Friday, August 31, 2007

It seems like it was just yesterday when the hip-hop world was so overwhelmed with violinist sensation Miri Ben Ari! I must say though, the first time I saw her on 106 & Park (back when it was worth watching) I was totally impressed with her skills. She killed that shyt! Watching her play the violin over Biggie's "One More Chance" instrumental was classic! She definitely kept the deejay on his toes too. Call me naive, but I thought Miri would make an album doing the same thing that made her a overnight celebrity, but I thought wrong. Somebody thought it would be cool for her to make original tracks instead, and judging by her over record sells the record was wrong as well! It's a shame though because I think Miri is a true talent. Maybe, one day she'll make an hip-hop violinist album worthy of her talents, but until that happens peep out this video clip of Miri doing the thang on the Apollo back in the day...


Now, that you've seen Miri in action, check out these other hip-hop violinists and see if they can even compare to her?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sometimes, I wonder if there is anything still being targeted for ADULTS that want some quality entertainment that's not a phuckin' reality tv show or porn? Is it me, or is everything starting to be targeted toward the teenagers in the new millennium. When I was a kid it was the other way around. Nothing was targeted for kids other than cartoons and kool aid. The rest of the world was for adults, so that meant kids had to take they azz to bed when the good adult shyt started to happen! This is just another reason why I know the world is coming to an end sooner than I would like. Maybe, it's also the reason why most people over the age of 16 thinks music sucks too? The urban music scene seems to have forgotten about what adults like to listen to as a whole. Where are the adult contemporary artists that resemble the greats of the past like Luther Vandross, Anita Baker, Sade, Will Downing, etc. The major record labels won't even touch an older established artist in most cases, but they'll sign a bubble-gum trio of sex crazed teenage boys without even hearing them sing first!

Well, I have two new albums that may just give you folks that urban adult soul music fix that you need. The first is by my one my favorite overlooked soul artists Ledisi. She just dropped her new joint "Lost & Found," which has a smooth jazzy sound, while keeping it oh so soulful. Good stuff! Actually, all of her albums are pretty solid. If you are diggin' the debut from Chrisette Michele, then Ledisi is right up your azz...I mean alley! I think that was a typo? Next up is Jilly a.k.a Jill Scott. Do I really need to remind ya'll how Ms. Scott is? Since, I am a music mutant, I got a chance to hear a few cuts off her new joint, and I actually think it's her best material since her debut. Jill seems to be focused, and she definitely has her swagger back as well. Hell, you can tell that by this sexy dope album cover, which is one of the two available. I actually like the cover the best because she has that look on her face that says..."Stop typing on that keyboard SoundNexx and come to Philly and do something bad to me!" So, on that note, I'll end this post here so I can get to the Metro Airport before my flight leaves....

Check these links for more info:

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I'm a lucky bastid, so I get to hear so much music that it’s difficult for me to remember who’s who in many cases. As some artist’s names go in one ear and out the other, there are a few that catch my keep my attention like Stacy Epps. I know her name doesn’t sound a familiar to most of you, but some of you have heard her voice and probably didn’t even know it? If you consider yourself a true hip-hop fan, then you have definitely heard the Madvillain (M.F. Doom & Madlib) album “Madvillainy” I hope? That album is without a doubt classic underground material, and it features Ms. Epps on a track called “Eye.” The track is pretty short in length, but it was enough for me to take notice. It didn’t dawn on me at the time, but I had heard her vocals even earlier in her career when she was part of the underground soul duo Sol Uprising. The group released their only CD “Sol Power” back in 2003. The album was an independent release, so most folks never knew it existed. The vibe of the “Sol Power” project was soulfully raw and gritty with some hip-hop influences lurking in the background.

It’s been about 4 years since Stacy Epps has done anything major, but now she’s back as a solo indie artist. She just released her debut solo album titled “Ruff Draft,” which is available for purchase on her Myspace page. You might be thinking, why should I be interested in hearing this Stacy Epps album when I’ve never heard of her as an artist before? I would probably be thinking the same thing, but when you see who’s handling the production on her new joint you just may get very interested? The album producers include Madlib, M.F. Doom, J Dilla, Muhsinah, Jneiro Jarel, DJ PudgEmcee and Apex. Ms. Epps is pretty good with them beats too, so she laced a couple of tracks herself. Personally, I am already a fan of Stacy Epps, and maybe you will be too! So, show Ms. Epps some e-luv by checking out her Myspace page I have listed below and hear what you think.

Stacy Epps Links:

Listen to album snippets here

Monday, August 27, 2007

In a quest to move forward musically, sometimes I have to look back and reflect. Even though I get plenty of new music on the regular, I still dig in the crates for some of that old classic material. One of my favorite hip-hop groups that began their music journey in the early 90s, but still hasn’t received the respect that they deserve is The Beatnuts! Original group members included Ju-Ju, Psycho Les and Kool Fashion a.k.a. Al’ Tariq. Kool Fashion left the group early on, but Ju-Ju and Les remained focused and never seemed to lose a step during the transition. As forgotten members of the Native Tongue’s movement the Beatnuts have laced rap fans with several hot joints over their years in the business. Outside of being the staple of early Latino based hip-hop back in the day they have also worked with dope artists like Common, Dead Prez, A.G., Freeway, Grand Puba, Tha Alkaholiks, etc. Back in the 90s if you wanted a sick beat the Beatnuts were on that top producers list along with other greats like Premo, Puff Daddy & Jermaine Dupri. I don’t know about you, but the Beatnuts have definitely influenced my love for hip-hop over the years with some of those crazy azz beats that they’ve produced.

Classic Beatnuts’ joints like “Intoxicated Demons EP,” “Street Level” and “Stone Crazy” still makes my music rotation from time to time even in 2007. Why the Beatnuts are never included in the average hip-hop fan’s Top 10 producer’s list is amazing to me, but then again I guess it is understandable. The truth is that most fans hardly ever remember what an artist did in the past, because they are so focused on what they are doing now. Sadly, when it comes to most of the fickle music fans of the new millennium, if you’re not doing anything at the moment your whole career seems to be irrelevant. Personally, I don’t give a damn if the Beatnuts never make another hot record ever again, they will always remain in the SoundNexx Hip-Hop Hall of Fame for eternity.

As we continue on…take a look at this Beatnuts video tribute that I put together by way of YouTubage…

The Beatnuts - Watch Out Now

The Beatnuts - Props Over Here

The Beatnuts ft. Big Pun - Off The Books

The Beatnuts - No Escaping This

Okay, that is all...

Friday, August 24, 2007


I won't even try to act like I am a huge Rhymefest fan, because I'm not. It's nothing against the Midwest emcee personally, but he just doesn't move me with his lyrics each and everytime he spits a rhyme. Truth be told though, he does have some definite bangers in his short discography, and this joint (video) I posted for you today is one of them! This "Fever" track is definitely blazing, so check it out!

Thursday, August 23, 2007


It’s all about that 90s R&B today ladies and gents! Forgotten songs and artists that were definitely doing their thing back in the day. Lets reminisce a little bit. My favorite R&B female freak would have to be Adina Howard. Not only for the simple fact that she’s from Motown, but it’s impossible to deny the presence she made in the music game when she first came out with her debut album. The album cover alone had most men feening, but overall her debut was freakishly satisfying to the ears as well. Adina is just straight up nasty with her lyrical content at times, but I like it! The lady has dropped several hot singles and remixes throughout the 90s, so I thought she’d be around for a while? Well, I was wrong. She left her fans high and dry. She did come out with an independent album in the new millennium, but the majority of the world didn’t even know it came out, so nobody bought it. As long as there are pictures of her floating around the internet, I will probably always be a closet fan of hers.

When it comes to female groups in the 90s one of my favorites was definitely Zhane’ (pronounced Jah-Nay for some reason). Tracks like “Hey Mr. DJ” and “Groove Thang” are still club classics in my book even in 2007. Actually, all of the songs on their debut album equaled classic material. Not only was their music addictive, but their look back then was pretty fresh as well. Other than Grace Jones there weren’t many women rocking the brush cut look, and I thought they looked pretty fly personally. They took on a different look with longer hair for their sophomore album “Saturday Night,” which unfortunately didn’t do so well. There were a couple of solid singles on the album, but it just didn’t have the same impact as their debut. Soon after that Zhane’ disappeared leaving their fans lost, waiting for a musical return that would never happen. Even though Zhane’ is no more, ex-group member Renee Neufville is doing her solo thing as an independent artist on the underground soul scene. I like what I’ve heard from her so far, so keep your eyes posted for more on her in the very near future.

Now, wait a minute! Is that Ray J’s sister? Yep, and her name is Brandy Norwood. You might be thinking…why is Brandy being put into the Forgotten Artists category? She still makes music and some may feel that she’s still relevant today. No matter how you feel about Brandy personally, the reality is that her musical career has suffered a slow and painful death over the last few years. The early years of her career were the best that it’s going to ever get in my opinion. Singles like “I Wanna Be Down,” “Best Friend,” “Baby,” “The Boy Is Mine,” etc. put Brandy at a superstar status. She was the little singing princess that everybody just loved to death, but as she got older things began to change. Her music career seemed to become an afterthought once she got pregnant and supposedly married some producer dude abruptly after only knowing him for a short time. Then come to find out after the baby was born that she lied about getting married after all, leaving her fans feeling bewildered and confused. Sadly, things just seemed to take an avalanche type slide into the toilet for Brandy during that drama filled period of her life. I am pessimistically-optimistic (if that’s possible) in my view of Brandy’s musical future right now. History has shown that it’s never too late to make a come back, but right now Brandy is a distant music memory of what she once was.

Ladies…are you ready to sweat? This next dude has been making the ladies weak in the knees since the late 80s, and his name is Keith Sweat a.k.a Keitherland Sweatington. Keith was the best at begging the women through song to give him another chance. In some of his records he begged so much that you almost felt sorry for the dude. Even though voice could get very annoying at times, the guy has made some stellar hit records during his career. Tracks like “Make It Last Forever” and “Something Just Ain’t Right” are still urban cabaret classics that are guaranteed to get some folks on the dance floor for some touchy-feely slow dancing. Even though Mr. Sweat still drops an album every so many years, the sad reality is that nobody really cares in 2007. I am happy to know that the dude is still working on his craft, but if I was pushed into listening to any of Keith Sweat’s music, it would definitely be stuff from his earlier years. Outside of crying and begging for another chance, he did discover some solid R&B groups like Kut Klose and Silk. Both groups did their thing for a minute back in the 90s, but they eventually vanished as well after a pretty short lived music career. If you didn’t know, Keith is has a syndicated evening radio show called “Sweat Hotel” where he seduces women to call in to confess the wrongs that they’ve done to someone special. Even though Mr. Sweat overdoes the sexy voice radio personality thing, I will give him props for keeping his name out there after all of these years.

Okay...enough typing! It's time to share some music...

After I posted part 1 of this re-mixx series a minute ago, I got so many emails requesting more mixes like that, so I decided to put another one together sooner than I originally planned. Part 2 has even more remixes from some of our forgotten, but favorite artists from the 90s. No matter how you slice it, the 90s era produced plenty of great artists and music as a whole, so enjoy this musical remixx journey back down memory lane.


01*Asante ft. The Fugees - Look What You've Done (Remix)
02*Keith Sweat ft. Kut Klose - Twisted (Tumblin' Dice Remix)
03*Donnell Jones - Knocks Me Off My Feet (Remix)
04*Mokenstef - I Got Him All of The Time (He's Mine Remix)
05*Kino ft. Shinehead - Bring It On (Remix)
06*Silk ft. Foxy Brown - Hooked On You (Remix)
07*Sa-Deuce - Don't Waste My Time (Mecca Remix)
08*Kaycee ft. Ludacris - It's Alright (ATL Drop Remix)
09*Zhane' ft. Queen Latifah - Request Line (Remix)
10*Allure ft. Tone & A.Z. - Head Over Heels (Remix)
11*The Black Flames - Watching You (Katchy Remix)
12*911 - Cutie (Fingers Remix)
13*Brandy - Best Friend (Character Remix)
14*Changing Faces - Keep It Right There (Salaam Remix)
15*Kut Klose - Surrender (Drop Remix)
16*Adina Howard - My Up and Down (Ride 2 Remix)
17*Blu ft. Simple E - My Ol' Lady (Remix)

Poor, poor Lauryn Hill! What the phuckith has happened to you? You were the Sweetest Thing I've Ever Known, but now your the scariest thing I have ever seen! I can't type anymore, so I'll let these freakish photos speak for themselves...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Who’s The Low Budget Crew you ask? Let’s just say that these dudes reppin’ Washington D.C. are one of the dopest hip-hop crews doing it these days, that most folks still have never heard of. What makes them dope in my opinion is the fact that each member contributes something unique to the movement, similar to other crews like De La Soul, Tribe & The Justus League. The coolest thing about these katz is that their music has a positive vibe to it, but it’s not corny. They don’t have to talk all raunchy while using every curse word in the urban dictionary to make a point. There are several extended family members that rep the Low Budget Brand, but the main members are Kev Brown (Producer/Emcee), Cy Young (Emcee), Oddisee (Producer/Emcee), Kenn Starr (Emcee) and DJ Roddy Rod (DJ/Emcee). As individual artists these katz are top notch, but as a unit they form a mighty hip-hop Voltron. I double dare somebody to ask me what Voltron is? As the late great Dr. Bill Bixby once stated, “Don’t make me angry…you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry!”

If ya’ll have been hanging around SoundNexx for any decent length of time, you should already know my take on that man Kev Brown. He’s a solid emcee with that magic touch when it comes to making those beats. Being an understudy of the greats like Marley Marl, Pete Rock and Premo have definitely paid off! Kev’s beats have that melodic-hypnotic feel to them that could even make a deaf mute get to bobbin’ their head. The producer extraordinaire Oddisee keeps his beats smooth, but definitely funky. Both of these dudes are always consistent, and they seem to have made each other better after years of working together. Kenn Starr is the main emcee of the Low Budget Crew. His lyrical ability is impressive and his wordplay is definitely rewind and quotable worthy. I knew Kenny had the gift of gab by some of his earlier tracks, but when he dropped he debut joint “Starr Status” I knew the kid was no joke! Roddy Rod is under the radar right now for the most part, but keep your ears open for this man though. The track he did with earlier this year with Mr. Laine was definitely bananas republic for sure. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’ll know very soon, so stay tuned. Last, but not least is emcee Cy Young. One thing that stands out about this kat immediately is the fact that he’s 6 feet 7 inches tall! He’s an ex-pro basketball player from back in the day, but rappin’ is his true passion. He’s definitely the Jolly Green Giant of the rap game, but the dude can actually rhyme unlike his mutant nemesis wack-a-Shaq! Other Low Budget members and affiliates include: Kaimbr, Wanya, Critically Acclaimed, Muhsinah, Kenwood, Sean Born, I.Q. and DJ Marshall Law.

This post would not be complete without some dope video footage to wrap things up nicely, so here you go folks:

Cy Young

DJ Roddy Rod

Kenn Starr

The Low Budget Crew Back Stage


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Yes, you read it right! Talk about beating a dead one legged zebra!! Damn, has R. Kelly finally lost his creative edge in 2007? I don’t know about ya’ll, but I miss the old R. Kelly from the days of Public Announcement. That version of R. Kelly was actually a SINGER! When you talk about his albums like Born Into The 90s, 12 Play and R. Kelly were classics in my book. That was Robert in his music prime. After those joints came the R. double album in 1998, which was a decent release as well. I think he could have just removed a few of the filler tracks and made one solid album though, but that’s just my opinion. After that album the R. Kelly movement was hit and miss with me. I wasn’t really feeling the R&B thug persona that he started to embellish on that TP-2 album. It seemed like singing became secondary to his newfound rapper vibe. I mean Kels had briefly rapped on some of his previous projects, but this was different. This was just the beginning of what he had in store for his fans. I can’t front though R. Kelly is the master at making catchy hit records, but his albums as of late have been mediocre at best except for that Chocolate Factory album he dropped in 2003. Everybody on the planet has stepped in the name of love with the keys in the ignition, so I have to give props when they’re due. We won’t even talk about how R. Kelly went all gospel on us right after those tapes of him and the young girls got leaked all over the internet. He still holds the championship for the best lie ever told by a singer caught on tape doing wrong though.

Then in 2005 it happened. R. Kelly trapped us all in the phucken closet! I still remember the first time I heard Chapter 1 of 5 on the radio and discussing it with folks at work that day. When I realized that this was a crazy story broken up into five chapters, admittedly I was intrigued. Like everyone else with a conscious, I couldn’t wait to hear the next chapters, so I found a spot online where I could hear them before they actually played on the radio. I knew that the songs would have no replay value once the five chapters had been revealed, but the musical concept was brilliant. R. Kelly was definitely the man again, but unfortunately he f*cked that up by making an extra seven wack chapters. It definitely seemed like an unplanned afterthought, which backfired horribly. I was confused as hell by Chapter 9, and all I really remember is something about a midget, a fat white woman and a donkey with wearing some cowboy boots? I didn’t even bother watching chapter 10 thru 12. I was just glad that the closet madness was finally over; at least I thought it was dammit?

I almost spit my pickle-prune juice with rum cocktail all over my television when I saw the commercial for the release of Chapters 13-22 of the Trapped In The Closet travesty. How could he? Why would he? Honestly, does anybody really give a damn about this story or the characters involved? I don’t and I am disappointed that R. Kelly would bother releasing any more chapters on this tired story. Almost everyone that I talked to hated his last album, so maybe this is his last hoorah before he finally goes to jail? On second thought, since he last name isn't Vick, he may not see any jail time at all? His trial starts in September, but does anybody really remember what he was being prosecuted for in 2007? Those child porn videos are so old now, they're in black & white...

On that note…I can’t leave my visitors hanging who are actually interested in the next 10 Chapters, so I have decided to post Chapter 13 just in case you haven’t seen it yet. Don’t hold your breath if you think I will be posting any of the other chapters on this blog though...

Trapped In The Closet - Chapter 13

Was this video really worth your precious eye juice?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

There have been plenty of R&B and soul artists that have come and gone over the years, while a few have continued to quality make music consistently. Not only are they making good music, but they have found a way to remain relevant as well. One artist that definitely falls into that category is Angela Laverne Brown a.k.a Angie Stone. I have been a fan of Angie’s since she was dropping vocals with the R&B group Vertical Hold back in the 90s. The most interesting thing about Ms. Stone that most folks don’t know is that she actually used to be an emcee in a rap group called The Sequence back in the 80s. I have never heard any of their joints, so I have no clue whether she was dope or not? Just add her to the list with Erykah Badu and Dwele of soul artists that started out rapping, but ended up as soul singers instead. Remember when Angie shocked the industry a few years back when she dropped the bomb that her, and the missing-in-action-soul-singer D’Angelo had a four-year fling-a-ding, which resulted in a son. I didn’t know that Angie and Michael Archer (D’Angelo) were doing the hippity-dippity back in the mid-90s?? Maybe, if she gave him some of the goodie-goody now, he’d put out a damn album?? That probably wouldn’t work either, but you can’t blame a man for dreaming.

It’s 2007, and Angie Stone is preparing to release her latest project “The Art of Love and War” that drops on October 16, 2007! Rumor has it that Angie has shed a few pounds over the last few months? If I had to base my belief of that information by her antics on the "Celebrity Fit Club" television show awhile back, I am pretty doubtful that she has. Personally, I can care less, because it's only about the music for me anyway. Just like the upcoming releases from Jill Scott and Erykah Badu, I am definitely anticipating the release of this joint as well. I’m diggin’ the first single from the new album entitled Babyfeaturing Betty Wright. What you youngsters know about Betty Wright? Be sure to get you Google on if you don’t know about Betty! The new album looks like it might be pretty good, so make sure you check it out when it drops.

Peep the "Baby" Video:

What up with putting water on the cornflakes?? Now, that's just plain nasty....

Saturday, August 18, 2007

There's an old cliche' that says don't judge a book by its cover, so keep that in mind as I introduce you to a dope female emcee called Eternia who's reppin' New York by way of Toronto, Canada. I have become a true fan of her skills and delivery over the last month, and I think she deserves a little light. Not since ladies like Antoinette, Salt-N-Pepa, MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, Jean Grae, Apani B, etc. dropped their first verses have I really been interested in the messages of the female emcee. In most cases there is too much sex and not enough substance. New comers like Invincible MC and Eternia both have the true understanding of what being an emcee really is, so I hope they can resurrect the female rap game just a little. At this point, it's pretty one sided and boring! Who said that white females can't rap? Eternia has one of the hardest deliveries that I have heard in a long time. Also, don't get it twisted either, Eternia is already a phenom over in Canada. She's already been nominated for a Juno Award, which is the Canadian equivalent to a Grammy Award. Now, she's moved to New York trying to become a star in the United States as well. We'll see how that goes for her, but until then checkout these videos and get familiar.

Eternia - Struggle (f/ Wordsworth & Kenn Starr)

Eternia - Evidence

Eternia has her new mix CD "Where I Am - The Setup" on the streets now, which is making a serious buzz on the underground these days. Get more info and music by clicking the links below:

Eternia's web site

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Sunday, August 12, 2007

No matter how good life may seem at times, there is always something that will eventually happen to mess things up. Life's problems can take any shape or form like overdue bills, car problems, venereal disease, losing your job, relationship issues, athelete's foot, jock itch, etc. Sometimes, there's a quick remedy to the problem like hitting the lottery or a large tube of medicated ointment, but in most cases we end up struggling with the problem(s) longer then we really want to. You may not want to talk about your problems with anyone, but you still need a way to release. Music has always been a great outlet for me during troubling times. No, music won't cure jock itch, but it just may make you feel better while you scratch? By the way, if you are over the age of 10 and you still have jock itch issues, try washing your ass more often and see if that helps? A hot-wet rag ain't never hurt anybody...

As I was saying...there always seems to be a song that hits home with a message that's perfect for what I may need to hear at a particular moment. Most of the time I feel better after listening to some great tunes, so I decided to put together a mixx that highlights some tracks that I enjoy. This mixx is on the positive tip, so be prepared for an uplifting experience. Many of these songs have risen my spirits when life was pissing in my Apple Jacks, so maybe they can do the same for you? Even if your life is a warm home made brownie with a nice scoop of Haagen Daz vanilla bean ice cream on top right now, this music is still soulfully good, so listen anyway...


01>anthony hamilton - why
02>melo - scratch my back
03>amp fiddler feat. stephanie mckay - heaven
04>wayna - doubting destiny
05>hezekiah feat. bilal - keep looking up remix
06>kindred the family soul feat. india arie - struggle no more
07>raheem devaughn - green leaves
08>d'angelo - i found my smile again
09>joy denalane feat. lupe fiasco - change
10>donnie - 911
11>sergio mendes feat. justin timberlake, p. monch & - loose ends
12>bilal salaam - heaven
13>carmen rodgers - just believe
14>hill st. soul - feel good factor
15>conya doss - find a way
16>choklate - bigger than you
17>aquila - life
18>myron - free
19>jon b feat. scarface - thru the fire


Friday, August 10, 2007

I am a fan of several overseas artists in general, but my favorite artist/producer from the Netherlands is my dude and hot producer Nicolay hands down! My second favorite Netherlands native would definitely have to be the singer sensation Moon Baker. I first got wind of her while I was attending a Nicolay album release party for “Here” last year sponsored by my Detroit brethren Mo. While I having a deep conversation with Nicolay about music after his deejay set, his manager came over to me and put a Moon Baker remix single in my hand. The CD just so happened to have a Moon Baker remix on it produced by Nicolay, so that was a plus for me. There were also a couple album tracks on the CD single, so I knew that I was going to be checking for Moon in the future. Nicolay spoke highly of her himself, and he also stated how happy he was to working with her on her debut solo album “ABC of Romance.” When I finally got around to hearing her album a couple of months later, it was pretty good overall. Quality lyrics and nice beats with a soulful hip-hop twist to it. Back then I also didn’t realize at the time that Moon had worked with artists like Candy Dulfer and Sheila E back in the day. That kind of explains why her live performances are so entertaining. Checkout this clip of a live performance by Moon Baker and her band, and hear some album tracks as well.

Moon Baker Live here:

Moon Baker Myspace Here:

Moon Baker Web Site Here:


U-N-I - K.R.E.A.M.

Who said rap music isn't fun anymore?? These katz coming out of Inglewood, California that call themselves U-N-I beg to differ! Checkout this track "K.R.E.A.M." off of their upcoming debut album "Fried Chicken and Watermelon" and hear what you think.

Hit them up at

Shoutout to Messiah for the heads up!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

If you didn't know Madlib is that dude! He's releasing "Beat Konducta India Volumes 3 & 4" of his instrumental series on August 28, 2007, so mark your calendars. If you were in a comma or in jail, I can forgive you for not hearing "Beat Konducta Volumes 1 & 2: Movie Scenes," otherwise you lost big time if you like instrumental hip-hop! Outside of the late great J-Dilla, Madlib is the true master at telling a story with beats and samples. Sound clips and basslines are meticulously woven together like your great grandmother's afghan, but Madlib seems to never miss a beat. If he does miss a beat, it was probably on purpose. The thing I applaud most about Madlib and his Stones Throw musical family is that they don't mind going against the grain. While everyone is seems to be going right, they are going left and a little bit South. Just peep these Beat Konducta India promo ads out to see what I mean. I never get tired of watching these...


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Some call him Patrick Douthit, but most of us call him 9th Wonder a.k.a Mr. Fruity Loops. When it comes to my favorite’s list of top producers, 9th Wonder is definitely on it! In my opinion, Little Brother and the Justus League put life back into the rap genre that seemed to be going pretty stale before their arrival. 9th’s soul production sound was the backbone of the whole NC hip-hop movement. These guys from the country were on a mission to show that not all artists from the South only talk about trapping, riding on 24s and snap dancing. I actually think they have proven themselves up to this point. A lot of things have changed since Little Brother originally hit the music scene back in 2002 though. Over the last couple of years I have been noticing plenty of 9th Wonder bashing going on around the internet. Statements like “all of his production sounds the same” and “his style seems dated” are constantly posted all over the internet forums, blogs and web sites around the world. A lot of folks think he’s overrated, which is just another way to say that you don’t like someone without shitting on their track record in my opinion. Here’s my 10 cents on these statements…Every good producer has a production sound. That’s like their musical signature, and everyone from The Neptunes to Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis to Kanye West has one. 9th normally uses his signature beat patterns and soulful hook samples when making his beats, so there will be times when some of his production sounds similar. Who cares though if the beat is tight? As far as his production style being viewed as dated, 9th Wonder's production has that throwback to what the 90’s era appeal of hip-hop used to sound like. It’s kind of refreshing to me actually, plus 9th Wonder’s sample game is on point. The way he flips a sample is unparalleled in my opinion, so he mad props for that alone. An last, but no least 9th has been given the stamp of approval by producers that I totally respect like Questlove, Pete Rock, Marley Marl and DJ Premier. Nuff said...

The only bad thing I will say about 9th Wonder is that I think he was pretty selfish to leave Little Brother. Just my opinion though. As Phonte explained how things went down in an interview just after the break-up, he and Big Pooh both wanted to take the Little Brother sound to a new level. They had no doubts that 9th could step his game up a little due to his strong background in music. When they spoke to 9th about this transition for the new album, he seemed hesitant about changing his sound. 9th makes pretty good money producing for other artists that pay him swell for his sound just way it is, so why should he change anything? Talks of change seemed to put some distance between these long time college friends. It was obvious that they were now going in different directions as artists. Sadly, change is normally the reason why most groups break-up just behind enormous egos. Phonte swears that there in no beef between them and 9th Wonder, but I guess time will tell. I don’t agree with 9th’s final decision to leave the Little Brother group, but I understand. Sometimes, a man has to do what a man has to do, so I wish him well on his future endeavors. Now, that the synergy of the Little Brother trio has shifted, I hope that 9th can keep up the good work that he’s done in the past? With both Little Brother and 9th Wonder dropping new albums in 2007, it will be interesting to hear who’s going to come out on top! Hip-Hop needs both of these projects to do well actually. Either way I am buying them both. D.M. Vol. 1 was pretty tight, so I have high expectations for his upcoming Dream Merchant 2 project as well, which hits the streets on 10-09-07! I normally enjoy compilation albums that are held down by one dope producer, so I expect that 9th will deliver a banger project for us to enjoy. Oh yeah, and for those that didn't know, there was a Dream Merchant 1 project

Dream Merchant 2 Track List:
01. "Mr. Dream Merchant Intro"
02. "Shots" - Big Dho & Sean Price
03. "Merchant Of Dreams" - The EMBASSY, Skyzoo & Torae
04. "Brooklyn In My Mind" - Mos Def, Jean Grae & Memphis Bleek
05. "Sunday" - Keisha Shontelle & Chaundon
06. "Baking Soda" - Big Treal
07. "Reminisce (Take Time)" - Big Remo & The Great Novej of the A.L.L.I.E.S.
08. "No Time To Chill" - Little Brother
09. "It Aint Over" - Jozee Mo & Tyler Woods
10. "The Last Time" - Royce the 5'9, Naledge & Vandalyzm - The D, The Chi & The Lou
11. "Saved" - Saigon & Joe Scudda
12. "Milky Lowa" - Camp Lo
13. "Backlash" - Sean Boog & Buckshot
14. "Thank You" - D.O.X & O-Dash
15. "Let It Bang" - Ness & Skyzoo
16. "What Makes A Man" - Rapper Big Pooh & Buddy Klein

Since, this post is getting kind of long let me cut straight to the mixx. I call this mixx "9th Produced It" because all of these tracks are produced by Mr. Fruity Loops himself. These joints are some of my favorites from over his production career, so if you like hip-hop music you need to put your ears on this one for sure.

01~Tightman - Welcome The Underdawgs
02~Cesar Comanche - Drought (Remix)
03~Phonte - Too Late
04~Thirstin Howl III - Old English
05~De La Soul - Church
06~Binky feat. Phonte - Ladies Man
07~Kingz Kounty - Love Is Gone (Remix)
08~Thyrday - Good Music
09~AI - Were In
10~Little Brother - For U
11~Murs - Freak These Tales
12~Keisha Shontelle feat. Chaundon - Sunday
13~Little Brother feat. Darien Brockington - All For You
14~L.E.G.A.C.Y. - Third Person
15~Median - Give A Little Bit
16~Pooh - Dream Merchant
17~Cesar Comanche feat. Joe Scudda - Up & Down
18~EA Floe - The Torch
19~Slum Village - Look of Love (Remix)
20~Little Brother feat. L.E.G.A.C.Y. - Gotta Get It
21~Boot Camp Clik - So Focused
22~Sean Price - Heartburn
23~Common feat. Macy Gray - Ghetto Heaven (Remix)
24~9th Wonder - Miss Me (Instrumental)


Oh yeah, and just in case you missed it, also checkout The Justus League Mixx I posted a year ago...


Personally, I am not a big fan of live concert performances. I guess it's nice to see your favorite artists in the flesh, but other than that it's nothing special. Out of all the types of concerts I have attended over the years, rap concerts are definitely the worst. In most cases the artist(s) hardly ever exceed or even meet my expectations during a live performance. Some seem to have to attitude like they paid me to come see them perform instead of the other way around? There are a few exceptions like Luther Vandross, Joe Sample, Eric Roberson, Michael Jackson, Brian McKnight, etc. It’s obvious that some artists actually understand the true meaning of showmanship, while most don't have a clue. In my opinion, when it comes to a live performance I want to see more than just the rapping or singing of the words. That’s boring as hell! The focus should be about bringing the music to life to make the performance something memorable. I want to feel the excitement and enthusiasm from an artist on stage. Surprise me with additional lyrics, a different beat, a break dance move or something dammit! I hate when an artist is standing on stage mumbling into the microphone swaying back and forth like they don’t really want to be there? That’s like giving me a tall glass of NyQuil and a warm bath. After 5 minutes of watching a show like that, I will definitely be snoring before the night is over. When I don't see that extra effort being demonstrated by an artist during a live performance it angers me. All I do is sit there thinking how much happier I would have been just listening to their CD instead of paying good money to watch this mediocre performance. Natural talent seems to be nonexistent for many in this new generation of artists throughout the industry today. Since, talented producers use clever production trickery to hiding their lack of talent (sometimes), performing live is usually where their flaws are revealed leaving the fans disappointed in most cases. Damn, I hate when that happens!

Luckily for me, I went to a great concert event over the past weekend. Erykah Badu was the headliner while Lyfe Jennings and Monica Blaire got the concert party started. Monica Blaire is a female soul-singer from Detroit that I have become very fond of over the last few months. She is definitely a singer that I think has the potential to be one of the great ones in the future. In a 3 song set, Monica owned the stage a like a veteran singer. Good stuff no matter how you slice it! After Ms. Blaire exited, Lyfe Jennings and his crew hit the stage. Personally, I am not a fan of Lyfe’s music. It’s nothing against him personally, but his music just doesn’t move me. Well, I should say didn’t move me before. Lyfe Jennings is a perfect example of how a great live show can actually make people want to buy your music on CD. This dude put on a helluva show to say the least, so now I plan on finding some of his music to add to my collection. Mr. Jennings told us a story with his songs that described who he was and what he had gone through to reach this point in his life. All of songs flowed well, plus the guy can actually sing! He played the acoustic version of one of his older tracks with a guitar on his lap and he ripped it! At that point I began to wonder how and why I had been sleeping on this kat for so long.

Erykah Badu is a seasoned veteran at the live concert game. This was actually the second time that I have seen Erykah live, and her performances seem effortless, but always entertaining! Forget lip gloss, Erykah had the afro wig poppin’ for real! Not only is she sexy, but she understands her audience very well. She knows what to do and when to do it! A lot of folks don’t know that Erykah had aspirations of being a rapper before her singing career took off, so whenever Ms. Badu gets the chance to spit a rhyme she will. During the performance of one of my top 5 Erykah Badu tracks “Back in the Day (Puff),” she cleverly incorporated classic rap lyrics from legends like Slick Rick and LL Cool J without missing a beat. A masterful performance no doubt, but from a class act like Erykah Badu I expected nothing less. Lyfe Jennings was the sleeper surprise of the night though! I didn’t think he had it in him, but he had us all on our feet cheering before he left the stage. I hardly ever do the standing ovation thing at concerts because it’s rarely deserved, so if I got up to applaud Lyfe he must have been pretty good! It was nice to leave a concert with a feeling a satisfaction instead of the nasty taste of disappointment that I normally have when I leave one…

Since, we are on live performances...have you seen this one yet? Why Jay Leno played my dude Dwele like just another background singer I'll never know?

Common ft. Dwele - The People Live on Tonight Show

Monday, August 06, 2007


Before I saw this recent episode of MTV Cribs, I thought that the Birdman a.k.a Baby (Rapper/CEO of Cash Money Records) held the title for the most embarrassing black moment on the show, but I think Floyd Mayweather (boxer) has taken the title? Now, I totally understand what Rick James (played by David Chapelle) meant when he said the statement "They should have never given you ninjas money!" When I find the original MTV Cribs Birdman clip on the web, I'll post that one as well. These two dudes have a natural ability when it comes to bragging about how much money they have wasted, and it can only be described as brilliant! See for yourselves....

If any of you ever become rich, these are examples of what NOT to do!

Floyd Mayweather on MTV Cribs

Birdman on MTV Cribs (Flashback Whips Edition)

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Personally, I enjoy listening to the classic records from year’s past. I am a music collector, so it’s always interesting to hear what producer is going to flip one of my favorite old school soul records into a hot beat. It’s amazing how some records have been actually torn apart by several producers, looped and flipped to create a whole new production sound. The late soul singer James Brown had most of his records raped and pillaged by just about every producer over the years without any compensation in most cases. Mr. Brown was not only the undisputed King of Soul, but he was also considered the King of the Hip-Hop Samples as well. With several advancements in technology over the years, music sampling has become a lot easier and harder to detect without a trained ear. Most producers take several small samples from several different songs to make one beat. With the proper overlapping, looping and skewing of these various sounds, the beats are normally seamless. When the sampling process is done well, even the original artists themselves can’t recognize their own music. This sometimes saves the new school producer from having to get a sample clearance and/or pay the old school artist(s) for the use of their music. Not every producer is so lucky though, because many of them do get caught and sued by the artists or record company for the illegal use of a sample. Back in the day when a song was found using an illegal sample it immediately pulled and never released, but the wonderful Internet has even changed that as well. In the new millennium those types of illegal records are just leaked to the public, so everyone loses except the fans of course!

If you enjoy figuring out who sampled what, then you are in for a treat today! I have provided you with not ONE, but THREE mixes of original samples for you to explore! The first is my third installment of the “SoundNexx Sample This Lessons 3” series I started a while ago. The second mix is by 9th Wonder (Justus League) and the third is by Questlove (The Roots) who has a massive vinyl collection by the way. I have posted this Questlove joint before, but it’s worth posting again! So, make sure you get all three mixes, so you can get your full overdose of original samples used in some of your favorite new school rap and soul tracks. Listen carefully and hear the track that used these samples!

Get these three mixes while you can folks!




Thursday, August 02, 2007

In 2007, there are not too many mainstream type singers left that I actually gets my adrenaline going when it comes to them releasing some new material, but Jill Scott is one that does! Jill has everything that I like in a soul, personality, true talent and artistic integrity. I have actually enjoyed all of Jill's music since her first album, and she hasn't missed a beat yet in my opinion. It has been a minute since Jill Scott's last album, but on September 25, 2007 she will be releasing her third solo joint called "The Real Thing (Words and Music Volume 3)" for all to hear. If you have been coming to SoundNexx for any length of time, then you should've already heard the first single off Jill's new album "Hate on Me." Good stuff no doubt, but if you're like me you want to hear more of the new album, right? Well, you're in luck, because Jill Scott and Hidden Beach Records are offering fans an opportunity to hear and download portions of the album for FREE! Of course you won't be able download the whole album, but something is better than nothing. I don't know how long this preview will be available, so get it while you can.


Jill Scott - Ain't a Ceiling (Def Poetry)


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Robert O’Bryant a.k.a Waajeed is a deejay/producer representing that Detroit flavor who just also happens to be the founding member of the Platinum Pied Pipers. What I appreciate most about Waajeed is his taste in music and his humble type attitude. I have conversed with this dude on a few occasions throughout his career, and he’s always been very approachable when it comes to his fans. He’s the kind of person that will actually sit down and exchange a little verbiage with you after a gig, especially when the subject is about music. Sadly, there are plenty of artists that seem to have no time to share a moment with their fans, so when I meet the ones that do it without a problem I try to acknowledge them. Waajeed has been in the music game for a minute and unbeknownst to most, he has been working behind the scenes with some of Detroit’s finest artists. For example, Waajeed executive produced Dwele’s first underground album “Rize,” deejayed for the original Slum Village group and worked very closely with J Dilla on several early musical projects over the years. He also developed his own record label Bling 47, where several local Detroit artists call home. The best thing about being on Bling is that you have total musical freedom as an artist. Most artists signed to a record label never get to reach their full potential when it comes to having total artistic freedom, but folks at Bling 47 seem to encourage it. When you hear the music coming out of that camp from artists like J Dilla, Invincible MC, Tiombe Lockhart and Ta’raach, you realize that these folks enjoy pushing the musical envelope.

Now, the Bling Leader himself has a new musical project out called “The War LP!” Waajeed was originally asked by Ubiquity Records to put together a compilation of old and unreleased material showcasing the Bling 47 artists. Due to some personal issues in his life and the loss of his good friend J Dilla, Waajeed decided to create a new musical project instead of releasing rehashed material. I am happy that he did that as well, because it’s albums like these that keep me interested in music. I actually held off doing this post so that I could totally absorb what this record was all about. If I had to choose one word to describe this album it was have to be AGGRESSIVE. The beats and the lyrical content are very hard hitting, and they both make you pay attention to the underlying messages embedded throughout. If you are looking for that Platinum Pied Piper’s type vibe on The War LP, forget about it. The War has a darker feel to it musically. This album is about raging war on the machines in this country. The War LP touches on the controversial subjects of politics, poverty and of course war. It’s nice to listen to an album that actually has some substance to it for a change. Outside of all the hidden messages throughout the album, Waajeed showcases his abilities as a hot beat maker as well. There are several instrumentals from Waajeed himself and the legendary Jay Dee throughout the album as well to keep things balanced. If you are looking for a change of pace in your music listening and you don’t mind straying from the hot garbage that has been accepted in 2007, take a listen to The War LP! If you’re not a very open minded music listener by nature, don’t expect to fall in love with this album on the first listen. It will probably take a few listens before it all starts to make sense?

Here's a clip where Waajeed talks about his start in the business:

Waajeed behind the scenes on DAP

Checkout more on Waajeed and Bling 47 here: