20 Classic R&B Albums You Should Own

Jill-Scott-Words-Sounds

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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Antwane Folk is the editorial assistant at RatedRnB.com.

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Traci, Toni, Towanda and Trina Braxton Unite on New Song ‘Broken Things’

Traci Braxton enlists her sisters Toni Braxton, Towanda Braxton and Trina Braxton for her new song titled “Broken Things.”

On the heartfelt tune, which was originally teased on Braxton Family Values in 2016, the sisters sing about putting their pride aside to end the “cold war” that’s going on between them. “Who can fix these broken things? / Who can put us back together now that we’re undone?” they sing.

Last month, Toni released her first album in eight years, Sex & Cigarettes, which included her hit single “Long As I Live.” Meanwhile, Traci is gearing up to release her sophomore album later this year, which will feature “Broken Things.” The album will follow her 2014 project Crash and Burn. 

Listen to “Broken Things” below.

Lauryn Hill Announces ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’ 20th Anniversary Tour Dates

In 1998, Lauryn Hill captivated the world with the release of her groundbreaking debut album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. She plans to relive its powerful message on the road this summer with 20th-anniversary concert dates.

L Boogie will tour the states starting on July 5 at the Veterans United Homes Loans Amphitheater in Virginia Beach. From there, Hill will perform in major cities, including Boston, Toronto, Miami, Atlanta, San Diego and Irving. Hill will end the tour in St. Louis, MO at Chaifetz Arena on October 5.

Hill paid tribute to Nina Simone who will be inducted into the 33rd Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in June. She sang a melody of Simone’s notable records including “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free,” I Put a Spell on You,” “Feeling Good” and more. We can watch the entire ceremony on May 5th at 8 p.m. on HBO.

MISEDUCATION OF LAURYN HILL 20TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR DATES.

July 5 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater
July 8 – Bristow, VA @ Jiffy Lube Live
July 11 – Boston, MA @Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
July 13 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Festival Pier Penn’s Landing
July 15 – Wantagh, NY @ Northwell Health Jones Beach Theater
July 18 – Toronto, ON @ Budweiser Stage
July 20 – Sterling Heights, MI @ Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre
July 25 – Charlotte, NC @ Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre
July 26 – Raleigh, NC @ Red Hat Amphitheater
July 29 – Saint Petersburg, FL @ Al Lang Stadium
July 31 – Miami, FL @ Bayfront Park Miami
Aug. 2 – Jacksonville, FL @ Daily’s Place
Aug. 3 – Atlanta, GA @ Chastain Park Amphitheatre
Aug. 5 – Nashville, TN @ Metro Nashville Municipal Auditorium
Aug. 8 – Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center
Sep. 7 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Sep. 9 – San Diego, CA @ Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre
Sep. 12 – Portland, OR @ Rose Quarter
Sep. 14 – Burnaby, BC @ Deer Lake
Sep. 15 – Kent, WA @ accesso ShoWare Center
Sep. 20 – Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheatre
Sep. 22 – Phoenix, AZ @ Comerica Theatre
Sep. 24 – Albuquerque, NM @ Isleta Amphitheater
Sep. 26 – Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre
Sep. 29 – Sugar Land, TX @ Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land
Sep. 30 – Irving, TX @ The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
Oct. 3 – New Orleans, LA @ UNO Lakefront Arena
Oct. 5 – St. Louis, MO @ Chaifetz Arena

4 Songs from Mariah Carey’s ‘E=MC²’ That Should Have Been Number One

Ten years ago, Mariah Carey’s faithful Lambs across the world were pulling out their TI-89 calculators to solve the equation E=MC², the title of her 11th studio album.

The album came three years after The Emancipation of Mimi, Carey’s comeback album and the best-selling album of 2005. The legendary diva won many awards for her 10th studio album, including three Grammy Awards. The accolades that probably meant the most to Carey were her two number one singles: “We Belong Together” and “Don’t Forget About Us.”

The latter tune helped Carey bag her 17th Hot 100 chart-topper, tying her with Elvis Presley for the most number one singles by a solo artist. She beat the rock and roll king’s record two months before the release of E=MC² with her sexually fantasizing single “Touch My Body.”

Speaking to the Associated Press in 2008, Carey praised herself for surpassing Presley.”For me, in my mind the accomplishment is just that much sweeter,” she said. “In terms of my ethnicity, always feeling like an outsider, always feeling different … for me it’s about saying, ‘Thank you Lord, for giving me the faith to believe in myself when other people had written me off.'”

What’s baffling though is that following the commercial success of “Body,” the five-octave Chanteuse pumped out three more singles (“Bye Bye,” “I’ll Be Lovin’ U Long Time,” and “I Stay in Love”) but none were fortunate enough to be inducted into Carey’s hall of fame of No. 1’s.

Yes, an artist’s name alone isn’t enough to sell a single. Without backing from radio stations and proper promotion, the chances of a single swimming versus sinking are slimmer than Carey’s ‘90s waistline.

But in all fairness: Carey’s E=MC² album potentially had the right formula to equate her 19th number-one single on the Hot 100 and continue her reign as the undisputed queen of the No. 1’s.

Now as we playback E=MC² (and mimic her iconic finger twinkle) on its 10th anniversary, here are four songs that should have topped the Hot 100.

1. “I’m that Chick”

Credits: Mariah Carey / Johnta Austin / Mikkel Storleer Eriksen / Tor Erik Hermansen / Rod Temperton (Writers); Carey and Stargate (Producers)

Who’s to blame for Carey’s dreamy number, “I’m That Chick” not being worked as a single and skating to the No. 1 spot on the Hot 100?

Revisiting the disco era and Michael Jackson’s “Off the Wall,” the confident singer tiptoed on the dance floor to enjoy nightlife. Like Usher, Carey found love in the club and used some of the best metaphors to let him know she is everything and more. She also referenced two hip-hop legends Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G. to get her point across.

“Take this seriously / Like Pac, all eyes on me / That’s right you are intrigued (I’m that chick you like),” she sings lightly. “I do’s it naturally / Hypnotize like Biggie / But you ain’t havin’ dreams / I’m that chick you like.”

“I’m That Chick” had just the right amount of attitude to dance its way to number one.

2. “I’ll Be Lovin’ U Long Time”

Credits: Mariah Carey / Aldrin Davis / Mark DeBarge / Crystal Johnson / Etterlene Jordan (Writers); Carey and DJ Toomp (Producers)

It goes without saying that Carey’s flirty single “I’ll Be Lovin’ U Long Time” was shamefully robbed from basking in number one glory — and this was long before T.I. was enlisted for the remix.

Borrowing remnants of DeBarge’s “Stay With Me” for the hook and playful production, the jaunty love song heard Carey reassuring her then-husband Nick Cannon that it’s not a game and she’s here to stay.

From its timely release just ahead of summer to its proper video treatment and catchy lyrics, the cutesy tune had many qualifications to become a hit on the Hot 100. However, DJ Toomp co-produced ditty didn’t get close the top slot. It only reached No. 58.

3. “For the Record”

Credits: Mariah Carey / Bryan-Michael Cox / Adonis Shropshire (Writers); Carey and Cox (Producers)

Tell me one good reason “For the Record” wasn’t released as a single?

Bridging the sounds of a beautiful violin and a meek keyboard, Carey wanted to rewrite history with a former mate who foolishly let her go. Even though he’s moved on, she decided to let his mistake of leaving her sink in more by reminding him of how far her love went for him.

“For the record / You’ll always be a part of me, no matter what you do / And for the record / Can’t nobody say I didn’t give my all to you,” she sang.

As history shows, the New York native has an impressive track record with slow to mid-tempo songs (“Dreamlover,” “Always Be My Baby” and “Don’t Forget About Us”) leading the Hot 100. “For the Record” would have been in good company — just saying.

4. “Side Effects” featuring Jeezy

Credits: Mariah Carey / Jay Jenkins / Crystal Johnson / Scott Storch (Writers); Carey and Storch (Producers)

Carey has been fully capable rocketing herself to the top slot of the Hot 100 without any guest appearances. Out of her 18 number-one singles, she has 13 without a featured artist(s). But for her E=MC² era, we’re sure Mimi’s Lambs wouldn’t have minded her calling on hip-hop’s Snowman to release their blazing collaboration.

Blended with a knocking beat and techno effects, Carey had taken her final dose of torture from her unruly lover. Although she finished her prescribed bottle of heartache and pain, she still had to deal with the aftermath of the dissolved love affair.

“I kept my tears inside ’cause I knew if I / Started I’d keep cryin’ for the rest of my / Life with you I finally built up the strength / To walk away don’t regret it / But I still live with the side effects,” she sings.

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