Rap-Up Sessions

Mario Performs ‘Someday at Christmas’ for Rap-Up Sessions

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. With less than a week until Santa comes down the chimney, Mario brightened up our Hollywood studio with a special performance for Rap-Up Sessions.

Accompanied by Trevor Wesley on keyboard, the R&B crooner performed a stripped-down cover of Stevie Wonder’s Motown classic “Someday at Christmas,” which can be found on the soundtrack to The Best Man Holiday.

Mario’s fifth album Evolve is due in early 2014 featuring production from Bam Alexander, Polow Da Don, and Glass John.

Get in the holiday spirit with his seasonal song, and watch him perform “Somebody Else,” “Fatal Distraction,” and his No. 1 hit “Let Me Love You.”

Mario Performs for Rap-Up Sessions

It’s been four years since the release of Mario’s last album D.N.A., but the R&B sensation proved that he hasn’t missed a beat when he stopped by our Hollywood studio. With the lights turned low, the 27-year-old singer delivered an intimate performance exclusively for Rap-Up Sessions.

Accompanied by Trevor Wesley on keyboard, he started out with his biggest hit “Let Me Love You,” which topped the charts for nine consecutive weeks in 2005. With the Sunset Strip in the background, he thrilled with his Nicki Minaj-assisted single “Somebody Else” and capped it off with his R&B ballad “Fatal Distraction.”

His fifth album Evolve is due in early 2014 featuring production from Bam Alexander, Polow Da Don, and Glass John. “With this album, you’re definitely gonna hear a different sound,” Mario told Rap-Up.com. “You’re gonna hear different perspectives, different concepts.”

Watch the rest of his smooth set below.

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Sevyn Streeter Covers ‘Climax’ for Rap-Up Sessions

Sevyn Streeter brought us a red-hot performance of her singles “I Like It” and “It Won’t Stop” during her Rap-Up Sessions set. But she’s not done. Chris Brown’s signee also treated us to an acoustic cover of Usher’s 2012 hit “Climax.” Backed by a guitarist, the Florida songstress put her sultry stamp on the Diplo-produced song while overlooking the Hollywood Hills.

Sevyn has written for superstars including Kelly Rowland (“Gone”), Ariana Grande (“The Way”), and Tamar Braxton (“All the Way Home”), while her debut album is due on CBE/Atlantic Records.

Check out Sevyn’s stripped-down cover of “Climax.”

Previous: Sevyn Performs “I Like It” and “It Won’t Stop” for Rap-Up Sessions

Sevyn Streeter Performs for Rap-Up Sessions

Sevyn Streeter is mighty with the pen and on the mic. The 27-year-old singer, who has written for R&B’s leading ladies including Alicia Keys, Brandy, and Kelly Rowland, got her start in girl groups TG4 and RichGirl before venturing out on her own.

Last year, the Haines City, Florida native signed a solo deal with Chris Brown’s CBE label and continues to stack her writing credits with hits for Ariana Grande (“The Way”) and Brown (“Fine China”).

During her visit to our Hollywood studio, she put her raw talent on display with a red-hot performance. Showing off her curves in a body-hugging dress, Sevyn stripped down her single “I Like It,” powering through the upbeat number with just a guitarist. She also delivered chills with an acoustic version of her smooth single “It Won’t Stop.”

Sevyn is readying her debut album for release on CBE/Atlantic Records.

Watch the R&B powerhouse shut it down for Rap-Up Sessions.

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Leah LaBelle Covers ‘Get Lucky’ for Rap-Up Sessions

Leah LaBelle served up her single “Lolita” as well as “Mr. Scissors” during her visit to Rap-Up Sessions. Pharrell’s protégé also treated us to an acoustic cover of “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk and her mentor. With the Hollywood sign in the background, she had our Sunset Strip studio jamming along to the feel-good hit.

Being signed to The Neptunes producer has been a dream come true for the Seattle songstress. “Being around Pharrell is like the greatest learning experience of your life because this man is a student of everything,” she told Rap-Up TV. “He’s one of my idols growing up. To have him as a mentor has been the coolest thing.”

In addition to producing her upcoming debut, Pharrell and Jermaine Dupri both rap on a song called “100%.” “It’s a real talk song, a lady talking about I’m gonna love you and I’m down for you,” explained Leah.

Her album will be released on i am OTHER/So So Def/Epic Records. Watch the video for “Lolita.”

Previous: Leah LaBelle Performs “Lolita” and “Mr. Scissors” for Rap-Up Sessions

Leah LaBelle Performs for Rap-Up Sessions

Pharrell knew she was a star when he saw her on YouTube, and Jermaine Dupri wanted in when he heard her sing. Now with the two hitmakers in her corner, Leah LaBelle is readying her i am OTHER/So So Def/Epic Records debut. The Seattle songstress brought some sunshine to our Hollywood studio for a stripped-down set.

In the latest installment of Rap-Up Sessions, the 26-year-old chanteuse worked her charm with an acoustic version of her Pharrell-produced single “Lolita.” Backed by a guitarist, she also performed her new song “Mr. Scissors” for the first time, while her friend JoJo sat in for the live taping.

Leah’s upcoming album was produced by Pharrell and J.D. “The album is just a really good, feel-good album,” said the “American Idol” alum. “It makes you happy, it makes you want to dance. It’s gonna remind you of the good times.”

Watch Leah go unplugged and look for a special cover from her later in the week.

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Jhené Aiko Covers Tupac’s ‘Keep Ya Head Up’ for Rap-Up Sessions

In addition to debuting her summertime single “Bed Peace,” Jhené Aiko paid homage to one of her favorite artists, Tupac Shakur, by covering his 1993 hit “Keep Ya Head Up” for Rap-Up Sessions. During her visit to our Hollywood studio, the pretty and petite songstress put an acoustic spin on the hip-hop classic, which she performs live on tour.

The L.A. native grew up listening to the rap legend on the radio. “I think he’s a global icon for speaking your mind, being controversial, and just having something to say in your music,” she told Rap-Up TV. “He had it all—the look, the music, and he really stood for something. Even if you just wanna make the world happy or make ‘em dance, it should be for a reason and not just for personal gain, and I think he really took responsibility for that. He knew the power in music.”

Aside from “Keep Ya Head Up,” her favorite ‘Pac song is “I Get Around.” “If I’m feelin’ sad I’ll put on ‘Keep Ya Head Up,’ but if I’m feelin’ like I just wanna have fun or if it’s a nice summer day, I’ll put on ‘I Get Around.’”

Jhené will release her EP Sail Out later this summer with appearances from Wiz Khalifa, Big Sean, Ab-Soul, Kendrick Lamar, and her rap alter ego J. Hennessy.

Previous: Jhené Aiko Debuts “Bed Peace” for Rap-Up Sessions