The announcement of Fabolous' 1st single off the upcoming album, Loso's Way 2, came today with the artwork above. The single will feature Chris Brown and will see release tomorrow, so be on the lookout here on GWHH for the download. This has already got me curious as to how this will sound...
I would be lying if I said I had high hops for R&B in 2012, but to my surprise I was proven wrong about all the doubts I had for the dying genre. R&B music made its much-needed mark in 2012. With releases from Miguel, Frank Ocean, Keyshia Cole, Brandy, and Alicia Keys all dropped albums that gave new hope to R&B fans all around the world like myself. Rather then jump ship like most R&B artist have done to try to stay relevant with Pop releases and subpar material, which most failed to chart. These artist stuck true to their roots and released quality material. It’s now 2013 and there are some very highly anticipated album dropping this year from both R&B and Hip-Hop acts. So which R&B acts are the ones to watch this year? Well, I'll gladly give you a run down.
Kicking off our list is none other than Tamar Braxton. For those unaware of who Tamar is she is the youngest sister of Toni Braxton if you didn’t put the connection together by their last names. On February 12, Braxton will be releasing her second studio album titled Love and War in over 10 years. Lead by lead single "Love and War," which debuted at number 57 on Billboard Hot 100. I expect this album to a very solid effort from her since she has a very strong roster of songwriters and producers behind her. Plus her husband is Vincent Herbert who manages Lady Gaga.
Chris Brown! Our boy Chris is now working on the follow-up to his album Fortune, which came and went on the charts. His new album is currently still titled Carpe Diem. As of right now its unclear who he is working with and who’s on it, but he has said that fans should expect to hear new music from him this year. Personally I think Brown needs to just take a nice break from the music scene. Dropping generic dance styled songs with auto-tune just isn’t cutting it anymore. Chris needs live life and allow himself to grow into the talented artist I know he can be. His album F.A.M.E. was a solid body of work and the right direction so I hope he continues to show growth from that album to this new one.
Yes, there is a God because Maxwell has confirmed his anticipated follow up to his last album Blacksummers’ night. Maxwell’s new album is titled SUMMERS’ and is set for a winter debut. Saying I'm excited about this album would be an understatement. Maxwell is a tremendously talented artist and one of the reasons why neo soul became so popular. Maxwell recently collaborated for the first time in his career with Alicia Keys on “Fire We Make” off her album Girl On Fire. With his runs, riffs, tone, and passionate singing (melts) I’m looking forward to this album.
This spring the legendary icon and vocal gymnast that is Mariah Carey will be releasing her 14th studio album. Yes, her 14th album, which is far more then most artist have today (unless your Rihanna who drops one every season of the year) and have album been certified diamond, platinum, and one gold. Last summer Mariah dropped her buzz single “Triumphant (Get‘ Em),” which featured Meek Mill and Rick Ross. In a recent interview with YouKnowIGotSoul, Bryan Michael Cox shared that along with Jermaine Dupri they have a total of 10 songs recorded with Mariah. I assume Mariah will release her 1st single once American Idol kicks off January 16th at 8pm on FOX. Get that free promo girl!
Let me just say you don’t book the Super Bowl halftime show and sign a 50 million dollar deal with Pepsi to contribute to your album budget and not have something under your sleeve. I’m convinced Beyonce has a massive 1st single on her hands because she is pulling out all the stops for her return. King Bey has enlisted Hit-Boy, Kanye West, Miguel, The-Dream, Pharrell, Ne-Yo and Ryan Tedder to contribute to her upcoming 5th studio album. Beyonce’s untitled documentary with HBO will reportedly feature footage of her recording the album, which will air February 16th. I’ll just say this now I believe Beyonce will just completely own the music scene this year. This women is about to breath life back into the game I tell you! Expect to see Beyonce’s album drop around the spring with a single set to debut before Super Bowl.
When the genre of hip hop first began to get notice in the 70s and 80s, a certain street style became characteristic of the culture. Artists from Run DMC to LL Cool J could likely be seen rocking Adidas and Kangol. In the 90s, it shifted to jerseys and Jordans. In the early 2000s, it was baggy jeans, Air Force Ones and tall tees. This was about as involved as hip hop artists had gotten with the fashion industry, but as of late, the two industries have become more and more interwoven. Kanye West, A$AP Rocky, Big Sean, Chris Brown all have found ways to incorporate the classic hip hop street style with higher fashion. Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, Baleciaga--they're wearing it all.
In a recent interview with Complex Magazine, Big Sean described where things are going for him fashion-wise. He touched on topics such as his collaboration with Adidas as well as how his fascination with higher end fashion has developed. The Detroit native also noted how much of an influence the very man who discovered and signed him to his G.O.O.D. Music label, a fashion icon in his own right, Kanye West, has had on his fashion sense. When asked about Mr. West, Sean explained:
"Being around Kanye, he really takes fashion seriously and just being around him and soaking up the information that he has and talking about it and being around him when we meet up with the editors of the top fashion magazines like Complex and shooting with the top fashion photographers and having that conversation—it does affect your style. And you take what you get from situations like that and you incorporate it into your own."
When Kanye West began to really gain notice as a musician in the early 2000s, he stood out as someone different, not just for his lyricsm and production, but for his unique fashion sense as well. Crowning himself the Louis Vuitton Don, he rocked items that you wouldn't typically see other artists wearing. He continued to expand this persona as a pioneer for fashion in the hip hop world when he started what he called, the Rosewood Movement. He and his G.O.O.D. Music signees were often seen wearing tailored suits and loafers. But he didn't stop there. More recently, West launched his first fashion line, DW, which he debuted during Paris fashion week 2011.
A young artist who is making a name in the music biz, A$AP Rocky, has become known for his classic New York sound and equally so for his unique fashion sense. This past summer, the 24-year-old was featured in GQ. He described, "With clothes, I like mixing what different designers do until it becomes a personal expression of how I'm feeling that day."
Another young artist, known as an R&B crooner who more recently transitioned into the hip hop scene, Chris Brown, too has become known for his unique fashion sense. He's heard a lot of criticism for some of his choices, but Wilhelmina Modeling Agency saw something in Brown, having recently signed him to their artist management division. Taylor Hendrich, director of Wilhelmina's men's division, describes, “Chris Brown is a… multifaceted artist with a unique take on style, and we are excited to translate and extend his brand.”
In the interview with Complex this week, Big Sean further commented on the influence he and Kanye have on each other's fashion sense.
"I'll take fashion tips from Ye, and Ye will take fashion tips from me too. And you'll see it. You can see it in videos, you can see it in what we wear, what he wears, what I wear, and we all influence each other. Everybody."
I think that sums it all up. Hip hop influences fashion. Fashion influences hip hop. We all influence each other. I'm interested to see how far artists will continue to take their fashions and how accepting the fierce fashion world will be of these artists.
In your opinion, what hip hop artist has the best fashion sense? Comment below!
Chris Brown may have deleted his Twitter (you have no idea how tough that was for me to type), but he hasn't deleted his Instagram! He uses the new "it" social medium to announce an upcoming album simply titled 'X'.
I spy some initial sketches above (Breezy is a bit of an artist, artist), the Michael Jackson "Jam" Jordans that I have been known to rock (by nobody), and I'm guessing the 'Rise' filter?