Craig David – You Know What

My Comments:

Reintroducing one of the greatest R&B singers of all time and the unofficial king of British hip-hop and R&B – Craig David. “You Know What” is featured on Craig David’s 2001 debut album Born to Do It. The album was successful worldwide, especially in the UK, and is one of my favorite albums. And I’m not the only one — Born to Do It was voted as the Second Greatest Album Ever on a public poll hosted by MTV, bested only by Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

If you haven’t heard of Craig David, you’ve been missing out on some really excellent and timeless music. You’re in luck, however, as I’ll be featuring more Craig David music in the future.

Lyrics:

Yeah, I know that
I said I’m feeling it
I’m feeling it I’m feeling it yeah
I know that you like the way that I put it down on you
you know what yeah

We were meant to be
Together for eternity
But now you’re gone it’s plain to see
I was living just a fantasy
So many things I’d like to do
If ever I found a love that’s true
Finding it hard to push on through
Since I’ve been away from you

When I first met you waiting
Standing up by the bus stop
I knew you were something special
Weak in my knees
I wanted to drop yeah, yeah
So we checked each other
What we had going on was so hot, yeah
I never thought you’d leave me no
But you know what

We were meant to be
Together for eternity
But now you’re gone it’s plain to see
I was living just a fantasy
So many things I’d like to do if ever I found a love that’s true
Finding it hard to push on through
Since I’ve been away from you

Now I can’t seem to get over you
Appearing in everything that I do
It was only last week
Friday when I saw you out with your girlfriends walking
Round my way (wanted to stop) yeah, yeah
I feel when all’s said and done
From this love I’ve had I’ve learned a lot, yeah
I never thought you’d leave me no
But you know what

We were meant to be
Together for eternity
But now you’re gone it’s plain to see
I was living just a fantasy
So many things I’d like to do
If I ever I found a love that’s true
Finding it hard to push on through
Since I’ve been away from you

The flow that we had was so hot
Girl you took me higher to the top
We kept it rolling wouldn’t stop
Said you’d never leave me
But you know what
We were meant to be
Together for eternity
But now you’re gone it’s plain to see
I was living just a fantasy
So many things I’d like to do if ever I found a love that’s true
Finding it hard to push on through
Since I’ve been away from you

You don’t know what I’ve been going through
But I know that you don’t know what
I said I’m feeling it, I’m feeling it I’m feeling it, yeah

You don’t know what I’ve been going through
But I know that you don’t know what
I said I’m feeling it, I’m feeling it I’m feeling it, yeah

Top Ten Most Underrated Men (2011)

Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Denzel Washington.

Overrated.

In the world of celebrity men, the same names are mentioned over and over again as ideals of masculine good looks. But what about the famous men who are rarely mentioned? Are they any competition for the reigning Most Gorgeous Men?

Yes, and more.

Here are my choices for the most underrated gorgeous celebrity men, for the 2011 year. As always, feel free to make suggestions.

noah-mills

1. Noah Mills is an American model. He is best known for his work with Dolce & Gabbana, Yves Saint Laurent, and Versace.

If you didn’t know him before, now you know.

alex-pettyfer

2. Alex Pettyfer is an English actor and model. He appeared in the 2011 film Beastly, a modern spin on the classic Beauty and the Beast. He has modeled for the Gap and Burberry.

Photos say it all.

adam-scott

3. Adam Scott is an Australian professional golfer. He won the PGA Tour Championship in 2006 and tied for second place at the Master’s Tournament in 2011.

Adam won About.com’s 2011 Reader’s Choice Awards for Sexiest Male Golfer. But it’s golf — how many people know about individual golfers? He is underrated by default.

matthew-gray-gubler

4. Matthew Gray Gubler is an American actor, former model, and sketch artist. He plays the genius and geek Dr. Spencer Reid on the TV show Criminals Minds. He is also a director — he directed and produced the Killers’ music video for “Don’t Shoot Me Santa”.

Matthew isn’t as underrated as others on this list — people are beginning to notice his particular brand of geek chic.

tyson-ritter

5. Tyson Ritter is an American musician and lead singer of the rock band The All-American Rejects, known for such songs as “Gives You Hell” and “Move Along”.

Tyson’s style is pretty unconventional to say the least, but underneath that he has classic good looks.

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Best R&B Singers of the ’90s

The 1990s was my all-time favorite period for music. And it was a great period for R&B. The best-selling female R&B group of all time, TLC, were at the height of their career in the ’90s, and the longest-running #1 Billboard hit was a R&B song released during the same period. ’90s R&B continues to be one of my favorite types of music.

This is my personal list of the top 10 best R&B singers and group of the ’90s. The list is based on vocals (range, rhythm, etc) as well as style and quality of music. As always, feel free to make any suggestions.

brandy-norwood

1. Brandy Norwood is an American singer, actress, and songwriter. She is best known as Moesha from the TV show of the same name, and for her hits “The Boy is Mine” and “Have You Ever?”

Brandy has one of the most unique voices and a wide range — she is irreplaceable. She isn’t a soprano like others, but she doesn’t need to be — her raspy voice has just as much power and feeling.

mariah-carey

2. Mariah Carey is an American singer best known for her wide vocal range and series of hit singles, including “Hero” and “One Sweet Day”, a duet with Boyz II Men and the longest-running #1 single in American history.

Mariah’s “My All” is of my favorite songs ever and a classic, like so many of her ’90s ballads. Mariah was at her peak in the ’90s but hasn’t been the same since.

boyz-ii-men

3. Boyz II Men is an American male group and best-selling R&B group ever. Their hits include “End of the Road”, “Four Seasons of Loneliness”,  and “One Sweet Day” with Mariah Carey.

There will never be another Boyz II Men. The amazing combination of their voices, lyrics, and production contributed to making nearly every one of their songs historic. Favorite Boyz II Men song? All of them.

whitney-houston

4. Whitney Houston is an American singer and actress and one of the best music artists of all time, based on sales and awards. She covered Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You”.

Whitney has the classic “singer’s voice”; her songs will be listened to for generations. If you haven’t heard of her, you haven’t been alive for the past few decades.

babyface

5. Babyface, real name Kenneth Edmonds, is an American R&B entrepeneur: prolific singer, songwriter, and producer. In addition to his own hits (including “When Can I See You” and “Every Time I Close My Eyes”), he wrote “End of the Road” for Boyz II Men and “Let It Flow” for Toni Braxton.

It is not an overstatement to say that ’90s R&B would not have been without Babyface.

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Vetting Celebrities

I carefully examine potential friends, partners, and even social events before choosing. Now I have to add celebrities to the Official Vetting List.

john-mayer

John Mayer

Of course it never takes long for a celebrity to make headlines for poor behavior or provocative statements. TV stations, radio, and bloggers make a living from reporting the latest shenanigans by the world’s (in)famous. But it seems celebrities have become more bold about expressing and endorsing questionable beliefs and actions. For me that means making some adjustments in who I support. Too many celebrities are failing to make the grade:

Goodbye John Mayer because racism, misogyny, and homophobia is just about too much prejudice for one person. I was never fond of loud mouths.

See you around Chris Brown because domestic violence and colorism have never been on my list of issues to support. We’ll forgive you when you show some improvement.

Jill Scott, you can sit in your own corner some time. Maybe next time you’ll think before speaking for other people and setting the progress of black American women back 50 years. Not that I’m betting on it.

Some would say that it shouldn’t matter what these celebrities opinions, personal beliefs, or actions are. What matters is their product; whether they bring value through entertainment. This is partly true. Everyone is allowed their personal quirks. I’d never penalize a person for smoking cigarettes or having an anger problem. But I draw the line at a celebrity causing harm to other people through their words or actions.

Celebrities have a global audience. What they say and do has a great impact on society at large. I will not support, through viewing, buying, or requesting the products of people who are not using their platform to better society but to damage it. Negative reinforcement is sometimes necessary and, best of all, it works.

Anyone else vet celebrities?

See also:

Mainstream Music is Bad Music?

backstreet-boys

The Backstreet Boys

In case you haven’t noticed by now, I love music, the people behind the music, and the entire creative process. Much of my favorite music is of the more esoteric, lesser known variety, but some is more mainstream. That is, popular music — Daughtry, Mary J. Blige, My Chemical Romance, and even the group that put the pop in popular music — The Backstreet Boys. Nothing wrong with that, mainstream music is as good as any other. Or so I thought. According to many, most popular music is just not good. Not only is it not good, but it’s terrible, awful trash and anyone who listens to it has poor taste in music.

I can’t deny that some of the more mainstream music and, specifically, the music artists are replaceable. They are popular today, gone tomorrow, and won’t be missed by many once their 15 months of fame is over. But amongst the mass of music and artists out there, there are some not-so-hidden gems. The Backstreet Boys really are that great of a group, no matter how much they are mocked by the “Hate Every Boy Band” crowd. The Backstreet Boys carried an age and recreated a genre of music, constantly reinvented themselves, and are still producing hits.

brandy-norwood

Brandy Norwood

If many people like the music, how bad can it be? This is argumentum ad populum, of course — just because lots of people believe the music is good, doesn’t mean it is. However, it’s worth thinking about in this case. Many of these artists simply had lucky breaks, but some had to work to get where they are and prove themselves worthy on a large-scale. Some mainstream artists started out as the unknown, under-appreciated musician just hoping to get a chance to perform at the local coffeehouse.

One thing to wonder about those who make a habit of disliking mainstream music: what happens when their favorite artists become more popular? Does their music decline in quality as they gather more fans (possible)? If an artist is truly a stand-out, it’s probably only a matter of time before they become known on the grand stage.

Several popular artists produce great music that stands the test of time. I am not going to miss out on great music because the music is enjoyed by a wider audience.

What’s your view? Is most popular music bad?

See also:

Is Chris Brown Truly Sorry?

chris-brown-assault-chargesBy now most people have heard about the domestic violence incident involving R&B singers Chris Brown and Rihanna. If you haven’t heard, here’s a quick recap: In March of 2009 Chris Brown pleaded guilty to physically assaulting his then girlfriend, Rihanna, on their way to the 51st Grammy Awards in early February of that year. Pictures of Rihanna’s extensively bruised face were leaked on to the internet and people the world over responded by ostracizing Chris Brown. Radio stations refused to play his music and music stores declined to stock his albums. Chris Brown was sentenced to five years of probation and his career seemed to be over.

Then, after performing a teary-eyed tribute to the late Michael Jackson at the 2010 BET Awards, support for him poured out and many, including celebrities, asked for others to forgive the 20 year old for his actions. Chris Brown issued a number of statements about his regret for what happened that night. But has he learned or was he simply trying to salvage his career?

Many in America believe that Chris Brown is sincere in his apologies and is ready to forgive him and offer their support. A Los Angeles Times survey asked “was Chris Brown faking it at the BET Awards?” Close to 40 percent of respondents believed that Chris Brown’s tears were genuine. And with his single “Deuces” topping charts, Chris Brown may finally make a comeback.

chris-brown-photoI too think that Chris Brown is truly regretful. But not simply for what happened, but because he was caught and paid heavy consequences for it. I believe that if the effects on his career and reputation were less, he would not be as sorry for his actions.

Coming from a home where his mother was abused by his stepfather, he understands fully the harmful effects of domestic violence. And despite his remarks that sudden anger caused him to beat his girlfriend so severely, as someone who has known many domestic abusers and their victims, I can say domestic abuse is rarely about losing your composure. Abusers want to control and physical abuse is but one method that they seek to gain control over others. Only time will tell if Chris Brown’s underlying thinking is changed, and in the meantime I wouldn’t be quick to think he has sincerely changed.

What do you think? Is Chris Brown truly sorry? Has he really changed?

See also:

Adam Levine

Adam Levine is an American singer, guitarist, and songwriter. He is the lead singer of Grammy Award-winning band Maroon 5.

Adam was born to Jewish parents in Los Angeles, California. He showed a strong love of music at a young age, learning to play the guitar and  performing on stage at twelve years old. As a teenager at the Brentwood School, a private day school in LA, he was awkward: he says of his teen years, “I was gross, My hair was long and really ratty…[I wore] huge, oversize flannels that didn’t fit [and I had] a goatee.”

He met future band mates Jesse Carmichael, Mickey Madden, and Ryan Dusick at a performing arts camp while he was in junior high school. They formed the band Kara’s Flowers and released one album in 1997 — The Fourth World. They later reformed in 2001 as Maroon 5.

Maroon 5’s debut album Songs About Jane was based on lyrics written about his break-up with a former girlfriend. The second single from the album, “This Love”, won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance in 2005. Their second album It Won’t Be Soon Before Long was released in 2007 to similar success. Their latest release Hands All Over is described as “a killer hybrid of rock, pop, funk and R&B.”

Adam has had much success as a solo artist, working with artists such as Kanye West, Alicia Keys, and Slash (Guns N’ Roses/Velvet Revolver). He has stated that he plans to leave Maroon 5 in the near future.

Adam is ambidextrous — he writes with his left hand, but uses his right hand for almost everything else. He has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a disorder characterized by hyperactivity and difficulty with attention.

He says he “loves women” and plans on getting married, despite high divorce rates and his own parents divorce when he was seven. He has been romantically linked to several celebrities, but his current girlfriend of nearly a year is Russian model Anne Vyalitsyna.

Adam lives in Hollywood Hills with his close friend, Korean-American writer and producer Gene Hong.

adam-levine adam-levine-maroon5

Best Male Vocalists of the Decade (2000-2010)

My top ten list of the best male singers who released an album in the past decade. The list is based on vocals and vocal range, principally. Feel free to make any suggestions.

1. Chris Daughtry is an American singer, songwriter, and lead vocalist of the rock band Daughtry. He was finished fourth on the fifth season of American Idol.

Chris Daughtry is an amazing artist with a voice I could listen to for days. Every song he touches turns to gold.


2. Usher is an American R&B and pop singer. Billboard magazine ranked Usher the number one Hot 100 artist of the decade, with his 2004 album Confessions ranking as the top solo album.

He is a wonderful entertainer and great vocalist; a hit-making machine.


3. Chad Kroeger (Nickelback) is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He is the lead vocalist of the rock band Nickelback and has co-written songs for Daughtry, Tim McGraw, and Carlos Santana.

Chad Kroeger has a classic voice which fits with all types of songs, from rock to country.


4. Jason Wade (Lifehouse) is an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist of the alternative band Lifehouse.

Jason Wade’s soothing, baritone vocals are priceless, but don’t look like they should be coming from him with his boyish good looks.


5. Rob Thomas is an American singer, songwriter, and lead vocalist of the rock band Matchbox Twenty. He collaborated with Carlos Santana on the multi-Grammy winning hit “Smooth”.

Rob Thomas’ has an unforgettable raspy, dynamic voice.

maxwell
6. Maxwell is an American soul and R&B artist. His first album in almost a decade, BLACKsummers’night, won the 2010 Grammy for Best R&B Album.

“Fistful of Tears” by Maxwell is one of the best songs I’ve ever heard: sincere and soulful.


7. Backstreet Boys are an American pop group. The group is the best-selling boy band of all time, beating out the Jackson 5, with over 130 million albums sold worldwide.

The Backstreet Boys are, of course, five people instead of one person, but I couldn’t choose a favorite. They are one of the rare groups in which all members contribute equally to their success.


8. James Morrison is an English singer, songwriter, and guitarist. His first album Undiscovered, released in 2006, topped charts in the UK.

“The Pieces Don’t Fit Anymore” is my favorite song by James Morrison, and one of my favorite songs of all time.

9. Omarion is an American singer, songwriter, and actor. He was the lead singer of former R&B group B2K.

Omarion was doing much better without B2K, but has dropped as of late. Hopefully he’ll come back with his usual intensity in the coming years.


10. Ginuwine is an American singer, dancer, and sex symbol.

Ginuwine was at his height in the ’90s, but his 2002 hit “Stingy” and strong vocals landed him a place on this list.

Honorable Mention (in alphabetical order by first name): Adam Levine, Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Brad Arnold (3 Doors Down), Chris Brown, Chris Martin (Coldplay), Isaac Slade (The Fray), Jason Mraz, Joe, Justin Timberlake, Mario Winans, Sisqo, Sting

See also: