Watch out for this kat from KC!
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Friday, March 30, 2007
Damn, how times have changed! I remember back in the day when there were only three ways I could hear new music before I purchased it. The first way was begging the local music store to open up the CD so that I could sample the music before I purchased it! That one rarely worked, but you can't get mad at a brotha for trying. The second way was going to websites like Amazon or Tower Records to hopefully hear a damn 10 second snippet of the tracks! That was the worst because I would sit there like 10 minutes listening those short and useless azz snippets, and still wonder if I really liked the music enough to buy it? They should change the name from "snippet" to "a-waste-of-my-phucken-time-et," because that's what it really is dammit! If the first two ways didn't work, my last resort would be to let one of my courages buddies buy the album first,and then listen to their copy. If the music sucked I'd just laugh and keep it moving, but if it was good I'd go and kopp it! The reality is most times I would often end up buying new music just on the look of the album cover alone? Desperate actions calls for desperate measures people. Needless to say I have wasted a lot of hard earned loot on crappy music over my time, but I did stumble up on some classic material as well during the process. Who am I kidding though? I wish I could get all of damn money back that I have been tricked into giving to these greedy record labels.
It's a new day in 2007 though. Luckily for me and my music addiction, I get a chance to put my ears on lots of great tunes in a pretty short period of time now. Music is EVERYWHERE on the internet just waiting to be heard. I never thought the day would come where the consumers would have the upperhand, but that day is upon us now. I don't know how long these wonderful times will last, but let's enjoy them while we can. Music blogs, chatrooms and forums are like roaches in 2007. Soon as one is exterminated, three more pop up! The way things are going these days, if you actually purchase a wack album in 2007 then it's all your fault and you should be ashamed. Be very ashamed! I still buy CDs when they are worthy of my money, but the days of making blind music purchases are over for me. I have enough CD coasters in my collection already, and refuse to add anymore. Okay, now I can step off of my soapbox and get on to business at hand...
As most of you know, I like to share music that I think is worth hearing. I realize that we all have different tastes, but I have to give you the opportunity to hear the tracks for yourselves even if you don't like them in the end. Today, I present you with four tracks that I am enjoying at the moment, and one that I think some of you may want to hear? This JUKIE-BOX is free, so you can keep your quarters in your pocket this time...
Jazzy Jeff feat. Rhymefest - Jeff-N-Fees: This track is off of Jazzy Jeff's "The Return of The Magnificent" EP. I am not a big Rhymefest fan, but he did his thang on this joint! Jeff held down the production nicely too by bringing back that old school feel with a touch of jazz.
Timbaland feat. Elton John - 2 Man Show: This joint is off of Timbo's new release "Shock Treatment." This is one of those tracks when you see who's on it you think, "How da hell did that happen?" Timbaland has always been ahead of his time on the production tip, but his rhyming skills still needs some serious work. Timbaland makes Puffy Daddy sound like Rakim on the mic? Nah, let me stop lying! The best thing about this track is that Tim is not rhyming that much, plus I like the laid back jazzy feel of it as well.
Mint Condition - After The Love Is Gone: Are you one of the folks still sleeping on the funky band known as Mint Condition? You need to see these katz live and you will know what a real concert is suppose sound like dammit! This track is off of the "Interpretations: Celebrating the Music of EW&F" compilation album where hand picked artists are given the opportunity to remake classic EW&F songs. I thought Mint Condition did a good job with this track, so check it out.
Snowgoons feat. Wise Intellegent - Teacher's Trademark: The Snowgoons are a production team out of Germany. This track is off of their new album "German Lugers" and it's a pretty solid indie release actually. The nicest part about this record other than the nice production is hearing my man Wise (from Poor Righteous Teachers) spitting some new verses. Dude has been AWOL for a minute now, so it's good see him dust off his mic to hit us with a little bit of wisdom once again!
Ashanti feat. Jim Jones - You Can't Deny It: I can honestly say that I am not a big Ashanti fan personally. Her music is hit or miss with me for the most part, and I think she has been very fortunate in her career to have seen the success she has at this point. When Ja Rule and Murder Inc. were poppin' like Orval Redenbacher back in the day, they had us hooked pretty good via the radio and video stations. Now-a-days, Ashanti seems to be standing alone, hoping to reinvent herself with that same magic of yester-year? This is her attempt at it I guess? In typical Ashanti fashion her production uses a rehashed Tupac sample, while adding the infamous Mr. Jim Jones to round out this uninspired single. It works for her though? Check it out!
Don't forget your jukie-juke prize for participating today:
Who said SoundNexx doesn't have a kind heart??
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
I read an interesting article a few days ago that talked about the significant drop of CD sales in the United States, which has actually plummeted 20 percent in the first quarter of 2007 because of internet downloading! Over the last several years CD sales have been steadily declining, but 20 percent is a lot in just 3 months. The article goes on mention that legal downloading of digitized albums did not make up the difference in losses, and that there has been a noticeable drop in that area of overall sales as well. Meanwhile, the legal sale of individual digitized songs has actually gone up over this period. Music consumers are making a definite statement to the record companies. The message is clear! We won't continue to buy crappy albums that are high on filler and low on quality. Hopefully, this message will push artists and labels alike into making better albums that are truly worth buying. The release of wack albums is nothing new by any stretch of the imagination. Consumers have been victimized for years. I have personally been bamboozled several times over my music buying years dammit! I bought albums in the past that literally only had one song that was worth listening to, but by the time I realized it my $15 was already in their pockets! These days technology has given consumers the upper hand, so now it's time for THE BIG PAYBACK!! Time to recoup some of our money back dammit!
When it comes to albums in 2007, all is not lost though. I have come across two new releases that are pretty solid in my personal opinion. First up the new album "Back to Black" by the very outspoken Amy Winehouse reppin' the United Kingdom! I like the album for several reasons. It has solid production throughout with a definite old school Motown feel to it, which works well with her lyrics actually. Combine that with a great voice and hard hitting lyrics and you have a solid album. It took me a couple of listens to really appreciate Amy's efforts on this project. This album is one that is heard better when played from beginning to end. It almost plays out like a long story with plenty of twists and turns along the way. I warn you though Amy is pretty blatant with her words of choice. This may not be for the virgin ear type of listeners, but this next album just may do the trick? How many of you folks out there still listen to Earth, Wind & Fire in 2007? I still do when I get into the mood for some good ole' classic soulistic grooves. As a tribute to the musical contributions of Maurice White and Earth, Wind & Fire there is a new project that has been released called "Interpretations: Celebrating the Music of Earth, Wind & Fire." These types of compilations are hit or miss in most cases, because everyone's interpretation of a classic record is not the same. That can be good or just plain terrible? Most times the reworking of a classic record is simply unworthy to say the least, and it can even be devastating to the singer's image as well? I am happy to say that this particular project was enjoyable overall. There's a nice mixture of quality singers on this project like Chaka Khan, Angie Stone, Lalah Hathaway & Dwele that do a pretty nice job on their renditions of these classic records. If you consider yourself a true EW&F fan, then you may want to check out this compilation. No, these new song interpretations won't replace the classic originals that we grew up listening to, but it may spice them up just a little??
LISTEN TO TRACKS FROM AMY WINEHOUSE HERE
AMY WINEHOUSE'S WEBSITE
AMY WINEHOUSE'S MYSPACE PAGE
LISTEN TO TRACKS FROM INTERPRETATIONS OF EW&F HERE
MAURICE WHITE'S WEBSITE
MAURICE WHITE'S MYSPACE PAGE
HERE IS A LINK TO THE ARTICLE I MENTIONED
Monday, March 26, 2007
I've been meaning to do this post for a minute now. It's time to page homage to one of the true legends in the producer game Teddy Riley! He has not only written and produced music for just about everyone that is anybody over his years in the game, but he has also helped build several music careers as well. Before you had producers like Just Blaze, The Neptunes, Rodney Jerkins, Dallas Austin, 9th Wonder, Pete Rock, Scott Scorch and Timbaland, there was Teddy Riley! It amazes me how Teddy never gets mentioned on most people's list of great producers? Believe me, Teddy Riley is your favorite producer's favorite producer. Mr. Riley started out in his first group Kidz At Work back in the 1980 with his partner Timmy Gatlin. I've never heard any of their tracks, so I don't know if they sucked or not? Here is a music trivia fact that most people don't know about Teddy Riley. Did you know at the age of 15 he was the music arranger for the hip-hop classic "The Show" featuring Doug E. Fresh and MC Ricky D a.k.a Slick Rick? What is a Music Arranger you ask? A Music Arranger is someone who adapts a musical composition for voices, instruments, and/or performance styles other than those for which the music was originally written. It may not sound like much, but it's a critical factor in making a great record.
Those early career moves definitely setup a solid foundation for Teddy, but the majority of the world recognizes his success with the R&B group Guy! Talk about a group with some hellified classics! Guy set the standard for true Rhythm & Blues in the 80s and the 90s. The original members of Guy were Teddy Riley, Aaron Hall and Timmy Gatlin who dropped their classic self-titled debut album that featured hits like "Groove Me," "Teddy's Jam" & "A Piece Of My Love." Timmy Gatlin left the group just as they were getting popular amongst music fans, so a lot of folks thought that Damian Hall (Aaron's brother) was an original member of the group. Damian came onboard after Timmy parted ways for a solo endeavor. Since, the core of the group remained in tact, the Guy sound was not lost after Gatlin's departure. With the success of Guy's debut, everybody was trying to recruit Teddy Riley to produce their record. He was working with everyone from Keith Sweat to Kool Moe Dee. Damn, do you folks remember when Keith Sweat was the man back in the day? He was a crying fool on every song too, but the ladies loved him! Anyway, if Teddy wasn't producing hot tracks, he was remixing them. By the way, when I say Teddy REMIXED tracks I don't mean those lame azz remixes you hear today where the beat the exactly the same as the original with a guest rapper spitting a couple of cheezy azz extra verses. NOPE!! I mean a true remix where the whole song is reworked from top to bottom dammit! That's what a real remix is for you new up & comers! Not only would he do one remix for a track, but he'd sometimes drop three or four different versions of a remix to make sure all his bases were covered. In 1990, Guy released their second album "The Future," which solidified that they were not just a one album wonder. Even with all of their success as a group, they decided to part ways and pursue some other options. Those damn EGOs again! As a producer Mr. Riley went on to worked with some of the hottest artists like Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Stephanie Mills, Heavy D, Public Enemy and James Ingram.
Outside of producing for several movie soundtracks and remixing hits, Teddy was able to establish a brand new sound for the 90s that he called "New Jack Swing." Whether you loved or hated it, you definitely had to respect his movement, which seemed to own the urban musical culture for a minute. I dug it actually. In 1992, while everybody was wondering if Guy was going to get back together again, Teddy formed a new group named "Blackstreet." Shamefully, Blackstreet made me forget all about the days of Guy. With Blackstreet...Teddy's sound seemed a little more rugged, but yet polished like Tyrese's balled head. The original members of the group were Dave Hollister, Joseph Stonestreet, Levi Little & Terrell Philips. The one track that should come to your mind immediately when you think of Blackstreet is the azz shakin' anthem "Booti Call!" The term "booti call" took on a life of its own, and it's still used even in 2007 as played out as it is dammit! I think I even heard Oprah Winfrey say something about making a booti call after her TV show finished taping?? The term was originally coined by "used2be" funnyman Bill Bellamy back in the first seasons of the HBO Def Jam Comedy series, but Teddy took the phrase worldwide by making a song about it. Also, I don't care what black folk's party/celebration you attend around the country, it's not official until the DJ plays the "Booti Call (Miami Remix)" so the party people can get their BC hustle on!
Just like the group Guy, after several hit singles, two successful albums and several band member changes the Blackstreet was going through some rocky times. Those damn egos again! Even with all of the internal struggles the group went on to release 3 more albums between 1996 and 2003! Their last two albums sucked like Monica Lewinsky? Oh yeah, I almost forgot about the Guy reunion album "Guy III" that dropped in 2000 (Yawn)?? Overall, it was just OKAY by my standards, but who am I? During the last few years Teddy has managed to keep his name musically relevant to a degree, but he has some a serious reemergence in 2007? He's currently working on comeback albums for The Backstreet Boys and Michael Jackson! I know most of you could care less, but I felt the need to share that little tidbit with you anyway.
Okay, on the real reason why you frequent this site on the regular....the damn music! Since, Teddy Riley is one of the greats I am sharing the mix that sparked this post in the first place. I actually made it about 7 years ago, and I call it the TeddyRileyJamz Mixx, which is basically a compilation of my favorite Teddy Riley produced and remixed tracks. Sometimes, I hate sharing these older mixes that I made years ago because my perfectionist mind state always finds several flaws in the mixes themselves, but I am trying to get over it dammit! It's part of my therapy. If you didn't already know, the majority of the mixes that I post on this site were originally created for my ears only, but I end up sharing most of them with you folks. Hopefully, you can attain the same eargasmik bliss that I do from this great music? This mix only contains a smidgen of the great tracks that Mr. Riley has blessed us with over the years, so think of this mix as only a glimpse into his extensive discography.
TEDDYRILEYJAMZ MIX TRACKLIST:
01-Big Bub - My Way
02-Guy - Lets Chill
03-Blackstreet - Tonight's The Night (Remix) feat. SWV, Craig Mack & Screwface
04-Mary J. Blige - My Love (Remix) feat. Heavy D
05-Blackstreet - No Diggity (BJ Remix)
06-Guy - Spend Time
07-Men of Vision - Do Thangs
08-Guy - Tell Me What You Like
09-Blackstreet - Joy (Remix)
10-Blackstreet - Fix (Remix)
11-Pure Soul - I Want You Back
12-Blackstreet - Booti Call (Booti Pop Remix)
13-Wreckx-N-Effect - Wreckx Shop (Remix) feat. Apache
14-Guy - I Like
15-Keith Sweat - Something Just Ain't Right
16-Guy - Crazy
17-Guy - Wanna Get With You
18-Guy - D-O-G Me Out (Remix)
19-Abstrac - Right & Hype
20-Wreckx-N-Effect - Ready Or Not feat. Big Bub
21-Johnny Kemp - Just Got Paid
22-Blackstreet - I Like The Way You Work (Remix)
23-Guy - Dancin'
This link has been updated to MP3 format!
GET THIS MIXX HERE!
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
I'm back on my indie hip-hop grind. Everytime I try to walk away, they keep pulling me back again dammit! I've put my hip-hop hat back on for good reason this time though. My main man El-Pee is back with his official second album release called "I'll Sleep When You're Dead." For those of you that have not frequented this site for long, or you just happened to Google the word "fresh" and this site popped up, El-P is one of my top 10 hip-hop producers for sure. Yeah, he may not be the hippest looking caucasion kat in the bunch, but the boy sure is funky! His drum patterns are sick! This is just another example of why you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. The same reason you shouldn't judge this dope album by its cover either. I stared at this cover for like 2 minutes before I realized that it was a pic of a Phoenix. El is notorious for his metaphoric and symbolic ways of expression, so I always expect the unexpected when I listen to his music. He literally takes your musical ear to places that it has never heard before, which is scary to a lot of folks. Scared listeners tend to reject rather than embrace this rewarding El-P experience. Love it or leave it alone.
If you El-P fans thought "Fantastic Damage" was crazy, you definitely need to feast your ears on this album. The new album is composed like one long story chopped into 13 short stories that all work together to make up the plot. Like most albums where you tend to skip around certain tracks, this joint is enjoyed better when played altogether in sequence. What I enjoy about El-P the most is that he's a realist with a very strong political understanding. While most of the world has been conditioned to be spoon fed the BS of the world, El sneaks into the kitchen with a camera to expose the true lies. Then he shares his findings with world in his music, if you choose to really listen. I consider El-P to be a revolutionary artist and this is definitely a revolutionary album. These are the types of albums that keeps me saying the saying that "underground hip-hop" is alive and well, while others think hip-hop is dead. The saddest thing about this whole situation is that this album will go unheard by the masses, while the Lil' Wayne track featuring Lil' Romeo, Lil' KeKe, Lil' Flip, Lil' Jon, Lil' Kim & Lil' Nuk-Nuk entitled "I'm Not Too Lil' Foe Dis Shyt" will be played 40 times a day on the radio! Honestly, if you dig original hip-hop and you are really fed up with the ass shakin', gun pullin', wagon wheel rim ridin' type rap music that is force fed to us daily, put your ears on this. If you check it out and you hate it, I can respect that. Everyone has their own taste when it comes to music, but atleast you took the chance.
LISTEN TO THE NEW ALBUM HERE:
EL-P's MYSPACE SITE:
MORE ON EL-P HERE:
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Personally, I enjoy all forms of jazz to a degree. While I'm choosey about my traditional and big band jazz, I can pretty much roll with anybody on the contemporary side of the music. I don't like that department store elevator, Kenny G type stuff for the most part though. I like a soulful feeling in the music. I even like jazzitized instrumentations of my favorite soul and R&B tracks, if the artist keeps is soulful throughout. It's hard not to like jazz, if you really like music. I love to hear when people say, "I hate jazz!" Normally, they feel that way because they haven't been exposed to the great artists in the jazz genre, but instead have been turned off by the jazz fakers. What is a jazz faker you ask? A jazz faker is one of these fly by night instrument playing katz that can barely play worth a dayum, so they choose to copy the styles of the greats to trick everyone and make an undeserved buzz for themselves. The hardest thing for new jazz fans is knowing where to start. Who should you buy first? How will I know if I like it or not? Here is my suggestion. If you are still one of the few that still spends money on purchasing CDs, I would suggest that you buy a jazz compilation to get started. A compilation gives you plenty of different artists to explore for one low price. If you hear a couple of songs that you like on the compilation, do some research on the internet about that artist. Listen to some snippets of the artist(s) on the music websites like Amazon and AOL. Find similiar artists to the person you like and off you go. It takes time to find great music in most cases, so be patient.
One of my favorites jazz musicians is Joe Sample! He's a pianist, keyboard player and composer. Joe has been jazzin' it up since the late 60s. He was also the founding member of the legendary Jazz Crusaders group in the 1970s. His solo career has been going strong since the 80s, and he has worked with just about everybody worth mentioning in the jazz genre. I can put on anyone of his albums and just let it play. If you ever get a chance to see him live, do it dammit! It's a life changing experience. Well, maybe not, but it's dayum good show though! Another group of jazz artists that have made a great impression on me over the years is Fourplay. This group has four members: Lee Ritnour (guitar), Bob James (keyboards), Nathan East (bass) and Harvey Mason (drums). In 1998, Mr. Ritnour left the group, so he was replaced with Larry Carlton. Definitely not a bad replacement. Talk about some smooth jazz fo' yo azz! There very first album "Fourplay," which was released in 1991 is still one of my all time favorites. These katz have some serious classics in their discography. Obviously, all of these jazz artists are great in their own right, but there is one that stands superior in my book. His name is Bob James. Hip-Hop artists have sample so much of his stuff that it should be a crime. I think he's running neck & neck with Roy Ayers for the jazz artist most sample in hip-hop? Good stuff no matter how you spin it.
Okay, on to the "real" business at hand. I have decided to post one of my favorite contemporary jazz mixes from back in the day. Everytime I play this joint for someone, they want a copy of it. So, I figured I should share this with you folks that are interested. I chose soulful jazz tracks that have featured singers crooning away. Now, that's what I call the best of both worlds. Even with all that I have said above, some of you will avoid this mixx (compilation actually) like the plague. Especially, some of you strictly hip-hopsters that frequent this site. I won't be mad at you for that though. I can totally understand your hesitation. The greatest thing about digital files is that you can delete them if you don't like them. In the end the choice is yours. You can get with this, or you can get with that....
Here is a list of contemporary jazz artists that may want to checkout if you haven't already:
Boney James, Earl Klugh, Dave Koz, Norman Brown, Kim Waters, George Benson, George Howard, David Sanborn, Herb Alpert, George Duke, Najee, Yellowjackets, Hiroshima, Chicken Shack, Marion Meadows, Kirk Whalum, K.D. Lang, Jeff Lorber, Richard Elliott, Urban Knights, Everette Harp, Petter White, Spyra Gyra, The Rippingtons, Ronnie Jordan, Fattburger and David Benoit....
01) Fourplay feat. El DeBarge - After The Dance
02) J Spencer - The Man With The Horn
03) Gerald Albright - Sweet Baby
04) Pete Belasco - Wonderful Woman
05) Art Porter feat. Lalah Hathoway - One More Chance
06) Boney James feat. Dwele - Break of Dawn
07) Michael Franks - Tell Me All About It
08) Alex Bugnon feat. Angie Stone - Won't Be A Fool
09) Fourplay feat. Chaka Khan & Nathan East - Between The Sheets
10) Gerald Albright & Will Downing - Stop, Look & Listen To Your Heart
11) Jeff Bradshaw feat. Floetry - Beautiful Day
12) Marion Meadows feat. Coko - You're Always On My Mind
13) Najee - I Adore Mi Amor
14) Joe Sample feat. Take 6 - U Turn
GET THE SMOOTHNESS HERE!
Friday, March 09, 2007
Being a true fan of soul music, I love to see the emergence of new talent! The breath of new life into any music genre is necessary to keep it evolving. Whether you like it or not, change is a good thing. Honestly, do you really want to hear the same types of songs rehashed over and over again? Well, I don't dammit, so now you can understand why I have this cheese-eatin' grin on my face while I'm typing this post! Seeing new faces and hearing new voices lets me know that even in music's so-called dismal state, folks are still being inspired. It reveals a glimmer of hope that the originality and artisitc values of music may just overshadow the plastic-cookie cutter, all about the money mentality. I love to see artists make money, but there has to be a balance. Today, I speaking on two ladies that are definitely handling their business on the underground/indie soul scene right now, that will hopefully become household names to everyone around the world? These two are definitely balancing things out.
First up is Melanie Rutherford a.k.a Melly Mel. She's reppin' Pontiac, Michigan to the fullest! You know I always show much love to my fellow Michiganers when I get a chance. Melanie maybe known to many people, but has already released an album a few years ago "You've Got Mel" that is pretty much impossible to find in 2007? I think it is on Ebay though for all of you big spending, collector's items type of consumers. Even with her limited exposure, Melanie has a cult like fan following that is well deserved. This sista can really sing, plus she has a street appeal to her sound. In August 2007 she plans on releasing her untitled second album? Hopefully, the new joint will be more accessible than her first album. What I like about Melanie the most is her raw passion. That emotion definitely permeates through her music. After reading some of the stuff she has posted on her myspace page, she seems like the type that would slap the taste out of your mouth for talking sideways to her? One of those bold type sistas that'll tell you how it really is, straight with no chaser! Strong sistas are very sexy, but if I ever get a chance to meet Melanie, I'll be sure to keep my guard up at all times....
Next up is Ms. Tiffany Paige who is now reppin' VA by way of AZ! This sultry soul songstress seems to be knee-deep in the underground hip-hop scene. She has already worked with several of my favorite known-unknowns like Zo!, Scienz of Life, Darien Brockington, Kaze, M.F. Doom and most recently John Robinson a.k.a Lil' Sci. By the way, if you haven't put your ears on that John Robinson album "The Leak Edition, Vol. 2" then you need to. That was definitely one of my favorites in 2006. It's strictly for the headz though, so if you think 50 Cent is the best rapper you've ever heard, avoid Mr. Robinson! Okay, the commercial break is over, so back to Tiffany dammit! Ms. Paige has a new album that will be dropping in August of 2007 entitled "The Dreamwalk LP," but until then the "Breakin' Boundaries" mixtape is hitting the streets first. The best thing about her album is that it is being produced by my man Zo!, so you know it's all good like MC Hammer! He's definitely one of my favorite instrumentalist in this season. I expect big thangs from Tiffany Paige, so be on the looky!
Think of this as a new artists alert! I left plenty of room for you folks to do some investigation of your own. Support good music dammit! You can start by checking out these dope sites that I have listed below:
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
"I love it when ya call me BIG POPPA!" Notorious B.I.G made that the catch phrase of the early 90s. Whether you liked his music or not, you definitely knew who he was. The hip-hop world was at a loss after his untimely death back in 1997. His short lived career changed the hip-hop game forever, and some consider him the greatest lyricist of all times (G.O.A.T)? It's all about personal opinion really, but I totally understand why some folks feel that way. Biggie definitely had all of the elements of a great MC with his wordplay, swagger, delivery, flow, street cred, crossover appeal and solid record sales. Plus, he has influenced most of the artists that he came in contact with through radio, television and especially in the studio. I realize that Biggie's impact in the game has spawned several music projects after his unfortunate death. Though it's not nearly as bad as the exploitation that 2pac's archived musical poems have suffered over the years, but there are several similarities. I ask you this question: When should you finally let the dead rest in eternal peace??
I totally understand that great souls die everyday! I know that they are definitely missed when they're gone, but when the powers that be continue to rehash and repackage their work it begins to lose it's true value in my opinion. Remember Biggie's last two projects "Born Again" and "Duets: Final Chapter?" Of course you don't! They were both mediocre projects at best, which is my point. If Biggie were still alive would any of those weakly produced and outrageously collaborated tracks have made it onto a true Notorious B.I.G album? Hell naw! Releasing music that the artist is not here to critique and/or scrutinize seems unfair to their legacy. Biggie only released two albums while he was alive, so why in the hell does he need a greatest hits project? I can't believe that anyone that considers themselves a true B.I.G fan has been patiently waiting for a greatest hits album so many years after his death dammit!! Oh, but here is the real kicker in my opinion. Not only do you get 15 tracks that you should already have, but you get two so-called unreleased tracks as well! Oh joy!! Are these some new verses that we've never heard before? Hell 2 tha naww! It's the same shizzle we've been hearing from the legend over the last 10 years, but this time around they got a few new guest appearances to hopefully spark some new life into these tracks. Plus, they want you to spend your hard earned dollars on this project to show some support? Remember, these are just my biased opinions, so do as you want. I hope Puffy has some true unreleased tracks in his closet that he will finally release for us to enjoy in the future? Until then, we're left with these....
For those of you that are interested in these cuts here are the names and guest on the two "unreleased" tracks for your listening pleasure...
1) Running Your Mouth featuring: Fabolous, Busta Rhymes, Snoop Dogg & Nate Dogg
2) Want That Old Thing Back featuring: Ja Rule & Ralph Tresvant
Monday, March 05, 2007
Thursday, March 01, 2007
When most people think of soul music, they automatically think of black people making it? The Merriam-Websters dictionary has soul defined as: A strong positive feeling (as of intense sensitivity and emotional fervor) conveyed especially by black American performers. Note that this is only one of the many definitions for the word and I agree with this definition, but it's limiting in my opinion. The association of Soul Food, Soul Train & Soul Glo with African-Americans has convinced most folks that only black folks can have soul when it comes to making music? Some black folks don't take too kindly to the idea of white artists making soul music? That mentality probably stems from previous music genres that black folk created in the past that many believe were ultimately stolen. Two examples would be Jazz and Rock & Roll music. Some believe the same thing will eventually happen with rap music? Personally, I enjoy good music no matter who makes it! When most of you were just stains on the sheets back in the 1970s & 1980s, there were several white artists that had much soul in their music. Remember the Bee Gees? You better! They were known for that classic movie soundtrack for the now disco cult classic "Saturday Night Fever" starring John Travolta. Don't sleep! That joint had some serious classic tracks on there. I definitely have that one in my extensive collection. I know they are looking a little fruity in the pic I have posted in the upper left corner, but them dudes could really blow! They were soulful on the hip-hop smooth tip. Well, maybe not, but you get my drift, right? Oh yeah... Robin Gibb (sitting in the middle), if you missed the memo...poka-dots went out with Kwame' back in 1989 playboy!?
One of my favorite Caucasion brothaz from back in the day would definitely have to be my main man Michael McDonald! I like to call him M&M for short. Mike got his start in music with the Doobie Brothers back in the 1970s. Remember that episode of "What's Happening!" TV show when Rerun hid that big azz tape cassette recorder under his coat to illegally record the Doobie Brother's concert? This way before the internet downloading theft you see today though? If you don't have a clue what show I am speaking of just google it? Anyhoo, Mike went solo in the 1980's and blew up like nitro! Black folks loved them some Michael McDonald. He made it official when he did the duet with Patti LaBelle "On My Own" back in 1986. Dude has much classic material in his extensive list of albums. The boy is good, plus his hair has been snow white since he was about 15 years-old, which is a helluva accomplishment in itself! I wish I was joking dammit??
It's about that time for some Hall & Oates folks! No, it's not the name of a breakfast cereal, but a dope group from back in the day that still gets heavy rotations in my CD player. The next duo is at the top of my list on the real! If you don't have any Hall & Oates in your music collection, it's not complete! Other than sporting press & curl hairstyles, these katz put it down back in the day! Tracks like "One On One" & "I Can't Go For That" are definitely classic material in my book. Their sound is timeless, plus it takes me back the days when music had a little substance. Their songs make you feel good like music from the soul should.
I love the old schoolers (no doubt), but there are a handful of new schoolers that are holding it down in the Caucasion soul department as well. Jon B is definitely holds the number one position on my new school soul artists list. Actually, he's in my Top 10 soul artists list as well. Mr. B always delivers that soulful goodness with each album, but even after several years in the game he is still one the most slept on? Why? I am not really sure, but I think some so called soul fans under estimate his talents because he's a white man in the soul music genre? For all of you skeptics out there, if you really love soul music then you definitely need Jon B in your life. Jon is not a faker like some of the Vanilla Ice type gimmicks that have hit the scene over the years. He's like an undercover brother actually? He has brother like tendencies. Jon is just doing him though, which I totally respect. Plus, he only dates black women, so I guess I can give him a little more credit for that as well. Okay, I'm just being silly now! Musically, he's produced and written for many of your favorite artists. He's also collaborated with a few of the veterans in the game like Nas, Tupac, Babyface, Scarface, & Faith Evans just to name a few. Another artist that seems to be Jon B like in some of his ways that is definitely scorching hot right now is Robin Charles Thicke. Yes, he really is Alan Thicke's son dammit! Many folks went beddy-by on him during his debut album release "A Beautiful World" back in 2003? Definitely a decent album, but Robin looked like a hippy from the 60's with that long-frizzy hairstyle he sported back then. With a new doo and a new swagger, Robin Thicke came back strong in 2006 with his latest project "The Evolution of Robin Thicke." If you've carelessly missed hearing this album, make sure you do. It's worth paying attention too! Outside of Jon B and Robin Thicke, there's another chap that I hardly ever hear mentioned when it comes to soul music and his name is Remy Shand. This Canadian native released one of my favorite tracks in 2002 called "Take A Message" that definitely made me take notice. The video for this track actually makes fun of Remy trying to play soul music a obviously black club. The club manager and the spectators were definitely skeptical at first, but Remy ended up turning that juke joint out! Hopefully, in the near future Mr. Shand will bless us with a new album? If you are reading this Remy, get on your grind playboy. Time's a wastin'!!
Alright, now I know you know that I know that there are plenty more artists that I could have spoken on in this post, so I will list their names now to hopefully make everyone happy? Well, maybe?These artists may not be considered soul artists by the masses, but they have released soulful songs at one time or another. Here is the list in no particular order: Teena Marie, Jo Jo, Joss Stone, Phil Collins, The Family, KC & The Sunshine Band, Eurythmics, Human League, Boy George, George Michael, Pete Bilasco, Christina Aguilara, Paul McCartney, Color Me Badd, The New Kids on The Block, etc......
Please, feel free to leave any artists names that I may have missed in the comments section! You know I had to put together a mix for this post to show my love to the White Choklate Soulsters of yesterday and today!
Just updated: The Whyte Choklate Soul Mixx has finally arrived! I'm back in effect like the HIV Virus....ouch! I don't think this mixx needs a tracklist, but if you want the name of an artist, just let me know! After making this mixx I realized that I will have to do a part 2 of it. There are just too many tracks that I couldn't fit into just one mixx dammit. So, be on the lookout for Volume 2 in the near future! Until then, enjoy the SoundNexx Experience....
GET THIS MIXX HERE!