5 Love Lessons Learned From Toni Braxton & Babyface’s ‘Love, Marriage & Divorce’ Album

Photo Credit: Motown Records
Photo Credit: Motown Records

On Tuesday (Feb. 4), Toni Braxton and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds released their duets album, “Love, Marriage & Divorce.” The 11-track set reflects on the love stories of both Braxton and Edmonds — from the good to bad and the in-between.

While the album mirrored the turmoil from their own romantic relationships, it’s almost certain the songs could be parallel to their fans’ love life.

Music has the ability to act as an interpreter that reveals underlying issues in the lives of its listener who can’t express his or her shortcomings verbally to themselves.

Each song on Braxton and Edmonds’ new album uncovers a valuable lesson in love that could shed light on one’s current love state and help ease the troubles in the relationship.

If you can’t afford a relationship counselor, you’re in luck. We’ve listed five love lessons from five standout tracks that can help bring peace back to your relationship — whether you’re together or not.

Lesson No. 1: Listen and pay attention the first time your partner tells you something’s wrong.

The number one question you plead to your partner when they’re walking out the door is “where did we go wrong?” But the better question is “why weren’t you listening when they were trying to explain what was wrong?”

A key part in a relationship is listening to your partner when they’re expressing their concerns on the current state of the relationship. Look at listening like going for a checkup and finding out you have a serious illness. The doctor tells you, “Luckily, you caught in the early stages or it could have been a lot worse.”

If you hear the problem early, work out it out then, you won’t have to worry about hearing those haunting five words (where did we go wrong?) later. You’ll have already resolved the situation at its earliest stage before it became untreatable.

“Where Did We Go Wrong?”

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Antwane Folk is the editorial assistant at RatedRnB.com.

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5 Reasons We Love Faith Evans

Faith Evans is undoubtedly one of the greatest gifts to music. For more than two decades, the Grammy-winning artist has released an impactful catalog of music that has touched many hearts in all the right places with tender ballads like “You Used To Love Me,” and “I Love You.” Not only has Evans pulled our heartstrings, she’s gotten us out our seats and made us dance with party-starter anthems such as “Love Like This” and “All Night Long.”

As we get ready to dance ‘all night long’ for her 45th birthday, Rated R&B has compiled a list of reasons why we love Faith Evans.

1. She has killer background vocals

Evans has served up iconic background harmonies and melodies for many of our favorite R&B artists. From Hi-Five and Usher to Jon B and LSG, Evans has contributed her mesmerizing soprano notes to their discographies. Remember Mary J. Blige’s song “Don’t Go” from her My Life album? Evans brought her gospel influence (and elements of the New York Restoration Choir) to the ending reprise of the record.

2. She keeps the legacy of The Notorious B.I.G. alive

Since the untimely death of The Notorious B.I.G in 1997, Evans has made it her mission to honor his memory every chance she gets. Whether it’s recording a tribute song (“I’ll Be Missing You”) or bringing his life to theaters (Notorious), Evans wants us to know ‘we’ll always love you big poppa.’

In 2017, she released a duets album (The King & I) with previously released and rare vocals from her late husband. The LP also featured guest appearances from several hip-hop artists including Jadakiss and Lil’ Kim.

3. She re-introduced us to R&B legends.

Evans brought a nostalgic moment to television when she executive produced TV One’s hit reality series R&B Divas: Atlanta in 2012. The show told the current, real-life stories of multi-talented artists including Nicci Gilbert, Monifah Carter, Syleena Johnson, Dawn Robinson and Keke Wyatt.

In addition to the hit show, Evans spearheaded a full-length album (R&B Divas) that heard many of the stars voices for the first time in years. The project earned a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Album in 2014.

4. She’s more than a singer, she’s a musician.

Evans brings more than just a voice to the studio. She possesses versatility in all areas of a recording process including songwriting, producing, engineering and vocal arranging. She’s lent her musicianship to several artists such as 112, Robin Thicke, Keyshia Cole and Q Parker to name a few.

Evan has also served as the executive producer on many of her projects and film soundtracks like Keep The Faith, Faithfully, Notorious, R&B Divas and The King and I.

5. She’s an ageless beauty.

Faith Evans’ unchanging good looks have followed her from the beginning of her career to now. She’s had the ability to rock a myriad of hairstyles. She can pull off the around the way girl look without having anyone to question why she has it on. Lastly, she doesn’t even have to wear makeup. She’s can proudly say, “I woke up like this.”

Follow Faith Evans on Instagram at @therealfaithevans and wish her a happy birthday!

5 Proclamations Made on Ashanti’s Album ‘The Declaration’

Can you believe 10 years have flown by since Ashanti released her fourth album The Declaration? It was the first time fans had to wait more than a year for her album to drop — but it was for a good reason, though.

The New York native was undergoing several changes in the music industry, while also stretching her talents in other ventures. She found herself switching labels and acting in two films (John Tucker Must Die and Resident Evil: Extinction) as the dust settled with the ongoing investigation of The Inc. Records (formerly Murder Inc.).

Ashanti’s time away from the music spotlight promoted the title of her 2008 release. “The reason why I named the album The Declaration is because this time around, during that four-year gap, I learned so much and I grew up so much,” she stated in a 2008 interview with PR.com. “This time around I handled my project completely on my own. I executive produced the entire album from the behind the scenes to the creative process. So, The Declaration just stands for declaring a sense of independence, a sense of freedom and just a sense of growing up.”

Testing the waters with a few songs ( “Switch” and “Hey Baby (After the Club)” ), Ashanti officially kicked off The Declaration era with “The Way That I Love You” in fall 2007. Shortly after securing her ninth top 5 single (No. 2) on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, the album was released on June 3, 2008.

As we glance back at Ashanti’s decade-old album, here are five proclamations made on The Declaration.

“You’re Gonna Miss”

1. The proclamation of self worth.

Not all love is worth fighting for. Find the strength to move on. Don’t look back or second guess if you made the right decision to leave.

“And when I try to justify what you did wrong / It’s like I’m constantly reminded that I can’t move on.”

“The Way That I Love You”

2. The proclamation of trusting your intuition.

These days, you can’t put anything past your lover. Although we don’t want to believe the ugly truth about our mate, face it head-on. It could be the thing to help heal your heart faster.

“Felt like you were hidin’ something, but I didn’t push it / I didn’t complain or say nothing.”

“Shine”

3. The proclamation of never dimming your light.

No one can take anything from you — especially your light. They might try and dim your bulb so their light can shine bright but always let ‘em know: it’s enough wattage for the both of us.

“They’ll try to take you, try to break you down / Remember you are born to shine.”

“Good Good”

4. The proclamation of sexual confidence.

Confidence starts within. Once you secure self-assurance about yourself (most importantly your body), you can only imagine the fire it will bring to the bedroom. Your mate shouldn’t even think about looking elsewhere if you possess that “good good.”

“Cause when I say I got that pop lock and drop it believe me / If I’m with you, it’s gon’ kill you on the days you don’t see me.”

“Mother”

5. The proclamation to honor thy mother.

A simple act of kindness should be putting a smile on your mother’s face. Yes, sometimes they drive us crazy and tell us the truth when our friends don’t, but the bond is unlike any other. So, hold on to it. Make sure to cherish her (or whomever you look up to as a mother in your life).

“I thank you, and I love you / And I would never place anyone above you.”

Stream The Declaration below.

What proclamations did you hear on The Declaration. Let us know in the comment section below.

Toni Braxton Scores First Solo No. 1 Single in 18 Years

Toni Braxton just proved how much we missed her on the radio. The R&B legend’s latest single “Long As I Live” off her Sex & Cigarettes album has reached the number one spot on the Urban Adult Contemporary radio chart.

With 1,905 radio spins, “Long As I Live” moves up one spot and dethrones Ne-Yo’s single “Good Man.” The heartfelt track debuted at No. 41 back in mid-February.

This chart news for Braxton is one for the books as “Long As I Live” is her first single as a solo artist to top the urban AC radio chart since “Just Be a Man About It” in 2000. Her bluesy duet “Hurt You” with Babyface previously topped this radio chart back in 2013. The record appeared on their collaborative album Love, Marriage & Divorce, which won a Grammy for Best R&B Album in 2015.

“Long As I Live” is the second single from Braxton’s newly released Sex & Cigarettes album.