Thursday, October 22, 2009

Soul Blendz (Vol. 1 - 3)

I want to start this post off by saying thanks to those who supported my NuSoul Blendz mix series that ran for ten volumes. This time I plan to focus on Soul as a whole by blending classic Soul from the past to Soul of today. For so long the term "neo-soul" has been used and there are many debates that have come with the term. "Neo" added to the front of a word means that something died and is reborn or brought back to life again. I'm here to say that Soul never died, it only transformed, so there's no need for it to be "neo".

Here are the track listings for the first three volumes in my Soul Blendz series.

Soul Blendz

1. Myra Barnes - Message To The Soul Sisters
2. Curtis Mayfield - Do Do Wap Is Strong In Here (Ashley Beedle Re-Edit)
3. Afta-1 - Believe
4. Chaka Khan - Ain't Nobody
5. Jean Carne - Don't Let It Go To Your Head
6. Flyt - Free (Kira Neris Remix)
7. Plantlife - When She Smiles She Lights The Sky (4Hero Remix)
8. Razoof ft. Lady Alma - Jah Is Watching You
9. Leelah James - Clean Up Woman
10. The Astronotes ft. Kissey Asplund & Replife - Space Water Babies
11. Joy Denalane - Let Go
12. Marvin Gaye - Falling In Love Again
13. Bill Withers - Who Is He & What Is He To You
14. Ernie Hines - Our Generation
15. Rare Essence - No Ordinary Love (Go-Go Version)
16. David Sha - One Minute

Soul Blendz II

1. Deep Rooted - Soul Vibe
2. Replife - Spirit (Dilla Shines Thru)
3. Moka Only ft. Kissey Asplund - Drip Drop
4. Brittany Bosco - Glitch
5. Finale - Paid Homage (R.I.P. J-Dilla)
6. Mr. Complex ft. Pharoahe Monch - Scream & Shout
7. Tanya Morgan - Bang N Boogie
8. Cuba Aftermarket ft. Musinah - Without Regrets
9. Choklate - Suns Out
10. Marley Marl ft. Kev Brown & Grap Luva - What Ruling Means
11. Rashaan Ahmad - Fairy Tale
12. Andre Orefjard ft. Emma - I'll Do That (The Booty Mix)
13. Red Astaire ft. Caretta Bell - You Dead Wrong
14. Suff Daddy ft. Kissey Asplund & Bless 1 - 99 Bottles
15. Skull Snaps Meet Steinski - It's A New Day (Soul Bus)
16. Prisma ft. Amanda Diva - I Got Soul
17. Mass Influence - All Out
18. Jaspects ft. Janelle Monae - 2012
19. PPP ft. Coultraine - Ain't No If's or Maybe's
20. Miss Jack Davey ft. Blu - iFEEL
21. Stacy Epps - Deep

Soul Blendz III

1. Vinia Mojica - Idols
2. Grooveman Spot ft. Musinah - Down To You
3. Zo! & Asylum 7 - Overdue Process
4. Dudley Perkins ft. Jimetta Rose - Divinely Free
5. Electric Wire Hustle ft. Stacy Epps & Georgia Anne Muldrow - This World
6. Brittany Bosco - City of Nowhere
7. Sa Ra Creative Partners - Spacefruit
8. Little Dragon - Fortune (Afta-1 Remix)
9. Curtis Mayfield - Tripping Out
10. Kev Brown - Hennessey Pt.3
11. Eric Roberson - The Newness
12. Deep Rooted - Round & Round
13. Hanna & Beatr8 - Better Than Nothing
14. Jazzanova ft. Phonte - So Far From Home
15. Deborah Jordon ft. Replife - Home
16. Tom Brock - There's Nothing

Mixed by DJ Kool Emdee

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Happy Birthday: Celia Cruz & Dizzy Gillespie

Celia Cruz
(October 21, 1925 — July 16, 2003)

Celia Cruz (born in Havana, Cuba as √örsula Hilaria Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso on October 21, 1925) was a Cuban salsa singer, and was one of the most successful Salsa performers of the 20th century, with twenty-three gold albums to her name. She was renowned internationally as the "Queen of Salsa" as well as "La Guarachera de Cuba".

Dizzy Gillespie
(October 21, 1917 – January 6, 1993)

John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie was born in Cheraw, South Carolina on October 21, 1917. Together with Charlie Parker, he was a major figure in the development of Bebop and modern Jazz. He taught and influenced many other musicians, including trumpeters Miles Davis, Fats Navarro, Clifford Brown, Arturo Sandoval, Lee Morgan, and John Faddis.

In addition to featuring in the epochal moments in Bebop, he was instrumental in founding Afro-Cuban Jazz, the modern Jazz version of what early-jazz pioneer Jelly Roll Morton referred to as the "Spanish Tinge". Gillespie was a trumpet virtuoso and gifted improviser, building on the virtuoso style of Roy Eldridge but adding layers of harmonic complexity previously unknown in jazz. Dizzy's beret and horn-rimmed spectacles, his scat singing, his bent horn, pouched cheeks and his light-hearted personality were essential in popularizing bebop.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Happy Birthday: Fela Kuti

Fela Kuti
(October 15, 1938 - August 2, 1997)

Born Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria, "Fela" is the father of "Afro-Beat", a human rights and political activist, and also a composer who's music was later influenced by James Brown and the Black Power movement after a visit to the United States in 1969 with his band Koola Lobitos. Fela would later change the name of the band to Nigeria '70. After the Immigration and Naturalization Service was being tipped off by a promoter who said Fela and his band were in the U.S. without work permits, the band then performed a quick recording session in Los Angeles that would later be released as The ’69 Los Angeles Sessions.

Fela and his band, renamed Africa '70', returned to Nigeria. He then formed the Kalakuta Republic, a commune, a recording studio, and a home for many connected to the band that he later declared independent from the Nigerian state. Fela set up a nightclub in the Empire Hotel, named the Afro-Spot and then the Afrika Shrine, where he performed regularly. Fela also changed his middle name to Anikulapo (meaning "he who carries death in his pouch"),[3] stating that his original middle name of Ransome was a slave name. The recordings continued, and the music became more politically motivated. Fela's music became very popular among the Nigerian public and Africans in general. In fact, he made the decision to sing in Pidgin English so that his music could be enjoyed by individuals all over Africa, where the local languages spoken are very diverse and numerous. As popular as Fela's music had become in Nigeria and elsewhere, it was also very unpopular with the ruling government, and raids on the Kalakuta Republic were frequent.

In 1977 Fela and the Afrika ’70 released the hit album Zombie, a scathing attack on Nigerian soldiers using the zombie metaphor to describe the methods of the Nigerian military. The album was a smash hit with the people and infuriated the government, setting off a vicious attack against the Kalakuta Republic, during which one thousand soldiers attacked the commune. Fela was severely beaten, and his elderly mother was thrown from a window, causing fatal injuries. The Kalakuta Republic was burned, and Fela's studio, instruments, and master tapes were destroyed. Fela claimed that he would have been killed if it were not for the intervention of a commanding officer as he was being beaten. Fela's response to the attack was to deliver his mother's coffin to the main army barrack in Lagos and write two songs, "Coffin for Head of State" and "Unknown Soldier," referencing the official inquiry that claimed the commune had been destroyed by an unknown soldier.

Afrobeat is a fusion of jazz, funk, psychedelic rock, and traditional West African chants and rhythms. Afrobeat also borrows heavily from the native "tinker pan" African-style percussion that Kuti acquired while studying in Ghana with Hugh Masakela, under the uncanny Hedzoleh Soundz. Afrobeat is also characterized by having vocals, and musical structure, along with jazzy, funky horn sections. The endless groove is also used, in which a base rhythm of drums, shekere, muted guitar, and bass guitar are repeated throughout the song. His band was notable for featuring two baritone saxophones, whereas most groups using this instrument only use one. This is a common technique in African and African-influenced musical styles, and can be seen in funk and hip-hop. Some elements often present in Fela's music are the call-and-response within the chorus and figurative but simple lyrics. Fela's songs were almost always over 10 minutes in length, some reaching the 20- or even 30-minute marks, while some unreleased tracks would last up to 45 minutes when performed live. This was one of many reasons that his music never reached a substantial degree of popularity outside Africa. His songs were mostly sung in Nigerian pidgin, although he also performed a few songs in the Yoruba language.

Fela's main instruments were the saxophone and the keyboards, but he also played the trumpet, guitar, and took the occasional drum solo. Fela refused to perform songs again after he had already recorded them, which also hindered his popularity outside Africa. Fela was known for his showmanship, and his concerts were often quite outlandish and wild. He referred to his stage act as the Underground Spiritual Game. Fela attempted making a movie but lost all the materials to the fire that was set to his house by the military government in power.

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Freebie Mix

As a DJ, and with me having 33 years of experience, you still need means to help promote yourself. With that in mind, here's another FREE mix for my readers and supporters. This is the only job I have, so keep me in mind for your upcoming events. Enjoy!

Freebie Mix

1. Mary J. Blige - Love Intro
2. Mary J. Blige - Be Happy (Emdee SML Remix)
3. Simbad ft. Steelo - Soul Fever
4. Havana - Shine
5. Aaliyah - Rock The Boat (Emdee's Afta-1 Remix)
6. DJ Spinna ft. Phonte - Dillagence
7. Nina Simone - See-Line Woman (J. Viewz Remix)
8. Stetsasonic - Go Stetsa I (DJ E-Swift Remix)
9. Jackson 5 - Dancing Machine (Miami Mix)
10. Plantlife - When She Smiles She Lights The Sky (4Hero Remix)
11. The O'Jays - For The Love of Money
12. Curtis Mayfield & The Notations - Super People
13. Ladybug Mecca - Dogg Starr
14. Grooveman Spot ft. Count Bass D - Benzaiten Love (DJ Mitsu Remix)
15. Jazz Liberatorz ft. Fat Lip & T.Love - Genius At Work
16. Little Dragon - Test
17. The Foreign Exchange - Brave New World
18. Talib Kweli - Eat To Live
19. Georgia Anne Muldrow - Cruel World
20. Jill Scott ft. 4Hero - Gotta Get Up (Another Day)
21. Sara Tavares - Balance'

Download: Freebie Mix

Mixed by: DJ Kool Emdee

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Coffee Shop Mix: NuJazz Session III

This is another installment in my Coffee Shop series. As we approach the winter months, this is a CD you should get your hands on. It starts out with a nice steady groove, then turns up a little to get funky....but for only two tracks though. After the funk hits your system, it's time to bring it back down a few notches to put you back into an easygoing mode. Send your request to get it by emailing me at

Coffee Shop Mix: NuJazz Session III

1. The Funky Lowlives - Float Through Stars (Boozoo Bajou Remix)
2. DJ Day - Got To Get It Right (1st Step)
3. Thievery Corporation - The Numbers Game
4. Mr. Scruff - So Long
5. The Clonious ft. Dorian Concept - 693 Balloons
6. Willie Bobo - Evil Ways (Karriem Riggins Remix)
7. Afro Elements - Stop You're Killing Me
8. Aaron Jerome ft. Yungun - Late Night Mission
9. Inverse Cinematics - Interplanetary Motivations
10. DJ Cam - Dieu Reconnaitra Les Siens
11. UKO - Sunbeams
12. Kira Neris - Sweet Twilight
13. Fat Jon - Romantic Misery
14. Soul Patrol - Slow Groove
15. Boozoo Bajou - Tonschraube

Mixed by DJ Kool Emdee

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sun, Moon, & Stars

Here's a freebie for my readers who like Acid Jazz (Trip-Hop,Lo-Fi,NuJazz). The subject for this mix is dealing with outer space. Enjoy!

Solar Travel

1. Soul Drummers - Space & Time (Phil Asher Mix)
2. Minus 8 - Starlight
3. Zeb - The Water & The Sun
4. Galaxy 2 Galaxy - Jupiter Jazz
5. 4 Hero - Sunspots
6. Inverse Cinematics - Sundrops
7. LTJ Bukem - Suspended Space
8. Modaji - Starbursts Over Orion
9. Nor Elle - Red Sky
10. Artemis - Astral Sunset
11. Lemongrass - Moonwalk

If you like this mix: Download

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Posse Kutz: Vol. One

There's nothing like classic Hip-Hop, as many will tend to think. This is one of the main reasons why I do what I do in my own contributions to the world of Hip-Hop culture. This is a mix of Hip-Hop crews that got together forming bigger collectives, or those who had already formed a "posse" with having enough original members. In this first volume, you will find two of the biggest Hip-Hop anthems dedicated to stopping the violence, as well as one of the first groups classified as a Hip-Hop posse, who also had a pioneering female MC named Sha Rock, and Nas' (formerly Nasty Nas) first appearance on record.

Posse Kutz: Vol. One

1. Funky 4 + 1 More - That's The Joint
2. Spoonie Gee & The Treacherous Three - New Rap Language
3. Breakestra ft. Chali 2na, Soup, Double K, Wolf, & Munyunga Jackson - Family Rap
4. De La Soul ft. Jungle Brothers, Q-Tip, Queen Latifah, & Monie Love - Buddy
5. A Tribe Called Quest ft. Leaders of the New School - Scenario
6. Stop The Violence Movement - Self Destruction
7. West Coast All-Stars - We're All In The Same Gang
8. Krush Groove All-Stars - Krush Groovin'
9. LL Cool J ft. Method Man, Redman, DMX, & Canibus - 4,3,2,1
10. Marley Marl ft. The Juice Crew - The Symphony
11. Crooklyn Dodgers - Crooklyn
12. Gangstarr ft. Nice & Smooth - DWYK
13. Snoop Dogg ft. The Dogg Pound - It Ain't No Fun
14. Main Source ft. Nas, Joe Fatal, & Akinyele - Live @ The Barbeque (Orig. Cookout)

Funky 4 + 1 More

Wonderful Stevie

This is the first installment from my Stevie Wonder tribute series. I consider Mr. Wonder to be the greatest songwriter and composer, incorporating many different styles of music into his collage of sounds.

Wonderful Stevie

1. Too High
2. Superstition
3. Sir Duke
4. I Wish
5. Boogie On Reggae Woman
6. That Girl
7. I Love You Too Much
8. Higher Ground
9. Happy Birthday
10. Do I Do ft. Dizzie Gillespie
11. Another Star
12. As
13. Bird of Beauty
14. Don't You Worry Bout A Thing
15. Master Blaster
16. Golden Lady

Here's the second installment that consists of his ballads. A great selection of tunes when spending time with that special someone you love.

Wonderful Stevie: The Ballads

1. I Just Called To Say I Love You
2. You Are The Sunshine of My Life
3. With Each Beat of My Heart
4. Knocks Me Off My Feet
5. Give Your Love
6. For Your Love
7. My Cherie Amor
8. Seems So Long
9. True Love
10. Joy Inside My Tears
11. Creepin'
12. Rocket Love
13. Send One Your Love
14. Overjoyed
15. You & I (We Can Conquer The World
16. Ribbon In The Sky
17. These Three Words

Tribute Mixes to Nina Simone

Here are two mixes recently added to my tribute series, made up of original tracks, and remixes of music done by the "High Priestess of Soul", Nina Simone.

Nina Unmixed

1. Sinnerman
2. See-Line Woman
3. I Want A Litlle Sugar In My Bowl
4. I Put A Spell On You
5. To Love Someone
6. My Baby Just Cares For Me
7. Black Is The Color of My True Love's Hair
8. Feeling Good
9. Ne Me Quitte Pas (If You Go Away)
10. Mood Indigo
11. Ain't Got No, I Got Life
12. Mississippi Goddamn
13. Funkier Than A Mosquito's Tweeter
14. Strange Fruit
15. To Be Young, Gifted, & Black
16. Revolution
17. Here Comes The Sun

Nina Remixed

1. I Can't See Nobody (Daniel Y Remix)
2. O-O-oh Child (Nicodemus Remix)
3. Westwind (Organica Remix)
4. Go To Hell (Mowo Remix)
5. Obeah Woman (DJ Logic Remix)
6. Gimme Some (Mike Mangini Remix)
7. See-Line Woman (Masters At Work Remix)
8. Here Comes The Sun (Francois K Remix)
9. Turn Me On (Tony Humphries Got U Turned On Dub)
10. Sinnerman (Felix Da Housecat Heavenly House Mix)
11. Funkier Than A Mosquito's Tweeter (3 Jazzeems All Styles Remix)
12. My Man's Gone Now (DJ Wally Remix)
13. Black Is The Color of My True Love's Hair (Jaffa Remix)
14. Feeling Good (Joe Claussell Remix)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy Independence Day to Nigeria

Nigeria, officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria was declared and recognized as an independent republic, breaking away from rule by the United Kingdom on October 1, 1960. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, the eighth most populous country in the world, and the most populous country in the world in which the majority of the population is black.

Today i'm paying tribute to one of Nigeria's sons, Chief Oliver De Coque, born Oliver Sunday Akanite on April 14, 1947 in Ezinifite, Anambra State. De Coque, a prolific platinum selling guitarist who popularised the "Ogene" dance inspiring style of Nigerian Highlife, recorded no fewer than 73 albums in his life time. Some of his major hits include "Biri Ka Mbiri, and "Identity."

De Coque had a music career that spanned over four decades, gaining him many awards and honors. In 1995 the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi crowned him the King of Highlife music. From a 2005 interview, here's his take on how he thinks music should be:

"When a musician is cordial and peaceful, the message comes. It has been so for me. I make elaborations in my message particularly so that it will be explosive and the audience will understand it clearly. I let people know that in this world, what must be, must be, so long as they believe in God. So nobody can erase his destiny no matter the type of soap or sponge he uses."

I had the privilege to open for Mr. De Coque in Los Angeles in 2005.

Chief Oliver De Coque
April 14, 1947 - June 21, 2008