Tuesday, October 31, 2006

For those that don't recongnize the face, you are looking at a inedependent hiphop revolutionary! His name is Jaime Meline, but the headz know him as EL-P a.k.a Mr. CoFlow. Some credit him for being the real pioneer of the indie hiphop movement. That means without EL-P, artists like Mos Def, P. Monch and Talib Kweli would probably still be unknowns? Why? Because EL-P was the first official hiphop artist signed to Rawkus, which is considered the first New York indie hiphop label making major moves. EL-P had already made a name for himself selling his 1995 EP classic "Funcrusher" under his alias Company Flow. He sold approximately 30,000 records on his own without any help from anyone. After getting his distribution deal through the Rawkus label, EL-P music definitely changed the game. His unorthodoxed approach to making his music was unheard of at that time, so it changed the outlook of indie hiphop music forever. I must say that the Company Flow "Funcrusher EP" joint is a definite hiphop classic. During this time EL-P met Mr. Len at his 18th birthday party, and hired him on the spot to spin records for him. Eventually, EL-P and Mr. Len joined forces adding the Company Flow name. Soon after that EL-P met Bigg Jus, who was an aspiring emcee and he eventually joined the group as well. EL-P & Bigg Jus worked at the Tower Records music store by day, and they created music at night.

Then in 1997 the "Funcrusher Plus" album was released under the Priority Label, and then it was re-issued again in 2002 under the Rawkus Label. The Funcrusher Plus project included several tracks from the original EP and new material that included Bigg Jus. This classic album still rates high on my best hiphop albums of all times list. A must have for true hiphop heads!

Rawkus was first label to put EL-P in the limelight, but all great ventures must come to an end. Long story short, Rawkus ran into some financial problems in their later years, so EL-P broke wide and started his own label he called Definitive Jux a.k.a Def Jux. After severing ties with Mr. Len and Jus, he dropped the Company Flow moniker, and started rolling with the name EL-P. Def Jux has some interesting characters on the label. Many of them are just as diverse as EL-P, when it comes to their subject matter and beat choices. The Def Jux artists seem to enjoy going left while everyone else is deliberately going right. Being a potential hiphop trendsetter is challenging work that takes creative thinking, which rarely gets recognized for its groundbreaking outcome. A few of my favorite artists on the Def Jux label are Mr. Lif, Cannibal Ox and Aesop Rock. The Def Jux crew members have been causing much havoc on the underground hiphop scene for years now. Many of them have branched off into their own cult fan followings, but they'll never forget the man that started it all. It's a shame though that even after all of his revolutionary contributions to the hiphop world, he is still not a household name to many rap fans?

For those hiphop fans that have missed out on EL-P's music and the Def Jux movement, it's never too late get on the bandwagon.

Checkout the Def Jux website, and get more familiar with EL-P and the rest of the Jukies.



Company Flow albums here!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Is it Halloween already? Damn, time flies! At this point in my life Halloween means nothing more than getting some good candy at work, preferably Reese's Peanut Butter Cups! They are normally pretty fresh during this time of year by the way. All of that traditional ish like dressing up and handing out candy is for the pigeons. For those of you that enjoy doing that kind of stuff, have at it. Where I live it's pretty cold in the evening hours, so walking around the dark streets in 40 degree weather, sufficating in a plastic Superman mask with a plastic cape tied around your neck sucks more than Karrine Steffans. Okay, let me stop before I ruin Halloweenie for all of you little kiddies out there that are pretty excited about it.

Outside of eating way too much candy, Halloween is a time where people can dress up as their favorite fictional character. Even though I don't dress up like anyone, I would like to pay some hell-riddin' homage to one of my favorite horror film fictional characters right now. Honestly, I am not really a fan of horror movies in general. The reason is that most of them are pretty stupid overall. Why sex-crazed college kids have to drive 69 miles to an abandoned camp sight to get murdered is beyond my comprehension? Plus, crazy folks running around with axes and chain saws have never really interested me. When it comes to fictional characters, the top dawg on my "most wickedest" list is definitely the Lead Cenobite himself, Pinhead from the Hellraiser movie series. Hellraiser was one of the first horror movies that I actually enjoyed.

Why? Why not?? First of all, he was definitely the most stylish kat raising hell on Earth. How many dudes can sport a black leather-trenchcoat-dress ensemble and make it look hellishly fly! Damn sure not Jason, Freddie, Mr. Myers or Leatherface. Them katz dress like dumpster diggin' homeless people. Jason's pants and coat stayed ripped, dirty and wrinkled. That was not a good look for Mr. Vorhees, I'm sorry. When he got a day off from killing innocent college kids, why couldn't he take a needle and thread and hook his gear up some? Hell, he could have taken is stuff over to Leatherface's crib. That retard was pretty good with a needle and thread! Jason was just a lazy bastard though! That's probably why he never ran after his victims during the chase scenes either? Just another reason why he's at the bottom of my best villian list. Okay, enough on Jason Vorhees a.k.a Lazy Azz. Back to Pinhead, the Cenibote of the hour....

Where was I?

Secondly, Pinhead always drops a little evilistic poetry on his hellbound victims just before he sends the hooks and chains to dig into their flesh. Pinhead makes them feel like what is about to happen is a good thing. Pain is pleasure! Lastly, Pinhead is blackman. Yep. I bet you didn't know that little g-whiz fact, did you? I know, I know. Captain Elliott Spenser (a white man) was transformed into Pinhead. So, how can Pinhead be black? Just look at the nails that are embedded in his head. Notice that they are all perfectly aligned with notta one out of place. In hell-ality, the nails are Pinheads hair, right? Still with me? Okay, so what race of people to do know other than blackfolks who keep their hair that tight? Nobody. Whether it's an afro, fingerwaves or a head full of nails, a brotha will always keep his hair tight, unless the money's low? If something is outta place, then we'll throw on a wave cap and call it a day. I saw the previews for the upcoming Hellraiser VIII flick, and Pinhead will be sportin' a red wave cap when one of his nails becomes crooked on the top! Believe me now? You heard it here first.....

As a tribute to my man Pinhead on Halloween, I have put a little strange compilation together revealing some of wickedest hiphop beats I have come across over my years of listening to music. Beats that fall into the my wickedest category were ones that opened my ears to new possibilities or just had my head bobbin' uncontrollably. Either way, these tracks have shaped my life in the genre of hiphop. This is the first volume of many to come. It will take me a few volumes to really scratch the surface on the many dope beats that have blessed my ears over the past years. Enjoy!




I added this photo because I thought it was pretty original! A pumkin transformed into a 10 pound hamburger is genius!!

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Outside of my personal discovery and the overwhelming enjoyment of sharing my knowledge with others, many of my posts come from conversations that I have with other people. A conversation that came up recently and one that I stay in conversation about is the debate on the annoying similarities of the newer r&b artists that have come out over the last few years. Who's who? Lets get one thing straight before I start though. Let it be known. There is a definite difference between rhythm & blues and soul music. Once you realize that fact, your music experiences will be so much more enjoyable and rewarding. Okay, now that I have stated that, we can get back on with the topic at hand. Some folks feel like everyone in r&b is sounding like the other guy or girl that's already out? These days where there are really only a handful of producers that are getting the majority of the work, I guess it could seem like everyone sounds alike? Not to mention the creativity and freshness with the choreography of these r&b videos have remained stagnated for the same reasons, so how can you honestly defend the shallow evolution of the genre? "Omarion, wasn't that the same dance move that Chris Brown did when he was immulating Usher who was paying homage to Michael Jackson?" Hmmm?? Plus, how come the song subject matter for these artists are so simular in context? If I hear another song about some female in her jeans or the thug I'm in love wit, I might just have to slap somebody! Most adults over 25 yrs. old feel like rhythm & blues is for the teenagers and soul music is targeted for the adult crowd in 2006? If you let the popular tv show "106 & Park" on BET dictate the tone, then the previous statement would be accurate. When was the last time you saw an independent soul artist on that video countdown?? Is it me or does every so called, "male r&b artist" sound like a girl? Maybe, puberty hasn't kicked in yet? Where are the voices like K-Ci and Johnny Gill you ask? Well, here are two soul katz that I think have what it takes to fill that void.

Hailing from Florida, Urban Mystic is what I would classify as a hiphop soul artist. He blends the essence of sultry soul with gritty hiphop beats. Urban's deep and powerful vocals are enough to make the average listener pay attention, but it's his raw passion that will leave a lasting impression. The "Ghetto Revelations: 2" project is Mystic's second album release. Honestly, the new project is an updated version of the debut. Most of the great songs from his first album were carried over onto the second one, with a few new tracks added for good measure. I'm not mad at that either. If you didn't get it right the first time, try, try again! The subject matter of both albums covers all aspects of urban life from the up and downs to falling in and out of love. The track that made me an Urban Mystic fan is actually featured on both of his albums and it's entitled, "Where Were You?" If that track doesn't have your head bobbin' then your neck must be broke! I have always been a fan of the "back down memory lane" type tracks since, Ahmad's "Back In The Day" remix joint from the 1990s. That's for all of my golden era hiphop heads out there. If you don't know who Ahmad is...just skip to the next line. Urban may just leave you mystified if you give him a chance?? Checkout his website and listen to some of his tracks.


Another voice to be reckoned with is soul crooner Anthony David. Anthony David has been doing his thing for a minute, but like most soul artists he's relatively unknown. I will admit that I wasn't checking for Mr. David back in 2004 when he dropped his previous project entitled, "3 Chords & The Truth" for the world to hear. It's not like that album wasn't nice, but Anthony just wasn't on my radar back then? Just recently Mr. David released his second album entitled, "The Red Clay Chronicles" that has a nice soothing vibe to it. His voice has a richness that can't be denied. I'm really feelin' this album, but I notice that some folks who liked his previous album feel like the new project has abandoned some of his original accoustic style? You be the judge. Listen to both of Anthony David's albums and hear what you think. My favorite track on the new Red Clay album is called, "Smoke One!" Damn, I don't even smoke, but after hearing that track I might just start?? The song has a simple theme that we can all relate to and think that is what had me on the first listen, outside of the catchy beat and smooth vocals. There are several tracks on this album that are worth your attention actually. Too bad he will probably never get the attention he deserves though? There is some good news for soul fans though. Anthony David has his new album available for you to listen to on his website free, so make that move.


Hopefully, you true soul music lovers have already added these gents to your music collection, but if not here's your chance.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Most people that invest any real time into listening to music usually have some favorite artists and producers. The word "favorite" for the intent of my statement means: An artist that you prefer listening to over others in that genre, and you will literally buy (download) their music just because they made it. I have personal favorites in just about all genres of music, but when it comes to producers I have only a select few that I put on level amongst the elite. Now, I have been asked several times over my years, in my opinion what makes a producer great?" I feel that's a very fair question to ask. Honestly, there have been plenty of groundbreaking producers that have blessed the world with tracks over the years. I think we can all agree with that. But, in my opinion what separates the good from great and the great from the legends is pretty simple to me. It really comes down to music knowledge. Plenty of producers can make a hot beat or even rock a party on the tables, but how many DJ/Producers can broaden your music knowledge with their production? Sampling music to make beats has been a big business for several years. What producer hasn't used samples at one time or another, right? Even with sampling being the norm these days, there still is a true art to finding obscure music to pick apart.

Three of my top 10 producers (in no particular order) are Pete Rock, Jay Dee (J Dilla) and this brotha I am speaking on today, Madlib! Madlib comes from a musical family, so it is easy to understand his appreciation and passion for music as a whole. With every project he releases, my ears are constantly being challenged to comprehend what he's bringing to the table. To folks that are unfamiliar with Madlib's style, his music can seem complex, which in some cases it is? Personally, I look forward to the challenge. Madlib usually dives deep into the dusty soul and heavy, but forgotten jazz tracks from music's past. He has a nice way of making them sound fresh all over again though

Speaking of fresh, you folks need to put your ears on the entertaining Mind Fusion (Volumes 1-5) series that Madlib has out. They all have their own different listening experience, from remixes, live performances, to jazz and funk classics. There are large amounts of music to take in from each volume, but it's worth every second!. Expect the unexpected.



Wednesday, October 25, 2006

In music there are new artists preparing to bless the world with their songs everyday. For every artist that you know of, there are atleast twenty others that you don't. That's why I am always on the grind trying to find new and interesting artists to add to my already extensive collection. Today, I am bringing you a female soulstress that I think you will be feeling once you get familiar with her? Her name is Tiffany Paige reppin' Virginia. Tiffany is pretty much an unknown at this time, but she has already put in work with some underground hiphop katz by the name of Scienz of Life. Most of you are probably thinking, "Who the hell is Scienz of Life?" Well, since you asked....they are an underground hiphop group with a sense of consciousness to their music. They are an acquired taste for most skeptical hiphop headz, but if you are open for some unique sounds give them a listen. Tiffany has provided vocals for several of their tracks over the years, so if you are a fan of theirs you have definitely heard her.

She is currently working with the producer Zo!, who is a Detroit native like yours truly. He has a real smooth sound to his production, and if you don't know him either make your way over to his site and check him out. Zo! has produced songs for several artists, but most people still don't really know him? Tiffany's debut album is entitled, "The Dreamwalk LP," which is scheduled for release in the Spring of 2007? It was pushed back from its original release date in Summer of 2006, but we all know how that goes. I have heard several tracks from Ms. Paige and I am really diggin' her vibe, and hopefully you will too?

Checkout her site along with these others, and get your music discovery on!





Monday, October 23, 2006

I did a post a few weeks ago about the male soul artists that I felt were holding the reigns for soul music's future. Well, now it's time to give some shine to the female artists that will hopefully continue making positive contributions to the soul music movement. I personally appreciate female singers. Since, I am a man...they bring the sultry sex appeal that I can definitely appreciate. Plus, if you listen carefully to their lyrics you can definitely learn a lot about women in general. If there is an issue that a woman has experienced throughout time, there is a song written somewhere talking about about it. If men would just pay attention the music, the mysteries that surrounds the female species would be solved? Hmmm, then again...maybe not?? I think it's going to take more then a couple of songs to figure out a woman, but it's a great start....??

There are many, many female artists that I enjoy when it comes to soul music, but I chose three of my favorite female artists to speak on today. Not because they are better than the others, but they have all had my ears open with joy more times than not! These ladies are Conya Doss, Erykah Badu & Jill Scott. Conya Doss is one of the underrated songstresses that definitely needs to be recognized. I discovered Conya Doss a few years back listening to a soul compilation that I purchased from a local record store. There were plenty of nice songs on that compilation from several unknowns, but Conya stood out the most to me. I was immediately diggin' her voice and vibe, but when I finally put eyes on her I truly became a fan!! She's really easy on the eyes, if you haven't noticed. The best thing about her music is diverse subject matter dealing with life and relationships. She combines her passion and emotion into a song that delivers true feeling and uninhibited expression. Not many can attain the consistant quality of music that Conya Doss has delivered over the years, so she just deserves her props! If you have missed on Conya's music get up to speed with her albums "Poems About Ms. Doss," "Just Because," and "Love Rain Down." It's never too late to put your ears on some great music!

These next two ladies I'm about to speak on are on a level all their own! I mean when you think of soul music, these two names should definitely be in your top ten. Erykah Badu took the neo-soul era by storm in 1997 when she dropped the classic album, "Baduizm." It was definitely something different that Erykah was bringing to the table with this joint. The funniest thing about it, is that I heard her very first EP released under the name Erika Wright before the Baduizm transition, and it sounded like a soulful house music? I must say that I enjoyed the updated (E. Badu) version of her music a lot more because it was exciting and ground-breaking. "Baduizm" wasn't just an album, it was a powerful form of expression that changed my view of what soul music represented. If you have never had the pleasure of seeing Ms. Badu live, it really can't be put into words. She converts the stage into her own sanctuary of funky freedom and soulful bliss! Inscents anyone? Unlike so many soul artists that have come after her, Erykah has her own voice that continues to challenge the norm of the tired mainstream. Even though she has recieved some radio play over her years in the business, she is still not given the exposure she deserves. Maybe it's because she delivers her personal and sometimes disturbing depictions of the American society in her music. That's the quickest way to get removed from the urban radio top 20 count down. I used to wonder why some folks that swear they love soul music can't get with Ms. Badu? I think it's because she is complex as an artist. Her music in most cases takes a few listens to digest, which is a lot different from the bubble gum tracks that saturate the radio airwaves these days. Soul music needs more Erykah Badu type artists to keep things balanced. I shouldn't have to tell you to get some E. Badu in your life! Just like the Justus League, Erykah Badu is whatcha need!

This next lady is the third reason why you should feel good about the future of soul music will be just fine. Philly's own Jill Scott is like soul music royalty in my humble opinion. She reminds us the limitless boundaries that a soul artist can cross when packaged in the proper format. Is there one award show that Ms. Jilly hasn't performed on, blessing us with her stunning vocals? Her live performances are unmatched just on the sheer power and sultry delivery of her vocals. Jill Scott always remained classy and confident as her career has taken shape over the years. Now, she's an household name in the soul genre, but she still has not gotten all she deserves. Her debut album "Who Is Jill Scott?" is definitely a classic by my standards, but I know many people that still don't own it? I have asked the question "WHY?" for many years, but I have yet to find the answer? As talented as these three ladies I have written about today, much of their music is not in many people's collections? Is it based on availability? Of course not. The internet has opened doors that weren't even heard of 10 years ago for accessing music! Maybe it's the urban radio stations for not pushing these artists like they should? Nope, not their fault either. Actually, if you are still letting the radio tell you what you should be listening to in 2006, then you are already in trouble. Free your mind and take control of reigns for your own musical future. That's just a suggestion, but either way the future of soul music will be O-TAY!
New and innovative artists are making soul music everyday, so keep your ears open.

I have put together a little compilation of entitled, "The Vixenish Mix" to give you all a taste of who I listen to in the soul female category. Some of the tracks are old and others are new, but take a listen if you want to hear some quality soul music.


1)) Algebra - Some Kind of Wonderful
2)) Havana - Hey (Kick Push Remix)
3)) Tiffany Paige - Can't Let Go feat. Don
4)) Mary J. Blige - So Lady feat. R. Saadiq
5)) Stephanie McKay - Peace & Blessings
6)) Joy Denalang - Heaven or Hell feat. Raekwon
7)) Conya Doss - Let You Know
8)) Floetry - Let Me In
9)) Zap Mama - Bandy Bandy feat. Erykah Badu
10) Lina - I Am
11) Jill Scott - Show Me
12) Muhsinah - So So
13) Yahzarah - Beautiful People
14) Georgia Muldrow - Wrong Way
15) Choklate - Amazing
16) Carol Riddick - I Don't Wanna
17) Wayna - Slums of Paradise


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

When it comes to music, albums drop every week. Some artists get great promotion and other get none at all. Music comes and goes so fast that sometimes you have to slow it down a little and reflect back to make sure you haven't overlooked something great. There are a couple of great soul projects that dropped several months ago that were somehow overlooked by the masses? There are several reasons why that probably happened, but in these three cases I would blame it on very poor promotion! Better late than never, right??

First up is that brotha from anotha Tony Hussle. Tony is definitely getting his 1970's Jimi Hendrix swagger on that photo, but honestly after listening to his music he reminds me of a young Prince. Mr. Hussle dropped a dope EP back in December of 2005 entitled, "Sexy, Freaky, Electric" that went unnoticed like black on black crime in the hood! Now that's deep, deep, deep undercover! I would have thought the album would have been released by now, but as fans we take what we can get these days. The EP is seven tracks long and I think they are all pretty solid. How many albums have you come across lately that have atleast seven tracks worth putting into regular rotation? You are lucky to get five. The first single off of this project was the track, "She a Virgin Too," which I believe the theme of the record is self-explanatory. T. Hussle tells it like it is, and that's what I like about him the most. The raw energy of this record is enough to satisfy most true soul music heads, so if you missed out on this joint before here is your chance to play catch up! Just to add to your list of g-wiz factoids, Tony Hussle's uncle is the lead singer of the legendary group Parliment. Now, you know where he got his funk from.


Next up is relatively unknown vocalist Valvin Roane II b.k.a V. I came across this cat back in 2005 on the BBE site. I used to play his EP atleast once a day, because it was just that good! So, I was telling everyone that I knew about this dude, hoping when he finally dropped his album it would shake up the music world? Well, in January 2006 he released his album entitled, "The Revelation Is Now Televised." For anyone with any true music history will think the title of V's album looks very familiar? Even more familiar is the picture on the album. Well, V took the concept for his album from Gil Scott-Heron's "The Revolution Will Be Televised" project. I actually thought this V album would be that kind of movement in soul music actually, but it turned into the album that most people totally missed. Damn, I hate when that happens. I saw no advertisements, interviews or anything of the sort for this wonderful album. The greatest thing about this album is that is has great melodies and real subject matter. The lyrics are heartfelt and the beats are banging all the way through. When I first heard the track titled "Born Again" featuring Jill Scott, I knew I needed this album. That song alone is worth putting your ears on this one, plus the track "Anotha Phase" will have your head bobbin' for years to come?

V's Music

Music comes so fast at times, you gotta step back and appreciate some of the projects that may have been overlooked. If you missed these two joints, check them out and hear what you think! What other albums have been overlooked or missed by the masses that you think need some deserved shine? Leave the names in the comments portion of the post. I'm all ears.....

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

As most of my peepz know, when it comes to hiphop music, I pretty much stay in the cellars of the underground. If you have listened to any mainstream urban radio stations in the last decade you can understand why? Well, one of the unsung heroes of the underground is my man Oddisee (Amir Mohamed). He's a Washington D.C. native that has been putting it down musically since 2002. Oddisee made his debut on Jazzy Jeff's "The Magnificent" album with a track titled, "Music Lounge." The smooth production on that track is undeniable. He keeps it hiphop, but his production has a neo-soul feel to it that actually works very well. Not only did he produce the track, but he laid down all of the vocals for the record as well. Yep, Oddisee is a solid MC too. In the spirit of another underground guru J-Live, Oddisee has made a name for himself without much assistance from large promotion, but instead using his evident determination and dedication to develop his skills. Oddisee has a passion for hiphop and music in general that is lacking in many of the artists that are on the scene these days. He is the type of artist that hiphop needs to help with the overwhelming task of preventing artistic values of hiphop from meeting uncertain death? Oddisee doesn't work alone though. He apart of tight crew of other known producers and emcees, and they call themselves "Low Budget Collective." The other members of this crew are Kev Brown, Roddy Rod & Kenn Starr. They are all apart of the Halftooth Records family which also is the home for Wordsworth.

Outside of producing several tracks for other artists over the years, Oddisee has a few projects under his belt. One of my favorites is a remix project entitled, "Oddisee Presents The Remixture" compilation. On this project he remixes several well-known tracks from artists like 50 Cent, Common, Michael Jackson, Zap Mama, & The Fugees, giving them that Oddisee flava! He also has a couple instrumental projects out there too. Oddisee's newest musical endeavor is a mixtape album entitled, "Foot In The Door," which is mixed by the legendary DJ Jazzy Jeff. This project showcases some of Oddisee's previous tracks, plus a few new ones as well. Jazzy Jeff blends the Oddisee tracks so nicely that it feels like one long MP3. Dat boy is good!! If you are already diggin' Oddisee's music then you definitely want to add this new joint to your collection. For those that are new to him, check him out and hear what you think....

ODDISEE Websites:


Listen to tracks from Oddisee here!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I haven't done one of these post in a minute, so I thought it was about that time! I use these WNEX Radio posts to share exclusives, phat classics and other lessor known tracks that I am feelin' at the moment. Before I get into the music, I want to speak on the urban radio situation today. I read an interesting quote from my man Nasir Jones a.k.a Nas this morning on the MTV website in an interview they conducted with him about his upcoming album. For those that don't already know, Nas has a new album dropping this year entitled, "HipHop Is Dead....The N." The title speaks for itself, but during the interview Nas made a statement that really stuck with me. He basically said..."If hiphop really did die, the DJs would be the first people he'd punish!" Nas feels like the DJs should be challenging the artists to make better music. I agree with Nas, but then again how much control does the radio disc jockey have? The way I understood it in most cases, the disc jockey is given a playlist and a script that he or she has to follow to the letter. So, in reality they are nothing more than the personality with no real influence on what happens behind the scenes. I compare them to Ronald McDonald and Jack from Jack In The Box. Is Nas putting too much responsibility on the radio jocks? Can these folks really make a difference when it comes to the variety of music that is played on the radio everyday? Have the fans been placing the blame on the wrong people all of this time? Personally, I don't blame the DJs, I blame the large amounts of money that is made from music sales. Spinning 50 cent and Young Jeezy records every 10 minutes on radio obviously is more lucrative than playing Mos Def, or is it? More to come on this later........

On to the urban radio broadcast...

Here is the tracklist. I am really feelin' that new Carl Thomas track. This one sounds like that old BadBoy type ish from back in the day. Also, that Pharcyde remix is one of my all-time favorite hiphop tracks. That Mary J. Blige remix is one of favorites from her. I like how they just flipped the whole vibe of the track. You can't ever go wrong with Jasper Isley, Michael Jackson & The S.O.S Band, so back down memory lane we go....



Thursday, October 05, 2006

Depending on what your flava is when it comes to hiphop music, 2006 is turning out to be a great year? With new albums already dropping from J-Dilla, Nicolay, Strange Fruit Project, Boot Camp Clik, The Roots & Lupe Fiasco this year, things have definitely been looking up for real hiphop in my opinion. The best thing about it is that there are still several upcoming releases that deserve some attention. I won't bother mentioning the rumor of Jay-Z coming out of retirement to release a new album in November! That will get enough media press on it's own. However, I will tell you about two other projects that I am just as happy to see hitting the streets, and that is The Hall of Justus "Soldiers of Fortune" and A.G. "Get Dirty Radio." It's going to be a great Fall after all.

The Hall of Justus a.k.a The Justus League are one of the dopest hiphop crews doing it right now in my opinion. Crew ring-leaders Little Brother have consistantly produced solid projects throughout their short span in the music business, and now it's time for the other members to get some recognition. Not since the Wu-Tang Clan has a crew been this diverse, but yet remain cohesive in their movments. You can definitely recognize that this large organization of rappers and producers are representing southern hiphop with a different vibe than many other artists from the same region. At times this backpacker image has resulted in negative comments from some, but just like a tank in traffic...the Justus League just keep it movin'! Over the last few years the Justus League has released several underground mix CDs highlighting the different artists that are apart of this massive movement, but "Soldiers of Fortune" is their first official mainstream release. Just like their previous releases, you can definitely expect plenty head-bobbin' beats and solid rhymes. For the most part this album only features the League members, but there are a couple of outside guest appearances from Sean Price (Boot Camp Clik) and Cormega. The majority of the production duties were handled in house by Khrysis and 9th Wonder, but there are also tracks produced by Buckwild, Nottz and Evidence on the album as well. This album hits the streets on October 17, 2006!

Next up is my main man A.G. (Andre The Giant)! I am big fan of the Golden Era of hiphop of the 1990's. Yes, the good ole' days as some describe it. It's nice to see some of the veterans from that era still releasing albums in the new millenium? Well...sometimes it is anyway?? Honestly, some rappers don't know when to call it quits! It's sad when you see one of your favorite MCs from yester-year drop a wack album or two, trying to make an unnecessary comeback for obvious reasons. Some of them need to take a page from Young MC's book, and put the mic on the shelf BEFORE someone snatches it out of their hands and pushes them off the stage. Actually, one of my favorite comeback artists of 2005 was Ed O.G! His album with The "Chocolate Boy Wonder" Pete Rock holding down production was a solid release. Ed had his turn and now it's Andre's turn. Personally, Showbiz & A.G. was one of my favorite groups back in the day. Actually, the whole "Diggin' In The Crates" (D.I.T.C) crew were doing there thing.

A.G. has always held his own amongst the many dope D.I.T.C crew members, and now he's back again to hopefully add some new fans to his already large fanbase. Don't ask Andre where he's been over these last couple of years, because he's been here! Atleast, that's what he says on several tracks throughout the album. Outside of Andre's throwback rhyme delivery, the production is addictive. With tracks produced by Madlib, J Dilla, Lord Finesse, Oh No and Jake One, it's very understandable why. This album is definitely on some B-Boy type ish, so if that's your thing add Mr. Giant to your music wishlist. Support good hiphop music!

Checkout these websites for more info about these artists:

Andre The Giant

Hall of Justus

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

One of the coolest things about music in my opinion is the emergence of new talent. Everyday, there is someone sitting at home thinking about a possible future in music. Outside of gravity, music makes the world go round, if you didn't know already? Just like so many others that have come in the past, it's Monica Blaire's turn. She is one of the rising soul artist coming out of Detroit, Michigan. Not only is Monica a great soul singer, but she an MC, writer and a choreographer as well. I love a multi-talented woman! She is also classically trained in the arts, which helped her develop her skill and her love for music. Monica has been deeply involved with music for over 9 years, so she's not as new as you may think she is. She has written songs for many artists like J. Moss and Vanessa Williams, plus she has penned rhymes for many known rap artists over the years as well. For those that don't know, ghostwriting is big business these days. There is no doubt that Monica Blaire is a talented sista, and now it's time for her to let the world know!

Her new album is entitled, "Portraits of Me" featuring guest appearances from Maestro, Guilty Simpson, Invincible & Mr. Porter (D12). She is definitely getting a lot of love from some of Detroit's premier local talent on this album. "Portraits of Me" basically reveals all of the different sides of Monica. This album can be considered Monica's diary to the world. If you already enjoy other artists like Choklate and T. Love, give Monica Blaire a try. The saddest thing about this album is that it will probably be slept on by the masses because it's on an independent label receiving limited promotion? So, if you are diggin' Monica, please tell a friend. Word of mouth is a powerful tool!

Checkout Monica Blaire's Websites:


DWELE, DARIEN BROCKINGTON & YAHZARAH LIVE!On Saturday, October 21, 2006, some of soul music's greatest talents will be coming together for one night only in Detroit at Club Steel! The good folks over at Flowink are presenting this monumental event, so you are definitely in for a treat. If you will be in the Detroit area on October 21st and you love great soul music, make sure you are at this event! If you are unfamiliar with these soul artist, get familiar real quick. Time's a wastin'.....
Checkout these websites: