Cuffing Season: 10 R&B Songs To Dedicate To Your New Boo

Ah, summer! Hot weather, buzzing beaches, sizzling summer parties and no time for serious love. Now, summer is slowly, but surely, passing away as fall quickly approaches. As the weather changes, those relationship statuses on Facebook tend to change from “single” or “it’s complicated” to “in a relationship” and everyone starts to tweet about their new boo.  Yes, I believe it is cuffing season.

Whether you’ve already snagged your boo  or  you’re in the process of drafting a potential partner for this year’s cuff season, we have a range of R&B songs to dedicate to that special person (even if they’re just seasonal).

“The Way” – Ariana Grande

Once you have made the first move to begin anew with your fall love interest, Ariana Grande’s s summer jam, “The Way,” is the perfect song to describe the feelings you are experiencing with new love. In “The Way,” Grande sings of how her man swept her off her feet (“You got my heart, don’t know how you did it”) and now she is loving the way he makes her feel.

Show your partner you’re genuinely feeling them by reciting Ariana: “Be your lover, your friend, you’ll find it all in me/Stay by your side, I’ll never leave you/And I ain’t going nowhere ’cause you’re a keeper.”

“The One” – Tamar Braxton

Maybe you’ve gained a bad rep for dating multiple people at once, and now your new love interest is worried you will carry that bad habit into your relationship. Allow Tamar Braxton to assure your new boo that they are the one for you (at the moment). Maybe you heard your new sweetie was the habitual two-timer in their past relationships, but the past is in the past, right? Show your new love that whatever they have done in their past hook-ups and relationships does not matter to the new love you are developing together (“And you’ve had a few, boy one too many/But I’m the only one to wake you up”).

Assure your love, and tell them: “You know very well, you’re a star/Cause I don’t go that far, look where we are/And ain’t none like you, one in a million/But I’m the only one to count.”

“It Won’t Stop” – Sevyn Streeter

Breakout artist Sevyn Streeter heated up the summer with her blazing single “It Won’t Stop,” but it’s not too late to dedicate this song to your first round draft pick for cuffing season. Does your new boo bring you take-out, looking as good as the Chinese fave he/she ordered for you? Well, Sevyn Streeter begins the sexy song with this relatable scenario (“I love when you pulling up in your jeep/Bumpin all your beats/Js on/With your shades on/Just to bring me something to eat”), making the lyrics very personal.

Or maybe you have a boss boo who does his/her thing (whether running things in the streets or in their work), but takes gentle care of your heart. Sevyn hits that scenario as well as she sings,  “You the man up in these streets/But when it comes to my heart/That don’t mean a thing.”

Sevyn, being the great lyricist she is, sings of love, admiration for her man and her favorite things they do together, like relaxing on the beach, making “It Won’t Stop” a beautiful song for your new mate.

While you’re riding around with your boo, turn the music up when Sevyn sings, “Everyday/I cant breathe/You take my breath/Away from me/Here’s my heart/You got the key/Put that on eternity/I love you til infinity.”

“DUI” – Ciara

Although fall is approaching, Ciara’s sensual “DUI” record will turn up the heat with your fall boo. Ciara sings about being so intoxicated with her man’s love and his tempting touch while driving, that she will surely be pulled over and receive a DUI.

This song allows you to appreciate the sexiness of your partner and stroke their ego, which is a good thing to do sometimes. As her man continues to tease her while she’s driving, Ciara’s lyrics become even more passionate, allowing your boo to feel your passion for them through her steamy lyrics.

Spice things up by lip syncing this part of the song: “And it’s so hard to steer/Put your lips to my ear/But I’m giving you the right of way/Do what you want to me baby/Lipstick all over your neck/These seats are dripping with sweat/Here’s a night we won’t forget.”

“Why I Love You So Much” – Monica

Allow Monica’s 1996 classic hit, “Why I Love You So Much,” to help you explain to your lover some of the reasons why you care for them so much. From showing you love in front of their friends to taking their time in moving to the next level, Monica sings of how she appreciates the things her man does to show his love.

Score points with your baby with this line: “Since I’ve been your girl/Oh my whole life has been much better than ever before/You got a tender sweet love, yes you do/That weakens me and takes over me whenever we touch.”

“Love on Top” – Beyoncé

This person was pretty hard to snag as your boo. You endured hard times, accompanied by tears and heartbreak, but finally they decided to take the step to be fully committed to a relationship with you. Beyoncé’s “Love on Top” is the perfect to describe your new love triumph.

Beyoncé helps you celebrate your new love as she sings, “Now everybody asks me why I’m smiling out from ear to ear (They say love hurts)/But I know (It’s gonna take a little work)/Nothing’s perfect, but it’s worth it after fighting through my tears/And finally you put me first.”

“Sure Thing” – Miguel

Guys, take note. Miguel’s “Sure Thing” is a now classic love song, where he uses several metaphors to promise to love his girl in so many ways. If your chosen one is someone you intend to be with unconditionally, this song is the right one to dedicate to them.

Tell your boo, to never sweat these words: “Even when the sky comes falling/Even when the sun don’t shine/I got faith in you and I/So put your pretty little hand in mine.”

“Promise” – Ciara

You were searching for that one person to call your own, and now that you’ve found him/her, dedicate “Promise” to them. The song is another sexy Ciara jam that helps the ladies promise true love and dedication to their partner through sweet words (“There’s nothing I won’t do/To spend my life with you/I’ll give my all to you/I promise that I will never lie to you boy”). You could even learn the video’s choreography and perform it for your boo to add points.

Whisper these sweet nothings to your baby: “This mood is so right/It feels so right/You can be my prince, my knight/You can be my superman/Save me here I am.”

“Differences” – Ginuwine 

Is your boo someone who has changed your life for the better? Take it back to the 90’s with Ginuwine’s classic love jam, “Differences.” The singer passionately sings of his appreciation for the woman in his life and how she has changed him into a better man. This classic song is not only the perfect slow jam to cuddle up with your boo, but serves as a way of showing gratitude for their support and love.

Tell them how they’ve changed you, by reciting: “Girl, you open me, I’m wide open/And I’m doing things I never do
But I feel so good, I feel so good/Why it takes so long for me finding you.”

“At Your Best (You Are Love)” – Aaliyah 

Aaliyah served up a classic R&B joint that creates the perfect love vibe with “At Your Best (You Are Love).” New relationships are still susceptible to minor altercations and communication flaws. Need to remind your boo why you adore them or help them understand why you have such a tough time communicating your feelings? Dedicating this song to your significant other will ignite the necessary sparks in any relationship.

Just sit back, and play this record with them, hinting at this part: “But at your best you are love/You’re a positive motivating force within my life/Should you ever feel the need to wonder why/Let me know.”

From sensual songs to devoting records, we have compiled a perfect array of songs to dedicate to your fall boo for this year’s cuffing season. Who knows, with these songs, you may keep this boo season after season.

Photo credit: MyBrownBaby.com

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4 Reasons We Love Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston Birthday

There will never be another singer like Whitney Houston; she’s incomparable, she’s an icon, and she is the standard. On the sixth anniversary of her unfortunate passing, here at Rated R&B we’ve created a shortlist of reasons why we love the vocal legend herself. Check it out below:

Her Powerful Voice

How do you describe the indescribable? Whitney’s voice is the purest to have ever graced human ear. On top of her outstanding natural ability, her technique, precision, and control make her “The Voice.” Just like rapper Biggie Smalls has never had a bad verse, Whitney has never hit a bad note. There is a multitude of examples, but at Super Bowl XXV in 1991, she gave what is regarded as the best rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” to have ever been done. It is here, without all of the vocal thrills and frills, that you can truly grasp how marvelous her voice was.

The Way Other Artists Loved and Respected Her

If you ask any female singer that came out in the last 25 years who some of their inspirations are, you can bet Whitney’s name will come out of their mouth. For most singers, especially black women, Whitney was a role model. She was a black girl from New Jersey whose passion was sharing her musical gift to the world and having fun while doing so. In the first clip below, Monica explains Whitney’s personal impact on her life (this part of the interview begins around 1:42.) Even after her death, Whitney continues to inspire and empower the women that have come after her in the music industry. In the second clip below, you can find one of the greatest tributes ever performed, courtesy of gospel powerhouse Yolanda Adams, who ends the video with a resounding “We love you, Nip.”

Her Stage Presence

Whitney’s personality was both charming and endearing, as we’ve all seen in her interviews, famous and infamous alike. That natural charm carries over into her live performances, as she literally comes alive in song. In interviews, she was always well-spoken, clear, and concise. When it comes time to sing, she let her hair down and had a great time with her audience — no matter the occasion. In the clip below, Whitney performs a 16-minute set of her greatest hits at the “Arista Records 25th Anniversary Celebration,” full of life, laughter, and love.

Her Artistic Versatility

Whitney is one of the best-selling female artists of all time, and one of the biggest icons the world will ever see. What often gets left out of her lengthy list of accomplishments is her artistic risks and versatility. Speaking on her discography alone, she has recorded music that spans all of its genres. Whether she delivers a pop cut like “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” the Raphael Saddiq and Q-Tip-produced jam “Fine,” a universal duet with Enrique Iglesias (“Could I Have This Kiss Forever”), or a powerhouse ballad like “The Greatest Love of All,” Whitney was the jack of all trades. Not only did she master it, she believed in her ability, and she succeeded beyond measure.That’s just the tip of the iceberg, as her artistry made its way into film beginning with 1992’s box office smash hit The Bodyguard.

Below is one of her scenes from the cult classic Waiting to Exhale. Pay attention to her body language, the way she emotes in her voiceover, all the way down to the flickers of disapproval in her eyes. Whitney was, and will always be a class act.

What is your favorite Whitney moment? Share with us in the comment section below!

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Miguel’s ‘Sky Walker’ Reaches No. 1 on Urban Radio

Miguel War & Leisure Album Now Video War & Leisure Tour

Miguel’s single “Sky Walker” featuring Travis Scott has secured the number one spot on urban radio.

Totaling 4,690 radio spins, the worry-free track floats from No. 2 to No.1 (Feb. 10), after N.E.R.D and Rihanna’s “Lemon” had a decline in radio spins. “Sky Walker,” which has over 106 million streams on Spotify, has spent nearly five months on the urban radio chart since debuting at No. 50 last September.

This is Miguel’s first time in five years of landing a number one single on urban radio as the lead artist. Before War & Leisure’s “Sky Walker,” Miguel commanded the chart with his 2012 hit “Adorn” from Kaleidoscope Dream. Before that, his other number one singles were “Quickie” and “Sure Thing” from his debut album, All I Want Is You.

Miguel will take the stage at the 2018 Broccoli City Festival along with Daniel Caesar and H.E.R.

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10 Underrated Songs by Toni Braxton

Toni Braxton Underrated Songs

“I used to dream of living lavish, now your girl’s a living legend,” Toni Braxton sings on her newest offering “Heart Away.” She’s absolutely right: she is a living legend. With three multi-platinum albums, six top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, and over 67 million records sold, Braxton is basking in the glory of her success.

As she gears up for her eighth studio album Sex & Cigarettes, let’s countdown some of her most slept-on records in a new monthly series we like to call UnderRated. (Sidenote: to be considered an “underrated” record, the song couldn’t have I have been a single at any point in time.)

Check out the list below:

“Gimme Some” (feat. Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes) from the album The Heat (2000)

Credits: Jazze Pha, Toni Braxton, Babyface, Lisa Lopes (Writers); Babyface and Jazze Pha (Producers)

Oh, Toni, why wasn’t this danceable number a single? Even though Babyface and Jazze Pha seem like an unlikely musical pair, they went to work on the lyrical content and production of this banger, which has Braxton taking charge when it comes to her love interest.

“It is an age-old story / Goes back back to Adam and to Eve / I know you know what I want for / And if it ain’t clear to ya baby / Don’t stop, let’s Rock, give it to me baby,” she sings. Left-Eye had a stellar verse too.

“What’s Good” from the album Libra (2005)

Credits: Bryan-Michael Cox, Johnta Austin, Toni Braxton, Joe Sample (Writers); Bryan-Michael Cox and Keri Lewis (Producers)

“What’s Good” appears as the third track off of Libra, and following the hip-hop edged songs “Please” and “Trippin’,” it’s a perfect musical shift in the gear of the album. Led by a genius sample of Joe Sample’s “In All My Wildest Dreams,” Braxton sings & coos confidently inc her signature contralto tone about the great things her new man does for her.

“It’s like a house I never left / Like a fever I wanna catch / Like a mountain that’s worth the climb / Talkin’ ’bout this man of mine / Like my money I wanna spend / My homie-lover-friend / He’ll be with me till the end / And he’s never failed me yet,” she sings.

“Caught (Don’t Take Your Hat Off) [feat. Mo’Nique]” from Pulse (2010)

Credits: Mikkel Stoleer Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, LaShawn Daniels (Writers); Stargate (Producer)

Songs that appear on an album’s deluxe edition have a way of adding value to the original album; that’s exactly what this Stargate-produced jam off the Pulse deluxe album does. Braxton kicks her lover out of her house after being cheated on.

“Baby I been more than good to you / When you leaving gimme my key back too / It’s about to go down /Your, your other new lady/ You’re out there with your pants down,” she sings. The light, somber piano is almost addicting, and Mo’Nique’s monologue is the perfect touch.

“Talking In His Sleep” from the album Secrets (1996)

Credits: Toni Braxton (Writer); Keith Crouch (Producer)

Following “Un-Break My Heart” on the Secrets track listing is no easy feat, but bluesy tune “Talking in His Sleep” holds its own. Braxton’s speaking voice has a chilling effect as she touches on infidelity and adultery. “Guilty secrets/ They are haunting my life / And he doesn’t even know that I know/ Can you hear him / The promises he makes/ Said we’ll be together for always / He’s such a liar / Then he goes out to burn me.” The Mary J. Blige-esque jazzy bass line is killer!

“You’ve Been Wrong” from the album The Heat (2000)

Credits: Toni Braxton, Brian Casey, Brandon Casey, Teddy Bishop, Kevin Hicks, Thom Bell, Linda Creed (Writers); Teddy Bishop and Kevin Hicks (Producers)

If The Heat was a family, “Just Be a Man About It” would be the older sibling to this guitar-led track, which hears Braxton finally finding the strength to leave a no-good lover. “Finally I’ve realized/ Your lies have opened up my eyes/ This love affair, now it’s over, over/You’ve been wrong for so long/ And I can’t take the pain you bring me no more/ You’ve been wrong for so long/ And I can’t take the pain you bring me no more,” she sings. Oh, and the Stylistics’ “Stop Look Listen To Your Heart” interpolation? Genius.

“Lies, Lies, Lies” from the album More Than a Woman (2002)

Credits: Keri Lewis and Stokley (Writers); Keri Lewis (Producer)

Ms. Braxton is fed up on this rock n’ roll (yes, rock!) cut. “Don’t bother to apologize / It’s too late, heard it all before / And it should come as no surprise / I’m leavin’, I packed my things / ’Cuz I’m through with this merry-go-round / I’m getting off, I finally found / My strength way deep down / I shoulda left your ass after the first round,” she sings. This is one of the best songs Braxton has ever recorded. EVER (in my opinion).

The raw emotion, the pacing of the song, the commitment to the vocal — Toni was in her bag! Stokley didn’t play a single game with the lyrics, guitar solo, or the backing vocals. Shout out to Chris Dave, who played the drums on this song. And trust, this song is nothing without the drums!

“Shadowless” from the album Libra (2005)

Credits: Alex Cantrell and Philip White (Writers); Keri Lewis (Producer)

Some of Toni’s best songs have a nice guitar somewhere hidden in the instrumentation, but the acoustic guitar takes center stage on this song about regret and love lost. “Gotta make it right with you / Ooh you baby / So tell me what I gotta do / Ooh to make u come back home / Ooh boy how can this be / I remember that every step / U were here with me/ Now I’m shadowless,” she sings. There is just something so magical about the Living Legend’s smoky vocals over the spirited strums of the guitar. Although this would’ve been a nice finale track for this album, penultimate isn’t so bad either.
(If you’re feeling adventurous, check out the AOL Sessions version of this song.)

“The Heat” from the album The Heat (2000)

Credits: Keri Lewis and Toni Braxton (Writers and Producers)

Braxton channels the summer vibes and brings the heat on this sexy title track. “Summer’s almost over so you better hurry / Andale! Andale! / Starting right now let’s dance and party / Ole! Ole! Ole! / Give Me a reason to love you through, through the season / No need to hesitate, come on let’s get it on,” she sings. This song is easy and breezy; sultry and sensual; sex — well, y’all get the point. And to answer your question, Toni, yes, I do want some ice cream.

“Why Should I Care” from the album Secrets (1996)

Credit: Babyface (Writer and Producer)

Braxton is fed up and denying her ex lover a second chance on this ‘90s tune. “And every time I start to slip / I just remind myself / I need only thing of it / I went through so much hell / You say ya wanna get things back / The way they used to be / Can you give one good reason / Why I should darlin’/ Why should I care / Why should I care for you,” she sings. Babyface and Toni Braxton are always a magical pair, but you have to get into these background vocals from the one and only Chanté Moore!

“Do You Remember When” from the album More Than a Woman (2002)

Credits: Toni Braxton, Rodney Jerkins, Fred Jerkins, LaShawn Daniels III (Writers); Rodney Jerkins (Producer)

This More Than a Woman cut finds Toni Braxton thinking back on the better moments of her time with an ex lover. “Do it like you did back then / And then we’ll do it again / Do you remember when? / Reminiscing and more on what we had before / Makes me feel so warm inside / Wanting you constantly and feeling so sorry / That we had to say goodbye,” she sings. Although this song feels like a The Neptunes-Kelis combo, Rodney Jerkins’ groovy production and Toni’s tender vocals fit seamlessly on this track, making it one of the standouts on this album.

Honorable Mentions

“Selfish” from More Than a Woman: Upon first listen, you’ll notice how intricate the background vocals are. So, it’s no surprise that this song credits Brandy as a writer and her ex-boyfriend Robert Smith as the producer of this breezy tune.

“If I Have to Wait” from Pulse: It’s unfortunate that Country radio and the Country music industry is so exclusive, because this had the potential to be a nice crossover hit.

“Sposed to Be” from Libra: Blackground Records was not feeling the original album that Toni Braxton and then-husband Keri Lewis turned in, so they set her up with additional recording sessions. That decision led to the creation of this sensual cut, which is spearheaded by The Underdogs and even features a writing credit for Keri Hilson.

What are your favorite songs from this list? Let us know in the comment section below!

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