DSC_8136(Photo By Kal’L Gage)

After his incredible run in 2012, Milwaukee based singer/songwriter Kal’L Gage decided to go on a small hiatus. However, he is back and ready to take the music world by storm once again. And what better way to do so than to launch the second run of his infamous collaboration movement?  That’s right, at the end of this month he will kick off Collaboration Week 2. He’s bringing back all five champions from last year’s movement, so that means all new hits with the likes of: Kaylee Crossfire, Boys Like Britain, Lady SabO, Rich P, and Mad Static. Talk about a major revival. Collaboration Week 2 will be followed up by Collaboration Month 2 in November. Collaboration Month 2 will feature all new fresh faces, so it should be pretty exciting as well. And of course The Illixer will be on hand to bring you all of the action, just like before. To celebrate the return of the venture, the site will be counting down Kal’L’s Top 8 Favorite Mainstream Collabs.

First up, is “One Sweet Day” by Boyz II Men & Mariah Carey. The collaboration was released on November 14, 1995 and appears on Carey’s fifth studio album Daydream. The song is a ballad that centers around the theme of losing someone special and eventually being reunited with them again one day. It also carries the message of not taking people for granted while they are still alive. The video for the single aired in 1996. It simply focuses on Boyz II Men & Mariah Carey as they create and record the song. This was done because due to their hectic schedules, the group didn’t feel like they would have enough time to capture an appropriate visual. Everything worked out in their favor though because the video received tons of praise. Fans and critics alike thought that the simplicity was a perfect way to allow people to really take in the heartfelt message of the single. **Why It Made The Countdown: “(“One Sweet Day”) was one of the first collabs I ever heard.  It’s an uplifting song about mourning a lost one and finding comfort in the fact that you’ll be able to see them again someday. At the time I had just lost a grandmother and the lyrics just hit home.” – Kal’L Gage

Collaboration number 2 is “Music of My Heart” by N Sync & Gloria Estefan. The song was a part of the soundtrack for the film Music of the Heart starring Meryl Streep. It was released on September 28, 1999 as the album’s first single. It went on to receive several award nominations and even won a few. The purpose of the song is to pay tribute to music teachers and students. This is reflected in the video which displays N Sync & Estefan singing in various locations throughout Miami Senior High School with the occasional appearance of students and student musicians. The visual debuted on music video countdowns at number one. **Why It Made The Countdown: “(“Music of my Heart”) was the theme song to an amazing movie about kids in the ghetto that played the violin. Being a huge N Sync fan and of Hispanic descent, seeing them collab with a Latin icon like Gloria Estefan made a very strong impression that has lasted in my mind throughout the years.” – Kal’L Gage

**My Two Cents: I am super excited about Kal’L’s return to music and the second round of the collaboration movement. I had a blast covering it last year and I know this year is just going to be bigger and better. Also, I love this week’s mainstream choices. Mariah Carey is my favorite singer of all time. And I was team N Sync during the boy band era (lol). Plus, you can never ever go wrong with 90’s music. Make sure to check back next Sunday for the next two selections in the countdown. -MinM