Categories
Uncategorized

#OneMusicFest 2022 Review

The annual One Music Fest was held on October 8-9, 2022 in downtown Atlanta. I really enjoyed myself. This was my fifth time attending.

The As-I-Amber YouTube Channel
#OneMusicFest review.

It’s like Coachella meets Soul Train because the focus is primarily Hip Hop and R&B/Soul artists. Check out www.OneMusicFest.com for more info.

Ms. Lauryn Hill

This year’s headliner was Lauryn Hill and Jazmine Sullivan and a plethora of other artists on various stages such as DVSN, Ja Rule, Ashanti, Tank & The Bangas, Sean Paul, City Girls, Jeezy, Gucci Mane, Saucy Santana, Alex Isley, Lupe Fiasco and Chloe.

DVSN performing.

There were also food trucks, other vendors, sponsor tents, and cool backdrops for selfies. There was even an outdoor Roller Skating rink set up to skate if you desired.

Skating area
Tank and The Bangas

My favorite performances were from Lauryn Hill, Tye Tribbett, Sevyn Streeter, Alex Isley, and Jazmine Sullivan, and when The City Girls brought out surprise guest, Usher, to perform their latest single “Good Love”.

Usher & Yung Miami/Caresha from City Girls.

During Lauryn Hill’s performance of the song “To Zion” her son Zion came out on stage with his children too. It was beautiful. Lauryn Hill is a grandma yall! Wow.

Lauryn Hill’s son Zion and his children too.

Also, Jazmine Sullivan her background singers were phenomenal and Jazmine even opened up about her personal life. She shared that her mother is battling cancer right now and to comfort her everyone in the audience cheered for Jazmine’s mother by saying “We Love You.”

Jazmine Sullivan and her background singers.

Singer-songwriter, Sevyn Streeter, also put on a great performance and she and her background dancers looked great in orange.

Sevyn Streeter & her dancers!

Tye Tribbett’s high-energy Gospel performance was amazing too and really ushered in the presence of God.

Type Tribbett

BET’s Original 106 & Park hosts, Free & AJ, were hosts on one of the stages too.

I even got to meet singer-songwriter, Alex Isley. She was walking around after her performance and I walked up to her and asked for a photo. She was so kind and smelled good too. The funny thing is just a few weeks ago I wrote about her for Magnetic Magazine, (click to read)and then boom I met her!

Singer-songwriter, Alex Isley, and I.

There were thousands of people at the event and even Stacey Abrams’s campaign was there promoting others in Georgia to register to vote.

I felt as if I got my money’s worth seeing so many artists at the two-day event. Overall I enjoyed myself at One Music Fest and if you are a fan of R&B/Soul and Hip Hop I highly recommend going!

My friend Yasmine and I at #OneMusicFest
The As-I-Amber Podcast on
Spotify and Apple Podcasts and other platforms.
Categories
Uncategorized

Sampled Songs Playlist

Kanye West sampled Chaka Khan’s 1984 hit R&B ballad “Through The Fire” on his 2004 hit “Through The Wire” off “The College Dropout” album. I think sampled songs are generation gap connectors and a way to introduce older songs to younger generations. It’s also a way for newer artists to pay homage to the great artists before them. SAMPLED SONGS Playlist Links below. What’s your favorite sampled song? Check the playlist below on Spotify. Apple Music users click here and Tidal users click here.

Categories
Uncategorized

The Beyoncé Bracket & Playlist

I finally finished The Beyoncé Bracket. I didn’t create this game. I just found it on social media and filled it out. As a member of The Beyhive, 🐝 I found this bracket’s song selections were kind of difficult to choose from, and certain songs on the bracket are better performed live in concert versus just listening to in your headphones. I’m excited about The Renaissance album era! The new album drops 7/29/22!

There is also different energy on stage when Beyoncè is performing on tour alone versus performing with Jay-Z. I’ve also provided a blank copy of the bracket, so you all can play too. Click the link below to listen to my favorite songs on my Beyoncé Playlist on Spotify and click here for the Beyoncé Playlist on Apple Music and here for the playlist on Tidal.

This bracket game is similar to the NCAA March Madness Basketball Tournament bracket instead of teams it’s songs. Out of the categories given you pick the song out of the two that you like more and that song advances to another round with other songs. Kind of like 2 basketball teams play a game and the winner moves on to the next level game and competes with other teams. It’s fun! Let’s play!

What are your favorite solo Beyoncé albums so far?

My Beyoncé album collection
Categories
Uncategorized

Old School Playlist

Click here to listen on Apple Music and listen on Spotify by clicking the link below. Also available on Tidal.

Categories
Uncategorized

“Aaliyah” Album Revisited

I often think about where triple threat singer, dancer, and actress, Aaliyah would be in 2022 if she were still alive. Even though it’s been twenty one years since her death and final album she is still so relevant. There’s no doubt about it that Aaliyah had a major impact on millennials and her legacy for us ’80’s and ’90’s babies is unforgettable. From her signature sleek and straight hair and swoop, shades, leather outfits, ombre hair, makeup, music videos and Tommy Hilfiger outfits, to her dancing and acting she was a standout and admired star whose influence can even be seen in various Pop and R&B artists today. Everyone from Normani, Tink, Drake, Jeezy, and Chris Brown have sampled her.

Back on July 7, 2001, I was just 10-years-old and excited about Aaliyah’s self-titled third album dropping. I use to watch 106 & Park with hosts Free and AJ on BET faithfully as a young tween and Aaliyah was on the show promoting her album. I also remember MTV had a show called “Diary” where they would go behind-the-scenes with certain artists and I couldn’t wait for Aaliyah’s episode to air.

  • The 106 & Park Aaliyah Interview is available to watch here)
  • The MTV Diary episode is currently available to watch here)
Aaliyah at her album release signing at FYE Music Store. July 2001. Photo courtesy of fanpop.com

Anyway, I really wanted Aaliyah’s CD, but I remember my mom said that it was “too grown” for me to get. Little did we know it would be her final album and she would pass weeks later in a tragic plane crash in the Bahamas after filming the music video for the sensual single “Rock the Boat.”

The inside of Aaliyah’s self-titled album.

I remember MTV News and the radio announced that the singer passed and I just couldn’t believe it. I was so hurt about the death of someone I had never even met. My Dad eventually purchased the CD for me and said it was a classic and would be a collectible and he was right. It took years, but Aaliyah’s musical catalog is now available on streaming sites. I’m not sure of the all the legalities or exact reasons why Blackground Records and Aaliyah’s Estate have issues when it comes to royalties etc., but at least younger and older generations can now listen and have access to her music.

My Aaliyah CD- Collection

I was re-listening to Aaliyah’s self-titled album through my 2022 adult ears and it just resonated and hit different! There are so many tracks in her musical catalog that could’ve been singles and sound like they came out recently instead of years ago. The self-titled genre bending album combined, Rock on tracks like “I Can Be” and “What If”, Flamenco on songs like “Read Between The Lines”, Pop, R&B, and Hip-Hop, with lead singles “We Need a Resolution” and “More Than A Woman”, and spoke of a young woman in her early 20’s singing about pleasure “Rock The Boat”, pain and abuse “Never No More” and “I Refuse”, relationships and life lessons and love on “Those Were The Days”, “Extra Smooth”, “U Got Nerve”, “I Care 4 U”and “Try Again”. That album template is now the norm, but was ground-breaking for a 20-something young woman in 2001 to combine different moods and genres. One line that always stuck out to me was the lyric “Speak your heart don’t bite your tongue. Don’t get it twisted. Don’t misuse it.”- Aaliyah “We Need a Resolution” feat. Timbaland. I feel like every track and lyric had a purpose or mood that was fitting.

One underrated track in my opinion was the electronic and futuristic sounding “LOOSE RAP”, which is the second track on Aaliyah’s self-titled album. Produced by Key Beats and written by the late Stephen “Static Major” Garrett, who also penned other songs in Aaliyah’s musical catalog, is a fusion of experimental synthesized beats, ad-libs, and echoes. “We got something for all the fools it ain’t just rhythm and blues.” Aaliyah declared that her musical sound and image were not just limited to an R&B music box that speaks of her unique sound, image, and artistry.

Back in 2001, Aaliyah was not only singing and dancing, but she started to branch out into different musical genres on her third album and acted in films such as “Queen of the Damned” and “Romeo Must Die.” Aaliyah and Static Major may have passed on, but their presence left a mark and the duo sure didn’t lose our attention in loose rap. Throughout the song Static Major and Aaliyah declare their annoyance, confidence, and competitive nature in various aspects of life, love, and the music and entertainment industry.

In the introduction, Aaliyah’s voice echoes “I’m sick and tired of the loose rap” while Static Major states, ”For the ’01 I know you can come better come better than that so you can kill all your loose rap.” On the Aaliyah: Behind the Scenes segment on the posthumous album and DVD “I Care 4 U” Aaliyah said that her name is Arabic “meaning the highest most exalted one.. the best and I really wanted that name to carry the project.” From the origins of her name to the album’s title, and the third verse on “loose rap”: ”If you just quit trying to compete, yeah, No telling what you could be, might even be doper than me…I doubt it.” Aaliyah addresses her adversaries and exudes a confidence and self-assuredness, talent, and an incomparable uniqueness to the point where her influence and impact are still present in music and fashion decades later.

Aaliyah Interview on the I Care 4 U DVD

Additionally, on the posthumous album and DVD “I Care 4 U” there is an “Aaliyah: Behind the Scenes” segment where Aaliyah gives her opinion on certain tracks off her third album. In regards to this particular song she stated, “I love it so much because if you listen to it this is how I listen to it how I take this song it tells three different stories and it’s just really about people come up to you with a whole lotta smack and weak rap and it’s like I don’t wanna hear any of your loose rap.” The first verse whether it be a guy or girl being a little bit jealous of you and you saying I know what you talk smack behind my back but I don’t care because I know you’re just speaking “loose rap.” The second verse is about a guy coming to me 

kickin’ game tryna be my guy and I’m like your game is a lil’ weak, but I might give you a chance even though you’re kicking loose rap, and the third verse speaks about my crew, Tim and everybody all of us and the music we make our creativity and people being a little bit jealous of that and really trying not to feel it but it’s okay because everything you say is just loose rap so it tells 3 different stories and I think it’s really just hot.” The song is one of those tracks that isn’t wrapped up in yesteryear. Twenty-one years later this song and the rest of the album still sounds current and wrapped and layered with synths that can ride the waves of time.

Me in my Aaliyah T-Shirt I got off Etsy.
Categories
Uncategorized

Usher

Some people on Twitter started a debate about which R&B singer is better? Chris Brown or Usher? In my opinion vocally Usher is the winner! He’s been a star since he was a teenager in the 90’s til now in 2021. Usher performed on stage with Michael Jackson and helped pave the way for other male R&B stars like Chris Brown. I think Chris Brown is a great performer and dancer, but recently I haven’t heard him sing without auto tune. Longevity, dance moves, and good music clearly makes Mr. Usher Raymond the winner! Click the link below to here the Usher Playlist on Spotify and click here for Apple Music and here for Tidal.

Categories
Uncategorized

Whitney Houston: We Will Always Love You!

Whitney Houston’s self-titled debut album from 1985 is still a classic. Whitney’s voice was everything! It has been 10 years since the singer-actress passed away. Whitney didn’t have to distract audiences with flamboyant sets, dance routines, and costumes she just sang. It’s very rare that a performer can just rely on vocals and personality to emotionally captivate an audience in song and film. Whitney, like lots of other people had her share of struggles, just displayed on camera. It’s bittersweet, because she was on a comeback. However, Whitney’s legacy will most definitely be her vocal range and ability to sing every genre from Gospel to Pop. People forget that “I Will Always Love You” was a country song, written and originally performed by country star, Dolly Parton and “I’m Every Woman” was originally performed by R&B diva, Chaka Khan .Whitney paid respect to other female vocalists, but her version of the song is what people of a certain age usually think of first. I will always remember where I was when I found out about the deaths of Michael Jackson, Aaliyah, and now Whitney Houston. I remember being at a college basketball game and everyone started looking at their phones thinking it was a cruel internet joke, but it wasn’t. I remember going to my dorm room and crying on the phone to my momma and watching CNN and going on YouTube to listen to her musical catalog.

Whitney’s debut on vinyl from my Daddy’s vinyl record collection.

When I was little my mother use to play Whitney’s music on cassette tape in the car all the time! I think their impact is different for various people, but I grew up listening to their music, singing their music around the house, and watching them on award shows and movies in the 90s. For young black girls growing up in the 90s, we didn’t have “Princess and the Frog”. “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella”; starring Brandy as Cinderella and Whitney Houston as “ The Fairy Godmother” was a “big deal”! Whitney Houston paved the way for other solo artists like Brandy, Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, and Monica. There will never be another “Whitney Houston”, she will be forever missed by her family, friends, and fans.

Check out Singer Jade Novah’s Tribute. – Click here

Apple Music Playlist Click here:

Spotify Playlist below.

Categories
Uncategorized

Aaliyah, Brandy, & Monica

Aaliyah, Brandy, and Monica albums are still in heavy rotation years later. It is still crazy because they were teenage solo stars making hits competing with grown folks on the R&B charts and their influence is still felt.

Check out the Spotify playlist below.

We hear the growth, maturity, and development in their voices and lyrical content. Check out the playlist consisting of all 3’s first 3 albums. Click here for Apple Music and Click here for Tidal

Categories
Uncategorized

Aaliyah, Brandy, & Monica

Aaliyah, Brandy, and Monica albums are still in heavy rotation years later. It is still crazy because they were teenage solo stars making hits competing with grown folks on the R&B charts and their influence is still felt.

Check out the Spotify playlist below.

We hear the growth, maturity, and development in their voices and lyrical content. Check out the playlist consisting of all 3’s first 3 albums. Click here for Apple Music and Click here for Tidal

Categories
Uncategorized

The Beyoncé Bracket & Playlist

Happy Birthday to Beyoncé! Listen to the B-Day episode on “The As-I-Amber Podcast” on www.anchor.fm/asiamber I finally finished The Beyoncé Bracket. I didn’t create this game. I just found it on social media and filled it out. As a member of The Beyhive, 🐝 I found this bracket’s song selections were kind of difficult to choose from, and certain songs on the bracket are better performed live in concert versus just listening to in your headphones.

There is also different energy on stage when Beyoncè is performing on tour alone versus performing with Jay-Z. I’ve also provided a blank copy of the bracket, so you all can play too. Click the link below to listen to my favorite songs on my Beyoncé Playlist on Spotify and click here for the Beyoncé Playlist on Apple Music and here for the playlist on Tidal.

This bracket game is similar to the NCAA March Madness Basketball Tournament bracket instead of teams it’s songs. Out of the categories given you pick the song out of the two that you like more and that song advances to another round with other songs. Kind of like 2 basketball teams play a game and the winner moves on to the next level game and competes with other teams. It’s fun! Let’s play!