#ThrowbackThursday Donell Jones…A Pioneer?

Donell Jones…R&B Pioneer?

It’s nearly the end of what has felt like a very long week! Hope everyone has a nice peaceful end to it. One of the features of Spotify I enjoy is the “Daily Mix” playlist. Today’s one for me brought back some memories of some classic throwbacks I thought I’d share with you all based on one of the best Donell Jones. I’m talking about some songs from his second studio album ‘Where I Wanna Be‘ as well as some other songs. I’ve been thinking and I genuinely believe Donell Jones could be considered to be one of the pioneers of R&B. When you read about how he has written music for acts like Usher, it makes so much sense.

Donell Jones – U Know What’s Up (1999)

Possibly one of Donell’s most well known tracks and literally his biggest hit to date. This song has been cemented in slow jam and romantic music history. “Ooh say what, say what, say what…Ooh girl, you know what’s up” are lines I’m sure most music lovers know very well. I can’t even talk too much about this record because the song literally does all the talking. If you somehow weren’t aware of this song, please have a listen. Also check out the remix featuring the late Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopez.

Donell Jones – Where I Wanna Be (2000)

“But when you love someone, you just don’t treat them bad” another classic line from Donell that is reused in many of our songs today. The song itself is quite sad as it can be argued to be a breakup song as he sings “I’m not saying I’m gone, but I have to find what life is like without you”. Throughout the song he explains how much he cares for her and how sad he is that he has to eventually hurt her. The main message is that he is putting himself first and he is being honest about it.

Donell Jones – If U Want Ft. Bun B. (2006)

I’ve previously talked about my love for this song. I feel this is most likely my favourite song from him. The intro rap from Bun B; “Now if your man ain’t lovin’ you right, you need to roll with a ‘G’, get a thug in your life” grabs your attention straight away. The contrast of Bun B’s playful rapping style and Donell’s sweet voice work well. The song gives us the impression Donell is singing to a woman who is currently in an unhappy relationship with another guy. Donell encourages the woman to leave him so he can take car of her. The idea of him repeating the phrase “If u want” indicates that he is making sure she does not feel pressured to do anything. I enjoyed mostly the flow of this song, it’s very upbeat and vibrant.

Donell Jones – This Luv (1999)

This is another song embedded in my personal ‘Slow Jams Mix’. “Do you mind if I take this seat right here cos you’re sitting alone”….fist part of the song is my favourite. Donell has the ability to story tell in a song that just flows with his tone of voice which is so soothing. Something Usher also does so well. I think this is my most preferred love song from this album if I’m honest.

Donell Jones – I Wanna Luv U (1999)

Wow! Another contender in the battle for best Donell Jones love songs This song is so sensual and soft on the ear as Donell pleads how much he wants to love the woman. The lyrics are definitely very love fueled; ” You are the reason why I live, a newfound joy I can’t contain, yeah”. Whew! Love is sweet!!

Here is the album link below;

I could go on all day talking about Donell Jones songs! I will do another post soon with more recent songs of his.

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Vibes… #SundaySongs

Hey all, Happy Sunday! I know Sundays for most are quite relaxing or religious and laid back. I have compiled a list of a few songs I’m playing at the moment that have that chilled back vibe. Remember to check out my Spotify playlist on the top of the page! Have a listen below and next week I will be back with more content for you.

Kehlani Ft. Ty Dolla $ign – Nights Like This (2019)

Fun fact: Kehlani was actually the reason I started writing about songs. Originally I started writing as a therapy for me to express my thoughts and problems and it was all due to hearing one of her songs. She has the ability to sing a song and get you invested to the point you start seeing the similarities in your own life. I’ve already talked about my love for Ty Dolla in features and this song is no different. The pair in this song are perfect. This song plays on the idea of deceit and dishonesty as she sings; “You gon’ say you want me, then go switch it up, just gon’ play with my emotions” implying that she’s been messed about. You can feel the pain she feels in this song; “Feel like it’s too hard to fall in love again”, the experience has even made her wary of trying again. Overall, this is one of my favourite Kehlani songs. Have a listen below.

Eric Bellinger Ft. Chris Brown & OG Parker – Type A Way (2019)

This song is taken from Eric’ new 32 song EP titled ‘The Rebirth 2′. I’ve been a fan of Eric Bellinger for a while, he’s a great songwriter and has some great songs. He has a unique catchphrase “This gon’ be your favorite song” which I love hearing at the beginning of a song. OG Parker is a producer and sometimes I feel like producers don’t get enough credit so shout out to him has the production for this song is on point. Chris Brown and Eric fuse so well in this song that sometimes it is hard to even know who was singing. They have similar talents where they can hit high notes and low notes in the same breath. I like the fact that the song is quite mixed in terms of both of them singing. A featured song is mostly just a little piece of the featured artist but this is more a collaborative effort. Have a listen below:

Hypo Ft. Yxng Bane & Asco – First Night (2019)

This is a UK feature and boy is it catchy! The song reminds me exactly of Usher’s song “I Don’t Mind” (2014) where he states that if a woman chooses to be a pole dancer it doesn’t mean she is “loose” which is the stereotype associated with that profession. Similarly to Usher’s song Hypo, Yxng Bane & Asco sing about the same premise and even argue that sleeping with a man on a first night does not mean the guy will not “wife” her. The UK guys make a good group and I’m sure you’ll be singing the chorus repeatedly after a few listens. Have a listen to the song below as well as Usher’s song that possible served as inspiration for them.

Usher’s original
Hypo version.

Pia Mia – Ocean Drive (2017)

Pia is most famous for her song “Do it Again” with Tyga and Chris Brown but I’m surprised this song from her wasn’t more of a hit. I like how the tone of the song changes and the sound gets more upbeat throughout the song especially during the chorus. This song will be best to listen to with a speaker that has a great Base or with both headphones in at the loudest volume. If you close your eyes, in pretty sure you can picture yourself on a beach somewhere, I certainly can!

Angel – Thug Juice (2018)

UK singer Angel has just signed with a major record label which is great. He is so talented and has such a distinctive voice so I’m glad he’s getting the recognition he deserves. This song fits in with the theme of this post. If you want a song to chill to and just bop your head slowly, this is the perfect song. Have a listen below.

2 important video reviews coming next…

Happy Valentines Day! ❤️❤️

Happy Valentines Day everyone Hope you all had wonderful days/nights!!

Just a quick one. Here are 5 of some of my favourite modern love songs. I’ve focussed on the theme of the beginning of the relationship when everything is all rosy and fresh. I have also included my current slow jams and throwbacks Spotify link. I am in the process of filtering out some songs from there and as soon as I have a new an improved slow jams mix you will all know. Have a read and listen below.

1. Fantasia – When I See U (2006)

I’ve written about my love for this song before and boy is it perfect for a day like today. Fantasia sings her heart out in this song and you can’t help but feel the love. The opening verse describes how it feels when you have that crush or first love for someone; “I put your picture on my mirror, start to blush when somebody says your name” a feeling many of us know. The main reason I love this song so much is because of how relatable it is. It’s one of those songs that will have you thinking of a particular person as you belt out her verses. Fantasia’s voice in this song is sensational and the video is just as beautiful. Have a listen and watch below.

2. Beyoncé – Dangerously In Love (2003)

Okay so this is one of my favourite Beyoncé songs of all time. I love the sentiment behind the song and the calming vibe it provides you with. The opening lines “Baby, I love you, you are my life..my happiest moments weren’t complete if you weren’t by my side”, beautifully sung. Beyoncé harmonises with her own voice in this song and I feel like we are intruding on a duet between herself and herself! The lyrics are beautiful in this song.

3. Usher – U got it Bad (2001)

If we’re being honest 99% of Usher’s discography can be featured in this list. I picked this one because it plays on the theme of the beginning of falling in love. The song plays on the idea Usher is ready to leave his player ways as he has found the woman of his dreams. Again, this song focusses on the honeymoon period; “You got, you got it bad. When you’re on the phone, hang up and you call right back”, the beginning of the relationship when you’re in looooooove. Have a listen below.

4. Jennifer Lopez Ft. Fat Joe – Hold U Down (2005)

“You don’t know how much you mean to me, whenever you’re down you know that you can lean on me”, wiser words have never been spoken. I love how wholesome this song makes me feel. The idea that in a relationship you both help and support each other. I like how the partnership is demonstrated with the merging of verses with JLo singing her verse and Fat Joe rapping his but sometimes linking together.

5. Bob Marley & The Wailers Ft. Lauryn Hill -Turn your Lights Down Low (1999)

Last but not least one of the greatest songs from Bob Marley or Lauryn Hill in my opinion. I know I’ve written about this song before but I will always bring it up when talking about love songs! This remix features the two legends’ voices merging like it was meant to be. My favourite lines have to be when Lauryn raps “Loving you is a like a song I replay, every three minutes and thirty seconds of every day”…I mean what better analogy to express love than with music! Haha! Honestly the harmonies in this song are heavenly! Check the song out below.


*A MOTOWN POST WILL BE UP SHORTLY*

#ThrowbackThursday 31/01/19

It’s that time of week where we reminisce on older but still classic songs. Here are a list of 3 throwback tracks. Have a read and listen below.

1. Usher Ft Alicia Keys – My Boo (US – 2004)

I was listening to this song on the way to work today and suddenly the song had a different meaning. The song taken from his HIT album Confessions I’ve always considered the song a love song and a song about two people singing about their love for one another; “You will always be my boo” especially sticks out. However, after listening to it today the penny dropped that the song demonstrates two people who still have feelings for each other despite no longer being together and both being in different relationships. The idea that “There’s always that one person that will always have your heart ” is common however the idea that that person may always be there even when you are with someone else is quite scary. How can you give your all to someone if someone is already occupying space? In my opinion there is a difference between a “first love” and someone “who always has your heart”. Despite the realisation of the meaning of the song, it is still one of my favourite Usher songs and the duet with Alicia is beautiful. They both hit harmonies angelically. Have a listen to the track below.


2. NSG – Referee (UK – 2016)

UK group NSG who are on fire at the moment with their smash hit ‘Options’ have been grinding for a while. This track which was featured in their EP “Grown Up” is still a banger today. The JAE5 produced track is also accompanied by cool visuals. NSG have been working hard for years but its great to see them shine and get the recognition they deserve. Have a listen and watch below.

3. Kendrick Lamar – LOVE – (US -2017)

The final entry for Throwback Thursday is from US rapper Kendrick Lamar. The song from his 2017 fourth studio album is one of my favourite songs from him. The song is quite soft in comparison to his usual work and focusses on the love and devotion he has with his fiancée. The vocals from Zacari blend very well with Kendrick’s rough but unique rapping style. Have a listen below;

New Music: Album Review: Usher – “A”

Ok, so Usher is considered one of the best artists of my generation and his infamous “Confessions” album has gone down in history as one of the best R&B album of the 20th century. (Personally one of my favourite albums of all time). It’s hard when you peak so well to follow up with work anywhere as close.

This new album called “A” is a collaborative album with American record producer Zaytoven. Zaytoven famously won a grammy for his collaboration in Usher’s ‘Raymond V Raymond’ album so it is clear the pair usually make good music. This album features only 8 songs (I say “only” due to the fact there seems to be a trend with artists releasing longer albums at the moment).

Overall, the album contains a few good songs and it is clear that Usher has changed his singing style as the album sounds like a different version of him. I do prefer the older version of Usher which is more of him hitting high notes and less of the rapping but times change.

My favourite songs are:

Stay At Home Ft. Future (1) – The first song on the album, I like the beat and Future’s feature (haha) is great.

ATA (2)- This is the second song on the album and I like the way Usher sings the chorus with his use of wordplay.

She Ain’t Tell Ya (6)-  This beat in this song sounds like a remixed version of ‘Lovers and Friends’ (2004) released by Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz featuring Usher and Ludacris. I have not been able to confirm if it is the same beat but it definitely gives me a nostalgic feel. This is possibly my favourite song on the album. The song seems to be Usher explaining his side of a situation with a woman explaining all the things she has supposedly left out in her version. He starts the song off by singing “Today I’m’ma tell you my side, I hurt you, you hurt me, even exchange” implying they both have done something bad to each other. The irony and juxtaposition in this song is that Usher will say something to stand up for himself like “She ain’t tell you she was motivating me” and “She ain’t tell you I boost her self-esteem did she?” but then go on to sing things like “She ain’t tell ya I paid for her body yeah” and “And she ain’t tell you how I flaunt her up in karats”. He goes from expressing positives and how she influenced him in a positive way and vice versa to then describing her in a materialistic way. To indicate he paid for her body and express how he showered her in diamonds is quite egotistical, gives the impression she is easily bought. I do however like the contrast in the song, Usher plays the role very well and it would be great to hear a female singer or rapper do their own version of the song.

Have a listen below.

30Day Music Challenge – Day 11; (Songs I never get tired of)

There are actually so many songs that I never get tired of but I will name a few;

1. J Hus – Did You See (2017)

Whether it’s J Hus’ voice or JAE5’S gift of producing the best beats, this song can never get old in my opinion. It’s the sort of song that should also always be played out loud to feel the beauty of the production. This was possibly one of the best songs released last year and as of now, I am still not tired of it.

2. Chris Brown – Little Bit (2015)

You can probably tell that beats are very important for me in songs and this song is the prime example of an excellent song production wise. I have been playing this song regularly ever since the album was released.

3. Notorious B.I.G – Juicy (1994)

This song is a classic! One of Biggie’s biggest hits and still today gets played as if it were released recently. The song provides a sense of nostalgia that can never be matched!

4. Usher – Confessions (ALBUM) (2004)

If I was stuck on an island and was only given the choice to listen to one album for the rest of my time there, it would be this one. Every single song on this album can be played daily depending on what mood you are in. The album can never be overplayed and I can never get tired of it.

Making Love (Into the Night)

Listen. I am the BIGGEST Usher fan EVER. My biggest wish is to attend a concert where he can perform every song from his classic ‘Confessions’ album.

This particular song is just a casual underrated song he previously released. My favourite line/bit is actually towards the end around the 3 minute mark where he sings “You gonna wanna tell everybody ’bout how I got you all”… where the beat changes and his voice gets deeper. The song is classic Usher. He sings about pleasing his woman in all the right ways.