Saturday, November 29, 2008

DSXXX Anonamas Interview

1. Illa J - R U Listenin
2. The Pharcyde - Passin' Me By (Hot Chip Remix Instrumental)
3. Jean Grae - Love Thirst
4. The Game; Raheem Devaughn - Touchdown
5. Murs - Me & This Jawn w/ Illa J - We Here Instrumental
6. Baron Zen - Burn Rubber(Dam Funk Remix)
7. Midnight Star - Curious
8. Eric B & Rakim - What's on Your Mind
9. The Sugarhill Gang - Passion Play
10. J Boogie's Dubtronic Science; Tim'm West - Dirty
11. Truth Universal - Gotta Love It
12. Jay-Z - Roc Boys (YBP Remix)
13. Jewels; CL Smooth - Appreciate the Rhodes
14. Muhsinah - Once Again
15. Coultrain - Lilac Tree
16. Raashan Ahmad - Shining

...::Anonamas Interview Pt 1::...
17. Shawn Struggle - Caught Up
18. Anonamas; Jewels; Blak Mamba - Abstract
19. Bottom Fly - Go Away
20. People Under The Stairs - Gamin' On Ya
21. The 4orce - The Musician Instrumental

...::Anonamas Interview Pt 2::...
22. Anonamas - Still Here
23. Bahamadia; Dwele - Still Here
24. Sunz of Soul - Bass & Treble

...::Anonamas Interview Pt 3::...
25. Anonamas - Us
26. Brittany Bosco - Blues for Blue
27. Cubic Zirconia - I Wanna Freebase You
28. DJ Ayres - Give It Up Turn It Loose
29. Big Brooklyn Red - Sexual Healing
30. The Rurals - Planting Roots
31. BSTC - Venus and Mars

DSXXX Interview with Anonamas
Download Here

Next Week: Big Brooklyn Red

Missing Loofa :(

I have to start this one by giving props to DenaKali from the Sugar Shack, she did a blog on a song from this album, Tell Me a Bedtime Story that initially peaked my interest. Without even searching for it, later that week I found this album used for 5.99 on CD.

I'm Gonna Miss You in the Morning features Patti Austin, a pre-1978 Luther Vandross, and Tom Scott on Lyricon. I mention the year because this was after the self titled, Luther (1976), and This Close to You (1977)were released, albums that were not commercial successes and Luther is still operating in session singer, background vocalist, and songwriter mode on this Quincy Jones produced gem. When I heard the song I immediately opened the CD insert to see who the jazzy male vocalist was because SOMETHING sounded familiar about him (lol). In this session, Luther sings with a huskier voice, not in his higher register, as we're most familiar with but that precision and musicality come off making this a joint that will definitely make an impression on you.

Patti Austin is no slouch, of course, and Tom Scott played the stank off of that Lyricon during his solo. Annnnd we all know Quincy is a genius and this is just another testament to that fact.

Quincy Jones; Luther Vandross; Patti Austin - I'm Gonna Miss You in the Morning

Luther Vandross also sings on Takin' It to the Streets on this album which was probably like a 1978 The Chronic. Additional Players include Ashford & Simpson, Chaka Khan, Hubert Laws, Herbie Hancock, Eric Gale, Gwen Guthrie and Ralph MacDonald.

I was visiting Myspace one day WHEN SUDDENLY...

...I received a friend add from Mike Bean (Montgomery, Alabama). I didn't know if he was someone who listened to the DSXXX, a singer, a rapper or what. I went to his page to see if there was any dope to be found and sure enough, I find a producer who's laying down some heat. Im greeted by a chopped up version of one of my favorite Marvin songs from his What's Going On album and the last song in the player is a tribute to Dilla. Who says all cats from down South are BAMAs? Check him out, his beats will make their way to DSXXX, so keep your ears peeled. Speaking of Alabama producers, I have to give a shout out to another Alabama super beat maker, Supreme.

Speaking of DOPE, I saw a blog entry from Tiombe Lockhart, followed it and ended up at her new band, Cubic Zirconia's Myspace page. I saw the title for the first track in the player and chuckled (yes, I chuckled) to myself, I Wanna Freebase You it read. IWFY is smart, funky, dark, electro rock and the genius continues with the second tune in the player Fu(k Work. Always daring and always on point, Tiombe doesn't disappoint as she continues her post PPP compositions. Me: Singing, "Smoke your love raw/ It numbs the jawwww......"

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Jesse Boykins III - The Beauty Created Review

Enter Jesse Boykins III, YOUR NEW FAVORITE SINGER! Does this sound bold? If so, let me expound: Jesse Boykins is a stellar singer/songwriter, graduate of New School University, and proponent of the post Neo Soul era (think Sa-Ra and PPP) with a great voice, talent for writing and an ear for making terrific music. I give The Beauty Created 7 out of 7 Head Nods!

Approximately 9 months and 11 days after dropping his spectactular debut EP, Dopamine, Jesse Boykins III and crew return to create Beauty. Beauty (n) - the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit. Wielding style and substance, The Beauty Created can only be described as Boykins' "Hip Hop Bossa Electro Soul Opus," but even that does this album no justice. The parts of The Beauty Created are equally as astounding as it's sum. The songwriting, shrouded in allegory and symbolism, covers a wide range of subjects with women being the topic, but not the focus of the song, allowing the listener to appreciate the surface of a song or immerse themselves in its depths. Sonically, you can hear influences from Jobim to the Isleys, Marvin to Sa-Ra and beyond. However, Boykins doesn't merely recreate their sound, he adds his own flavor to it, dazzling the ear with a gumbo of sound without sounding like an experimental novice. (Check Shine which begins with electro hip hop soul then takes you straight to Jamaica and back again.)

Overall, The Beauty Created, remains in a lane all it's own. Trendsetters in the music industry, nowadays, are slim to none. Jesse Boykins III is definitely carving his own lane and I hope we see his influence on his peers and their ilk. Experimental without being ostentatious (given his musical background) or too "out there", The Beauty Created is worth your patronage on and iTunes. With his first full length, Jesse Boykins III has created an album that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit, or more simply Beauty...and that's not just the new car smell talking (lol).
Peep DJ Rahdu's interview with Jesse Boykins III on The Diamond Soul XXXperience here.

*Head Nod Scale
1=Don't waste your time like I did mine.
2=Waste your time like I did mine but I dare you to disagree.
3=Well, there was the single.
4=If it were a hand in spades there's "two and a possible".
5=It's a "good" album. Meaning at least 3 or 4 solid songs.
6=Really Good Project. Has the "Rewind Factor" more than once.
7=The number of completion. Great Album. Instant Classic.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

JayTeeDee presents The Love Mix, Vol.5: Not Like This

it's been a while... shout out to Rahdu, thanks for the inspiration.


Gnarls Barkley - Who's Gonna Save My Soul (The Breakup Version)
Illa Jay - Sounds Like Love featuring Debi Nova
Stacey Epps - Addicted
Davina - Only One Reason
Bilal - You Are
Slum Village - Fall In Love
J Dilla - Fall In Love (Remix)
Kanye West - Say You Will
Joel and Clementine Introlude
Sade - Keep Lookin'
Oh! - L.O.V.E. featuring Paris Runaway
Kid CuDi - Pillow Talk
Kissey Asplund - Another Glass
Duffy - Stepping Stone
The Foreign Exchange - All Or Nothing/Coming Home To You
Kanye West - Welcome To Heartbreak

Download (right click/save as)

Check out the other mixes at:

Sunday, November 23, 2008

DSXXX Jesse Boykins III Interview

1. Roy Ayers - Everybody Loves the Sunshine (9th Wonder Remix)
2. N'Dambi - Deep
3. YahZarah - Love is You
4. Part Time Heroes; Jono McCleery - Angels Fly
5. Lenny Kravitz - If You Can't Say No
6. Raheem Devaughn - Love Drug
7. Kindred the Family Soul - Stars
8. Meshell N'degeocello - Smoke My Herb
9. Jesse Boykins III - Tabloids

...::Jesse Boykins III Interview Pt 1::...
10. Jesse Boykins III - Baby "I Don't Know"
11. Jill Scott - Slowly Surely
12. YahZarah - Shook

...::Jesse Boykins III Interview Pt 2::...
13. Jesse Boykins III - Sobriety
14. Kutiman - I Just Want to Make Love to You
15. Tony Ozier - Nobody

...::Jesse Boykins III Interview Pt 3::...
16. Jesse Boykins III - Think
17. Sa-Ra - Fantastic Vampere
18. Presto; Kim HIll - Plain Jane
19. Madlib; Frezna - Yo Yo Affair Pt 1 & 2
20. Bilal Salaam - Fourfit
21. Illa J - Timeless
22. Jesse Boykins III - Pantyhose
23. Robert Glasper - J Dillalude

Listen Here
Next Week: DSXXX interview with Anonamas

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Renaissance: Q-Tip / The Review

Remember when you had a tape (yeah, I said tape on purpose) or an album that you really liked and wondered why the club/radio never seemed to play all your "favorites" from it?  Or, how there were certain rap songs you thought you weren't going to like because of the intro music but when the MC started spitting, you ended up loving the song?  If you don't have any fond musical memories of hip hop like these, you're probably not considered by "most" to be a real fan of the art from back-in-the-day.  But, there's no need to fear, Q-Tip is here!  

Enter The Renaissance.   Many rappers from back-in-the-day  that try to stage a musical  comeback suffer from what I refer to as the Schwarzenegger Effect.  In almost every movie he's been in, there has to be some sort of explanation about his accent and/or build.  That's because he's not a great actor. He was extremely popular though.  Film makers felt that in order for audiences to "accept" him in a role, they needed to explain his thick accent and freakish size/build.  Many rappers from back-in-the-day didn't ever really have the best lyrical ability compared to the lyrical geniuses we've come to love...they were, however, very popular. The Renaissance proves that Q-Tip doesn't suffer from S.E. at all! 
From Johnny Is Dead to the bonus track Good Thang you'll be constantly reminded that Q-Tip can rap...for real.  This album is an overall winner.  It's not a throw-back album (i.e. it doesn't sound dated or from the 90's).  It's a refreshinglook at what new hip hop can still sound like.  The music/production of this project is solid.  The beats aren't the feature or the star of this project but are there to accompany the rhymes.  I give The Renaissance 6 out of 7 Head Nods*!  And now for the specifics...

Johnny Is Dead [track 1] ~ This is the 1st track on the project.  And, like a good intro should, it's gives you some idea how Q-Tip can ride a track with his distinctive style.  And, if you listen to the words, he's actually saying something.  "Sometimes I phase out when I look at the screen /  when I think about my chance for me to intervene and it's up to me to bring back the hope put feeling in the music that you can quote / not saying that I hate it cause yeah, I kinda dig it, but what good is a ear, if a Q-Tip isn't in it?" ~ Q-Tip

Won't Trade [track 2] ~ On this one, Q-Tip uses sports talk to explain what can and does go on in a relationship.  Word play, nuance, metaphor, double entendre, etc., etc., etc..  This one has what I like to call "the rewind factor".  Once you catch what he's talking about, you'll listen over and over to make sure you're not missing anything.

 You [track 5]~ This one is more of a "slow jam".  Not going to spoil it for you but listen to the's deep.

We Fight/We Love_Feat. Raphael Saadiq [track 6] ~ All I'm going to say on this one is..."Classic."

ManWomanBoogie_Feat. Amanda Diva [track 7] ~ This is a poem put to a swing.  Once again, gotta listen to the words on this one to really get the vibe.

Move [track 8]~ Yeah, like I said...Q-Tip can rap.  Love the "flow" better than the song though.

Dance On Glass [track 9] ~ The 1st 16 bars are A cappella...a real live "naked 16"...Keep hooking!

Life Is Better_Feat. Norah Jones [track 10]~ Okay, this one reminded me of the part of Kool Moe Dee's Wild, Wild West that goes..."I'm talking about Nazareth, B.O., Tony and Milton, Mike Mike Sluggo and Mike Chillion, D.O.B., Reggie B, and Sidney, Dana B, Derrick B, Sean B, and don't forget, Big Hank, Don Ice and Sire Rock, God bless Peter Wax, Chuck Chuck, and Po Rock, El Dorado George......which is a good thing.

Believe_Feat. D'Angelo [track 11] ~ It's like a hip hop "I believe I Can Fly" [The feel and the message of the song, not the sound.]

I'm Thed Weller and I approve this review.
*Head Nod Scale
1=Don't waste your time like I did mine.
2=Waste your time like I did mine but I dare you to disagree.
3=Well, there was the single.
4=If it were a hand in spades there's "two and a possible".
5=It's a "good" album.  Meaning at least 3 or 4 solid songs.
6=Really Good Project.  Has the "Rewind Factor" more than once.
7=The number of completion.  Great Album.  Instant Classic.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Coming to a Dollar $tore Near You...

If you know me, you know that I haven't been the staunchest Common supporter since he began to apologize for making Electric Circus. In addition to that, his subsequent albums lack the energy, creativity, focus and ferocity of Like Water for Chocolate or Resurrection. In most conversations, the rebuttal to that statement is "Well, Be and Finding Forever were good." You know what, you're right. They were just that, good. We have to hold these artists up to higher standards and not applaud them for making albums that the guy down the street is making. Why not, they have the money behind them and if the MC Kool-Aid from Ensley album sounds just as good as a major label product then there's a problem!

Enough of that rant, I am happy to drop on you this gem from the former Sartorial Sap (before he got a stylist) about his new album, Universal Mind Control.
"...Check me out on the website, y'all can get the whole album for 99 cents the day the album is released, y'all can't beat that, my music is priceless. [Laughs]"
Yeah, Common, I had to laugh at that too. Check out Common, on this MC battle classic, back when he used to stomp a hole in MCs chests for real!

Common - The Bi+ch in You

Monday, November 17, 2008

Vinyl? Check! 10: And you brought???!!!!

Alton, McClain & Destiny were Disco Darlings that formed in 1978 and split in 1981; releasing four albums during their tenure at Polydor. More of You was their third release and includes a gospel tinged, feel good disco number that I want to share with you, "You Bring To Me My Morning Light." Just listen and I dare you to not want to break into a boogie.

Alton, McClain & Destiny - You Bring to Me My Morninglight

BTW Alton McClain continued recording as a gospel singer, releasing albums God's Woman in 1995 and Renaissance in 2005.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

DSXXX 11-17-2008 Next Week Jesse Boykins III Interview

1. 14 KT - When My Sunsets (The Golden Hour)
2. Kindred - Alright
3. Big Brooklyn Red - Spoil Me
4. The Foreign Exchange - Leave It All Behind
5. Omm'as keith - Bassa Sex plex
6. Illa J - All Good
7. Kissey Asplund - Silverlake
8. Brooklyn Academy - Raise Ya Hands (Instrumetnal)
9. Jay Dee; Phat Kat - Featuring Phat Kat
10. Q-Tip - The Renaissance
11. Q-Tip - Q-Tip for President
12. The ARE - Eclectic Relaxation
13. Marco Polo;J Davey - Relax
14. Nicolay; Peter Hadar - Watermelon
15. Count Bass D - Can We Hang Out Tonight
16. dviousmindZ - Show Me What You Got
17. Menahan Street Band - Make the Road by Walking
18. Jay-Z - Imaginary Player
19. Jake One; Elzhi; Royce Da 5'9" - Glow
20. Panacea - A Mind on a Ship Through Time
21. Dabrye; Jay Dee; Phat Kat - Game Over (Flying Lotus Istrumental)
22. The Rurals - Save It
23. Erik Rico - Welcome to the Space Age
24. Madlib; Karriem Riggins - Life
25. Braille - Many Stories
26. 88 Keys; J Davey - Dirty Peaches
27. Jesse Boykins III - Pantyhose
28. Jazz Addixx - Don't Judge Instrumental

Listen Here!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Wilson Pickett (Singer, Songwriter) Prattville, Al

Pickett was born March 18, 1941 in Prattville, Alabama, and grew up singing in Baptist church choirs. Pickett's forceful, passionate style of singing was developed in the church and on the streets of Detroit, under the influence of recording stars such as Little Richard, whom he later referred to as "the architect of rock and roll.
After singing for four years in locally popular gospel-harmony groups, Pickett, lured by the success of other gospel singers of the day, including Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, and others who left gospel music in the late 1950s for the more lucrative secular music market, joined the Falcons in 1959.
The Falcons were one of the first vocal groups to bring gospel into a popular context, thus paving the way for soul music. The Falcons also featured some notable members who went on to become major solo artists; when Pickett joined the group, Eddie Floyd and Sir Mack Rice were also members of the group. Pickett's biggest success with The Falcons came in 1962, when "I Found a Love," (co-authored by Pickett and featuring his lead vocals), peaked at #6 on the R&B charts, and at #75 on the pop charts.
Soon after recording "I Found a Love," Pickett cut his first solo recordings, including "I'm Gonna Cry," his first collaboration with Don Covay, an important figure in Southern soul music. Around this time, Pickett also recorded a demo for a song he co-wrote, called "If You Need Me." A slow-burning soul ballad featuring a spoken sermon, Pickett sent the demo to Jerry Wexler, a producer at Atlantic Records. Wexler heard the demo and liked it so much, he gave it to one of the label's own recording artists, Solomon Burke. Burke's recording of "If You Need Me" became one of his biggest hits (#2 R&B, #37 pop) and is now considered a soul standard, but Pickett was crushed when he discovered that Atlantic had given away his song. "First time I ever cried in my life," Pickett would later recall. Pickett's version of the song was released on Double L Records, and was a moderate hit, peaking at #30 R&B, #64 pop.
Pickett's first big success as a solo artist came with "It's Too Late," an original composition (not to be confused with the Chuck Willis standard of the same name). Entering the charts on July 27, 1963, it eventually peaked at #7 on the R&B charts, and at #49 pop. This record's success convinced Wexler and Atlantic to buy his contract from Double L Records in 1964.

Pickett's Atlantic career began with a self-produced single, "I'm Gonna Cry", which stalled at a lowly #124 on the national charts. Looking to boost Pickett's chart chances, Atlantic next paired him with famed producer Bert Berns and established songwriters Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. With this team, Pickett recorded "Come Home Baby," a pop duet with New Orleans singer Tammi Lynn, but this single failed to chart completely.
Pickett's breakthrough came at Stax Records' recording studio in Memphis, Tennessee, where he recorded his third Atlantic single, "In the Midnight Hour" (1965), perhaps his best-remembered hit, peaking at #1 R&B, #21 pop {US}, and #12 hit {UK}.
The genesis of "In the Midnight Hour" was a recording session on May 12, 1965, in which producer Jerry Wexler worked out a powerful rhythm track with studio musicians Steve Cropper and Al Jackson of the Stax Records house band, which also included bassist Donald "Duck" Dunn. (Stax keyboard player Booker T. Jones, who usually played with Dunn, Cropper and Jackson as Booker T. & the MG's, did not play on any of the Pickett studio sessions.) Wexler said to Cropper and Jackson, "Why don't you pick up on this thing here?" He performed a dance step. Cropper later explained in an interview that Wexler told them that "this was the way the kids were dancing; they were putting the accent on two. Basically, we'd been one-beat-accenters with an afterbeat; it was like 'boom dah,' but here this was a thing that went 'um-chaw,' just the reverse as far as the accent goes." The song that resulted from this encounter established Pickett as a star, and also gave Atlantic Records a bona fide hit.

Stax/Fame years (1965-67)
Pickett recorded three sessions at Stax in May and October 1965, and was joined by keyboardist Isaac Hayes for the October sessions. In addition to "In the Midnight Hour," Pickett's 1965 recordings included the singles "Don't Fight It," (#4 R&B, #53 pop) "634-5789 (Soulsville, U.S.A,)" (#1 R&B, #13 pop) and "Ninety-Nine and A Half (Won't Do)" (#13 R&B, #53 pop). All but "634-5789" were original compositions Pickett co-wrote with Eddie Floyd and/or Steve Cropper; "634-5789" was credited to Cropper and Floyd alone. All of these recordings are considered soul classics, and show a range of different styles, from the hard-driving "Midnight Hour" and "Don't Fight It," to the more overtly gospel-influenced "Ninety-Nine and A Half" (which borrowed its title from a gospel standard recorded by The Ward Singers) and the pop-soul of "634-5789".
For his next sessions, Pickett would not return to Stax; the label's owner, Jim Stewart, banned all outside productions in December, 1965. As a result, Wexler took Pickett to Fame studios, another recording studio with an even closer association to Atlantic Records. Located in a converted tobacco warehouse in nearby Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Fame was very influential in shaping soul music, and Pickett recorded some of his biggest hits there. This included the highest-charting version ever of the kinetic "Land of 1,000 Dances", which became Pickett's third R&B #1, and his biggest ever pop hit, peaking at #6.
Other big hits from this era in Pickett's career included two other covers: Mack Rice's "Mustang Sally," (#6 R&B, #23 pop), and Dyke & the Blazers' "Funky Broadway," (another R&B #1 for Pickett, as well as #8 pop). The band heard on almost all of Pickett's Fame recordings included keyboardist Spooner Oldham and drummer Roger Hawkins.

Pickett later teamed up with established Philadelphia-based hitmakers Gamble and Huff for the 1970 album Wilson Pickett In Philadelphia, which featured his next two hit singles, the funk-oriented "Get Me Back On Time, Engine Number 9" (#3 R&B, #14 Pop) and the pop number "Don't Let The Green Grass Fool You" (#2 R&B, #17 Pop).
Following these two big hits, Pickett returned to Muscle Shoals and the Muscle Shoals band, featuring Hood, Hawkins and Tippy Armstrong. This line-up recorded Pickett's fifth and last R&B #1 hit, "Don't Knock My Love, Pt. 1", which also peaked at #13 on the pop charts in 1971. Two further hits followed in '71: "Call My Name, I'll Be There" (#10 R&B, #52 Pop) and "Fire and Water" (#2 R&B, #24 Pop), a cover of a song by Free.
Pickett recorded several tracks in 1972 for a planned new album on Atlantic, but after the single "Funk Factory" reached #11 R&B and #58 pop in June of 1972, he left Atlantic for RCA Records. His final Atlantic single, a cover of Randy Newman's "Mama Told Me Not To Come," was actually culled from Pickett's 1971 album Don't Knock My Love.

As the decade continued, the advent of disco put Pickett's soul-based musical style out of step with the then-current trends in R&B, and in pop music in general. In 1975, with Pickett's once-prominent chart career on the wane, RCA dropped Pickett from the label.
Pickett continued to record sporadically with several labels over the following decades, occasionally making the lower to mid-range of the R&B charts. However, after 1974, he never had another pop hit. His last record was issued in 1999, although he remained fairly active on the touring front until he became ill in 2004.

Pickett was also a popular songwriter, as songs he wrote were recorded by artists like Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, the Grateful Dead, Booker T. & the MGs, Genesis, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Hootie & the Blowfish, Bruce Springsteen, Los Lobos, & Ani DiFranco, among others.

Wilson Pickett - Get Me Back on Tme, Engine No.9

Friday, November 14, 2008

Do something new!

Watermelon is the new single from the DJ Jamad and Nicolay project, Afro Collabo.

Peter Hadar is by far one of my favorite artists, and Well Dressed for the Art Show is a CLASSIC in my book. He's one of those special artists with a great voice, and the knack to write some of the illest lines I've heard in years. Watermelon is a headnodder about keeping the spontaneity in the intimacy.

Also on this project are Velben that you heard on Swoon Unitz, Big Brooklyn Red, and many more of your favorite nu soul and hip hop artists from stateside and beyond. The lineup is ridiculous so make sure you pick this one up when it's released!

Yes, Shayna, I'm still working on getting him to the 'Ham, I havent forgotten you.

Peter Hadar - Watermelon

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Vinyl? Check! 9: Do It Til You're Satisfied

This 1980 George Duke produced gem is filled with great choons! This is one of those albums that makes me wish I wasnt 3 yrs. old at the time this album dropped. There was so much wonderful music at this time.

This album is created by one of the later Blackbyrd ensembles and definitely has a disco influenced vibe, yet they keep it soulful. "Do It Girl" is one of the slower tunes on this album with a catchy chorus that you can feel George Duke's presence on. Sparse instrumentation (for The Blackbyrds) and their trademark harmonies make this one my standout. Honorable mentions: Don't Know What to Say and Better Days.

The Blackbyrds - Do It Girl

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Vinyl? Check! 8: U-N-I Vs. All

This group's 1977 album, Riding High, which contains the acclaimed single of the same name is a tour de force of funk. Difficulty arose once again in selecting a gem for this feature, however, You and I (Belong Together) is by far one of my favorites.

All songs on "Riding High"are arranged by The Ohio Players, and a song like You and I(Belong Together) fits perfectly in their repertoire. Funk, Dazzling harmonies, great playing, and excellent songwriting are all here.

Faze-O - You & I (Belong Together)

Passages: The Water Brought Us - Mausiki Scales & The Common Ground Collective

Being a deejay definitely has its privileges, especially when you are linked up with great artists (and record labels) that are excited and willing to share their musical ventures. This is certainly the case with bandleader and keyboardist Mausiki Scales and The Common Ground Collective.
I've been blessed with the opportunity of opening up their legendary monthly Apache Cafe event (Home Cookin' Excursions in Afrobeat Soul continues..) on a few occasions AND receiving an advance copy of their brilliant new album, Passages: The Water Brought Us, and alas, the full release.
Afrobeat rhythms permeate this one of a kind album while connecting the musical dots of the African diaspora as a whole; funk, hip hop, jazz, even Haiti and New Orleans are represented lovely on this 16 track global excursion. Simply put, this is African music at its best.

My top 7...
1. Spirit Dancer
2. Gravity
3. Ablo's Banjo/Farafina
4. Sweet Dreams
5. Mama's Calabash
6. That Flow (BIG up Dash)
7. Haiti 1804

Check out the video of Mausiki Scales and The Common Ground Collective's recent trip to Ghana's 50th Year Independence Celebration, featuring the song "Mama's Calabash", vocals by Julie Dexter.
Common Ground Collective/Ghana @ 50 years

Mama Afrika - Miriam Makeba - March 4, 1932 - November 10, 2008

One of my favorite artists of all time passed away yesterday, but her loving spirit, music and legacy lives on forever.

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1932, her break into worldwide fame began with her performance of the musical King Kong (with future husband Hugh Masekela), and later in the anti-apartheid documentary Come Back, Africa in 1959. She would later marry Black Panther leader Stokely Carmichael (aka Kwame Ture) causing much controversy in the United States.

A multi-award winning singer, songwriter, and activist against the former apartheid regime, she sang her potent songs of freedom until her untimely death caused by a heart attack in Castel Volturno, near Caserta, Italy, after singing her international hit song "Pata Pata". Former South African president
Nelson Mandela said it was “fitting that her last moments were spent on a stage, enriching the hearts and lives of others - and again in support of a good cause.” Read more here.

Please (re)disover this artist and humanitarian's life work and music.
Below is a video of her hit "Pata Pata" taped in 1968 in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Performances, Performances...

Theme Music for this Blog: Dilated People - Live on Stage

Jesse Boykins III, PJ Morton, Eric Roberson & HOST Dwele
Nikki Marina (Ft Lauderdale, FL)

First, we'll begin with my man, James Bing, and his birthday weekend that he asked me to provide the soundtrack for (Thanks for the love and the opportunity). Saturday's event was a concert at Nikki Marina that included some of James's favorite artists: Eric Roberson, Jesse Boykins III & PJ Morton all hosted by Dwele.

First Act: Jesse Boykins III
I heard his first project, Dopamine, and became an immediate fan. His live performance, thankfully, does not disappoint as well. Not only does he sound good live, he also posseses showmanship and keeps the crowd in his pocket. Be on the lookout for his new album, The Beauty Created, that drops today.

Second Act: PJ Morton
Luckily, I witnessed PJ in action before. Otherwise I would have NOT BEEN READY like most of the people in attendance. Truly a performer that transcends the neo soul label that is placed on him, PJ Morton gives the audience an experience in African American music; taking you on a journey from gospel to hip hop and beyond.

Third Act: Eric Roberson
If you haven't seen Eric Roberson live, you don't know what you're missing! A consumate showman, he controls the crowd with ease, creating a bond that makes his perforance all the more enjoyable. He also did his infamous freestyle set, taking words (and a phrase) from the crowd and creating a song on the spot, which was incredible. Even more exciting during his set, was the duet with Dwele of the Eric Roberson penned, "Hold On."

Opening Act: Jazmine Sullivan
I didn't really get into her until her 3rd song, "Lions, Tigers & Bears," and she even opened with one of her current singles, "Bust Your Windows." She sounds good but watching her performance is like watching a public speaker that makes too many hand and arm gestures while speaking. Don't get me wrong, she's enjoyable but needs to trim the fat on the performance aspect of her show.

The Feature: Maxwell
Although he hasn't released a studio album in 7 years, the man has not lost a step. It's as if he spent those 7 years working on his stage show. He spent the majority of the show jumping around like an effusive Capoeirista that also studied Prince and James Brown. He still sounds good and the two new songs he debuted (Pretty Wings and Bad Habits) don't show a departure from the sound that we've grown to love from Maxwell. Highlights of the night (for me) were:

1.The remix of "Sumthin, Sumthin" with The Ohio Player's "Ecstasy"
2. The intimate acoustic encore performance of "Whenever, Wherever, Whatever"
3, The many apologies for cancelling his Bham date many years ago
4. His version of Al Green's "Simply Beautiful"

He says his album will drop some time around Valentine's Day next year...we've heard that one before BUT he bought himself some time with me on that (if it doesn't happen) with his live show. Check him out if he's coming to your city


If you live in Bham (OR NOT) make sure you check this out!

Monday, November 10, 2008

DSXXX Count Bass D Interview

1. SamiYam - Rooftop
2. Part Time Heroes; Liane Carroll - What's The Noise Part II/ What It Could Be
3. Breakthrough;Count Bass D - XL
4. Mos Def - Life N Marvelous Times
5. Count Bass D; MF Doom - Potholderz
6.. Gagle - Popuras
7. Cradle - Scenery Pt2
8. Count Bass D - Internationally Known
9. The Knux - Cappucino
10. People Under The Stairs - Critical Condition
11. Anonamas - Footsteps
12. Lord Finesse - Ghetto Life Instrumental
13. Jimmy Abney - Come Go With Me
14. DJ Babu; Doom - The Unexpected
15. Tettorybad; B-West - Galaxy
16. The Mountain Brothers - Galaxies: The Next Level

...Count Bass D Interview Pt 1...
17. Main Source - Lookin at the Front Door
18. Zilla Roca; Nex Millen - Cup Runneth SGB Remix
19. Ino Hidefumi - Blood is thicker than water
20. Made in Japan - City at night

...Count Bass D Interview Pt 2...
21. Faith; 112 - Caramel Kisses
22. Me'shell Ndegeocello - Elliptical

...Count Bass D Interview Pt 3...
23. Mobb Deep - Shook Ones Pt 2
24. Grooveman Spot; Count Bass D - Hadesugiru (Blues and Pants Mix)

...Count Bass D Interview Pt 4...
25. Count Bass D - What I Do
26. Count Bass D - Can We Hang Out Tonight
27. Count Bass D - Neon Soul
28. PPP; Coultrain - Angel (Remix)
29. Q-Tip; Raphael Saadiq - We Fight/Love
30. Afta-1 - Stellar Suzie

DSXXX Count Bass D Interview
Download Here

Sunday, November 2, 2008

DSXXX with Count Bass D & Vinyl? Check! 7

I actually copped this from a record collector's show here in Birmingham (Wassup Carlos?)

When I placed the needle on this one, the very first cut, "A Night in Barcelona" grabbed me. By today's standards this is a perfect song to be looped and sampled for a hip-hop cut. The liner notes describe it as having "a strong rock beat with the floating, modal feeling developed by and associated with John Coltrane."
I've long been a fan of Bobby Hutcherson's and this quintet which includes Joe Sample on piano and electric piano does not disappoint. Check out "A Night in Barcelona" below

The Raashan Ahmad Interview

Here's the latest episode of The Diamond Soul XXXperience

1. Hudson Mohawke - Apple Cores
2. Guilty Simpson; Eric Lau - For Tha D (Harmonic 313 Remix)
3. Murs - Think You Know Me
4. Royce Da 5'9"; kid Vishis - Heat to the Streets
5. Jake One; Blueprint - Scared
6. Shawn Jackson; Ty & Kory - Go There With You
7. Black Milk - Purple track 4
8. DJ KO; Torae; John Robinson; Talib Kweli; Tiffany Paige - Someday
9. The Program - Life Goes On Instrumental
10. G Frequency; Othello - Overtime
11. DJ Deckstream; JuJu Be - you got Me
12. Jazz Addixx - 1200 Jazz
13. Monica Blaire - What I Want
14. SamiYam - It's Important
15. The Niyat - Independence
16. Butta Verses; A Butta - Speech Therapy
17. Rustie; Kissey Asplund - Atomic Light'n'Sound
18. Madlib - Anthenagin'(?)
19. Jill Scott - Breathe
20. minusbaby - Strong Arctice Winds Take Terns
21. Olivier Day Soul - Breathe
22. St Mic - Love is Complicated Tomorrow
23. Bilal Salaam - In Between
24. Crown City Rockers - Body Rock
...::Raashan Ahmad Interview Part 1::...
25. Crown City Rockers - Let It Coast
...::Raashan Ahmad Interview Part 2::...
25. Crown City Rockers - No Sense
...::Raashan Ahmad Interview Part 3::...
26. Crown City Rockers - Restless

DSXXX Raashan Ahmad Interview
Download Here