Album Review: H.E.R. Vol.2, B Sides
Album: Vol. 2 B sides
If you haven’t heard of the up and coming R&B singer H.E.R., you are truly missing out on one of the most promising artist to emerge in the last decade in this commercially dying genre. Simply billed as H.E.R. has released three EPs in the last year and her (no pun intended) identity remains unknown as she prefers to remain anonymous and only be represented by her music as is the case with her lastest release, Vol 2. B sides which was available for steaming last Friday, October 20th everywhere, as well as a combined album that included 21 tracks from all three EPs.
Not steering away from a winning formula that displays vulnerability and heartbreak combined with confidence and skillset, there is no denying that this artist is in love with the nuisances of R&B and R&B is showing her love right back on this new six song EP. The stand out track, Rather Be is a piano driven ballad that is layered in simple production, emotional lyrics, and controlled vocal range, that adds to an already impressive list of songs that sets her apart from other contemporary R&B singers. It’s simply a beautiful radio ready ballad that deserves much attention in this would of luke warm deliveries and semi soulful attempts. 2 is the assumed lead track from the project due to it being released prior to the EP and a lyrical bold declaration of a woman admitting that she is also playing her unfaithful beau. The way she rides the track with such ease and smooth vocals is another example of how comfortable H.E.R sounds on most of her music, if not all. Best Part is a beautiful and light duet with vocalist Daniel Caesar and is very reminiscing of the great love music that was birthed out of the neo soul movement in the nineties. Those songs were sung by the greats of that era that included India.Arie, Jill Scott, and Musiq Soulchild and these two vocalists embodies these artists perfectly and really catches the vibes and soul of that time.
One might ask how does this fairly new artist seems to have such a solid winning formula? Well it’s rumored that H.E.R. is the latest carnation of a somewhat famous child prodigy(that we won’t name), who received a lot of attention at an early age because of her powerhouse vocals and piano ability. Meaning, she has been groomed to shine at this moment for years now and it shows.
Recently garnering a Soul Train Award nomination for Best New Artist, streaming over 65 million times across all streaming music providers worldwide, wrapping up a successful tour with Bryson Tiller for the Set It Off Tour and being listed on several Artist to Watch from various publication, its safe to say that H.E.R. is making moves and we are excited for the future of this brilliant artist. Connection to the music is key and moreso connection to your music is vital.
Other Notable Tracks from 21-track issued combined catalogue: Focus, Losing, Every Kind Of Way, Lights On, & Facts.
LaTocha Scott Causing More Chaos on Queens of R&B??
Have you guys been tuned in to Queens of R&B on Bravo? If you have, and you’re caught up, then you know that Xscape group member, Latocha Scott, has been accused of stealing money to the tune of 30k+ from her sister Tamika Scott.
It doesn’t even end there! According to Kandi Burruss on a recent live, there’s more to come that came out during filming that will affect the entire group.
As a fan of the group, it’s actually quite hard to watch, because after seeing the group reconcile a couple years back, I was hoping for more grown woman actions moving forward and possibly a new song or two. And yet here we are… stuck in the same cycle of LaTocha using the group to catapult her solo career. Tune in to Bravo on Sundays to get into the show.
Janet Jackson Documentary, Keyshia Cole Biopic & ‘TLC Forever’ Doc Announced by A+E Networks
An outpouring of R&B film projects are coming soon, thanks to A&E and Lifetime.
A+E Networks has greenlit Janet Jackson’s new documentary chronicling her upcoming Together Again tour, alongside a TLC doc and a Keyshia Cole biopic starring the R&B singer herself.
Titled Janet Jackson: Family First, the doc is a continuation of the legendary singer’s wildly successful 2022 documentary, which brought in 21 million viewers to the networks, according to the press release, and will be executive produced by Jackson herself and her brother Randy Jackson.
“I was touched by the love and support from the wonderful fans who enjoyed the documentary last year,” Janet said in a press release. “I am excited to continue to share my story and welcome fans into my life and the ‘Together Again’ tour. Thank you for your never-ending support, and I hope you enjoy the next chapter.”
Janet Jackson: Family First will also give an inside look at the reunion of the Jackson family band for their first performance together in 40 years. “In this next chapter in the documentary, Janet and I are thrilled to welcome viewers on the road with us as we embark on the ‘Together Again’ tour, celebrating the milestone of 50 years of Janet’s career with fans across the country,” Randy said in the release. Directed by Ben Hirsch, the documentary is currently being filmed, with no release date shared yet.
Janet’s Live Nation-produced tour kicks off April 14 in Hollywood, Florida, with rapper Ludacris as opener for all 33 dates. Other stops include Atlanta, Memphis, Nashville, New York, Atlantic City, Milwaukee, Dallas, Los Angeles and Portland, Ore., before coming to a close June 21 in Seattle. The tour will be a celebration of Janet’s 50 years as an entertainer, featuring songs from some of her most critically acclaimed albums, including 1993’s janet and 1997’s The Velvet Rope.
The Cole biopic, titled Keyshia Cole: This Is My Story, will feature the Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter playing herself. In addition to making her acting debut, Cole is also serving as executive producer of the film. Keyshia Cole: This Is My Story is set to air Saturday, June 24, at 8 p.m. ET as part of Lifetime’s celebration of Black Music Month.
Also in June, Lifetime and A&E will simulcast TLC Forever, a new two-hour documentary telling the story of Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas, who comprised the best-selling American girl group of all time, according to the RIAA. In 2002, Lopes died at age 30 in a car accident during a trip to Honduras. Directed by Matthew Kay and executive-produced by Academy Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams, TLC Forever will cover the celebratory moments as well as the darkness, controversy and tragedy throughout TLC’s unprecedented run.
Metro Boomin Sells Portion of Publishing Catalog to Shamrock for Close to $70M
The producer, writer and artist has worked on hits like “Bad and Boujee,” “Heartless,” “Congratulations,” “Creepin’,” “Knife Talk” and more.
The producer, writer and artist has worked on hits like "Bad and Boujee," "Heartless," "Congratulations," "Creepin'," "Knife Talk" and more.
Producer, songwriter and artist Metro Boomin – a.k.a. Leland Tyler Wayne – has sold a portion of his entire existing publishing catalog to Shamrock Capital for close to $70 million, sources close to the deal tell Billboard.
News of the sale arrives on the heels of his second album HEROES & VILLAINS, which was released on Dec. 2, 2022. The record was peppered with some of the biggest names in music, including features from Young Thug, Travis Scott, Future, Don Toliver, Chris Brown, A$AP Rocky, Gunna, and late Migos member Takeoff. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200albums chart, making it his second album in a row to hit No. 1 as an artist.
As one of rap and R&B’s most defining creatives, Metro Boomin has helped craft hits like “Bad and Boujee” by Migos, “Mask Off” by Future, “Congratulations” by Post Malone, “Bank Account” by 21 Savage, “Father Stretch My Hands, Pt. 1” by Kanye West, “Jumpman” by Drake and Future, “Heartless” by The Weeknd, “Waves” by Kanye West, “Child’s Play” by Drake, “Tuesday” by iLoveMakonnen, and many more.
The multi-hyphenate musician has had 99 total entries on the Hot 100 chart as a producer, including two No. 1s and 10 top 10s. As an artist, Metro Boomin has 46 total entries on the Hot 100. He has spent 18 weeks at No. 1 on the Rap Producers chart and three weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100 Producers and Hot 100 Songwriters charts.
Representatives for Shamrock did not return Billboard’s requests for comment. A representative for Metro Boomin declined to comment.
Shamrock was founded in 1978 as Roy E. Disney’s family office and has since become an active, powerful buyer in the music catalog investment space. It’s most notable investment being that of Taylor Swift’s Big Machine catalogwhich the firm bought from Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings in 2020. In 2021, Shamrock expanded into the lending space with a $196 million debt fund to loan money to IP owners in entertainment.
Last month, on Feb. 2, 2023, Shamrock Capital announced that it raised $600 million in a new fund (Shamrock Capital Content Fund III) aimed at acquiring film, TV, music video games, and sports rights.
Metro Boomin’s deal, along with other recent hip-hop acquisitions — like Juice WRLD’s sale to Opus Music Group for a nine figure sum, Dr. Dre’s Shamrock and UMG deal for an estimated over $200 million, and Future’s publishing catalog sale to Influence Media Partners between $65-75 million — have proved that the genre is fueling new investor interest.
Those who have been skeptical of rap catalog sales often point to the genre’s short history, which may indicate sharper — or still unknown — decay curves from other genres like rock and pop. Decay curves, which are based on past performance of other songs in the genre, refer to when the song levels out into a predictable state of income generation.
But the 50th anniversary of hip-hop special at the 2023 Grammy awards and its continued dominance on streaming platforms may reveal that rap is ready to become another sought-after genre for buyers.
“There are certain names that have been around for a long enough period that they are now of an evergreen standard,” City National entertainment banking leader Denise Colletta recently told Billboard. “Those household names in hip-hop will continue to resonate with audiences.” – Billboard
03.25 – Latto – 777 (album)
03.25 – Kanye West – Donda 2 (All Platforms)
TBA – Cardi B – TBA
TBA – Monica – Trenches
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