Sunday, August 29, 2010

Happy Birthday: Michael Jackson

This is the day when we pay homage to our beloved Michael Jackson, the undisputed King of Pop, who was a man of many hats. Singer, songwriter, producer, dancer, inventor, activist, philanthropist, actor, and so on. Michael Joseph Jackson was born on August 29, 1958 in Gary, IN, the eighth child of Joe & Katherine Jackson. Starting from humble beginnings with his family in a small home, The Jackson family would eventually take the world by storm. From his start with the Jackson Brothers, later changed to The Jackson 5, Michael gained more success as both a solo act and with The Jacksons.

Michael Jackson recorded ten studio albums with Thriller being the greatest selling album of all time worldwide. Estimates have reached far over 110 million in album sales. Seven of the nine songs off the album were released as singles and all seven of the singles reached #1 on Billboard music charts. BAD would come in second with more than 30 million copies sold and is considered his best musical project of his career. Despite it's commercial success, BAD is considered a relative failure in comparison to Thriller. Off The Wall is his third best selling album with more than 20 million copies sold. Michael Jackson was disappointed with the one Grammy it received and vowed to never let that happen again.

In honor of the King of Pop, who we all refer to the GREATEST ENTERTAINER OF ALL TIME, DJ Jazzy Jeff, the Greatest DJ of all time put together a mixtape of Michael Jackson tunes and included a few rare remixes. Take a listen or download from the player below. Enjoy!

Happy Birthday: Charlie Parker, Bogle, Beres Hammond

Charlie "Bird" Parker
(August 29, 1920 – March 12, 1955)

Charlie "Bird" Parker, born Charles Parker Jr. was a Jazz composer and saxophonist considered one of the most influential musicians in the genre with Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong and Duke Ellington. Parker played a leading role in the development of Bebop or bop, a form of Jazz that developed in the early to mid 1940's and characterized by fast tempos, instrumental virtuosity, technique, and improvisation based on harmonic structure. Along with his playing agility and virtuosic techniques, Parker was also a great Blues player. At times he was noted for fusing Jazz with Classical, Latin and other musical styles.


Gerald "Bogle" Levy
(August 22, 1964 – January 20, 2005)

Gerald "Bogle" Levy, who's stage name is after Jamaican national hero Paul Bogle, was born in Kingston, Jamaica. He's also known as Mr. Wacky, Father Bogle, Mr. Bogle and highly considered Jamaica's greatest dancer of all time, and he created the crossover dance move of the 90's called the "Bogle Dance", as well as other popular dances like Willie Bounce, Wacky Dip, Sesame Street, Urkle Dance, Row Di Boat, and many many other dance moves. He also made appearances in the movies Belly (1998) and Shottas (2002).

Bogle: "It's nice to be important, but more important to be nice."


Beres Hammond

Beres Hammond, born Hugh Beresford Hammond on August 28, 1955 in Annotto Bay, Saint Mary, Jamaica is known for his more soulful approach to Reggae and the Lovers Rock form of Dancehall. He grew up listening to his father's Soul and Jazz records, but heavily influenced by native Ska and Rocksteady. In the mid 70's he joined the band Zap Pow and released a number of recording with the band on Aquarius Records, while at the same time seeking a solo career. In 1976 he released a solo album called Soul Reggae.

Beres Hammond started his Harmony Records label in 1985 and released his Make A Song album that contained Dancehall chart toppers "Groovy Little Thing" and "What One Dance Can Do". On Tappa Records he recorded and released Putting Up Resistance that contained the hit socio-political title track and "Strange". He went on to sign with Penthouse Records in 1990 where he gained his biggest success and recorded "Tempted To Touch", "I Wish", "Who Say" with Buju Banton, as well as many other hits.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

KTSU....No Longer The Choice

With commercial mainstream radio already being horrible by playing "music" with no substance and you hear the same 10 songs over and over all day everyday, Houston is about to suffer a double blow with listener supported radio. Both KTSU 90.9 FM at Texas Southern University, as well as KTRU 91.7 FM at Rice University have plans to make big changes that most feel will have a great impact on listenership and funding.

I've caught KTRU only a few times because of a low transmission signal, but as far as KTSU, I pretty much grew up to the sounds they played. One of the main shows I listened to was Kidz Jam on Saturdays. You heard an excellent selection of real Hip-Hop, Dance, R&B, and the resident DJs who smashed it with their witty mixes. Other days I could count on hearing "Jazz In All It's Colors" featuring great Jazz recordings by musicians I grew to admire. Now, rumor has it that "The Pride of Texas Southern University" or "The Black Jewel" will be changed to some cheap, stiff and cold sounding "in the box" (like 97.9) type station. It's as if all those years of quality programming will be flushed down the toilet as if it's worth less than urine. I can't express how disappointed I am to hear the news about what's to come. And that is, it supposedly going to change to an all R&B format. *deep sigh*

There was a letter written about the concerns of the recent changes and firings of staff who have volunteered for so long. The letter is as follows....

Dear editor:

Since it’s inception, KTSU 90.9 FM Radio Station has been a constant pulse which beats life producing musical vibes throughout the Third Ward, The City of Houston and the World by way of the internet and the word of travelers who come in contact with this beautiful thing we have in Houston and go back and tell others they meet about “Jazz In All It’s Colors” and a whole lot more!!!

This institution provided a much needed voice in an ever-changing world where the colorful vibrations of its purveyors painted rhythmic hues of pianos and saxes to feed a generation of listeners the roadmap of the masters…that NOBLE sound. From Basie to Sachmo to Ella, Sarah and Miles, that noble sound has set the pace through thick and thin it’s always been the Choice 90.9 on your FM dial.

If the roll were called, it would include the names: Pam Collins, The Frog Prince, Myron Anderson, Bernard Walker, Charles Porter, Detria Ward, Steve Crain, Vince Kannady, Rick Roberts, Bro. George Nelson, Corliss A Rabb, Maurice Hope-Thompson, Fred Pendegrass, Mother Nature, Dr. Freddie Brown, Tommy D. Armstrong, Rev. Ricky Williams, Slick Rick Lauderdale, Chris Tucker, Shirley Wolford, Bill Green, Leonard Moon, Lyle Q. Barnes, Marilyn Bolden-Tyrone, Bro. Carl B. Harris, Chattabox, Maurice “The Gangster” Jackson, Aaron Cohen, Bobby Oneal, Sis. Blondell & The Crew, Lucky Brown, Superneal, Frank Torrey, Rev. Robert McKinley Gilmore Sr., Rev. Lloyd H. Crosby, Kidz Jamm, Parish Murphy, Devan Wade, Juan Flores, the Houston community, and so many many more as keepers of the flame as it pertains to this great light in our community.

This tremendous gem we all gave birth and life to and dubbed: “The Black Jewel” is now experiencing a dulling effect of its uniquely shiny and beautiful glow, and is in grave danger if not checked and soon, of being forever changed by the current leadership regime absolutely bent on changing everything this “Jewel” shines for.

Historically, KTSU derives it’s great reputation for it’s musical diversity from the individual on-air personalities and their own music selection that makes this diversity possible. Currently this trend is not only discouraged but also outlawed under management guidelines thus creating a robot-like atmosphere with programmed music which real deejays hate!

The deejays at KTSU hate being there that’s why the quality level is going down from it’s standard. This is directly opposite of the path the pioneers of this great station blazed. Now that long time (maybe too long) General Manager, George Thomas is at eligibility age for retirement with full benefits, there is suddenly a great deal of movement in the management structure of this great “Jewel” of our community.

At press time, it is reported that Ms. Donna Franklin, (2nd year KTSU deejay) has been granted the appointment of the position: Assistant General Manager of KTSU 90.9 FM. This is a sudden meteoric rise unprecedented in the 36 year history of this station that an on-air personality go from deejay to GM without so much as the position being announced as available. Furthermore in the annals of KTSU never has anyone been granted such a great position of responsibility with no prior experience; no that has been done, with George Thomas.

This is the person responsible for the huge mistake of naming the new KTSU facilities after Tavis Smiley in exchange for the promise of a million dollar check that Tavis never wrote to this day; thus the removal of his name from the Tavis Smiley School of Communications at TSU.

As far as we the public know, Ms. Franklin served for a brief period of time as an on-air personality at KODA Sunny 99.1 FM, and another brief stint with the now defunct KJZS Smooth FM 95.7 contributing to it’s demise before bringing her wealth of radio expertise to KTSU 90.9 FM to save the day. Save what day? As far as we know KTSU is publicly funded and non-profit therefore not in danger. On that note, what has Ms. Franklin actually brought to KTSU since she has been there drawing that huge paycheck she enjoys anyway? Take if you will for instance the idea of playing in the Friday lineup on KTSU; historically, all the deejays who have played in the Friday lineup at KTSU held down club gigs at the hottest dance clubs in Houston . That is until Ms. Franklin came along. She simply begged and pleaded with the office of the President of Texas Southern University and was awarded a much sought after, blood earned coveted Friday slot on KTSU. Not just any slot, but the afternoon drive-time slot too! She managed to receive what no deejay before her arrival has ever received…a chance to play on the most widely listened to radio station in Houston on a Friday with no talent to operate with. In the words of the late Houston born songwriter and Blues Legend Johnny Guitar Watson: Ain’t that a _ _ _ _ _?

Somebody’s doing something slick, yeah they are; got me wonderin’ which is which, ain’t that a _ _ _ _ _? You see, at TSU there is still certain procedure that must be followed and posting an open job position to the public allowing other potential applicants to vie for the job is still the law, unless you’re under this current management structure or you happen to be Donna Franklin then it does not pertain to you. She also begged to have the chance to play the 5 o’clock Blues Cruise but after the beating she received over the request line from the real Blues lovers they quickly put the most distinguished veteran and a legend of the Friday oldies posse (Slick Rick) back in that seat from 5 now to 7PM.

Finally, the position of Asst. GM of a public broadcast station is supposed to be non-existent. Lindsay Williams (former KTSU Asst. GM) was dismissed some time ago because they said: “The position does not exist”. It has been said by Ms. Franklin that when she closes the door to the studio at KTSU she is in her heaven; well it seems that her heaven is to be others “Hell” who stand in her way.

The station for the most part these days, is actually being run from across the campus by the President’s office though not widely known, and you are starting to hear the gradual changes being put into place daily. One of these days you’ll turn your radio on to KTSU and not even recognize it by that NOBLE sound anymore. They already tried to take Gospel Sunday off the air as well as Jazz Latino with Juan Flores and as her first official act of vengeance, Ms. Franklin has already dismissed longtime KTSU family member and host of Sports Talk Devan Wade. How stupid is that?

For quite some time now the tone of the current management regime has been one of arrogance and egotism which is blatantly obvious when one listens to Sheldon T. Nunn spout his personal malarkey all over the airwaves. With this new crop of Air-Heads on the Air, KTSU is no longer your friendly neighborhood “Jewel” but another cold corporate-like ice palace where a local musician doesn’t stand a chance of getting any play.

There are those on the radio today blowing up the airwaves telling anyone who will listen to that crap that our distinguished Congressional representative from the 18th Congressional District is trying to kill black owned radio. This about someone who also authored legislation creating and establishing Gospel Music Heritage Month annually in America . Be very wary when you see someone spending that much money and time trying to tear down the reputation of someone else…something is not right about that. We say that a greater threat to black radio is incompetent people running black radio stations. That is the case today at KTSU.

KTSU 90.9 FM has a tremendous heritage of playing music and putting out vital messages in our community. Surviving these past 36 years is no accidental occurrence and continuing to exist will be no accident either. To try and fix something 36 years old by changing it is a fatal mistake and must cease immediately! There are some standouts that deserve to be recognized for their fine work. These include: Vernon Jay, Devan Wade, Juan Flores, The Original Sinbad, DJ Mouton and Wayne ’s World to name a few.

George Thomas, President Rudley, Donna Franklin, Sheldon T. Nunn this is not your radio station it is ours and we demand that you leave it as is and step off before you destroy what does not belong to you! This is a cry out to the true lovers of “The Choice” 90.9 FM KTSU to stand up and be counted.

Let your voice be heard! Don’t allow these individuals to destroy what you have grown to love. This radio station has been built with the blood, sweat, and tears of hardworking volunteers who have devoted countless hours to this entity for no pay. We’ve now entered into an era where the top people are getting the big bucks and the real workers are left out still with nothing…not even a bus token. Sweeping changes have already begun don’t fall asleep and let them take KTSU, “The Black Jewel” away from it’s family. “What Are They Doing To The Black Jewel”?

Honestly Submitted,
Concerned Legends of KTSU

Hopefully there will be some type of petition to help let everyone's voice be heard. If no petition is made, I would hope those who have supported for so long no longer listen to the station or make donations to keep it in operation. Listener supported radio SHOULD be left up to it's supporters to say what music they would love to hear. Jazz, Soul, Blues, and other formats of music have been supported for so long by listeners of the station. I feel it's a tremendous slap to the face to those who have tuned in for so long.

Conya Doss: Blu Transition

There's nothing more special than having a beautiful lady pour her heart into music that touches your soul. In this age of mainstream masturbation ruling the airwaves, Conya Doss is one to add to your collection to help to escape this madness. Conya is set to release her fifth studio album Blu Transition on September 28th. Treat yourself to a listen of her first single "What We Gon' Do" below and visit to listen to more samples off the album and to pre-order it. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Recently I found out about a new genre that has emerged from the UK called Drumstep. To put it into an equation to help those who are unfamiliar, it pretty much is Drum n' Bass + Dubstep = DRUMSTEP. If you still don't understand, it's basically emphasising the basslines and tempo with the drum patterns used in Dubstep and incorporating the breakbeat patterns and other elements used in Drum n' Bass. It took quite some time for DnB to get mainstream appeal and Dubstep has still got plenty of work to do to get on the same level. Many argue that Drumstep may not get full acceptance as it's DnB predecessor because it literally is falling in between both DnB and Dubstep. I personally think it may actually help to give Dubstep a push to mainstream. Listen to tracks below and decide for yourself. Enjoy!

Youtube comment: "It's like Dubstep and DnB met in a rave and fucked, then had a baby and named it Drumstep. CRAZZZZY!"

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fatbeats: The Tale of Two Stores

The years is 1994 and a brand new record store opens in Manhattan called Fatbeats, who has the infamous tag..."The Last Stop For Hip-Hop". With that being said, the store made itself an iconic staple in the Hip-Hop community by having an extensive collection of vinyl records that would make your head swim. I say that from a literal standpoint, having visited the NY location several times. With an impressive record in vinyl sales, they were able to open a store out in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Amsterdam and Tokyo. Fatbeats would also set up an online store and start their own label. The label hosts acts such as KRS-ONE, Black Milk, Akrobatik, El Michels Affair, Ill Bill, and a Sadat X & AG Project.

Over a 15 year span, Fatbeats is able to say "we have manufactured and distributed vinyl worldwide and have outplayed most top vinyl distributors." They have employed the likes of J.Rocc and DJ Rhettmatic of the Beat Junkies, DJ Eclipse, Ill Bill and Q-Unique. Fatbeats NY and LA stores hosted a number of in-store performances for Eminem, Common, Gang Starr, Pharoahe Monch, Busta Rhymes, Q-Tip, Immortal Technique, Murs, and many more.

Fatbeats NY will close it's doors on September 4th, while the Los Angeles location closing will follow on September 18th. The reasons for the store closings are decreases in sales and digital trends. However, they will maintain their online store and record label. Joe Abijian, President of Fatbeats said: “This is the start of a new era for Fat Beats. We’re adapting to meet the needs of our demographic by revamping and improving our existing systems. While our website, which stocks everything available in our retail stores, continues to do very well, we’re still exploring our options for alternate retail locations in the future. We’re proud of our legacy and will continue to re-invent ourselves. For now, we’ll see you online at

Slum Village: T3, J-Dilla & Baatin

Jean Grae

Large Professor & J.Rocc

Miles Davis: Bitches Brew 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

Considered as a defining artist in Jazz history, Miles Davis released his Bitches Brew double LP to the world in April 1970. This would be Miles' first gold selling album. Fast forward to 2010 and we now celebrate the 40th Anniversary since it's original release on Columbia Records. To help mark the occasion, there will be a special deluxe box set that will include a 4 CD set of the original releases and studio sessions, double vinyl LPs, a 48 page 12 x 12 book, memorabilia envelope, fold out poster, and a DVD of his entire live performances in Copenhagen on November 4, 1969. The worldwide release date for this special set is September 14th. You can pre-order on Amazon.

R.I.P. Robert Wilson

Robert Wilsonknown as the Godfather of the Bass of The Gap Band passed away on Sunday August 15th. He founded the band with his brothers Charlie and Ronnie Wilson in the 70's. Their sound was like a cross between Parliament-Funkadelic and Earth, Wind & Fire. The Gap Band released a string of dance tunes that include "Early In The Morning", "Party Train", "Burn Rubber On Me", "Outstanding", and others. Robert is another legendary bassist taken away too soon and will be dearly missed. REST IN POWER!

Happy Birthday: Malcolm Jamal Warner

Many of you remember Malcolm Jamal Warner from notable sitcoms The Cosby Show and Malcolm & Eddie. He was born on August 18, 1970 in Jersey City, NJ. Outside of being an award winning actor and director, Malcolm is also a bassist and performance poet for the Jazz/Funk group he heads called Miles Long. In 2003 they released their debut EP titled The Miles Long Mixtape and followed up in 2007 with their Love & Other Social Issues CD.

For more information, photos, video, and to join their mailing list, sign up by visiting

Bilal: Restart

The last time we heard from Bilal was his Love For Sale album back in 2006. He returns on the Soul scene with Airtight's Revenge, which is due out on September 14th. His first single "Restart" was produced by himself and Steve McKie. Grab it while you can as a free download in the widget below. Enjoy!

Jneiro Jarel: Fauna

Jneiro Jarel is one of the best producers in the game who admits he still can learn plenty. A good student who thinks in that manner goes on to be a great teacher. By living in various metropolises, you can't quite pin him down as one to claim a single city or coast in his music. With his latest remixes, his mind and spirit are apparently hovering around South America.

His latest release titled Fauna, which means "all animal life", is due out this fall on Kindred Spirits. There is the "Amazonica"/"See Them Cry" 7" record available for for purchase at Rush Hour. "See Them Cry" is an exclusive vocal track that features Cilla K and is only available on the record.

For those who want to participate in the Fauna project, Label Who Films is asking for submissions of photos and video for a series of short films they will be doing with the Fauna theme. For more info and submission instructions, log on to their official Facebook page at Fauna(Label Who Films).

Below is the "See Them Cry" teaser and an incredible remix of Arthur Verocai's "Balada 45". Enjoy!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Technology Bites: 00VJ

There's a neat little gadget that has recently been put on the commercial market made specifically for DJs. When someone sees you carrying it, they may get the idea that you're a spy or have some bomb defusing device. PCDJ introduces the 00VJ, the ultimate DJ computer that brags some huge specs to keep you up and running without the glitches and other problems you may encounter with standard laptops at your gigs. Orders are shipping with an Intel Core Duo 2 gigahertz processor, 4 gigs of DDR RAM, HDMI connection for HD TVs, CAT5 port, Blue Tooth, a 16 GB flash card backup and a 2 TB hard drive to store plenty of music and video files. Check the features below.

Most of the forums I have read, many are saying the $4499 (free US shipping) MSRP is a bit steep and have claims to get the same "bang" for less than half the price. However, users who have already purchased the 00VJ and its predecessor the 00DJ, say it's very reliable, is sturdy, but a little too bulky for its size. You can also load up Serato Scratch Live or Traktor.


* Custom tooled 1.5mm aluminum casing with double walled side reinforcement.

* Ultra hard wearing anodized finish.

* Industrial motherboard for reliability.

* Huge 17″ high brightness touch screen.

* Fully sealed industrial waterproof keyboard and mouse controller with red illuminated keys.

* Slot loading DVDRW optical drive built in CD+G compatible.

* M-Audio Delta 1010 PCI internal sound card (3 x stereo out 2 x stereo in MIDI and digital).

* At least 1Tb of shock resistant internal storage (larger drives available on request).

* Networking built in with Wi-Fi and CAT 5 gigabit socket.

* Video output by Composite SVHS and DVI - VGA and HDMI adapters supplied.

* 3 x USB 2.0 ports.

* Firewire port (1394).

* Preloaded with PCDJ DEX, Karaoki and Windows 7 optimized for pro audio (XP and Vista also available).

* Capable of playing 1080p HD video constantly - no overheating.

* Built in “Factory configured” emergency restore system.

* Each 00VJ will be configured to the customer’s requirements - contact us for your needs...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Scion AV: Sound Pellegrino-Straight From The Spring

Sound Pellegrino is a series of compilations put together by Teki Latex & DJ Orgasmic. In Teki's words: "When I play the current house and techno music that I like to my French “banging electro” friends they think it’s minimal. When I play it to minimal DJs they think it bangs too hard. We love hard stuff when it’s creative and groovy, and we love minimalist music when it’s not boring nor serious. The Sound Pellegrino releases totally embody that state of mind." Straight From The Spring features 8 tracks from the Sound Pellegrino family. You can get more info on other releases on Institubes.

Download full compilation as a .zip file

De La Soul: The Return of DST

De La Soul never ceases to amaze their listeners with their consistent delivery of fresh sounding Hip-Hop. I don't always check my indox as often as I should, but was excited to see the file by them I received. This looks like it's a tribute to the classic old school sound of Hip-Hop, and is a salute to legendary DJ Grandmixer DST. This is one tune you want to take a cue from Rakim..."as you hear it...PUMP UP THE VOLUME!" Enjoy!

The Return of DST

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Underworld: Barking

It's been 30 years that British duo Karl Hyde and Rick Smith, better known as Underworld have been recording together. Both met while attending a university together and they are considered pioneers in electronic music within the UK. Their last full length album was released 3 years ago and they return with Barking. Written in it's entirety by them in their Essex studio, they hand picked a few producers to lend a hand with dance tracks that cover a wide range. Those who are familiar with electronic music producers, High Contrast, Dub Fire and Paul Van Dyke have lent their talents. Barking is set for U.S. release on September 14th on OM Records. Pre-ordered CDs will be autographed. Very limited supplies. So get it fast!

Underworld - Scribble (Produced by High Contrast)

Barking Tracklisting:
Bird 1 (Co-Produced by Dubfire)
Always Loved A Film (Co-Produced by Mark Knight & D. Ramirez)
Scribble (Co-Produced by High Contrast)
Hamburg Hotel (Co-Produced by Appleblim & Al Tourettes)
Grace (Co-Produced by Dubfire)
Between Stars (Co-Produced by Mark K & D. Ramirez)
Diamond Jigsaw (Co-Produced by Paul van Dyk)
Moon In Water (Co-Produced by High Contrast)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Happy 48th: Jamaican Independence Day

Today marks the 48th Anniversary of Jamaican Independence from Great Britain which was declared in 1962. The name "Jamaica" derives from Xaymaca ("Land of Wood & Water") in the indigenous Arawakan language spoken by the Taino people who inhabited the island.

The Jamaican flag, adopted on August 6, 1962 after gaining independence from the Federation of the West Indies, is symbolized by the motto: 'Hardships there are but the land is green and the sun shineth'. The black triangles represent the adversity Jamaica has overcome and for hardships it may have in the future. The green triangles represent hope and agriculture and the golden saltire (diagonal cross) stands for the mineral wealth of Jamaica and sunlight.

Jamaica has gained a strong global presence through music. Calypso, Mento, Ska, Rocksteady, Reggae and Dub all helped to birth to Dancehall and Ragga. Reggae and Ska were the key elements in the development of Punk Rock, while Dancehall, Ragga and Dub are the elements that helped birth Hip-Hop in the U.S. and both Jungle (or Drum & Bass/DnB) and Dubstep in the UK.

"Out of Many, One People"

Below is the Jamaican National Anthem sung by singer-songwriter and producer Richie Stephens (pictured).

Jamaica, Land We Love

DLRN: The Bridge

DLRN (formerly Delorean) a Sacramento, CA based Hip-Hop duo with emcee 5th Ave and producer John Reyes, released their critically acclaimed debut No More Heroes in 2009, and follow up with a free download of their new album DLRN Presents The Bridge.

Download: DLRN presents The Bridge

DLRN - Reset (Feat. Prometheus Brown & Illecism)

ARE x B.E.

Blazing new joints from Houston based producer The ARE and New Jersey natives Brokn Englsh comprised of Myk Dyaleks, Cion Burris, and Lyriq2Go. The album is available as a free download on their ARE x B.E. Bandcamp page.

<a href="">Bounce by Brokn.Englsh</a>

Dezaray Dawn: Chameleon EP

Most often you would hear Broken Beat or Future Soul from the UK or off the east coast here in the U.S. Atlanta based Dezaray Dawn shows that the south doesn't always have to be dirty or crunk for independent artists to display their talents. Here's my favorite track from the EP that you can purchase on iTunes.

Chameleon (Crisis Situations Remix)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Rahel: Beautiful

Swedish born Rahel continues to swoon listeners with her vocal talent. Her latest single "Beautiful", in this case, is not about her blazing good looks. You may have caught her on previous projects with Eric Lau, Mark de Clive-Lowe and her appearances on Gilles Peterson's Brownswood Bubblers compilations and radio show. What's even more appealing is, this track is available as a free download. Enjoy!

Mayer Hawthorne: I Need You

Mayer Hawthorne has a new single on Stones Throw Records in stores now called "I Need You". The 12 inch record (also available on CD) is a one sided single because on the flip side there's an etching by Miami artist Freegums. Being raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which is right outside of Detroit, Hawthorne adds that old school Motown soulful flavor with today's blazing beats. The track was produced by Nottz. Enjoy!

R.I.P. Bobby Hebb

Bobby Hebb
(July 26, 1938 – August 3, 2010)

Robert Von Hebb is a multi-instrumentalist, singer & songwriter from Nashville, Tennessee who is best known for writing and recording his certified gold hit "Sunny", which has sold over a million copies. "Sunny" is one of the most covered popular tunes with hundreds of versions released by the likes of James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra, Cher and so on. Hebb also had hits with his "A Satisfied Mind" in 1966 and "Love Me" in 1967, and has written many other songs, including Lou Rawls' 1971 hit "A Natural Man."

Hebb succumbed to lung cancer in his hometown of Nashville.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Happy Birthday: Louis Armstrong & Elsbeary Hobbs

Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong
(August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971)

Born Louis Daniel Armstrong in New Orleans, Louisiana, nicknamed "Pops" and "Satchmo", short for "Satchelmouth" describing his embouchure. Armstrong is considered a foundational influence in Jazz and popular music through his virtuosity and inventive playing techniques on trumpet and coronet. During the 1920's, he was known to have taken great leaps with improvisations which were daring and sophisticated for the time, while often subtle and melodic.


Elsbeary Hobbs
(August 4, 1936 - May 31, 1996)

Elsbeary Hobbs Jr. was born in New York City, New York. He was a vocalist, bassist and original founding members of the R&B/Doo-Wop group The Drifters which formed in 1955 in Harlem. The group recorded on labels including Atlantic, Rhino, and Ripete. The Drifters' music career was very successful and lasted until 1997 when Johnny Moore, the last surviving original member passed away. They recorded many memorable songs, including "Up On The Roof," "There Goes My Baby," "Please Stay," "This Magic Moment," "Save The Last Dance For Me," "Some Kind Of Wonderful," "Under The Boardwalk," "I Count The Tears," "Saturday Night At The Movies," "On Broadway," and "Dance With Me."

Linkin Park: The Catalyst

New music from Rock group Linkin Park off their upcoming release A Thousand Suns which will drop September 14th. Log on to for more info.

The Intruder Song

Thanks to my homey Jneiro Jarel, who I call a "Youtube junkie", I got wind of the original news story via Twitter. According to the victims in a Huntsville, Alabama housing project, some "rapist" broke into their home and tried to rape Kelly Dodson after climbing in her upstairs bedroom window. Her brother Antoine Dodson heard her screams and came to the rescue. Although the act of rape is disturbing, most find the reaction of Antoine in front of the news camera to be hilarious and he has gained national attention from the video being circulated on the internet.

The original news broadcast.

Music Video

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Budos Band: Budos Band III

This incredible band, hailing from New York City, will release their new album on Daptone Records titled Budos Band III on August 10th. They delightfully fuse Afro-Beat, Rock, Funk, Soul and R&B together to create a massive sound. To give you a sneak peek of what to expect (if you're not familiar), you can listen to their first single "Unbroken, Unshaven" below and download it here.

As a bonus, if you pre-order Budos Band III, you will get an EXCLUSIVE FREE 45 single of "Kakal" that doesn't appear on the album. Hurry and get it while supplies last because there are only 800 in print. They're currently on tour in the U.S. and Canada. Visit their website for concert schedules and other info at

Monday, August 2, 2010

Marsha Ambrosius: Hope She Cheats (New Single)

New single from Marsha Ambrosius that's produced by herself and Canei which is going to be on her first solo album Late Nights & Early Mornings that drops October 26th. Personally, I think the tune sounds too much like the recycled "snap" commercial ones on mainstream radio. Track-wise, this was a bit disappointing from the woman who penned "Butterflies" for Michael Jackson. By the way, her birthday is coming up on August 8th.