The Island Def Jam Group, Mariah Carey
Yesterday morning I listened to Mariah Carey’s 43 Best Songs playlist on Spotify. I’ve always been big on classic, pop-ballad Mariah. You know, the artist her first husband, Tommy Mottola wanted her to be. I’ll admit that is kind of selfish on my part since she has always been influenced by hip hop artists. But as I listened past those songs she created in the early years of the 2000s decade, I (re)realized something. No, Mariah’s voice isn’t up to the same par it used to be when she released “Vision of Love” in 1990. It’s not even at “Hero” level. But she’s found away to utilize her voice in other ways. Integrating rap/urban/club (read: black) elements in her music means she gets to be a vocal actress. Breathy vocals and rap-sung verses do her favors on the non-single “Migrate” from 2008’s “E=MC²”.
Looking back though her discography, it’s easy to see that Carey has always tried to tread the line between maintaining a pop audience but still being authentic to herself and the kinds of tunes she wants to reflect her. Rap mixes pepper her collection. Fused with club songs are the revamped style of ballads she’s adopted within the past decade or so. Continue reading
Island Def Jam/Curb/RCA
When Rihanna’s “Stay” video was released it automatically conjured up comparisons to other videos. The singer was notably only seen naked curled up (and occasionally turned over) in a bathtub. The song itself discusses wanting a lover to stay with you inexplicably. So what does that have to do with Rihanna being nude in the tub? Other than the fact that Rihanna takes any opportunity to be clothe-less, washing in water respresents cleansing. Continue reading
Cash Money Records
The first single from his new album, “Started From the Bottom” immediately pulls in the ears of the listener. The fresh beat that mixes melodic bleeps and blips that then joins in with a syncopated back beat. The song discusses Drake’s rise to stardom. Through the lyrics, it’s clear the singer wants those who listen to know it wasn’t just he that helped make it happen. It was a team of people close to him. Continue reading
Big Machine Records
Taylor Swift debuted her video for her hit single “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” yesterday on MTV First. The clip is hipster-y and a bit strange but mature compared to her earlier efforts. The video doesn’t cut scenes, instead it pans from set to set with Taylor singing in front of a band of people in bear and donkey costumes. Taylor prances around in pajamas and nerd glasses while chanting the song’s catchy chorus. Continue reading
On this day 11 years ago, Aaliyah Dana Haughton passed away. It’s hard not to reflect on a late artist’s contributions to the landscape of music and not think about what could have been.
Just in time for back-to-college, former indie rapper Kendrick Lamar debuts his video for “Swimming Pools (Drank)”. The video features Lamar falling into darkness a slow-motion rate while he raps about the steps to getting wasted. There are no views of people falling over themselves though, only a massive party and bottles smashing. It’s a visual piece that doesn’t necessarily go the route of the obvious. The clip is simple and ends with Kendrick finally falling into a pool and then getting helped out. Perhaps a symbol of a friend who nurses their pal back to sobriety after a night of going overboard.
Watch the clip below
The Island Def Jam Music Group and Mariah Carey
Today Mariah Carey released her new single “Triumphant” featuring Meek Mill and Rick Ross. The track doesn’t follow the current dance-pop trend instead it stays true to her personal sound. It’s the norm for Mariah: urban pop with hip-hop features. It’s an encouraging anthem with big beats and solid vocals from MC. The horns get the song’s message across–that anything is possible. It’s not clear that Rick Ross or Meek Mill serve much of a purpose on the track except to make the song more appealing to those that want an edgy song but the three of them gel well.
The singer says she wrote it during a hard time:
Listen to the song below