Saturday, December 30, 2006
Who said SoundNexx only knows about music? Hell 2 tha Naw playa! I know about other cool stuff too. Here's a SoundNexx trivia fact that most of you didn't know. Outside of my love for dope music, I also have much love for martial arts flicks. Old ones, new ones....I don't give a dayum honestly! I like them all. I am a big fan of the old classic Shaw Brothers flicks though. You gotta love classics like "The 5 Deadly Venoms," "The Kid With The Golden Arms," and "Super Ninjas" to be a REAL martial arts movie buff in my book. I also enjoy watching adult cartoons like "Family Guy," "The Boondocks," and "South Park" when I get a chance as well. Most of the time that stuff is hilarious. Spike TV is pushing my idiot box experience to a new level in 2007?
Spike TV has created a new show that has the best of both worlds (no R. Kelly) called, "Black Samurai." My man Samuel L. Jackson is doing the voices for two of the characters "Afro Ninja (No. 2)" & "Ninja Ninja." The story line is simple, if you watch martial arts movies in general. Afro Ninja No. 2 witnessed his father lose a battle after being beheaded by another character named Justice who wanted the number one spot in the ninja world. Now, Afro Ninja wants to avenge his father's death by killing Justice. A typical plot for a ninja cartoon, right? This joint has lots of blood and gore just how I like to enjoy my anime! Remember that scene in "Kill Bill Part 1" when Quinten used classic Japanese animation to cleverly show Lucy Lui's character as a child doing assasinations? Afro Samurai pretty much has the same look, except the characters are black.
Okay, now on to the music. You know there had to be some music involvement somewhere in this post, right? Afro Samurai has a dope music soundtrack too. Production duties are handled by the one and only RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan! Plus, there are guest appearances from respected hip-hop artists like Big Daddy Kane, Q-Tip, GZA, Talib Kweli and many others. The first episode drops on January 4, 2007 on Spike TV (check your listings for times), but if you can't wait go to www.spiketv.com and watch it on New Year's Day.
Here are a couple of sites you can checkout for more info about this show:
On that note, this concludes my post for 2006!
HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
I'll catch ya'll on the flipside.....
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Time to get a little jazzy! I damn sure like seeing the old school artists from any genre doing there thing in the new millenium. Some folks believe that most of the older artists have lost their touch or that no one really wants to hear new music from the legends. I beg to differ! George Benson & Al Jarreau's new collaboration jazz album definitely proves my point. It's called, "Givin' It Up," and that's just what they do too. This a great album in my personal opinion, if you enjoy smooth jazz in general. If you don't likey the jazz, then you no likey this album! This album is definitely for the more mature audiences that want something that the grown folks can vibe 2! George Benson has been making good music for many, many years and he is still going strong. Al Jarreau has been keeping busy doing concerts at small clubs around the country over these last few years as well. That's the great thing about jazz musicians and jazz music in general, they're both timeless!
This jazzy joint is full classic tracks and plenty of guest appearances too. No slouches on this project either. The guest appearances include: Jill Scott, Marion Meadows, Patti Austin, Marcus Miller, Patrice Rushen & Stanley Clarke. You'd have to be into jazz a little to appreciate the majority of the names I just mentioned though? Honestly, even without knowing any of the guest artists that worked on this album, as soon as I heard track number 1 "Breezin"....I was hooked! George already laced the track, but when you add Al on there it's even better.
If you are a fan of the soulful artists named Kem, then you definitely need to give this album a listen. Many feel that Kem stole Al's steelo?? You can be the judge on that.
Checkout some samples of this album here:
GIVIN' IT UP SAMPLES
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
It's been a pretty interesting year for hip-hop music in my opinion. Lots of diverse projects came out to shake music industry a little bit. Too much anything gets old after awhile, so I enjoy when the "Industry Shakedown" (as my man Bumpy Knuckles would say) type music projects come about. A lot of the fickle "I like sh** to stay the same" type rap fans avoid the more diverse hip-hop artists that dwell on the underground circuit like smelling somebody's vomit. Then they complain that hip-hop music sucks in 2006 because they have limited selections to choose from. Whenever I share a list of my top music choices for the year, I realize that most people probably haven't actually heard many of the projects that I present. That's a good thing though. It gives folks that may have missed out on this hip-hop goodness something to check for later. People maybe shocked that many of the more popular rap albums didn't make my list? That's because I don't pick albums just because they went platinum or that everyone else is saying they're the best. What's the best to you may not be the best to me and vice versa! As far as I am concerned, it's all about artistic expression. Of course the music has to be good too though. I know I haven't heard every hip-hop album that has dropped in 2006, so I realize that there are probably some other candidates that could have made this list that I didn't get around to hearing. If so, tell me about them. It's never too late to catch up on some good music. Also, I do a TOP 20 list instead of the normal Top 10 chumpy that many others do. There was just too much good music to limit myself to only 10 choices dammit!
Oh yeah, as far as the order of this list of hip-hop projects is concerned ...don't worry about it too much because I didn't. Just know that all of the projects had there share of spins in the whip this year, and I rotated through all of them at one time or another. This list consist of albums, compilations & mixtape CD releases.
BEST HIP-HOP PROJECTS OF 2006
01 - J DILLA - THE SHINING: Jay-Dee was definitely ahead of his time when it comes to being an artist. From playing instruments, to producing dope tracks, discovering talent, making others better and setting trends, Jay Dee could do it all. Some folks think that his legendary status has only evolved because of his untimely death, but the reality is he was a living legend before he died. This album is an underground classic in my book, even if it was slept on by the masses. The Shining is a true example of what hip-hop could be.
02 - DJ DRAMA & LITTLE BROTHER - SEPARATE, BUT EQUAL MIXTAPE: Personally, I am not a big fan of mixtapes. In most cases there is entirely too much DJ jaw-jacking and not enough dope tracks. This mixtape is the exception though. Not only are the tracks doper than dope, but they actually flow well in this mix. Actually, some of the tracks should have placed on an LB album instead of having them scattered on a mixtape, but it's damn sure better than nothing!
03 - DE LA SOUL - IMPOSSIBLE MISSION PART 1 MIXTAPE: De La Soul is one of the most underrated hip-hop groups in the industry. I can't understand why. They have lyrics, flow, chemistry and creativity, but I guess since they've been in the business for almost 20 years some folks think that they've lost there step. Nope! This mixtape came out of no where. It's a nice mixture of unreleased older tracks and some new ones as well. The best thing about it is there is no big mowf DJ yelling over every track about nothing.
04 - THE ROOTS - GAME THEORY: I am big Roots fan, so I hold them at a very high standard on every official release. They have experienced some experimental musical missteps over their years in my opinion, but their worst is better than most. This joint has solid lyrics and solid production. The complete hip-hop package!
05 - GHOSTFACE KILLAH - FISHSCALE: Ghost is the only member of the Wu that I give a damn about at the moment. All of Ghostface's albums have been great by my standards, but he seems to be getting better as the years pass us by. I enjoy his extravagant-exaggerated wordplay, plus his interesting beat choices. Fishscale is the right title for this joint, because this album is definitely hip-hop crakk!
06 - GHOSTFACE KILLAH - MORE FISH: When I realized Ghost was releasing a second album in the same year, I figured it was just a bunch of leftover crap from Fishscale that didn't make the cut. Nope! Ghostface used this album to highlight some of the members of his crew The Theodore Unit. This joint is almost better than Fishscale (if that's possible). How come Ghostface can release a two dope albums in one year, while most others can't create a halfway decent album in 3 years? He has single handedly put the Wu on his back.
07 - NAS - HIP-HOP IS DEAD: Nas is a pioneer and he deserves his respect, but his previous release (Street Disciples) was hot garbage at best! A big let down for his fans, but he seems to have found his way back from the grave with this new release. Expressing his true feelings about the state of hip-hop, Nas seems focused about his message this time around. This album is hip-hop music with true knowledge and substance, which has definitely been missing in hip-hop these days. I'm glad to see Nasir is back on his game again.
08 - NICOLAY - HERE: When I think of hypnotic beats, the first producer I think about is Nicolay. After meeting him in person, I realize that he is a very humble dude from the Netherlands that is just glad that people like his music. I don't think he's realized his genius just yet? His beats are well-developed and thickly-layered, instead of the typical repeat sampling techniques that have saturated the production scene these days. This album is full of guest appearances from underground artists showcasing their talents over Nic's production. Lookout for his artists like Black Spade and Kay. They'll be coming your way real soon.
09 - JAY-Z - KINGDOM COME: Talk about one of the most anticipated albums of the year! Jay's return back to game definitely shook up the music industry, but could his album live up to hype? In my opinion it definitely did. No, it's a Reasonable Doubt, but it would be almost impossible to duplicate a classic like that. Actually, Jay is no longer that dude in 2006. He's a true celebrity/businessman now. Less gutter and more polish this time around, but I still enjoyed it. Jay is still one of the best that ever did it!
10 - LUPE FIASCO - FOOD & LIQUOR: I heard this kat's name over the last couple of years, but I never paid him any attention. When I heard the track "Kick, Push" I was a fan. Lupe has that 90's feel to his music with nice wordplay and catchy themes. Folks may clown on his clothing choices, but you can't deny his rhyming ability.
11 - TANYA MORGAN - MOONLIGHTING: Here is another dope group and album that has been totally slept on by damn near everyone! Don't get it twisted though, this is not a female solo artist. It's a 3 man rap crew! This album is fun to listen to, because these dudes don't take themselves that serious. Plus, they actually clown on the artists that are full of themselves. I found myself laughing out loud on some of their songs, but these katz ain't no joke though.
12 - KENN STARR - STARR STATUS: Reppin' the Low Budget Crew, Kenn Starr is nice emcee. This album is one of those joints you just throw in the deck and just let it play. The vibe of this album is mellow, but it definitely kept my head bobbin'!
13 - MURS & 9TH WONDER - MURRAY'S REVENGE: On the solo tip, I am not really a big Murs fan. It's strange, but for some reason when he works with 9th Wondra (9th Wonder) he seems sounds much better to me. Kinda like when CL Smooth rhymes over Pete Rock beats. This is the second release from the duo, and it's just as dope as the first one. Murs transforms his simple escapades into hip-hop adventures when he spits them over 9th's beats.
14 - BOOT CAMP CLIK - THE LAST STAND: BBC was ish back in the 90's! Blackmoon, Smif-N-Wessun, Helter Skelter..come on playa, can't front on their impact in the hip-hop game. Even with years of being missing in action for the most part, they came back hard like trying to listen to Nasir's "Street Disciple" double album without hitting skip button several times. Now, that's HARD!!
15 - THE CLIPSE - HELL HATH NO FURY: The Clipse seem to be limited to drug story telling for the most part, but it actually wasn't their lyrics that got them a spot on my Top 20 list. It was actually the production that moved this album out of the "Just Another Crappy Crime Album" into the "These Tracks Are Musical Crakk" category! Pharell and them boys set the Clipse off with something real nice on the beat tip this time around. Definitely, a head-banger!
16 - OH NO - EXODUS INTO UNHEARD RHYTHMS: Oh No is a dope producer. Even being Madlib's younger brother has not intimidated one bit. He challenged himself this time around by making his beats for this album only using samples from the great composer Galt MacDermot. When I first found out Oh No was only sampling MacDermot, I thought it was going to be a total disaster. I was totally wrong! With guest appearances from artists like Buckshot, Planet Asia, Wordsworth & Jean Grae, this could be a future classic.
17 - HI-TEK - HI-TEKNOLOGY 2: Hi-Tek & Talib Kweli (Reflection Eternal) go together like peanut butter and jelly, but when they parted ways I began to wonder would happen to Hi-Tek's career? Following in the footsteps of his first solo release a few years ago. This compilation is full of hip-hop bangers that can't be overlooked. Now, that Reflection Eternal has been resurrected to some degree, I hope their new album will make my 2007 Top 20 hip-hop list.
18 - STYLES P - TIME IS MONEY: I have been a fan of the Lox for awhile. Jada is definitely my a favorite from the group, but Holiday Styles is definitely a close second when it comes to mic skills! I like his straight-laced delivery and wordplay. The kat is no doubt gifted with the gift of gab, but this time around his production on point as well. Even though this album snuck up on the hip-hop headz in the late part of the fourth quarter, I hope it finally gives P the recognition he deserves.
19 - GNARLS BARKLEY - ST. ELSEWHERE: Gnarls Barkley (Cee-Lo & DJ Dangermouse) is like the hip-hop version of the Adam's Family. Strange and kooky are two adjectives that I use to describe them. These dudes seem strange by many hip-hop standards, but it was difficult for me to ignore their sound. Some asked, "Is this even hip-hop?" Hell yeah, in rare form too. I dig GB, and I love the way they pushed the boundaries of what hip-hop is and what it can become. I actually took me a few listens to totally appreciate and digest this album, so I can understand if the project is not your thing.
20 - THE GAME - THE DOCTOR'S ADVOCATE: The Game acts like a clown in my opinion, but he's a helluva emcee though. As much as the fake hip-hop critics and the G-Unot stans have crapped all over The Game's every move since his departure from Aftermath, they can front on his lyrical skill. If he could stop beefing with everyone and cease the wack publicity stunts trying to gain useless attention, The Game could be a force to reckon with on the Westcoast. Most counted him out without Dre and 50 on his team, but he quieted the doubters. I still like The Documentary better, but The D.A. is a very solid album by many standards.
Okay, I'm done! If I left some other projects off that deserve to be on this list in your opinion, let me know. Maybe, I didn't get a chance to hear it?
Saturday, December 23, 2006
It is hard for me to believe that
SoundNexx has been in been online for 1 year this month? Time flies when you are having fun exploring music. It's my never ending quest to find the best albums, singles and mix CDs in existance! Not an easy task to say the least, but it's definitely worth the effort. It's also been real cool meeting so many of the music novelists and connoisseurs alike that have provided me with great information & debate over these last 12 months. I have developed a lot of new friendships from my workings through SoundNexx, which was an added bonus. I appreciate all of the folks that have left comments, hit me on the email or just came through, kopped a mix and bounced! I hope you folks have enjoyed the great music that I have shared with you in 2006, but I am hoping 2007 will be even better? Updating SoundNexx is a hobby of mine that many folks have become attached too as well, so I will definitely try to keep it up and running as long as feasibly possible. Since, I don't get paid for running this site, it obvious that it won't be here forever, so let's enjoy it as long as we can.
I would like to thank everyone for your continued visits and support, and hopefully it has been as fun for you as it has been for me?
Alright ladies and gents, enough of the formalities. Let's get on to the subject at hand. My personal BEST OF THE BEST list for 2006! I have broke them down into two categories, which are SOUL PROJECTS and HIPHOP PROJECTS. I replaced the word "albums" because that word limits the lists in my opinion. Some great music appears on mixtape CDs and compilations as well, and they deserve to recognized too. So, with that being said, checkout my lists and see what you think. My lists are up for discussion, so I won't take your comments negatively. Feel free to rip these lists apart if you choose. There were a few projects that didn't make my lists that could have, but I had to fit them into some type of parameters, right?
BEST SOUL PROJECTS OF 2006
01- V - THE REVELATION IS NOW TELEVISED: Soul singer V is still unknown by many people, but his sleeper debut album was definitely one of my favorite releases this year. He has a nice mixture of soulful lyrics with hypnotic beats. This is one of the those rare albums that I can play without skipping through tracks.
02- DARIEN BROCKINGTON - SOMEBODY TO LOVE: D. Brock has become a household name for fans of Little Brother & The Justus League. He dropped his debut album in the Fall, and it definitely lived up to my expectations. There are only a few soul crooners that I really enjoy because the majority of them sound too teenie-bop/bubblegumish in my opinion. Darien makes soul music for the the adult crowd without sounding too old school. Plus, after meeting him and conversing awhile, I realized that he is a real down to earth brotha that is just trying to make good music. Great person and a great album!
03- VIKTER DUPLAIX - BOLD BEAUTIFUL: I have been a Viktor Duplaix fan for years now, but his latest release just took his career over the top in my opinion. Talk about some sensual soul music! This is one of the smoothest albums I have heard in a long time. If you are the type of person that enjoys setting the mood for romance, then you definitely need this album in your collection. Vik has got what you need.
04- JOHN LEGEND - ONCE AGAIN: This album was J. Legend's second release, but I actually like this joint better than his first one. The smooth vibe of this joint becomes more addictive, as you go from one track to the next. This album reminds me of the older John Legend live stuff he used to have available before he got his record deal. JL is a true talent, and he will still be around making great music while these other fly by night acts will be long forgotten. This is a classy album from a classy performer.
05- DJ SPINNA - INTERGALACTIC SOUL: Spinna is one of my all time favorite producers, and I pretty much like all of his stuff no matter what version of himself he glorifies. From house to soul to hip-hop, DJ Spinna dwells in all of them and very well I might add. DJ Spinna's diverse approach to music allows him to create great compilations like Intergalactic Soul. This project was about musically exploring all sides of the producer. Another sleeper project that many people overlooked, but definitely worth some serious attention.
06 - CHOKLATE - CHOKLATE: When I originally came across this album I didn't really know what to expect. I was definitely surprised about how much I liked the album. When I saw her in concert she blew me away with her vocal abilities. After talking with her for awhile, I realized that most of her music evolves from stories of her real life. This album has a nice mixture of soul and hip-hop that kept me interested from beginning to end.
07 - SERGIO MENDES - TIMELESS: Sergio is a music legend, but I was kind of skeptical about him working with Will.I.am initially. After listening to this album I realized that Sergio Mendes was in great hands. This jazzy compilation was a real treat because it featured some of my favorite artists like Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Black Thought, Stevie Wonder and Q-Tip. You gotta love that!
08 - EMMANUEL - D'ILLUSIONS OF GRANDUER: I actually got turned on to this album by a friend of mine over Berlin. Emmanuel a.k.a C Swing hails from London, but this album has a very soulful vibe. This is a nice compilation showcasing a lot of the talent over in the United Kingdom. Definitely a sleeper album that most people missed.
09 - ERIC ROBERSON - THE APPETIZER: Erro is always consistent with his album releases. He's still not a household name like he should be, but he gets much love from his deep fanbase. This is just another solid album, which shows that he definitely knows how to write quality music. The feel of his music seems richer because he uses live instrumentation instead of the electronic recreations that many others endulge in. I watched this kat perform live (a capella) with only a guitar and he ripped it!
10 - DONNELL JONES - LIFE OF A GEMINI: I can't really understand why the world keeps sleeping on D. Jones? He was definitely AWOL for a minute, but he came back hard with this album. His signature sound of mixing his vocals with dope hip-hop beats is still on point. Another great R&B album.
11 - LEMAR - TRUTH ABOUT LOVE: Lemar is a U.K. artist that is definitely representing that old school Sam Cooke, Al Green & Marvin Gaye vibe for real on this project. A powerful voice plus rich lyrics equals classic material in my book. He does have a few new school feeling joints on this album to keep you new schoolers happy as well.
12 - ALOE BLACC - SHINE THROUGH: Aloe Blacc is a true talent. I never expected an album like this from a rapper. Honestly, I was never a fan of Aloe's rap group Emanon. His solo project sounds nothing like the stuff he did with his group. His sound is eclectic, but yet very soulful. I couldn't deny that I really enjoyed this album.
13 - GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW - OLESI: FRAGMENTS OF AN EARTH: I discovered Georgia from her guest appearances on the Platinum Pied Piper album in 2005. She sounded pretty tame on that album compared to her solo project. The best way to describe this album is experimental soul. I liked this album because it was very unorthodox, so it's an interesting look into Georgia's clever mindstate. This isn't just an album, it's an adventure!
14 - ANTHONY DAVID - THE RED CLAY CHRONICLES: The track "Smoke One" was my joint, which made me check out this album in the first place. This album has a lot of harmony and soul. I think this album is even better than his first joint.
15 - SLEEPY BROWN - MR. BROWN: This album has been on the horizon for years and it proved that sleepy is more than justa back up vocalist, but he can hold down an album on his own. Sleepy's album is full of sexual innuendos, but it's musically catchy no doubt. He's not pushing the lyrical envelope with this album by any means, but I think that is what I like about it the most. It's just soul singing fun that will definitely keep your head bobbin'!
Wow, that was more challenging than I thought! Next up is my list of my top 20 Hip-Hop Projects.....
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
I am really diggin' this new "Won't Do" Dilla video! This is actually one of my favorite tracks off of that classic "The Shining" album. I am glad to see that the powers that be are releasing new Jay Dee videos. I like seeing other artists like Common, Black Thought, Waajeed, Will I.Am and Talib Kweli reppin' in the video as well. Actually, his brother (John Yancey) did a great job adlibing Dilla's vocals in the video. At moments he really resembles Dilla. Even though Jay Dee left us entirely too soon, I am glad to see that his music is still living on. If you haven't picked up that new J Dilla album, you are doing yourself a disjustice.
Checkout the website too....
Friday, December 15, 2006
Ever since A Tribe Called Quest debuted back in the day, I have been a big fan of the jazzy flavored hip-hop grooves. I love jazz and hip-hop, so this combination works well for me. Many groups have tried to capture the true essence of meshing jazz and hip-hop, but it doesn't always work out as planned in many cases. Most of the time there is too much of one genre, and not enough of the other. Balance is key! One of the newer hip-hop crews that have created a beautiful jazzy sound consistently are the Sound Providers. The production duo (Jay Skillz & Soulo) reppin' San Diego, California has had my head bobbin' since 1998! One of my favorite projects by the SP was entitled, "A Evening With The Sound Providers" that definitely put these katz on my list of top production teams. On that project they collaborated with Little Brother, Maspyke and Asheru. All very different emcees, but each one sounded tight over those jazzy SP beats. Honestly, what is an emcee without dope production? A fake spoken word poet. Seriously though, if you have missed out on the Sound Providers over the last 8 years, track down their older stuff and hear what you've been missing.
Now, in 2006 the Sound Providers are back with a new project showcasing a solid emcee from Florida named Surreal. The project is called, "True Indeed!" Like many of you, I had never heard of Surreal until he worked with the SPs. I am always skeptical of new rappers in the beginning because you just never know what they will bring to the table. Will he sound like Tone Loc or Tony Yayo? Can he flow? Does his raps have substance, or just rims, timbs, booties and gun talk? I am happy to say that Surreal is a solid emcee. He's not real flashy with the wordplay like a Jadakiss or Phonte, but he can definitely hold his own. I think the SPs bring the best out of him with the nice production on this album. Another good underground album that will probably go right under the radar of most hip-hop heads because of poor promotion. Nobody said the life of an independent artist was easy, right? If you like groups like Jurassic 5, The Procussions, P.U.T.S & Asamov, checkout the Sound Providers.
Still a skeptic? Sure you are, so checkout their websites and hear some of their stuff for yourself.
I'm taking a break from the hip-hop music for a minute, so I am switching gears and smoothing things out with some slow jam grooves. This compilation is a mixture of old school and nu-skool soul classics that I enjoy personally. Honestly, there are not many artists these days that actually make quality slow jams for some reason. Most of the young pop/soul artists make those "bubble gum" type tracks that are mainly targeted for the 13 to 17 year-old audience. I'm sorry, there isn't much that Ne-Yo and Omarion can tell me about love and relationships! I guess that's why I mostly stay in the Isley Brothers, Teddy Pendergrass & DeBarge era when it comes to slow jams. The 70's & 80's had some of the best music ever released, and that is why that era of music is constantly re-recorded and sampled so heavily. Soul artists like Dwele, Eric Roberson, Raheem DeVaughn, Jill Scott, Kindred Soul & Anthony Hamilton have dropped some nice cuts in the new millenium, but there still seems to be a definite shortage in my opinion. Maybe one day things will change, but until then SoundNexx will try to keep serving that soulful goodness from yester-year.....
"It's time to get into a serious soul jam groove!"
SLOW JAM CLASSIKZ 2 TRACKLIST:
1-LOVE, WANT, NEED YOU - PATTI LABELLE
2-I MISS YOU - DARIEN BROCKINGTON
3-READY OR NOT - AFTER 7
4-PLEASURE U - JON B
5-FOR THE LOVER IN YOU - SHALAMARR
6-OBSTACLES - ERRO
7-SHOOT EM' MOVIES - THE DEELE
8-ONE DAY AT A TIME - DWELE
9-FALL IN LOVE - THE ISLEY BROTHERS
10-HOUSEKEEPER - MEN OF VISION
11-DON'T DISTURB THIS GROOVE - THE SYSTEM
12-I WANNA LUV U - DONNELL JONES
13-OOOH THIS LOVE - AL B. SURE
14-HEALING - JAGGED EDGE
15-LADY DEJOUR - JOHNNY GILL
16-IMAGINERY PLAYMATES - RENE & ANGELA
GET IT HERE!
Friday, December 08, 2006
Yep, you read it right playaz and playettez! Pharoahe Monch will be blessing the hip hop world with a new joint in 2007! We haven't had an official release from Mr. Monch since 1999, when he dropped the hip hop classic "Internal Affairs." After hearing that wonderful album, I just knew P. Monch was on his way to a successful solo career, but it never happened. Label problems have put his career on hold, and it had even pushed Mr. Monch into possibly giving up rap as a whole? What a depressing thought that would be for the hip-hop headz around the world! He has a new home on SRC Records now, and he's ready to shake up the hip-hop world in 2007 with his sophmore release entitled, "Desire." P. Monch has already dropped his first single from the new joint already called "Push" that is making some moves on the underground scene already. Pharoahe is actually singing a few bars the new joint. I will admit that there are way more rappers trying to hold a note than I would like, but hell if Chamillionaire, Pharell and DMX can sing on their records, why not P. Monch dammit! It's definitely cheaper than paying some non-singing r&b crooner to do it for him, right? I just hope the album doesn't get pushed back next year. Keep your fingers and toes crossed on that though....
There is some good news 4 you impatient folks......
You can checkout not only the "Push" track, but you can also listen to another one of Pharoahe's new tracks entitled "Desire" as well. Check them both out below and hear what you think!
Click here to hear "PUSH"
Click here to hear "DESIRE"
When you finish checking out the tracks, hit up P. Monch on his myspace site and hear some other stuff.
Also, make sure you checkout those Organized Konfusion and Pharoahe Monch videos from back in the day before you leave. Those are some of my favorite tracks by these katz!
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
I have been hitting it pretty hard and heavy on the hip-hop posts as of late, so I thought I'd change the pace a little with a post for my house music heads out there. I know you are looking at the photo on the left and you are probably thinking, "Who the hell are these people, and what do they have to do with house music?" Well, if you have been in a deep house coma over the last 10 years like I have, I want to introduce you to The Rurals! Just looking at this couple, you'd never think "soulful house music"...right?? I am here to tell you ladies and gentlemen, this group makes some of sweetest soulful house music I have heard in a long, long time dammit! With some of their musical influences being legends like Marvin Gaye,
Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder & Curtis Mayfield, I guess that should be expected. This is just another example of why you should never judge a book by its cover. Hailing from Devonshire, England...Marie "Tweek" (vocalist) and Andy Compton (DJ/Producer) have been putting it down on the house music scene for a minute now. Actually, they have released 50 EPs and 7 albums since 1994. That's pretty impressive by anyone's standards. The United Kingdom stays making move when it comes to great music.
The Rurals don't just love making great music, but they actually have plenty of love between them as well. Andy Compton already had a group established, and they called themselves The Rurals before he met Marie. They were actually introduced to each other by a mutual friend, and Marie became in house vocalist for the group. Not too long after meeting, they got married and the rest is house music history. What I really like about The Rurals is that Marie sings well written lyrics over soulful house beats, rather than just a bunch of chants and repeated verses. Marie's soulful vibe is definitely felt on their lastest release entitled, "Nettle Soul." Not since Tortured Soul have I been impressed with a house music group. Not since Ashford & Simpson and The Kindred Family Soul have I heard such soulful chemistry between two married folks. I give them props for that. Working with someone that you are married to normally leads to divorce, but Andy and Marie must be doing something right.
House music as a whole is suffering in my opinion. Atleast, in the United States anyway. This genre of music gets no publicity or recognition for the most part. That stinks! It's almost like a secret society. If you are deep into the music, you can find out about house music events, shows and album releases. Other than the hardcore fans, most people are totally in the dark when it comes to house music. Groups like The Rurals keep me interested in the house music movement. Hopefully, they can do the same for you?
Checkout their websites:
In most places The Rural albums are pretty hard to come by, so checkout www.iTunes.com or www.beatport.com
Monday, December 04, 2006
I like a lot of hip-hop artists, but there are only a few that I actually respect. An Dante Terrell Smith mos definitely has my respect. Artists earn my respect by going against grain musically, speaking out on controversial issues, and not really giving a damn about what the critics think about it. Not many artists have enough courage to do all of those things. When you listen to Mos Def's music as a whole, it has raw emotion and depth that many others lack. It's not because Mos Def is the best emcee on the mic, but it seems that the majority of the rappers today are only talking about the subject matter that they think will help them sell record. I understand that record sells play a big part in the music business, but these days artists will do and say anything to sell a record. While some of the artists that used to be original have eventually converted over into the rap gimmick category, Mos Def has stood strong with his political and revolutionary style of music. Did you forget he interviewed Al Gore earlier this year? How many other rappers do you know of today that get that involved with current events? I also, appreciate his continuing efforts on trying to bring something original to the table musically, even though he never gets the sells he deserves.
Most hip-hop fans thought the Mos Def's first album "Black on Both Sides" was classic material. About 5 years later he dropped his second solo album, and it caught a lot of folks off guard to say the least. Some folks wanted a "Black on Both Sides Part 2," so they were highly disappointed with the "New Danger" joint. It took me a couple of listens to capture the full effect of the album, but it's mos definitely a great album. It kind of reminds me of when Common dropped the "Electric Circus" album back in 2002! Most of the hip-hop community was in an uproar. Some people felt like Common had sold the hip-hop community out with that project? I thought of it as a musical experiment, that worked in some place and failed in others. Kind of like the New Danger album by Mos Def. It wasn't a tragedy like most people were trying to say it was in my opinion.
Well, on January 9, 2007, Mos Def will be dropping his third solo album entitled, "True Magic" for all to hear. You real hardcore fans will be happy to know that Mos has taken it back to the Ms. Fat Booty days of old on the new album. His rap topics range from the Hurricane Katrina travesty to the girl he wish he had never met. Mos is back to show everyone that just because he's been in few movies over the years, he can still spit a few nice verses on the mic too. You will definitely want to add this one to your after New Year's Hip-Hop wish list.
Checkout Mos Def's websites for more information:
www.myspace.com/mosdef - (Checkout the Al Gore interview on his myspace site)
Friday, December 01, 2006
I am still overwhelmed about this rare moment. This was definitely a true hip-hop fans' dream for real! Sometimes, life presents you with rare opportunities that you could have never predicted in a million years! Ever since the days of the classic Illmatic album back in the early 90's, I have been a big fan of Nasir Jones, but I just call him Nas. Well the other day I was coming out of an expensive restaurant located in downtown Detroit called "The Woodward," and you won't believe who I saw walking toward me? Yep, you guessed it, this homeless dude asking me if I could give him a quarter so he could get himself a sandwich. My reply was, "when you find a restaurant that sells sandwiches that only cost a quarter, me and you both will go there and get one, but until then keep it steppin' Fletcher!" As the homeless dude walked away, he held three fingers in the air and told me to read between the lines. I thought that was pretty funny, so I didn't open a fresh can of whup azz on him, like I should have. Just as the homeless dude stepped out the way, I saw two dudes walking towards me. Both of them had on big coats with hoods on them, so I couldn't really see their faces. As I passed them going in the opposite direction, one of the dudes asked me if I knew how to get the Greektown Casino. Questions like that are not strange because plenty of folks come over to Detroit from Canada to have fun, and get lost when they arrive. As I turned around to give the guy directions, I couldn't believe my eyes. It was Nas! At first I thought he was a pretender, but when I heard his voice again I knew it really was the NY emcee. Talk about being in the right place at the right time!
I quickly gave him a pound, and introduced myself. Normally, I would've just given the average lost tourist some verbal directions, but I thought I'd walk these katz to the casino myself, so I could get in a little convo in on the way. I'm not the male groupie type, so don't get it confused. I mean seriously though, how many times do anyone get the chance to shoot the shyt with Nas, right? As we walked in the cold, I began grilling him with several questions. I found out he was in town promoting his new album, so he thought he would get a little gambling in while he was in town. Kelis was under the weather, so she was back at the hotel. I started to ask him if he minded if I stopped by their room at the hotel to say hello to her, but I didn't want to be rude? I did ask him what music was he bumpin' in the ride right now, and he said he was playing Michael Franks greatest hits album. He was shocked that I knew who M. Franks was, since it's jazz. I asked him who was his favorite rapper of all times, and he said Kool Moe Dee? I told him mines was Tone Loc, because I like doing the wild thang! He started laughing. He obviously thought I was playing, but I was dead serious playa! After awhile we got to talking about the internet, and how it has really changed the music industry as a whole. Nas didn't seem to bitter about all the downloading and bootlegging of his music, but he did say that Def Jam has been working really hard to keep his new album from getting leaked prematurally. Shockingly, Nas did admit to buying a bootleg or two back in the day as well. Only mixtapes though? I told him that I had my bootleg advance copy of his new album already, and he started laughing. He obviously thought I was joking, but I was dead serious playa! I also told him that "Hip Hop Is Dead" was a controversal title for a hip-hop album. Nas told me that his boy told him to call his new album, "Hip Hop Is Under Seige" to make it sound militant! That new album title is aiight, but I told Nas he should have named it, "Rap Is Crap" instead. Honestly though, most rap is crap, right? Nas began to laughing again. I guess he thought I was still joking, but I was dead serious playa!
Now, here is the most shocking part about this whole conversation (for me anyway)! He told me I should come through his page on the Def Jam website and leave some comments on his message board. I replied, only if you come to my blog and leave a comment or two. Nas asked me what the site address was and when I spelled it out, he said,"I have been to your site before!" I immediately thought he was BSing me. I gave him one of my famous "negroe please" smirks, and he responded by saying he was not joking. I needed proof though, because I was not going let Nas make me look like a fool in the middle of downtown Detroit. Nope, not the kid! It wasn't until he mentioned my WNEX Radio posts that I knew he had been here before. Nas said that he had downloaded a couple of my mixes to check them out, and he was really feeling the WNEX joints. He liked the variety of music that I put on those mixes, especially the old school jams. I asked him what was his feelings about radio over the last few years. Nas told me that he understands that radio is a business, but the fun has been lost. It has become mindless entertainment with no substance. I totally agree with him!
We finally made it to the casino, and I got ready to head back to my vehicle. Nas asked me if I wanted to join him and his boy at the blackjack tables, but I declined. It's not that I am against gambling or anything, but I was 40 cents away from a quarter after that expensive meal I had just ate earlier. Plus, I don't mooch from people I don't know that well either, and borrowing money from Nas just didn't seem right to me? He might make a verse about me dissin' me one of his songs. So, I gave both Nas and his boy a pound and bounced. Nas was a cool dude, and the verbals we exchanged were enlightening to say the least. He told me some stuff that has definitely changed my outlook on hip hop music in general. So, as I began to head out of the door of the casino, I thought of one more question that I had to ask Nas. I was pissed I had forgotten to ask it all the time we walked to the casino. So, I walked back over to Nas while him and his boy were showing their ID's to the security guards, and I asked him this last question. Who was the best emcee between him and Jay-Z? One of the security guards looked shocked by my question. Nas started smiling and just as he was about to answer my question, the casino fire alarms started going off! The security guards jumped up from their post and headed inside the casino lobby. All of sudden everything started getting really dark in the casino entrance where we were standing. It was like the lights had gone out or something. I couldn't even see Nas anymore, or anyone else for that matter at this point. As most black folks do during a crisis, I started running for the exit doors at full speed. Before I could reach them, I woke up out of my sleep in a panic! I looked around my bedroom and I quickly realized that my alarm clock was going off, and I was going to be late for work again....! Damn, I hate when that happens!!
Since, Nas spoke so highly of the WNEX Radio joints in my dream, I thought I'd put a fresh one together today. Just to show my appreciation for him stopping through the spot.
WNEX RADIO STATION 5 TRACKLIST:
1)) SNOOP FEAT. D'ANGELO & DR. DRE - IMAGINE
2)) JAY-Z FEAT. CHRISETTE MICHELE - LOST ONES
3)) MARY J. BLIGE - LOVE
4)) TEEDRA MOSES - NO MORE TEARS
5)) AL B. SURE - NITE AND DAY
6)) NU SHOOZ - I CAN'T WAIT
7)) EVELYN CHAMPAIGN KING - BETCHA SHE DON'T LOVE YOU
8)) DARIEN BROCKINGTON - HE WILL BREAK YOUR HEART
9)) RICH MEDINA FEAT. SIJI - EMANCIPATION SUITE
10)MOS DEF - U R THE ONE
11)ALANTIC STARR - SEND FOR ME
12)RAHSAAN PATTERSON - YEAH, YEAH, YEAH
13)FABU - JUST ROLL
14)NAS - 2ND CHILDHOOD
15)JAY-Z - LUCIFER (K.B. REMIX)
16)ERRO FEAT. MARSHA AMBROSIOUS - N2U
17)ALEXANDER O'NEAL - IF YOU WERE HERE TONIGHT
18)BOBBY WOMACK - I'M LOOKING FOR A LOVE
GET WNEX RADIO STATION 5 HERE