Thursday, February 28, 2008

DYNAS has you SHOOK! KRS-One makes you Duck Down!

Dynas - The Apartment coming soonMiami, Fl emcee, Dynas (Rawkus 50 2007) has never gotten his proper shine, but that may all change this year with the release of "The Apartment" LP. The new album will be released on Badgramma/BBE in October of this year. So far, guest appearances will include Slick Rick, Ty Phoenix, Little Brother, J. Dilla, DJ Spinna, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Illustrate, and more to be announced.

Check out his banger, "Worldwide" from his 2007 album, Me Myself and Rhymes.


There's a new UK magazine (THANKFULLY!) that will feel the void left by Straight No Chaser (R.I.P.). This magazine is being compared to another stellar magazine, Waxpoetics. Their first issue is now available on newstands, at DustyGroove or you can purchase it at

about Shook Magazine and Issue 1:

"a brand new publication inspired by the five elements, the four noble truths, three - the magic number, forever two stepping (never half) but still always on the 1.
yes indeed, as we proceed. welcome to shook, uk-based but with an international outlook, representing not just the vibrations of the melodic underground, but preaching peace and overstanding in this world of madness.
in issue 1 we get up close & personal with dj muro (the king of diggin), touch down in detroit and vibe with guilty simpson, black milk, denaun porter and invincible; chat basslines in the studio with benga, track down elusive french street artist invader, get loose with leroy burgess, feature exclusive photos from the new york downtown scene by paula court, and relay some uplifting musical undercurrents in ethiopia from maga bo and in belize from andy palacio.
if that wasn't enough, we have columns from benji b, paul camo? / WE ARE... and heatwave, in our ladies section we speak to simphiwe dana and yukimi nagano, while our charts and reviews section will let you know what's fresh for '08. "


KRS ONE is a significant figure in the Hip-Hop community and is often credited by critics and other Hip-Hop artists as epitomizing the "essence" of an emcee. It is no surprise then, that KRS-ONE decided it would make the most sense to combine forces with Buckshot, of Black Moon and record a new album on Duck Down Records. Buckshot shares similar philosophies as KRS-ONE, one of which is the notion of the "Stop the Violence Movement," which KRS-ONE is actively involved with.
KRS-ONE turned to Dru Ha and Buckshot (co-owners of Duck Down Records) to bring a certain sound and production to this upcoming project, a request that Duck Down Records Co-President Dru Ha was honored to fulfill “To say we are honored and humbled would be an understatement. Buck and I have known KRS since our early days in the game, back when we were recording at D&D Studios and he directly influenced the name of the label with his song "Duck Down” (sucka Mc's Duck). He was also instrumental in one of Buck's first and biggest records as Da Beatminerz flipped the "How Many MC's" vocal sample from KRS. But with the nostalgic feelings of KRS being one of my favorite MC's growing up to the side, it's KRS's continued relevance of today that's most exciting. KRS has a message in his lyrics, a gladiator performer who reps the culture and posses all the qualities that an MC should embody: Meaningful lyrics, mastery of the flow, intense creativity and a ferocious live show. I know how much respect Buck has for KRS, so I can only imagine how this will elevate his game. It's Old School to those that don't keep up with the current works and movements but to me, I would call it Now School.”
Three tracks have already been recorded and the chemistry between the two artists is very natural. Buckshot described the work as "CONFLOSATION, even when KRS ONE is flowing he's having a conversation with his audience. This collaboration with KRS-ONE is going to be an album full of Hip-Hop conversation, ranging from New World Order, to socially conscious topics such as unemployment, poverty, and politics. At the same time, we will speak to the streets, as that is what I'm known to do. It’s a dream to be able to work with KRS-ONE. Before I even began rapping that is who I checked for. I kept the “Blue Print” album on me at all times. That is all I listened to for an entire summer."
Check for the KRS-ONE & Buckshot’s album later this year on Duck Down Records.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Dah Dikka Dah - Dikka Dikka Da Dah 2008

Smirnoff is remixing three classic hip-hop songs for its Smirnoff Signature Mix Series, one of which is Common's "The Light" from his 2000 album, "Like Water for Chocolate." I would hardly consider "The Light," to be classic, but a Just Blaze remix would sound nice, right? I'll let you be the judge. Check it out here

Common w/Marsha Ambrosius(Floetry) - The Light 2008 (It's Love)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

More Reasons To Buy and One More To Get...

Pete Rock's NY's Finest will be released 2-26-2008. Here's one more reason to cop that!

Pete Rock & Rell - That's What I Am talking About

Erykah Badu's Nu Amerykah is dropping 2-26-2008. Here's one more reason to go get addition to the fact that she covers Birmingham's own Eddie Kendricks' "My People."

Erykah Badu - Me

The Roots finally have a release date: April 29, 2008. Black Thought is in great form on this first taste of "Rising Down." Check It Out

The Roots - 75 Bars (Black's Reconstruction)

Your arms are too short...

Shaheed – Health, Wealth & Knowledge of Self
Shaheed returns with his sophomore album, Health, Wealth & Knowledge of Self, an album that reminds you of why you fell in love with hip hop. Topics range from love, obligatory emcee braggadocio, to the current state of hip hop. Shaheed hails back to a time when an emcee was not just a lyricist, but also a party rocker; interspersing old school party chants within his intricate rhymes. Bringing a message of positivity and Islam, you’ll hear no mic nonsense here.

At times jazz heavy, the self proclaimed “Jazzhole” selected beats that your favorite emcees can’t seem to find (maybe they should come to Birmingham).The majority of the production is handled by Supreme, with March the 5th and Heron Sparks contributing as well. The title track is a reworking of Pete Rock & CL Smooth’s T.R.O.Y., which Supreme augments nicely with some great keys work over the infamous Tom Scott sample. Shaheed reunites with longtime collaborator Heron Sparks for “You Just Might Like,” a track that’s guaranteed to bring the subconscious head nod great hip hop tracks are known for. The listener is invited to hear Shaheed engage in verbal gymnastics AND go to the skating rink on California producer March the 5th’s “Wherever U At.”

A solid album from start to finish, Health, Wealth & Knowledge of Self promotes exactly that. This is an album that’s guaranteed to move body, mind and soul…and remind you that Hip-Hop isn’t dead. Pick it up at

Standout Tracks: Wherever U At (March the 5th) Good and Bad / Health, Wealth & Knowledge of Self / Breath Control (Supreme) You Just Might Like (Heron Sparks)

Pick up a copy of Health, Wealth & Knowledge of Self and see Shaheed perform live this Wednesday 2-27-2008 at The Latte Lounge (Birmingham, Alabama).

Shaheed - You Just Might Like

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Hot 107.7 $10 Concert Series (February22, 2008) AKA Excuse My Pictures

The night began with a performance from Sugashack Music artist, Melissa Young. We already know from her album, "Just Up The Road," that the girl can sing, but she sounds even better in person. Melissa had never been to Birmingham before but by the time she left, she had the audience eating out of the palm of her hands. Armed with great looks, charm, and the soul in her music, Melissa really connected with the crowd, commmanding an applause after every song. Her performance of "Rock With Me," a song created from her love of Betty Wright, went over especially well with the crowd as she actually walked the floor and created a dialogue with audience members. By the time she performed her lead single, "Just A Girl," she had the crowd lining up to buy her album, proving that she's not "just a girl," she's a star that's on the rise!

The headliner for the night was Motown/Universal recording artist, Trina Broussard. She drove to Birmingham from Atlanta the night before and practiced with a pick-up band of Birmingham all star musicians that had her music sounding stellar. Her voice of course, is wonderful, but she invited audience members onstage to perform Roberts Flack's "Feel Like Makin' Love." The highlight of the night, however, is when she sang her cover of Minnie Riperton's "Inside My Love" from the 1997 Love Jones soundtrack. Once again, Birmingham concert goers were so enamored with her voice that they immediately lined up to purchase her album even before she made it off of the stage.

Make sure you join us in March for the next Hot 107.7 $10 Concert Series. Artists TBA

Friday, February 22, 2008

Dwele's Cheating! (Gasp)

New Dwele produced by long time Cali producer G-1 from his yet untitled new album. "I'm Cheatin" is more of the same from Dwele. Chords and talk/singing. It's a nice track nonetheless. Check it out

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Spell Caster

RIP Eunice Kathleen Waymon, BKA Nina Simone (February 21, 1933April 21, 2003) Grammy Award-nominated American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger and civil rights activist.
Although she disliked being categorized, Simone is generally classified as a jazz musician. She preferred the term "Black Classical Music" herself. Simone originally aspired to become a classical pianist, but her work covers an eclectic variety of musical styles besides her classical basis, such as jazz, soul, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop music. Her vocal style is characterized by intense passion, breathiness, and tremolo. Sometimes known as the High Priestess of Soul, she paid great attention to the musical expression of emotions. Within one album or concert she could fluctuate between exuberant happiness or tragic melancholy. These fluctuations also characterized her own personality and personal life, worsened by a bipolar disorder with which she was diagnosed in the mid-sixties, but was kept secret until 2004
Here’s an excerpt from Nina Simone’s autobiography, “I Put a Spell on You,” about her first performance experience at Midtown Bar & Grill:
"The only public performances I had ever given were classical recitals, and all my training in presentation was for the concert stage…It wasn’t hard to fit it to the improvisation because I used my voice as a third layer , complementing the other two layers, my right and left hands. When I got to the parts where I used elements of popular songs I would simply sing the lyric and play around with it, repeating single lines over again, repeating verses, changing the order of the words. It was fun.”

Nina Simone - Sinnerman

Speaking of Fun...

Melissa Young Takes Over Birmingham!

My girl, Fiona Bloom, tells me that Melissa ripped Atlanta a new one and I believe her. Melissa has a strong voice and soul to spare. With two shows in one week, you gotsta make at least one…for your benefit!
Melissa Young performs twice this week:

Thursday at The Nick with opening act Sharrif Simmons performing an acoustic set.
The Nick / 2514 10th Ave S/ B’ham 35205

Friday at Club Quincy with Trina Broussard and DJ Rahdu
Club Quincy / 1000 John Rodger Drive

Melissa Young – Chinese Torture

Trina Broussard – Inside My Love

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Vinyl? Check! #3 Valentines Soul

(picture posted not actual album cover)
As soon as I put this album on, I knew that I would find a treat worth posting. Entirely written and produced by DJ Rogers, "It's Good to be Alive" (1975 RCA) is a treasure to behold. "It's Good to Be Alive" is Roger's first album and was anchored by the single, "Say You Love Me." Also, included on this album is the sample that Common used for BE's, "Faithful."

"Love You Forever," is a mellow mid tempo track with a funky bassline. He's professing love for the mother of his child (again), DJ Rogers Jr. Jr followed his father's footsteps writing for the likes of Faith Evans and Carl Thomas, and eventually releasing a "neo soul" album, Emosoul, in 2002. Rogers' voice, writing and production pool together to create a sense of sincerity unparalleled in today's music world: I promise you love, baby, without pain / no mental strain / everything to gain / Baby, no rain! Come on people, love the one you with tonight, Happy Love Day!

DJ Rogers - Love You Forever

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Fallin' for Birmingham Hip-Hop

S.Fly of the legendary Birmingham hip hop group, The Red Light District, returns with a new single, “Fallin,” from his upcoming album “The Birth of Blaq Angel”. “Fallin” is the humorous story of an unsuspecting club-goer that “macks” a B-Girl that turns out to be every man’s fantasy and more (than he can handle). Production is handled by Birmingham Uber–Producer, Supreme, who compliments S.Fly’s sing song flow with sparse production (deep drums, keys , snare). The track is infectious and will have you falling in line to pick up your copy of “The Birth of Blaq Angel” once it’s released.

S.Fly - Fallin'

Shaheed of the Unseen Ummah will be releasing a new album this month with the majority of the production handled by Supreme. Keep checking back here for more details...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

30 minutes for Dill Withers

1. The Escorts - I Can't Stand To See You Cry - The Best of The Escorts - Priority
2. Dilla - Don't Cry - Donuts - Stones Throw
3. Dilla; Dwele - Dime Piece(Remix) - The Shining - BBE/Beat Gen
4. Dilla - Shake It Down - Welcome 2 Detroit - BBE
5. D'angelo - Playa Playa - Voodoo - Virgin
6. Dilla - Dreamy - Vintage Instrumentals - Bling 47
7. Erykah Badu - ... & On - Mama's Gun -Motown
8. Sylvia - Sweet Stuff - Pillow Talk: The Sensuous Sounds of Sylvia - Rhino / Wea
9. Dilla - Crushin' - Ruff Draft - Stones Throw
10. Slum Village; D'angelo - Tell Me - Fantastic Vol.2 - Goodvibe
11. Common - Nag Champa - Like Water For Chocolate - MCA
12. Jaylib - Starz - Champion Sound - Stones Throw
13. Dabrye - Game Over Instrumental- Game Over VLS - Ghostly Int'l
14. Spacek - Eve (Dilla Remix) - Eve VLS - Universal/Island
15. Keith Murray - The Rhyme (Dilla remix Instrumental)w/Dabrye; Phat Kat; Dilla - Game Over
16. Bilal; Mos Def - Reminisce - 1st Born Second - Interscope
17. Dilla - Yesterday - Jay Love Japan - Operation Unknown
18. A Tribe called Quest - Jam - Beats Rhyme and Life - Jive
19. The Pharcyde - Runnin' Labcabincalifornia - Delicious Vinyl
20. Dilla - U-Luv - Donuts - Stones Throw

R.I.P. Dilla. Since Jay Dee's passing in 2006, DJs have been releasing mixes/compilations of his music nonstop. Normally, what you'll hear are more of the hip hop cuts, but I wanted to showcase more of the soulful tracks he's produced. We interviewed Dwele shortly after Dilla passed and he said, "You've probably nodded your head to more Dilla tracks than you realize," so make sure you check out his discography. Enjoy!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Set the Date!

2-26-2008, the new Pete Rock album drops featuring Raekwon, Masta Killa, GFK, Styles P, Sheek Louch, Jim Jones, Papoose, and Redman. Noticeably missing from the lineup, C.L. Smooth, his former partner in rhyme. The Chocolate Boy Wonder is responsible for providing the soundscape for hip hop classics, such as "They Reminisce Over You" and for revitalizing the careers of Run DMC with "Down With The Kings". The single "Til I Retire" contains a sample from a Run DMC milestone. Pete's rhymes leaves you wishing CL would jump in and throw some braggadacio on the track, but Pete does what he does best, the beat. Enjoy!

The album cover is an homage to James Brown's Hell album:

Coming in April '08...New Gnarls Barkley

Check out this track thats circulating on the internet and getting rave reviews, Run. Reminds me of a vintage Motown cut. What do you think?

Root Beer Lollipops?

Izzat a Root Beer Lollipop shes sucking on, WTF? Nasty lollipops aside, I found a delicious treat on this 1975 Event Records album, Yum Yum. Feed Me Your Love is completely contrary to the Fatback Band sound, which is hailed as " of the first to make 'disco music' a force to contend with." This Fatback joint is a slow cooker that does, however, have those trademark Fatback band horns. This track makes you want to get your boogie on, not on the dancefloor, but in the bedroom.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Eddie Kendricks (The Temptations) Birmingham, Alabama

I recently added some music from the 1975 The Temptations' album, House Party. The personnel of this 1975 Temptations' group, however, did not include Eddie Kendricks who left the group in 1971. Forever immortalized in Eddie Kendricks Memorial Park in Birmingham (4th Ave N & 18th St), I would be remiss if I did not highlight him for the month of February.

Edward James Kendrick was born in Union Springs, Alabama. His family later moved to Birmingham, where he met and began singing with his best friend Paul Williams in their church choir in the late 1940s. In 1955, Kendricks, Williams, and friends Kel Osbourne and Willie Waller formed a doo-wop group called The Cavaliers, and began performing around Birmingham. The group decided to move for better opportunities in their musical careers, and in 1957 Kendricks, Williams, and Osbourne moved to Cleveland, Ohio, with Waller staying in Alabama. In Cleveland, they met manager Milton Jenkins, and soon moved with Jenkins to Detroit, Michigan, where the Cavaliers renamed themselves The Primes. Under Jenkins' management, the Primes did well for themselves in the Detroit area, eventually creating a female spin-off group called The Primettes (later The Supremes). In 1961, Osbourne moved to California, and the Primes disbanded. Kendricks and Paul Williams joined forces with members of The Distants to become The Elgins, who signed to Motown that same year as The Temptations.

The Temptations began singing background for Mary Wells. After an initial dry period, The Temptations quickly became Motown's most successful male vocal group of the 1960s. Among the Temptations songs Kendricks sang lead on (usually in a falsetto voice, but he was also capable of singing in a tenor voice) were "The Way You Do the Things You Do" (the group's first US Top 20 hit), "I'll Be in Trouble", "Girl (Why You Wanna Make Me Blue)", "Get Ready", "Just My Imagination", and "Please Return Your Love to Me". He shares lead vocal duty on other records, including "You're My Everything" (shared with David Ruffin), and a long string of Norman Whitfield-produced psychedelic soul records where all five Temptations sang lead, such as the Grammy winner Cloud Nine and I Can't Get Next to You.
In the Temptations, Kendricks was responsible for creating most of the group's vocal arrangements, and also served as wardrobe manager, including the now famous purple suits the group wore for one performance. His favorite food was cornbread, and as a result he was nicknamed "Cornbread" (or "Corn" for short) by his bandmates. According to Otis Williams, Kendricks romantically pursued Diana Ross, lead singer of the Supremes, and he was said to have been close with Martha Reeves of the Vandellas.
Kendricks remained in the group through the rest of the decade, but a number of issues began to push him away from it in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He was uncomfortable with singing the psychedelic style that Whitfield was now crafting for the group as opposed to the romantic ballads they'd sung under the direction of Smokey Robinson, his friend Paul Williams was often too ill to perform with the group, and Kendricks often found himself at odds with bandmates Otis Williams and Melvin Franklin. As he grew away from the Temps, Kendricks began to rekindle his friendship with ex-Temptation David Ruffin, who convinced him to leave the group. Kendricks recorded one last hit single with the Temptations, 1971's "Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)"; by the time the record reached #1 on the US pop charts in April 1971, Eddie Kendricks had quit The Temptations and signed a solo deal with Motown's Tamla imprint. He was successful with his solo career, but it was short lived.[citation needed]

Eddie Kendricks' solo career began slowly; he endured two years of singles that missed the Top 40, while The Temptations continued with their string of Norman Whitfield-helmed hits (one of which, "Superstar (Remember How You Got Where You Are)", was written as a jab towards Kendricks and Ruffin). When Kendricks finally scored a hit in 1973, it resulted in his first and only solo #1 hit, the Frank Wilson-produced "Keep on Truckin'", which is often cited as a contender for "first disco song". Future hits included "Boogie Down," "Shoeshine Boy," and "He's a Friend."
Kendricks left Motown, forced to sign away the rights to his royalties to do so, in 1978, moving first to Arista Records, and later to Atlantic Records. By this time, his popularity had waned, and he was also gradually losing his voice as a result of chain smoking. He and David Ruffin briefly re-joined the Temptations for a 1982 reunion tour. Ruffin and Kendrick (Kendricks dropped the "s" from his stage name during the 1980s) reportedly met up one night when Ruffin went to watch Kendrick perform in a nightclub; Kendrick spotted Ruffin in the crowd, pointed him out, and invited him to come up on stage and perform with him. Afterward they talked about touring on their own and recorded an album as a duo for RCA in 1988.
Earlier, in 1985, they participated in the Hall & Oates live album Live at The Apollo recorded at a benefit at New York City's Apollo Theater; and sang with the duo at Live Aid in Philadelphia and the MTV Video Music Awards in New York. Hall and Oates have cited Kendrick, Ruffin and the rest of the Tempts as a major influence.
In 1989, Kendrick, Ruffin, and their old Temptations bandmates were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There, Kendrick and Ruffin made plans with former Temptation Dennis Edwards to tour and record as "Ruffin/Kendrick/Edwards, Former Leads of The Temptations." The Ruffin/Kendrick/Edwards project was cut short in 1991, when Kendrick was diagnosed with lung cancer and David Ruffin died of a drug overdose.
In late 1991, Kendrick, by now living in his native Birmingham, underwent surgery to have one of his lungs removed in hopes of preventing the spread of the cancer. He continued to tour through the summer of 1992, when he fell ill again and was hospitalized. Eddie Kendrick died on October 5, 1992 of lung cancer in Birmingham at the age of 52.

Eddie Kendricks - Intimate Friends

Hi-Tek Music Releases!

"I have three albums coming out this year, the first one will be released on February 26 (her birthday) and it's gonna be called New Amerykah," Badu says, adding that the next, Return Of The Ankh is scheduled for a July release."The other one's gonna be called New Amerykah II and it's gonna be a totally digital experience."Removing an ebony puff of her larger-than-life afro from her face, Badu explains the meaning of "totally digital experience"."You'll purchase (instead of a CD) a USB stick, each will come with a specific code that you punch in. That way you'll get to upload a new song every month for the next 10 months."Her digital ideas, however, don't stop there!"I'll also be starting a magazine called Freaq, it's gonna be dedicated to arts, politics, beauty, fashion, photography and technology," shares the 36-year-old, adding that she also manages her own Myspace page.

Hear Badu's thoughts on The Healer

2-5-2008, Jill Scott is releasing a live performance CD/DVD combo from a show recorded at Elysee Montmartre in Paris. The show includes hits such as "He Loves Me (Lyzel in E Flat)", "Whatever" and "Golden."

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Drank Dat Yuengling???!!!

Driving home Thursday, after a hard days work, I end up on the competitor's radio station and they're playing regular radio fodder as usual. Then...I hear it! Is this my anthem? Was this song telepathically, diabolically stolen from my head, I ask myself as they chant, "Watch me drank dat Yuengling! Watch me drank dat Yuengling!" Wow, I thought, a Soulja Boy knockoff song that's actually about something. This is 21+ grown folks music! Yes!Then, slowly, surely, reality sets in. They're not saying "Watch me drank dat Yuengling," which i would actually hate to do, unless I had a Yuengling in hand of course. They're saying, "Watch me Crank Dat Yank Yank!" Now, can i not hear well, do they speak unintelligbly or was my heart and my stomach telling me what they wanted once i arrived home. You decide

Cash Camp - Crank Dat Yank

VINYL? CHECK!Last Summer, over several hot summer days I recovered a little over 2000 albums from a former DJ who was no longer interested in holding onto her vinyl; It was now "Just Stuff." In addition to the stockpile of albums, this DJ hipped me to stories of NY club culture and like most DJs dropped mad gems on some of the albums that were now in my possession.

She told me one story, though, that blew my mind. Back in the days,when record pools first began, they used to have a "gopher" organize and distribute the vinyl to all of the club's resident DJs. Their club, The Loft, had such a gopher, his name was Larry. One night, while at the club during another DJ's set (everyone's high) the DJ passes out and noone is sober enough to man the wheels. The gopher, Larry, comes out and says that he is able to spin. They scoff, but are unable to get sober enough to DJ that night and are helpless to let the young gopher have his day in the sun. What they didnt know was that Larry had been practicing on the club's turntables at night after they left. Larry pulled off a tremendous performance that night, and went on to become internationally reknowned as THE go to guy for remixes, disco production and club rocking, Larry Levan.

Once a week (or more), I'll be uploading at least one great track that I've found while catalouging these albums. To start this off, I'll begin with a Leon Ware written, Temptations ballad from their 1975 Motown album, House Party: If I Don't Love You This Way. Enjoy