Erica Campbell ft. Lecrae, “Help” (video)
Erica Campbell released visuals to complement the first single from her eponymous debut solo album, scheduled for release in March. The Billie Woodruff-directed video for “Help” features minimal visuals, mostly likely to keep the focus on the song’s positive message. The Grammy-winning singer is calling on people to pray and ask for strength. Erica keeps her vocals low-key compared to what we know she do, and Lecrae’s verse drives the point home with the final line of his rap: “You don’t help me, I don’t make it.”
Check it out:
Kelis is gearing up to release a new album, Food, on April 22, but until then we have “Rumble” to keep us busy. The ’70s rock-inspired, soul-infused song tells a familiar tale about being stuck in the grey area. Kelis sings in her signature raspy voice, “I know I said leave but baby, don’t go!/We got so much history/I hurt you, hurt me, no we don’t need therapy/What I need is you to leave.” The song is a sexy, sassy diddy that could serve as good company for your phone’s playlist.
Yasiin Gaye, “Anna’s Love Song”
“Anna’s Love Song” follows the release of last week’s “Inner City Travelin’ Man”, from Amerigo Gazaway’s SoulMates series where he mashes up various artists. “Anna’s Love Song” is a combination of Mos Def’s “The Love Song” (with Da Bush Babees), “Love” and Marvin Gaye’s “Anna’s Song,” and it sounds divine—just in time for Valentine’s Day. If you like what you’ve been hearing from the project thus far, then be ready for February 25, when the full release drops.
Toni Braxton & Babyface, Love Marriage & Divorce
Toni Braxton and Babyface have musically reunited for Love Marriage & Divorce, a fresh take on the dark side of relationships, a topic both artists know very well. Despite the melancholy subject matter—songs with lyrics like, “I’d rather be broke than with you”—it still comes off as romantic and beautiful. Overall, the songs skillfully cover several stages of breakups while still providing wit and wisdom. But we shouldn’t be surprised, because we already know that Babyface has the magic touch. Welcome them back.
Available at iTunes.
King avriel, “Freedom”
The artist we now regard as King avriel was the voice of Timberly on Nickelodeon’s Hey Arnold! in a former life. Now all grown up, she’s decided to move full throttle with her music career. The 23-year-old began playing the piano and violin at age 9, so she’s definitely not a fly-by-night musician. “Freedom,” which also has a video component, is a quick electro track featuring avriel singing about her search for “freedom.”
In this instance, avriel says that freedom symbolizes two main ideas: “The destruction of rigid gender binaries, and my decision to change my name from Avriel to King avriel. . . As is the case with everything I write, I wanted to provoke thought and discussion around the use of gender and queer bodies in film.” The short song/video is a tease, but avriel’s breathy soprano is alluring enough to make us want more.
Starrene Rhett Rocque is a pop culture junky who often fantasizes about becoming a shotgun toting B-movie heroine, and aspires to save the world from the impending #ZombieApocolypse… In reality she’s a freelance entertainment journalist/blogger who muses about music, TV, movies and love. Follow her on Twitter @GangStarrGirl or at GangStarrGirl.com