Monday, December 31, 2007


This post has nothing to do with music believe it or not? I have decided to end my year of posting with something a little different this time around. I'm posting about my other love, which is food. While many of the gun happy folks in the city will be out there shooting bullets at the moon tonight pretending like they’re really celebrating New Year’s, I’ll be at my house sipping on something sweet and eating one my favorite desserts. Your boy SoundNexx loves some good home cooking, but I loves me some tasty desserts too!

Today, I am blessing you folks with a list of my Top 5 Desserts of 2007. Be aware that these tasty delites are the real deal, so there's none of that low-fat, sugar-free crap going on over here. That's not how I roll when it comes to desserts, so feast your eyes on these...

05 – Heath Bar Trifle: Ingredients include, but not limited to chocolate cake/fudge brownies, cool whip, chocolate pudding and Skor/Heath toffee candy bar bits. The trick to this dessert is layering. Improper layering of the ingredients can leave you with a messy concoction that will probably taste good, but it’ll look like you know what! You can substitute some of the ingredients based on your personal taste, but don’t get crazy. I have seen plain M&M candy used in place of the toffee candy. This dessert is good for any time of the year. Make sure you have some other folks to share this one with because it's pretty rich.

04 – Detroit's Boston Cooler: Ingredients include quality Vanilla Ice Cream and Vernors ginger ale soda. This tasty treat is Detroit classic even though it’s named after a city in Massachusetts. Click HERE to find out the unique history behind the Boston Cooler. Vernors ginger ale got its start here in Michigan, but it has found its way to several other states over the years. This golden ginger ale is wonderful when mixed with some premium vanilla ice cream in a large glass or cup. Don’t buy that cheap ice cream that comes in the huge tub with the handle sold at your local market because that’s fake ice cream full of air pockets. That cheap stuff won’t hold up with quality ginger ale. If you don’t have access to Vernor’s ginger ale, other brands of ginger ale should work as well? If you are feeling kind of randie, you can add a little rum in it to spice things up just a little!

03 – Paradise Pie (Chocolate Chip): Ingredients include a warm chocolate chip & coconut brownie, premium vanilla bean ice cream, Sanders Butterscotch Caramel Topping, Sanders Milk Chocolate Hot Fudge, chopped pecans and/or walnuts and optional whip cream topping. Place warm brownie on the plate and drizzle it with room temperature Sanders butterscotch caramel topping. Then place a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top of the cover brownie then drizzle with Sanders hot fudge topping. Sprinkle chopped walnuts and/or pecans over the top of ice cream and brownie. Finally, finish things off with a small amount of whipped cream to bring everything together. I’ve never been to heaven, but I’m willing to bet that this is the closest thing to it! Chili’s Restaurant makes a pretty good version of this dessert if you are too lazy to prepare it at home.

02 – Momma’s Double Chocolate Fudge Cake: Ingredients include devil’s food cake, melted fudge, semi-sweet chocolate chips and chocolate pudding mix. I can’t tell you my mom’s baking recipe for the unforgettable treat, because then I’d have to kill you! I will share this with you though, once the cake has finished baking a warm melted fudge sauce is poured all over it to provide its true flavor and moisture. With that warm fudge penetrating the outer cake layer and merging with those numerous chocolate chips buried deep inside the crevices it makes for a taste-gasmic experience. Add a scoop of premium vanilla bean on top a warm piece of this cake is better than any words can describe!

01 – Cookie-Sookie Sundae: Ingredients include Panera Bread’s Chocolate Chipper or Chocolate Duet with Walnuts cookies, premium butter-pecan ice cream, Sanders Milk Chocolate Hot Fudge topping and whipped cream topping. A soft cookie works better with this treat. Place one warm cookie in a bowl and add two medium scoops of butter-pecan ice cream on top. Place a second cookie on top making a sandwich. Add a substantial amount of warm Sander’s fudge on top of the dessert and then finish it off with some whipped cream. Depending on how large you cookies are a second cookie on top may be too much for the average eater. Eliminating the second cookie on top of this dessert works just as well.

When it comes to sweet topping and cakes the Sanders Company is the REAL DEAL! I've had some great toppings over the years, but Sanders brand is by far the best of them all...spoons down. Their products can spice any old regular dessert with the quickness. If you can't find them in your local stores check out their website here:

Vernors ginger ale is a staple here in Michigan! Canada Dry who?? If you consider yourself a ginger ale connoisseur and you've never had any Vernors you definitely need to try it. Check out their web site to get your hands on some here:

Panera Bread has some excellent goods, but their cookies are my favorite. Mrs. Fields who?? If you didn't know before, well now you do. Check out Panera Bread here:

On that note, I'm about to close the door on this post. It's been a good year in 2007, but I hope it's even better in 2008! When I get my hands on one of these desserts it will be for sure! I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year, and hopefully you'll be checking for me in 2008!

Friday, December 28, 2007

I was surfing the internet the other day, and I came across this strange looking video on Youtube (where the monsters live), and I pressed play for the hell of it. The video was a bunch of dance clips from the amateur old school dance off that Tom Joyner does on his Sky Show TV program. It's pretty funny on its own, but the producers of this video chopped up a few dance clips from the show and creatively manipulated them go along with this Lily Allen remix track. I was diggin' the remix from the gitty up, but all that I kept thinking was who the hell is Lily Allen? I never heard of this person before. I did a little research (like all true music lovers should) to find out more about this person. I found out that she's a pop/ska singer from the U.K. and she has her debut album out now entitled "Alright, Still" that has definitely made folks pay attention over the last few months. After hearing a few tracks off of her album I quickly realized that I like her style. She's a cross between Gwen Stefani and Amy Winehouse, but she has her own thing going on. I am not a huge fan of most pop music because of its gimmicky/bubble-gum marketing towards teenagers, but I like this though! Guess I don't hate all POP music after all?

I'm late as hell with my discovery of Lily Allen though, because this album dropped back in January 2007 or something like that. This is just another example of how my taste in music varies. I can pull out some old Chaka Demus & Pliers on you and start doing the Butterfly Dance, or some vintage Kraftwerk so I can get my pop-lock on to "Trans-Europe Express." I'm versatile like a pair of reversible boxer shorts. If you want to get on the L.A. bandwagon with me then go here:, but if you already knew about her and kept it to yourself, thanks for nothing. Share the wealth next time.

Oh yeah, here's that strange video that caught my attention:

Lily Allen - Smile Remix (Video)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Forgive me, but it's hard for me to digest the fact that it's almost 2008 already! I had a blast in 2007 and I hate to see that it's coming to an end. That just means even better things will be happening in 2008, so buckle up your seatbelts and keep your ears open. It's been a GREAT year for music lovers this year! It seemed like everyone was dropping hot records all year, which lead into wonderful albums as well. In the fast food style of obtaining music these days, it easy to overlook quality for quantity. As always though, the cream rises to the top. Today, I have posted my favorite 16 soul albums of the 2007. I call them my HOT 16 actually! These are albums that got heavy rotation in my automobile CD player throughout the year.

16 ~ Emily King - East Side Story: This was one of those albums that took me a couple of listens to fully appreciate what she was doing. Her lyrics are so heartfelt and rich that it's hard to deny her talent. I learned a lot about the artist Emily King on this album. She opened herself up for her fans to take a peek inside of her life from aspects of where she's come from to where she's at now. Outside of the lyrical content, the production was pretty solid as well. It seemed to fit perfectly with her vocals without over-shadowing the content. This album was slept on by most, but it's definitely worth a listen. This is not one of those bubble-gum gimmick type albums, so it may take a couple of listens to grasp the full understanding of this project. That's not a bad thing though.

15~Davina - Return To Soul V.1: I really enjoyed Davina's debut album back in the late 1990s, so it was a shock and a treat to realize that she was back at it 2007! She hasn't lost a musical step either. The vocals on the new joint were crisp and the beats were hypnotic. I love the way Davina combines the different genres of music like dance, hip-hop, soul and jazz into a tasty musical gumbo for all to enjoy. This album got absolutely not promotion, so most Davina fans and soul music lovers alike didn't even know that it had been released. That's terrible that a great album like this one will probably go unheard by the masses. Davina seems to be taking everything is stride though, so hopefully we will be getting some more music from this young lady in the near future.

14~Donnie - The Daily News: Personally, I have been a fan of Donnie since he debut release "The Colored Section" back in 2003. It's funny because normally when I mention the name Donnie to someone they automatically think I mean the legend Donny Hathaway! Then I say "No, not that Donny, the other Donnie!" This Donnie carries the same spirit of many great singers of the past though. He's not just a singer, but he's a preacher of the truth. While many singers prefer to remain detached from the world's problems that plagues us all, Donnie takes them on directly. In the spirit of Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" record, "The Daily News" album delivers a powerful message that should be heard by the masses. This is one of my favorite albums because it deliberately goes against the grain and it promotes change. I applaud Donnie for this album!
13~Carl Thomas - So Much Better: Mr. Thomas had been missing in action for a minute before this album dropped, so it was good to see him back at it once again! Personally, I am big Carl Thomas fan. I enjoy his cool-smooth vocals and his production seems to always be on point for the most part. After reading that Carl had almost put the microphone down for good after his brother was killed a few years ago, I was pretty curious to hear what he was bringing to the table this time around. I was pleasantly pleased. Plenty of of love ballads, mid-tempo and uptempo joints, which is typical for a Carl Thomas album. He knows what his fans like, and that's what he brings each time. I kept this joint in rotation for a minute, and I still pull it out when the mood is right. If you missed this one, it's never too late to put a little Carl Thomas in your life.

12~Joss Stone - Introducing Joss Stone: Joss has been doing her thing for a minute now, but her previous albums have been hit and miss with me overall. I liked some of her songs and others I didn't, but I have always felt that she was a great talent. Once I put my ears on her latest release I knew she had come into her own. This album is catchy due to those rememorable hooks and groovy beats babie..yeah! Initially, I thought her choice of album title was strange because this was like her third album, but now I get it. She's "Introducing" her defined sound to new music lovers that have been sleeping on her. I could be wrong, but who cares? The album is dope no matter how you chop it, so do yourself a favor and get familiar if you haven't already.

11~Amy Winehouse - Back To Black: Amy definitely wins the "2007 Most Criticized Award' of the year hands down! Every time I clicked on a web site some where on the internet there was new dirt being posted about Amy Winehouse. Yes, she might have worse teeth than a pack mule, and she may like to stay drunk all of the time, but you can't front on her music. The girl is nice with hers, and I got caught up in the Winehouse craze with the rest of the music lovers in the world. I was skeptical, but after a couple of listens to this album it was clear that Amy was the real deal. This album was disfunctionally entertaining and unique in its own right. I am a Winehouse fan in all of her disfunctional glory. It's about the music for me, so I can care less if she urinates on herself daily because of over drunkeness. If her music is dope, I'm wit it!

10~Chrisette Michele - I Am: I had a lot of high hopes of Ms. Michele. She seemed like she had the potential to take the music world by storm, and that's exactly what she did! I was lucky enough to to put my ears on some early promo joints from this album before it dropped, and I was pretty pleased. It is obvious that her record label wanted her to be successful because they spared no expense with promotion, production and guest appearances. Let me be frank, the girl can sang! Her strong yet smooth vocal style definitely rivals some of the greats, but she has managed to make her own nitch in the music game. Tracks like "Be O.K.," "Mr. Radio" and "Lets Rock" kept me hitting the repeat button my CD player (yep, I still have one)! How anybody that likes music hasn't heard this joint yet is beyond my comprehension, but if that's the case check it out.

09~Musiq Soulchild - Luvanmusiq: Musiq Soulchild has been pretty consistant with his album releases over the years. He always seems to easily balance that soulful vibe with little tidbits of hip-hop scattered throughout. I know plenty of folks that didn't like the album at all, but I beg to differ. Honestly, this project is not Musiq's best album to date, but it's still pretty good overall. I think where he may have faultered was the tricky bonus track situation that was created depending on what store you purchased the CD. There were about 5 bonus tracks scattered amongst the different versions of this album, which sucked for true Musiq fans. Some of those bonus tracks were better than a few that were included actually. Regardless, I still enjoyed this project overall. Personally, I can't go wrong when it comes to Musiq's music, so take the plunge if you haven't already.

08~Chaka Khan - Funk This: Chaka Khan....Chaka Khan, Chaka Khan...Chaka Khan let me rock you, let me rock you Chaka Khan! Sometimes, when your favorite singers get older you start to wonder if they still have it? Well, let me tell you that Chaka Khan still has it! She's sounding better than ever actually. I'll admit that I was initially sleeping on Chaka's new joint. I wasn't that excited about putting my ears on it, but a couple of wise music lovers informed me that I should make a point to check it out. Once I did it was easy to understand why they liked this album so much. Nice grooves and outstanding vocals makes this album a definite winner. If you have been sleeping on Chaka Khan like I have then you need to get on the bandwagon too!

07~Angie Stone - The Art of Love & War: I have been an Angie Stone fan since she was a member of Vertical Hold group back in the 1990s. Even back then I could tell that she was the star of that R&B group. It wasn't until she dropped her debut solo album "Black Diamond" in 1999 that folks really started to take notice. Now, it's almost a decade later and Angie is still making quality music. Her music seems to be getting better to me. It's always been good, but her latest release seems to have hit the target perfectly. This album is full of the typical soulful goodness with that attitude and flare that we have come to know and love about Ms. Stone. Outside of this great music, Angie is looking good these days after losing a few pounds. Don't act like you didn't know!

06~Sa-Ra - The Hollywood Recordings: These Sa-Ra katz are some funky dudes. Not musty funk, but musical funk! They're sound is Reminiscent of George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic, but with a new school twist on it. I have been a fan of theirs for many years now, but this is their first official full album release. It was definitely worth the wait too. The funk on this album was hypnotic and it kept my head bobbin' the whole time. I know most folks don't even know who Sa-Ra is, but these katz are the truth. This album has a nice mixture of soul, hip-hop and funk, so if you want to hear something different from the same ole' rubbish you've been hearing on the radio give Sa-Ra a chance. If you enjoy the music from artists like the Platinum Pied Pipers and Plantlife, Sa-Ra is right up your alleyway.

05~Tweek - Like This: I am big Rurals fan, so when I got wind that Tweek (lead singer of The Rurals) was releasing a solo joint I was pretty hyped about that! I dig her voice a lot because it's soothing. I expected that Tweek's album would be full of those good ole' Rurals uptempo house grooves they are know for, but I was pleasantly surprised. Tweek flipped the script and went soulful on us, which I actually enjoyed tremendously! Don't judge a book by its cover, because the girl can sing. Outside of the wonderful vocals that Tweek put down, the production is on point. It seems like this album got better with every listen. This joint is still get rotation in the automobile. Due to this being an import release, it may be difficult to get your hands on this one initially, but don't let that stop you from checking for it.

04~Ledisi - Lost & Found: Unbeknownst to the masses Ledisi has been putting it down for soul music lovers for years on the underground soul music scene. Her jazzy type vocals have been stimulating my eardrums since the late 1990s, but this latest release is the one that has finally put her on the map amongst the masses. I'm happy for her because she's a true talent that should be adored by all. I've heard some folks say that Ledisi is some how copying Chrisette Michele vocally, since they both have that Ella Fitzgerald jazzy vibe in their music at times? Huh?? I am aware that those can only be uninformed listeners that would make such a ridiculous statement, but don't get it confused because Ms. Michele was still riding her ten speed bicycle when Ledisi began putting it down. I am a fan of Ms. Michele, but she has a long way to go before she can be compared to artists like Ledisi!

03~Rahsaan Patterson - Wines & Spirits: This album is classic Rahsaan material! I have been a fan of this kat for a long time now, but this album is definitely one of my favorites. I have tried to turn everybody that I know on to Mr. Patterson's new joint, and most folks dig immediately after the first listen. What I like about Rahsaan's music the most is that it sounds like he's having fun when he's making it. He always keeps things on a positive vibe to uplift your spirits instead of pulling you down with a whole bunch of negativity. The lyrics and the production are definitely banging and the album flows well. This is one of those albums that once I put it on I just let it play. I finally got a chance to meet this brotha recently and he's a cool dude as well. If you haven't heard this one yet, check it out and hear what you think. If you don't love it on the first listen, listen to it again and again until you do.

02~Eric Roberson - Left: If you don't know by now, Erro is that dude! He's what you would call the full package when it comes to being an artist. He writes, sings, produces and puts on some of the best live shows that I have ever seen (hands down). His laid back, but humerous personality has made him a fan a favorite amongst the masses of soul music lovers around the world. He's an independent artist, but you'd never know it by the promotion he gets for his projects and concerts. He's everywhere it seems. His latest project is a definite winner in my book. His other albums are great too, but this new joint is definitely my favorite. The production is bananas and his lyrics are exceptional. Why folks are still sleeping on Erro I'll never know, but I advise you to wake the "beeeep" up for really real.

01~Jill Scott - Words and Sounds Vol. 3: The grand prize of my favorite album in 2007 award goes to none other than Jilly from Philly! Honestly, it's hard to say anything bad about Jill Scott because this woman has been putting it down for years. She's definitely a true talent and a gem in the soul music genre. I still get amped when I know Jill is releasing another album. This Vol. 3 joint takes it back to the days of her debut album. This is vintage Jill Scott. It's raw and edgy, just how I like my music! This album has much attitude and lyrical content had me hanging on every verse. Her storytelling abilities are simply amazing. Seriously, if you don't have this album in your collection by now you are missing out big time! If that's actually the case, I want you to get up from your computer and get yourself over to the nearest music store and buy this album immediately.

There you have it folks. There are a lot of other great soul albums that dropped this past year, so if your favorite album didn't make my HOT 16 list don't fret. Fill me in on your favorite joints of the year just in case I missed them. I know that the majority of you visitores are not going to leave a comment though, but I thought I'd ask anyway...

Monday, December 24, 2007

Instead of wrapping gifts like I should be doing on Christmas Eve, I'm on the internet posting this for you folks. That's what it's about though, giving to others. You know how we do over here. Once Santa has come and gone tonight, Christmas Day is pretty much about spending time with family and friends, or just relaxing by yourself. However you plan on spending your holiday free time enjoy it! Personally, I don't like listening to Christmas music on Christmas day. Go figure? I'd rather hear some good ole' soul music to stimulate my ears. If you feel like I do then you are definitely in luck.
Put your ears on my "Herbalistic Redlight Audissey" mixx! It's full of nice grooves and nostalgic sounds that should definitely put your body and mind at ease for the holidays. This is a musical journey that should be taken by all music lovers. It's my personal gift to you!

To everyone that visits my site on a regular basis and even the once in a while visitors, I want to thank you all for your continued support. A blog is nothing more than a diary without any visitors. I hope that I have provided you folks with opportunities for some musical discoveries during your time here on SoundNexx. It's been fun!

MERRY CHRISTMAS and have a safe and happy holiday season!


01^The Brothers Johnson - Q
02^Faze-O - Riding High
03^Ramsey Lewis - Sun Goddess
04^Ohio Players - Sweet Sticky Thing
05^DeBarge - I Like It
06^Norman Connors - You Are My Starship
07^Tyronne Davis - In The Mood
08^The Time - Gigolos Get Lonely Too
09^Marvin Gaye - Love Me Now or Later
10^Michael Henderson - Let Me Love You
11^Isley Brothers - Make Me Say It Again Pt. 1 & 2
12^Charles Earland - Elizabeth
13^John Hammond - Can't We Smile
14^Cameo - Hangin' Downtown
15^Art of Noise - Moments In Love


Thursday, December 20, 2007

I was recently digging in my music crates again and came across this hip-hop gem from yester-year. This Ras Kass debut "Soul On Ice" was one of my favorite albums in 1996 and the main reason why I became a Ras Kass fan! Ras was one of the elite left coast emcees in the game (and still is in most respects), but never got his props in my opinion. As dope as this album was many folks totally slept on it. The lyrical content on this album was exceptional because it not only entertained, but it forced the listeners to think at the same time. I stayed hitting the rewind button to catch every word spit throughout this album. I feel that Ras Kass was ahead of his time when he dropped this project, so if you've never heard it you should. "Soul On Ice" sounds just as good today as it did back in 1996. If you enjoy well written lyrics and impressive wordplay in your rap music, this joint is right up your alley. If Soulja Boy is your favorite rapper then yoooouuuu should definitely Superman your azz right past this post!

Check out two of my favorite songs off of this album and hear what you think!

Ras Kass - Earth As It Is

Ras Kass - Nature of The Threat

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Joy Denalane feat. Lupe Fiasco - Change (VIDEO)

This one is a SIZZLER (no fake Ponderosa Steak House)!
Seriously, this is one of the illest album covers that I have seen in a minute! Talk about a picture saying a thousand words! That's why I like them katz over at Def Jux because they keep pushing the creative envelope. If you are a Def Jux fan then you definitely need to put your ears on this joint. It's that underground flavor with a slight twist. Expect the unexpected when it comes a Def Jux project. For those that don't know, The Weathermen consist of El-P, Camu Tao, Cage, Masai Bey and Vast Arie. In my opinion, The Weathermen have that similar chemistry to veteran rap groups like Stetsosonic, U.T.F.O and Jurassic 5 with a hint of steroid usage! I dig their off-key approach to making music though, so you may want to add this baby to your Christmas wish list before it's too late...

Check out the Def Jux web site:

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

If you didn’t know already, your boy SoundNexx tries to stay active when it comes to supporting local concerts and music driven events whenever possible. Just this past Saturday I went to show some support for my dude Raheem DeVaughn a.k.a The R&B Hippie by attending his concert at a spot called the Asian Village in downtown Detroit. This event was put together by Drake and the folks over at Urban Organic who has been blessing Detroit with independent soul events for almost a decade now. The concert was supposed to start at 9 p.m., which normally means around 10 p.m. in most cases. I rolled up into the spot just before 9 o’clock and to my astonishment I quickly noticed that there were only 6 tables and 15 chairs available for patrons to sit down. Of course by the time I got arrived those seats were long gone. I was slightly pissed off at the poorly planned seating arrangements, but I decided to make the best of it. I figured the concert would be starting shortly, so I made sure that I was strategically located near the front of the stage prior to the concert starting. Nice??

There’s a deejay in the place spinning records while the crowd starts to get larger. At about 9:45 p.m. the host for the evening finally makes his way to the stage for the first time. The crowd quickly became aroused and began to jockey for their viewing positions. I can’t remember the host’s real name, so let’s just call him Chuck. Chuck gets on stage and makes the typical ice breaking type comments like “the ladies are sure looking fine tonight” and “ya’ll ready to have a good time.” By this time most of us had been standing on our feet for over an hour, so all we were thinking was get on with the damn show man! After about 10 minutes of his chit-chat about nothing, Chuck promised the crowd that things would be starting real soon and to keep enjoying the deejay sounds while mingling amongst each other. At this point the crowd started to get a little irritable. At approximately 10:20 p.m., Chuck (the host) returned to the stage making excuses for the delay, but promised the show was getting ready to start. He opened his mouth and began announcing the arrival of the first act, so he yells out “welcome to the stage…K’Jon?” The crowd was like, who the hell is K’Jon??

K’Jon (shown on the left) is a local Detroit soul artist on the come up right now. He must have been a last minute addition because K’Jon was not listed on the flyer at all. Anyway, K’Jon sang a few tracks from his latest release “Ballroom Xplosion” that nobody really seemed to know but a few folks. Outside of the obvious missing second button on K’Jon’s sports jacket, the guy did his thing! It’s hard to please a disgruntled crowd, so I applaud him for keeping his composure during this awkward moment. All I kept thinking during his performance is where the hell is Raheem! After performing about 4 songs with no crowd involvement, K’Jon finally exited the stage. Here comes ole’ Chuck again with some more of his stale jokes and unadvised adlibs, which was upsetting the crowd more so than helping the situation. It wasn't what he was saying so much, but his lack of sympathy and compasion for folks in attendence. Now, it’s about 10:50 p.m. and still no R&B Hippie dammit! My dawgs (feet) were starting to bark now! Timberlands are made for walking, not for standing still on concrete for 2 hours and some change. The females that had worn those pointy-toed boots and high heeled stilettos were almost in tears at this point. The pain in their feet was kicking…their…asses literally!

Finally, Chuck mentions that Raheem’s airplane was late due to a snow storm that was in the local Detroit area. Then he suddenly announces that another local soul artist by the name of Doc Holiday (shown on the left)was about to hit the stage next. Mr. Holiday is fan favorite here in Motown, but he knew the crowd was not too happy, so he only did a couple of tracks and then bounced. It’s about 11:15 p.m. at this point, so Mr. Adlibs (Chuck) gets back on stage and starts asking musical trivia questions for some crowd participation to win t-shirts. Now, folks in the crowd are beginning to get vocally belligerent with Chuck, and he’s not taking it too well. I actually thought that a riot was going to break out if Raheem didn’t hit the stage soon? All of a sudden Chuck yells on the microphone that Raheem DeVaughn is finally in the building, and there was a sigh of relief in the building. Out of the blue the artist known as Demont Peekaso starts lacing the stage with his signature paintings, so you know the party was about to start. Peekaso normally performs at all Raheem DeVaughn’s events. Peekaso paints several canvases on stage while Raheem sings. It’s a pretty interesting concept actually.

At about 11:45 p.m. Raheem finally hits the stage! He made a quick apology for being so damn late and immediately started singing several new tracks from his upcoming album “Music Behind The Melody.” He dropped 6 unheard new joints on us first and then he went back and sang some of his classic joints off of the “Love Experience” album. Raheem had the crowd rocking and soon I had forgotten about how long I had been waiting? About an hour into the concert Raheem started to hand out single stemmed roses to the ladies and stuff, getting them all excited and aroused. Then all of sudden he did costume change right on stage? He put on a plastic head crown, purple cape and a pair of those ugly white Kanye West window shade sunglasses. Unfortunately, I was so close to the stage that Raheem actually saw me laughing really hard when he turned around dressed like a pimped out Burger King asking who wants to be his queen! Nevertheless, he was unfazed by my antics and kept it moving along, plus the ladies were all in by this time. Now, the drunk broad pushing and shoving contest started ensue throughout the crowd, and needless to say that I lost that battle big time. Fellas, don’t ever get in the way of a bunch of horny and drunk women because you could get hurt literally. It was about 1:30 a.m. at this point, so to avoid any further harm I exited the building right after Raheem finished singing his new single “Woman!” Unfortunately, the same snow storm that had delayed Raheem’s airplane was waiting outside to put some snowflakes in my ass as well during my long drive home! Thanks Raheem DeVaughn, it was a helluva night!

When I get a minute I plan on posting some live concert footage that I recorded and more photos that I took during the event. Until that time, enjoy the pics that I have already posted…

Monday, December 17, 2007

Unfortunately, I have been slipping on my jazz music posts lately! I’m definitely a jazz fan, but the truth is I am normally not interested in most of the new stuff that comes out week after week. My personal jazz collection is pretty much set right now. It’s about finding the old jazz classics these days, so I rarely go into the jazz bins at the local music stores anymore. However, there is one exception when it comes to me keeping current with a certain jazz sax player’s music and his name is Najee! He is definitely a jazz legend in my book and this dude hasn’t lost a step in over 20 years. His signature smooth playing style is unmistakable amongst his peers. The only sax player that I ever put right up there with Najee was George Howard. Sadly, Mr. Howard passed away in 1998, so that only leaves Najee to fill the void. Recently, he has just released his 12th album entitled “Rising Sun” and it’s definitely on the smooth tip. Jazz like this is for chillin’ out at the house on a lazy afternoon, or even better for getting too sleep. The soothing sound of Najee’s soulful horn definitely eases the mind, which helps to relax the body. It works better than Nyquil I promise you. If you get a chance to check out this album you should.

Check out this track off his new joint:

Najee - Romance The Nite

Now, I get asked about jazz music a lot for some reason by my family, friends and blog visitors. That’s cool to me because it shows that with maturity typical music fans that thought they hated jazz are now getting interested. As a teenager was not into jazz either, but as I got older I realized that some of the songs that I enjoyed listening to on the radio back in the day was actually jazz tracks. Today, I wanted to speak on the album that totally converted me into a jazz lover for real. It was Najee’s first album “Najee’s Theme” that still gets heavy rotation even today! A lot of rappers have sampled plenty of these tracks over the years, and I totally understand why. With tracks like “Feel So Good To Me,” “For The Love of You,” “Can’t Hide Love,” and the highlight of the album for me “Betcha Don’t Know” you can’t go wrong with this one! If you enjoy contemporary jazz then you definitely need this one in your collection. I encourage you to put your ears on this one for sure, if you haven't already. It's never too late when it comes to jazz. If you listen to it and like it, dig a little deeper and find some other artists and albums to check out. Even if you think you hate jazz listen to these Najee samples and hear what you think…

Check out tracks from Najee's Theme Here!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The definition of a true female emcee seems to be almost extinct in 2007! There are a few exceptions, but for the most part there is a definite hole in the female rap category these days. I miss the ruff and rugged type female rappers like MC Lyte, Antoinette, Sweet Tee, Boss, Queen Latifah, etc. They brought a sense of balance to this lopsided industry with their “women can do it too” type attitudes. Now, the female rap legacy rests on the shoulders of a chosen few, and Jean Grae is definitely one of the female emcees out here that’s consistently doing her thing! As long as I have been a Jean Grae fan, I just recently found out that her real name is Tsidi Ibrahim and she was born in South Africa. I always thought she was born and raised New Yorker for some reason, and that’s probably because she has that serious East coast swagger about her. One of the most impressive things about Jean is that she has gained respect as an emcee across the board from the hardcore thugs to the underground backpackers. It’s a unanimous decision that Ms. Grae is a definite force to be reckoned with on the microphone, so if you’re not on her bandwagon yet you should definitely be trying to get on it!

So, as usual I was perusing the internet looking for that new hotness when I stumbled upon some new Jean Grae material. This collage of unreleased tracks entitled “The Orchestral Files” just appeared out of nowhere. This material was definitely made before Jean Grae signed with Talib Kweli’s Blacksmith label, but these songs have never been officially available for fans until now. If you didn’t know Jean is one of the first emcees representing New York on the independent scene. She worked closely with other respected emcees like Pumpkinhead and Bad Seed back in the day, plus she was an original member of the group Natural Resource and affiliation with the infamous Brooklyn Academy crew as well. She’s also down with the several members of the Justus League and the Polyrhythm Addicts, so a lot of these songs were made during that timeframe. The “O-Files” is full of that ruff, rugged and raw Jean Grae flavor that her fans have come to know and love over the years. When you get a chance be sure to put your ears on it and hear what you think.

Get familiar with Jean Grae a.k.a What-What below:

Then check out tracks from Jean's new joint below that:

The Orchestral Files

In other SoundNexx newz..

If you haven't already make sure you check out my latest addition to this blog called "SOUNDNEXX'S MIXX ENSEMBLE" located on the right-upper portion of the main page (under video player). This is where I will be posting previous mixxes that may have been requested or the original links are no longer available. Think of it as one stop koppin'! If you need to the track listings for these mixxes just Google mixx title. I will be adding and subtracting links peridically, so stay posted.

Friday, December 07, 2007

The Rawkus label was one of the pioneers of the hip-hop underground movement that we know and love today. Even after suffering some devastating stumbling blocks that almost caused the label’s demise, Rawkus is back and stronger than ever! Rawkus is taking advantage of this downloading phase of accessing music by releasing several underground artists’ albums digitally. When I say several, I mean several! Out of the many albums that have been dropped there are three that stand out for me amongst the others and today I will share those titles with you. First up is that dude L.E.G.A.C.Y. from the Justus League and his album is called “Rawkus 50 Presents L.E.G.A.C.Y.!” As far as Justus League emcee rankings go, Legacy is my second favorite lyricist behind Phonte. Reason being is that he has a strong presence on the microphone when he rhymes, plus his lyrics are unpredictable. If you are a fan of his previous projects this new album will be right up your alley. If you have never heard of L.E.G.A.C.Y. until this very moment, check this new joint out and hear what you think. Then go back and find his previous stuff if you are diggin’ it!


Next up one my favorite emcees from the Low Budget camp (Kev Brown, Kenn Starr) named Cy Young. I first discovered that kat back in the late 90s when he was working with the Magnificent Jazzy Jeff. He’s been featured on several Low Budget underground projects, but had never released a solo joint that I was aware of anyway. Rawkus has released a Cy Young album entitled “Rawkus 50 Presents Exactly” that will hopefully put Mr. Young on the hip-hop map? Cy Young’s strengths are his delivery and lyrical cadence, but that’s not what makes this emcee stand out though. The first thing that you’ll realize is that Cy is about 6’ 7” tall! The Jolly-Green Giant of rap if you will! He’s a pro baller turned rapper that’s definitely on the come up. This debut album is solid and with production duties being handled by the Low Budget ring leader Kev Brown, how could it not be. If you are a fan of the Low Budget movement already, be sure to check this joint out as well.


The third runner-up is Roddy Rod, who just so happens to be another Low Budget crew member. Rod is a DJ/Emcee so he understands both perspectives of his craft pretty well. He knows what it takes to rock a party and how to keep folks heads bobbing. He currently has two projects out that both dropped back in November. The “Cuba After Market” album is a broken-beat/soul project that are for music lovers that are not afraid of pushing the creative envelope a little bit. This joints has a limited amount of independent soul guest appearances, so the majority of the album is full of broken-beat type instrumentals. This Rawkus release entitled “Rawkus 50 Presents Blunt Park Sessions” is strictly underground hip-hop. One of the highlights of this album is the dope production, which is normally the most important part for any album to me. When you get a chance put your ears on this album too.



Support these types of artists not only because they need it, but because they deserve it!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

November 16, 2007 was a monumental day for independent soul music! Why? That was the date for the first ever live Soul Tracks Reader’s Choice Awards that just so happened to be hosted here in Detroit. This award show has been going on for some time via the internet, but this was the first time it was ever turned into an actual event. The awards are given to deserving independent soul artists that have been doing their thing on the underground scene. The event is a way for fans to show love for their favorite artists by voting for them. Thanks to key players like Soul Tracks, Mosaic Thump, Jodine’s Corner and Urban Organic this monumental event was made possible. I was lucky enough to attend this event and it was definitely a night worth remembering. Over my time as a blogger I have befriended several wonderful people via the internet, and it was definitely nice seeing some of my e-friends in the flesh finally! Outside of meet and greet sessions amongst friends, the event itself was very entertaining as well. The show was hosted by internet personality Jodine from Jodine’s Corner who kept the audience entertained with her interesting banter throughout the evening. They also had guest hosts as well come through to announce the different award categories throughout the night as well.

Everything came together nicely, but the highlight of the event would definitely have to be the live performances! Soul artists like Cloud 9, Eric Roberson, Rahsaan Patterson, Maysa, Phil Perry, Conya Doss, Maya Acuzena and Gordon Chambers performed live in between the award presentations. All of these artists did their thing, but Erro, Rahsaan and Phil literally ripped the stage during their performances. Talk about showmanship and working the audience these three gentlemen had it all! Once the event concluded it was time for photo opportunities and face time with some of the artists. You can’t beat that with a leather strap. To make this event even sweeter some of the artists were giving away free CDs as parting gifts. I was all over that like a skin rash! After I got my share of conversations, hugs (Conya Doss & Yahzarah), pictures and free music, I immediately exited the building to head over to the invitation only after party event! The night wasn’t over yet.

The after party was off the chain too! The Music Café just so happened to have a stage not too far from the seating area. Just after
HoneySoul and her husband sat down at our table, Eric Roberson got on stage and started requesting folks to come on stage and sing. Then out of blue soul artists like Yolanda Johnson, Marcell, Frank McComb, Carmen Rodgers, Russell Taylor, Gordon Chambers and Purple St. James hit the stage for one of the best live jam sessions I’ve ever witnessed! Singer after singer hit the stage dropping a mixture of new and adlibbed verses. The crowd was definitely hyped! Some of these artists have never shared a stage before and to watch them vibe together was phenomenal! As the night went on other music artists began to show up like Amp Fiddler and some dude that was obviously an Andre 3000 impersonator of some sort. We thought Dwele might come through, but I think he was out of town? Then just when I thought I had seen it all, guess who walked up in the joint unannounced with a white mink fur trench coat on? Keith Washington was up in the piece! Where in thee hell has this old kneegrow been? He got up on stage and dropped gems for the crowd as well. Keith’s mustache was still just as thick as it was in 1995, but the brother can still hold his own though! At about 3 a.m., I called it a night because your boy was tired. When I exited the building, the jam session was still going on! I must say it was a great night that will go down my history books for real.

Events like that keeps me focused on this blogging thing. After meeting so many of the artists that I have written about, I got to truly understand how much they appreciate and need our support. If you haven’t guessed many of the independent artists are not even breaking even financially with the distribution and sales from their albums. They are doing it strictly for the love of making music. For every person that gets familiar with and buys their music through dedicated sites and blogs like this it’s actually keeping the music alive. So, to pay homage to some of these independent artists, I have put a mixx together of some of my favorite tunes that I hope you will enjoy. I call this one the SoundNexx Seismic Soul Mixx.

If you like what you hear, please check for these artists and show them some love by purchasing some of their music. Most of these artists names in this mixx you probably won’t recognize, but don’t hesitate to put your ears on it anyway though. This is good stuff no matter how you slice it. Soul music fans need this one in their collection for real.

01^Wayna - The Stalking Horse
02^Frank McComb - Do You Remember Love
03^Miles Bonny - Golden Lady
04^Rhonda Thomas - Breathe New Life
05^Soul ID - Love of My Life
06^Stacey Epps - Floatin
07^W. Ellington Felton - Makes My Day
08^Muhsinah - Windoors
09^Havana - Free To Be Me
10^Carlitta Durand - Her
11^Gordon Chambers - Stay Together
12^Marcell & The Truth - Breathe Love
13^Eric Roberson - Pretty Girl
14^Melanie Rutherford - Refugee
15^Angie Stone - Sometimes
16^Brown Baby Girl - Cosmic Thrill
17^Afi Wy Fue - Soul Connection
18^Dahlisha Vince - Free Your Mind
19^David Anthony feat. Keisha Jackson - Lady
20^Flowers outro

Monday, December 03, 2007

In this fast food like pace of acquiring music in the new millennium it’s almost impossible not to overlook some exceptional artists and music. Even though I try to make it my business to give every worthy artists and album a fair and focused listen, I have fallen short on several occasions. One of my weakest areas for listening is definitely in the mixtape category. Even though this has been an effective promotional tool for many years now, most of them still suck! Personally, I don’t like DJ based mixtapes where there’s a lot of unnecessary banter and unreasonable amounts of shout outs throughout project distracting from the music. So, when I do get my hands on a mixtape, I am very apprehensive about listening to it. Case and point, I had both of Lupe Fiasco’s first two mixtapes in my possession back in the 05-06 timeframe. When I saw the name Lupe I immediately thought that he was a Mexican rapper for some reason. Lupe and Pablo sound very similar to me for some odd reason? Basically, I shelved those two underground gems for months on my external hard drive. It wasn’t until I started hearing Lupe’s name more throughout different sites on the internet that I finally started paying attention. I quickly dug those mixtapes out from my archives and I was pleasantly pleased. It was easy to see that this Lupe kat was a true emcee representing Chicago!

When Lupe finally released his Liquor & Food album in 2006 I was hoping that he could bring back some of that fire that had been lost in mainstream type hip-hop over the years. Sadly, it seemed like the suspicious leaking of his album prior to its release got more publicity than the actual album itself. Then there were two versions of the album floating around the internet as well, which didn’t make matters any better. Skeptical fans were on the fence when it came to the quality of this challenging album. Some felt like his concepts were corny and his flow was too complex for the average listener. There was too much lyrical depth and not enough dopeness over mediocre beats. Others felt like Lupe was a breath of fresh air that should be praised for his efforts. An educated emcee/visionary with a true sense of self and the world we live in, breaking down the gimmick like BS that has plagued the mainstream airwaves for years. We need more albums like this! Personally, I appreciated Lupe’s album for the simple fact that it was different. I had to listen to his the album about three times before I could really appreciate it though. It’s strong body of work and I have to give props where they are due. "Kick Push" is still my joint though!

So, now it’s 2007 and Lupe is ready to drop his sophomore album “The Cool” on December 18th and I am actually looking forward to it. I have put my ears on a few tracks on his new joint and I think this might be the album that takes Lupe to that other level? It seems like Lupe took the best qualities from the Food & Liquor album and added a few more tricks to bring his second album to life. The production this time around seems to be on point as well. Production is my number one concern on most albums. If that part of an album lacks then I am normally not interested in the overall project. The Cool seems to have solid prouction, and once I heard the track “Dumb It Down” off of the album I knew then that Lupe was going to be a problem this year! You will hopefully know it too after putting your ears on this joint:
This place is like a cereal box, just full of hidden treasures!