Tuesday, May 30, 2006

What the hell is "HipHop Soul??" Is there such a thing? Is this just another one of those unnecessary labels that the music industry has given to urban music to further segregate the artists? The phrase is not the Webster's Dictionary, but I actually have two definitions for the phrase: 1) Whenever a rap artist and a R&B/Soul artist collaborates on a song. 2) When an R&B/Soul artist utilizes a bonafied hiphop beat/sample already used by a previous hiphop group or artist. So, what was the first hiphop soul record? Hmmm, this has been debated over the years, but I would have to say the first song that really mattered using this format was Method Man's classic, "All I Need Remix" feat Mary J. Blige! This song changed the game, and crowned a Queen of HipHop Soul all at the same time?? Everybody knew this would be a great remix, but I don't think anyone really knew the impact it would have on the music as a whole? From the moment this record was released, Mary J. Blige was crowned the Queen of HipHop Soul, and she still hasn't been dethroned after all these years in the music industry! Many cookie-cutta bimbos have tried to challenge the queen for her spot on the throne, but up to this point no one has even come close. Instead of being original, most of the wanna-be royalty ends up barely following in her footsteps!

The reason I like HipHop Soul is because it offers me the best (sometimes) of both music genres. Since, I love hiphop and soul music, what can be better than having both at the same time? The key to a good record is getting rappers that can actually rap, and singers that can actually sing!! Sounds easy, but that's not always the case? Back in the early 90's when this form of music was thriving, everybody was doing collaborations with one another. Every new singer had some partially known rap artist spitting nonsense over the beat with hopes of becoming more successful because of it? I could tell some of the collaboration records were done just for the sake of having two big names sharing space and time. There was usually no chemistry or vibe between the two artists, and the record suffered from a lack of focus and passion. After listening to many collabos over the years, I have realized that if the two musical powers that come together for a project don't really like each other, or they don't work well together the record usually stinks? Can you say R. Kelly and Jay-Z on "The Worst of Both Worlds" album? Then they tried to remix the first crappy album (for money) and repackage it as a new project called, "Unfinished Business," which was even worse than the original, if that's possible?? If you bought either one of these wack albums, yo fault!! What a musical massacre!!!

Honestly, having a big name sharing a record with a lessor known artist can give them a big boost in sales? How many times have you bought a record or album of an unknown artist, because they had collabos with some of your favorites? We all have. So, when artists have that kind of pull, they make the needy pay big bucks to use their talents on a track! You need Fat Joe or Jadakiss on your record be ready to pay atleast 5 figures, but if you need a Jay Z/Mary J. Blige type of artist..make it 6 figures! Some of the major artists are so discreet that they will only work with certain people no matter how much you try to pay them, which I think is good for the longevity of their careers? Working with wack artists can definitely pull down the value on your musical stock in some cases? I must admit that I have heard way more good hiphop soul tracks over the years than bad ones. Seems like every urban album has atleast one major collabo track on it. Hell, LL Cool J's new album, "Todd Smith" has more collabos than solo records? Is it me or is LL becoming a little fruity in his old age? Where are the tracks for the hiphop heads.....?? OK, I won't go there in this post....I'll save this convo for a later date!

What would this post be without a mix to tie things altogther? I saturated this mix with some of the hiphop soul tracks I have really enjoyed over the years. As usual, narrowing down the songs for this mix was difficult, but I did what I could do....when I could do it! I blessed you with some classic Mary Blige collabos since she is the focus of this post! Plus, they're dope! Some of these tracks you may have heard before and others you may have not? I like to throw in a few exclusive gems just to keep you folks guessing? Checkout the tracklist.....

HipHop Soul Mix Tracklist:

1-SoundNexx Intro
2-All I Need (Razor Sharp Mix) - Method Man feat. Mary J. Blige
3-Rainy Dayz - Raekwon feat. Ghostface & Blue Raspberry
4-Stressed Out (Saadiq Remix) - A Tribe Called Quest feat. Faith & Raphael Saadiq
5-Count The Ways - Slum Village feat. Dwele
6-Street Dreams (Remix) - Nas feat. R. Kelly
7-Sky's The Limit - Notorious B.I.G feat. 112
8-My Mind - Big Pooh feat. Darien Brockington
9-You're The One (All-Star Remix) - SWV feat. Jay-Z, Mr. Cheeks, Busta Rhymes, Trigga Tha Gambla & Smooth Tha Hustla
10-No - De La Soul feat. Butta Verses
11-Sincerity - Mary J. Blige feat DMX & Nas
12-Freak-N-You (Remix) - Jodeci feat. Raekwon & Ghostface
13-Come Close (Bajou Remix) - Common feat. Mary J. Blige
14-The Notic (Soulidace Mix) - The Roots feat. D'Angelo & Erykah Badu
15-Beautiful (Blackstar Remix) - Mary J. Blige feat. Mos Def & Talib Kweli
16-Dicipline - Gang Starr feat. Total
17-Loungin (Remix) - LL Cool J feat. Total
18-Don't Wanna Be A Player (Remix) - Big Pun feat. Joe
19-What It Is - Busta Rhymes feat. Kelis


Leave the titles of some of your favorite hiphop soul tracks in the comments, so I can check them out!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Everyone in the 313 can you feel me? Yes, I am from "The 313" a.k.a "Detroit" a.k.a "Motown!" The early MOTOWN RECORDS was pretty much running the soul music business back in the day! With Legends like Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder on the roster, why wouldn't they? Several years have pasted, and the legendary Motown era of the past is no more. Not only has the music changed, but the city itself has changed! DETROIT has been hit with a lot of negative stereo types over the past few years. Those negatives have somewhat overshadowed the successes of the past. Yes, we have problems just like any other major city in the United States, but that doesn't mean that this is not a wonderful place be! Some folks even think that Detroit has lost its ability to produce great artists? The problem is not the talented artists in the Detroit, it's that outside spotlight that is no longer shining, which is causing the illusion. We no longer have the high volume of record companies coming here looking for fresh and new talent. Some Detroit based artists are getting some shine though like, Dwele, Platinum Pied Pipers, Neco Redd, Dabrye, Slum Village, Amp Fiddler & J Dilla (R.I.P)!

The strictly local artists here have taken it upon themselves to get their music out by any means necessary! The back of trunks, city festivals and local record stores. Music is being produced around here all the time, but the independent records never get any spins on local radio for the most part, so the artists still suffer in most cases? Independent Detroit hiphop crews like "Dirty Glove Entertainment" pay for airtime on the local access television channels to get their music out to the masses. They televise their grimmey music videos and live concert footage to give their artists some needed exposure! It has worked because this organization has expanded from Detroit to Arizona and Houston over the last few years, and they have a pretty large fanbase. That type of growth has sparked jealousy amongst some of the other local hiphop artists and labels around the city. This jealousy has also sprouted into serious beefs and even violence in some cases! One of the most notorious Detroit based beefs was between Eminem's band, D12 and Royce Da 5'9"! This fued has been going on for years, and it has only gotten worse over time. They've had several episodes of physical altercations with no real resolution. Hopefully, with the unfortunate death of D12's Proof (R.I.P), maybe this beef will finally end?

I have been waiting on a new MOTOWN compilation for years. I guess since a lot of the local artists don't really work together like they should, it may never happen? So, I have decided to do what should have been done years ago! I put together a compilation of Detroit based singers, rappers and producers for your listening pleasure! I have pulled songs from everywhere (old & new) to make this compilation complete! There are some very rare and exclusive tracks on here, so don't hesitate to get a copy of this one! It was very hard to narrow the songs down for this compilation, but I did my best to represent Detroit right! I left off much of the crime driven tuff guy raps that saturate the local hiphop scene here, just because there is enough of that on the mainstream airwaves as it is?

Download the "New Motown Movement Compilation Mix" here!

Mix Tracklist:
1- 313 Can You Feel Me Intro - Dwele & Ta'raach (SoundNexx Blend)
2- The Reunion - Slum Village feat. J. Dilla

3- Fly - Dwele feat. Bahamadia
4- Get It Together - Dabrye feat. Invincible & Finale
5- Better Days - Neco Redd feat. Platinum Pied Pipers
6- Part of The Story - Lacks
7- Detroit Winter - Platinum Pied Pipers feat. Invincible
8- Stunted Growth - Elzhi
9- Special - Guilty Simpson
10- Sexy - Dwele
11- Give Love - Sol Uprising
12- This Is How - Amp Fiddler
13- Feel My Love - Zo! feat. Havana
14- Surprises/Smell The Coffee - Big Dave The Destroyer
15- Viewer Discretion - Dabrye feat. Invincible & Finale
16- 1000 Nukkaz - Phat Kat feat. BR Gunna & Obie Trice
17- Eve (J Dilla Remix) - Spacek feat. J Dilla & Frank-N-Dank
18- L.O.V.E - Dwele
19- Caught Up In - Zo!


Detroit is known for having serious music festivals in the summer months! This upcoming holiday weekend is the "ELECTRONIC MUSIC FESTIVAL 06" extraviganza at Hart Plaza, located on the riverfront! It's a 3-day event, so there will be plenty music for everyone! I am looking forward to Tortured Soul, Roy Davis Jr, and the J-Dilla Tribute! Checkout the list of performers scheduled for this event..... (Click the photo of Detroit located above!)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Folks that know me personally, already know that I think local urban radio really STINKS like a dead rat lying in dog vomit, during a hot summer day!! The reasons why....lack of variety, top 40 crap, too much talking, too many commercials about nothing, too many repeated songs...and on & on! At one time radio was about exploration and discovery? I remember getting excited when I would hear a new song on the radio for the first time! Calling into the radio stations (actually getting through) and making a song request. They actually found and played the songs you requested back in the day! Nowadays, they pretend that you can just call in for various things, but most of the time you can't get past the busy signal that seems to always be present? As much as radio stinks these days, I still have the desire to be a radio disc jockey? It would definitely have to be on a independent station though. None of that Clear Channel & Radio One political mess that has killed good radio of the past?

Until I get a real gig, I have to find other ways release my Disc Jockey alter ego that has been trying to get out over the years. I make compilations for my own entertainment with songs that I would love to hear on the radio! I have been doing this for years, but now I have decided to share them with my peepz! My feeling is, radio should have a little of everything! I like things mixed up a little. I don't want to hear slow love songs all day, and the same goes rap cuts. I like a variety of sounds all rolled into one grooving experience. WNEX coming to a local city near you!!

I will be dropping these every once in awhile to share great music, so stay visit often! Everything here on available on a limited basis, so get it while it's HOT!!



Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I know you just didn't say, "Who is Eric Roberson?" If you don't know that, then this post may just be one that changes your soul music life forever? Mr. Roberson has been in the music game since 1994. His musical releasese was titled, "The Moon," which is pretty much out of print these days. You may be able to find on Ebay or something though? Erro started out writing songs and working with a lot of Philly soul artists like Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild & Jazzy Jeff. Over the years he became good friends with these artists and was given the opportunity to be a member of Jazzy Jeff's "A Touch of Jazz" production company. Erro has made attempts at working with major record labels in the past, but each one of those opportunities turned sour. So, Erro decided to start his own independent record label he calls, "Blue Erro Soul." With his own label he has been able to release several solo albums over the years. To most serious soul music lovers, Eric Roberson is a household name!

Erro Live Vol: DC (DVD & CD) is his latest upcoming album release. In the package deal you get a DVD of live concert video footage and a CD full live performances. This music set captures special moments and memorable performances at concert venues such as the Black Cat, Takoma Station and 930 Club in Washingto DC. With over 2 hours of live concert footage, which includes his classics and some new favorites, this package is a must have for Erro fans. In the Bonus Features portion of the DVD, go behind the scenes and get to know Eric Roberson in this jam-packed hour of special features including a "sneak peak" of the upcoming album, interviews and outtakes! The new project drops on June 1, 2006, but they are taking pre-orders at his website, so don't waste time!

Also, go to his websites to hear some of his music if you haven't already! Erro is definitely one of the great soul singers and writers of our generation!

Erro's Website Here

Erro's Myspace.com Website Here

Monday, May 15, 2006

Music has dictated the trends in fashion for decades. From the Beatles to Elvis on down to Michael Jackson! Remember that fake red and black Thriller jacket you had?? Of course you do! How about the penny loafers, white sox and those tight denim floods you had trying to pretend you were in the "Beat It" video? Wearing that stuff would be corny azz hell now, but back then it was in (for some). With all of the music driven fashion trends that have occurred in the past, no other genre of music has had a contiuous and dominant impact on it like hiphop! I still remember how bad I wanted a Kangol hat because LL Cool J was sporting them. Run-DMC made us understand how wearing Addidas gear automatically put you in the "Fly" category when it came to fashion! If you weren't feelin' the Addidas, you could get fresh by bustin' the suede Pumas with the fat laces reppin' the breakdancers. From the Gazelle glasses that the Fat Boys wore, to the dookie-gold rope chains that Slick Rick sported, hiphop had original style and flavor that the culture on the map.

Things have definitely changed over the last few years? The innocence of the hiphop culture has been totally lost! Dressing like your favorite rapper is not just for show-n-tell anymore, it's a profitable multi-million dollar a year business these days! A lot of people think that Karl Kani was the first major urban fashion designer making moves back in the day, but it was actually Marc Buchanan. Mr. Buchanan is the founder of the imfamous Pelle Pelle clothing company based out of Detroit, Michigan. He actually started out back in 1978 making high-end leather coats for the urban youth that were actually affordable. Then he started concentrating on urban clothing in 1992 when he hit the streets running with the Pelle Pelle line. At that point the Pelle Pelle went nationwide. Soon after that Karl Kani came onto the scene with his signature style of clothing. By Karl having a popular rapper by the name of Tupac representing his company, and sporting his trademark signatured gear in videos and concerts made him popular fast! These two pioneers began what we now know to be true urban hiphop fashion! After them would come many other urban designers like Mecca, Fubu, Phat Farm, Sean John, Rocawear & Enyce...just to name a few! While top white designers of the past are losing their spots on department store shelves, urban fashions are flying off the racks in 2006!

From what I understood, the original premise for urban designers was to make affordable clothing for the urban community, to counter act the over priced white designers like Polo, Nautica and Tommy Hilfiger? That idealization has been lost. Now, it seems like the black designers are exploiting their own people? Charging outrageous prices for denim jeans, shirts and shoes just because your favorite rapper wears it seems senseless? Doesn't $90 seem like too much for a pair of jeans? What makes these newer black designers any different than the white designers that sold priced goods in the past? Nothing! The worse thing about it is the urban designers had the black youth as their targeted audience. With the success of hiphop in the mainstream, white America has jumped on the urban fashion bandwagon as well! You would think with the large success in sales over the years for companies like Rocawear and Sean John they would lower prices, but instead they have gone up! Dammit Puffy!!!!

Two white companys that are making a serious financial killing off of hiphop's success is Timberland and Nike! Let's start with Timberland! What would hiphop be without a fresh pair of Timbs? I remember when all Timberlands were good for was a reliable pair of work boots! No style, no fashion...just WORK! You could actually get a decent pair of Timbs for about $70 back in the day! Now, since the hiphop has said that Timbs are cool and fashionable, they have quickly risen to about $140 on average! Why? Because they know you will buy them, and so will I?? I can't front, I like Timberlands, so sue me. I wait until they go on sale though. Nike has taken another approach. They have released several retro sneakers from back in 80's, and the top seller is the imfamous Air Force 1 (shown at the top of this post). Due to the cult like success of this shoe, Nike has slowly eased up the once $55 priced shoe up to $80 for the traditional style AFI, and continue upwards to about $200 for the limited editions! Families are going bankrupt trying to keep up with the urban fads/fashions that exist today! Why do some people have on a pair of brand new Timberlands, but they don't have any food in their refrigerator? Hmmmmm.....

Okay....If you have read this far, you are probably thinking that I hate hiphop fashion and what it stands for? No I don't! Overall, I love hiphop and the fashion that goes along with it. I like to see black folks getting some of this money that we have been providing to a biased industry for years! I do have a few questions though, that maybe some of ya'll can answer for me? I'm going to this portion of the post Jadakiss style! Why???

Why does everybody sag their pants, and nobody really knows that in jail that means, "I'm all yours for a pack of smokes?"
Why do birdchested 15 year-old boys by up all the Large and X-Large shirts at the mall?
Why do these same boys wear their T-shirts so long that it looks like a white sun dress?
Why do black designers make all of their denim jeans long azz hell, no matter what size your waste is?
Why did pink T-shirts become a fashion statement?
Why does everybody want to dress alike instead of being different?
Why do folks have on a new pair of Air Force Ones with holes in their socks?
Why does the clothing that looks more worn out and damaged costs the most?
Why does every pair of urban jeans have large words, letters, stains or tears on them?
Why are most of the urban stores in hood ran by Arabs & Koreans, instead of blacks?
Why does every wack rapper start a clothing line before their album sells 50 copies?
Why did Jay-Z trade in his basketball jerseys for button ups?
Why did Rocawear start selling button ups right after Jay-Z traded in his jerseys?
Why do parents buy an infant that can't walk yet a pair of Timberland boots?
Why do toddlers know the names of designer clothing before they learn their A-B-Cs?
Why does your momma have on more hiphop urban gear than you do??
Why did Mecca and FUBU fall the hell off?
Why are Master P and Lil' Romeo the only people wearing P. Miller gear??
Why do black folks waste money on stuff that doesn't matter, just to say that they got it?
Why even after reading all of this post, it won't make a damn difference???


Thursday, May 11, 2006

Please don't tell me that you don't know who Wordsworth is?? Believe it or not, most self-proclaimed hiphop heads have never heard of him, which is pretty bad! Why should you care who he is? Probably because he is one of most lyrically fit MCs out there, but has yet to get his deserved respect in the rap game! Not only that, but by today's standards he would be considered a vet! Can you say, "The most slept on?" This Brooklyn bred emcee started his hiphop career with his one time rhyme partner in crime Punchlines back in the 90s, which formed the Voltron like duo "Punch N' Words!" The duo dropped an EP back in 2000 titled, "Punchlines & Wordsworth" that basically flopped in the sales department due to poor promotion. The EP was definitely not a classic, but it is definitely worth a listen just to hear their Run-DMC like rhyme chemistry! It's a shame that they never got their JUST-DUE!

Now, we fast-forward to 2000! Word's music career had pretty much dissolved by this time! He was able to make a few guest appearances on some underground hiphop tracks here and there, but that put little spark back into his once hopeful career? With no music singles or album opportunities for Wordworth in several years, most fans had totally forgotten about him. Then in mid 2000, MTV hit everyone in head with their hiphop driven freestyle skit tv show called, "The Lyricist Lounge" where Wordsworth was a major contributor. Working along side the tight cast and the famous celebrities that would bless the weekly show with their talents contributing to the Lounge's success, Wordsworth finally got some earned recognition!Words remained a cast member of the show until 2003, when it was finally cancelled.

In late 2004, Wordsworth finally released his debut album under the Halftooth label titled, "Mirror Music!" Again, due to poor promotion...the refreshing "Mirror Music" album suffered the fate of lackluster record sales! Since then, Halftooth artists Oddisee and Kenn Starr have exposed the label's musical movement to the masses on the underground by collaborating heavy-hitters like, Little Brother, J-Live, Grap Luva, Jazzy Jeff, Cy Young & Talib Kweli! Oddisee has also blessed several artists with his now trademarked laid back & sometimes melodic production style. He could definitely turnout to be one of the great producers of his era? Since, everyone recognizes that the "Mirror Music" album was definitely slepted on when it was originally released, Halftooth has decided to re-release & repackage it as a "Special Edition" version. Most of the time special edtions of albums suck because they usually cost more, and all you get is either a wack DVD of crap you don't want or some filler tracks that were never supposed to make the cut anyway! No SPANKS!! I'll stick with the original version! This time, things are different though! In this S.E. package of Mirror Music, not only do you get the original version of the album, but you get a bonus CD of exclusive Oddisee remixes of 10 tracks! The remixes alone are worth the price of admission, but to include the original album as well is a win-win situation! The choice is yours though....I'm just the facilitator of information... I heard Lil'Jon got a new track out too, so.......

*Leaves a cloud of dust in the air as he runs to get his jacket, heading 4 Best Buy!*

Click the album cover above to hear some snippets from this album!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

It's house groove time again! From the wonderful responses I received from the first house mix I posted, I had to do it again! This one is for my REAL DEAL House Music Headz: House Dawg a.k.a Rodd, Gene and one to tightest female house DJs reppin' Detroit...DJ Cent! I have shared great house music conversations with these folks, so I know they are definitely going to feel this mix! I took it back a little for this one. I dug deep in my music crates (boxes actually) to pull out some of these gems! Most of these were getting heavy rotation at one point in my life, so I thought I would put all I could fit into one mix. All of these tracks are not straight up house music though. Some of them just have great grooves that can be easily slipped into a nice house mix, so why not? I not really into the techno sounding type house music that I hear a lot of these days. It sounds like that noise the old school dial up modems make when they are trying to get online! Irritating! I mainly stick with the soulful feeling and uplifting gospel vibed house music, with more bass than treble! Say NO to TechNO...LOL! Nah, there might be some good techno out there???? Hmmm....then maybe NOT!

I am not sure if you folks are familiar with my man Little Louie Vega (shown in the photo above) or not, but he's pretty large on the New York house music scene. I mean REALLY LARGE!! I mean a two time Grammy nominated type LARGER THAN LARGE! Some call him a house legend, and so do I! He's a Bronx native that has been burning up the club scene for over 15 years, spinning records at just about every major club on the east coast. He started his career at the now imfamous club Studio 54 back in the 1980s! If you are not familiar with Studio 54, check out the DVD movie with the same name to get a little history on how major this club was back in the day! You can also get the flick "Boogie Nights" if you can stand seeing Mark Wahlberg act?? Mr. Vega made his production debut on a track titled, "Take Me Away" by a early hip-house group called, 2 In a Room! They were also known for that dance track, "Wiggle It (Just A Little Bit)" back in 2001. Over Louie's extensive career he has remixed and produced tracks for several known artists such as: Todd Terry, Dee-Lite, Marc Anthony, Madonna, Jamiroquai and even the legendary Michael Jackson. Remember when you first heard the classic track, "Billy Jean?" No, Louie had nothing to do with that particular song, but I just wanted you remember when M.J. was the man!! Aiight, back to the HOUSE...

Louie Vega is also half of the dope production team Masters At Work when he's working with one of my other favorite producers, Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez. The name says it all! MAW has made some of the best soul house remixes I have ever experienced, so when you see their name attached to a song it's definitely quality work! A great example of their skill is the collaboration track with Jazzy Jeff titled, "In Time" featuring V on the vocals! That track gets the party poppin' everytime! House music is not as popular in the mainstream as it used to be, but don't think it has died. With musicians like DJ Spinna, Yam Who?, 4 Hero, Joey Negro, Yoruba Soul, Roy Davis Jr. and Masters At Work still producing and remixing our favorite tracks, the house music sound will be around for many years to come!

It's time for the House Mixx 2 breakdown. I start things off with a Joey Negro remix of a Roy Ayers classic. Then we get into my hometown homie Jeremy Ellis with Roy Davis Jr. on production, and glide nicely past a housed Mariah Carey right into some Seek. Tortured Soul adds some flava with, "It's Alright" and Ann Consuelo keeps it moving on "See The Day." Since T.I. recently sampled this beat on his new album, I took it back with the Crystal Waters classic, "Gypsy Woman!" I took it back again with the "Nu-Nu" house remix, right into to spiritual healing on the cut, "Higher" by Butch Quick. Another Detroit artist...Amp Fiddler kills it at the end of mix, but the door if finally closed and locked with a club remix from the legendary Frankie Knuckles on a already top notch British soul classic! I won't let that one out of the bag, so you will have something to look forward 2! If you are thinking Soul II Soul, you can stop it because you're incorrect...

Get the SoundNexx House Mixx 2: Classik Gruvs here!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

As I have mentioned in previous posts, SoundNexx is about bringing new and innovative music choices for the masses! Even at a point when a lot of fans feel that hiphop has lost it's way with the lack of creativity and corny gimmicks, there are still artists that are making moves to change that. I bring you two albums that are definitely on the creative side of hiphop music. First up is the collaboration group Gnarls Barkley, which is a combination of Danger Mouse (DJ/Producer) and Cee-Lo Green (Goodie Mob/Dungeon Family) working together to bring us the album "St. Elsewhere."
St. Elsewhere is sure to make some hiphop headz frown, but I feel that hiphop needs these types of music projects. Every since the release of the classic unauthorized Jay-Z remix project, "The Grey Album" using those Beatles samples, D. Mouse has been in fast forward ever since! With the underground success the Danger Mouse & M.F. Doom music project "Dangerdoom" last year, it's no surprise to see this new Gnarls Barkley project become a reality! Cee-Lo has been doing his thang as well, with his infamous ghetto Senatra impersonations since his departure from the Goodie Mob a few years ago! Vocally, Cee-Lo is pretty solid and he brings that "southern soul" feel into anything he blesses. Even crooning over the top of the sometimes spacey-rock production of Danger Mouse, there is still a feeling of true soul! Their first single "Crazy" is making some noise on the underground, so check it out if you haven't already heard it. St. Elsewhere drops on May 9, 2006..so make sure you kopp that!! Real music and artists need your "financial" support.....

Madlib is no new comer when it comes to this hiphop thing! He started out in 1990 working with his westcoast group Lootpack, and made a name for himself providing production for the Alkaholiks! After many years of putting in work on the underground hiphop production scene, he got critical acclaim with the success of his weed smoking rap alter-ego Quasimoto on the album "The Unseen" in 2000! From there it was non-stop opportunities for Madlib with later projects with Blue Note, Jay-Dee (R.I.P.), M.F. Doom and a second Quasimoto album! Madlib's newest album release is "The Beat Konducta Vols. 1-2" with 35 freshly produced instrumentals. Production albums have become very popular over the last few years because it affords known and upcoming producers the opportunity to spotlight their talent. Most production instrumental albums are pretty boring after the first listen! I personally like production more than vocals, but hearing the same loop, bassline or sped up vocal over and over agin can get annoying? Madlib tells us a story with his production on the Beat Konducta project. It's meant to be heard from beginning to end! It's more like a musical movie, which explains the album title ending with "Movie Scenes." Yes, you can pull out tracks you like, but that's like only watching chapters 5, 11 and 15 on your favorite DVD the first time you played it! You usually watch the whole movie first, then you skip around to your favorite scenes, right? Same goes for this album! For all you upcoming and wanna-be producers, checkout this album to hear what a REAL instrumental project is supposed to sound like!

I provided you with one of my favorite tracks from the Beat Konducta project titled, "Open Space" that flips a famous Afrika Bambaataa track into something real special! Check it out, and make sure you support good hiphop by purchasing these two albums if you feel what they are doing?

If you are feeling Madlib's "Beat Konducta Vols. 1-2," make sure you checkout Jay-Dee's (a.k.a J Dilla) last instrumental album, "Donuts!" Definitely one for your collection! Most of the colored (hi-lighted) words have links attached to them, so make sure you click around before you leave!

The MP3 PLAYER has been updated, located on the right of this page...so checkout some great hiphop & soul! ---------------------------->

Friday, May 05, 2006

While the mainstream hiphop music scene seems to be at a stale & stagnated state these days, the underground hiphop scene is still makin' moves? Now, I don't want to fool you into believing that all of the artist on the "Unda" are talented, because that's just not true? Some of these indy artists are "stuck" on the underground scene because they are wack, while others choose to remain there! I won't say any names because I don't want to crap on someone's favorite MC or group!! Some would say that the most disturbing part about the underground hiphop scene is the lack of publicity. Unlike major label rap artists who get videos spots, guest appearances on tv shows, major magazine interviews, & posters at your local music store....underground artists usually make their name by word of mouth only? When they come to your town for a concert, it's usually at a small venue on a week night and there is no real promotion for the show. Hell, you might see the artist themselves handing out flyers to promote the event? Are these things bad?? Maybe, but then again that's what makes the underground scene so special! It's that personal connection that you have with your favorite underground artist(s) that's cool...like owning one of the only 1000 copies printed of their first independent album, or actually having a real conversation with them after a live show! Most of them are the type that will shake your hand and thank you personally for supporting them. Now, that's hiphop!!

I got turned onto the underground hiphop scene back in 1995! I still remember it like it was yesterday. I was living in Hawaii at the time, and I found this little underground mixtape music spot in Waikiki called, "Da Hott Shop!" It was ran by this Jamaician dude and he was an obvious fan of hiphop. I used to buy all kinds of mixtapes from him, but they were mostly the known New York DJs like, Ron G and DJ Clue! One day I decided to take a chance on a new DJ by the name of DJ Double KK based out of Conneticut. I didn't know any of the underground artists in his mix, but I figured I'd give it a shot! Needless to say that this mixtape changed my hiphop life forever!! The quality of the mix CD was terrible and the scratching was even worse, but the songs made up for it! The beats were raw and the lyrics were compelling. I bumped this Fisher Price record player quality mix of underground dopeness for months after I got it! Hell, I still have it today....

Double KK's mix opened me up to so much more when it came to hiphop music. I took the names off of his mix tracklist and started doing some research about these artists online! Back then, the internet wasn't the overwhelming galaxy of music knowledge that it is today? I hit a lot of deadends for most of the artists I was looking for, but I did discover some great information about the underground hiphop scene as a whole. I came across other people that were deep into the culture already, so I just starting getting all I could from them. I have been rolling with underground hiphop ever since. It has changed a lot over the years, but there are still some gems amongst the fluff I hear coming out these days?

That brings me to the reason for the "Essence of The Unda Mixx" I am posting today! I have tried exposed a lot of my true peepz to plenty of underground hiphop over the years, and hopefully their music tastes and collections have grown from it? Now, that I have a new audience of folks that come to SoundNexx seeking refuge from some of the mess the mainstream calls, "HIPHOP" these days....I wanted to share this mix with you! NO, you may not like ALL of the songs I put in this mix, and I don't really expect you 2?? If you find one song or artist that you like from this mix...my task successful! I want to do for you, what DJ Double KK did for me? I guess some would say these artists are on the "b-boy backpacker" side of hiphop (whatever that means), but dope is dope, right! Just to pay homage to my man DJ Double KK....I ended my mix with a snippet from Double KK's original mix. It's a track by a group called, Natural Resource on a song titled, "They Lied!" So, when you here that high-pitched rap song with no bass at the end of this mix.... remember, that's from Double KK's fault for the poor sound quality, not mines?? Get your earplugs ready.......

Oh yeah, the photos. The kat above (very top) is my man Von Pea of the group Tanya Morgan based out of New York! He is was the mystery MC featured on the Foreign Exchange project with Phonte of Little Brother. He's featured in my mix, so keep ya ears open. If you don't know what Foreign Exchange is about, or who Little Brother is...you have really been sleepin', so just turnover and go back to bed! The photo below Von is my man Lupe Fiasco from Chitown! He's making waves on the underground right now with his dope track, "Kick Push!" If you haven't heard it yet, you are in luck because I included it in my mix! These are just 2 of the katz I'm really feelin' on the unda right now....

Aiight...take a listen to this mix...even if you swear you don't like hiphop and see what you think? That's goes for you "I only like Young Jeezy, 50, T.I. and UGK" type katz too.

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Get the mixx tracklist here!