Sunday, November 29, 2009
What is music without great production? Not much at all in my personal opinion. Like any other music fan I always desire the whole package of dope lyrics over hot beats, but the production is just a little more important in my book. That's why I truly dig those strictly instrumental projects from producers like Pete Rock, Madlib, Nicolay, Black Milk and many others. Instrumentals can be just as satisfying as a song with lyrics. I am always seeking out new producer talent, and recently I stumbled across this young kat named Araab Muzik. He's a 20 year-old producer from New York working with the Dipset camp. If you listen to rap artists like Cam'ron and Juelz Santana you've probably heard some of Araab's beats. Not only is Araab a dope producer, but he's a beat conductor. Actually, that is what impresses me about this kid the most, and that is truly why I decided to do this post in the first place.
What is a "beat conductor" you ask? I can show you better than I can tell you. Please, put your eyes on video clips below of Araab Musik doing his thing on the MPC beat machine:
Do you understand now?
Monday, November 23, 2009
This mixx is all about showcasing the "dopeness" of the underrated soul artist known as Wes Felton a.k.a W. Ellington Felton. I have been a fan of this kat since I first heard the music he did with Raheem DeVaughn under the Crossrhodes moniker. Over the years Wes has released several solo projects demonstrating his singing and rapping abilities. The boy is good, but for some reason he's not getting the attention he deserves. With each new album I get a greater understanding of the man behind the music. His lyrics are conscious without being too preachy, and they manage to speak on the current events that effect us all. He's a new school Chuck D if you ask me, even though you didn't ask. Wes also touches on issues of love, family, relationships and life's obstacles in his music, so pay attention and you might learn something. If not just keep bobbing your head to the beats...
The "Feel Mister Felton Mixx" is filled with many of my favorite tracks featuring Wes, so put ears on it and hear what you think. If you like what you hear, purchase some of his music online. I know he'd appreciate that...
Check the MIXX HERE!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
If you didn't know, the comtemporary jazz genre is flooded in 2009! Just like rappers, there is a new hopeful newcomer with a sax, trumpet, flute
or guitar in hand hoping for their chance to showcase their talents. For that reason I rarely explore new jazz artists these days. I'd rather stick with my old faithfuls like legendary saxaphonist Najee. This kat has been feeding me an earful of saxaphone filled goodness over my many years, and for that alone I owe him my gratitude. He was one of the first musicians to spark my interest in jazz. Once I heard his classic "Betcha Don't Know" from his Najee's Theme album, it was a wrap. If you haven't heard that joint by now you definitely need to put ears on it.
Back in August of this year Najee released a new album entitled "Mind Over Matter" and I wanted to be sure that the jazz heads out there didn't miss it. It's another solid release from the man as he provides perfect background noise on a Sunday afternoon.
Find out more about the album HERE.
Listen to the new album @ www.najeeonline.com
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Soulful R&B is back in this blogsphere once again. This joint is full of sweet (goodies for your ears) tunes with that chocolate flavor that you've come to expect. As I briefly mentioned in my last mixx post, I have added another place where I can musically connect with my followers at Podomatic.com. Check it out HERE! I am showcasing (as always) soul artists that I am checking for, and most of them don't get the recognition that they should. Some of the artists blessing this joint include: Zo!, Loose Ends, Soulpersona, R. Les, LuvBugz, Yahzarah, Wes Felton, Darien, Phonte and many others...
Click the photo above to check it out or play it below.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Awww-shukz...look at your girl Angie Stone on the cover of her upcoming album called "Unexpected" looking all provocative. Stoney has obviously lost a few pounds over the last year and she's ready to show it off. I'm a little confused about her sitting on that motorcycle with a prom dress on, but I guess the rest is all good. Slick chopper though! Anyway, I always enjoy Angie's albums because her music consistantly delivers quality. Plus, there is always at least one hit single on each joint that becomes an anthem that'll be remembered for years to come. Her voice never gets stale to my ears. It's the balance of her old school vibe with a new school twist that keeps me coming back for more. Sounds like "Unexpected" will be no different from Angie's past endeavors. On November 23rd check it out for yourselves...
I truly dig her first single off of the new album "I Ain't Hearin' U" that is lyrically directed at Angie's favorite subject matter, men. The theme of this particular song should be self-explanatory and obvious based on the title. If you haven't heard the song yet, put ears on it below:
LISTEN to "I Ain't Hearin' U" HERE
Get more info about Angie and her music:
Saturday, November 07, 2009
Alright ladies and gentlemen, meet Rick White a.k.a Guilty Pleasures. I have only been aware of this musician for about 3 months now, and during that time I have quickly realized that this guy is pretty dope! He specialty is the bass guitar and from what I've heard so far, he's pretty good with it. Rick is originally from Washington D.C. where he was greatly influenced by the "Quiet Storm" slow jam sessions that he heard on local radio as a youngster. I remember hearing those hours of slow jams on saturday nights on our local radio stations back in the day. They should definitely bring those back. It was during that time when Rick's love for song writing emerged. His desire to write and produce the types of songs he grew up listening to led to the creation of the project known as "GuiltyPleasures". Rick's taste in deep, laid-back grooves with engrossing lyrics is evident in the GuiltyPleasures debut CD entitled, “Lovestories”.
When I first heard this album I was shocked by its mature and very soulful vibe. This ear pleasing "Lovestories” joint is a collection of songs that were written, produced, and arranged by Rick White. It features the vocal stylings of Mycah Chevalier, Sol Edler, and Jerrica White as well as a host of other talented vocalists and musicians. It is their contributions vocally that take this project to that special place. This album is ten tracks deep, and if you dig soul music done right with that old school feel, you'll be glad you picked this one up. I hope to hear more in the future from Mr. White and his crew. I can't wait to hear more LOVESTORIES...
I like a lot of artists that I have come across over my years, but I am only a true fan of a few. Kev Brown is one of those few. The reason should be obvious if you've heard any of his music over the years. Kev is not only a fan of hip-hop music, but he knows a lot about its history. Also, his production style really reminds me of the legendary producer Pete Rock. I enjoy production a little more than rhymes, so if the beat is hot I'm all in! Kev's beats always seem to have that perfect mixture of boom and bap that keeps my head nodding for hours. If you haven't heard Kev's first underground official album "I Do What I Do" (a classic in my book) you've done yourself a great injustice. That joint has hot tracks from beginning to end. Your ears will love you for hearing it.
Mr. Brown released some fresh material earlier this year entitled "Random Joints" its more of that goodness fans have come to expect from the kid. If you missed it when it dropped over the summer, it's never too late to redeem yourself. Also, Kev needs and deserves your support. Typeout to the whole Low Budget Crew!
Click here for the RANDOM JOINTS album!
Get a taste of Kev's musical flavor below:
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
A&E IS ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT!
Hip-Hop is like a circus, and everybody is striving to be the top act under the big tent. With the new schoolers influencing the mainstream version of the art form into the dark side (based on some people’s opinions), some rap veterans have decided to build a buzz by joining forces. The thought of hearing two of your favorite emcees sharing the microphone on a collaboration project is a win-win without a doubt. It’s feels similar to seeing two of your favorite actors chopping it up on the big screen. Some of most recent veteran collaborations have been KRS-One (Boogie Down Productions) & Buckshot (Black Moon) on the “Survival Skills” album, plus Canibus & Keith Murray a.k.a Undergods. The Undergods haven’t released an official project yet. These emcees are passed their prime at this point; however, any one of them could still lyrically manhandle the average rapper on the scene today. If you are still a non-believer, take a look at the two hip-hop freestyle ciphers showcased on the recent 2009 BET HipHop Awards show featuring KRS and Buckshot. Both of them ripped the mic like it was 1994! It’s worth checking out just to see them drop their verses.
Remember, the D.I.T.C. crew members A.G. and O.C.? BTW, if you don’t know what DITC stands for, please turn in your Hip-Hop I.D. card immediately before exiting the building! Anyway, these two veterans are releasing an album entitled “Oasis” drops on 11/24/09. This one could be a doozy!
The last rap duo I want to discuss is currently going by the name A&E, which is short for (Masta Ace & Ed O.G.). Masta Ace is one of my favorite rap veterans still doing it today, and I have been a fan of his since the Juice Crew was on the scene. I’ve always appreciated Ace’s ability to change his style up. He’s been a trendsetter in many ways, but he’s rarely recognized for it. Ed O.G. (Edo) has been on my rap radar over the years of his career. Remember his classic “I Gotta Have It”? He’s released a few solid underground joints over the years, but most heard nothing about them. Their collabo album “Arts & Entertainment” is out right now, and featured guests include: Marsha Ambrosious, Large Professor, Posdnuos, KRS-One and Jamelle Bundy. Production duties for the album were handled by DJ Spinna, DJ Supreme One, M-Phazes and Rain.