New Website, New Look, New Mailing List….

carlos

 

HOWDY WORDPRESSERS,

I have exciting news for you…  I’ve switched from Word Press to my own personal website…   I’m really excited about the freedom I will have to share with you all more Music, WTH Moments, and more inspiration…  If you would like to continue receiving emails and updates from Peauxetic Expressions, please click on the link below.

Please subscribe to my mailing list at  www.peauxeticexpressions.com

 

Thanks again for joining the Peauxetic Expression Family….

 

Carlos

Usher: The Climax of Looking 4 Myself

 

Usher Raymond. He’s had a slew of hits including “You Make Me Wanna”, “You Got It Bad”, “Yeah” and “Confessions”. The later song and album of the same name, peaked during a time where the singer’s personal life was thrust into the public eye. He was in a very high-profile relationship with Chilli and they seemed to be the perfect couple. That is until his…ahem, “confession” of infidelity. Both parties have since gone on record to say that the CD is in no way, shape or form in reference to their relationship. But going on the chronological events that took place, you can’t help but wonder if his life and lyrics weren’t “Caught Up” so to speak with each other.  Ironically as Usher became more exposed to the negative rays of the flashing lights of fame, Confessions achieved Diamond status (over 10 million albums sold in the US). Just goes to show that little drama mixed with good music is a good formula for success.

Since then, Usher has married and now divorced his ex-wife, Tameka Foster. Still no stranger to drama, he’s currently going through a strenuous custody battle with her over their 2 sons, complete with bitterness of the ex-wife over a new girlfriend/manager of a pop star.  SMH….the plot thickens. Conveniently for him, Usher happens to also be releasing his new CD, Looking 4 Myself. While Usher tries to find himself, will fans be removing his CD from the shelves tomorrow for the official release date. Time (and Soundscan) will tell…but, there has been some promising radio singles released already, in support of the new album. Here’s my two cents on what we’ve heard so far.

“Climax”

Is it just me or am I the only one that thinks this song sounds like Janet Jackson’s “Funny How Time Flies”? Somehow it has the same vibe to me. But I digress. This is a smooth track (the best one production wise of the songs I’ve heard), with interesting lyrics, that isn’t about what the title may have suggested. The lyrics speak of a failed relationship, and the crossroads of decisions to be made. I don’t see this being a major hit, but it’s a nice transition for him back into ballads. Guess this one isn’t about his personal life either.

“Scream”

Honestly, I’m a little tired of this style of music. You know, that “Rihanna techno” craze. I say that because she has seemed to profit the most from it recently. This is a club track that boasts there will be plenty screams in the bedroom over a thumping bass line. I must admit, the song is catchy, and probably will be a big hit. Nothing innovative here though. I was expecting a little more. Rihanna, jump out the closet and start singing anytime now…

Lemme See Feat. Rick Ross

The beat here is rough, but enticing at the same time. Think “Lil Freak” toned down. This song paints a club scene that basically goes like this: Guy meets girl in club. Flirting back and forth. Girl says what she can do to guy. Guy says show me better than you can tell me. Nothing spectacular either here lyrically, but Rick Ross was a great choice for the feature on this mellow track. This song will cater to his R & B fans, and has a gritty edge to it.

So, the question is, will you be buying Looking 4 Myself when it hits stores tomorrow, or will you be looking elsewhere for great music? How do you think this CD will fare on the charts compared to his previous work?  Here’s the official track listing for the album:

1. “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop”
2. “Scream”
3. “Climax”
4. “I Care for U”
5. “Show Me”
6. “Lemme See” feat. Rick Ross
7. “Twisted” feat. Pharrell Williams
8. “Dive”
9. “What Happened to U”
10. “Looking 4 Myself” feat. Luke Steele
11. “Numb”
12. “Lessons for the Lover”
13. “Sins of My Father”
14. “Euphoria”

Deluxe Edition (Features 4 additional tracks)
15. “I.F.U.”
16. “Say the Words”
17. “2nd Round”
18. “Hot Thing”

Outkast: Everlasting? Not At All?

On OutKast’s 2003 massive hit, “The Way You Move”, Big Boi opens the song with a bold statement that silences any naysayers of the duo. “OutKast is everlasting/not clashing/not at all….that’s for anyone asking”. It was a great time in their career and what some have dubbed to be their pinnacle. That same year, OutKast released their highly anticipated double CD, “The Love Below/Speakerboxxx”. It was a leap of faith and something that hadn’t really been done before in rap music….but they pulled it off…extremely well. The CD went on to produce multiple hit singles and eventually sell over 11 million copies in the US alone. OutKast was quickly becoming one of America’s most sought after musical acts, not just local ATLiens.

There have been several reports and even statements made by either Big Boi or Andre 3000 themselves as to why OutKast hasn’t made a full studio CD in almost 10 years. The soundtrack to their movie Idlewild doesn’t really count, although I’m still listening to it now.  The movie and soundtrack to Idlewild were both great, but we need a new OutKast CD!! There have been numerous guest appearances in movies (ATL, Be Cool), commercials (Andre 3000’s Gillette razor commercial), solo CDs (Big Boi’s Sir Luscious Left Foot… is still in heavy rotation on my iPod) and guest appearances (Andre 3000 had the best verse hands down on Drake’s “The Real Her”…and any feature he’s on)….but no OutKast collectively.

So do you think the group still has what it takes to make a comeback? I personally think they do and we need them to make a new album….RIGHT NOW! LOL. Some may disagree, but there is no Hip Hop or Rap group (and not many groups period)  that is as innovative and creative as OutKast has been. Make sure you cast your vote on today’s poll!! 

10 Years Later… Remembering Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes

If you read my recent post “VH1 To Produce TLC Biopic” (or heard in the news), then you know that TLC will be releasing a biopic produced by VH1 on their lives that will be released this year. Sadly, April 25, 2012 also marks the 10 year passing of the group’s most vibrant and outrageous member, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes. Their new movie is supposed to be released in conjunction with a new CD and possible tour dates, but TLC’s image was as big as their sound. Their efforts may be bittersweet at best, without the presence of Left Eye. I’m very anxious to see who will be cast as TLC in their upcoming movie…and especially Left Eye. That will be some quite large and colorful shoes to fill.

It would be really interesting to see where TLC’s place in music would be now if Left Eye were still alive. Ironically, through all of the bankruptcy, arson, illness, and fighting they never really broke up. And with over 65 million albums (not even counting singles)  sold worldwide, they’re still one of the greatest selling female groups of all time. But it was Left Eye who was the mastermind behind wearing condoms on clothes to promote safe sex, the concept behind the international success CrazySexyCool and even designing the stage setup for tours. Plus, she understood that controversy sells…something she nor T-Boz and Chilli were strangers to. Artists like this are rare and almost extinct in today’s music arena…..Left Eye, you are still missed and your legacy will always live on.

What’s your favorite Left Eye moment? What do you think her greatest memory with people will be on today? Or better yet, how do you want to be remembered?

Confessions: Let’s Talk About The Truth…

Many people say confession is good for the soul. But some of us don’t want to talk about it because we may be afraid of the truth. So I’ll start off with myself and tell you what’s on my mind….

Some of you may know that I am a contributor to another website called Christian Bloggers Cafe (www.christianbloggerscafe.com).  CBC is basically a Christian based site that includes daily original blogs, CD reviews, meditations, featured gospel music and book reviews. It is truly a one stop shop to give you the spiritual boost you need to get through the day. I am one of the contributing members, but sad to say we are ending the site right at its 1 year anniversary. We have had a great run and covered a multitude of topics through our blogs, which have blessed many people. So what’s next? I’m so glad you asked. Here’s a look into what the other 3 contributing members have coming on the horizon. Make sure to check them out!

Confessions with Shana-Lee

Shana-Lee Dixon is launching an exciting advice column titled “Confessions With Shana-Lee”, which is launching next month. is a wonderful new advice newsletter that will feature answers to everyday questions ranging from relationships and spirituality. There will also be a website released in conjunction with the newsletter that will feature inspiring blogs, weight loss tips, praise reports, and book reviews. Make sure you sign up for Shana-Lee’s mailing list at confessionswithshana@gmail.com. Make sure to reach out to her to submit the questions you need advice on and check out her tips on everyday life as well!

Let’s Talk 

Tammie Henry has an excellent new vlog which you can find on YouTube called “Let’s Talk”! The vlog is a new endeavor that Tammie has already released that discussed such topics as natural hair, weight loss, fashion and relationships. Make sure to check out her videos and comment on what your views are on her hot topics. Make sure to subscribe to her YouTube channel “Talk2TLady75”. She will also have a website launching soon to go along with the YouTube vlog. In the meantime, make sure you check out one of her latest videos on natural hair below. For more information, email her at TLady75@yahoo.com.

The Truth Bowl

John Patrick Adams, who is also an amazing Christian songwriter (check out his website, www.johnpatrickadams.com). There’s some great gospel music on his site that you’re sure to enjoy. He is also launching a new wave of discussion that’s exploding on YouTube, called “The Truth Bowl” next month. You submit your questions, and the The Truth Bowl gives you the raw, honest answers! Make sure you check out the website, www.thetruthbowl.com, for more information and sign up for the mailing list. You can also subscribe to “TruthBowl” on YouTube and check out the test pilots for the site.  Lastly, if you’re on the go and want the latest updates to The Truth Bowl in the palm of your hands, then click on the following link to get the free Truth Bowl app!! http://thetruthbowl.mobapp.at/

Lauryn, Please Miseducate Us Again…

“Ha ha ha ha….you shouldn’t diss refugees and ha ha ha ha…your whole sound set boo-ty and…” It was a bold statement that was backed up by as much talent as cockiness. The year was 1995. The Fugees were about to reach the pinnacle of their success and launch an even greater success with their lead singer/sole female MC, Lauryn Hill. The writing was on the wall for Lauryn Hill to eventually go solo and she initially seemed hesitant about branching away from the group. All of this despite the hugely successful “Killing Me Softly” single taken from the Fugees 1996 release, The Score.  Not to mention the other songs on the CD that featured Lauryn Hill’s unique vocals and conscious rhymes (I’m still jamming “Ready or Not”) Lauryn Hill quietly released her worldwide success, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill in 1998. The Score was such a commercial juggernaut, that it had just lost its steam by the time Lauryn’s solo CD was released. Those were the days when music actually had staying power on the charts….but I digress, lol.

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill seemed to be an overnight sensation with fans, except me. Never being one to jump on the popularity bandwagon, I bought the CD but couldn’t figure out what was so good about it. But I always respected the creativity and originality of the music on it. Then one day it just hit me…I started liking the CD more and more every time I heard it. By this time, Lauryn Hill had also proved herself as a worthy actress in the film Sister Act 2. Although she played a troubled teenage singer in a high school choir (not too far-fetched from real life), she proved that she could effortlessly switch lanes between singer, actress and rapper. Everything she touched turned to gold and it seemed like she could do no wrong. Songs like “Doo Wop (That Thing)” and “Ex Factor” are timeless classics in my opinion that will forever live on. Despite the millions of records sold and 5 Grammys won in one night (which at the time was the most ever by any female artist), unfortunately, you’re only as good as your last hit. It’s amazing to think that Lauryn Hill has really built her solo legacy from just one CD. So why haven’t we been able to get more music from the former Fugees front-woman? Well, technically we have…

In 2002, Lauryn Hill released a double disc collection of new material from her MTV Unplugged concert. Although the CD did contain some great songs and thought-provoking lyrics, the content was also a bit sporadic. Plus something now seemed a little off about Lauryn Hill’s voice. The smooth, raspy tone that we all knew and loved had turned into….well, just plain raspy. There was still an amazing talent there, just not the kind of spark we saw from her first solo release. She even admitted herself that the craze of stardom messed with her mind and caused her to withdraw from the public eye. Now, 10 years later from her last official release, we have heard promises of new material from her and the Fugees reuniting. Neither have yet to see the light of day. But there may be hope…just this past weekend, Lauryn Hill performed some of her classic hits and new material from her “upcoming” sophomore CD in London. There’s no word yet on a release date of the new material. But I must admit, this is one of her best performances in recent years. Check out one of the clips below.

At a time when hit music is driven by gimmicks, sex appeal, and tabloid headlines, we need Lauryn Hill now more than ever. I really hope she makes a comeback and shows the world she still has it. What do you think? Can Lauryn Hill actually come back to the music scene and still be as relevant as she was over a decade ago? Or have her 15 minutes of fame already expired?

Lauryn, come back. We need you. Some great new music would really be “The Sweetest Thing”.

Bombs Away for Dawn Richard?

You may not know the name Dawn Richard, but you’ve definitely seen her. She was a part of the short-lived girl group Danity Kane, from Diddy’s Making the Band series. The group enjoyed multi-platinum success but eventually was forced (in a not so forced kind of way) to disband after releasing only 2 CDs. Unlike some of the group’s members, she has managed to stay relevant in the spotlight….and in a positive way. She found some success with the group Dirty Money as well, which was also created by Diddy. But now it may be her turn to shine on her own.

On March 27, 2012, Dawn released her new EP on iTunes called Armor On. Considering the contrast between the music of groups Danity Kane and Dirty Money, Dawn offers yet another facet of her skill set on the 10 track EP Armor On. I was expecting more ballads with a few uptempo tracks, but Dawn actually presents quite the opposite. This doesn’t mean her EP is a disappointment though.  Many of the tracks here are heavily electronic/pop influenced, but with a hard edge. The music here was produced almost solely by Druski, who has his own style that meshes well with her voice. On some of the tracks, Dawn sounds eerily similar to R & B singer Brandy. Not in a copying sort of way, but more so by happenstance.

In conjunction with the release of Armor On, Dawn Richard released a music video for the song “Bombs”. Definitely one of the stand out tracks from Armor On, the video features Dawn and several dancers in the desert with black outfits and warrior themed accessories. The video will remind you of certain scenes from Beyonce’s “Run The World” clip, released last year.  Other highlights on the project include “Automatic”,”Black Lipstick” and “Save Me From U (Remix)”. You can get Armor On on iTunes now, while you wait for Dawn’s full length upcoming project, GoldenHeart. Her new solo material will not be released on Bad Boy Records. Let’s see what kind of explosion Dawn makes with her new solo ventures….