20 Classic R&B Albums You Should Own

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Jill Scott – “Who is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1” (2000)

With a dash of jazz, a pinch of hip-hop and a couple of splashes of R&B and poetry, Jill Scott combined all the perfect ingredients for an incredible debut album. The Philly native’s spoken word elevated the meaning of her commanding lyrics – “You better back down before you get smacked down you better chill” on “Gettin’ In The Way.” The live instruments and smooth transition from track-to-track makes her debut offering a solid listen.

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Keyshia Cole Plans to Repackage ’11:11 Reset’ With Three New Songs

Keyshia Cole has been hush mouth since the release of her 11:11 Reset album last October. Her silence has its good reasons though, according to a recent Instagram post.

The “Better Me” singer has plans to revive her latest album and its era. “I will be announcing a tour soon,” she wrote. She will also rerelease her album with three new songs.

The 11-track project, which released on Oct. 20, 2017, highlights Cole’s personal triumphs and trials post-divorce. The album includes the Remy Ma and French Montana assisted single “You” and soulful ballad “Incapable.”

There is no word on when Cole will re-release the album.

Are you interested in new music from Keysh? Let us know in the comment section. 

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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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Toni Braxton Sets Release Date for New Album ‘Sex & Cigarettes’

Just hours after releasing “Long As I Live,” Toni Braxton reveals the official release date for her new album.

Scheduled to arrive on March 23, Sex & Cigarettes, will release on Def Jam Recordings. Braxton told Essence last fall, “Sex & Cigarettes is more about me feeling sexy, independent, and expressing my feelings. I think for a long time I felt I had to make certain records, but now I want to just be free! I don’t want to be censored, I just want to focus on being an artist and creating good quality music that people can relate to.”

Braxton dropped the record’s first single “Deadwood” last summer and followed-up with another song “Heart Away” featuring alleged boyfriend Birdman early this year. The latter track is not expected to appear on Sex & Cigarettes. 

Sex & Cigarettes is Braxton’s first solo album since Pulse in 2010.

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