities, but his main focus is on L.A. and the best of what it has to offer: women, weed and weather. The bottom line? There’s nothing like Cali.For.N.I.A.

Wha-what more can I say, w-welcome to L.A.!

[R&B] “Yonce” & “Partition” Beyonce Remix

Beyonce

Beyonce‘s surprise album has only been live for just over a week and djs are already all over her music – they liked it so they put a remix on it.

Music producer, dj and songwriter Yashar Gasanov mixed Beyonce’s “Yoncé” and “Partition” singles into a slow-moving, deep house and techno twist. With the bass in tact and the piano adding to the rhythm, Gasanov’s crafts a remix to be obsessed about.  As Queen B puts it, he “sneezed on the beat and the beat got sicker, Yoncé y’all on his mouth like liquor.”

[R&B] “That’s The Way Love Goes” – Janet Jackson

janet_jackson_6

That’s The Way Love Goes is my all-time favourite Janet Jackson hit. It’s a slow, sensual, R&B jam that’ll get you in the mood for love. There isn’t really much to say about this song because it speaks for itself. Personally, I think this is old school Janet at its finest…

Like a moth to a flame, burned by the fire…

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone ❤

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUOkg4jFNus

[R&B] – Leon Haywood vs. Snoop Dogg & Dr. Dre

Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Leon Haywood

Leon Haywood, an American funk and soul musician from the 60s and 70s, created a piece of genius called I Wanna Do Something Freaky to You. It was so popular that many artists have ripped off the same tune to add to their track resumes, including Mariah Carey’s You Had Your Chance, Redman’s Rockafella and many more. Here’s Haywood’s smooth single from 1975:

Probably the most popular remake is the gangster-infused Nothin’ But a G Thang by Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre. Besides the change from Haywood’s sexy yet subtle lyrics to Snoop and Dre’s more explicit (and less romantic) gangster rap, the flow remains the same but with a little more hip hop in the mix. It’s like this and like that and like this and uh.

What’s your take? Do you prefer the original Haywood version or the rap and rhyme of Snoop and Dre?

p.s. Did y’all see that baby dancing in the video?

[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…