Exclusive: Rico Love Reflects on Usher’s ‘Confessions’ Album, 10 Years Later

Rico Love may be new to some as an artist, but the platinum songwriter began his career as a rapper, and was originally signed to Usher in the early 2000s.  As a way to supplement extra income for Rico, Usher suggested that he write some songs for his upcoming album at the time, which became the legendary ‘Confessions‘ album.  The very first R&B song that Rico ever wrote was “Throwback,” produced by Just Blaze, which went on to become a fan favorite off the album.

We recently caught up with Rico for an interview and we asked him to reflect on the making of the album, and his feelings about it as they celebrate it’s 10 year anniversary.

Explaining what makes the album so special, and why it is still the best R&B album of the past 10 years, Rico also shared with us the story of when he and Usher first heard the song “Yeah!,” and why Usher hated it, and refused to perform the song before it became a hit.

Check out the interview clip above, and stay tuned for more from the interview coming soon.

Tank, Sevyn Streeter, Marsha Ambrosius & More Coming To a City Near You on the ‘Road To ESSENCE’

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All roads are leading to New Orleans this July 4th weekend for the 20th ESSENCE Festival! Getting fans ready for the extravagant weekend, ESSENCE has partnered with Walmart for “The Road to ESSENCE Festival” mini-tour series. Kicking off this Saturday, April 26 the events will give residents a free day of live music, empowering conversations, cool give-aways and much more!

The action will take place at Walmart stores and will feature an entertaining combination of empowering conversations with local influencers and live performances from music acts such as Tank, Sevyn Streeter, Marsha Ambrosius, Syleena Johnson, Avery*Sunshine and more. Free and open to the public, local residents will have the opportunity to participate in workshops, attend panel discussions and hear from ESSENCE editors and motivational speakers such as renowned clinical psychologist, Dr. Sherry Blake, professor and entertainment manager, Dr. Syleecia Thompson and more.

“With a shared commitment to help people live better, ESSENCE and Walmart have partnered to bring empowerment and entertainment to the community,” said Michelle Ebanks, President, ESSENCE. “Road to ESSENCE Festival is an exciting opportunity for our partners to engage our audience early and bring the Festival experience of live music, celebrity entertainment, inspirational conversation and giveaways directly to the backyards of our ESSENCE Festival family.”

Check out the tour dates below:

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The Weeknd Presents: ‘One Night With The Weeknd’ (Mini Documentary)

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The Weeknd has become an international star. Recently returning home after his overseas “Kiss Land Tour” the Canadian singer is giving his fans a special look into one of the best nights of his life, with “One Night with The Weeknd,” a mini-documentary presented by camera company GoPro.

The 7-minute piece bring you on tour, backstage and to the after party, during an unforgettable night when he sold out the O2 Arena in London for the first time.

“Greatest show of my entire life….it’s over from now on. We can’t go backwards from this. We can’t go backwards,” says The Weeknd.

Take a look at his memorable experience with the video below:

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Tiffany Evans Covers Emeli Sandé’s “Breaking The Law” (Video)

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Tiffany Evans keeps the momentum going with her ‘Tiffany Tuesdays’ music release series. Today, the R&B singer shares an acoustic cover of Emeli Sandé’s song “Breaking the Law.” Showing off her strong range, the vocalist belts out the emotional song in the simple black-and-white clip.

Tiffany is currently in the studio working on her next project, which will serve as the follow-up to her “143” EP.

Check out her latest cover below:

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Throwback Tuesday: After 7 – “Ready or Not” + Bonus: Milestone “I Care About You”

After 7 is a R&B group founded in 1987 by brothers Melvin and Kevon Edmonds, and Keith Mitchell. The Edmonds brothers are the siblings of popular pop and R&B singer-songwriter-producer Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds”.

“Ready or Not” was the third single from their 1987 eponymous debut album. In 1990, the song became the first No. 1 R&B single for the group. It was also the group’s first top ten pop single, peaking at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. Both Melvin and Kevon’s amazing vocals are notable in this song, however Kevon’s amazing tenor and range take this classic over the edge. Enjoy the video above.

***Bonus: Milestone “I Care About You”

In 1997 some of the best voices in R&B history, Kevon and Melvin Edmonds, their brother Babyface, and K-Ci and JoJo Hailey (of Jodeci and the duo K-Ci and JoJo) formed the fictional group Milestone for the movie Soul Food and its soundtrack. “I Care About You” was a No. 1 R&B single by the group. Each member’s vocals made for a perfect R&B collaboration, but again Kevon Edmond’s perfect tenor made the song. K-Ci Hailey’s gritty soul also “brought the house down”.

Watch the video after the jump:

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RCA To Release ‘The Essential R. Kelly’ CD

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R. Kelly is currently traveling the country on his “Black Panties Tour,” which will hit Jacksonville, Florida this Friday, April 25 on it’s next stop. While he has plenty of new music in the works that we are already anticipating, his diehard fans will be able to add another release to their collections this May.

RCA will be releasing the official best-of album ‘The Essential R. Kelly‘ under the Jive label on May 19. The 35-song, double-disc set will feature his biggest hits including “Down Low,” “Bump & Grind,” “Ignition (Remix),” “When A Woman Loves,” “I Believe I Can Fly” and many more. Plus, it includes hard-to-find remixes, rare movie soundtrack cuts (several of them out of print), and career-defining collaborations.

Take a look at the promo video below:

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Beyoncé Working On Another Surprise Project?

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Well, well, well…it seems like Beyoncé is at it again! For as last year brought on one of the most talked about body-of-works from the starlet, it seems as if she’s keeping up with the flow of catching fans off guard.

Catch more after the jump!

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Maxwell Announces ‘Summer Soulstice’ Tour, New Music Coming

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Man, oh man! We’ve been waiting for this!

Veteran singer-songwriter Maxwell has finally given fans a little bit of what they’ve been anticipating! Announcing today that he will be embarking on a 35-date tour this summer, we’re more than excited – to say the least!

Get the details after the jump!

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