Rihanna/Chris Brown - “Birthday Cake” (Remix) / “Turn Up The Music” (Remix)
I guess you should be careful of what you wish for—- the too-short interlude version of “Birthday Cake” wasn’t enough and I found myself wanting a full-length version. Well, here we are a few months later and RiRi has emerged with a um, fleshed out version of “Cake” featuring the vocal stylings of, wait for it… Chris Brown! What was once a deliciously dirty track immediately turns into an awkward eavesdropping experience when the song suddenly becomes lyrical sexting between some chick and the ex-boyfriend who beat her a$$. And for those of you who like your Bad Ideas supersized, Ri also hops on CB’s latest europop single “Turn Up The Music” elevating the WTF antics of the duo to epic proportions.
Teedra Moses featuring Wale - “Another LuvR” (Video)
Teedra finally comes with some visuals for recent mixtape highlight “Another LuvR”, which is also reportedly the first single from her oft-delayed sophomore album, The Young Lioness. The video for “Another” isn’t anything special as it looks like as assemblage of footage shot in in T’s hotel suite after a hard night of Lohan-ian level partying. Wale contributes a pretty forgettable verse and while I’m glad to see T. Mo is still doing her thang-thang, the weathered call girl styling in this new clips isn’t gonna expand her fanbase beyond the few of us who are still checking for her. Grade: C
Usher - “Climax”
Ursher dropped this self-described “electro soul” single last week and the first listen left me underwhelmed. However, I let go of what I thought “Climax” was gonna be and appreciated it for what it was… and I kinda dig it now. With DJ/producer Diplo onboard giving Mr. Raymond something to chirp over and considering the track’s title, I was thinking “Oh, this is gonna be some kind of dubstep-y sex jam.” And while the production does scream “post Saturday night club hopping baby making jam”, the “climax” that ol’ U is crooning about is actually the end a relationship. It’ll be interesting to see if this will be the direction of his new album as the new single sounds like the perfect marriage of R&B Ush and his pop/dance tendencies.
Gloria Estefan - “Hotel Nacional” (Video)
For her latest video, La Glo whips out her pop culture blender and throws The Rocky Horror Picture Show, swing dancing, drag queens and daytime diva Susan Lucci together and emerges with a fun, frothy video for those who still haven’t let go of “We Speak No Americano”. Oh, and how cool is it that L’Estefan is still keeping it fresh ‘n’ current after all these years?! Grade: B+
Cassie - “Thief Of Hearts” (Video)
Cass has already proven that she is better off seen and not heard so the least she could’ve done with this video valentine to herself is make these beauty shots interesting. Oh, and that bland, dated, repetitive throwaway dance track ain’t helping matters either; it sounds like something Junior Vasquez discarded in ‘96. Grade: C
Robin Thicke - “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)”
As long as the Whitney tributes are this good, then it’ll be a while before I reach my saturation point. Robin takes an “unplugged” approach and tackles one of the less obvious hits from Nippy’s impressive catalogue of jams.
Whitney Houston - “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” (Eat More Cake Remix)
And in other Whitney tribute news… London-based duo Eat More Cake take Whit’s ‘80s dance jam and gives it an updated makeover featuring 90’s house piano riffs and some dubstep-y elements. This mix is notable cuz the remixers opted to make you wait a while before hitting you with that all too familiar hook.
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