Saint Heron, the first annual installment of R&B compilations Solange Knowles will be releasing from her very own label, Saint Records, is basically jam after jam after jam—but it's this life-affirming-for-a-frigid-morning track, from L.A. singer-songwriter India Shawn, that I've had on repeat. (See also: Cassie's "Indo" and Solange's own "Cash In." The whole thing's on Spotify, too.)
Stone's Throw Records just re-issued this 2006 Aloe Blacc track, "One Inna," on its new Beat Box collection. It's not as catchy as his most well-known track, "I Need a Dollar," but take it as further evidence that Blacc is basically the second coming of Bill Withers.
And last week Mayer Hawthorne dropped another rainy-day R&B single, "Her Favorite Song," featuring the delightful Jessie Ware on the hook. It's not my favorite, but maybe it's yours? Hawthorne's new album, Where Does This Door Go, is out July 16.
"Hi Hairpin! Just did a Valentine-mix I wanted to share with you guys, listen to it in the office, while preparing for the date, in the cab, the pre-party, the after-party or just when you want to hear some good music!
Johan "Tefy" Karlsson
Single-male from Sweden (and all alone on Valentine) "
TLC is one of the best-selling girl groups of all time, second only to the Spice Girls. They have sold 65 million albums, clocked 10 top-ten Billboard Hip-Hop/R&B singles (bested in girl-group zone only by Destiny's Child), and changed so many of their fans' lives they had to drop an entire album essentially responding to the buckets of inspirational letters they were receiving about it. (Fanmail, you know—"I get lonely tooooo.") Their personal style and spiritual estiílo totally altered the culture; they popularized Cross Colours clothing to a mainstream audience, condoms as accessory (and, by extension, sexual empowerment and maturity), and fused rap and R&B when the twain [...]
Moneyworth (a.k.a Meaghan Garvey, a.k.a the beautiful monster behind this Etsy shop) just posted this mix of smooth jazz R&B covers, and it is, uhhh… really something else. An "Ignition (Remix)" remix starts us off, followed by some Usher, Brandy, etc. — only their voices are replaced by horns. (Don't tell Rihanna, but "Take a Bow" is even more heartbreaking as grocery store music.) Here's last year's non-smooth jazz edition in case you're not into hot sax.
My grown ladies: remember this one? "Always talkin' 'bout what [he/she/it/they] wants" and no follow through? Ah! We laugh now. My young ladies: they are pleading with you. Sure, "scrub" is a silly word, but how many of them are on your couch right meow? Don't beat yourself up about it, just take this blast from the past as advice for the future. Oh, and forgive them the stuff about anyone having any money; that was from a time when money was had — primarily by men and record companies — called "the 90s."
Together, we'll get through this week-before-a-short-week with the power of lots of great new R&B from women. Here's "Catch Me At the Light," from Shanell; I also encourage you to give some time to Kelly Rowland's new album, Talk a Good Game (Spotify, iTunes), and Ciara's Ciara (Ci-a-ra!), which is due out July 5 but which is probably available for streaming with the right Google search. (Who can know, really?)
Also, a personal favorite due out tomorrow: Mela Machinko's perfectly soulful Hov Said It Best, an album that "uses Jay-Z lyrics, concepts and even ad libs and cadences to craft entirely new songs [...]
This video contains all of my New Year's resolutions: make baby making love, find a perfect leopard print outfit, get back into wine coolers & Super Nintendo, have more slumber parties, and make a sock bun tutorial video. Find more Ester, whose debut album comes out later this year, here. [Thanks, Katy!]
In case you missed it, two years ago, Mishka commissioned the best mix of lovey, mid-90s R&B prom jams — including Janet, Mariah, SWV, and TLC to name a few — called "Mishka is for Lovers" from Skeet Skeet and it still exists for free. If you prefer less sweet songs about love, download Brother Ali's brand new 7-track EP, The Bite Marked Heart, for zero dollars. He's a supremely listenable rapper from Minneapolis who often raps nice things about his family. And, if none of the above words made any sense to you, may I suggest one of these two hour-long mixes from DJ Klooney?: a bunch of [...]