Friday, August 31, 2012

The Black Opera: Monsters & Robots [Video Game + Single]

With the help of Mello Music Group and The Black Opera, you are hereby being introduced to, a website that joins the forces of music videos and video game play by turning exclusive songs into an online interactive experience. TBO has issued their first single produced by Astronote, "Monsters & Robots" via Air Playd, giving you a chance to play the video game and unlock the free download of this single. You can do so by playing here. Game format is compatible with most web browsers. Be sure to pick up their physical copies of EnterMission that drops September 25th.

Friday Flashback: Michael Jackson

On August 31, 1987, Michael Jackson released his seventh studio album titled BAD, where eight of the ten song LP were written by Michael. Nine of the songs were issued or played as singles, with history being made as BAD was the first album to have five singles from it to peek at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart consecutively. Today marks the 25th anniversary of its release and a re-release in multiple formats called BAD 25 is scheduled to drop on September 18th. As of this year, it is reported there have been 30 to 45 million units [or more] of the album sold worldwide. Along with the original album, Bad 25 will contain unreleased demo recordings and a live CD and DVD of Jackson's performance at Wembley Stadium during his Bad World Tour. A box set and vinyl pressings of the album will be released. A remix version of BAD was done by Afrojack. Thankfully, most of the integrity of the song was left intact and Afrojack didn't go overboard with it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Happy Birthday: Michael Jackson

We salute and honor the "King of Pop", Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) on today, his date of birth. Your memory lies deep in us, those who love you and cherished your many works. Plenty of lives are thankful for you and your humanitarian efforts that touched regions around the globe.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the release of BAD, which dropped in 1987 during the month of August. The Michael Jackson tribute mix I did last year is still available for free download via my podcast page here on the blog. Be sure to check out my Dilla Jackson remix project. Here's one of the remixes I did from the mixtape titled "They Don't Care (F--k The Police)". ENJOY!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Nina Simone: Be My Husband (Jeremy Sole Remix)

Los Angeles based DJ and producer/remixer Jeremy Sole is currently working on a Revival EP Series that i'm guessing will be reworks of classic oldies made especially for the dancefloor. Days ago he uploaded his remix of "Be My Husband" from Nina Simone's Pastel Blues album released in 1965. The original version of this tune was recorded as an a cappella with only hand claps and a hi-hat cymbal to accompany her vocals.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Happy Birthday: Alice Coltrane

A great lady of music was born in Detroit, Michigan by the name of Alice Coltrane (August 27, 1937 – January 12, 2007). Alice was the wife of Jazz giant John Coltrane, who replaced McCoy Tyner on piano in Coltrane's group after they were married. She was also one of the few harpists in Jazz music that formed her own Jazz groups and kept performing after John's passing. Alice is the mother of saxophonist Ravi Coltrane and the aunt of Hip-Hop producer Flying Lotus.

Happy Birthday: Cesária Évora

Today is the birthday of Cape Verdean singer "The Barefoot Diva" known around the world by her name Cesária Évora (August 27, 1941 - December 17, 2011). A lady who had a distinctly rich voice that captured many hearts and ears around the globe, who was also referred to as the "Queen of Morna".

Bella Soul: Castle In The Sky (Weegee Edit)

Recently on Soundcloud, I started following London based DJ Bella Soul who has been spinning tunes for 9 years and more recently she has picked up the microphone to start singing. In no way am I being insulting, but I must say she can use a little vocal coaching (not voice lessons people) to help improve on what she's doing. I like the direction she's taking and would love to hear more from her in the future. Give her a follow as well to see what she has in store for the future. For now, glue your ears to "Castle In The Sky (Weegee Edit)".

Saturday, August 25, 2012

RubyGold: Feeling Stealer ft. Earth

Nearly a month ago The Fader posted this track by a very attractive singer by the name of RubyGold who hails from South Africa. I'm thinking she's a newcomer to the music scene, only to see she has already flooded airwaves and broadbands worldwide on a few House tunes with Meat The Veggies, Monotone and Revolution. Although she has effectively loaned her vocals to the genre, she doesn't want to be pegged as a House singer. Instead, she wants to do music with conscience, tapping into various sounds and genres to help find her niche. Currently, she does what she calls "trance jazz" and has a fairly new tune called "Feeling Stealer" that features Earth, who produced the track and plays percussion on it as well. Here is another reason to take up some drive space with this free download. Press play, close your eyes and let your imagination take you on a fantastic journey.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Flashback: Sounds of Blackness

Normally, I don't post a lot of religious material here on the blog unless it's really a great piece that's inspiring, rather than try to sway a person to follow any said group. Here's a case to be inspired with a song that has been on my mind for the last few days, which is also a favorite I often have on repeat. That song is "Optimistic" by the Grammy Award winning Sounds of Blackness from The Evolution of Gospel (1991) that features an incredible vocalist by the name of Ann Nesby, who has also graced many classic House tunes with her amazing voice. This song topped the Billboard Dance charts, as well as urban abult contemporary charts. For those who aren't familiar with this tune, please listen with an open mind and get your own inspiration. You may get goosebumps from listening. ENJOY!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Elle Gomes: Acoustic Movement

I can't cease to stop mentioning how wonderful it is to have young adults release music that has substance now-a-days when the market is flooded with a lot of cookie cutter nonsense that has no lyrical value. "Beantown" has the rights to brag about singer-songwriter Elle Gomes, who currently is a student at Berklee College of Music majoring in songwriting. After listening to the Acoustic Movement EP she released on August 1st, and the fact that she is of Cape Verdean descent, it sounds to me that her style is influenced by the late great Cesaria Evora.

"Gravity" is the single she is pushing, but I was more drawn to "Artificial Love (Not Anymore)", which she is expressive of how she seeks to find real love. Her rich vocals and arrangements are proven to show she has reason to have graced stages with the likes of Lalah Hathaway, George Clinton, Regina Carter and other notable entertainers. Surprisingly, she's offering listeners the chance to get this great piece of work for free. Just make sure you all help give a boost to her career by purchasing later projects. Let's keep her around for awhile.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Gensu Dean: Wantchu ft. Olivier Daysoul

Gensu Dean certainly is no "Johnny come lately" to the music scene, having banged out many tunes on his Emu SP-1200 for ODB, Large Professor, Brand Nubian, Royal Flush and a few other Hip-Hop artists. His latest, "Wantchu" that features St. Louis vocalist Olivier Daysoul has been circulating on the net for the last couple of weeks and i'm finally getting to it to post. This one is light, upbeat in tempo and is a tale of infatuation for a young lady that keeps "I do it cause I wantchu around" in mention. I'm sure to have this one in heavy rotation and look forward to hearing this in one of my upcoming mixes. For my vinyl heads, this is the flip side of the Ramesses 45 rpm record that's available now through Mello Music Group. However, you can get the digital download of this one on them. ENJOY!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Happy Birthday: Isaac Hayes

Happy birthday to the late great Isaac Hayes (August 20, 1942 – August 10, 2008), the self-proclaimed "Black Moses" of Soul music who scored the soundtrack to the movie "Shaft" in 1971, along with other great albums of his own and a long list of songwriting credits for other artists, starting in the 1960's with his songwriting partner David Porter as in-house songwriters and producers for Stax Records.

Hayes was very influential in the southern soul movement and known for his developments of disco and rap. He's noted for his humanitarian aide in Ghana, which resulted in him being crowned as an honorary king of the Ada region. Hayes' deep baritone voice was also heard on the big screen and television for The Rockford Files (1974-1980), I'm Gonna Git You Sucka (1988), and the voice of "Chef" on the cartoon series South Park (1997 - 2005). To find out more about Isaac Hayes, visit

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Flashback: Tom Scott & The L.A. Express

For this week, we dig back into the drum break from "Sneakin' In The Back" by saxophonist Tom Scott and his impressive L.A. Express collective that brought about this classic Jazz-Fusion tune from the Tom Scott and The L.A. Express album released in August 1973. We also pay homage to Houston's legendary Joe Sample for helping to compose this tune, who also plays guitar and piano for the LP. Many notable names in Trip-Hop, Hip-Hop and Pop music have used the drum break to build around for their own classic tunes that are still in many a DJ's rotation around the globe.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Flashback: The Jones Girls

While many people fell in love with The Jones Girls' bigger hit "You're Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else", I was quite fond of their cover of Cynthia Biggs and Dexter Wansel's "Nights Over Egypt" that featured Grover Washington, Jr. on oboe. Just the overall sound and arrangement, along with their smooth, silky vocals gave me a warm feeling inside as I listened to the 45 rpm over and over on my mother's stereo in our living room as a child.

Not only did this trio of sisters (Shirley, Valerie & Brenda) rock the music world with their own albums as part of the Philadelphia International Records roster, they also did backup for Linda Clifford, Lou Rawls, Teddy Pendergrass, Aretha Franklin, and Le Pamplemousse, as well as work with Diana Ross for three years. After being a flop on their previous label Curtom Records, The Jones Girls would gain valuable exposure by touring as backup singers for Ross. Demand for the trio eventually got them singed to P.I.R. and the release of four albums during their stay. Sadly, Valerie passed away in 2001 at the age of 45.

Diggs Duke: Mass Exodus

I'm planning on dedicating the next couple of days to call it "weekend soul". To kick things off, here are the incredible sounds of the one man orchestra known as Diggs Duke with his brand new EP entitled Mass Exodus. For those who have a good ear, you can hear as many influences to his sound as the number of instruments he's playing. Seems to me that with every release he drops, it all keeps getting better and better. Support to keep good music alive by purchasing his works. No disappointments here.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Happy Birthday: Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston
(August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012)

It has only been a few months since we have lost one of our beloved who's voice and spirit shattered boundaries. In honor of Whitney, I took the liberty of re-posting this memo a good friend of mine posted on Facebook today. ENJOY!

Remembering "Nippy"...Happy Birthday Girl!
by Deborah Hatter-Grant

Happy Birthday, "Nippy"! This picture is how I will always remember you...a breathtakingly beautiful young girl, with snap and pizzazz, sassy and smart, with a "mega-watt" smile, fashion model cheekbones, and a voice that mesmerized. I remember standing at my kitchen sink, late on a Thursday night, with my hands immersed up to my elbows in hot, sudsy water, finishing up the day's dishes...sometime in early 1985, when both my girls were still little. I was tired...a single mom, going to school and working, just standing there listening to the music while I washed the pots and pans, as was my nightly "alone time"...daydreaming, when a voice that I did not recognize came over the airwaves. A female voice...with a pureness, a power, and an absolute sweetness in the yearning, that I had never heard before.

I rushed to dry my hands, and turn up the volume on the radio...sat down at the kitchen table just to listen. I remember thinking to myself, "oh my goodness...who is THAT?" All of us "wanna be" singers, and "coulda, woulda, shoulda been" singers, (especially those of us who have had some musical training, and after years of "ear training", I still had "perfect pitch" in those days), know the real deal when we hear it...and I immediately knew that you were something different...something special. There was a "hunger" in your was almost palpable to me, as I listened. It made me want to hear more...and more and more. In spite of your vocal power, there was a subtlety underneath, that allowed us to hear something just a little different every time we heard you sing...another little "spin"...even if we had heard you sing the song a million times, we could discover something entirely new in your interpretation. Like a good book, or a fine wine, a stunning piece of poetry, or an amazing work of visual was something intangible that just made one want to go deeper, and deeper, and deeper into the beauty that you created with your music.

And wow...did you ever deliver MORE! Over the years, you shared your gifts and your talents, your triumphs and your tragedies, and your music became a part of all of our lives. The "Body Guard" soundtrack became a ritual lullaby in 1994, for my then 2 yr old son, who sat glued to the couch with wide-eyed wonder, listening to you sing. No one could touch that CD player while he was listening to you...all hell and havoc were sure to break out, if anyone had the audacity to turn off "his" Whitney. Your "I'm Your Baby Tonight" CD was a late night favorite for me and my husband, dancing in the kitchen, not long after we married...and of course, "The Preacher's Wife" soundtrack was ALWAYS in the CD player...even when it wasn't Christmastime. Years later, your work on the "Just Whitney" album, was my constant companion in the car, when I was moving alone to a small town, to try and start my life over after the untimely death of my husband. Girl, I was singing "Try It On My Own", from that CD, right along with you...slinging "snot" and crying the whole time...LOL! Felt like we were just two good girlfriends, commiserating, and trying to make it to the other side of some very harsh realities in our lives.

You lived your life in front of us...the good, the bad, and the ugly, and sometimes we didn't know how to handle that...we like to think that our heroes and "she-roes" are superhuman...we don't like it when our icons and idols show us their very human qualities...their frailties. But I understand frailty...and imperfection, and doubt...and loss. I admired you just as much for your humanity, for your struggles, and for your courage to "keep getting up" and trying again, as I admired you for your iconic gifts and unbelievable successes. Sometimes I think that had we loved you better, given you more acceptance to be "just Whitney" might still be with us. That rare and magical vocal talent of yours is something that will never be heard again, and we all miss it. But I think that what I miss most, are those very "leonine" qualities of yours...the ones that shone through, no matter the situation. Your love of family, (your "pride"), your trust and belief in your Higher Power, your magnanimous personality, your regal elegance and grace...your love. Yes...we truly miss you, Miss Whitney...the last true superstar! Can't wait to see your last turn on the big screen in the new upcoming movie, "Sparkle" will surely be bittersweet for those of us who love you. Happy Birthday, in the beauty, and power, and sweet, sweet, peace that you so richly deserve!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Jamaica: Happy 50th Anniversay of Independence

The golden anniversary celebrations have already been going on for the last few days and will continue well into the following weekend. Excitement was already thick in the air, and now that same air is supercharged as Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt took the gold medal in the 100 meter dash and the silver medal went to his teammate and friend Yohan Blake on yesterday's finals. In honor of the occasion and for all the countrymen and women, as well as the athletes representing in the olympics, it is most definitely fitting to post the Jamaican National Anthem by veteran singer Sanchez who is a national and international favorite.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday Flashback: Sergio Mendez

As i'm preparing for what I feel is going to be a great weekend, I had to post a little Samba called "Magalenha" by Sergio Mendes from his Brasileiro album to help set the pace. Every time I hear this tune it makes me want to put on one of my all white outfits and do a little capoeira or dance like crazy.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Christopher Ellis: Don't Change Your Number

Damian Marley just uploaded some new Reggae freshness to his Soundcloud page by Christopher Ellis, who's the youngest son of the legendary Rocksteady singer Alton Ellis. "Don't Change Your Number" is a pure party rocker that blends retro 60's Soul, Pop and Reggae. No info currently on an exact release date, but I smell something really good cookin'. Listen for a temporary fix until an official drop.

Chester Gregory: High Love (Freddie Joachim Remix)

Chester Gregory is a multi-award winning Broadway actor, singer and musician who originally hails from Gary, Indiana. Freddie Joachim put his magic hands to work to remix Gregory's "High Love" track from his In Search of High Love album from 2008. Those familiar with Joachim already know the time with this remix. ENJOY!

Download for FREE.99 (Right Click, "Save As")

Gig Etiquette: Set-Up & Breakdown Habits To Live By

Nearly every touring musician has at least one story about load-in or breakdown gone awry — that emotionally scarring gig where the venue promised a full drum kit but only delivered a broken snare drum, the festival slot when you expected fifteen minutes to set up but only got fifteen seconds, or that sickening post-gig moment when you realized your vintage Les Paul had grown legs and walked out of the club, all by itself.

Can such situations be prevented? Quite often, yes, and adopting common-sense habits like showing up early, making lists, and packing ahead of time can save you considerable trouble... Read more...

Article courtesy of Disc Makers.

Happy Birthday: Chuck D

A power fist salute to the 5 star general of Hip-Hop, the rhyme animal known to millions around the world as Chuck D. At 51 years young, he proves that age ain't nothin' but a number by representing and preserving the culture in true Hip-Hop despite what many naysayers have to say about age being a factor after a time. Many far near and abroad aren't looking for Mr. Chuck to retire anytime soon. We look forward to many more years of him rockin' the mic and his wisdom through lectures. Bless'up!