The J List: The Whitney Houston Edition



Find your strength in love…

The J List: Whitney Houston Edition
http://open.spotify.com/user/121546021/playlist/1LzrM1xpOhtDz77dpPFNMq

Beyonce & Jay-Z Welcome Baby Blue Ivy

Baby, it’s you…

IV. The Carter-Knowles were so enraptured by the Roman numeral that they sported matching tattoos on their ring fingers before tying the knot. Now it’s the perfect namesake for their brand new baby girl, Blue Ivy Carter.

And although most of the world is awaiting first photos, and the chance to watch the Wonder Woman-like Beyonce transition into motherhood, all I can think of is the happiest father in New York City, Shawn Carter.

Little girls are awesome. I know this because I used to be one. They’re bubbly, a perfect blend of sweetness and sass, and are way too much fun to dress up. Moms love them dearly, but there’s something about a little girl that melts a father’s heart. I’m fortunate enough to have a great relationship with my dad, and an uncle who was like my bonus dad. They’d both let me get away with things that my mom never would, like eating pickles and drinking soda at midnight, or watching that extra episode of Married With Children. I would alter the Sunday morning New York Times into a mangled form, just to look at pictures, and they would just say, “It’s ok, she’s reading. Let her have it.” Or they would pick me up and carry me around Six Flags on their shoulders when my legs got too tired.

These are the moments, and a million more, I wish for Jay-Z. Can’t wait to see the car seat in the Maybach. And little Miss Carter has a million godparents across the world, so excited for her arrival.

Jay-Z feat. B.I.C.: “Glory”

Video Premiere: Taylor Swift: “Ours”

Your hands are tough but they are where mine belong in,
And I’ll fight their doubt and give you faith,
With this song for you…

With everyone traveling home for the holidays next week, Taylor Swift’s new clip, “Ours,” seems so fitting for upcoming airport hugs and kisses. Billboard‘s Woman of the Year shines in her concept videos, and this one finds her getting through a mundane day at the office by watching videos of her special guy on her tablet. A sweet reunion is inevitable, and just adds to the warm and fuzzies.

Most aww-worthy moment goes to the “I loved you first” post-it.

Katy Perry & Robyn Take Over SNL

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Katy Perry hosted Saturday Night Live last night, and virtually all the cast members tried to make out with her. Kristen Wiig got the closest in the opening monologue. The newly blonde pop star donned a dark brown wig for most of her skits, and made for a killer Pippa Middleton in a Royals spoof.

For me, the best part of the show was that musical guest Robyn got to bring her quirky dance robotics to network TV. I’ve been a fan of hers since the 90s, and with every year she just gets fresher. She performed “Call Your Girlfriend” and “Dancing On My Own,” off her electronica Body Talk series, that’s still going strong a year after its release. Dance moves, stretchy pants, and all Robyn’s voice is still on point.

Digital Short: Happy Holidays (Peep a really creepy Matt Damon!)

Robyn: “Dancing On My Own”

5 Best Albums Of My Year: Beyonce: 4


“I feel more complete than I’ve ever felt. I feel more beautiful than I’ve ever felt. Stronger, and proud of myself.”- Beyonce

4 is my favorite number. I remember telling everyone I could, “It’s August 4th and I’m four!” on my fourth birthday. Luckily for me, I share my birthday with President Barack Obama, who I think is cooler than sliced bread, so I’m in very good company. And there are four letters in my favorite word: Love. So it comes as no surprise that one of my favorite albums of the year would be entitled 4. The elements that make up Beyonce’s strongest album to date, proves that good things do come in 4’s.

I don’t think it’s possible for anyone to not love Beyonce just a little this year. Maybe it was her “Run The World” show-stopping performance on Oprah’s finale show, her new fragrance, or at least one video of her never-ending collection. Or maybe it was proud Papa Jay’s huge smile when she whipped open her jacket and revealed her baby bump for the first time. Previously, I couldn’t really connect with Bey. Destiny’s Child and her earlier solo albums seemed so polished and rehearsed, and I couldn’t find the connection that I have with all of my favorite artists. This year, I could connect to a Beyonce who stepped out on her own, ending her managerial relationship with her father. I could connect to a Beyonce who rocked out with Coldplay and jammed to Diplo. I could connect to a Beyonce in love.

Every song on 4 is filled with so much emotion, backed with the strength and confidence that only comes from life experience. “1+1” finds her expressing that vulnerable kind of love, the kind of passion that just takes over good sense: “I don’t know much about fighting but I know I will fight for you. Just when I ball up my fists, I’m laying right next to you.” She loves her some Jay-Z. That fact has never been more apparent. There’s strength on “I Care,” rooted more deeply than just telling someone to “put a ring on it.” She even moved herself to tears while performing the Frank Ocean-penned “I Miss You” at her Roseland shows in NYC. Everyone’s been here before: “No matter who you are, it is so simple a feeling, but it’s everything.”

The lyrics of the summer kiss-off anthem “Best Thing I Never Had” is so much more than fodder for Facebook statuses. She thanks you for leaving her behind, because you simply freed her for the right one. She knows you want her back, but it’s just too bad.

“Rather Die Young” finds her sexy in a way that’s less Sasha Fierce and a lot more Bey. Just like any young woman, she’s coming into the kind of sexiness that pours out when she’s simply in love. The “good girl falls for edgy boy” lyrics are relatable, because, let’s face it,  we’ve all been there before, too. “Love On Top,” the New Edition-esque stunner finds her singing  with love for the person she can’t wait to meet the most. She playfully refers to her husband on the bombastic “Countdown,” in a way she never had in the past.

The Diplo-produced “End Of Time” is hands down my favorite track of the year. For those who read my blog often, there isn’t much more I can say about this song that I haven’t said already. It’s the most rhythmic song on 4, and it’s known that I adore anything resembling dancehall. But when I hear it, I close my eyes, and immediately think of jumping into that one person’s arms, and feeling the world melt around me. She follows up with the Trent Reznor-sampled “I Was Here,” bringing my love of rock and r&b together with words that I hope to live up to in my own life:

I just want them to know, that I gave my all, did my best, brought someone happiness. Left this world a little better just because… I was here.

Over the course of just one year, Beyonce can consider her mission accomplished.

The J List: The Dirty 30 Edition

Happy Birthday, Brit Brit! This playlist is a collection of music from the artists who turned 30 this year, from Bey to Lil Flip, and everyone in between!

xo,j

The J List: The Dirty 30 Edition

Video Premiere: Beyonce: “Dance For You”


I wanna show you how much I really care about your heart…

It’s a classic scene from any black and white film: Show up at your lover’s door in nothing but a raincoat and sexy lingerie. Of course, Beyonce pulls the scene off flawlessly in her new video, “Dance For You.” The hot mama channels 1940s movie star Veronica Lake, and performs a sexy boardroom desk dance for a special agent.

Beyonce is the gift that keeps on giving this year. Having dropped videos for nearly every track on her latest album 4, she’s now releasing clips for her bonus cuts. The Dream-produced “Dance For You” is one of my favorite tracks from Bey, and the visuals surely do it justice.

Check out the video here. It reminds me a ton of Ciara’s “Promise,” another one of my all-time favorite videos.