My Prayers Goes out to The Family of
David "Pop" Winans Sr.
(April 8, 1934 - April 8, 2009)
I would like to send out my prayers and condolences to the Winans family. This month they lost their patriarch, David "Pop" Winans Sr, at the age of 74. I always considered the Winans, as the Gospel Jacksons. I know how crazy that sounds, but every one of them can sing. I mean they are truly a legendary family. I mean every one of the can sing and is talented. It only seems like yesterday that I saw all of them in the Together We Stand Tour. Where Pop and Mom Winans along with The Winans, BeBe and Cece, Daniel, Angie And Debbie, and Winans Phase II all performed together in concert. I'm glad they were able to come together before the two major deaths in the family. It was truly an amazing and anointed concert. However that was like in 2003 actually I believe. Even though Pop was the patriarch of the family his son Ronald preceded him a few years ago. I love pops and Mom Winans. I actually remember Pop and Mom Winans first album, like from the early 90s, maybe even late 80s, I'm not sure, I just know I had to be real little. It was during the dreaded tape cassette period. I actually remember one song, from when I was real little. It was a song with them singing and reminiscing about when their children were little, and gospel music around the house. I think they had little kids or their own grad kids singing in the background. I remember them on the Stellar Awards, on the rotating stage back then too, not sure what they were singing, but I remember it. Anyway just doing a little reminiscing of my own...Pop Winans will be greatly missed, not just by his family either.
My first canidate for "Battle of the R&B Crooner" of the Moment is Musiq Soulchild's "Onmyradio." I have every single Musiq Soulchild CD's , including when he cut the Soulchild off during the "Soulstar" album period. This is classic music from Musiq. However I'm not going to lie his first single, "Radio," was a bit of a change for him, and I liked it. It was a heavy hip hop/rap beat, kinda hard up tempo sound. I think that people would be very surprised about this change for him. I liked it, I would kinda like to hear more of this from him. It had kind of a crunk sound to it. Anyway I don't really have to say what my favorite song on the album is, my previous "Ah That's My Jam" of the Moment, "Ifuleave" featuring Mary J. Blige. This goes down as one of my favorite duets for the both of them. Some other shining songs for me was "Sobeautiful" another soft and touching love song. Another song that got a lot of play from me, was "DearJohn." In this song Musiq breaks up with his girlfriend in today's new Dear John letter way, via the cell phone. I think its kinda funny, even though I'm not sure it's suppose to be. Overall the rest of the album, is kinda the classic deep and moving Neo-soul classic vibe.
My second canidate for "Battle of the R&B Crooner" of the Moment, is Slim's "Love's Crazy." My cousin was in my car, when I was playing this, and he said one funny but real thing. He said, "If this is Slim's solo album, then he must have been 112, because this sounds just like a 112 album!" The truth to it is that out of 112, Slim did have the most distinctive voice, you may not always know whether it was Q, Mike, or Daron singing solo, but you always knew when Slim's high falsetto voice, was singing. Slim's "Love's Crazy" album very much seems like an extension of an 112 album. I think personally Slim's voice distinguished 112 from other 90s R&B groups. His first solo effort, to me was a very good one. He had a nice compilation of high tempo and ballets. Some of his shining moments was his first single, "So Fly" feat. Yung Joc. and "Good Lovin" featuring Fabolous and Ryan Leslie. His duet with Faith Evans, "So Gone" was definitely a good one, I think it would have made a perfect third single, release for his album. I think my favorite would definitely been the midnight storm-esque, "Bedtime Stories," a great song to make love to. It just had that flow and sexiness. His voice never really changes from his high tempo to his slow jams, but he works both successfully.
I really don't have a winner between the two, Musiq and Slim both had decent albums. Is it the best work from either one of them?...hmm I wouldn't say that. It however is Slim's first solo effort, so I have no solo music to compare it to. However I wouldn't say this is Musiq's best work, still good music nonetheless. I will say this, I think I played Slim's album a little bit more than Musiq's.
Most people, when you mention the group Playa, don't remember them. Whenever I tell someone about Plays,I alwasy get..."Who?" Playa was a group from the mid 90's. They only put out one album, although rumors are that they recorded others. If you remember when Missy Elliot and Timberland first came out, they had their clique called the "SupaFriends." Well, that consisted of Playa, Ginuwine, Missy, Timbaland, the Late Great Aaliyah, Magoo, and Nicole Wray, they were always in the videos together and whatnot. Playa was one of the prodigy's of music, in my opinion, most talented yet unfortunate gems Jodeci's Devante Swing. Playa along with Missy, Ginuwine, and Timberland, all were developed under Devante. However they never produced any public music under him. Well, Playa's "Cheers 2 U" is for sure one of my favorite albums by a male group. I love this album. It really some up my general taste for music. It's rare that I skip any songs when I listen to this album. As much as I like this album, it's hard to name my favorites, because I like the vibe of the whole thing. I would have to say though, my truly favorite song, would have to be the collaboration, with one of my favorite artist of all time, the Late Great Aaliyah in "One Man Woman." I really love this song. Off the top of my head though "Miss Parker" featuring Miss Elliot, is definitely a good one too, a great mid-tempo song. The album self title track "Cheers 2 U" and Together would have to round it out too. I am without a doubt a fan. They really don't make boy bands like this anymore. I really wish they had put out their other albums.
Although I am a fan, and a big music head. I never put together that Stephen "Static Major" Garrett, was the Static of Lil' Wayne's "Lollipop" song, until late last year. Static Major died last year, I forget from what, but I think it was of natural causes. He was only in his early 30s too. he died young, and I don't think we truly saw his full potential and talent. I am really sadden that Static died before his solo album was released. I am looking out for it. He produced "Lollipop" and he produced and wrote several hits for Ginuwine and the late great Aaliyah, by the way, that is how I will always refer to her. Maybe now the unreleased music from Playa will be released in a tribute album.
My "Ah That's My Jam" of the Moment, Bobby Valentino's "Beep" featuring Lil' Kim, Ludacris, and Lil' Wayne, was definetely that song that had me on fire everytime, it came on the radio or I was in my car. Just makes you want to let your windows down, and crank up the volume.
My "Ah That's My Jam II" of the Moment, Jazmine Sullivan's "Lion, Tigers, and Bears," this song speaks to me on so many levels. I guess I really relate to what she is saying. I might not be scared of this and that, but I am scared of loving you. Love is very much a scary thing.
My Inspirational Music of the Moment, is Kierra Sheard's "Bold Right Here." Kiki truly continues the Clark legacy, with this CD, and does it well. All though this is like her forth CD, she hasn't lost it yet. In fact I think she is getting better. You would think that the young gospel singer would loose their message and the love of God, trying to cross markets and targets, but she doesn't do that at all. I don't think she compromises herself or her message from the Lord at all. She has praise songs and soul stirring songs all on here. Now granted on the first few songs like, "Won't hold Back," "Wave Your Banner," and "Boyfriend," you might question is it a gospel album or an R&B/Pop album based off of the beat and hooks. However you really have to listen to the words. I love "Boyfriend," which is a song about how unlike a man who wont return your message and a mans games, GOD is the best boyfriend you will ever had. How her boyfriend, GOD, is her best friend and the one she can always count and her true love. I think it's cute.
Her first single "Praise Him Now," is so Clark Familyish. I actually thought it was her mother, Karen Clark-Sheard, the first time I heard it on the radio. It is a very powerful song. Rounding out my favorite songs I would have to say "Love Like Crazy," even though it doesn't really sound like a gospel song at all. I definitely recommend this album for those who are a little nervous about traditional gospel. You can jam to this and get an inspirational message. Your jamming might turn into a shout.