WEEKLY THROWBACK

Throwback Thursday: Anita Baker – ‘I Apologize’

“Operator get my baby on the line”

Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Anita Baker has been God’s gift to R&B since the mid-80s. Her music has impacted the genres of R&B, Gospel, and Jazz music. Baker is known for her soulful and sultry vocals. Her voice is so unique as its rhythmic tone is mellow and serene. Her voice is so unparallelled and influential that singers like Mary J. Blige and Toni Braxton have credited her as one of their biggest influences.

“I Apologize” was released in 1994 as the second single from her Rhythm of Love album. The single peaked at No. 8 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The record won her a Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.

Enjoy the classic above!


Throwback Tuesday: H-Town vs. Portrait (Robert Townsend Show)

R&B used to be sooooooooo good there was showmanship and even a competitive nature about it where singers would battle vocally.

Today we are flashing back to the Robert Townsend show competition between ’90s heartthrobs H-Town & Portrait. The groups battled it out with an old school classic, new school classic, a plug round for their new single, and last but not least, a performance round of their favorite song of all time. When it seemed as H-Town had stolen the hearts in the crowd Robert Townsend took it to a final round titled the Musical Moment of Truth Round. H- Town continued to hold it down with their lead singer, the late Dino’s gritty soul, and Portrait held it down with their range and tight harmonies.

We see cyphers and rap battles for rappers so often, but wouldn’t it be awesome to see R&B singers with a platform to battle it out vocally for fun?! Townsend announced at the end of the show that it was a tie between the two groups. Let us know who you believe should’ve won.

Enjoy part 1 above, and check out part 2 below!

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Throwback Thursday: Jodeci – “Forever My Lady” (1992 Soul Train Awards)

The 1990’s birthed several phenomenal R&B groups, but none quite like Jodeci. It was an era dominated by New Jack Swing where Jodeci married R&B, Soul and Hip Hop to create a sound that is classic and timeless even today. With BET/Centric’s recent announcement of a Jodeci reunion performance at this year’s Soul Train Awards, it was only right we throw it back to their 1992 Soul Train Awards performance.

“Forever My Lady” was the second single off the iconic group’s triple platinum debut album of the same name. It was also the first of five number one R&B hits for the group, spending two weeks at number one on the Billboard R&B chart and also peaking at No. 25 on the Hot 100. The single was produced by group member DeVante Swing and singer/producer Al B. Sure!. Jodeci was revered for their gritty soul, gospel roots, silky vocals, vocal arrangements, production, and timeless jams.

Emerging as the antithesis of iconic R&B group Boyz II Men, Jodeci redefined contemporary R&B as we knew it. They traversed the R&B landscape. Enjoy the video above!


Throwback Tuesday: Case feat. Joe – ‘Faded Pictures’

Case is a Grammy-nominated R&B singer/songwriter. He got his start co-writing and singing background for artists including Usher, Christopher Williams and Al B. Sure. Russell Simmons helped Case launch his solo career by signing him to Def Jam Records in the mid ’90s. “Faded Pictures” was a single released from his platinum album Personal Conversation, which featured fellow R&B crooner Joe.

The single reached No. 3 on the R&B charts and No. 10 on the Hot 100. On the song they sing about a troubled (female) lover being in a relationship but still reflecting on her past love / relationship. Case & Joe made for the perfect duo as they sung, “Faded pictures in a broken glass, like a mirror revealing, what the women is feeling / Was it someone from a distant past, cause it’s breaking my heart to watch her stare into the glass.”

Enjoy the classic above!


Throwback Thursday: Brian McKnight – ‘The Only One for Me’

Brian McKnight is a Grammy-nominated R&B singer, songwriter and producer. He is adored by many for his amazing falsetto and belting range. “The Only One For Me” was the third single released from his third studio album Anytime.

To date, Anytime is McKnight’s highest peaking album on the R&B Albums chart, where it held the No. 1 position for three weeks straight. On the single, McKnight sings about having “been around” but finally finding that special someone and opening their mind and heart to the idea of loving again.

Reminisce with the classic video above.


Throwback Tuesday: Betty Wright – ‘Tonight Is The Night’

“I’m nervous, and I’m trembling…… I’m trying hard to relax but I just can’t keep still.”

Betty Wright is a soul and R&B singer-songwriter, who gained fame in the 1970s. A pioneering artist and entrepreneur, she remains one of the few black female musicians to produce a gold record on her own label. She is also adept at using the whistle register. “Tonight Is the Night” was her most successful record off her Danger! High Voltage! album. Wright attributed the hit to her first sexual experiences.

The original version peaked at No. 28 on the R&B chart. Four years later she released a “live” version of the song. The remodeled version, which included a now-famous monologue and portions of Wright’s 1970 hit, “Pure Love,” peaked at No. 11 on the R&B chart in 1978. “Tonight Is the Night” has been sampled by many artists including Color Me Badd and DJ Quik.

Enjoy a performance version of the hit above and the original live version below:

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Throwback Thursday: Eric Benet feat. Tamia – ‘Spend My Life With You’

Eric Benét is a Grammy nominated R&B/Soul singer-songwriter, who released his debut album in 1996 via Warner Bros. Records. In 1999 he released his sophomore album, A Day In The Life, which spawned the hit duet “Spend My Life With You” featuring Tamia. The tender ballad spent three weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, peaked at No. 21 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was certified Gold by the RIAA for sales of over 500,000 units.

The song has become Benét’s most popular single to date, and he celebrated its 15th anniversary back in June. The single is still being played at weddings, anniversaries, commitment ceremonies, and more. “It’s one of those songs that stood the test of time, and I think it’s going to be here for a while,” said Benet. When writing the song he really wanted to capture the sentiment of a person not being able to wait to wake up everyday to that special person in their life. The beautiful ballad is about finding the love of a lifetime and spending the rest of your life with them. Both Benét and Tamia express that they didn’t know their purpose or that they could experience such a love until meeting that person.

Enjoy the classic above. After the jump check out a clip of Benet reflecting on the single.

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Throwback Tuesday: Next – ‘Butta Love’

Next is a R&B group, most popular during the late 1990s. “Butta Love” was the first single off their double-platinum debut album Rated Next. The single became a top five R&B hit peaking at No. 4, and a top twenty Pop hit peaking on the Hot 100 at No. 16, in the fall of 1997.

Next was loved for their ability to swing between party anthems and tender ballads, as well as for possessing a bit of soulfulness. R&B fans seemed to be most captivated by the groups smooth and charismatic lead singer R.L., who led most songs including “Butta Love,” and possessed a distinctive sound.  R.L. has stated that it was Arista and J Records label head, Clive Davis, who encouraged the group to sing the notable vamp on “Butta Love.” As the lyrics go, “You’ve got those sexy eyes, enticing thighs, you make me rise / You’ve got that love I wanna try, send my tongue up and down your spine.”

The single was a sexy hit as the group expressed that a special lady had the love that they wanted and needed, and that very same love, like butter, was smooth and creamy. Enjoy the classic above!


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