Friday, September 29, 2006

Roller skating was pretty serious back in the day for me! I was pretty dam good too! Going skating was the highlight of the weekend in most cases. Remember, back when everyone only wore the roller skates with two wheels in the front and two in the back. Not these silly looking roller-blades that they sell today. If your funds were low and you couldn't afford your own pair of skates, you had to rent those cheezy azz rental skates (shown in the photo) that really sucked. Most of the time the wheels were damaged and loose, which prevented you from traveling in a straight line on the roller rink floor. I sure hated drifting the right the whole damn night! Plus, those dusty rental skates also made it impossible to make a turn without bustin' your azz, atleast that's what I heard anyway? No matter what obstacles existed at the rink, it was always a good time. Honestly, the best part of skating wasn't just hanging out with my boyz or flirting with the fast girls, but it was the music that we skated too as well! Some songs back then just made you feel like you could skate your azz off, but in reality you were doing the same lame stutter step move that you always did. The good skating songs also brought out the almost professional skating groups, wearing their fancy t-shirts that always manuvered recklessly through the crowd, knocking down the innocent amateurs that never saw them coming. There's nothing like having your hand ran over by some $200 skates though? There's a little skating activity still going in 2006 out here, but nothing can compare to the good ole' days!

I have been listening to a lot of old school soul music over the last few days, and I came across this mix that I did very long time ago. Thought I'd share it with you folks. It's filled with a bunch of the ole school tracks that I enjoyed skating to back in the day. Most of these are classic party jams, so even if you have never roller skated, you should still get some joy out of hearing these classics again. Any injuries incurred from dancing to this mix is not the fault or responsibility of the SoundNexx website. Play this mix at your own risk....


5 - 777-9311 - THE TIME
12-D.M.S.R. - PRINCE


Thursday, September 28, 2006

When you think of hiphop most people automatically think of places like New York, California and most states in the southern region of the country, but definitely not Ohio! I've had the pleasure of visiting several cities in Ohio over my years, and honestly that state has nothing that closely resembles a hiphop scene. Then again the Midwest is not really respected for its contributions to hiphop movement as a whole, and Ohio is no exception. Don't get it confused though, because the Midwest is doing their thing-thing. Personally, I can careless where hiphop artists originate from. If they make good quality music, then I'm a fan. Actually, two of my favorite hiphop producers reppin' Ohio. One is Count Bass D (Canton) and the other is the kat I am shining some light on today. My man DJ Hi-Tek (Reflection Eternal) repping "Tha Nati" a.k.a Cincinnati, Ohio. If you didn't know, Hi-Tek is sick with them beats. Hi-Tek's music career started back in 1997 when he met Talib Kweli who was a member of a hiphop group that called themselves Mood. Talib and Hi-Tek became friends, so in 1998 Tek was given the opportunity to provide most of the production on the self-titled classic Black Star (Mos Def + Talib Kweli) album that dropped in 1998. If you don't have that Black Star album by now, you are definitely missing out on some great music. In 2000, Hi-Tek and Talib joined forces released another classic album entitled, "Train of Thought" under the name Reflection Eternal. "The Blast" is still one of my favorite joints because it has one of the illest beats ever made in my personal opinion! Then just like most great things, Hi-Tek and Talib's working relationship turned sour. Was it their EGO's?? Rumor has it that there were some creative differences between the two of them, so Talib decided to work with some different producers on his next few solo releases? I must say, Talib's solo albums minus Hi-Tek were aiight for the most part, but none of them have equaled the quality or blatant dopeness of the Reflection Eternal album. I am ready for the sequel!! Hell, I really want another Black Star joint to drop while I am talking about it dammit!!

Just like Talib Kweli, Hi-Tek kept his music career moving along with the release of his first solo endeavor in 2001 entitled, "Hi-Teknology" that featured several solid guest appearances from Common, Mos Def, Slum Village, Buckshot and Talib Kweli of course. This was definitely one of my favorite albums that came out in 2001. Since then, Hi-Tek has been keeping busy producing tracks for several artists. Forget all dat though because Hi-Tek is back in 2006! The new album is entitled "Hi-Teknology 2: The Chip," which drops October 17, 2006. The sophmore joint is full of several guest shots from artist like Jadakiss, Talib Kweli, Raekwon, Nas and Floetry just to name a few. I'm excited about this joint and you should be true.

Checkout Hi-Tek's Myspace Page:

ere to hear a couple tracks from Hi-Tek's new album!


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

There are several great soul singers doing their thing on the music tip in 2006, but Darien Brockington is definitely one of my favorites right now! Not only is he solid with the vocals, but he's a humble brother that is just passionate about his music. D. Brock has been doing his thing for a minute by working with one of the hottest hiphop crews out right now, The Justus League. If you have heard the Foreign Exchange "Connected" album or any of Little Brother's projects, you have already heard D. Brock do his thing. He had provided soulful vocals on several tracks for artists like Little Brother, Cesar Comanche and Nicolay before he finally dropped his first solo project entitled, "The Feeling EP" back in 2005. The EP was a solid debut for D. Brock, but the project was only available for purchase at limited locations on the internet. Sadly, the majority of the soul music fans had no clue that this project had even been released? Even with hardly any promotion, Mr. Brockington had developed a small, but loyal audience. As the months have gone by D. Brock's fanbase has increased tremendously. Who said word of mouth wasn't powerful? He is slowly becoming a household name when it comes to quality soul music.

On October 3, 2006, Darien Brockington will be releasing his first full-length album entitled, "Somebody To Love." If you were diggin' "The Feeling EP" you will definitely need to add this album to your collection. With solid vocals and production by 9th Wonder, Nicolay and Vitamin D, this album definitely has the potential to be a classic. After listening to this album, you begin to sense that D. Brock is pushing the soul music envelope wider to remind his listeners that soul music can still be exciting and fresh! In the new millenium of R&B clones, it's nice to hear some diversity in soul music. According to his interview on, Darien recommends that you hit up your local music stores and request that they stock his new album. It seems like a small thing, but the voice of the consumer goes a very long way. We (the Fans) can really decide what happens in music as a whole, but the majority of us remain handicapped spectators on the sidelines with thousands of complaints, but no voice to be heard?

If you are not familiar with Darien Brockington a.k.a D. Brock, do yourself a BIG FAVOR!

I have some great news for the soul fans here in Detroit. The
Flowink crew is hosting a soulful event at Club Steel located in downtown Detroit featuring Darien Brockington and Yahzarah on October 21, 2006. Dwele (who is another one of my favorite soul singers) is the special guest host of this event. It will definitely be something to remember, so make sure you are there if you will be in the Detroit area around that time.

Click the ALBUM COVER above for more information about Darien Brockington & Yahzarah in Detroit. Here samples of their music as well.
 Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 25, 2006

Soul music is not just big in the United States, but it definitely has a heavy presence in other countries around the world as well. One of my favorite soul music groups of all time is Loose Ends, and they just happen to be from London, England. So, is this seasoned r&b crooner Lemar, who has definitely impressed me with his latest project entitled "The Truth About Love." Lemar has already released two previous albums overseas that have grossed him atleast 1.5 million in sales already, but this new album should definitely add to that total. The nicest thing about this kat is his heartfelt and seductive vocals with an old-school feel. Lemar has definitely taken a page from the book of Sam Cooke, but he does it without stealing the legend's mojo! The richness of his voice is undeniable, which will hopefully bring him some success in the United States? Actually, this type of artists has been missing from soul music for many years. The closest thing we've had to a rich voice in the new school era of soul is Jahiem? While Jahiem seems to be targeting the young thugs and the around the way girls with his music, Lemar seems to be focusing his music toward the contemporary adults? I am quite sure a few youngsters will definitely want to jump on the bandwagon as well though.

According to Lemar's website, he is unimpressed with the of the modern day recording studio. He feels that even the poorest singers can fool the public with clever computer tricks. Whatever the artist can't do vocally, the computer can. I totally agree with Lemar's statements. I actually think that is one of the main reasons evolution of real soul music has suffered over the years. It's all about the look and sex appeal first, then the actual talent! For some reason the music industry believes that most young male consumers are naive enough to buy an album solely because the female artist has long silky hair, big breast and tight abs whether they have talent or not? Ashanti. How about female fans buying albums only because a male artist is cute? Marques Houston. Hmmm? I guess the music industry is not totally wrong in their assumptions about the male consumer atleast, but Lemar doesn't want to be placed in the "just another pretty face" category. He's a true talent that has studied some of the soul greats like Marvin Gaye, Al Green and James Brown to improve his delivery of emotion through the microphone onto the record. This new album shows that Lemar has been a great pupil, because it's definitely full of raw emotion. Album tracks like "Love Me Or Leave Me" and "Can't You See" featuring Mica Paris (where the hell has she been) & Style P (The Lox) should have you hooked on the first listen? If you are a fan of Lynden Hall give Lemar a try.

For those of you that have never heard of Lemar, do yourself a favor and get familiar. If you were already a long time fan of this kat, why didn't you tell me about him before dammit?? Now, I gotta play ketchup (catch up), but it's all good like MC Hammer.

Don't take my word for it though when it comes to Lemar's talent. Check him out for yourself. Listen to some of his album tracks on his websites:

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

It's been a hot azz summer this year in Michigan! I enjoy the summer months because of the outdoor events that it brings about, but other than that I can do without it. Give me 70 degrees with a cool breeze blowing and I am good. Fall is here finally, so I thought it was about time to Fall Bak on the music track with another installment of my Ear Test mix series to celebrate! The Ear Test series is where I get to let it all hangout when it comes to music. No limitations, just feeling the vibe of the music. Also, this series allows me to give some shine to the more abstract and alternative artists that dwell in the basement of the underground scene soul. It's all about mellow beats and hypnotic rhythms this time around, so get some peroxide plus a couple of q-tips to clean out that ear wax. The Fall Bak mixx goes out to all of my overseas peeps that show me much love for what I am doing here on the site. I get emails every week from folks thanking me the music that they have found on this site, and that's really what it's all about! I am just having fun though, but I really appreciate everyone's feedback. Even the folks that come through regularly, but never say a word....I thank ya'll too for just stopping through!

I started the mix off with my man Aloe Blacc. Sometimes, when that dude sings, you almost forget that he's a rapper turned sanger? Next up is the sleeper soul artist of the year Viktor Duplaix. I keep it moving with Purple, Lyden & Rebirth, who all have much to offer when it comes to alternative soul music. Bilal has never really gotten his props over the years, so I hope this Madlib remix will hopefully add to his fanbase? I use a dope J Rawls instrumental to bring in one of my favorite singles of the year by Moon B! Yoruba and Siji help bring forth those soulful and hypnotic rhythms that will definitely keep your neck moving. Then we slide right into some dope J Dilla and Rich Medina. You gotta love that! Bringing up the rear are the Lone Catalyst, Allison Crockett, Mos Def, and then I shut the door with a Nicolay beat!


1)))Aloe Blacc - Nascimento (Birth) Scene 2
2)))Viktor Duplaix - In The Middle of You
3)))Purple - Crustation
4)))Lynden David Hall - Players & Hustlers
5)))Rebirth - Sinkin'
6)))Bilal - Soul Sista (Madlib Mix)
7)))J Rawls - Heart Throb
8)))Moon Baker - Something Sweet (Nic Old Skool Mix)
9)))Yoruba - Love Song
10)Siji - Feels Like (Tribal Mix)
11)J Dilla - Won't Do
12)Rich Medina feat. Martin Luther - Too Much
13)Lone Catalyst - Destiny
14)Allison Crockett - Nappy (Waiwan Remix)
15)Mos Def - The Panties
16)Nicolay Outro


Monday, September 18, 2006

Talk about music running in the family! Producer/Rapper Oh No has managed to make a name for himself, even though his big brother is none other than Madlib The Bad Kid, and their father is the 70's soul singer Otis Jackson. Also, Oh No's uncle is Jon Faddis who is a world renowned jazz trumpeter. Knowing all of that it is obvious where Oh No gets his love for music. He started making beats seriously at the age of eleven, but his official debut was in 2004 with the release of the highly slept on album, "The Disrupt" on the Stones Throw Label. For those who don't know, Stones Throw is large on the underground hiphop scene for producing artists, images & music that deliberately goes against the grain of mainstream for the most part. With heavy hitters like Madlib, J Dilla (R.I.P), M.F. Doom and Peanut Butter Wolf on the label's roster, it's not difficult to understand why? Oh No is no amateur on the production tip either though! The two brothers (Madlib & Oh No) basically handle the majority of the production duties for the artists assigned to the Stones Throw label. Even with all of those duties over his head, Oh No still finds time to make music for himself as well. In 2006, Oh No released his second album entitled, "Exodus Into Unheard Rhythms." The most interesting thing about this project is that it's a concept album where he only uses Galt MacDermot 60's soul samples to make the beat for every song! Galt MacDermot is known for his unique R&B rhythms and Broadway melodies back in the late 60's. Oh No was actually able to make approximately 70 instrumentals using those samples, but what's a dope beat without lyrics? So, Oh No pitched the beats to the emcees in his network. Several artists like Buckshot, A.G., Planet Asia, Rascoe, Wordsworth, Posdnuos & LMNO blessed the tracks, which made for a solid album. If you are looking for something refreshing on the hiphop tip, give Oh No a try.

Many people say that "HIPHOP IS DEAD!" Nas even has an album supposedly dropping this year using that as the actual title? I'm here to say that it's just not true! There are two groups of music fans in my opinion. There are those fans that let radio & videos dictate what is hot in music for the moment, and then there are the rest of us who decide for ourselves. In my opinion, it's the radio listeners that feel hiphop has lost it's way. If all you are hearing is artists like Rick Ross, T.I., Young Jeezy, G-Unit & Chingy all day, everyday on the radio...I totally understand why you feel that way? I suggest that you make your way to the underground hiphop scene and get familiar with some new artists. You can't blame your lack of knowledge on your location either in 2006. The internet is overflowing with knowledge just waiting for you to tap into it, so take the plunge.

Where do you start? Good question! Luckily, that's what this site is all about, opening doors for you to walk through and explore further. I put a compilation together of some underground joints that I am feeling right now! I did this back in May too. I don't expect you to like them all the way that I do, but that's not really my main focus for posting compilations and mixes on this site. If you dig all of the music I post that's great, but if you only like few tracks then use those to open avenues to discover other unknown artists. For every artists that you know, there are atleast 20 others that are just as good or better that you don't know? Use this option to keep this music alive that some of you feel is dying a slow death, or has croaked already?

I present you with a DEFIBRILLATOR...(((CLEAR)))!!


1))Ta Raach - Teenage Love
2))DJ Mitsu - Yeah Ya'll feat. Roddy Rod & Kev Brown
3))Defari - Peace & Gangsta
4))Boot Camp Clik - Yeah
5))Skyzoo & 9th Wonder - Live & Direct
6))Method Man - Somebody Done Fucked Up Now
7))J Dilla - Baby feat. Guilty Simpson & Madlib
8))Rhymefest - Steppers & Skaters
9))Oh No - Keep It Lit feat. MED & Wildchild
10)The Roots - Bread & Butter
11)Obie Trice - Cry Now
12)Exile - Newest Greatest
13)De La Soul - Wasn't For You
14)Jean Grae - Luv Song Mad
15)Little Brother - Back At It feat Cormega
16)Mr. Lif - Brothaz
17)J Dilla - Who Iz He feat. Ta Raach
18)Swollen Members - Swamp Water feat. Planet Asia & Phil Da Agony
19)Hi-Tek - Where It Started feat. Jadakiss, Papoose, Talib Kweli & Raekwon
20)Boss Hog Barbarians - Cocksucka
21)Lord Jamar - Advance The Game


If you missed the first "ESSENCE OF THE UNDA 1" mixx, you can get it HERE!


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Soul music has been fortunate enough to have some of the most talented males singers in the world bless us with enough classic material to last 20 lifetimes? Most of us with any real music history really appreciate the soul music of the 70's, 80's & 90's? Even though I enjoy pretty much all soul music, there is something special about the male vocalists of that genre. Voices like Frankie Beverly, Teddy Pendergrass, Stevie Wonder & Al Green can never be duplicated, nor should they? Unfortunately, the world has lost many great male soul singers over the years like Marvin Gaye, Rick James & Luther Vandross, just to name a few. These loses have put some of the more seasoned soul music fans into a slight state of hopelessness and depression, while they ponder about what's going to happen to soul music in the next few years? It's kind of like imagining the youth of today taking care of you when you become old and gray. For some, that's a frightening thought. Unlike your future in that senior citizen's home, I feel that the future of soul music will be fine. No, we will never have another Marvin, Luther or Rick, but we do have Dwele, Raheem, Van Hunt & John Legend to hold it down for awhile. This is only four of the many male soul artists doing their thing on without the deserving promotion of radio and television.

Actually, there are plenty of up & coming talents on the horizon, and they are definitely capable of keeping soul music fresh and new. Please, realize that it is not only the artists themselves that are responsible for keeping soul music alive, but some of that responsibility also falls on the fans as well? Old and new fans have to remain open-minded about the music. That means putting aside your prejudgements and actually listening to some of these new artists with an open ear. The music has changed somewhat over the years, but that doesn't mean that the quality is any less? As any wise person knows, change is the hardest thing to implement and except! It's ashame, but it's true.

I have debated about soul music on just about all levels, but the one comment that mashes my bunnions the most is, "All of these new soul artists sound alike!" That's like saying all black people look alike? A statement like that just lets me know that some folks don't pay attention. They hear the music, but they are not actually listening to it? John Legend sounds nothing like Eric Roberson, who sounds nothing like Dwele. There are some similarities that they share, but they all have unique instrumentation and vocal pitch. For those of you that can't let go of soul music's past, DON'T!! If I asked you to, I would be an hypocite because I haven't let it go myself, but I have accepted what the future has to offer though. One my favorite singers is Alexander O'Neal, but so is Darien Brockington. Even though I adore the male singers of the past, I still embrace the movement of the future's new generation of crooners as well.

For your listening pleasure, I have put together a compilation of some of my favorite nu-skool male soul artists. Some of these artists may be very familiar to you, while others are probably not? Artists like Bilal Salaam & Jonz are pretty much making their way on the independent circuit trying to get established, while katz like Donnell Jones and Anthony Hamilton have found a way to remain relevant after several years in the music business. The male artists that I have chosen for this compilation have all taken different paths to get where they are, but they all have one goal of making quality soul music. Hopefully, by exposing some of these talented artists, it will encourage you to seek out some more of their music?


1) Tavares - Smile
2) W. Ellington Felton - The Addict
3) Bilal - Hands of Time
4) Dwele - Flapjacks
5) Erro - I Dare You To Stay
6) Darien Brockington - Think It Over
7) J. Isaac - Happy To Be Here
8) Anthony Hamilton - Some Kind of Wonderful
9) Van Hunt - Down Here In Hell (Accoustic)
10)Jonz - Pro-vide
11)Bilal Salaam - So What
12)V - Anotha Phase
13)John Legend - Save Room
14)Donnell Jones - Feelin' U
15)Viktor Duplaix - Stimulation


Sunday, September 10, 2006

Every hiphop head has their own picks the top 10 beat makers that ever produced a record. Well, today I bring you one of my top 10 producers, Nicolay (shown on the right in the photo)! He was actually born and raised in The Netherlands, Europe, but he now resides in the United States. Nicolay is a true multi-instrumentalist who is proficient in playing the piano, keyboards, guitar, bass, and drums. Nic started making his harmonic beats around 2000, but his life changed after he was discovered by Phonte of Little Brother after hearing a few of Nicolay's beats on the message boards at the Okayplayer website. Impressed by his production sound, Phonte contacted Nicolay and asked if he was interested in putting some lyrics over his melodic beats? Soon after, they began exchanging beats and lyrics back & forth using the instant messager. That was the birth of the classic Little Brother "The Listening" album b-side track "Light It Up." Together they called themselves The Foreign Exchange, and appropriately titled their album "Connected." Phonte and Nicolay go together better than peanut butter and jelly when it comes to making music! Nicolay's hypnotic beats plus artists like Little Brother, Darien Brockington, Von Pea, Joe Scudda & Yahzarah providing the vocals, equals a definite classic! You definitely need this album in your collection. Since, the release of the Foreign Exchange album, Nicolay has worked with many other great artists like Roy Ayers, D'Nell, Havana, Sy Smith & Darien Brockington. Soon after the Foreign Exchange project, he released "The Dutch Masters Vol. 1 Mixtape," which is a compilation showcasing some of his most popular produced tracks and hottest remixes. The "City Lights 1.5" instrumental album dropped soon after, which solitified his position as one of the top beat makers of our time!

Now, Nicolay is back with his fourth official musical release entitled "Here," which drops on September 12, 2006. Nicolay came through Detroit last Saturday to for his official Detroit album release party, hosted by my man MosaicThump. I was lucky enough to be in attendance for this monumental event, and I must say that Nicolay can not only make beats, but he definitely knows how to rock a party as well. He blessed us with a live DJ session, where he displayed his abilities on the turntables. Nicolay is no slouch and neither was DJ Dez (from Slum Village fame) who held the DJ responsibilities down before Nicolay came out. I got a chance to chat with Nicolay and Griddy Grimes (shown in the photo above) from the group the Gridlock Fam. Both of them katz were real cool, plus they were very humble when discussing their place in the world of hiphop. As much quality music that Nicolay has blessed us with over the years, he seemed to be flattered that folks are digging his music. His attitude was shocking, but definitely refreshing. He's obviously a true hiphop fan at heart, and even while being a part of it, he still enjoys being a fan. During our conversation he mentioned how during his album release party in New York, Phonte (from Little Brother) came through put on a vicious freestyle session for the folks in attendance. Nicolay got me hyped while he was describing the event to me. It was like talking to one of my boys about a dope CD I just kopped!

During the event Nic played a few tracks from his new album, which definitely got the crowd hyped. If you are a fan of Nicolay's previous works, you definitely need to pick up this album. There are eleven tracks total, and they are all solid! He's working with some new rap and soul talents on this "Here" album, but they definitely hold it down over Nic's melodic production. Some of my favorite tracks are "I Love The Way You Love" featuring Darien Brockington, "I Am The Man" featuring Black Spade and "My Story" featuring Kay & Sy Smith. Those will definitely have you hitting the rewind button a few times? Nicolay is definitely on the path of bringing hiphop back to the essence of artistic diversity, originality and creativity. While so many undeserving artists keep getting an almost annoying abundance of promotion on radio and television, artists like Nicolay are making their name through the word of mouth approach! Actually, that is what this site is all about! Giving some deserved exposure the artists that never get it. Checkout my man Nicolay, and if you are feeling what he's doing, don't hesitate to tell someone else. That's how this thing works. Also, I know a lot of you are heavy into to the "DOWNLOAD FOR FREE" way for attaining your music, but I encourage you to go out and support Nicolay and other independent artists that you like. It seems like it doesn't matter, but it does! Hell, use iTunes or AOL Music to make your purchases, if you don't like going to record stores anymore.

For more Nicolay and Gridlock Fam info, checkout the links below:

The Foreign Exchange Live - Come Around Feat D. Brock & Yaz (Nic Beat)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

As I have stated several times before, when it comes to good hiphop music keep your ear on the underground. While the mainstream is worried about record sales, the underground dwellers will always prevail. Well, I hope so anyway? Okay, onto the bidness at hand! Today, I bring you...Skyzoo reppin' Brooklyn! Some of you real hiphop heads may know the name already? He started out on BET's "106 & Park" tv show spitting verbal lashings during the Freestyle Friday battles back in the day. Dude was nice with his, but he was dethroned by none other than Jin the Asian kid from Hong Kong. Skyzoo added to his already large fanbase after his appearances on 106 & Park. In 2005, Skyzoo dropped his infamous mixtape "The City's Favorite" hosted by DJ Absolute. This joint definitely put Skyzoo on the map as one of the MCs to lookout for in 2006. A solid mixtape doesn't guarantee that an artist's first album is going to be great or even good for that matter? Mixtapes allow an artist to be themselves without any interference from record labels or execs. It's all about the music and promoting the artist. It's usually raw & uncut showcase of the artist's lyrical skill, plus the beats are usually snatched from the top producers at the moment whether they approved it or not! Well, "The City's Favorite" was definitely a solid mixtape for Skyzoo, so don't sleep. Skyzoo has done a few featured guest appearances as well over the last year. One of his most notable appearance was on the track "Speed Racin" from the Little Brother mixtape hosted by DJ Drama called, "Separate But Equal!" Sky has been doing his thing for a minute, but now it's time for his debut album.

Since, the uprising of southern hiphop over the last few years, New York hiphop has really suffered on the mainstream level? Artists like Busta Rhymes, DMX, Ghostface & Method Man have been trying to bring back the old NY swagger back with recent album releases. Has it worked?? I'll let you answer that one? Personally, I think that the future of hiphop really rests on the up & coming talents like Skyzoo? Skyzoo's debut album is entitled, "Cloud 9: The 3 Day High" and the best part is 9th Wonder (from Little Brother fame) is handling all of the production! On the previous projects where 9th provided all of the beats for an MC's album, the overall product was solid everytime. Skyzoo's album is no different, so make sure you support this real hiphop.

Checkout Skyzoo's site to hear some of his new album tracks!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

For those that know me well and anybody that has been to reading the posts on this site for any length of time understands my passion for production? Production is the most important factor to me on any record. If the production lacks creativity or just stinks in general, I probably won't like the song that much? I am not trying to imply that lyrics and content aren't important, but the production is what holds everything together. With that being said, I am spotlighting one of my favorite producers out of Brooklyn from the new millenium that is definitely making his way on the underground hiphop scene. Omar Jarel Gilyard a.k.a Jneiro Jarel is a music producer and an emcee! That is actually not uncommon these days, but Jarel has a unique sound that gives him a slight edge in my opinion. Growing up as a military brat, he was able to travel the world with his mother, which afforded him the opportunity to discover different types of music. In 1994, Jarel started a group called "Slam Kids." The group opened him up to further his music career, so in 1998 he moved back to New York where he changed his rap name to Jneiro Jarel. While in New York he met up with Hank Shocklee of Public Enemy fame, and Jarel was given the opportunity to open up for Julie Dexter and Lord Finesse. Jneiro was grateful for the opening act gig, but he wanted to record his music and reach his full potential. After putting in some work, he released his first album entitled, "Section A" in 2000. In 2004, he moved to Philly where he met to of the city's most influential hiphop artists Rich Medina and King Britt. Working with these katz provided Jarel began to develop his production skills. He has worked with artists like Jazzanova & Count Bass D over the years as well. In 2005, he released his underground classic "Three Piece Puzzle" to finally show the world what he's learned, but most people never got a chance to hear it? Independent artists sometimes suffer due to poor promotion, and Jneiro Jarel is no exception.

On "Three Piece Puzzle" Jarel handled all of the production and he wrote all of his lyrics. I really enjoyed that album because it was something different, and the beats were tight! It's 2006 now, and Jneiro Jarel is back with a new project. This time around it's all about the beats. The album is called, "Beat Journey." He's changed his rap name as well for this project, which is kind of M.F. Doomish, but it's all good though. Now, he calls himself "Dr. Who Dat," which somewhat ties in with his label's name Label Who! If you are into instrumental beat albums like J Dilla's "Donuts" or 9th Wonder's "Instrumental Sessions" then you need to checkout this album. This joint is full of head bobbin' beats that you hope one day will be laced with some nice lyrics? If you have never heard of Jneiro Jarel before, make sure you get familiar with him real quick! If you are diggin' katz like M.F. Doom & Count Bass D, Jarel will probably be to your liking?

Checkout his site to hear some of his tracks!