rea diddy toni braxton
rea and ye ali
rea grammys
rea babyface walk of fame
rea and nas
rea and boyz ii men
rea and candice
rea and kevin hart
rea and ludacris
usher and rea
rea film nas
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Latest entries

Rea Melissa Davis: Entertainment and Music Journalism

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AllHipHop.com MTV VMAS Red Carpet Recap Coverage x Rea

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Trophies often take a back seat at the VMAs to all of the craziness but this year wasn’t too crazy. Miley Cyrus won the top honor Sunday at the MTV Video Music Awards, but it was Beyonce‘s finale performance and the on-stage cameos of Jay Z and Blue Ivy that stole the night. In fact as Beyonce accepted the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award after her electrifying performance (of her entire self-titled album), Blue Ivy was shown clapping her hands and saying “Yay, Mommy” into the mic. Jay Z called her the “greatest living entertainer.” Cyrus won the video of the year for “Wrecking Ball” and Nicki Minaj opened with her rump-shaking “Anaconda”.

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Performers included Taylor Swift, Usher, Sam Smith, Maroon 5, Rita Ora, and Iggy Azalea. Rapper-actor Common also held a moment of silence for Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old who was fatally shot by a police officer on Aug. 9, before he presented the award for best Hip-Hop video. “Hip-Hop has always been about truth and has been a powerful instrument of social change, from Melle Mel to Public Enemy to Kendrick Lamar,” Common said. “Hip-Hop has always presented a voice for the revolution.” The 2014 MTV VMAS brought great excitement to Inglewood, California Sunday night.

AllHipHop caught up with a few artists and personalities on the red carpet. Check out the recap video above.

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AllHipHop.com Alternatives Oprah Kicks Off ‘The Life You Want Tour’ in Atlanta Article & Coverage x Rea

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Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Oprah Winfrey and her team of phenomenal guest speakers kicked off her 8 city “The Life You Want Weekend” this past weekend in Atlanta, G.A. The tour began with day festivities in Atlanta’s Centennial Park. Bounty hosted a power breakfast for media, tastemakers, and key influencers on Friday morning. The event was the official kick-off to the take over of Oprah’s pop-up town “O-Town”. The panel included celebrity chef Carla Hall of ABC’s “The CHEW,” Karmetria Burton, Supplier Diversity for Delta Airlines, and Nicole Jones of Honesty Jewelry. Each spoke on their journey to success and shared inspiration and tips for how to keep going and continuing to achieve and succeed. CoverGirl, Olay, Pantene, Tide, Charmin, Crest, Kroger and IKEA also had presentation tents as well.

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Friday evening Winfrey packed out Phillips arena for day one of her two-day life changing tour experience. Winfrey opened by sharing a story of her friends (such as Gayle King) asking her did she know she was coming to Atlanta with her tour despite the fact that she didn’t have a hit record out and the fact that she couldn’t dance. The crowd erupted with laughter. Lady O is quite the comedian as she made other hilarious jokes throughout Friday evening. Winfrey’s lack of musical and rhythmic talent mattered least as thousands packed out the arena to hear the Queen of All Media speak and emit the inspiration they needed to transform their lives.

The second day of the tour featured Deepak Chopra and Elizabeth Gilbert, inspirational speaker Iyanla Vanzant and pastor Rob Bell. Winfrey shared many anecdotes from her personal live and journey; many comedic and others soul-stirringly inspirational. There was a personable aspect of the tour; Winfrey made it “an intimate gathering with Oprah” instead of a lecture. The speakers collectively spoke about identifying one’s life purpose and led exercises about the necessary action to take to reach those goals.

The tour has upcoming stops in Auburn Hills, Michigan; Washington, D.C.; Newark, New Jersey; Houston, Texas; Miami, Florids; Seattle, Washington and a final date in San Jose, California.

Oprah brought the Atlanta tour to an end by thanking those in attendance for spending their hard-earned money to attend, and she encouraged them to go forward in their daily lives with the notion that “Together we rise.”

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AllHipHop.com R&B Alternatives Keith Sweat’s 53rd Birthday Celebration: An Epic Night In R&B Coverage x Rea

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Photo credit: Joi Pearson

R&B Legend Keith Sweat and Jamahl King /Steps Events made it a night to remember for Sweat’s recent birthday celebration at his nightclub, Fuego, in Duluth, Georgia (an Atlanta suburb). It was an epic night in R&B as Joe, Case, Tank, 112, Silk, Dru Hill, Lyfe Jennings, J Holiday, Christopher Williams, and more hit the stage to perform their hits in celebration of the R&B icon’s birthday. V103’s Ryan Cameron reminded the crowd that there were R&B legends on the stage and joked that many of those in the audience had in fact gotten pregnant off of their songs. Comedian and actor Carl Payne took the mic starting his speech with his infamous bird call from the classic sitcom Martin. He went on to say he felt like he nailed the R&B look, even though he was the only “non-singing” male on stage. He said, “now you may not have gotten pregnant off of me but I got you through a lot of hard times (alluding to Martin).” Comedian Bruce Bruce sang a Keith Sweat “There You Go Telling Me No Again” snippet on the red carpet for us. It was a magical night in R&B music.

AllHipHop’s Rea Melissa Davis was on the red carpet speaking with the singers about the impact Sweat made on their careers, what it felt like being there to celebrate his birthday, the current state of R&B, as well as what they’re currently working on. Check out our video recap above.

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AllHipHop.com Alternatives Usher’s New Look Foundation Celebrates 15th Anniversary Coverage x Rea

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Usher Raymond IV recently celebrated the 15th anniversary of his non-profit organization The New Look Foundation in Atlanta, Georgia. Atlanta native Ludacris hosted the star-studded gala, which drew around 450 attendees. Celebrity guest in attendance included director Kenny Leon, boxing icon Sugar Ray Leonard; singers Rico Love, Josh Kauffman, super producer Jermaine Dupri, Blake Shelton, and producer and songwriter Bryan Michael Cox.

The President’s Circle Awards Luncheon was held at the St. Regis Atlanta hotel (in the upscale Buckhead neighborhood). Usher created the organization at the age of 20, with the backing of his mother.

The luncheon celebrated community influencers that have inspired youth to pursue their passions while making a significant impact in their respective professional fields. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed was honored with the Service Legacy Award alongside other notable honorees that included sponsors and outstanding students. The foundation raised more than $1 million through the luncheon. A live auction was held during the ceremony which raised an additional $98,000.

Former U.S President Bill Clinton, actor Robert De Niro and singer Pharrell Williams all posted video messages congratulating Usher on foundation’s success.

Usher’s foundation has helped more than 21,000 worldwide since its 1999 bright beginning. The mission of the foundation is to grant disadvantaged youth the exposure to talent, education, career and service as the program provides mentors, internships, and travel opportunities.

AllHipHop’s Rea Melissa Davis caught up with Usher, Ludacris, Sugar Ray Leonard, Josh Kaufman, Kenny Leon, and some of the honorees to discuss how important it is to empower today’s youth. Check out our red carpet video above.

Photo by Moses Robinson/Getty Images

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AllHipHop.com R&B Alternatives Let’s Talk The State of R&B Inspired By Boyz II Men’s Shawn Stockman Article x Rea

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I talk often about my discontent with the state of R&B and missing what it used to be, so after seeing an Instagram post by Boyz II Men’s Shawn Stockman, I felt it would now be a good time to write about the state of R&B.

Remember at one time when rap was allegedly pronounced dead or a little unconscious and auto-tuned pop songs had taken over the charts? Has this same thing happened to R&B? The genre has certainly seen icons like Patti LaBelle, Whitney Houston, Luther Vandross, Marvin Gaye, and many more come through, but what is the current state of R&B now? Perhaps discordant sounds and hyper-sexual themes have moved us from baby making music to a pop or hip hop blended kind of R&B. The genre has gone from “I’ll Make Love To You” to “pull your panties to the side”. It seems to be more about making a quick hot single than making a lasting and indelible mark on music. If it’s about money only and making “popcorn music” then one’s artistry is already at jeopardy. R&B is having an identity crisis.

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Many artists have spoken about the genre and why it seems to be dying compared to the hip hop and popular genres. Some believe that R&B has lost its way compared to the dominance it held in ’90s. Another argument is songs lack real vocals, real emotion, live instrumentation, and love. R&B should not be “pull your panties to the side and these hoes ain’t loyal” but it is right now. R&B was a genre that gave you great vibes and evoked emotion in ways that no other genre could. R&B shaped the music industry for decades, but now it seems to have abandoned the amazing foundation it was built on (think ’60s,’70s, ’80s, ’90s). Interesting enough genres like country music have been able to stay true to their roots and continue to sell and win big.

Boyz II Men was recently awarded top R&B group of the century by the RIAA. Boyz II Men’s Shawn Stockman stated “If no one else is gonna say it, guess I will! It’s simple, the songs are too damn raunchy! You cannot play half the rotation from black artists on prime time radio because the songs are too suggestive! There’s no mystique, nothing romantic or gentlemen-like in the lyrics! Yeah, it might get you turnt in the club, and a small group of people may support it, but it’s not enough to get airplay in those formats that matter! And despite what advertisers to stations may think, I personally don’t believe that all young kids want to hear is that type of music all day. Change the songs producers, writers! You are the taste makers, not the labels! And then you will see a change!”

He went on to say, “What’s with R&B singers trying to be thugs? Cut that sh*t out and make some good music.”

Stockman also commented on why artists like Justin Timberlake and Robin Thicke are dominating the R&B genre right now. “While bruh bruh’s in the club talking about sluttin’ chics out calling them b*tches, JT and Robin are in the lounges romancing them.”

What happened to real R&B? I’m talking that ’60s-’90s R&B feel. What happened to timeless classic R&B, when people were really singing, true vocals, a cappella tracks, sick vocal runs, live instrumentation, love songs, sensuality, the funk, the new jack swing, the neo soul, doo-wop, the tight harmonies, the sick vocal arrangement, funky bass lines, ballads, when vocals or even production alone would give you chills or raise the hair on your arm or even make you cry with emotion? It’s incredible how you can play songs from years ago that still make you “jam” because the timeless quality of the music. But where is this kind of R&B? R&B’s role in both American and black culture is too crucial to let it fade to black or conform.

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The genre has gone completely pop or hip hop. The rappers are singing or the songs sound almost techno. Today’s production such as auto tune and things of that nature also affect the soulfulness of the music. R&B production, composition, and vocals at times are a little monotonous now. Sure there are some truly talented singers keeping the genre alive such as Fantasia, Marsha Ambrosius, John Legend, Jennifer Hudson, Pharrell, Chris Brown (at times), Frank Ocean, Miguel, The Weeknd, Bobby V, Neyo, Trey Songz, Melanie Fiona, TGT, Sevyn Streeter, and Usher just to name a few, but how could something so amazing fade to black or be on life support as a genre. Veteran R&B solo artists and groups are still touring and making music such as Beyonce, Toni Braxton, Babyface, Mariah Carey, R.Kelly, Mary J.Blige, Maxwell, Eric Benet, Kelly Price, The Isley Brothers, New Edition, Boyz II Men, Jagged Edge, 112, Silk, Dru Hill, K-Ci and JoJo and many more but even still, for some, the efforts seem to be scattered or come across as an afterthought in relation to mainstream success sometimes.

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Even at a time when artists like Jodeci, Mary J. Blige, Timbaland and Aaliyah, Total and Biggie married hip hop & R&B you still felt the presence of R&B. Now many will argue that there is not a lot of separation.

As a journalist who just turned 26 I have been fortunate to make some amazing strides in 5 years as I have talked to/(and or interviewed) Boyz II Men, Jodeci, Dru Hill, Jagged Edge, Silk, 112, R. Kelly, Babyface, Teddy Riley, TLC, Donell Jones, Kelly Price, Eric Benet, The Isley Brothers, New Edition, Kenny Lattimore, Brandy, Monica, Faith Evans, Nicci Gilbert, Xscape, H Town, Shai, SWV, Ginuwine, Tyrese, Tank, Keith Sweat, Mint Condition, Monifah, RL, Angie Stone, Mariah Carey, Jermaine Dupri, Bryan Michael Cox, Chante Moore, KeKe Wyatt, Case, Charlie Wilson and many more amazing artists and producers that were influential from the 60-90s/early 2000s era. Many talked about how amazing R&B used to be and what they are doing to continue to keep the style and genre afloat. The key phrase is “used to be” showing their acknowledgement of the fact that there has been a change or shift. Some have remained positive and optimistic by saying that R&B is in a good place, and it’s evolving.

R&B Group Silk stated that R&B is missing love. John Legend stated that he continues to write love songs because they come naturally to him because he grew up on them. “I grew up on Marvin Gaye. There’s something about it. It’s so universal. Everybody feels these things,” said Legend. John Legend’s “All Of Me” is a top record and its just his vocals and the piano proving that R&B still has a place in people’s hearts and it’s still amazing enough to be supported.

At the 2013 Grammy’s Chris Brown stated to Ryan Seacrest, “A lot of the music nowadays, I love it, but it’s very gimmicky. Even some of my music is gimmicky,” he laughed. “But I just want R&B to go back to the real music—a lot of instruments, the real band, essence of being able to perform and be an entertainer.”

What happened to radio and record label support for R&B? What happened to artist development? Nowadays a R&B artist would be lucky to get their song heard on the radio. Some stations are strictly hip hop format and others claim to be hip hop and R&B but may only spin a few R&B songs a day or play songs that are rap with a R&B hook or R&B featuring a rapper. Consequently R&B is confined (when it comes to radio) to what have been labelled the old school stations or online playlist stations like Pandora, thus making it a generational gap for exposure to real R&B as the “old school” stations cater to/ attract an older demographic. R&B, without elements of other genres or overly sexual themes, seems to be a risk to record labels nowadays.

Some say that people don’t want to hear what they used to hear in R&B. Although music is supposed to evolve I believe that this is false. People absolutely still want to hear what they used to hear in R&B music. R&B used to have that magic that made you want to be in love. It had that magic to speak to your emotions or something you were going through. It was timeless so it would take you back to a time in your life each time you heard a song. Where are the story tellers? Where are the completely amazing bodies of work? Where is the music that makes you reflect on life and love?

If R&B and its support don’t go back to focusing on quality not quantity, in a couple of years the genre could be defunct.

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AllHipHop.com: The 20th Anniversary 2014 Essence Festival Brings Out The Stars! Prince and More Headline Article x Rea

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Photo Credit: Maya Washington

Essence hit it big again this year for their 20th anniversary. The Essence Festival’s 20th anniversary set a record for annual attendance, with more than 550,000 participants celebrating four days of R&B music, community, and black culture between the New Orleans’ convention center and the Mercedes Benz Superdome. The festival attracted 10,000 more people than the 2013 festival that was closed out by a sold out Beyonce encore performance.

Essence Communications Inc. president Michelle Ebanks said she woke up to a great sense of pride following the 2014 Essence Festival celebration.

Over 80 musical performances highlighted by Prince, Lionel Richie, Charlie Wilson, Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Janelle Monae, The Roots and more highlighted the festival. The convention center also hosted more than 150 speakers addressing everything from solutions to crime and violence to growing entrepreneurs.

Some of our AllHipHop team volunteered with 200 young girls and boys that participated in the #YesWeCode initiative that Prince partnered with over the weekend. The initiative targets low opportunity children and teaches them how to code and create their own apps that can change the community.

Essence executives thanked Mayor Mitch Landrieu for the city’s ongoing partnership. Both the city and Essence stated that they are committed to locking the festival into a new deal.

Thursday night Trey Songz, Nas, Jazmine Sullivan and more kicked off the Essence Festival weekend!

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Photo credit: Josh Brasted/Getty Images

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Photo credit: Erika Goldring/Getty Images

R&B crooner Trey wooed the ladies as usual with his vocals, solid band, and handsome looks. His lead guitarist led some amazing solos as well. Songz, eager to please, came out of his t-shirt at last for his female fans. Rapper Nas, Thursday’s headliner, performed an entertaining set as fans helped him celebrate the 20th anniversary of his debut album Illmatic. He remarked that he loved ESSENCE for recognizing the influence of Hip Hop. Jazmine Sullivan sang her entire heart out running through a couple of her hits that reminded fans why they fell in love with the Philly native in the first place.

Friday night belonged to LEGEND PRINCE! Prince brought the house down as he performed hit after hit after hit during his 24 song set. Halfway into his set he stated, “That was just he sound check.” and “Do you know how many hits I have?” Prince delivered an electrifying performance then left the stage abruptly. Just as fans wondered and worried it could be over, they joined forces to chant “Purple Rain, Purple Rain.” The singer then returned to the stage to close out with his 1984 hit “Purple Rain.” The main stage also turned into a funk royalty jam when Prince and Nile Rodgers teamed up to cover David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance.”

90s R&B legends SWV held down the Superlounge on Friday performing hits like “Right Here (Human Nature). SWV is one the world’s top selling female R&B groups of all time, and over the weekend they reminded fans why!

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Photo credit: Josh Brasted/Getty Images

The Queen of R&B and Hip Hop soul, Mary J. Blige brought down the house from main stage on Saturday, performing all of her classic hits including “Real Love”, “You Remind Me”, “Not Gon’ Cry”, “I’m Going Down” and more. Blige rocked the dome with effortless precision. Fans were out of their seats dancing and singing during the entire set. Blige represented nearly all of her 12 albums found in her discography this night. The powerfully raw singer closed with her hit “Family Affair.” Fans rocked and jammed all the way out of the Superdome.

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AllHipHop.com Alternatives, Features
The 20th Anniversary 2014 Essence Festival Brings Out The Stars! Prince and More Headline
by Rea Melissa Davis @Reyonce_ July 7th, 2014 @ 4:41am
Screen shot 2014-07-09 at 7.40.10 AM

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Photo Credit: Maya Washington

Essence hit it big again this year for their 20th anniversary. The Essence Festival’s 20th anniversary set a record for annual attendance, with more than 550,000 participants celebrating four days of R&B music, community, and black culture between the New Orleans’ convention center and the Mercedes Benz Superdome. The festival attracted 10,000 more people than the 2013 festival that was closed out by a sold out Beyonce encore performance.

Essence Communications Inc. president Michelle Ebanks said she woke up to a great sense of pride following the 2014 Essence Festival celebration.

Over 80 musical performances highlighted by Prince, Lionel Richie, Charlie Wilson, Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Janelle Monae, The Roots and more highlighted the festival. The convention center also hosted more than 150 speakers addressing everything from solutions to crime and violence to growing entrepreneurs.

Some of our AllHipHop team volunteered with 200 young girls and boys that participated in the #YesWeCode initiative that Prince partnered with over the weekend. The initiative targets low opportunity children and teaches them how to code and create their own apps that can change the community.

Essence executives thanked Mayor Mitch Landrieu for the city’s ongoing partnership. Both the city and Essence stated that they are committed to locking the festival into a new deal.

Thursday night Trey Songz, Nas, Jazmine Sullivan and more kicked off the Essence Festival weekend!

Screen shot 2014-07-09 at 7.30.05 AM

Photo credit: Josh Brasted/Getty Images

Screen shot 2014-07-09 at 7.34.57 AM

Photo credit: Erika Goldring/Getty Images

R&B crooner Trey wooed the ladies as usual with his vocals, solid band, and handsome looks. His lead guitarist led some amazing solos as well. Songz, eager to please, came out of his t-shirt at last for his female fans. Rapper Nas, Thursday’s headliner, performed an entertaining set as fans helped him celebrate the 20th anniversary of his debut album Illmatic. He remarked that he loved ESSENCE for recognizing the influence of Hip Hop. Jazmine Sullivan sang her entire heart out running through a couple of her hits that reminded fans why they fell in love with the Philly native in the first place.

Friday night belonged to LEGEND PRINCE! Prince brought the house down as he performed hit after hit after hit during his 24 song set. Halfway into his set he stated, “That was just he sound check.” and “Do you know how many hits I have?” Prince delivered an electrifying performance then left the stage abruptly. Just as fans wondered and worried it could be over, they joined forces to chant “Purple Rain, Purple Rain.” The singer then returned to the stage to close out with his 1984 hit “Purple Rain.” The main stage also turned into a funk royalty jam when Prince and Nile Rodgers teamed up to cover David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance.”

90s R&B legends SWV held down the Superlounge on Friday performing hits like “Right Here (Human Nature). SWV is one the world’s top selling female R&B groups of all time, and over the weekend they reminded fans why!

Screen shot 2014-07-09 at 7.32.39 AM

Photo credit: Josh Brasted/Getty Images

The Queen of R&B and Hip Hop soul, Mary J. Blige brought down the house from main stage on Saturday, performing all of her classic hits including “Real Love”, “You Remind Me”, “Not Gon’ Cry”, “I’m Going Down” and more. Blige rocked the dome with effortless precision. Fans were out of their seats dancing and singing during the entire set. Blige represented nearly all of her 12 albums found in her discography this night. The powerfully raw singer closed with her hit “Family Affair.” Fans rocked and jammed all the way out of the Superdome.

90′s R&B crooner Tevin Campbell hit the stage of the Superlounge performing his hits “Can We Talk”, “Always in My Heart”, and “SHHH (Break It Down).” Campbell proved that he “still has it” in two ways: vocals, and the fact that he packed out the entire room of the Superlounge. When he began singing crowd favorite, “Can We Talk” he asked the audience to let him sing his song, and for them to come in on the hook.


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AllHipHop.com Alternatives, Features
The 20th Anniversary 2014 Essence Festival Brings Out The Stars! Prince and More Headline
by Rea Melissa Davis @Reyonce_ July 7th, 2014 @ 4:41am
Screen shot 2014-07-09 at 7.40.10 AM

No Comments

Rate This

Share with Shortlink:

Photo Credit: Maya Washington

Essence hit it big again this year for their 20th anniversary. The Essence Festival’s 20th anniversary set a record for annual attendance, with more than 550,000 participants celebrating four days of R&B music, community, and black culture between the New Orleans’ convention center and the Mercedes Benz Superdome. The festival attracted 10,000 more people than the 2013 festival that was closed out by a sold out Beyonce encore performance.

Essence Communications Inc. president Michelle Ebanks said she woke up to a great sense of pride following the 2014 Essence Festival celebration.

Over 80 musical performances highlighted by Prince, Lionel Richie, Charlie Wilson, Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Janelle Monae, The Roots and more highlighted the festival. The convention center also hosted more than 150 speakers addressing everything from solutions to crime and violence to growing entrepreneurs.

Some of our AllHipHop team volunteered with 200 young girls and boys that participated in the #YesWeCode initiative that Prince partnered with over the weekend. The initiative targets low opportunity children and teaches them how to code and create their own apps that can change the community.

Essence executives thanked Mayor Mitch Landrieu for the city’s ongoing partnership. Both the city and Essence stated that they are committed to locking the festival into a new deal.

Thursday night Trey Songz, Nas, Jazmine Sullivan and more kicked off the Essence Festival weekend!

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Photo credit: Josh Brasted/Getty Images

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Photo credit: Erika Goldring/Getty Images

R&B crooner Trey wooed the ladies as usual with his vocals, solid band, and handsome looks. His lead guitarist led some amazing solos as well. Songz, eager to please, came out of his t-shirt at last for his female fans. Rapper Nas, Thursday’s headliner, performed an entertaining set as fans helped him celebrate the 20th anniversary of his debut album Illmatic. He remarked that he loved ESSENCE for recognizing the influence of Hip Hop. Jazmine Sullivan sang her entire heart out running through a couple of her hits that reminded fans why they fell in love with the Philly native in the first place.

Friday night belonged to LEGEND PRINCE! Prince brought the house down as he performed hit after hit after hit during his 24 song set. Halfway into his set he stated, “That was just he sound check.” and “Do you know how many hits I have?” Prince delivered an electrifying performance then left the stage abruptly. Just as fans wondered and worried it could be over, they joined forces to chant “Purple Rain, Purple Rain.” The singer then returned to the stage to close out with his 1984 hit “Purple Rain.” The main stage also turned into a funk royalty jam when Prince and Nile Rodgers teamed up to cover David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance.”

90s R&B legends SWV held down the Superlounge on Friday performing hits like “Right Here (Human Nature). SWV is one the world’s top selling female R&B groups of all time, and over the weekend they reminded fans why!

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Photo credit: Josh Brasted/Getty Images

The Queen of R&B and Hip Hop soul, Mary J. Blige brought down the house from main stage on Saturday, performing all of her classic hits including “Real Love”, “You Remind Me”, “Not Gon’ Cry”, “I’m Going Down” and more. Blige rocked the dome with effortless precision. Fans were out of their seats dancing and singing during the entire set. Blige represented nearly all of her 12 albums found in her discography this night. The powerfully raw singer closed with her hit “Family Affair.” Fans rocked and jammed all the way out of the Superdome.

90′s R&B crooner Tevin Campbell hit the stage of the Superlounge performing his hits “Can We Talk”, “Always in My Heart”, and “SHHH (Break It Down).” Campbell proved that he “still has it” in two ways: vocals, and the fact that he packed out the entire room of the Superlounge. When he began singing crowd favorite, “Can We Talk” he asked the audience to let him sing his song, and for them to come in on the hook.

90s favorite, R&B quartet 112, held down the Superlounge Saturday bringing the heat as they performed some of their most classic dance tracks like “It’s Over Now.”

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Photo credit: Josh Brasted/Getty Images

Marsha Ambrosius killed the Ford Super Lounge performing her hit song “Late Nights/Early Mornings” while mashing it up with a cover of Prince’s “Sex On Fire” as well as her new song “Friends and Lovers.”

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Photo credit: Josh Brasted/Getty Images

Philly’s own Jill Scott opened her set with her song “Gimme”.

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Photo credit: Josh Brasted/FilmMagic

Sunday Uncle Charlie Wilson and Lionel Richie held down the main stage in classic legend form. Uncle Charlie showed fans once again that he is a true performer. The music industry’s famous uncle is 61 but you wouldn’t know it from the way he shows up and shows out every time he hits the Essence main stage. At one point Wilson and crew hit the stage to perform in suits embellished with LED lights. Wilson’s energy level had fans in awe. It seemed as if the dancers had to keep up with him. 61 is the new 20. Uncle Charlie brought the crowd to the dance floor, to the bedroom, and to church.

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Photo credit: Josh Brasted/FilmMagic

Lionel Richie had a nice set, although it was tough to follow Charlie Wilson. His band gave some pretty solid guitar solos. Richie proceeded to give a nice run of Commodores favorites that were ultimately the highlight of the show. Richie pleased the crowd with “Zoom,” “Brick House” and “Hello” as well.

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Photo credit: Erika Goldring/Getty Images

Erykah Badu also helped Essence Festival celebrate their 20th anniversary by performing her hits like “On & On” and “Next Life Time.” The neo-soul chanteuse boomed with the backing of her live band and even kicked a freestyle for fans. After jokingly saying goodnight to her fans, the soul singer eased into her classics “I Choose You”, “Next Lifetime”, “Apple Tree”, “Love of My Life”, and Tyrone.

Fans were also treated to the likes of performances by Day 26, Doug E. Fresh, Jagged Edge, Elle Varner, Estelle, Sevyn Streeter, Kelly Price, Liv Warfield, Michelle Williams, Naughty By Nature, August Alsina, Raheem DeVaughn, and more in the Superlounges.

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AllHipHop.com: VH1’s “ATL: The Untold Story of Atlanta’s Rise In The Rap Game” Red Carpet < Film coverage by Rea

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By Rea Melissa Davis and Ashley Marietta
Sunday night Atlanta music legends, media, music executives and tastemakers packed out the Rialto Theater in Atlanta , Georgia to attend the advance screening of “ATL: The Untold Story of Atlanta’s Rise in the Rap Game”. Also referred to as ATL Rise, the special is a 90-minute documentary for VH1 that explores how Atlanta earned the mantle of hip-hop dominance, a fascinating ride to the top of the rap game that pioneered a seismic shift in American music as well as well as allowed Atlanta to command the reputation as hip-hop’s center of gravity. Ludacris, Usher, T.I., Future, Lil Jon, Jermaine Dupri, and Jeezy are among the Atlanta based music stars that will appear in the doc. Pioneers of the Atlanta rap game Kilo Ali, Raheem the Dream, MoJo, MC Shy D and the producers of Organized Noize also appear in the documentary. For a while now, Atlanta has emerged as one of the south’s trendiest and most influential entertainment hubs so it was only right for VH1 to pay a visit to the Dirty South. The documentary will air tonight on VH1 at 10 p.m.
AllHipHop caught up with Ludacris, Pastor Troy, Shanti Das, Killer Mike, Chaka Zulu, Kawan Prather, DJ Nabs and more to discuss Atlanta’s contribution to Hip Hop over the years, their favorite classic Atlanta rap moment, and whether or not Atlanta is accurately represented in the documentary. Check out the red carpet recap below.

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ThisisRnb.com Throwback Thursday: Something For The People- “My Love Is The Shhh” Article x Rea

“Don’t stop get it get it; don’t stop get it get it” OMG Do you remember watching this on BET’s Planet Groove and hearing it on your local radio station in 1997?! My local radio station had even changed the words to you’ll never find a station as good as this in their promo.

Something For The People was a group founded in 1990 by Curtis “Sauce” Wilson and Jeff “Fuzzy” Young, both from Oakland, California, along with Los Angeles native Rochad “Cat Daddy” Holiday. The group signed with Capitol Records, who released their debut album in 1993. As songwriters, they wrote tunes for En Vogue, Brandy and more. Switching to Warner Bros. Records they re-released their debut album in 1996.

“My Love Is The Shh” was their first single off their second album, This Time It’s Personal. The song featured sisters Trina and Tamara. The single went gold and reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, and No. 2 on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop chart. The group went on to do further work as songwriters in the wake of the tune’s success, penning tracks for Will Smith and Adina Howard. Band member Jeff “Fuzzy” Young passed away in 2011 from a heart attack.

Enjoy the classic above!

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ThisisRnb.com Throwback Tuesday Co-Ed Ft. T.I.- “Roll With Me” Remix Article x Rea

Co-Ed was a R&B group from Atlanta, GA. that consisted of 4 members, 2 girls and 2 boys. Jeff C., Bianca, Nikki, and Jeff B. For a while (since the late ’90s) they have been combining the elements of R&B, Pop, Dance, and Hip-Hop.

“Roll With Me” was a single off the group’s 2001 album Utopia. The single gained success and charted at No. 23 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Chart. Rapper T.I. was featured on the remix. The success of “Roll With Me” led to the group signing to Universal Records. The group was noted for their soulful vocals and ballads as well as their gospel influence.

“We sing from our soul” says Bianca. Like many R&B groups, Co-Ed, had gospel chords throughout their music. Enjoy the throwback above.

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AllHipHop.Com R&B Alternative Mary J. Blige Announces New Album ‘Mary J. Blige: The London Sessions’ Article x Rea

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The Queen of Hip Hop Soul, Mary J. Blige, recently spent a month in London working on and cultivating the sound of a brand new album simply titled ‘Mary J Blige: The London Sessions‘ which was confirmed by the UK publication The Guardian. Blige has been working with House music duo Disclosure, Sam Smith, Jimmy Napes, Naughty Boy, Emeli Sandé and more on the upcoming album. She promises that this effort will be the most innovative album of her 22-year career. Although she recorded the album in London and worked with a lot of UK talent, the project will be executive produced by Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins.

“Our idea was to become part of London, to really embrace the culture – to really live in it,” says Blige. “Not that I haven’t been here before, but I’ve never had the chance to really soak in it the way I have this time. To make records from the London-scene perspective.” What is that exactly? What does she think London has? “Freedom,” she says. “The music is free over here the way it used to be in the States. Artists are just free to do what they love. Listening to the radio you can hear the freedom. The music is living and breathing – you can hear that from Adele’s last album.”

Sam Smith also shared his take on the success of so many new artists from the UK, and what the project will deliver. “With my record – and when you think about Adele, and Amy Winehouse and Ed Sheeran – we’re not worried about the way we’re looking, the way we’re coming across in our music,” he said. “We’re just saying what’s in our minds and in our hearts. I see that as strength – to be able to face your issues and your sadness head-on. That’s what I’ve tried to do in my music, and I think that’s what this Mary album is about – a fearless vulnerability.”

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ThisisRnb.com Throwback Thursday: Mary J. Blige- “You Remind Me” Article x Rea


Mary J. Blige, often referred to as the Queen of Hip Hop Soul, is a 9x Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. As the Queen gears up for the release of her 12th studio album, The London Sessions, we felt it was only right to flashback to her debut single.

“You Remind Me” was officially released in 1992 as the first single from her debut album What’s the 411? It was originally featured on the 1991 motion picture soundtrack for Strictly Business. The song became her first Top 40 hit, reaching No. 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on the R&B singles chart. It must be deja vu!

Enjoy the classic above.

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ThisisRnb.com Throwback Tuesday: Janet Jackson- “Any Time, Any Place” Article x Rea


Janet Jackson is an iconic R&B singer, dancer, and actress. Having sold over 140 million records, she is ranked as one of the best-selling artists in the history of contemporary music.

“Any Time, Any Place” was released as the fifth single from her fifth studio album Janet in May 1994. It reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became another R&B chart-topper for Jackson. The song stayed on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for ten weeks (a record at the time) and became Jackson’s biggest hit on the chart. “Any Time, Any Place” was recently sampled by Kendrick Lamar for his song “Poetic Justice.” The song was named after the film of the same title that starred Jackson and Tupac Shakur. “Any Time, Any Place” was co-written and co-produced by Jackson and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and is based on sexual liberation.

Enjoy the classic above!

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