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

Rihanna: Overrated Cockiness?

Ok, I’ll admit it. I like a few of Rihanna’s songs. Ok, I lied. I like a lot of her songs. But there is something about her that is a guilty pleasure. It took me a long time to get on the Rihanna bandwagon. I somehow think I’m depriving myself of quality music sometimes when I listen to her, lol. Rihanna fans don’t throw anything at me. It’s just my opinion. And after all, I’m one of you too…kinda. But is she just a little too overrated right now? Let’s face it, she puts on a great show (next to P!nk, I thought she had the best performance at the MTV Video Music Awards this year), but she’s not the best singer in the world. And speaking of great shows and the VMAs (where she won Video of the Year for “We Found Love”), you may have heard the rumor by now that she’s releasing another CD this November. After debuting the remix of her single “Cockiness” featuring A$AP Rocky, from the Talk That Talk CD (I’m still waiting on “Watch n’ Learn” to be released as a single) this seems a bit early.  Rihanna has toyed with the idea of releasing a new CD this year, but according to a now deleted tweet by Def Jam France it may be confirmed.  Apparently will she not only have a new CD out in November, but a new single released today as well (I’ll review it later if that’s the case). All of this while prepping from her upcoming Diamonds World Tour. And she titled her tour appropriately, as Diamonds is rumored to be the name of her new CD and single to be released today.

Then there’s the controversy. Chris Brown got a new tattoo right before the VMAs of a woman who closely resembles Rihanna on his next. The next day after the VMAs she gets a tattoo of Goddess Isis right beneath her breasts, reportedly in honor of her grandmother. Then Chris Brown gets another tattoo of a fighter jet, somewhat similar to Rihanna’s “Goddess Isis” art. Not to mention that her image has gotten progressively more risqué and overly sexual. But then again, sex and drama sells right?

Are you looking forward to a new Rihanna CD? Is she really just a great entertainer who’s striking while the iron is hot? Or is she overrated and long overdue for a break? And does anybody else find it funny that her new CD is rumored to be called Diamonds and the cover of the deluxe version of Chris Brown’s Fortune CD features diamonds falling from the sky? Maybe I’m reading too much between the lines, lol.

Has Alicia Keys Lost Her Fire?

It’s hard to believe that Alicia Keys has only released  four CDs to date since 2001. She basically blew up over night with her first single, “Fallin”, and hasn’t looked back since. My personal favorite CD of hers is her second release, The Diary of Alicia Keys. I can pretty much listen to that CD straight through without skipping any tracks. Her album sales after that period have reflected that maybe other fans feel the same way too.

In the next few months leading up to the release of Girl On Fire, Alicia Keys will be on a media frenzy, including a spot on VH1’s Storytellers, a commercial with Citibank that features “Girl On Fire”, and a new Reebok Classics- Freestyle Hi line. Her husband, producer Swizz Beatz, is the Creative Director for Reebok Classics and now Alicia Keys will be releasing her own line, personally designed by her. It will be interesting to see how her new CD will fare on the charts, considering its release date of November 27, 2012. The Thanksgiving week is usually packed with several high-profile music releases, although she does have the Black Friday push on her side. She says she came up with the album’s title because she “felt like a lion in like a lion locked in a cage…I felt like a girl misunderstood that no one really knew, I felt like it was time to stop making excuses for any part of my life that I wanted to change. Once I made that choice I became a Girl on Fire, the lion broke free!!” Hmmm…ok.

Back in June, she released an Instagram photo of her new short hair cut. Then there was last week’s performance at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards. Even though I enjoyed her performance (and guest appearances from Nicki Minaj and Gabby Douglas), I was left wanting more. I honestly enjoyed P!nk and Rihanna’s performances more. Nonetheless, I do enjoy the song (it needs to grow on me more though) and she sounded great, as always. But  just in case you thought her first single and title cut from Girl On Fire only had one version, think again. Last Tuesday, she tweeted, “”Surprise! #GirlOnFire was so hot I made 3 versions! part of a #girlonfire suite I’ll give U 2 of 3 now 😉 Do U have a fav?….”

Check out the Inferno and Blue Light versions of “Girl On Fire” above. Which one do you like better? Don’t forget to vote on your favorite one on the poll below.

***Stay tuned this evening for my reviews on 2 new songs from an artists who’s been MIA for quite some time***

Thirsty Thursday…Bottoms Up!

Ok, so the summer’s almost over and you barely missed the mark on getting that six pack you wanted or slimming down a couple of dress sizes for the pool party. But, there’s hope! When winter comes you can just wear sweaters and no one will know the difference, lol. But seriously, we still have a little bit of summer left, which means the heat will be here for a while. So that means we have to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. Plus, it’s just good to stay hydrated and drink water all year round. But if you’re anything like me, you get tired of drinking water by itself, so here are a few alternatives I use that spice up your water intake routine.

Water with Cucumbers

I actually can’t take full credit for this one. One of my old managers told me about this concoction at a spa she used to frequently go to. All you do is get a gallon jug of water (if you can it’s great to drink close to or equal to a gallon of water a day. It’s an easy way to help lose weight), and cut up pieces of cucumbers in the water. Let it chill (preferably overnight) and drink it! It has a great, refreshing taste and it’s different from just plain ole water.  Plus, you may help fight off colds, as cucumbers contain Vitamin C, as well as potassium, and silica (a trace mineral that we need for healthy connective tissue).

Sobe Lifewater Mango Mandarin with Coconut Water

This water is really good when you’re looking for a quick single serve bottle of water to drink. It has a sweet flavor, but doesn’t taste like sugar water either. If you like mangoes, you’ll love this one. Plus coconut water has many health benefits, including aiding in weight loss, potassium (as much as a banana, one of the leading sources), and even helping reduce high blood pressure. Don’t sleep on this drink. I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll enjoy it. At 80 calories a bottle, this is the closest you’ll get to sweet tasting water that’s good for you. Plus it contains vitamins A and C.

The Guilty Pleasure: Jack Daniel’s Honey

Let’s face it. Sometimes, water just doesn’t do the trick when you’ve had a hard day at work or out with a group of friends. I was first introduced to Jack Daniel’s Honey by fellow a blogger (www.popgoesthecity.com) . I was intrigued by this new flavor, so I went out and bought a bottle, lol. It has a much smoother taste than the original and a must have for anyone that is a fan of Jack Daniel’s….just remember to drink responsibly.  And just as a point to remember, it’s always healthier to drink straight liquor rather than a mixed drink. Jack Daniel’s has 65 calories per fluid ounce (and chances are you won’t be able to drink more than a few ounces straight…or at least you shouldn’t be able to). Compare that to a Pina Colada that has 526 calories, at only 6.8 ounces. Makes you think twice doesn’t it?

What are some of your favorite healthy (or not so healthy) alternatives to drinking water?

Funky Divas With Funky Attitudes

En Vogue’s Never Gonna Get It Right

Cindy. Maxine. Terry. Dawn. You may not know them all individually, but you definitely know them as a collective….1990s R & B group, En Vogue. They are one of the biggest female groups in history with hits like “Hold On”, “Don’t Let Go”, and “Never Gonna Get It”. In recent years, it seems like the group has never gotten it together long enough to reunite with all four original members. And in the past few weeks, things have really come to a head. The group’s lineup has changed over the years going back and forth between Dawn Robinson (lead singer) being in and out of the group. The remaining members enjoyed modest success as EV3, minus the presence of Dawn (who also enjoyed some success on her own as a member of Lucy Pearl- with Raphael Saadiq and Ali Shaheed Muhammad).

The group had seemed to put their differences aside, gearing up for a new reality show, a new CD and a reunion tour. Seemed like a smart move for a group that still has a large fan base…But that hasn’t lasted long. Member Maxine Jones recently learned that she has been kicked out of the group and being sued by Terry and Cindy. Not to mention, Dawn had already left again by this point. And just last week, Maxine and Dawn used Twitter as their venting platform, stating the following:

Maxine Jones ‏@MaxineJonesEV
Yup Terry n Cindy r evil! They took over the LLC n bank acct, forced me out, gave my gigs 2 that chick LOL, and SUING 

Maxine Jones ‏@MaxineJonesEV
Real arrogant bitches drunk with power lol! My lawyer and I look forward 2 court! We’re gonna catch it on our reality show 2 lol

Dawn Robinson ‏@dawnrobinson_
@MaxineJonesEV Dont worry about it Max lol! The truth about they’re asses had to come out sooner or later! Do NOT erase these messages lol!

And here’s a piece of what Cindy and Terry had to say about it all…

“….There are always two sides to a story and many internal facts that you the fans aren’t hearing about. In an effort to not air dirty laundry, or appear to point the finger at anyone, we respectfully choose to remain silent on the internal issues…..”

Who knows, this could all be fake and just a ploy for ratings for their new reality show. Do we really want to see En Vogue come back, especially if they’re acting like this? Time will tell, but for now they have plans of making two separate groups of “En Vogue” with new members…SMH

Check out a throwback from En Vogue, “Giving Him Something He Can Feel”. The song was previously recorded by Aretha Franklin for the Sparkle movie soundtrack. The group’s concept for the video was taken from the movie and the remake of it, starring Whitney Houston and Jordin Sparks, hit theaters this past weekend.

Nicki Minaj and Foxy Brown vs. Lil Kim???

During a recent concert in NYC, Nicki Minaj surprised her fans by bringing out one of rap music’s original bad girls, Foxy Brown. The crowd went wild as the two performed together and Nicki Minaj publicly gave Foxy Brown her props and referred to her as her idol (really???). Ironically, both of them have had beef with Lil Kim in the past. Could this really be nothing more than a staged alliance for a combined attack on Lil Kim? Who knows, but since Foxy Brown is somewhat of a has been now, she’s definitely getting the better end of the deal if this is the case. It’s great that Nicki Minaj is paying her due respects to those who came before her, but if that’s the case, shouldn’t she be really thanking Lil Kim (since she copies much of her style)? I’m just saying….

Bland Chance for Spice Girls Reunion

Remember how huge the Spice Girls were in the late 90s? I always thought Mel B and Victoria Beckham were cute, but other than that, I didn’t get the hype about them. They were literally an overnight success (getting on my nerves in the process, lol) and broke numerous records during their brief stint in the music industry. Then, all of a sudden, they just disbanded and focused on marriage, motherhood and solo careers. But after a well received closing performance at the Olympic games in London, there is buzz (mainly being spread by Mel B) that there will be a reunion tour, along with new music. But there’s one problem…Posh Spice (Victoria Beckham). Stating that family life and prior obligations have got her tied up, she says she has no plans for a reunion. But the show may go on without her and she may be left off the tour. Well, reunion tour or not, at least they have their own musical, Viva Forever (based on their hit songs) to look forward to in December of this year.

What’s the deal with women in music (especially girl groups)? And why can’t they all just get along?

God Forgives, Pop Music Doesn’t

God Forgives, I Don’t. This is not a personal opinion or character trait of mine.  But this is the title of Rick Ross’s new CD. I’ve never been a big fan of his, but I must admit, I like a lot the music he’s done in the past couple years. I even downloaded his free mix tape, Rich Forever. But something about the title of his new CD just makes me not be able to go out and purchase it. I like a few of the songs on it, but does he really believe the mantra of the CD’s title? Don’t get me wrong. I probably couldn’t put my iPod on random in any setting and please everyone in the room. I like all types of music, and some isn’t as clean as it could or should be, but where is the line drawn?

During the first week of its release, God Forgives, I Don’t sold over 100,000 copies and debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart. Could this be partly attributed to pure talent, or pushing the envelope. But even take Madonna and Lady Gaga. Both artists (Lady Gaga more than likely following in the footsteps of Madonna) have pushed the image, interview, performance and sexual envelopes way past the normal acceptance mark. But has the element of shock value become the new norm? Rappers like Eminem were treading on somewhat unfamiliar territory with explicitly violent and disturbing lyrics that had everyone in a frenzy in the late 1990s. But now, would it have the same effect? Have we really just become desensitized over time. Even Nicki Minaj can probably feel less of the heat being directed at her, from not having to pave the way like artists before her did. When Lil Kim exploded on the music scene in 1996, she took music to a place it had never quite been before. But now we want more and more…..and thus artists like Nicki Minaj are created.

By no means is any of this a cut or slight at any current day artists that I have mentioned here. But it is facing the reality that many of the concepts artists are putting out are not necessarily new, they’re just multiplied to the next level. What people think is so taboo now fits for the time, but when will we see that we’re pushing things a little too far? The main goal I see in current popular music is to get you (the consumer) to buy it. No matter what it takes to get there, if we purchase it, the artist’s job is done. Even some of today’s gospel artists like Mary Mary, Kirk Franklin and Lecrae have somewhat capitalized on what the younger generations are listening to. “The God In Me” sounds just like Jamie Foxx’s massive hit “Blame It”, so the general public is already predisposed to liking it. It’s all about what will sell and what won’t.

What are your thoughts? Do you think popular music is unforgiving of certain morals, standards and values? Or are we too uptight and it’s just all in the name of good fun and entertainment? Does real artistry still exist and what percentage of it is the artist’s personal expression or a ploy for sales?

Drake: First Name Greatest, Last Name Ever?

There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding Drake in the last couple of weeks. He recently made the following statement in an interview with The Jewish Chronicle: “There were people who incorporated melody before me but I would deem myself the first person to successfully rap and sing. Yes, there are aspects of it that are new in the rap world. But it’s not a gimmick. I just sort of exist and people embrace it. I’m one of the few artists who gets to be himself every day. It doesn’t take me six hours to get ready and I don’t have to wake up in the morning and remember to act like this or talk like this.” Before I go into my opinion about this, I will say that I am a fan of Drake….but he has really lost his mind. Just off the top of my head, I can think of several people who have very successfully pulled off rapping and singing. Lauryn Hill? Missy Elliott? Even Queen Latifah? I guess they’re irrelevant… I’ve honestly lost a lot of respect for Drake on this one. Check out the poll below and vote on who you think the best singer and rapper is. Is Drake really the greatest to ever do it?

But wait, that’s not it….he’s also in the news for possibly executive producing a posthumous CD from Aaliyah. Hmmmm….although I can easily see him being featured on Aaliyah song (check out their new song rumored to be on her upcoming CD below, “Enough Said”), but executive producing the whole project? Not that  having 2 tattoos of the late singer (one of her face on his back and one that represents his area code and her birthday) should question his ability to work on this project. I would love to hear some unreleased music from Aaliyah, but I’m just not sure Drake is the man for the job. Apparently, Timbaland doesn’t think so either. He stopped by Power 105’s The Breakfast Club last week and said “I know they trying to drop some Aaliyah records, but if he do it, it should be with me and Missy. The proper way for him to do that would be for me, him and Missy to be all on the record.  But to put it on his record, would just not be right.” As cocky as it may sound, I definitely agree. Timbaland and Missy have crafted most of Aaliyah major hits, so why wouldn’t they be included? The world will never know the foolery Drake will pull next. Or is he just acting in his role as the greatest ever?

***New Track From Aaliyah and Drake, “Enough Said”*** FUTURE HIT OR MISS???