Friday, August 28, 2009

Dilla Jackson (Preview)

What happens when you bring together two huge music icons? You get what I call Dilla Jackson. This was an idea that was actually sparked in 2007 when I had "Butterflies (Dilla-ficial Remix)" on the original version of a Michael Jackson mixtape (see the 'Down With The King: MJ' post) I did in that year. After going thru hundreds of Dilla beats to come up with ones that really grabbed my ear (of course) and a few 'familiar' instrumental joints that have already touched many people's eardrums via radio airwaves and nightclubs, I smashed a few MJ vocals over these blazing tracks to come up with this new tribute mix. Reserve your copy by emailing me at For now, here's a short preview of Dilla Jackson.

Brought to you by DJ Kool Emdee (Blackadelic Tribe Productions) and T. Piper Media.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Count Basie

William James Basie, better known as "Count" Basie was born on August 21, 1904 in Red Bank, NJ. He is credited as being one of the most important Jazz band leaders of his time, who led his popular Count Basie Orchestra for over 50 years. Notable musicians and singers who were under his direction included, Lester Young (sax), Hershel Evans (sax), Buck Clayton (trumpet), Harry "Sweets" Edison (trumpet), and vocalists Jimmy Rushing and Joe Williams (who played "Claire's" dad on The Cosby Show).

In 1935, while playing at the Reno Club late one night, having time to fill, the Count Basie Orchestra started improvising. Basie liked the piece and decided to name it "One O'clock Jump", which ended up being their signature tune.

Count Basie would go on to perform with other notable greats, such as, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Quincy Jones, Sarah Vaughn, Billy Eckstine, Stan Getz, and a host of other notable Jazz greats. Basie also made television appearances and appeared in Cinderfella with Jerry Lewis (1960), and in Mel Brooks' movie Blazing Saddles (1974), which he played his arrangement of "April In Paris".

Thursday, August 20, 2009

New Edition

The year is 1978. The place is Boston, Massachusetts, in a housing project called Orchard Park (referred to as "The Bricks"), Bobby Brown, Michael Bivins, and Ricky Bell formed a group that would later be called by their manager Booke Payne,New Edition, after adding Ralph Tresvant, who was Bobby and Ricky's best friend, and then later rounding out the group with Payne's nephew Ronnie DeVoe after winning a talent show in 1980.

Being guided by Maurice Starr and eventually singing to his labelStreetwise Records, after winning second place in a talent contest thrown by Starr, the group recorded their debut album "Candy Girl" in late 1982, and released it in 1983. "Candy Girl" went to number one in both the American R&B singles chart and the UK singles chart, and featured the hits: "Is This The End", "Popcorn Love", "Jealous Girl", and the title track.

Originally inspired by The Jackson 5, New Edition burst onto the scene becoming a pop phenomenon. In the early-mid 1980s, New Edition sold more units in the United States than any other teen singing group.

In 1984, New Edition parted ways with Streetwise Records for financial reasons and soon singed with MCA Records to record and release their self-titled second album "New Edition", which spawned the hits: "Cool It Now" and "Mr. Telephone Man".

The second half of 1985 brought about the release of "All For Love", with hits: "Count Me Out", "A Little Bit Of Love (Is All It Takes)", and "With You All The Way", and the year end brought about the release of "Christmas All Over The World", a holiday EP. Around this time, pressure arose from management and MCA forcing the group to vote Bobby Brown out due to behavioral problems. Brown later embarked on a solo career to release his debut "Don't Be Cruel".

Having already lost Bobby Brown from the group, rumors started surfacing about Ralph Tresvant pursuing a solo career as well in 1987. With fears of potentially losing another member, Bell, Bivens, and DeVoe voted in Johnny Gill of Washington D.C., who already had commercial success from singing duets with vocalist Stacey Lattisaw. Ultimately, Tresvant decided to remain part of the group.

Gaining another fifth member for the group, New Edition released their fifth studio album titled "Heart Break", which feature Gill doing co-lead. This is also an album which shows a change in sound from "bubblegum" to a more adult perspective.

In later years, Brown would return, leave the group, then return again. They released a few more studio albums and did tours. In 2005 they performed a medley of their songs on BET's 25th Anniversary special, as well as performing hits recorded by the Jackson 5 in a special memorial tribute on BET to Michael Jackson in June 2009.

For more info on New Edition, log on to their site at

New Edition Mix by DJ Kool Emdee

Monday, August 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Honorable Marcus M. Garvey

Today we pay respects and honor to the father of Pan-Africanism, the Honorable Marcus Garvey on his birthday. Born Marcus Mosiah Garvey Jr. on August 17, 1887 in St. Anne's Bay, Jamaica, Mr. Garvey is regarded as a National Hero of Jamaica and proclaimed as a prophet by the Rastafarian movement. He is the the founder of both the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL), founded in August 1914. He was a publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, Black Nationalist, Pan-Africanist, and orator. For more information, log on to

In 1975, the Reggae group Burning Spear paid tribute to the Honorable Marcus Garvey by releasing "Marcus Garvey", and in 1976 released a dub version of the same album titled "Garvey's Ghost". Below is the album title track, which is one of my favorite reggae songs.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

DJ Kool Emdee LIVE @ Libra Lounge

This is another live mix from one of my Happy Hour sets at Libra Lounge here in Houston from March 14, 2008. I had some pretty good times networking and having fun with the good folks who came thru. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

We Have Lift Off!

Outside of the "usual suspects" in the commercial market here in Houston, there is a great musical legacy that dates far back into the 1930's. Moving forward into 2009, we have a young legend who goes by the name of Supa Neil, who's contributing to the foundation of good music with his first single titled "Lately", written by him and fellow singer/songwriter Larry "Tremendous" Richardson, and produced by Chad Wildman, Jay Wise, and FX. This tracks proves that good chemistry, production, and vocals, along with taking your time to make the overall production solid, are the makings of quality material.

Having known him for numerous years, i've watched this singer/DJ expand his talents to show/club promoter, radio show host, producer, and who now heads Anorexic Entertainment which also houses his website and the Anorexic DJs. Along with live appearances on stage, you can also catch him and the Anorexic DJs spinning via live video streams from his site. With the crew's motto being "We Stay Hungry", I take it they plan to keep good music coming. Log on to for show schedules and booking info.

Supa Neil - "Lately"

Remembering J-Dilla...The G.O.A.T.

One day I was going thru some boxes I have in storage and came across a flyer from the year 2000. The flyer was for a Slum Village show that was at one of the venues in downtown Houston. After staring at it for a moment, I suddenly said out loud..."Oh my God, I forgot I met Dilla". Yes indeed I did after their show, which didn't have many in attendance....sadly. As big of a fan I am of him and SV, one would wonder, "how could you forget a moment like that"?! Well, it was temporarily misplaced in my head, but there are certain things you can come across later that will trigger your memory.

Sometimes I feel like I can safely say that i'm the biggest Dilla head in Houston. After doing so many tributes to him, and for all the years of spinning tunes that he put his soul into, it's funny how people ask who he is not knowing they have boogied to much of his music in Hip-Hop, Soul, & R&B. Besides his passing away, the shocker for me was to get the news of him making his transition at the same time I spent listening to the "Oblighetto (Remix)" for more than an hour straight over and over before the news was made public. Before that, I was going back and forth with Steve Spacek's "Dollar" and the sample used in the track from Billy Paul's "Let The Dollar Circulate", mesmerized at how he broke the song down and created a clean break. Also amazed at how he made a seamless loop with Mr. Paul's voice that seemed to last for minutes. That is music I can get a natural high to.

If Amp Fiddler or Pete Rock happen to stumble across this post, I personally would like to thank them for being inspiration to Mr. James "J-Dilla/Jay Dee" Yancey. R.I.P. Dilla, I miss ya bro.

J-Dilla Tribute Mix by DJ Kool Emdee

Friday, August 14, 2009

Jump & Wine!

SOCA MASSIVE....Put something in di air! An example of what you would hear at a "Soca Fete" or "Jouvert", a couple of the most commonly used names for huge parties that cater mainly to the Caribbean community. I personally never established myself as a Soca DJ, however, many who have heard me spin tunes from this upbeat genre never had any complaints. This is a mix I did from early 2008 that features greats such as Bunji Garlin, Allison Hinds, Destra, Machel Montano, Faye Ann Lyons, and more. At first it starts out easy, then cranks up half way to make you really sweat. When i'm on the highway driving to another city, it definitely turns to the term..."roadmix".

Soca Wave 4

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

National Drum & Bass Awards 2009: Chase & Status DJ Set

In early 2009, Chase & Status proved to be "the people's champs" at the DnB Awards on Feb. 28th in Birmingham, England. Winning both the Best Single ("Take Me Away") and Best Album ("More Than A Lot")categories. My being a huge fan of Shy FX since the early 90's, I was first introduced to Chase & Status via a few remixes done by them for him. After letting my eardrums absorb "Duppy Man", which features vocals by Dancehall legend Capleton, from that moment you could consider me hooked and to mix several of their tracks in my DnB sets. Below is their DJ set that was broadcast live on England's Radio One network. Hearing how hype the crowd was in the background, it makes me want to make plans for the 2010 awards.

Chase & Status ft. MC Kano & Plan B...LIVE!

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Little Bit of Soul

This is mix Vol.8 from my "NuSoul Blend" series that ran thru 2008 to early 2009. My NuSoul Blend mixes ended at Vol.10, and has resurfaced as simply "Soul Blendz", which is my new series of Soul mixes (Soul Blendz Vol.1 out now)that will have old and new school Soul/Soul-Hop artists and will feature a monthly live show to go along with it. Right now my crew is rehearsing, mapping out show formats, and lining up venues to host the shows. Big shouts to all my supporters with your presence, booking, and donations.

Track listing:

NuSoul Blend 8

1. Big Bounce Theory - Jneiro Jarel ft. Vinia Mojica

2. Honey - Erykah Badu

3. Fly Away - Sy Smith

4. Noohustle - Bilal Salaam

5. Endangered Species (Danger) - Coultrain

6. Ready Fe War - Pete Rock ft. Chip Fu & Renee Neufville

7. Over The Ocean - Freddie Cruger ft. Desmond Foster

8. Glamour Girl - Rodney Hunter ft. Aphrodelics

9. 1,000 Ways - Zap Mama

10. Looking For The Sun - Aya

11. Hurry Home - Alice Russell

12. Recommendation - Little Dragon

13. Different Times - Raphael Saadiq ft. Ledisi & Goapele

14. Crushin' - J-Dilla

15. Love Is In The Way - Grooveman Spot ft. Yoshika

16. Black Light Purple - Geology

17. Think of You - Ledisi

18. Give Me A Try - Sizzla

19. O Whoa - Jennifer Johns

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Marsha Ambrosius!

On this day in Liverpool, England, the "Leo Lovely" singer Marsha Ambrosius was born. A highly regarded vocalist, who was one half of the duo Floetry, she's also a gifted song writer who penned "Butterflies"
while still in high school. The song appeared on both Floetry's "Floetic" album, as well as on the late great Michael Jackson's "Invincible" album, which she sang background vocals. Ambrosius' background vocals on Jackson's track are also the same as those on Floetry's version. Today we salute this "Queen of Soul" from England, and wish her many happy returns.

Marsha Ambrosius - "Heartbreaker"

Friday, August 7, 2009

Coffee Shop Mix: NuJazz Session II

When i'm not doing a huge club, you can pretty much catch me doing a lounge set at one of the local coffee shops or art galleries. I love the relaxing and creative vibes this type of music brings to anyone with an ear for mellow grooves like the ones in this mix, done by me of course. Sit back, relax, and grab your favorite coffee or tea, while listening to Sade, Minus 8, St. Germain, DJ Cam, DePhazz, Ty, Bebel Gilberto, Jazzanova, and a few other well noted lounge artists. Enjoy!

DJ Kool Emdee Live @ D.R.U.M.

Here's a little treat from when I was at D.R.U.M. Studio one night after hitting a show. I wanted to bang out a mix CD & have an MC host it, but it didn't quite work out as planned. Since I had already done my part & mixed it LIVE w/ no breaks or rehearsals, I took the opportunity & did what I would normally do to finish it myself & make sure this mix be heard. it is for readers to enjoy.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sample Slayer...

This is a mix I did one day when I was sort of bored. I can't sit idle for too long without being creative in some way. So, give a little thanks to boredom for helping me bang this mix out that contains some classic Hip-Hop joints and original songs that were sampled by Hip-Hop producers.

R.I.P. Baatin

I know this is a few days late, but i'm still in disbelief on yet another well known artist passing away. Right now the world of Hip-Hop is mourning the death of Titus Glover (3/8/74 - 7/31/09) a.k.a. Baatin, who along with Jay Dee/Jay Dilla, was a co-founder of the influential group Slum Village. "SV" took the underground music scene by storm with the releases of Fantastic Vol.1 & 2. in the 90's, which both are still sought after classics. Currently the cause of death is still unknown. My condolences go out to his family and friends. He will be missed.

"Pregnant" (from Fantastic Vol.1)